Anti-Racism 101

13 White Fragility


White fragility” (coined by Dr. Robin DiAngelo in a 2011 article discussing her experience with white people in anti-racism trainings) refers to our generally low emotional tolerance for honestly discussing topics of race and racism. It comes from the unconsciousness, complacency and entitlement that often characterize the attitudes and assumptions of even well-meaning, thoughtful, compassionate, well-educated white people. This fragility tends to trigger defensiveness, explanations, justifications, and further denial–rather than curiosity, openness and an eagerness to listen and learn.

“What I’m asking is that you first accept the racism within yourself, accept all of the truth about what it means for you to be white in a society that was created for you. I’m asking for you to trace the binds that tie you to forms of domination that you would rather not see. When you walk into the world, you can walk with assurance; you have already signed a contract, so to speak, that guarantees you a certain form of social safety.” –George Yancy

“Although white racial insulation is somewhat mediated by social class (with poor and working class urban whites being generally less racially insulated than suburban or rural whites), the larger social environment insulates and protects whites as a group through institutions, cultural representations, media, school textbooks, movies, advertising, dominant discourses, etc.”

–International Journal of Critical Pedagogy

“Whiteness must shed its posture of competence, its will to omniscience, its belief in its goodness and purity, and then walk a mile or two in the boots of Blackness. The siege of hate will not end until white folk imagine themselves as Black folk – vulnerable despite our virtues. If enough of you, one by one, exercises your civic imagination, and puts yourself in the shoes of your Black brothers and sisters, you might develop a democratic impatience for injustice, for the cruel disregard of Black life, for the careless indifference to our plight.

Empathy must be cultivated. The practice of empathy means taking a moment to imagine how you might behave if you were in our positions. Do not tell us how we should act if we were you; imagine how you would act if you were us. Imagine living in a society where your white skin marks you for disgust, hate, and fear. Imagine that for many moments. Only when you see Black folk as we are, and imagine yourselves as we have to live our lives, only then will the suffering stop, the hurt cease, the pain go away.”

–Michael Eric Dyson

In our experience, when introducing the concept of race and oppression, the first defense is usually a diversion led by the [workplace] students to the topic of the oppression of red-headed people, the overweight, the disabled, or their own immigrant heritages. We aim to explain to the group that although these experiences are indeed oppressive, they are not comparable to the centuries of enslavement, race-based legislation, systematic incarceration, and unequal wealth distribution that is racism in the United States.”

Because white people haven’t been fundamentally exposed to race-based stress, they have high expectations for racial comfort. It’s not only that whites aren’t accustomed to race-based discomfort—it’s a novel type of stress that they have pretty much no practice coping with. Words like ‘low-income,’ ‘urban,’ and ‘under-resourced’ are comfortable because they’re terms used by the media to describe ‘other’ people (i.e. mostly non-whites). On the flip side, words like ‘white,’ ‘advantaged,’ and ‘privileged,’ ignite in us an emotional reaction because suddenly the finger is pointed at us—we are suddenly the problem—and we are overwhelmed by feelings of guilt, shame, and blame.”

Often times, talking about race with white people is like talking about water with a fish. Dr. Derald W. Sue (2004) conducted a series of interviews in San Francisco, with some great quotes from white people answering the prompt, ‘What does it means to be white?’ Their answers can be summed up as several variations of: ‘I don’t know, normal?’ Whites don’t even notice their whiteness—they don’t tend to think of themselves as having race. It’s awkward, because we all have a race and white is one of them. It’s even more awkward when white people say things about envying culture and ethnicity, because they don’t see their own culture and ethnicity as anything other than the baseline.”

Discussions of racism challenge whites’ conception that they’re good people, and ‘privilege’ challenges the belief that they are hardworking and deserve everything that they have. When someone says ‘privilege’ we hear ‘you’re undeserving of your blessings,’ (like this guy) and when someone mentions ‘racism’ we all think we’re being called racists! For whites, racial discussions often become (unintentionally) about whether they’re good or bad people—moral or immoral.

