5 Ways To Support The Black Lives Matter Movement If You Can't Protest

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How To Support The Black Lives Matter Movement If You Can't Protest
Entertainment And News

Black Lives Matter supporters across the globe have banned together to protest against police brutality and to celebrate the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other Black people who have lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement and racism.

But even if you aren't able to protest, there are ways you can help support the Black Lives Matter movement from home, too.

Social media is on fire with tweets from those who support the movement and those who are ignorant to why it is necessary, in fact, imperative.

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8 minutes and 46 seconds. 562 seconds in total. A lifetime when you have a police officer with his knee on your neck as you beg and plead for him to let you loose. “Please, I can’t breathe!” This is how George Floyd spent his last living moments as a police officer mercilessly pinned him down, ignoring every cry.

You know that run you take every morning? The one right before you start your day and head out for work. Not once do you think it will be your last because 2.23 miles into that run, you will be murdered in the streets of your own neighborhood? Ahmaud Arbery did not think that 2.23 miles into his run, he would be murdered in the streets of his own neighborhood.

A “no-knock warrant” is not supposed to end in an innocent woman being murdered in her own home. Besides, what are you still looking for when the suspect is already in custody? Breonna Taylor lost her life in the four walls of her own home at the hands of the ones who took an oath to protect and serve.

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For years on end, Black people have been discriminated against, victims of racism, victims of violent crime, victims of police brutality, and much more. The Black community is tired.

The Black community is tired of watching innocent Black youth lose their lives because they were playing with a toy gun, as many children do at the age of 12 (Tamir Rice). The Black community is tired of watching their women shed blood because she was doing nothing more than trying to be a peacemaker (Yvette Smith). The Black community is tired of being stopped for something as simple as a missing tail light and ending up with their face plastered on social media under a RIP hashtag (Samuel DuBose).

Rightfully so, the Black community is fighting for our right to actually be free in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

With Coronavirus still spreading rapidly, many are not in a position where they can protest or are comfortable being in large crowds. The greatest thing about these protests is that you can do it right from the comfort of your own home, too. Whether you are staying inside by force or choice, there are several ways for you to extend your support to the Black community.

1. Say their names.

Share the stories of the victims. Keep their names relevant and alive so it can be known that we do this for every person that has shed blood and lost their lives as a result of pure hatred and racism.

Use your platform in every way that you possibly can. Whether you have 50 followers or 50,000 followers, you have the power to educate and make a change right at your fingertips.

Although police brutality was going on before this, the Black Lives Matter movement was started after the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, who later was acquitted, as he was walking back to his father's fiancee's home after a trip to the convenience store. Martin had nothing more than a cigarette lighter, earphones, an Arizona watermelon fruit juice cocktail, slightly over $40 in cash, and a bag of Skittles with him. He had no weapon of any kind and was not a threat to anyone.

Kimani Gray was 16 when he was killed by NYPD officers. The cops handcuffed Gray has he laid wounded on the ground crying for help. The officers were not charged for his murder.

7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was shot in the head while she was asleep. After a five year leave, the officer who murdered her was able to return to work.

Eric Garner was accused of selling single cigarettes out of the pack. Garner told officers that he was not selling cigarettes and he was tired of being harassed and they proceeded to attempt to arrest him. Like George Floyd, a few of the 27-year-old's last words were "I can't breathe" as officers were on top of him. The NYPD officer who had Garner in a chokehold did not face federal charges.

A few other victims and faces of the Black Lives Matter movement include Oscar Grant, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Walter Scott, Terrance Crutcher, Michael Brown Jr., Atatiana Jefferson, Tony McDade, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Travares McGill, Eric Harris, Kenneth Chamberlin, Lawrence McCoy, Tanisha Anderson, Tyree Woodson, Darrien Hunt, Leonardo Marquette Little, Marcus Ryan Golden, Lavon King, Naeschylus Vinzant, Anesson Joseph, Herbert Gilbert, Trey Ta'Quan Pringle Sr., Ronell Foster, Danny Ray Thomas, Chinedu Valentine Okobi, Jerome Keith Allen, Tawon Boyd, Dalvin Hollins, Charlin Charles, Kevin Hicks, Xavier Tyrell Johnson, Yolanda Thomas, Quintine Barksdale, Dejuan Guillory, Stephen Gale, Warren Ragudo, Mario Clark, Tyre King, Marcus McVae, Marzues Scott, Ollie Lee Brooks, Bishar Hassan, Keita O'Neil, Joshua Wayne Harvey, Sherida Davis, Bennie Branch ... and too many others.

