Am I fragile? Yes. I am fragile because I have been broken, countless times. And I have inherited the brokenness of my parents, and their parents, and their parents. Mentally, physically, and emotionally I have been broken. WE have been broken. But we always get up. We always pull ourselves together. We push past our brokenness and we make something of it. We become better. But that doesn't mean that we aren't fragile.
So when a young black teenager dies at the hands of police and in the same week a case involving another black man murdered by law enforcement results in no indictment, I feel it. Those scars, the reopening of a wound that simply cannot heal, that broken heart that doesn't even have time to choose love before it is broken again. The familiarity of the pain registers as numbness, but every time it cuts it is deeper, and I am left wondering if I will bleed out before it finally reaches the bone. I wish to cry but tears no longer seem sufficient and I am left with words that only seem to juxtapose themselves into questions. And so I speak those questions, shout them out into the universe, and in doing so I raise a fist to God in frustration. How long must we endure?
So when you ask if I too am fragile, I can only say yes. I am fragile because I have been broken countless times.
But you are the fragility of a different kind. It does not come from brokenness but from a system created to coddle you and render you weak. It played to your strengths until they became weaknesses, it created a delusion of a world where you always win and now that that world is crumbling, you are lost, because you were never equipped to try. To fail. To get back up again. Your fragility is your inability to grieve the loss of the world you created. It is your unravelling...
So when you respond to my questions with uninformed comments and are called out, you claim that your removal from the conversation is because your comments are unwelcome. When did your ignorance result in my inhospitality? What was it about my response to you that made you feel as if I was being inhospitable to you? When another friend agreed with you, why did you feel angry about it? And when fragility was mentioned, why did you respond so violently? No, you did not hit anyone, but your words became harsh and accusing. You demanded an apology for assuming that someone with your experience and education could ever be fragile. Instead, you wanted affirmation that you caught your mistake, even after it was pointed out to you. You became relentless in your demands and soon managed to make the entire conversation about yourself. You then deleted your comments and unfriended me as if I'd done any wrong to you.
And then, days later, you return, determined to defend your name and character from those who "wronged" you. You placed yourself in the center of the situation and demanded attention, only to then demand you be removed once you realized you would not receive the attention in the way you requested. You threatened to report us. You got extremely emotional. And when you were done, once again, you deleted your comments and ended our virtual friendship. One friend summed it up perfectly:
And just like that, with a click of the delete button, his problems are over. Must be nice.
Yes, must be.
How you managed to shift a conversation about young black men who were losing their lives to a corrupt system to yourself and your own insecurities is beyond me. But somehow, your fragility and denial managed to leave a fragile, broken situation in a more fragile state; pushing them back to the margins with your false showing of concern you use to drape your savior complex and narcissism like a silk scarf; an accessory you choose to purchase so that others can make an assessment of your value. You parade your education and religion around as if you deserve credit for something you learned that you can't seem to apply. You walk away feeling violated when you are unaware of the wreck you have left in your wake.
So yes, you are fragile. But not in the way I am. Not in the way Jordan Edwards became. Not in the way African Americans are in a system of oppression. Not in the way that immigrants are. Not in the way that Indigenous people have been and are still. Your life is not at stake and neither is your character. Your fragility is your inability to cope with being called out when you make a mistake. It is your inability to grieve the loss of a world that was created to coddle you and render you weak. It is your unravelling...
Listen: Fragile by Tech N9ne
Watch: White Fragility