The 9 Things I Stopped Doing For White Comfort

I’ve Learned Docile Doesn’t Work

Sam McKenzie Jr.


Photo by Sandeep Swarnkar on Unsplash

A n indeterminable number of white people are anxious, angry, and agitated. We could say this about other races too, but none have the past and present like white people.

The terms white fragility and racial anxiety, speak to this need to be comforted, coddled, reassured, and esteemed.

Some white people will do anything to obtain and maintain their comfort. A threat to white comfort is dangerous, and it can even be deadly.

The absence of white comfort doesn’t produce mere crankiness. No, it makes for physical and social concussions and contusions for people of color.

The bruises and scars of white discomfort are evident everywhere. We can see them in changing attitudes, our election results, our laws, in our neighborhoods, in our schools, in policing, and in the prison system.

At points during my life, I’ve tried to make white people comfortable to avoid physical and psychological injury.

But those days are gone.

It was too exhausting to think constantly about white comfort for my survival.

My coping mechanisms were a disservice to myself and others.

So, here’s a list of services I no longer perform for white America:

#1. Keeping My Distance.

A few years ago, I was walking on a path around a neighborhood park. I noticed an older white lady in front of me. It was broad daylight, and she was walking in slow motion. I needed to pass her!

As I got closer, I went far to the left, almost making an “L” to pass. I moved to create distance by instinct. Why? Because I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable as I approached to pass her.

You probably think I was overreacting, right? Well, a study by the American Psychological Association of over 500 white adults shows that racial anxiety can change how a person perceives time and motion.

The study shows that an approaching Black person raised anxiety for the white…