How to be a Good Ally

Ten Steps to Start Your Journey

Photo by Sides Imagery from Pexels. Image Caption: A black and white photo of a protest, the image is focused on a sign reading “RESIST.”
  1. Listen to minorities carefully. Let that community lead the conversation. Stop demanding your minority peers to educate you on social issues. Instead, read up on your own on how to be an activist for the cause.
  2. Stop playing devil’s advocate when discussing discrimination. You’re not funny or clever, you’re just rude and annoying.
  3. Don’t share footage of attacks, protestor’s faces, or violent action. It’s triggering to minority communities and can out their identity. Instead, share ideas of how to keep people safe, where supplies are, curfew details, and resources. If you share footage of violent action to spread awareness, make sure you can’t see protesters’ faces.
  4. Don’t take part in performative ally-ship. This isn’t about you. If you are at a protest, shield minorities from violence. Don’t tag, break property, or get violent as that can be taken out on the minority being oppressed. The focus of going to protests or sending monetary support shouldn’t be so you can post about it on instagram. I’ve even heard some people say they don’t want non-minorities at protests, so be aware of your privilege.
  5. Don’t text your one minority friend a news article and talk about how you “didn’t know things were this bad.” I promise you they’ve already seen the news and probably don’t want to deconstruct your privilege with you. If you see bad news that involves their community, ask if they need to vent, but if they say no then don’t push it. Sometimes they will only want to vent in spaces inside of their own community.
  6. Challenge and educate your family, friends, and communities.
  7. Check your impulse to call the police on someone you believe looks or is acting “suspicious.” Is their race, gender, ethnicity, class, or housing situation influencing your choice? Such calls can be death sentences for many people.
  8. Take care of your health as much as possible, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. At protests, when you can, cover your face, avoid shouting, and stand 6 feet apart. Bring extra sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and water to keep hydrated. Remember that some people protesting may be immunocompromised or have limited mobility, so try to be extra careful.
  9. Start your long term strategy. How are you going to continue supporting minority organizations after the dust has settled and the outrage has died down? How are you going to make a long term impact and affect change?
  10. Follow through in concrete steps forward. If you can afford to do so, stop supporting organizations that promote or support hate or discrimination. Can you mentor a young minority person? Can you offer to foster minority children? Can you advocate for minority colleges in the workplace? Can you become a trustee for an organization that supports minority communities? Can you volunteer your time?

They/Them Pronouns | 中文名字: 柯梅 | Intelligence Specialist & Diversity Advocate |

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