Although we are going dark this week, we hope that our community – particularly its many white members – will join us in making change. The first thing you can do is contact your representatives and demand that they repeal Statute 50-A, which shields police in New York State from consequences when they commit misconduct. You can find your State Assembly Member here, and you can find your State Senator here.
Second, protest. Here is a good resource to find protests in NYC. If you can’t protest because you’re in a high risk Covid-19 group or regularly spend time in the company of someone who is, but you have financial means, put some money in bail funds to support those that are marching. If you can’t do either of those things, look online for protests, and share them with your friends and family however you can.
Third, if you’re ordering take-out or delivery, please use those funds to support Black-owned restaurants. Here is a list of nearly 200 in NYC. As always, please tip generously. Food delivery workers are overwhelmingly Black and brown and at higher risk of coronavirus exposure.
Finally, this moment has shown us that any anti-racist work we have done in the past at Nowadays has not been enough. To our fellow white business owners and white people: we have a responsibility to end the racist system that has benefitted us at the expense of Black people, and we have to do better, immediately.
We ask you to join us this week in self-education about the history of racism in America, how we have benefitted from it and what we need to do to change it. Two talks we have found helpful are this one by Dr. Carol Anderson, about the ways the United States has systematically denied equality to Black Americans from the end of enslavement to today, and this one by Dr. Robin DiAngelo, about the ways those systems have manifested themselves to benefit white people, how we need to come to grips with the history, and how we need to change our behavior and work to dismantle the system. If you are white and are feeling uncomfortable reading this, work through that feeling with a spirit of curiosity, and talk to other white people about how to turn that discomfort into action. (Do not reach out to Black friends for help trying to understand this. This is not their burden.)
We stand in solidarity with all those protesting across the nation, with everyone making change from home, and above all with the Black community, without whose ongoing musical brilliance Nowadays would not exist.