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What We Need White Allies To Do About The White Supremacists In Virginia

The year is 2017 and no, racism hasn’t evaporated, it has been inherited.

Right about yesterday would have been a great time to see white liberals denounce the white nationalist, tiki-torch bearing, khaki and polo shirt wearing protest which occurred at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville last night.

Right about today would be a great time to see white liberals denounce the actions of their fellow white folks and white supremacists protesting through the weekend. It would be a great time for them to admit that meeting white hate with a listening ear or a “well maybe we should give them a chance to explain” is not enough.

Right about last year, when 45 was running for president, would have been a great time for so-called “good white people” to have important, in-depth, difficult conversations about white supremacy, white violence and anti-black racism amongst themselves, with their friends and with their families.

Right about eight years ago would have been a great time for the nice whites to address the racist vitriol thrown at the first Black president of the United States of America and not use him as a barometer for general, racial progress.

Right about always would have been a great time to address white fragility, cisgender, heterosexual masculinity and the violence, genocide and slavery that this nation is built upon. There is no one in this country who remains unaffected by the pervasive systems of oppression and power. No one.

As a person of color, to see the KKK, white nationalists and Nazis march hood-less, unmasked and spewing vitriolic speech as their faces grow more contorted with rage at the idea that marginalized people are fighting for equity and humanity, is beyond frightening. What hasn’t this nation done to uphold systems which benefit white maleness? The year is 2017 and no, racism hasn’t evaporated, it has been inherited.

Related: White People Can Have A Torch-Wielding Mob, But When Black Folks March Peacefully, It’s Martial Law

Your brothers, fathers, uncles, friends, cousins, co-workers and acquaintances have been fuming, planning, plotting and building movements to push back against equity. Any steps that were made to undo centuries of systemic oppression have been met with the furor of whiteness and fear of a Black and brown earth. These men are not basement-dwelling monsters, no, they are the people you eat with, that you vote for, that you pay for services, that you ignore or underestimate.

What do Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) need you to do in the face of such blatant hatred? We need you to put yourselves on the frontlines of anti-white supremacy protests, we need you to organize resistance which takes into account the radical perspectives of BIPOC activists, advocates, social workers and writers.

We need the good white people to use their social capital to create long-lasting, ever-present change to ensure the safety and well-being of marginalized folks. That means listening to the critiques of BIPOC; donating your resources to help abolitionist movements; donating your money to individual, grassroots organizations; creating safe environments for marginalized communities and individuals at work, at home, in your neighborhoods.

  • You can donate here to support the legal fund for the Charlottesville, VA anti-racist activists.
  • Donate to the Black Student Alliance of University of Virginia fund here.
  • Donate to the Legal Aid Justice Center which provides legal assistance to low-income individuals.
  • If you’re striving to take steps towards being a white ally but you don’t know where to start, you can look into Safety Pin Box.



Lara Witt (she/they) is an award-winning feminist writer who primarily writes about feminism, racism, pop-culture, mental health, and politics. Witt received her BA in Journalism from Temple University and interned for Philadelphia CityPaper’s arts and entertainment section and the Philadelphia Daily News covering local news, court stories, and crime. Following her graduation, she became increasingly committed to writing about gender, race, and queer identity by using Black and brown feminist theory to analyze current news and politics. Witt freelanced for national and local publications, which led to her working with Wear Your Voice Magazine eventually becoming their EIC and rebranding the site to focus primarily on using the analytical framework of Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality. Video Player is loading. Witt’s goal is to provide platforms for marginalized voices with a focus on having other Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) writers tell their own stories and explore their own narratives. Witt has spoken at local Philadelphia events, such as the March to End Rape Culture (2017) and curated a yearly series of events called The Electric Lady Series. These events highlight women of color in Philadelphia by exploring gender, rape culture, entrepreneurship, art, self-care, sex, and culture.

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