Black Lives Matter
Our letters over the last two months have been focused on the coronavirus. Now we are dealing with a centuries-old plague that has never been successfully defeated in our country – structural racism. The video of George Floyd’s death under the hands and knees of three Minneapolis policemen has traumatized a nation not because it is new, but because it is so vividly horrific, pornographic, and obscene that anyone who sees it clearly experiences the cold-eyed, heartless violence that has been visited on black bodies and souls for 500 years.
The passionate outrage by caring human beings throughout the whole country and the world has been, and continues to be, extraordinary. The success of this massive intention to create a racially just police force and society is yet to be seen.
Our readers have responded with an increased desire to be better anti-racists, better at transforming our city, state and country to be a more just society. Enough is enough. May the protests continue until justice, not structural racist violence, reigns.
Publishers’ books have gone back to reprint as the desire for these books rises. We are glad to provide them to you, in times of surging interest, and in times of relative neglect. We have a list of books at the end of this email.
People have also asked us about other ways that they can help. Joining peaceful protests is an obvious choice. Another is to volunteer for organizations; write letters, emails and make calls to elected representatives; and express your outrage and the need for systemic justice to all you know, especially to those more distant intentionally or emotionally from this necessity.
People, more concerned about the dangers of viral exposure that protests may present, have been interested in how to donate. There are many places to find and assess the efficacy of organizations working toward a just and equitable world.
For us, these organizations have maintained a mostly decades-long commitment to exactly these issues, working in the trenches to improve fatally unjust structures of our society:
Equal Justice Society
Southern Poverty Law Center
Black Lives Matter
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund
The Equal Justice Initiative
There are many others, of course, but these are a few.
As to books, here are just a few – but really, there are hundreds and thousands of relevant books, depending on what you need to know about; work on; and work toward. We are always glad to help you on your path to greater knowledge, more commitment, and more effective activism to make our world a better, more just, more compassionate, and more creative place. You know where to find us.
How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander & Kadir Nelson
Thanks for your support, your curiosity, and your moral outrage. Stay strong, healthy, well-read and please help to make a more just and equitable world. It is all of our responsibility.
John, Alison and all DIESELfolk