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Our support of Black Lives Matter
Katrina and I started Friendly Tahoma Geeks with the mission to provide a safe and welcoming space for marginalized people who, all too frequently, encounter hate and prejudice in the larger geek/nerd community. As we all watch the horrific footage of aggressive and violent police responses to those protesting the death of numerous innocent people of color at the hands of law enforcement, we would like to take a moment to clearly communicate our position:

Friendly Tahoma Geeks, and both of us personally, stand with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We recognize that
  • our society is infested with systemic racism throughout, and
  • police forces as a whole have a long history connected to racism, and
  • people of color are disproportionately affected by the racism inherent in our institutions.
It is often difficult for those not directly impacted by oppressive environments to even notice that it is happening. In order to dismantle racism we must listen those suffering from it. We must believe them and recognize that our Privilege allows us to be ignorant of its effects. We further acknowledge that
  • people of color have very different life experiences than white Americans, and
  • it is not our place to dictate to marginalized people how they should feel or protest, and
  • those suffering should not have to expend emotional labor explaining their pain to each person, therefore
  • it is incumbent on those of us with Privilege to educate ourselves and to do better.
Equality means nothing until ALL of us are equal.

Our white Privilege means we have a louder voice that affords us greater power to combat racism throughout our daily lives. Friendly Tahoma Geeks is not a legal entity, so it has no cash flow with which to make donations, but this is what we are doing to support the Black Live Matter movement:
  • Our mission statement has been updated to clearly communicate our support for marginalized people.
  • I'm reviewing our Code of Conduct to see if there are any clarifications we can make there.
  • Personally, we have donated to legal defense and bail out funds as well as Geeking Out Kids of Color ( )
We encourage others to support in whatever way they are able.

I am no expert, but I am open and willing to having good-faith discussions on what I have learned and now understand about Privilege, systemic oppression, institutionalized racism and the battle that is still being fought by our fellow people of color. I can also share other resources.

Thank you,
- Shawn

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Our support of Black Lives Matter - by Shawn South - 06-06-2020, 11:19 PM

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