Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression : The Role of Allys as Agents of Change
By: Andrea Ayvazian
Ayvazian argues that we as a people become overwhelmed at the idea of oppression. She also argues that we all can become and ally, and that we know just how effective Allys can be. A movement may start out as a small group at first but touches others like a "heartbeat". An ally is someone who is of the dominant group and receives the benefits of the oppression, but fights to change for what she knows is right. This person is of the dominant group, meaning that they can reach out to those like them of the dominant group, and can "be heard". I agree with this, and of her strongest words comes from that on dominance. Everyone may be dominant at some point in time. Some may be entirely dominant, but it will not last. For example I am a white (dominant), female (targeted). However a white man who seems to be completely dominant may be targeted for his religion, or sexual orientation. I think this was an amazing thought. No one is always perfect.
I also liked how she talked about the reduction of violence. Just like in Anzldua's writings, she believed that if we all accepted one another we could stop "war, violence, and rape". This is an extremely strong thought that has stuck with me since I read Anzaldua's work. If we found equity within ourselves and others, would we really then find peace? Becoming an ally will not only reduce violence, but improve the mind sets of others to become an ally. This idea of a "role model" is in my mind a true one. If you speak to high school students, communities, and the public they will listen and hopefully understand. But to take it a step further, and have them see you doing these acts to help others, is a sure example of how they can in themselves become true Allys if they believe in the cause.
I believe I covered the main points within Ayvazian's work. Tomorrow in class I would like to discuss if the students in our class agree with this? I personally do, but I'm wondering if some people think it's crap. I think that her idea of a role model is a hard one to pursue, but everything else I thought was pretty straight foreword. I don't know tell me what you think?