"Never in a generation have women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community more dearly needed active allies to counter inequality."
There was a post on Facebook this morning. A black woman said she was verbally harassed by a racist and her husband did nothing to stop it. Her husband is white. She was asking for advise on how to address the feeling of betrayal. At first I thought, how sad, but it must have been a one off experience, otherwise, you wouldn’t have married him. But when I scrolled down through to the comment section, I was shocked. Completely blown over.
The number of women of color that responded, saying they had white partners who didn’t know or didn’t care to understand their burden. Women who said they were exhausted by going out into the world everyday to battle (because thats what people of color have to do), and then to come home and have no support or understanding was exhausting and demoralizing. White partners who claimed to understand racism or be against racism were often still dismissive to the actual everyday hardships of their partner of color. And then came the comments about their bi-racial children of color. And that’s when I really started paying attention. I’ve had my own issues in dealing the everyday realities of race in my interracial marriage, but when the question came regarding how these men would and did deal with their bi-racial children, well thats a different story. Children who will face challenges, hardships, identity questions that their white parent might not understand or just dismiss. Children who's unique issues of being bi-racial I may not even fully be able to grasp. We all need allies. One bi-racial girl on the thread said that when she was bullied at school, her mom just brushed it off as saying oh those people are just jealous of your beauty. She simply refused to broach the topic of race. Yes, her beauty could have been one thing, but ignoring that pretty big piece to the equation was damaging to this young woman. We all need allies to show up and listen.
This was just such a sad, heartbreaking thread, but in response to all these comments, someone posted article, from 2017 called The Real Work of Being an Ally. This article is not f**king around. It is gold.
The fact is, we need to be allies for each other, now more than ever. Women, the LGBTQ community, people of color. Everyone should read this article. Fathers need to learn how to be allies to their daughters, friends need to learn to be allies to their friends, family allies to their family, strangers allies to those in need. These issues are NEVER comfortable, and it so much easier to say racism, sexism, homophobia no longer exist. Those are just comfortable lies, and they erase the experience of those living these truths everyday. We can all do a better job of this. I know I can do a better job of showing up as an ally for the LGBTQ experience, I know I will need to do the work to show up as an ally to my children who will have a different experience than I. The point, is to listen, listen to people, understand and DO THE WORK to be a real ally.