White Privilege and White Fragility

by Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, CDE

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    00:05 The next term, I talked about how some of these terms can be offensive and induce guilt.

    00:11 And that's not the purpose of it.

    00:14 It's just again to have shared language.

    00:16 Some of these terms people will not agree with.

    00:19 And that's okay too, we can agree to disagree.

    00:21 But it doesn't make these issues not real, right? We don't ever want to minimize anybody's feelings, regardless of what side rather of the spectrum there are.

    00:32 So White Privilege is another one of the terms It's a set of social and economic advantages that white people have by virtue of race, and the culture characterized by in a culture rather characterized by racial inequality.

    00:46 That is a term that sparks some disagreements and conversations, because some people don't see that that is a thing.

    00:55 The next one. And I would encourage people, let me back up a second.

    00:59 To have conversations about specifically if you need to have a conversation about each one of those terms and people offer their perspective and how they view it, again, the main thing is that you don't minimize how anybody feels and we can't say something's not real, just because we don't understand it.

    01:17 White fragility is another term, and this is by Robin DiAngelo who wrote a whole book on it.

    01:23 It's a state and I'm reading her definition quoting exactly what she wrote about white fragility.

    01:30 A state where even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable.

    01:35 Triggering a range of defense moves, including outward displays of emotions, such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behavior such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress inducing situation.

    01:48 So I'm going to talk about this a little bit in detail in depth.

    01:52 So the description, I can say that I definitely endorsed that definition, because I've seen it happen.

    02:00 And when I talk about guilt, I've talked about guilt a lot thinking about it from the perspective of how some of my white friends and colleagues view it or people who have been a part of some of the workshops I've done.

    02:13 But in terms of White fragility, when those behaviors happen as a black person, I can say that I felt guilty like, "Oh, my God, what did I say." Because I see myself as a humanitarian, and I am very compassionate and empathetic.

    02:26 So I feel something when I see that somebody else is uncomfortable.

    02:30 But what I don't do is leave the situation or pretend like what I saw or felt or experienced wasn't real.

    02:38 I see that as an opportunity to have a conversation.

    02:41 So in terms of since all this work has become popular, acceptable, and trainings have happened, I've seen that happen in terms of the being silent and walking out of a situation or arguments happening, and people just shutting down, mostly out of fear.

    02:58 Some people aren't confrontational, and they see this as a confrontational type experience.

    03:05 So it's a defense mechanism to kind of walk away or remove yourself from the situation either physically or mentally.

    03:12 But in order to move toward the transformation, we have to try to find ways that we can still stay in the room and have the conversation even when it gets uncomfortable.

    03:23 And that's where that vulnerability and courage have to come in.

    03:27 And integrity is also a big thing, in terms of that.

    03:31 We, meaning everybody who's participating in these conversations, need to make all people within the space feel psychologically safe.

    03:42 We all need to be empathetic once again, regardless because that's how you work through situations, whether it's about race, ethnicity, when we think about relationships and marriages, it gets kind of contentious sometimes.

    03:55 It gets tense.

    03:56 And one of the parties might walk out even in that situation.

    03:59 So if we kind of compare the two because our goal is therapy to work through these situations and come to a point of reconciliation, same thing in this situation.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture White Privilege and White Fragility by Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, CDE is from the course Shared Language.

    Author of lecture White Privilege and White Fragility

     Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, CDE

    Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, CDE

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