It seems strange, that I haven’t written here. I’ve been so busy on Twitter amplifying Black activists. (So I’m not silent. Just elsewhere)
There isn’t much that I can say that others haven’t. Our country is deeply rooted in systemic racism. The structures of power, law enforcements, finance worlds, city planning – all work together in tandem to keep Black people in a position where they can never truly succeed.
Even if you’re financially successful, you still find yourself unfairly treated or targeted by cops.
And all these policies have worked their way until they’re internalized.
What do you mean by internalized?
My in-laws got a Ring doorbell. (We live with them) I had to turn off the neighborhood notifications for everything other than pets, because it was exhausting how many reports of suspicious people were just Black people walking home from somewhere.
And these are people who consider themselves good people, but they’ve been convinced that somehow Black people (and other people of color) are more likely to commit theft or some other crime.
Back to systemic racism
Our justice system convicts Black people to longer sentences for minor crimes, while giving second/third/fourth/eighth chances to white people.
Police brutality is not an occasional thing, but a matter of policy. Far too many Black people have died for the simple crime of being Black.
Even in communities with open carry, having a licensed firearm can be a death sentence for a Black person. Calling the cops to do a welfare check on a loved one can lead to their death. A wrong address can lead to death.
And up until it became common for Black people to be able to record these actions, most lacked the attention they needed.
Hell, Los Angeles erupted in riots after the Rodney King verdict (and isn’t it telling that we remember the case by his name, not the cops who brutalized him) – and nothing changed.
That’s terrible, but…
I’ve seen so many people get upset by the act of protesting. Those who seem to ignore that our country was founded by protests. Some peaceful, some that weren’t. Those who failed to notice that most of these protests were peaceful until the police escalated it. And that most of the “violence” towards cops were people trying to defend themselves from rubber bullets (branded “less lethal” by the police) that are being fired at them point blank instead of being fired as intended (they’re supposed to bounce off the ground first). Or from tear gas or pepper spray being used on women and children.
Our country has been mistreating Black people for hundreds of years, fighting tooth and nail to treat them as human beings with equal rights to that of white people. Studies show that Trauma is passed down from generation to generation. Literally, your DNA changes when presented with Trauma.
To those saying well what about…. this group? Yes, our country also mistreats Latinos, Jewish people, Muslims, Asian people… just about everyone who isn’t white or presumed straight or Christian. But right now, we’re taking this palpable anger at the violence Black people in the US (and around the world) receive, to start righting those wrongs.
I liken it to triage. There’s a bus crash, and many wounded people. You start with the most severe wound first – and that’s where we are.
Where do I start?
If you cannot march (as I cannot – I am immunosuppressed, and yes COVID is a major concern for me), there are a number of ways.
The above link is being updated regularly with petitions you can sign, places to donate, resources to read, as well as information for protestors.
What if I have no money?
If you have no money, you can watch a YouTube video to help! Revenue from this video will be donated to fund Black Lives Matter.
I don’t want to embed the video, because there are a couple of things you should know about watching a video like this.
You must be logged in to a YouTube account to make sure they get the revenue for this video. (Doesn’t matter if it’s a burner account). Turn off adblockers, and play with the volume in the player set to at least 50%. (You can mute your computer or laptop’s volume if you don’t want to listen to it). Play the video through, do not skip any of the ads, and comment on the video a few times during the playback.
If you want to watch it again, you’ll need to visit 3-5 unrelated videos before going back to it. (About 15-20 minutes of video content)
Follow those tips (helpfully provided by Kpop stans) to help ensure that all your views are monetized.
What else can I do?
This is not a short term fight. The fight for justice and equality is a lifelong fight. You can’t just throw up a hashtag and call it a day. It also isn’t a photo opportunity or a trend.
If you are not Black (like me), please use your position as an ally to amplify Black voices and stories to your non-Black friends. As an ally, avoid sharing protest videos and photos that show people’s faces. As an ally, do not share videos or images of brutality to make your point be known – all that does is expose Black people to MORE trauma.
Acknowledge that you are racist in some way. Being raised in a racist society, we internalize a lot. It takes work to recognize the sources of these thoughts and undo them. This doesn’t mean you can’t change – it just means that you have to acknowledge and understand where you’re starting from.
Lots of movies about the Black experience (made by Black filmmakers) are currently available as being free to rent. So look around!
So why did you post now?
Though I’ve been working on some blog posts, I wanted to make sure that for those who don’t follow me on Twitter – you knew that yes, I have been doing the work.
Not because I want your applause or recognition – but because silence is the enemy. You might think that you can use silence to think things through, but racists see silence as endorsement, and the Black community sees silence to mean that you would rather the status quo remain.
So speak up, help shoulder some of the burden.