Help Fight for Racial Justice
We are in the midst of a crisis centered around systemic racism persistent in the justice system. Black people are jailed, brutalized, and discriminated against at disproportionate rates. Racism sets up the categories on ways to oppress people because of race. White privilege is the freedom from ever having to experience racism. We are in a time in which everyone has the resources to educate themselves on racial disparities and inequalities so there is no claim to racial white innocence any longer. We must speak out and do our part to achieve racial equality and justice for all members of our society, regardless of race. We have to be critical of the media presented to us and understand the many ways that it contributes to systemic racism. The justice system, the police, and the prison system are all deeply ingrained with racist ideology and policy and we need to come together to fight against it. Canada is not exempt from racism. There is a looming veil of Canadian exceptionalism and "meanwhile in Canada" jokes that are damaging and defer responsibility for racism present every single day.
The following post includes alarming statistics about racial injustices, tips for responding to racism in our personal lives, links to fund racial justice projects, and petitions to sign.
The police stop Black people at rates that are much higher than white people. In New York City, where people of color make up about half of the population, 80% of the NYPD stops were of Black people and Latinos. When white people were stopped, only 8% were frisked. When Black people and Latinos are stopped 85% were frisked according to information provided by the NYPD.
The Sentencing Project found that two-thirds of the people in the US with life sentences are non-white. In New York, it is 83%.
The US Bureau of Justice Statistics concludes that the chance of a black male born in 2001 of going to jail is one in three.
In Illinois, 43 percent of people who have died COVID19 and 28 percent of those who have tested positive are African-Americans, a group that makes up just 15 percent of the state’s population. African-Americans, who account for a third of positive tests in Michigan, represent 40 percent of deaths in that state even though they make up14 percent of the population. In Louisiana, about 70 percent of the people who have died are black, though only a third of that state’s population is. This is a direct result of redlining and systemic racism that has caused Black Americans to receive substandard healthcare. Sourced from The New York Times.
The US rate of incarceration is five to eight times higher than other highly developed countries and black males are the largest percentage of inmates according to ABC News.
Black people are 3x more likely to be killed by a police officer than their white counterparts according to mappingpoliceviolence.org.
Black people are 1.3x more likely to be unarmed when killed by police compared to white people according to mappingpoliceviolence.org.
8 of the 100 largest city police departments kill black men at higher rates than the US murder rate according to mappingpoliceviolence.org
99% of killings by police from 2013 -2019 have not resulted in officers being convicted of a crime. Police officers are indicted in fewer than 1% of killings, but the indictment rate for civilians involved in a killing is 90% Sourced from mappingpoliceviolence.org.
Black children are more segregated in schools than at any time since the 1970s according to Nikole Hannah-Jones"Segregation Now." in ProPublica
On average, in the United States, a police officer takes the life of a citizen every 7 hours. (Fatal Encounters)
Responding to Racism
Most of us will have to encounter racist peers or family members, and it is our job as allies to help fight for anti-racism and justice. The way to approach this is not to instigate an argument, but instead to focus upon education through statistics and hard facts to have a productive conversation. And I know this can be difficult to achieve with racist ideology deeply ingrained in many of the people around us' core belief systems. To say “I don’t see race” in a country where race was the metric for humanity is to functionally state “I choose not to see injustice.”.
Opportunity Agenda put together a list of 10 lessons for talking about race, racism, and racial justice.
1. Consider the Audience and goals
answer the following questions for yourself. Who are you hoping to influence? What do you want them to do? What do you know about their current thinking? And what do you want to Change?
2. Know the counter-narratives
Many themes are recurrently brought up in discussions about race to discredit anti-racist ideology or reject the notion that racism exists. Being familiar with these themes is important so you know how to respond. The key is not to begin an argument when discussing each point, but to understand the thinking, and engage in a productive conversation about the topics. Many of these themes include that racism is dying out over time, people are obsessed with race (ie. "playing the race card"), as well as more explicit arguments such as claiming people of colour are intrinsically bad.
3. Lead with shared values: opportunity, community, and equity
Working with shared values make it more likely that your audience will listen to what you have to say.
4. Use values as a bridge, not. a bypass
Bridge shared values to include racial equity and inclusion, so that your shared values apply to everyone, not just the privileged class. This is a method of approaching the topic in a solution-oriented manner.
5. Be rigorously solution-oriented and forward-looking
When possible, link topics to clear, solutions and actions and discuss who is responsible for taking these actions (ie, personal, elected officials, police, lawmakers).
6. Talk about the systemic obstacles to equal opportunity and equal justice
The base for racism in America began with slavery, and was continued with segregation and thus the Redlining of communities. This video gives a simple explanation of how this process works, and can help you in future discussions about race. Systemic racism is a part of every single institution, from schools, to hospitals, to housing, and the justice system. Nothing is exempt.
7. Be explicit about the different causes of racial vs. socioeconomic disparities
Racism does not just effect crime, but penetrates all kinds of socioeconomic factors.
