Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Are border walls and White Fragility connected?

Robin Diangelo writes in her book White Fragility, "Socialized into a deeply internalized sense of superiority that we either are unaware of of can never admit to ourselves, we become highly fragile in conversations about race. We consider a challenge to our racial world views as a challenge to our very identities as good, moral people. Thus, we perceive any attempt to connect us to the system of racism as an unsettling and moral offense." p2

The very defensiveness that some people engage in is a symptom of racism. "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" is a famous line from Shakespeare's play, Hamlet.

There is no better example of this racial defensiveness that the metaphor of a border wall which has brought Donald J. Trump to power. The wall has no practical benefit for a humane and functional immigration policy, but it does have huge appeal to the racism of Donald Trump's supporters.

The problem for Americans and people around the world is not Donald Trump's overt manipulation of racism to get elected with his famous tag line, "Make America Great Again" which is a dog whistle to return to the days of Jim Crow, but the problem is all the Americans who consciously or unconsciously support this racist form of leadership in our country.

Unitarian Univeralists have covenanted together to affirm and promote the dignity of every person and justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. White Fragility is the social manifestation of institutional, systemic racism which needs to be recognized, acknowledged, and eliminated if we are to sanctify the world and help people become holy.

To be continued

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