What happens when the majority becomes the minority?

CNwK0_WUAAA_iqeBecause it’s really already happened, in schools. This country is becoming increasingly diverse, as evidence by this chart that parses public school enrollment.

I find this fascinating. As I type this, the admin across the hall is speaking Spanish to someone who just called her on the phone. Last week, I had some of the best Middle Eastern food I’ve ever had from a little restaurant hard by University of New Haven.

Does this explain some of the increased racial tension, the vitriol and hatred, like a last-gasp of a dying regime? Claro. I’m reading a paper on “White Fragility” that begins (and yes, I laughed when I first read the phrase and thanks Leftover for the link, but read on):

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.

Published by datingjesus

Just another one of God's children.

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  1. A lot of people who believe themselves to be “white,” especially the men, claim not to understand the anger, rage, and riots in places like Ferguson. And yet, their own response to White Fragility is anger, rage, and buying another gun. Odd, isn’t it?

  2. What often gets lost in discussion about DiAngelo’s paper is that difference exists between what is described as “white fragility” and overt racism. The fact that white folk are products of “economic, political, social, and cultural structures, actions, and beliefs that systematize and perpetuate an unequal distribution of privileges, resources and power between white people and people of color” doesn’t necessarily make them racists, even if they might act defensively in certain situations. That system of cultural structures, systemic and institutionalized unequal distribution of privilege and power…oh…let’s call it…CAPITALISM for short…victimizes everybody. If you want white folk in America to change…to “build the cognitive or affective skills or develop the stamina that would allow for constructive engagement across racial divides”…change the system. It may not be SCIENCE!, but it is really just that simple.

    I don’t possess the sociocultural bona fides of DiAngelo, so any criticisms I might have concerning overgeneralization, hasty induction, or selection bias would probably just sound like racism, or misogyny, or both, especially to those who have already judged me based on the color of my skin. So I’ll just leave it at: I think there are many valuable insights in DiAngelo’s work. I think there are some shortcomings, as well.

    Because I’m old and Socialist, I tend to see what you describe as “some of the increased racial tension, the vitriol and hatred” as a product of an emerging American ressentiment, which is broader in scope and even more culturally complex and deeply rooted than “white fragility.”

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