“The starting point of allyship is to understand the difference between “I am not racist” vs. “I am anti-racist”.”
“Allyship is the opposite of white silence.”
“It’s about standing where discriminated people stand every day in their daily lives.”
“You don’t always have to be mega active and very loud, but not to be racist isn’t enough. For example, not saying the N or M word is not enough. That’s not allyship. It’s not enough to watch documentaries. Allyship isn’t just not being racist. Allyship means being active in your everyday routines, otherwise you are reproducing a racist system.”
“It is actively supporting Black and PoC people in whatever way you can.”
“It cannot be that we now have to be grateful to our white friends for having some level of awareness.”
“Allyship is an ongoing anti-racist struggle. It may also fluctuate, but it is not just a trend moment.”
In Merriam-Webster dictionary, Allyship is described as a supportive association with another person or group. It is an active and consistent practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person in a position of privilege and power seeks to operate in solidarity with a marginalized group acting out of responsibility.
In addition, Amnesty International defines an ally as “someone who takes action to support a group that they are not part of. They develop strong ties to that group, while remembering they are there in a supportive role. They know to turn up when needed and when to step back, never taking the spotlight. Allies are not saviours; they know the people they are supporting can raise themselves up. They champion the needs of that group and use their power to amplify that group’s voice. An ally is an advocate within their own group/s to tackle ignorance and getting more to become allies.”
Since privilege is intersectional, everyone has the ability to be an ally. However, allyship is a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability and is not self-defined—work and efforts must be recognized by those you are seeking to ally with.
Allyship is absolutely essential in a society in which large sections are structurally discriminated against and excluded. Only through true allyship can an inclusive society be built that is less about assimilation and more about the valorisation of diversity.