The word ‘allyship,’ here, is a heavy token in my mouth, since my experience of it is so limited.
This is not to say that I consider myself more or less bigoted than the average white middle class American, rather, an observation that my ego learned to defend itself only recently and begin to empathize with others’ struggles as a result. To be an ally, then, demands first and foremost the honest and wholehearted commitment to not play the role of adversary. In layman’s terms, ‘check yourself before you wreck yourself and the whole goddamn street corner, while you’re at it!’ Rule number one of not being an ass hole: acknowledge every way in which you are, in fact, a complete ass hole. Nobody’s shit don’t stink.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is why it is important to acknowledge your privilege every second of every day! Call it counting your blessings. Call it a second of remembering that your blessings may be through someone’s bloodshed. Yeah, the privilege talk is sticky. Because, while you, the divine being that you are, have the right to experience your subject-position in peace, your willful ignorance may feed your unwilling acts of violence. On this planet, everyone is violent. You may call this ‘the order of things.’ I will call it ‘survival consciousness.’ It is a violent flame stoked by the fear and frenzy of the majority. Unpacking your privilege is a public service and if you are privileged, you owe this…Here, I will take a moment to evoke justice – if you inherited the treasure of a humane experience in this lifetime from your ancestors, whom most likely tore this treasure from bloody, war-torn hands (knowingly or unknowingly, this makes no difference) you are a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Underneath the soft, fluffy, infantile exterior lies a seething predator willing to bear tooth and nail to maintain a favorable position in the pecking order. These bites kill. These bites take root in government policies that eviscerate the ‘competition’ by subjecting their men, women, and children to slavery, violence, and no hope of escape it. Look at yourself in the mirror, identify the parts of you that are actually fangs designed to protect your possessive mindset. Yeah, I know, it hurts don’t it? That’s what history looks like. You are all of it. And especially if you are white in America, please learn to look at yourself. You are all of it. All the bloodshed, but also the random acts of kindness, the dedication to future generations, the weight of good intentions. You are the happenstance that saw one man hurl himself against the other for resources and then blew this out of proportion. You are not good or bad by default, but you are what you are. Acknowledge it. Sometimes you gotta wear your beauty and your ugly on the same necklace.
Also, don’t get stuck in feeling bad, do something about it! My personal advice about this is to practice listening. Practice taking someone else in. Practice fully acknowledging the validity of someone’s experience before sending them to the executioner. If you practice this, you will sometimes pick up violence and perhaps a bit too much white noise since people love to fill their space with static conversations these days. You will have to learn to move away from these voices, to seek greener pastures. Remember, greener pastures are always out there. A drought in one area spells monsoon in the other. Call it fate. Call it quantum entanglement. Call it balance…
Your life is a balancing act. You walk a tightrope over an abyssal collective consciousness while you embody memories and infinite potentials simultaneously (and not in equal proportion). You, in your power, hold the inherent potential of harming others. You, as the victim of something, as we all are, must learn to recognize those signs in others. If you are strong, you must learn to protect them. And by protect, I mean champion. And by champion, I mean, step down, step up, or step over so that they (whoever they are) can champion themselves. We’re all in this together.
No more cliches, now. I’m out.
– molly mule
(Follow her work at madamemollymule.wordpress.com)