8. Describe how racial bias and discrimination hold us all back
Systemic biases and discrimination hold us all back. Appealing to discriminatory practices of all kinds such a gender, economic, sexual orientation, accent, and religious discrimination, help those who deny racism to understand. 60% of people report that they have faces some form of discrimination. This helps them understand what racism and oppression means for everyone.
9. Acknowledge the progress we've made
Much progress has been made, but there is still a far way to go. We can acknowledge the progress and push for more.
10. Embrace and communicate our racial and ethnic diversity
People face discrimination based upon their intersectional identities. We should all have the freedom to create our own identities free from stereotypes and oppression.
As previously mentioned, there is no claim to racial white innocence any longer, every single person has the resources available to them to educate themselves on race and racial relations. Learn about the problems and take action. In the past few days we have seen a disgusting abuse of power from the American President and the police forces both in the US and Canada. We have to take a stand against this abuse and make the change that we want to see.
Fund Racial Justice Projects
Official Gofundme to support the Floyd family.
Community-based nonprofit that pays criminal bail and immigration bonds for individuals who have been arrested while protesting police brutality.
A member-led organization whose mission is to build local power and to intervene when violence is inflicted on Black communities. With a vision of imagining and creating a world free of anti-blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive. Find for your local chapter to donate
America's premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.
Petitions to Sign
George Floyd, 46, was murdered after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Footage of the arrest on May 25th shows a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Mr Floyd's neck while he was pinned to the floor. This petition is trying to reach the attention of Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman to beg to have all of the officers involved in this disgusting situation fired and for charges to be filed immediately.
"George Floyd was an unarmed Black man. Earlier, agrocery clerk had called the police thinking George had tried to use a forged currency in the store, but that phone call proved to be fatal when the police arrived. If the police hadn’t used force unlawfully, George would still be alive today"
On March 13th, in the middle of the night, Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police as they illegally executed a drug raid at the wrong address for a person they had already arrested earlier that day.
"1. Charges must be filed immediately. Arrests of the officers involved, specifically John Mattingly, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, and any other officer involved in the death and coverup of the death of Breonna Taylor must be made NOW. There have been no charges thus far (it has been a month). This is unacceptable.
2. Her family must be paid in damages for wrongful death and the negligence of the LMPD.
3. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear must speak up on behalf of Breonna, and Governor Beshear or Attorney General Daniel Cameron must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Louisville Police Department immediately. An in-house investigation is unacceptable.
4. The "no-knock" warrant that police had used in Breonna's murder completely violates the constitutional rights to reasonable search and seizure. By law, police must be legally obligated to announce themselves before breaking and entering into a home privately owned by American civilians. Legislation to federally ban no-knock warrants must be passed in Congress and signed by the President; what happened to Breonna was a complete violation of her constitutional rights, and threatens the rights of all American citizens. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has voiced similar concerns. A special session must be intervened by Congress to discuss the constitutionality of no-knock warrants immediately. "
"Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was jogging near his neighborhood in Brunswick, GA on February 23 when he was chased down, shot, and killed in cold blood. "
The "Hands Up" Act would punish police for shooting unarmed citizens
"We want an end to the war being waged on Black people, in all its forms. Some people fear change, and that's ok. Many will attempt to halt our progress. That is not ok. Some will continue their attempts to undermine us, but we will remain undeterred."
"We call for radical, sustainable solutions that affirms the prosperity of Black lives throughout America.
We demand acknowledgment and accountability for our pain and injustice
We demand divestment in the police force
We demand investment in the health and prosperity of our communities"
"As seen in the disgusting video posted of Amy Cooper as she called 911 to report a fraudulent crime supposedly committed on her by an African American man, police departments across America have historically been weaponized against People of Color.This behavior will continue until the perpetrators of these calls are arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Using 911 as a personal hotline to remove/harass/ or arrest PoC for, in many cases, living their lives not only wastes police resources, it puts the lives of minorities in danger. While police are responding to fraudulent crimes, real crimes can go unpunished or unsolved, and the resulting lag in police response can result in the loss of life. When 911 is used to report fraudulent crimes committed by minorities, the offended should be immediately apprehended, jailed, and prosecuted. Only when this behavior is harshly punished will it be curtailed."
"Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged for the murder of George Floyd on May 29th, 2020, yet the other three officers involved were not. Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J Alexander Kueng need to be charged for their involvement in Floyd's murder. Please bring justice to George Floyd's family by prosecuting the other three."
"Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was in her home in Louisville, KY on March 13th when officers from the Louisville Metro Police Departmentbarged in without a warning nor announcement and broke through her door, fired off more than 20 bullets, and ultimately took Breonna’s life... Despite the clear and egregious misconduct of the police officers, Kenneth Walker is being charged with attempted murder and the murderers who killed Breona Taylor are walking free without any consequences. Instead of being transparent about their fatal misconduct, the police and commonwealth attorney conspired to make it look like this was a routine drug raid. LMPD even continued to falsely refer to Breonna as a “suspect” in the media for weeks though she had done nothing wrong."
More Articles About Racism On This Blog
The following links are essays I've written in relation to racism in media representations as well as systemic practices that cause racism to continue to be rampant throughout modern society.