By Beth Kennedy
As a white person, it is impossible to truly understand what our black brothers and sisters go through on a daily basis. You may be feeling helpless and distraught when you see all the protests and police violence on the news. There are a few things you can do right now to play your part in this revolution (because that is what it is and it’s a long time coming). This is by no means a way to become a “white knight” - it’s for people who simply wish to contribute something - especially if you are low on money and you can’t leave the house to protest.
Ethical video hacking
It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie but we can play the system to benefit the black community. One of the best ways to do this is to simply watch YouTube streams where the ad revenue is donated to various organisations and charities supporting the black community.
Some great ones are:
Hip-Hop Music Live Stream - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKo8OrBdLz8
24/7 Artists Stream for BLM (please read the instructions at the start of the video) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCgLa25fDHM
There are plenty more out there but please make sure you check who is hosting the videos (unfortunately there are people out there who are trying to profit off this). Some of the money will go towards bail for protestors, support for families, support for businesses, funerals and many more hard-working charities and organisations.
If you want to go even deeper as an ethical hacker then we can look to the K-Pop fans for tips and tricks! Not only have K-Pop fans overridden the White Lives Matter hashtag on social media with support for Black Lives Matter, they have been sharing their secrets on how to make sure these Black Lives Matter streams get as much revenue as possible:
One K-Pop fan on YouTube said:
“Once you finished the entire thing [any Black Lives Matter live stream], proceed to watch any 3 to 5 videos (literally any length of the video will do, plus randomize the number of vids you watch AND the videos themselves they will count as spam if you watch the same 3-5 videos) after this. Once you've done that, watch this again in the highest quality. rinse and repeat!”
So, get streaming!
There is always more to learn and knowledge really is power. There are plenty of ways to teach yourself about the history of racism, white privilege, slavery, racially-charged microaggressions, black campaigners through history...and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
We are very lucky to be able to access so much materials covering all of these subjects and more. But if you’re having trouble working out where to start then here’s a few places:
BBC Sounds 1Extra Talks Special: George Floyd and Black Lives Matter
Rachel Cargle, Tedx San Franciscos: Coming to Terms With Racism's Inertia: Ancestral Accountability (in fact, watch everything by Rachel!): https://www.ted.com/talks/rachel_cargle_coming_to_terms_with_racism_s_inertia_ancestral_accountability
Dave - Black: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXLS2IzZSdg
Why did Europeans enslave Africans? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opUDFaqNgXc
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge https://www.amazon.co.uk/Longer-Talking-White-People-About/dp/1408870584
Orange is the New Black (book and the TV show) - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orange-New-Black-Womens-Prison/dp/0349139865/
13th - A documentary on Netflix
Educate your children
If you have children - it is essential to teach them about racism, but it is also crucial that you give them media where black people are prevalent. One of the very best ways to do this is to sign up to Woke Babies, where you receive a subscription box in the post full of wonderful books, games and activities featuring black children at the forefront. Woke Babies is a fantastic way to introduce white children to diversity and a way to empower black children. Check out Woke Babies here.
If you’re still homeschooling your children and teenagers during the pandemic then take this opportunity to teach your little ones about black history and civil rights campaigners. Here’s a great video on Martin Luther King Jr and another one on black scientists and I Am Rosa Parks (a storybook read aloud).
Be the example for your child. Show them how to be an advocate for anti-racism. Start with this excellent blog post: https://edubirdie.com/blog/talking-with-kids-about-racism.
We all know the law MUST change with regards to police violence against black people. It may not sound like much, but signing petitions still works and it only takes a few seconds to sign each one:
George Floyd - https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/peti...
Raise The Degree - https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/peti...
Arrest All Four - https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/peti...
Raise The Degree - https://www.change.org/p/minneapolis-...
George Floyd - https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-...
George Floyd - https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/ju...
Charge All Four Officers https://www.change.org/p/change-org-t...
Breonna Taylor - https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/ju...
Ahmaud Arbery - https://www.change.org/p/human-rights...
Life Sentence For Police Brutality https://www.change.org/p/department-o...
Regis Korchinski - https://t.co/fqxvTJ76gE
Tony McDade - https://www.change.org/p/black-lives-...
