We could not kick off business as usual here this week and just pretend that everything is okay. As you surely know, there was a great deal of unrest across the United States this weekend, as many local events protesting police brutality in the wake of the racist murder of George Floyd erupted into violence — more often than not at the hands of the very police who were being protested. (The Washington Post called it “mass protests and mayhem.”) Heather and I had a long discussion about whether or not to post today at all; in many ways, it seemed insane to be writing about dumb celebrity pants of yore when the world is both literally and figuratively on fire. Ultimately, we decided that people might need a brief respite from the news, and that we were going to try to continue to provide that as best we could. But we don’t want to pretend that nothing is happening, and so decided to start today by providing some links for further reading, places where you can donate to help protesters and communities, and other resources. We welcome other links, useful articles, and ways to help that you can provide in the comments. (As an FYI, when you post a link into a comment here, it will automatically put you in the moderation queue, but I will fish you out, so please be patient.)
First of all, please read this article by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the Los Angeles Times: Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge.
Once again, this Google doc of anti-racism resources for white people, complied by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein, is very well worth your attention. In their own words, it “is intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now.”
Related, this is excellent, at Medium: 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
Rachel Elizabeth Cargle has been posting both links to her archival articles and general commentary — like a template for “holding employers accountable for racial justice” — on her Instagram.
Next, if you haven’t read Friday’s Fugs & Pieces, we opened with some rudimentary resources, some of which I am going to repeat here.
I am sure you’ve heard a lot about the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which, in their words, “is a community based nonprofit that combats the harms of incarceration by paying bail for low-income individuals who cannot otherwise afford it.” Over the weekend, they raised 20 million dollars (which is fantastic!) and have asked people to redirect their funds to:
- Reclaim the Block, a group that “organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety.”
- Black Visions Collective, which “has been putting into practice the lessons learned from organizations before us in order to shape a political home for Black people across Minnesota.”
- North Star Health, which supports street medics in Minneapolis.
Other good places to stick your money, if you’re in a position to be able to help financially, include the following — and again, I know this is just the tip of the iceberg, so please share your own recommendations in the comments:
Black Lives Matter is a great place to start, both as a place to donate your money, and as a resource to learn and get involved; you can donate directly to them, or you also give to your local chapter, which is what I did. (Here is the LA chapter link, for example.)
The Anti-Police Terror Project “is a Black-led, multi-racial, intergenerational coalition that seeks to build a replicable and sustainable model to eradicate police terror in communities of color.”
Headwaters Foundation for Justice is a grassroots organization in Minnesota that facilitates “social change, builds community, and develops leaders,” and helps fund, in the words of our friend Tiffany, “BIPOC-led community organizations in Minnesota.”
Act Blue has set up a nationwide bail fund that allows you to split your donation to a number of community bail fund organizations.
The Bail Project is “a nonprofit that provides free bail assistance, reunites families, and restores the presumption of innocence.” (If you are wondering why so many people are suggesting helping to pay bail, here’s a useful piece that explains why we need bail reform. It’s also the suggestion of the ACLU that people direct their monies toward bail funds.)
I encourage you to read this 2019 piece at the New York Times by the author of How To Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi: An Antiracist Reading List, books to help America transcend its racist heritage.
Another good reading list is here, at Buzzfeed, by Arianna Rebolini.
Related, there are many people buying books this weekend, and if you can, please support independent, Black-owned bookstores, like Eso Won Books in Los Angeles, Semicolon Books in Chicago, Harriett’s Bookshop in Philadelphia, or The Lit Bar in the Bronx. (I know there are more; please share them!)
Finally, if you are interested in spending your feelings on stuff in addition to donating to worthy organizations/buying books, here’s a great Twitter thread of Black-owned businesses that you can shop online.