White Fragility

White Fragility
Tim Griffin, 2022

There was a motion in the school board to demand a special hearing
When some patriotic parents raised a howl
For the teachers had been reading and discussing at their meeting
A book of ideology most foul

It’s a book we should detest, oh, worse than Marx’s Manifesto!
It’s a dire and deadly danger, don’t you see
And now those parents have been urging that the school board should be purging
Any principal who promotes a book called… WHITE FRAGILITY.
(Oh, the irony.)

Yes, the school board got an earful from some parents who were fearful
That their children be exposed to new ideas
And they mentioned that they’re leery about Critical Race Theory
Though, on questioning, they don’t know what it is

But they’re here upon a mission and they’re waving a petition
So we’ll have to have a hearing like they said
And though each has their own screed, on one thing they’re all agreed:
This book of WHITE FRAGILITY’s the worst they never read.
(Paraphrasing what they said.)

So we hired a consultant to investigate the charges
While the patriots were preening in their power
And we waited for the news through several months of interviews
I presume that we were paying by the hour

Many bridges had been burned before the verdict was returned
Because a lot of angry speeches had been spewing
And when the final word was in, all the people met again
And then we gently said:
WHITE FRAGILITY… is exactly… what you are doing.

Do you really feel so fragile that your self-esteem is rattled
By the truth about the history we share?
No, it isn’t about shaming and there’s not much good in blaming
But denial doesn’t get us anywhere

Great Americans before us did a lot of great things for us
But they also left some jobs we ought to deal with
And while there is no panacea, maybe WHITE FRAGILITY’ll
Be a tool our local school can use to heal with.
(And maybe some of the moms and dads, too.)


I seldom share songs of a political nature, but I'm going to make an exception for this one.
Inspired by an event in my hometown, though some details were changed or withheld to protect the fragility (oh yeah, I said it) of everyone involved. To be clear, the book White Fragility by Dr. Robin DiAngelo was being read by the faculty (not the students) of our local elementary school.