These Heartbreaking Days

These Heartbreaking Days

Tuesday, 2 June, 2020

Since we started this project, we’ve been talking about two things: the magic of storytelling to transport us and the power of empathy to bring us together. This week, there’s only one story that seems important.

We can’t pretend that life is proceeding as normal right now. It feels frivolous to share photos of libraries when George Floyd was murdered in the street, too many other innocent black people have been killed by police, and peaceful protesters are being tear-gassed across the country.

There comes a time when silence is betrayal.

We doubt you need to hear this from us, but we’re going to say it anyway. Black lives matter. Murder is wrong. Any flavor of racism, ageism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, fatphobia, ableism, tribalism, or xenophobia is wrong, both factually and morally. We are firmly on the side of empathy and love.

We’re joining a protest here in Prague on Saturday; we hope that you’ll do whatever feels right to you in your own community.

We understand that you might be turning to us for an uplifting place online to enjoy a respite from reality. So we’ll continue to update the blog and connect with you in our newsletter, but we’re going to be a bit quieter on social media for a little while.

In the spirit of curiosity and empathy that drives everything we do, we’ve compiled a few resources below that deepened our understanding of what’s happening and how we can help. We hope they’ll help you navigate these heartbreaking days.

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If You’re Curious About the Protests and Need Context

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote an achingly beautiful and sharp editorial for the Los Angeles Times called Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge. ‘Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.’

If You Need Anti-Racism Reading & Resources

  • Black Lives Matter is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada — it’s a good start for educating ourselves about white supremacy.

  • This Google doc of anti-racism resources for white people was created by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein. It’s meant to help white people and parents dig into what it means to do anti-racism work in their lives, and urges, ‘If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now.’ The list includes books for adults and children, plus podcast recommendations, films, TV series, and social media accounts to follow.

If You Want to Support Protesters

If you support the activists in their fight for justice and against racism and brutality but are unable to join the march in the streets, you can support the cause with a donation.

With thousands of protesters arrested around the country, bail relief is a vital issue. Bail funds are an effective way to ensure that protesters don’t languish in jail due to an inability to pay. This Paper Magazine article does an excellent job of explaining why bail funds are helpful to protesters.

In a nutshell, defendants who are unable to afford bail for misdemeanor crimes — like attending a protest or jumping a turnstile — remain in jail, separated from their families, and, right now, are extremely vulnerable to coronavirus infection.

  • Act Blue has set up a nationwide bail fund that allows you to split your donation to dozens of community bail fund organizations.

  • The National Bail Fund Network has created a directory of community bail funds so you can donate to a specific local fund.

If You Want to Support George Floyd’s Family

  • A Go Fund Me has been set up for donations to cover ‘funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist our family in the days to come as we continue to seek justice for George. A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund.’

Top image courtesy of Julian Wan.

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