Whatever cause a person champions, be it an issue dealing with race, sex, gender, whatever it might be, it’s often better to earn an ally and possibly a friend than to create another enemy. Unfortunately, this is what ultimatums and the idea that if one isn’t an ally they’re an enemy can do. The distinction between an ally and an enemy is quite easy to figure out. An ally is someone that might not experience the same plight as a given community and/or group, but will do and say whatever they can to show their support for those that believe themselves to be disenfranchised, whether they really are or are not. An enemy is the exact opposite obviously, someone that does not agree and will not agree with those to whose ideals they are opposed. That’s a pretty easy distinction, as it’s black and white, which is sometimes the case.
But what happens when those that are neither an ally or an enemy are given ultimatums by those they don’t know and don’t associate with?
There are people out there that don’t associate with one cause or another, preferring instead to live their lives and show the common respect that is wise to show to their fellow human beings. According to some groups however, not allying with their cause is instant grounds to be labeled as an enemy, as simple respect for other human beings and their lifestyles isn’t enough. In fact, should a person not ally with those that feel that they are in the right, they might very well be labeled in one way or another that paints them in a rather negative light. Thankfully this isn’t a universal method that is practiced by everyone, otherwise the entire world might be resting behind one flimsy dividing line or another. But the practice of claiming that even if one is an ally that it’s not enough, that they need to go above and beyond for a cause that’s not their own, has been seen to grate on some folks, and it’s understandable why this is so.
A conditional ally, someone that is willing to support a cause, is also someone that will do so providing that they are not given ultimatums that make little to no sense. These individuals will do what they can to support those that want their respect, but to ask more of them is not only a poor idea, it’s in poor taste to claim that if they’re not doing ‘enough’ that they’re not true allies. One might think that any cause would be happy to have a conditional ally over an uncertain supporter that might turn on them at any moment if they push too hard. In fact, that’s one of the best ways to make a certain enemy.
To those who champion one cause or another in this world, ease up a bit. Realize that people see you, and that they will respect you, but on their terms. Pushing an ultimatum on those that show support is less likely to win them over, but it’s a great way to make enemies, and thereby give oneself a reason to play the victim card as much as possible.
Accept conditional allies, and realize that respect will be given, but allies and friends have to be earned.