I know there are lots of us out here watching the news and the protests and want to help or get involved, but for whatever reason can’t get out in the streets. It’s OK. Here’s some things you can do:
– Support a bail fund – National Bail Fund Network. Also Matthew Cherry is maintaining a list of bail funds on Twitter.
– Don’t be racist. Don’t condone racism. Don’t be friends with racists. Don’t elect racists. (Basic, but needs to be said.)
– Don’t ask black folks to educate you on racism in the US. They have more than enough on their plates right now. Do your research. The information is readily available.*
– LISTEN to black folks when they talk about racism and believe them.
– Find out everything you can about how your local police work.
— Is the chief elected or appointed? If appointed, who appoints them?
— Is there a civilian review board?
— How do they handle complaints of excessive force?
— Do they have de-escalation training?
— Do they have any kind of training on policing in marginalized communities?
And there are a ton of other questions we should all be asking that I know I’m not thinking of right now.
Get the answers to those questions and vote and agitate accordingly.
And if you are a white person who is out in the streets, for the love of god, DON’T START SHIT.
*Here are just a few good books from one of my grad school classes:
David Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2002)
Leslie Brown, Upbuilding Black Durham: Gender, Class, and Black Community Development in the Jim Crow South (2008)
Mae Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (2005)
Annelise Orleck, Storming Caesar’s Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty (2006)
Thomas Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit (Revised ed., 2005)
Jeremi Suri, Power and Protest: Global Revolution and the Rise of Détente (2005)
Timothy Tyson, Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power (2001)
Lance Hill, The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement (2005)