Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter is not a political issue, it is a moral and ethical issue. For decades POC in America have been discriminated against and been subjected to bias and other forms of physical and emotional abuse. Now is the time for that to change. POC or not, stand with us and thousands of other Americans and people around the world to end racial discrimination and bias.

What can you do?

  1. Contact local government officials (governors, representatives)
    1. We contacted our governor through a form on the NC governors website, you can likely do the same for your state
      1. Having trouble? Send us a quick email and we can help you get started!
  2. Donate to organizations supporting POC and Black Lives Matter
    1. NAACP
    2. Black Lives Matter
    1. Campaign Zero
    2. The Innocence Project
  3. Sign petitions
    1. While the efficacy of petitions can vary, it takes a couple of seconds to sign a petition and it can
  4. Protest peacefully (follow local/state/federal regulations, bring important information, wear a mask)
    1. If protesting, this page discusses legal limits
  5. Read books to educate yourself
    1. How To Be An Antiracist – Ibram X Kendi
    2. The Color of Law – Richard Rothstein

It is also important to ask yourself questions about race, your opinion about POC, and Black Lives Matter. Ask yourself:

  • Who taught you about race and culture?
  • What can you do to support POC in your area?
  • What can you commit to doing to have an impact?
  • How would you respond to someone who shows racist tendencies or behavior?
  • What information can you share with your peers/family?
  • Have you ignored racist behavior in the past? Why?
    • Has it been presented by friends? Family? A significant other? Someone you just met?
  • What is the importance of coming together to fight for equality and an end to injustice?
  • How can you use antiracist (note: this is not the same thing as non-racist) knowledge and information to help make a change in your community?
  • Do you owe anyone an apology?
  • How would you handle a racist conflict?

How to respond to a racist comment:

  • Determine if the person is aware that their comment was offensive. Oftentimes, they will pin it on your “sensitivity.” Instead of focusing on what they meant, focus on what they said. Tell them how what they said is offensive, regardless of how they meant it. Explain to them that intent does not equal how someone is going to take it. Help them understand how/why what they said could be/was harmful.
  • If necessary, steer the conversation away from the current topic, and discuss it in private later.

Common racist statements and ways to respond:

Statement: “You don’t sound black”

This phrase has often been used to suggest that the black individual sounds smart or different from what the person expected (as a result of racial stereotypes).

Response: “I know you meant that in a good way, but by saying that I ‘don’t sound black,’ you are referencing a racial stereotype that black individuals are not smart/can not sound like I do.”

Rev. Carolyn Helsel, an assistant professor of homiletics at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, says that it would be better to compliment a specific aspect of what the person’s voice/speech.

Statement: “White privilege does not exist”

White privilege can be seen even at a personal level. For example, not having to worry about a hairstyle or skin color when trying to get an interview. White privilege does not imply that non-POC have not experienced hardships, meaning that it is not related to affluence, but is a societal advantage, oftentimes not purposely integrated into everyday life. For example, walking into a store to find all the magazines with white models.

Things that indicate white privilege:

  • First aid kits with no dark colored bandaids to match skin tone
  • “Hair Care” vs “Ethnic Hair Products” in stores
  • “Foreign” or “Ethnic” sections of grocery stores

Response: Ask the person if they have ever had any of these experiences as a result of their skin color.

Statement: “I don’t see color”

This statement, although seemingly goodhearted or positive, could indicate that the person you are talking to is ignoring what POC are telling them. They are saying that they do not acknowledge the struggles that people of color are experiencing under the guise of “not seeing color”

Response:

“I know that you are saying this as a good thing, but you are implying that you are oblivious, whether purposely or not, to the struggles that non-white Americans are dealing with daily. Saying that you ‘do not see color’ is dismissing the struggles of POC.”


Non-Racist vs Antiracist

Non-racist acts and behavior are simply actions/words that are not racist but are not necessarily against racism. You can be non-racist without being against racism.

Antiracist is the opposite of racist. An antiracist is someone, not necessarily a POC, who is against racism and employs antiracist actions and words to fight for equality and an end to injustice and discrimination in our country.

Blog link: https://worldawarenessassociation.org/our-blogs