BIPOC Demand Effective Allyship: Performative Allyship Is Harmful
But when expressing outrage is as easy as posting a hashtag, a meme, or an empty black square, there’s a question of whether that outrage is genuine or performative. — Alia E. Dastigir
...a large part of the discussion surrounding the movement’s focus is on actually doing the work, rather than just keeping it a performative symbol of allyship. — Kara Nesvig
During isolation in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, I believe that White allyship was more performative than effective. There was a lot of pressure put on White individuals to act during the pandemic when more details were revealed on these high profile cases. This caused some to only publicly post about their solidarity, or act in ways that were performative. There were protests around the world demanding a STOP to these senseless killings and countless acts of violence towards BIPOC during a public health crisis that disproportionately affected them.
If we weren’t in isolation and confronted with these high profile cases, would “White allies” still speak against senseless killings and countless acts of violence toward BIPOC?
I wrote and republished, How to Become White Allies to BIPOC: Dismantle Structures of Oppression & Anti-Blackness Attitudes due to people reaching out to me because they had desired to become effective White allies. Recently, I’ve looked at the stats on this article in particular and discovered that my recent article garnered more attention than this one in just a few weeks — It’s unrelated to racial issues. That was telling, thus prompting me to think that we as a collective are still uncomfortable with discussing racial issues because it brings up a lot of guilt and shame.
Allow the discomfort that may come from reading this article to be the catalyst for personal growth that’s necessary for dismantling structures of oppression and anti-blackness attitudes.
My intention with How to Become White Allies to BIPOC: Dismantle Structures of Oppression & Anti-Blackness Attitudes is to get White individuals thinking about what they can do in this current moment to dismantle structures of oppression and anti-blackness attitudes while either attentively listening to, or reading the lived experiences of BIPOC with compassion and empathy.
I highly suggest reading my first article on this online platform where I get into more depth on what you all can do in this current moment. It's imperative that you all do individual research. In How to Become White Allies to BIPOC: Dismantle Structures of Oppression & Anti-Blackness Attitudes, I've provided different places for you all to start when it comes to anti-racist work. Please, reconsider allyship or activism that starts and ends with only expressing public outrage on social media, or showcasing activism as glamorous; create or join online communities that are geared toward dismantling structures of oppression and anti-blackness attitudes and then organize with people outside of social media that are local to petition to change certain policies that are racist in nature, etc. If you were already doing anti-racist work then let this article be a guide that you refer others to!