Learn How To Be An Ally to POC
A Blog by Abeyah Ishmael
In today’s society, it’s not a secret that racism is a huge issue and topic. After the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, people have done a variety of things to help fight against injustice, such as protesting. Racism has been around for a long time and there is no guarantee that it will ever go away. But, we can help to minimize its presence in the world by taking some necessary steps to fight against it. Here are a few ways to do that.
- Educate Yourself (And Others) On The Roots of Racism
Racism has a long, long history. So, when exactly did it begin? While it is highly unlikely that we can pinpoint a date, we know that the racism that plagues the United States today is heavily influenced by the prejudiced ideas of Europeans.
Around the 15th century, different European countries, like Britain and France, started to explore the world. They looked for riches, land, and were curious to get to know the world outside of their own. Instantly upon meeting new people, the Europeans noticed how different they were from them. Not only did these people have different skin colors, but they had a different way of life.
They came to the conclusion that these people were savages and should be taught how to live like “proper human beings” because Europeans viewed themselves as superior. This mindset has ties to a theory called Social Darwinism. This theory suggests the “survival of the fittest.” This means that certain people, in this case the Europeans, are more powerful because they are better in every way.
Carrying on with this mentality, they decided to take on the duty, as perfect human beings, of making others “proper people,” which was just their cover to take control of the people in order to steal their land and resources.
This carries on into modern day American society. This country was founded upon the principles that all men are created equal. Yes, all white men. It was never intended for black people and other people of color to gain the same rights and freedom as white men. It was solely to benefit white people and oppress POC. This is called institutionalized racism. It’s difficult to take racism out of a system and country that was founded upon it.
There is much more to it so here are some links to learn more:
- Sign Petitions
As I scroll through social media these days, I see lots of my friends of different races sharing petitions that can be signed to serve justice to victims that were impacted by racially motivated wrong doings. You can do the same. Sign as many petitions as you can and share them with others that can sign them, too.
Here is a list of petitions that you can sign:
If you can, donate to the Black Lives Matter movement, the victims, the protestors, black owned businesses, and other organizations. It’s totally understandable if you aren’t able to come out of your pocket to donate, but there are other ways to do it, such as streaming playlists. Whatever way you are able to help, please do it.
Here is a list of organizations to donate to and other ways to help donate:
Protesting is a great way to be heard and get the attention of government officials so that changes are made and justice is served. While this form of help is efficient, it can also be scary. I’m sure you have seen videos of the police tear gassing protestors, shooting rubber bullets, and more. It takes courage to go out and protest, so if you are ready to take the risk then go for it! Just make sure to stay safe and take precautions.
Here is a list of things to know before going to a protest:
- Protect and Uplift POC
On a daily basis, People of Color go through many struggles, whether we see it or not. As an ally, you should be trying to protect and uplift them. Protecting them could mean physically, like helping them out in a situation where they are being harassed. It could also mean with your words, like standing up to a person who is saying something racist or discriminatory. Whatever the form may be, you should be standing up for POC. You should also be uplifting them. Let them know that you see and hear their struggles. Let them know that you stand with them and you will fight for them. Finally, let them know that they are loved.
While there is no exact way to be a perfect ally, these are some ways that you can get on the track to being a good one.