It’s the same reason a discussion of sexism lead to the popular ‘not all men’ meme. It’s a knee-jerk reaction to derail the conversation, ‘other’ ourselves, and separate from the system of oppression. When the core of our existence is brought into question, it gets emotional pretty quickly. But these emotional reactions are track-switching—we’re no longer talking about the issue of inequality, we’re talking about ourselves. When our reality as good and moral people feels threatened, up go the defenses and we stop listening. That ‘track-switching’ process right there is actually a continuation and reinforcement of our privilege—whites get to walk away from the implications of race when people of color don’t have that luxury.”

While it’s not your fault that you were born white, and benefit from white privilege, it is your obligation and responsibility to develop awareness of the ways in which you benefit. Whites can and should acknowledge the past and present of their own racial group—the people who look like you (whether you share a hereditary bloodline or not)—and acknowledge how racism persists today without the need to call into question your own morality. Individualism here is not to erase history or to negate the fact that white is still part of a racially socialized group. You as an individual are not outside of socialization or messages from society about race in culture. You are not outside unequal wealth distribution by race. No one is.”

There’s an understanding in the field that people of color may have a greater access to what it means to be white than white people, just as women have a greater understanding of what it means to be male than men—it’s a product of living as a minority. So calm yourself and try to listen, even if only because you look foolish grabbing at straws for an explanation of something much greater than your own small behaviors.” –Katherine Kirkinis

“I keep getting comments and emails from white people about my anger, about my bitterness, in regard to racial injustice. I’m urged to accept the reality that sometimes my children and I are going to experience racism, and to make peace with the life that we have. I’m told that it’s merely a matter of perception, that the world isn’t as threatening to me as I perceive it to be, that if I let go of my bitterness I’d find a better reality for my family and myself.

I don’t buy it. I don’t believe that those comments are made in my best interest, but more so out of a discomfort with their own feeling that they’re on the receiving end of my anger. I think if they reformed their desire to quell my anger into a desire to quell the system that caused it, we’d all be better off.

My anger is functional. My bitterness is rational. If I am not outraged at the injustices faced by myself, my community, my children, who will be? If no one is outraged at my suffering, who will demand change? Yes, the fire that injustice stirs in me burns me. I suffer a lot of anxiety, I often feel despair, it’s difficult for me to enjoy many things. But my suffering has roots in societal trauma — trauma I am working to heal, work fueled by the same fiery anger that sometimes eats me up.

Fire builds and it destroys, as does my anger. My anger sparks a fierce determination in me, an urgent commitment to creating change. My anger is a maternal instinct — a fury which charges me to protect my children and to protect myself from the experiences which threaten our emotional and physical wellbeing.

And even when my anger exists in situations of injustice where it doesn’t fuel anything but my own suffering — where there’s literally nothing I can do to change what’s making me mad — it’s still a perfectly natural reaction to what I’ve experienced. What does shaming me for feeling do? Your discomfort with witnessing my pain doesn’t give you any right to tell me to feel less.

My anger, my bitterness, and my despair are valid reactions to trauma. Hell no, I don’t want to live in them constantly. It feels like shit. I’ve learned to selectively turn my mind off for the sake of survival. I have to regularly in order to create time and space for joy in my life. But the only functional way to eradicate these reactions is to eradicate the root — all else is a numbing, a demand that I don’t experience the natural human reaction to being dehumanized.” –Dominique Matti

“Expecting marginalized people to disregard their own emotions to calmly educate you is the epitome of entitlement.“ –Brandi Danielle McDonald

“…Black people think in terms of Black people. We don’t see a shooting of an innocent Black child in another state as something separate from us because we know viscerally that it could be our child, our parent, or us, that is shot.

The shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston resonated with me because Walter Scott was portrayed in the media as a deadbeat and a criminal- but when you look at the facts about the actual man, he was nearly indistinguishable from my own father….It could just as easily happen to us- right here, right now.

Black people think in terms of we because we live in a society where the social and political structures interact with us as Black people.

White people do not think in terms of we. White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals. You are ‘you;’ I am ‘one of them’….

Living every single day with institutionalized racism and then having to argue its very existence is tiring, and saddening, and angering. Yet if we express any emotion while talking about it, we’re tone policed, told we’re being angry….

