John Balentine’s recent column “Stop talking about race” proves exactly why we need to keep talking about race. Just because the topic makes white people uncomfortable and angry is no reason to stop talking about it. Talking about race causes conflict and division because of white privilege and white fragility.

In her book, “White Fragility,” Robin Diangelo writes “our largely segregated society is set up to insulate whites from racial discomfort, so that they fall to pieces (when asked to confront thoughts or actions that stem from living in a racist society).” Unused to unpleasantness (more than unused to it – racial hierarchies tell white people that they are entitled to peace and deference), they lack the “racial stamina” to engage in difficult conversations. This leads them to respond to “racial triggers” … with “emotions such as anger, fear and guilt, … and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and withdrawal from the stress-inducing situation.”

It’s not time to stop talking about race. It’s time for white people to listen to what people of color are saying about racism. When we have to read articles presenting views such as yours, it proves all the more that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work is not done.

Rachel Weinstein
Cape Elizabeth


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