White Fragility Event Part Of Community College’s “WHITENESS HISTORY MONTH”
As Portland Community College continues to claim that “whiteness history month” has nothing to do with white people or shaming white people, a presentation entitled “White Fragility: Shaking Hands With the Elephant In The Room” took place.
The presenters, Juanita Range and Louise Nelson, from Range Mediation & Consulting, say that white people are afraid of black people in authority, while using a Power Point slide of President Obama.
“Whites have an expectation to be in authority, and that when they see a black person of color in authority, it makes them uncomfortable” says Range. “If you are uncomfortable with a person of color in authority, what is that about? Is it because you’re a bad person? You’re a white person, and you just walked into a room, and this black woman’s in charge or black man’s in charge, and you immediately feel uncomfortable” she continues.
Some of the handouts explained certain whiteness things such as:
“White Fragility: Triggers and Difficulties:
Most whites have a very limited understanding of racism because they have not been trained to think in complex ways about it and because it benefits white dominance not do so.
Whites are often at a loss for how to respond in constructive ways because they have not had to build the cognitive or affective (sic) skills or develop the stamina that allows for constructive engagement across racial divides. Here are some reasons why:
- Separation. Most whites live, grow, play, learn, love, work, and die primarily in social and geographical racial segregation.
- White Taboos about talking openly about race. A double bind exists. People of color are discouraged from talking directly about their racial perspectives. Yet it is stressful for whites when people of color are not willing to tell their stories or answer questions about their racial experiences.
- White racial sense of entitlement to racial comfort. Whites often confuse comfort with safety. We say we don’t feel safe, when what we mean is that we don’t feel comfortable.
- Good/Bad Binary of white racial innocence. Causes defensiveness about being connected to racism, because only “bad people” are racist.
- Meritocracy. The assertion that access is equal between racial groups.
- White authority. Can be challenged by person of color being position of leadership. The expectation that people of color will serve whites.
- Psychic freedom among whites. Race is for people of color to think about — it is what happens to “them”
- Constant messages that whites are more valuable. In virtually any situation or image deemed valuable in dominant society, whites belong.
Another handout reads:
What can we do?
- Better tolerate the discomfort of honest appraisal. Honor the feelings of people of color in the discussion. It is not about your white guilt. If you make a mistake, ask people of color how you can fix it.
- Acknowledge yourself as a racial being, as is everyone else. Adopt the understanding of the intersection of multiple types of oppression as an approach to all aspects of everyday life and start taking it seriously.
- Better understand racial realities. Listen when people of color talk about everyday racism and white privilege. Ask plenty of questions. Earnestly seek to understand people of color before trying to have your viewpoint understood. Avoid conflating other oppressions with racism unless it’s directly relevant to the conversation.
- Not take credit the credit (sic) for “starting conversations.” Rather than being a spokesman, direct peers towards the perspectives of actual people of color. Becoming a “savior” is not cool.
- Get educated and educate each other. Educate yourself about racism as much as possible before asking people of color for help. Openly call out and reject any and all white white privilege you witness or experience. Challenge other white people in your life to think critically about racism — family, friends, coworkers, teachers, and even public officials. Commit to make a difference.
They also said that if you’re against “whiteness history month”, then those are your own fears! “That’s the privilege piece, that for whites, just goes right over our heads… And I’m thinking about people who might be against whiteness history month. Where’s that coming from? Their own fears.”
Later in the event, they said you shouldn’t ask people of color to educate you on race issues, yet one minute later, encourage people to ask people of color if they have questions.
Some of the other handouts dealt with Muh Feelz and other wacked out SJW word soup.