Years ago, I had the opportunity to have dinner with someone I knew from Saints Twitter at Soul Fish Cafe, an eatery located not far from where I lived at in Cooper-Young.
From my perspective, the dinner went well, except weeks later, the same person on Twitter had this to say to me.
“My son is scared of you.”
At first, I was thinking it was a joke, but when I read that comment again, I was taken aback.
How can you, a so-called ally for people of color, sit up here and say something like that to a black man?
During the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, I ran into that same problem with people on Facebook, when I loudly criticized Bernie Sanders and how I felt that he had a black people problem. I remember numerous people sliding into my inbox accusing me of being anti-Semitic and one person in particular asking me what was wrong with me because I didn’t support Bernie.
The same person that by the way, flew a giant Black Lives Matter flag outside her house not far from where I live at here in New Orleans.
In her small little pea-sized brain, the only black lives that mattered to her were the ones that for all intents and purposes, worshiped at the feet of Bernie Sanders.
The black lives that didn’t matter to her were the ones that were independent in their thought process and saw through the bullshit.
“How dare black people not fall in line with the Sanders platform,” these type of people would say, “He marched with Dr. King!”
Marching for social justice is basically the bare minimum for allyship. Because that’s something that is out in the public eye.
True allyship is understanding how someone feels and basically shutting the fuck up. It means educating yourself and figuring out how to do more as well as looking inwards at your own behavior.
If you feel that you have to tell me how to think and call yourself an ally, you’re not real.
You’re a jackass.