A Fairfield, Connecticut-based lawyer has filed a defamation lawsuit against a local town meeting member who accused him of exhibiting "white fragility" in response to a message sent out by the local superintendent of schools.
Fairfield Patch reports that Fairfield Schools Superintendent Mike Cummings earlier this year sent out a letter to parents addressing the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in which he asked members of the community to recognize and guard against their own inherent racial biases.
Local attorney Jason Gladstone, however, took this message personally and believed that Cummings was calling him a racist.
"I am truly offended that you would insinuate that I am inherently racist or biased," Gladstone wrote in reply. "You are truly out of bounds with your message and I am concerned that you are incapable of understanding this community and the people that reside here. Shocking would be a good word to describe your message."
Fairfield Town Meeting member Laura Karson criticized Gladstone's response in a Facebook post and said that it was a prime example of "white fragility" to treat all discussions of racism as personal attacks.
"These are tough times for all of us, but tearing down an educator, accusing him of calling other racists, when in fact he was trying to share his own reflections and ask for everyone in the community to do better, will not lead to a stronger Fairfield," she wrote.
This was enough for Gladstone to sue Karson for purportedly defaming him and causing him "emotional distress."
"It has affected my emotional wellbeing, my business relationships, my business reputation, my relationships with people of my community, my children and has severely and emotionally damaged me," he wrote in an affidavit.