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Black Lives Matter and the Indispensable Push for Anti-Racism

Dawn
June 1, 2020

To the people in our network, community, and circle,

For many, enough is enough. Unfortunately, discrimination and prejudice against the black community are ingrained in structures of all kinds, and are not limited simply to police structures. With this in mind it is extremely important for all of us to consider what we really do to support the black community and combat racial injustice, and ensure that anti-racist values do not expire after the next news cycle.

It is not simply enough to not be racist. As people of change, it is crucial that we are actively anti-racist.

Being actively anti-racist means that despite our own privilege, we educate ourselves on what it means to be a non-POC ally. It means reading anti-racist literature  and understanding why black activism creates change. It means recognizing that silence is complacency. It means understanding the limits of your own ability to advocate for the black community, while taking initiative to educate people within your own circle. Being actively anti-racist means recognizing aversive racism, prejudice, and bias. It means engaging in anti-racist discourse in your home and your place of work, even if it is a ‘difficult’ conversation. It means empowering POC and pointing out racism as you see it happening. It means not taking things personally. It means actively hiring POC and engaging with black peers. It means not interrupting POC or excluding them from important conversations. It means knowing the words people of colour prefer to identify themselves. It means actively discussing the names of victims of police brutality and systemic injustice. It means not compartmentalizing police brutality. It means understanding and objecting microaggressions and other forms of racism.

It means understanding the connections between racism, economic issues, sexism, and other forms of injustice.

It means understanding and combating issues that non-black people perpetuate– such as gentrification. It means understanding that non-black allies still experience privilege when advocating for POC, and that any violent or destructive acts during protests will ultimately harm the black community.

Being actively anti-racist is not performative in nature. Because social media often is performative, it is essential before posting/advocating to ask yourself:

·       Why am I sharing this?

·       What have I learned from it? Have I included this in my post?

Who am I trying to inform? Am I willing/capable to facilitate a discussion if it were to happen?

At this time, we encourage that we all make our best efforts to stay educated, informed, and vocal about racial injustice, while still maintaining our mental health and well-being. However, we implore you to actively reach out to your peers in the black community and listen. Express your support and solidarity, and give them a platform to express what they need without assuming for them.

Other things you can do:

1. If you are attending protests, please remain peaceful and wear a mask.

2. Please donate to MFF if you are able:

3. Please sign the petitions for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Regis Korchinski-Paquet:

 

And lastly, please do not stop discussing racial issues. There are NO qualifiers to being equal.
Be bold, be loud, and be strong.

Author
Dawn
Pelican | Community Advocate
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