Allies Advocating

Two white men, one gay one straight, spoke in favor of electing Rev. Teresa Hord Owens the next General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  The straight white man specifically identified his race in supporting her election.  No one spoke against her election.  Here is the video of me speaking at General Assembly four years ago.

Advocating as an ally is a tricky business. On the one hand, justice is not just an issue for the victim of injustice.  The perpetrator must recognize and address it as well.  And so, middle-aged, straight white guys should raise their voice for justice. Indeed, that is largely the purpose of this blog.  On the other hand, I understand the “we don’t need your help” reaction. 

It’s common to see lists of how to be a “good ally.”  I typically find those lists to be terribly patronizing and condescending.  I read them as “we don’t need your help,” which is a reaction I understand, and is why they don’t offend me or hurt my feelings. But, I don’t think I’ve ever read one and thought it was actually advice for me on how to advocate.

Have you heard a message of support from an ally and found it hurtful despite best intentions? Have you heard a message you found it genuinely supportive?   

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