It's hard to find kind words for what's happening now. As a multi-ethnic small B Corp, we feel charged to help end racial discrimination, profiling, and injustice to people of color. And before you say "well, white people suffer from injustice, too" - we know. But we also know that you don't really have enough perspective to make that claim. The "Black Lives Matter" movement is usually countered with "All Lives Matter". Nobody's arguing that all lives don't matter, but "Black Lives Matter, Too" is too long and too damn depressing of a statement.
It's said that "a rising tide lifts all boats". So let's start by bringing equality to ALL so we can make a healthier planet for ourselves and future generations.
Today, we are donating 100% of all online profits to the Black Lives Matter movement and the NAACP. We thought long and hard about where to direct our efforts - do we shut down entirely in solidarity, or can we put our efforts to better use?
This is just the start, though. There's so much more that we can do together to help balance the scales of racial injustice. Here are a few starting points.
1. Self-Educate About Racism
We don't know what we don't know until we know it. The same applies to the assumptions that we have about the current state of racism in our country. All too often I hear the term "Racism is dead", but it's far from the truth. Shame must not be placed on someone seeking new knowledge, rather the person who assumes they are all-knowing.
There is nothing I can say about race that a black person hasn't said better, before, publicly, for our education. It's all out there for us, wherever we're starting in this journey of becoming woke. So please, do these writers and your black friends a favor by picking up one or all of these texts:
- So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
2. Show Restraint When Offering Your Opinions
I know things are intense right now, but we need to resist the urge to critique the How of liberation efforts and focus on the Why. It is not for the beneficiaries of a white supremacist system to decide how marginalized people should fight for justice. Rather, we must intentionally support racial justice efforts by marginalized people themselves and relinquish the need to control.
Trust that people of color are telling the truth about the reality of racism in this country. Trust that they are fully capable of organizing. Trust that in the fight against white supremacy it is acceptable to assist, and not to lead.
If you are here for racial justice, save your vocal disapproval for the unjust systems in place, and the failure of the ruling class to acquiesce to civil demands for justice. Redirect your energy. Any critique you or I could give would be unnecessary and unhelpful.
3. Donate to Help Social Justice
I'm 100% serious about relinquishing control. Also, wealth. It must be intentionally redistributed.
Give your money to campaigns created by people of color just surviving as much as you can.
Give your money to bail protesters out of jail. Right now!!
We cannot stand witness to this nation-wide expression of righteous outrage and delude ourselves into believing the outrage is undue. Therefore, we unite under the oppressed, and we say Black Lives Matter with our words, our dollars, time, and effort, until it stops being a controversial phrase.
4. Speak Up & Shut It Down
"In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist."
You don't need to be rich or well-versed is systemic injustice to help lift up people of color. The easiest, and bravest action you can take is to call out racist remarks when you see them, whether they are involuntary microaggressions, or outright dangerous remarks. Try to keep a cool head. If we all work together to call out racism, we can push towards an inclusive, healthy future for all.
Written in collaboration with Madeleine Ingridsdotter