Nice to see you. I’m an ally.
As an upper-middle-class Northeastern American liberal college-educated cis straight white male, I’m aware of my privilege. And I’m willing to do anything to fight for progress — especially if it involves me telling you how aware of my privilege I am.
So make no mistake: I will do anything to uplift the marginalized. As long as uplifting the marginalized doesn’t involve diminishing my societal position in any fashion. That would, of course, be unfair.
I’m no elitist. I send my kids to public school. And I stay involved. For example, today I’m going to a town hall meeting where I’m going to scream at my school board representative because they want to redraw the lines of Aiden’s school to include… how should I put this… troubled neighborhoods.
The fact that the kids in those neighborhoods are mostly black and brown has nothing to do with my opposition to the measure! They just so happen to live in these troubled neighborhoods. It’s a coincidence.
“Colonialism”? No, I said “coincidence.”
It’s tough to fight for fairness and equal treatment. You get it, I’m sure. That’s why you have to find ways to unwind and blow off steam. Like my a capella group, the George R.R. Mar-tones! You should come see us sometime — we booked a gig at a Rainforest Cafe, so you know it’s gonna be lit.
Huh? “Are there any people of color in my intramural a capella group?” Hmmmm, I guess not! Technically no. And also just no. We have a guy who was born on a Navy base in Croatia, does that count?
But let’s not focus on me — how can I be a good ally to you?
I can be a good ally by taking my hand off your shoulder? Haha, no problem, I’m woke about boundaries. That’s actually my Twitter handle, @WokeAboutBoundaries. But really. What can I do? “I’ll be there for yoooooou!” (I’m on my sixth rewatch of Friends. It’s like, kind of an addiction, haha).
You’re looking for work? Might I point you to my company’s internship? It’s a program that’s committed to diversity of race, gender identification, sexual orientation, religion, and socioeconomic background. And we have hard evidence to prove it: the internship application specifically says we’re committed to diversity of race, gender identification, sexual orientation, religion, and socioeconomic background.
Oh, you’re already an intern there? And you have interest in working there full time despite the fact that you’re the only person in that organization with anything remotely resembling your background? You’ve managed to overcome that disadvantage — amplified by your occupying the least powerful position there — and still make a positive impression? You say that your physical presence in the office alone would do wonders to improve the diversity of our applicant pool? About which we claim to be “highly concerned”?
Sorry, we’re actually going with Michael. You did great work, but he just “gets” our company culture.
It’s not that I am biased. My process is highly objective: whichever intern relates to me the most about growing up in the suburbs, wacky stories from private Catholic school, A Star is Born, the Cloisters, bipartisanship, how no one has ever been funnier than the Marx brothers, This is Us,, mashed potatoes without gravy, light-hearted interactions we’ve had with friendly police officers, jenga, sprinkler systems, being undecided between Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O’Rourke in the upcoming Democratic presidential primary, pop-up shops, push pops, Baby Bop, Chopped, and Chop’t — that’s the person I’m gonna wanna hire. It’s an even playing field!
Phew! I’m exhausted. Time to go home. Luckily I can rest assured knowing that I’ve utilized my energy to fight for societal change. I don’t know how these right-wing types sleep at night after a long day of clinging to the status quo.
Where am I living these days? Right now I’m in Williamsburg, but things have gotten pretty expensive since I moved there, so I’m looking at East Harlem.