On Racism, Police, and Action
CW: Racism, Murder, Police Brutality
Two weeks ago, George Floyd, a Black citizen of St. Louis Park, MN, was murdered by Minneapolis police. Since then, protests have broken out across the globe, and many organizations (some acting in good faith and some capitalizing on a crisis) made public statements in support of #BlackLivesMatter. Because we imagined some listeners were curious on what our position is, I read off the following statement during the announcement break for Ep. 59: One Neon Night, Part 1
"Quest Friends!" stands in full support of the protests in the wake of George Floyd's death.
We believe that Black Lives Matter,
that systematic inequality and white supremacy are still very prevalent in American society and major contributors to George Floyd's death,
and that abolition of the police and prison system as a whole is vital to combating these inequalities.
Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Aphobia, and Ableism have no place in our program or our community, and we will continue to not only correct ourselves when they appear, but use our platform to push against them.
Lastly, we believe these stances are not exceptional or deserving of praise. They are the bare minimum any organization should be doing.
So what ARE we doing? This has been a question Quest Friends! has been contemplating for a while - for the past few months, we've been discussing internally how we can better use our platform to lift up marginalized voices, especially those affected by racism. Much of this work is still being discussed, and many details are still to be finalized; however, I believe that a statement without action is not much of a statement at all, and since we provided a statement only one paragraph ago, here's what Quest Friends! is planning to do to support our marginalized neighbors.
1. Promote justice organizations at the beginning of our streams
This is something we've been doing for the past few weeks and plan to keep doing. Before most of our streams, we take a second to highlight a justice organization doing good work, encouraging viewers to donate to that organization and local organizations doing similar work. It's not much, but it's a way to constantly remind our viewers that these issues are important, even when they aren't trending.
2. Develop a system for shouting out marginalized creators
For a while now, I've wanted to use the announcement break as a way to promote other creators who match the ideals and aesthetic of Quest Friends! - not only does it give our listeners new content to enjoy, it helps lift up that other creator, as well! There's actually another podcast that has a successful system currently in place for this, and I plan to reach out to them and see if we can adapt it.
3. Be intentional with whom we collaborate
This doesn't just mean "don't collaborate with assholes" - honestly, that's less than the bare minimum. What this means is that ensuring that when we hire artists, cast vocalists or musicians, and reach out to guest stars, we make sure we aren't just reaching out to cis straight white folks. This one will likely take the longest to implement; we've finalized pretty much every collaboration for this year, and I'm not super comfortable releasing the internal metrics I'm using to track this, as those metrics exist primarily to remind me to be conscious about collaborators.
4. Donate a set percentage of our Patreon earnings to marginalized creators
One day, I hope to work on Quest Friends! full-time. If that day comes, I will be getting most of my income from our Patreon, and I'll want to (as I currently do), devote a set amount of my income to donations and backing other Patreons. But why wait until I'm working full time to start those donations, when we can do so now? How much we plan to donate and where we'll put those donations is yet to be determined, but we will inform our Patreon backers when we start to redirect those funds.
The four actions listed above were chosen because they were sustainable and could be gradually implemented; I have a tendency to overpromise when it comes to Quest Friends!, and this is one area where overpromising would be (in my opinion) unacceptable. It's also very important to me to ensure that we don't just get caught up in the zeitgeist of the moment. Social progress and justice requires people showing up every day of every month for years, and we want to make sure that we are showing up.
We can't just wait for another crisis to support our neighbors.
If you have any questions, you can reach out to us at questfriendspodcast.com/contact-us
And if you'd like to help, you can check out these following resources:
-Support Black lives: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/
-Learn about systematic racism: https://youtu.be/YrHIQIO_bdQ
-Learn about abolishing the police: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dByJodVI2d4LiOCOezXi4VVnYfrXXWka/view?fbclid=IwAR1QCrDLf6NwR356DDqS--BNVt42JcamaRr8P66Dd45TvsB3LH_BRWuG5HY