One of the clearest manifestations of my privilege is that I have the ability, and the permission, to “turn off” when when “things get too much.” It has been an emotionally overwhelming week as twitter shows us video after video of police abusing their power and abusing protestors. As a white male, I have the luxury of turning away for a break. I am one of the few with that luxury – which is why it is so important to not turn away.
This week’s video is a way to hold your focus. For those of us who live in Canada, the image of walking in the cold is particular powerful given the history some of our police forces have of dropping indigenous men off outside city limits in winter. Look it up. Remember that.
On May 30 Killer Mike, 1/2 of run the Jewels, made this emotional plea in Atlanta:
Every Run the Jewels album is free. They have never charged for their music but provide opportunities for listeners to pay what they can. All of the proceeds from this album will go to the Mass Defence Program
In an interview with Stephen Colbert on June 2, Killer Mike responded to a question Stephen (the whitest guy ever) asked about how white people can support black people at this time by asking everyone to spend an hour on YouTube watching Jane Elliot videos.
Here’s a 4 minute clip to get you started:
This shit applies up here in Canada too. Start here:
Then go here and read the Truth and Reconciliation Report: http://www.trc.ca/about-us/trc-findings.html All of it, Especially the recommendations.
So what can we do? First, don’t turn away. Don’t stop. Educate yourself. Don’t ask minorities to do the work of trying to educate you. They’ve been doing that for years and they’re exhausted: https://www.ualberta.ca/admissions-programs/online-courses/indigenous-canada/index.html
Figure out whose land you are living on by visiting https://native-land.ca/, read the Treaty, recognize that everyone, including you, is bound by that Treaty. If you live in BC, then you’ve got even more work to do learning about unceded territory. Reach out to your local friendship centre or treaty organization. Give them money.
Take responsibility for yourself. Speak up for, but don’t speak over, those who are marginalized. Amplify their voices Support organizations that help by giving them money. And then by volunteering your time.
Stay current. Read indigenous news. For example: https://www.albertanativenews.com/
DO NOT STOP.