If you posted on your social media yesterday, great. Time to do more.
Black owned beauty brands – women of color are not just disadvantaged in not having their skin tones reflected in product offerings the way lighter tones are, they are also not proportionately included in the business, development, and ownership structures in the beauty industry.
This doc is making the rounds and with good reason!
White folks – it’s not on people of color to do extra work to make us more understanding and comfortable. We cannot be passive actors in this and must fill the gaps in our own knowledge.
Read diversely. I’m sorry to say my education in retrospect is woefully lacking in writers of color and the only way to fix that is to ready more writers of color! Make an effort, check them out from libraries, buy from bookstores, attend events featuring black authors. Give yourself explicit goals on Goodreads or with your book club. Read widely, fiction and nonfiction alike, to educate yourself on the policy AND the personal and how they intertwine in the lived experience of your neighbors.
Advocate for Others
If you are the beneficiary of privilege, you have a moral obligation to use it for others’ good. So say all the major religions, most moral philosophers, and The Gospel of Small Dog Nation.
Black Lives Matter. Full stop. Put money where your mouth is.
If you’re white, deliberately support your communities of color better.
Donate to bail funds – black communities are disproportionately affected by this and have less access to resources to make bail (when they are more likely than other demographics to be arrested for the same crimes or actions, receive harsher or more punative treatment and state handling).
Support Minnesota specifically. The murder of George Floyd happened in their community and they are the epicenter of this messaging movement right now. (Also, my dear friend Lauren is a Minneapolis native and has been posting local resources and messages dilligently on her Instagram)
“Lift EVERY Voice…”
Register now if you haven’t. Show up in local elections and not just November. And – this is critical – support measures and candidates that seek to strengthen and enhance voting opportunities for your co-citizens, not curtail them. Different candidates will have different platforms like making election day a national holiday, expanding and resourcing additional polling stations, election protections, and more. There are a lot of ideas, vote for the ones you think best and most likely to expand the rights and benefits of citizenship to those who may not have access.
Volunteer to register voters and expand the ranks of the citizen support network that makes our elections possible and trustworthy. Democracy is a team sport!
Take it a step further if you can and put yourself in the shoes of the most marginalized. If you were a prisoner, would you want the right to vote? If so, do you support candidates who want to restore voting rights to that group? If you felt a school was underfunding and therefore not the best option for your child, vote to increase its funding so that other parents less privleged than you. If you wouldn’t wish it on yourself, don’t inflict it on others. This is basic, basic stuff.