Can we talk about performative allyship for a minute? Social media has made everyone believe they are an activist. Most of them are not. Most are taking less than a second to like or repost something yet keep their mouth shut when someone around them hurls a racist slur. Most are turning away when homophobic remarks are being declared fact. Most are voting like trans lives don’t matter. Most believe this land is theirs and Natives should just be happy they get to have casinos. I’m so tired of presenting facts to self proclaimed allies and being met with “well, that’s just your opinion, man.” But I will continue. And I will take note of who is all show and who is able to get uncomfortable in order to promote change.
One of the biggest obstacles preventing allies from crossing over from performative to actionable is their belief that they know how to respond to every oppressive situation. They rely on their own feelings instead of giving voice to those of the oppressed. The only way to know is to be. Allies spread the word of those who are. They sit down after using their privilege to create space for the oppressed and marginalized. They amplify the stories that are not their own.
Want to help? Want to be an ally to your BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ humans? Follow and engage with them on social media, donate to their efforts, show up to their events, write to those in positions of power when you don’t agree with their oppressive tactics, READ books about the people who you say you stand beside, LISTEN to podcasts, watch movies, consume whatever type of media that is most efficiently digestible and share those stories with everyone you meet. A large part of how systemic oppression can flourish is because stories of the oppressed are silenced. When you share what you learn, you might be told that you have been fed lies. The receipts are there – dig them out. Show them. No need to yell. Or call people out of their name. But definitely get uncomfortable. If you’re not uncomfortable – if you’re feeling righteous behind your screen – you’re not doing the work.
Put in the work. Then call yourself an ally.
Leave a Reply