My skin isn’t thick enough to endure criticism trailblazers like Harris, Pelosi, Gandhi, Meir, and Thatcher have had to suffer; but I have been inspired to follow in their footsteps, in my own ways. As Harris told Marie Claire magazine, “I want [young] women to know, you are powerful and your voice matters." Amen, Sisters. Amen.
In a recent tweet, Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to be an Antiracist, observed that on the New York Times’ list of best-selling nonfiction, five of the Top 15 titles address racism. The week before, there were none.
Just two weeks ago, George Floyd, an unarmed black man accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis, was held face-down by a white policeman, his knee on Floyd’s neck. Floyd complained he couldn’t breathe; but the officer, with three others assisting, held him down anyway – until he died.
As The Modern Moderate stated earlier this week, this is a serious time for all Americans. As Moderates who value respect, compassion and equality, many of us are asking what we can do in response to protesters’ pleas for change. Respected organizations (like Global Citizen) and individuals (including Michael A. J. Davis and Amelie Lamont) have offered “do’s and don’ts”, along with specific actions we can take. TMM has reviewed some of the abundant content currently available to recommend Five Ways You Can Step Up for Racial Justice.
Go beyond just retweeting and reposting – and EDUCATE YOURSELF about racial issues. A comprehensive list of potential reads can be daunting, so we asked friends for their favorites: White Fragility, The Fire Next Time, Waking Up White, Just Mercy, The New Jim Crow, and So You Want to Talk about Race. YouTube has curated educational content and perspectives on African-Americans’ experience of injustice. Podcasts worth exploring include Code Switch by NPR, OnBeing’s Race and Healing Library, The Daily (New York Times), and activist DeRay Mckesson’s Pod Save the People.
ESCAPE your “Social Media Bubble” and follow black thought leaders, legislators and influencers, such as Kimberle Crenshaw, U.S. Representative Val Deming, Senator Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Marc Lamont Hill, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Ava DuVernay.
DONATE. Charity Navigator created this list of highly-rated charities defending civil rights, protecting legal rights, and promoting tolerance and understanding.
Use your position, influence and platforms to AMPLIFY the voices of those seeking racial equality and criminal justice reform.
TAKE ACTION. Attend a (peaceful) protest or vigil in your community; host a discussion; sign up; support Black businesses; shop at businesses that have committed to supporting change; call or write your local, state and national officials; submit a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper; and especially, VOTE for candidates who sincerely support racial equality – and encourage everyone you know to do the same. Stay tuned to The Modern Moderate for additional insights on candidates worthy of consideration.
By Laurentine Nicoletto, The Modern Moderate Staff
Photo Credit: Isaiah Rustad