Every time these events happen, many of us are wondering what we can do to support our African-American friends beyond greedy online publications – and in real, meaningful ways.
Being an ally – a person who is not a member of a particular marginal group but helps end the oppression of those in the marginal group – is a continuous process. Alliance can mean different things for different people and knowing where to start can be difficult.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but some ways to support marginal communities.
Offer support and comfort.
Control your friends who don’t look like you when a high profile tragedy or event occurs. Confirm that you are there for them in every way they need.
Educate yourself and others
Do your research.
Do your best to educate yourself before asking others to explain something to you. There are many resources you can use online. Google is your friend.
Ask questions when necessary.
We all learn, and asking questions is not a problem.
But be careful who you ask, he says author Courtney Ariel
. Don’t be too lean on colored people or other marginal groups to be your “experts”.
It is best if the person you want is someone you already have a strong relationship with. And be prepared to accept that some people may not want to discuss these things with you.
Brush the date.
“How could something like this happen?” if another police encounter deadly turns may sound deaf to communities that have been dealing with long-standing persecution systems, Ariel writes
. Be sure to increase your speed before weighing.
Impress people in your own group.
Talk to people in your own life, especially people who share the same identity with you, Jamie Utt Everyday Feminism
. Educate your friends and family about how printing systems affect otherized groups. Hold them accountable for their words and actions and the roles they can play in these systems.
Teach your kids.
It’s never too early. Talk to your children openly about racism and other forms of discrimination. Don’t teach them to be “color blind”, says Jennifer Harvey. Report that it is important to notice the differences and teach them to stand up to others.
Have your mistakes.
Alliance is a process. Along the way, you can be sure to occasionally do or say something wrong. Don’t be defensive. Take responsibility for the chips. And your progress will be better.
Accept your privilege.
A critical part of being an ally is to recognize the benefits and strength you have in society because of your identity. organizational change consultant Frances Kendall
. Be self-aware and be willing to others who share your privileges.
Racism and other forms of oppression are everywhere, even if you don’t experience it yourself. Train yourself to recognize them on a personal and corporate level, he says writer and activist Paul Kivel
. Note what is said (and what is not) and who is there (and who is not). Accept how bias, discrimination and oppression are prevented, minimized or justified.
Know when to talk less.
This is not about you. You don’t need to comment on every situation from your own perspective or go off the road to prove how conscious or educated you are, Ariel says
. Raise others without speaking to them. Let others have the microphone for a change.
Understand the experiences of others.
Instead of presenting your own thoughts, listen to othered people when they tell you about their experiences, frustrations and feelings. Sit with this for a while.
You can’t do this job alone. Find other allies you can work with and hold each other responsible. Partner with organizations that do the same job as you. Support the leading color people.
Use your privileges to help others.
It can be scary, but takes risks, Kivel writes
. Seek injustice or discrimination when you see it. Intervene when you see cases of racism or other unsafe situations.
Use 5 D audience intervention
. This includes improving the situation, calling others for help, talking to the person concerned, talking and documenting what is happening.
Know your rights when recording videos.
Joyful Police were allowed to shoot movies as guards by the Constitution
Unless you interfere with their activities. Stop at a safe distance. Capture marks or bookmarks that help identify the location.
Tell your concerns to those in power.
Know who your local legislators and politicians are (Go here to find the full list of elected officials
) and knows how to do it get in touch with them
. Here is a Great Twitter series from a former Congressman
on how to make politicians listen.
Stay in solidarity.
March with people from marginal groups in protests and demonstrations.
Donate time and money.
This can happen in many ways, says Ariel
. Offer to help people who can benefit from your expertise. Help a family pay their bills. Identify the organizations whose work matches your goals and give what you can do.
Make sure you are registered
. And do this not only in the big ones, but in every choice.
CNN’s AJ Willingham contributed to this report.