In the Berkeley community and the larger UC System, allyship has taken on a culture all its own. Performative allyship has plagued progressive movements for decades by detracting from marginalized voices and groups.


Op-Ed: Performative political actions are a masquerade of allyship

Those who take on certain positions against injustice are known as “allies” — defined as members of non-marginalized groups who use their relative privileges to advocate for marginalized people. The processes by which marginalization occurs — institutional exclusion, “otherization,” dehumanization and segregation being only a few — leave these communities at a disadvantage with regards to resources. These communities develop solutions to social ills without assistance, but the products of this work may be exponentially increased if allies use their access to resources and certain social and political spaces to directly supplement such movements.

— Jack F. Garza,
UC Berkeley student studying ethnic studies, gender studies, rhetoric and neuroscience


Op-Ed: Your proximity to blackness does not give you a pass to use the N-word

Let’s get straight to it.

If you are not Black and have never had the N-word hurled at you in an attempt to strip you of your humanity, you have no right to (a) say the N-word in any form or (b) participate in any discussion determining if or how Black people can or cannot use the N-word. Anytime you use the N-word as a non-Black person or are complicit in a fellow non-Black peer’s use of the word, you are perpetuating anti-black violence. Period.

— Crislin Christian
UC Berkeley student studying American Studies and focusing on race, youth and education


Op-Ed: Colorism is an active problem in the Chicanx/Latinx community

See, I’ve been a fan of Kali for a while and know of her and her aesthetic. For her first album, Por Vida, she definitely tried to portray a pale, soft, pastel aesthetic both in her looks and music. Seeing her sudden transition to a new aesthetic that highlights her culture and “brownness” to me seemed like a ploy for her to capitalize off something Black and brown Chicanxs/Latinxs get shamed, harassed and punished for throughout the whole year (as opposed to summer tans).

— Esperanz Aguilera Fuentes,
UC Davis student studying studying Chicana/o Studies emphasizing in rural Latinidad 


Aslesha is the assistant opinion editor. Contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @aslesha_txt.

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