I am a white woman who was riding the city bus last summer. At the time of the ride, I was on a pretty full bus and was the minority. Sitting close to me were three African American females—grandmother, mother and young daughter (about 4 or 5 yrs old). The grandma and mother were berating the young daughter for asking a question. The young girl began to cry and so the grandma and mother harshly criticized her for crying and kept telling her to stop crying. The girl was obviously crushed and was unable to completely stop crying. I felt so much compassion for the young girl and wanted to reach out to her by talking to her or giving her something of mine (candy or food that I had), but did not feel the freedom to do so since I was paralyzed with the reality of who I was (white) and what kind of response I would get from the older women (who were black). I was frustrated that no one else intervened either!
What would have been a way to help without offending?