HOW NOT TO BE A TOXIC ALLY
By Shevone Torres
Let me tell you what happened. A person whom is a self-proclaimed ally to people of color is selective of whom she is an ally to. (Again, proving the danger of white women) This started out as any other day in the cesspool known as Facebook. Then true to form I was accosted, insulted and disrespected. I allowed myself to be human for 2 hours and let Darth Pettius out for a bit. At the end of the day it seemed like it was good ol’ white fragility. Alas it was not. It wasn’t Karen it was a non-black woman of color. (that whole thing on nonblack people and anti-blackness is for a whole other blog.) Mind you she began the insults, pushing the angry black woman troupe, as well as call me crazy (ableist af)
After I was blocked for basically not putting up with her mess, in which she could dish it but couldn’t take it, I was blocked. The literal sense of silencing a black woman. I thought it was over… NOPE the mega boss level 99 comes in. She (now we are dealing with pumpkin spice Patty) has the audacity to try to berate me because she doesn’t like how I insulted this woman of color( like I’m not one) She also self-proclaims that she is an ally to all woman of color(How sway???) She seemed to focus on what I said and completely bypass the racist remarks the other woman said to me. What made it worse was the fact I have educated her before. I had taken out my time to work with her.
As she proceeded to tell me how much of a bully I am (Of course she would.) She let slip that she felt that way about me for a while. So, the whole time she smiles in my face, behind my back I was an uppity nigga. There lies the danger. She never expressed those feelings ever to me. I wouldn’t say she was an ally, but I did think she was one I believed wanted to learn. This is toxic and deadly. Lord forbid I needed her; I know now she wouldn’t have my back. Which can legit cost me my life.
Thus, this blog is made. Here are some tips to help if you want to be an ally.
- YOU DON’T GET TO CALL YOURSELF AN ALLY TO MARGINALIZED FOLKS
Just because you don’t wear Klan robes don’t mean your not racist. Only a person from that group can call you an ally.
- YOU WILL NOT BE EVERYONES ALLY
One person may say you are THEIR ally, it doesn’t mean everyone will. You must accept that not everyone will see you as such. And to expect that is a bit saviorish.
- IF YOU ARE FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR BE FOR ALL PEOPLE OF COLOR
You can’t say that you are for people of color then pick and choose which ones. If two people of color are going at it, never side with anti-blackness or other forms of oppression used to silence people in discussions.
- REALIZE YOU ARE CONDITIONED IN ANTI-BLACKNESS
We live in a white supremacist country. You have been spooned fed ideas about black people that’s not true. Recognize it, work on it.
- COLORISM CAN AND DOES PLAY A ROLE
Let’s say you are an ally for black people. You see a light skin woman go off you think she has passion. The dark skin woman is seen as ratchet, loud, rude for saying the same thing in the same way. If you find yourself thinking that imagine a white woman or a white man saying the same thing. Would you call them passionate or something else?
- SOMETIMES IT’S BETTER TO LISTEN
There will be times you read or hear things on an issue. If its not asked for don’t give your opinion. Listen and absorb. Sometimes silence really is golden.
- HAVING BLACK KIDS, FRIENDS, PARTNER DOES NOT MEAN YOU KNOW THE STRUGGLE
Just because you have black kids don’t make you black by injection. It doesn’t even make you black adjacent. Throwing your loved one in the mix to excuse your shitty behavior is tokenism and racist AF. You may not think it is, but it is. Trust.
- BELIEVE MARGINALIZED PEOPLE/ DON’T TELL THEM HOW THEIR LIBERATION SHOULD LOOK OR HOW THEY SHOULD DO IT.
This is a pet peeve of mine. Just because you don’t experience it, don’t mean it didn’t happen. Stop making them prove everything they tell you only not to believe them Its annoying. If they happen to let you around, don’t go in saying this like” I think you should do this.” NOPE not your place. Just support them. We got this. We know what is good for us because we deal with it daily.
I hope this list helps you navigate better. More Importantly I hope it keep you from causing harm to those you claim to be an ally for.