The Intellectual Fraud of Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility”

Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility Is Snake Oil Masquerading As Insight

After it was published in 2018, Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility received fawning reviews from The New Yorker and Publishers Weekly on its way to becoming a New York Times bestseller. Well-intentioned white people bought the book in droves and the titular phrase became ubiquitous, used as a way to explain or attack white people who protested when accused of racism. Now, as more Americans are asking how they can fight racism in response to the appalling deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, White Fragility has seen a resurgence, this time topping the bestseller list.

But while people’s desire for valuable insight about race-related issues is laudable, White Fragility cannot satisfy that need. The book does not offer profound insight into the souls of white people. Rather, White Fragility is religion masquerading as knowledge. DiAngelo’s conception of white fragility isn’t hard won wisdom. It’s an unprovable and unfalsifiable theory, deceptively framed to convince readers of their own guilt.

You’re Either A Fragile Racist, or A Fragile Racist

Throughout White Fragility DiAngelo tries to convince readers of two things. First, DiAngelo argues that white people are inescapably racist, writing, “All white people are invested in and collude with racism,” and that “The white collective fundamentally hates blackness for what it reminds us of: that we are capable and guilty of perpetrating immeasurable harm and that our gains come through the subjugation of others.”

Second, DiAngelo argues that any white person who does not admit to their own racism is blinded by their “white fragility.” In DiAngelo’s words, because white people are, “Socialized into a deeply internalized sense of superiority that we either are unaware of or can never admit to ourselves, we become highly fragile in conversations about race.” This fragility purportedly explains why, “people who identify as white are so difficult in conversations regarding race.”

It’s not difficult to see why the theory of white fragility might catch on. Race is a sensitive subject that many people of all races are uncomfortable discussing. Furthermore, white people publicly accused of racism risk social ostracization and professional ruin. The idea that some white people may be defensive when accused of racism is not surprising. But though some white people may exhibit a degree of what DiAngelo calls fragility, her grandiose theory as applied to all or even most white people has two fatal flaws.

First, DiAngelo’s theory of White Fragility is unfalsifiable. It is impossible for someone to prove that they are not fragile, just as it is impossible for someone to prove they are not possessed by a demon. One could play mad libs with racial groups and nouns-”Asian Insecurity,” “Black Hostility,” etc.-and there would be no way for members of those groups to prove they are not insecure or hostile.

More insidiously, DiAngelo frames her theory of white fragility such that any conceivable reaction a white person has when discussing race is purportedly evidence of fragility, and any denial of her theory is interpreted as proof of its validity. For example, DiAngelo writes that,

“The mere suggestion that being white has meaning often triggers a range of defensive responses. These include emotions such as anger, fear, guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and withdrawal from the stress-inducing situation. These responses work to reinstate white equilibrium as they repel the challenge, return our racial comfort, and maintain our dominance within the racial hierarchy. I conceptualize this process as white fragility. Though white fragility is triggered by discomfort and anxiety, it is born of superiority and entitlement.”

In other words, if DiAngelo accuses you of racism or fragility and you disagree with her in any way-through argument, silence, or withdrawal-your reaction is considered proof of your fragility. DiAngelo leaves white readers with only two options. Either acknowledge your fragility, which proves DiAngelo’s theory, or deny your fragility, which according to DiAngelo, also proves her theory. This is a logical fallacy known as a Kafkatrap. If our legal system worked this way, no person accused of a crime would ever be acquitted because their denial would prove their guilt.

If You Don’t See Racism Everywhere, You Aren’t Looking Hard Enough

DiAngelo uses similar techniques to support her second core theory that all white people are racist. For example, DiAngelo lays another trap that makes it impossible for white people to speak ill of any neighborhood with high crime rates in which many people of color reside. When DiAngelo’s friends warned her not to buy a home in neighborhoods with relatively high crime rates and poorly rated schools, DiAngelo later discovered that the neighborhoods had a high percentage of black and brown residents. From this, she concluded that her friends’ warnings were racially motivated and that “my fellow whites had communicated the racial boundaries to me.” Did you spot the trap?

If DiAngelo’s friends had told her not to live in the neighborhoods because they had black and brown residents, she could call them out for overt racism. But even when her friends made no mention of race whatsoever, DiAngelo attributed their warnings to racism as well. There was no way for her friends to mention the neighborhood’s high crime rates without DiAngelo finding them guilty of racism.

DiAngelo also supports her theory that all white people are racist by interpreting ambiguous events to support her conclusions, despite other plausible explanations. In one anecdote, DiAngelo describes an incident in which a white female teacher had two black students at her desk. The teacher prefaced something she said with the word “girl.” One student felt that the use of the word “girl” was racist. The other student disagreed, saying that the teacher called all her students “girl” regardless of their race.

Any reasonable person would conclude that if the teacher called every student — white, black, Asian, Latinx — “girl,” the teacher’s use of the word resides somewhere between “not racist” and “open to interpretation.” But DiAngelo reached a different conclusion, demonizing the teacher’s lack of concern for the offended student’s feelings, and calling the teacher arrogant for thinking the use of “girl” was not racist. To be clear, while teachers should listen to their students’ concerns, there is no proof this teacher’s word choice was racially motivated. And ironically, DiAngelo is guilty of everything she criticizes the teacher for because DiAngelo arrogantly ignores the other black student who did not think the comment was racist.

DiAngelo uses similarly dubious logic when discussing the President Barack Obama’s tenure in office. DiAngelo quotes Carol Anderson who argued that even though Obama was elected twice, America’s overriding racism was self-evident because, “voting rights were severely curtailed, the federal government was shut down, and more than once the Office of the President was shockingly, openly, and publicly disrespected by other elected officials.”

But every single one of those things happened to other presidents besides Obama. Both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump endured longer shutdowns. Voting rights have been under attack for decades. Every president with the possible exception of George Washington has been disrespected by other elected officials. Of course racism and racists still existed during Obama’s presidency, as they do today. But DiAngelo dramatically overstates her case by citing racism as the reason for commonplace political maneuvering.

Master Manipulation

White Fragility is full of similar fallacies, anecdotes, and on occasion, outright lies. DiAngelo, for example describes Congress as 90 percent white, which hasn’t been true for decades. But perhaps its most outrageous passages are DiAngelo’s vicious attacks on white people.

In one section, DiAngelo berates the very type of person who is likely reading her book, writing, “I believe that white progressives cause the most daily damage to people of color. I define a white progressive as any white person who thinks he or she is not racist, or is less racist.” In another, she mocks white people for not knowing what to do about racism, writing, “What has enabled you to be a full, educated, professional adult and not know what to do about racism?” “How have we managed not to know, when the information is all around us?”

