Racism. Rac*ism. It’s defined as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior,” according to Oxford Languages. As a minority you may define it as “I can’t breathe,” “stop and frisk” or “don’t shoot”. The history of lynchings have turned into modern day police brutality. Many are protesting, rioting, rallying and just sick to their stomachs. How are we still dealing with the underlying condition of oppression in 2020? Many are angry, outraged, overwhelmed and suffering in silence. Racism should no longer be in existence. We have suffered enough.
Mothers shouldn’t have to bury their sons. Families should not have to prepare for how to handle themselves during routine traffic stops. Fathers should be able to leave their home and return alive. Arrests should be made without undue harm or death. Cell Phones should not have to record deaths. It’s apparent that #BlackLives don’t matter to some. What can we do about it? Some are unaware of how to channel their frustrations in a strategic manner. There are hundreds of grassroot organizations focused on social injustice. However, organization is the key to fighting racism and oppression. If everyone is yelling at the same time, who can be heard? Our strategies, rallying, rioting, platform use and teachings must be organized. Let there be a method to your madness. The oppressor will continue to tear down without organization.
If you are in search of national organizations to join the fight to protect Black Lives, then look no further. These organizations have local affiliates in just about every major city or region.
- National Action Network: https://nationalactionnetwork.net/ and on Instagram as @nationalactionnetwork.
- Build Power: www.bldpwr.com and on Instagram as @bldpwr.
- Until Freedom: www.untilfreedom.com and on Instagram as @untilfreedom.
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: www.naacp.org and on Instagram as @naacp.
Once you decide upon which organization to partner with, what’s next? Here’s how you can help the #BlackLivesMatter movement:
- Attend a local meeting for more information. Whether in person or virtual, be present to join in the discussion.
- Attend a local rally or protest. Be on the frontlines to picket against injustice. Use signs, chants, hymns, or etc to be bold for the cause.
- Spend your money wisely. If you are aware of certain corporations, politicians or etc that are furthering social injustice with its practices; then keep your money in your pocket. Don’t shop with that retailer.
- Use your social media to your advantage. Use the hashtags, share posts from the movement and more. If a brand is in support of racism or injustices, then don’t like their business pages; or share their content on social media.
- Make a donation to the cause. Many grassroot operations are run on community donations and volunteering. If you can, donate any monetary increment.
- Work within your local programming or communities. Some of us are affiliated with youth programs, churches and more. Host a town hall meeting, share resources with our youth or start an affiliate program.
- Do your research. Read up on some of the newspaper articles, court documents, documentaries and live media coverage. Knowledge is power.
- Have family meetings to discuss how you can protect yourself when at the store, in the car or if stopped by the police. If everyone is together then designate one person to call for help while the other records with their phones. All hands on deck.
- Be prepared for whatever. The fight may be physical, emotional or financial. Be prepared to have endurance through this race. The Civil RIghts Movement was just the beginning.
While you’re fighting on the frontlines, through social media or with your money; know your why. Say their names: George Floyd. Sandra Bland. Trayvon Martin. Eric Garner. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. DJ Henry. John Crawford III. Michael Brown. Ezell Ford. Dante Parker. Laquan Mcdonald. George Mann. Akai Gurley. Tamir Rice. Tanisha Anderson. Jerame Reid. Brendon Glenn. Freddie Gray. Alton Sterling. Tyree Crawford. Brian Keith Day. Jamar Clark.
The list is ongoing. Lives are being lost. Families are ruined. Communities are traumatized. The marathon continues. Will you join the race?
Writer, C. Scott, is a mother of one; author, social worker, early literacy interventionist and entrepreneur.