In light of recent events, we have witnessed anti-black and anti-BIPOC behaviour from police enforcement. We have been privy to this information since the beginning of time, and yet now we are taking a stance. It is courageous of those who are standing up against these heinous acts. Many of you are now making history by shedding light upon the injustice. However, your BIPOC and especially black friends are hurting right now. You must recognize that your friends are humans and their pain is not over one act of injustice, but over many years of injustice that has bottled itself up in their hearts.
Here are steps on how you can support your BIPOC friends:
Make sure that you check in on them: Check ins/ups are super important! Your friends are usually your source of solace, and therefore you're their source of comfort as well. When in place of traumatic events, you should always offer your friends a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to listen. What could this look like? I did some research on how to start conversations without sounding tone-deaf. Sentences such as: " I hear the pain that you're going through, and I just wanted to say that you're brave for..." , "It sounds like you're experiencing a traumatic event that is leaving an unbearably painful mark on you" , and "it is understandable to feel this..." are important. You should always validate, listen, and support your friends. Never let your own voice overshadow their pain. Do not start a conversation with "How are you", but say "With everything that is going on right now, you're my dear friend and I wanted to be here for you. What are some thoughts you're battling with?" . Out of all the advice that I will be sharing in this post, this is the MOST important. Your BIPOC friends are hurt due to years of systemic racism that is making them feel in despair and angry.
Donate and sign petitions: There are many petitions and donation forms that are circulating around the internet to partake in. $1-10 donations will go places, and that is the cost of one meal you'd usually have in a day. If you're unable to donate due to financial restraints then sign petitions, and watch videos that are raising money for BIPOC causes.
Follow up on your words: If you're going to post on the internet multiple posts about the racism that is occurring within our countries, then follow it up with actions as well. Reprimand your family members who are speaking ill of BIPOC, notice the subtle racism that is taught in your family, call out friends that make racist jokes, and more. Do not forget about this within a week. Posting little black squares, "We stand with you" , and "Black lives matter" will mean nothing unless you fight against racism and continue to spread the same message a year from now until this unfair system is dismantled.
Educate yourself: Do not message your friends about how white privilege does not exist as there are many posts on google scholar that will disapprove your point (Here is a link to one source that I found in 2 seconds: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED355141.pdf?utm#page=43) . In addition, do not mention to your BIPOC friends that not "all cops are like that" without researching about Blue Wall of Silence (A link to a source: https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/wasbur39&div=23&g_sent=1&casa_token=Z3_UTqILdgEAAAAA:b5gQ5jI_xGycLl7a4bETJMrJ3aDQkL_hN-bIy8YCBj17r544SiMMuHCfOQDJkCNCubfK0gys&collection=journals) . Do not say the phrases "I would support this protest, but only if it is peaceful" for there were many riots that happened due to silly things, such as a sports team winning or losing. Riots are what will allow for change to happen, that is how LGBTQ+ and women rights were founded. In addition, BIPOC have tried multiple peaceful protests, but those were criticized as well. You do not get to tell people who have been experiencing years of trauma how to act, especially when you have compassion in your heart when a white person shoots up a school due to them getting bullied. Do not only educate yourself on this matter, but research about BIPOC history and how you can become a better ally. Education will always win against racism for it allows you to notice how systemic racism is unfair.
Go out to protests: If you are able to, protests are always the core of change. Be there for your BIPOC friends and protest right next to them. Do not let your voice overshadow theirs, and let them lead in that moment. They need to feel empowered, not put in a corner for you to lead them. They have been feeling silenced for far too long, therefore you must amplify their voice not silence it.
If you're posting and rallying for trend/social media image then cancel yourself.
These are just few points out of the many to help you out in being there for your BIPOC friends. Never call a BIPOC person your friend unless you're ready to fight for their human rights. Calling BIPOC people your friends. and not doing anything to help them break off the shackles that keep them in a loop of racism forever, is inhuman.