Xxix) Need To Understand The Concept Of Fragility (Desire To Maintain Privileges And Status Quo)

Fragility is based on the long-standing privileges, status, etc that people have had and their desire to maintain them, ie not to lose them. It is about maintaining the status quo.

People feel threatened if an expected privilege, status, etc is under attack. Introducing some change can challenge the status quo and cause a strong reaction. A good example to explain this is how many white people become angry and defensive when it suggested that they are connected to racism. The range of responses
"...work to reinstate white equilibrium as they repel the challenge, return to our racial comfort, and maintain our dominance within the racial hierarchy......when you are accustomed to a privilege, equality feels like oppression..."
Robin DiAngelo as quoted by Matt Teffer 2019

This is linked with
- white solidarity (the unspoken agreement among white people that we keep each other comfortable around racism)
white supremacy (the belief that white people are superior to people of other races and therefore should be dominant over them)

Racism is defined as
"... A belief in the superiority of a particular race; prejudice based on this; antagonism towards other races, especially as a result of this..."
Australian Oxford Dictionary as quoted by Matt Teffer 2019

Some people refer to structural racism which is more about collective bias rather than individual prejudice. This involves overarching political, economic and social systems of domination, ie
"...society is structured in a way that some groups have more opportunities than others..."
Matt Teffer 2019

Also, it is claimed
"...The roots of modern racism are grounded in the need to morally justify slavery and colonialism..."
Robin DiAngelo as quoted by Matt Teffer 2019

"...white people recognising their own role in maintaining the racial status quo is just a first step in a long, painful and uncomfortable journey to overcoming racism, similar to that faced by the suffragettes in the early 20th century. Men as a group could and did deny women their civil rights......the only way women could gain suffrage was for men to grant to them; women could not grant suffrage to themselves. And just as a suffragettes needed male allies to grant them the right to vote......it's up to white people to question and help dismantle the racist system that has served them so well..."
Robin DiAngelo as quoted by Matt Teffer 2019

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