White Fragility

White Fragility

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

Book - 2018
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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.
Publisher: Boston :, Beacon Press,, [2018]
ISBN: 9780807047415
Branch Call Number: 305.8 DIA 2018
Characteristics: xvii, 169 pages ; 23 cm


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Jun 14, 2021

As a black woman I have to ask, why would a book from a self avowed racist have such a high rating?

That's like giving kudos to Mein Kampf.

Guess all the racists are giving this five stars.

Jun 12, 2021

read this as a mixed race woman, and all i can say is i don't want to survive , i want to thrive. the language in this book made me feel as if the basis of my survival is based on the notion that eventually white people will understand their fragility...i don't have time for that nonsense.

May 07, 2021

I would recommend to all who believe this book to be a landmark tome about racism and 'white privilege' to consider the views of the many black ppl who think it to be mostly drivel and in fact, a fundamentally racist outlook - both in it's 'soft bigotry of low expectations' and its Original Sin theory of all white ppl being essentially and irredeemably racist. The names include Coleman Hughes, John McWhorter, Glenn Loury, Wilfred Reilly, Chloe Valdary, Brittany King, Shelby Steele, Ian Rowe, Thomas Sowell, Michael Fortner, Thomas Chatterton Williams, Kmele Foster and MANY others. These folks are highly educated and most have studied the major issues of race at length. And many of them are NOT conservatives. Please do not surrender your critical faculties to white guilt and the poorly substantiated claims of the current type of anti racist ideology. Racism exists for sure but this book grossly exaggerates its current day effects and outlines a course of extreme fragility for black people and everlasting guilt for whites and thereby, it is insulting and infantilizing for both.

Apr 12, 2021

A good beginner's book but it felt repetitive at times. There were some topics I've already heard about but I learned some new things such as how to respond to something in the best way(s) possible if it was made known to me that I unknowingly said something insensitive or offensive. I plan to read some similar books written by BIPOC authors to learn more about how to be an ally and to have a better understanding of this subject. I wanted to do this before jumping in deeper from a BIPOC's perspective to prepare myself from hearing some difficult things.

P.S. I found it to be interesting to read some of the comments of upset or angry (white) readers. This is exactly what the author wrote about in her book for how we have a knee-jerk reaction whenever we talk about this subject. It's one thing to feel like this book wasn't great but it's an entirely different thing to be angry about it.

Apr 01, 2021

I absolutely recommend this to everyone but especially to my fellow white people. I think this is a great beginner novel into learning about systemic racism and how we all fit into that system and how white people benefit from it. A lot of the things mentioned this book were topics that I was already with familiar with but there were many topics that were delved into in a way that was brand new to me. There were so many things that I have thought about that I wasn't able to put into my own words when explaining it to others that this book really nailed down quite eloquently. 10/10 I think this is an important novel to read for a better understanding of our current social climate and on how to be a better ally.

Alternate title: "The Unbearable Whiteness of Being."
Let me explain to you what has happened, from a historical viewpoint. With the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, it was expected that Black people would elect their own representatives, the power of the courts would be used to enforce civil rights, and everyone would soon enter a state of equity. The elections and court orders have happened. We have busing, an end to discrimination in housing, and I don't know what all. But where is the equity? Everyone thinks that was promised to them, now where is it? Well, it hasn't happened. Clearly it stands to reason that someone has prevented it from happening, and a culprit must be found. That is the purpose of this book.

Jan 15, 2021

Great book. I think everyone should read it. All race, all ages, all genders, just everyone!

Jan 04, 2021

Thought-provoking. As a white woman, any comment I make is racist because, as a member of a privileged class, I cannot comment except from a racist perspective. - Later: The more time that passes, the more thinking about this book pisses me off. So from that perspective, I guess it accomplished its purpose.

Dec 16, 2020

For those who have given this read a negative review, you may have demonstrated the author’s points white fragility.
The book is academic, a bit dry and just the sociological facts but it’s amazingly informative. Yes, also read books from POC on US racism.

VaughanPLDavidB Dec 13, 2020

There are many ways that this book can be criticized (thus demonstrating the Kafkaesque trap of white fragility), but the chief one is that it reads more like a religious tract than a sociological text, with its constant preaching of the doctrine of the Original Sin of whiteness, for which there is no possibility of full redemption or absolution. The best white people can do is to strive to be "less white". The author seems to hate herself for her own whiteness and projects that self-loathing onto the white reader. If you're looking for solutions to the problem of racism, you won't find them in this book.

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Aug 19, 2020

This books explores how white fragility (defensive reactions whites display when their racial views- positions and advantages are questioned or challenged) develops,how it protects racial inequality and what can be done to change these biases. It also shows how society from the very beginning have help to develop these biases and how the hurt both individually and collectively.


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JCLChrisK Nov 06, 2019

This book is intended for us, for white progressives who so often—despite our conscious intentions—make life so difficult for people of color. 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, or in the “choir,” or already “gets it.” White progressives can be the most difficult for people of color because, to the degree that we think we have arrived, we will put our energy into making sure that others see us as having arrived. None of our energy will go into what we need to be doing for the rest of our lives: engaging in ongoing self-awareness, continuing education, relationship building, and actual antiracist practice. White progressives do indeed uphold and perpetrate racism, but our defensiveness and certitude make it virtually impossible to explain to us how we do so.

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