The DCWaleDesi team stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all BIPOC victims of police brutality and white supremacy. The protests happening across the country and now around the world reflect how collectively appalled and outraged many people have rightfully become to these injustices. As non-black individuals, neither of us can say we face the same oppression of a Black person, however, we have a responsibility as a community platform built on the principles of inclusivity to use our own voices to amplify theirs.
The Bangladeshi immigrant-owned and run restaurant named Gandhi Mahal in Minneapolis that opened up its doors as a staging area of medics and as a resting place for the protestors who were dealing with tear gas during the uprising on May 28th is a small but powerful example of how it is possible for us to build bridges to support other communities of color.
We must understand that as one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the United States if it weren’t for the liberation struggles that Black people struggled through, we wouldn’t have been able to immigrate and enjoy many of the privileges we enjoy today in the United States. We must understand and acknowledge that White supremacy and racism affects all people of color. We must have these difficult conversations with our parents and grandparents to stop the perpetuation of anti-Blackness in our society. One way to have these difficult conversations with family and relatives, especially those who might not speak English well is to consider reading them one of the translated letters as part of the Letters for Black Lives project. At this time, letters are available for use in the following languages: Bangla, Burmese, Nepali, and Sylheti; with many other letters in other regional and global languages in various stages of development. Most importantly, we must come from a place of love and compassion to emphasize the importance of solidarity with Black communities. Their activism is the reason why we as an ethnic group have many of the privileges we have today.
It is however important during any major event, to be attentive to misinformation and fake news. Be aware of where you are getting your information from and consider regularly checking this Twitter thread which is compiling misinformative tweets and news developments. If you do choose to join protests or actions, follow these suggested sanitary measures. Read this Twitter thread on what to bring with you to a protest and this Twitter thread on what to wear at a protest. Lastly, refer to this Twitter thread on lawyers who are assisting arrested protestors pro bono.
Right now, there are many ways beyond having these conversations with your family and friends to help the Black Lives Matter movement. Consider donating to the George Floyd Memorial Fund here, the Minnesota Freedom Fund here, the Justice for Amaud Arbery Fund here, signing and/or donating to the Justice for Breonna Taylor petition and fundraiser here and donating to the National Bail Out fund here.
Be sure to listen actively, stay educated, and informed, donate to fundraisers if you have the resources to, make phone calls for action, and never be silent. Once you have done all of these things, it becomes time to support and follow Black creators on social media (here’s a few to start), spend your money at Black-owned businesses and Black-owned restaurants and volunteer for social programs and non-profit organizations that seek to aid in mitigating the effects of systemic racism. Check out this list of books to read to educate yourself. Educate yourself with this list of films and shows, podcasts, and organizations on social media and online. Furthermore, the Black Lives Matter movement has compiled a list of ways you can help.
Header photo by: Johnny Silvercloud, some rights reserved.
Updated: June 8, 2020