The United States is in uproar after a white police officer knelt on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, until he died.
Chauvin, who arrested Floyd outside a grocery store on 25 May on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 note, kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
Witnesses captured Floyd’s arrest on video, where the victim can be seen falling silent around six minutes into the ordeal.
The police officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged with the murder of Floyd.
A police statement of the event described a suspect “under the influence” who suffered “medical distress”, but failed to mention Chauvin’s actions. There was also a four-hour delay in charging Chauvin.
Now, citizens across the United States are fighting back, rioting against a long history of police brutality and in the name of Black Lives Matter.
While the protests began as peaceful demonstrations in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, they have since escalated. Violent scenes have erupted in streets as protesters are met with rubber bullets and tear gas.
While Floyd’s death was the catalyst to the riots, they aren’t the sole reason. One Twitter user put it like this: “Tonight is not about this week. It is not about this year. It is not about our current president or his predecessor. Tonight was generations in the making. Our current climate is only the latest accelerant.”
Tonight is not about this week. It is not about this year. It is not about our current president or his predecessor. Tonight was generations in the making. Our current climate is only the latest accelerant.— Errin Haines 🧼🧴🙏🏾 (@emarvelous) May 30, 2020
If discrimination against people of colour both in America and in your own backyard is causing you some distress, and you want to contribute to the causes, there are ways you can help.
How can I donate to the George Floyd cause?
If you have money to spare, there are a few organisations you can donate to that support people of colour.
You can donate to the Black Lives Matter organisation, which aims to fight and end state-sanctioned violence, liberate black people and end white supremacy.
American civil rights activist and football quarterback Colin Kaepernick established an organisation called the Know Your Rights Camp to provide education and training in black and brown communities. He has also set up a legal fund for Minneapolis protesters.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund supports black youth led movements, and pays criminal bail and immigration bonds for those who cannot afford to. Bail funds are now more important than ever: in Minnesota alone, more than 360 people were arrested over the weekend during the protests. This particular organisation has received more than $20 million in donations, and is now helping other Black-led organisations.
Floyd’s family has started a GoFundMe to cover funeral and burial costs, mental grief and counselling for his family, and for the continued care of his children.
What else can I do to show my support to people of colour?
Racism is propelled by a lack of understanding around the history of racial oppression across the globe. If you want to simply be part of the movement towards eradicating racism in the world, you can start with your reading list.
Two novels that have been widely recommended by black rights activists on social media are: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Racism by Reni Eddo-Lodge, and Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism, and Change the World by Layla Saad.
How can I donate to organisations that support Aboriginal people?
The issues overseas have caused Aboriginal rights activists to ask Australians to think about our country’s own systemic racial issues.
Fellow Australian’s I see that fire in your belly, I see that energy.— Nathan Appo (@Elusive_Sausage) May 31, 2020
I wanna see that same energy when we need you here.
The next time a police officer kills one of my brothers or sisters here in Australia and it will happen, I need to see that energy.
This is your fight too
Here are some platforms you can donate to:
The North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency provides culturally competent legal services to Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. Donating to the NAAJA fund provides the organisation with resources to send attendees to United Nations activities and enables university participants of the Bilata Legal Pathways program to gain international experiences related to law and Indigenous issues.
Bábbarra Women’s Centre supports the lives of Aboriginal women in the community of Maningrida and on surrounding homelands. The organisation enables local women to develop and run women-centred enterprises that support sustainable livelihoods.