How, as a white person, you can use your voice – POC IOM Q&A

Question

White female here, who’s deeply embarrassed by how long it’s taken her to educate herself on black oppression and black history. My question would be this: I want to stand in solidarity and speak out in solidarity for the black lives matter movement and the black men and women on our island – what would be the best way for me to be vocal in my support without speaking over and silencing black voices that need to be heard? I want to be vocal but in the most considerate way possible, without it appearing that I’m speaking on behalf of black people, when I very obviously do not understand or will ever experience the micro-aggressions and struggles that they do.

Answer

Don’t be embarrassed about wanting to educate yourself! We all have a lot of learning and unlearning to do! There are a lot of different resources you can use to learn more about the topic at hand! I think sharing what you learn will be excellent whether this is on socials or with friends. There are plenty of people sharing books, podcasts, films and more right now, so it’s a great time to get involved! You could start by looking at your own social media to see how diverse your sources of information are. The more you diversify the platform the more you will be exposed to excellent resources on this topic. A great book to start with is “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race” by Reni Eddo-Lodge. Ted Talks have a lot on the subject of racial diversity too. If you have children or know any children, look for books that feature children of a different race as the protagonist and make sure that the new generation is exposed to as many different stories from as many different cultures as possible. On a day to day basis, the best thing you can do is share what you have learnt and call out racism of any kind when you see it. A trick you can use to challenge a racist remark is to ask, would that sound strange if it was about another group of people? If it does, it was a generalisation and putting people into a box, so it’s probably prejudice/ racist. Ask questions and stay curious! Check out black businesses and restaurants on the island. The fact that you have asked this question already shows that you are showing solidarity. 

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