The killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, at the hands of police in Minneapolis has echoed around the world, sparking activism from France to Australia, Syria to Lebanon. Moments like this can make many of us feel powerless to help. But, however far we may be from the US, it is a moment to reflect on the treatment of black lives globally, and to work to uncompromisingly eradicate racism in our own societies.
We have gathered some of the actions each of us can take to contribute to positive change, both in the MENA region and around the world.
Educate Yourself On Anti-black Racism In The US
Understanding the historical context behind this moment can help crystallise the complex forces at play. Yale offers a free online course on African-American history, from 1863 to present.
Understand Anti-black Racism In Our Own Region
The MENA region still struggles mightily with fundamental anti-black racism. Understanding – and pushing back against – racist tropes like blackface when they rear their heads, is one way to help shape our societies for the better. Others online have created resources to help educate Arab readers, pointing out how troubling everyday language – like ‘abd – can contribute to racial injustice in our own communities.
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@mafazalsuwaidan and I worked on another post rooted in real accountable love for the Arab community and an acknowledgment of the anti-Black violence that manifests in so many of our spaces. we encourage you to read through these slides and really spend some time with yourself, your family and your community reflecting on how we can unlearn the biases we’ve internalized and check all the ways we uphold anti-Blackness in our spaces. Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. #blacklivesmatter #georgefloyd #arabsforblacklives
Donate If You’re Able To
Organisations like the ACLU and the Know Your Rights Camp are doing vital work to advance the well-being of black and brown communities. The family of George Floyd have started a memorial fund to fundraise for funeral expenses, counselling, legal proceedings, as well as care and education for Floyd’s children.
Sign Petitions In Support Of Justice
There are a huge number of petitions you can contribute your voice to. Many of these can be found at a helpful resource here. International participation can help swell momentum around for the cause. Amnesty International is one of several major global organisations gathering support for justice.
Ensure That It’s More Than A Moment
While the world’s attention is now falling on anti-black racism to a degree that’s almost unprecedented, the path to more just and equal communities will be longer than this moment. Continuing to educate yourself and others will be a vital help, as will elevating and amplifying black voices in your own community. Calling-out racism in our own homes – and our own friendship circles – remains a crucial way to combat the unjust treatment of minorities.