How You Can Do Better And Fight Racism

This week, Maggie breaks down how allies can step up and fight racism and police brutality now and moving forward.

Educate Yourself

Support Those Doing The Work

Elevate The Voices of Activists

Call Your Elected Officials

If you think your local government hasn’t been doing enough to prevent and punish police brutality, let them know. Call your councilperson, your mayor, your county executive, your state legislator, your Congressperson. Let them know that you see what is happening and you are not okay with it. Let them know that the people in their community want things to change now.

Don’t Call The Cops On Your Neighbors of Color

As we’ve seen, time and again, the police aren’t always here to protect citizens of color. Remember that when you think about calling the police. Consider being an active bystander to interrupt tense situations, but do keep your own safety in mind. To learn more about being an active bystander, check out Collective Action for Safe Spaces.

Get On The Front Lines At Protests

Of course, we are still in the middle of a global pandemic, so if you are immunocompromised or you feel otherwise unsafe being in large groups of people right now, that’s okay. But if you feel comfortable joining in, go! Put yourself between black folks and the police. Show your black neighbors that you mean what you say when you say that black lives matter.

Spend Your Money At Black-Owned Businesses

Financial empowerment is huge when it comes to uplifting communities. That’s why it’s so important to invest in Black-owned businesses in your area. A great place to start is this central database for Black-owned businesses. Some other great resources are:

PS: I want to interview experts on these topics:

  • How white people and other non-Black people can be better allies to actually be anti-racist and fight against white supremacy and police violence

  • Why Black wealth matters and how to even the financial playing field across race

  • Why cash bail is racist and wrong and what should be instituted instead

  • How allies can use their wallets to fight white supremacy and support their Black neighbors, friends, colleagues, family members, etc.

  • How redlining has harmed Black families and prevented them from building wealth

  • How and why real estate taxes should not determine school funding

Email me at [email protected] if you or someone you know wants to be interviewed on one or more of these topics!


TRANSCRIPTION

Maggie Germano :
Welcome to the money circle podcast, a safe space where women can learn about and better understand money so that they can take control of their finances and create a better financial future for themselves and their families.

Hey there, and thanks for listening. I am your host, Maggie Germano. And today I’m talking about something that I’m sure has been on everyone’s minds over the last 10 days, but has also been on the minds of people of color for much, much longer than that. Before I start, I want to say this. I am a white woman raised in predominantly white communities who has gone to school and worked in predominantly white spaces. I know that I am limited by my own privilege. I’m taking steps now to educate myself further, to educate my friends and family and to step up and be actively anti racist. To my black listeners and friends. I see you I stand with you. And I do not ask you to educate me as it’s my responsibility to do that myself. But if there’s any way that I can be helpful or supportive, please do let me know.

