24 7 / 2014
andrewdavidalex said: My question is sort of to the previous asker as well. In what situation would it be considered using white privilege to speak out against social issues (e.g. if you're white and tell someone that what they said is racist, or only if you're using a specific platform to speak about it, or what), and since I don't really know what that meant, is it possible to speak out against social issues without being seen as using white privilege or butting in to someone else's battle? Thanks.
I think it comes down to what you consider your position in the conversation to be. I don’t agree with the notion that white people don’t belong in the conversation or that their role is to shut up and listen. I don’t think we should be sending white people to Google every time they have a question. Now, that’s not to say it’s our job to educate, but if our goal is to dismantle these structures, yeah, we’re going to need to deliver some guidance to people who genuinely want to help but don’t have the perspective to know what to do.
(General note: Don’t take this as an invitation to consider this blog an educational resource. Like we’ve said many times before, there are days when we’re in the mood to answer questions for our well-intentioned white followers, and today happens to be one of those days, but this blog is primarily a POC space.)
Yes, it is possible to speak out against social issues without leveraging your white privilege. You should want to be a part of a conversation, but you in no way should try to make yourself a leading voice or an authority within that conversation. You simply don’t have the perspective to fully understand a lot of the concepts, which is not an insult, but a fact of life. I don’t have the perspective to fully understand a lot of the concepts within feminism, or the struggles of the queer community, so I don’t try to make myself an authoritative voice within those movements.
I do, however, attempt to amplify those perspectives within spaces in which it is appropriate for me to take an authoritative voice. You’ve got to always defer to those who are actually a part of whatever group you’re supporting. Ya know, just take in the conversations you’re privy to, correct your own actions, and then make sure the spaces you’re a part of are correcting their actions as well.