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Death of George Floyd: What White People Can Do to Help Black Lives Matter

by Todd A. Smith

 

A Turning Point in Race Relations: What You Can Do


George Floyd always wanted to make a difference in the world.


Unfortunately, “Big Floyd” never lived to see that difference.


But his death has felt different from the start.


At one time, activists would cried out that “Black lives matter” only to be met by some White people with the response that “all lives matter” or accusations that they were playing the race card.


However, in my circle of influence, I have not seen that type of response from the White community in the wake of the George Floyd killing.


The responses I have received have been attempts to help the Black Lives Matter movement, or just displays of empathy.


Some of my friends who happen to be White have told me that their opinion means nothing. 

 

But they want to know about my opinions on systemic racism and police brutality.


A few of my friends who happen to be White have asked me what can they do to help the cause, or have said they do not know what to do.


However, all have said that they want to do something to assist the movement.


While many White, Hispanic and Native Americans have taken to the street in peaceful protest, others have struggled to find their place in the Black Lives Matter movement because they do not see themselves as freedom fighters on the front line.


Those that feel uncomfortable taking an active role in the struggle have all listened to my struggle as I have ranted to them on the phone about the plight of being an African-American man.


And to be honest, that means just as much to me as seeing the beautiful rainbow coalition of protestors flooding the streets of cities like Houston, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C.


None of the non-African-Americans that I have talked to over the last couple of weeks dismissed my experiences with racism.


None of them have said anything about the so-called race card.


And none have said, “all lives matter” in response to chants of “Black lives matter.”


All throughout my social media timelines, I see non-African-Americans joining the cause of Black Lives Matter and demanding justice for my homeboy, George Floyd.


Athletes like Houston Astros star Alex Bregman have gladly lost fans because of the racism that those fans displayed on his social media pages.


Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard posted that he will never understand the plight of African-Americans in this country.


However, Leonard is willing to listen.


Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter, originally from Turkey, has hit the streets with protestors to demand justice for George Floyd.


Even the greatest of all time himself, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, has gotten more political in recent weeks after the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd.


Everybody cannot be a freedom fighter, politician, judge or law enforcement official.


However, everyone can lend a helping hand to the Black Lives Matter movement.


The Bible talks about the arm not being more important than the leg.


All of those body parts contribute to the Body of Christ, and all are important.


The Black Lives Matter movement, similar to the Civil Rights Movement that preceded it, is like a body.


All of those body parts contribute to keeping the whole body in good shape and keeping the body moving.


In the Civil Rights Movement, everyone did not participate in the nonviolent marches, sit-ins or freedom rides.


As a matter of fact, those who could not stay nonviolent took other roles in the movement like doing office and administrative work.


All celebrities did not march like Harry Belafonte, James Baldwin or Marlon Brando.


However, some celebrities gave money to keep civil rights organizations funded and moving forward.


Some politicians drafted legislation that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights of 1965.


Some judges made landmark decisions from the bench like Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia.


And all of their efforts led to a more equal American society.


Unfortunately, American society is still not totally equal.


Therefore, we have a totally new generation of warriors and freedom fighters.


Even if a person does not take a leadership role or become physically active in the movement, they can do many things to help their brothers and sisters of a darker hue.


They can empathize.


They can listen (Drew Brees).


They can vote.


They can support more African-American owned businesses.


They can donate money or resources to the Black Lives Matter movement.


They can donate money, resources and time to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).


They can call out their privileged peers when they hear something racist and bigoted.


They can simply be a friend.

 

They can pray for the African-American community.


They can pray for the law-enforcement community.


They can pray for our leaders, including President Donald Trump.


The Bible says God gives wisdom, liberally.


Pray that our leaders and those who are charged with protecting communities can make wise decisions that bring the country together, and not do things that tear us apart.


But honestly, many non-African-Americans have already done what African-Americans have asked them to do for generations.


That is to listen to us.


That is to hear our cries for equality and empathize.


That is to join the fight against police brutality, systemic racism and White supremacy.


And the killing of George Floyd has done a lot to help that cause.


George Floyd is a martyr.


George Floyd is Emmett Till.


George Floyd is James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, killed for trying to register African-Americans to vote in Philadelphia, Miss. in 1964.


George Floyd is Medgar Evers.


George Floyd is a world changer.

 

Now it is time for everyone from every race to do a little bit to change the world for the better too.

This article was published on Friday 05 June, 2020.
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