One can’t help wonder how DiAngelo would respond to similar inquiries. Does DiAngelo have the solutions to sexism, health care, or immigration reform? If not, how could she be so ignorant? The answers are all around us!

The best that can be said of White Fragility’s is that DiAngelo occasionally makes valid points. She points out how the preponderance of white directors in film and television leads to superficial portrayals of non-white characters. She argues that it is easier for white people to navigate spaces and move seamlessly through them without having to think about their race, which is true. But these insights are hardly Earth-shattering revelations, and they have nothing to do with DiAngelo’s central claims. More importantly, occasional truths do not outweigh the damage of DiAngelo’s big lies.

What ultimately makes White Fragility so manipulative is the way it exploits the good intentions of its readers. White people read the book because they care about fighting racism and being allies to people of color. They are ready to listen to a purported expert like DiAngelo. But instead of providing genuine expertise, DiAngelo uses Kafkatraps and fallacies to convince white people they are racist and fragile. Then she travels the country, charging thousands of dollars an hour to cure white people of the ailment she diagnosed them with.

Racism By Any Other Name

If a similar book were written about any other racial group-Asian Insecurity, Black Hostility, Latinx Insensitivity, etc., not only would the book never become a bestseller, it would never be published. People would see the book for what it is — an absurd generalization that attributes negative qualities to an entire race of people — the very definition of racism.

But White Fragility has succeeded because we are in a unique historical moment in which our discourse of race-related issues has become so irrational that people can no longer tell the difference between scholarship and nonsense, or between antiracism and religion. The battle against racism and discrimination is vitally important. But we cannot win that battle with leaders like DiAngelo peddling intellectual fraud like White Fragility as the answer. Using facts, logic, and critical thinking is the only way we’ve ever solved our problems, and it’s the only way we ever will.

166 thoughts on “The Intellectual Fraud of Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility””

  1. “Using facts, logic, and critical thinking is the only way we’ve ever solved our problems, and it’s the only way we ever will.”

    I believe that at present in CRT all of the above are tools of white supremacy. By now, the air may be a tool of white supremacy.

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  2. I think Di Angelo suffers from the same racial dysphoria as Jessica Krug, Shawn King, and Rachel Dolezal, but can’t assume their blackface guise without sacrificing the moral authority of her book.

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  3. So among all the innumerable, absurd, Orwellian lies that White-hating racist DiAngelo spews, she pretends that there is a ” preponderance of White directors in film and television “. Ask anyone who works in film or TV and they will tell you that is A LIE! The VAST majority of film and TV directors are Jewish, just like every other aspect of film and TV. Except maybe the maintenance and janitorial staff. White means White Christian background. This is a frequently used lie used to make Jews invisible, like when talking about income disparity between races, or political campaign contributions.

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    • White does not mean whit and Christian. When filling out a racial designation, the options regarding race are white, black, Native American, Pacific Islander…..Christian and Jewish refer to religious categorization.

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    • First, “white” is the absence of all color. Second, Jews are no more or no less “white” than George Washington. You are nuts!

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    • According to critical race theory, both Jews and Asians are considered “White” now. That is because they know how to thrive within the “oppressive” system. Never mind the fact that both groups have suffered racism in the past, and still do.

      In regards to the Jews, the crt people might want to ask themselves this: why is it that the Jews endured over a thousand years of Jim Crow-like treatment in the diaspora, and yet learned to thrive despite the intense challenges they faced? Maybe other groups could learn from them about resilience and success in the face of adversity.

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    • I believe Mr. Burke is smart enough to respond to DiAngelos book properly. The first time I heard the phrase, it did not sit right. His article is an intelligently worded response that is correct and I believe cannot be denied. I would only wish the many trauma centers wouldbe informed of this truth so they can continue their work in true detail.

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      • She says “it did not sit right”, inadvertently proving the reality of white fragility is sentence. “Sitting right” with you is what it’s all about.

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  4. obviously Robin DiAngelo is (as she admits) using her own definition of racism. People responding to her (which is to fall into a trap) are using the accepted definition of racism. Racism to Robin DiAngelo is like the term “sexual assault” to radical feminists. It is so broadly defined that it is undefined. Under Robin DiAngelo’s definition of racism, Martin Luther King Jr. would have been a racist.

    Robin DiAngelo does not want to discuss. She wants to slander and provoke and browbeat and brag. That’s the agenda.

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    • I can’t believe this! The communist movement is alive and well in academia and if we do nothing to stop it we WILL LOSE AMERICA.

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      • You are correct, this is all being driven by marxism and communists and its beyond sickening. There are so many good and decent people out there and they’ve had their voices silenced in fear. I’ve also had it with all the petulant children who have zero knowledge of actual history and the horrors that they’re all about 5 minutes from re-creating. This is the kind of political-cult madness that ends with millions of people in cattle cars on a one-way train. It must end. It must end now.

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        • Right on man. BLM is an explicitly Gramscian Marxist Trojan horse. DiAngelo is a fraud and a grifter. My ‘breaking point’ was when I heard that a mob of misinformed, power mad spoiled brats pulled down the statue of Ullysses S. Grant in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Of course they had no clue that this man was instrumental in the defeat of the Confederacy. God my blood boiled. I hope that reasonable people, *of all races and both major political parties* can band together and defend our cherished institutions both rhetorically and physically if that is necessary. Thanks for your comment my friend. Keep on truckin!

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      • When in opposition to a event/topic under discussion, why oh why does “revealing communist tendencies or an outright commie” always always be used to explain/put down a speaker/writer’s act/reason? And Kafkatrap? What’s that got to, got to do with it? Answer: “sophistical rhetorical device” oh.

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        • Kafkatrapping has a lot to do with it. It was actually used during the Spanish Inquisition as a technique to interrogate Jews. If you don’t understand why this technique is a problem, then you need to put on your thinking (and feeling) cap and ask yourself how you would feel if someone did this to you.

          As for the reference to Marxism, it has to do with the fact that most of the critical race and gender theories in academia are driven — either directly or indirectly — by neo-marxist ideologies. This is a fact you will discover if you bother to trace the development of these theories since the 1960s. See Helen Pluckrose’s book “Cynical Theories.”

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  5. I haven’t read the book but I watched her in several different interviews describing her premise, and I come to the same conclusion that whether you agree or disagree, you are a Racist. So I guess that I am racist. According to her…..

    And the funny thing is that I haven’t told you my position on anything!

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  6. White Fragility is a book (and a concept) whose audience is white people. No matter how many white people read it, no matter how many of those readers swallow its premises whole, racial inequality is not going to go away.

