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White Fragility : Why It's So Hard for White…
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White Fragility : Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (2018. Auflage)

von Robin J. DiAngelo

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
1,975896,074 (3.98)50
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.… (mehr)
Mitglied:giovannaz63
Titel:White Fragility : Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Autoren:Robin J. DiAngelo
Info:Random House Digital Dist, 2018.
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:***
Tags:race

Werk-Details

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism von Robin DiAngelo

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My brother recommended this book to me. It was incredibly useful to me, and exposed to me to a lot of new ideas. But there is one part of it that I specifically want to call out. A few pages into the book, I thought it would be interesting, but came up with reasons for why I wasn't really the target audience. But then the author goes into all of the excuses she has heard over the years, and why none of the white people who gave them are excluded from the topics she covers. The more I read through the book, the more I came to agree with that point of view. ( )
  kapheine | Apr 6, 2021 |
I started this book prepared to argue with the author's premise. She dispensed with my arguments in the first 20 pages. It's a book that I will be thinking about for a long time, and will have me re-examining everything I thought I knew, about society and about myself. ( )
  evenlake | Mar 23, 2021 |
DiAngelo presents an accessible treatise on becoming a better ally for Black people and dealing with our un-helpful reactions to having racist words and actions pointed out to us. All of us have grown up in a society that reinforced white supremacy and discouraged those of us who benefit from that privilege from confronting it. It's up to us to do better, be better and act better. ( )
  EmScape | Mar 15, 2021 |
I’m so grateful this book exists because it discusses one of the largest barriers to an anti-racist society that is often so overlooked, (mainly by white people) and that is, white fragility. This way of being that is marked by guilt, defensiveness, anger and fear—including argumentative tendencies to restrict the definition of racism to poor intentioned people or bad people, that does nearly as much harm as violence or silence in the fight against racism. DiAngelo discusses how white fragility protects racial inequality and what we can do to engage more effectively.

Review from: The Write of Your Life. Books on race relations in America.
  stlukeschurch | Mar 8, 2021 |
It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work... when you go to church... when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

The Matrix?

No… it’s… RACISM!

White Fragility operates on the premise that an insidious, imperceptible racism permeates our society, indoctrinating us from childhood with subliminal beliefs and assumptions, lurking behind much of our speech and behavior, defending itself and gaining strength by denying its own existence. When this racism is called out into the open, those who occupy the positions of power in this racial structure — white people — display a number of typical responses, such as anger, denial, changing the subject, or general discomfort. This phenomenon she calls “white fragility.”

Although in the introduction she claims that the book will only explore white fragility as a phenomenon, but not actually defend the existence of systemic racism, a lot of the content ends up serving as just such a defense. And it's actually fairly successful. At first, it seemed like a conspiracy theory to me - like she was spinning some elaborate theory to explain events that needed no explanation, and that she was reading into things too much. But as the book went on, I became more convinced that she was on to something. Chapter 4, which is essentially a phenomenology of whiteness, was especially compelling. Her analysis of group dynamics preserving power imbalances sadly rings true with my own experience. The final chapters make important points about some common assumptions that white people often bring to the discussion - why they are incorrect, and by proxy, what better approaches are available. She provides numerous examples from her personal experience as a diversity trainer, and offers some relevant pop-culture examples/analysis as well. (Especially enlightening is her analysis of The Blindside.)

In the end, though, I can’t get on board 100% - while I appreciated all this book had to offer, I took issue with certain crucial parts of her argument. She repeatedly claims that human beings aren’t and can’t be “objective.” It’s her response to white people who disagree with her, saying she’s not being “objective” about the issue (and they are). It’s a fair point to say that we all bring our own perspectives, experiences, and frameworks into a given situation, and that those inform our perceptions. It’s even fair to say that human beings are, at bottom, subjective - that objectivity arises from subjectivity. But it’s a different thing to say, “you are not objective; therefore everything you thought you knew is wrong” - because DiAngelo, by her own admission, isn’t objective either. So, could the same be said of her and everything she says in this book? Or, what is it about her subjectivity that’s different from the other? The real question is how to reckon with mutual subjectivity at these junctures, and how it is that we arrive at truth (or construct it, or uncover it… choose your metaphor). I realize of course that this is a short book, and she doesn’t have time to recap Wittgenstein and Heidegger, but she did not articulate what subjectivity really means here, so it didn’t seem like she actually had a good rebuttal - coming off essentially as “I’m rubber and you’re glue.”

But ultimately she doesn’t need to have a solid rebuttal, because any objections — even saying “I disagree” (p. 119) or recommending a book to read (p. 135) — are all dismissible as evidence of white fragility. According to the theory, objections are merely defensive tactics meant to preserve white supremacy, and thus illegitimate. So, not only is there no need to engage with objections (because they’re deemed illegitimate from the start), but they further confirm the theory — heads I win, tails you lose.

This is the same reasoning that informs religious cults: If you are “in the know,” you will agree with me. If you disagree, that just goes to show how ignorant/lost/sinful/heathenish you are, and I shouldn’t listen to you, and furthermore it proves my point. You say there’s no evidence for my position?—well, that proves I’m right, too, because my theory says that there will be no evidence!

