Avoid and defend
Avoidance isn't exactly the same thing as denial. To be in denial is to simply not acknowledge something unpleasant. To be avoidant is to directly acknowledge something unpleasant...and then immediately move to avoid it.
One thing I've noticed during the "Stages" series is avoidance from some commenters. To them, it's always "their" fault. "They" all chase white women, "they" all do it deliberately, "they" all hate themselves, and "they" all take us for granted. Or..."they" are all bitter, "they" are all jealous, "they" all hate themselves, and "they" are all desperately waiting for us.
The black men/women/people I know/from my region aren't like this; it's those black men/women/people from over there.
When I go off on white Americans, it's mostly because they don't want to acknowledge or confront their own dysfunction. They usually prefer to focus on, exaggerate, and then broadcast everyone else's dysfunction. Naturally, this tends to alienate pretty much everyone else in the world.
Look how well that's worked our for them.
Which reminds me: while avoiding, some commenters were also defending. Some of them were even defending things they had no business defending, either because it was irrelevant to the topic at hand or because their action/statement/"preference" was indefensible. To an extent it was amusing because people were avoiding talking about the topic while defending the behaviors and/choices which directly affected the topic.
Methinks they doth protest too much
Why so much avoidance? What put people on the defense?
Remember, my topic was discussing child-rearing tips to stave off autophobia in kids of color. One of the initial responses was 1) to completely ignore the parent-child factor and change the topic, or 2) make it seem like building self-esteem and strengthening identity were the choice and responsibility of the child - they are not. They are ours; as adults of color we owe them to our children. We bring them into this world, so we must teach them how to survive, and self-love and a strong identity are very important for survival.
Which, in a way, brings us back to denial.
Recap: denial occurs when the mind tries to protect the body from a potentially upsetting truth. So let's say you're a couple of color, or the colorful half of a POC/white couple. After years of "doing everything right", you finally have the job you always wanted. You got it in the city you wanted, and were able to move into the neighborhood you wanted. You even got the house you wanted. You drive the car you always wanted, and you have the life you've always wanted.
The last thing you want to hear - at this point - is that your wonderful new life is messing up your kids, and that you have to move.
For POC wondering what keeps seemingly well-meaning, good-natured white people from really doing anything about racism, it's this. The unwillingness to sacrifice and give things up, namely your things which you've always wanted and felt you deserved.
The temptation to tell your kids to "suck it up" becomes very strong here. The lure of things and the logic of want can be quite overwhelming, and anything - or anyone - who disrupts your comfort and your material peace of mind instantly becomes unforgivably irritating. It doesn't matter how much you love them and care about what happens to them; all you want is for them then is to shut up and let you enjoy the things you want.
This is just one example of course. There are countless other scenarios where the same problem applies - the white mother with kids of color who doesn't want to move to a mixed neighborhood or trade in her racist white boyfriend for a non-racist one, because the racist one makes more money and buys her really nice stuff. Or the black mother whose tireless work and consummate professionalism have earned her a job in one of the whitest cities on earth, where a part of her knows right away her children will not be happy and not function healthily...but she's finally got the money and independence she's always wanted.
Or the black father with black kids by an ex he's traded in for a blonde one, and wants to "start his life anew"...even though he's just going to end up making more black kids.
Rewrite the scenario however you feel, and we'll still come back to the same problem. The stereotypical, short-sighted selfishness of white America has, to some degree, infected POC in America. "I want" has replaced "we need", and whenever anyone tries to remind us of what "we' need, if it contradicts what "I want" then that person immediately becomes the enemy.
Man...we have some problems, y'all.