Some Helpful Tips for White Cis-Hetero Abled Men in Radical Organizing Spaces
By Mimi Soltysik
- Be present and be prepared to listen.
- Consider what you are hearing. Learn. Don’t listen solely to wait for your turn to talk.
- Provide support when asked.
- Deliver on the support you are asked to provide.
- If asked by oppressed communities to lead, lead in a way that lifts the voices of those who asked you to lead. This is not only possible, it’s essential. If point five is where you are at, you are hopefully aware that revolutionary movements will ultimately be led by oppressed communities. If you don’t understand why this is, feel free to ask.
- If you are supporting the work of oppressed communities, be intentional. Do not drown out their voices in your quest to prove you are an ally.
- Use you whiteness to reach other white folks, particularly cis-hetero white men. You can help to get them out of the way and to explain to them why this is so important. You can help to provide safety and security for oppressed communities, but do so at the direction of those oppressed communities. If you enter an oppressed community yelling “armed revolution!”, the cops aren’t going to be going after you after you leave the oppressed community. They are going to go after the oppressed community.
- Acting in accord with each of the above doesn’t make you any less “revolutionary.” Quite the opposite. It makes you very “revolutionary.”, much more so than white cis-hetero men who are loud in touting their revolutionary credentials while not delivering on 1 – 7.
You can do this.