October Program Addresses White Privilege/Fragility

PFLAG Denver board member Mia Furtado, the speaker at the October meeting, challenged her audience to confront “white fragility” in a thoughtprovoking presentation. The queer community has historically been guilty of neglecting queer voices of color. In a broader context, so have we all.

Mia recommended a web-posted article, “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People about Racism,” by Dr. Robin DiAngelo. To condense and paraphrase:

While individual whites may be against racism, they still benefit from the distribution of resources controlled by their group. We have organized society to reproduce and reinforce our racial interests and perspectives. Further, we are centered in all matters deemed normal, universal, benign, neutral and good, and this becomes our identity.

Challenges to this identity ̶ to our concepts of individualism/meritocracy, of white authority and white centrality ̶ become highly stressful and even intolerable. Not often encountering these challenges, we withdraw, defend, cry, argue, minimize, ignore, and in other ways push back to regain our racial position and equilibrium. I term that push back white fragility.

This concept came out of my on-going experience leading discussions on race, racism, white privilege and white supremacy with primarily white audiences. It became clear over time that white people have extremely low thresholds for enduring any discomfort associated with challenges to our racial worldviews.

The antidote to white fragility is on-going and lifelong, and includes sustained engagement, humility, and education. We can begin by:

  • Being willing to tolerate the discomfort associated with an honest appraisal and discussion of our internalized superiority and racial privilege.
  • Challenging our own racial reality by acknowledging ourselves as racial beings with a particular and limited perspective on race.
  • Attempting to understand the racial realities of people of color through authentic interaction, not through the media or unequal relationships.
  • Taking action to address our own racism, the racism of other whites, and the racism embedded in our institutions—e.g., get educated and act.

The website is https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/white-fragility-why-its-so-hard-to-talk-to-white-people-about-racism-twlm/.

October Program To Address White Privilege

On Thursday, October 6, PFLAG Denver will present its quarterly program, on dismantling white privilege within the queer community. In light of the recent troubling murders of people of color, the goal of this program will be to help white individuals identify their white privilege and how they can become allies to communities of color. The queer community has rightfully come under scrutiny for “whitewashing” tragic events such as Orlando, as well as historically neglecting queer voices of color.

Mia Furtado, a PFLAG board member, will present definitions of ‘privilege’ and explain how this applies to the white population and how white individuals can become aware of their innate privilege so they do not directly and/or indirectly pass on their ignorance and prejudice.

The program will be held at the CHUN Mansion, 1290 Williams St. in Denver, from 7:30-8:30.

The New Families Support Group will meet as usual at 6:30 p.m. and all will move to the Community Room at 7:30 for the program.

Come! Member Appreciation Day Brunch on July 30

The chapter invites you to a Member Appreciation Day BRUNCH on Saturday, July 30, starting at 10:00 a.m. at the CHUN mansion, 1290 Williams St. Please see the flyer we are sending as a separate attachment.
There will be games and music as well as food and drink, and you can be assured of a fun and lively time.