    Consider the racial IQ gap, which is a real, objectively measurable stone-in-the-road. The average IQ score of an American Black person is 85, which is so low that a person of that intelligence level will be rejected as a recruit in the United States Army. IQ scores are fairly good predictors of who will succeed, and they are bang-on predictors of who will fail. For example, a man with an IQ of 110 (which is well above average) would have no chance of graduating from law school, although he could certainly hold many jobs, particularly if he is physically strong and socially well-adjusted. A man with an IQ of 85 might not be able to operate a lathe press. Half of American Black people have IQs of 85 or lower and, no matter what Robin DiAngelo thinks or feels about it, that phenomenon is just not going to go away. I will take a guess and say that Ms. DiAngelo has never had even a five minute conversation with an adult with an IQ of 85 in her life.

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      • Katie P, did you read the second half of the article you cited? It explains how IQ tests are being used to address the problem of inequalities. Funny how you didn’t mention that. I suggest you either didn’t “do your research” or you are being deliberately intellectually dishonest.

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      • You should read Thomas Sowell “Discrimination and Disparities” or “White Guilt” by Shelby Steele….brilliant men that put things unreasonable and logical perspective. Diangelo is a (white) communist

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      • I am glad to see you understand that! Now go find out which easily identifiable group is behind stirring up all this Distract, Divide and Conquer racial strife. Hint: They invented Marxism, Bolshevism, Communism, Feminism as well as racist African worshipping White-hating PC.

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        • Uh…. is the easily-identifiable group “Under-achieving losers who need to see a group conspiracy behind everything, in order to explain their own glaring inadequacies and resentments”?

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      • Great concise response to that absurd self promoting racist DiAngelo and her racist hatred of White people, for profit!

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    • Asians typically score higher on IQ tests that any other demographic group, so As an Asian-American should I be in charge of everything? Maybe white people aren’t smart enough to be leaders, just us…. see how stupid you sound?

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      • Does that PROVE that White -created IQ tests are RACIST!!!? When many different such tests were created by White people, yet Asians predictably have higher scores than White people? Where Jews have higher scores than Asians?

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    • I had no idea that half of all American black people had taken an IQ test! I’m a 57 yr old white male and I’ve never taken one nor have been offered one to take. Who knew!

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    • people dont seem to understand each other. there is truth from each corner.A lotnneeds to be discussed with each other

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    • This is so distasteful I hardly know where to begin. I’m from a mixed race Jamaican family, and I can assure you that we are all educated and do not suffer from any lack of i.q. My son-in-law is black and is a highly successful accountant. My husband works with many black physicians at a major medical center. I have know black people my whole life whose i.q. is clearly well above average.

      The issue of intelligence, no matter what your race is, tends to boil down to whether or not you grow up as a young child in an enriched environment. Black children in the U.S. often live in poverty with mutiple family stressors contributing to a lack of enrichment in their lives. Poverty affects white children the same way — I grew up near Appalachia and observed the ravages of poverty on both white and blacks.

      It is thinking such as yours that propagates and sustains ideas about one race being better and more deserving than another. It is not accurate, and it is certainly not constructive at a time when we need to build bridges between each other rather than stoke the fires of division.

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  7. Excellent analysis. You echo a lot of my concerns about the book, namely the Kafka trap.

    There is another criticism to be made, and that’s one of emotional abuse and coercion. I see parallels between the concept of white fragility and the psychological dominance used in gaslighting or other methods of manipulation.

    In any other area of mental health, we are told to establish boundaries, to learn to say no, and to respect the emotions of others. I’ve seen many proponents of white fragility tell white people that their emotions are invalid, rooted in racism, and ought to be ignored. Any hesitance about speaking out or “antiracist” work is to be shamed.

    This would be toxic and abusive in another context. Ironically, many of the people I see using these methods are mental health advocates.

    This is a good read on the aspects of psychological dominance from a PhD and mental health counselor:
    https://thefederalist.com/2019/06/18/white-fragility-inherently-racist-idea-retired-immediately/

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    • I’ve never read a more elitist article in my life! You are in denial, and your thinking is fundamentally flawed. You need to go beat up on somebody, go to 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue! You are choosing to beat up on someone who for the first time in American History is actually doing constructive work on racism. You are in denial and most definitely need your own audit! Lol! Unreal!

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      • Sure you don’t mean 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

        And the idea that DiAngelo’s grift is constructive work on racism, let alone the first such work, is truly risible. It may be the first work you’ve ever read, but it’s not the first and it’s far from the best. It’s nothing but a book-length pamphlet for her HR consultancy racket.

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        • Great response to that pathetic, brainwashed, racist Orwellian PC NPC. I do hope she can be deprogrammed from the hateful, divisive White-hating Bolshevik brainwashing she has been subjected to her entire life.
          This is the PC type that actually believe that they went to Africa 250 or 300 years ago and personally captured and enslaved Blacks. If you asked her “Who (race and names) shut down the slave ships? Who created and led the Abolitionist Movement? Who freed the slaves in the Americas? Who ended slavery in Africa?” she wouldn’t have the slightest clue.

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      • This book is 15 years too late, and the only people of color who think its an important work in racial discourse are on msnc and cnn. This book fails to address any avenues for reform, grace, or how to use its own claims in a way that will address real world inequities.

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      • Hope,
        You do understand DiAngelo is trying to sell books. According to her dribble we are all irredeemably flawed. The entire premise of her self professed I know more than you is based on I am smarter than you and there for you shall not examine me or question me. Just another example of telling white people to be quite and sit in the corner, no better yet leave.

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      • Great concise response to that absurd self promoting racist DiAngelo and her racist hatred of White people, for profit!

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      • You did not argue with or refute a single point in the article. You simply called it elitist, flawed and in denial. In other words, Anyone who disagrees is wrong because… they‘re wrong. And racist.

        Beyond merely silly and irrational, your comments are the perfectl illustration of what so many are identifying as the book’s major flaw: it’s arrogant circular logic.

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    • That’s a very interesting point Devin. It’s really not a healthy climate or type of discourse when people are a afraid of being criticized no matter what they do.

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  8. Thank you for this review. I read the book and came to many of the same conclusions. I joined a book club to read it and find myself as the only one realizing these problems. It is nice to read your review. It reminds me that I’m not alone. It means a lot.

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    • Your not alone! I find this book a bit dangerous, I think it has more potential to harm then do good. Look at the Evergreen College saga…

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    • Thanks Dusty. There are a growing number of people speaking out about the book’s flaws. So no, we’re not alone in this!

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      • Great concise response to that absurd self promoting racist DiAngelo and her racist hatred of White people, for profit!

