People around the country are making their demands clear in efforts to defund police brutality, abolish prisons, and dismantle other systems of racial inequality. And among your protest actions, you’re going to want to learn how to contact your representatives. We’ve put together some easy tips in the guide below, which we’ve now amended to include a bit about wearing Kente cloths.
Figure Out Who the Appropriate Representatives are to talk to
Go to Congress.gov to contact senators and use the house.gov Find Your Representative tool to look up your congressman. For local issues, the titles of your state legislature will vary, but a quick Google search should help you figure out who’s in charge. Try to contact only those who represent your district. If you can’t vote for them, it is unlikely they will care what you have to say, regardless of whether or not they’re wearing Kente cloth.
Use Any Available Suggested Scripts on Your Issue
Use the scripts put together by organizers. This helps you get across your message concisely and with clear requests on the actions you expect your representative to take on your chosen issue. Also, if you’re white, don’t wear Kente cloth while doing any of this.
Ask Your White Reps Not to Wear Kente Cloth but to Please Keep Trying to Do this Anti-Racism Work
It should go without saying that appropriating Kente might undermine and distract from everything else the Black Lives Matter movement is trying to do. So, tell your rep that they could just…not do stuff like that? If they seem like the type of person to explain to you why appropriating Kente is actually a good idea, remind them of all the work they haven’t done to dismantle white supremacy and the work there still is to do and ask if maybe it wouldn’t look silly in light of well, everything? It’s okay if you also didn’t really know this was an issue until today – you can still tell them about it.
Good luck! Remember, there is no limit on how often you can contact your reps! And while you’re at it, mention the Kente cloth.