This post has been updated as of: January 15, 2021. Updated content has been highlighted.
There’s no great way to start out a blog post about white police officers murdering innocent black people in our country in 2020. It is still happening, and it’s happening in broad daylight and it’s on camera.
Why? Because racists have been empowered by the historical systems and institutions in America. They are SO empowered that they’ll kill an innocent black person just because they can.
I am not going to claim that I know everything about institutional racism, nor that I know all of the possible ways we can dismantle these systems.
But I do know that I’ve been learning a lot about my own privilege over the years, and I know I have this platform and I’m not going to sit idly by while innocent black lives are taken, time and time again.
I encourage you to take action. Whether that means donating money or your time, signing a petition, or taking it to the streets. If you are not taking action, you are part of the problem.
I’ll say that again: If you are doing nothing to resolve this problem, then you are adding to it.
This blog is mostly a place for lifestyle, beauty and other fun stuff, but it is not okay to ignore this issue. I’ve written about racism here before, and I will continue to use this space to remind others that racial injustices are still happening — even when they are not caught on camera or on the front page of the paper.
I’m going to make this a giant list of resources and places that need our help, and I’ll update this and add to it, as needed. Change does not happen over night. Many of us have been fighting for change for years. America was built on racism, and it will take much work to tackle it.
With that in mind, it’s important to STAY WOKE. Do not be fooled by white leadership and the systems that support them. Also, get rest. Revolutions require energy and patience.
So, here we go.
Petitions to Sign
- 12 petitions to sign for Black Lives Matter
- This Change.org petition demands justice for George Floyd
- This Color of Change petition demand that the police officers who killed George Floyd are charged with murder.
- This Change.org petition demands justice for Breonna Taylor
- This Fight for Breonna petition is also fighting for her justice
- This Black Lives Matter petition is working to defund the police
Places to Donate to
- 9 Organizations to donate to if you want to support Black women
- 12 places to donate to right now
- Donate to George Floyd’s memorial fund to help his family during their time of grief
- Donate to LDF to support the fight for racial justice
- Donate to Black Lives Matter to fuel their campaigns for justice
- Donate to CUAPB to help the fight against police brutality
- Help bail out the protestors in Minneapolis by donating to the Freedom Fund
- Donate here to split your dollars among community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizers
- Donate to The Bail Project to help bail out and bring home those that cannot afford to post bail
How to Protest
- How to stay safe while protesting
- 7 Protest first aid tips from a street medic
- What to do if you’re tear-gassed
- If you’re taking it to the streets, here’s some considerations for doing so during a pandemic
- Here’s a list of what to bring and what to do and say if you are stopped by police, and if you get arrested
Ways to Support Black America
- 17 Black-owned beauty and fashion brands to shop
- Black-owned self-care
- 15 Black-owned wellness brands
- Black-owned beauty brands
- 10 ways to help the Black community right now
- Invest in Black companies
- Check out this Black-owned makeup company
- Black-owned beauty balm
- Black-owned candle company | Rose & Co
- POC-owned condiments
- Black-owned jam
- 13 gems from Black-owned businesses
- 14 Black-owned active-wear brands
- 21 Cookbooks by Black authors you should add to your collection
- Here’s a list of 50 black-owned businesses you can support today and any day. Here’s a list of 20 more.
ReadING on Anti-Racism, White Privilege
- How to respond when someone says ‘All Lives Matter’
- Why police brutality is a public health issue
- 13 ways to talk to your white family about racism
- Fashion trends rooted in Black culture
- The stress of racism
- Digital blackface
- Self-care is a radical form of resistance, especially for Black women
- Racism and the invisible struggle of mental health in the Black community
- 5 Ways white people can be helpful right now
- 31 Resources that will help you become a better white ally
- How the war on drugs fuels police violence
- What does BIPOC stand for?
- 25 books for people who want to learn about race in America
- Here’s a list of anti-racist reading.
- Read this report by the Washington Post, which shares facts and figures on police shootings
Ways to Fight Racism in Texas
- Donate to help Kane’s Barbershop and Altatudes after their building caught fire during a protest
- Donate to help Private Stock Premium Boutique, a black-owned business that was damaged and looted during a protest
- Marinda Griggs was found dead in a Texas prison. Read and share her story.
- Kiya Marie Sheppard found dead in a Texas prison. Action Step: Email the Ombudsman Shannon Kersh and ask her for an investigation into Sheppard’s death: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ollie Mae Darrough innocence claims, currently incarcerated. Action Step: Write a letter of encouragement at Ollie Mae Darrough, TDCJ ID# 00693782, Carol Young Medical Facility Complex, Route 4, Box 1174, Dickinson, Texas 77539
- This Change.org petition to get justice for Jennifer Jeffley, who is currently incarcerated
- Delicia “Lici” Carmichael of the Hilltop Unit, Gatesville, Texas juvenile sentencing, currently incarcerated. Sign the Change.org petition to help her get released.
- Nicole Celestine’s son who was sentenced as an adult by Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne and Judge Jeremy Warren. Report the District Attorney to the Texas State Bar and then report the Judge to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
- Rodney Reed of Texas innocence claims, currently incarcerated with a stay of execution. Follow his story with the Reed Justice Initiative.
- Joi Eachus of Fannin County, Texas, wrongfully arrested. Circulate the video of her unlawful arrest.
- Michael Dean killed by police in Temple, TX on December 3. Email the District Attorney Henry Garaza and demand charges against the officer who shot him. DistrictAttorney@co.bell.tx.us
- Demetrius Williams killed by police in Marshall, TX on December 5. Email the District Attorney Reid McCain and demand charges against the officer who shot him. ReidM@co.harrison.tx.us
- Crystal Mason imprisoned in Texas for voting, felony disenfranchisement. Action Step: Write a letter to the Second Court of Appeals to support her appeal to vacate her sentencing for voting. 2nd Court of Appeals, Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center, 401 West Belknap, Suite 9000, Fort Worth, Texas 76196-0211.
- Linda Carty of Texas (British National) innocence claims, currently incarcerated on Death Row. Call the British Consulate of Houston to please intervene on her behalf. (713) 210-4000
Blog posts I’ve written on institutional racism in America:
Please note that these posts also include even more links to readings and resources.
- “Still I Resist” | June 10, 2017
- “A History of Attitude & Badassery” | July 18, 2016
- “This is Just… Disheartening” | July 11, 2016
Shows, movies, and podcasts That Have helped me see my white privilege:
- “Student Athlete” | Review
- “Ear Hustle” | Review
- “Surviving R. Kelly” | Review
- “The Hate U Give” | Review
- “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” | Review
- “Insecure” | Review
Books I’ve read from black authors:
- “Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid | Book Review
- “Notes From a Young Back Chef” by Kwame Onwuachi | Book Review
- “The Path Made Clear” by Oprah Winfrey | Book Review
- “Becoming” by Michelle Obama | Book Review
- “On the Come Up” by Angie Thomas | Book Review
- “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo | Book Review
- “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas | Book Review
- “This is Just my Face” by Gabourey Sidibe | Book Review
- “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah | Book Review
- “Rest in Power” by Sabrina Fulton and Tracy Martin | Book Review
- “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” by Issa Rae | Book Review
Again, this is not an end-all-be-all list, but it is a start. This is going to be a long, difficult summer. Rest up. Educate yourself. Stay woke. Vote.
This is an evolving post that will live permanently in the main menu of Thebitterlemon.com. Stay safe out there. Be kind to each other. Do not be complicit.