#BLACKLIVESMATTER: WAYS YOU CAN JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST RACIAL INJUSTICE & POLICE BRUTALITY
Saturday, Sep 5, 2020
The country is in an uproar, and rightfully so, over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. This has sparked protests all over the world, not just for George, but for the countless others who have suffered or have senselessly lost their lives at the hands of an unjust system, such as 26-year-old Breonna Taylor who was shot 8 times while she slept in her home, Ahmaud Arbery who was gunned down by two white men while jogging, 23-year-old Elijah McClain who was simply going to the store to buy his brother some iced tea, and 29-year-old Jacob Blake who was walking away when officers shot him seven times in the back in front of his kids.
The unsettling tension and cries for change have left many wondering how they can help. Below are a few ways to do your part in the fight against inequality, injustice, and police brutality.
Participate In Organized Actions For Breonna Taylor
For Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday, organizers launched #BirthdayforBreonna, a 10-step plan-of-action to bring awareness to her senseless death and plead for justice. The plan includes posting on social media and updating your biosto commemorate her life, signing a petition, demanding that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron charge the officers responsible for her death, donating to her Go FundMe, and more.
As financial activism is a great way to support the cause, you can always put your money where your mouth is and donate to advocacy groups. To help spread the wealth, you can challenge friends and family to match your donation or simply share ways to donate on social media. The George Floyd Memorial Fund, Color of Change, Campaign Zero, are a few options. See below for more.
Demand that police officers are held accountable for their actions by researching current laws, proposed changes, and contacting your representatives at the local, state, and national levels. Campaign Zero is a good place to start as they have a comprehensive data and research-backed solution to ending police brutality.
You can also research your city’s budget for law enforcement and demand funds to be relocated to more crucial areas like education and housing. To directly support Minneapolis police accountability, Reclaim the Block, an organization that aims to defund police and reallocate funds into underserved communities, is a great resource.
Showing up and making your voice heard is always a great way to stand in solidarity. BlackLivesMatter has a map of their organized protests in your area and ways you can connect with local chapters. But if you’re going to protest, you should be well-versed on your rights. In addition to BlackLivesMatter, ACLU has a comprehensive list that details your protestors’ rights.
Here are a few social media accounts you can follow that highlight the current climate, raise awareness about racial injustice, and provide knowledge for those who would like to learn more about what’s going on and how they can get involved.
Here’s a great “anti-racism” book list from The New York Times that aims to dismantle racism by empowering the people with knowledge on its insidious heritage. The list includes classics such as Zora Neale Hurston’sTheir Eyes Were Watching God,Langston Hughes’The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and more. Read the full list here.
If you’re scrolling through Netflix this weekend, here are a few things you can watch. Ava Duvernay’s NAACP Image award-winning documentary 13thand Emmy award-winning limited series When They See Us are both powerful and informative on the history of systemic oppression and bias of a flawed justice system. The six-episode Netflix documentary Time: The Kalief Browder Story, executive produced by Jay-Z, is a must-see as it details the story of a student from the Bronx who was imprisoned at Rikers for 3 years, in solitary confinement for 2 of them, but was never convicted of a crime. He later committed suicide upon his release.
Jay-Z published a curated Tidal playlist entitled Songs for Survival 2, a follow-up to the first one, which includes social activist musical artists such as Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Eddie Kendricks, Tracy Chapman,Curtis Mayfield and more. There’s also a Peaceful Protest Hip-hop playlist that includes conscious artists such as Talib Kweli, Tupac, Childish Gambino and Arrested Development.