I am greatly indebted to Renee of Womanist Musings for this amazing post.
She writes about how white women can engage in productive conversations with women of color while navigating between the two extremes of creating a hostile environment or being over-compensatingly eager to diss down other whites. (“Falling on your sword”)
As a white woman who wants to be a positive ally to WOC, I appreciate her inclusiveness and discussion. Go over and read her whole post, but I’ll give you a sneak-peek here:
That said, I would be dishonest if I did not publicly address my own discomfort. It makes me feel as though I am playing the role of mystical Negro. When you first start to critically engage in race it must seem so intimidating. This is something I personally can relate to because I am actively seeking to learn about different forms of oppression; however adoration without critical engagement helps no one. The compliments are wonderful and great for the self-esteem; however the awe factor sours quickly because no momentum is gained.
In the end this means that we are not really talking to each other. I know that I have continually said STFU and listen, but there is also a second stage.