Guest Editorial: Nine Ways to Be a White Ally in the Fight Against Institutional and Structural Racism

Comments

1

Just look at who owns all the real estate in Seattle.

Who gets the contracts.

Who gets the bids.

Who gets the free passes.

Then tell me.

Cui bono.

2
I've felt pretty good about my support for the marijuana legalization even while a few of my white friends were against it because "omgz teh taxes". When I'd try to frame the debate in a social justice kind of way they'd mostly ignore me but I'm really happy that time proved me right. 10,000 people getting their possession cases dismissed was more than worth not being part of the "in" crowd / hempfest organizers. It's a small step and admittedly a slightly self-involved one, but I think that's where everyone's focus should be on when they vote. Not "is this the perfect law/politician for me personally" but is this law/politician going to make progress in justice for all. If we (white people) can't put aside personal greed for an issue like not putting people in jail for possessing a drug it would be hard for me to have much hope in other issues.
3
I'm going to print this list out and affix it next to the Bernie Sanders sticker on my car, lest I be called a white supremacist.
5
Maybe fewer words and more anti NIMBY actions would work.

SF zoning is designed to keep the non-white & Poors out. Media never covers riots in non white areas and hasn't since at least the 1980s, at least in Seattle. Some of us have been trying to change this for a while, but go long if you want.
6
9. Start somewhere. Don’t let your fear of making a mistake, or saying the wrong thing, keep you from becoming engaged. We all have a role to play and we can’t afford to wait.

This is awful advice. You should be in absolute fear of making a mistake because the SJW's will never let you forget it and no apology will ever be complete enough if you are 15 minutes behind the zeitgeist and use a term that has been recently deemed offensive or racist.
7
Like the whole seal thing, which is culturally insensitive to First Nations who have been hunting and eating seals for tens of thousands of years, for example.

You could start there.
8
1. Center all conversations about social justice on race.

Yeah, good luck trying to convince the tumblr-inas to step down from the top of the ID politics "more-oppressed-than-thou" totem pole.
9
It is very difficult to be an ally when you are have strained a muscle patting yourself on the back.

My best advice: don't be an ally.

Anyone who announces they are an ally, or even goes to great lengths to "acknowledge their privilege" strikes me as, at best, an attention whore. As someone who feels morally superior to others, and so on. It's Black Lives Matter today, it's Fisheries tomorrow, it's National Socialism next week. Just like how global warming causes colder, wetter winters.

Whatever you are fighting for, fight for yourself. You can be white and anti-racist, or a man an anti-sexist, or a god-fearing virginal christian and pro-choice. These are all options. But fight for yourself.
10
The best advice I've seen is to shut up and get the fuck out of the way. If you see that someone who's actually oppressed is struggling to be heard, hand them a megaphone and then give them room to use it.
11
Rachel, this will not work because you are still operating from the level of separation. Racism is framed by you as "white vs everyone else." In your view, whites are either "allies" or racists. Those fighting against racism are either the victims or "allies". I'm sure this makes perfect sense to you, but all I see is more dividing up people along the "Us v Them" dynamic. The "allies" are really Them, but they can be temporary/honorary Us as long as they behave themselves and do all the things you tell them to do. (Of course, the slightest infraction will mean a public demand for apology and acknowledgment that everything you've done is wrong. That is the lesson we learned by the BLM disruption of Sanders speaking at Westlake.)

To get to the post-racial society, you need to think beyond racism. What is the deeper issue? It is injustice. There is a gross imbalance of justice as it is applied in America. Much of that imbalance is against people who aren't white, but it also exists against the poor, against women, and so on. When you make the issue about injustice, you are being inclusive and no longer separating people out from The Real People and their "allies." Because everyone one in America is participating in this injustice, everyone can fight against it.
12
It's much easier to NOT do any of these things, which is why it will never happen, sorry.
13
I resent the premise. We are all an inherently an ally of all humanity. All we need to do is show grace and good manners.
14
If Bernie Sanders can't be considered "an Ally in the Fight Against Institutional and Structural Racism," then I'm pretty sure I can't, either. He's definitely done a lot more than I ever will to fight stuff like that.
15
"Don’t let your fear of making a mistake, or saying the wrong thing, keep you from becoming engaged."

This is the town where the term "brown bag lunch" was suddenly racist.