My name is Allie, and I’m the white adoptive parent of an African American boy (who is the absolute light of my life!). Since our adoption, I have become more aware than ever of how racism affects our Black sons and daughters and brother and sisters. Realizing that I really knew nothing about this and what I did know was wrong, I have worked hard to educate myself on systemic and institutional racism.
It hasn’t been easy. And it hasn’t been comfortable.
I cry along with the Black community every time another life is lost at the hands of police or another terrible story about racism airs on the news. I worry about my son and weep for mothers everywhere every time another boy of color is gunned down or beaten up. Through those tears, I’ve realized that silently crying only compounds the problem. It’s time to speak out. It’s time to be a White Ally.
I did not have any part in slavery, and surely would have fought against it. But that doesn’t mean that as a white person, I haven’t inadvertently benefitted from the pervasive systemic racism that slavery created. Just because I think slavery and racism is wrong, doesn’t mean that I don’t have white privilege. I do. If you’re white, then you do, too. We all do. Our white skin gives us countless advantages.
The first step in creating change is acknowledging our white privilege, and deciding to use it as a force for good. That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m learning every day, and that’s what I want to do with White Ally magazine: learn and explore and share with you the uncomfortable but necessary truth so that we can spread it.
Join me. Be the change.