Is there a place for my fragility?
I was in a leadership discussion recently among leaders from different companies. The facilitator asked the group to list what leaders measured on in their companies. I was disappointed but not surprised by the fact that there were no measurements relating to DEI/transformation.
The reason for this is that corporates still center the psychological comfort of white people. The reason that in a country such as South Africa with a quite recent history of structural racism that impacted over 80% of the country; the eradication of racism and sexism is not top of the agenda is simply to protect White owners of capital from their fragility.
White fragility is a term credited to Robyn DeAngelo,which describes the tendency among members of the dominant white cultural group to have a defensive, wounded, angry, or dismissive response to evidence of racism. Mary Frances-Winters advocates for catering for Black fragility. Acknowledging the burden of living while Black in a world whose dominant psyche is racist and anti-black. Prioritising Black peoples psychological safety and their advancement into leadership positions and supporting them.
More importantly for us as Black people to be mindful of our fragility. Of the burdens and constant triggers of living while Black and moreover Black and female when it comes to women. And therefore priorities rest, self care, support and boundaries.
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