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How Complacency Still Harms Minority Groups

We currently live in a world where people can exist freely in any manner they wish to be. You can be any race, sexual identity and more. Everyone is valid. That being said, there are still a lot of people who feel the need to unnecessarily comment or attempt to restrict people from living and having basic human rights. If you, like me and many others, consider yourself an ally to any minority group, whether that group is an LGBTQ group or ethnic group, please consider this point of view. Being complacent or “not offensive” is not being an ally to anyone. This does not mean that anyone who is complacent or silent is racist or homophobic, just not an ally. 

 

 

Let me elaborate. If you have ever been in a situation where you have heard a friend say an offensive slur or utilize language that is harmful to minority groups and did not say anything or stayed silent, you are being complacent. In turn, you are allowing people who hold harmful views to continue to hold those views and run rampant with them. This form of complacency can also be apparent when a celebrity displays clear homophobic or racist tendencies. There are a multitude of celebrities who have done so, such as Gina Rodriguez or Chris Brown. These are celebrities who have clearly shown that they are racist or abusive. Another celebrity who has done this recently was Kacey Musgraves. She was seen clearly appropriating multiple Asian cultures and provided no explanation or apology. If you continue to support her knowing she has done so, you are supporting a narrative that is directly harmful to minority groups.

 

 

When such celebrities, YouTubers or anyone famous with a platform are continued to be supported despite showing such actions, you as their audience are complacent. You are supporting them and providing them with a platform to continue to be harmful and support a narrative that does not recognize people as people. The same can be said for friends. If you have friends who say explicitly offensive words and say nothing to help them learn and understand, you are a part of the problem. Of course, no one is expecting allies to hold parades or walks or even yell at every stranger who is offensive. It is simply about being aware of your actions, words and the people around you and ensuring that you are helping to foster an environment where people can have basic human rights and comforts. I feel that everyone has gone through this phase as those who are willing are learning how to be good allies and help people around us by utilizing our platform. So there is no need to feel ashamed by any means as being an ally is a learning experience that is worth it as the greater good will be achieved.

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you asked, so i made a thing. HOW TO BE AN ALLY. a comprehensive guide made of compiled thoughts from people i look up to in this space, designed by yours truly. . if you’re looking for ways to actually support the lgbtq+ community here are ways you can use your privilege and voice to make a difference. . THANK YOU to everyone who has shared and reposted so far. feel free to keep on sharing with your community. . all the love and please follow to @chescaleigh @gaywonk, @leahjuliett & @tristanbphd for their videos, articles and voices that have helped me talk to my own friends about ways to be a better ally. images sketched off of photos/sketches from destiny’s child’s album cover, @zeniaqueen on pinterest and unknown artists from @istockbygettyimages and @manu.se on deviantart and most importantly, one of my favorite memes from the office. #allyship #ally #beanally #lgbtq

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Being a good ally is doing your best to support these minority groups and utilize your platform and privilege to do more. Not being racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise is not enough anymore. Doing the bare minimum is not enough. It is NOT enough! How do you think it makes people feel when they are being attacked through these harmful actions and words and people they call friends do nothing but witness it? Allyship is not about making sure you’re not labeled a bad person, rather allyship is about making sure you are using your platform and privilege to help the people you care about. Hold people and yourself accountable. Be a good ally!

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4

Catherine is a student at the University of Central Florida. She is majoring in health administration with a minor in literature. She is a first generation Vietnamese women who hopes to use her writing both as a hobby and professionally. If you can't find her eating or studying, then she''ll be found curled up with her cat watching The Office.
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