Are You Still Watching Black Lives Matter?
8 things to keep the #BLM movement from dropping off our feeds.
We're witnessing history in the making - a revolution for equality and justice. For some this revolution happening on our doorsteps, for others across seas.
2020 is proving to be a year of challenge, saturated with demands of global change and with algorithms determining the information we consume, it's more important than ever to inform these data collecting hubs what topics you want to stay involved in.
It's far too easy these days for important, global issues to be pigeonholed as a trend, allowing it to drop off our feeds after several short weeks.
If you've found your timelines lacking the colour it did at the end of May, below are a few easy things you can do now to avoid the Black Lives Matter movement from falling off your feed and losing momentum.
Let's f*cking END racism. Together.
Coming across this video on Instagram felt like waking up from an ever-snoozing alarm - like resurfacing after being underwater.
It's painfully obvious - donating is the simplest act we can do that offers tangible success to the lives of black people who are in custody when they shouldn't be.
If you haven't seen what donations do, watch below the moment activist Malcom was freed from custody with the donations that paid for his bail.
Other countries may differ, but in Australia, DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTABLE. Keep the receipt emailed to you, claim it at the end of the financial year, get it back. Simple.
We all have something to spare. Whether it's a single dollar or fifty of them, your money will love being donated. Just watch this guy confirm it...
2. Sign Petitions
Another easy, <30-second action you can do to help. Whether you are or aren't in a financial situation to support, everyone can take a moment to read through a petition's goal and message and sign the damn thing.
Below are several petitions to get you started:
If you get a few emails afterwards... either unsubscribe, update your email preferences or simply give a few more f*cks to important issues.
3. Watch this TED Talk
Theo E.J. Wilson talks about discovering compassion and empathy through conversations with people he disagrees with. It's human nature to adopt the mindset of "us versus them" but to make an opposition understand us, we must first seek to understand them.
From understanding, compassion grows and we ensure our end of the conversation stays true to a path of peace instead of straying into blaming or hateful territory - doing so only encourages an opposition to defend their ego and solidify their stance against you. No one likes to admit they're wrong, educate peacefully and you make your life a whole lot easier.
"Conversations stop violence, conversations start countries and build bridges," - Theo E.J. Wilson
4. Do Appropriate Research
Educate, educate, educate. Find some key, reputable sources and start following those pages to maintain a flow of updates. Switch on and tune in to global issues because you CAN help.
Not sure where to begin?
- Start with PRIVILEGE and RACISM
"White privilege doesn't mean your life hasn't been hard. It means that the colour of your skin isn't one of the things making it harder."
- via @theselfcarequeenb on Instagram
- Look at the INDUSTRY you're in - what is the racial gap for opportunity? How can you use your position in your workplace to support people of colour and be an ally?
Look at the PRODUCTS you buy and the CONTENT you consume. Do these companies support equality and diversity? Are they affiliated with external corporations that don't?
Take a look at these 10 Anti-Racism Accounts You Should Follow to Stay Informed.
There's a wealth of knowledge and information out there. Choose your medium (video content, articles, stories, films, books, podcasts) and begin.
5. Follow Hashtags
This may be a no brainer for many, however, if you're like me and completely forgot that following hashtags is a thing, then get on your Instagrams and Twitters and follow the following:
#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd (and all other victims)
There are hundreds more but that's a start.
6. Share the Good Stuff Too
It's hard, it's deflating and it's downright crippling at times to be fighting injustices we should have eradicated by 2020. The lack of humanity and basic compassion is shattering to see, so it's important to really celebrate the wins when we get them.
This video made my heart well up with so much joy and love - help remind the world what we're fighting for. Remind them of this feeling...
7. Improve Your Conversations
There are loads of pages, channels and accounts on social media that can help you improve your communication and interpersonal skills. What does this have to do with BLM? Handling confrontation tactfully with loved ones when they show racist behaviour isn't easy. Many of us back down and let it slide because "they don't really mean it" or "it's just a joke". Working on yourself in this way will not only make these conversations and your life easier, it will encourage others to make the same positive change, which means a more advanced civilisation.
Active listening is something everyone should practise more of. If you plan on picking the brains of someone more involved or knowledgable in the BLM movement than you, have a read through the below post from the guru of connection, We're Not Really Strangers.
Learning how to handle confrontation effectively is challenging and takes practise. I came across this post the other day and it really stopped me in my tracks...
"I love it when someone educates me on a topic I don't know about without making me feel dumb."
- via @pubity on Instagram
Some people are naturally effective educators though many of us, when dealing with a topic we're passionate about, often think "What?! How stupid is this person? How can they be so oblivious?". We forget that, at some point, we were oblivious too.
Everyone discovers things at different times based on exposure and environment. If their's isn't identical to yours then sure, they're going to learn things at different times. If someone is eager to learn from you, do not berate the behavioural change you wish to see.
Once again so it sinks in...
Do not berate the behavioural change you wish to see.
8. Final Food for Thought
Here are some final quotes, videos and posts I want to leave you with. Allow things to affect you, light that fire and remember to care for yourself and take breaks when you need.
Thank you so much for reading and sharing your time with me. Please share this with those you think would benefit from reading this.
"I find it ironic how "I can't breathe" is a good enough justification not to wear a mask but not good enough to prevent a black man from getting choked to death by a police officer."
- @CasaDeWaffle via Twitter