February 15, 2017
Via the comments, Spiny Norman steers us to another ‘progressive’ initiative:
The University of Cincinnati is sponsoring a workshop on “white fragility” and “white tears” this semester… “White fragility,” as defined by a paper in the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, “is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviours such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviours, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.”
In the spirit of reciprocity, I’ll attempt an alternative, and perhaps more realistic, definition. “White fragility” is the unremarkable fact that people by and large don’t like being slandered as racists and then assigned with some pretentious collective guilt, the supposed atonement for which requires deference to actual racists and predatory hokum merchants.
As Hippogryph notes in the comments, the official definition of “white fragility” looks an awful lot like Kafkatrapping, a dishonest and pathological manoeuvre, a form of emotional bullying, in which the denial of an unproven and insulting accusation is instantly seized upon as damning confirmation of said accusation. The object being to inculcate pretentious guilt via some notional group association, making a person feel somehow responsible for the actions of others, even strangers long dead, over whom he or she has zero influence. It’s an attempt to induce a profound unrealism, and thereby compliance.
In light of which, we could parse the official definition of “white fragility” a little further:
These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear…
Or, put another way: “How dare you be annoyed by our slandering? How dare you question our motives as anything other than benign?”
...and behaviours such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation.
Or, “How dare you talk back and draw attention to our question-begging? How dare you not want to remain in the presence of people who wish to do you psychological harm?”
I’m paraphrasing, of course.