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A first step toward being more anti-racist

👀 Today’s tip: Identify your people-pleasing triggers.

Posting anti-racist memes primarily so people think you’re a good person isn’t just performative allyship. It’s also an example of what’s known as the “fawn” response — the “instinct to people-please as a means of self-preservation,” as Ashley Abramson explains. And when your main goal is avoiding conflict, you won’t be able to take the risks necessary to be a real ally.

To manage this automatic stress response, notice your fawn triggers. Do you go silent when someone makes a racist remark among a group of White friends? Do you choose not to engage with racist Facebook rants by your distant uncle because you don’t want to “pick a fight”? Writes Abramson: “When self-preservation is your knee-jerk response to anti-racist conversations, it may be time to examine what you’re protecting — and how you can open yourself up to growth.”

📚 More from Forge on being a real ally:

Performative Allyship Is Deadly (Here’s What to Do Instead)

Outrage Isn’t Allyship

This Overlooked Trait is the Key to True Allyship

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Former lead editor, Forge @ Medium