2022-03-27 – Attributes of White Supremacy Culture: Right to Comfort

As we work to dismantle racism in our institution, we are continuing our exploration of the attributes of White Supremacy Culture. Today we will look at the Right to Comfort.

Those with power often feel that they have a Right to Comfort; that they have a right to feel safe from emotional and psychological distress. This leads to scapegoating of those who are viewed as the source of discomfort. It is through this belief that people in power perpetuate and deepen the harm caused by racism because the belief in the Right to Comfort leads people with power to equate individual acts of unfairness against white people with the systemic racism that BIPOC individuals never fully escape.

Antidotes for this are about personal growth

  • Understand that discomfort is at the root of all growth and learning; welcome it as much as you can; 
  • Deepen your political analysis of racism and oppression so you have a strong understanding of how your personal experience and feelings fit into a larger picture; 
  • Don’t take everything personally; when an oppressed person acts out of anger, fear, or frustration, make your response about what provoked them, not how you feel.