On Intercommunal Allyship in the Fight From Oppression
Michael Eric Dyson, author of “Tears we Cannot Stop” offers his analytical perspective on the current state of art and its ties to the present state of our societal culture. The interview was comprised of multiple interconnecting points in which Dyson addressed the importance of money saving and investing efforts, the challenge of combating white mediocrity, and privilege.
All of these conversations are interconnected as the issues black people face are multilayered and often intermingle. Michael highlights this intersectionality by bringing to light the issue of privilege. He states that everyone has some degree of privilege and that it is our job, being informed of our privilege, to use it for the benefit of others. Those who are faced with the difficulty of encountering multiple areas of discrimination not only desire allyship, but need it.
Allyship is essential to the deconstruction of long-standing societal ills. It is pertinent, then that we examine these issues from a point of informed privilege to dismantle them through collective efforts.
When speaking on white people groups specifically, hidden within the information of the highest degree of saliency lies truth of the parasitic relationship between the social exclusion of black people and the strategic uplifting of white people from within spaces of opportunity. This, Michael states, is the way that white privilege reinforces and perpetuates itself.
To further the conversation of privilege, there must be an understanding of the thread of things such as gender, sexual orientation, and age which are woven throughout the fabric of existence within America. In this observation of the individual intricacies of existence within people within demographics- including our own, we can work to combat unproductive means of oppression from entering our work towards our liberation.
We must remember those who influence from the sidelines such as mentioned in reference to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and work to bring them towards the center. This center is where we can hear everyone’s voices equally, void of oppression or hierarchy and work to eliminate issues such as ableism, misogyny, and homophobia within our communities.
In these efforts to bring everyone towards the center of our conversations towards liberation, we must lift ourselves in as many ways as possible. It is crucial to the survival of our communities that we support each other in our endeavors, be it business or life experience. In this support, there is wealth and benefit beyond that of which we can fight for or hope to win over from outside forces.
In many ways, we must learn to adopt the same ideas which have allowed for the rampant and indestructible forces of whiteness to pervade in order to work to uplift and support ourselves.