Updated: Jan 2, 2021
Afghans Empowered would like to extend their condolences to the Floyd family, the Taylor family, the Arbery family and all families devastated by the ongoing police brutality that terrorizes Black communities and unjustly rip the lives of loved ones from their families. We are committed to our solidarity to the Black community, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The conversation will never be over. It's only just begun, and will continue to be had in our homes, online, and in the streets until our communities drive the change needed for addressing, reforming, and abolishing the very institutions we've been taught to believe are created to protect our rights to life and liberty.
If you think this entire movement is just about George Floyd, and bringing justice to his perpetrators, then you've got it all wrong. This is about the years, decades, and centuries of inequality, and the systems in place that have always terrorized the Black community without proper punishment. George Floyd, rest his soul, is only one of the many most recent horrific examples of why enough IS enough with the policing system, and unfortunately, his death has to be met with such a large outcry, echoed by the millions of angry people, before the institutions responsible for bringing justice do their damn job.
The fire at the heart of this movement burns strong, like the eternal flame inside a Zoroastrian temple. If we are going to feel emboldened by this flame, this determination, the anger, the outrage, call it what you may, to rise together against the institutions from legislative to judicial to law enforcement, then we need to be willing to keep fueling this fire.
To our fellow Afghans, we say it loud and won’t hesitate to repeat it: an offense against the Black community, is an offense against the Afghan community, and for that reason, the issues challenged within the BLM movement is our problem and issue too. When we think back to our family histories, and reminisce over the stories of the trials and tribulation of our parents’ and grandparents’ journeys to new lands as immigrants, and refugees, we can’t take for granted the hardline truth that the Black community has built the foundations towards desegregation and equality, that has permitted the migration of our families to the West. Black men and women have lost their lives to pave the way for people like us, never hesitating to think their cause was for just their kind or to exclude other POC from benefiting from the waves of change this community amassed during the Civil Rights Movement. For that reason, we cannot forget or get too comfortable when it comes to our role in supporting the BLM movement.
We've witnessed such an inspiring number of Afghans, young and old, standing in solidarity with the BLM movement, and actively participating in the cause. For that, we are eternally grateful. Like many, we acknowledge that this current progression of the BLM movement has been different than its predecessors.We believe this is largely possible because of our numbers. Through social media, awareness has increased exponentially, and thanks to an increase in accessibility to education about the issues, hardline facts are available and incontestable.
With that said, it's essential for our community members to represent our sentiment for equality through outspoken action, because we believe that at the root of true Afghan culture, is love, kindness, and equitability. To ensure that the harsh realities of police brutality and systematic injustice are widely spread, to invoke outcry in those with a conscience, is just the stepping stone to our community's outward response in solidarity with the Black community. We've asked our followers to look inward first: to readdress racism and anti-blackness starting from within the home and closest familial circles, and then to take that lesson into their communities (the broader networks of central Asian, or Middle Eastern groups), in order to build an army of solidarity against the greatest threat to our fight for equality: law enforcement and a corrupt government system.
Yet we need to iterate and reiterate: it's not over yet. We understand a lot can happen at the same time. It can become confusing and disempowering to feel overwhelmed by the plethora of issues plaguing our world; at home and abroad, human rights abuses are evident globally. Yet that shouldn't discourage the compassion we have for the causes that feel most near and dear to our hearts and minds. Our solidarity cannot wane, for nothing is accomplished with diminishing spirits. Black men and women are still losing their lives every day we hesitate to demand change. The BLM is not over, but neither are the struggles our Afghan brothers and sisters face at the hands of nationalism, ethnic tension, religious extremism, and racism. All that is very, very real. The recent atrocities faced by Afghan migrants at the hands of a foreign government (in this case, Iran), at an already tumultuous time in our societies here in the West, has dampened the Afghan spirit, a usually fierce and powerful being, into something filled with displaced outrage and anger. Breaking ties with solidarity to other groups will never help our own cause. We urge our communities to fight for both, and to remain in solidarity for the same principles of declaration of human rights for all populations, in an equal manner. Together, we can all learn from the resilience of one another to stand up in numbers in order to address the institutions that have deprived us of our rights for so long.
For none of us can accurately assume the time we are living in, is just a moment. It's a movement.
Episode 3, "Not a moment, it's a movement" is available on the Afghans Empowered podcast. Visit our site, or subscribe on Spotify for regular updates.
In our commitment to promote support for the BLM movement, as well as address the resources available to advocate for the rights of Afghan migrants in Iran, we've provided some links below.
The following information are excerpts from an incredible resource guide by Atlanta Taylor. This guide includes petitions, donation funds, educational texts on defunding the police, books to read about racism, and Black-owned businesses.
To view the full Google Doc, click here.
Places to donate
National Police Accountability Project
a non-profit dedicated to ending law enforcement abuse through legal action and educational programming.
is a 501 nonprofit legal organization that is committed to exonerating individuals who claim have been wrongly convicted through the use of DNA testing and to reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.
No New Jails NYC
a multiracial, intergenerational network fighting against Mayor Bill de Blasio's inner-borough jails expansion plan.
the woman who filmed the murder of George Floyd, deserves care and healing too. Please donate to her GoFundMe https://www.gofundme.com/f/peace-and-healing-for-darnella
Know Your Rights Camp
Legal Defense Initiative that identifies and teams up with top defense lawyers and civil rights lawyers nationwide to provide legal resources for those in need started by Colin Kaepernick - they also have a COVID-19 relief fund.
Movement For Black Lives COVID-19 Relief Fund:
mutual aid network that helps map Black led mutual aid efforts, and provides direct support to Black led organizations.
National Bail Fund Network:
Network of over sixty community bail and bond funds across the country.
Queer-focused Miami based organization working to bail out protesters
LGBTQ+ Accounts to follow & donate to:
Transgender, Gender-Variant, & Intersex Justice Project
Sylvia Rivera Law Project
Petitions & Simple Action Items
PETITION to arrest and charges to the officers involved in her death https://www.change.org/p/andy-beshear-justice-for-breonna-taylor
PETITION to raise awareness around Tony McDade’s killing by police in Tallahassee, Florida. https://www.change.org/p/justice-for-tony-mcdade
David was shot and killed by the LMPD & the national Guard at his BBQ stand in Louisville, Kentucky. He was unarmed when he was shot and his body was left in the street for more than 12 hours after the incident. This is a PETITION to bring justice to him and his family by identifying and charging his killer(s) https://www.change.org/p/louisville-mayor-greg-fischer-justice-for-david-mcatee -
During a peaceful protest in Omaha, NE, a racist bar owner, James Gardner, began using racial slurs and provoking the protestors. When James Scurlock reacted and pushed him, Gardner shot and killed Scurlock. This is a PETITION to raise awareness and prosecute his killer Jake Gardner. https://www.change.org/p/demand-justice-for-james-scurlock-killed-by-omaha-racist-during-george-floyd-protest
Additional petitions and information can be found here:
Automated emails to law enforcement officials
Anti-racist education links
Links to support Afghan migrants, and address the atrocities committed by the Iranian government:
Places to Donate:
Organized Peaceful Protests:
Oslo, Norway: June 15th at 4:00pm, Drammensveien 88E 0244 Oslo
Munich, Germany: June 16th at 2:00pm, Maeurkircherstrasse 59 Munchen
Reyjavik, Iceland: June 16th at 5:00pm, Austurvoller
Ottawa, Canada: June 20th at 2:00pm, 240 Argyle Avenue
Amsterdam, Netherlands: June 20th at 6:00pm, Dam Square
Copenhagen, Denmark: June 24th at 4:00pm, Svanemollevej 48, 2100