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September 20, 2017

Letter: What blacks want from white allies

Christina Moschetto/Daily Collegian)

(Christina Moschetto/Daily Collegian)

To The Editor,

Two weeks ago the “Stand Against Racism” program presented a panel of black activists at the Honors College to talk about their experiences. During the Q & A period an audience member asked the panelists what they wanted from whites who wanted to be allies to people of color. They didn’t have to think for more than a moment before the answers came pouring forth.  This is what I managed to jot down (paraphrased):

  1. Come to our events.
  2. Share our social media postings and flyers.
  3. Link your organizations with ours.
  4. Don’t come to us looking for recognition for being good (given your pre-existing white privilege).
  5. Fight white supremacy.
  6. Listen. You don’t have to inject your own ideas all the time.
  7. Don’t think your view can represent our reality.
  8. Don’t think you can make pronouncements on black suffering.
  9. Don’t expect blacks to educate you about their experiences; that is the ultimate in white privilege. We are too busy dealing with the effects of racism to educate you. Educate yourself. There are many books, articles, magazines, movies and other resources.
  10. Be active, not passive. Interrupt racism as soon as you hear it. Even if it doesn’t offend you, if it offends your black friend, just say something to the other person that makes them uncomfortable and makes them think.

I wanted to pass this information along, since I had wanted to know the answer to the question, “What should I do to be an ally?” and there may be others who had that same question.


Melinda Nielsen

17 Responses to “Letter: What blacks want from white allies”
  1. David Hunt 1990 says:

    So, basically, you want to be treated as though race is not an issue – per MLK Jr. – but then draw attention to your race at every opportunity?

    If black lives mattered to you, really, you’d be more worried about the > 90% of black lives ended by other blacks. Not to say that police shootings aren’t worth investigating – they are – but…. a sense of proportion, people.

  2. Mauer says:

    I like how you assume all white people are racist and then pretend that isn’t racist itself, well done Melinda

  3. Rob says:

    You might not want to generalize about white people all being privileged. You should not think you can understand what every white person has gone through.

  4. ao says:

    jesus christ this person needs a reality check

  5. or says:

    in other words help us. except your opinion does not mean anything. but help us. because we REALLY need you. except not.

    how about i do this instead? just ignore you in general. i’m not going to be your *censored* and if you have a problem with that go tell it on that twitter page you spend all day on.

  6. Larry says:

    Oy. What a pathetic screed from an 80-IQ affirmative action hatemonger. Leave Womyns’ Studies or Racism Whining and change to a science or math. Wow! You will be treated as an equal by all your fellow “majors.” Blacks are treated badly when they call such fatuousness upon themselves. So are whites. .

  7. Solomon says:

    What civilization wants from black people:

    – Obey the law.

    – Pull your pants up off the ground.

    – Find honest work and keep it.

    – Stop having babies out of wedlock.

    – Stop blaming others for your failings.

  8. Doug in Jax says:

    Trigger warning!
    Seriously, if you aren’t in your designated safe space, stop reading.
    Last warning snowflake.

    I don’t care. White on black racism is a nonissue. If you can’t function without victim status, that is a psychological mental health problem.

  9. Fred Zarguna says:

    In fine and in sum: “Give us money, and grovel.”

    No thanks.

  10. CR says:

    Or say, ” I don’t hate you, I am jusst supremely disintered in your problems, which are your problems, not mine.”

    If you want the benefits of Western civilization, act like a Western man. Adot the culture, leave the ghetto behind. Nobody will notice the color of your skin

  11. Zeke says:

    I’m with ‘Doug in Jax’ on this one. I Don’t Care. When (or if) you ever make it into the real world, in a real job, your employer and peers won’t care either. Temper tantrums and constant whining won’t change that. Thankfully, I will never have to deal with your self-image issues, but I sincerely hope you move beyond this ‘black activist’ life because it will doom you to a future filled with disappointment.

  12. Luce Anders says:

    White privilege is based on black lack.

  13. Mike says:

    1.Come to our events (and get expelled if we suddenly decide we want it to be blacks only)

    2.Share our social media postings and flyers (and accept being called out for racist tokenism)

    3.Link your organizations with ours (ditto)

    4.Don’t come to us looking for recognition for being good (given your pre-existing white privilege)

    5.Fight white supremacy (starting with yourself, so hang your head in shame for being white, and if, like Dolezal, you can’t bear that, then I suppose we could tolerate your new transracial identity)

    6.Listen. You don’t have to inject your own ideas all the time (better to submit them for approval In advance)

    7.Don’t think your view can represent our reality (Actually, just don’t think, period)

    8.Don’t think you can make pronouncements on black suffering (ditto)

    9.Don’t expect blacks to educate you about their experiences; that is the ultimate in white privilege. We are too busy dealing with the effects of racism to educate you. Educate yourself. There are many books, articles, magazines, movies and other resources (And remember, after you’re done educating yourself – don’t think)

    10.Be active, not passive. Interrupt racism as soon as you hear it. Even if it doesn’t offend you, if it offends your black friend, just say something to the other person that makes them uncomfortable and makes them think (And it’s up to you to figure out just how to “be active” in the face of all these “don’ts” which basically tell you to be passive, don’t think, and shut up)

  14. Mike says:

    Also, with regard to “educate yourself”, so should I be using “books, articles, magazines and movies that are produced and created by whites (who would then be in violation of #8) or by blacks (which fosters an expectation that would contradict #9)?

  15. showa41 says:

    When the black activists want to be part of the world that families live in and raise their children in, get back to me. Politely, of course. I’ll wait.

  16. Alexander says:

    Ditto just about everything above. Blacks are on the verge of becoming statistically irrelevant. This group should be the MOST vocal against illegal immigration because it is they who are feeling the gravest effects. That’s a lot more important than seeing phantom racism in white people where it doesn’t exist. I never give these issues a thought unless I read them in a forum like this. Hint: most other white people don’t either. I swear, every year it feels like I am reading the Collegian in 1975, or 1985, or even 1995. It’s 50 years after the “cultural revolution” get a new topic!

  17. David Hunt 1990 says:

    Actually, IMHO the single biggest reason for BLM is the constant grievance-mongering to keep blacks (and other minorities) on the Leftist plantation. Van Jones, no Conservative, recently admitted as much when he said:

    Quote: “Ensuring that Democrats continue to receive black votes in a monolithic block, it is in their interest for blacks to remain poor and resentful, which is why agitators like Jones work overtime to keep racism alive and boiling. If blacks in larger numbers entered the middle class, more of them would likely start voting Republican. No wonder the left makes sure to reinforce the idea that your skin color or ethnicity should determine your ideology and your vote, and why dissenters like Clarence Thomas are demonized. It’s rare to see this implicitly acknowledged. Jones is right to be scared.”

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