How I Choose to be an Ally


Okay guys, I am seeing an overwhelming amount of content on social media that has me feeling a wide range of feelings that I’m struggling to process.  In this situation, it is not as simple as choosing not to look at it because I have friends and family in Minneapolis that I want to know are safe.  So since a lot of content is being shared right now, I am taking time to put in my piece.  First of all, I want to applaud the brave people who have shared their beliefs and been vocal about this.  I believe that the more voices are out there to be heard, the more people will want to share their support for the cause.  Bravery begets bravery.  So thank you for those who are sharing for helping spark my confidence to share my message as well.  I just spent my hour walk with Django processing my thoughts on everything in the hopes of coming back with a semi-cohesive structure to what I want to say, but I didn’t have much luck.  Which means I guess I’m going to dive in and let the chips fall where they may.

I will start by sharing that I support black lives matter.  I believe that what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis and every other act of violence towards POC is not part of a world I want to live in.  I want to see change and equality and I stand with that cause.  In the same realm, I want others to be able to share their voice as well.  I want allies to rally together to bring about change.  And in order to do that I think it is important that as we share on social media and talk with others, we remember to be inclusive.  This requires active listening and being aware that we can be on the same ‘side’ and have slightly different perspectives on some things.  This is real life.  It is not Star Wars where all the ‘bad guys’ are Storm Troopers blindly following Darth Vader.  One side doesn’t win by eradicating the entire population of individuals on the other side.  We win by evoking change and fighting FOR our cause rather than simply fighting AGAINST the ‘bad guys’.  I want equality and I stand with POC for that justice and equality AND* I want my friends and family in law enforcement to be safe knowing that they have children, parents, and siblings who would be devastated if something were to happen to them.

*It doesn’t have to be ‘but’ – as my wonderful sister said “it’s like untangling a piece of yarn.  If you pull hard on both ends, it will get more tangled.  If you put it down, pull it apart, investigate, work with it, you’re more likely to get the work done”.

I know there are people on either side who disagree with me and that is always going to be the case.  I just want to share an important message that my sister put so wisely: ‘make being an ally accessible’.  As you are sharing and posting and receiving comments, remember to actively listen as well because sometimes there are others like me who have to spend days mustering up the confidence to share their message.  Again, I applaud and am proud of everyone who has shared their message.  And I am happy to be a part of the fight for the cause.  I choose to do that in a way that invites conversation and encourages others.  I choose to promote the concept of an accessible ally where others feel they can come to me and share their story in an open and safe environment because it takes confidence and bravery to share these stories especially in a space that opens people up for criticism and backlash.  So keep sharing and promoting equality and justice and keep your heart open to others who are in this with you.

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