How to Be a Good Ally – Identity, Privilege, Resistance | Ahsante the Artist

How to Be a Good Ally – Identity, Privilege, Resistance | Ahsante the Artist

Lean on me, when you’re not strong Hey, It’s Ahsante and today we’re talking
about allyship A big thing to remember is that allyship isn’t
passive. If there’s a war, your allies don’t just
sit there like, “Oh my gosh Genocide! Ugh that sucks man. People can just be so awful. I don’t get it. I am totally on your side. The times we live in, it’s just so hard” No they lend their troops, they lend their
ships, they send medics, they will go in and fight for you. Allyship is not neutrality Allyship is not “I believe in you, good
luck” Allyship is an active process that you’re
always working on. So here are a few actions you can take in
order to be a better Ally. #1 Listen & Educate yourself. When people in marginalized groups tell you
about harassment or hardships they’re facing because of that marginalization – believe
them. If you feel like your ignorant in some area,
feel free to ask questions – but maybe ask them to Google first. Trust me I’ve asked some Google some pretty
weird things, it’s never been offended and it always has some sort of answer. It’s not anyone’s responsibility to be
your personal tutor on social issues, especially if you’re not paying them personal tutor
money. There are plenty of resources that are already
out there, people who have shared their perspectives in books, articles, youtube videos *cough*
*cough*. Find the resources that have already been
laid out to you, find people who are already talking about this stuff online. And as an ally you should be constantly learning. There’s not the black experience, or the
queer experience, or the experience of being a disabled person. There are so many different ways of walking
through the world, being perceived by others, and living at the intersection of various
identities and abilities. So even if you think you’ve heard everything,
listen. The second thing you can do to be a good ally
is to uplift marginalized voices. Retweet them, mention them to your friends,
feature them, spotlight them, hire them. And hire them into positions of authority,
where they feel empowered to voice their concerns and act on them. Consult with people of color, and trans people,
and neurodiverse people, and then pay them for their time because consulting is a job. Whenever you can, bring diverse people into
the conversation. A third thing you can do as an ally is to
speak up. When you see injustice, when you hear someone
being bigoted, call them on their BS. Have those tough conversations. Yeah, it may make you uncomfortable to have
to point out someone being racist, but imagine how uncomfortable black and brown people feel
having to live with that crap every day. It can even be easier to call something out
if it’s not being directed at you and challenging your very existence. As an ally you can take that burden off of
someone who is already hurting. And if you remain neutral in that sort of
situation, you’re not an ally. You’re not helping. Some people also worry about it being “not
their place” to for example speak about issues of race, if they’re white. But speaking up about injustice isn’t the
same as speaking for a marginalized group. Call people on their problematic behavior
– especially since you’re in a position of privilege and have less fear of retaliation. White people who are slightly racist are more
likely to listen to other white people, so if you’re a white ally it’s on you to
get your people. Your relatives are likely to listen to you
because usually they care about you, and you kinda can’t avoid them. So when you’re sitting around the table
and your auntie tries to act like people can’t be bisexual – call her on it. That is your roll as an ally. Bring a supportive voice to the table, at
tables where I’m never invited to sit. Reach your communities that I don’t have
access to. Use your privilege to speak where other people
would be silenced. Another thing you can do as an ally is to
respect safe spaces. Everyone wants to come home at the end of
the day. I may be up for academic debate of politics
and social issues, but there are some times where I don’t want to be challenged. I don’t want to always have to be playing
defense. Sometimes I just want to be around like minded
people with similar experiences who get it. It’s empowering, it’s strengthening, it’s
emotionally enriching to be able to fellowship with people without judgements, or pretenses,
or awkward questions based on simply being who you are. Don’t take issue with people coming together
around their identity. Especially because if you’re part of the
dominant culture, chances are you get to do it all the time, without even trying. Respect that there’s Pride month, respect
that there’s Black History month, and realize that as a part of the dominant culture the
world is already suited to you in that respect. If you’re straight and cis, you’ve probably
never feared being threatened for expressing your gender, or felt like you needed to hide
your sexuality. If you’re white living in a dominantly white
country, you’ve probably always seen people who share your heritage in the history books. If you’re able bodied and neurotypical,
you might never have been stopped from entering a common space because it’s inaccesible,
or had to retreat from a common space because it’s mentally overwhelming. Respect the spaces and times of year, where
people who are usually sidelined get to take center stage. If you’re an ally you’ll realize that
this is not about you, and sometimes that means politely excusing yourself from spaces
meant specifically for marginalized groups. The fifth thing you can do as an ally is to
get to work. Use your strengths, your access, your resources
to help the cause. Protests can be good, but we’re not all
made for marching in the streets. You can call people in government, you can
financially support community programs, you can volunteer for supportive organizations. If you’re a lawyer you can give pro bono
council, if you’re a doctor you can get involved in a clniic, whatever you do can
probably be used to do good for marginalized communities. If you want more ideas quick action steps
you can check out this video on the resist challenge that I did a while back. Being an Ally is an active process, and it’s
not something you bestow upon yourself. You don’t just get to say, I’m not transphobic,
or homophobic or racist, therefore I’m an ally – check, done We are always unlearning the prejudices we’ve
been socialized in, and we’re all problematic in our different ways. True allyship involves valuing people with
experiences different from ours, learning our privileges and natural prejudices, and
working to make the world more equitable in spite of them. In the comments let me know how allyship has
played out in your experience, or how you think folks could be better allies. You can like this video if you liked it, subscribe
to see more, and if you want to help me make more and do more with this channel, then please
consider supporting me on Patreon. Totally up to you, but I would greatly appreciate
it. As always, remember to live spiritedly and
think creatively. What’s been making me happy this week is In
A Heartbeat the animated short film. So cute! Let me read you the logline: A closeted boy
runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down
the boy of his dreams. So cute! The heart is my favorite character honestly,
like if I’m being completely honest. So good! So good! Also can we just talk about Ringling College
of Art and Design for a second and how amazing their student work always is 100% of the time. Like what a boss school. If you want to do animation just go there. Like there’s no comparison. Ringling slays. The whole time. Links all up in the description. Well I’m going to go fight the power. Thank you so much for watching and I will
see you next time. Work work work work work work work. Yeah you gotta do the work work work work
work work work.

