Like many organizations, we are striving to find the words and actions to best express our support for the Black Lives Matter movement and for the enduring struggle for basic civil and human rights. It is incredible that such a fight is required even in a modern and so-called ‘civilized’ society, but we know that racism is alive and well in the United States, and throughout the world—and its roots run deep.
We want to direct our supporters to resources that can truly make a difference, while grappling with the questions of whether we are doing enough, and how best to lift up and stand with our brothers and sisters in the fight that must involve all of us. As an organization, and as filmmakers, we stand in humility with our desire to be of service to the Black Lives Matters movement.
We are a very small team, but we know that even one voice can make a difference—and sometimes just one voice, one life and even one action is enough to launch a wildfire that changes the world.
We are used to shining our camera lens on injustices and activities that threaten human and animal lives and the health of our planet. In an interconnected world, crimes against nature are also crimes against humanity. It is this interconnectivity between all peoples that requires every one of us to be participants in this war against racism, and to confront those unjust systems that have prospered at the expense of others for centuries.
The systems of power and authority that pollute the earth and hold it ransom to the highest bidders are the same forces that marginalize communities and evict defenders of the natural world. It is these same threats to environmental and social injustice that fuel our heartache and power our voices on behalf of the voiceless.
This means that we stand in solidarity with colleagues, friends, families and loved ones who have suffered an incalculable toll at the hands of racism and the machinery that feeds it in the light of day or in the darkest of nights in the United States and elsewhere in the world. It means that we acknowledge that we are all part of the ‘system’, whether we are well-intentioned or not—a system that extends rights and privileges to some, and not to others. It means that we must confront that system, whatever our position or stead in life–as artists and activists, lawyers and policymakers, and as individuals and collaborators.
And it means that we are ready to learn where we misstep, and to correct our course in the best interest of the movement.
Within each of us is the power to do good for each other, and for the planet. Because at the end of the day, it is not whether you support OPS or an organization endorsed by the Black Lives Matter movement—it is whether we, as individuals, do the hard work required to understand and confront the systemic issues of oppression in our daily life; take the time to learn from our fellow human beings; walk humbly in the footsteps of those that can teach, guide and even reprimand us; and challenge our comfort to extend love, compassion, and even a hand, to those for which the shelter of privilege does not extend.
Each of us is responsible. Each of us must rise in defense of the basic rights endowed to every single one of us, regardless of our skin color. And that might look different, and require different things, from each of us.
We are all on the front lines of creating a better world. There is no other way forward as we all struggle to lift up black lives in this momentous and important time in the history of humankind.
Until we—as individuals and as a collective—can do right by the oppressed, we must keep fighting. We know that radical change is possible, and necessary. March, give money, give time, bear witness, and look within to discover new truths.
Some resources to support #BlackLivesMatter