Each Friday we offer up web coolness, a collection of our favorite links, videos and articles we’re liking around the web that week. But this week, in light of the horrific murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile that are weighing so heavily on our hearts right now, we wanted to share some links specifically around the subject of these tragedies.
You’ll find an array of diverse voices and points-of-view that have resonated with us, personally, in various ways. You may not relate to all of them. That’s okay. We think it’s important to hear lots of perspectives.
If you are hurting so much you can’t read them right now, that’s okay too.
And if you have other must-read articles, please leave them in comments. There is always room for more voices.
Please note that we haven’t posted links to news stories (which you can easily find on your own) or to either of the videos, should you have little ones over your shoulder. Frankly, as adults, we wish we could unsee the horrific acts we saw this week, but whether you choose to seek out the videos on your own is up to you.
Our only hope is that these articles, videos and websites may bring some insight, some comfort, some enlightenment, some community, some anger, some outrage — and ideally, help move us all to action together in bringing about essential change.
(Crying Dove image via unicorn baby, used with permission)
Campaign Zero is a brand new, data-driven website from Johnetta Elzie, Deray McKesson, Samuel Sinyangwe and Brittany Packnett, with contributions from researchers and activists around the US. The site aims to create action from policy makers at all levels of government to implement policy solutions that address an inarguable pattern of excessive police violence. The site offers an interactive map to track federal, state and local legislation on police violence; some outrageous and well-sourced statistics about police violence; a candidate tracker to compare the current presidential candidates’ proposals; and a local representative look-up to easily determine where yours stands, and how to contact them. (Please note the site just launched and some features may not be entirely operational yet.)
Amiyrah Martin’s Facebook Live video, It’s Time For You to SAY something should be required viewing. This NJ military mom of three and blogger speaks poignantly, powerfully and heartbreakingly about her personal account as an African-American mother of three, and urges everyone to speak out — talk to your family, write about it, tweet about it, express your outrage and horror without waiting for “data.” Set aside a few minutes to watch — it’s hard, but it’s worth your time.
About Images of Black Death and the Groundhog Day of Police Brutality by Luvvie Ajai is not a new post, but like so many others, it remains relevant. (A statement in itself.) She offers an important perspective about the number of videos of Black men being killed, and asks the difficult question about whether they’re helping to bring about justice or just “torture porn.”
Our own former tech contributor and author, Nicole Blades, writes poignantly for Maire Claire On Watching Videos of Black Death from the perspective of a mother raising a brown boy. It’s a short read and brings up outstanding points about auto-play videos that “go viral and numb the sting…and normalize the perversity.” Good essay to have in mind before retweeting and sharing them.
A similar perspective from Michael Harriot of The Root asserting The Alton Sterling Footage is a Terrorist Video. Powerful, thought-provoking comparison to ISIS propaganda tactics.
Author, Purdue Associate Professor, and incredible columnist Roxanne Gay always hits it out of the park. This week she penned an excellent op-ed in the New York Times: Alton Sterling and When Black Lives Stop Mattering.
It’s okay to tell someone that their racist joke sucks. It’s okay to declare that you believe black lives matter. And it’s okay to not have all the answers. Being willing to learn and listen to other narratives challenges ignorance, increases empathy, and moves us to action.
This is an excerpt from Roo Ciambriello’s A Beginner’s Guide To Becoming an Ally to the Black Community, an excellent primer for our readers not of color. No judgments, just lots of thoughtful, helpful, relatable advice and links from a self-proclaimed “non expert.”
Colleen from Blessed Feet has another outstanding read called 10 Reasons I Don’t Want to Be Your White Ally, in which she, as a white woman, breaks down the reasons that she (and white friends) can easily get outraged about animal abuse or global warming, but stay noticeably silent on an issue that’s meaningful to friends of color . Read it to the end, where she concludes “there’s no way to be a friend without being an ally.”
We’re so pleased to find the passionate and eloquent Say Something from Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom which was written in particular for her white readers. So much food for thought and outstanding links to other helpful posts. We echo the sentiments of so many commenters on the post thanking her for not posting “fluff” and being willing to confront tough issues, even on a design blog.
WaPo columnist Jonathan Capehart on Why African-Americans are Terrified. The short version: Because the two latest victims are only the short version.
Officer Nakia Jones of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, is pissed. Watch her personal video for one female African-American police officer’s compelling perspective.
Crystal Lewis Brown on SheKnows describes the double-standard of gun permits and open carry laws.
Damon Young of Very Smart Brothas has an outstanding essay about the murder of Alton Sterling. We are moved by a previous quote he wrote about Freddie Gray that feels applicable again now. And will again.
So cry new tears. Write new words. Craft new prayers. Attend new marches. Channel new anger. Feel it all again. Every bit of it. All the empathy, all the sorrow, all the rage. Don’t fight it. Let it permeate you.
Kai Right’s analysis for The Nation about Why Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are Dead.
If you don’t know what to say yourself (to Amirya’s point) you can amplify someone else’s voice. Here are some celebrity Twitter reactions about Alton Sterling, from Jessie Williams to Amy Schumer, to Samira Wiley. Because it’s good to know who’s speaking up.
12 Favorite Books to Help Talk to Kids About Prejudice – by no means is this a comprehensive list, but it’s a great start, featuring outstanding, diverse titles from picture books through early-reader/mid-grade chapter books. Also see the comments for more recommendations. Shown above: Let’s Talk About Race by Newbery and Coretta Scott King award winner Julius Lester.
Oddly, it was originally posted one year ago today.
Please don’t let my babies grow up to be hashtags.
— Carolyn Edgar (@carolynedgar) July 7, 2016
Comments are welcome as always. Comments with even a whiff of bigotry are not. Peace. – Liz and Kristen