Episode 285: White Supremacy Culture – “Defensiveness and Denial.”

Are you the kind of person who is open to being wrong? Perhaps you didn’t have all your facts straight, or perhaps there was information you didn’t have at the time you made your decision. What do you do when you find out there were other things to consider? A pastor once told me this observation that he made about leaders. He said, “You can’t tell much about a leader when they get things right. Watch the leader when they get it wrong. A great leader is someone who responds well when they get things wrong.” And the thing is every leader, and every person will, at some time, get it wrong. Who are each of us in these moments?

But it is more than who each of us are as individuals when we hear things, think things, say things or do things. What are we like collectively as groups of people when we are confronted with oversights, inhumanity, or injustice that we discover. Do we get angry at the messenger, or do we consider the message? For myself as a white person, what do we as white people tend to do when we hear about the harmful things we as white people collectively do?

So today we are going to talk about the reactions of defensiveness and denial that are endemic to white supremacy culture, particularly when presented with stories and statistics about harm to other racial groups. We are using the online document White Supremacy Culture – Still Here, a link to which is found in the show notes for this episode.
Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.