BLACK LIVES MATTER

Rare is a diverse magazine. Our founder is a Black Haitian woman whose first language is French. Her husband is from Co. Down in Northern Ireland, a relationship that would have been illegal when the president was old enough to buy cigarettes. As a diverse company, we tend to take a global perspective in our stories and editorial approach. For that reason we’ve shied away from American politics, as our readers are all over the world. But the eyes of the world are now centered on America and the injustices of the world. We can’t sit idly by. As Howard Zinn says, you can’t be neutral on a moving train.
Eight minutes and forty-six seconds. That’s how long law enforcement casually kneeled on Mr. George Floyd and crushed the air out of this man’s soul while he cried out for his mother, as onlookers begged them to stop. The men sworn to protect and serve.
But George Floyd was not the first.
Before Floyd, that same month police in Indianapolis killed three people in one day, including a pregnant woman.
Before Floyd was Breonna Taylor, who was asleep in her bed when uniformed police broke into her house, the wrong house, and shot and killed her.
Before Floyd was Tamir Rice, a 12-year old boy playing cops and robbers in his yard.
Before Floyd was Elijah McClain, a violinist who volunteered at an animal shelter, killed by police because he “looked suspicious.” The officers all had removed their body cameras, and in the audio one can be heard saying, “move the camera.” They knew what they were doing was wrong.
And since George Floyd there has already been another, David McAtee, a local business owner who frequently gave free food to community members, including law enforcement.
The list goes on and one. Clifford Glover, Claude Reese, Randy Evans, Yvonne Smallwood
Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Jonathan Ferrell, Aiyana Jones, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Michael Brown,  Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Corey Jones, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Terrence Crutcher, Keith Scott, Jordan Edwards, Stephon Clark,
Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Ahmaud Arbery. We repeat: “say their names,” but the truth is every person of color has stories to share about police brutality. The truth is that their murders are a signal to people of color to know their place. Just as lynchings served as a warning in the past, just as confederate statues are the same brutal reminder today. The threat of brutality impacts us all.  The wealthy, the successful, the brilliant, all live in this fear.
In response to this endless brutality, the victims are blamed. Some claim that Eric Garner deserved to die for selling cigarettes. That Oscar Grant deserved to die for having too much fun on New Years. That Deion Fludd deserved to die for hopping a turnstile. That Michelle Cusseaux or Kayla Moore deserved to die because they suffered from mental illness. And when there is no excuse, police will claim they were attacked, or that the cell phone or wallet was believed to be a gun.
We will not engage in these debates. They do not matter. The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution promises that all those accused of a crime have a right to a trial. It is not for police to decide who lives and who dies. Those who entertain this narrative are arguing against their own rights, and we see the proof of that when such arguments are used to defend brutality against  protesters of every race.
Trevor Noah got it right when he said  the social contract is broken.
We say remember their names, but we don’t want another martyr.. We want change. We know you do too, that’s why we’re sharing the resources below.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The ugly statistics we could cite here seem endless; but many of you know this already. What you want to know, is what can you do about it? Don’t feel bad if you don’t have all the answers. It’s’ much easier to criticize than to offer solutions, but what are the right solutions? Who is an ally, and who offers only platitudes? Politicians offer support and symbolic victories; we are awash in messages of support, up to our necks and drowning in thoughtful gestures.

But there are leaders among us who are showing the way. There are people who are thinking about what needs to be done, and targeting those who have power to make real systemic change.

Where to Donate and Help Out

In deciding who to support, think about your own goals, and match them to the goals in the following list. We’re all coming at this with different beliefs about what solutions are necessary. What action would make you satisfied? What could those who hold power do to leave you genuinely reassured that law enforcement will no longer use their power to harass and murder those whom they have deemed other? Looking at the goals of the organizations below, and give your time and money to the one that best matches what you feel in your heart.

POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY

America spends $100 Billion per year spent on law enforcement and another $80 Billion per year on incarceration.

ADVOCATE FOR BLACK LIVES

Black Lives Matter Global Network

BLM advocates for justice. This includes organizing demonstrations, writing and gathering petitions, and hires artists to create awareness about police violence.

RESEARCH THE FACTS AND WRITE NEW LAWS

Campaign Zero

More than a thousand Americans are killed by police yearly. Campaign Zero strives to reduce this number to zero by writing data-driven policy solutions, such as community oversight, limiting use of force, community representation, demilitarization and ending for-profit policing.

BROADLY SUPPORT LEGISLATION FOR RACIAL JUSTICE

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

While they also write and defend criminal justice policy, their objectives also include litigating for voter participation, equality in education, and ensuring that Americans have equal access to health care, housing and employment.

LITIGATING TO HOLD POLICE ACCOUNTABLE

The National Police Accountability Project

A project of the National Lawyers Guild, the central mission of NPAP is to promote the accountability of law enforcement officers and their employers for violations of the Constitution and US law.

TAKE DIRECT ACTION

Have You Witnessed Police Injustice?

Report it Here

BLMwebpageandrew-donovan-valdivia-4UKyOqDnSFY-unsplash1

DEMAND JUSTICE FOR BREONNA TAYLOR

Breonna Taylor was sleeping when police broke in and shot her eight times.

Call or email the Louisville Mayor’s office to demand the chief of police be fired for Taylor’s murder.

Louisville Mayor, Greg Fischer – (502) 574-2003

For more info on Breonna Taylor or to donate to her memorial fund see JusticeForBreonna.org.

DEMAND JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD

Call the Minneapolis DA and mayor to demand the officers be convicted for the murder of George Floyd.
Minneapolis Mayor’s Office, Jacob Frey: (612) 673-2100
Minneapolis District Attorney, Mike Freeman: (612) 348-5550 or citizeninfo@hennepin.us
Minneapolis Police Department: police@minneapolismn.gov

MINNESOTA ORGANIZATIONS FOR RACIAL JUSTICE

Black Visions Collective
Reclaim the Block
Northstar Health Collective
MN Healing Justice Network
Twin Cities Recovery Project
Women for Political Change: Frontline Fund
George Floyd Memorial Fund

BLMResizedkoshu-kunii-ILpe0MpOYww-unsplash

HELP PAY THE BILLS OF THOSE PROTESTING

Bail Relief by State

This links to a spreadsheet that enables you to find the organization in your state that provides bail relief for Black Lives Matters protesters. In addition to posting bail for protesters, funds go to transportation, supplies, and spreading the word. Some of the most talked-about cities are flush with cash so check the website to be sure.

END CASH BAIL

The Bail Project

The Bail project provides bail assistance for tens of thousands of Americans, but their ultimate goal is to end the bail policy altogether. In their words, “We won’t stop until the presumption of innocence is no longer
for sale.”

BLMwebpagenathan-dumlao-psXeKJQcl2o-unsplash copy
grayscale-photo-of-persons-fist-4544455
BLMWebPagelogan-weaver-nEyhFPjEmY8-unsplash copy