Letter: White fragilitysplaining
Editor of the Reformer:
Two recent letters from white men show how deep the denial is and need to deflect from white privilege. Jay Eshelman ("America didn't invent slavery or racism - why do we get blamed for it," June 22) bristles at the suggestion that he personally is racist just for being white. He provides one example from U.S. history of a single enslaved black woman being freed in 1781. He chooses to ignore how such a glorious American system could itself be drenched in the brutality of white supremacy from the outset of colonial invasion by Europeans.
He deflects blame for our particularly American version of slavery by saying, in effect, "well, they did it too!!", "It wasn't our fault!" He finishes with classic American exceptionalism. We are the shining city on the hill. The civilization that brings light and order and justice to the world.
Lawrence Zupan ("Defunding police, defaming the land," June 23) takes a different white fragility approach. Let's call it the "straw man" or "boogie man" deflection from acknowledging white privilege. He won't put up with these uppity non-whites who dare to challenge how a particular culture of white supremacy poisons and protects police. Who are the real evildoers?
Why, Karl Marx and antifa are the real culprits, didn't you know? Do you believe that Black people are still in mortal danger for the mere color of their skin in this country? Not only is Karl Marx to blame for this but you too are to blame for this "belief"; you who believe in equal justice under the law are to be schooled by Zupan that you are haters who are, to quote Zupan, "trying to destroy our
country from the inside out."
Deep sigh! Privileged white men who don't understand white fragility/supremacy will fight tooth and nail to tell the oppressed it is their fault. They cannot seem to get that they are the beneficiaries of a centuries-old system of institutionalized racism that can only end when the denial of its history and existence also ends.
Dummerston, June 23
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