But here is the irony, here’s the thing that all the angry Black people know, and no calmly debating White people want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings.” –John Metta

“The election of the nation’s first Black president tapped into a deep vein of escapist hope, that it would be a simple, painless way to heal our historic wounds. We projected onto Obama our desire to crush bigotry with enlightened democracy. Obama, a stalwart of social justice, a wonder of political rhetoric, would be the unifying force of national identity and speak redemption into our bones.” –Michael Eric Dyson

“White fragility grows out of the fact that white people aren’t even reminded very often that we’re part of a racial group, let alone challenged directly about our racial attitudes or actions.” –John Biewen

“As a result of our racial insulation, we just really have not had to develop any kind of capacity to withhold the stress of being challenged racially. And we don’t respond very well. We kind of fall apart in a range of ways. We get our feelings hurt, we get our backs up, we get indignant, we get defensive. And all of those responses—the fragility is, again, that inability to handle the challenge—they function to deflect and push the challenge off. We make it so miserable for people of color to try to talk to us about our inevitable and often unaware racial patterns, that they just don’t—like, it’s not worth it. So fragility is a really powerful way to maintain white racial control.”

–Robin DiAngelo

“It is mind-boggling to me that white people do not recognize the privilege we have simply by existing every single day in the world in our white skin suits.

It’s not an insult to be told I have white privilege. I did not do anything to get this white privilege so therefore I am neither proud nor ashamed of it I simply know it is a thing that I have because of the circumstances of my birth. White privilege is just a thing I have, and what I do with it…is what I can be proud or ashamed of.

I know it’s difficult–I certainly struggled with the concept when I was first introduced to it and did my fair share of pushing back because it was very uncomfortable to think about and to acknowledge. But it is extremely important to not act defensive and to listen. Listen to what people are telling you about their lives and their everyday experiences.” –Sherri Kacinko

“Am I the only one low-key annoyed by how obvious our social justice slogans have become? ‘Black Lives Matter,’ ‘Trans Women Are Women,’ ‘Water Is Life.’ It’s 2017 and we have to say this basic shit? In 20 years we gon’ be marching down the street like, ‘Don’t Punch Babies in the Face!’ ‘Sharp Knives Are Sharp!’ ‘Taylor Swift Can’t Sing!’ Just kidding. In 20 years we’ll all be dead from global warming or nuclear war. But I’m tired now, y’all.” –Didi Delgado

“There’s a knee-jerk defensiveness in response to the angry tone of articles by radical activists. However, for Black folks, this is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario: Black people have been asking “nicely” for equity for literally hundreds of years, and have gotten relatively nowhere with that approach; white folks mostly don’t pay attention. So now, the asks are coming across more forcefully, and are phrased in terms of demands instead of requests. Well, seems white people are objecting to that too, because the requests aren’t phrased politely enough. At the end of the day, though, the problem is deflection: To be effective allies/accomplices, etc., we need to pay attention to the message, not how it’s delivered. Attacking the way the message is delivered only serves to distract from the message itself.” –A.D. on Facebook

“When it comes to the issue of racism, I’m most interested in listening to those who continue to have their lives compromised or adversely affected by it. If such people are angry about the effects of racism in their lives, I’m not interested in critiquing that fact; I’m angry along with them. If such people are disappointed in a general lack of white response of efforts towards ameliorating racism, I don’t blame them and, again, am not interested in critiquing them for being frustrated or disappointed in this way or for how they express this frustration and disappointment; I’m disappointed and frustrated too.

What seems vastly more important than how people might convey these sentiments and experiences (so long as they are not conveyed through violence towards others) is that they do express them and that I listen….I feel that the very least I as a white person can do now is listen with an open and nonjudgmental mind to the experiences, feelings, and attitudes of people of color today. That doesn’t mean that everything a person of color might have to say on the issue of racism is beyond criticism by virtue of their being a person of color.

I’m not overall consumed or driven by guilt about the existence of racism (though I do and, appropriately so, feel guilt and shame individually and as one amongst many white people that we don’t do/haven’t so far done more to eradicate racism and extend reparations for the damage already wrought by it). I’m motivated by a passionate desire to do whatever I can to end it and its pernicious effects, for the sakes of my nephews and niece, for all people of color, and for all of humanity. That’s where I am coming from on this issue. (And, as a white person, I’m not all that interested in my own opinion on the matter — really only interested in the extent to which I can contribute to a solution to the problems surrounding racism.)” –Marcy Latta

“When a person is discussing experiences and issues of injustice, it is unfair and dismissive to invalidate their side of the conversation because they are speaking with passion and emotion. If anything, their emotions should only further validate their thoughts and ideas.

