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Human fragility

Listening to each other may work where dogma fails

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Janie B. Cheaney Janie is a senior writer who contributes commentary to WORLD and oversees WORLD's annual Children's Book of the Year awards. She also writes novels for young adults and authored the Wordsmith creative writing curriculum. Janie resides in rural Missouri.


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Sometimes it has nothing to do with race and its all about the police. In the first decade of this century I did a lot of camping in all four seasons with my adult daughter in CA. We were constantly pestered by them if we slept in our car instead of a tent. One cop asked if we were "escaping domestic abuse," to which I laughed. I was then asked if I wanted to be arrested? I wrote a letter to the Parks dept, which turned out to be one of many letters. The problem they all had was the red sportscar we were sleeping in. They wanted to know who was doing that and why. My daughter said they were "power tripping...." We have law enforcement in the family. We are Caucasian. It had nothing to do with race - just morbid curiosity and ego. They subjected us to harassment because they could. 


There is much truth in the white fragility thesis, and something everyone of us should be willing to guard against. thank you for pointing out that a better response is as an individual to an individual. Respond to me, not the hue of my skin.

But why is lumping all pale persons into "white fragility" not prejudice and racist?

Are we responding to race issues with racist judgements?


 As G.K. Chesterton said, "In truth there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don't know it."