Allies, Stand Up!
The last two weeks have dragged our past forward to our present. With police brutality, loss of lives, and lack of accountability from the people, we are reminded racism has never left but resurged. We are met with a harsh reality, but also a chance for real global change. In the names of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and MANY MORE the revolution has arrived. It will be a long, painful, and revealing road but it is necessary. Our Ancestors deserved better, we deserved better, the next generation WILL have better.
Now is the time for education! In order to move this revolution forward and create change we must stay informed. The following is 5 steps to being actively creating change.
The first step in knowing how to bring change is understanding what it is you are working to change.
A big part of why we are unable to understand Racism, and that it still exists is because we do not understand slavery. In this video it explains why African slaves were chosen to complete the forced labour they endured for centuries, and how it benefited that of their captors the Europeans. The Europeans were able to grow wealth within their kinship, while Africans were left with nothing but scars and lost lives.
This thought that primarily Africans were expendable to any means, brought forth the idea they were less than and an undesirable group; thus introducing Racism.
This is a poignant look into not only the history of slavery but how in coincides with the systemic racism of today. Stereotype like, lazy, savages, unkept, and poor are actually based off of a system created by slavery. When in fact slavery shows us to be hard working, resilient, and strong. However because we were put in this position, it lead people to believe that slavery was an indicator of what were worth leading to the disenfranchisement of black people.
As a slave it was important to understand you were no longer a person, but property. This wasn't an indenture in which you were willing and had a time of release, this was a life sentence and that of your children's as well.
From around 1525 - 1866 about 12 million African slaves were unwillingly taken from their homes and shipped across The Atlantic Ocean. European merchants built ships with tactical weapons above deck incase of rebellion, and additional compartments below deck to store their human cargo so the could travel with hundreds. While on route slaves would be crammed into the lower deck compartments with ceilings as low as 4 1/2 feet. With men and women segregated on different sides of the ship and men shackled in pairs there was no communication between families.
Disease aboard theses ships would run free. The slaves had no access to bathrooms meaning they would relive themselves in the spaces they were stored. Measles, Small pox, and Dysentery plagued the captives and crew members along their voyage. Among this, the slaves were forced to physical labour on the ship as well as entertaining the crew, lack of compliance would resort in lashes to their skin.
In 1781 The "Zong" (A transport ship) left Africa with 442 captured slaves. Due to many navigational errors the ship spent 2 months at sea, allowing for disease to continue to spread, loss of fresh water, and the result; 62 slaves passing from the horrible conditions. Fearing the financial losses due to slaves dying aboard not being covered by insurance. Capt. Luke Collingwood threw133 slaves overboard in order to invoke the insurance policy that stated, slaves that drown are in fact covered. This devious loop hole was accepted in a court preceding, and had fully realized how expendable Africans were.
Now fast forward to 2020. Black people are still less likely to be employed to their white counterparts, people of colour take up a higher percentage of those incarcerated, and black people are twice as likely to die in police custody.
With the recent events of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Gerog Flyod, tensions are at an all time high. Even higher than that of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and many others.
It's become clear we have the start of a revolution on our hands, not just for justice against police brutality but towards ending racism. We need to pull together so that our voices may be amplified, and we are no longer ignored.
We are relying on our family, friends, colleges, business, and brands to face this head on. Call out injustices wherever you see them, and end the compliancy present through the years.
Allies, we are calling on you! We need you to stand with us, but this can only be done by knowing what your standing for.
You will never understand the horror we've gone through, but you can understand why it must end. Now that you've seen our past it's time to start a dialogue.
This part will no doubtably be the hardest, especially if you are an Ally. Sometimes it's the people closest to us that are furthest from our beliefs. Talking with our family members, friends, and colleagues is a great way to get the conversation started.
Here are some tips I've come across to help navigate your conservation.
Don't put it off
The conversation though uncomfortable to have is a necessary one. Just like procrastinating when it comes to a task or work, putting it off enables the inevitable to fester. Especially with an issue such as this one, it requires immediate attention.
