Donate to a Social Justice Organization
I had three pairs of shoes sitting in my DSW cart. I’ve been trying to decide if I “need” more sandals that are on such a good sale. I don’t—not when we are mourning, shocked, and disgusted that George Floyd couldn’t breathe, and a cop wouldn’t “let” him.
I can see both sides of the story. I can see how it will play out in court. Time and time again we see white men get away with what a black man never would. Just a year ago in Minneapolis a cop, a man of color, shot a white woman out of fear that she was going to shoot his partner. He was sentenced to 12 years of prison. White cops have done the same—acted on fear—and been cleared of charges. Though there have been convictions of white individuals in the past, just review some statistics and you’ll see that white people get away with much more than people of color can. Racial bias is weaved into our minds whether we like it or not.
As I scroll through social media, I see the messages of outrage, of sadness. Sometimes I see messages of defense. I hope everyone takes a moment though to stop and think, “If a store clerk called the cops on me because they thought I paid with a counterfeit $20, how would I feel if I were lying on the ground—not even struggling against the cop who was keeping me down—and telling him I couldn’t breathe? And then feeling no relief, knowing there were other cops nearby who also said nothing as I slipped into unconsciousness?”
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can do. I am not a legislator. I am not a lobbyist. I was not a witness who can testify to ensure justice is provided for George Floyd and his family. I am not a lawyer who will fight in behalf of Floyd pro bono. I have not dedicated myself to a career where I am actively fighting issues of racial stratification such as undoing redlining or fighting for innocent Black men on death row. But there are people who have.
If you can, I would ask you to join me in donating to people who are fighting to make a more equal America. Look in your shopping carts and see how much you were willing to spend on clothes, video games, or whatever else people buy. Then empty your cart and donate that money to an organization that can do the things you can’t. (If you don’t have a shopping cart to empty, you can still donate.)
Here are some places you can donate to that fight for equal rights:
Equal Justice Initiative: https://eji.org/
Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org/
National Fair Housing Alliance: https://nationalfairhousing.org/
NAACP Legal Defense Fund: https://www.naacpldf.org/