Time to discuss white fragility. Love y’all but it can’t be about you anymore. When you are done crying (and we appreciate that kind of empathy, too), we need you to turn your kitchen tables, play dates, neighborhood apps, social circles and board rooms into places where you can empower yourselves and other White people to acknowledge privilege and bias and address systemic racism and prejudice. We need a deeper dive into this discussion thats about more than empathy.
But first, let’s define White Fragility. I am borrowing from Robin DiAngelo.
To add, it’s also taking the approach that positions a White person to be viewed as a victim. Examples are the crying boss who wants your consolation and validation or the “Christian” who wants you to “get out of your feelings” in order to take a more inclusive approach to anger and action. It shows up in conversation when you are lamenting about the experiences of being Black or a person of color and they start talking about challenges they or their parents faced… generally violence perpetuated by themselves. It also shows up in our need to validate the work of police officers as a response to racist behavior. I say Black lives matter and they respond with Blue lives. Whats a blue life?
Back to solutions. In an article entitled “The Sugarcoated Language of White Fragility,” Anna Keggler made a table that outlines things that cause white people racial stress. These are the real areas we need to be thinking about in our dialogue.
Questions we need to be asking our allies and White people who want to be better allies or cannot see the impacts of systemic racism on the ways they get to navigate the world. We can also use tools like the one above to help people see the challenges with people like Donald Trump.
How do the challenges related ti centrality, authority, individualism, solidarity and comfort impact the systems we function in? How does asking hard questions impact balance, job security, etc. for Black folks willing to begin this dialogue?