I’ve recently had two friends express hesitance in standing up to prejudice because of their own race (white). These friends are progressive when it comes to social politics, and are knowledgeable about plights of people of color as well as their own privilege. But the reluctance to attack racists — white or black — suggests a limitation to how far to push one’s cultural capital, particularly when it seems that a constant deluge of racism in the news is numbing people to its devastating affects.
So here’s what I say to people wanting to stay in their lane: GET OUT OF YOUR LANE.
Sadly, society is more likely to listen to a white person — especially a white man — than anyone of color in all matters. Racism and prejudice are two important matters, and people of color need anyone and everyone in their corner to speak truth to power.
Speak out against racists of all colors. Challenge people whose prejudice harms others not inhabiting your nationality, gender, sexuality, religion, and race. Go after bigoted presidents whose first instinct is to insult the intelligence of black men.
I WANT YOU to get out of your lane. And fight for us. Fight for others who are not you. We can use a few more soldiers.