The Girls’ Room Recap: 7 Lessons We Learned From #MGFerguson

4. On building solidarity without co-opting each other

Suhad: In a discussion meeting, a young black guy from Ferguson said, “Brown people in American don’t go through what I go through,” and so another black person in the room — who is a veteran, actually — told him, “If my Muslim and Arab brothers and sisters would go through what we go through, then I want to start fighting for them now.” The media tries to taint this campaign; they try to show people as savages and looters, and what have you, but, in reality, we’re coming together and it’s amazing.

Ashley: The way that we’re seeing the Black Lives Matter movement move, and when people declare that black lives matter in public — how you’re immediately seeing people shape that in hashtag form, and try to say that all lives matter as if, if you’re affirming black life, you’re depreciating everyone else’s value when that’s actually the exact opposite of what it is.

Dawud Walid (@dawudwalid): I saw some signs that were being used that I took offense to. Black suffering was being co-opted in this regard. For me, as a black man, when I see people using certain images or certain symbols, yet not showing up or being involved in contemporary black struggle, using those images can be offensive.

Ahmad: Our role as non-black allies in this struggle is to amplify this movement to our own communities… we understand that Palestinian lives matter, but that’s not the moment right now. So it’s also realizing that there are similarities in our struggle, but they are also different.