This article was published on June 13th, 2020
The current state of the world continues to be focused on the senseless murder of black Americans that has resulted in the global community looking for ways to improve the state of race relations and to help in whatever ways they can. HomoCulture understands that until all communities are safe, no community is safe, so we have researched the ways and places that are available for anyone that wants to combat racism and prejudice virtually and on the ground.
Knowledge is power.
The best way to confront racism is to confront your own prejudices, educate yourself, and stay up to date on the vocabulary and resources that are available that speak to the cause. This extensive list of resources has been compiled to educate those interested on anti-racism and is appropriate for children as well as adults. The curated list includes all forms of digital media from articles and podcasts, films and international organizations.
Harvard has a ten minute test that covers your level of conscious and unconscious bias based on skin color. Taking this test could provide insight into the blind spots to work on for you personally.
Get involved to restructure the current broken political system.
The political system in America was built to keep black people at a disadvantage and the call to action now is to revamp the system to meet the demands of the present day. The outdated racist policies that continue to permeate within it dates back centuries and does not represent the principles the country was initially founded on. What the Black Lives Matter movement has demonstrated to the entire world is that the time is now to switch up the narrative to one that is inclusive of people of color across all facets of society.
The Call to Action, in Black & White
HomoCulture asked two people on opposite ends of the spectrum – one white woman, and one black woman – both coming to grips with the reality of racism, and their intentions on changing the system.
Why are you getting involved?
“I understand that I will never understand the reality of what it is to live as a black person in a world where racism is still rife. However, I also understand black people’s rights are fundamentally human rights. I do not wish to continue living in a world with such inequality, so see no other option than to involve myself if I wish to help change the status quo, using my white privilege for positive outcomes.”
What do white people need to understand?
“If we say we support the movement of BLM, we cannot be complacent and do nothing. We are stronger together, and this is everyone’s fight. There is extreme power in numbers, and we must stand together to demonstrate our allyship with something meaningful. As a white person you are not necessarily personally responsible for the wrongs done in history and society, however it should be your personal civic duty to make an effort to ensure others can live free from fear of racial discrimination, judgement or attacks taking verbal or physical form.” – Lila Bee, ally
Why are you getting involved?
“Our political system is old and broken, in need of restructuring. According to its current construction we are still not considered citizens. The Electoral College was put in place back in the 1800s when we had poor means of communication. Delegates from states were chosen to represent the voice of the people. Well, we have great communication devices today and we don’t need any to voice our wants needs and opinions. It’s apparently clear with the state our world is currently in that the Electoral College failed us by making Trump the president. We, the people, voted for Hillary!”
What white people need to understand?
“White people need to understand that, we are not the Minority, and this country and it’s political structure needs a cleaning. It needs to be revamped to fit how we live today. We are tired of your old outdated racist policies of control. America was built by black people, but has never been for black people. If our political leaders are genuinely concerned with maintaining peace and equality, they must be willing to open the table for discussion, to the ushering in of a new political party and Electoral College chosen by the people.” – Kyss Major
The Marches to Justice Set to Continue Through March
In 2020, June has been unofficially reserved for protests around the nation and worldwide, with several set to make an impact that could reverberate within communities in America and beyond for possibly generations. One march set for June 19th in Washington, D.C. is the Black People United Political Party, an organization that is on a mission to emancipate black people from a political system that has failed African-Americans.
Sign petitions and contact your local and state politicians.
There are a number of petitions online that you can get involved in without costing you a dime or jeopardizing your health during the current pandemic. Show solidarity for a myriad of causes, and spread the word to other like-minded people interested in the fight for equality. Change.org is a great site that allows visitors to stay abreast of the many petitions that are advocating for structural change of the American political system. Also, contacting your local and state politicians can help increase awareness on discriminatory policies. Once you have made your presence and opinoins clear, you are more likely to be informed when any changes in laws have been made.
Support black-owned businesses and donate to charitable causes.
Use the power of your paycheck to purchase from black businesses and services. Google search can quickly navigate you towards businesses in your area that are black-owned from artists and home goods, to clothing, restaurants, and more. Additionally, political action groups are mobilizing and securing funds to take on Trump in the fall and the facilitating new initiatives that directly affect people of color. A small donation to these groups ensures that the message is able to continue long after the protests have ended.
White people should be aware of what their black friends, family, and co-workers are going through and internalize their pain as our collective pain. The legacy of institutionalized racism runs deep within the fabric of American society, and white people must be willing to ask themselves and one another the hard questions and be prepared for the candid and honest answers. In order to overcome the injustices, we all must be willing to veer outside our comfort zones in order to upend the status quo.
Utilize the power of social media.
Using your social media accounts can be a powerful tool for changing the system, but should be done in a respectful and thoughtful manner. Understand first that merely tweeting or posting on Instagram #BlackLivesMatter memes is not the answer. Instead, use it as a tool to reach out to voices in the community that have done the work and are effective at disseminating useful information. And once you have informed yourself about issues, be sure to discuss them with someone else for feedback and further recommendations.
Register to vote.
If you are American and are not registered to vote, the site vote.org walks you thorugh the process, complete with mail-in ballot options to protect your health during the current pandemic. Once you are signed up, you will get the local reminders and any other pertinent information related to your district and community.