Hi. When you were a kid, hearing stories about genocides like the Holocaust, did you ever wonder what you would have done? Would you have been someone who stood up to the hate groups? Would you have be someone who didn’t worry about it because it wasn’t impacting your life? Or, would you have been someone who saw what was happening and, while you were shocked by it, didn’t do anything to stop it? I’ve always hoped I would be someone who stood up for those who were being targeted. Well, guess what? We have our chance (spoiler: we’ve always had this chance)!
Since the recent White Nationalist (aka, today’s Nazis) rally in Charlottesville, VA, I’ve seen people on social media and in the news talking about “Trump’s America” and I get it, they want to blame all of this hate on him. But the hate has been there always, since before we were a nation. Trump’s message and his rhetoric just allow these groups to remove their hoods, uncover their hate ink, and be open about their bigotry and violence against people of color. FFS, they literally used a car as a weapon, plowing into the groups of people who were protesting the White Nationalists.
It’s terrifying to me, and I’m not in the targeted audience (besides trying to be an ally to the actual targeted people). Listening to my friends of color, I see how terrified they are for themselves, their children, their communities. How can I not stand up and yell from my tiny corner of the world? How can you not?
Besides yelling, here are some things we can do:
- Talk with your kids about bigotry, how to be a good friend (especially to their friends of color), and talk with them about current events.
- Stay educated. It’s way easier to bury your head and not watch the news or read analysis. So much more comfortable. Google is your friend. But also, check out the Safety Pin Box group, who will educate you while you support people of color with your subscription dollars.
- Give your time. Find a local group that is doing work you can support and do that.
- Give your money. It’s not hard to find people or groups who need support. You can do a quick Google search and you’ll find tons. Or look in your social media feed and see if there are people doing work or just living who could use your support. The point is, there are many, many ways to give financially. There are the obvious groups like ADL, Planned Parenthood, and NAACP. But there are so many that have so many different focuses, you should definitely be able to find one that you can support. Here’s a starter list.
- Listen to your friends of color. Don’t have any? Make some. If you do, and you listen, they will tell you what is happening. But don’t make them teach you if that’s not their jam. You can learn a lot by googling you guys.
- Keep yelling.
Here is a list of groups in Charlottesville who are doing good work. But, find some in your community, they are out there.
Also? Please know that the list I made up there? It is the very LEAST we can do to support people of color and fight bigots. The least.