[[This is Isaiah Hine’s high school presentation on white fragility. You’re not going to get a simpler explanation, in my opinion, so if you’re white you should really read this. Below are Isaiah’s notes on each slide.]]
What is White Fragility?
Robin DiAngelo is a professor at Westfield State University and author of What Does it Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy.
I’m sure you’ve all seen these ‘defensive moves’ in action before. “I didn’t mean anything by it” “I wasn’t trying to be offensive” “I have a black friend” “Not all white people”
People are often more worried about being called a racist than actually doing something racist. In America white people often don’t even have to consider race. They often think of themselves as “raceless” white is conditioned to be the norm and everyone else is considered “raced” or “colored”. White fragility allows white people to govern when and how race is discussed. White people expect to be educated on racism, and in a nice way.
Why Is It A Bad Thing?
White people never learn as a result and are allowed to continue saying and doing racist things. White people prefer to hear these things from other white people but because other white people don’t know enough about racism, they cycle continues. When people of color do things like the BLACKLIVESMATTER movement, many white peoples responses were “all lives matter” this is white fragility. Proclaiming that black lives matter does not inherently mean that other lives don’t. This statement is made because society continually shows us that black lives don’t matter in america and these are the lives that need the affirming. We already know that white lives matter, it doesn’t need to be stated. White people are very used to being the center of things and when they aren’t it makes them uncomfortable.
Why Does This Happen?
Most people don’t fully grasp the idea of systemic racism and that we live in a racist society that perpetuates racist ideas. We are socialized into white supremacy.