*For those who don’t know, Allyship or being an “ally” isn’t just for the Black Lives Matter movement! We all can and should be allies to other communities, ones we’re not a part of.
For example, myself as a cisgender female being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. Or as a Mixed (Black and White) non-religious woman being an ally to the Muslim community, especially when they’re faced with horrid terroism and “taking over our country” disgusting racism.*
So, what does being an ally look like? Here are my beliefs…
Calling out people you know on things that sound racist or prejudice. Or acts that seem (or are!) racist. (Don’t keep leaving it to the person of colour to do so; if you’re white yourself, sadly, people may be more likely to listen to you.)
Point out to your boss, “hey have you ever noticed that this office isn’t very diverse? Why is that?”
Check your own biases: Do you always read white authors, and white characters? Do you always make friends who white people? Date white people? It isn’t racist, necessarily, but it’s a bias you might have and it’s your job to question and fix that.
Read more widely: Black or brown people don’t write stories that aren’t for you as a white person! We can (and should) all read from perspectives of people who don’t look like us or live as we do: it’s eye-opening and beautiful. It helps us connect and understand one another.
In times like this, check in on your friends of colour.
If you can, in times like this, donate.
In times like this, check on your transgender friends (I presume you all heard about JK Rowling’s tweets…) or if you have none, read up about the trans experience so you can understand their pain.
Share resources so that other people can self-educate about race and institutions set up to exclude people of colour.
Read and self-educate about the creation of race, racism, systems, and institutions throughout history and the aftermath we experience today.
Don’t assume you have the same pay, rights, experiences, worries, or fears as a person of colour if you’re white. Check your privilege, meaning the closer you are to the dominant culture (white, cis male, straight, able-bodied, middle class or higher) the more privilege you have.
LISTEN, LISTEN, LEARN, LISTEN SOME MORE!