Recognizing the trauma.
Being able to have honest conversations with yourself and close friends / family about social injustices is the first step to supporting the movement.
Refrain from chanting “All Lives Matter.”
While it’s clear that All Lives Matter, please remember that we’re forced to chant Black Lives Matter because black lives have been proven time and time again to be devalued and disposable. This counterproductive language silences the hurt and pain felt by people of color — the very people you want to support.
If you don’t know what to say socially, don’t say anything at all.
Many may disagree, but I’ve always believed that we tend to speak out of turn when we we’re forced to comment, although we’re unprepared. It’s totally fine to show support via social by retweeting articles and other tweets from those in favor of the movement, but don’t feel pressured to say something profound if it’s not on your heart to do so.
If you see something, say something.
Not to contradict my previous point, but if you see something blatantly racist or bigoted, speak up. Call people out for making harmful comments. You don’t have to be rude or combative. Sometimes giving a gentle “Hey. That’s not cool,” can be more effective.
Supporting families who have suffered great loss.
Showing support via social is always appreciated, but lending a helping hand to the families dealing with the trauma directly can mean so much more. If you’d like to help the families of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling with funeral arrangements, possible attorney fees and just to ease the financial burden of life in the future, you can donate to their separate GoFundMe accounts. One was created by Issa Rae for Alton Sterling, and another by Xavier Burgin for Philando Castile.
Take care of yourself.
The streaming executions and crazy social media posts have a lot of us on edge. It’s important to unplug from the internet and decompress once you begin to feel overwhelmed. Randi Gloss, activist and creator of the social awareness brand GLOSSRAGS, shared a few tips for those of us needing to engage in self-care during traumatic times with TheFader.com. You can only be of service to others if you’re, first, of service to yourself.