Ally.

Photo by Teemu Paananen on Unsplash

When I wrote, “Dear Friend,” a couple of months ago, I did not expect the friend to whom it was addressed to run to me, grab my hands and begin singing along with me, “We Are the World.” However, I did expect her to take a moment and at least consider my words. I did expect her to ask the God we both serve for some direction. That didn’t happen either.

In fact, she reacted very poorly: she accused me of spreading hate, of calling for rebellion [against state-sanctioned violence?], of inciting violence, and of threatening her. Then, soon after sending the message, she blocked me and removed herself from all social media.

She is not an ally.

The next morning, her daughter sent a hopeful message. She apologized for her mother’s behavior, thanked me for my candor, and asked me to pray for her mother. She wrote, in part:

This is an ongoing polarizing conversation between the two of us. I appreciate your leading with love and kindness [. . .]. I think of you and stand with you. As an educator, I will continue to fight for justice for my students.

Even though I was baffled by the mother’s response, one thing was clear–her daughter is an ally. She stands up, she stands with, and she will fight with us for what is just.

If you want to know how to be an ally and what it means to be one–beyond the hollow use of the word by far too many recently–see this post by my blogging friend, writer KE Garland:  Monday Notes: Five Examples of White Allyship.

The work of undoing racism is exhausting, but African Americans and other oppressed people of color cannot do it alone. We need allies–allies who are willing and brave enough to do the work with us.

11 thoughts on “Ally.

  1. My Life in Our Father's World says:

    I just reread “Dear Friend” & it still punches me in the gut. I am a 55 year old white woman. Yes, there were those in my family who were prejudiced, but I always seemed to make friends with people of color & those whose religions were different than mine. To me the character of a person is far more important than the color of their skin or whereb they were born. That being said, try as I might, I will never fully understand the struggles of my non-white, non-Christian or non-citizen friends have had. But I am willing to listen & willing to learn. Open honest dialogue will make each of us better.

    I am sorry that your friend responded negatively. I will pray for reconciliation & healing.

    I am your Ally. 👭

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Martha Slavin says:

    Thank you, Chandra, for this essay and the connection to KE Garland. These last few months have been a push in the right direction to re-examine beliefs, history, our own bias — the list is long. You are right, the work is hard to do. Recently, someone said that all the similar experiences of bias that she has dealt with have added up to make her the person she is today. Someone who can stand up and have her voice count. I hope that I do that too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. K E Garland says:

    Chandra, thank you so much for sharing this piece. I’m glad it resonated and that you found it helpful; I hope others find it just as meaningful as they determine how best to form racial (and other types of) alignments for support.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Janet from FL says:

    Wow! A friend like that was never a friend! Thanks for sharing Monday Notes with us too. Great post! And I followed @kegarland after reading another of her posts. I love women who are so candid about their life! We can learn from them. I do try to be an ally. I’m not an activist though. But I am a friend, a supporter, an encourager, and I have compassion for what POC are dealing with. It’s horrendous! Oh and I also vote Democrat, Black, woman whenever I have the option, in that order of priority. That is especially important in local elections when a few votes can make a difference in the results. God bless you for speaking up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chandra Lynn says:

      We all have a lot of growing to do. She believes she was a friend. There are things she doesn’t understand right now. Hopefully, some day she will. Thank you for appreciating the post and for supporting.

      Like

  5. revruss1220 says:

    I am sorry things turned out that way with your friend. All you can do is speak your truth and then let the consequences unfold. I have not yet taken the time to read the article you attached, but will make the time to do so. I have a lot to learn in that arena and I appreciate all the help I can get. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. DutchIl says:

    Thank you for sharing!!… “When we begin to build walls of prejudice, hatred, pride, and self-indulgence around ourselves, we are more surely imprisoned than any prisoner behind concrete walls and iron bars.” (Mother Angelica)…. 🙂

    Hope all is well in your part of the universe and all your tomorrows are filled with love and happiness… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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