Words: Joseph Ryan-Hicks
As Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in the US continue, the onus is on all of us, regardless of race, to take steps to create positive change.
It can sometimes be diffcult to know what you can do to practice anti-racism in a way that isn't performative for social media, so here are some useful steps you can take to learn, listen and engage.
Seek knowledge and employ it
If you are not a black person, educate yourself on the history of those who are. Here are three books to get you started, and share this knowledge with your friends and family.
1) ‘White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism’ by Robin DiAngelo
2) ‘White Like Me: Reflections On Race From A Privileged Son’ by Tim Wise
3) ‘How To Be An Antiracist’ by Ibram X. Kendi
Engage in radical empathy
Ask yourself the following questions (if they apply):
How can I better educate myself on the historical context of race, racism and white privilege?
In my life, how has my whiteness benefited me in a way that has not extended to non-white people?
Posting on social media is not enough. Do I do enough to engage in anti-racism causes outside of my social media platforms?
If I am sharing graphic or triggering content online, how does that make my black friends and family feel?
Knowledge and radical empathy are important - but they are not enough. Actively engaging in anti-racism can manifest in different ways. Donating, signing or demonstrating are three good places to start. Stepping up and taking action by physical means such as these will have great effect.
Here is a list of charities and petitions that need your help...
Black Lives Matter
The Bail Project
Minnesota Freedom Fund
Reclaim The Block
Black Visions Collective
Stand Up To Racism UK
Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
Justice for George Floyd
Justice for Ahmaud Arbery