While Black folks are being beaten, tear-gassed, and arrested en masse right now for protesting—risking our lives in more ways than one—white people are posting… black boxes.
I have been organizing for a little over six years now. My first protest was the day of Mike Brown’s murder. Since then, I have seen white people make countless online “challenges” to show their solidarity to Black folks. All of these challenges have been and continue to be pointless.
The latest challenge is one wherein white people post black boxes to their Instagram feeds as a way to amplify the voices of Black organizers, thought leaders, and content creators. In the past four days, I have been organizing non-stop here in Atlanta. As thousands gather each day to voice their discontent and righteous anger about the ways in which Black people are abused and murdered in this white supremacist, settler-colonial ethnostate, myself, and countless other Black organizers have been working around the clock to keep as many of them safe as possible. We have organized digitally and on the ground to make sure that protesters are privy to the necessary safety tips to keep them safe—both from the police and this other global pandemic we are still navigating, COVID-19.
And through all of that, our governor—Brian Kemp—has brought in over 1,500 National Guard troops to assist the already-hundreds of Atlanta Police Department (APD) officers deployed by our mayor—Keisha Lance Bottoms—to further terrorize this city. On any given day, there are over 2,000 officers in this city on bikes, on horses, in cars, in paddy wagons, in humvees, in helicopters, and other military auxiliaries; all of them dressed in riot gear, military uniforms, or SWAT uniforms.
It is a literal war zone in the streets of Atlanta. And while Black folks are being beaten, tear-gassed, and arrested en masse right now for protesting—risking our lives in more ways than one—white people are posting…black boxes. We are in the middle of facing off with a militarized police state, a literal manifestation of this fascist regime, and white people think posting a black box means something significant.
There are only three things white people can do that will matter, both in this moment and beyond: 1) give up your money, 2) provide shelter and other resources to Black folks, and 3) give up your life. That’s it.
If white people are not willing to redistribute the wealth they’ve accumulated through whiteness, provide other resources to Black folks that they’ve accumulated through whiteness, and take a literal bullet to stop police from murdering us, they are not doing enough.
Whiteness is the structure by which power and violence are exacted onto non-white, colonized subjects. It is boundless in that it shapeshifts and transforms as it needs to, as to ensure that Black and other racialized folks who do not have access to whiteness are constantly at the crux of the exploitation and violence it exhibits. In this way, white people—in whatever form they take, in any given time—are the dominant force in our society through the weapon that is whiteness. Which is to say: if you are going to fight a byproduct of whiteness, anti-Blackness and capitalism, such as the police, you have to rid the world of it. This means that whiteness has to be abolished, and all those who inherit access to this weapon and claim to want freedom for Black and other colonized people must be willing to go to war with their own creation.
So empty platitudes like black boxes and hashtags and press releases and notes app statements are not and will never be enough. This is a war—from which only white people benefit. So open your fucking purse and be willing to die for this shit, or leave us the fuck alone.
Here are links to varying bail funds from across the country:
- Atlanta: Atlanta Solidarity Network
- Philadelphia: Philly Bail Fund and Philadelphia Community Bail Fund
- Oakland: Peoples Programs via Cash App
- Chicago: Chicago Community Bond Fund
- Minneapolis: Reclaim The Block: fund our broader movement
- Louisville: Louisville Community Bail Fund
- Seattle: Northwest Community Bail Fund
- Houston: Restoring Justice Community Bail Fund
- Colorado: Colorado Freedom Fund
- Massachusetts: https://www.massbailfund.org
- Baltimore: Baltimore Action Legal Fund
- Detroit: Detroit’s Bail Fund
- National Bail Fund Network
- Black People’s Justice Fund – Metro Phoenix
- Exhaustive list of many other bail funds around the country.
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