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First published June 26, 2018
[White fragility] is an idea that registers the hurt feelings, shattered egos, fraught spirits, vexed bodies, and taxed emotions of white folk. In truth, their suffering comes from recognizing that they are white—that their whiteness has given them a big leg up in life while crushing others’ dreams, that their whiteness is the clearest example of the identity politics they claim is harmful to the nation, and that their whiteness has shielded them from growing up as quickly as they might have done had they not so heavily leaned on it to make it through life.
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. We consider a challenge to our racial worldviews as a challenge to our very identities as good, moral people.
the United States is a global power, and through movies and mass media, corporate culture, advertising, US-owned manufacturing, military presence, historical colonial relations, missionary work, and other means, white supremacy is circulated globally. This powerful ideology promotes the idea of whiteness as the ideal for humanity well beyond the West.Yep…
White supremacy describes the culture we live in, a culture that positions white people and all that is associated with them (whiteness) as ideal. White supremacy is more than the idea that whites are superior to people of color; it is the deeper premise that supports this idea—the definition of whites as the norm or standard for human, and people of color as a deviation from that norm.
Whites also produce and reinforce the dominant narratives of society—such as individualism and meritocracy—and use these narratives to explain the positions of other racial groups. These narratives allow us to congratulate ourselves on our success within the institutions of society and blame others for their lack of success.Like clockwork this graphic showed up in my feed from multiple sources. Here is the new itch as of late, the removal of confederate statues.
The failure to acknowledge white supremacy protects it from examination and holds it in place.I saw a great response to this which said (paraphrased) "Satan is a part of Christian history but if we saw multiple statues around in the churches, people would be confused about who they're worshiping."
To put it bluntly, I believe 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.
"The dominant paradigm of racism as discrete, individual, intentional, and malicious acts makes it unlikely that whites will acknowledge any of our actions as racism."But "racism is a structure, not an event." It's not just lynching and cross burning, but even she doesn't quite understand the reach and implications of racism. Needless to say, I sent her this book. She doesn't need to understand how people of color feel about the endless microaggressions, she needs to know how people in the majority view the world and how it differs from her. That's a point of view that cannot come from people of color. People will rationalize, warp, manipulate and twist reality to maintain their comfort and privilege. Fortunately knowing these things is helpful in dealing with entrenched ideologies in every race, creed, religion, gender and color etc. DiAngelo goes on to define the patterns of behavior associated with "white fragility" which to me were on target. I did not expect this book to resonate with me so much. Just read the book. In my view DiAngelo is walking/talking/thinking rosetta stone.
"The unspoken agreement among white to protect white advantage and not cause another white person to feel racial discomfort by confronting them when they say or do something racially problematic…Why speaking up about racism would ruin the ambiance [at the dinner table or in a social situation] or threaten our career advancement is something we might want to talk about."and
"meritocracy is a precious ideology in the United States, but neighborhoods and schools are demonstrably not equal; they are separate and unequal."and
"We are taught we lose nothing of value through racial segregation."Racism is systemic, institutional, omnipresent, and epistemologically embedded in our reality, according to filmmaker Omowale Akintunde. It is not like murder: we don't have to "commit it" for it to happen. It can be unconscious.