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  9. You definitely can’t take the book as gospel, but you also can’t throw away many valid points! Does systemic racism exist in America? Do white people disproportionally benefit from a system predominantly run by white people? We should be looking for ways to bridge that gap dependent on our position in life. If we recognize this fact, we can begin to fight the things oppressing the black race. Systemic racism continues to push against a segment of our society in an unequal disproportionate way. What are we going to do with our position to end this terrible practice?

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    • ” Systemic racism continues to push against a segment of our society in an unequal disproportionate way. ” Really. WOW! Fighting something that does not exist.

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    • There are better books about systemic racism and the ways in which white people benefit from it; that isn’t even the focus of DiAngelo’s book, which is mostly about a theory she constructed around anecdotes. You can’t do sociology without quantitative analysis, and there is practically none in White Fragility.

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    • Of all the topics to address right now, and of all the people who are attackable, I simply can’t believe that David would pick on Robin DiAngelo, who is actually trying to do constructive work disassembling systemic racism. This is an uphill battle of mammoth proportion and the article represents horrific insensitivity to those of us in rural America who work on this on a daily basis. Accepting who you are, how you’ve been programmed, as well as what you have done is a sign of mental health and this article absolutely smacks of ego related systemic racism. Unprogramming isn’t dissimilar from trying to drop any terrible habit like drinking too much alcohol or eating too much sugar. I think David may need a lot more help with his own ingrained bias.

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      • Hope,
        Again, you do understand DiAngelo is trying to sell books. According to her dribble we are all irredeemably flawed. The entire premise of her self professed I know more than you is based on I am smarter than you and there for you shall not examine me or question me. Just another example of telling white people to be quite and sit in the corner, no better yet leave.

        This is not a start to fix anything it is an attempt by a self described Communist to assign blame and make a lot of money doing so.

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      • You don’t unprogram people against their will, unless you are an official in a totalitarian society. The issue here is that this de-programming is being forced on people. I don’t think the author disagrees w/ DiAngelo about the ends, but rather he disagrees with her about the means. No end is so important that it should justify any means, no matter how nefarious.

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    • I do not understand what systematic racism is. I do know that the vast majority of federal and state level jobs are filled by black Americans. Jacob you seem to be bending over backwards to justify your position.

      Are there problems in our country? Yes, but I do believe all the bored High School and College kids have blown this completely out of proportion and they are now the problem.

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    • Accept life as unfair. Accept the undeniable, common sense fact that there are different races, and they are all different, some VERY different.
      Notice your mindset pretends that Native Americans, Hispanics and underclass White people do not exist. That’s called “a severe racist mentality”. Your stereotypical racist PC cult religion mindset is that White society is supposed to revolve around, and serve Blacks and turn them into upper middle class White people. That’s utter racist African worshipping nonsense.
      “Do White people disproportionately benefit from a system predominantly run by White people?” DUHhhhh! FYI the system is not run by White (Christian) people, although it was created by White Christian people. The system is run by Jewish people. Jewish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, East Indian, Filipino people ALL benefit disproportionally MORE than White (Christian descended) people benefit from the system their ancestors created! So why not vilify and castigate all of them as “racists with too much undeserved White privilege ” ???
      Do Chinese people disproportionally benefit from a system run by Chinese people? Or the same question about Japan, Indonesia, Korea, or Haiti?

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    • You magnanimously admitted the book cannot be taken as gospel—and then you merely repeated a few of its ridiculous, unprovable points, arrogantly telling us all ‘we’ should be doing something about ‘these terrible practices’.

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  10. I read “White Fragility” and was disappointed for many of the same reasons you cite. (She’s also a terrible writer, using far to much pseudo-intellectual jargon.)

    Rather than pile on, I’d like to point to a book I respectfully submit would help every American better understand race in America – David Blight’s biography, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.” Douglass has so much to tell us about our own country and our complex, violent history, and Blight is a brilliant writer.

    A 19th-century history may not answer every question about race relations in modern America, but if we all appreciated Douglass’s story, we would have more common ground from which to work.

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    • Frederick Douglass was a flaming unapologetic Black racist. Once he got up on stage, he had numerous affairs with sex crazed White groupies, even though he was married to a Black woman with 2 children. Douglass even moved a German groupie INTO HIS HOUSE and RUBBED his beautiful, White blonde haired blue eyed White ‘ho into his Black wife’s face! Talk about flagrant, unapologetic racism, sexism and misogyny. He was still able to keep up his professional anti-slavery scam. Frederick Douglass, like Martin Luther King was a Black man first and foremost, and quite willing to put everything at risk for their most important objective in life: to screw White women. Don’t like un-PC truth and undeniable facts? Tough luck! The world is full of them

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  11. David Edward Burke,

    After reading through this forum and seeing your responses to everyone’s views opposing or in agreement, I am flabbergasted by your admirable qualities of practicing critical discernment!

    So often people resort to passive aggressive or condescending tactics in their arguments. You offered insight and remained open to insightful discussion and reasoning! What a refreshing and delightful thread. It gives me hope to know that there are people out there engaging in thoughtful and engaging discourse on this topic.

    We need more like it, I think.

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    • Thanks Asha. Although there have been disagreements in the comments, I think it’s been more civil that your typical comments thread and like you, wish this were more the rule than the exception.

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      • I’m so happy to see respectful discourse… like Christmas morning when I was 6 happy … which is pretty durn happy 😊

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      • Thank you Mr. Burke for providing an intelligent response to a hysterical book that mental health trauma clinics have adopted to easily.

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        • Thanks for your kind words and engagement Jayne. Yes, it’s scary how widely the book has been adopted by schools and the like. Hope they wise up sooner or later.

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    • Did you even read her book? “ If a similar book were written about any other racial group-Asian Insecurity, Black Hostility, Latinx Insensitivity, etc., not only would the book never become a bestseller, it would never be published.”
      DiAangelo would AGREE with you. These hypotheticals would be racist texts.

      You didn’t read her book, and you don’t understand what racism is. You don’t see how power structures combined with inferiority myths are what has led us to the mess we are in…not just in the US but all over the world.

      Please do your reading, keep your mint shut and stop doing harm. If you really want to dismantle white supremacy, STFU.

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      • “You don’t see how power structures combined with inferiority myths are what has led us to the mess we are in…not just in the US but all over the world.”

        Other ethnic and racial groups have been subjected to these forces and have not only achieved parity with whites, they have exceeded them in many areas. Probably the starkest example of this are black immigrants from the West Indies, who outperform African Americans and many whites in SES. Asians were subject to inferiority myths and structural racism, and now so many of them are successful in elite education that quotas are being instituted against them!

