Discussion of “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo

Anti-Racism Discussion

Following the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s, the concepts of “only bad people are racist” and “racism was reduced to simple extreme acts of racial prejudice,” like those seen in the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia’s ‘Unite the Right’ rally.  Therefore to suggest that a white person is a racist or is complicit with racism is to attack their character, thus one is likely to get a defensive reaction that DiAngelo refers to as “white fragility”, as the white person demands or manuvers to be validated as a ‘good person’.  Robin DiAngelo states that racism is a structure not an event.  White supremacy is an overarching political, economic and social system of domination based on racial categories that benefits those defined those defined and perceived as white. (p. 31)  Racism is a deeply embedded ideology of our culture.  Everything about it from our education to our use of money and where we live is has been dictated by this structure. Even if we wanted to we cannot escape its impact on us.  We must educate ourselves about and find ways to counter the culture within which we have gathered our experiences.  This is a lifelong experience of learning the truth and unlearning the lies.