Friday, July 24, 2009

T.G.I.F.: Allies

The past few weeks have been pretty disheartening from the point-of-view of being an educator and activist who believes in anti-racism and who also works on educating herself about other forms of oppression (classism, sexism, homophobia, etc...). Especially reading the comment threads on a lot of mainstream blogs and/or on-line newspapers can be downright depressing--because people are constantly challenging what counts as racism--even in the face of things that seem to be so obviously and blatantly racist.

But then I am reminded about allies. And I feel a warm fuzzy coming over me. Because allies are what we need to fight various forms of oppression, as well as to recognize the ways that oppressions are linked together--homophobia and sexism fit hand and glove, and racism and classism are so intertwined that people just take their interrelated nature for granted.

I have had several important allies in my life--both personal and professional. People who have fought with me and for me--mentors of all genders, sexualities, and ethnicities who have nurtured me and helped me to grow into an aspiring ally myself.

So in honor of the allies out there in the world, let me say THANK YOU and to highlight some blogging allies who I believe are instrumental in speaking truth to power in numerous ways:

*What Tami Said on gay Bishop Rev. Eugene Robinson

*Poplicks on an offensive ad for Israeli cell phones

*Tenured Radical on the need for access for all

And finally, these two clips by white allies on addressing issues of racism"

[From Angry Asian Man, Terry Keleher breaks down "Reverse Racism"]

[From Stuff White People Do, Lincoln Trudeau on the phrase "I'm not racist but..."]

For all these allies and many more, the T.G.I.F. award honors their contributions in working across lines--because at the end of the day, we should all be working together to try to make the world a better and fairer place for everyone.


macon d said...

people are constantly challenging what counts as racism--even in the face of things that seem to be so obviously and blatantly racist.

Yes, I noticed a LOT of that this week. "White denial," as I think Tim Wise has aptly labeled it (and so many other manifestations of it).

It seems to be a fundamental component of collective (middle-class?) white psychology now -- to doubt claims of racism, especially these postracial days. There's often a certain condescension in that doubt too -- which in itself is ironically racist.

At any rate, thanks for this post, and for the informative links in it! And don't let the bastards grind you down, eh?

Jennifer said...

macon d,

Thanks for the comment--and thanks for being an ally--your posts about race and your perspective has been so refreshing. I definitely had you/your blog in mind as one of a number of allies who talk about all sorts of issues in the complicated way that these complex and provocative and controversial and IMPORTANT subjects demand.

Thanks for your comment/being a reader--and thank you for your blog posts!