Why it’s ok to confront performative allyship…

Why it’s ok to confront performative allyship

Instagram, TikTok and Twitter are full of social justice warriors. Bringing awareness to issues happening in real time and showing their followers ways to help, donate and support those that need it most. However, not all of those who are posting have good intentions with their activism.

Performative allyship is a term that refers to those that post and support a cause not because they believe in it, but because it helps their social appearance. This is something we can’t help but try to identify as Black History Month comes to a close.

Were my friends posting black squares on Instagram 2 years ago but have yet to recently post a GoFundMe page for a victim of police brutality? Did they ask their friends of color how they were feeling during times of increased racial tensions but have stopped checking in? It’s ok to have these questions. It’s also ok to understand that not all of these cases are examples of performative allyship and not all who participate in it know the term and how it can impact those around them. So how can you talk to your friends about what’s going on?

Explain the difference between effective activism and performative activism to them.

Allow them the chance to educate themselves on ways to be a supportive and effective ally.

Talk about their intentions for supporting a cause. Are they supporting because their followers are or because they truly want to see a change?

While these conversations may not be easy for anyone, they allow us to become closer to our peers and have honest conversations about how to bring awareness to causes with the best intentions.

Other ways to become a better ally without posting on social media include simply just educating yourself. United Way created a quiz of diversity, equity, and inclusion terms that are helpful in learning about several different terms and modern day examples.

Overall, performative allyship can be detrimental to not only the cause itself, but also the mental health of those being impacted. So from the end of this month and so on, take steps to be a better ally.


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