Oh my. I suppose we will have to agree to disagree that openly and loudly proclaiming one’s own white nationalism is not “evidence” of said white nationalism.

Regarding “identity politics,” I’m afraid I find your take hyperbolic and, quite frankly, whiny. I do not share your experience of a world where allies must “shut up and participate without representation.” (Here I am, a white “ally,” talking up a storm.)

The only way I can make sense of your comment is that perhaps someone called you out on something in a way that made you uncomfortable, or that you took personally?

To paraphrase Ijeoma Oluo, “if my humanity is something I have to ‘prove’ to you, you were never my ally to begin with.” Allyship is unconditional. It’s about learning to listen, period. No one is, or will ever force you to do what marginalized people ask of you. All that is being asked is to listen, and if you can’t even tolerate that, I really don’t know what to tell you.

But if a “coalition” is what you truly want, I wonder what would be possible if you were willing to compromise about your own feelings as much as you seem to expect others to compromise about issues directly regarding their safety and humanity.

Artist and historian. PhD student researching religion, material culture, media, and politics. Bylines at The Wire Magazine, Art in America + more.

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