DISCLAIMER: This is not a police hating post. I do not hate police officers, but I am against and always will be against injustice. Police officers who do not follow protocol and murder someone and are only given a slap on the wrist, that is injustice. Believing that all police officers are bad and killing them is despicable. Both acts are despicable.
If you’re like me, you’re looking at the world around you and want to know what you can do to help. You have black friends or family, or you’re just a decent human being that wants to fight injustice.
You may be thinking: “This isn’t my fight.” or “Am I even welcome?”
Yes, this is your fight, because equal human rights can’t happen until every human does their part. Yes, you are welcome, as long as you know your place.
How to be a Better Ally is simple
1. Check your privilege: Being born white means we have advantages in this society. It isn’t anything to be ashamed over, unless you use your privilege to oppress others or if you just ignore it all together.
2. Know your biases: We all have them, whether we like to admit it or not. It is a product of our culture. Part of growing up and becoming more self-aware, is identifying those biases and working to irradicate them.
3. Listen to what POCs (people of color) are saying: Don’t dismiss or ignore what they’re telling you. When someone hurts your feelings and you explain to them that your feelings are hurt and why they’re hurt, nothing is worse than someone completely ignoring you. That is exactly what happens when white people continue to say, “There isn’t a race problem.” “Racial profiling in 2016 is a myth,” and so on.
4. Understand that Black Lives Matter isn’t black supremacy: Black Lives Matter doesn’t mean that White Lives, Brown Lives, Red Lives, Purple Lives or whatever doesn’t matter, it is simply a reminder that Black Lives Matter too. It isn’t a Black Lives > White Lives, it is Black Lives = White Lives, and it is time we start acting like it.
5. Understand that Black Lives Matter isn’t anti police: It is, however, anti-police brutality for ALL races. It is just statistically proven that POCs have more incidents of police brutality than white people do.
6. Understand that Black Lives Matter isn’t a violent movement: When violence breaks out at BLM rallies, the media likes to focus on the violent part of it. Our society loves violence. Sure, the violence was started by someone in the crowd, but that doesn’t mean they’re in the crowd.
7. Educate yourself on every issue you can: on Culture Appropriation. Slavery. the Confederate Flag. Racial profiling. Unconscious Bias. Mass incarceration. Etc. Use critical thinking and consider the sources on everything. Make sure it is credible. Read personal testimonies. Fact check personal blogs like this one.
8. Be empathetic: It is amazing what happens to your heart and your relationships when you take a moment to think about the why and how of other people’s feelings.
9. Take action: Don’t just pray. Don’t just listen. Don’t be a passive bystander. Gently (or aggressively) call others out on their racism. Retweet, share and reblog educational articles about racism. Talk to your kids, teach them to love. Teach them to treat others equally. You don’t have to drop everything and march, but you do have a job to do.
10. Know your place: You have a role in this fight, but it isn’t to let your voice overshout theirs. We have done enough of that.
No one will expect you to be the perfect little activist. I am still learning new things everyday.
Don’t be afraid to say, “hey, if this is overstepping or offensive, tell me. I’m trying to be better.”
Together we can overcome oppression and violence.
We Shall Overcome.
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