Last Week Tonight (June 7, 2020)- As nationwide protests over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are met with police brutality, John Oliver discusses how the histories of policing and white supremacy are intertwined, the roadblocks to fixing things, and some potential paths forward.
The following links are taken from Claire Lampen’s article “How to Support the Struggle Against Police Brutality.”
Direct aid for victims’ families:
- George Floyd’s family has started a GoFundMe to cover funeral and burial costs; counseling services; legal fees; and continued care for his children. There’s also a GoFundMe to provide for his 6-year-old daughter, Gianna Floyd, and a GoFundMe to support “peace and healing” for Darnella Frazier, the woman who filmed Floyd’s death.
- Another GoFundMe is raising money for Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, donations to which will similarly fund the family’s legal battle.
- There’s a GoFundMe for Breonna Taylor’s family, to help with legal fees and offer extra support.
- There’s a GoFundMe for David McAtee’s mother and family: McAtee was fatally shot just after midnight on June 1, after police officers and National Guard members fired into a crowd of people who were not taking part in the evening’s protests.
- The Bail Project, a nonprofit that aims to mitigate incarceration rates through bail reform.
- The National Bail Fund Network also has a directory of community bail funds to which you can donate, along with a COVID-19 rapid response fund.
- Another list of bail funds is available here, and another list of bail funds by city.
- A Gas Mask Fund for black youth activists in Minneapolis is raising money to buy gas masks for demonstrators who’ve faced tear gas during protests.
- The Black Trans Protestors Emergency Fund is raising money for physical resources, bail, and medical care for black, transgender protesters, which will be redistributed to black, trans-led organizations “in the event these funds don’t need to be used.”
- The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which supports racial justice through advocacy, litigation, and education.
- The Legal Rights Center is a non-profit law firm based in Minneapolis, offering legal defense, educational, and advocacy services.
- Black Visions Collective, a black, trans, and queer-led social justice organization and legal fund based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
- The Know Your Rights Camp, an organization founded by Colin Kaepernick that provides education and training in black and brown communities, set up a legal fund for Minneapolis protestors.
- Organizations working against mass-incarceration and police abuse:
- Communities United for Police Reform is an initiative to end discriminatory policing in New York, helping to educate people on their rights and document police abuse.
- Showing Up for Racial Justice works to educate white people about anti-racism and organizes actions to support the fight for racial justice and undermine white supremacy.
- Communities United Against Police Brutality, which operates a crisis hotline where people can report abuse; offers legal, medical, and psychological resource referrals; and engages in political action against police brutality.
- No New Jails NYC aims to keep the city from constructing new jails, and to instead divert funds that currently go toward the police and incarceration toward housing, ending homelessness, mental health, and other community support systems.
Tangible Ways to Support Black Lives
- Black Lives Matter
- Showing Up for Racial Justice
- Minnesota Freedom Fund to help protesters set bail and bond, etc.
- Support Black-owned restaurants in Charlottesville
- Online application for Absentee Voting in Virginia (for June 23 Primaries. June 16 deadline to request absentee ballot).
Ways to Engage Right Now – Each One Counts
Note: Below is an excerpt of an email from Collective Impact Forum.
If you’re wondering what steps to take, here are some things that can help.
Listen. Learn. Give. Center.
Listen to communities of color. Understanding what Black, Brown, or Indigenous people need to thrive is crucial right now.
Please don’t assume.
- Ask. Ask them right now what they need from you.
- Listen. Listen to what your community members say.
- Trust. Trust what they say is what they need right now.
If you are struggling with what is said above or what is going on right now in our world, a good step is to visit some resources to support your own learning. Everyone is learning at their own pace. Remember to not expect or task your Black colleagues and community members to teach you right now. They do not have the time or energy to lay things out again. If you are feeling challenged and wondering where to start, seek out resources like the ones listed below.
Books: These books are available in print, ebook, and audio.
- How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
It’s become a pandemic cliché to say “Now more than ever,” but it’s still true. Now, more than ever, giving is essential. Whether it’s giving money, time, or compassion.
- If you are an institutional funder: please give. Please don’t wait for the perfect time or strategy. Please give to organizations that are led by and for people of color. Give to organizations that are advocating and organizing against anti-Black racism. Fund movement-building infrastructure to advance racial justice
- If you are an individual donor and are able to give: even a small donation can support anti-racist work in your community right now
- Showing up to support local Black-run businesses and organizations is also a form of giving
- Donating time (even virtually as many of us still shelter in place) can also be helpful.
See “Listen” above. If your communities are asking for something to be given, if you can, please give.
“Now more than ever” is the time to spread your compassion and empathy. So many are feeling pain, exhaustion, fear, and grief. Your compassion and love can be a real gift.
It’s very necessary to center the stories and experiences of Black lives and other people of color, and what they are going through. Center their narratives and what they are experiencing. Use those experiences as a light to guide your actions.
Be wary of “easy” narratives that pin blame on communities of color. Like using a stereotype to quickly code someone, narratives are also tools to quickly divide and understand.
Parse your media intake - who is being centered? Whose experiences are “the protagonist”? At this time of heightened racial violence and inequity, if the story “protagonist” is not Black or Brown, use that as an indicator to reassess that media source and what narrative they are trying to give you.
Our own media literacy (including social media) is a key learning area right now. Following media outlets and sources that are authored by and for Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities is a crucial step to improve one's own media literacy, especially if you want to unlearn harmful narratives that you may be unknowingly carrying with you.
For people of color in the Collective Impact Forum community, we see you. We see your pain and grief. We see the injustices you have and are experiencing. You do not deserve to feel this way. No one should. This burden should not be yours. It should not be anyone’s.
For our Forum community - Let us all do what we can to overcome anti-blackness and racism in our systems and communities.
Listen. Learn. Give. Center. And Support each other.
Robert Albright, Director, Collective Impact Forum
Sheri Brady, Associate Director, Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions
Jennifer Splansky Juster, Executive Director, Collective Impact Forum
Tracy Timmons-Gray, Associate Director, Collective Impact Forum
LEARN - Articles
- A reading list to understand police brutality in America - Vox.com
- The anger behind the protests, explained in 4 charts - Vox.com
- 'A riot is the language of the unheard,' Martin Luther King Jr. explained 53 years ago - TheWeek.com
- George Floyd video adds to trauma: 'When is the last time you saw a white person killed online?' - USAToday.com