Thursday, September 10, 2020

Book review: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (by Robin DiAngelo)

I read this book several months ago and couldn't quite figure out how to review it here.  But I really have to talk about it during this Season of Repentance, so here's a copy of the review that I posted on the Goodreads website:

From page 100 of the paperback:

"several reasons why whites are so defensive about the suggestion that we benefit from, and are complicit in, a racist system:

Social taboos against talking openly about race
The racist = bad / not racist = good binary
Fear and resentment toward people of color
Our delusion that we are objective individuals
Our guilty knowledge that there is more going on than we can or will admit to
Deep investment in a system that benefits us and that we have been conditioned to see as fair
Internalized superiority and sense of a right to rule
A deep cultural legacy of anti-black sentiment

From page 121 of the paperback:

"Racism can only be intentional; my not having intended racism cancels out the impact of my behavior."

Ouch. I guess I can only say that accidentally running over a child with a car can kill them, so the fact that you did it accidentally is of no help to the grieving parents.

"Racists are bad individuals, so you are saying that I am a bad person."

See above--if your brakes fail and you run over a child and kill them, you may not be a bad person, but the child is still dead.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility
The popular book aims to combat racism but talks down to Black people.

JULY 15, 2020

John McWhorter
Contributing writer at The Atlantic and professor at Columbia University

Fri Sep 11, 08:43:00 AM 2020  

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