14 Ways Privileged Allies Can Support Marginalized Communities

14 Ways Privileged Allies Can Support Marginalized Communities

An extensive how-to for privileged allies wanting to take action

We're at a tense crossroads in the history of the United States. People are unsure what a Trump presidency will look like; even people in his own party don't really seem to know what will happen (does anybody? *eyeballs across the planet widen in fear and realization*).

Last week I wrote about the need for people with greater privilege to support those with marginalized identities who will be potentially targeted by the new administration. Here is a list of various perspectives on the importance of active, intersectional allyship and what allies can actually do in this uncertain time in our nation's history.

1. Truly understand privilege

Essentially, your privileged identities are the ones that society prioritizes as preferable or more deserving of power.

2. If you're not afraid for your life right now, you have privilege.

In the words of @erabrand "If you’re someone who knows you can survive the next four years, the rest of us need you to join us in the work we’ve already been doing. Our lives depend on it."

3. DO NOT burden marginalized communities with your privileged guilt or tears.

They have their own emotions and oppression to process. It's actions not tearful guilt that will dismantle systemic societal oppression. Here's some suggestions for processing your emotions.

4. Small actions are a starting place...

5. But please NO safety pins!

Allyship isn't the latest liberal fashion accessory, it's a commitment to a lifestyle of working for social justice and equality for every marginalized community.

6. Don't be oppressive in the process of educating yourself.

7. ADVOCATE for marginalized communities.

Espicially listen to marginalized people themselves on how to best help them, their families and communities. Here's some perspectives on supporting the disabled community, queer Women of Color and undocumented immigrants.

8. Check on your neighbors

9. Donate

Here's a short list to give you a few ideas.

10. Report discrimination on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

This is crucial to keep people accountable for their racist, Islamophobic, homophobic, classist, ableist language and to prevent misconceptions and propaganda from infecting the whole Internet and people's minds.

11. Intervene

This fabulous comic works for other marginalized identities as well. And it doesn't just have to be public transport; harassers exists in workplaces, schools, stores, and online and nobody should have to face that alone.

12. Actions speak louder than lovey sentiments of support.

13. Recognize and own our mistakes as allies.

Apologize, try to right the wrong and keep moving forward, the work doesn't end with your first privileged mistake.

14. Work to fight unjust words and actions of our own privileged peers.

Marginalized communities have myriad forms of oppression they face, they don't need to defend and explain themselves to every ignorant privileged person they meet. This is where you come in as an ally.

Being a good intersectional ally to marginalized communities is a journey. And while you may have hung back before; there's no more time to wait, the United States is at a critical juncture and needs your help. The rights and liberties of your friends, co-workers and neighbors is at stake. Will you walk with them as a ally?

Cover Image Credit: Public Domain

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Things To Know Before Dating A Firefighter

You'll learn how to tell the difference between different kinds of sirens.

There are just certain things you are going to want to know before dating a fireman. In my experience, I had to learn along the way. But at the end of all the calls, constantly smelling his gear in the car and sometimes even cancelled plans, I sure do love my firefighter!

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons To Date A Country Boy

You were promised a list, so here it is:

1. If they are even within 20 minutes of the station, they will always leave you to go on a call.

No matter the circumstances, if you have a fireman on your hands, he will jet to the car and be on his way.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Date A Police Officer

2. Meeting nights are not something you try and fight with them about. They are going to leave and you do not have to like it because it wasn't up to you anyway.

I have learned that these nights are not optional. Yes, other people miss them, but not my firefighter.

3. No matter where you are or what you're doing the minute they hear a firetrucks horn, they're looking for it and hoping they're not missing anything good.

You will learn the lingo. Structures, fully involved (the good stuff) smoke alarms, cat in a tree (ehh I mean they are fireman...soooo still good stuff).

4. They know the exact difference between an ambulance, cop, and, of course, a fire truck siren.

Which means that you will have to learn, too.

5. You’ll have to accept that when he has to do hall rental cleanup, you're going with to help.

You fold the chairs and he stacks them. And Im talking at like 12 a.m.,1 a.m.

6. When you come around the firehouse, there will be jokes made and they'll mess with him about you or even you about him.

Honestly it's a giant bromance going on and they prey on this kinda stuff.

7. At first, you won't really have a name to the fire guys. Until you're around long enough.

You'll just be Boyfriend's name's girlfriend.

8. The fire pager goes where he goes.

Next to the bed, in the car, next to your bed, your living room, EVERYWHERE. And even if it's not the real pager, it's the dog app that I can never remember the name of so dog app it is. (Say that really fast to get the full effect).

9. They will probably wear their station shirt/apparel at least 4-5 days a week.


10. If you've got a good one, you're always put first. The list will always go "You, the firehouse, me, everyone else."

But secretly they always want to put the firehouse first.

11. You will learn and know more stations, trucks, members, and chiefs than you will ever want to admit.

Unbelievably true.

12. When you're driving and you see a fire station, you'll have to look at it.

If its an amazing building, you'll have to remember the name. And then you'll have to tell him about it. And then you've just proved number 11 correct. Add it to your list.

13. Never make plans while he's on a call. You can never know when he'll be back.

Even if the calls are short, they could stay at least another hour washing the trucks and being boys, of course.

14. In case you didn't understand the severity of the first one, if you are on the phone and you hear the pager go off in the background, just tell him you love him and hang up.

