White Fragility: What does it mean?

03/24/2017By KimberleyFeral Wisdom

White FragilityWhite fragility is a very specific term.

I’m often seeing it conflated with things like the effects of trauma.

White fragility: White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility 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 behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. This paper explicates the dynamics of White Fragility. – Robin DiAngelo

 

It’s certainly true that the effects of trauma and White fragility can exist within one person, and that they can overlap and interact with one another. Humans are complex, not just stereotypical one-dimensional personas.

Lots of other things can interact with White fragility – personality traits (introversion, extraversion, sensitivity . . .) developmental and personal growth issues and more.

I believe it’s important for us as White folks to take the time to untangle our reactions, to see ourselves clearly and with compassion, and take responsibility for our own resilience around race related issues.

Just a bit ago I shared a post by Kate Courageous – and this line says it well: “Self-care is not “checking out.” Self-care is doing what builds resilience.”

What I often see is White folks bringing “their stuff” into conversations about race with POC, or into anti-racism social justice groups.

That does two things: turns the tables away from the issues of racism to take care of you and sends the message that POC need to stop and help you work through your stuff.

Do many of us need to work through our stuff? Yes. And those situations are not the place to do it.

I am offering a month-long workshop on White Privilege and Fragility.
Doing this work, digging beneath your reactions to find your resilience, is self-care. And when we do that our capacity for empathy grows.

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Coming Up: Interview with Kelly Diels

03/01/2017By KimberleyFeral Wisdom

UPDATE: Unexpected audio tech problems – so frustrating! I’ve been trying fixes since 5 am. Handing it off to someone who has more expertise and assures me all will be well. Hoping to have the interview up tomorrow morning 3/2/2017

Hi Folks!

Coming up tomorrow at the Liberation Collective:

 

An interview with the most fabulous Kelly Diels!

We talk empowerment, the trap of the Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand (FLEB), liberation and possibility.

Currently on the blog my time with Alexis Petrin on the fast, furious and raw Beyond the Bullshit

“The individualist, post-feminist empowerment being preached, reinforced and sold in most online women’s spaces isn’t empowerment at all.

It isn’t substantive, feminist, intersectional, collective or just.

When we come together, revoke our consent, make new things happen and create justice and new opportunities for more people: that’s empowerment.” – Kelly Diels

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Conversation With Ericka Hines

02/01/2017By KimberleyFeral Wisdom

Ericka HinesEricka Hines was a delight to connect with!

The theme running through our conversation? Responsibility and Social Justice.

Did I just make that sound overly academic and dry? No way! – Ericka shares her wisdom with clarity, grace and a good dose of humor.

Those of us with privilege have a responsibility to listen, wrestle with our discomfort, and then act in service of truth and justice. Those of us who are marginalized/oppressed need to do the work of owning our sovereignty and dignity no matter what and stand for ourselves and others – a different kind of responsibility. And it’s not always that cut and dry –  forms of privilege can intersect with a marginalized identities. You can find out more of what Ericka has to say in her article Your Privilege is a Responsibility

I didn’t do justice to the depth of Ericka’s expertise around diversity, inclusion and leadership. I’m hoping she will come back later this year so we can dive into what diversity and inclusion truly mean for us in our personal and collective lives.

More about Ericka’s work.
Collaboration with Desiree Adaway in the class Diversity is an Asset

Enjoy!

 

Note: I considered doing a post about the interview instead – my inexperience with interviews is so plain! But Ericka’s part is gold, I didn’t want you to miss that. I’ve also committed to transparency as I continue to grow and learn with all of you. I remind myself that the idea of polish and perfection is its own kind of oppression.

You will hear references to Feral Compass – at the time of this interview I had not switched over to The Liberation Collective.

Next month we’ll connect with Kelly Diels! Learn about what Kelly calls the  Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand and what it all has to do with finding liberation.

You can Pick My Brain!
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Big Changes & a New Offering

01/30/2017By KimberleyFeral Wisdom

Hi Folks!

I have an offer ready to go!

You can book a one hour session ($100) to pick my brain about issues around social justice and identity. Bring your questions around a certain focus and we’ll dig in!

I’m in the process of completely restructuring my business. The clarity I’ve gained over the last few months turning into reality bit by bit.

The new name is Kim McGill / The Liberation Collective — the “collective” part isn’t apparent yet. Still writing new about pages and putting together the services I’ll be offering.

And coming February 1: An interview with Erika Hines – she was a delight to connect with and very patient with my newbie interviewing skills.

The theme running through our conversation? Responsibility and Social Justice. Did I just make that sound overly academic and dry? No way! – Erika shares her inspiration and her know-how with clarity, grace and a good dose of humor.

The Hag: A Poem

01/18/2017By KimberleyFeral Wisdom

I wrote this poem in 2005 inspired by a quote from Clarissa Pinkola Estes and my belief that beneath all the toxic cultural conditioning, beneath all the old stories we tell about ourselves and others, there is an inherent power and wisdom. That’s what the old hag represents. She is us.

“They say there is an old woman who cn sing bones back to life, that she is the knucklebone between two worlds. Some claim to have seen her traveling south in a burnt out car with the back window shot out” – C.P.E.

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