dr. jennifer ballerini

DR. JEN'S BLOG

How to Be a Better Ally

whitesilence

This is a really powerful article on being a better white ally to people of color. I appreciate it because it matches my experience as a relationship expert. As a general rule, people do not respond well to being shamed. While we want to avoid "tone policing" marginalized groups, we who are privileged need to work on winning hearts and minds through old-fashioned kindness and understanding. As satisfying as it might be to lash out at your racist aunt or co-worker, you're not doing the work of opening minds and changing behaviors. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "You have little persuasive power over people who can feel your contempt." Staying regulated, curious, empathic, and humble in the face of racist speech is a much more effective approach—not unlike "deep canvassing." This article clearly and eloquently outlines the work white people have in communicating with fellow white people about racism…and I see no reason it couldn't apply to allies in tackling sexism, homophobia, or any other civil rights issue.