Your Guide to Being an Ally Right Now
While we are still in a pandemic, coVID-19 is no longer at the front of peoples minds in America. For the last week, cities all over the country have been occupied with protestors demanding justice for George Floyd, another unarmed black man who was killed by police officers after an officer kneeled on his neck for 9 minutes. George Floyd joined the list of many who were killed by unnecessary police brutality. If you are unfamiliar with what happened last Monday, here are a few articles:
The death of George Floyd was the breaking point for the country, shortly after Breonna Taylor was killed while she was asleep in her home by police officers. Protests have continued to grow for close to a week, forcing the national guard to be activated in 40 states to control the crowds, with no sign of a decline.
This is the time when social media gets really ugly, with people sharing their hurtful opinions without consideration and arguing with one another for hours. There are articles being shared around with opinions, resources, and an overwhelming amount of information about the current situation in America and the history of systematic racism. Everyone is tired of being on social media, but I can assure you that this isn’t going to settle any time soon. So if you want to educate yourself, find some resources to share, or find ways to help without seeing everyones opinions being shared on facebook, I’ve compiled this list of resources.
First, some brief education on what’s happening right now, or why this is happening now:
- Interactive map of police-related deaths
- NPR article on police-related deaths
- “Opinion: Here’s why we don’t see protests when police unjustly kill white people”
- The Cut: “Scenes from Police Brutality Protests Around the World”
- 100 Year Hoodie- Why
- “Opinion: America’s Protests Won’t Stop Until Police Brutality Does”
Next, some excellent educational resources that you can look at and share around:
- Social Justice Toolbox
- 75 Things White People can do for Racial Justice
- Resources for White People to Learn and Talk about Race and Racism
- Why you Should Stop Saying “All lives matter”, 9 Different Ways
- For Our White Friends Desiring to be Allies
- Black lives matter education list
- Anti-racist reading list
- Anti-racism resources, including books, podcasts, movies and organizations
- ACLU know your rights (protesting)
An incredible comprehensive anti-racism packet put together by Jasmine Mitchell that includes a list of black-owned businesses in the DMV (page 18), templates for calling and emailing representatives (page 4) and protest safety tips (page 13)
The NAACP has petitions you can sign and another list of bail funds across the country
Ways to help:
Here is a comprehensive list of resources at the national level and organized by state for bail funds, community groups to donate to and legal help.
If you have any funds to share, consider donating to your local bail funds (link above). You can also read this brief thread that mentions how useful these bail funds are:
- The official George Floyd memorial fund
- Black Visions
- Reclaim the Block, providing aid and resources to people of color in Minneapolis
- Ahmaud Arbery memorial fund
Petitions you can sign
If you’re unable to donate, don’t worry! Donations are important but you can also begin to make a difference by signing any (or all) of these petitions!
- TEXT “FLOYD” to 55156, and sign the petition
- Text “RESIST” to 50409
- Text “JUSTICE” to 668366
- NAACP petition for justice for George Floyd
- petition for justice for Breonna Taylor
- petition for George Floyds killers to be held responsible
- Justice for Tamir Rice
- Read about and sign the petition to reopen the case of Kendrick Johnsons death
- Petition in support of the Hands Up act
- Petition for Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
- Petition for justice for Darrius Stewart
- Justice for Regis Korchinski-paquet
- Justice for Sean, who was shot 14 times by police in Indiana on May 6, 2020
- Justice for Willie Simmons, who is serving a life sentence without parole for stealing $9 because of the three strikes law
- Justice for Joāo Pedro, who was brutally killed by police in Brazil last year
- Read about and sign the petition in support of the Georgia Hate Crime bill
- Demand answers for the death of Belly Mujinga
- Read about and sign the petition in support of Julius Jones
- Justice for Tony Mcdade
- Justice for Crystal Mason
Some Youtube accounts are donating all the proceeds they get from ad’s to BLM organizations. Many youtube accounts partner with companies and earn money from the ad’s placed on their videos, so all you have to do is watch and you’re donating!
I’m not providing links to buy the books because I encourage you to find a local and/or black-owned bookstore to support instead of Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If you’re in Frederick, Curious Iguana is an excellent place to look. This is also my family’s personal reading list, so I encourage you to look at the New York Times reading list and the list in the Anti-Racism Packet by Jasmine Mitchell for more.
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
- When They Call You a Terrorist
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
- White Fragility
A few other things I’ve been trying to share:
- Most states and cities have their police radio public. If you can’t be at a protest but you want to know what’s going on, or you’re worrying about a loved one that’s there, look for the police radio. You can listen to any of them, not just where you live. Last night I listened to the end of the Seattle Protests.
- Some places have live traffic cameras that you can get access to. Washington DC has them all over the place you can view on the DC police website. There is a live camera of Hollywood Blvd, but it was turned off yesterday during the protests. These are usually only in major cities
This post will be updated as more information and resources come up. Take care of yourself and be kind to others.