falulatonks
Years ago I learned a very cool thing about Robin Williams, and I couldn’t watch a movie of his afterward without thinking of it. I never actually booked Robin Williams for an event, but I came close enough that his office sent over his rider. For those outside of the entertainment industry, a rider lists out an artist’s specific personal and technical needs for hosting them for an event, anything from bottled water and their green room to sound and lighting requirements. You can learn a lot about a person from their rider. This is where rocks bands list their requirement for green M&Ms (which is actually a surprisingly smart thing to do). This is also where a famous environmentalist requires a large gas-guzzling private jet to fly to the event city, but then requires an electric or hybrid car to take said environmentalist to the event venue when in view of the public.
When I got Robin Williams’ rider, I was very surprised by what I found. He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work. I never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that. I’m sure that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his clout as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back. I wonder how many production companies continued the practice into their next non-Robin Williams project, as well as how many people got a chance at a job and the pride of earning an income, even temporarily, from his actions. He was a great multiplier of his impact. Let’s hope that impact lives on without him. Thanks, Robin Williams- not just for laughs, but also for a cool example.
Brian Lord.org (via wonderwoundedhearers)
lulabo

postcardsfromspace:

According to a Pew Research survey, only 37% of white Americans think the events in #Ferguson raise important issues about race.

Okay, fellow white people. We need to talk.

Let me tell you a story: I was an angry punk teenager. Not violent, but I did a shitton of trespassing, and I got into a lot of screaming matches with cops.

I have never been arrested.

I have never been violently attacked by police. Hell, I have never been seriously threatened by police.

I am fully aware that I’ve survived to adulthood largely on the benefits of my race.

When you are white in America, you get away with all sorts of shit. Have you read this account from a white dude who actively tried to get himself arrested? You should. It’s telling.

So, if that’s your main frame of reference for dealing with law enforcement, it is really easy to assume that when someone else gets targeted by the police, they must have done something really bad. After all, you know the police aren’t that petty, right? They’re there to help: That’s what TV tells you, what your teachers told you, what your parents told you. “If you’re in trouble, find a police officer. They’ll help.” And, y’know, if you’re white, most of the time, that’s probably true.

When you’re white in America, it is awfully easy to pretend that you don’t live in a country where the nonviolent physical presence of black people, especially black men, is considered sufficient threat to justify use of lethal force. It’s really easy to pretend that laws are enforced equally; that arrest rate has any demographic resemblance to actual crime rates; that the police are there to protect us from the bad guys.

And, I mean, I get that. It’s a lot more comfortable to pretend that safety correlates to virtue than to confront the ugly truth that a system that benefits you very directly does so at the cost of other people’s lives; that what you were taught was the just reward for being a good person is, in fact, the privilege of your skin. That’s a big part of why we work so hard to retcon narratives about how the black people our police murder must have been dangerous, highlight every casual infraction like it’s a killing spree. We are so desperate to believe that the system that feeds us is just.

It doesn’t feel good to acknowledge that stuff. It feels gross. A system we trusted—one we should be able to trust, that should work for the benefit and protection of everyone has made us accomplice to some deeply horrifying shit.

But here’s the thing:

This happenedThis is happening. Not recognizing it; stonewalling and insulating ourselves in our little bubbles does not make it go away.

And not acknowledging it, not having asked for it, does not make us any less complicit, or any less responsible for owning and fixing this. We are actively benefitting from a fucked, corrupt, murderous system. That is on us. As it should be.

So educate yourself, get the tools, and start dismantling this fucker. You have the time: after all,  no one’s shooting at your kids.

Privilege is the bandwidth to speak up and dismantle because you’re not in fear for your life. And there is no conscionable excuse for failing to use it.

falulatonks

Things You Can Do For Ferguson:

donrickles:

  • Donate money to have those arrested in Ferguson released on bail. These people belong on the streets, especially at a time like this.
  • Send a note of condolence to the family of Michael Brown. Let’s not forget the tragedy that started this.
  • Donate to the Michael Brown Memorial Fund. This is an official fundraiser run by the Brown family’s lawyers. They are going through so much, lets make sure at the very least it isn’t a financial burden.
  • Help get people on the ground. There are activists and reporters who want to do their part and get to Ferguson. Donate and get them there. I am so far aware of Zellie Imani, Zak Jemmott, and JR Valrey (a reporter for SF Bay View).
  • Donate to the Ferguson Youth Initiative.The children of this community deserve better than to be gunned down. Make sure they get that in the future.
  • Feed the children of Ferguson. Many children in America rely on school to get their meals and thanks to the civil unrest caused by the police, the children of Ferguson have been without school since Monday. These people want to make sure that doesn’t mean anyone is going hungry.
  • Find a National Moment of Silence in your area. If one doesn’t exist, start one. Share this experience with others. Solidarity is important.
  • Keep awareness up. Not just among the like-minded people on tumblr, this is something everyone needs to be aware of.
  • Spread accurate information. There is a lot of distortion going on here and spreading every piece of information as it is reported only makes that worse. First and foremost make sure you are listening carefully, then share what is important and relevant.

If you are aware of any good causes or ways to help that I have missed, please reblog and add them.

loveyourchaos

onlyblackgirl:

For white people wanting to know what they can do to help.