52 thoughts on “How to Be a Good Ally – Identity, Privilege, Resistance | Ahsante the Artist

  1. one word: awesome!

  2. Thank you for this. Really appreciate the list of actions to take.

  3. That's a GREAT explanation of safe spaces.

  4. As usual real interesting funny and I always learn something new

  5. this is such a good video!!

  6. Not only is this an excellent video, but also major kudos for doing as you preach and mention a variety if marginalised groups and thus making this video amazingly inclusive. Yay!

  7. I agree! But is allyship a word?

  8. I tend towards not believing what people say on the face of it, but I firmly hold that all words come from somewhere and it's important to understand from where those words and actions come, and there are many people who understand those roots better than myself, so i listen to as many people as possible, doing my best to understand the roots of actions of as many people as possible, be they marginalized or majority, but particularly marginalized, since those conversations tend to be much more sparse and require much more thought and empathy.

    Problem is, i have near no resources and my own life isn't allowing me to both live for myself, and live for others, so i've always been a rather shitty ally when it comes to devoting resources i may otherwise utilize myself for things what leisure time i still have or school, which has got to be

    however, when it comes to actually engaging in conversations with other people when people in marginalized groups to which I don't belong (tho let's be honest, the ways in which I don't fit the "abled straight white cis male" archetype don't really matter considering most people assume i fit that archetype anyway). Get me in a small group and I do my best to use what i've learned by listening to the people that I have.

    You say allyship isn't neutral and i totally agree, but i feel like some often confuse neutrality with the aspect of being an active middleman to facilitate the start of some of these conversations.

    IDK this is just my experience. I'm not super active, though i don't really have the capacity to be. Hopefully in the future that will change. I'm betting my entire career on the idea that i'll be able to enact and facilitate real positive change, so we'll see.

  9. this video NEEDS to be watched.

  10. I'd also say a good tip is to get over yourself? Because you're probably gonna mess up here & there by accident and you may feel shitty about it. But you kinda just gotta keep going and push forward and get over your mini-crisis and just do better because marginalized people don't exist to make you feel better when you make mistakes.

    Also: That ginger from In A Heartbeat is me??Where is my money.

  11. Wonderful video!! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Wonderful video Ahsante! I know i could do more to be a better ally and I love how this video gave such great action points. Especially loved the analogy at the beginning!

  13. Omg everyone on earth needs to watch this video. I still can't understand why people get butthurt about pride or history months just because it doesn't include them (usually white, cis). Keep up the great work Ahsante!!

