Robin Diangelo's White Fragility makes the case for why it is so difficult for "white" people to talk about "racism," a claim based on the idea that "whites" don't see themselves as "racial." Uhm, imagine that. This is what she refers to as "fragility." With her definition of fragility in mind, I posit that they are not alone in their fragile state.
Even as I write this blog post, I consider the triggering responses that I will get from "black" people when I explain basic issues like, "why black children should have role models and not "black" role models, or why we should have "history" month and not "black" history month." Talk about triggering? The less triggered will simply shake their head as though I have let the family down, but the more triggered will pull out
the stereotypic nicknames for a "person of color" who has betrayed the "race." Names like, "coon," "uncle tom" and "oreo" are commonplace if you are not in line with Negro orthodoxy. Of course for many that is enough to deter them from further dialogue and conversation ; not for me.
The fragility is fraught on all sides on the issue of "race." There are too many people who want to keep it ("race") alive and profitable to let anyone come in talking about shutting down the "race" industrial complex that currently exists in our country. So when this particular conversation comes up and if the dialogue actually takes place, the fight will begin.
In a discussion with someone with opposing views last week, I remarked that "race" is the root of "racism" and that "...you don't get the fruit if you destroy the root." My opponent was not amused and desired that we end the dialogue and terminate the conversation because "race is not the problem..."
I was somewhat shocked and wondered why we needed to end such a constructive discussion. I see now that he didn't take it the same way that I did.
We are too fragile in this country today. Any disagreement these days seems to cast the opponent in the mode or semblance of a "little Hitler," the personification of evil and someone that should not be heard. We've got to begin listening to each other and hearing what others are saying and respecting that they are willing to dialogue with us. In the end, it will be the conversations that we have that will determine the progress that we make on the issue of "race."
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