Discovering the gray area

For hundreds of years, fighting racial discrimination has been a job for the persecuted.White people have had two possible roles: encouraging racial prejudice or taking a passive role against it.The Aspiring White Anti-Racist Allies is a UVM group in which white students can simultaneously discuss what it means to be white and actively support the anti-racism movement and diversity as a white individual.For some, this may seem counterintuitive. Allies is a club for white individuals to discuss “white” identity and diversity at a predominantly white university.The idea that white people have a club like this might seem elitist, but the group, however, should not be hastily judged.Acknowledging one’s own white identity — and discussing how that identity is different from, or may have more privileges than, another race — is not something frequently done in the white community. White people don’t usually have a casual chat over tea about how they feel being white. That step alone is a movement toward equality, as it recognizes the white role in past and present racial problems.Aspiring White Anti-Racist Allies attempts to provide circumstances where whites can feel comfortable discussing their white identities and how it relates to other racial identities.  Discussing racial differences, especially with the people you’re different from, can be awkward. Allies wants to create a setting where that awkwardness is minimized.     Their affiliation with ALANA shows that the Allies are attempting to become a legitimate voice in the diversity discussion, but whether they are accepted as that voice depends on the actions they take in the future.    The Cynic believes that their possible position in the racial discussion is certainly innovative as something that hasn’t been seen yet.  In the spirit of supporting racial equality and social justice, we should not judge this group by the fact that they are a white group at a white school, but rather on the actions they take in the future.