Because if you don't, he will. "Got a call, Love you, bye." Mid-sentence is always what you want to hear.

15. You'll never want to watch "Ladder 49" again.

You will cry like a baby and then want to make him quit.

16. Outside of the stations, fireman tend to forget that fire isn't a toy and it's pretty damn hot.

*Playing with the lighter fluid or burning things on the stove*
"No it's alright, I'm a firefighter."

17. You will start your own station shirt collection.

From NYFD memorial shirts, a station from where you're vacationing even acquired old shirts of his, you will have started your own pile of station shirts.

18. You can't get angry or upset when he is unavailable because he's going to go to the firehouse for the fifth time that week, or if there's another fire prevention thing to do.

You can't be mad because he's doing what he loves and also because a man in a uniform isn't too shabby.

There are a lot more things to know before dating a fireman, but the rest you'll just have to learn along the way.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things To Know Before Dating Someone With Anxiety

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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I Asked 20 People If They Have Ever Experienced Or Whitnessed Racism And Here Are Their Responses

Modern day racism is a thing.

It is 2018 and we are still faced with the issue of racism. Many people don't recognize it as a major issue and no one is doing anything about it. At a time like this, rather than teaching our kids to be extra careful because of the color of their skin, we should teach them love and acceptance.

People are taught racism. People are taught racist stereotypes and "jokes." People are taught ignorance.

I asked 20 college-aged people if they've ever experienced or witnessed racism, and these were their responses.

1. “I told a friend of mine that I liked a guy who’s black and she said that I ‘shouldn’t date anyone black around here because they all dress and act kinda thuggy.’” - female, Caucasian

2. "A girl told me ‘I would date you because you act white’” - male, African American

3. "One of our friends informed the rest of us that her friend had been in a car accident that morning. We were obviously all concerned so I asked her if they knew who the other person in the accident was, when this girl proceeded to say that it was probably 'some n*****s'.'” – female, Caucasian

4. “A female’s father didn’t allow her to date me in high school because of my skin color. She was just like my dad said we can’t date so we just stopped talking to each other.” - male, African American

5. “I had just gotten my honors tassel and National Honors Society sash and the boy that was next to me said, ‘You’re smart? I didn’t know Mexicans could be smarter than me’” - female, Mexican

6. "I had people tell me that I was dating a 'mix breed' and a 'mutt.'”- female, Caucasian

7. “At school I went to get some water and above the small one was labeled ‘blacks’ and the big one was labeled ‘whites’” - male, African American

8. “I was falsely accused of sexual harassment and this white female only had her word, I had evidence, witnesses, and proof counteracting her accusations but all they decided to do was effective immediately throw me out on the streets, ban me from campus, my job on campus, ban me from all eating establishments on campus, and expect me to continue to go to class because that’s all I’m allowed to do.” - male, African American

9. “My friend was getting arrested and my other friend said ‘all these n*****s’. Not knowing I was right behind him.” - male, African American

10. “I had a woman tell me at my job I needed to go back where I came from because in the US we 'speak English not Mexican' just because I was speaking Spanish to little kids” - female, Columbian

11. “I was in class and we were watching a movie about racism and a white male leaned over and said to me “I’m gonna make you my slave like all the other n*****s” . So I informed the teacher and the principal escorted him out and he was suspended, but I was harassed for months by his friends” - female, African American

12. “I’ve been told that I ‘spoke well for a black guy’” - male, African American

13. “People ask me if me or my parents are illegal immigrants, and then I’ve gotten 'you’re pretty for a Hispanic girl'" - female, Hispanic

14. “My grandmother on my dad’s side always says racist remarks around my mom who is Filipino” - female, Filipino and Caucasian

15. “I remember specifically walking out of school one day and hearing a male voice shout “N***** lover” and very loud laughs and screams.” - female, Caucasian

16. "I was at Walmart and a black woman was yelling at kids she had with her for misbehaving. They were genuinely being crazy, but most 5 year olds are! An elderly woman in front of me said 'maybe if she didn’t have that many kids for a government check, she wouldn’t have that problem.'”

17. "And my only response was, 'Are you sure they are all hers? Would you say that If she was white!?' And the woman couldn’t respond. I told the mom I respected how she was trying to keep her kids well behaved in a store. She told me only ONE was hers and the other three were from a brother who was in school trying to earn a degree and get a job. " - female, Caucasian

18. "This girl named Holly told me that I was 'pretty for a black girl' and tried to touch my hair." - female, African American

19. "There are several, which is sad, but I’ll just share one. I’m really involved in theater and after a show one day a bunch of people from the cast went out to Texas Roadhouse and I remember these two men sitting across from me and they just had this look of disgust one their faces and I kept wondering why they were looking like that. I was the only person of color at the table and I remember that night I walked out to my car and they were right beside it my friend walked with me and then to his car. The whole time I was kind of tense because I had the gut feeling that these men had something against me and I couldn’t figure out why until racial slurs flew out of their drunken mouths and I don’t think I’ve ever feared for my life more than I did in that moment." - female, African American

20. "Sometimes when I go out into public, people use their fingers to squint their eyes or they tell me 'ching chong'" - female, Korean

Many of these stories describe experiences in which a family member or friend were the ones being racially insensitive. People have gotten too comfortable being racist and treating it like a joke. Teach love, not hate.

When you catch someone making a racial comment that makes you or someone around you uncomfortable, address it.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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