The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless other precious individuals because of police brutality in the United States have seen thousands protesting peacefully – and not just in the US. The movement for equality, justice and anti-racism has now gone global, with protests also happening in London, New Zealand, Canada and many more countries.
These protests are in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, a global organisation that fights against institutional racism and violence against the black community. People all over the world are standing up with the black community and protesting against racism and unjust violence.
Here are three ways you can help this important social and global issue.
Most funds and organisations are accepting international donations. This list from the Black Lives Matter movement includes memorial funds for victims, bail donations for protestors unfairly arrested in American cities, donations for black-owned businesses and organisations supporting the movement and BIPOC (black and indigenous people of colour). See the full list of funds accepting international donation here.
Watch and read
The documentary ‘13th’, directed by Ava Duvernay, discusses slavery, mass incarceration and the unfair treatment of African Americans in the United States. The film is available on Netflix and for free on YouTube.
American comedian Hasan Minhaj, best known for his Netflix show ‘Patriot Act’, where he covers politics and cultural news, released a video called ‘We Cannot Stay Silent About George Floyd’. Minhaj addresses anti-black racism in Asian American families and culture, and urges Asian Americans to support the black community.
Break the Silence, Break the Violence was a recent online panel discussion hosted by Tokyo-based Brooklyn Terry, the founder of the ever-popular party Speakeasy TYO. The panel featured an impressive lineup: DJ Skeme Richards, singer Mumu Fresh, hip-hop dancer and choreographer Buddha Stretch, University of Southern California professor Moncell Durden, founder of Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival Michele Byrd as well as DJ and spoken word poet Rich Medina. They discussed Japan’s relationship with black music and the street dance scene, along with anti-black racism and cultural appropriation in the United States, as well as Japan. Watch the discussion here.
‘Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor’ by Layla F. Saad is a self-help style book for those seeking to understand white privilege (which benefits anyone who is not BIPOC). Saad, who grew up in the United Kingdom and currently resides in Qatar, brings a global perspective to the issue, with a personal, month-long challenge that lets people recognise their white privilege and understand how white supremacy is rampant throughout the world. Saad also wrote an article for The Guardian highlighting more anti-racist literature to add to your bookshelf.
Ibram X Kendi, an American historian and writer known for his books ‘Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You’ and ‘How to be an Antiracist’, curated the Antiracist Reading List in 2019 for the New York Times, highlighting fiction and nonfiction books that will educate anyone interested in challenging worldwide systematic racism.
Help spread awareness
The best thing you can actively do as an anti-racist is to spread awareness to friends and family. To initiate a conversation about anti-black racism with parents and families, start with Letters for Black Lives, a project explaining why we all should care about fighting for racial justice. It’s been translated into over twenty languages, including Japanese.
This Vox article, published in 2016 but still relevant today, explains nine reasons why the phrase ‘all lives matter’ is harmful.
This comprehensive Anti-Racism Resource List explains white privilege, systematic racism and how to raise anti-racist children. It also recommends books, podcasts and organisations related to the issue.
Looking for resources in Japanese? This website is a complete Japanese translation of ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement, from donating, signing petitions, information for protestors and more. These Instagram and Twitter accounts are also actively translating resources relating to anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.