BY LISA MARIE BASILE
We have no right words here, but we know we want to help. We're filled with anger, sadness and – instead of what should be shock – exhaustion. We stand as allies.
It's hard to watch our friends hurting, watch people sobbing in videos, watching bodies dying. It's hard to watch people (our families or friends sometimes!) post things like #AllLivesMatter. It's hard to see white people staying quiet.
It doesn't always feel obvious to people to do something. To take action. It can be stunning, frightening and hard to know what to say. That's OK sometimes, but you've seen too much to stay quiet now. Speaking out, watching the videos, engaging in the truth, and educating ourselves on the issue of police brutality is necessary.
As allies, we need to inform others and try to dismantle a system that feeds on ignorance and hatred. There are things we can do. Staying silent is worse than anything and listening to the black community at this time is the most accountable thing we can do. Listen. Listen. And then tell others in your community why #BlackLivesMatter and why they need to listen and speak out too. Tell others about institutionalized racism. Explain. Take a teaching moment and educate another human being.
You can talk to your parents, friends, spouses, neighbors and strangers and tell them police brutality is NOT acceptable. Racism is NOT acceptable. Inform people. Be outraged. Don't accept ignorant comments. Block people who spread hate on your social networks. Share words by people of color.
You can also Join Campaign Zero, join Ijeoma Oluo's The Accountability Project. Join a #BlackLivesMatter chapter. You can also write to your mayor, call your police station, write to your city council members (here's NY, but you can find anything by searching online "city council + city") and demand police brutality reform. You can ask what they're doing about this. This is something you CAN do.
There has been a lot of education happening, and we wanted to share with you what we have been reading in the past few days.