The past few weeks have been full of protests, petitions and the rise of Black Lives Matter (again). This is because of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer who pressed his knee on George’s neck for 9 minutes until he couldn’t breathe anymore more and died. All because of an alleged counterfeit $20 note. Outrage has been sparked due to this and rightfully so when the very horrific and disturbing video of George’s death was recorded and rapidly circled around the internet. People around the world have been protesting for justice. Anonymous have demanded justice. Even the Amish (who isolate themselves from modern society) have come out to show support and demand justice.
As of the day I’m writing this, George Floyd’s murderer has been charged with 2nd-degree murder, but we’re not done yet.
We Still Need Justice
Countless Black lives have been taken away due to the racism that’s still alive today and the institutional racism that has been integrated into the system: Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Belly Mujinga, Breonna Taylor, Amaud Arbery, Mark Duggan and Oscar Grant just to name a very small few. Even the person who lied about George Floyd’s autopsy hasn’t been arrested yet.
There’s more. Black people have the highest mortality rate of COVID-19 in the UK. Research has shown that Black women are 5 times more likely to die in childbirth.
Only 6% of Black school leavers attended a Russell Group university, compared with 12% of mixed and Asian school leavers and 11% of White school leavers. Black workers with degrees earn 23.1% less on average than white workers. And there are still many more injustices that I haven’t mentioned. We need to carry on adding pressure to the system so they can change the way Black people are treated everywhere.
Ways You Can Help:
Click the link here to find all different ways you can help. The link includes a whole list of petitions, organisations that need donations and other resources. Signing petitions and donating really only takes a few minutes and it DOES make a difference.
Where Do We Go From Here?
My main aim for this blog post is to show non-black people that activism doesn’t end after Black Lives Matter stops trending and you’ve signed petitions and donated to different organisations. There’s still a lot to work on. So if you’re thinking “I want to continue but I don’t know where to go from here,” this blog post is for you.
How to Continue supporting Black People in Your Day to Day Life
With yourself – Continue donating and signing petitions. Take it upon yourself to continue self-educating by reading books and researching history. Vote for politicians that show they’re striving to fight for justice. Stop supporting your favourite influencers and brands if they clearly don’t care about Black lives. Support Black content, whether that be books by Black authors, Black films and shows, Black podcasts and Black businesses. Also, don’t dismiss constructive criticism and invalidate Black people’s experiences with racism.
With family and friends – The excuse that the older generation is “traditional” shouldn’t be an excuse for racism anymore. Your friends who say racists jokes or say the N-word (while singing a song or not) should be called out and dropped if they still continue. Don’t let racism in the older generation and your peers and friends slide.
At work – Is your workplace diverse? Does the PR at your workplace take racism seriously? Do your Black coworkers experience micro-aggressions by your white coworkers? Are your Black coworkers told that they’re overreacting when someone says a racist remark to them? There are so many race issues at the workplace that need to be addressed. If you see this happening, do your part to ensure these issues are taken seriously.
At school or university – Report racist remarks and pressure your school or university to take it seriously. Whether the racist remarks be in the form of microaggressions, non-black people saying the n-word or blatant racist comments, none of it is acceptable. Call those people out and hold your school or university accountable to addressing this, especially if they’ve recently made a statement online about how they don’t tolerate racism. See if they practice what they preach.
Consuming Fashion – The fast fashion industry is racist. Many FF brands steal from Black creators, don’t pay their Black influencers in their campaigns (or pay them less than white influencers) and lack inclusion of Black people on their websites and social media pages. Boycott those brands and support Black-owned brands and brands that genuinely care about inclusion instead.
How to Continue Supporting Black Creatives in the Blogging Community
As a blogger, I have seen too many issues in the community that needs to be addressed. Posting a few #BlackLivesMatter posts on your Instagram feeds and stories isn’t enough. We need to see a change in the blogging community.
Diversify your feeds – There are many black bloggers out there that put so much effort into their work and don’t get the same recognition white bloggers get. Support Black bloggers/influencers by following and interacting with them, their content is just as good.
Diversify your #FollowFriday – There has been overwhelming support for Black creators and it’s amazing! Don’t stop when Black Lives Matter isn’t trending though. I’m talking to you bloggers who do Follow Fridays every week and shout out only white influencers. Don’t do it show everyone how great you are because you’re being inclusive and don’t expect praise for it either. You don’t applaud a fish for swimming. Diversifying your Follow Fridays should come naturally to you.
Diversify your influencer trips/events – Now let’s not lie. There are hundreds of brand deals that only invite white influencers to their trips and events. Some brands who actually do invite Black influencers to their trips and events pay them less (or don’t pay them at all), or treat them like shit and put white influencers on a pedestal. This has to stop. When a brand reaches out to you, before you even start discussing rates etc, you should ask them whether their campaigns genuinely cares about inclusion and are diverse (Are they including Black, disabled, LGBTQ+ and plus-sized creators and creators of colour?). If they don’t, I hope you tell them bye-bye because these are basic values a brand should have.
I hope I got my message across with this blog post. I’m hoping to see more inclusion and justice for Black people in the world.
Also, Happy Pride Month!