When “success” is a synonym for “personal achievement” in most contexts and being a good ally is often about taking a step back (metaphorically mostly but sometimes in real, tangible ways), what does it mean to be a “successful ally”?
If real allies take responsibility for their own education and don’t rely on minority/ /disadvantaged/ /oppressed communities to tell us what is important to them, how do we know if we are doing or learning the right things?
The best response I have to these questions is seeking out alternative views and experiences from people who have offered to share, asking questions (in the right places and at the right times), and accepting that I will make mistakes (then correcting my behaviour). Part of learning is being open to changing your mind and accepting that there are no “easy answers” to the issues we are concerned about in this space.
The days of being able to say you are “not racist” and have that be synonymous with “anti-racist” are gone. These two ideas were never interchangeable, and this particular verbal hedging is/was a symptom of unexamined privilege or a lack of critical thinking about racism – except when it was a lie, of course. The socially acceptable position in Australia is to say, “I am not racist”. Any other answer (in either direction) raises eyebrows and this needs to change.
As a nation, we are more conflict-averse than we admit. Yet, there are countless daily examples of racism in action, from micro to macro, demonstrating that it is not enough to be “not racist”. Still, saying that you are “anti-racist” is considered confrontational or aggressive by many. It should not be this way. Our First Nation’s People & their cultures should be shown more respect, those seeking asylum more compassion – and that is the proverbial iceberg tip.
This website seeks to collate resources that will assist EDI Allies (& aspiring allies) as they do the work of educating themselves about issues and challenges faced by the communities that are not well accepted or accommodated in the current “ordinary way of things”.
I hope you find it helpful.