Black Lives Matter - How Can You Support It?
Updated: Jan 30, 2021
We're posting this blog to show our support of Black Lives Matter. We want to make sure people are informed in what they can do to help support the movement, as it's still possible to do so if you don't feel safe attending a protest. But first I think some of you need educating on what the movement is actually about, because if I see one more person post 'All Lives Matter' again I may just lose my shit! Black Lives Matter is a statement I think everyone is very much aware of at the minute and it's a movement both of us are fond of and are very passionate about. It encompasses everything that we believe in; equality, freedom, security and love. Most importantly love, it was born out of love and love always wins. The thing is it's way more than police brutality against Black people, it demands every single person in society to look at how they value black lives, whether that is awful videos of police brutality, the criminal justice system or in areas where black communities dis-proportionally face issues of homelessness, poverty and economic disparity. Regardless of gender, class, sexuality or age the importance of black lives are highlighted in this movement. Now, I see many tweeting or re-posting 'All Lives Matter' with no knowledge on the BLM movement or what is stands for. The best way I could find to describe BLM is through this image.
All I've got to say is EDUCATE YOUR DAMN SELF!!! It is not an anti-white proposition and it doesn't mean your life doesn't matter, or your life isn't hard. The simple truth is that you're not in danger. When you walk down the street with your friends, you don't have to watch people cross the road in 'fear' just because the colour of your skin. You don't have to be worried of the police in fear that you're going to be accused of something that you didn't do. You don't have to put up with the racist remarks that are always played off as a joke but are actually offensive. Do you know why? White Privilege. The Washington Post summed white privilege up perfectly; "It’s the level of societal advantage that comes with being seen as the norm in America, automatically conferred irrespective of wealth, gender or other factors. It makes life smoother, but it’s something you would barely notice unless it were suddenly taken away — or unless it had never applied to you in the first place". It's not talking about wealth, success or status, it's more to do with being part of a dominant group who are more likely to be respected and tend to be assumed the best of. Acknowledging you have white privilege does not make you racist, you can use your white privilege as an advantage during these times. I've seen videos of white people during protests standing in front of their fellow protesters as a form of protection. Let me put this to you, if you are white and reading this when you were younger did your parents ever have to sit you down and inform you of the harsh realities of systemic racism? I'm guessing the answer is no, because my parents never did. But this is the reality for POC.
BLM stemmed from an incident in the U.S where a 17 year old called Trayvon Martin got killed by a neighbourhood watch volunteer named George Zimmerman. He was charged with second degree murder following the high profile case, but he was acquitted of charges against him. The movement then grew when the following year Michael Brown and Eric Garner were killed by police officers. Protesters have pushed for policies to increase the accountability of police officers and reduce the deadly encounters between the police and African-Americans. Racism and police brutality isn't just rife in the U.S. it's also present here in the UK. The Grio in 2017 reported that Black people are treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you're white. As well as this The International Business Times reported that in 2013 it was reported that stop and searches were 4.5 times more likely to be carried out on black people. So let us give you a challenge; look up at least one, if not all of these cases from the UK and educate yourselves on the presence of racism not only in the police force but in our day to day lives:
Terrel Jones Burton
They are just to name a few, the ones that mostly reached the media and were soon shoved under the carpet and forgot about. Did Belly deserve to be spat at for doing her job? Is it justice putting murderers on charge nearly 18 years after the death of Stephen Lawrence? Were officers doing their 'job' whilst kicking Sarah Reed in the head? You bet the answer is no. It will always be morally incorrect no matter which socially warped angle you want to look at it. Stormzy spoke out about his racist neighbourhood, stating that police kicked in his door after they received a call from one of his Chelsea neighbours who had called to say a 'suspicious black man' had left his house. Why did race have to come into it? Why wasn't he just a 'suspicious man'.
Racism isn't just present in policing or stop and search. It's present in the media, you can just take one look at how the press treated Meghan Markle and her marriage into the royal family to see that the media is fuelled by their racist, neglectful views. DJ Danny Barker also compared Meghan's new born to a 'monkey' and people are STILL insistent that the UK aren't racist...are we living in a different country to you? This is only a few ways that racism is still living in the UK, what about Grenfell? The wind rush scandal? Gentrification? Through the lack of inclusion in the education system? A report stated that racism has been rising since Brexit. 71% of people from Ethnic Minorities report having faced racial discrimination's compared with 58% in January 2016 before the EU vote. SEVENTY ONE PERCENT. Just take a moment to comprehend that. The UK is not innocent. We are not allowing this to be shoved under the carpet as the "U.S.' problem" when this is a global effort. So here are a number of ways you can support the Black Lives Matter movement:
If you are able to there are various funds you can donate to, we have linked some below. If you are signing via petitions, do not donate to 'change.org' as they profit from the donations.
Protester Bail Funds
Donating via this link splits your donation between 70+ community bail funds, mutual aid funds and racial justice organisers.
Racial Justice Groups
Donating via this link also allows you to split your donations amongst numerous racial justice groups, such as:
Black Lives Matter Global Network, Know Your Rights Camp and The National Police Accountability Project.
Black Owned Businesses
Donating via these links allow you to help out the small black owned businesses which were destroyed due to the riots.
Streaming a Playlist
By streaming this playlist you are helping to create revenue from ads, the creators will then be donating the money they make from these videos to support the movement Black Lives Matter.
There are also other forms of donating via this link:
2. Sign Petitions
Petitions take 2 minutes to sign maximum and all it requires is an email. They can make such a difference so if you cannot afford to donate then please take the time out to sign any petition you come across! You are another voice to the movement by doing so! The following link has several petitions available to start your petition signing.
3. Contact your Local MP
If you have five minutes to write a letter to your MP then please do it! You can ask them questions about how they are currently handling the situation, what they are planning to do on the issue. Request a change. It doesn't have to be specific, but anything which challenges them to look twice at the discrimination that is happening underneath their nose.
Use the following link and send them an email.
4. Social Media
We are all so lucky to have a platform to share our voices and raise awareness. Whether you've got 50 followers or 50,000 you are influencing another person. There has been numerous times that I've watched a person's story the past couple days and its made me go onto google and educate myself about a certain issue or situation and before you know it, it's a domino effect and people find themselves more knowledgable and aware of the situation. At the moment it's difficult in the UK as the media are trying to distract us as they're not acknowledging the current events that are happening across the globe. So social media is a really good way of interacting with others and keeping up to date with new cases, petitions and information that is being released. I find twitter is really quite helpful, so if you don't have twitter I'd recommend making one as you find yourself finding out more accurate information on there than that was is being portrayed in the media.
5. Educate Yourself
We're in the middle of a pandemic, so why not take the time out of your day to educate yourself on the history of Black Lives Matter and what it stands for. Research police brutality and the history of racism in the UK, look up those cases we suggested earlier on in the post, white fragility (very interesting for me as now I find myself identifying it in people I speak to). There are SO many things you can educate yourself on out there. These are a few books you can read, there are plenty more available:
6. Talk To Family & Friends
Once you've educated yourself, have those tough conversations with your family and friends. Share what you've learnt. Stand your ground and make your point. Do NOT let other people try to suppress your voice. These conversations are the type that entice change and encourage people to look at the far bigger picture. So be bold and talk! You are lucky to enough to be aware enough, so wake other people up as well. If you have children there are books you can get to simply teach them about inclusion and Anti-Racism, here are a couple:
This is not simply a trend, it's something black people live through every day so we have to carry on talking even when the protests go silent.
It is not enough to be silent and non-racist. You have to be anti-racist.
Black Lives Matter
Love Ab & Chlo x