Saturday, January 14, 2012

Allies, A Different Definition than from Class.

Connections Format

Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Roles of Allies as Agents of Change by Andrea Ayvazian was a good read that made a very strong and intellectual case for being an ally or an agent of change. Ayvazians definition of an ally, or a change agent,  was different than the allies we discussed in class. While our class discussion determined an agent as someone who stands up for someone being bullied, attacked, or targeted, Ayvazian talks about an agent as being someone from a dominant group, i. e. a white person, supporting anti-racist issues. The sames goes for a male supporting anti-sexist issues and so on for every dominant category. While the definition of ally is different it can be very similar in some situations.

I found this reading to be similar to many of the conclusions of other texts we have read. For instance, Johnson has this long article and his conclusion is for dominant groups to do something about problems because they have the power. Same thing with Yamato, she says white people need to "Challenge oppression. Take a stand against it. When you are aware of something oppressive going down, stop the show. At least call it." These conclusions are so similar to Ayvazian's tone of her piece.

Points To Share

At the end of Ayvazian's article she writes, "Like most activists, I carry a dream inside me. As I travel nationwide for my work, I can actually see signs of it becoming true. The dream is that we will create in this country a nonviolent army of allies that will challenge and break the cycle of oppression and usher in a new era of liberation, empowerment, and equity for persons historically targeted by systemic oppression. Within each individual is the potential to effect enormous change. May we move forward, claiming with pride our identities as allies, interrupting the cycle of oppression, and modeling a new way of behaving and believing." After reading that paragraph I was like well that was a good ending and a nice summary to the article. As I was writing my blog I thought "Hey I'll find a video on Youtube to put in my blog.." I went to Youtube and typed in "Antiracism Whites" thinking of course to find a white person supporting anti-racist issues. When I clicked search and found all of these videos instead, I was sick to my stomach. It made me feel like I was searching a dirty website, like if the KKK or Hitler had a website. My first reaction was OMG, quickly followed by WTF! Then I thought do people actually think this? I realized not everyone takes this class or has the desire to take this class. It is ignorant people like this that give white people a bad name. But the video that truly made me feel horrible and made me feel ashamed to be white was this song:

What was your reaction on this find?

1 comment:

  1. I think that any radicallized perspectives come across as suspicious and misguided. Some videos linked to one you've linked to your post do show very clear reverse racism, though many challenge the existence of such a thing. I know that there are still racist whites, while at the same time it's clear that there are many people of other races that aren't interested in equality but rather retribution. Equality has a very specific meaning. If it becomes acceptable or politically correct to focus only on the negative actions of individuals in one group, whether considered privileged or not, while ignoring the negativity of other groups, equality is not what's being served. I find the hatred, and especially the demonstration of hatred for another race, nationality, gender, etc. disgusting no matter who the perpetrator is. Good post Mike.