I will do more to help.
I’m politically vocal in conversation, and I don’t hide my views at work or in social situations with strangers. But I’m not an extroverted writer, and given my social circle, being outspoken on social media can feel to me like preaching to the converted. However, I’ve thought a lot about this position recently, and as so many people in the past few days have written it better than I’m able to, that’s another form of privilege.
Who I happen to be, and what I look like, have afforded me insane privilege my entire life. I am a straight white cisgender man. I don’t register as a threat to the political administrations of the countries I’ve lived in, nor to the police forces that are meant to protect those countries. I fully acknowledge all of this, as I should, because it’s stupidly obvious.
It’s the other piece of it — the passive benefit of not having to fight for it every day — that I take for granted. And now that I live outside of the US, perhaps I take it for granted even more. I now have the luxury of living in a country that, while governed by a sane and compassionate administration, is just as tailored to fit people who look like I do.
Even writing this all down is in part a selfish act. Who is it for? Am I doing it to make myself feel less guilty? Am I doing it in the belief that my feelings about the current protests in America have any weight? Do I think I can bring any new and valuable perspective to this conversation?
No. I can’t understand what it feels like to be on the other side of that privilege. What I’m trying to do is to show my support in a public way and to get over the notion that the feeling that I don’t have the words to express what I want to express amounts to a reason not to try.
Black Lives Matter. I support protests against all police violence that has led to the deaths of Black and brown people and against the murder of George Floyd specifically. I support defunding the police. I am against the increasingly fascist current federal administration of the United States and its racist leader, and I condemn its reaction to the protests taking place across America.
I’m almost as far away from my hometown as possible, but I will do what I can to represent it well and to make it the place it can and should be. Here are some (Minnesota-centric) links to ways to provide help:
Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/
Reclaim the Block: https://secure.everyaction.com/zae4prEeKESHBy0MKXTIcQ2
Justice For George Floyd: https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd?utm_source=brand_us&utm_medium=media