All this is the result of several embedded fallacies: circular reasoning and argument from ignorance, feeding into poisoning the well and bulverism. There’s also some straw-man/equivocation sleight of hand going on, especially in the “colorblindness” arguments. And every so often she lapses into a somewhat caustic tone, further demonstrating her disdain for disagreement.

The flip side of this argument is that, where a white person can never voice a valid objection, a person of color can never be wrong when it comes to racism. Here, DiAngelo joins the ranks of Ijeoma Oluo and others in espousing what is sometimes called “ethnic gnosticism”: a person of color knows what a white person cannot know. If a person of color is offended by something as racist, then it was racist, end of story, no ifs ands or buts. Because the person of color has the privileged standpoint here, as the member of the most oppressed class, he/she/etc can read the situation better than I ever could. (I’d hesitate to use the word “gnosticism” myself - “arbitrarily preferential pseudo-subjectivism” might be a more accurate, if somewhat unwieldy, term.) Now, I am all for listening carefully — very carefully, humbly, and self-reflectively — to what people of color have to say. I also agree that unacknowledged racial biases taint our interpretations of events such that we (white people) might (and likely will) miss important nuances of the racial dimension. But I think it’s wrong to extend authority of interpretation beyond experience and into the fact of the matter carte blanche, whether it has to do with race or not. Does the authority arising from the standpoint of oppression always count for more than any argument? Is it never possible that a person of color could overreact, be oversensitive?

It seems absurd to me, but that is DiAngelo’s position (and that of many others). So anything—a look, a tone of voice, an inflection—could be interpreted as racist, and if so interpreted, must be so. According to DiAngelo, I’m not allowed to say “I didn’t mean it in that way” because this denies the presence of racist social structures and invalidates the experience of the person of color—so in the end there is no defense. The person of color acts as complainant, judge, and jury. It’s hard to get behind that as a system, especially when such an incident could end in a lawsuit or the loss of a job.

One of her concrete examples is of a student and a teacher; I am a public school teacher, so this issue hits close to home for me. I have found myself worrying more and more about my behavior and its impact. On the one hand, this has been good for me—I’ve become a lot more sensitive and self aware over the course of my career—but on the other, I have a lot of fear that something I say or do could be used against me. Mercifully, DiAngelo stops short of suggesting the sort of totalitarianism that Ibram X. Kendi advocates to enforce the extreme political correctness required here. But there’s not much grace for it either (only some cold comfort that I’m not a “bad person” even if I am a racist… and some last-minute, unconvincing “clear conscience” talk at the end). She ends her discussion of the incident by leveling some criticisms at the teachers for having “demonstrated no curiosity about the student’s perspective or why she might have taken offense. Nor did they show concern about the student’s feelings…the teachers used this interaction as an opportunity to increase racial divides rather than bridge them and to protect their worldviews and positions.” (105) This seems likely over-simplistic, so it seems rather unforgiving, and, for me, reinforces the fear and guilt of white fragility, contrary to her intent as she expresses it in the final chapter. It’s hard to respond with “I appreciate this feedback” (p. 142) when the “feedback” comes in the form of a lawsuit and/or loss of job. To be frank, if I ever found myself in that position, I’d probably be defensive, too — not to protect my precious worldview, and not I don’t care about a student’s feelings — but because I don’t want to lose my job at somebody’s whim if I don’t have to. Is that racist?

It’s because of these practical issues I have a hard time getting behind this new wave of CRT-based antiracism. Its stance on subjectivity/objectivity seems to entail contradiction, and as often as it can illuminate our understanding of a given situation, it also seems in some cases to function as a Procrustean bed, flattening our experience to fit its framework. And finally, it shuts down any and all opposition with the self-affirming logic of a religious cult.

But again, despite these (fairly major) problems, I am on board with a lot of what’s here. I’m glad I read it, and I would recommend it to anybody hoping to understand the dynamics of racism today and start to decode the hidden racist messages that surround us. I did come away with a better understanding of myself and the world I lived in. The book passes muster. I just can’t get behind it 100% (even if all my objections are really just subconscious attempts to protect my white privilege). I like a lot of what Morpheus has to say, but I’m taking the blue pill on this one.
Do you think that’s air you’re breathing now? ( )
1 abstimmen exhypothesi | Mar 7, 2021 |
CHOTINER: So you consider yourself a racist right now?

DiANGELO: Yes. I will always have a racist worldview and biases. The way I look at it is I’m really clear that I do less harm than I used to. I perpetrate that racism less often. I’m not defensive at all when I realize—whether myself or it’s been brought to my attention—that I’ve just perpetrated a piece of it. I have really good repair skills. None of those are small things because they mean I do less harm.
hinzugefügt von elenchus | bearbeitenSlate.com, Isaac Chotiner (Aug 2, 2018)
 

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (6 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Robin DiAngeloHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Dyson, Michael EricVorwortCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Landon, AmyErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Roe, LouisUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Tatusian, AlexGestaltungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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[Foreword] One metaphor for race, and racism, won't do.
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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.

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