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amaliaverdezoto > The Strongest Cultivator > 4 Breaking the Heavens
I figured that some really cheesy novel title and chapter name would work better for getting attention, and more attention means more reports.

Now, let me explain white fragility to you.

White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering

the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility.

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. This paper explicates

the dynamics of White Fragility.

I am a white woman. I am standing beside a black woman. We are facing a group

of white people who are seated in front of us. We are in their workplace, and have

been hired by their employer to lead them in a dialogue about race. The room is

filled with tension and charged with hostility. I have just presented a definition

of racism that includes the acknowledgment that whites hold social and institutional power over people of color. A white man is pounding his fist on the table.

His face is red and he is furious. As he pounds he yells, "White people have been

discriminated against for 25 years! A white person can't get a job anymore!" I

look around the room and see 40 employed people, all white. There are no people

White Fragility • 55

of color in this workplace. Something is happening here, and it isn't based in the

racial reality of the workplace. I am feeling unnerved by this man's disconnection

with that reality, and his lack of sensitivity to the impact this is having on my cofacilitator, the only person of color in the room. Why is this white man so angry?

Why is he being so careless about the impact of his anger? Why are all the other

white people either sitting in silent agreement with him or tuning out? We have,

after all, only articulated a definition of racism.

White people in North America live in a social environment that protects

and insulates them from race-based stress.1

Fine (1997) identifies this insulation

when she observes "… how Whiteness accrues privilege and status; gets itself

surrounded by protective pillows of resources and/or benefits of the doubt; how

Whiteness repels gossip and voyeurism and instead demands dignity" (p. 57).

Whites are rarely without these "protective pillows," and when they are, it is

usually temporary and by choice. This insulated environment of racial privilege

builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the

ability to tolerate racial stress.

For many white people, a single required multicultural education course

taken in college, or required "cultural competency training" in their workplace, is

the only time they may encounter a direct and sustained challenge to their racial

understandings. But even in this arena, not all multicultural courses or training

programs talk directly about racism, much less address white privilege. It is far

more the norm for these courses and programs to use racially coded language such

as "urban," "inner city," and "disadvantaged" but to rarely use "white" or "overadvantaged" or "privileged." This racially coded language reproduces racist images and perspectives while it simultaneously reproduces the comfortable illusion that race and its problems are what "they" have, not us. Reasons why the

facilitators of these courses and trainings may not directly name the dynamics and

beneficiaries of racism range from the lack of

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