If you’ve turned on the TV, scrolled through social media, or spoken to anyone recently, you’d be well aware of the Black Lives Matter protests happening in the US right now. Hoards of people are taking to the streets to fight against police brutality and racism after the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who was killed after being arrested by Minneapolis police last week. Listen below:
One of the four police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest has been charged with murder, and prosecutors have stated that more charges will follow.
It’s heartbreaking to see these events unfold, and it’s easy to feel helpless about the Black Lives Matter protests being on the other side of the world. However, there are plenty of ways we can help fight against these injustices.
One of the best ways you can help right now is by donating. George Floyd’s family has set up a GoFundMe memorial fund to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counselling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist his family.
There are also so many organisations working to protect protesters, combat racial injustice and raise awareness about police brutality:
Black Visions Collective
Black Visions Collective is a black, trans, and queer-led social justice organisation and legal fund based in Minneapolis.
Reclaim the Block
Reclaim the Block is a coalition aimed at promoting healthier, safer and more diverse communities in Minneapolis.
The Bail Project
The Bail Project is a revolving fund that helps to prevent incarceration and combat racial and economic disparities in the bail system.
Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative
Know Your Rights Camp legal defense initiative is Colin Kaepernick’s legal defense fund for Minneapolis protesters.
Advocate For Anti-Racism
The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. You can advocate for anti-racism without being in the US right now by calling racism out when you witness it – whether it be in real life, or online.
You can also advocate for anti-racism by recognising overt and covert white supremacy in everyday life, following organisations actively working against racial inequity and injustice, educating yourself about racism – past and present, and understanding stories that aren’t our own.
Not being racist isn’t enough – we need to be actively anti-racist.
Racial injustice is not an American problem, it’s a global issue happening a lot closer to home than many people realise. Indigenous Australians account for around 2% of the population, yet they make up more than 25% of the prison population. The Royal Commision into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody ended in 1991, however more than 400 Indigenous Australians have died in custody since then.
By educating yourself about issues affecting Australia’s indigenous community, you can actively support them. NITV and Instagram accounts like BlakBusiness are great sources of information and promote Indigenous artists and makers that we can all directly support.
Educate Yourself & Share
It’s up to each of us, as individuals, to learn about racial injustice and the uncomfortable truth that led to this current situation. Use the Internet to find answers to your questions, read articles and books, watch documentaries, films and videos and listen to podcasts that discuss racism, racial inequity and injustice. Share posts and stories from people of colour to elevate their voices.
Michelle Obama recently spoke out on Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter protests, and said, “Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out.”
“It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets.”
Together, we can fight against racial injustice in hopes of a brighter future where the brutal treatment and tragic death of George Floyd and so many others before him doesn’t happen again.
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