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On Being an Ally: Admitting When You’re Wrong

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cross-posted from Double Consciousness.

In honor of The Angry Black Woman and her call for a Carnival of Allies (which by the way I’m late for, the deadline was May 5th, oh well) I would like to briefly write a post on what it means to be an ally and on how being an ally doesn’t mean you stop being racist and benefiting from white privilege.

In order to be an ally one has to, first and foremost, look critically at one’s self and one’s own privilege before one can start pointing out the ills in the greater society and in pointing out the racism of others. It’s kinda pointless to go around pointing out the white privilege of others when one doesn’t critically examine their own white privilege and how they got to the point where they are at right now.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you become like an Irish hermit and retreat to the hills and critically reflect on your self and fast for five years, you should still study how white privilege affects the broader society, how racism is institutionalized in this country, and one should always be aware and attuned to racism. However, first and foremost, at least in the beginning, one should spend time on being critical of their own privileges, male, heterosexual, white, class, etc…(Continue Reading)


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