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15 Things You Can Do To Be A Better Ally To The Bla(c)k Community

It's time to step up.

The recent Black Lives Matter protests in America over the death of George Floyd in police custody have sparked outrage and support from across the world.

In Australia, light is being shed on the systemic racism and abuse suffered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples daily.

@saronneyyy Today in Sydney Australia. A 16 year old Aboriginal boy slammed to the ground.

Last year, The Guardian published a database, detailing the deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in custody since 2008. Since the inquest into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody in 1991, there have been over 400 deaths.

If, like me, you've benefited from privilege your entire life and you now don't know how to help or what to say, these tweets may give you some idea.

1. Understand that this an everyday issue and not something to forget about later on.

The same Australians that are preaching Black Lives Matter, I hope you are doing this next year on invasion day.This is not a moment thing,this is a fight that we must continue to do everyday. Stand in solidarity. Be on the right side of justice & remember, silence is a choice.

2. And speak to it, every time you encounter racism.

#AboriginalLivesMatter is trending in Australia. Keep this energy up when we need you to march with us, when you see racism in your family and community, and when you want to celebrate Jan 26.

3. Play to your strengths and take action where you can most help.

White people who “don’t know how to help” or are “afraid of doing it wrong” find your strengths and use them to take action. Good with words? Speak. Financially well off? Donate. Artistic? Create a visual to make others understand. Admittedly uneducated? Read.

4. Remind yourself that the onus of education is on you.

I just received a facebook message from a white woman I've interacted with exactly once, asking me to help her educate her three children on "everything that is going on." because this somehow still needs to be said, white people, please don't do this.

5. And so is the range of emotions you're feeling.

Word of advise to white and nonblack POC, don’t be hopping into your black friends’, mutuals, and just randos inboxes to hold your therapy sessions to absolve your guilt. Already talking to a friend who has had paragraphs upon paragraphs of pure white quilt and tears.

6. Find a medium that helps you learn (books, movies, donations)* and pursue knowledge.

White people: Stop DMing Black people to ask how you can help. They're dealing with enough. Google that shit. There are SO many resources out there and lists of books to read, orgs to donate to, and ways to help. It's not hard to find if you put in 30 seconds of effort.

*There is a post about resources you can use, linked at the end of this article.

7. Know the difference and ask yourself the hard question, "Which one am I?".

Racist White people weaponize their privilege against others, non-racist White people withhold their privilege from others, anti-racist White people leverage their privilege to help others.

8. And understand that this is, most definitely, not about you.

this is not a time for white or non black people to wallow in any guilt, pity or self loathing. this is a time for unity and action - putting your money, your body, and your time on the line for something way way bigger than any of us

9. Choose to bolster other peoples' voices and not your own.

If you're white or a non-Black POC, don't make this about yourself. I know you feel bad and I know you have guilt but this is not the time for a pity party or to promise how you're going to be The Good Ally. Let Black people speak. Support them and boost their voices.

10. And recognise when someone else is.

to my fellow nonblack poc, i urge you to use your voices to stand alongside the black community and black voices. our responsibility is to listen to, amplify, & elevate them, not override the narrative or use our own position as poc to equate their trauma with our own experiences

11. Use language properly and to convey respect.

Non-Black folks, here’s something small you can learn/do that will go a long way. If you are about to write/say the phrase “people of color,” stop and think who you are REALLY talking about. If you mean Black, say Black. With a capital “B.”

12. Introduce these discussions into your real life.

To all non blacks, white or another poc: a way you can help protect black lives is to confront and correct your relatives or friends co workers etc who may carry racist or anti black sentiment.... if you really care about black lives you wont care about who you make angry

13. Because being an ally means contributing every day.

white + non-black poc, if you are tweeting about blm , i hope you are also talking about it with your irls, with your family, with your friends, dont just be an activist on the internet, be an activist and an ally everday in your community.

14. And knowing when to listen.

reminder to all white people and non black people of color being a good ally is not about speaking over black people, it is helping black people get their voices heard, we need to help them fight back, not silence them by talking over them and their struggles.

15. And finally, remember that now is the time to create change, especially in yourself.

Drop the ego y’all! It’s okay to learn! I have learned so much in the last week from just listening & reading. It’s okay to be wrong, just learn from it. You might think people can’t change, but you can learn something new everyday & use it to be a better person & that is change

For more information, this article on how white people can support the fight against racism and police brutality goes into detail about different resources you can use.

And, if you're in Australia and you want to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as well as Black Lives Matter in America, these are some upcoming protests in cities around the country.