Anger is an appropriate response - #PoliticallyReactive with @wkamaubell and @harikondabolu

Air Date 11-10-16

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Hear the clip in context; listen to the full episode: In the Days After (Election 2016)


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  • commented 2017-03-11 18:57:56 -0500
    Thank you for your thoughts and work, I appreciate the opportunities for thought and conversation that you inspire.

    I am interested in your take on the word “ally,” and what you see as a better alternative. I can see your point that white people are also losing out because of racism and that, therefore, they should see themselves as combatants in this battle, and not simply as allies.

    However, “ally” is also a word used to describe a country who is on the same side of a conflict at yours (as in the UK and US being allies in WWII), so I don’t know that the term necessarily implies that an “ally” considers themselves a bystander. In fact, I know several Caucasian males who refer to themselves as allies who do more actual work than I, as a Hispanic female, do.

    They choose to use the word “ally” at least partially as a nod toward the fact that, though they may suffer from racism, the consequences of racism they face will never be as dire as they are for the actual minorities. If white men were to start declaring, “We must fight racism because it’s hurting me, too!” I think that we would collectively sneer at them.

    What is an appropriate way for someone who is not necessarily experiencing the same oppression as someone else to state that they are aligned with them and support them in their fight? I am not transgender, and though I recognize that many of the issues that transgender individuals face stem from the same systematic issues as many gender-related issues, I find it disrespectful to indicate in any way that my suffering is the same as theirs. But I write letters and make phone calls and attend marches in solidarity, and though I don’t tend to use the word myself, if someone were to ask if I am an ally to transgender people I would likely say yes. Because, though I do not belong to that group, I am fighting with it. So, if I’m not an ally, what am I?