It's important to care about people. It's important to care about your community. It's important to speak up and stand with the people who can't. It's important.
As of today, July 2020, we are seven months into the year, five months deep into a raging pandemic, and three months into what is becoming the largest movement in U.S. History. Communities are coming together around the country, as well as the world, to protest police brutality alongside the Black Lives Matter Movement. Black lives have been undervalued and targeted in America since the day we were brought here on slave ships. An entire community of people deprived of freedom, history, and wealth is unconstitutional to say the least, and it goes beyond that, the effects have caused generational trauma within Black communities and has allowed for them to be terrorized in their own communities to this day. Racism is alive and thriving and has been so deeply ingrained into our society, some people refuse to acknowledge that it even exists.
Today, when we take a closer look at the systems around us, it is easy to see that racism still exists. It never went away. Black and Brown communities are terrorized by the police in their own neighborhoods, they are terrorized by inadequate school resources, educations, and unhealthy food options, they are terrorized by corporations moving their toxic and unhealthy factories into these poorer communities. Each of these systems are racist and exist for the exact purpose of tormenting Black lives. We have lost too many lives and have dealt with this treatment for far too long. It's time for us to stand together with our communities, with your communities, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Care about your community. Care about your neighbor. Care about the people who might not be as privileged as you.
Start with paying attention and doing the education. Don't ask Black people, especially Black women, to educate you. Personally, although I'm biracial (half Black, half Filipino) I have been traumatized by seeing Black people murdered in the street daily and experiencing first hand what it means to be Black in White Suburbia, being raised in the suburbs my whole life. We are tired. Not only that, but Black people have beeeeeen the pillars of education, teach and fighting for others about racial injustices worldwide for decades. John Hope Franklin. Angela Davis. Helen G. Edmonds. Soujourner Truth. Google is right there. They have done enough educating and provided enough resources, it's now time for you to do the work yourself and research. Research Black history, Black authors, intersectionality, misogynoir, microaggressions, as well as White supremacy, White privilege, White guilt. Look at yourself, past actions, and reflect. Am I actively anti-racist? How does my privilege benefit me? It's okay to grow up and learn new information that changes what you used to believe (or what your parents have told you).
The next step is to get your butt out there and protest. Today happens to be a (civilian declared) National Day of Action. Cities around the country are protesting together in solidarity with the Portland Protests as well as evictions as 1/3 of the country is still unemployed and has yet to receive additional money from the government. We are tired. We are restless. We are underpaid. I urge you to take this time, grab a mask, and march in the streets with your friends and neighbors. Demand justice for BIPOC as well as the unemployed and essential workers of this country. We are not being treated fairly and we have the right to protest that. There are caravan protests, physical protests, and even digital protests. You can even protest with your wallet. Whatever you do, just know that you do have the power, as an individual to stop letting injustices happen. Your silence will not protect you.
Stay informed. Always remember that every source of information you have contains bias. This is biased. I love Black people¯\_(ツ)_/¯. But I also believe in radical unity with ALL Black people and I am in global solidarity with ALL liberation struggles. We ALL deserve equal rights. Make sure you are reevaluating the credibility of the people you follow and the information you post. Be more open to deleting posts and being corrected, as harmful and wrong information can be spread fast and can be dangerous. Look past traditional news sources for additional stories. Don't rely on one source or one person to give you information. Additionally, follow more Black women and leaders within your community. Join and support community organizations and protests! If you can't be in the streets, you can use your digital voice to write emails to our government, spread petitions and stories, and stay informed on what demands are and are not being met or heard.
Lastly, VOTE. Voting is important. Anyone who doesn't think either choice is good or that their vote doesn't matter is privileged. It is a privilege to not care and not vote when peoples lives are at stake. Do we have the best options? No. We never really do. But one option is less likely to put BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and immigrants at risk for losing their rights, if not their lives. Even if Biden gets elected, our fight is not over. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have eliminated these racist structures that exist in our society, (not to mention the pandemic/hell we are currently still in... 1/3 of people unemployed. 163k people dead...). If you are above the age of 18, VOTE. It is your right to vote. Your voice is important. Your voice matters. Your vote Matters.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.