How to be a respectful and helpful ally for the black community



Jeanette D'Addabbo, AVTV editor

With the United States current discussion on race, many of its citizens are questioning on how to be an ally for the black community. Pleasanton is not excluded from this debate.

Being an ally means willing to act not only with, but also for others in the pursuit of ending the oppression and creating equality. This also means that anyone could be an ally for a certain community if they put in the effort.

Some tips for those who are just starting out could be found below:

  • Understand that black people face struggles that non-black people cannot.
  • Do not be afraid to be intolerant of intolerance.
  • Do not tell racist jokes, and stop laughing at racist jokes
  • If you are unsure if what you are about to say is racist or not, ask someone from the community. It is better to learn, then hurt others out of confusion.
  • Do as much as you can to learn from those in the community

Social media is an effective way to show support, but do remember it is not the only outlet for being an ally. Other methods such as protesting, promoting and supporting black artists and black owned businesses, but even just learning about the black community could be a great way to support them.

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal,” said Martin Luther King Jr., leader of the Civil Rights Movement.

While posting on social media is not being silent, it is not enough to fight the injustice. Protest, promote, donate to organizations such as Black Lives Matter (@blklivesmatter), Color of Change  (@colorofchange), or NAACP (@naacp). 

For those non-black readers out there who are wondering if this article is even necessary, it is not your choice to decide. To be an ally, you need to assume racism is everywhere, everyday, and not that George Floyd’s murder is a random occurance. 

“Every successful social movement in this country’s history has used disruption as a strategy to fight for social change,” says Alicia Garza, American civil rights activist and editorial writer from Oakland, California.

Allies for the black community need to take a stand against injustice, but it is important to know not to over step in your fight against injustice. Those of the black community need to be heard first, before your own voice. That is how we can make a change.