Worth Reading: “When Allies Fail”

I usually include good and interesting posts in a full “Worth reading” post, but those are usually new posts. These are from 2009 and they are excellent and deserve one post of their own:

Tami is giving advice on how to be an ally to marginalised groups in a feminist setting. She is specifically talking about race, but what she writes translates to other groups too.

Allies are important to any equality movement. It does not help people of color if we are the only ones who understand racism and how it still exists in society. It does not help women if we are the only ones that believe we deserve equal treatment. This is especially true considering the ways that women and people of color have been kept from places of power. The battles are ours to fight, and we can win them, but we need allies.

There is a bunch of points with excellent advice in those two posts. Here is one example:

Allow us our anger. It isn’t easy being a member of a marginalized group. For instance, I have written before about the dull aches of racism. I have also written about how members of marginalized groups are expected to hold their tongues in the face of mistreatment–to be the “bigger persons.” What may seem like a very small deal to you, to us may be yet another wearying and soul-destroying slight. Any human being has a right to be angry about injustice. Again, this does not mean that we have the right to dehumanize or insult you. It is not an ally’s job to be endlessly flogged and called to account for the sins of all society. But marginalized people do have a right to be pissed off and to show it.

Anyway, go read them. So much good stuff there. As a white person with my own privileges, there’s plenty of advice for me too.

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