Written by: Will Connell

DISCLAIMER: This article does not reflect the views of WegENT. The opinions below are the author’s and the author’s alone.

This week police killed multiple innocent black people, among them George Floyd, Breonna Taylor. This week Philadelphia police lobbed tear gas into crowds of peaceful protestors helplessly trapped on the Vine Street Expressway. This week Philadelphia police took selfies with and high-fived white supremacists in Fishtown armed with bats and assault rifles.

This week I will not write about sports.

It’s not that sports are not political. They undoubtedly are. Sports are a powerful platform for national discussions on race, gender, sexuality, class, and so many other vital topics.

But this week, a movement has started that we must help facilitate. Our country needs to reform its justice system to no longer serve white supremacy at the cost of black lives everywhere.

However much time you would have spent reading this article, debating a friend over LeBron vs. MJ, or rewatching Super Bowl LII again, please take that time and explore the resources below.

  • If you are looking to protest, please consider attending this event on Saturday.
  • If you are looking to donate, please use this link to find organizations in Philadelphia who are leading the charge.
  • If you are white and looking to learn, please use this link to educate yourself on anti-racism resources. Do not put the onus on your black peers to teach you their pain or explain to you why their lives matter.
  • If you don’t know where to start, please use this link to explore other ways to defeat racism.
  • If you decry looting, read this piece to better understand its power as a form of expression against an economic system that values private property over human lives.
  • If you don’t know why people are protesting or disagree with them, listen to Dr. Cornel West here.

This list is by no means exhaustive, these are just a few of the ways we can all be a part of ending systemic racism.

As a white kid from South Jersey, I am not an expert on anything going on. My heart is with the black community, but I will never fully understand the pain so many feel. What I do know is that the same police officers that patted me on the back and cheered “Go birds!” while I vandalized Broad Street after the Super Bowl are now shooting peaceful protestors and journalists for saying “Black Lives Matter.”

I am not here to tell anyone how to protest, I only know that we as a country are beyond due for the sweeping reform necessary to treat black Americans with the dignity and humanity white folks have always been afforded. That change starts with each of us participating in collective action.

So this week, instead of talking about Dak’s contract demands or Andre Dillard’s readiness at left tackle, be a part of something greater.

Your action can and will honor the lives of Taylor, Floyd, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Marsha P. Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and every person unjustly murdered by state-sanctioned police violence.

Black Lives Matter. They did yesterday, they do today, and they will continue to tomorrow and every day.
Thank you for your support.

Featured Image: STEVEN M. FALK / Philadelphia Inquirer
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