Letter: White fragility seen at Pillow, in letters
To the editor:
Ever wonder what the phrase "white fragility" means? Well, all you need to do is read the letters to the editor in The Berkshire Eagle. On Sunday July 14, there were three published letters on the subject of the Jacob's Pillow racism incident ("Jacob's Pillow dismayed by racism at gala," Pamela Tatge, Eagle oped, July 11). In two of these three letters, the writers said they doubted whether or not the hair-touching incident actually took place.
Really? What is the theory here? Someone woke up in the morning and said to herself, "Well, what shall I do for fun today? Maybe I'll fabricate a racist incident and complain about it at the Pillow..."? Haven't we moved beyond blaming the accuser by now? Having one's hair touched by a stranger is a creepy boundary invasion, but for people of color, whose bodies have a history of having been owned and violated for centuries, it's more than creepy. It's racist, and threatening. Calling the victim a liar just compounds the injury.
As to the other issue, seeing the stage over someone's high hair? It's called live entertainment. There are in fact other people on the planet, and some of them have high hair. At a live event, you take what you get: last night at Tanglewood, I had the great fortune of having no one sit in front of me, but the large and hyperactive man next to me was something of a distraction.
The Lord giveth the Lord taketh away when it comes to fellow audience members. If you want to completely avoid obtrusion by other people, stay home and watch television.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.