In language reminiscent to civil rights era segregation white (and other non-black) Ferguson protesters in Toronto, Canada were given a list of instructions if they wanted to participate in the protests.
White and non-black Allies were told to “refrain from taking up space” at the various events and gatherings, because they “should never be at the centre of anything.” They were also told to “refrain from speaking to the media” and to “stand behind black folks or between us and the police.” White/non-black protesters were also instructed to get between black protesters and police because the police were less likely to arrest non-blacks.
This is the screenshot from the Facebook page of the protest event.
After the backlash to the language of the “rules for non-blacks” began to resonate, some protesters showed signs of irritation.
‘So many white tears about the rules for allies… Why can’t you let black folk stand in the centre and let their voices be heard, just for once,’ one commented.
And one said: ‘I can’t believe how the media and so many of the commenters on this page are making this event about White people.
‘Do you think that putting Black voices at the forefront of a conversation about racism against Black people is wrong?’
What these protesters fail to realize is that IF the situation and the culture are as unjust as they say – then it should be the duty of every person – no matter what color – to speak out against it. By shutting up the mouths of their non-black allies they lose any semblance of moral authority that they may have claimed. Human dignity should apply to all humans – black, white, brown, red, yellow or spotted… the Ferguson protesters in Toronto made a big mistake with these “rules” and they should be willing to admit it. Being racially dismissive is always wrong, even when it happens to white people!
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com