Reddit Reddit reviews White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

We found 30 Reddit comments about White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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30 Reddit comments about White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism:

u/ratioyouknow · 51 pointsr/femalefashionadvice

I’ve got politics, and almost only politics, on my mind. This is the last weekend before midterm elections on Tuesday. I am feeling a little freaked out.

I think many people are placing all of their hope on a blue wave. I know I am! But I’m worried we’ve been lulled into this false sense of security about how realistic a blue wave is. When in reality, voter suppression and gerrymandering and general lack of political involvement is going to make it REALLY hard for progressive candidates to actually win.

I think it’s really important to spread the word about voting, but merely telling people to vote can quickly turn into gaslighting for minorities (see: voter suppression, gerrymandering). A lot of people are touting the old sentiment that if you don’t vote you can’t complain, which totally glosses over the fact that for a lot of people, it’s really hard to vote. Progressive candidates are often working for those minority groups that face high levels of voter suppression, so I’m worried... We need the votes of the people that have a difficult time voting.

I really encourage everyone to take some active steps this weekend to engage in the election. I signed up to phonebank. I hate talking on the phone but it’s too important to sit back and let others do the work, so I’m making calls on behalf of Beto all day Saturday. If anyone else wants to take action, I suggest connecting with indivisible. I’m a person who posts political articles and memes on social media but is otherwise kind of quiet about politics... but moving into the last few days of the election, that feels like it is nowhere near enough.

Also I am currently reading this book and omg, I want every white person I know to read it. I am learning so much.

u/VerrattiShmurda · 28 pointsr/soccer

What Taison says here is almost a pretty direct quote from the beginning of the latest book by Ibram Kendi. The book, called How to Be an Antiracist does a pretty nice job of clearly describing some of the issues with structural racism that we see today.

If you think Antiracism is a topic that is really interesting to you, I would recommend that book and also White Fragility by Robin Diangelo.

(Source: I work on a Structural Racism task force in my city in America and have done a lot of work in the field of Antiracism for the last 5 years or so.)

u/LurkingHare · 22 pointsr/SelfAwarewolves

Recently I got a very interesting book called White Fragility by Robin D'Angelo. Now I do not live in the US, but I was horribly surprised how many points this book raises applied directly to me.

u/-AJ · 9 pointsr/askgaybros

The term "racist" can be very loaded and charged, because some people (especially white people) view the label with such fear and dread that they will vigorously defend themselves against any hint of an accusation of being racist. The defensiveness masks for them the systemic racism within the culture into which they were born.

It's not always as simple as saying "X person is a racist" or "Y person is not a racist". There aren't just two options. Outside of people like white nationalists, who are overt and admitted racists (and who Trump regards as "fine people"), for everyone else, the label of "racist" is given out by others, and when it is, people usually run from it as fast as they can.

The reason I like to use it only sparingly when directed at an individual is not because it isn't true that the person being accused isn't a racist, but because the label halts any possibility of either person shifting from their position. A person labelled a racist becomes blind to even their own actual views on race, and blind to the larger existing cultural problems involving race.

Trump supporters will often respond to accusations of Trump being labelled a racist much in the same way as if they themselves were being accused, so we encounter the same problem.

If you really want to know the ways in which Trump is racist, you can just Google it, read about it on Wikipedia, or read one or two of the numerous, well-documented, thoroughly researched articles on the topic.

What I recommend instead is that, if you genuinely want to understand race in America, these three books are a pretty great place to start:

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

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

u/IntoTheDeepTime · 6 pointsr/hiphopheads

Start reading, I’m paying too much money for this Sociology degree to give you the answers for free.

u/WarmSolution · 5 pointsr/AgainstHateSubreddits

No, I don't have a degree in Sociology, which is why I listen to the people who do and have dedicated their lives to the subject.

>And what do you mean by "modern research in Sociology"?


Robin DiAngelo. White Fragility.

Caleb Rosado. The Undergirding Factor is Power. Toward an Understanding of Prejudice and Racism

You can read much of this one for free: Don Operario and Susan T. Fiske. Racism Equals Power Plus Prejudice. A Social Psychological Equation for Racial Oppression

Every definition is "made up," racism as an equation is the one that makes the most sense because it describes problems that go beyond crude racial prejudice. Also, as Fiske and Operario said, power has a direct influence on the nature of prejudice, and racial categories are constructed through societal power.

To use your poor rural folk example, imagine they belonged to race B and race A was oppressing them. Race B can hold racial prejudices against race A, however only race A can be racist because, beyond prejudice, they hold socioeconomic power through which they can create a system to enforce it. For sure, you could say "they're both racist," but considering the inequality between them that is a pretty useless statement. That's why academia has been increasingly adopting the new definition. Racism without power is incomplete.

u/MoDuReddit · 3 pointsr/Shuffles_Deck

In case you need, there's a whole book she wrote, telling how it's bad that you're white.

u/TXrutabega · 3 pointsr/AskHR

Well, if there's anything I've got in my toolbox, it's bluntness! HA!

