The Oberlin Review

Oberlin Students Fail to Actually Engage Communities, Show Solidarity

Melissa Harris, Editor-In-Chief

May 11, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

As my final weeks at Oberlin approach, I’ve felt blessed to be surrounded by many incredibly dedicated, inspiring individuals who genuinely work toward change and actively support the efforts of others. But I also feel jaded by the many faults of this institution, with which I’ve become familiar throughout my time here. Among them, I’ve realized that performative allyship is one of the most off-putting yet definitive flaws of this school’s culture — and it needs to stop. In a nutshell, performative allyship is when one acts minimally to earn approval, creating a façade of detachment from a status quo that systemically keeps marginalized folks oppressed. We see this frequently; people are quick to retweet or ...

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