OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
I’m on Chapter 4 of White Fragility (thanks to Cathryn, who sent us a free PDF version since we had no intention of spending Actual Money on it), and it’s every bit as bad as I thought it’d be. I’m most struck by the sheer arrogance of Robin DiAngelo, and her complete lack of self-awareness. I mean, this is a woman who basically dismisses Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous dream of being judged by the content of his character instead of the color of his skin as insufficient because she believes people who refuse to SEE race are super racist. It’s racist not to notice and obsess over race, you guys. But also if you notice it and point it out in any way, you’re probably racist.
The book’s main flaw is that DiAngelo sets it up by design to be irrefutable. White people are racist, and when you TELL them they’re racist and they demonstrate ANY kind of negative response to that, they prove their fragility, which proves their racism. And if they actually take Robin DiAngelo’s words to heart, and “do the work” of obsessing over racism by trying to find it in every single human interaction from now until the end of time, they are STILL racist because their racism is innate and cannot be helped. If they ask a black person how they might learn more about the black experience, that’s racist, because why should a black person have to do the work of teaching a white person. But if they DON’T ask a black person about their black experience, that is also racist. There is no way around it, which is why this book is so patently ridiculous.
Ben Shapiro does a great job of breaking this down.
Yesterday, I linked you to a couple of great articles to read to further your education about how dumb this book is. One of those links was to a piece by John McWhorter, Columbia professor. I watched a discussion between him and Brown University economist Glenn Loury last night. They absolutely ripped the book to shreds as well.
What I’d love to see, but haven’t been able to find, is Robin DiAngelo actually debating the merits of her dumbass theories with people like McWhorter or Loury. Or frankly ANYONE who disagrees with it. All I can find is clips of people like Jimmy Fallon fawning over her as if she’s some sort of amazing genius.
If anyone finds video of someone actually pushing back on her ridiculous theories, please share.