So, you’ve been on Facebook and Twitter over the last two days, and maybe you’ve seen your US friends posting furiously about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. You might’ve read many articles and watched the videos (if you are not Black, then I encourage you strongly to watch the videos. They are harrowing, but necessary for an understanding of how Black people in the US are treated regularly). And now you’re enraged, heartsore, a whirlwind of emotions, but you don’t know what to do next.
If you’re white, or a non-Black person of colour, you have considerable privilege and resources right at this moment. It’s incumbent on you to use your voice, to act, to support the Black community, and to amplify Black voices.
Listen to their words, take direction from them, and take responsibility for collecting your outright racist or well-meaning but bigoted friends and family. Do not rely on your Black friends to speak to this issue, do not look to them for comfort. Remember that if you’re having a hard time with this, they’re having an even harder time.
If you’re not sure where to start, or how to start, Avital Norman Nathman from Maximum Middle Age, has put together a detailed plan of action that includes some important articles to read.
If you are Black, I urge you to make sure you are caring for yourself in your anger and pain. I do not ask you not to lose hope. I do not ask you not to be angry. I do not ask you not to mourn. I do offer you these words of self-care from the incomparable Shannon Barber.
Finally, I leave you with the unmatched strength of Lavish Diamond Reynolds in her interview after being released from police custody (and now you should be asking why she was held in custody at all).