Lessons on allies and fellowship

✅ IRL friend. This is the tweet I use to indicate that I’ve finally met someone I only knew online before. Of course, 2020 didn’t have much of that interaction, but I know that when we all hug again, Danilo Campos is one of the looks I look forward to.

Danilo combines making me aware of my bullshit with a realization that intention is important; we all learn; and the willingness to throw more than 280 characters into our conversations. One such back and forth occurred the day after the domestic terrorist attack on the US capital. Much of the timeline was outraged and the narrative was that we are all standing together. For Danilo, that wasn’t the whole story.

I know when I see my DM ad light up in the middle of a Twitter thread that something requires a return channel. And this came from him. And it came with links.

It shared a story I was little familiar with, but which I lost track of after first reporting. On Long Island, the area I grew up in, a black homeowner who was new to the neighborhood was harassed in a disgusting manner. Their reports to the police were ignored and the threats became more serious. Authorities, of course, started paying attention as soon as the story went viral, but why did they take this pressure?

Danilo also shared a DESUS & MERO clip in which the homeowner shared her story, including a young man who took the opportunity. He came by every night and started watching her house. He searched the whole thing in case anything should happen to him or her. The idea was I am there for you and ready to put myself in danger to prevent yours.

My snack was, sometimes you have to stand Behind someone. Sometimes you have to stand With They. And sometimes you have to stand in front of them. They are all forms of help, but those of us who are the most able and privileged can practice “standing in front” more often (with permission and grace) if we really want to be friends.


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