If you’re white, and fragile, and prone to uncontrollable weeping, you may suffer from “white fragility.”
If you suffer from anger, fear, and guilt at the slightest mention of race, you too may suffer from “white fragility.”
If you’re defensive or argumentative or silent or angry or afraid or anything, really … any emotion at all, and you’re white? Why then, you need to attend this workshop at the University of Cincinnati. It’s called “White Fragility, White Tears and White Allies: Learning to Manage Emotion in Difficult Conversations about Race and Racism.”
It’s a mouthful of a title, but the April 3rd workshop is sure to be eye-opening.
It’s all part of a series of workshops from the school’s “Office of Equity and Inclusion.” Some of the other workshops include “microaggressions” and “unconscious bias,” so it should be a welcoming place for white people.
There’s an academic journal that tries to explain what “white fragility” is. Here’s how they describe it:
“White Fragility” is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. Racial stress results from an interruption to what is racially familiar.
The term “white tears” are described by The Root, a black-centered website, as “what happens when certain types of white people either complain about a nonexistent racial injustice or are upset by a nonwhite person’s success at the supposed expense of a white person.”
Of course, if all this sounds like white people are pretty much going to be bagged on, insulted, and denigrated throughout the entire workshop, you’re probably right.
But that’s okay … Workshop leader Ainsley Lambert’s college bio claims she is “committed to applying her research expertise to create a more diverse and inclusive campus climate at the University of Cincinnati in which all students, staff, and faculty are able to thrive.”
All students except white ones, I imagine.