“It is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.” – Angela Davis
George Floyd, the black man who died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer handcuffed him and pinned him to the ground for several minutes, is one of countless black people who have died during an encounter with police. Many who have been speaking out and taking to the streets over the past several days are doing so to demand justice for victims, and to call for the dismantling of systemic racism and all the ways in which it manifests itself.
In recent months, studies have shown that the coronavirus pandemic is disproportionately killing black Americans, which researchers attribute to “social conditions, structural racism, and other factors.” Decades of policy making have cycled brown and black people in and out of prison at startlingly disproportionate rates, much of it under the facade of a war on drugs. Many policies in the criminal justice system, like stop and frisk, no-knock warrants, use of chokeholds, mandatory minimums and asset forfeiture have disproportionately impacted people of color and been enforced under the guise of the Drug War.
It will take more than voting, or the actions of elected officials, for America to recover from the violent, sinister history and reality of racism embedded in its collective consciousness.
As Black Lives Matter protests continue across the country and the globe, the questions on millions of minds are: How can we do better, as a society, and how can I help?
All these stories require not only our attention but a deeper understanding of systemic racism and implicit bias. We have pulled together some resources that we believe will be helpful during these frightening and frustrating times. Understanding begins with all of us looking inward, reflecting on our own attitudes, engaging in allyship, and of course, having difficult conversations with family and friends. Keep scrolling for kid-friendly resources.