Understanding #WhiteFragility with Dr. Robin DiAngelo





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Streamed live on May 26, 2016

Understanding White Fragility with Dr. Robin DiAngelo

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 is referred by Dr. Robin DiAngelo 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.

About Dr. Robin DiAngelo

Academic: Dr. Robin DiAngelo received her PhD in Multicultural Education from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2004. Dr. James Banks was her dissertation Chair.  Dr. Robin DiAngelo earned tenure at Westfield State University in 2014. Dr. Robin DiAngelo has taught courses in Multicultural Teaching, Inter-group Dialogue Facilitation, Cultural Diversity & Social Justice, and Anti-Racist Education. Her area of research is in Whiteness Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis, explicating how Whiteness is reproduced in everyday narratives.  Dr. Robin DiAngelo is a two-time winner of the Student’s Choice Award for Educator of the Year. She resigned her position at Westfield State and is currently serving as Lecturer at the University of Washington.

Professional:  Dr. Robin DiAngelo is the Director of Equity for Sound Generations, Seattle/King County. She has been a consultant and trainer for over 20 years on issues of racial and social justice. Dr. Robin DiAngelo was appointed to co-design, develop and deliver the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative Anti-Racism training with Darlene Flynn.

Dr. DiAngelo says, “I grew up poor and white.  While my class oppression has been relatively visible to me, my race privilege has not.  In my efforts to uncover how race has shaped my life, I have gained deeper insight by placing race in the center of my analysis and asking how each of the other group locations have socialized me to collude with racism. In so doing, I have been able to address in greater depth my multiple locations and how they function together to hold racism in place. I now make the distinction that I grew up poor and white, for my experience of poverty would have been different had I not been white”.

White Fragility (PDF): http://goo.gl/0jGXQE

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Comments • 280

Astrid H.
Astrid H.1 year agoHighlighted comment
VERY GOOD conversation. I hope this stays up to pass along.
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derwen talia
Pinned by Philippe SHOCK Matthews
how telling are the comments below by so many who are responding EXACTLY the way in which diangelo describes white fragility? keep up the good work. the comments section here is a gold mine of responses that totally justify your thesis haha
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Two loony leftists discuss imaginary concepts like "systemic racism", "white fragility". The only thing missing: unicorns. Also, discussing "insulation" is ironing since this white SJW moron hasn't been near black ghetto thugs in her entire life, hence her crackpot theories detached from reality.
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nokomis mn
There is also male hypersensitivity. He will not tolerate even the slightest challenge to his views. If you dare to question his attitudes he will pretend he's a victim.
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This is ridiculous. There is not one person walking on this planet who does not have some sort of racial prejudice toward another race. So I guess because I'm a 3rd generation American from Poland, my family forced to flee due to the ethnic cleansing by the Germans, I still need to feel guilty for the actions of uneducated white men of the past? I'm glad we teach forgiveness in my culture; love in my culture; self-responsibility in my culture; strength in my culture. Am I being racist? Sure?
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King Mener
Listening to her story on poverty I remembered what Lyndon J said...if you can convince the lowest white person that he is better than the best blak man ...he will not knw that u are picking his pocket .......
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Joan Broadfield
What an amazing interview... so much covered! Implicit bias; color blindness; 'only white people can be racist'.... white fragility... turkey noise!!!
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Brilliant conversation.  I sat in on a talk with Robin once and she is the real deal!  She says it exactly as it is, warts and all.  Only when we can get real about racism in America, we won't heal -- but we can, with Robin's help and lots of others, including the host.  Thank you!!  I love that she "doesn't have patience for this stuff anymore."  LOL
Imhotep Hook
This is epic!
Dan Carvin
Funny, whenever I point out the logical fallacies and absurdity of concepts like white privilege, cultural appropriation and the like to believers in these concepts, they exhibit stress, anger and other triggered behavior Dr. DiAngeleo attributes to white fragility.  Who's being fragile here?
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