Martin Luther King Jr. Day is nearly here and as white people we need to be doing all we can to amplify and make amends to the Black community. Here are 5 tips to help you shine a light on these victims of our white supremacist society.
1.Call out racism when you see it.
Lynchings may be a thing of the past but the Black community is faced with hate just as vile. We all know of the overt racism Black people experience daily by being called racial slurs and harassed for nothing more than the color of their skin. But watch out for the subtle ways racists communicate through dog whistles. When somebody uses an “ok” gesture with their hands, it’s actually a sinister way for white supremacists to signal to black people they are not welcome. Similarly, flying an American flag should be avoided on this day as we should not be proud of a nation still deeply troubled by racism.
2. Give money to help black folx.
Although the racist old white men in our government haven’t given Black folx their due reparations from centuries of oppression, you can help out in your local community. When you’re out with a Black friend, pay for their meal or the movie you’re seeing, or both! When the Black waiter at your restaurant gives you your bill, tip them 10% more. Every dollar helps the Black community as a whole break out of this poverty the white man put them in.
3. Avoid cultural appropriation.
Black culture is something unique and special. Because white people have no culture themselves, you will often see them try to steal culture from Black people. Dreadlocks do not belong to white people. This is a uniquely African American style that has been stolen by many white people. Nor does any white person have the right to speak in AAVE. If you see cultural appropriation happening, do not be complacent. Let them know it is not ok.
4. Participate in protests.
Every day Black men, women, and children are being slaughtered en masse by racist pigs. Help the Black community stop this genocide and stand by them in protests. Just remember you are there to support and not to make this activism about you. Let’s make this perfectly clear, Black Lives Matter.
5. Above all, LISTEN to Black voices.
It’s far too common for people to white-splain to Black folx. It’s time we all listen to what they have to say. From your work colleague to the homeless Black man out on the street, what they are saying is important. Now listen.