This was supposed to be a travel post for June 3rd’s post day. Since traveling is what I mainly blog about, I like to do travel-related posts every other week. But to post about travel, in the midst of everything that’s going on, would have been beyond tone deaf. I wrote about George Floyd in a post from last week, but that wasn’t enough. Since then, there’s been a complete shift in this country. All across the nation, people are protesting and standing up for what they believe in, and I couldn’t be more proud. Besides talking about fighting for what you believe in, I really want to talk about taking a break and recharging as well. I think people need to hear that.
Let me start off by saying that I protested two nights in a row, on Thursday and Friday, the week Mr. Floyd was killed. I was anxious and excited to do so, and it was an experience I can only describe as incredible.
Myles and I were also planning on attending Mr. Floyd’s memorial in Minneapolis on June 4th. We were under the impression it was public, but when we did more research it turned out to be private memorial that you had to be invited to. We then went back and forth with whether or not we should go and show our support from outside. Once we realized the memorial was being live streamed, we figured we’d get more out of watching live from home and being able to hear what is said, rather than showing support from outside. So while I wish I could have attended and shown my support, I completely understand and respect the family’s decision. If you weren’t able to watch the memorial, or want to rewatch, there’s a video of the entire service below.
My heart has been so uplifted seeing so many people across the country join the fight for justice. I even saw a statistic noting that all 50 states, over a dozen countries and so many different groups of people (witches, the Amish, etc.) all came together to protest for Mr. Floyd and the BLM movement as a whole. How amazing is that?!
But with that, I think comes another discussion. The need to sit back and recharge, depending on who you are of course. Some people are able to go go go without any breaks, and I commend them! Unfortunately, I realized that that just isn’t the case for me. I mentioned I protested Thursday and Friday, right after I was done working. But on Saturday and Sunday, I needed a break. In a Facebook post, I described why:
“We went on a walk today. We stayed home all weekend besides this walk. We protested Thursday and Friday, but we needed a break. We’re not ever going to give up the fight for justice, but we were exhausted. Every protest we went to had an extreme mental affect on us. You don’t leave and come back the same. You attend and leave more wiser and with a heavy heart. We’ve spent so much time thinking about Mr. Floyd. Thinking about how it could have gone differently. Worrying about our loved ones. Our hearts hurt for Mr. Floyd. There’s not a moment I don’t think of him. I’ll never give up the fight for minorities to be treated fairly in this country. But we desperately needed this break to recharge, and we did and it was beautiful. #RIPGeorgeFloyd #JusticeForFloyd #ICantBreathe“
At first I felt guilty about taking the weekend off. I didn’t want people to think I had given up or that I was weak. But after talking with one of my close friends Leah, who has also been protesting in Houston, I realized that wasn’t the case at all. It’s okay to take a break. In my Facebook post, I touched on how you don’t leave a protest and come back the same. You’re transformed into someone wiser and each time, at least for me personally. I also left both protests with a heavy heart. Although the protests are powerful, you can’t help but think about how this shouldn’t even be happening in the first place. You shouldn’t have to fight for an entire group of people to receive basic human rights. Protests definitely will have your emotions all over the place, so please, take a break if you must.
The good news: you can continue to fight for justice and equality in other ways besides protesting. I want to thank my friend Leah in advance for coming up with this list.
How to Show Your Support Besides Protesting
Donate to Organizations
- The Minnesota Freedom Fund
The mission of MFF is to pay criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to as MFF seeks to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing.
- George Floyd Memorial Fund
Mr. Floyd’s sister set up this GoFundMe to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist his family in the days to come as they continue to seek justice for George. There’s also an address listed to send cards or letters of encouragement.
- National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Program
The NLG’s mission is to use law for the people, uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people by valuing human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests. They are currently working across the country to protect the rights of those protesting the murder of Mr. Floyd.
- Donate supplies (water, snacks, etc.) to protesters in your community
- Research and educate yourself on systemic racism and how it affects society as a whole
- Have a conversation with your family and friends who may not understand what this fight is about and why it is important
- Pray. Have a conversation with whichever religious being you believe in.
Even though all four cops involved in the murder of George Floyd have been arrested and charged, this fight is far from over. Breonna Taylor’s murderers have not been arrested. Police officers across the country have been violent with peaceful protesters. Thousands of racists have shared their true thoughts on what’s going on via social media.
I’m an optimist, so I like to believe that one day we can live in harmony in a society that will not judge or punish you based on the color of your skin, but rather who you are as a person. It may not be in my lifetime. Or my children’s lifetime. But maybe my grandchildren’s lifetime. And maybe for all the generations after that. But in order to get there, we have to unite and fight the system and the ugliness that’s out in the world. We have to work together. So please, don’t give up. This world needs you.