Your Mind

Dear White People That Are Supporting The Black Cause

By November 18, 2015 0

In the fight for racial justice, I’ve noticed an increase of my Caucasian peers enthusiastically participating. I want to start by saying that support for social justice movements is always awesome. What isn’t awesome however, is when white allies talk over people of color as though they fully understand their experiences with racial injustices.

The fact of the matter is, no you don’t understand. As a white person, I don’t understand what it’s like to be the victim of institutionalized racism and I probably never will. While I’ve probably been made fun of a few times for being white over the course of my lifetime, that fact is not and will never be equivalent to being a victim of institutionalized racism. Sure, I could spout off a few race-related statistics that I read on the internet or have heard from peers, but I really cannot tell you anything from an emotional perspective, regarding what it’s like to have endured those statistics.

The bottom line here is, if you’re the loudest one in the conversation on racism then you’re doing it wrong.

It is also essential to listen to people of color from non-Western societies. There have been a few instances in which I’ve witnessed a white ally aggressively dispute a person of another culture who had an experience or opinion that conflicted with typical Western views on racism. Though at times it may be tempting to voice disagreement in cases like these, it is important to consider that Western views aren’t the only ones that are relevant on the social justice front.

In summary, it isn’t my intention to imply that white people shouldn’t be allies in the fight for racial justice; in fact I think just the opposite. My point is that in this fight, sometimes it’s important for white people to sit back, listen to and absorb what people of color have to say.

Sometimes no comment is needed.