Share this: Some Hard Truths and Ally Resources

It is not the job of the oppressed to educate the oppressors. Your white guilt, cisgender guilt, heterosexual guilt, male fragility, etc. is not the responsibility of your friends of color, your LGBTQ friends, your woman-identified friends. Your marginalized friends have a lot of their own bullshit to deal with right now and always.

I’ve been hearing a number of non-black people in my life who identify as allies say that they don’t know what to say or what to do to show their support. So they say and do nothing.

Part of me gets this. But most of me says that is the shittiest excuse I’ve heard in quite a while.

Growing up, I was not allowed to say “I don’t know” unless I tried to find the answer on my own first. There was no internet. My grandmother made me look in dictionaries, phone books, encyclopedias, and the library before I was allowed to say I didn’t know something.

We are adults and we have the internet, people. If anyone is ignorant about pretty much anything, it’s because they are keeping themselves ignorant (out of laziness, out of fear, out of whatever). You can search online for what to do as allies. Google it. Bing it. Duck Duck Go it. I don’t care.

But here, let me give you even more reason to not give your marginalized people shitty excuses any more. I have put on my librarian glasses and below are a bunch of resources so you don’t even have to search. Read these resources, there are also resources for LGBTQ allies and feminist allies but honestly, if you’re not all 3 you need to learn about intersectionality before you talk to me anymore. I’m tired. Share the link to this blog post on whatever social media and forums you are on.

On a personal level, I appreciate the check-ins and I appreciate the listening, but your silence does nothing. Especially when I see you post freely about women’s rights, rape culture, LGBTQ rights but when another person that looks like me gets murdered and I hear crickets? That feels shitty.

RESOURCE LIST. READ THE LINKS. EDUCATE YOURSELF. STOP BEING LAZY.

  1. https://kneesockchronicles.com/2016/07/09/while-being-an-ally-dont-forget-to-be-a-friend/
  2. http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/11/things-allies-need-to-know/
  3. http://www.daa.org.uk/uploads/pdf/How%20to%20be%20an%20Ally.pdf
  4. https://www.glaad.org/resources/ally/2
  5. http://www.scn.org/friends/ally.html
  6. http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/11-things-white-people-can-do-be-real-anti-racist-allies
  7. http://www.adl.org/assets/pdf/education-outreach/Be-an-Ally-Six-Ways-online-version.pdf
  8. http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/08/ferguson_how_white_people_can_be_allies/
  9. https://www.buzzfeed.com/anotherround/how-to-be-a-better-ally-an-open-letter-to-white-folks?utm_term=.yfYqdmrWD#.byZqR5zWP
  10. http://www.salon.com/2016/07/08/how_to_be_a_white_ally_fighting_racism_is_your_responsibility_start_now/
  11. http://www.becominganally.ca/Becoming_an_Ally/Home.html
  12. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/sola-fide/481371/
  13. http://mashable.com/2016/01/10/ally-to-people-of-color/#bIzEP70CtPq3
  14. http://theangryblackwoman.com/2009/10/01/the-dos-and-donts-of-being-a-good-ally/
  15. And finally, a Twitter thread on how to be an ally:

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Published in: on 09/23/2016 at 9:05 PM  Comments (2)  
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Pro Tip: Effort (Part 1)

I think one of the keys to being a better person and not being a trashcan person is effort. I think a little bit of effort goes a long way. And effort doesn’t necessarily mean using up a bunch of resources like time and money. It’s more like using your manners, hold the door for people, make eye contact, put your phone down when you are with another human and actually interact with them.

My ukulele instructor was so impressed that I printed out lyrics and also emailed him some songs before our last lesson. It’s what I said I would do and I did it. It wasn’t a huge amount of effort, but just that little bit and having some integrity can end up being really impressive and it also feels good.

I send snail mail. Birthday cards. Housewarming cards. Cards and love notes for no reason. It’s not a lot of effort to show people that I’m thinking about them. And say you don’t want to send snail mail, that’s cool. But reply to emails. Reply to texts within a reasonable amount of time. If you’re thinking about someone, TELL THEM. Check in on your people BEFORE they post on social media that their life is falling apart. Text just to say hello.

If someone invites you to a thing, it’s because they want you there. Fucking SHOW UP (unless you’re already booked). Make the effort. Be present. Quit taking people for granted.

Get the name of your waiter or service professional. If you’re getting your nails done, at the very least say hello to the person and ask their name. Treat service professionals like people. Say thank you to them. Tip them well. They’re doing jobs that you probably aren’t doing yourself.

Don’t just think your compliments, actually tell people. See someone wearing cute shoes? Pretty skirt? Tell them! Compliments do nothing if they just live inside your head. They also cost you NOTHING.

One of the secrets to being a less shitty human is actually TRYING to be a less shitty human.

Published in: on 09/21/2016 at 6:23 PM  Leave a Comment  
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