Hey privileged ally of the blacks/gays/women? Your fly is down.

privilege open flyOMG – this post is giving me life. An analogy from  Southern Fried Science: Being an ally of “insert marginalized group” here and getting called on your sh*t =  Having your fly down.

Andrew David Thaler writes:

If you are engaged in the work of being an ally and genuinely believe that addressing issues of oppression and privilege in your community is a worthwhile goal, being called out on your privilege is akin to being informed that your fly is down….

How you respond to that criticism makes the difference between self-identifying as an ally, and actually being an ally.

Here’s the point that made me go ALL THE WAY IN, like “caught the Holy Ghost, got stiff, fell to the floor” in:

…Here’s the thing: It is not the responsibility of the person who told you your fly is down to also take you shopping for new pants. It is not the responsibility of the person who called you out on you privilege to educate you. That is your responsibility.

Thaler prescribes a three-step remedy: “Fix the problem. Thank them. Move forward.”

That’s it. No faux apology, no defensiveness, no whining.  Folks who need to read this: Ani DiFranco, 97.3 percent of the commenters on all of my columns that have to deal with race, poor people, people who are poor and black/brown, GLBT people, or any other marginalized group. And me. I have privilege (hetero, able-bodied, culturally Christian) and I’m not always aware of it. So this sermon is for me too. The doors of the church are now open.

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