        You should read and listen to folks like John McWhorter and Glenn Loury, who are liberal/centrist, highly educated black professors, who have absolutely panned this book . McWhorter (a linguist by the way), not only disagrees with its arguments, but calls it one of the worst books he’s ever read. You could do a lot better than this dreck.

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      • You think you have the answers. You don’t. Do you have a black child or suffered poverty or hunger. I am old and have been through many trials and tribulations that you would not know about. How does it feel to have someone assume they know what you are about. Soo lets see you dismantle! Because you read that book does not make you an expert on the subject. It only means you read her book . Did you know others debate it. Buy another book.

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        • Calm down, he’s doing Exactly what you said. If you read the book I think the criticism you have of this review is really more applicable to DiAngelo, who really fails to incorporate voices and opinions of non-white people into her work. Its a shame White Fragility is seen as insightful when A Fire Next Time and the opinions of Osei-Frampong are ignored.

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  12. The last few months have proved my worst fears about people, they’re incredibly gullible and will believe anything they see from the media. How many people talk about systemic or hidden racism and have no evidence except the news or that 1 racist guy they know or assumed was racist because they had a negative interaction.

    I can count the amount of times that negative actions or words were said against non-whites in my life on one hand, and it generally came from people that no one actually payed attention to or liked anyways. It does however take many hands to count the amount of times I’ve been insulted for being white. How many times it’s been assumed that I had an easy life, that I’m racist, that I’m rich, that I’m a Trump supporter, that I’m called ‘white trash’, or that I think I’m better than everyone because I’m white. The hypocracy of this new racism against whites has really blown my mind to just how no one seems to think for themselves. They’ve even convinced the masses that it’s not racism because whites are just that evil so any consequences they suffer is justified or better yet just deny it’s happening at all. Then when you call them out, they just deny that it’s happening and we only care because of some hidden racism against non-whites. The delusion is strong.

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  13. David Burke, I am not a scholar of any such sorts, however, it’s appears to me your vsceral response validates white fragility to the tee.
    Being black in America and dare to challenge whiteness can and do lead to harm or death of a black person. Now that a white woman dare acknowledge white American reality she is to be disregard as an Intellectual fraud, snake oil salesmen. Truth hurts, huh. Ok , now solutions to white fragility. Own it. It is intellectually dishonest to do anything else. Do you address racist and racism aggressively publicly or privately to correct and educate? Or is white fragility your default? Just asking to find out your logical conclusion.

    Reply
    • You’ve missed the point, and proved it. The point is… no matter what my response is to be accused of being a racist, it proves I’m a racist. So, why even have the conversation about addressing racism. According to the book, we’re all racists… if we’re all racists, why did hundreds of thousands white men die fighting in this country’s civil war to end slavery, why did a white man emancipate (who was assassinated), why are white people protesting… apparently, based on this book, it’s because they’re racist. White fragility as defined by this book is 100% bullshit.

      Reply
    • You lead a very sheltered life if you really believe all white people are the same. Next time you meet a woman who is battered and bruised from spousal abuse, or a toothless white kid in a shelter for abused children, be sure and lecture them about their ‘white’ fragility. Except, you’d probably just laugh, because the group that nobody EVER goes to bat for, and people still think it’s ok to laugh at, are millions upon millions of poor white trash. And the ills that plague that wider society of poor whites are not any less systemic. They are two sides of the same coin. For more on this, you can read “white trash” and “the boundaries of whiteness”. Both are books written by scholars, and both are far deeper and infinitely better researched than “white fragility”.

      Reply
    • Hmm, this response points to a huge flaw in this book and it’s proponents: the assumption that racism is only and always exhibited by white people. Which is in itself a racist way of thinking.

      Reply
    • What set of conceivable observations would invalidate the thesis of White Fragility? If you say “none”, then congrats, you have a pseudoscientific idea on your hands.

      The minimum of amount of rigor needed for a good hypothesis is that it is falsifiable. The defenders of White Fragility should be able to rattle off any number of observations that, if shown to be true, would weaken or invalidate the hypothesis.

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  14. David: You didn’t refute Dr. DiAngelo’s arguments, you just refused to accept her premises. You say racism is toxic. “White people publicly accused of racism risk social ostracization and professional ruin.” Her premise is that racism is not an individual evil, but a cultural framework that pervades American society.

    You are correct when you calls her book “Religion masquerading as knowledge” in that it requires a leap of faith to consider oneself enmeshed in a system so pervasive that it is invisible to its beneficiaries.

    The invitation she offers is: if you want to look at your complicity, you might find ways that racism has benefited you, and ways you can fight it.

    One of the big moments of awakening for me was when my mother told me that the house my parents bought in 1962 in Oakland CA, was under a restrictive covenant. That covenant was unenforceable, because of laws passed 1960. If a Black family came an hour before my parents looked at the house, they would have been told the house was not on the market. The East Bay (Oakland and Berkeley) were highly segregated at the time. SO does the fact that I grew up in a home that was off limits to Black people make me guilty? No. Does it mean that I have benefited from racism? Yes. Do I have opportunities to move society toward equality? Probably — I am trying to figure it out. But I would never has myself that last question if I hadn’t first confronted the other two.

    I would guess that you could find similar ways you have benefited from racism, if you look. What will the Logical Liberal do with that discovery? We will never know unless you consider the possibility that you have had some unearned advantages in your life.

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    • I’m well aware that I have some unearned advantages in life. That has nothing to do with the validity of an unprovable and unfalsifiable theory that all white people are fragile racists.

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      • People have unearned advantages for being tall, good looking, born wealthy etc. Its quite a stretch to say because one person has it better and happens to be white that its because of racism. Fairness is equal treatment not equal results.

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      • The relevant term is implicit bias, and yes it is inherent in white culture and white individuals. Your refusal to understand the concept of “White Fragility” or implicit bais or to even contemplate it’s existence in yourself is evident from the tone of your article and that you resorted to name calling and insulting the author and her work at the earliest opportunity, Not a mature reaction by any measure.

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    • Hmm, I was born in Oakland in 1962 and lived in a house with my (white) mother, but next door was a black family… in fact they were my cousins because my aunt married a black man. So at least in East Oakland in the mid 60’s, there wasn’t strict segregation in my neighborhood…

      Reply
    • I’m tall Black and handsome, I’m sure there are some unearned advantages in my life. Unearned advantages happens to all sorts of people.
      The fact that she can indict a whole race without any empirical evidence is just absurd. This isn’t scholarship, this is white guilt on the part of DiAngelo, disguised as psuedo scholarship. It’s a hustle that pays very well.
      It’s funny how I only see this kind of nonsense from white liberals. They’re the most despicable kind of people in my opinion. The outright pandering that they do to Black people, thinking it really alieves them off something.

