A Note on Something Serious

The Torch exists to give its readers a laugh about the quirks and absurdities of our community and our country as a whole. We intend to keep filling that role as now, more than ever, people are looking for sources of joy and escape, however fleeting. But that doesn’t mean that we can or should avoid entirely commenting on the events of the last few days, when the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police touched off nationwide protests that have been met with further police violence.

Police brutality and the systemic racism of American law enforcement are nothing new, and many people have been in this fight for a long time already. This is especially true for black people, who haven’t been afforded the luxury of watching from the sidelines. But those among us who have not been actively engaged in the fight for equity before must absolutely join the cause now.

If you can protest safely or can accept the risk of protesting even when safety is not available, please do so.

If you can donate, please donate. Listings of community bail funds, police reform and accountability groups, and black activism groups that could use additional resources can be found easily online.

Get involved with advocacy groups that are pushing for solutions to the enduring problems of racist policing and police violence (and don’t forget—this is an issue that is here in our own community, with multiple police shootings happening in Montgomery County). Follow the lead of black organizers who have been in this space for a long time and know what the movement needs most at this moment.

And if you’re white, put in the work needed to educate yourself and other white people about the history of police brutality and racially discriminatory policing in this country and the steps needed to address these problems. There is a wealth of anti-racism resources online specifically assembled to help white people learn and grow.

If you need any help finding where to donate, where to join up, or where to locate anti-racism educational resources, you can find suggestions at bit.ly/CZImmediateAction thanks to the good people at Campaign Zero.

We look forward to a time when the most pressing concern on anyone’s mind is whether their neighbors are cleaning up after their dogs, or whether your neighbor secured permits to install their Little Free Library. In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and look out for one another.