Link Love

I’ve seen some folks questioning what they can actually *do* to help, and some of the lists of things that you can do are overwhelming.  Some of them start with folks educating themselves, which while important (and will definitely help with the “first do no harm” step), doesn’t seem like enough for many people.  There are indeed, hundreds of things (or more) you can do, but you cannot do them all.  But it’s important to do SOMETHING.  Whatever it is that you have the spoons for.  Whatever you can bear.  It’s fine to start with smaller things, especially while you’re getting your bearings.  Something is better than nothing.

What are some somethings?  Well, I’m just going to post a few easy things you can do.  If you’re ready for more challenging things, you are probably also ready to figure out what needs doing in your area (google, talk to people, see what the lay of the activism landscape is).  I do believe that voting rights is part and parcel of civil rights, so some of my low-hanging fruit actions are about getting good people to vote.  Because the government is important.  If you have other suggestions, definitely put them in the comments!

Donate:  Indivisible makes it easy with one-stop shopping for a number of charities.  There are many other places to donate– bail funds, gofundmes for destroyed properties, etc.  But this is a good place to start.

Protest:  Go to a BLM protest (search for one in your area– they’re not all posted on the BLM website).  Wear your mask.  Bring masks for others if you have extra.  Bring markers and posterboard if you have them.  Bring water bottles, preferably still wrapped in plastic (there have been reports of bad people putting antifreeze in donated bottles, so you want to make clear you’re not doing that).  Bring bug spray and sunblock.  Bring hand sanitizer (preferably spray bottle) and offer it to people.  If you don’t have any of this, just bring yourself (except the mask, definitely wear a mask).  Protests are outdoors, so that’s good, but we want to minimize the spread of covid at these protests and yelling and singing are big spreaders.  Masks help a lot.  (If you are in an at-risk group for covid or living with someone who is, then support the protests in other ways, like donating to your BLM chapter or doing other actions.)  More on how to protect yourself from cnet.

Call:  Visit 5calls for suggestions, phone numbers, and scripts.  Celeste_P also is a great place for actions with scripts.  (Here’s an example of a script you can use TODAY to call your members of congress.  Here’s one if you want to advocate locally.)

Write:  postcards to voters or letters to voters:  We need to get people to turn out!

The other thing I’d like to see more of is people posting what they’ve been doing.  It isn’t bragging.  It isn’t virtue signaling.  It is helping others to figure out what they can do and it is helping others feel like the norm is doing something rather than the norm not being doing anything.  When you’ve done something, post it in your blog.  Tweet it on your twitter account. Tell your IRL friends.  Come here and tell us about it.  When I see people doing this, *I* get more motivated because it reminds me that I’m not alone.  Every time you let people know you acted, you cause more actions.  Don’t keep it to yourself!

Alternatively here’s captain awkward’s suggestions.

Anti-racism resources from crooked.

Here’s a list of African American personal finance bloggers (my personal favorite from this list is A Purple Life)

Ana and Stacking Pennies sum up a lot of how I’ve been feeling this past week.  And yet I let the handyman post run anyway…

Minneapolis cops sued for shooting, beating and gassing peaceful protesters.

Virginia governor to announce removal of Robert E. Lee Statue.

Self quarantine with a michelin starred chef

17 Responses to “Link Love”

  1. omdg Says:

    I talked to my daughter about why the characters in her book were all white, and what she thought about that. Talked with our au pair as well about racism here and in Brazil where she’s from. We also donated money to the SPLC. I shared a story with a colleague about how I “called out” an attending who was calling some Asian residents a racial slur during residency (and didn’t even suffer blow back from doing so). I spent extra time with my trainees yesterday. I actually *purchased* some of the books by minority authors who were on a reading list I created a few months back. It’s not enough by a long shot, but it’s a start.

  2. middle_class Says:

    I have donated small amounts to Black Lives Matter, George Floyd family fund and bail funds. I also started following BLM to stay more informed.

    I think what frustrates me is that the government, corporations and non-profits often announce nice-sounding initiatives that get forgotten in a few months.

    I want to see SMART goals with accountability. Like there are 1,000 confederate monuments in the u.s. and our goal is to get to zero. Then groups systemically pressure each community and provide quarterly updates. By Q3 take down # monuments, etc..

    Or reduce police funding each year in proportion to abuse of power claims and murder of unarmed civilians. Give them incentive to behave or at least make the top brass pay attention and clear consequences. This should be public so everyone can see which precincts are the worse offenders.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Absolutely! You can call your representatives and suggest those!

      Though we’d have to be careful about tying abuse of power claims to money because that could result in suppression of claims. It would need to be linked to an external review of some sort… I don’t know.

      With all the money these police stations have it seems to me they could require/provide more education to the people working.

