On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd died after being suffocated by a police officer who kneeled on his neck. Floyd was a black man who was wrongfully killed. Since then, protests and riots have been happening in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM), Floyd, black people who have been violently killed for no reason, and to resist police brutality.
The outpouring of responses on social media has been overwhelming and while it is nice to post in support on social media, that is not enough. You can’t just post on social media and go on living your life and not help those who are oppressed.
So, while you do post on social media in support, here are some other things you can do. You don’t have to do them all, but one will do.
Attend A Protest
When all 50 states and international countries protest, you know this is a big deal. They have now lasted for over 10 days. Many people are protesting peacefully while holding signs, marching, chanting, etc. Unfortunately, some of the protests have turned violent when law enforcement showed up. Protesters were tear-gassed, hit, and arrested, which is a shame when you are trying to help people in need. If you are going to a protest, make sure to wear a mask, make sure your phone is charged, have a person you can call in case of need, and be safe.
Obviously with everyone out of work right now, due to the Corona Virus, it is a tough time for money. If you have some extra money to spare, please consider donating. You can donate to George Floyd’s family or other people who have change.org petitions, who need help. You can donate to bail funds. Whatever you can do is helpful. If you don’t have enough money there are Youtube and Instagram videos, where if you watch them, the person who posted it will donate a certain amount per view.
Educate Yourself / Others
You may be posting on social media, but not know fully what is going on or why saying “all lives matter” is racist. Read some articles, listen to your black family/friends, be an ally. Learn that you are probably privileged if you have never been scared to be pulled over by a cop or to step outside your home or any of the numerous other things black people face every day. And if you do realize what is going on and someone you live with/ are friends with doesn’t, please educate them. Sometimes people don’t think they can support things if it isn’t affecting them. They don’t realize that we need to work together to build a better world.
Support Black Owned Businesses
Due to businesses closing because of COVID-19 and because of riots, many businesses have had to shut down. You can donate through the GoFundMe page that black-owned businesses in the Austin area set up or you can buy something from a black-owned business, whether it is a big corporation or a small self-owned business.
You may have already had your primary elections, or they may be coming up, but hopefully you are in the mindset to vote. Your voice counts. Your voice needs to be heard, especially the younger generation. There are people in office right now who don’t believe everyone should have equal rights and that needs to change. November is the most important election we have coming up. Make sure to register, if you aren’t already, read up on your candidates, and VOTE!