Why you need to be uncomfortable to be a good ally - Day 2 of a 5 day challenge to become a better ally

This is a guided program you can follow along with from home to learn how to identify your privilege, recognize systems of oppression and become a better ally.

For Day 2, Joseph is challenging us to step outside of our comfort zone.

Day 2: Get uncomfortable

“On Day 1, what I had you do was take an inventory of your own privilege. Because I think that's a great step to start with on the road to being a better ally,” Joseph says, noting it is important to understand how we exist in society.

Unlearning bias is challenging because “what you're essentially being asked to do is to reframe or rethink or reimagine your own reality,” says Joseph, who emphasized this process is key to being anti-racist.

Joseph says learning to be a better ally is not meant to be comfortable, especially when confronting beliefs rooted in the oppression of others.

“If you've been taught [that] Black people aren't intelligent… that's not a true statement, but it might've been [true] in the community where you came from,”he says. “So many of us were raised in places and taught things that we've spent most of our life believing.”

Joseph also discusses other areas where he must make a conscious effort to be a better ally: “I try my best to be an ally to women, because women deal with systems, levels of oppression and trauma that I don't have to. Therefore, my lived experience doesn't necessarily allow me to understand what they're going through.”

What you should do:

The Day 2 challenge is designed to do just that. “I’m challenging all of you to watch one [movie] or documentary that I think might make you a bit uncomfortable,” he says. “Ultimately, I know that you're going to learn a ton.”

Joseph offered a short list of films to choose from for this challenge; The Black Panthers Vanguard of Revolution, Malcolm X, Moonlight and 13th.

“Let's shake it up a little bit,” he said. “Let's learn some new things.”

A more comprehensive list of film recommendations is included in his book, The Black Friend: On Being A Better White Person.