Difference between revisions of "White Fragility"

From Austin Storm
Jump to: navigation, search
(Created page with "I have always punished myself by reading whichever books are popular, at least the ones that reach the level of cultural phenomena. <blockquote>Writers like DiAngelo like to...")
 
 
Line 9: Line 9:
 
- Matt Taibi reviews ''White Fragility'' [https://taibbi.substack.com/p/on-white-fragility ]
 
- Matt Taibi reviews ''White Fragility'' [https://taibbi.substack.com/p/on-white-fragility ]
  
[[Category:Racism]]
+
John McWorter wades in:
 +
 
 +
<blockquote>DiAngelo has spent a very long time conducting diversity seminars in which whites, exposed to her catechism, regularly tell her—many while crying, yelling, or storming toward the exit—that she’s insulting them and being reductionist. Yet none of this seems to have led her to look inward. Rather, she sees herself as the bearer of an exalted wisdom that these objectors fail to perceive, blinded by their inner racism. DiAngelo is less a coach than a proselytizer.
 +
 
 +
When writers who are this sure of their convictions turn out to make a compelling case, it is genuinely exciting. This is sadly not one of those times, even though white guilt and politesse have apparently distracted many readers from the book’s numerous obvious flaws.
 +
 
 +
For one, DiAngelo’s book is replete with claims that are either plain wrong or bizarrely disconnected from reality. Exactly who comes away from the saga of Jackie Robinson thinking he was the first Black baseball player good enough to compete with whites? “Imagine if instead the story,” DiAngelo writes, “went something like this: ‘Jackie Robinson, the first black man whites allowed to play major-league baseball.’” But no one need imagine this scenario, as others have pointed out, because it is something every baseball fan already knows. Later in the book, DiAngelo insinuates that, when white women cry upon being called racists, Black people are reminded of white women crying as they lied about being raped by Black men eons ago. But how would she know? Where is the evidence for this presumptuous claim?</blockquote>
 +
 
 +
- John McWhorter, [https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/dehumanizing-condescension-white-fragility/614146/ The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility]
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Racism]][[Category:John McWhorter]][[Category:The Atlantic]]

Latest revision as of 16:35, 15 July 2020

I have always punished myself by reading whichever books are popular, at least the ones that reach the level of cultural phenomena.

Writers like DiAngelo like to make ugly verbs out of ugly nouns and ugly nouns out of ugly verbs (there are countless permutations on centering and privileging alone). In a world where only a few ideas are considered important, redundancy is encouraged, e.g. “To be less white is to break with white silence and white solidarity, to stop privileging the comfort of white people,” or “Ruth Frankenberg, a premier white scholar in the field of whiteness, describes whiteness as multidimensional…”

...

Yet these ideas are taking America by storm. The movement that calls itself “antiracism” – I think it deserves that name a lot less than “pro-lifers” deserve theirs and am amazed journalists parrot it without question – is complete in its pessimism about race relations. It sees the human being as locked into one of three categories: members of oppressed groups, allies, and white oppressors.

- Matt Taibi reviews White Fragility [1]

John McWorter wades in:

DiAngelo has spent a very long time conducting diversity seminars in which whites, exposed to her catechism, regularly tell her—many while crying, yelling, or storming toward the exit—that she’s insulting them and being reductionist. Yet none of this seems to have led her to look inward. Rather, she sees herself as the bearer of an exalted wisdom that these objectors fail to perceive, blinded by their inner racism. DiAngelo is less a coach than a proselytizer.

When writers who are this sure of their convictions turn out to make a compelling case, it is genuinely exciting. This is sadly not one of those times, even though white guilt and politesse have apparently distracted many readers from the book’s numerous obvious flaws.

For one, DiAngelo’s book is replete with claims that are either plain wrong or bizarrely disconnected from reality. Exactly who comes away from the saga of Jackie Robinson thinking he was the first Black baseball player good enough to compete with whites? “Imagine if instead the story,” DiAngelo writes, “went something like this: ‘Jackie Robinson, the first black man whites allowed to play major-league baseball.’” But no one need imagine this scenario, as others have pointed out, because it is something every baseball fan already knows. Later in the book, DiAngelo insinuates that, when white women cry upon being called racists, Black people are reminded of white women crying as they lied about being raped by Black men eons ago. But how would she know? Where is the evidence for this presumptuous claim?

- John McWhorter, The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility