Episode 20: Overcoming White Fragility with Critical Self Reflection

Eric Garza talks about the range of defensive behavioral patterns that fall under the label white fragility. He also talks about the turn of events that lifted his own unconscious patterns of white fragility into conscious view, and allowed him to start the long project of transforming them.

Episode Outline

  • Motivations for engaging in anti-racism work
  • The importance of having degrees of freedom in our behavior
  • The origins of racist behavioral patterns as defense mechanisms triggered by childhood trauma
  • Why racist people often don’t see themselves as racist, and don’t want to be defined that way
  • How racist people insulate themselves from the impacts of their behavior
  • Origins of the term white fragility in Robin DiAngelo’s article White Fragility, and examples of situations that can trigger it
  • How reading about the killing of Philando Castile lifted Eric’s racism into conscious view
  • Critical self-reflection as a tool in transforming racist behaviors
  • The value of the term white fragility despite how divisive and triggering that term often is

Links & Resources

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