2. Donate to a worthy cause.

There are several ways to donate to funds that will go towards different causes. Some go to the families of the victims, some go towards bailing protestors out of jail when they have been unlawfully arrested and others go towards restoring Black businesses that are being destroyed by people who are anti-Black Lives Matter disguised as protestors.

Minnesota Freedom Fund
The Minnesota Freedom Fund is a non-profit organization that pays bail for low-income individuals who cannot afford it. For the Black Lives Matter protestors, they are bailing out those who are unlawfully arrested and have their first amendment rights violated.

This is community-based in cities there are several other cities doing the same. You can search for a bail fund in your city by clicking here. This list was compiled and shared by supporters on social media who want to ensure that anyone who wants to donate has the opportunity to do so.

Medical Supply Fund
The Medical Supply Fund is an organization led by health care providers such as physicians, nurses, healers, herbalists, and doulas to provide protestors with medical care and supplies if needed.

Because a lot of protestors may experience medical racism, the refusal of hospitals to provide proper care based on prejudice or racism, the Medical Supply Fund is able to provide them with what they may need.

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Legal Defense Fund
The Legal Defense Fund is run by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. They are currently helping protestors who are unlawfully arrested and have been protecting participants in civil rights struggles for the past 75 years.

Black Visions Collective
Black Visions Collective fight to create a world where Black people can use the guidance of our ancestors and our own experiences to destroy systems of oppression. They focus on transformative work and create powerful campaigns. This is crucial for the Black Lives Matter Movement because campaigns and protests are how the people get their voices heard.

YouTubers have also found ways that those who are unable to make monetary donations can still do their part.

They are creating monetized videos specifically for the Black Lives Matter Movement. All you have to do is watch the video and ads from beginning to end and the proceeds that they make from the videos will go to the movement. The first of these videos were made by YouTuber Zoe Amira. Many followed her lead shortly after, using their platforms to make a change and assist those who may not have the means to.

Many more funds can be found on Twitter. The best way to find these funds is to spotlight search phrases such as, “donation thread” or “bail fund thread.”

3. Support black businesses.

Many companies have made their stance on these important issues crystal clear, but the silence from big-name companies is deafening. Instead of purchasing your must-have items from these companies that are for the people’s money, but not for the people’s wellbeing, support a Black-owned business.

There are a great number of black-owned businesses that can be found in many areas around the United States. Luckily, there are several apps that you can use to find Black-owned businesses in your city.

Created in 2018, the Black Nation app allows Black-owned businesses to list their companies to create visibility and garner attention. EatOkra is an app that directs its users to Black-owned restaurants in their area. Searches can be made by cuisine or location and you can even get food delivered.

The largest marketplace for Black-owned businesses is WeBuyBlack. They allow users to browse through categories to search for their needs such as accessories, children's toys, clothes and much more.

These are just a few apps that allow you to order online or find Black-owned businesses near you. Another way to find Black-owned businesses is to look under the Twitter spotlight search "Black-owned businesses by city thread."

4. Sign petitions to support initiatives that help the cause.

Petitions speak volumes. Take a few minutes out of your day to sign some petitions supporting the movement in your state and other states around the country.

Ban the Use of Inhumane Rubber Bullets
A lot of peaceful protestors ended up seriously injured by rubber bullets as they exercised their freedom of speech and assembly. This petition calls for inhumane rubber bullets to be banned altogether.

Stand With Breonna
The "Stand With Breonna" petition was created for people around the world to sign for the prosecution of the officers that murdered Breonna Taylor.

Life Sentence For Police Brutality
This petition is for officers who are guilty of police brutality to not only lose their jobs but also receive a life sentence and rightful consequences for their actions.

Abolish Prison Labor
Major corporations exploit prisoners, forcing them to work without pay. Companies such as Wal-Mart and McDonald's use this labor to cut down on their production cost. Most of the people impacted by this are Black prisoners. This petition is to put an end to prison labor.

Links to more petitions can be found under the “Black Lives Matter Petitions” spotlight search on Twitter.

5. Do not tell the black community how to handle their pain.

If you are not a Black person, it is important that you understand that you will never experience the same injustices that black people have faced since the moment they were brought to America.

This is not the time to undermine what the black community goes through and attempt to force them to protest in ways that make you comfortable. Take those feelings of discomfort and imagine what it must feel like to have that carry you throughout your entire life. Even doing that, you would not feel half of what the Black community feels.

The best way to help is to extend your support. Allow opportunities for people to not only share their stories but also receive validation, encouragement, and love.

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Sarah Jones-Smith is a writer who is passionate about producing content that uplifts the Black community and takes a stand for important issues.