White Fragility; White Rage

Oh yes. Definitely. I’ve seen this come up as a big topic in antiracism spaces recently. Once the Black people I follow pointed this out, it clicked right away. What we have been calling “white fragility” is in fact white rage. What looks like fragility is emotional manipulation. Cosplaying hurt.

It’s a societal phenomenon. But also a personal one. We can look back at our own experience and feel this phenomenon indisputably. Now we can stop. It stops here.

Adding to my reading list: White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson.

From the author’s page linked above:

“Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate, relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans.

“Carefully linking these and other historical flashpoints, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.”

And another resource, check out this 9-minute video by Ryan Adams. Very social-media-consumable; I highly recommend to all of you, my fellow mayo-rangers who are trying to wake up & wake the people in your life up, to post this video on your feed to clear away the typical crusty pale misconceptions such as “All of that happened in the distant past.”