When I mention the bitterness, I'm talking exactly about the self-determination mindset that you talk about a couple paragraphs later; that you believe in humanity's right to free choice without external interference. I would find that most people do, including the SJW's you mention. People just define 'external interference' differently.

So, if you view self-determination as a foundational core to your ability to be free, than any social construct (views on race or gender) runs counter to that and you may view 'compliance' as a direct violation of your liberty. However, if you are one of the people who is seeing external interference as a direct RESULT of systemic racism, you see self-determination in a very different way. (Not to go too far down that rabbit-hole, but individual autonomy is reliant upon social views and/or actions regarding your right to that autonomy- which has historically been denied to people of color aka. systemic racism).

You, then, may become bitter at the constant onslaught of 'SJW' forcing conversations and wonder why others don't do what you did, and 'hard-work' their way out of it, without recognizing that there are roadblocks that exist for others that you did not encounter by virtue of your race. Just because you may not see those roadblocks, or agree, doesn't mean they aren't there. This also doesn't mean people affected by racism are victims but again, diminishing a very real experience to victimhood status so that it can be dismissed is self-serving at best.

To follow that, defaulting to the 'empirical evidence' standard, to me, is an easy out. It seems to be an 'I can't smell the sunflowers, and no one can prove what they smell like, and I don't see them anywhere, so they don't exist'. In the meantime, your back is to the field of flowers and despite people trying to give you directions, you do not turn around.

To me, it's just not that easy or simple. Which is why, I urge you, if you are feeling defensive about some of what you heard, don't dismiss it out of hand. Figure out if there was some truth there that will be useful for you. If you feel dehumanized by the conversations you've been having, imagine how dehumanized the people who have experienced some of these struggles may feel, knowing that you categorically deny their reality as propaganda. (I'm referencing your comments on systemic racism).

To your point, it's hard to recognize someone else's humanity if you feel it's THEIR boot on your neck. For you, it's the SJW's, for everyone else- it's you (and not because you're white, but because you refuse to take your blinders off). The difference is, your boot causes actual harm, while an SJW's boot causes you inconvenience, anger, feeling of being unduly criticized, and potentially outward capitulation and/or withdrawal instead of an eyes-wide-open confrontation of the realities of racism.

I may not have said all of this in the right way, but hopefully the intention came across. With that, I'm exhausted!

Edited to add: This is a good read that you may be interested in. Ironically, it is actually called White Fragility. There's a review in The New Yorker on it here.

> “The most effective adaptation of racism over time,” DiAngelo claims, “is the idea that racism is conscious bias held by mean people.” This “good/bad binary,” positing a world of evil racists and compassionate non-racists, is itself a racist construct, eliding systemic injustice and imbuing racism with such shattering moral meaning that white people, especially progressives, cannot bear to face their collusion in it


> As an ethical thinker, DiAngelo belongs to the utilitarian school, which places less importance on attitudes than on the ways in which attitudes cause harm

u/hun-dawg · 3 pointsr/ABoringDystopia

i would and have, I grew up in an extremely racist environment...Alabama

And yes, I am white.

Sharpen your arguments with this:

u/AlbertCamusPlayedGK · 3 pointsr/circlebroke2

>I don't see white person written over it

Funnily enough, this mindset is born out of drumroll


Something called white fragility! I recommend reading this book:

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

That should have all the answers you need.

u/CaptainCAAAVEMAAAAAN · 2 pointsr/news

Here's a good starting point.

u/KanataTheVillage · 2 pointsr/onguardforthee

Not one I really have seen either, which is why I am making it. It seems ridiculous that a generation ago and before, most North Americans used the term "country" more to refer to Indigenous lands and Aussies do to this day, and "country" is a more apt and politically charged and important term than "territory" any day and like... every ... map ... ever ... is blank from 1492 and back. Even if it is not blank, hardpressed to get any Indigenous presence on the maps at all. And like folks talk about their own countries, folks have names for their own countries, folks know how their own countries can/should/have been run. It is just not talked about in the public or casual sphere


Secwepemc Book

Unsettling Canada

Roadmap to Recognition for an Aussie perspective

An American Genocide

American Apartheid

Indigenous Diplomacy

Indigenous Experience

Aboriginal Rights Claims and the Making and Remaking of History

White Fragility

The Future of Indigenous Peoples

The Other Slavery

I have also read and used Canadian Federalism

Wild Law

u/voompanatos · 2 pointsr/news

Original essay by Robin DiAngelo: "White Fragility," International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 2011.

