Why I’m reading ‘White Fragility’

Let me begin by making it clear that this post comes from me, Valerie. I wasn’t told to write it; honestly no one at Minnesota Parent knew I was going to write it. 

With that being said, I have this blog — this platform of communicating with other Minnesota parents — and I feel a sense of responsibility to use it to acknowledge what’s been happening in our state over the past week and a half.

The murder of George Floyd has shaken Minneapolis and opened the eyes of many Minnesotans — including me. There have been protests as well as vandalism and looting, followed by people coming together to clean up and help businesses board up their windows to prevent further damage. 

This morning, I shared a post on Instagram and Facebook, it read:

It’s not enough to acknowledge there is injustice and racism. We need to DO something. I walked in protest. I donated money. I took a break from posting about my life for #blackouttuesday and instead shared a black square image and then a few posts and stories from others who spoke better than me. 

But it still didn’t feel like enough. It will never be enough until all people realize BLACK LIVES MATTER. 

If we want things to change we need to educate ourselves. This audiobook is my next step in that process. What’s your next step going to be?

I began listening to the audiobook White Fragility this morning. The book was recommended by multiple sources, but I first learned about it from this post by Rachel Garlinghouse: Stop Asking People Of Color To Explain Racism–Pick Up One Of These Books Instead. There are nine books listed in the post and I will read/listen to as many of them as I can. 

At this point, I’m a little over an hour into the audiobook and there are a few key quotes that have struck a chord with me. 

“Not naming the groups that face barriers only serves those who already have access.”

The book also includes this quote from Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to be an Antiracist (another from the list): 

“If we truly believe that all humans are equal, then disparity and condition can only be the result of systematic discrimination.”

I’m hoping it’s a good sign that when I searched for White Fragility on Amazon, it said the hardcover version of the book is temporarily out of stock (note you can still download the Kindle ebook or listen to it on Audible) it brings me hope that others are also educating themselves by facing their whiteness and learning what they can do to make change in the world. 

Please note that I will edit this post to add additional resources, but I needed to say something today and didn’t want to hold off posting it until I had everything together.

Valerie Moe is the creative director for Minnesota Parent magazine. She lives in Bloomington with her 7-year-old daughter, Olivia, and 4-year-old twins, Jacob and Seraphina. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook or contact her directly here. 

This blog is truthful and based on personal experience with the products or items mentioned. It doesn’t have sponsors, and no one paid to receive positive reviews of their products. All of the links provided are for your convenience and are not “affiliate links” — Valerie doesn’t receive payment or kickbacks if people purchase products based on her recommendations.