Melia Smith Archive

I wrote a CCF essay about racial gaslighting — and then white fragility blew up in my face!

In the throes of the holiday season last December, the careful balance between read and unread emails in my inbox was starting to take a turn. As I conducted my daily reckoning of my inbox, one message jumped out at me, demanding my immediate attention. It didn’t have a subject.

I recognized the handle right away though; I knew who it was. A riff on her name, she always used the same version of that handle for her social media accounts.

I took a deep breath and rolled my eyes.

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Why being gaslit by white people isn’t just emotionally violent, it’s racist

“Well actually …”

This is how gaslighting always begins.

I was meeting with my ED to tell her that I was quitting my position at Mesa Arts Center. Even though I came prepared to explicitly detail the reasons I was leaving, I was still surprised she bothered to ask why. If she’d been half cognizant of the chaos erupting in our department over the past 22 months, it should have been obvious to her. She hadn’t earned my honesty, but I was honest with her anyway.

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