What a terrific article! As a white woman who does NOT co-opt the Black struggle by sharing a self-congratulatory bubble with white groups pretending they know what it’s like, I totally got your message.
I was particularly struck in a purely personal way by the concept that an ally should expect to gain nothing, rather to lose much. My own obsessive activism centers on desperately trying to save the last African Elephants, Rhino, and Lions. I communicate daily with Kenyan and Maasai rangers and conservationists, write accusatory letters to governments so corrupt I expect to be killed when in Africa, and share the ever grimmer frontline news with links to action. What I get from this obsessional advocacy is despair, rage, grief, and occasional breakdowns from which I must rise again to use my voice as a howl out against their extinction. I no longer even have my name; it is now Mama Tembo — Mother Elephant.
I think — I know- that real activism means putting your heart and soul and body, even your life on the line. There is nothing self-congratulatory about it, for the ego has been consumed. The safe enclaves of whites that you wrote about so cogently don’t have a clue.
Thank you, DiDi Delgado.