Joao Pedro - http://chng.it/FjJ7ZD4q5p
Julius Jones - https://www.change.org/p/julius-jones...
Belly Mujinga - https://www.change.org/p/govia-thames...
Willie Simmons - https://www.change.org/p/alabama-gove...
Hands Up Act - https://www.change.org/p/us-senate-ha...
National Action Against Police Brutality https://www.change.org/p/national-act...
Kyjuanzi Harris -https://www.change.org/p/illinois-gov...
Alejandro Vargas Martinez - https://www.change.org/p/florida-poli...
Censorship Of Police Brutality In France https://www.change.org/p/gouvernement…
UK PM should condemn Trump’s response: https://www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-the-uk-government-must-condemn-trump-s-response-to-the-murder-of-george-floyd
Teach British children about the realities of British Imperialism and Colonialism: https://www.change.org/p/gavin-williamson-mp-teach-british-children-about-the-realities-of-british-imperialism-and-colonialism
What not to say
“Racism isn’t as bad in the UK as it is in the US.”
It’s easy to believe that racism is rare in the UK because the police don’t carry guns all the time. Last year the percentage of black people who died in police custody was 8%, which is almost three times the black population in the UK (which is 3% at the moment). The percentage of white people who died in custody stood at 85%, but the population percentage was 86%. This is systematic racism proved by statistics within just one year. More than 50% of people in jail are BAME...but BAME people only account for 14% of the UK’s population. Racism is still alive and kicking in the UK.
“All lives matter”
Chances are, you already know this is something you must not say...ever! But the entire point of the Black Lives Matter movement is to highlight the oppression and abuse faced by black people on a daily basis. It’s exactly the same as those who use “Straight Pride” whenever “Gay Pride” is mentioned. Black Lives Matter isn’t exclusive...it is 100% inclusive.
“I’m colour blind when it comes to race”
If you don’t see race then you don’t see racism.
“I feel so guilty about my white privilege”
Yes, inside you may feel that. But saying it is very unhelpful. This phrase turns it into an issue about you. It’s not the black community’s job to comfort white people when they feel embarrassed about white privilege. It’s also not the black community’s job to educate you on racism and white privilege - this is something white people must do themselves.
Specifically: What not to say to black women
What to say
Don’t be shy about checking in with your black friends and family members. From a personal experience, it’s always nice when straight people check in on me when there’s an LGBT+ campaign in the news. But what should you say?
Here’s a thread from The Creative Collective NYC on how to ask your friends and relatives how they’re feeling without just asking “How are you?”
Some people may not be able to attend protests because they’re a key worker or they’re on lockdown and classed as a vulnerable individual. However, if you are planning on attending a protest here’s a list of UK events:
Saturday 6th June
London - Parliament Square, 1pm
Manchester - Piccadilly Gardens, 1pm
Newcastle Upon Tyne [ONLINE EVENT] 1pm
Leicester - Clock Tower, 1pm
Sheffield - Devonshire Green, 1pm
Ipswich - Town Hall, 2pm
Sunday 7th June
London - US Embassy, 2pm
Manchester - St. Peter’s Square, 2pm
Edinburgh - Princes Street Gardens, 1pm
Glasgow - George Square, 2pm
Bristol - College Green, 2pm
Norwich - Haymarket, 2pm
Coventry - Godiva, 1pm
Derby - Derby Council House, 2pm
Colchester - Castle Park, 1pm
Monday 8th June
Dublin - The Spire, 1pm
Wednesday 10th June
Hull - Queens Gardens, 1pm
Saturday 13th June
Brighton - Maderia Drive 1pm
Reading - Town Hall, 12pm
Kings Lynn - Town Hall, 2pm
The list is a growing one - so it’s a good idea to search for protests near you on Twitter or Facebook (just search for Black Lives Matter and the name of your town or city).
Support BLM long after the news cycle ends
As with all campaigns, the media will soon get bored of it and stop reporting. Our job, regardless of race, is to keep Black Lives Matter going for as long as it takes. This is not a social media trend. This is a campaign for people’s lives. Just because racism doesn’t happen to white people and the news has slowed down on reporting it, it doesn’t mean we should stop.
Keep Black Lives Matter going...no matter what.