With the recent events happening throughout the world there are a lot of people asking what can be done now. First, I just want to say this is nothing new. We have been fighting for injustices for a very long time. It is now time to do research and figure out what can be done and what role you play in this. Today I will add some resources to this blog so that our non-black & brown followers can have some type of guidance to look into during this time. Second, COVID-19 is still in full effect. The country did not open because it was safe, but because they are worried about money. Third, we are in two pandemics right now. We are in a global pandemic and a revolution. If you can't see the two happening side by side then your eyes need to be opened. You have to wake up! We have to start being comfortable with the uncomfortable.
There are people who have never experienced racism in a fraction of what other people have seen. I saw a post on twitter where a young white person said that when he was pulled over by the police he had thoughts like :
"Oh, man. I was speeding."
"This a**w**** has nothing better to do."
"Great another thing I have to pay."
Not once did he think "man, this is the way that I am going to die." Which we have seen time and time again we have seen people and let's be clear, black & brown people become terrified of the police because of interactions that often happen.
I was in St. Louis on break from college during the time that Mike Brown was murdered by a police officer. I lived right down the street where the NAACP held multiple meetings to discuss the murder of Mike Brown. I, myself had attended many meetings and protests in honor of Mike Brown and my community. One day while outside the police were riding around and I was outside with my nieces and nephews who are all black. The cops came riding around and my two oldest nephews ran straight to the door and the cops stopped. I grabbed the younger kids and I yelled "leave. Just leave." The cops lowered their windows and said "Hey fellas! We are not going to hurt you." I said "No, that's not enough. How can you say that when we're watching on national news that your kind is targetting and killing young black men and women? We see it. My kids are scared. You need to leave." The cop tried to explain that not all cops are bad. I want you to understand, even though I am Puerto Rican, I have white skin and I look like a white girl. I had the privilege of telling that cop to just leave. If I was not out there with my babies, what would have happened? I shielded my body over those babies as I yelled over to the cops.
The cop was pleading his case and the only thing I could think about was my nephews thinking that they were next because of all the commotion that was happening because a cop couldn't control himself and he is racist. Those cops wanted to prove something, but if they wanted to prove something they would have acknowledged the trauma that the world, not just the city of St. Louis has witnessed years after years. I do not know how those cops left that evening, but I know my nephews and nieces were scared and did not go outside for a couple of days.
If you are here today and you want to know what you can do then I will leave you with some resources and tips:
Be comfortable with uncomfortable. Speak up against your friends, family, and coworkers who are saying ignorant stuff; who are racist. Call them out. Let them know that that language is not welcomed.
Do research. Find a local chapter of https://blacklivesmatter.com/. Donate, find an activity to be part of. Get involved.
Protest. If you are non-black and brown, then challenge yourself to stand in the front lines and be the eyes and ears of the people around you. If you see a cop about to attack or harass or taunt then use your privilege and protect the black and brown people around you.
Sign petitions. Find out what is happening nationally and locally and start using your name to make a change.
Check out this link to read some book on racism An Essential Reading Guide For Fighting Racism https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ariannarebolini/george-floyd-amy-cooper-antiracist-books-reading-resources
Check out this link to watch some movies about racism: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2020/06/05/stream-these-20-compelling-movies-tv-shows-racism-america/3135829001/
Vote. Absolutely Vote, but don't just vote actually research the plans on who you are voting for. Do these people running for positions in these elections have an agenda for the injustices in their city? In the world? Make sure you are active in your community and learning and teaching people about who you are voting for.
Shop locally. Try to stop shopping with these big corporations and find local shops and restaurants. Support the community and bring back the money to your neighborhood.
If you can learn about properties and buy back your neighborhood. Gather people together who are serious. Come up with a plan and discuss options on buying property. It may be long-term but think about it.
Check out these articles to receive more ideas on how to support:
These are just a few resources, but please use your local libraries, Google and other resources to find out what is happening and how you can be involved.
Please continue to say the names of the many people whose life was taken way too soon at the hands of an officer who believed they had power and/or lost their lives to racism in life and death:
And the many many people who have lost their life. Continue to say their name.
If you're wondering what I have been doing here is the following:
I have donated to my local chapter of Black Lives Matter, I have participated in many protests, I have donated to a funeral, I support local and black own businesses by shopping with them and not at big corporations, I purchased a book from a local author who is black, I also found a local black own book store (http://www.thelitbar.com/) and started purchasing my books there versus Amazon, I started a scholarship/COVID-19 Relief Fund for people affected, and I signed petitions. I also switched the video of the week to discuss the problems of the world with a non-profit and one of their students. I will continue to fight!
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