Dear members of the SURJ community,
We write to you today not with answers, but with questions: What does it mean that white supremacy wins elections? What does it mean that white people across this country vote for a candidate that spews hatred and bigotry? What does it mean when we wake up to a President-elect that provokes fear in our neighbors of color, queer people, immigrants and undocumented people, Muslims, and women, while promising to enact policies that will put us back decades in the fight for racial and economic justice?
Even as we search for the right words and next steps, many of us are reaching out to our Muslim, Black, immigrant, queer, undocumented and female community members and making vows of solidarity. We are working to hold each other and remind each other that we are not alone, that we are in this together.
I am numb. Stunned. But not really surprised. We knew how deep white supremacy runs in this country. It is in the very air we breathe and the water that we drink (especially if you live in Flint, Michigan, or on the Diné (Navajo) reservation).
White supremacy was there the moment Europeans stepped on these shores, slaughtering millions of Indigenous peoples, forcibly removing them from their homes and putting them in the precursors of concentration camps on the most undesirable lands (until they discovered gold and uranium on those lands or wanted to lay a pipeline through them). And yet Native America has survived.
White supremacy was there when millions of Africans were put in chains, forcibly removed from their homes and shipped to the Americas where their labor gave birth to economies and societies whose riches were unmatched in the history of the world, the results of lash scars on broken backs and broken families and broken hearts. And ever since these peoples were declared emancipated and their labor could no longer be free, America has been trying to dispose of them. In ways both brutal and insidious. And yet Black America has survived.Read more
Trump's victory is devastating. But now more than ever we need to stand up and fight for racial justice. The heaviest burdens of Trump's presidency will likely be born by people of color. Van Jones called the election result a whitelash: a revolt by white Americans against a black president and against the gains that people of color have made. White allies and accomplices need to resist the bigotry that Trump has mobilized.
Republicans now control all three branches of government. That means we have to fight all the harder, and take the fight local. Here are 5 ways you can show up for racial justice in the Bay Area:
1. Go to one of the emergency protests today (November 9th). It's a way to show publicly that you reject Trump's hateful stance on immigrants, Muslims, and people of color.
For East Bay people, there's a "Protest Trump" rally at 5pm in Frank H Ogawa Plaza in Oakland.
For San Franciscoans, there's this emergency protest at 5pm at Market and Powell Streets: "Trump Says Go Back, We Say Fight Back!"
2. Follow these groups and pages on Facebook so that you know about mobilizations, campaigns, and other events supporting racial justice:
SURJ Bay Area (that's us)
See this list for dozens more local community groups who organize for racial justice.
3. Attend a SURJ Bay Area meeting to learn more about how you can take action.
5. Direct action will define the coming days. Train yourself in how to be the best possible ally when protesting and mobilizing. Take a SURJ Bay Area training to give you the skills you need and real-time experience of being in a protest for racial justice.
Vote with people of color this election to protect renters, boost police oversight, and lessen the harms of the prison system. SURJ Bay Area’s editors have highlighted statewide and local ballot measures that will most affect communities of color.
For example, two propositions on the California ballot are related to the death penalty. As the NCADP put it: “The burdens and failures of the United States justice system fall most heavily and unfairly on communities of color. There must be a fundamental change in the system. The lynchpin for that change is ending capital punishment."
By voting on the following measures, you can do your part to stand up for racial justice.
“Our communities are being destroyed by racial tension, and we’re too polite to talk about it,” Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, said in a recent company speech defending the Movement For Black Lives. “It’s not pleasant to discuss,” he added. “But we have to start communicating.”
Speeches like Stephenson’s need to become the norm for white people. They don’t have to take place on a formal stage, either; they should take place on “stages” of various scales, from casual encounters at the supermarket to serious conversations at the dinner table. In fact, encouraging such conversation is the whole point of the recently launched “Wear Out the Silence” campaign.Read more
Black.Seed Collective, Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and The Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) hosted two benefits to raise awareness and funds for the family of Richard Perkins.Read more
"We Comin" Performed by Rev. Sekou & the Holy Ghost
Additional Footage by Noemie Serfaty
Still Photographs by Brooke Anderson
Produced & Edited by CRC Media Corps
SURJ Bay Area protest at the home of Mayor Libby Schaaf, in response to the call from the Anti Police-Terror Project for 96 Hours of Direct Action to #ReclaimMLK Day.
Video credits: CRC Media Corps
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) action on Dec 10th, 2014. In response to a call for action from Ferguson Action and #ThisStopsToday in NYC, white residents from Oakland and Berkeley protested at the Oakland Federal Building -- in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter national movement, in honor of the 66th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to protest the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.