Here we are again. It’s 2020, and people are in the streets, buildings are on fire, and you may be finding yourself arguing that “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t mean that other lives don’t matter or matter less with some obscure family member or association. It’s like 2015 all over again. And I imagine for our elders, who remember Rodney King more clearly, or the civil rights movement, it’s bringing back even more memories. As a white woman, I am torn between the need to sit down and let Black people take the microphone, and making sure people know where I stand. But one thing I do know is that until we have a dramatic overhaul to this system we live in, which I believe is designed to keep Black people oppressed, this will keep happening. And if my kids ask me how I contributed to making the world a better place, I want to be able to say more than that I shared a couple things on social media. So, here are some resources I’ve compiled that help other people (especially white people) to do more than say “What can I do?” Here’s how to be a good advocate to the Black Lives Matter Movement.
To start, the phrase “Know Better, Do Better” comes to mind.
Despite a grandiose amount of ugliness in the world, I maintain the belief that the majority of us really do want to do well and have good intentions, but aren’t always armed with the best tools to do so, or knowledge about their own biases.
I am going to break down into a few categories what I feel is at the heart of these issues, and give resources to learn more about each aspect.
The first is white privilege.
Here’s an article that debunks seven arguments that white privilege doesn’t exist that I think is pretty great.
This one unpacks even further the first argument above – that even poor white people who had rough upbringings still experience benefits because of their whiteness.
If you want something longer, or with more details, here’s a reading list of sixteen books about White Supremacy in the United States, and sixteen books about race every white person should read.
If you’re not a reader, check out “13th” on Netflix.
Or this video:
Hopefully, if you are still here (or back – if so, welcome back!), you and I are on the same page that Black people are starting from a disadvantage in the United States just for their outward appearance.
Now… How about some action?
I apologize if this is a less convenient way to do this, but I am going to embed a facebook post that I made here… To keep the resources together, I kept commenting on my own post. I think the post itself is poignant, but the real benefits are in the comments… And I invite you to add more if you find them. I plan to do the same as well!
Here’s some action steps:
Again, please click through to the post itself, where there are tons of links! I will come back and move them here.
Something I am seeing a ton of is how people are upset about the destruction from rioting and looting. Again, I am going to embed a facebook post I made where I’ve shared a lot more resources in the comments. I plan to move those resources to this blog soon, but wanted to get it out as fast as I could, so this is my solution for that!
Black people have tried so many peaceful protests – from “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” or “I can’t breathe” shirts, Colin Kapernick taking a knee, athletes speaking out… None of it is working.
THIS is what gets peoples’ attention.
Are you listening?
Hopefully real change is made, instead of all of us starting the cycle of going back to normal until a few cops are caught misbehaving again.
And yes, I may be a little biased because Kareem wrote it, but it is brilliant, I think, and again – I put more resources in the comments that are worth checking out.
Let’s get to work. It’s time to show we’ve learned how to be a good advocate for the Black Lives Matter Movement.
P.S. If you enjoyed this, I have written a couple other blog posts about race: One about cultural appropriation in hair and makeup, one where I shared learning about my own biases (from Google’s Black History Month commercial of all places) and one about racism surrounding the reactions to Kobe Bryant’s passing.