Tone-policing is the act of silencing a person’s ideas and thoughts on the basis of their emotional tone and therefore ignoring the actual content of their message. Tone-policing results in a one-sided or terminated conversation, oppressing the voices of the marginalized. It produces stagnation, not progress; ignorance, not compassion.

Criticizing the tone with which oppressed peoples fight for their rights and respect is a privilege used to excuse the powerful from accepting responsibility and issuing the appropriate restitution. Using tone as an excuse to not listen to people’s views puts the burden of enacting change and promoting activism on the already silenced marginalized communities.

Tone-policing dangerously ensures that the fight for equality becomes solely the responsibility of the oppressed. It unfairly alleviates the responsibility on the powerful to listen to and understand their stories with compassion. It protects the powerful’s privilege by forcing the marginalized to calmly, “rationally,” inform the people in power of their unjust experiences, at the threat of not being heard. Tone-policing only further oppresses the already marginalized by requiring them to refurbish their opinions and stories so that they are more pleasant for the powerful to hear. It thwarts an opportunity for oppressors to recognize and fix their oppressive behaviors by compassionately listening to these emotionally compelling arguments and stories. It forces the oppressed to emotionally separate themselves from their emotionally charged hardships, and it numbs the oppressors from having the compassion to listen. Tone-policing forces people to restrict emotion and compassion, that which makes us most human.

Tone-policing is a way to silence emotion in the movement for equality. To silence emotion in the movement is to silence the movement entirely.

Disagreements may lead people to immediately dismiss or patronize the other person, but it is more useful to ask questions and be open-minded about the answers received. If something does not make sense right away, pause to think before getting frustrated and shutting down the other person’s words. Listen; don’t invalidate what is not yours to invalidate. Put yourself aside. Because their story is theirs, and only theirs, to tell.”

–Jacqueline Pei

“I hate when people give me shit about my tone.

Do you know how hard it is to talk about oppression without being labeled angry all the time? Do you know how tedious it is to try and sprinkle in the right amount of Black Joy with all this pain and trauma we’re trying to dismantle?” –Didi Delgado

This article by a well-respected writer is a good example of truth that may get your back up. Try breathing calmly and reading the whole thing with an open heart:

“If you are just now feeling the urgency of the need to fight systemic racism, chances are, you are white. I know, I know — I’m starting off with blanket assumptions about you and that doesn’t feel good; you literally don’t have to tell me about it, I’m quite familiar! But seriously, you are probably white or white passing….I’ve written down this handy list of things that you’ve missed so far that you’re going to need to catch up on, on your own time. This knowledge and preparation will not only make your fight against racism more effective, it will allow us to continue our progress as you catch up.

Every idea you have for how we can fight racism has already been discussed. I know you might be saying ‘but how can you know that Ijeoma, you don’t know me? I know. Trust me. I know. You are a 10-year-old explaining to a theoretical physicist how time travel might work. The theoretical physicist has already heard your theory and many others. She probably had some of those same theories when she was 10. And while your interest in time travel and your imagination and intelligence might well lead you to eventually help invent time travel, it will only do so after it has been paired with a lot of the education and experience that the physicist that you are trying to explain time travel to already has. But you are not actually 10, so your ideas are not cute. Keep them in your hat for now while you learn the basics.” –Ijeoma Oluo

“These are just two personal instances when I’ve stood up to white women for their mistreatment of me and ended up being made out to be the aggressor by them later.  It is this emotional manipulation that allows for the larger instances to transpire. White women’s ability to make themselves the victim in any situation is why they’re so dangerous. It’s why a white woman manager can call the police on Black men at Starbucks and those men end up being arrested. It’s why a white mom can call the police on two Native American teenagers during a college tour and have them removed from the tour and questioned by police. It’s why a white teacher can assault her Black student and the community fights for her to not resign from her position.” –Danielle Slaughter

In reading all the things in Facebook groups that Black activists correct us whites about, I noticed again how yucky it feels to be “corrected” when you ask a “well-meaning” or “innocent” question. And how that initially can lead to a feeling of, “OK, I just won’t speak up!” And how fragile that response is. And how much I (we) am used to being able to justify myself by pointing out my good intentions. NO. So many protective (privileged, ignorant) layers are there, but I have to forcibly remember it’s just real-life, humbling learning happening. Stack that up alongside the need to still be who I am–but in a nuanced new way–and it’s kinda overwhelming at times. AND….having those awarenesses still isn’t doing anything concrete toward dismantling systemic oppression; they’re just a basic precursor…

