How our everyday choices can make a greater impact.
Reflecting on this past week of news reports involving multiple racialized victims of crime has me thinking about activism in a new way.
Protesting and demanding action from our policy makers is activism in its purest form.
I support and encourage the tumultuous protests in America over the murder of George Floyd. If you don’t relate to the rage fuelling these extreme reactions, then you’ve most likely never experienced consistent, enduring inequality. Lucky you.
Maintaining pressure on those in positions of power must transpire to achieve widespread acknowledgement of oppression, injustice and brutality, and to invoke lawful change.
But how can we be active in other constructive ways while we go about our daily lives?
I see the phrase “support local” so often now it’s nearly become the catchphrase of the middle class. While the sentiment appears to come from a place of well-meaning, I internally groan every time at the backhanded tone of condescension aimed at those who don’t follow the command.
There’s privilege in the ability to pick and choose where to spend your money. There’s privilege in having expendable income at all.
While I agree that pumping less money into the corporate Megazords can help promote a sustainable, socially viable economy, we can still do better.
What does supporting local imply, and who exactly are we supporting? If money is power, who are we giving power to? Gentrification comes to mind. Neighbourhoods primarily occupied by, and businesses disproportionately owned by, white people.
Discrimination is masked by the good deed of supporting local. Advocate for small and local businesses, but furthermore, recognize and support businesses owned by people of colour to promote an economy of diversity.
Activism can be more than marches and banners. It can be dynamic and innovative. It should expand and intersect. And at the very least, it should lack a sense of complacency that we’re doing enough.