Credit: J l

The White Allies’ Guide to Collecting Aunt Linda

10 rules for speaking up on the Internet.

You’re minding your own business, scrolling the feed, liking pics of toddlers at the pumpkin patch, and suddenly there it is:

1. Know Your goal.

First, let’s redefine “collect.”

2. Be patient. Invest in the “half-wokes.”

It takes time to help people empathize. Ifo a single internet conversation ends with Aunt Linda changing her will so her money goes to the United We Dream foundation, count yourself lucky. Don’t expect a sudden transformation.

3. Get angry.

Yes. Get angry. Aunt Linda has just said something really offensive. You get to be pissed off about that!

4. But don’t get too angry.

Boy oh boy, does it feels good to lay into a racist without mercy! You feel so juiced up, purposeful, alive! The problem is, that energizing anger? It’s not your anger.

5. Hit the books.

Google is your friend. Let’s break it down now: Facts, stats, knowledge, and facts.

  • Check your sources. If Aunt Linda shared a Breitbart article to support her claim that Elizabeth Warren is actually the Grand High Witch from Roald Dahl’s children’s classic “The Witches,” would that make you reconsider your position on the matter? Share reputable news agencies and journals, and stories from people who have firsthand experience.

6. Assume everyone is capable of learning.

Many of us white allies reflexively make excuses for people who say racist things.

Credit: Meathead Movers.
Credit: Girl.in.the.D.

7. You are not anyone’s hero.

Collecting your people is highly visible and often dramatic. As these conversations get heated, responses get more poetic, powerful, visceral, and staunch. Sometimes you’ll type or say something ***TRANSCENDENTLY AWESOME*** and you’ll be like Anchorman Ron Burgundy:

Your words are your weapons. Use them wisely.

Get mad. Be firm. Don’t flinch. But fight clean.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

If you don’t already have your own personal meme bank on your phone, you better get cracking!

Be brave and don’t give up.

If you’re doing this right, Aunt Linda will get mad at you, you will lose friends, and you will get a reputation for being an evangelical anti-racist. Steady yourself because this one’s a doozy: the people who socialize with you, work with you, and love you will begin to think of you as “someone who talks about racism a lot.”

The voices of WOC & Allies working against racism and oppression. PayPal.Me/RealTalkWOCAllies

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store