Top 5 Ways To Be A Black Lives Matter ally while social distancing
You might be feeling pretty helpless right about now, and maybe a little overwhelmed. I mean, my last article on here was about covid-19, and now this…
I hope if you’re reading this, that means your not a racist. Great! And you’re probably a little stuck on how to help out. Especially if you are social distancing.
Maybe you’ve been unable to go to the protests, or maybe you don’t feel comfortable doing so. I know some carers and nurses in that position, so you are not alone. Don’t worry, there are lots of different things that you can do to be a Black Lives Matter ally.
The best thing is to be informed, and thanks to technology, you don’t have to see a soul. Educate yourself on what black people go through in their daily lives, about the discriminatory way police treat them, the fear that white people will not ever understand, read their experience. Educate yourself on Black history, and don’t just focus on slavery. Read about amazing Black people who made history, like Bessie Colemen the pilot, or Marsha P. Johnson the LGBTQ activist. Research the Black Lives Matter movement, and the historic things it has done.
Show Support Publicly and Privately
If you hear someone being racist, at work, on the internet, wherever, speak up! Be a sentinel against hateful speech. It might make you feel uncomfortable but imagine how it feels to hear that stuff regularly. Be the person who stands up against bigotry. It does not have to be a big eloquent speech, just something that tells the world that those comments are never ok.
And show to your friends of color. Make sure they know you stand with them, and they can trust you with their feelings, and feel safe with you. If you can think of anyone right now, give them a message, you don’t even talk about what is going on right now, just talk to them, and be their friend.
Movies, Books, Podcast
Familiarize yourself with black voices with art. We all know how impactful art is, and what kind of emotions it stirs inside. So, it’s a great way for you to learn and grow as an ally.
Some options for you, are documentaries like 13th, Banished: How Whites Drove Blacks Out of Town in America, The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross.
If documentaries aren’t your style, then famous movies such as Malcolm X, Just Mercy, 12 years a Slave, and Fruitvale Station. There are also a bunch of books and podcasts for you to check out.
Use Your Voice
Vote for representatives and officials that represent your ideals. Petition for change. Make sure you are active in the fight for change. These also don’t require any human contact, what a world we live in! If you have a phone, laptop, or even just a pen and paper, you can make your voice heard.
Campaign Zero is an organization that I would recommend looking into, they have launched 8can’twait which will create massive positive change, including banning chokeholds and strangleholds, contact your officials about it, share it on social media.
I understand if donating is something that you cannot do. And no one should make you feel like that is what you should be doing, or that you are not doing enough. Only donate if it is in your power to do so.
There are lots of different places you can support, there is Campaign Zero, Equal Justice Initiative, and Black Lives Matter. Then there are the memorial funds, bail funds, community enrichment funds (funding black artists), Policy reform organizations and Black LGBTQ organizations.
There are also some charities, that are providing services for people in the protests, such as supplying masks, water, and food. Mitch Gayns’s community supplies fund is one such organization.
Whatever you are able to give is impactful. And if you can’t give donations, there is still plenty to do.
I hope this list has given you some direction as to how you can help. We are not helpless, and we can make a difference, even if it’s only in our own heart. As a white woman, I know that I will never have to fear being targeted and hated for the color of my skin. I will never understand. But I will always fight against the clear and disgusting oppression of black lives. Because they matter, they always have.
As this year carries on, life may look dark. Maybe you think that this is the end, or that it will get worse. I understand that more than you know. But I also understand that humans survive on hope and progression, and we will progress through this. On the other side of this fight, I hope we are more enlightened, educated, and full of love.
Stay safe, and please look after yourself while isolating.