White Allies: 10 Ways to Support Black Lives (with a Bonus Tip at the End)
You understand white privilege and want to do something about it. Here are some easy steps to move towards concrete actions:
- Right now is when you should call in your white friends and family to talk about racism and anti-racism. Don’t just shut down social media when your allyship is needed the most.
- If being aware of your privilege brings up feelings (of guilt, outrage, hopelessness, and anxiety), please process them on your own, with a therapist, or with the support of your white friends and family. It is NOT the job of Black friends/colleagues (or people of color as such) to console you, educate you, and assure you of your goodness.
- Yes, you should bake, do yoga, knit, go for a run, or do whatever helps you process your negative feelings. But please don’t stop there. Do something concrete to help Black people.
- You can donate money to Black organizations. Here is a list to begin with.
- You can call your reps or volunteer with local, state, or national community groups who are mobilizing voters.
- You can protect Black people at protests by not filming their faces if they don’t want to be seen. Or standing by them on the frontlines.
- You can elevate Black voices, Black art, Black authors, and Black work.
- You can check in on your Black colleagues, neighbors, and friends.
- You can support a Black business.
- If you feel that violence is not an okay form of protest, then ask yourself:
- which form of protest are you okay with?
- how are you supporting those forms of protests? Scholarship as protest? Marching as protest? Signing petitions as protest? Education as protest? Voting as protest?
- how you are being intentional about donating your money, time, and energy to any or all forms of protests that you support?
When you talk about “looting” as not okay, please pause to think that:
- we are standing here on looted Native land in the U.S.
- we are discussing in English, a language that has violently and systematically erased native languages and cultures
- every institution in the U.S. (including those in higher ed) is built off of stolen labor of Black and Brown people — not just in the past but currently.
More about Dr. Srivi Ramasubramanian at www.drsrivi.com. Follow her on twitter at Srivi Ramasubramanian and Facebook. Check out her Difficult Dialogue Project and Media Rise for meaningful media for social good.