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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Post-ALA Race Fatigue
2017-07-17
[APRILHATHCOCK.WORDPRESS] I just spent the last 5 days at the American Library Association annual conference in Chicago, and I am suffering serious race fatigue.
Originally posted by badanov. I'm working under the hood and blew it away accidentally. Sorry.
Race fatigue is a real physical, mental, and emotional condition that people of color experience after spending a considerable amount of time dealing with the micro- and macro-aggressions that inevitably occur when in the presence of white people. The more white people, the longer the time period, the more intense the race fatigue.

I usually come back from conferences pretty exhausted anyway. I’m an introvert, an over-achiever, and an over-joiner, so I’m always faced with having to be conscious about taking breaks, saying no, and engaging in other forms of self-care. But when you combine that with 5 days of being talked at, over, and through by folks in a profession that’s 88% white…well, let’s just say I hit my limit.

Its been 5 straight days of being tone-policed and condescended to and ‘splained to. Five days of listening to white men librarians complain about being a “minority” in this 88% white profession–where they consistently hold higher positions with higher pay–because they don’t understand the basics of systemic oppression. (They’re librarians. You’d think they’d know how to find and read a sociology reference, but whatever.) Five days of having “nice white ladies” tell you to be “civil” and “professional” when you talk about the importance of acknowledging oppression and our profession’s role in it.

Even with well-meaning white people, friends even, it’s been exhausting; the fatigue is still there. Five days of having white colleagues corner you to “hear more” about the microaggressions you’ve suffered and witnessed, not because they want to check in on your fatigue, but because they take a weird pleasure in hearing the horror stories and feeling superior to their “less woke” racial compatriots.

Five days of mounting anger and frustration that you struggle to keep below the surface because you can’t be the “angry and emotional person of color” yet again.

Don’t get me wrong, there were delightful moments of reprieve. I went to the Spectrum Scholarship 20th Anniversary celebration and met the amazing Dr. Carla Hayden–first black, first woman, first librarian–Librarian of Congress. (She’s so wonderful. We chatted about my name, which I share with the main character of her favorite children’s book.) I caught up with friends and colleagues of color and met new ones. These moments kept me going. And I did have some moments of rest with a few absolutely invaluable and genuine white allies.

But I’m tired.

Luckily, the rest of my summer will be spent going on vacation with family, steeping in time with the people who love and know me best. I’ll be getting some much needed R & R in this racial battle called life. And when I get back to it all, I’ll keep on fighting, bearing in mind the inspiring words Dr. Hayden imparted to us at the Spectrum celebration: “You gotta be in the room. You gotta be at the table. You gotta fight.”
Posted by:Fred

#10  "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Apparently, that statement is no longer operative.

One of the great things about America is we built a country that transcended tribes, blood and soil. Call it a meta-tribe if you want. But anyone could join by putting up their hand and saying, "I believe in the Constitution and will defend it from all enemies, foreign and bureaucratic".

But the Democrats and the Left (redundancy alert!) have spent the last few decades playing identity politics where your skin color, genitals, religion or sexual preferences matter more than being an American. Sadly, they have been quite successful which leads to the social chaos and stupidity we see today. Nice work, guys!
Posted by: SteveS   2017-07-17 18:34  

#9  I notice that she (presuming she identifies as female...) classifies everybody by race (or rather skin color) *FIRST* and everything else is secondary.
Posted by: CrazyFool   2017-07-17 13:01  

#8  Pronoun preference:
"He/She/It"-Shit
Posted by: Skidmark   2017-07-17 11:03  

#7  What's a library?
Posted by: texhooey   2017-07-17 10:44  

#6  check out the conference badges pic at the link
Posted by: Frank G   2017-07-17 10:03  

#5  It was 100 degrees Saturday.
I have race fatigue.
I ran too far.
Posted by: Skidmark   2017-07-17 07:57  

#4  Well, when a state like Pee Aye raises its gas tax, it's microseconds before the money that was supposed to be spent on fixing roads gets re-purposed to "libraries and Pre-K..."
Posted by: M. Murcek   2017-07-17 07:29  

#3  My heart bleeds for poor African-Americans!
Posted by: g(r)omgoru   2017-07-17 04:51  

#2  I'm getting fatigued by the phrase "people of color". Or at least the nonsense that seems to tag along with it.
Posted by: SteveS   2017-07-17 01:03  

#1  Librarians are an anachronism in the internet age.

My local library is where poor people go to access the internet.

Apart from young children, hardly anyone borrows books.
Posted by: phil_b   2017-07-17 00:45  

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