I wanted to write a review about Blessing the Hands That Feed Us by Vicki Robin today. It is a gorgeous book about community, climate change, resilience, and hope. I have been raving about its uplifting tone to Angela several times in our twitter convos.
But then Black Lives Matter happened. And everything else became unimportant. I started writing the review, wanted to add some helpful links at the top, but then couldn’t get myself to type the words of a gushing review without feeling dishonest and insincere. It just felt wrong, so I deleted it.
As Angela wrote in her frugal five this week. I am tired, and so are probably you. So to keep things short this week, here is what started as that short checklist on things we can do to help:
- BLM has its own website. Check it out, sign their petition, support them if you can.
- This post by ever-awesome Captain Awkward on actionable steps we can take to help for all different levels of ability, chock full of links to bail funds, fact-checked articles, how to contact council members, and more.
- Support black businesses, especially small businesses local to you.
- Watch, learn, learn some more, listen.
- If you, like me, are white, take steps to learn about white fragility and your own privilege. Use your voice to be inclusive where you can, and to let people know when what they say is not ok or hurtful. It shouldn’t be that way, but a lot of people don’t hear what is being said unless it comes from someone who looks like them. It will be hard, it will be uncomfortable, but it is so, so important. An oppressed group can’t make strides unless they have allies in the dominant group advocating for them and working with them to pull them up.
- Bonus! Please don’t hide beneath the “I’m not racist” blanket statement. We all have biases, subconscious or not, as proven by many hiring trials based on name. Shutting off at the onset is not helpful. I am human, I know I will mess up, I am far from perfect, but I will also try to learn from it and become a better person over time. I want to be better.
- Talk about your paycheck! Being open about what we are getting paid is an essential part of working towards pay parity. Secrecy really only benefits the company’s bottom line.
- Bonus! if you are in a significant position of power, use it to insist your coworkers are paid fairly.
We are losing so much amazing potential culturally, artistically, socially, scientifically, and in all other genres due to racism, discrimination, and injustice. I truly cannot imagine the pain black people are going through at the moment. But I can donate. I can speak up. I can do the internal work to become more aware of my own subconscious biases so I can do better tomorrow and every day after.
Stay safe out there. We can do so much better.
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