Editor’s Note: Blerd Galaxy’s “Putting in the Work ” is a new column that highlights injustice in our community and lays out the pertinent details (the facts) before giving you ways to activate–to put in the work yourself. This moment we are in is not going to improve our society unless we all step in and put in that work. Each week, we will discuss a different way you can do that.
What is “Putting in the Work”?
For the inaugural edition of Blerd Galaxy’s “Putting In Work” column, I feel it is imperative that we first define what “the work” is. These days, when someone speaks of putting in or doing the work, most often they are referring to social justice work. These are people who are real and actual social justice warriors and not just in the Twitter-verse, but out here in these streets. These are people planning for their communities, building infrastructures to protect the vulnerable, cooperating with like minded activists to better society, and disrupting systems of oppression that have systematically held people down. We are all about disruptors here at Blerd Galaxy.
Purpose and Passion
Let’s be real. This is the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty, and it has been all about the fight. We have fought everything from global fires to pandemics, civil unrest and murder hornets. This month we even had the first ever fire tornado warning in southern California. THAT is where we are. It is enough to feel utterly hopeless sometimes. We hear you and we get that. With everything going on in the world, in the media, in our lives, we want there to be a place to pause, take a breath, and say, “where can I help”. Because that’s the thing, isn’t it? If you look at the events around you it can seem massive and overwhelming, like there is no answer and no hope. At times like this, there are few better places than our fandoms full of heroes who triumph over adversity all the time. For me, that is Doctor Who. My least favorite companion (sorry Rose) said to my very 1st Doctor (Love you, Eccleston):
“You don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand! You say no! You have the guts to do what’s right, even when everyone else just runs away.”
That is what doing the work is. That is what this space is for.
What follows are examples of people who are out there doing the work and what you can do to help. Being a nerd is about more than just admiring the super heroes, it is about taking every opportunity to become one. This is doing the work means.
As of the day that I sat to type this article, it has been 171 days since Breonna Taylor was murdered in her home. One hundred and seventy-one days since she was murdered, while sleeping in her bed. Not a single officer has been charged in her death as of this writing. This one is particularly hard to swallow. (Then there’s also Elijah McClain, but I can’t write about that yet. Just typing this sentence has a knot in my throat. Now we have Jacob Blake too.) How can we help, especially those of us nowhere near her state, moe than just #SayHerName? The WNBA is using their platform to bring attention to the matter, as well as the death of Sandra Bland and others unjustly murdered, but what do we do? We use our voices and our platform as well. If you truly want to help, visit https://justiceforbreonna.org/. This site has comprehensive list of ways to help, like signing a petition, emailing attorneys, the mayor and others, as well as donating the the family. You may not be able to do them all, but with their copy and paste letter, you can take two minutes to send some emails to add your voice to the chorus.
This month, we want to start with the obvious. As a media magazine run by all Black women, we want to say, loud, with our chest and base in our voice that Black Lives Matter. We didn’t launch this mag on Juneteenth for no reason. We wanted to make a stand about placing ourselves directly in the lens of Blackness and that it encompasses. Today, organizations like Black Lives Matter are organizing and fighting on behalf of all of us. You may not be ready to march, but you can still help. By clicking here, you can donate to the organization and help them to continue to fight the good fight. We all cannot stand on the front lines, but that does not mean we can’t support those that do. We all know that even though it is no longer being reported by most media outlets, the protests, spurred by the death of Mr. George Floyd, have not stopped. Help how you can. That $5 you were going to spend on a latte at Starbucks? Yeah… they ain’t for us no way. Make a cup of joe at home and donate that 45 to someone who is out there doing the work.
In the future, when you look back on today and your grandkids (or whatever loved ones you leave to this place) ask what did you do during the uprisings and civil rights movements of this time period, what will you say? If you do just one thing listed here–just one–you can say you took part, you fought back. You were a disrupter, and that your legacy is a freedom fighter.
I want to be that ancestor.
While I am here, RIP Chadwick Boseman, a disrupter in real life who has gone on to join the ancestors.