All in this weekend you donated nearly $1300 and I am humbled by your generosity and your empathy. Based on the distribution of the donations (and given the guidance from the Minnesota Freedom Fund and the fact that the Black Visions MN fundraiser ended on Saturday) we are allocating our matching funds roughly proportionately to each of the following:
If you haven’t had a moment to donate, please take the time to support these worthy causes (or similar causes in your area).
Alongside these donations were messages of hope, of support, and of relief at being able to do something, even if merely donate.
There is more that you can to, though. It is important that our slacktivism doesn’t end at writing a check and walking away. Become an active voice in your community about how policing happens, about how our judicial system fails black citizens, and in support of minority candidates whose qualifications don’t percolate into visibility in our society.
But also, become educated. Add black authors and directors to your repertoire. Read about history beyond the whitewashed (I learned late in life to my utter horror) facts they taught in school. While you’re bringing diversity to what you culturally absorb, encourage your social circle to do the same. Talk about what you learn. Don’t let misinformation float uncorrected.
These are general ideas, but there is a great list of specific action items that I am starting to work my way through.
I do want to respond to one particular brand of message that came through: messages chastising me for “celebrating”, “cheering”, and “applauding for” the riots. I want to be entirely clear, I do not pleased about these rights. I find this situation tragic and horrible. I find it horrible that we as a society have failed our black fellows so abysmally that they have turned to destroying property. I’m saddened by it, and I’m upset by it.
It’s also depressing how much our schools have failed those of you that cite the black civil rights movement’s non-violent nature as the reason it “succeeded” (and success remains locked behind scare quotes like a disproportionate number of free black men and women remain locked behind bars). You forget that our government responded to growing fear that violence unrest would spread out of the South as much as to stirring words and acts of non-violent civil disobedience.
If you’re outraged about the property damage, I invite you to read The New Inquiry’s article “In Defense of Looting” and perhaps grow a bit of perspective as to why I support the looters, rioters, and protesters even as I wish they weren’t in a position that they feel it’s necessary.
Thank you all for your generosity and please keep that spirit alive as you dive into additional, impactful things you can do to help our fellow citizens.