The death of George Floyd has boosted the Black Lives Matter movement into conversation, but we must continue to talk about it after the social media coverage has died down. There have been too many atrocious deaths and other discriminatory actions against Black people from oppression by white people. White people, like myself, need to ally with Black people to break the unjust social norms and create wider social change. This post includes ways that we can consistently be engaging with the movement and changing behaviour at the individual level to generate a ripple effect into larger groups of society.
Call Out and Correct Racist Comments:
This is super important for changing the behaviour at a smaller level as it combats an actual instance of racism which could prevent further instances. The person that made the comment may not even know that it is offensive to Black people, but you can use your knowledge to educate them. If you do not call out and correct the comment, know that silence is just as bad as stating the comment; you are allowing an injustice to occur. We need to actively be anti-racist, not just non-racist. It might be uncomfortable, but think about how much more uncomfortable racial oppression is.
Lobby for Legislative Change:
A lot of the problems have come from injustice being legal; mainly that there is a lack of accountability for people in positions of power. If we can change the law to establish enforceable consequences for abuses of power, then actions against the Black Lives Matter movement will be discouraged. We can all find out to varying extents how the law needs to be changed in our country and contact powerful people or organisations that we can stand with whilst lobbying the government. If you have the ability to vote, then you also need to make sure that the person you vote for supports the movement and will ensure legislative change occurs.
This is one of the most important things as without knowledge you are unable to do the previous two things or to just effectively support the movement. There are plenty of resources out there such as social media posts, articles, books, podcasts, TV shows and many more, so you will definitely find a learning medium that works for you. Remember, don’t pester your Black friends for information, it is not their job to teach you (especially with the abundance of knowledge already accessible). Also, as with all societal issues, you are allowed to change your mind when learning new information! So many people feel as though they have created such a strong position that any new information is just automatically incorrect or that they can never admit that they are wrong. No one will think less of you if you learn from it and support the other position!
Listen to Black People:
It is great that so many white people have used their social media platforms or positions of power to create awareness and action, but we need to make sure that we are not taking away the voices of Black people. They have first hand experience to racial injustice in society and therefore know how it can be fixed. They can also help us to change our perspectives, as sometimes we are blinded by our white privilege. With this privilege, we also need to be open to being corrected if we unintentionally make an offensive comment to Black people.
Support Black Businesses, Creators and Influencers:
I guarantee that most of us have subconsciously been giving white businesses, creators and influencers the majority of our support. We need to diversify what we intake to support Black lives in the long term. I have included a few that you could support here and in the photo below, but I urge you to put your own time into finding ones that meet your needs and wants.
You have probably all signed at least one petition to support the Black Lives Matter, but we need to be consistently doing this to continue the momentum. They may seem meaningless because you are just one person, but these petitions show solidarity in large numbers and presents what society wants to people in positions of power. If you don’t know where to start, click here and go to the ‘sign petitions’ section.
If you have the ability to donate, then please do to strengthen the efforts towards combating racial injustice. You shouldn’t donate to change.org though, as they have been accused of siphoning their donations from the actual cause of the petition. If you don’t know where to start, click here and go to the ‘donate’ section. You could potentially make it a recurring payment or keep doing it consistently as new funds are created.
Join Protests Safely:
Protests are another way of showing unity in large groups under one cause. Please make sure that you are being safe about it during the pandemic by protesting online or wearing masks whilst practising social distancing. You also need to be safe by staying away from violence or other aspects of the protests that might make you feel uncomfortable – your safety should come first.
If you want to save these ideas and the link to this blog post for easy reference, save this pin on Pinterest 🙂