HuffPost Live: MTV, SamWhiteout & Martese Johnson On Allyship

Honored & humbled to join such amazing journalists and activists earlier today on HuffPost Live. Hosts Marc Lamont Hill and Zerlina Maxwell facilitated a profoundly important conversation on how to be a good ally in social justice movements. This discussion was imperative as a follow up to what MTV sparked with Jose Antonio Vargas’ documentary “White People.”

Navigating the fine line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation & participation can be difficult. However, white people cannot shy away from these issues simply because it can be uncomfortable or difficult to engage.

My good friend Martese Johnson joined the discussion to share his story of being assaulted by officers and slammed face down into concrete. Unlike those who’ve been taken, Martese lives to share his story and continue his work as an activist.

There is no neutral when people’s lives are at stake. Whether it’s in reference to survivors like Martese or killed while black cases like Mike Brown in Ferguson (or the scores of other black people killed by police), there is no standing idly by. Silence is violence.

Police brutality, predatory lending practices, lack of access to education, everyday discrimination…the list goes on. Whatever the specific issue is, talk about it. Get the conversation going or absolutely nothing will change but the names in the hashtags.

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  • Reply
    Sheila D.
    February 2, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Hi there! Just wanted to say that this video/segment is awesome! People do often think they have to experience something terrible, like police brutality, to understand and help, but really you just have to know when something is wrong. I think that’s where some white people are stuck sometimes. They don’t know what it’s like so they feel they can’t help. Also, you brought up how you were raised to answer a question. I think that is where social justice really starts. For example, if I raise my children to hate white people and tell them white people are crazy and stupid (I’m black obviously, no kids though), they will most likely be racist in adulthood. It’s not for certain, but it’s a strong possibility. Parents really need to watch what they say and teach their children about things of this matter. God bless the kids that have racist parents, though! So I guess education is key, especially with children.

    Also, I wanted to say that you are just adorable and have the hottest voice ever! Haha! Keep doing what you’re doing. Much love and blessings your way.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Great contribution to humanity. We need more people like you!

  • Reply
    Katharina Ottem
    May 16, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    I always was concerned in this topic and stock still am, thanks for posting.

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