Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Being an Ally

Hola mi Gente,
I ran across the following yesterday on a blog I was reading (here). I am of Puerto Rican descent and when I read the following tweet, it almost made me cry:

Image: Halline

I don’t think white people can fully appreciate how many of us are feeling. It’s as if our feelings -- as if we -- are invisible. If you can see me, see my people, acknowledge our pain, and offer to help… That means something.

So you have a chance to be better colleague today and here’s how… 

Being an Ally

First, THANK YOU for reaching out/ clicking/ being here.

No one marginalized group has ever successfully advocated on behalf of themselves alone to enact change. It takes informed and empowered allies to tip the scales, and I thank you for understanding that (even if this is the first time you’re actively realizing it) and seeking a way to better lend your voice. Again: Thank you.

The black community comes from a lot of different (and valid) schools of thought when it comes to enacting change. Protests, policies, petitions, and public demonstrations (literally didn’t even try for alliteration there) are all important tactics, but above all else, I believe that one on one discussion is the most effective change agent.

If after reading this, you feel better equipped to challenge even one person about their thoughts on racial injustice (or lack thereof) in America, that is a greater success than any hashtag I could devise or any mass message I could broadcast. When’s the last time a CNN pundit transformed someone’s worldview?

Talk about it, give people space, and keep looking in the mirror. 

Today, I spoke to a total stranger -- a white woman -- who asked me, “How are you?” We were at a newsstand and maybe she saw the look on my face as I skimmed the tabloid headlines, or maybe she saw the hurt in my eyes -- I don’t know. We didn’t say much, but we hugged one another. That right there was worth a million online interactions. 

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization… 

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