Abstract: White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such
as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. This paper explicates the dynamics of White Fragility



Bestselling book on Amazon: "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism," Beacon Press, Reprint Edition (June 26, 2018)

“Robin DiAngelo demonstrates an all-too-rare ability to enter the racial conversation with complexity, nuance, and deep respect. Her writing establishes her mastery in accessing the imaginal, metaphoric mind where the possibility for transformation resides. With an unwavering conviction that change is possible, her message is clear: the incentive for white engagement in racial justice work is ultimately self-liberation.”

—Leticia Nieto, coauthor of Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment

“White fragility is the secret ingredient that makes racial conversations so difficult and achieving racial equity even harder. But by exposing it and showing us all—including white folks—how it operates and how it hurts us, individually and collectively, Robin DiAngelo has performed an invaluable service. An indispensable volume for understanding one of the most important (and yet rarely appreciated) barriers to achieving racial justice.”

—Tim Wise, author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son

“Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility brings language to the emotional structures that make true discussions about racial attitudes difficult. With clarity and compassion, DiAngelo allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people.’ In doing so, she moves our national discussions forward with new ‘rules of engagement.’ This is a necessary book for all people invested in societal change through productive social and intimate relationships.”

—Claudia Rankine

u/dahlesreb · 1 pointr/samharris

> I'm not sure where our perceptions of victimization come from.

The argument is that the narrative on the left that blames all problems on white men, is itself largely to blame.

The left has been pushing the racial narrative, including race-based policies like affirmative action, for decades.

And the right has been railing against it for decades, as you point out with your examples of Limbaugh and O'Reilly.

But the anti-white, anti-male rhetoric has ramped up in recent years, with the rise in popularity of intersectional theory among liberal activists.

I think bell hooks introduced the term white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, but I hear it constantly from my white liberal friends.

Or Robin Diangelo's concept of white fragility - which they all reference, but none of them have actually read the paper.

I first read it maybe 3-4 years ago, when I first heard a very "woke" friend reference it, and it opened my eyes. I really recommend everyone read that one, to see the dishonest way Diangelo redefines common terms to suit her agenda.

She came out with a book on the same topic recently, which I haven't read. IMO you'll get the idea from the paper.

Now, I think white men can legitimately find this kind of rhetoric to be offensive. Certainly if they are students of history they will see how dangerous it is.

And I wouldn't call that an irrational sense of victimization.

Furthermore, this is all coming from a liberal surrounded by liberals, who never watched O'Reilly except when Jon Stewart made fun of him on the Daily Show. I definitely wasn't talked into this perspective by right-wing hacks.

u/NotAFanOfFun · 1 pointr/UUnderstanding

This doesn't sound like a truly open mind and heart to me. When he hears marginalized people (where he puts marginalized in scare quotes) asking him to listen to their viewpoints, he thinks he's being silenced completely. He sounds like he's against being asked to be mindful of his privileges and of the way his actions come across to others and the harm they may cause others.

I am still completely baffled that there's backlash against the idea that we should be more inclusive, that we should listen to voices that are often pushed to the margins, and that we should strive to understand the systems that benefit us that others don't have the benefit of.


>get ready to be told that:
>Disagreement is injury
>Books can be condemned by people who haven’t read them
>People can be condemned for expressing “hurtful” ideas
>Those of us who don’t meet the accepted definition of “marginalized” should be silent to leave more “room” for the marginalized
>The UU Ministers’ Association can define the meaning of “responsible” in the Fourth Principle about a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning.”
>The UU Principles and Sources need to be examined and revised in favor of something more “covanental”
>We who are white need to be careful not to welcome persons of color too warmly into our congregations lest they think “our” means white (a “microaggression”)
>The UU hymnals need to be scoured for any references that might not be all-inclusive enough (like Standing on the Side of Love)
>If we don’t like something, it’s part of the white supremacy culture
>We all need to read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo even though it makes sweeping generalizations not backed by research
>We should not bother reading books like The Gadfly Papers by Rev. Dr. Todd Eklof and The Self-Confessed “White Supremacy Culture” by Dr. Anne Larson Schneider because some people’s feelings might be hurt
>White people need to acknowledge their “privilege” and their “benefit” they get from racism and white supremacy

u/boner79 · 1 pointr/Rochester
u/nezumipi · 1 pointr/racism

It's often helpful to try to gauge whether the person actually has any willingness to listen to a response. Online screamers are often best ignored. But in person (and sometimes online) I find that if I ask something like, "Did you want to hear my perspective on that, or just to state your position?" in an ABSOLUTELY NEUTRAL WAY, most people feel obliged to listen at least a little. It can't come across critical or sarcastic.

I sometimes start by pointing out that we're hearing more about the harm our words can cause. But that doesn't mean the harm is new.

