New Critique stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Police violence has resulted in the murder of George Floyd and countless others. Protests against police murders across the US have been met with shocking and deplorable violence against innocent people exercising their legal rights.
Here are some suggestions for how you can educate yourself on present and historical racism and systematic oppression and support the causes and organisations fighting for racial justice.
Understand the Black Lives Matter movement
Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. The official Black Lives Matter website hosts news and information on global actions, protest marches, and petitions, including the #DefundThePolice campaign in response to the murder of George Floyd and a donation page to support the movement.
Donate to bail funds
People around the world have been donating to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, whose website rightly states that ‘People of color and immigrants face higher rates of arrest, harsher sentencing, and disparities in the setting of bail compared to white citizens.’ By donating to this or other community or national funds active across the US, you can ‘stand against cash bail as unjust and identify wealth-based discrimination as a vehicle for the criminal justice system to target populations for structural violence’. This twitter thread lists many bail funds and pro bono legal services across the US. Please check before donating to individual bail funds as some have been inundated with donations and your support may be needed more urgently elsewhere.
Educate yourself on the history of racial oppression and the present and ongoing systematic violence towards black people and people of colour
Professor Loretta J. Ross’s syllabus for her ‘White Supremacy in the Age of Trump’ class at Smith College contains links to essential reading and prompts for reflection on the rise of white supremacy and nationalism under Donald Trump.
This folder contains 17 peer-reviewed academic research papers that make clear the mass imprisonment of, and police violence towards people and communities of colour; and this one contains dozens of important black revolutionary texts covering history, politics, and culture. This one brings together both black revolutionary texts and important complementary works.
Left Bank Books’ Black Lives Matter Reading List includes resources suitable for children as well as key texts in civil rights history and contemporary civil rights issues, novels and poetry, memoirs, critical studies of the history of police violence and systematic oppression of people of colour. Verso’s Black Radicalism Reading List contains key thinkers in the history of black radical thought, including Angela Davis, Manning Marable, David Roediger and W.E.B. Du Bois. This google doc contains anti-racism material including resources for parents, books, news articles, talks and documentaries, films and TV series, and the social media handles of anti-racist and solidarity organizations.
Put pressure on your elected representatives
If you are not based in the US, make your opposition to its administration known to your local authorities, especially if you live in a nation allied to the US. For example, if you are based in the UK, you should email your MP and demand the immediate suspension of UK sales of teargas, riot shields and rubber bullets to the US; and that the UK government condemns police murder and the Trump administration’s use of violence against its own citizens.
Email your MP with a custom letter or use a template and encourage friends and fellow constituents to do the same.
The UK is far from innocent of police violence against people of colour. Some anti-racist organisations in the UK include:
- Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
- Stand Up To Racism
- Southall Black Sisters
- Show Racism The Red Card
- Kick It Out
- Hope Not Hate
If you have any suggestions for additional resources, or any alterations we might make to this list, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.