How To Become an Anti Racist Supporter
Did you know that being an ally in the face of racism could help stop the agenda of racism?
When people often hear the word ally, they immediately go to something political. They may imagine having military and countries on their side, in case of an emergency. However, we all have an ally and or can be an ally for someone or to a group. By definition, an ally is simply a person or group that is united. This means it can be family, marriage, school team, or even friends of various races.
Did you know that being an ally in the face of racism could help stop the agenda of racism? We are already aware of the world's climate and if you pay attention to any form of media, you know that this issue has grown stronger. However, this is not the thing that we need to give strength to.
When brutal killings happened in the United States recently, I read many comments on social media. Some were filled with anger and some laced with pain. In addition, some drenched with disbelief while others were dripping in rage. Sadly, one of the most common comments that I saw from Black people was this:
"If my non-Black friends could only stand with me, then maybe their race would stand for me"
What a thought-provoking statement to make! This is where the power of ally-ship comes in. This is where you can hear unification is desired. Unfortunately, not all people think of it this way.
So, I want to ask you a question: Are you close to anyone who has experienced racism? If you answered "yes" to that question. Have you ever defended a friend or colleague who was a victim of racism? At the best of times, the human desire to help often transmutes into behaviour that protects, gratifies, supports, and defends.
However, racism is complex. Can you call upon compassion in the face of racism? On the receiving end of compassion, many have experienced a softening of the heart, a relief from rigidity, rejection, or hostility in times of oppression. For people who share an affinity with those whose lives have been hurt, destroyed and lost, these experiences can be acutely reminiscent of abuse and harm that has transcended generations.
Whether we work as educators, line managers, leaders or consultants or friends we cannot escape the often-unspoken fantasies and implications of what constitutes “normal. With the exception of extremists, no one wishes to endorse racism; and many can recognise poor, racist behaviour when they see it. Yet there is not always clarity about the best way to respond, let alone confidence about whether we have the courage to respond appropriately.
It's a terrible thing to see or experience the act of racism towards your friend or colleague of another race, but to do nothing and say nothing is even worse. We cannot afford to have a deaf ear and a blind eye to racism. There are enough people in the world pretending that it's not an issue.
Subsequently, when you hear that the lives of one specific race matters, that is not an indication that NO other race matters. But what it is saying is this: Right now, this race is being attacked and this race needs to be protected by all other races. You've all heard it: Black Lives Matter! But for some reason a handful of non-Black people have been known to grow agitated with this phrase.
Given the above, if those lives weren't being attacked then the declaration wouldn't have to be made because the respect would be evident. In other words, can a race matter to someone else not of that race – enough to protect and preserve it? One act of ally-ship can change someone's circumstances. It can make a person feel like they aren't alone. It can make one feel like they're not invisible. But most importantly, they can feel valued. Today, I want to challenge you to be an ally and not an acceptor. Don't accept racism: stand against it.
If you would like to learn more on becoming an Anti Racist Supporter join this event on Tuesday 6th October at 7pm BST https://bit.ly/32V01gB