Due to the wealth of research I did for this earlier piece about Florida’s Volusia County and its police’s history of violence, I have a better understanding now of the damage that a horrible police culture can inflict on Black communities. The sad truth is that same story has taken place all over America for literally hundreds of years. The police as we know it has always been a tool of the ruling class, instigated to protect property: if you were in the North it was the businesses that poor immigrant workers threatened to unravel with organization, and if you were in the South, it was to reclaim the human beings you kept in captivity as chattel slaves. For the police, subjugating the underclasses and terrorizing them into submission is the very reason for which they were created, and these origins cannot be reformed away.
The United States began with Black people in chains and its society forged on the idea that the Black race was simply lesser to white men. Much like with the police, this simply can’t be vanished with a strongly-worded reformation amendment; so long as the machine continues to grind, so too will the injustices it produces. Dismantling the machine is the only real solution, to abolish that which creates the problem in the first place. Progress has been made but the machine is strong, and every time someone dismantles one piece, ten more smaller pieces work harder to pick up the slack. Many times it feels like there is no stopping it.
No matter how hard it may be, however, change of any kind will only be possible in America when Black people are free from the terrors that haunt them at every opportunity. The police are one of those terrors, and we are in a moment in which that terror has chosen to rage against those who stand unafraid of it, to beat them back into submission. The responsiblity of any non-Black person, myself included, will be to recognize our complicity in sustaining that terror and cast it aside so we can lift up the voices, the actions, and the message of our Black communities. This includes, but is not limited to, the queer Black community, the disabled Black community, and the neurodivergent Black community.
What follows will be a list of links that encourages donations, signatures, or other types of support for Black causes, as well as things like bail funds, police injustice, and others. Do what you can, even if you don’t think it’s very much!
National Bail Fund (Directory of bail funds by state with donation links)
ActBlue Secure Donation (Site that lets you split donations between 70+ different bail, aid, and social justice funds)
LGBTQ Fund (Bail fund for LGTBQ prisoners and detained immigrants across 15+ states)
George Floyd Memorial Fund (Go-Fund-Me for the family of George Floyd, who was murdered by Minneapolis Police brutality and one of the major catalysts for the current protests)
Black Visions Collective (Minnesota-based black, trans, and queer-led organization dedicated to Black liberation)
Ways To Help (Interactive site that will direct you to donation links and Twitter threads of support for a host of protest and social justice-related avenutes)
Tony McDade Memorial Fund (Go-Fund-Me for funeral/burial expenses and counseling for the family of Tony McDade, a Black Trans man who was murdered by Tallahassee police)
Emergency Release Fund (Site to donate to bail funds for imprisoned Trans people)
BLM Info Carrd (Interactive site with links to petitions, Twitter threads, and donation drives for Black causes, including mental health aids and Black literature and history)
Justice for Breonna Taylor (Go-Fund-Me for family of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman murdered in her home by Louisville police)
I Run With Maud (Go-Fund-Me for family of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man murdered by two white men as he jogged down a street in Georgia)
Homeless Black Trans Women Fund (Go-Fund-Me for the Black Trans community in Atlanta, Georgia, who are sex workers and/or homeless)