5 ways to show up for Black Americans if you can't protest
In response to the murder of George Floyd — an unarmed Black man who was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25 — there's been an eruption of protests across the country. Collective pain and rage over a long history of police violence against Black Americans reached a breaking point, with protesters calling for harsher charges for Chauvin and the other officers involved, and many for police abolition altogether.
It’s hard not to feel moved to action — but what if that isn’t possible for you during the pandemic? Maybe you're immunocompromised or differently abled, or are dealing with a mental disorder that limits your threshold for crowds. These things would make protesting right now extremely difficult or unsafe. Here’s how to support the cause — and the Black community in general — if you can’t march.
Donate to bail out protesters
More than 4,000 protesters have been arrested so far during these demonstrations, according to the Associated Press. If you can’t put your body on the line, donate to a fund that pays the bail of those who have so that, as the New York Times explains, they don’t have to spend the time leading up to their trials behind bars. The outlet also notes that bails can be expensive and essentially penalize the poor.
Here are a few of many bail funds accepting donations:
New Orleans Safety & Freedom Fund
Philadelphia Community Bail Fund
People’s City Council Freedom Fund (Los Angeles)
Talk to your loved ones about anti-Blackness, and examine your own
Maybe you don’t have the financial means to support the movement at the moment, and that’s totally fine. In the meantime, you can educate yourself and others about the anti-Blackness at the root of the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others. Here are resources for white, Asian (plus a letter to Asian immigrant parents, in response to police fatally shooting Philando Castile in Minnesota in 2016), South Asian, and Latinx communities.
Support Black mental health
Donate to HealHaus, a Black-founded and -owned inclusive, accessible healing space in Brooklyn. In response to COVID, HealHaus has switched from in-person to livestreamed workshops and classes — among them, breathwork and a free healing cypher for men of color, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time tonight.
Support Black trans community members
The fight against police violence needs to demand justice for Black transgender victims, too, like Tony McDade, a Black trans man killed by police in Florida on May 27. Low-income trans people of color in particular “experience some of the most egregious cases of police brutality reported to AI [Amnesty International],” according to a report from the organization. Consider donating to TransWomen of Color Collective, whose work includes initiatives for Black trans health, healing and restorative justice, and much more.
Fund reproductive justice for Black women
Over one-fifth of Black women are raped at least once in their lives, a higher rate than that seen in women across all races, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found. They’re also less likely than white women to use effective birth control, per the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, probably due to worse access to quality healthcare and a medical system that so often fails them.
The Black Women's Blueprint aims to narrow these disparities by providing wraparound services for Black women and femme survivors of trafficking, sexual violence, reproductive violence, and physical abuse, and linking them to partner services. They do much of their work in New York City through Sistas Van, their "mobile healing unit." Donating to the organization can cover the cost of care kits, food vouchers, Metrocards, and other items they collect and distribute to women in need.