The Complexities In Becoming A White Ally


A few more thoughts on becoming a white ally

Last August the blog This Week in Race posted an excellent article entitled, “Beyond White Guilt: The Role of Allies in the Struggle for Racial Equality.” Here are some quotes from that article:

“…The burden to dismantle an unjust system falls on all of our shoulders. Whites and people of color, however, must bear that burden differently while we bear it together precisely because of the ways in which racism has affected us differently as it has affected us together…

…Allies are important to social movements, but they find themselves in a complicated position in a number of ways. They are at once needed because they have disproportionate (though almost never absolute) access to the power structure that, by definition, those who are out of the privileged group do not have. On the other hand, as members of the privileged group, they must always be aware that no matter how well intended, they do not have the lived experience of someone who is in a disadvantaged group, and exerting their perspective can be (or can be perceived as) a further act of oppression, symbolic of the larger issue. In this sense, there is a very real irony present in these relationships.”

Sometimes I feel a bit paralyzed in my effort to become less racist in my own life—as well as fighting racism in the larger culture—because inevitably, I will say or do something racist in my attempt to engage in the struggle. (Yea, even, in writing about race on this blog.) But doing nothing seems worse to me. I pray that as I try to move this cause forward, my heart will always remain humble and willing to be corrected.

For those of you white folk joining me in me in this quest, I encourage you to read the entire “Beyond White Guilt” article. I’d love to know your thoughts on it.

2 thoughts on “The Complexities In Becoming A White Ally

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