When white fragility and hundreds of years
of the screams of our ancestors meet,
it is nothing short of nuclear.
I am not going to take the stand to tell my people of color to stuff it and be nice, because we have already endured that. When centuries of internalized oppression, self hatred and self rejection erupt in a volcanic ejection, I’m going to ask you to
Because it is birthing a wholeness that we all need. Because it is part of the healing that needs to happen. I get that it may be scary to you, but I also want you to get that this is the heavy lifting that white people need to practice doing.
I am going to ask you my dear white co-conspirators to increase your capacity for discomfort.
To unpack white fragility because it links to those internal web pages in the psyche of white supremacy.
It is not your fault that you were born, raised and conditioned by a white supremacist culture. And you know what I am going to say next, right?
Unacknowledged white fragility continues to mutilate the nervous systems of poc. Can you take that in?
It continues to have the upper hand, if it is not unpacked, it perpetuates a white supremacy that is in the death throws of being dismantled.
White fragility is like an immune system response that is kicking into high gear in order for the comfort, the familiarity of white supremacy to survive.
So I’m going to ask you to do some unpacking.
I want you to realize that recovery from white fragility will be a life long process, you will not get
over it because you read a few articles on it.
You will not get over it because you are in relationship to a person of color.
You will not get over it because you think you are better than that, because you are a good person and do incredible work, or because you have initials behind your name, or because you are successful at what you do.
The way into presencing white fragility in your body, in your nervous system, is to grow familiar with how it shows up.
Notice the burn you feel in your nervous system, the fight or flight kick of your adrenals, the tightening of your gut. If you want to run, stay and breathe. If you want to fight, pay attention to the shape of your hands and open your fists, relax your jaw and stay with your breath.
Stay with the discomfort and repeat to yourself: I do this in solidarity with my fellow people of color who have had to live in this discomfort, still do, without the privilege or luxury of walking away from it. I do this in solidarity. This is a vital part of dismantling racism.
Practice saying hello to your white fragility, oh you again, I see you, and become familiar with it in your body, in your feels, in your thoughts. Practice being with the discomfort of race based stress.
Practice increasing your capacity to tell the dogs you inherited, to stand down. And practice what the felt sense of cultivating humility feels like. What the enlivening presence of curiosity feels like as you begin to unpack this.
This is what awake humanity feels like. Not the flying above ‘I don’t see color’, or ’dealing with racism is too divisive’. It is the awake humility of our humanity, that is all ears. It is the beating of that primal
drum in our chests that says: I am waking up a new evolution in my body. It says: I see you. I will be in this discomfort because it is worth it.
It says: this is what dismantling racism feels like. Refresh, repeat until the end
of your days. Let it become a part of your breathing.
Support Women of color writers! If you enjoyed this, please consider making a donation of any size to:
or follow me on Patreon/margostebbing