What can we do in response to the Orlando, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and police officer shootings?
Tonight’s Sex Positive Boston discussion was a brainstorming session about what we all can do (individually and/or collectively) in response to Orlando, the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, targetted killings of police officers, other recent incidents of police brutality, and racism and oppression in general. We did our best to think creatively about how we can contribute to positive change in light of these dark circumstances. There is no one right answer, and we are not here to tell you what approach is right for you!
The first part of this article is a summary of our brainstorm of what needs to be done to create positive change.
The second part is a list of action steps that we can realistically implement. We wrote these steps for ourselves, as things that we intend to hold ourselves to doing. I’m sharing them here because they may be helpful suggestions for others, too.
Keep in mind that these lists are not comprehensive and were cut short for the sake of time. I’m sure there are a ton of things missing from both lists.
What types of change would you like to see?
And what needs to happen for these changes to take place?
Real racial integration so that white people know people of color (and vice versa). This can help us to truly see one another as humans, empathize with one another, and care about issues that affect people of different races.
Ways I can contribute
Become more civically engaged. Call, email, and/or write legislators.
Speak up! Do not wait for people of color to educate white people about race. Have the tough conversations yourself.
See about working with gay police officers groups to address aggression and lack of respect for civilians by officers.
Be specific with the allies in my life as to what they can do to help.
Encourage more diversity committee meetings at work.
Don’t judge a person based on others’ perspectives.
When you see something wrong, say something about it and stand up against it.
Help/support one person of color (i.e. through a mentor program), and encourage others to do so, too.
Push to take more discrimination cases at my job (lawyer).
Make a conscious effort to get to know more people of color of various class backgrounds.
Integration: Get more diverse people to Sex Positive Boston and Pleasure Pie events and discussions. Do outreach in neighborhoods and groups with predominately people of color. Make sure the events are offering value to people of color, so they’re not doing the rest of us a favor by showing up.
Talk to my non-activist white family and friends about racism.
Make an illustrated list that has instructions for white people to be active allies. Work with several people of color and find tips from articles written by people of color, to keep it on point. This could also be a zine, or a series of stickers that I could give out for free and encourage people to put up in public (while warning them that apparently posting stickers in public is technically illegal).
Advocate change on social media. Comment on racially insensitive posts to explain an anti-racist way of thinking, and comment on anti-racist posts to show support.
Work for political candidates who support racial justice, to help them get elected.
Attend events, meetups, etc. to learn more about what people are doing to combat racism, and what can be done.
Say hi to the police officer I see everyday, so we each will see one another as humans.
Listen to the needs to people of color before taking action.
Attend political actions (rallies, demonstrations).