"White tears are a reminder to people of color that white people don’t notice racism on a daily basis; we only notice racism when the media presents it to us loudly enough." Dr. Robin DiAngelo
(article linked below The Pardu's introduction)
Truism isn't often comfortable and when committed to text can pose arguable points. However, truisms are often based on fact and 'salted' with personal opinion. What follows below is an opinion piece based on a writer's perception of a segment of the population in our society. It is not a piece developed to induce "white guilt'; it is a piece developed for deep contemplation of our potential for effusing emotion without subsequent questioning the why or our emotion. When we do not explore the why, we condemn ourselves to no-growth effuses of emotion while the ills in our society go unattended...and we continue to cry.
How do the words Black Lives Matters (BLM) strike you? If you are a typical American the movement may enrapture you with recognition some people in our nation receive disparate treatment from the US Justice System and in many cases the inordinate number of deaths in the Black community. Yet, you may be one who has actually grown to find the words, for any number of reasons, averse to your psyche, and you may even resent the BLM movement.
I experience the reality when I post social media comments and TPI screeds and pieces related to "Black Live Matter." The pieces are read at a much lesser rate than other pieces despite certainty the majority of people who have subscribed to this site Via direct linkage, CSS readers or Google Plus are progressives. Thus validation of my assertion, many of our social problems these days are due to growing racial indifference, resentment, and in-grained (unchecked bias). All leads to less social acceptance of that which is different.
As sad as it is to admit, I have to acknowledge the reality of growing racial intolerance, bias, and even more nefarious indifference to matters of race that do not reach into our personal lives. A simple and virtually irrefutable reality when we stop and realize the extent to which we self-segregate. Matters of race generally only manifest when we leave the 'comfortable social confines' of our homes.
The vast majority of Americans only interact with people of other races when we amalgamate in the work place. For the most part, we don't even amalgamate in weekly worship (regardless of faith). While we mutually self-segregate, we would be remiss if we fail to acknowledge some races practice a form of "interaction avoidance" that contributes greatly to spreading social segregation; a human dynamic that has proven harmful to humankind since we first noticed cultural, physical or religious differences. Such segregation has serious and dangerous consequences (i.e., Hutu Vs. Tutsi, 1930s European Jews).
When human beings self-segregate, no matter the degree, we open ourselves to indifference that exist outside the realm of rational thought. When human beings leave the realm of rational thought, horrors against other human beings soon follow. A human failing that, is particularly dangerous when we consider peripheral masters such as greed (I.e., North American Native Original People genocide, and Western Hemisphere slavery). Self-segregation and related behavioral dynamics seem to linger. We do not go outside our comfort zones to experience nor accommodate.
Let's illustrate the point via a noted comedian and deliverer of social commentary: Chris Rock. In 2009, the African-America comedian offer ticket buyers an entertaining concert hall evening that included the following trailer.
If Chris Rock's stage comment left you thinking how ridiculous, The Washington Post (from which I borrowed the trailer) published a piece this past August which illustrates the point from a detailed Public Religion Research Institute(PRRI) poll.
Herewith is a quick visual.
Here is an even more illustrative graphic of my point.
|via The Atlantic|
The WAPO piece delineates my point with fine detail.
While examples of self-segregation have manifest as delineated above, know that growing insensitivity to others with whom we avoid, continues feeding the rise of movements like Black Lives Matter(BLM). Cop abuse across American cities is impossible to refute. The abuses are actually working into our psyche as not so much an expectation, but as a reality of life in the nation. And, there-in lies the ultimate horror and danger to the nation.
Indifference kills. When the ugly happens, some whites experience heartfelt emotions regarding the abuse. But, temporary emotion with quick movement back to one's normal state of mind (comfort zone) not only leads to enabling, it leads to facilitation.
All said, the piece that follows is a powerful treatise regarding a human dynamic the writer calls: " White Women’s Tears... It is a long read, but I found once immersed in the verbiage I became a willing and focused object of the text.
Hey, read the piece in parts! (We know many of you are at work and not on 'break.').
White Women’s Tears and the Men Who Love Them
September 15, 2015 by Dr. Robin DiAngelo
White tears are a reminder to people of color that white people don’t notice racism on a daily basis; we only notice racism when the media presents it to us loudly enough.
There has been much critique lately of “white tears.” This term refers to all of the ways, both literally and metaphorically, that white people cry about how hard racism is on us. In my work, I consistently encounter these tears in their various forms, and many writers have provided excellent critiques. Here, I want to address one specific manifestation of white tears: those shed by white women in cross-racial settings.
The following example illustrates both people of color’s frustration with those tears and white women’s sense of entitlement to freely shed them. When another police shooting of an unarmed black man occurred, my workplace called for an informal lunch gathering of people who wanted to connect and find support. Just before the gathering, a woman of color pulled me aside and told me that she wanted to attend but she was “in no mood for white women’s tears today.” I assured her that I would handle it. As the meeting started, I told my fellow white participants that if they felt moved to tears, to please leave the room. I would go with them for support, but asked that they not cry in the mixed group. After the discussion, I spent the next hour explaining to a very outraged white woman why she was asked not to cry in the presence of the people of color.
An additional and relevant read: Dame magazine.com: White women please dont expect me wipe away your tears