[reposted from my Facebook page because it’s easier to find and archive here]
“BUT WHAT CAN I DO TO SUPPORT YOU?”
A short list of things my Black friends have asked their white friends to do well before now and repeatedly
By me, a Nice White Lady who you might actually listen to
1) Stop asking what you should do. Holy shit, it’s 2020, you have Google. Use it.
c. Provide direct support to Black creators and activists via Patreon, etc.
d. Read and educate yourself and stay current so that you can do buffer 101-level education for white people and take some of the labor off Black shoulders
2) Stop coming on their posts to say how terrible you think white people are, too. Shut up. Don’t try to make it about you. This isn’t supportive. TELL WHITE PEOPLE HOW TERRIBLE THEY ARE INSTEAD. You don’t get credit for thinking thoughts at white people and then talking to Black people about them.
3) Stop coming out in public to say how “shocked” you are. Or that “this isn’t my America.” Yes it is and it was and see above, 2020, they’re TIRED. Shut up and Google a thing. Then educate your white friends.
4) Stop coming on their posts to say “not me! I don’t feel like that!” – honestly, if what you think you are entitled to in this moment when Black people are grieving is THEIR REASSURANCE FOR YOUR WHITE EMOTIONS, you are exactly one of those people.
5) Stop saying “I’ll protect you! I have your back!” especially if your wall is full of your garbage friends saying “well, but it’s ok to shoot looters.” Don’t make your Black friends have to do that assessment of whether they should trust you (lol they don’t). Shut up. Be trustworthy. I know! It’s so hard when you want to live on all those ally cookies. Make yourself a sandwich and actually support people instead of talking about it.
6) DO: Post about injustice. Loudly and repeatedly, since you have access to white people and spaces and the capacity to be heard there. But take the pictures off, and put the links in comments. It’s ok to use pull quotes from the stories you’re posting, but don’t force people to watch someone be murdered every time they open Facebook.
7) DO: moderate your space. Don’t let your friends say bullshit on your wall, don’t let people make unchallenged racist remarks, and ditch that Trump supporter who’s always gotta play Devil’s advocate. It’s 2020, why are you still friends with him? PROTIP: if there’s someone you genuinely can’t shed because something something family something actual safety or shelter (not just, it’ll be awkward) you can put them in FB quarantine. Mute them, shove them on a restricted list, and NEVER make a post where they and your marginalized friends will be interacting.
8) Get out of their DMs. Not with the support right now for people you rarely interact with who happen to be on your friends/follows list (it’s one more thing they are being asked to do for white people) and never, EVER, when you have fucked up in public. Apologize in public, too. Make it right in public. Asking POC to have a conversation with you where there are no witnesses is an act of racialized violence. Related: don’t dirty delete. Just apologize—meaningfully–and be a better person.
9) Listen to Black people. The first time. I shouldn’t be making this post at all. You shouldn’t be finding it more credible than the dozens of times Black people have said the thing. BUT HERE WE ARE. And it’s not just about this. Listen to their lived experience. They’re not “exaggerating” when they describe interactions with white people, authority figures, cops. Stop trying to find excuses for the behavior of white people you DON’T EVEN KNOW when your supposed friend is sitting right there telling you about what happened to them.