  14. As a Black Queer female, i feels this. But, one of my good friends believes in smt different: Accomplices, not allies. We need people who will go down w us when faced w their phobic friends picking at my very right to exist. We need people who will stand up for us in unsafe spaces when we're too afraid of getting 1) shunned, 2) fired, or 3) killed/assaulted for speaking about our queerness. Or, when we're just genuinely too tired of people around us expecting us to be the resource and spokesperson for every queer person.
    So, this video was a good call for people to step it up. Thank you.

  15. I like your videos really. I need to ask you something i don't want to be mean but why are you looking like you never slept in every video.. 🙂


    (also in a heartbeat. so. so. good. cutest thing to ever be a thing.)

  17. I agree with most of what you're saying, although the new age buzzwords are a little much. However employing people into positions of authority because they are X, Y or Z (arbitrary factors) seems like a step in the wrong direction. We should hire people based on their skill but give people fair opportunities and look for potential in people, if we employ people for the sake of diversity we've just become selective against another group (say poor white males) which might further act to disenfranchise them. Also as someone who's not "nuerotypical" and studies neuroscience, this word is hilariously reductive.

  18. Over the past few years I have learned so much about my privilege. My family has people of differing gender identity and color and is really supportive of them, so I'm thankful that they have taught me well somewhat early about allyship. Even before I knew exactly what it was. I've also met so many different people in youth leadership with FCCLA. And more recently through Youtube communities like Road to Nerdfighteria project and Tuataria. Your point on it being action-oriented and not passive is so crucial. Learning, listening, and supportive and consistent action. It's not all about me. Thank you for sharing all these ways to use long-term!

  19. This is the best video on being an ally that I've ever seen!!

  20. I'm a queer person and see the word "ally" being used inaccurately all the time. Observing this makes me very aware of the fact that I need to get educated when it comes to being an ally to people of color and other marginalized groups.

  21. What kind of spaces ARE safe spaces?

  22. this is incredible🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

  23. This is a really great video on allyship and I appreciate it.

  24. First, thank you for the video! I was wondering if there were a few more things I could do to be a good ally since I'm a teenager and can't, like, hire someone for a job.

  25. Remember to ALWAYS punch Nazis whenever you think someone is one

  26. I love this!! Thank you Ahsante! <3

  27. I know I'm a bad ally as a white-passing person, but I don't even know how to get involved in anything for the trans and autistic issues I'm actually part of 😩

  28. Also you should totally check this out, it's extremely illustrative of biases at work in society

  29. This is the content I'm on youtube for!

  30. This is a GREAT video! Sharing this everywhere for sure

  31. Hi Ahsante, thank you so much for this video. I'm a pretty ignorant person, trying to learn how to navigate politics without falling off the deep end on the left, or being taken in by centrism or conservativism where they would be happy to ignore serious issues because they aren't easy. This video really helps me see how to be a lot more sophisticated and respectful in my approach, so thank you from me, and also you've done a good thing for all the people I would be bothering right now with my stupid questions.

  32. I am an ally and this is how to be a better ally,
    1. If someone claims persecution, I will ask questions and find out what happened, I will question what their experience is in order to understand it. I won’t believe anyone wholeheartedly unless I understand what is happening and have reasons to believe that person.
    2. I’m not going to hire someone just because they are marginalized, I am not going to pay someone for simply discussing their experiences.
    3. I will call out racism from all races and ethnicities, not just whites.
    4. I will respect safe spaces as long as those utilizing them do not engage me in politically charged conversation or the like. It goes both ways.
    5. Culture and race can be and often are separate entities, do not assume that one’s race matches ones culture, that is racist. Heritage and race are often entirely separate entities, assuming they are the same in an individual is racist.
    6. I would politely excuse myself from the spaces of marginalized groups as long as those groups are not being exclusionary of other races. The experience of marginalization and suppression often extends beyond race; thus, voices of all colors should be heard if they have experienced the myriad of isims that are so prevalent in the world. Assuming one has not had the same experiences as you based off of their skin color is racist.

    Most importantly, privilege is granted by those who are racists to those who many times are not racist, it is not inherent to all people of a certain skin color. Assuming one has privilege is an assertion which demands that the Burdon of proof is to be placed squarely on the person asserting that someone has privilege. Don’t assume just because someone has a skin color that they are surrounded by others in society that are granting them privilege. Likewise, don’t confuse disadvantage and the status quo, just because you are being suppressed does not mean that others are being directly granted advantage.

