Dear Everyone Who’s Hurting: Please Stop Shutting Down People Who Are Trying To Help
Cianna P. Stewart

You mean:

Dear People of Color,

You should be so grateful for my safety pin. So don’t question me. Don’t hurt my feelings.


Your Friendly White Friend

When you complain about your motives being questioned, about your actions being demeaned, take that as a community testing you. As people of color our motives are constantly questioned, and our steps to change are always ridiculed. If you can’t take me saying your safety pin is a half butt measure, how are you going to stand with us when batons come out?

I have a few questions. Why should we not question the motives of allies? Why should we treat you with kid gloves? Why should we blindly trust allies?

The safety pins are not about creating a safe space but to make us feel better about allowing this to happen. I was at a historic site yesterday and a man yelled up the stairs at me, “Make America Great Again!” It wasn’t a hate crime, it was just an a-hole being an a-hole…whatever didn’t bother me. But what I found interesting, was that in his group there were two people proudly wearing their safety pins. They were silent, in fact they couldn’t even look me in the face.

Do not shame us for questioning an act that you claim is in our honor. Once again white people deciding the method in which to help and support us and not listening to our feedback because it hurts your feelings. No I will not stop questioning people’s motives or actions, because I come from a people who have been deceived over and over and over again, by so called allies. You can wear a pin, but what else are you going to do?

“Start with asking yourself”?!?

Are you kidding me?!? This has to be one of the most condescending articles to have seen in a while. The article that she is complaining about clearly answers all her questions, but because a black woman voiced her disgust at a half butt measure she took it personally. Instead of writing an article complaining about hurt feelings and talking down to the people she’s supposedly an ally for she could have actually gone out and taken a step beyond a safety pin. She could have actually listened to advice from a person of color on how to help. I have always been open to allies, but what I’ve found most common is when their motives are questioned or they are asked, “and what else are you going to do” they shut down. One thing you have to understand is that as an activist, I have worked with many communities, and I have never asked an ally to do something that the community they support hasn’t done themselves. If I ask an ally to engage other white people in conversation and strategically challenge them, I feel comfortable asking them to do that because the community has to face white people everyday and challenge them for their rights.

No one told you not to help, but if you’re asking a community that’s under attack to stop and coddle White Fragility, that’s laughable.

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