For people who actively want to be an ally right now, it can be confusing to know the best way to help. Resharing footage of police brutality might seem necessary at this moment, but the pain it causes POC during this emotionally traumatic time is likely to outweigh the political impact of your tweet.
As writer Mireille Harper identifies, our online conversations can feel "like screaming into an echo chamber." But if you aren't Black, there are valuable ways to activate beyond social media and without centering your moral correctness.
Harper has compiled an invaluable 10-step guide "to Non-Optical Allyship" that provides practical tips to move forward and make a change in our society. Swipe through to read each step.
She begins by explaining that optical allyship only serves at the surface level. It's aimed at amplifying the "ally" rather than breaking away from the system that oppresses. In the guide, she recommends checking in with Black friends and family, recognizing that acknowledging your privilege will not be pretty or fun, and reading up on anti-racism work.
Later she stresses the importance of not sharing traumatic content or work by platforms that promote hate, and instead, donating to organizations that support and protect Black people.
Importantly, Harper cautions against centering the narrative around your experience. While your outrage is real, inserting yourself into the issue can take away from the severity of the situation. It's far more effective to continue to support Black media, initiative, and platforms after the news cycle has moved on and attention has shifted. She also recommends thinking about how you can make a long-term impact by committing to long-term plans.
The toolkit is a helpful resource made possible by the emotional labor of black people. But it is designed as a point of departure, into deeper reading and more difficult conversations. Thankfully, the toolkit also includes other accounts to writers and resources including @nowhitesaviors, @laylafsaad, @rachel.cargle, @ckyourprivilege, and more.
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