I haven’t had many words lately, mostly just an overwhelming weight in the pit of my stomach that has held me down for days. I had some posts scheduled to go live and none of them really seemed to matter anymore. How could I talk about travel, writing, or relationships when there are more important things at hand? It doesn’t feel right for me to not even acknowledge it here. I didn’t create this space to remain silent.
I thought my pain would have evaporated with time as it has in the past with other circumstances. But this, I have never been able to “shake off”. I have never been able to dive back in and write about it again. I haven’t been able to turn my rage into a state of calm, but I understand now that I was never meant to. I’ve been afraid, and within that fear lay the years of oppression that myself and many others have had to endure, and continue to, to this day. It’s taken me my whole life to understand that the silence, the rage, the defensiveness, the pain, the tears, and the fear were, and still are, an appropriate reaction and response to the way in which this world is structured, (which has never been FOR me or my fellow people of colour).
But right now, I wish to shine the light on the Black community. I will use my platforms to quote, direct, and showcase those words. I will sit in this rage that I have made many attempts to ignore, suppress, and silence throughout my life and I will know that I am not alone.
For my white readers, please do not ask the Black community or any person of colour to educate you. Do not fill any POC with stains of your guilt in hopes that they will tell you that you will be okay. That is not anyone’s job.
Guilt is a useful emotion. Use your privilege, your platform, your voices, and your time to stand in solidarity by joining marches, by having conversations with people in your life, by donating money to organizations if you have the resources to, and by highlighting Black voices.
Do not plead the victim. Do not write yourself into a martyred narrative. And most of all, do not be silent.
For all those seeking resources, I have listed them below for you to educate yourself:
Organizations to Donate to: (listed originally at NYU Local)
Black Visions Collective — “a Black-led, Queer and Trans centering organization whose mission is to organize powerful, connected Black communities and dismantle systems of violence…through building strategic campaigns, investing in Black leadership, and engaging in cultural and narrative organizing.” Donate Here
Reclaim the Block — “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.” Donate Here (alternate link for those outside the US)
Northstar Health Collective — “physicians, nurses, healers, herbalists, doula [who] work in alliance with mainstream and anti-authoritarian organizations to create a safe and healthy events.” Donate Here
Black Lives Matter — “a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” Donate Here
Official George Floyd Memorial Fund — “established to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist our family in the days to come as we continue to seek justice for George. A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund.”
Brooklyn Bail Fund — “committed to challenging the racism, inequality, and injustice of a criminal legal system and immigration and deportation regime that disproportionately target and harm low-income communities of color.” Donate Here
National Bail Out — “a Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration.” Donate Here
Louisville Community Bail Fund — “exists to not only bail out folks, but provide post-release support to get them from jail, fed, and to a situation of safety.”
Minnesota Freedom Fund — “pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to” as they “seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing.”
Note: The Freedom Fund has asked that all donations be directed elsewhere, due to the surge of support they have received in the past few days.
Note: Please do NOT donate directly to Change.org — the money will not go to the organizers of the petition. Please donate instead to one of the organizations listed above.
White House Petition — Demand the arrests of Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J Alexander Kueng.
Justice for Floyd — Demand the officers who killed George Floyd are charged with murder.