Look, my social media is almost exclusively professional. You can tell by the lack of swearing and gifs from my fandom obsessions. So it always feels a bit trite to make uncontroversial political statements, as if I’m only saying them for sales and public approval.
Except apparently ‘I hate racists’ is a more controversial statement than I previously thought, so… I don’t know who cares about my opinion. I’m not black, I’m not American, and I’m only reasonably informed about what is going on at the moment. On the off chance that anyone will be swayed by the opinion of some Northern Irish writer?
I hate racists. I hate racism. Black Lives Matter, and they should matter a lot more than they apparently do to the powers-that-be. If you don’t approve of the looting, that’s fair enough. But don’t pretend that a couple of burned out Targets make the protesters the equal to the police officer who pinned a man to the ground and choked the life out of him for nearly ten minutes.
Don’t ask me to condemn the protesters either. I don’t cheer on violence or property damage, and I regret the losses suffered by people, but I’m from NI. The last twenty some years of more-or-less peace here is down to activists leveraging the potential of violence, and its cessation, to achieve political ends.
Peaceful protest would be ideal, but it’s not an ideal world. Agitators get involved and escalate situations, people are so disenfranchised that they feel no citizenship of the streets they stand in, and sometimes change can only be achieved by pointing out the consequences.
At the end of the day, George Floyd is dead—along with a list that is tragically long of other murdered people of color, trans people of color, children, and vulnerable adults—and I don’t believe any representative of the state has the right to do that and get away without consequences.
If you want to help support the protesters by donating to bail funds, then Act Blue has put together a secure donation site that helps you find organizations to fund.
If you are concerned about the communities impacted by the current unrest then these groups could do some good if you support them.
minnehaha food shelf & calvary church food shelfare both centered in the south minneapolis area where the riots started. the grocery stores in the area have been decimated, so food shelves and food insecurity charities need a lot of love right now.
northside funders group is a philanthropic group in the twin cities that’s using all its funds right now for helping local businesses
migiziis a native american media/history nonprofit whose office was destroyed in the riots
we love lake street is devoting funds specifically towards rebuilding the lake street area in south minneapolis