Since the social justice extremists want to use the term “white fragility” as a weapon, let’s take a closer look at this nonsense concept. We’ll start with a mainstream review of the book that popularized the term.
The review begins:
In more than twenty years of running diversity-training and cultural-competency workshops for American companies, the academic and educator Robin DiAngelo has noticed that white people are sensationally, histrionically bad at discussing racism. Like waves on sand, their reactions form predictable patterns: they will insist that they “were taught to treat everyone the same,” that they are “color-blind,” that they “don’t care if you are pink, purple, or polka-dotted.” They will point to friends and family members of color, a history of civil-rights activism, or a more “salient” issue, such as class or gender. They will shout and bluster. They will cry. In 2011, DiAngelo coined the term “white fragility” to describe the disbelieving defensiveness that white people exhibit when their ideas about race and racism are challenged—and particularly when they feel implicated in white supremacy. Why, she wondered, did her feedback prompt such resistance, as if the mention of racism were more offensive than the fact or practice of it?
Let’s step outside of DiAngelo’s intellectually inbred bubble and invoke the obvious explanation for such “resistance.” DiAngelo is not taking a random sample of people to survey. On the contrary, she is looking at a sample that is quite contrived. People attend diversity-training and cultural-competency workshops for American companies because they are usually forced to do so. What’s more, it is well known if someone says or does something, anything, in these “workshops” that can be misinterpreted as racist, that person could lose their professional standing, position, perhaps even their job. In other words, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that DiAngelo is sampling from a group that is being highly stressed and provoked in a setting that induces anxiety. Yet for some reason, this sociologist is blind to this explanation and makes no attempt to control for it.
What’s more is that there is no evidence DiAngelo gathered data in a scientific manner. It appears she is just relying on her general experience and memory over the years. If so, there is nothing to prevent confirmation bias from totally skewing her anecdotes. That is, it’s rather clear DiAngelo comes to us with a preconceived agenda and thus she likely “recalls” various examples that support her agenda.
It gets worse when DiAngelo decides to go on the attack.
She is apparently proud of the fact that she coined the term “white fragility.” Yet this is not a scholarly term. There is no justification for using the term “fragility” instead of something like defensiveness. Or why not instead use the term ‘resistance?’ Why did she choose to use ‘fragility’? Is it payback for the way many social justice critics would mock social justice activists as fragile snowflakes? If so, it is further evidence she is not a scholar. Look, whatever her mysterious motivation for choosing this word, it is clearly a propagandistic term. It is a term designed to elicit either submission or negative, emotional reactions. It’s a veiled personal attack. DiAngelo came up with a way to provoke and attack white people while trying to make it look like she is talking about some objective phenomenon. A propagandist pretending to be a scholar.
Consider more of her attacks:
In a new book, “White Fragility,” DiAngelo attempts to explicate the phenomenon of white people’s paper-thin skin. She argues that our largely segregated society is set up to insulate whites from racial discomfort, so that they fall to pieces at the first application of stress—such as, for instance, when someone suggests that “flesh-toned” may not be an appropriate name for a beige crayon. Unused to unpleasantness (more than unused to it—racial hierarchies tell white people that they are entitled to peace and deference), they lack the “racial stamina” to engage in difficult conversations. This leads them to respond to “racial triggers”—the show “Dear White People,” the term “wypipo”—with “emotions such as anger, fear and guilt,” DiAngelo writes, “and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and withdrawal from the stress-inducing situation.”
Let me propose an alternative.
DiAngelo has come up with a clever marketing scheme to get companies to pay her big money for giving worskshops. People are forced to attend (which creates negative emotions) and correctly recognize it to be a minefield that has the potential to terminate their employment. After creating this threatening environment, DiAngelo pretends to be a scholar who will lead people through the minefield. Yet, in reality, she is a propagandist guided by confirmation bias guided by an extreme left ideology, one who subtlely attacks and mocks people to elicit emotional responses she wants to see. When she gets such responses, she thinks she has demonstrated the existence of some phenomenon, but, in reality, she just pulled something out of her ass.
Finally, when people insist that they “were taught to treat everyone the same,” that they are “color-blind,” that they “don’t care if you are pink, purple, or polka-dotted,” they are adopting a morally enlightened viewpoint. Perhaps they express it crudely, or reflexively, but it is vastly superior to DiAngelo’s attempt to return us to the days of primitive tribalism. If you disagree, I’ll see you in the comments section.