White Fragility

Written by Bonnie Hansen

    I feel compelled to write this following my watching a TED Talk by Robin DiAngelo on her book: White Fragility. I have come to see my defensiveness when thinking about my own racism. "All white people are racists." If that statement made you angry, you must think about why. My own reaction is typically, I am not a racist because I grew up in a racially diverse community, I lived in an upper-middle class neighborhood, we had upper-middle class black neighbors, I went to a diverse high school, I notice when black people are omitted from advertisements, groups, gatherings, and large events such as baseball games, plays, or state fairs, it bothers me that NHWT has no black members, it bothers me that the school I work in has a very small number of black educators despite the fact that most of the students are black, and finally, I have been upset by the black people who have been killed or hurt by police and have been incarcerated unfairly (or held unfairly due to lack of qualified representation). I remain part of the problem. We all were horrified by the public murder of George Floyd, and many of us are looking at what we can do to stop the problem of racism because of it. The question I have to ask myself is why did it take this public disrespect for human life to wake me up? This has been going on for a long time. What I can do is inform myself with the many, many resources that exist. I can also commit to challenge racism when I see it in myself or others. Click here for the handout from DiAngelo.