Across the country and in central Ohio, anger over our country’s systemic racism and the violence it perpetuates against the black community has given rise to protests, both peaceful and violent. Those of us who find ourselves in a place of racial privilege might be unsure of how to respond and support our black siblings in humanity. We might feel overwhelmed and so decide to sit on the sidelines. This is understandable, but the one thing we cannot do is nothing.
The Humanist Manifesto declares our aspiration to “free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and reduce suffering…[and] to minimize the inequities of circumstance.” With this in mind, the Board of the Humanist Community of Central Ohio echo the call to action from our parent organization, the American Humanist Association. “We call on all humanists and all Americans to do everything in their power to stand and fight the systemic racism in American society and the police brutality that is engendered by that systemic racism.” If you find yourself unable to join the protests in the streets of Columbus or your community, then please consider the following alternatives:
- Tell Mayor Ginther (614-645-7671, @MayorGinther, firstname.lastname@example.org) and City Attorney Zach Klein (614-645-7385, @CityAttyKlein, email@example.com) to release arrested protestors and drop their charges.
- Donate to the Columbus Freedom Fund for bail (Paypal: ColumbusFreedomFund; CashApp: $ColumbusFreedomFund)
- Donate to racial justice charities, such as Color of Change, the NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or the ACLU.
- Call the National Lawyers’ Guild (614-654-6477) if you know anyone who was arrested.
- Write letters to your elected representatives at local, state, and federal levels, encouraging them to support legislation and initiatives for positive change.
- Beginning today, HCCO Board Member, Ben Iten will be collecting supplies at his home in Franklinton to support the protesters (message him for the address) They are requesting non-perishable snacks (granola bars, fruit snacks, etc) and hand sanitizers. An ongoing need is ice as they are trying to keep the water cold.
The murder of George Floyd is not the result of “one bad apple.” It is reflective of an unjust and brutal system. But the protests, rallies, and vigils that have erupted in response continue to give us hope in humanity’s potential to overturn this system and create a more just and compassionate society. Black lives matter.