      Stop it, because it’s so insulting at best.

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      • Hear, hear!

        I’m average height with red hair and freckles. Physical appearance has done nothing for my self-esteem or career :).

        I don’t like to smear good-hearted “Liberals” by grouping white people like Ms. DiAngelo with them. Black people don’t need her type of help or ally-ship, as it marginalizes the meritorious accomplishments of successful Black people. People like Ms. DiAngelo harbor tremendous guilt because of their “racism of low expectations.”

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      • Yes! I encourage those who have been forced to read White Fragility at work or, if they’re in book clubs to read Franz Fanon “The Wretched of the Earth” instead.

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      • If I could pick a body to go through life in, it would be a physically impressive, intelligent black male in the current time. Yes, I would have to deal with some racist headwinds, but if I play my cards right and take advantage of the opportunities (including affirmative action) available, the sky is the limit. And I’d have the moral high ground and the ability to guilt trip any liberal white person at will…

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        • You would also be able to screw all the beautiful White women that you wanted, which is every Black man’s deepest, most basic wish. 99% of Black men reject Black women for being Black, prefer any other race of woman, lusting intensely after White women. That is called flaming, genetically programmed RACISM of the absolute WORST ORDER! No other race of men expresses such extreeemee racism; this is unique to the Black race. Most White women are in COMPLETE denial of this. If you don’t believe this, just ask a Black woman.

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          • Show me the evidence, please. I’m not in denial, just disgust. Unless you are a black man with a lust only for women who are white, I cannot even fathom how you could make such a ridiculous generalization; and even if you are black, I don’t believe this for a moment. Genetically programmed racism? What on earth are you talking about? That’s not even a thing. At least not in science. I already Googled so don’t bother. Results show the opposite of your incredible statement.

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    • DiAngelo is a white woman, cocooned in white academia living in a ivory tower.
      Never experiencing real life, or real work insulated and observing from the side lines in university surrounded by people of like mind.

      Reply
      • said a person who never wrote or published a book or worked in higher education??

        Well, that is a really pat, smug answer that doesn’t reflect anything about the book’s author, except that she is white. She is not, actually, surrounded by people of like mind. She does, actually, live in the same real world you do. Unless you are a recluse, no one actually “observes from the sidelines” of life. We’re all busy living in it. Not liking what she has to say in no way equates to her not living a normal, day-to-day life like the rest of us, nor does it mean she doesn’t have valid points to understand–even if you don’t agree with them. That’s just a dismissive, lackluster argument that holds no weight for people who actually want to learn something vs hear regurgitated grudges. I’m guessing your best response would be “Get a life.” Why bother to post if you can’t make a rational argument for your own point?

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    • I think DiAngelo’s book would be far more effective if she focused on illuminating things like you just pointed out. There are many fact based and measurable ways to see how white People often unknowingly benefit from racist systems. If the book really went into detail-as you just did-that would be a practical step forward. Because we don’t know what we don’t know. And if someone tells someone something they don’t know with compassion-the chances of eyes being opened to these realities is much higher and then we can actually do something about it. But that’s not what this book does. This book prays on tapping into the “you don’t know what you don’t know” and infuses it with guilt and shame and creates so many loops of thinking that traps it’s believers into a guilt spiral of non action. Is disempowers people-especially sensitive people that really genuinely care about being better allies and wanting to contribute to a more equitable world. Simply feeling guilty for the color of your skin does not create empowered people to take action. Understanding the specifics of what we may not know to broaden our world view and become more informed fighters for justice is a more workable way forward. Your comment alone was more illuminating than the book. My reaction was-oh great point-and immediately stared thinking about what could be similarly true in my life. My reaction to Diangelo’s book was “wow she just puked her own white guilt and fragility all over these pages and found a way to get rich from it. That’s the difference. It’s not that white fragility isn’t a real phenomena. It’s not the white don’t benefit from these systems and often don’t realize it. It’s not that there aren’t many white people who ate uncomfortable talking about race. It’s that this book is not effective if we want to actually address these concepts.

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    • A person can believe that systematic racism exists, and understand that as a white person they have benefited from it, and still think this book is a piece of hot garbage.

      Seems to me there are a heck of a lot of guilty white folks who are thirsty for punishment.

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  15. Sad, but in terms of what is defined as liberal, this is to be expected. I am pretty sure you already had your mind made up before you read her book. We have far to go as a nation!!

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  16. The only thing truly fragile about white people is swallowing everything. If it’s cool this week I’ll wear my pants around my knees so a 4 year old girl in the store can see my business. None of you fathers will say a word. It would be uncool to say anything. Fragility is this soft sad self loathing. Most of us haven’t done anything to anyone. Not our business to feel guilty this week to just to be in.

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  17. I will be really interested on your take on the book “why I no longer talk to white people about race” by Reni Eddo Lodge, written by a black woman.

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  18. I havent read the book but have listened to the author on NPR and I was quite turned off by her for all the reasons stated. As a white person I am much more ready to listen to people of color about racism than I am to a white person. Why? Well often, but not always, that person is talking from theory and doesn’t have extensive experience with many diverse people. So, I wondered if they are projecting their own biases.

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  19. I appreciate your synopsis on this book. I am reading this right now with a group of family members as we are trying to be more informed as a family and begin having these hard discussions. I totally agree with you and I am glad that previous to reading this book I read authors such as Thomas Sowell, Walter E. Williams and Shelby Steele. There are most definitely issues today and there are ways to improve life for everyone but one thing that Sowell says often in many of his books is that intention never produces the intended results. Thank you for your opinion and for having the courage to share it.

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    • Thank you. I think it’s good to read different perspectives on race issues. You’ve got people like DiAngelo, Ibram X. Kendi, and Nikole Hannah-Jones on one side and people like Sowell, Steele, John Mcwhorter, Glenn Loury, and Coleman Hughes on the other. I applaud you for keeping an open mind. But we can’t turn off our critical thinking in the process!

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      • Damaged Heritage by J Chester Johnson gives a better insight on why some Whites have a problem, talking about racial reconciliation. I wrote the forward. It is a true story! See the Elaine Arkansas Race Massacre, 1919.

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        • Thank you, Sheila, for sharing this resource. I’m listening to a video conference with Johnson, where he mentions you.

          Deep respect…

          Andre

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          • And I’m deeply sorry for the sufferings your family, friends and people endured over too long…

            Hope you are safe and well today,

            Andre

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    • J1091, Could you please post the title of a book you found most useful and educational on this topic? I am looking for a good resource. I made it through the introduction and chapter 1 of DiAngelo’s book and find her approach so offensive I’m not sure I can motivate myself to keep reading. I want to learn how I can make a difference. I just don’t think I want to learn it from her.

