The #StopAsianHate movement is all about bringing an end to the rise of racist attacks and hate crimes against Asian people since the start of the pandemic. You can find out more about it from our quick guide to the movement here.
It’s hard to know how to be the best ally to any movement of a minority that you are not a part of. This is because we often feel like we have no place joining in a discussion that is not about us. But allyship to any movement is so important, and is the only way that real change is possible. So, here is our guide to being an ally to the #StopAsianHate movement.
The first and most important step to being a great ally to any marginalized group is to listen to them. Listen to their experiences, be empathetic and feel what it might be like to put yourself in their shoes. We understand that this isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially if you have never experienced anything like what they have gone through or have to deal with everyday, but you cannot be a supportive influence if you refuse to really listen to and understand the problems they are dealing with.
Just like listening to someone about their experience is important, the next most important thing is to really and honestly believe them about what they have lived with. When we question people’s experiences, whether they are about race, misogyny, mental health or homophobia, we really take away their voice and their ability to seek support. As soon as we start questioning the reality of lived experiences of minorities, it’s more likely that they will not be believed by the other people around us, and we instantly put them on the back foot.
Compassion is also key to being a good ally, and goes hand in hand with listening and believing people about their experiences. If someone tells you that they were a victim of racist verbal abuse, laughing at it will never be the answer. It belittles their experiences and reduces them to a joke, which is something that they would have had to deal with their whole lives. Instead, listen, comprehend and offer support where it’s needed. Let them take the lead on what support they feel they need, whether it’s physical support like a friend to walk them home, or emotional and mental support like a friend to cry to. All support and compassion you can give will be welcome.
If you hear a story about racial discrimination from a friend or online that upsets you, take the opportunity to educate yourself further in what the movement is about to stop this kind of thing is about. Look at resources and accounts of racist abuse (if you feel like you can as this can be very triggering) as well as reading about what you can do to make a difference.
You can find out all about the #StopAsianHate movement on our dedicated hub here.
Use your privilege in a positive way
The final step of being a great ally to the movement is to use your position of privilege in a positive way. Being an ally is not about talking over someone’s experiences, but using your voice to elevate theirs to a place where more people in your circle can have the opportunity to become an ally as well. It might be sharing a story on your Instagram, attending protests and marches or raising money for the cause.
Want to learn more?
This article is part of our #StopAsianHate series in partnership with ASOS. Visit our hub for more info, tools, tips and ways to take a stand against Asian hate.