White Fragility

"White Fragility is the tendency among members of the dominant white cultural group to have a defensive, wounded, angry, or dismissive response to evidence of racism." Source: dictionary.com

I’m a pretty brave person in a lot of ways, but I remember my earlier days when I was easily wounded if someone would claim that I was racist. Now, I must regretfully acknowledge it’s true. Racism is planted in my bones . . . unconscious and evasive . . . you might call it a genetic disorder of sorts. You would never notice It on the surface of my life. I have black friends and colleagues, beloved black children in my own family. They laugh in celebration when they see the “high yella” in my skin and say, hey girl!! You one of us!!! I blush and smile in gratitude.even though my DNA Test claims I’m mostly Scandinavian.

The truth is, I don’t know how it feels to see a rope on a lynch tree with a beautiful young body hanging from it as the songs says, “strange fruit”. I only know my mostly Scandinavian way of feeling the story about it twice removed. I don’t know what it is like to be an accomplished legislator and to
see my beautiful, honorable grandmother listen to me testify about a pubic hair on my soft drink. What is it like to look into the angel eyes my newborn black boy and think of the day I will coach him in ways to avoid being killed by Police or used as fodder by the military.

I don’t know shit!! I’m white and fragile. I have eons of discrimination to unlearn. I will Echo the black voice that says, “we don’t seek apology, we seek justice,”

I pledge to study up, to learn and take action..to teach my own. I won’t whine if you call me fragility.

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— Nola Nordmarken, MA, MFT

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