This week has been difficult for the black community, we’ve seen another murder from police brutality in the US and thanks to social media that murder has gone viral, and is now stuck in many of our minds on a loop.
Without a doubt, lockdown has been difficult for all communities but we have seen stats that Covid19 has a disproportionate impact on BAME groups. Over the last 9 weeks whilst on lockdown we have seen a number of deaths in the US and UK that have been race-related, and these are cases that have been brought to light because they went viral on the internet, imagine all the cases that go unseen because there was no camera present.
I talk about race-relations a lot but normally on a corporate level and specifically about marketing and advertising, so this is both a personal and slightly uncomfortable post for me to write on my professional platform. In the last few days, we’ve seen many influencers (both black and non-black) use their platforms to highlight these injustices and call to arms for support. We’ve also seen a lot of brands who profit off of black consumers and the use of black culture, fall silent and decide not to use their platforms to support. There have been others who have taken to their social media or reached out to influencers for guidance on how to support and there are those who have just gone full steam ahead and created posts of “support” that have completely missed the mark.
There is no right way to help what is going on right now, but ensuring you are educated on the subject and working with informed intention is imperative. There are endless resources online to help you do just that without having to rely on a black person to educate you. The community is grieving right now and a lot of us are exhausted and I urge you to be mindful of this.
How to support:
- Properly educate yourself on what is happening right now, this is not a black people problem, it’s a people problem. It’s not just a US issue, it’s a global issue.
- Remember you can support the black struggle without sharing graphic videos showing the murder of black people. These videos initially get shared to enable the world to see and believe what’s going on, the virality of these videos are predominantly the reason why a lot of these cases are brought to some form of justice. But as of now, we’ve seen the video, we don’t need to relive it. This article from Gal-dem may help.
- If you are a business that has profited from black culture, ensure you hire black people (all businesses should but I want to really highlight those who have no black staff but make a large percentage of their profits from black people).
- If you believe #blacklivesmatter and want to support, hire someone from the community to lead this task within your organisation, don’t just rely on your marketing team.
- Check-in with your black friends, colleagues and clients right now, it’s been an overwhelming week and a lot of people have been heavily affected. Put work aside and take a minute to think if now is the appropriate time to ask for that post/piece of work/to pick their brain. Mindfulness is key right now.
- The word racist is strong, you may not be a racist but some of your comments and actions may not be entirely ANTI-racist. Here is a fantastic list of resources compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker & Alyssa Klein that can help with your anti-racist education.
- Donate to a cause and spread the word:
Minnesota Freedom Fund, Reclaim the Block, Black Visions Collective, Black Lives Matter
In the words of Angela Davis “in a racist society, it is not enough to be non–racist, we must be antiracist.”
Education is our route to change.