White Fragility, Part 2

๐Ÿž ๐Ÿž ๐Ÿž ๐Ÿž ๐Ÿž

WHITE FRAGILITY

Robin Diangelo

Beacon Press

June 26, 2018

154 Pages


This book has been absolutely eye-opening for me. I’ve taken so many notes, I can hardly fit all of my thoughts in one review. I’ll just share one last thing for now…

One of the things that has surprised me most while watching people react to George Floyd and the protests over the past couple weeks is how intense itโ€™s become between white peopleโ€”and often white people who are on the same side of the debate. Iโ€™ve seen friendships blown apart because two friends canโ€™t seem to come to a consensus on how to react to current events. How can it be that people who agree that black lives matter, that racism exists and is awful and needs to end, canโ€™t have a calm conversation about it?

It wasnโ€™t until I finished White Fragility that I started to get it. In the book, author Robin DiAngelo points out that most white people have been insulated from race-based stress their whole lives. Weโ€™re not used to talking about our race. We donโ€™t see ourselves as โ€œwhite people,โ€ we see ourselves as โ€œpeople.โ€ THEY are black, but we just are. THEY have to talk about THEIR race problems but if we donโ€™t acknowledge our race, well, then we donโ€™t have any problems. As a result, our denial keeps us from ever having to build the capacity to endure racial stress.

Conversations about race are uncomfortable for a lot of white people, and we have some (sadly) pretty predictable and often knee-jerk reactions when we canโ€™t avoid them. We get angry, defensive, ashamed, weepy, argumentative, silent, and sometimes we just completely withdraw. We often donโ€™t have the emotional capacity or even the basic words to have a calm and intelligent conversation about race, not with other white people and especially not with people of color. ๐Ÿคฏ

Iโ€™ll admit that, looking back, I can absolutely see that Iโ€™ve reacted this way in past conversations. But I want to do better. We were all born into a world of white supremacy. That may not be any one personโ€™s fault at this point, but we are each responsible for our roles in it.

Bottom line, instead of getting defensive or weepy when talking about race, I hope we can all take a deep breath, make room for the uncomfortable feelings knowing that weโ€™re strong enough to handle them, and simply listen.

Find this book on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

5 thoughts

  1. This is making me feel I’ve got it right planning to read Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, then this one, and only then Me and White Supremacy with its workbook questions to go through.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good line up! I really want to read Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race, too. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

      Like

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