Andy Shallal –
I just got back from a race conference in Atlanta, Georgia – here are 5 takeaways on how White people can be allies to marginalized communities in these trying times:
1. Challenge racism. Family and close friends is a good place to start. Try “calling them in” before “calling them out”. Use the “I” language. Engage, don’t retreat.
2. Don’t wear a safety pin. I know, you want to show that you are not racist. A safety pin is not the way. People who are affected by racism, sexism, homophobia, islamophobia and other isms know who their allies are. They just do.
3. Read books and writings by current Black and Brown writers. Not just Ta Nehisi Coates (which is not a bad beginning), but many others like Roxanne Gay and Jose Antonio Vargas.
4. Be prepared to be uncomfortable. Being comfortable in these discomforting times is not an option. This means listening more and saying less.
5. Expose yourself to races and cultures other than yours. Be more inclusive. Go to a museum, a church, a concert, anything. See Jacob Lawrence’s Migration series at The Phillips Collection. Go to an open mic program. Anything.