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Sunday, June 28, 2015

White Fragility

White Fragility

By Tim Wise
Via - Curtis Buckanaga
Sunday, June 28, 2015

For those people who have always wanted to know -- and it's a
reasonable question -- why people with privilege (be it based
on race, class, sex, sexuality, gender identity, religion or any
other category) would ever want to give up that privilege, let
today be a lesson.

Today what have we seen?

We have seen people who were led to believe all of their lives
that they were special, superior, and more worthy of certain
rights and opportunities (and who were treated that way by law)
descend into an absolute existential crisis at the realization that
they are going to just have to exist as equals, and that their
days of hegemonic status are coming to an end, however slowly,
and however much farther we have to go.

That is the irony of privilege, and its downside: even as it provides
immense advantages, it creates and sustains an unrealistic kind of
narcissism, a sense of expectation and entitlement, which, when it
finally meets reality (or a more humane interpretation of the
Constitution), or changing demographics, is threatened beyond
belief.

This is part of what I think Robin DiAngelo was getting at with
her "White Fragility" Thesis, and it applies to men, straight
and cisgendered folks, the wealthy, Christians etc., equally
well.

When you're the dominant "norm" for so long, you become weak and
fragile and unable to deal with change, with setback, with anything
that challenges your sense of specialness...how incredibly ironic
and pathetic.

Had we in those dominant groups been required to accept
equity, democracy and pluralism from the jump, maybe
we'd be emotionally healthier...

- Tim Wise

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