And that’s okay because this movement isn't about finding something riveting to add to the conversation. Right now, my job as a non-black person in America isn’t just to share how I feel or wax poetic about conflating my struggles to theirs - it’s to stand up and show up for Black Americans.
Right now, my responsibility is to share their voices and uplift them. From marching alongside them to donating, re-sharing, calling, emailing, and signing all the petitions I possibly can, now is the time for me to prove myself as an ally. To be an agent of action marching to the beat of their drum, and to use my privilege to protect their right to fight for the things I take for granted.
I want to remind my fellow Muslims that racial oppression is haram (forbidden). If you rightfully show up for Palestine, Syria, and Kashmir, why is now any different? We have to make the same noise we do for Islamophobia when it comes to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
As a South Asian American, I’ve witnessed the effects of anti-blackness in my own community firsthand. Ashamedly, both knowingly and unknowingly, I have partaken in it. But every day, I’m making a sincere effort to do better and be better - and you should too.
I think it starts with an end to perpetuating the disgusting stigma against blackness in Desi households. We have to unlearn all the racist things we have picked up as children, and that starts with a whole lot of honesty - with ourselves and others. Along with actively supporting BLM beyond performative stunts, let’s have uncomfortable discussions and put an end to racist tendencies because it is truly the least we can do.
Everyone starts somewhere different, but personally, I’ve been educating myself. Additionally, I'm trying to focus on simply showing up: this past weekend, I marched in Downtown Austin where I witnessed the power of solidarity, and I promised myself not to stop there.
Below I've posted some information and action items (most from the brilliant Fariha Roisin's newsletter). It's time for us to ask ourselves what we can do for a better world and find our roles in the revolution.
Asian-American Racial Justice Toolkit
Action Items for Solidarity Against the Murder of Black Men and Women for Muslims
South Asians for Black Lives
National Resource List
Alternatives to Calling the Police
How To Be A Better Ally, an Anti-Racism Toolkit
THIS SEEMS LIKE A BLACK VS. WHITE ISSUE. WHERE IS MY PLACE IN THE MOVEMENT?
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” - Desmond Tutu
Because it’s the right thing to do, and we owe it to Black Americans. If you immigrated to this country after the 1960s, you have the Civil Rights Movement to thank for that. If you listen and record TikTok dances to songs by black artists, draw inspiration from literature by Black authors, and utilize Black vernacular, it’s time to stand up. We can’t exclusively be there when it comes to glorifying black culture and then fall silent when it comes to ensuring Black Americans have the right to exist. Black Americans paved the way for equality and justice in this country and demanded accountability on behalf of government officials for ALL people for generations, and now, more than ever, we need to support them.
If you are a proponent of any religion, let it be known that racial oppression is haram (forbidden). If you rightfully show up for Palestine, Syria, and Kashmir, why is now any different? We have to make the same noise we for Islamophobia when it comes to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
As a South Asian American, I’ve witnessed the effects of anti-blackness in my own community firsthand. Ashamedly, I have partaken in it - from using whitening creams like Fair and Lovely and making horrific discriminatory jokes as a kid. But every day, I’m making a sincere effort to do better and be better - and you should too. We must stop perpetuating this disgusting stigma against blackness and unlearn all the racist things we have picked up as children, and that starts with a whole lot of honesty - with yourself and others. Along with actively supporting BLM, let’s have uncomfortable discussions and put an end to racist tendencies because it is truly the least we can do.
WHY DON’T PEOPLE JUST PROTEST PEACEFULLY?
For centuries, black folks tried everything to convince this country to treat them like human beings: they marched peacefully, elected Democrats, drafted petitions, created art, and so much more. Yet, years later, they are still being tear-gassed for getting mad when one of them is murdered for taking a walk in broad daylight.
Where peaceful protests haven’t led to change, protesters may feel that looting and vandalism are the last resort to make their voices heard. Lorenzo Boyd, the director of the Center for Advanced Policing at the University of New Haven stated that “In Baltimore, they’ve been saying for generations how bad the Baltimore Police Department was, but nobody listened. And then Freddie Gray got killed, and nobody listened. And then they started protesting; nobody listened. But as soon as the CVS burned in Baltimore, the whole world watched.”
NOT ALL COPS ARE BAD!
When protestors attack the police, they aren’t issuing blanket statements pertaining to the morality of each and every cop. They are expressing that the police force has failed them and that the institution of the police has hurt their community more than it has helped them. They are calling for major police reform that entails racial justice training, an emphasis on de-escalation, and an end to senseless and unwarranted violence. Instead of repeating that not all cops are bad, we should instead put our energy and power into holding the officers who have evidently hurt others accountable.
Anyway, I hope you all find this to be helpful! If you have any questions or comments or want to share a resource I missed, please feel free to let me know below.