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University of Cincinnati to Hold ‘White Tears’ and ‘White Fragility’ Event

Later this semester, the University of Cincinnati is hosting academic workshops on the topics of “white tears” and “white fragility.”

The workshop, which is entitled, “White Fragilty, White Tears, and White Allies: Learning to manage emotion in difficult conversations about race and racism” will take place on April 3rd at the University of Cincinnati.

Workshop leader Ainsley Lambert, a PhD student, will argue that white folks often struggle and get defensive in conversations about race due to the concept of “white fragility.”

According to an academic journal, white fragility is defined as  “a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.”

The journal goes on to suggest that white individuals in a conversation about race often experience “anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.”

The Roota blog that is part of the Gizmodo network, claimed that “white tears” is phrase used to “describe what happens when certain types of white people either complain about a nonexistent racial injustice or are upset by a nonwhite person’s success at the supposed expense of a white person.

Lambert’s faculty biography claims that she is “committed to applying her research expertise to create a more diverse and inclusive campus climate at the University of Cincinnati in which all students, staff, and faculty are able to thrive.”

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