As protests against racist police brutality sweep across the US and spread to other countries around the world, rallying chants of “Black Lives Matter” echo through our streets and our digital space. As we all digest the news and think about how to respond and participate at such a vital time, it is necessary to recognize what Black Lives Matter means, and why some people find the phrase problematic.
“Black Lives Matter” is an anthem, a hashtag, a slogan, and a straightforward statement of fact. Although it is not a new movement, the message is important to the nationwide protests happening right now.
BLM speaks out against the police brutality and systemic racism happening particularly in the United States, that caused the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and Breonna Taylor, as well as the thousands of violent incidents that happen to blacks that are not recorded, are not reported or are not given the outrage they deserve.
At its most basic level, it demands a shift in the statistics that black people are twice as likely to be killed by a police officer while unarmed, compared to a white person.
Based on a study carried out in 2015, black Americans died at the hands of police at a rate of 7.2 per million, while whites were killed at a rate of 2.9 per million.
Even though racism in the United States dates back hundreds of years to when the country was founded, the “Black Lives Matter” timeline began much more recently. The movement came out of the acquittal of George Zimmerman after he murdered Trayvon Martin in 2013. Today, Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc. is more active in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, although it has supporters worldwide.
The BLM guiding principles are to get rid of white supremacy and intervene in violence inflicted on black communities through advocacy, fundraising, and education. The organization aims to fight and counteract violence, amplify black innovation, and center black joy.
BLM now describes itself as a “chapter-based national organization that works for the validity of black life”. It has advanced over the years to include the issues of black women and LGBT communities, undocumented black people, and black people with disabilities.
Presently, there’s a global uprising in support of the BLM movement, during which you’ve been urged to do two things; first and foremost, protest and donate to Black-led organizations.
Even though those are two important and meaningful ways to drive change for the black community, not everyone has the physical ability to protest, nor the financial means to donate money to the movement. But that’s OK because donating and protesting are not the only ways people can support the movement.
There are various ways to support the BLM movement, both immediately and in the future, that are either free or low-cost, as well as effective and sustainable in the long run. If you’re looking for other ways to support the BLM movement in both the short and long term, take these ideas into account and try to make them part of your lifestyle moving forward.
Hashtags being used/ Pages to follow:
There is a feature on Instagram called Racial Justice Guides that talks about resources to get people to learn and understand what is going on with the BLM movement and how one can help.
Foundations to donate to:
https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ has everything. This means that every petition, foundation, and resources you can join, donate, read, or help sharing is included in that website.
After the death of George Floyd and the protests across the United States, several fundraising drives have been set up to support the family of Floyd, bailout protestors who have been arrested, and support the wider BLM movement.
Some, just as the Minnesota Freedom Fund, have raised huge amounts of money and are now redirecting donations to other organizations. Here are some organizations that you can fund right now to support black people and help the fight against racism.
Other places you can donate to the movement are:
You can follow this thread on Twitter if you lack the resources to donate.
It is advised to not skip through the ads since this will generate more revenue for the BLM Movement.
Petitions to sign:
Becoming a customer of local and small businesses can help to protect the livelihood of people within a community. If you are not sure the businesses in your area that are owned and operated by blacks, several resources can help.
Articles have been written to shine a light on black-owned businesses from beauty, fashion, books, restaurants, and so on. Some articles highlighting black-owned businesses include:
In addition to this, there are some apps you can download to help you locate black-owned businesses in your area. They include:
There’s a page on Google Drive highlighting books and videos to be an understanding ally to the Black Community:
Historically, public protests have been vital to the visibility and success of civil rights campaigns – from women winning the vote to LGBTQ rights. With mass public gatherings still banned in most countries, it may seem hard to take to the streets right now.
But a lot of protests are still taking place, with social distancing and mask-wearing encouraged. And some acts of protest are being arranged that don’t need you to go any further than your doorstep, such as online vigils through Zoom that you can join from anywhere in the world.