I’m Not An Ally Because I Say I’m One (and other embarrassments)

I saw on Facebook yesterday “If you are not speaking about race publically right now you are part of the problem.”

I agree.

The very same day I’d posted something on instagram.

I’ve been obsessed with these “White People Teaching Hip Hip” Video’s lately.
Obsessed.

People have been sending me tons and I laugh and laugh.

I think it’s so funny AND a form of political satire because we are stealing a dance from another culture, making it our own, and then looking stupid doing it. It’s clown in action. It’s theatre of the absurd. It’s hilarious.

So I posted another one.

And my friends laughed with me. And I got a lot of views. And I felt pretty cool.

And then this was the response I got from my friend (who is black).

Her call out was immediately so impressive to me because we’re really good friends (we’ve done witchy rituals to the full moon together) and she challenged me publically. That is a very hard thing to do- even harder because we are so close. She’s outing my ignorance and potentially putting a strain on our friendship.

Very quickly I started to unpack what was going on at a deeper level when I posted this HILARIOUS video.

It was funny. I like sharing funny things.

But more importantly, I wanted to show “Hey look I’m an ally, I’m being public with my politics, affirm me!!!” I even included a black man I know in the post to have a laugh with my “brother.”

Being an ally is not my decision to be made. This is my friend’s decision and my white privilege and ignorance is so strong, even when I “think” I’m doing something useful and supportive” there is my own selfishness invested in it. Notice me. See me. I’m cool. I’m up with what you need and I’ll help out.

I talked it through with my husband and we decided that a better thing to do next time would be to maybe still post the video but simply ask a question. “Hey friends, this video makes me laugh but also uncomfortable, if you have the time, do you have any education around this for me?”

OR

Don’t post the video publically (just to get the likes and laughs) and send it directly to a person of color and ask them if they had the time to unpack it with me.

OR

Google “appropriation” “hip-hop appropriation” “black culture appropriation” and learn some shit myself.

So thanks Dawn for taking your sweet and precious time to “break this down” (attempt at joke). Your time is valuable and you must be so tired of opening your heart publically about your pain. Thank you. I’m sorry. I appreciate your time. I’ve learned more. I’ll stay open. I’ll ask questions. I don’t expect an answer and most importantly, I’ll follow your lead.

Dawn’s request was that we take the conversation further…I’d love that too.

Anyone, everyone, please share in the comments below and feel free to pass this post along with your thoughts…my embarrassment is a great opportunity for some good us to go deeper with this…

Dawn’s is also the Queen of Canadian Soul and here’s her song “Let’s Go Deeper”

I'd love to hear your thoughts!