By Kristina Ashley Williams
10 min read
- Non-Racist means you aim not to participate in racist actions.
- Anti-Racist means you understand what racist actions are, use your voice to name it, and put words into action.
- Allies are Anti-racist, actively educate themselves, speak up, check on their friends who are impacted, have uncomfortable conversations with friends, families and co-workers, don’t post pix of dogs and frivolous topics during uprisings and most importantly DO NOT STAY SILENT.
ACTIONS OF AN ALLY
- Name It – Verbally acknowledge a racist act when you witness it. (This can be uncomfortable because we have been socially conditioned to not talk about race in America but it is imperative to embrace your brave voice with friends, families, co-workers and strangers because silence perpetuates the problem. When experiencing these moments ask yourself “Is my uncomfortability more important than the justice?”)
- Hold Accountability – Recognize the silence of people in authority to name a racist act that has impacted your immediate or larger social community and communicate that you expect them to acknowledge the reality of harm impacting you and your peers. (It is important to communicate that said authority cannot expect normal work ethic or concentration when people are experiencing trauma and the lack of acknowledgement of said trauma perpetuates the harm. This often applies to schools and workplaces.)
- Educate Yourself: Read Books:
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
White Fraigility by Robin D’Angelo
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olua
For White Folk Who Teach in the Hood and the Rest of Y’all Too by Chris Emdin
Unraveling the Model Minority Stereotype: Listening to Asian American Youth by Stacey J. Lee
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
Eloquent Rage by Brittany Cooper
Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- Educate Yourself: Watch Films
13th directed by Ava DuVernay
When They See Us directed by Ava DuVernay
Selma directed by Ava DuVernay
American Son directed by Kenny Leon
American History X directed by Tony Kaye
Dear White People directed by Justin Simien
See You Yesterday directed by Stefon Bristol
If Beale Street Could Talk directed by Barry Jenkins
The Hate U Give directed by George Tillman Jr.
Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 Clemency directed by Chinonye Chukwu
Fruitvale Station directed by Ryan Coogler
Crash directed by Paul Haggis
Just Mercy directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
- Educate Yourself: Listen to Podcasts – 1619 by New York Times, About Race, Code Switch by NPR, Intersectionality Matters by Kimberle Crenshaw, Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast, Pod For The Cause by the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, Pod Save the People by Crooked Media, Seeing White
- Educate Yourself: Public Resources – Conspire for Change, WhiteAccomplices.org, Solidarity Protocals
- Educate Yourself: Allies To Know – Yuri Kochiyama, Jeff Chang, Tim Wise, Peggy McIntosh, Jane Elliott, Noel Ignatiev, Robin D’Angelo, Junot Diaz … research your local community
- Join, Volunteer & Donate to Activist Organizations- A4BLAsians 4 Black Lives, M4BL Movement 4 Black Lives, Conspire for Change, Antiracism Center, Audre Lorde Project, Black Women’s Blueprint, Color of Change, Colorlines, Dream Defenders, The Conscious Kid, Common Ground Foundation, Equal Justice Initiative, Families Belong Together, The LEadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, MPowerChange, Muslim Girl, NAACP, National Domestic Workers Alliance, RAICES, Showing Up for Racial Justice, SisterSong, United We Dream, ACLU (find your local chapter)… search for organizations in your local region using keywords “justice, movement, ally etc.”
- Peaceful Protests – If you choose to join the front lines in solidarity with communities who have been harmed, be mindful that any of your actions during the protest will reflect back on the community as a whole and the community that was originally harmed will take the blame for any misconduct performed
- Political Action – Call and write your local law makers and vote in all elections, not just presidential elections. Prepare by reading materials and speaking to neighbors, young people, and people outside of your immediate circle to understand the lived experiences and perspectives of people who share your local community.
- Allyship – The actions of a person from a non-marginalized group who uses their privilege to advocate for a marginalized group
- Performative Allyship – The actions of a person in a position of privilege that participates in activism when it is convenient for them, and serves their own benefit such as entertainment or clout. (People who share a #BlackLivesMatter post, wears a Pink Hat, or attends a Gay Pride parade but does not call out homophobic language/racism/sexism etc or check on gay friends after a gay night club shooting, or Black friends after a viral police brutality video circulates the media are examples of performance allies).
- Privilege – Privilege is a right, advantage, or immunity granted or available to a particular person or group. (White/Male/CIS/Able-bodied/Christian people are in the highest positions of privilege.)
- White Privilege – unseen and unconscious advantages that benefit White people (White people who are not racist still experience White Privilege. White Privilege is separate from one’s income or effort. White people who have experienced financial and social hardship, still hold White Privilege. Examples: The ability to walk into a room and feel a sense of belonging without having to search hard for others who look like you. The ability to obtain an education with a curriculum that reflects your cultural heritage in positions of power, references authors who have shared your lived experience, and is taught by people who look like you. The ability to buy “Flesh” colored Band Aids and have it match your skin. Research Peggy McIntosh, Jane Elliott, and Tim Wise to learn more
- Whiteness – inherent advantages possessed by a white person on the basis of their race in a society characterized by racial inequality and injustice. Conscious and unconscious assertions made by a white person to maintain the advantages that uphold the white status quo.
- White Fragility – discomfort and defensiveness on the part of a white person when confronted by information about racial inequality and injustice. Research Robin D’Angelo, Peggy McIntosh, Jane Elliott, and Tim Wise to learn more
- Bias – prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair
- Unconscious Bias – Learned stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional, deeply ingrained, universal, and able to influence behavior. (Examples include moving to the other side of the street when you see a Black man walking towards you, preferring candidates with certain names etc.)
- Racism – prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior
- Systemic Racism/ Institutionalized Racism – a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions. It is reflected in disparities regarding wealth, income, criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power and education, among other factors
- Prison Industrial Complex – the attribution of the rapid expansion of the US inmate population to the political influence of private prison companies and businesses that supply goods and services to government prison agencies for profit. (AKA prison labor)
- School to Prison Pipeline – the disproportionate tendency of minority students to become incarcerated, because of increasingly harsh school and municipal policies that target disadvantaged demographics
- Red Lining – the systematic denial of various services by federal government agencies, local governments as well as the private sector, to residents of specific, most notably black, neighborhoods or communities, either directly or through the selective raising of prices
- Voter Suppression – a strategy used to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing specific groups of people from voting
- American Meritocracy – The myth that economic success is a sole result of individual work ethic without considerations for systemic disadvantages designed to restrict the advancement of minorities in America.
Kristina Ashley Williams is the Founder & CEO of ZiM, a social community that streamlines reviews of personal care products by people of color. Our website and digital conferences serve to provide convenient, transparent, and inclusive care for consumers of color to be healthy, happy, and healed. Launched May 2020, ZiM has been featured in Xo Nicole and CRWN Mag. This post has been cross-published courtesy of kristinaashleywilliams.com
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