Tuesday, June 2, 2020

It's Time to Be a Better Ally.

Initially, I wasn't entirely sure what to write about in response to the tragic death of George Floyd, and the subsequent outcry in America and across the world. Perhaps I could talk about white privilege, and what it means, or perhaps about the history of systematic racism in both America and the UK. But then I realised, these things can be found in abundance online, but when I scroll through instagram and twitter, resources still aren't as accessible.

As a white person, these past view days have really made me see that I was not doing enough to be an ally, I was not taking enough time to understand the racism and racial bias so heavily ingrained in my society, and most importantly I was not using my white privilege enough to raise awareness about the ongoing struggle faced by black people. We must not let our voices die down once the protests quell, to be a true ally is to continually fight alongside those being hurt by the system. It is not good enough to post #blacklivesmatter for a short while before moving on, we must show that black lives matter on a daily. fucking. basis.

As a result I have spent the last couple days compiling resources for those who want to further their understanding on the difficulties faced by black people, and actively do more to become an ally. I have not read, watched or listened to all of the things I am about to list, but I have made sure to take these recommendations from black activists and have carried out some background research on each one. This post is by no means finished, and if you have any recommendations I will be sure to add them.

 If I am made aware that I have been ill-informed about certain resources, I will edit and remove them asap. Within this article I have also included links anti-racism pages that are far more extensive than mine. While I have included the most commonly reoccurring recommendations, the links included contain many more resources you can educate yourself with. 

Stay safe. Stay active against racism.

What you can watch:
  • When They See us (available on Netflix)
  • The Hate U Give
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Just Mercy
  • 13th (available on Netflix)
  • Dear White People (available on Netflix)

What you can read:
  • Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
  • So You Want to Talk About Race? - Ijeoma Oluo
  • How to Be an Anti-Racist - Dr. Ibram X Kendi
  • Black Feminist Thought - Patricia Hill Collins
  • White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism - Robin De'Angelo

What you can listen to:
  • Momentrum: A Race Forward Podcast
  • Seeing White
  • 1619 (New York Times)
  • Code Switch
  • Show About Race (Two seasons long, sadly no longer active)

Who you can follow:
  • Equal Justice Initiative
  • Black Women's Blueprint
  • Antiracist Research & Policy Centre
  • Aurdre Lorde Project
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights

Who you can donate to (if you can):

Before donating PLEASE check the social media of these charities to see if they are accepting donations (some may be overwhelmed by now). There are plenty organisations that need your help, you don't have to donate to the most popular one!
  • Chicago Community Bond Fund 
  • George Floyd Memorial Fund
  • Minnesota Freedom Fund
  • BLM 'Fund The Movement'
  • Black Trans Women Fund (gofundme)
  • NAACP Legal Defence Fund
  • The Marshall Project 

Things you can be doing post/while you are learning:
  • Diversify your life - follow people of different races on social media, diversify your friend group, follow activists, subscribe to channels of non-white youtubers.
  • Use your social media platforms to reach more people.
  • Sign petitions. Don't wait for them to be shared on your timeline - search for them!

Things you should be thinking about:
  • Can I educate my friends & family on white privilege?
  • Do I carry internalised racism?
  • Have I thought carefully about the stereotypes and common ideas that I hold about black people and people of colour?
  • Am I challenging the problematic thinking of family, friends or partners?
  • Am I speaking over those who have actually experienced racism? 
  • Am I sharing my platform with those who don't have one?
  • Am I taking the idea of white privilege personally and being defensive? Or am I being accepting and open-minded about the things I hear?
  • Am I doing enough to be an ally?


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