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      • Most of Thomas Sowell, Walter E Williams, And Shelby Steele, operate from a different side of the debate. Their primary goal is to point out that the results of progress do not lie in the idea of equality of outcome, they rely on the the concept of equality of opportunity. Their general premise is that science shows that equality of opportunity does not in any way translate to equality of outcome. That race is not a variable but culture is. There are a few books to start of with. Thomas Sowell’s Discrimination and Disparities is a good read, because Sowell eases you using non-contentious statistics to reintroduce you to the world you live in. A world that is rife with inequities and disparity at the fault of no one at all. I am personally reading “White Fragility” specifically, to offer a view from the other side. I was disappointed by the lack of intellectual lead up the idea that she is attempting express. She goes into the her theory with the belief and understanding that everybody read agrees with what she believes and takes it as proven immutable fact. Coming from reading the likes of Sowell, Williams, and Steele these ideas are far from that in my mind. I greatly encourage the reading of opposing views as it gives you a broader view of truth.

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        • Well said! Only by listening to different perspectives–often among those who vehemenly disagree–can we hope to reach the truth.

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          • Hi David,

            Loved the article. But I think that’s not the best thanks I can give you. I appreciate your discernment of truth and your willingness to be courageous in stating unpopular truths. Perhaps the biggest problem I have with the Republican party is the base voters of Evangelical Christians, who refuse to acknowledge the truth of Evolution, and the benefits of scientific discovery and implementation from which they all benefit more than can even be measured. I think the biggest problem we have right now is an inability, or more accurately, an unwillingness to talk and listen. And then name calling ensues, with dismissing, and accusing right behind. Thanks for being a voice of reason. It’s a tough slog, but we’re going to correct this madness. Thanks for your dedication to truth and reality.

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            • Thanks Mick! It seems like more people are speaking up for the virtues you mentioned, which I’m encouraged by. Hopefully we’ll see our way out of this era of irrationality and animosity soon. Thank you for doing your part as well!

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  20. Honestly, is anyone sick of white folks? I am. As poc, as we die disproportionately of Covid-19 doing essential work or more mundane stuff, like your Insta-cart shopping & as Black people are continuously being killed by the police, must you navel gaze & whine at this level? She’s just trying to tell you to stop hyperventilating when someone says you’re white & benefit from it.

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    • The problem is the over association of negative results for black people as automatically being because of racism. Most people aren’t saying racism isn’t a problem. Statistics support that blacks are worse off economically etc but just because a white cop kills a non white, that doesn’t automatically mean its because of racism, it could just mean that cop is a p.o.s. You are focusing on color far more than most whites are and it dilutes the real issues because most people aren’t going to listen to you when they’re immediately painted as the villain for their skin color.

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      • America operates on White Supremacy. Skin color matters in America! Blacks and People of Color are impacted by the color of their skin in all facets of life.
        Economically, Health Care, Housing, Mass incarceration, etc. Can you say this is how the majority Whites lives are impacted by their skin color?

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        • You know those stats only work when you look at things as a percent of a rudimentarily defined population. If someone asked you what race is more likely to be next shot by police, what would you say? How about picking a random inmate, which race would you most likely pick? Or randomly picking a person in poverty, what race is most likely? In all those cases it’s white, but that’s all trivialized because we play with numbers to skew perceptions. Since we are in actuality all individuals, it’s hard to tell those huge populations that are affected by these issues but aren’t black that they are actually privileged and even fragile. But yes, when you only look at race and sex there are disparities, agreed. That in no way should discount the actual individuals affected. And you tell me, what’s the right ethical way to approach a much larger number affected by a problem (police shootings) but are a smaller percent of a chosen attribute, versus a smaller number that is a larger percent of a chosen attribute? It’s not actually as ethically or morally clear as many people seem to claim. The right answer seems to be let’s reduce the overall problem.

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          • Good point. I agree that when a problem affects people of every race, age, or gender, our goal should be to solve the problem for everyone.

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    • Yes, Donna…I’m sick of white people. I totally agree with you. Yes, you’re right. People of color die of this horrible virus far more than comfortable white people. That is true! I agree with you! People of color are doing the heavy lifting and hard, risky work. And yes, it’s horrible, horrible to hear of more and more Black people being murdered by cops! The racism in this country is hideous, and it goes on and on and on, and has been going on and on for hundreds of years.

      Yeah, it’s that bad!

      I did not hear whining and navel gazing in this essay, though. Nor do I see the book’s author as “just” telling white people to stop hyperventilating. Rather, I got the uncomfortable sensation that the book’s author is exploiting the suffering of black people. It sounds as if she’s making herself look good by beating up on white people, doing so by using and focusing on their oppression of people of color.

      I’ve seen this before. Kafkatraps. I saw it in the drug and alcohol recovery community. If you agree that you’re an alcoholic, you’re an alcoholic. If you deny you’re an alcoholic, you’re an alcoholic because you’re in denial. You can’t win, and your accuser wins and looks good by exploiting a no-win situation.

      I don’t know if this book will actually help to solve any of our truly horrible problems.

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      • You’re right Laurance. At the end of the day, it’s about what concrete action and policy solutions will actually help counteract past and present day racism. And I don’t think Kafkatraps and bashing white people are likely to do it.

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    • Yes. As a white person I am both frustrated and laughing at those who continue to prove the author’s point. Everything is broken down so clearly in the book, and yet white people (and white passing who benefit too) still find a way to be fragile instead of acknowledging our racist system and seeing where they can take accountability or when to step in to disrupt it. I don’t understand what’s so difficult about accepting that racism exists because of white people and that we can look at how it’s oppressing others and want to change that. It shouldn’t be hard to accept this book’s insight, yet here we have an entire article trying to argue it. If you read the book and it made you defensive, you’re apart of the problem.

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    • She’s not “just” doing anything, but magnifying and perpetuating the frustrations you just described. “Just” because that book made you feel validated, doesn’t mean it’s helpful… perhaps, quite the opposite. Do you really think that guilt-for-profit will improve humanity’s condition?

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    • Really poor science. There are distinct reasons why more black individuals die from CV-19.

      There also exists detailed scientific studies on the black family unit pre 1960s as compared to today, educational outcomes, etc.

      There is no denying the injustice of slavery, and the continued incidents of racism today. Please explain if Black Lives Matter, why 75% of black households have 1 parent?

