The Bleached Blindfold
In the totality of all possible knowledge there are three categories:
What you know.
What you know you don’t know.
What you don’t know you don’t know.
When it comes to understanding the complexities of race and racism, I thought I was in categories 1 or 2. Because hey, I was raised well. I’ve traveled. I live in a diverse city. Racist? C’mon. Not me.
But these words, written by Robin Diangelo in the first chapters of White Fragility, made me realize I’ve been living in category 3 my whole life.
“White progressives cause the most daily damage to people of color...because to the degree that we think we have arrived, we will put our energy into making sure that others see us as having arrived...Our simplistic definition of racism engenders a confidence that we are not part of the problem, and that our learning is complete.”
In the past few weeks most white progressives have been thrust into category 2 whether they liked it or not. A crash course we should have enrolled in long ago. We’ll likely stay here, striving toward category 1, for the rest of our lives. Hopefully we keep listening to anyone that’s already there.
P.S. White Fragility can be found here. I’ve only just started, but it’s blowing my mind.