12 Things Black Women Want You to Understand About Fighting Racism

In honour of Black History Month, I want to make the focus of this article black women. Personally, I believe black women are just as deserving of love and validation as any other woman or person who are good people. As a non-black woman, however, I can acknowledge there’s things I need to do in order to better understand the struggle of black women that unfortunately remains in our society and worldwide. So, in order for myself and everyone reading to better understand, I’ve selected twelve responses to the AskWomen thread on Reddit titled, “Black women: How do you want white women to be allies, or to be helpful, in fighting racism? Do you want us to be actively engaged and if so how?” Of course, the question may narrow it to white women but keep in mind that these responses are for any non-black woman from all walks of life. This is for all of us to better understand and fight against racism towards black women. Answers have been made anonymous and some may be shortened for length and clarity.

1) “If you see/hear something SAY SOMETHING! And really don't just do it for 'some' people do it for everyone; everyone deserves defending. If you hear someone disparaging someone else say something. Also no single person should be judged by the "stereotype" of what they are likened to. Is someone talking about someone’s weight? Too Fat, Too thin? Let them know it's not their place. And ask them why they care. Is someone using a Slur? Ask them why. Is someone mocking a sexuality? Ask them why. Make people explain their bigotry. Ask where and why they got their notions.”

2) “Just ask if you don't get or know something. Ask about the experience of racism. Just be open. That's what I respect: someone who is open to listen and ask when they don't understand.”

3) “This can apply to pretty much any group but listening to what we have to say about our own experiences rather than trying to speak for/talk over us when it comes to issues that affect. And just realize that were individuals, everyone's life experiences and opinions are going to be different, so no one person can represent a group.”

4) “Call people out on their s***. A lot of racists won't listen to us, but they'll listen to you. Never speak on our behalf, we can do it ourselves.”

5) “Please do not ask to touch my hair and then gush about how soft it is. I am not an animal in a petting zoo and I would love my hair not to be discussed. If it's pretty, you can say so but ask yourself if it would sound normal if you were saying it to someone of a different ethnicity.”

6) “I'm not sure if it bothers others enough to care but the culture vulture stuff. It’s okay to envy other cultures, please don't culture hop around to seem interesting. Culture is more than food and pretty clothes, its language, demeanor, everything we do including our hardships. I think a lot of white women don't realize they have their own culture to be proud of.”

7) “Join with other white women in groups to specifically stop racism. Show up to Black Lives Matter events, I hope there will be some soon protesting Jordan Edwards' death. Talk to your family members who are racist and try to humanize Black people. Call out racist comments when you hear them, report racism when you see it.”

8) “If I say I'm uncomfortable about a joke, even if we're playing a game like Cards Against Humanity, don't f****** say that I'm too sensitive over the joke. Yes, the cards have crude jokes but you don't have to make racist jokes/remarks on top of them. Playing the "monkey president" card and then saying "Well, I can say that about Black men" is still racist and I'm allowed to be offended.”

9) “Just speak up and educate yourself. I appreciate when someone says something or asks questions.”

10) “Through learning and understanding about history and how it affected us now yearly decades later. Understand how we were setback financially, psychologically, spiritually and mentally and then share with others if you can.”

11) I'm gonna go out on a limb and say treat them like you would any other person? The color of someone's skin doesn't mean s***, it's a person's character that dictates how I talk to them.”

12) “I find the concept of ‘allies’ patronising. Black women don't need white women to help fight for us. Step off and find another victim to make yourself feel better, we can fight our own battles.”