Right now, the world is reeling with anger after the senseless murder of George Floyd. America has witnessed another needless death, and the world is rightfully angry. As George - a 46-year-old black man - died at the hands of Minneapolis police, we've seen the world react. Protestors are taking to the streets during a pandemic to demand justice, but this isn't an option for everyone. While we respect their bravery to stand up when it counts most, equally, we respect the decision to stay indoors too.
However, what we absolutely cannot do right now is nothing at all. Please, don't for a second think that sharing the odd post on social media will make an ounce of difference. It's not enough. It will never be enough. Justice will not be served for George Floyd, for Ahmaud Arbery, for Breonna Taylor, for all victims of racism and police brutality in the US and beyond until we challenge racism at every level.
As we all know, George's death is not an outlier in America. These senseless killings have been going on for decades. The fact of the matter is; racism isn't getting worse; it's just getting filmed. Over the weekend, millions have watched on as protests turn violent and more people are mistreated at the hands of the police. The very people who are paid to protect the public are harming them; from throwing up the white power sign to manhandling peaceful protesters, it has to stop.
If you're in a position to support the cause financially, we've rounded up organisations that are worthy of your support.
If you want to bail out protesters:
The Bail Project and the Atlanta Solidarity Fund are raising funds so they can continue to assist protestors with bail funds. While organisations such as the Minnesota Freedom Fund overwhelmed with donations, lesser-known organisations still need support.
If you want to support protesters with their legal fees:
Know Your Rights Camp is a great place to start. The organisation - which was founded by Colin Kaepernick - works to empower black and brown communities through providing free education and resources. In their latest initiative, they're focused on hiring defence attorneys for anyone arrested for protesting police brutality. Support the cause here.
If you want to ensure protesters are staying safe during a global pandemic:
Masks For America are ensuring that protestors in NYC are equipped with masks, food, and medical supplies. The Northstar Health collective is also providing care at protests; a little research will find plenty of similar organisations operating in other areas too.
If you want to ensure the freedom of press:
Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) are doing amazing work. We all know that the press has the ability to control the narrative, and it's what they're doing right now. On Friday, we saw the Minnesota state police arrest a black CNN reporter live on air for merely doing his job. CPJ is an organisation that fights against press freedom violations all over the world.
If you want the peace of mind knowing that every vote counts:
Fair Fight is an organisation focusing on free and fair elections. Founded by Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, Fair Fight is on a mission to end voter suppression by electing more progressive voices to public offices. After Donald Trumps "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" stance, the US is crying out for progression.
If you can spare the cash, you can rest assured that your money will be put to good use via one of these reputable organisations. With that said, if you can't afford to donate, simply having these powerful change-makers on your radar is a start. But there's so much more to be done.
It's about time we took some affirmative action. To see the events that have unfolded in the past week and do nothing is simply not good enough. We need to sign petitions, start conversations, educate ourselves, engage with organisations, change our behaviour and challenge racism at every level.
If the footage of George's murder and the videos that have followed have left you feeling angry, now is not the time to sit on the fence. As cliché as it might sound, change starts with us as individuals. Not being racist isn't enough anymore. We need to be actively anti-racist. As the world is standing up, don't be one of the people that sits back down. Show up. Today, tomorrow and every other day.
We wanted to round off with a powerful statement from Rihanna, which she made at the NAACP Image Awards. A prime example of using our platform for good and calling out those who aren't actively challenging racism. In the words of Rihanna, PULL UP.