Fake allyship. Performative allyship. Whatever you want to call it, I’m sick of it.
If you’re unfamiliar with this bullshit trend, it’s when someone who claims to be an ally proves that they only say so to make themselves look and feel good.
I cannot tell you how disheartening it is to see someone that you once considered an ally, say and do something that proves they really aren’t. Every single time it’s a huge blow because it shows how much work still needs to be done.
This isn’t just “something I’m passionate about” this is my life. I don’t have the luxury to decide that “I don’t want to have to think or talk about race.” I don’t get to turn a blind eye to the battle over reproductive rights even though I’m having a hard time figuring out why the hell I have to fight to make decisions about my own damn body anyway. Especially as a woman who doesn’t want children. Why is it even a discussion for someone else to have when I had already made that decision in the second grade?
When you’re in the middle of fighting for social justice, it’s hard to accept that the people that you thought had your back have really been on the opposing team all along.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes you say the wrong thing or realize that you didn’t fully understand something when you thought that you did. That’s okay. The correct response is to apologize, recognize why what you did or said that was offensive and (if necessary) ask questions so that you better understand the situation and can prevent it from happening again.
What you should not do, is try to excuse it or ignore how someone is telling you they feel. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand why they’re upset, because it isn’t about you. You hurt them, and if a friend had hurt you that way you would expect them to try to fix it right?
And when you apologize do not say, “I’m sorry IF I offended you.” You already know that you did and saying it this way just proves the apology is fake.
If you need a little help in becoming a better ally I suggest you read this. If you remember these simple things then you should be just fine. Otherwise, stop trying to claim a title that you don’t deserve.