Ally is not a word you can take, it is not something you stab your flag into and declare you have earned because you found it. Ally is a word given. A word that is not trustworthy if it only comes from your own mouth.
Ally is a passport; you may travel in these spaces but you must follow the law of the land. The word has no meaning if it has not been approved by the proper authorities. And the authorities are us.
We are citizens of this land and we continue to live here when you have gone home. You can read every travel guide, and know every intersection in our roads, but if you are not a citizen you are a visitor.
Ally is not a ticket, a pass to sit down and enjoy the show. Activism is not a spectator sport, you are either playing or you are on the opposing team. If you want to enjoy the game you are going to have to shoulder some tackles for the players. Because we have bruises all over our bodies and you are wearing a suit of armor.
Ally comes with a class. We are the teachers and you are the student. You will listen and will only participate when you are called upon. If you want to be an ally you have to first realize that your voice is not the most important one in the room. You are there to listen, and we will know if you didn’t do the reading.
Ally is not a part of a gift bag you get for coming to the party. If you want the word you must come to the funerals as well as the parades.
The word comes with work. It comes with struggle, inconvenience, and time. Ally is something you do. Not someone you are. It is a job, not a title.
So thank you for your application. We will review it and get back to you in a couple of weeks.