Over the past week, protests have ensued starting in Minneapolis but reaching to 25 cities across the country. The riots and protests began on May 25 after police got a call about a customer using a counterfeit $20 bill.
Officers arrived and placed 46-year-old George Floyd in handcuffs and placed him down along the rear tire of the police car. Officer Derek Chauvin places his knee on Floyd's neck as he says "I can't breathe". Bystanders pleaded for Floyd's life, but after about three minutes Floyd becomes unresponsive. Floyd's death is just the tip of the iceberg for many racially charged confrontations, in recent weeks and for years. Here are some ways to help for readers with various lifestyles, finances and opinions to get involved:
Petitions To Sign
Petition to charge the officers who killed George Floyd with murder
Quarantine is still very much ongoing but there are ways to get involved from home. The benefit of petitions is that they are a simple way to raise awareness and show the volume of how many people want a policy changed. Here are some petitions to sign related to the Black Lives Matter cause:
- #JusticeForFloyd petition is demanding that the officers who killed George Floyd be charged with murder. Derrick Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter on May 29th.
- Another petition from Change.org is trying to get the attention of Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman of Minneapolis to get charges filed against the officers of this crime.
- Breonna Taylor was an award winning EMT in Louisville who worked during the pandemic but was unfortunately killed after police performed an illegal drug raid on her home. The online signatures ask for charges to be filed on officers John Mattingly, Brett Hankinson, Myles Cosgrove.
- #JusticeforAhmaud asks District Attorneys George Barnhill and Jackie Johnson to be removed from office. Arbery was jogging in Brunswick, GA when two white men murdered Arbrey for "fitting the profile of a suspect". The petition acknowledges that the District Attorneys have dropped the ball and signing it fights for these two to be removed and disbarred.
Protests To Attend
This is proof that change can happen in America https://t.co/rG3bSpqrRO— Munezero Desire (@Munezero Desire) 1590860881
Protests are one of the strongest ways to draw attention to a cause, get politicians thinking and creating real change. Systemic racism has defined the U.S.' past and these riots and protests have people coming out from all races. Here is a list of upcoming protests in cities around the world but remember to stay nonviolent and safe.
Places To Donate
Americans have the first amendment right to peacefully protest oppression and injustice. Chrissy and I will be dona… https://t.co/5sdVIxQ1My— John Legend (@John Legend) 1590936089
There are so many amazing resources like nonprofits and GoFundMe pages that provide services for victims of crimes like these. The following list will include links as well as a description of what you are donating towards (if you can):
- George Floyd Memorial Fund is organized by George's brother to provide funeral expenses, mental and grief counseling and assisting the family in days to come.
- Black Visions Collective is a black, trans and queer-led organization dedicated to black liberation and dismantling systems of oppression, violence and shifting the narrative to make transformative, long-term change. They want the Minneapolis City Council to defund the police.
- Reclaim the Block is a coalition that advocates for and invests in community-led safety initiatives in Minneapolis neighborhoods.
- Campaign Zero is an online platform organization which utilizes research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in the U.S.
- Unicorn Riot is a non-profit organization which exposes the root causes of dynamic social and environmental issues.
- Minnesota Freedom Fund is currently not accepting any more donations (they received around $20 million) but would ask that people donate to Black Visions Collective and Reclaim The Block.
- There are also organizations like Movement for Black Lives and The Bail Project work towards defunding the police and providing bail for low income individuals.
Ways To Educate
These are tasks that everyone can do so we all can educate ourselves on the matter. There is a plethora of material on how all races can understand being black in America. Here are some of the most influential books, films, shows and songs that help educate:
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas tells the story of Starr Carter who is faced with the choice to speak out after her friend Khalil was murdered by the police. Also it became a movie which is streaming on Hulu.
- How to Be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi both a memoir and an instruction manual on times like this,
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison set in 1941 Ohio, Pecola thinks that due to her mannerisms and dark skin, she is "ugly". Despite having no major white characters, racism is at the center of the text just with a different portrayal.
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander discusses mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness from a legal standpoint.
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo explains why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism today.
- 'Dear White People' on Netflix details a college radio hosts life at a "post-racial" Ivy League school.
- 'Fruitvale Station' tells Oscar Grant's life living in Oakland who was shot and killed by a BART police officer in 2009.
- 'When They See Us' is a miniseries about the Exonerated Five which follows a true story of five men wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman in 1990.
- 'Insecure' is about growing up as a modern black woman, created by Issa Rae.
- 'All American' is about the true story of Spencer James, a high school football player from Crenshaw, CA which is a poor neighborhood outside Beverly Hills. James uses this new life as an opportunity to help his community.
- Songs, Artists
- social-justice - Advocate Channel ›
- Hollywood Speaks Out For George Floyd - Advocate Channel ›
- Ava DuVernay Hosts 'When They See Us' Screening On IG Live - Advocate Channel ›
- HBO Max Original Content Head Speaks On Delayed 'Friends' Reunion - Advocate Channel ›
- Alicia Keys Will Host 'Kids, Race & Unity: A Nick News Special' For Nickelodeon - Advocate Channel ›