White Fragility brown bag book study: The New Yorker wrote this to introduce Robin DiAngelo’s 2018 book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism:
In more than twenty years of running diversity-training and cultural-competency workshops for American companies, the academic and educator Robin DiAngelo has noticed that white people are sensationally bad at discussing racism. Like waves on sand, their reactions form predictable patterns: they will insist that they “were taught to treat everyone the same,” that they are “color-blind,” that they “don’t care if you are pink, purple, or polka-dotted.” They will point to friends and family members of color, a history of civil-rights activism, or a more “salient” issue, such as class or gender. They will shout and bluster. They will cry. In 2011, DiAngelo coined the term “white fragility” to describe the disbelieving defensiveness that white people exhibit when their ideas about race and racism are challenged — and particularly when they feel implicated in white supremacy.
Interested in joining this important conversation? We’ll meet Wednesdays at noon in the Café beginning January 30 and continuing through February. Bring your lunch if you’d like. Questions? Contact Mary Louise, firstname.lastname@example.org.