A Guide To Becoming A Minority Group Ally

A Guide To Becoming A Minority Group Ally

Navigating social oppression in the US.
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In light of the election results I thought I'd share this again for anyone that doesn't understand why minorities are freaking out.

Navigating the Terms

Sociologists define minority and majority groups based on their social power, or more to the point, the ability of one group to oppress another. Due to politically endorsed institutions such as slavery and sexism individuals who are not "White" and/or female have been oppressed systemically since our country's founding. Since the sociological definition of minority does not have to do with population size it has become more correct to refer to majority groups as Dominant and minority groups as Subordinate.

Subordinate groups consist of any individuals who are not white cis-gender straight Christian males. The LGBTQ Community, all individuals who identify as any "race" outside of white/Caucasian, anyone that does not identify as Christian, anyone identifying as female, disabled, and many other individuals are all apart of the subordinate group or minority community.

Oppression has many forms like prejudice, discrimination, and racism.

Prejudice is when an individual uses a stereotype to characterize an individual that they do not know. For example assuming an individual likes a certain food item because of their perceived nationality or ethnic characteristics is prejudiced. Also assuming and individual is unintelligent because of a physical handicap is prejudiced as well.

Discrimination is a physical act against another person because they are a minority. For example a use of force on an unarmed individual because they are perceived to be dangerous due to their ethnic background. Using a racial slur or sexually objectifying a woman verbally are also acts of discrimination. Terminating a worker because of their minority status and even not including someone in a group are all acts of discrimination.

Racism, sexism and many other such "isms" are systems of oppression that reinforced by the actors of the law like police officers, members of congress, and senators. Once a majority group has normalized itself and it is interpreted as the default for what is proper in a society the members all gain a power and influence in society. Accessing education is easy for members of the majority due to income inequities so their power and influence becomes passed down their generations. These individuals do nothing to actively investigate the plight of the minority and act on their prejudice as a whole. Thus it becomes increasingly difficult for individuals of the minority to access education, have social mobility, or own property which means their pursuit of happiness is interrupted by this system.

Because our brains are hardwired to identify things it is nearly impossible to view another individual without judgement. I am not saying that individuals should attempt to not see people as different from them. It is better, instead to acknowledge your bias internally. When we do not know or understand someone our brain fills in what we do not know with stereotypes, getting to know people from minority groups that make you uncomfortable is a great start to seeing beyond what makes them different from you.

Understanding "Ally"



1. What Is Inequality?


The evasion or stripping of rights that benefit the dominate group.

Income Inequality can result in Location Inequality which leads to greater exposure to stress, poor air, bad water, and an unstable economy. (URBAN ECOLOGY)






2.War?

The use of the word ally implies a war. There is a sort of social war for minority people that they must battle every day. Each day colloquial language, discriminatory coalitions, and governmental policies impact the lives of people who are highly underrepresented in politics. This is a war. Lives are being lost, trans-lives, Muslim-lives, female-lives; will you fight with us?

3.Oppression can be systemic and covert

Systemic Oppression

System- A series of networks, typically a cycle where the inputs and outputs are dependent upon one another.

Oppression- Withholding rights

Therefore Systemic Oppression is: A political cycle that withholds rights.

Macro-Aggressions are a distinguishable historical event that set precedent for a legacy of prejudice

4. Covert Oppression: Micro Aggressions
An insult, gesture, presumption, verbal or physical assault against a minority person or group.
  • The Danger of #JK

Comedy is an excellent stress reliever and way of dealing with complex subjects in simplistic formats. Jokes become dangerous when they reaffirm systemic inequality.

5. How to Be an Ally No one is asking you to become a superhero but getting educated about the history of minority people is a great place to start. After education comes activism; join a movement, donate to a cause, attend BSC meetings, become a part of ODB. Live every day to make difference, don’t let jokes slip by without addressing them, don’t be afraid to correct people, and don’t get testy when you get corrected. Become aware of your privilege, practice mediation, encourage minority people and support individuals that you see struggling around you.

