In trying to figure out how to continue to be helpful outside of boosting posts on social media and making donations, I saw a video from Brandon Goodman about being an effective ally rather than a “good” ally. I’m trying to become a better effective ally right now.
It took a bit of time for me to figure out how to be useful and effective (and I know I’ll keep learning how to do so), but I’m planning on continuing to find ways to STAY effective and to boost the names, stories, and voices of the people being directly affected by a nation built on and steeped in racism.
Yesterday, I contacted our mayor, our 11 city council members, and our city planner to take action against and hold accountable the APD for the senseless act of violence and incompetence committed against Justin Howell.
If you don’t know Justin’s story – he was at a protest here in Austin when another protestor allegedly threw a water bottle toward police. APD fired beanbag rounds missing their target and striking Justin in the head. As Justin was carried away by others in the crowd, APD continued to fire on them. Justin suffered a fractured skull and brain damage, his doctors confirming that his injuries came directly from the beanbag and not from his subsequent fall.
I’ve read lately that sending form emails isn’t effective because they can be easily filtered out if the recipients find that they’re receiving the same email over and over from multiple people. This means it takes no time for them to ignore you. So, I took the time to write things out in my own words in the hopes that they’ll be read instead of filtered into the trash. Whether or not that’s actually true, I’ll be writing in my own words going forward whenever I need to contact someone like this.
We can all still learn how to be better, do better, and do more. Look outside of yourself and figure out what that looks like for you, too.
Want to help? Contribute to the GoFundMe for Justin Howell’s medical bills.