White people and non-Black individuals have come through using their privilege and platforms to speak out on the injustice that is soaring currently, and previously, across the United States. Though the uprising has been enormous, there always could be more done, more voices used, and more actions taken – the work is never finished.
In times where social media is saturated and inundated with petitions, campaigns, and awareness raising messages for these causes, it can be a lot to take in and leave some individuals unsure of how to go about spreading the message – “the right way”. To confirm – there isn’t actually necessarily a “right way” to spread the message, rather we need to see the message just being spread, widely, heavily, and continuously – period.
Here are some ways you can use your voice to raise awareness on the injustice and blatant racism happening:
Through recognising this, we need to re-evaluate the way we send messages out or express our disgust towards these injustices.
For example, saying “I’m shocked this happened” or “I can’t believe it” both are inappropriate ways to express your feelings, as they denounce the experience as to something that only happens once every 20 years or 100 years – when in reality it’s an everyday occurrence. According to the Atlantic, “from 1980 to 2013, 262,000 Black males were killed in America. By contrast, roughly 58,000 Americans died in [the] Vietnam [war]. In New Orleans, about 6,000 African American men have been murdered since 1980.” When someone says they’re shocked, it alludes that their privilege has protected them by allowing them to live their lives calmly and being able to ignore what is presently happening. When in reality this is happening every day to Black men, Black women, Black trans men & women, and Black children. Rachel Cargle explains it perfectly in that by saying these phrases such as “I’m shocked this happened” it’s alluding that “our pain is so far off your radar that the mention of it shocks you.”
Along with buying from Black owned businesses, remember the importance of buying from Black authors or Black creatives. Whilst it is good to have allies from other communities help raise awareness of what’s going on – the white community are not the voices of Black people. They can speak out about injustices and share avenues to learn about the horrible acts, however it’s vitally important that allies create a space and raise the platform for Black folx to speak first hand on their experiences, feelings, and discussions.
Color of Change is a great platform that highlights current campaigns & fundraisers, along with articles on current news topics or updates on Black or POC individual wins or injustices. For example, Color of Change noticed that on GoFundMe (the fundraising platform), there were 26 pages asking for donations in defense of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers. Rightfully so, GoFundMe took those pages down. Likewise, Color of Change began a petition to get George Floyd’s killer charged for their crime and put into prison. There is also a platform called RunWithMaud.com which is a petition to get justice for Arbery and his family, and likewise each signature sends a letter to officials who can contribute in making a change.
Along with raising awareness via petitions and fundraisers, another great thing to do is sharing informative text pieces and diagrams. On Instagram, The Conscious Kid shared a great diagram that extensively points out themes, actions, experiences, and topics that are categorised under overt white supremacy (socially unacceptable such as the KKK, racial slurs, lynching, to name a few) and covert white supremacy (socially acceptable such as white silence, denial of white privilege, considering AAVE uneducated, claiming reverse racism, and mass incarceration, to name a few).
So many individuals continue to say they aren’t racist prime example: Amy Cooper. In her apology audio, Amy opens by saying she isn’t racist – however this sounds all too familiar. Unbeknownst to many people claiming they’re not racist, covert white supremacy is alive and thriving as it continues to be seen as not racist, and signed off as okay. Through covert ways, Amy was showing her privilege, racist acts, and putting that man in harm’s way, as societal and structural racism even when done covertly, will always benefit the oppressor.
By seeing and dissecting this diagram, more of us can become aware of the nuances and covert white supremacy actions that we are potentially spreading, and to stop taking part in them. Many people will fireback saying that the covert (socially acceptable) actions that are passed around such as white silence, reverse racism, or denial of white privilege, are areas that don’t affect Black individuals, however it does – it is a common wave of accepting that these ridiculous actions are passed under the rug and are seen as acceptable as no one is challenging them. Using your voice to speak up against any of these actions has the potential to have a huge affect on changing the way Black people are treated.
Remember that speaking up at any point and sharing your voice to raise awareness, and likewise using your privilege to raise the platform for those without the same privilege, helps in getting some sort of justice. By donating, signing petitions, sending letters to officials and government officials, speaking to our families, sharing helpful educational resources on social media, and unlearning your internalised / covert racism it challenges the unfair and unjust traditions placed upon Black people. We the people have so much strength in numbers, and our voices should be heard and a force to be reckoned with.