This was originally posted by Ceri Jenkins from the Bath Vegang Group on Facebook and has been reposted here with her permission. You can find out more about Bath Vegang here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BathVegang/
Bath Vegang is a non-political group, but we are a collection of people striving to make the world a kinder place.
But racism is not simply a political issue - it is a human rights issue, a values issue, an ethics issue which could and should unite people regardless of (most) political background. We should all be standing shoulder to shoulder in the fight for human rights, particularly as vegans who ground our very day-to-day lives in the ethics of compassion.
As a group, Bath Vegang reflects Bath's demographic; predominately white. We are far from experts on the topic of racism, and haven't any idea what it is to live a life where our skin colour alone means that we face daily and institutional racism. We are not oppressed, demonised, and killed for the melanin in our skin.
We do, however, have the capacity to learn and grow, and to use our privilege to ally ourselves with black people (and more widely people of colour) in the fight against racism. And that's what we are asking Bath Vegang members to do.
WHAT CAN WE DO? It's not enough for white people to just say they're not racist, we need to be proactively anti-racist. People of colour need our active support. We acknowledge that we are far from perfect and, as much as we've tried to compile these resources by amplifying Black voices and seeking sources supported by Black orgs, we are fallible and still learning. If you have any other resources to add let us know. Most of the points below are taken from a document (https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/10iIz_pFB8DzPkwddc8dcmJdJ0ZMITfTs7lvs4uyusZk/mobilebasic) put together by @perkin_amalaraj (Twitter) who in turn was inspired by @ambivaIcnt, who made a really good page that focuses on what people in the US can do to support BLM, which you can find here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-0KC83vYfVQ-2freQveH43PWxuab2uWDEGolzrNoIks/preview?pru=AAABcoVD7-E*267N1GFTaHOBB3MzXbs_LQ ________________________ 1. We need to talk about problematic behaviour in the vegan community. It's not going to be comfortable, but we must step back and sit with our discomfort. We have been utterly appalled to witness some people in our very own community co-opting the Black Lives Matter movement and the racist murders occurring in the US and the UK (as well as globally) and comparing them to the death of animals. As explained by an author on AfroPunk.com: "White vegans often argue that our desire to separate ourselves from nonhuman animals is a “speciesist” argument. What these people fail to recognize is that black people are still fighting to be recognized as fully our own species. As equally human. What does it mean when these white vegans argue against our demand to be viewed and represented as fully human, rather than as props in their version of nonhuman liberation?" We must hold our community to account; sometimes this will look like calling people in (educating them, sending them resources to help them with their knowledge, explaining why what they have said is problematic), sometimes it will look like calling them out (publicly holding them to account for their words and actions) and sometime it will look like boycotting and avoiding openly racist vegans and their businesses. Please, we ask you as members of Bath Vegang, as members of the wider vegan community, to read these articles from Black vegans: - https://afropunk.com/2016/02/op-ed-listen-up-problematic-white-vegans-stop-comparing-black-oppression-to-meat-eating/ - https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/meat-free-monday-vegans-need-to-stop-comparing-the-treatment-of-animals-to-american-slavery-10319301.html -http://veganfeministnetwork.com/resources/understanding-racism-101/ - https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/ne9v8b/the-complexities-of-being-black-british-and-vegan ________________________ 2. Support Black vegans and vegans of Colour. Here are just a few organisations and vegans to follow, but please spend time seeking out others:
On Instagram (and maybe on Facebook and Twitter, if they have accounts), follow: @badassvegan, @domzthompson, @bizerkeleyvegan, @hailethomas, @turnipvegan, @blackveganstoday, @torrewashington, @wholelottafoodshit, @london_afro_vegan, @iamtabithabrown, @genesisbutler, @itskimberlyrenee, @whatsgoodberto, @kindredvegansouls, @UKVegansOfColour
________________________ 3. Call/Email your MPs to question their stance on the murder of George Floyd. There is a template for this letter in this document: https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/10iIz_pFB8DzPkwddc8dcmJdJ0ZMITfTs7lvs4uyusZk/mobilebasic ________________________ 4. Educate yourselves (and do not ask/expect Black people to educate you on racism). Here is a great starting point list of books, videos, and articles you can dive into: http://theglitterguide.com/2020/05/30/resource-guide-for-anti-racism-being-an-educated-ally-for-poc/ ________________________ 5. Donate to any of these causes:
Gofundme page for Belly Mujinga, a ticket collector who died of COVID-19 after being spat at by a passenger (https://www.gofundme.com/f/rip-belly-mujinga?fbclid=IwAR0p_F-SoQKQIC3zZRUbMYEtKsgpbZkhpmpj3FPjfcf_-b4IWqMKVNQRPgk)
Gofundme page for Jennie Sablayan, NHS nurse https://www.gofundme.com/f/jennie-sablayan-a-true-nhs-hero)
Minnesota Freedom Fund for protestors (https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate)
Funeral Fund for Dio Johnson (https://www.gofundme.com/f/justice-for-dion-johnson?fbclid=IwAR3FvXBErRhDvNG2b4Pt4FVeGBwSqZGsigWy8C-JNrZI4UuxyfIAcchtOms)
The Bail Project (https://secure.givelively.org/donate/the-bail-project)
Support George Floyd Protestors (https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/support-justiceforgeorgefloyd-protesters-in-atlanta/)
Support the African American Policy Forum (https://aapf.org/support)
Gofundme Page for a retreat for black survivors of domestic abuse (https://www.gofundme.com/f/Mango-Morning-Post-Covid19-Weekend-Retreat-Appeal?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet)
Gofundme Page for UK Legal Support for protestors (https://www.gofundme.com/f/black-protest-legal-support-uk)
StopWatch’s Campaign for Fair Accountable Policing (https://www.gofundme.com/f/StopWatch-Campaign-for-Fair-Accountable-Policing?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet)
Emergency Fund for LGBTQ+ people of colour (https://www.gofundme.com/f/nepjh-uk-qtibipoc-emergency-relief-amp-hardship-fund)
________________________ 6. Support and share the work of ant-racist groups in the UK:
Stop Hate UK (https://www.stophateuk.org) [National charity]
Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Educational Trust (https://www.racearchive.org.uk/about-us/) [Manchester based Trust which aims to record the history of BAME people in Manchester]
Football Unites, Racism Divides (https://furd.org/) [Sheffield based charity which uses football and community to fight racism]
BTEG (https://www.bteg.co.uk/) [National charity aiming to end racial inequality through education and employment]
Southall Black Sisters (https://southallblacksisters.org.uk/about/) [West London based charity who, among other things, run an advice, advocacy and resource centre in West London which provides a comprehensive service to women experiencing violence and abuse and other forms of inequality]
Runnymede Trust (https://www.runnymedetrust.org/) [National think-tank leading the debate on racial inequality]
Stephen Lawrence Trust (https://www.stephenlawrence.org.uk/) [National charity which aims to get rid of institutional barriers in front of young people]
100 Black Men of London (http://100bml.org/) [London based charity aiming to lift young black people up through education and mentoring]
Access UK (https://www.accessuk.org/) [National charity providing career services for marginalised people]
The Amos Bursary (https://www.amosbursary.org.uk/) [National charity working to reduce the gap in prospects between young black people and young white people]
Generating Genius (https://generatinggenius.org.uk/) [London based Charity aiming to open doors to STEM careers for BAME students]