Here’s some things you can do.
In our experience, we have found that many (well-intentioned) white people often conflate Montana’s whiteness with a lack of diversity and racism. This harmful rhetoric erases the thousands of years Indigenous peoples who have stewarded the land and communities of color who call Montana home. It also ignores the changing demographics of our state. That’s why it’s deeply important we support actions that center and are led by the people impacted most.
For white folks who want to move towards active allyship, think about the space you’re taking up. Are you centering your feelings and your guilt? It doesn’t matter if you have good intentions if you’re ultimately causing harmful impacts. There are many ways to show up during this time:
- If you’re in Bozeman, join the rally THIS Friday, June 5. We will keep our pages updated with Black-led rallies across the state.
- Give your money to BIPOC-led organizations, directly to protestors, and to bail funds.
- In Montana, we suggest giving to the Montana Racial Equity Project, University of Montana’s African American Studies department (indicate the Diana Riley Fund to go directly to the Black Solidarity Summit), Montana State University’s Black Student Union and Western Native Voice.
- Clean out your Instagram feed by thinking about the profiles you consume. Follow BIPOC accounts like @rachel.cargle, @melaninbasecamp, @earthtoneoutsidemt, @blkandgrn, @tsalani, @thegreenevan, @mvmnt4blklives, and @outdoorafro.
- Read the books and watch all the films. Here are some must reads:
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- How to be an Anti-Racist, Stamped from the Beginning, or anything else by Dr. Ibram X Kendi
- Anything by Angela Davis
- White Fragility by Robin D’Angelo
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- If your finding yourself still confused questioning if white privilege is a thing, check out Peggy McIntosh’s Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack and Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person by Gina Crosley-Corcoran
- Most importantly — call your neighbors, peers, loved ones, and family members when they make a racist joke, tone police, or deny their own participation in racism and racist structures.