To my white listeners and friends, we need to do better. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable when you’re forced to question a system that exists for you. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable when you’re forced to interrogate your own biases, unconscious or otherwise. But it’s imperative that we do it anyway. We as white people benefit from the racism in our societal systems. We are the ones who need to fight against those things and demand change every single day. It should never be on the oppressed to fight for the change that’s needed. Even though it does usually turn out that way. Most of the people fighting for these issues on the ground every single day are the people that are affected by them. But if we really want to be devoted to being anti racist and fighting against white supremacy, we have to step up to so this Episode is going to break down what people who want to be allies can actually do to get started in this fight. So first would be to educate yourself. There’s so many fantastic books and other resources out there. Don’t just turn to the black people in your life and ask them to teach you. They are exhausted, they are dealing with racism day in and day out. They don’t also want to be your teacher on the subject. So find the information yourself. It is out there. I will link to lots of resources in the show notes and on my website, so that you have easy access to them. But I’m sure if you did a very simple Google search, you would find plenty of information. It’s also important to acknowledge that it’s very much a source of privilege to even have to educate yourself on these issues. As a white person. I know that I have obviously never been a victim of racism because of my skin. Obviously everybody has their own struggle. throughout life, but if you’re white, your skin color is not going to be one of them. And people of color, especially black folks in the United States cannot say the same thing. So acknowledge that privilege and then take the steps you need to actually educate yourself and understand what your friends of color are going through every single day. Another important piece, especially as you’re starting to educate yourself and have these conversations, is to not get defensive or try to tone police the people of color around you. Don’t make yourself a victim of this issue. It’s more important to be actively anti racist than it is to feel comfortable and be viewed as a nice person. As a white person, you likely have a lot to learn and the people of color in your life, as I said, are not necessarily the ones who should teach you. Teach Yourself and don’t let yourself get defensive when people around you are talking about this issue. And if you’re bringing up this topic to the people of color in your life, don’t start talking about Not all police are bad and how there are people on the protesting side that are making the wrong decisions that doesn’t help the conversation and it will alienate your friends and make things worse. So don’t get defensive. Don’t try to qualify your own actions or the actions of others. be supportive. Educate yourself, and allow people around you, specifically your friends of color to feel the way they’re feeling they have every right support the people on the ground who are doing the work. So money is always one of the best ways that you can show your support and uplift people in causes. If you can’t afford to donate money, consider offering your time or other resources. For example, you can use your car to transport items or people during protests. I know that in my area over the last couple of days, there have been drop off locations where you can buy supplies for the protesters and donate them and drop them off. So So that people have the water that they need. So they have first aid kits so that they have masks and hand sanitizer and can do what they can to stay safe during these protests, as it’s getting hotter, as the days are getting longer, as the police presence is getting bigger and more violent, just being able to donate resources or even just transport resources if you can’t afford to donate, but you want to be someone who is, you know, driving a car or picking people up to bring them to safety, whatever it might be. There are opportunities for that. So reach out to your local organizations to see what you can do to help and support those movements support those people. So some great organizations that you can support either financially or with your time are obviously Black Lives Matter. There’s the black visions collective, the collective Pac, Minnesota freedom fund, brave Space Alliance. Justice for Breonna. campaign zero, the National bailout. George Floyd’s family has a GoFundMe that has been incredibly successful if you want to contribute directly to the family that is an option. The legal rights center, Northstar health collective, communities against police brutality, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, there’s the ACLU who is supporting protesters and filing lawsuits and defending people. If there is a bail fund in your area, they help pay to get peep bail people out of jail, like they do it all the time for people who can’t afford bail to get out of jail. But especially now as people are getting arrested at protests, that is an important cause to be donating to so find one in your area. If you’re in DC, they actually don’t have a cash bail system. So they are not going to have a bail fund. But there are lots of organizations in the DC area that you can support as well. Again, I will link to all of The ones that I mentioned and more in the show notes so that you have easy access to them.

Another way to help is to elevate the voices of activists that have been doing this work. So there are already so many people out there who are fighting this fight every single day, and they’ve been doing it for years. They’re not just waking up now. So instead of clogging the airwaves with your own thoughts and questions, you should follow support and elevate the people who are already in it. So just a couple suggestions to start with. There’s Rachel Cargle, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Deseree Adaway, Erica Hines, Sonia Renee Taylor. Those are just a few amazing women that you can start with but there are lots more again, I will link to them on the show notes so that you can see their websites and you can follow them on Instagram. They’re very, very active, very informative, and a great way to start getting more of your education.

