June 1, 2020 1:19:51 PM
Protests continued overnight in the US following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died on May 25 in Minneapolis, after a white police officer held him down by kneeling on his neck for several minutes.
Knowing what to do and how to help, if you feel angry and overwhelmed by the situation – especially in the midst of a pandemic – can be difficult and upsetting, but here are a few ways to start…
1. Make a donation
If you are in a position to provide financial support, you can donate to organisations such as the Minnesota Freedom Fund – the non-profit is supporting the bail costs of people jailed for protesting George Floyd’s death – as well as local Minneapolis outfits led by black community members, including Black Visions Collective and Reclaim The Block. You can also support the George Floyd Memorial Fund, set up by Floyd’s brother Philonise, to help cover funeral and burial costs, legal fees and the care and education of George’s children.
3. Educate yourself
It’s on you to do your research, have an understanding of the history of racial injustice, get up to speed on police brutality cases and the inequalities and injustices faced by black people, not just in America, but in the UK and Ireland and around the world. This is a systemic problem that’s in no way isolated to the US.
Track down resources, investigate what it means to really be an ally, if you are white, understand your white privilege, listen, stock up on books like Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, and White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, and read them. Share these resources with friends and family, and talk about what is happening, and what needs to change.
4. Share and amplify
If you are on social media, you can use your accounts to share content and amplify black voices and organisations that often go unseen or unheard. Follow and share the work of activists, civic leaders, writers and community organisers like Killer Mike, Patrisse Cullors, Clarissa Brooks, Da’Shaun Harrison and many more. And make space for people to be heard.
If you’ve signed a petition, share it with your social media followers, use hashtags, and support and follow journalists who are covering the protests and unfolding situation on the ground.
5. Support your local community
Due to lockdown restrictions in the UK and Ireland, physically joining a protest will likely be difficult – if not impossible – but you can still stay at home and take a stand. Start by finding and supporting charities, community organisations and political groups in your area that are anti-racist and fighting for racial equality. Support nearby businesses run by black people, and shout about them. Take anti-racist action in your own life on a day-to-day basis. Push for change in regards to diversity at work, and speak up when confronted with racist comments made by family members and colleagues, however uncomfortable or difficult it may be. Enter into conversations and do not stay silent.