Step 1

In the general zeitgeist that is facebook, I have seen:  Black Lives Matter.

I agree.  Black (brown, red, yellow) lives matter.

I have also seen:  Silence all speech/actions/motives that does not provide unlimited safe space to Black (brown, red, yellow) lives.

I disagree.  As Evelyn Beatrice Hall wrote:  I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

That is what freedom means.  Also, silencing the voices of others to prove you're right is just not how the world works.  You can't just say, "you're being bad," and expect people to change.

Racism cannot be stopped.  Every citizen has the right to their own views and opinions and experiences.  It has to be trimmed and pruned indefinitely.  You have to do more than just shout at people that they are wrong (and you are right).

My mother was a public school teacher.  She did it for about 30 years and then she retired and then she was a public school substitute teacher.  She started in the 60s and worked until she died in 1999.  From her example, I learned a great deal.

A not-at-all-comprehensive list of how to prove that you actually think Black Lives Matter:

Step 1:  Shut your mouth.  Words cost nothing and frequently mean even less.  Also, it's easier to listen that way.

Step 1:  Donate to the United Negro College Fund or other comparable organization.

Step 1:  Donate to Donors Choose to support a classroom (https://www.donorschoose.org).  You could put in your zip code to help a local school, or you could put in Butt-fuck-no-where South Dakota or Butt-fuck-no-where Mississippi.  Anywhere you want (you, uh, choose.)

Step 1:  Find a school full of kids who don't look like you and then, go to your local (independent) book store and buy (used) books, and then, give them to that school for those kids and the next kids that come along.

Step 1:  Talk to the principal of that school and say:  I [CAN READ] and I want to [READ TO/WITH] students as a volunteer.  Prepare for a background check so they know you're not a pedophile.

Step 1:  Talk to the principal of that school and say:  I'm a [MAJORETTE] and I would like to show your students how to [TWIRL THE BATON LIKE A MO-FO].  Be prepared to get no interest at first and then persevere.

Step 1:  Talk to YOUR BOSS and ask if there is a way to show (a) kid(s) what YOU DO.  Perhaps on a Saturday.  Be prepared to talk about why you started working there, how you got trained, etc.

Step 1:  Talk to your local juvenile delinquency council and see what they need in a volunteer.  Then try to accommodate them as best you can in a way that works for you.

Step 1:  Give of yourself and expect nothing in return.

After, you will feel a bit depleted in either your wallet or your time available for mainlining that great show on Netflix.  But after that, you'll feel buoyant and ready to go again.  And when a young black (brown, red, yellow) person thinks back about who invested in their life enough to make them feel like they matter, they will remember you, because you didn't just say BLACK LIVES MATTER, you actually meant it.