Mia McKenzie at Black Girl Dangerous has an important post about what it means to be an ally, brought on by people who claim to be allies for various groups but do not always behave in ways that are supportive. Instead of defining people as “allies,” she suggests “currently operating in solidarity with” because of the focus it places on current behavior. Of course, “currently operating in solidarity with” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue (which McKenzie acknowledges) but that is actually in keeping with her concluding point that being supportive is not supposed to be easy. She writes:
Sounds like a lot of work, huh? Sounds exhausting. Well, yeah, it ought to. Because the people who experience racism, misogyny, ableism, queerphobia, transphobia, classism, etc. are exhausted. So, why shouldn’t their “allies” be?