Monday, June 15, 2015

How to be an Ally - Responding to Rachel Dolezal

I am amazed at how perfectly Tim Wise has explained the motive behind Rachel Dolezal's deception.

Please take a read below.

"It strikes me that there is an important, and largely overlooked likely explanation for Rachel Dolezal's deception. And it has real implications for white people seeking to work in solidarity/allyship/followership with people of color. Allyship involves, at its best, working with people of color, rather than speaking for them. And I suspect Rachel discovered, perhaps while at Howard, that "gee, ya know what, black folks don't automatically trust me, and this proving myself stuff is hard and takes time, and allyship is messy, and I'm impatient, so...let's cut out the middle man and just be black." That way she didn't have to work with or follow, she could speak for and lead. It is a horrible betrayal of what the proper role for white folks in the work is; a slap in the face to the history of solidarity, from John Brown's family to John Fee to the Grimke sisters to Bob and Dottie Zellner and beyond. She wasn't willing to pay her dues, to follow the lead of people of color. She didn't want to do the hard and messy work, struggling with other white folks and challenging them (which is what SNCC told us white folks to do in 1967, and what Malcolm said shortly before his death). She wanted to be done with white folks altogether; to immerse herself in blackness, but as a white person, she knew she could never do that fully. And so, this...There is a lesson for us, for we who are white and care deeply about racial equity, justice and liberation. The lesson is this: authentic antiracist white identity is what we must cultivate. We can not shed our skin, nor our privileges; we must work in conjunction with people of color to overturn the system that bestows those privileges. But the key word is WITH people of color, not AS people of color. We must be willing to do the difficult work of finding a different way to live in this skin. THIS skin." - Tim Wise (Read his full essay here)

If you want more great advice on being an ally, check out this video from the lovely Chescaleigh.

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