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If You're Wondering How To Talk About Black People And White People, Here Are 5 Things To Keep In Mind

In this great big world, each and every one of us has privilege. I may be a gay black person, but I'm still a man. I hold advantages that women don't. So when I help a woman out through one of my more feminist posts, I have to keep certain things in mind to remain a good ally, a person who wants to fight for the equality of a marginalized group they're not a part of.Let's make sure that when we help friends who are LGBT, people of color, women, or whoever else wants to smite the patriarchy, we're actually helping.

If You're Wondering How To Talk About Black People And White People, Here Are 5 Things To Keep In Mind

In case you can't watch the video, here's Upworthy badass woman Franchesca Ramsey with five tips for all of us so we can be good allies.

(An ally is a person who wants to fight for the equality of a marginalized group they're not a part of.)


1. Understand your privilege.

There are some things in life you will not experience or ever have to think about just because of who you are.

It's kind of like those horses that have those blinders on. They can see just fine. There's just a whole bunch of stuff on the side that they don't even know exists.

For example, there are currently 34 states where you can legally be fired for being gay or trans.

I know.

"As a straight cis woman, those are things that I don't have to ever think about if I don't want to. I'm not going to be fired because I'm straight, and I'm not going to be fired because I'm cis. Before I can fight for the right of others, I have to understand what rights I have and others don't."

2. Listen and do your homework.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but it's not possible for you to learn if you aren't willing to listen.

What she said.

Get caught up on the issues that are important to the communities you want to support.

3. Speak up but not over.

If the fight for equality was a girl group, the ally wouldn't be the lead singer or the second lead singer. They'd be Michelle.

An ally's job is to support. You want to make sure that you use your privilege and your voice to educate others. But make sure to do it in such a way that does not speak over the community members that you're trying to support or take credit for things that they are already saying.

This isn't Mario Kart. Stay in your lane.

4. Realize that you're going to make mistakes and apologize when you do.

Nobody is perfect. Unlearning problematic things takes time and work. So you are bound to mess up and trip and fall.

But don't worry. You can brush yourself off and get right back up.

Just remember that it's not about your intent. It's about your impact. So when you get called out, make sure to listen, apologize, commit to changing your behavior, and move forward.

5. The most important thing on this list is remember that ally is a verb.

Saying you're an ally is not enough. You've got to do the work.

One through four, one through four.

You'll be the best ally around in no time.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

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