Tag Archives: Friends and Allies

When Being An Ally Means Being Quiet

This piece is a guest post by Shannon Hall-Bulzone.  It was originally posted in BuzzFeed Community: 

Learning to be silent is crucial if you want marginalized groups to consider you an ally.

“I can’t wait until Trump gets rid of you fucking faggots.”

These words were hurled at a close friend as she walked into a bathroom at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. Ten days after the election there has been no shortage of bigotry fueled attacks by those Hillary described as the “basket of deplorables.”

Well, they’re speaking up and making it known those of us who are not cis straight white men or women are unwelcome. Minorities are largely fearful, angry, and unsure if and when they’ll be on the receiving end of these attacks.

It was with these attacks in mind that I created a thread intended to be a space for people of color to heal, share their stories without intrusion, and to feel validation in a world that normalizes racism and intolerance. I shared my friend’s story and stated – “Don’t comment on this thread if you’re white. I’m sorry. I don’t want to hear your solidarity, your regret, or your apology. Too little too late, get your people and go to work – save the kind words for now because they’re empty when we are being targeted. Words and safety pins don’t fix a damn thing.

The exclusion of my white friends from this thread was inevitably ignored, and that is a problem.

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The Art of the Apology

i-am-sorry

Sorry didn’t do it!  You did it!”*

Love means . . . never having to say you’re sorry!”**

I have learned a lot about myself during the past few days.  I have also learned a lot about other people.  One of the things I have learned is that a lot of us really do not what it means to apologize.

When I was a little girl playing with my cousins, there would often be times when one of us would do or say something hurtful to another one of us.  Sometimes, it would be intentional and sometimes it would be unintentional.  When the one who had been hurt sought solace from a parent or an older sibling or cousin, the one who had said or done the hurtful thing would be told to say “I’m sorry.”  The one who had been hurt was expected to accept the apology and then move on and forget what had happened.

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