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Material Support for Black Lives

I can’t advocate to save my life. But luckily that’s not the only way to show we care about black lives. We can offer material support which, when done hand in hand with advocacy, multiplies the help.

Give to charities that support the poor, especially ones that put money directly in people’s pocket. GiveDirectly and RIP Medical Debt are my two favorite charities for these because they have low overhead and thus can help more people. It’s obvious that donating to charity won’t only help African Americans but since they are disproportionately represented in the poor a lot of it will. Also poverty among whites is one of the things that fans the flames of racism so anything you do to lift up a poor white person is actually helping ease racial tensions.

Vote blue. There are things in red states that really hurt African Americans like the failure to expand Medicaid which a lot of them rely on for healthcare. Lost in the narrative of Republicans acting racist is their actual policies which in and of themselves severely disadvantage the poor. What’s really sad is poor whites will vote against their interests because they would rather forego free healthcare then let minorities have it.

Provide a regularly updated resource list for your community. If organizations could become less siloed and share a list for their community with updated information on the latest resources for helping the poor that would really help. For example there is a tool that lets you write and send pictures to people in jail for free. I actually started a list like this on my local food pantry’s website. The list will be different for each locale though some of the items are national.

Give your time and consideration. Often times you won’t get to know people on the margins until you help them. Give rides. Obviously COVID makes this harder but often the thing someone of color could use is a ride to work or the grocery store or the doctor. Buy a struggling brother an air conditioner window unit. Heat breeds anger and an air conditioner can contain this. If your church is truly into racial reconciliation it is probably already offering you opportunities to materially help minorities. In this way you will build a rapport you couldn’t in any other way. If you find your self reaching a struggling youth stay in their life even if it impacts what you planned your life to be negatively.