Dear Women of Color Who Are Told to Be Nicer to White “Allies”
Threads of Solidarity: WOC Against Racism
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I appreciate this perspective, but I’m also of the opinion that it is possible to achieve justice and extend grace at the same time. What needs to happen when self-proclaimed allies overstep the boundaries of respect within the mutually agreed-upon terms of entering a discourse — whether it be in a social media forum or elsewhere — is that the leadership needs to reestablish those boundaries and enact consequences when they’re broken, as clearly and as fairly as possible. I’m sorry to hear that this was not the case in this group, and that women of color were once again silenced and marginalized by their own leadership as a result. What should have happened is the leaders should have confronted the offenders; said, “Since you’ve agreed to be allies this is what we need from you and this is how you do allyship better; and if you can’t deliver on that you either need to see us one-on-one so we can have a conversation about whatever is preventing you from doing that, or maybe this isn’t the group for you.” It’s the leaders’ job to direct and redirect the discussion as appropriate. It’s disappointing that that message was not communicated, and that in a way the discussion is not only back to square one, but even into the negative.

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