    • Leah Says:

      I live in Minnesota, and I donated to some groups up in the Twin Cities that work on community building, racial equity, and environmental justice. Non-profits that do advocacy work as their base mission are what I’m choosing to support. I know that smaller, local groups can get their hands into the work to make their local communities better. It’s small, but I’m hoping it has a tangible impact. I also really love this group called Urban Boatbuilders that I’ve supported for awhile — they teach inner city youth in poverty (of all races) how to build boats. But it’s really about building responsibility, job skills, abilities and confidence to help them rise out of poverty. They do some really cool things in the Twin Cities.

  3. nicoleandmaggie Says:

  4. SP Says:

    Thanks for sharing all these links. I completely agree with “if you’ve done something, share it!”, especially for changing the norms. I think people (myself included) feel like what we are doing is not enough, so it hard to share. To this point, and largely encouraged by your blog, I responded to some neighborhood email list chatter about BLM with the few things I’ve done, and encouraged others to do the same.

    I wish I’d had the sense to link directly to some black PF bloggers to amplify their voices on my little post. I added a few to my list this week. I mostly read blogs that are truly personal (i.e. not trying to be pro blogger, just people sharing stories), so looking specifically for those types with more diversity.

  5. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Dh’s Relative’s oldest helped organize their local BLM protest by calling the offices necessary to get permits. A lot of people showed up in his tiny hometown!

    I’ve got all my stuff ready for tonight’s protest (still need to shave legs and find watch). Yesterday I did postcards to voters and donated to a senate candidate in Iowa. I think I need to go back to daily actions now that it’s summer again.

    • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

      I’m trying to recall where it happened, San Jose?, but recently the police brutalized the man who had been working with the police chief and officers for several years on reducing bias. They didn’t recognize him. 😒 And more importantly, clearly they weren’t actually learning anything.

  6. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I’m doing a 1:2 ratio of “normal” posts and activism related posts each week. I need a little balance there because I’m immersed in a BLM firehose of information on Twitter (intentionally). I don’t get the virtue signalling thing being applied to sharing your actions, I may be getting a bad read on that. But I definitely share in my blog posts and occasionally on Twitter. I only share what and not how much because the goal is for other people get ideas for what they can reasonably do from our sharing and I get ideas for what I can do from others sharing and we all do what we can.
    This morning JB and I had a long talk about BLM, racism, and Breonna Taylor’s murder ( I shared it on Twitter in case other parents of same age children find it useful. They were unhappy about the information, already at school they have been indoctrinated by the idea that police are always safe people and we’re working on undoing that, but they were engaged and then we read The Longest Marcher together.
    Last week I started on our donations list that I’d been building while waiting for checks to clear: BLM, NAACP, food for people in need, helping trans people make rent and buy groceries. We’re making some donations every couple of days. We’re keeping and sharing lists of black-owned businesses to patronize as we need things. I’m making a list of Black authored children’s books that aren’t just about suffering and fighting for rights but also more about joy and normal childhood things because our kids need to see Black people as whole people and not just people who are discriminated against.
    A lot of what we’re doing is pacing and centered around being in this for the long haul. I’m the type to burn myself out in a big push and I can’t afford to do that with this.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I occasionally see women in comments or on social media putting other women down for “bragging” about doing activism or “virtue signalling”. That’s not cool. And I’ll see women saying they’ve been embarrassed to share because they’re worried it will be perceived as virtue signalling. I think that’s all patriarchy talking.

      Thank you for talking and sharing! And your twitter feed is an invaluable resource.

      I do hope that this lasts for the long haul and doesn’t just dissipate when the media moves on to the next thing. I hope people are getting life long learning about how to behave differently and how to make structural change in their lives. I think that’s a lot of what the “read and educate yourself” lists are coming from. Because it takes a long time to work on countering implicit biases.

      • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

        Ah I have only seen the comments putting people down from conservatives in general putting down liberals / “the left” for caring about .. well, anything, and calling that virtue signalling, I hadn’t seen what you noticed. I’m glad. I’m curating my feed well, it seems! :D

        Agreed. I’m doing my best to consciously spread out the information and the activism from week to week, I don’t want it to be a glut of two weeks of concern and then nothing. I’m heartened by (mostly male) bloggers finally using their platforms to speak up about this stuff and admitting that they have been afraid to speak up and be wrong. Because if they can admit that, maybe they will actually commit to the work needed to move this issues forward, finally.

  7. EB Says:

    Make sure your children are in an integrated school, and that means socioeconomically as well as racially.

    Become active in an organization that has a track record (not just in the past few weeks) of proposing and lobbying for legislation to reform the entire criminal justice system, including the police departments, in your state. Be aware that these measures will help more white people than black people, but they will help black people disproportionately.

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