Thanks so much for seeking out ways to support the movement without highjacking it. I’d recommend reading this piece by Sherry Kappel.
“Doing Right by Black People—and Not Just When It’s Convenient” by Sherry Kappel https://link.medium.com/aIAJumPg56
It’s a great starting point.
I’d also recommend this great piece by Julia E Hubbel which I found quite touching and helpful in this moment for White people because our messages may be all over the place if you read multiple readers writing about Black issues. While the title refers to being a White woman, it has great information and advice for White people trying to help Black people, especially Black women.
As for my personal opinions on some practical ways for White people and White/POC can help us out, here are some things I think would beneficial to our cause:
- Vote like a Black person: That means you vote against your own interests understanding that it makes things better for people who have been historically oppressed. It doesn’t mean vote for GOP demons (lol), but learn about things that are important to the Black community and why, then support those issues. Help others understand the benefit of doing the same thing and encourage them to vote like Black people. When we are all well, we are all well.
- Inform yourself about institutional and structural racism, specifically how it impacts Blacks. Study Black history, slavery, Jim Crow, Slave Codes, and the periods starting from the Emancipation Proclamation to the Civil Rights Era. It helps you understand how little Blacks progress have made and the reasons why. Perhaps this understanding will help you be more thoughtful in your personal decisions regarding things concerning Black people specifically.
- Use the term Blacks and POC when describing us. Mixing us all up erases the specific challeng/issues Blacks have. White people created the label to disrespectfully describe us all. Acknowledging our ethnicities and the differences between is us necessary to address how White Supremacy has harmed all of us individually and collectively.
- Correct racists. Once you have a better understanding of what constitutes racism and what is questionable, correct racists behavior and racist people. Too often when we remain silent in the presence of racist actions and racist people, we co-sign the behavior. See/hear something, say something.
- Protest. When you can and if you’re able to, go protests — join the peaceful ones. Protect yourself should you decide to go. Study how the Hong Kong protestors prepared and hit the streets. It could get rough out there. The more the merrier. Nothing makes White people angrier it seems than Black people trying to get free.
- Donate to organizations helping protestors. Donate to organizations that are helping to bailout protestors, supplying food and water, or help just donate cash. I personally disapprove of donating to national chapters because they don’t funnel monies down to local chapters. Your local NAACP, Black Lives Matter, etc. are good starts, but there may be a strong Black church already mobilized in the community also do the same work, go, volunteer, donate, offer to drive folks to and from protests, in concert with the church, etc.
- Don’t share videos of Black people being beaten or killed by police/White people. It causes us trauma. If you must share, share privately and ask the recipient(s) to only share privately as well.
- Make Black friends so that you can have candid conversations on race.
- Find organizations and loosely organized groups to work with. Go frequently. Help, don’t try to lead. Ask where you’re needed, don’t insert yourself where you think you’re most effective.
- Suppport term limits and vote out politicians after two terms. They are no good after that in my opinion.
- Share what you learn — your successes, and your failures. People learn about racism through real life experiences.
- Talk about angry White men. They are one of the primary sources of our problems. Call that thing a thing and discuss it with peers, etc. Address White privilege.
- Go to county council an d city council meetings as well as citizen review councils. Hold politicians and police accountable all the time, not just when we make a fuss. Let them know you are always looking.