More justice, more peace
Did ya hear all those popping sounds last week? Mixed in with the pepper balls and flash bangs, you likely heard the sound of SLO’s white privilege bubble bursting open. After George Floyd became the tipping point in a tragic list of people who were unjustly killed by the public servants entrusted to protect them, not even a viral pandemic could hold back the global uproar, all chanting the same call: Black. Lives. Matter.
Now, while you’ve been busy making signs, protesting and hearting every #BLM post in your newsfeed, it may seem like the majority are newly woke on systemic discrimination, but there are still wa-a-ay too many #alllivesmatter believers right here in our community who think, “welp, if it’s not a problem for ME, it must not be a problem.” [eye roll] While the intrinsic issue of racial injustice in our nation is overwhelming, if all of us around the country each look to our local communities and do outreach to our own political representatives, the problem might become a bit more manageable. Virtue-signaling won’t cut it this time. We need real action big and small and we Scoopers truly believe that starts locally. Here are some local ways to make your voice heard and be an ally for BIPOC:
- Email your Congressmember Carbajal and tell him you support police reform and the newly unveiled Justice in Policing Act he co-authored.
- Email your State Assemblymember Cunningham and ask him why he’s been SILENT on this issue, and that you want to hear how he’s planning to address police reform and make our area more welcoming to people of color.
- Email City Council and the County Board of Supes and tell ‘em you support funding programs to increase diversity, inclusion, and improving relations with police/sheriff departments.
- Show some love and financial support for these local Black-owned businesses.
- We know money is tight between lost jobs, furloughs and pay cuts, but if there’s a talent you can monetize (making hipster crafty things, walking dogs, freelance anything), spread those earned funds to local orgs that celebrate and promote diversity, like NAACP Central Coast and R.A.C.E. Matters.
- Purchase a “SLO Welcomes All” decal from Downtown SLO or Len Collective and proudly display it in your office/home/vehicle. 100% of proceeds benefit R.A.C.E. Matters.
- Not a BIPOC? Educate yourself and ask all the hard questions. Don’t just talk the talk. Be a real ally.
- Freaking vote!!
Let’s also acknowledge, racism isn’t a Black problem to fix. Our society is failing people of color, and it’s not BIPOC’s duty to make changes to that system. Will the past 12 days of protesting finally start addressing some of the implicit bias in our lily white community? There is a lot of work to do, but if the multitude of public comments at recent elected meetings, and an at-capacity NAACP Zoom meeting this week are any indication, we are taking those first steps forward.