Being a Better White Ally

June 3, 2020 |

Nicole Townsend writes…”we have an obligation to follow the footsteps of a radical Jesus…What we are witnessing unfold across our country is not a response to one horrific event, but to hundreds of years of white supremacy. Now is not the time to push away the people in your life who “talk about race too much’…{now is the time to} Sit with your discomfort. Sit with your frustration. And listen. Please. Listen. As we condemn or condone the way in which people are mobilizing it seems as if we are still forgetting to listen because the message may not be coming in the form we would like it to. Our government has never been held accountable for the genocide of the Indigenous people who were on this stolen land prior to colonization. Instead, it has created false borders that separated people from navigating the land of their ancestors without fear of death. Nor has it been held accountable for the stealing and enslavement of African people. Without judgment, I ask that folks seek out resources to understand the terror and genocide that Black people have been subject to, post chattel slavery. Our government and our history books have lied to you – which is why it is easy to believe that Black people have actually been free… Let us listen more than we condemn or condone. Let us still manage to seek understanding even in the midst of our deep discomfort….Do not get confused. As this is not a request for a “Kumbaya” moment. It is, however, an ask for us to listen, and be willing to struggle with each other and not against.”

As a faith-based community who believes in the radical teachings of this man called Yeshua – Jesus – we must each ask ourselves, what is ou role right now? It’s different for each of us. For some, it’s to become more educated on race, racism,  white privilege, and our unconscious collusion in the system. For others, maybe it’s to become a better ally.  Some may want to support organizations engaged in social justice issues, and other may want to engage in, or simply support, civil disobedience.  Whatever your choice, below are a few resources that may help…

GET EDUCATED:

Resources on systemic racism, white privilege, and more.

SUPPORT BLACK LEADERS LOCALLY:

CONNECT WITH YOUR COMMUNITY

  • take a Hood Huggers Tour with Dewayne Barton
  • contact Kate Pett to learn about the Housing Choice Landlord program she’s spearheaded
  • support the work of Beloved/Homeward Bound/Pisgah Legal/Just Economics, etc.
  • support black businesses – find Gene Ettison
  • join Building Bridges
  • take a Racial Equity Institute Course, then take another
  • meet people who live in AVL public housing

SUPPORT BLACK LEADERS NATIONALLY:

READ BOOKS:

DIG DEEPER

  • study more local history of racial segregation
  • start a Zoom study group with other white friends and discuss books (see below)
  • discuss what you’ve learned with other while friends on walks, etc..
  • avoid pointing a finger and embrace empathy
  • get curious: ask “why?” and “how?” then do the research

 

To further educate and act:

Read

Watch

Listen

Give/Act