Why Some White Allyship May Actually Hurt Black Communities

white person crossing their arms and scrunching their face up with a sideways cap on
Leslie Taylor-Grover
May 3, 2022

Inviting non-Black people “to the BBQ” is a point of contention in our community. Some think it’s not that serious and that we should all try to get along. Others believe that all white people – even the so-called “good ones” – should not have access to all of our cultural jewels.

So who’s right?

Many white people who have been invited into our circles have only betrayed our good faith. Take Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, for example. 

They were celebrated as political allies – but then turned around and created criminal justice policies that harmed us.

Yet there are whites who lost their lives using their networks and resources in solidarity with our fight for liberation. Good cases in point: Rev. James Reeb and Viola Luizzo. They were both murdered by white terrorists for breaking ranks and helping us fight against racism! 

There’s another aspect that we need to consider, too.

Historically some white people have decided to pass as Black. Jean-Charles Houzeau, a white man who started the first Black newspapers in New Orleans, was a Rachel Dolezal of his day. His newspaper gave voice to Black issues in the 1800s.

Black people have always been marginalized by white supremacy – but that doesn’t mean we need to reward the “good whites” for breaking ranks and recognizing our humanity.

We should always be skeptical and careful about who’s invited “to the BBQ” and remember our trust has to be earned!

We have a quick favor to ask:

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