“Friends, I’m at a point where this is hard. I’ve done a lot of work on myself personally over the years – counseling, writing, Jungian dream work, unschooling my family – and right now I know that all this work is for shit if I don’t really learn how to de-center whiteness, how to value Black women not just personally but in a public and collective way….But that’s the thing, isn’t it? I’ve been working on saving my life while Black families are dying and being pulled apart, while Black women have been doing work that I don’t see to improve the collective life, to improve my life.

Right now I see two benefits to myself for doing this work. 1.) Clarity. What to say yes to, what to say no to. It means that my values have to be totally re-oriented, but the gift of clarity and the way that Black women consistently offer that gift is a huge deal.

2.) Wholeness. Whiteness and its falsehood makes me false and incomplete – as complete as I thought I was getting with all my work, it’s been a lie.”

–Amy Carpenter

As a white person myself, I hear and I know how white people think about race, and I wasn’t surprised to see just a basic lack of understanding of how racism functions. This would not be unique to Seattle liberal whites, nor among liberals who didn’t vote for Trump. These kinds of sentiments are very deep seated.”

What I see when I read these emails [white liberal upset over Seattle school teachers wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts] is this utter failure to value Black life. Because if you value Black life you go, ‘Oh my god, even if I don’t understand this, why is it that African-Americans need to have this movement for Black lives, and what is it like to be a 10-year-old child who’s Black?

It’s like there’s this total white vortex that just screams out from these emails, whether they are being nasty intentionally or just saying, ‘I don’t get it.’ They make me really sad.”—Jennifer Harvey

“In the political realm, look at the Supreme Court in its Shelby v Holder voting rights amendment decision. The court struck down the requirement to get legal permission to change voting practices because it concluded such permission was no longer necessary. The court denied the primary reason for recent Black voting success: the existence of the rules for preclearance – where a jurisdiction covered under the law cannot change voting procedure without written approval from the Department of Justice – in section four of the voting rights act. Now they were throwing it out because the very success of the rule counted as evidence that it was no longer needed. It was a nifty and nasty bit of circular reasoning that denied the facts.

Can you not imagine how this sort of reasoning makes us just a little bit crazy? How it makes us think that white folks are hell-bent on denying how much the past is still with us? Black folk were successfully voting because they were being protected. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginzburg torched her conservative colleagues with blistering eloquence when she argued that ‘throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella because you’re not getting wet.’”

–Michael Eric Dyson

“You must repent of your whiteness, which means repenting of your catastrophic investment in false grievances and artificial claims of injury.”

“To be blunt, you are emotionally immature about race.”

“But, my friends, your innocent whiteness is too costly to maintain. We are forced to be gentle with you, which is another way of saying we are forced to lie to you. We must let you down easy, you, the powerful partner in our fraught relationship. Your feelings get hurt when we tell you that you’re white, and that your whiteness makes a difference in how you’re treated. You get upset when we tell you that whiteness has often been damaging and toxic. You get angry when we tell you how badly whiteness has behaved throughout history.

But we must risk your wrath to speak back to a defiantly innocent whiteness. You often deem Black dissent as disloyalty to America. But that Black dissent may yet redeem a white innocence that threatens the nation’s moral and patriotic health.”

“White guilt changes nothing permanently, and bad feelings about Black suffering don’t last forever. They certainly can’t remove the source of the shame. I wanted my student to know that whiteness is a problem to be struggled with, that it is a culture in which one comes to maturity, that it is an identity one inherits and perpetuates, that it is an ideology one might flourish under and, in turn, help mold, that it is an institution from which one benefits, an ethos in which one breathes, a way of life.…

One of my bright Black students got exasperated at how many white folk protected themselves from such knowledge by seeing themselves as the victims of hurt feelings.”

“When many white folks disagree, or feel uncomfortable, they get up and walk out of the room. Black folk and other people of color rarely exercise that option. We don’t usually believe that doing so would solve anything. We don’t trust that once we leave the room the right thing will be done. Plus we’ve fought so hard to get into most rooms that a little discomfort is hardly a reason to drive us from the premises. Such rooms likely affect our destinies, something that many white folk needn’t worry about, because they have access to so many other rooms just like the ones they are leaving.”

