Dear Gentle Reader,
I was initially going to continue on with my fabulous fails posts or celebrating Pride month, but after crying my eyes out for the last hour, I feel I need to share and help in whatever TINY way I can.
Before I continue, my Lovely Reader, if you don’t have the mental capacity handle to another person talking about the tragedies of late that have lead to these protests and riots, I understand and this post may be one that you might just want to pass on. No hard feelings. There are days when I don’t have the strength to deal with the shelter in place going on so I skip reading the “here’s what to do to stay sane” posts. I still love you and hope to see you back soon. Stay safe!
Like every other compassionate and rational person that understands the difference between right and wrong, I am furious and saddened by the unnecessary deaths of George Floyd, Adrian Medearis, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor (whose death is even more terrifying to me because she was in her own home where one would have felt the safest!). I am furious because I can’t believe that this is still happening. I am furious because it shouldn’t take public outrage to 1. arrest the criminal (cuz let’s face it, just because they have a badge doesn’t make them any less of a murderer), 2. admit wrongdoing by either the department or the individual, and 3. TRY HARDER to ensure that this doesn’t happen in this line of work!
I am saddened because this has been happening for so long that it is rooted in America and will probably take another millennia before things will change. I am saddened because those families were robbed of a life lived out like Nature would have intended and to have that private moment that all families need to say goodbye to loved ones. I am saddened that people of color have to live with the thought somewhere in the back of your mind that this could happen to you or someone in your family.
I understand the anger and I have always said to acknowledge it. I have found that like Fear, Rage can help fuel you. It is what is fueling this post and the ideas that you can use to take action if you, like me, want to help, but don’t have a lot of funds to do so.
- Of course, money for communities is always helpful. IF you have the means, donate to verified organizations that are legitimately giving the monetary benefits where they claim they are going. I recently learned of a “king” that left a lot of unanswered questions about missing money and numerous failed ventures despite popularity on social media. And no I am not talking about a certain orange leader. If you have doubts, check this Before Donating to Charity (Special thanks to TBA and Leigh Rodon-Davis for this tip) Might I suggest donating to the ACLU? Find Black Owned businesses and use your money to buy goods and services to help them through these times. Need some ideas? The site Support Black Owned has a truly extensive directory of businesses as well as a very impressive goal of being a worldwide directory. The site also has a super informative blog and there is a companion app! So any of my Dear Readers around the world can find a way to help out. You can buy from makers on Etsy, too! You can type in Black Owned Shops on the search bar and get 37 pages of products.
- Social Media is another outlet that people can put to good use. If you know of any POC that are content creators, uplift them!! Share their content to support them and help them be seen. Wanna show some love? Some of my fave Youtubers are TL Yarn Crafts (crochet and Tunisian crochet) and EarthtonesGirl (knitting, crochet), TechMeOut (Tech and App reviews and tutorials), and Jackie Aina (makeup). I was watching a cooking tutorial and then the Jackie video came on and I was not only entertained, but she expresses her truth so wonderfully that I became a fan. Anyway, this doesn’t just apply to Youtube, find content creators on Instagram too.
- Share the stories of these wrongdoings and the names of the victims and don’t forget to fight for this change. Reminding people of corruption and wrong doing that needs to be addressed is a tough job. When the hashtags aren’t trending anymore, will you still be there to help create the change the world needs? This latest round of protests didn’t happen just because it was inexcusable and caught on camera. This has been building and building since America was created. We need to fix this now! I fear that the violence will escalate but it doesn’t have to as long as compassion and reason win over greed, fear and racism.
- VOTE!!!!! If you are in a country that supports the oppression of a group of people for ANY reason, VOTE that “leader” out! Those people aren’t leading. They say they are preserving tradition. Do you know what “tradition” is? It is an excuse to continue to maintain a narrow view in a world where the lens has been made bigger. Get them out of positions of authority! Let them live as a regular civilian and get a regular job and not live off of a pension of thousands of taxpayer dollars until they die. Use that money for something useful like psychological training and testing for people that want to become cops or join the military. I know the US could save MILLIONS possibly Billions if we did that instead of pay someone that refused to change or uphold the will of the people THEY were supposed to have worked for. That money could pay for higher wages, free schooling, and free healthcare. Also, if you want to get even more into the politics of it, here are some suggestions from our friends at Crowded Fire Theatre:
https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/ Minnesota Freedom Fund – bail fund for protesters being arrested
https://www.gofundme.com/f/george-floyd-bigfloydGoFundMe for George Floyd’s family
https://secure.everyaction.com/zae4prEeKESHBy0MKXTIcQ2 Reclaim the Block is fighting to defund the police and calls on officials to invest in violence prevention, housing, resources for youth, emergency mental health response teams, and solutions to the opioid crisis.
https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/justiceforfloyd_george_floyd_minneapolis Sign Color of Change’s petition demanding that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey block the involved officers from receiving their pensions and ban them from being able to become police officers again, as well as demands that County Attorney Mike Freeman charge the officers with murder. (You can also text “FLOYD” to 55156 to sign the petition.)
Cal Shakes list of resources
Know Your Rights Camp’s Legal Defense Initiative – The Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative has identified and teamed up with top defense lawyers in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area to provide legal resources for those in need. https://www.knowyourrightscamp.com/legal
More Color of Change petitions
#JusticeforAhmaud petition https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/demand-justice-ahmaud/ petition to fire Georgia prosecutors who held up Ahmaud’s case
#JusticeForBre https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/justiceforbre-breonna-taylor-officers-fired/ petition to fire officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor
I run with Maud go fund me https://www.gofundme.com/f/i-run-with-maud
I saw a video earlier today that sparked this whole post and I’d like to share it. It is from Viola Davis’ instagram. It is truly heartbreaking. I hope it sparks you into action too.
Also, I’d like to share Rhiannon Gidden’s beautiful song “Cry No More”. Going back to the sadness… this performance was for a concert that was supposed to address racism in America back in 2015!
Please, Gentle Reader, I beg that you support or uplift and support the Black community especially right now. We can’t heal as long as we keep opening this deep and ugly wound.
Until next time…
Stay safe and #BlackLivesMatter. They truly do.
Help stop this madness.