Drag queen Courtney Act dismantles white privilege and explains how to be an ally

Louis Staples
Sunday 07 June 2020 10:15
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Since rising to worldwide fame on season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag queen Courtney Act has never shied away from promoting the issues she cares about.

On her way to clinching the Celebrity Big Brother crown in 2018, where she triumphed over Ann Widdecombe, Courtney struck a chord with viewers for her open and tolerant approach to the issues of gender and sexuality. She frequently answered questions from cast members in an eloquent and patient manner, which helped her to win the hearts of the nation.

But Courtney isn’t just concerned with prejudices or injustices that impact her personally. She has also been a vocal opponent of racism. In new videos posted to her Twitter timeline, Courtney explains how to be a good ally to people of colour.

An ally, as Courtney puts it, “is someone who wants to fight for the equality of a marginalised group that they are not a part of”.

Courtney opens the video by stating that “as white people, we benefit from racism” before exploring the various complexities of white privilege. She then encourages people to think of ways that their skin colour gives them advantages.

Ask yourself why so many jobs you’ve worked at or businesses you’ve visited there never seems to be more than a handful of non-white people in positions of power. Those things aren’t all a coincidence, they’re the spoils of racism.

Recognising your place of power and privilege in an unfair system can, as an ally, allow you to start using that privilege as an opportunity to do good

Courtney goes on to implore white people to call out injustices when they see them.

If you see something, say something. If you see an injustice occurring, confront it. Don’t look the other way. Adding your voice in a situation where someone’s voice is being taken away is powerful and important

Lastly, she asked people to remember that they shouldn’t assume they know what it feels like to be impacted by racism.

Don’t assume that you know the answer of assume that you know the affects the people it’s aimed at. Don’t assume the result, simply pose the question and listen to the other.

Take in what people of colour you know say about their experiences and ideas. Allies have a dialogue and dictators have a monologue.

There is certainly an irony to the fact that, by addressing white privilege, Courtney's voice will be heard far louder than most people of colour, who have been saying these things for decades.

Still, it is undoubtedly encouraging to see someone using their platform to help dismantle their own privilege.

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