Review: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism
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.
2nd re-read on 10/28/2019
White Fragility is a book written by a white woman talking to white people about racism.
She covers many different things surrounding racism and how race is handled.
The book gives a lot of food for thought and challenges white people especially white middle-aged women on how they react to certain situations. Such as when white women cry over social injustice and how upsetting that can be to a person of color. Since in the past white women’s tears meant a black man was going to pay for that – sometimes with his life. Also, those tears mean that everyone stops what they’re doing to comfort the white woman instead of focusing on the situation. Pulling even more attention away from the situation and continuing to put the focus on the white person instead of the matter at hand.
The author touches on the movie – Blindside. She points out how white people love that movie and how it touches on every stereotype of black people (poor, druggies, the need for a white savior to make them good). I’ve heard others speak about movies about black people only being popular when they have the “white savior” in them. That has lead me to have a different perspective on movies now where there is a ‘white savior’ in them.
The book has left me with a lot to think about. I plan to put myself back on hold with the library so I can listen to it at a later date and see what I think of it for a second read through.
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