Let's talk about identity
Students at Georgetown aren't talking about identity enough. Maybe some of us don't know how to talk about oppression and inequality. Maybe some of us simply aren't interested. Maybe it's a scary subject that many of us find difficult or stressful to think about.
Think you want to be a part of the conversation? I'm here to help. Here you can find my guide on how to be a good ally so you can jump in and start making a difference.
What does it mean to "invalidate" someone's experience?
Invalidation comes in many forms, but the most common are responding to something said by questioning how true it is, trying to poke holes in the person's story, or demanding proof. If someone is sharing an experience of theirs with you, you should believe them. You are not the honesty police. Feeling heard and believed is an important part of feeling respected. Respect those around you by understanding that their experiences are real to them, and you are not in the position to try to make them feel otherwise. If you find yourself asking someone "Are you sure you aren't overreacting?" you are most likely invalidating their experience.
How can I "show support through action?"
Spend your time and energy trying to uplift the community and amplify their voices. This includes serving as a representative for the community when they are not involved in the conversation. Through advocating for the community even when they are not present, you are making their voices louder and heard by more people. You can also show support by attending important events. If the community is protesting an injustice, stand with them. If they are meeting with administrators, attend the meeting. As said in the guide, SHOW UP!
Does needing to self-educate mean I can't ask questions?
No! If Google can answer your question for you, ask Google. If you want to know about someone's experiences, by all means ask them (assuming your question is not rude or intrusive). Ask humans questions only a human can answer. Don't forget that everyone is an individual and has their own opinions. Asking a question that begins with "How do black people feel about....." probably won't be very productive. But asking a question like "Can you tell me about a time you felt oppressed at Georgetown? How did you respond?" could lead to a great conversation.
How to Tell the Difference Between Real Solidarity and "Ally Theater"
Racism on Campus- NYT