Tahmina Begum debunks this go to argument used against survivors
What Now? How To Keep Protesting
When your Insta feed is starting to go back to “normal”, it’s important to keep momentum going…
For many of us, we haven’t been taught the rules of social activism, especially when it’s online. We’ve followed along and learnt just as our peers have on Twitter. By peers, I mean the constant education our Black communities tell us for free. The lessons in unlearning racism and prejudice are currently so easy to access, and we need them in order to create change. As it has been said frequently these past few weeks, it is a privilege to learn about racism, instead of experiencing it.
As it has been said frequently these past few weeks, it is a privilege to learn about racism, instead of experiencing it.
But by now, even though there have been more Black men murdered because of police brutality, the news around protests suddenly isn’t new anymore. Even if protests are persisting, even if laws and bills are being changed, it’s easy to start going back to ‘normality’, where systemic racism and police brutality isn’t a part of your everyday life.
Yet in order for change to happen, so we truly stand by the statement ‘Black Lives Matter’, it’s principal that our tools for development and equality continue when it’s not on our feeds. Here are a few things you can do.
Email your MP
This is the time to utilise our democracy so email your MP. You deserve to tell your elected official your thoughts on Black Lives Matter, police brutality in the UK as well as your thoughts on the allyship between the US and the UK, when the lives of Black people are in danger.
Here are a few example templates you can use. To make it more personal, remember to add in a line about why you feel passionate about this topic.
For #BlackLivesMatter, use this document.
For BAME support during COVID, use this one.
Keep signing those petitions
In order for a petition to be addressed in parliament, it needs 10,000 signatures. A petition will be reviewed and unless the cause has already been directly addressed and handled, UK citizens will receive a response from parliament.
Here’s a Twitter thread on the list of petitions to sign that are relevant to the UK and still need to be addressed.
This Black Lives Matter link has a list of petitions to sign regarding the Black Lives Matter cause. It includes officers that still have not been charged, defunding the police departments, and previous police brutality cases that still have not been brought to justice.
Call out anti-blackness in the little and big ways
Is your aunt saying your nose looks too wide? Or you’ve become too dark in the sun? Or that your music tastes are a bit ‘too Black’? Is your employer saying they have ‘enough Black staff’ because there are a few ‘BAME’ faces in the company? These small nuggets of anti-blackness are not just ignorance, it’s racism and dehumanising an entire race. It’s important to respond and correct these points of ignorance in our daily lives.
As Cardi B so eloquently put it on her Twitter, it’s so important we vote in local elections (and that a variety of people put themselves forward to be representatives) as well as the major electoral dates. This way, movements like Black Lives Matters will hopefully be pushed forward as a human rights issue, not just misunderstood as an ‘all lives matter’ statement.
Utilise your skills
During a pandemic, it may feel as though you can’t do enough for the #BlackLivesMatters movement. Perhaps you are a key worker or live with someone who is high risk, but is there some skill you could put forward? Whether it’s setting up CV creating workshops, digital shadowing at your workspace or putting forward Black names for senior positions. We all have points of privilege we can use to help dismantle racism.
You may have a charity you donate to every month, whether that’s for animal rights or to help fund cancer-related research. As #BlackLivesMatters is a global issue, not just one which affects African Americans or a handful of Black people but Black existence around the world, it’s important we put our money where our Instagram stories are at. Even if it’s the price of a single takeaway coffee, put it towards protesting for Black lives.