Resources

§AAPD (American Association of People With Disabilities) www.aapd.com

VocaLady www.vocaladymagazine.com

NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) www.naacp.com

HRC (Human Rights Campaign) www.HRC.org

GLAAD www.Glaad.org/gotyourback


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37 Things Growing Up in the South Taught You

Where the tea is sweet, but the people are sweeter.
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views

1. The art of small talking.
2. The importance of calling your momma.
3. The beauty of sweet tea.
4. How to use the term “ma'am” or “sir” (that is, use it as much as possible).
5. Real flowers are way better than fake flowers.
6. Sometimes you only have two seasons instead of four.
7. Fried chicken is the best kind of chicken.
8. When it comes to food, always go for seconds.
9. It is better to overdress for Church than underdress.
10. Word travels fast.
11. Lake days are better than beach days.
12. Handwritten letters never go out of style.
13. If a man doesn’t open the door for you on the first date, dump him.
14. If a man won’t meet your family after four dates, dump him.
15. If your family doesn’t like your boyfriend, dump him.
16. Your occupation doesn’t matter as long as you're happy.
17. But you should always make sure you can support your family.
18. Rocking chairs are by far the best kind of chairs.
19. Cracker Barrel is more than a restaurant, it's a lifestyle.
20. Just 'cause you are from Florida and it is in the south does not make you Southern.
21. High School football is a big deal.
22. If you have a hair dresser for more than three years, never change. Trust her and only her.
23. The kids in your Sunday school class in third grade are also in your graduating class.
24. Makeup doesn’t work in the summer.
25. Laying out is a hobby.
26. Moms get more into high school drama than high schoolers.
27. Sororities are a family affair.
28. You never know how many adults you know 'til its time to get recommendation letters for rush.
29. SEC is the best, no question.
30. You can't go wrong buying a girl Kendra Scotts.
31. People will refer to you by your last name.
32. Biscuits and gravy are bae.
33. Sadie Robertson is a role model.
34. If it is game day you should be dressed nice.
35. If you pass by a child's lemonade stand you better buy lemonade from her. You're supporting capitalism.
36. You are never too old to go home for just a weekend… or just a meal.
37. You can’t imagine living anywhere but the South.



































Cover Image Credit: Grace Valentine

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If You Didn't Realize 'All Lives Matter' Came From Racism, You Most Certainly Should Now

Sounds nice, right? "All Lives Matter"?

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As with many social movements, there is always a counter-movement from those who disagree.

All Lives Matter became a phrase with the semblance of a movement to deter the public from thinking police brutality was distinctively a problem for black people. Under the guise of inclusion and seemingly righteous "what about us?" questions, All Lives Matter became the white to the darkness that has been cast on the Black Lives Matter movement.

While it seems like a simple answer, because yes, every life matters, All Lives Matter is actually a false argument that seeks to undermine the validity of police brutality and other wrongs America has committed against people of color. It levels the playing field for all harms against all people, as if the playing field was level from the beginning. It discounts all the struggles and constant barriers people of color face in America, and runs alongside the likes of arguments such as "reverse racism" or "taking back 'our' country."

The motive of the Black Lives Matter movement is not to lower the value of other American lives, but instead to raise the value of Black Lives to the level of others. Black people are continuously murdered for minor traffic offenses or simply doing nothing, and to act as if these horrific crimes plague any other community in America is to ignore a huge issue.

If you didn't believe All Lives Matter was motivated by racist intentions before, you most certainly should now.

As families are separated and lost in oblivion at the Mexican American border, those who preached and pressed that All Lives Matter are silent. Some even have the nerve to speak out on it, calling the young children held in these camps "not our kids" or saying they were simply in "summer camp."

Although it does not seem like "All Lives Matter," this behavior goes along with the rhetoric the counter-movement seeks to push.

All Lives Matter except those of color.

By using a blanket statement, it disintegrates any attention directed towards people of color in desperate situations such as travel bans, deportation and separation, and police brutality.

All Lives Matter does not mean the 17-year-old black boy who was murdered by the police after voicing his fear for his life in a poem.

All Lives Matter does not mean the elementary-aged children being torn from their parents and lost in a sea of traded bodies and government bureaucracy.

All Lives Matter means white.

All Lives Matter means if it's white, its right.

Stop listening to the rhetoric. People of color have continuously struggled with proving the value of their lives in America. All Lives Matter is just a way of continuing this struggle. Do not give it power. Pay attention to the news, the things happening to people of color around you and how you can help.

All Lives do matter, but right now, black and brown lives are in danger.

Cover Image Credit:

Wikimedia Commons

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