  33. I love your description of safe spaces of being like going 'home' and 'not having to play defence', best way I've ever heard it explained. Great video, I know who my latest subscription is!

  34. i was trying to explain why it’s important to be an ally to ppl today?? like, the ppl i was talking to were just like “so don’t be a dick” and ig it’s just hard for me to communicate that there are things you won’t know about what will be a jerk thing to do/say unless you make sure you know a little bit about how something intrinsic (like sexuality, or race, or gender) can affect them and the way they’re perceived and treated! Like, you as a cis person might not be aware that asking about someone’s name pre-transition can make them really uncomfortable, or if you don’t have experience with dysphoria you might not make the connection that even though you call everyone “bro”, you should maybe clear that with people beforehand. Like, you should be treating people the same no matter what, but you need to make sure that treating people the same isn’t going to hurt some people. So you shouldn’t be treating someone you meet differently by asking them for pronouns if you think they’re trans, and you shouldn’t just go with whatever you think they are; you should ask everyone you meet for pronouns because a) it’s a quiet assurance that you’re probably not going to be a dick abt it if they’re not cis, b) it makes sure nobody has to awkwardly correct you if you use the wrong pronouns, and c) it literally doesn’t hurt anyone but it could help out lots of ppl because if someone hears you misgender them it’s disheartening as hell and it might make them feel like it’s not safe to correct you????? idk like the things that would b chill to some people wouldn’t to others??? and we already interact in ways that avoid making people uncomfortable! like, if you meet anyone for the first time, you probably wouldn’t talk about their relationship with their parents because that’s not comfortable for some people. Even though you don’t know whether their family is great or terrible, you’re not going to only avoid it if you think they seem like they were abused. It’s important to apply that kinda stuff to gender and sexuality and race, because you’ve got NO CLUE whether the person in front of you is (for example) a binary trans woman or a fem-presenting nb or a cis man in drag or a high femme cis lesbian or whatever, so you should treat them like they might be in any of those categories (which should be the same as anyone else!) ????

  35. This video!! Two thumbs up!

  36. hey, this is a really awesome video! thanks for making t

  37. Thoughtful & Refreshing… Now, with that point of view covered; lets cover the inside positions (i.e. not everyone is ready to be supported).


  38. Thanks for your video. I have found it very informative. I have a question about my being a white male. When I see injustice happening, I don't feel like I won't receive retaliation. I'm afraid! I don't aim to represent all white men with this comment, just myself, since I have had trouble in my life being a typical white male.

    So I could phrase my question as: do you have any advice for nervous white men who don't have the confidence that a typical white male has? I'm not really looking for advice, but more looking how I can be an ally in a way that a person of color might appreciate, given what I can offer.

  39. I will be watching for your art

  40. I cryed watching in a heartbeat, It was was so cute…… I cry at cute things

  41. Hello!! I speak English badly, but I cannot speak differently! I am a Muslim Tatar gay refugee from Chechnya! how many priveleges can i get ??

  42. Смарела фильм Жмурки?

  43. Love this thank you!

  44. Ok first of all your hair is the fucking best, now the actual comment.
    I'm both marginalised and ally, sense im a lesbian woman but also white cis and neuronormative, so is really thankful how you're exposing yourself to help us all, youre wonderful. ̶A̶̶n̶̶d̶ ̶y̶̶o̶̶u̶̶r̶ ̶h̶̶a̶̶i̶̶r̶ ̶t̶̶o̶̶o̶ ̶O̶̶K̶ ̶I̶̶'̶̶M̶ ̶S̶̶O̶̶R̶̶R̶̶Y̶ ̶L̶̶I̶̶D̶̶I̶̶A̶ ̶S̶̶T̶̶O̶̶P̶

  45. Thank you!!

  46. Ashante, THANK YOU. 2:30 is something I’ve been thinking about and this entire video has helped me. I’m trying to learn and be better.

  47. If you are allying an individual it is important to listen to the person and understand what they consider support.

  48. As a white women ive always wondered how i could be a better ally towards people of color. This helped me so much. Thank you

  49. Thank you from a 75-year old, privileged white lady.

  50. Your video is excellent – the content, as well as the delivery. Rather than write a long message on a women's platform here in Switzerland, I am going to request people to watch your video. Thank you, thank you!!!

  51. Thank you this is a great video

  52. Thank you 🙏

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