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  21. The racism against whites has gotten out of control. I’m not trying to minimize the racism against other races, but they are both doing damage far more than working towards equality. The mentality of these so called antiracists isn’t really antiracism, but more of a whites cause all the problems of society mentality. I’m not pro Trump but im really getting sick of any minor disagreement about race is automatically implied youre
    a white supremacist trump supporter and you’re racist even though you’ve never discriminated against anyone. I’m someone that grew up accepting all races and actually preferred diversity and it sours me toward the world to suddenly see the growing hatred towards white that I had zero to do with.

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  22. I read the book last fall. I found the experience similar to listening to a Trump speech, nearly every paragraph containing something fallacious, tendentious, or simply made up. Exhausting. Good for you for being able to distill and explain some of the general patterns/strategies that make the book so pernicious. Thanks.

    I read your critique on New Discourses. I’m glad to see a community of liberal-progressive intellectuals forming that’s willing to publicly take on the more dubious aspects of social justice theory and practice. Overdue.

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    • I hear you. The book was recommended to me by some thoughtful progressive people, but when I read it I was dumbfounded at how weak the evidence was and how flawed the arguments were. Thank you. It’s intimidating to speak up against a dominant narrative. I, of course, support many underlying goals of “social justice” but we’re not actually going to help anyone if we misdiagnose problems and if the left engages in some of the Trumpesque tactics you mentioned.

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    • Thank you. I sincerely grapple with speaking up about things like this. I know some people will hate me for it and get the wrong idea. But I really am just trying to help. I wrote this for the same reason I’d speak up if I saw someone becoming ensnared in a pyramid scheme.

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  23. Extremely enlightening! I agree that “Using facts, logic, and critical thinking is the only way we’ve ever solved our problems, and it’s the only way we ever will.” Are you on Twitter or you tube?

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      • I read about this book today and decided to download the Kindle sample before I bought it. Just reading the sample, I started questioning and second-guessing my own thoughts about being a Southern white woman (68 years old and raised in Alabama). I almost bought it but decided to read online reviews and found yours just today. I’m not a social scientist but I am a degreed RN who attended a historically black college in Texas. Thank you for your insights about the white fragility theory. I may still read the book, but I have a better understanding after reading your review.

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        • Thank you Aynne. If you read it there may be portions you find very helpful. We all have our own reactions. The main thing is engaging with the ideas critically rather than accepting them without question. To me, that’s what gets us into trouble.

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          • For me, David, your response to Aynne is the most thoughtful and meaningful perspective you have shared in this discussion. And, it applies to those of us who have read Robin DiAngelo’s book, as well as to those of us reading your reaction to her views. I also agree with your comment that is important to read a variety of perspectives with an open-minded, yet critical perspective. And yet, you seem to have fallen into the same trap of trying to persuade readers to reject her thesis as biased, fraudulent opinion, but to accept your thesis on her thesis as unbiased, non-fraudulent critique. I prefer to engage with both her ideas and your ideas critically rather than accepting them without question. Of course, that is easier said than done because we all have our biases and blind spots and tend to resist when someone tries to point them out! I found DiAngelo’s style of writing and the development of her argument very helpful because it kept pushing my boundaries, awakening my blind spots, and challenging me to think critically not just about her views but about my personal reactions and views, thus opening me to some of my blind spots and to question some of my beliefs including those I had be unaware of. Yes, it was seductive, but not for negative reasons, rather because it got me thinking outside of my comfort zone. For me, that was the intent of her book – not that I buy her argument and views “hook, line, and sinker.” In your words, she challenged me to engage some of my truths and views critically rather than accepting them with question. Your response is also helpful in reminding me not to blindly fall into the human trap of accepting DiAngelo’s views or your views, for that matter, as truth. I would like to suggest that the problem lies not in what DiAngelo writes any more than it lies in what you write. Rather, the problem (or at least some of the problem) lies with the human tendency to accept or reject any one perspective as right/wrong, truth/lie, yes/no – to either swallow the message whole or reject it as intellectual fraud based on what we think and believe. Do we need a “correct” answer or an open-minded, multi-perspective awakening to think “out of the box” on this very challenging problem and find new ways to address the racism that does exist in our country.

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            • While I agree with you that it is important to think critically about different perspectives–including mine–I disagree with equating DiAngelo’s book with my criticism of it. I don’t think they are merely different perspectives that are equally valid. Some questions do have correct and incorrect answers, and I stand by the assertion that DiAngelo’s core theory of white fragility is unprovable and unfalsifiable, and that therefore, it should not be accepted. I think we need to pursue evidence-based, logical solutions to problems–including racism–and that half-baked theories like DiAngelo’s ultimately do more harm than good, because they push the discourse away from that direction. I think your overall approach is the right one because it’s important to keep an open mind, but at some point, we have to separate the bad ideas from the good, which is why I spoke up.

              Reply
            • “Rather, the problem (or at least some of the problem) lies with the human tendency to accept or reject any one perspective as right/wrong, truth/lie, yes/no”

              What are you suggesting? That everyone should believe that Donald Trump is both a narcissistic disaster AND a great President at the same time? It doesn’t work for philosophy and it sure doesn’t work in real life.

              Making choices about whether ideas are right or wrong has been the foundation of thought since Aristotle and Plato. But if you have a better plan, we’d sure like to hear about it.

              Reply
              • Donald Trump is not an idea. He is a person, and all people are complicated and sometimes contradictory. If you have a disagreement with something a person says or does, you need to logically discuss the disagreement rather than discussing the person, and it is especially unhelpful to resort to name calling (such as narcissist).

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        • I have been debating this topic with two of my friends. They are progressive, medical doctors and White. I was sent Di Angelo’s YouTube on white fragility. They fell for it and I just couldn’t stomach it. I was then smashed for not admitting that systemic racism was the problem. Linking them to you, McWhorter, Hughes, Loury,etc just brought further condemnation. I feel beaten.
          What hope is there if we can’t even correctly identify the problems.
          Please keep going.

          Reply
          • I can relate Jeff. Changing someone’s mind is really difficult, especially when they believe something so deeply that it becomes a part of their identity. I wish I knew how to get people to seriously reconsider their beliefs, but I don’t. For everyone who has written/commented on an article telling me I changed their mind, there are probably 20 people who just dug into their position more deeply. And it’s especially difficult in a time like this, when passions are running high.

            But nonetheless, I appreciate your support and encouragement because I do think there is value in speaking up in the face of bad arguments. I’m still optimistic, that gradually, over time, some people will begin to move in a more rational direction. And hey, even if they don’t, at least we tried! Try not to get too discouraged. There are more people out there who feel the way you do than you know.

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    • Please tell us all about how people in America who are Chinese, Japanese, Korean, SE Asian, east Indian and Jews( who, btw, believe that are brown Semite poc) are all so badly impacted by White racism when it comes to economics, housing, incarceration . We await your answer

      Reply

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