A common question many students have been asking is how to be allies and advocates to marginalized communities. While we here at The DePauw are not experts on this subject and are still learning, we have seen a lot of posts on social media of people claiming to “stand in solidarity.”
First, let us all acknowledge that a post on Instagram is not going to even dent the oppressive systems that have been present in the United States since before any of us were born. A post claiming to “stand in solidarity” with no action means absolutely nothing. It’s the action that means everything.
It’s educating yourself.
It’s acknowledging your own privilege.
It’s calling out friends and classmates for racist comments.
Without action, these posts mean nothing. This is an example of the “white savior complex.” This is when someone does a good thing, but only does it because they want themselves to look good. Before you post a solidarity post on social media, think long and hard about whether you will follow it up with action, or else it will be just another case of the white savior complex.
If we all simply stand in solidarity, nothing will change. Words on a computer screen will never be more than words on a computer screen. Action is the only chance we have to make any progress as a community.