Rae’s Rules to Remember #85: Listen to Marginalized Groups

I haven’t done one of these in a while but there’s something that’s been bothering me lately.

Awhile ago I cut off contact with a few people for posting things that I felt were offensive. Instead of listening to me and trying to understand where I was coming from, they dismissed me.

The reason that this bothered me so much was because these were people that not only claimed to be feminists, but also that I had trusted as both friends and allies. As a person of color, it’s not okay for a white person to tell what is or is not racist. They are never going to be on the receiving end of racism and they will never understand fully what it’s like. This doesn’t mean that they can’t have an opinion, weigh in and ask questions but it does mean that as a so called ally their first concern should be listening and learning.

For example, as a black woman in America I face both racism and sexism constantly.  However, I am still aware that I have certain privileges. I do not face Islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia, etc. So as someone who very fiercely identifies as an intersectional feminist and an ally, if someone (with any identity that I personally do not have) told me that something was offensive to them, I would listen. Why? Because I don’t want to disregarding their feelings.  Because I would (unfairly) be telling them how they should act in a situation that I will never be in. Most importantly, because it’s the right thing to do, and if I didn’t, I would be betraying everything that I claimed to stand for.

The bottom line is that you may not always understand someone else’s point of view but in situations like this you don’t have to because 1. It’s not about you and 2. what you don’t understand is still another person’s reality. And if we’re being honest, your unwillingness to take the time to listen and understand makes you a part of the problem and, you’re never going to be able to change to become part of the solution. The most important part of being an ally is using your privilege to help lift the voices of those who are constantly silenced. So when you stop listening, it makes it that much harder for those voices to be heard.


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About Bookmark Chronicles

Hi! I'm Rae. 26 Book Blogger. Booktuber. Gryffinclaw. Coffee & Tea Lover.
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11 Responses to Rae’s Rules to Remember #85: Listen to Marginalized Groups

  1. ashley says:

    It’s so important to ask questions and listen, that’s how people learn and learn to understand.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. darthtimon says:

    We’re on a journey of listening and learning. I for one, often trip up, but I’ll never stop trying to learn, so I can be the best possible ally I can be.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Kay Wisteria says:

    This is such a wonderful post! As a biracial person, I agree completely ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. littlebookynook says:

    This is such an important post. I see alot of white people say “that’s not racist” and I’m sitting here wondering what they base their opinion on, which ultimately comes down to white privilege. As a white person, I will always try my absolute best to be a good ally and I will always listen to feedback. I saw sooooo many white people accepting Kian Lawley’s apology for being racist, and standing up for him…it made my blood boil 😬 Anyway, I tend to start ranting so I will leave it at that. Brilliant, brilliant post 😚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ariel Lynn says:

    We gotta learn that, sometimes, we need to shut up if we want to be considered allies. Other people live on the same planet, but experience daily events in very different ways.

    It’s all the truth. We gotta sit down, shut up, & absorb it. *zips lips*

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: February Wrap Up! 2018 | bookmarkchronicles

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