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Opinion

The most important action you can take to support minorities

This weekend, tens of thousands turned out to demonstrate that Australians will not stand by while Indigenous people die in custody.

Millions in the US and around the world are raising their voices in response to the murder of George Floyd, demanding answers to the ongoing problem of injustices against minorities.

The people have made a statement that they will not tolerate criminal actions by police – whether they are found guilty or not – against those without the privilege to avoid police scrutiny over their everyday actions. 

Indigenous people and other minorities deserve not to have their integrity questioned, their dignity taken away, their courage quelled, and too often their lives ended.

Many at the protests, myself included, have lives made up of privileges that we often don’t even notice.

We can get angry, get passionate, and show our support for causes without fear of consequence.

We also have the privilege of deprioritising the issues when we get bored, or as awareness campaigns fade.

That is the tragedy for movements like this one.

George Floyd was not a new situation.

Injustices against minorities are not new, and they do not pass for the people affected by them.

You’re engaged now.

The most important thing you can do right now is not a post on social media.

It’s not a protest, a selfie with a minority, or a video decrying injustice.

It’s not even donating to a charity that supports Indigenous and minority communities.

All of those are very important – they engage people, they support people, but they provide short-term support.

The single most important thing you can do is get involved in activist programs.

These programs need skills of all sorts and work at all levels.

By volunteering your time, skills, and resources, you will support Indigenous and other minority groups now and in the future.

Many activist groups are calling for support – Amnesty International’s number one domestic cause is Indigenous justice.

Change is slow, involving demands and negotiation with political systems that deliberately do not move quickly.

If half of the people who attended the protests went from just being aware to being engaged activists, human rights causes would benefit from the increased physical and mental resources for years to come.

Let’s make real change.

Let’s not just be aware of these issues – let us be activists.

Get involved in a program for justice today.

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