In this weeks reading, “Combatting Intentional Bigotry and Inadvertently Racist Acts”, Fletcher Blanchard talks about racism, specifically on college campuses. He talks about how, for a lot of white people, college is their first experience with people of color. Unfortunately, that also means that those same people have never seen the impact racism can have and so the racist things people around them say or do can easily influence them. Blanchard tells us about an experiment that was done on college campuses where they would ask people about their thoughts on racism. Typically they would only stop one person but sometimes they would stop two, on regular person and another person that was in on the experiment. It was found that when the person involved with the experiment talked negatively about racism the other person was more likely to talk negatively about it. But, conversely, when the person involved condoned racism the other person was more likely to condone it.
So, Blanchard says that the best way to fight racism, whether it is blatant or inadvertent, is to be an ally. Speak up against racism when you hear it because “each of us can influence each other by criticizing the willful bigotry of the mean spirited few and gently guiding the well intentioned efforts of the inexperienced many.” This is also what Andrea Ayvazian talks about in “Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change”. She tells us “an ally is a member of a dominant group in our society who works to dismantle any form of oppression from which she or he receives the benefit”. Allies can be very important people in the fight for change because while the people being oppressed may not be listened to, the allies can be their voice. They can also be important as role models. Most kids don’t grow up with a “white anti-racist (or civil rights worker, or someone who fights racism)” to look up to. Allies can be the ones that kids can look up to and teach them about any of the –isms in our world and how to fight it.
Some of you may have noticed how I kept saying "Allies can be..." because in my experience in the LGBT+ community allies aren't always so helpful. In this video, I feel that tip number 3 is the most important, she say "Speak Up, Not Over". Especially on the internet, I have seen many people who have called themselves allies but were basically just doing it to look like a good person. They would make such a big deal about how great of an ally they were, etc. but then would never actually talk about any of the issues faced in the community. It even got to a point where the acronym was updated to LGBTQIA and a lot of the allies were so excited that they got included into the acronym because they were so important. Except, that A that was added was for asexuals, not for allies, but many ignored that fact and continued saying it was for them. I know, obviously, that not all allies are like this and it could just be a few making a bad name for the many but I felt that it was important to mention.