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A collection of posts on being an ally and working with allies, dating from 2007 through to now. Major focusses include gender and race, but much of this is applicable to anything along those lines. There’s a bunch on messing up and questioning the term “ally” and all sorts. They’re in this order for a reason, so I’d recommend reading them as I organised them!

Crank It Up to 11 by Melissa McEwan at Shakesville.

Often the most important thing an ally can do is just be willing to stand in front of a friend and take a few arrows in the armor made thicker by degrees of distance, to give the priceless gift of: “I got this one.”

Sixteen Maneuvers to Avoid Really Dealing with Racism by Holly at Feministe.

I found this list in an old e-mail, and thought it might come in handy for recognizing some common tactics of resistance against discussions of racism, against acknowledging that racism exists as a systemic injustice that we’re all complicit in to some degree, against owning up to anything.

When allies fail by Tami at What Tami Said: Part One and Pt. 2.

And what do we do when this happens–when allies fail? How can we address mistakes, while preserving relationships and maintaining the power that comes through alliances with people outside of our group?

The Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Good Ally by karnythia at The Angry Black Woman.

Race Relations 101 – What if I screw up? by Magniloquence at Feline Formal Shorts.

One of the biggest reasons people give for not wanting to engage in conversations about race is that they’re worried about doing or saying something offensive. [...] But it’s also a cop out; just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that there’s no reason to engage in it. Let’s take a look at the issue and see what we can make of it.

How to Fuck Up – ‘Because you probably will, at some point in your life’ – and How To Accept An Apology – ‘I like knowing how we might find our way back to grace’ – at Teh Portly Dyke.

Why the term “ally” is not mine to apply by RMJ at Deeply Problematic.

I can’t say that I am a good ally because I don’t feel the effects of my own actions. If I fuck up and don’t realize it and keep on calling myself a good ally, it’s another assertion of privilege.

One Of My Best Friends Is… by meloukhia at this ain’t livin’.

It’s supposed to be the triumphal moment in the argument. Backed into a bit of a corner, the person in the wrong finally musters the argument-killing blow: “Well, one of my best friends is [a member of a minority group], and ou says…” After this statement is pronounced, the person who is wrong sits back, puffed up with self pleasure, and dares you to top that. Even if you are also a member of said minority group, you must be wrong, because the best friend has been dragged out.

In Thanks for Those Who Get It by Ali_K guest posting at Shakesville. Be sure to check out the comments.

Act 41 by sajbrfem at 52 Acts.

And yet, some people still do want credit for these basic things “but I am not a rapist!”, “I don’t hit women!”, “I read books by female authors!”. So to that end I made a batch of extra special tasty feminist cookies.