Michelle Bray | 03.07.2020
This word has been on everyone's lips for the past few days: Ally. Black people and people of colour are calling on us to position ourseves as an ally and to support them in their fight against racism. But what exactly do I have to do to be an Ally?
Anyone can be ally. Allies acknowledge that they are not part of a marginalized group and take action every day to understand the challenges involved.
Here are 11 steps to start being a better Ally today:
Listen to marginalized people. Be it in personal conversations, in your social media feed or in an article that you read. It is not about you, your opinions and feelings, but theirs.
Search for books, articles, films etc. about the history and current debates of oppression. Take anti-discrimination training. Perhaps you can even suggest that such training is offered in your work or study environment.
Join a local group that campaigns for social justice and thus against discrimination. Sign up for their newsletter, follow them on social media and go to support their work.
Go to events, go to demonstrations and do this with marginalized people.
Open your mouth!
If a friend, family member, colleague or someone else says something hurtful or ignorant, point it out to them. "If you are silent in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. “Desmond Tutu
If someone is attacked, be it physically or verbally, intervene in a supportive manner in the sense of the person being attacked. Try to empathize with the situation; Do not be intrusive and do not focus on the aggressor.
If you encounter something that makes you feel uncomfortable, don't push it away. Wonder where it comes from. And take advantage of this opportunity to grow.
Learn from your mistakes
You will make mistakes. And if someone points this out to you, don't react defensively. Listen, apologize and change your behaviour for the future.
Even if the work gets tough, stay tuned. Oppression is omnipresent and requires permanent attention. Marginalized people do not have the privilege of simply switching off and pulling out.
Support groups that work against discrimination by donating to them. You have no money? Then donate your time by volunteering for social justice.
Check how people around you are doing when such tragedies have taken place as in the past few weeks. Show them that you are there for them. No matter what you need.
Taken as a guest contribution from Upgration.de