I’ve been sitting on my couch for the last half an hour, staring at a blank screen, trying to figure out what on earth I’m supposed to blog about after this hellish week. In case you’re literally living under a rock, both Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were killed by police in both Louisiana and Minnesota.
According to Huffington Post, police killed at least 136 black people in 2016, according to a project by the Guardian that tracks police killings in America. Philando Castile became the latest addition to the list Wednesday night after an officer shot and killed him.
My heart hurts for the families of Alton and Philando. For the black community who live in more danger than most of us can fathom purely because of the color of their skin. There was a time where I’d post on social media that my thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families. And you can bet your ass that I prayed, and prayed hard, for those families. But that isn’t enough anymore…and you know what, it never was.
Outrage has spread throughout social media. Writer and Editor Ashley C. Ford had this to say about the systematic racism. Editor Ljeoma Oluo had this to say about how white/non-black people can help. She also wrote this article on police brutality and what we can do RIGHT NOW.
There are easy ways we can help that will make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. We can signal boost black writers and their messages. We can donate to campaigns set up to help the victim’s families.
This is a link to the GoFundMe page set up for Alton Sterling’s family.
This is a link to the GoFundMe page set up by Philando Castile’s sister.
If you’re part of the writing community, you can search the hashtag #WordsForChange started by Laura Silverman (her name links to her site with the details). Writers from all over are raffling off everything from signed books to manuscript critiques to query packages. Some have different donation minimums, some don’t. There’s a raffle for every price point.
My raffle (@raddestgirlever) is a set of essential oil rollerballs. I can make them for whatever ails you; motivation blends to wake you up and relaxing ones to help you sleep. Blends for hormones and blends for anxiety, ones for scars or stretchmarks. Whatever you’d like. If you show proof of donation of $50+, you can skip the RT and I’ll mail you one. Just comment below.
Our own Kim Graff (@kk_writes) is raffling off a 100 page, synopsis, and query critique.
If you don’t have the funds, spread the word. RT to signal boost. Share the GoFundMe pages. Do not be silent.
RIP Alton and Philando.