“There is a terror in accepting accountability, because it doesn’t end with your recognition that something is rotten in Denver or Detroit. It suggests that something is amiss across our country.

That’s a terrifying thought to field, a terrifying responsibility to absorb. It means accepting accountability for your unanimous, collective capacity for terror, for enjoying a way of life that comes at the direct expense of other folk who are denied the privileges you take for granted.”

“What I ask my white students to do, and what I ask of you, my dear friends, is to try, the best you can, to surrender your innocence, to reject the willful denial of history and to live fully in our complicated present with all of the discomfort it brings.”

–Michael Eric Dyson

Be honest. Admit that youre racist, or at least biased and ignorant.

Educate yourself. Read books and articles by black authors, challenge stereotypes.

Sit down, be quiet, and do NOT tell people of color what they need. Stop thinking you know what they need.

Dont think or act as if your anti-racism makes you a white savior. Being anti-racist isnt special, its the bare minimum of being a decent human being.

Be brave. Challenge friends, family and acquaintances about white privilege, and about subtle as well as overt racism.

Dont think of intense, radical, traumatized emotion from Black people as ‘detrimental to the cause.’”

The problem with the ‘not-racist’ is simply fact that this person places their identity on something they are not, instead of something they are.  This type of person has what is called a negative identity.  If a person has a negative identity, their existence as is banks off of what they are not, so technically, this person infinitely needs a rival, a monster, a scapegoat, some sort of target to point at and pompously proclaim what they are not.

In short, the ‘not-racist’ banks off of the existence of blatant racists in order to point out (and do nothing about) in order to build the story that they are superior than that scapegoated other.  Being that the not-racists need racists to be better than, there’s no vested interest to totally eradicate racism….So technically, this negative identity issue only aids white supremacy, and if you want to be a solid asset, you don’t want to do that.”

You need to understand that since for the first time ever, your white feelings do not come first, you will feel emotionally and intellectually brutalized in the beginning.  A lot of this will come from your white fragility.  You need to know what white fragility is, so read up.”

If you wish to be a great asset, you need to know that it’s your primary business to speak to white people on their implicit and explicit forms of racism.”

In mastering intellectual honesty, you’re gonna have to really begin to observe how racism works; how oppression works in a first world nation.  You need to understand and identify what are the common, mechanical things white supremacy says in order to deflect and deny or defend racism.  You must understand fallacies in logical reasoning. You will have to engage.”

The term that shouldn’t exist in American lexicon, black on black crime, will be mentioned by your white supremacist friends.  This is usually used to justify police engaging in the old slavery-era practice of “negro breaking”.  The first thing whiteness mentions is the amount of black people in prison.”

Understand that anti-racism work is frustrating, and the rewards of your labor will not be clearly seen.  Hearts will be broken, tempers will flare.  You will have to make peace with the fact that some results, you might not even be alive to see.  Just keep your eye on the goal: justice.”

–Johnny Silvercloud

“The problem with having your spiritual nose planted so deeply in your own ass is that you’re constantly in a state of ‘healing.’ I’ve been there, and it’s exhausting. You bounce from one program or one ideology to another. You think that you’ll get out there and make a difference as soon as you finish cleaning up the shit from your childhood and your bad relationships and your grief and all the rest of the baggage you’ve been hauling around for eons. Here’s a hard truth: that day won’t ever come. You’ll never feel so perfectly ‘healed’ that fairy dust exudes from your pores and rainbows shoot from your nipples straight to the heavens. Don’t use that as an excuse to avoid making your own unique contribution to the betterment of humanity. Have you looked around? No one is levitating off the floor, are they? You’re as good as anyone else. We can’t afford to be so inwardly focused that we don’t see what is needed in our own communities and the world at large.”

–Jennifer R Miller

“People who are too strongly defended against internal knowledge need to expand prodigious mental resources to keep materials out of conscious awareness. They will always feel the tension, but they will not understand why. If some of the unconscious materials break into conscious awareness then they will be extremely disturbed and immediately recruit resources and rationalizations to put the ‘bad’ materials back under cover.“ –From “some old psychology book” as quoted by Patrick Edwin Moran.