It takes an incredibly strong, brave, and independent person to break free from the tribe – to go against the patterns of behavior and the roles you’ve been assigned to play in your family system. Trust me when I tell you that the thought of departure from those expectations freaks everyone out. They’re not trying to be dysfunctional; they’re just driven by the same biological needs for safety and security that you are. This neurobiology is crazy hard to overcome, and it’s why so many white people cling to racist beliefs while claiming they’re not racist at all. Any attempts to break free of the tribe-think makes your brain – and the brains of your loved one – believe you’re going to die. Your family or tribe will unconsciously think you’re crazy and suicidal and therefore will act accordingly. So if you’re feeling resistant to the content of this book, it’s because your brain is going into safety overdrive, and it will take a strong act of will to overcome it.
From “Good White Racist? Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice” by Kerry Connelly – Westminster John Knox Press