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What can I do to be a better ally to PoC?

Submitted by Nonbinary_R_Us in PoC

I've been thinking about this subject a lot lately and talking to non-white friends about it. So far the action I've been taking is mostly centered around

  • avoiding all cultural appropriation

  • calling out other white people on their racist bullshit (as my friend said, if white people don't like this kind of confrontation, imagine how PoC feel!)

  • vocally supporting anti-racist movements

  • knowing how to fade into the background, and stay away entirely, when the white opinion/presence is not welcome/wanted.

  • and most importantly shutting up and listening to PoC, cultivating understanding and learning on my part, and always trying to improve.

What are your thoughts on what makes a good white ally? If this post is inappropriate for the subraddle I will of course remove it. Let me know if there is anything problematic.

Comments

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4

891284 wrote

Towards the "Other America" is geared specifically toward white readers wanting to better challenge racism and stand as an ally to people of colour. I haven't read it yet myself, but it's on my reading list and it gets thrown around as a good resource.

Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped From the Beginning might be worth reading as well, if you haven't already, for a solid primer on the history of racism in the US. This might help with coming to see racism as a systemic thing that needs institutional restructuring to really affect positive change rather than a series of individual failings.

3

styrofoam wrote

I think these are good places to start. Without looking at specific examples of how you carry yourself, I feel like it's hard to give exact feedback.

Reading the history of the people you get involved with, and knowing the facts behind the situation we find ourselves in is also important.

-8

Thereunto wrote

Some questions I've heard:

  1. Why should anyone avoid cultural appropriate when many ethnic cultures, such as the Japanese, or many religious cultures, such as Buddhism, encourage appropriation and assimilation? There are specific cultures that are relunctant to have outsiders integrate, who is a good authority to speak on behalf of those cultures?
  1. Anti-racism goes both ways and there is a difference between race and culture. At what point do we drop the context of race to resolve cultural issues?
  1. Cultivating an understanding is usually brought through dialogue. At what point do we balance a request for silence and an exploration of questions?
5

biomancer wrote

  1. The power dynamic making racism a societal institution doesn't go both ways. When people talk about Anti-racism it is the societal and structural prejudice based on race being discussed not simply racial prejudice without societal backing

  2. People who are being welcomed to participate in a thing is not the same as taking the thing commodifying or or presenting it as ones own thing without regard for the culture behind it. You are tilting at strawmen here.

  3. Yes and many questions have been answered multiple times if one takes the time to listen and seek out what has already been stated. Not the Original posted asked questions and no one has been upset at them. They demonstrated they have already done some digging theirself and asked for guidance towards finding more to help understand. Which is very different from what happens sometimes where 2 people are having a 300 level conversation and someone jumps in and they demand to be explained racism 101 derailing the entire conversation.

-7

Thereunto wrote (edited )

I think this is the first genuine reply I've had on this site, thanks for taking the time.

  1. One of the bigger examples I can think is a native that married a light skinned Caucasian. Their son is a redhead that has mostly Caucasoid features. He was denied multiple times from joining his local Band (becoming a recognized member of the native community) because an elder didn't think he looked the way the way a native should - despite the fact he was officially recognized as a native by the government.

Societies exist on many levels. Some societies are as small as a local community and aren't always dictated by 'white rule'. When that redheaded native was denied entry into the community based on the colour of his skin and his appearance, that was racism. Racism absolutely goes both ways. When there is a judgement based on race, that is a racist judgement.

  1. Who is to decide whether someone is welcome or not? An example of that is dreadlocks. I know a family that has white skin and caucasoid features but also has a negroid Jamaican ancestor in the family tree. The grandmother had emmigrated from Jamaica and was a descendent of an old european family that settled there. The family line was present in Jamaica since almost its genesis. None of them ever wore dreadlocks, but if they wanted to, some people might call that cultural appropriation based on their appearance. Who is to decide if they are "allowed"?

  2. I think the problem is that the answers for what people find appropriate varies widely between groups. It even varies widely between social circles inside those groups. There is no Rosetta Stone for how people of a specific appearance think (and to assume there is would be racist). By me asking the questions here, I'm looking to find what this community thinks and to find the diversity of ideas within the community.

Stating, "isn't is obvious?" promotes the idea that blind assumptions are a good thing. When someone states, "I think this" based on an article, I like to know why they in particular think that way.

And again, thank you for taking the time to reply. It is much appreciated

6

selver wrote

Your Native example is a bit of a red herring. That is a case where a non-white group has the social & institutional backing. You aren't wrong about that being racism, but in 99% of the modern conversations about race (for example state/federal/corporate policies) it's just irrelevant. I do think leftists need to do a better job making it clear that they are talking about systemic racism. As for when do we drop race, when race is no longer an issue. Race as a concept should be abandoned at some point.

2

ziq admin wrote

Banned for "negroid" and denying the patriarchy, etc.