Lately, I've been trying an experiment. When I'm working with people on social justice I encourage us to drop the jargon. Drop the ally, anti-racism, privilege, neo-liberal identitarianism, heteronormative cissexist patriarchy. To let it go.
I've noticed immediate changes.
"I really want to be a better anti-racist ally."
"Can you say that again but without using the word anti-racist and without using the word ally."
"Uhh... I really want to be more thoughtful and sensitive in my interactions with people of color."
I have found the conversation to become more honest, more vulnerable, and more actionable. Jargon I think sometimes serves a purpose to protect us, to make us feel smart and like we're saying something important. And we need that sometimes, we need to feel smart and we need other people to hear us as saying something important. But a lot of times we get stuck. We don't know how to get back down to earth with people and have a personal conversation. When instead of us making us feel like we're saying something important the jargon transforms to put a wall between us and the people we're talking to, instead of making us feel smart, it instead serves to make the other person feel stupid.