So next, it’s important to call your elected officials If you think your local government hasn’t been doing enough to prevent and punish police brutality, let them know. Call your council person, your mayor, your county executive, your state legislator, your congressperson, let them know that you see what is happening and that you’re not okay with it. Let them know that the people in their community want things to change now. So we’re seeing this a lot right now, as people are fighting and pushing to defund police departments because their budgets are huge. And we’re seeing that policing is not necessarily actually keeping people safe. So people are pushing to lower those budgets, or at least not increase those budgets right now and funnel that money to community services that will actually support the people and give people what they need, whether it’s health care or mental health services, or education or whatever it might be. So call your elected officials. Let them know what you’re thinking. Go to your town council, your city council meetings. There are a lot of them are happening on zoom right now. So it’s even easier to get involved. I personally reached out to my senator to let him know that I don’t want the Maryland National Guard in DC at these protests because it’s escalating the fear and the violence. And I don’t think that our national guard that we are paying for through our tax dollars should be part of that. And I know that Virginia refused to send theirs and I want Maryland to get on on that wagon. So call or email your elected officials. Let them know what you think, again, it’s easy to forget because of how things have really changed over the last several decades, but our elected officials, our police, our military, all those people are actually working for us. We are the taxpayers. We are the people. We are the ones funding these people. We are the ones funding these departments, and we are supposed to be the ones who have a say. So use your voice to actually do that. Next. And this is an important one that a lot of people don’t necessarily talk about. But don’t default to calling the police on your neighbors of color. As we’ve seen time and again, the police aren’t always here to protect citizens of color. Keep that in mind when you see something strange and you think about calling the police consider being an active bystander to interrupt tense situations. But make sure that you do keep your own safety in mind. For example, last year, because last summer, I heard some yelling, some screaming coming from my neighbor’s house and then outside and I went outside to see what was going on. And I saw a neighbor and their I think romantic partner kind of running down the street and being physical with each other. And of course, as a white lady, my first reaction immediate reaction was I should call the police and They can come and help. But both of these people were black people. And I also have been paying close attention to every instance of police brutality and people getting killed by the police. And I didn’t want to contribute to that if I could help it, obviously. So I as they were on the corner of my street, I stepped in, I basically I interrupted, so I said, What’s going on? And that immediately de escalated the situation because they realized someone was watching. And I physically put myself in between the two people. Neither of them were coming towards me, I didn’t feel like my safety was at risk. They were far enough away from each other that I felt comfortable standing between them without being close to anyone in a way that I felt could potentially harm me if someone got violent. And I asked them what was going on and I asked the woman who seemed to be the victim of some violence in the world. If she needed me to call for help, she said no, and went back in the house, I talked to the other person for a few minutes, things seemed to de escalate, then we all went on our way. I wasn’t sure if that was the right decision to make because domestic violence is scary and complicated, and that also leads to a lot of violence and death. So I obviously have a lot of feelings about that. But in that moment, I didn’t think that calling the police and getting them involved was necessarily the most helpful and the person who was the victim in that moment also did not want me to do that. So that was just one way that I felt like I could de escalate a situation that I was witnessing without myself getting her and without anyone else getting her and without involving the police. So it’s important to learn more about what it means to be an active bystander. Again, it’s very important to keep your own safety in Mind that that is paramount. So, if you ever witnessed a situation where you do not feel safe intervening, don’t do that. But if you want to learn more about being an active bystander, check out an organization called collective action for safe spaces. They are a DC organization that wants to create safe spaces and make the DC a safe place for everyone. And they do a lot of trainings around being an active bystander and interrupting things like like violence when you’re seeing it on the street or on the metro or whatever it might be. So again, don’t default to calling the police on your neighbors of color, see if there are other ways that you could potentially intervene or just interrupt a situation. So another option, something we’re seeing a lot of right now is getting yourself on the frontlines during protests. Of course, we are still in the middle of a global pandemic. So if you are immunocompromised or you feel otherwise unsafe being in large groups of people right now No, that’s okay. And honestly, we’re seeing a lot of footage of the police, again, escalating violence, starting problems pushing people down hurting people. So I totally understand if you don’t feel safe being in those spaces right now. I know I feel that way personally. But if you feel comfortable joining in, go put yourself especially as a white person, between black folks and the police. Show your black neighbors that you mean what you say when you say that black lives matter. I’ve been seeing a lot of footage of white people basically creating a perimeter between the police and people of color to try to de escalate violence and protect their friends in these spaces. And it’s sad but that does often work. So it is a good way to help and get yourself in the middle of all this right now.

