A piece I wrote for The Root earlier this week on the difficulty of having conversations about racism with white people.
“It just so happens that the political category of whiteness means nothing but ‘I am better than something else,’” he told me in a recent conversation on racism. “What whiteness means is that I’m not black and I’m not nonwhite, and therefore I deserve extra privileges.”
What those privileges mean is being above reproach and critique and being able to feel safe and comfortable in all spaces, wrapped within a bubble of whiteness. And because that hold on whiteness and white supremacy is so important, the unpleasant side effect of white fragility often rears its ugly head.
“What is important to remember about white fragility and white discomfort is that when white people are scared, people die,” Ciccariello-Maher said. He cited the example of Jordan Davis, who dared to sit in a car with music loudly playing as a white man was present.