Becoming an ally and bringing light to a cause can make all the difference in manifesting real change to the social injustice around us.
Do you remember that one time your close girlfriend called you in the middle of night, desperately seeking advice for something she was going through and you had no idea what to say to make her feel better about her situation but you still wanted to be there to support her?
How did you react? How did you respond? If she considered you a person reliable enough to count on during a time of need, chances are she did not question your being available and present to uplift her from sadness and despair despite what was happening in her world. You were her safe haven, her support system--that was the very reason she called on you, of all people.
While you stood up, straightened your back and planted your feet firmly on the ground in order to be a solid foundation for your good friend, she had no idea that your posture was shaky. And if it were up to you, she wouldn't notice. This moment was about her and no one else. As you would want a friend to react to your tragedy, you continued to give consolation until her cries subsided. Now was not the time to openly oppose the choices that might have led her to such a huge upset. You didn't show judgement, only true concern.
Long after the conversation was over, you called to check up on your friend. Now you were personally and emotionally invested in her climb back to happiness, whether her issues had anything to do with you or not. Experiencing her pain directly was not necessary for you extend your heartfelt condolences. Your mere willingness to be a helping hand for your friend was much needed during such an event.
I've painted this familiar picture to bring you to this point. You don't have to be directly impacted by the violence and brutality happening in our country in order to be an ally to the issue. In one way or another, you have likely faced some sort of alienation, oppression and discrimination at a point in your own life. Right now, the Black Lives Matter movement is in full effect due to an ongoing injustice targeting the Black men of our country, and it's important for us to stand together to peacefully protest the wrongdoing. We must come in solidarity, stand in strength and speak in volumes for those whose voice have been stolen away.As a true ally, you must first understand what is happening. Either you can turn a blind eye to the news or you can become active in the activism surrounding you. Peaceful protests, Gofundme accounts to give back to families of the victims, positive reinforcement through social media. All of these things make a difference. All you have to do is care and be vocal in that. That's the first step towards being an ally. You have to be OK with being uncomfortable for standing up with a targeted victim that may not look like you. Continue educating yourself and building trust.
While it can sometimes be difficult to understand the root of one's pain when you don't share the same experiences, your silence can just as well be considered another form of microaggression against the target during a time when support and alliance is what they need. It is so necessary to take a positive stance against ALL injustice.
When's the last time you practiced being an ally?
Keep up with my social media posts @DevriVelazquez