Last but not least, spend your money on black owned companies. Financial Empowerment is huge when it comes to uplifting communities. I obviously talk about this a lot when it comes to gender. But it’s the same thing when it comes to race. So obviously black people have historically not had financial power over the history of the United States. We brought people over as slaves, and they had literally no rights. They worked for free by force. And when slavery was ended, they were not given any property or financial compensation or anything to get started. And obviously, through Jim Crow laws and all the racism built into the system that has not necessarily changed a whole lot in the course of our history, socio economic disempowerment across racial lines is still prevalent and we see it in a lot of our communities. So it’s really important to invest in black owned businesses. in your area, a great place to start is a database called support black owned. So it’s supportblackowned.Com. And there’s a whole directory where you can go by state, you can look globally, you can divide it up by category and see what the different businesses are that are black owned, so that you can help build black wealth and build up these communities around you. Some other great resources are the app, we buy black, there’s the black wallet, and official black Wall Street. These are all databases that really do specify black owned companies so that you can be really specific when you’re making those decisions. You know, think about the places that you’re sending your money, like obviously right now we’re seeing that Amazon, Jeff Bezos are making more money than ever before during the pandemic because it’s so easy to shop on Amazon and get free shipping and all those things and that you know, it’s an Not necessarily hoping a lot of people, they’re still not paying a living wage, they’re still not providing benefits and health care. And they’re not providing adequate safety measures in the warehouses right now during the pandemic. So consider looking at these databases and finding where there are black owned companies near you whether they might even be national companies that are selling more of the the broader things that we’re looking for. And maybe they’re not just necessarily restaurants and things like that. So look at those and really be thoughtful about where you’re putting your money right now. So these are just a few places to get started. It’s definitely not going to solve all of our problems. And this is going to be a long fight. It has been a long fight. It’s not something that just started 10 days ago and is going to end when the protests stop raging. It’s not going to end just because the protests stop over, however, the next couple of weeks So make sure that you’re staying engaged every day that you’re taking action every day, and that you’re making decisions in your own life to challenge your own assumptions to challenge your biases, to challenge your friends and family when they’re saying racist things even if it’s not over, there’s a difference between overt racism and and more subtle racism and micro aggressions and things like that. So challenge the language that you’re using challenge the language other people are using. stand up and speak out at your companies and organizations and within your communities as you’re seeing inequality or racism, and just make sure that you don’t forget about this work just because the protests stop over time. And I will share all of the resources that I mentioned and more important resources in the show notes so that you have access to them. They’re again, they’re just a good place to start. Every day. You can learn something new Another thing I wanted to say is that I want to do my best as a financial coach and as a podcaster. And as generally a person who wants to contribute good to the world to elevate the issues that affect the black community in the United States. So if you are someone or you know of someone who are interested in being interviewed on the money circle podcast about different issues, send me a note my email is [email protected] Some of the issues I’m looking for specifically are why black wealth matters and how to even the financial playing field across race, how allies can use their wallets to fight white supremacy and support their black neighbors, friends, colleagues and family members. How white folks and other non black people can be better allies to actually be anti racist and fight against white supremacy and police violence. Other topics that have been Coming up are around redlining and the historic discrimination in the real estate market and housing for black folks and other people of color and how that holds down communities. Something else that I learned about was how real estate taxes are really the things that are funding schools and determining the resources that folks get in different communities, which means obviously, richer communities, wider communities, get more resources and better education, and poor communities and communities of color, get less opportunities, less resources. So that is obviously a deliberate system that was put in place. I would love to talk more about that and what the other options are out there for changing this so that everyone is getting equal resources to education. If there’s any other topics that you are an expert on, or if you know someone who’s an expert on who you really want to elevate that topic, I would love to hear from you. So just send me a note again at [email protected] And thank you so much for listening and thank you to those who are already doing the work out there. And to my fellow white people, don’t forget to do everything you can to be a better ally and don’t make it about you. Thanks.

Thank you so much for listening again this week. Don’t forget to rate review and subscribe in your podcasting app so that more people hear about the money circle podcast and listen. If you’d like to get more connected with money circle or with me, there are lots of ways you can do that. To join the free Facebook group, visit facebook.com/groups/moneycirclegroup. To stay informed of any upcoming events, subscribe to my weekly newsletter at MaggieGermano.com/subscribe. To sign up to attend the next money circle meetup, visit Maggiegermano.com/moneycircle. To learn more about my financial coaching services, my speaking and workshop offerings, or just to read my blog, visit Maggiegermano.com. You can also follow me on instagram and twitter @MaggieGermano. Thanks for listening and have a great week.