How We Can Support the Black Lives Matter Movement

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by officer Derek Chauvin.

If you haven't seen the video, I suggest you watch it. It's disturbing and difficult to stomach, yet, this is a reality in America that we must all open our eyes to. If you haven't watched it, I'll sum it up for you:

Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd's neck for over 8 minutes. As George Floyd begged for the police officer to let him breathe, telling him everything hurts, the officer refused to move.

Onlookers witnessed the entire event in horror, as many tried to step in and help George Floyd. As they begged Derek Chauvin to take his knee off of George's neck, another police officer stood guard as the two officers threatened to mace the witnesses.

Eventually, George died from the restriction Chauvin's knee was putting on his neck. Even after falling unconscious, Chauvin refused to move his knee until George Floyd was taken away by ambulance.

You may be wondering why he was being held down this way in the first place. You see, not only is restraining by kneeling on the neck not part of the training officers receive (many police who are speaking out against Derek Chauvin have confirmed this), but George Floyd was being arrested for a counterfeit charge.

Unarmed and complying with the officer, George Floyd was treated with a heavier hand than white serial killers have been treated... all over a counterfeit case.

George Floyd is not the first black man to die at the hands of the police over a meaningless and harmless crime. Studies show that a black man is 3x more likely to be killed by the police than a white man is. Additionally, 99% of police officers have not been charged for killing between the years of 2013-2019, even though many of the crimes were nonviolent.

The murder of George Floyd was the breaking point for many. Years of peaceful protesting from the Black Lives Matter movement has brought nothing but rolled eyes and complaints from those choosing to turn a blind eye to these statistics. So, activists are taking to the streets to demand the change they deserve.

It's important for us all to contribute to this fight right now for a change to happen. If you want to contribute to the Black Lives Matter movement but you aren't sure how, keep reading.

Ways to Help the Black Lives Matter Movement

Using your voice is so important right now, as well as contributing in any way you can.

Here are some ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement:

  1. Donate If You Can

I understand that many people are struggling financially as a result of COVID-19. If you don't have the money to donate, that's okay. There are other ways to help. If you do have extra money to help, consider donating to these groups:

(If you know of any other organizations, please comment them so I can add them)

2. Use Your Platform

Everyone's voice is important right now. Use yours.

If you're a police officer, join the peaceful protests. Let your community know that you stand with them and that not all police officers are Derek Chauvin. These people are scared, angry, upset, and hurting, don't make it worse by trying to take away their voice.

If you have a popular blog, large Instagram following, or another outlet where you can reach many people, keep talking. Don't just let this issue fall to the backburner. It's our duty to keep talking about this until real change happens. We can't let the next big news story or event overshadow this movement, keep talking about this, keep sharing, keep supporting.

3. Let the Black Community Lead

If you're white it's still your duty to be part of this movement. While we should keep sharing and talking, it's important to remember that we're trying to support, not lead this movement.

If you're joining the protests, let the black community lead it and offer your support however you can. While many have mixed feelings about the rioting, it's not a white person's place to decide how this should be handled. The reality is, we will never know the pain and fear they're feeling right now, so we need to follow their lead and help them rather than taking control of their protests.

If someone murdered a family member of yours, would you peacefully protest? Would you let others who never met your family member tell you how to react? No, I don't think you would. Right now we need to offer empathy and support not criticism.

4. Recognize Your Privilege

I recognize my privilege as a white woman. I will never have to worry about being shot for jogging through my neighborhood or killed for talking on my cell phone and a police officer thinking it's a gun. When I have kids one day, I won't have to worry about them playing in the yard with water guns and a police officer thinking they're a threat.

I am privileged because I am white.

I am privileged because I am white.

I am privileged because I am white.

Say it on your social media, say it out loud, keep saying it, because it's the truth.

It's important to recognize our privilege as we highlight the imbalance of equality that is going on and has been for centuries. Living in denial is only going to open the gates for others to continue taking advantage of this backward and broken system.

No matter who you are, your voice for equality matters right now. We need to come together and make a change. It's 2020, and systemic racism is still a very prominent and overlooked issue by way too many.

To be silent is to be complicit. We can't say all lives matter until black lives matter.

(If you have other suggestions for how to support and contribute, please comment them or message me letting me know. I will gladly add them).

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