White Fragility

Reading thru my usual morning list of blogs and news sites, I came upon an interesting piece at Talking Points Memo which focused on the increasing number of Americans who refuse to acknowledge the racism which still exists in our society.

Biker Gangs, Tamir Rice, And The Rise Of White Fragility

Recently released records show that Cleveland Police would have wanted to charge 12-year-old Tamir Rice with inducing panic and being an “aggravated menace.” He was shot and killed by an officer in less than two seconds while playing in the park with a toy gun. This development is juxtaposed with the news that a violent biker gang in Waco, Texas shot up a restaurant parking lot. Nine biker gang members were killed. Police arrested 170 gang members, and confiscated countless weapons. Apparently those 170 weren’t an aggravated menace worthy of immediate death.
(. . .)
The most dangerous uprising that’s threatening America’s stability isn’t black protests in places like Ferguson or Baltimore. It’s taking place among an aging white majority that is losing its bearing on reality and destroying the gears of government, media and public welfare. At its center is an inexplicable, illogical and dangerous fear that some sociologists are now defining as white fragility.

White fragility is a term coined by Robin DiAngelo, an associate professor of education at Westfield State University in Massachusetts. In her 2011 academic pedagogical analysis titled “White Fragility,” DiAngelo goes into a detailed explanation of how white people in North America live in insulated social and media spaces that protect them from any race-based stress. This privileged fragility leaves them unable to tolerate any schism or challenge to a universally accepted belief system. Any shift away from that (like a biracial African-American president) triggers a deep and sustaining panic.

One might just begin to ask why “older, white folks” are so afraid of those ‘others’, that they create conspiracy theories and gather together with those who think as they do – actually, rational thinking is not involved. I mean, if there is no longer racism in America, if the ‘others’ are actually enjoying privileges which white folks can’t receive, why are the whities acting in such irrational manner?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s