Due to the recent events concerning #BlackLivesMatter and police brutality, names like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Elijah McClain have come to the forefront of social and media cycles. COVID-19 is now playing second fiddle and is no longer the only concern at the forefront of people's minds.
When George Floyd was murdered, the Black community collectively decided, "no more" and have taken to the streets to demonstrate their protests with allies of every race, origin, sexual orientation and background to protest police brutality and once again declare that #BlackLivesMatter.
The dilemma comes into play when you or someone you live with is considered potentially high risk for COVID-19.
So, what can you do when you're not able to march?
Here are five ways you can protest virtually:
Sign online petitions
It may seem too easy to be effective, but, remember, the purpose of a demonstration protest is to bring awareness to the issue and let the powers that be know that you are unsatisfied and disapprove of the actions we’ve witnessed. It takes a village attacking at all angles for success.
In fact, Change.org provides a list on their website titled “Victories,” showcasing how online petitions have produced results.
There have been many calls to action since the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, in particular. Organizers have requested that those who want to protest call and email attorney generals, mayors, police chiefs and city council members in order to apply pressure and force action and change. Sometimes those emails can fill up an inbox pretty quick, or worse, if you’re using a template and the template is deemed hostile, the email system has the ability to filter out your emails and delete them. However, even if the inbox and voice mailbox is full, social media is limitless.
You can tweet at the necessary personnel daily and demand justice.
Now how's that for Twitter Fingers?
Join the movement via Instagram
Since the global awakening of the disparities in America, the Black community has begun creating focus groups to break down systemic and institutional racism worldwide. Racism does not only have an impact concerning relations with the law, but also our jobs, paychecks, education, the prison system *cough cough the 13th amendment* and even the influencer-blogger community.
We cannot fight everything effectively at once, but we can break into focus groups and breakdown racism in pieces while continuing the battle of police brutality. Accounts such as @pullupforchange and @openfohr do just that.
Sharon Chuter, the creator of @pullupforchange, pushes for companies to be transparent and reveal Black employees within the top leadership roles in the company.
Additionally, the account requests submissions for companies to target. The companies with the most tags become the next assignment. Followers are encouraged to DM, tweet, and comment peacefully and respectfully.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease and using your Instagram account in collection with others can make a difference.
Buying, partnering and supporting Black
Use your funds and partnerships and pour them into the Black community through their businesses. Money talks and companies know what's important, depending on where your hard-earned money is spent.
On the other side of the coin, there is not a lack of allyship. The question is, "Are these really their values or is this performative?" Hold those businesses accountable. Is the black square still on their Instagram feed in November or is it now archived because it doesn't go with the organization's aesthetic? Do the stock photos and footage on their website reflect diversity? Are their products inclusive?
Organizations made their statements, but in the next few months (and for some, weeks) you'll be able to determine whether or not Black lives matter. If you don't see the progress of change within their actions, take your money to a business that aligns with your values and, in turn, values Black lives.
Are you having trouble locating a Black business? New directories are being created as a one-stop shop to search for every type of Black business. Black Owned Everything, founded by Zerina Akers made its first Instagram post on June 4 and have been posting Black-owned businesses ever since. If you have a Black-owned business, you can register by going to the website and completing the form.
Educate yourself and those who follow your social media
You don't have to post content daily about social injustice, racism, and police brutality, however, if you want to continue to push forward change that pours over from this generation to the next, it helps to change hearts and minds of the generation raising and influencing the future.
Instagram accounts such as @bloggerxchange offer resources on how to organically implement social justice into your Instagram feed and daily posts. Additionally, @wearepushblack offers Black history daily to all who want to learn.
Donate to bail funds
Another option is to help out those who are able to put foot to pavement and march by donating to their bail. The National Bail Fund Network provides a list of protest bail funds in which you may contribute, however, it's advised to research any organization and their practices to ensure your donation will be applied for your intentions.
Once place to start includes Give, which lists themselves as the "Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance." You can also simply use Google. Dig and research until you feel secure and ready to give.
Just because you are not in a position to get outside and march, doesn't mean you cannot be part of the movement. The best thing to do is get started.
How have you been protesting virtually? Let us know in the comments!