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White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

de Robin DiAngelo

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2,017925,941 (3.98)53
The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. In this "vital, necessary, and beautiful book" (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and "allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to 'bad people' (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 94 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Imagine a guy arguing with his girlfriend by simply repeating "you're too emotional" for a few hours, and that's DiAngelo's book in a nutshell. One of the most depressing things about racism, apart from its immorality, injustice, etc., is how stupid it makes us all. I don't know how else to explain the popularity of this cynical, predatory cash-in, other than that emotionally-charged subjects like race remove our ability to think critically. Scam artists like DiAngelo claiming to palliate racism through word games, sophistry, bad history, and gimmick corporate seminars should remind us of medieval physicians waving leeches at us to treat an imbalance of the humours, but here we are sending her book up the charts in a desperate effort to avoid real work about racism and systemic inequalities.

A rational society would think twice about the incentive structure behind DiAngelo's business model - a white person paid thousands of dollars an hour to tell other white people what the correct opinions about minorities to have are - but an increasingly bureaucratized America addicted to rebranding its social problems as HR issues will naturally turn to familiar corporate solutions like this. Anyone who's had to sit through mandatory training knows that it's easier to just turn off your brain, let this stuff wash over you, and check the box marked Training Complete at the end: who wouldn't rather do that than real work? This book is short, repetitive, and written at bozo level, so if you are a white American who's feeling lazy, then buying and reading it might be a fairly cost- and time-effective alternative to activism, independent thought, self-education, or, god forbid, actually talking to a person of color.

Like many people, I came across this book just after the George Floyd protests. I think active anti-racism is incredibly important, and anyone with a conscience should be disgusted and outraged not only by specific instances of police brutality, but about the entire social system behind events like that. We have an obligation to each other and ourselves to speak up when something is wrong, and there's absolutely no shortage of work to be done. Part of that work is self-education, which is why I have such a viscerally negative reaction to this vile little tract, which DiAngelo frankly admits is not designed to convince open or even closet racists to be less racist. Quite the opposite - its goal is to convince well-meaning white people trying to be not-racist that in fact they were actually racist all along without them having known it. This is a strange tactic if your goal is to reduce the overall goal of racism in a society, but DiAngelo's real goal is to maintain her lifetime sinecure of bullying hapless victims in corporate workshops with carefully constructed trap-door arguments about privilege that are impossible to engage in good-faith dialogue with.

You solve no problems by giving DiAngelo a single penny, whether by buying this book (I didn't) or ponying up for one of her seminars. When you get right down to it, DiAngelo's efforts to focus all attention on your individual thoughts and behaviors and none on America's broken laws are exactly identical to all the tedious debates you hear about whether it's fair to force people to not use plastic straws, when meanwhile fossil fuel plants are burning billions of tons of CO2 a year. If you actually care about climate change, then it's a complete waste of time to guilt-trip people about straws - you should be helping to get clean energy laws passed (and given that people of color are disproportionately affected by climate change, you'd be doing even more good). Go donate money to sustainable energy groups! But then there wouldn't be any money left to pay a straw fragility consultant thousands of dollars an hour to lecture you about how even if you don't use straws at all you're still destroying the planet, and as it turns out strawmen are DiAngelo's entire business model. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
Dr. Will Lewis hosted a virtual session with DiAngelo in April 2020. First half and last chapter were strongest. There is a 9-page ‘notes’ Word doc on Robert’s laptop of highlighted passages. ( )
  WakeWacko | Apr 27, 2021 |
My brother recommended this book to me. It was incredibly useful to me, and exposed to me to a lot of new ideas. But there is one part of it that I specifically want to call out. A few pages into the book, I thought it would be interesting, but came up with reasons for why I wasn't really the target audience. But then the author goes into all of the excuses she has heard over the years, and why none of the white people who gave them are excluded from the topics she covers. The more I read through the book, the more I came to agree with that point of view. ( )
  kapheine | Apr 6, 2021 |
I started this book prepared to argue with the author's premise. She dispensed with my arguments in the first 20 pages. It's a book that I will be thinking about for a long time, and will have me re-examining everything I thought I knew, about society and about myself. ( )
  evenlake | Mar 23, 2021 |
DiAngelo presents an accessible treatise on becoming a better ally for Black people and dealing with our un-helpful reactions to having racist words and actions pointed out to us. All of us have grown up in a society that reinforced white supremacy and discouraged those of us who benefit from that privilege from confronting it. It's up to us to do better, be better and act better. ( )
  EmScape | Mar 15, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 94 (següent | mostra-les totes)
CHOTINER: So you consider yourself a racist right now?

DiANGELO: Yes. I will always have a racist worldview and biases. The way I look at it is I’m really clear that I do less harm than I used to. I perpetrate that racism less often. I’m not defensive at all when I realize—whether myself or it’s been brought to my attention—that I’ve just perpetrated a piece of it. I have really good repair skills. None of those are small things because they mean I do less harm.
afegit per elenchus | editaSlate.com, Isaac Chotiner (Aug 2, 2018)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (6 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Robin DiAngeloautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Dyson, Michael EricPròlegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Landon, AmyNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Roe, LouisAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Tatusian, AlexDissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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These ceremonials in honor of white supremacy, performed from babyhood, slip from the conscious mind down deep into muscles . . . and become difficult to tear out. - Lillian Smith, Killers of the Dream (1949)
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I am a white American raised in the United States. I have a white frame of reference and a white worldview, and I move through the world with a white experience. My experience is not a universal human experience.
[Foreword] One metaphor for race, and racism, won't do.
[Author's Note] The United States was founded on the principle that all people are created equal.
I am a white woman.
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The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. In this "vital, necessary, and beautiful book" (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and "allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to 'bad people' (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

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