Often times with difficult topics, we tip toe around the point fearful of the outcome. Regardless of the outcome your thoughts have to be clear for a legitimate chance to see if they agree our not. Usually people are looking for a way to prove they're right, especially when the latter means excepting the "shame" of being wrong. Being concise will show your peer you've done your research and are aware what you're speaking about.
They May Not Agree
The harsh reality is your peer may not agree. More disheartening this may be someone you are extremely close too. They may be a family member, friend, or significant other. Though sad this may be the wake up call you didn't know you needed. In this, you may realize why all these years you haven't spoken out before, but with this new found knowledge you know why you can no longer be silent.
At the end of the day, the reason you are having these conversations is so we may finally have equality in its truest form. You may be met with aggression, anger, and disbelief, but its important to respond with love. THIS IS HARD! I'am still working on this. Racism has made Black people angry for decades, but that anger has only proven to paint us as the negative we are known for. Allies, when you speak on behalf of us keep this in mind. Reflect our generous, courageous, and loving side so that they may listen to you. Be outraged about the injustice, but loving to the people who can help change it.
This video is specific to the White Allies! These are candid conversation with White people on how they've experienced and addressed race in their life. You may find yourself in one of these people.
Unfortunately when these tragedies happen immediate action is needed, but requires instant disposable funds. The reality is having these funds can assist in so many ways. Whether its acquiring legal council, creating opportunities for the youth, alleviating pressure off families of the victims etc.
Donating to organizations and families has become a great part of helping an already disenfranchised community. The following are a list of links to where you can donate to uplift the black community.
https://www.facebook.com/donate/249421793174555/ (Raising Money For Across Boundaries: Mental Health Support)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCgLa25fDHM&feature=youtu.be (This video project was created to offer people a way to donate and financially contribute to#blacklivesmatter without having any actual money or going out to protest themselves.)
https://action.justiceforbreonna.org/sign/BreonnaWasEssential/ (A Petition of justice for Breonna Taylor)
https://actionnetwork.org/forms/2005_email_blm_defund?source=em20_200530_DefundTW (A petition to defund Police)
In these days one of the quickest ways to receiving information across the globe is through Social Media platforms. If you haven't already, use your platform to bring attention to the injustices and show your support to ending racism.
This can be done in many ways...
Repost pictures and videos of the injustices happening to black people across the world.
Repost police brutality.
Repost a friends personal story of how racism has affected them.
Post about local/global black owned business.
Post information you've research regarding systemic racism.
Post that you stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and are committed to standing with them.
The point of posting/sharing is to bring awareness to these issues we facing and show your support. Your support means more than you may individually think. Every individual has a voice, and when those voices are combined we are heard by many.
Supporting Black Owned Businesses
As we have realized, because black people have been used to further the monetary advancement of white men. Historically we have never had the best opportunities to create business and wealth for ourselves. So, by supporting black owned businesses your providing the necessary opportunity for their kinship to grow.
The following are some directories to Black Owned Businesses you can support:
When It comes down to it, there are many to help uplift Black People. These are just 5 of the most immediate things you can do now to help. Racism is real, and very much alive today. We don't want to believe it for a lot of reasons, the biggest I hope is that we want to believe there is good. It's uncomfortable at the idea we could be complicit in anything bad when we think so highly of ourselves.
You may be a stand up person! You may go to church, give to the poor, run multiple charities, are a star athlete, community role model, superhero parent, or a thriving business man... However you may still have some guilt, maybe it was the thing you never said. You may have some shame, maybe it was the thing you did or didn't.
We ALL have something we hold on to. There is no quick fix, or easy route. All we can do is be honest with ourselves, about our own actions and about the world infant of us. If we are content with what we see, you can relax. But if we're shocked, concerned, upset, disgusted, confused, or afraid. Now is the time to stand up!
The Following are some beautiful Black people and visuals!
Photo by @Daniel.lastress