Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people. Use this blog as a reference tool, not as the one and only view on the topic.
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The ally (each of whom is white) is asked the following question: “I am white. I have a lot of respect for African culture. I want to get gauges in my ears like the Africans have in the tribes I’ve been studying. Is that okay?”
The “Good” ally says: “Maybe, I am not sure if there is anything wrong with that or not.”
The “Real” ally: “My instinct is to say no because it would be cultural appropriation but I don’t really think I am the right person to answer this question. Try to find someone directly from the culture/tribe to get more information from. If you can’t, it may be best to err on the side of caution and not do it. At least wait until you can find a few different people within that culture/tribe to ask first.”
The “Fashionable” ally: “I don’t see anything wrong with it. I see it as a celebration of culture. You are bringing light to their culture and maybe you can actually use it to educate people about the tribe itself.”
The breakdown- Although I see “Good” allies as people that should really not call themselves an ally at all, I would be perfectly happy with their answer to this question. Their weak spine has allowed them to answer the question without actually saying anything. No harm, no foul. The “Real” ally gave the exact right answer. This is not something they should try to answer. However, I think not answering as well as encouraging the asker to ask the specific group, is an ideal way to handle this. Finally, the “Fashionable” ally gives the exact wrong answer. Sadly, not only is the answer wrong but because of some of the words used, it seems as if what they are saying is unquestionably right. How could the idea of something you’ve done actually opening the door to “Education” be a bad thing? This is why they are so dangerous.