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Campus allies: are you one?

This post was in no way planned. It’s one of those things that I started thinking about and knew I had to say something and share it with as many people as I can. So, here we go. I hope this helps you. I hope you speak up. I hope you love everyone and hate no one.

 

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Photo by Andrew Robles

 

The news lately has been so full of hatred. If you’ve been paying attention, you know what I’m talking about. I try to refrain from getting too political on here, but this is something I can’t ignore if I’m going to call myself an ally.

For those of you entering your college career, those of you already in college, and even for those of you not there yet or those of you already finished, I hope you take this seriously. I know I am.

*I’m writing this as a white student to white students. But it’s for all of us, really.

  1. Don’t just “let things go.”
  2. And if you’re white, use your privilege (yes, you have it) to speak up for those who don’t have the same privileges.
  3. Join campus ally groups, attend the meetings, volunteer at events.
  4. Don’t join for the résumé decoration, join because you care.
  5. Silence during times of injustice helps no one. Speak up.
  6. Being respectful of other people’s opinions and disagreeing with them are not mutually exclusive. BUT…
  7. Know the difference between a real and honest opinion and pure hatred.
  8. When you see the hatred, don’t stand by and watch.
  9. If you’re an ally for one, you need to be an ally for all.
  10. Having black friends does not mean you’re an ally. Having gay friends does not make you an ally. Having Muslim friends does not make you an ally.
  11. It’s one thing to stand up for a friend, it’s another to do it for a stranger.
  12. Get out of your comfort zone.
  13. Realize that your experiences will never be the same as someone else’s.
  14. Don’t downplay people’s struggles just because you’ve had it hard too. It’s not a competition.
  15. Ask what you can do to help. Don’t force yourself into the “martyr role.”
  16. Do NOT get defensive if someone brings up your privilege.
  17. If they bring it up, that probably means you should check it at the door from now on.
  18. Actually, do that anyways.
  19. Recognize that while your outrage may be new, their’s is not.
  20. Don’t wait until it reaches an extreme to become an ally. Do it now.
  21. It’s not for looks and it’s not for a pat on the back.
  22. Realize that your basic human decency should’ve had you making this decision a long time ago.
  23. Stand up.
  24. And stand up now.
  25. And never sit down again.

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