Stop White Fragility Grow Some Resilience
Unless you are living under a rock or have mistaken the kool-aid for the blood of Jesus, you must be outraged and heartbroken over the current political climate facing the most vulnerable amongst us. The blatant permission to display hatred verbally, physically and politically is evident in the rise of white supremacy. The belief that white people are superior to those of other races and therefore have dominance over them is based on pseudoscientific arguments and of course systemic and structural racism. The terror of losing power and privilege. Racial inequalities, health disparities and loss of wealth due to legal, systemic and structural practices must be addressed now. Some examples of these systemic and structural practices are slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, violence, death and massive incarceration of black men.
It is our time to disrupt and disturb the existing paradigms of our thinking, our practices and yes, our relationships to one another. It’s time to grow some resiliency, white people. Dare to be offended, build your resilience muscle, engage in courageous and uncomfortable conversations, don’t divert from the question, shy away from the argument, dismiss the facts. Show up and dare to dismantle everything you have been taught about “the other” and mostly everything you believe about being white. Actually, race does not exist; did you know we made it up?
Just like gender, it is a social construct that has built the language, cultural practices, norms, policies and laws. We now must unpack and realign in the face of what we know in our story and in our hearts. We are responsible for repairing what has been broken in our Republic. Our experiment in democracy demands integrity, courage and most of all the humility to listen to the oppressed. It is our duty to repair the damage done. It is not only the right moral choice but one intrinsically tied to our survival as a people.
These are the facts, the amount of prejudice-motivated crimes towards those of us of non-European descent based on bias: due to race or ethnicity is 58.1%, due to sexual orientation is 15.9%, and due to religious bias 22%. (FBI, 2017).
For women: 94% of homicides are due to misogyny, ingrained prejudice and hatred of women which result from domestic violence/intimate partner violence, 46.7% of women are sexually assaulted during their lifetime in the US. (NCADV 2015-2017). We had 29 homicides of transgender people in 2018. We have a crisis of humanity.
We are outraged as evidenced by the emergence of #BlackLivesMatter, #EndWhiteSilence and #Metoo, as well as, the constant disturbing images of brown children separated from their parents, placed in concentration camps and living and dying in cages.
When we are having difficult conversations, don’t make us stop or get off the conversation by changing the subject and/or becoming fragile or guilty. We now have to take care and listen to your feelings and experience, as you erase ours with statements such as “all lives matter.” When you are in a dominant position, you are most of the time comfortable, the rest of us are navigating white spaces and dodging jokes, guns, dicks and the subsequent trauma at the speed of lightning every day.
Be part of the solution, get uncomfortable, claim your privilege, use it to be an ally not to shut down the discourse. #whitenotfragile/resilient.
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