Being an effective white ally to Black people is a continuous process, and you have to work on it every day. It’s easy to fall back into our comfort zone and think “I can let this one go”, but there is always more we can, and should, do to fight white supremacy and racial injustice. To be a better ally, you first need to understand and recognize your privilege and unlearn harmful behaviours.
Just before we dive into it, you might be thinking why a sex shop is talking about this. Let me explain. We cannot say we’re a space for women to feel empowered, if we don’t hear what they have to say. There is no sexual liberation without Black liberation. And more than that, we want to use our business as a source for good and to fight for what is right.
In this blog, you will learn:
Let’s start with White Privilege
Simply put, white privilege doesn’t mean your life hasn’t been hard, it means your skin tone isn’t one of the things making it harder. It’s really how your whiteness comes with an array of benefits and advantages. We actively benefit from the oppression of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) whether we’re aware of it or not.
White privilege exists as a direct result of both historic and enduring racism, bias, and practices designed to oppress people of colour. To understand that white privilege is very much real, just believe what Black people tell in their stories. If that doesn’t make you rethink the white frame the world was built on, you’re not paying attention.
So… what can I do?
As mentioned before, being an ally is a continuous process and you always have to check what you are doing and what else you could be doing. One of the first steps is listening to Black people, and more than that, amplifying their voices. Most of the content we consume is made by white folks, so how about we hear what Black people have to say too?
Being an ally means you have to step out of your comfort zone all the time. You have to call out your friend, your parents, or your boss when they are being racist. You gotta teach others about our white privilege and how to be better. You have to hold companies, organizations, influencers, and the government accountable for their racist behaviours. Make sure your company, or the company you work for, also hires Black people, and pays them the same as white folks, and gives them the same opportunities for growth.
It’s important to know that you don’t need a big audience to start doing that, your circle of friends and family are enough. Remember that you might say the wrong thing, but it’s more important that you keep saying and fighting for racial justice than being quiet. Another big thing to be a better ally is continuous learning.
Here are some resources to start learning from.
- Why I Am No Longer Talking To White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge
- White Fragility - Robin Diangelo
- How To Be An Anti-Racist - Ibram X. Kendi
- Between The World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates
- So You Want To Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo
- The Undefeated - Kwame Alexander
- I Am Not A Number - Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer
- Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race - Beverly Daniel Tatum
- From The War On Poverty To The War On Crime: The Making Of Mass Incarceration In America - Elizabeth Hinton
- When They See Us - Ava DuVernay
- 13th - Ava DuVernay
- I am Not Your Negro - Raoul Peck
- Just Mercy
- Get Out
- Malcolm X - Spike Lee
- Whose streets? - Sabaah Foloyan and Damon Davis
- Hidden Figures