A lot of the reaction is from people's fears that they will be accused of racism or sexism despite having genuinely good intentions. (If you want to read a book about it, I strongly recommend White Fragility.) I usually respond to that with a driving metaphor:

A good driver knows the rules of the road, knows that different driving is needed in different circumstances for courtesy and safety. // A good boss knows how to treat all employees fairly, knows that the "rules of the road" aren't always exactly what they were in 1970.

Just wanting to be a good driver isn't enough. // Most bosses want to be non-racist, non-sexist, etc. but if they don't learn about diversity, they're probably going to handle it wrong.

Occasional small mistakes on an otherwise good driving record are usually forgiven, although they may still cause harm. // If a boss who is consistently sensitive and fair one day accidentally uses an inadvisable word, takes responsibility for it, and apologizes, chances are good that the boss will be forgiven. That doesn't mean that no harm was done, or that the harm was erased.

Laws and expectations for driving change. Drivers have to change with the times if they expect to be safe and avoid fines. If your town adds roundabouts, you have to learn how to use them. Just intending to be a good driver isn't enough. // The boss needs to know about issues that affect each employee differently. Sometimes a new issue will arise, like a transgender employee. Just like you aren't a good driver if you decide to plow through a roundabout, you're not a good boss if you fail to learn how to treat a transgender employee.

Also, there's a few Barry Deutch cartoons that I sometimes use:

u/functor7 · 1 pointr/trashy

> In the above post, he mentioned someone dressing like that having a predilection to do dumb or ignorant shit.

Why do you think we might think this? Hint: It's racism. We've taken a style associated with minority groups and associated it with doing dumb shit. It's not stereotyping to say that a certain style of clothing is predominantly worn by certain cultural groups. A stereotype is an overly generalized belief about something. Identifying that a certain style is predominately associated with certain cultural groups is not an overgeneralization, but saying that people who dress a certain way are dumb is an overgeneralization. Most people who wear kimonos are Japanese. If we suddenly started saying that people who wear kimonos are dumb, then what are we really saying? And at what point did the overgeneralization take place?

Race is 100% a power relationship. It is advantageous for those in power to racialize certain groups of people in order to maintain order, at the cost of excluding these races. Most white people in America directly (albeit, in the past) benefit from slavery. Because of Jim Crow Laws, white people were able to get redlined into the nice places and the people of color were excluded. Because of the New Jim Crow (eg, marijuana laws and broken windows policies), minority communities have been kept impoverished and white communities have separately thrived. Things that enable and justify this kind of thinking are racist. Finding a roundabout way to say that certain minority groups are dumb function to justify these things. We say that poor, dilapidated neighborhoods need more policing because of crime, we're not saying anything bad about black people directly, but since race and economic status are correlated, then we're really just saying that we need to police black neighborhoods (which is what happened). Even though, if the windows are broken, an effective way to reduce crime is to fix the goddamn windows. If our ideas are that people dressed as in the image are people who do dumb shit, then when we see someone like that we'll be more likely to try and find something bad about them. Possibly leading to police being called on them just for occupying white spaces (like Starbucks).

Racism is very complicated and powerful. It's more that just the KKK, we all contribute to it. The notion that it is isolated, single events of discrimination by ill-willed people prevents us from making progress. We have to understand ourselves as raced people, and that there is an implied power relationship between different races, and that we need to actively subvert this. Pretending that race isn't a think is harmful to progress against racism. Understanding the effects of what we say as racial actions is important to make progress about racism. Moreover, the fact that it is urban streetwear which is (rightfully or wrongfully) associated with urban minorities means that the overgeneralizations we make about the style are actually overgeneralizations about a race.

Your statements about the nature of racism are outdated. I would recommend reading the book White Fragility (pdf), which is a discussion about race for white people who are typically are resistant to contemporary ideas about race because it is associated with ill-intended actions, and we're all good intended so can't be racist, right? But the truth is that we all do racist things (myself included), and the more stop trying to excuse ourselves and look critically about the real racial relationships that enable inequality, the more we can work against it.

u/JoMama39 · 1 pointr/pittsburgh

Also take a look at the policies that excluded people of color from social security. The GI bill provided for returning soldiers’ education but the only colleges that accepted minorities were for things like farming. So while white guys came back and became engineers, people of color were still only able to access lower income jobs. Then there’s redlining which prevented black families from becoming homeowners. Homeownership is the main way people gain wealth. So the simple answer to your question is structural racism.

I’m reading this book right now ( which I highly recommend.

u/Dawn_Coyote · 1 pointr/bestofthefray

I've got this on hold at the library. I go through library books way more quickly than I read the books I own, because I don't have to return those.

u/Practically_ · -1 pointsr/unpopularopinion

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

In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History

u/IgnitedSpade · -1 pointsr/memes
u/danachos · -4 pointsr/Anarchism

>99% of whites are not bourgeois. You are racist scum.

[citation needed]

Might I recommend this book to you