Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 05-11-2019
International US bestseller Dr Robin DiAngelo says the title of a her new book ‘White Fragility’ is meant to capture how little it takes for white people to get extremely upset around the issue of race.
Hosted by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, DiAngelo details the uncomfortable truths about racism in the book, which is expected to be launched in South Africa.
The book explores the question of why it is so hard for white people to talk about racism among other issues.
Speaking to Radio Islam, DiAngelo says people who are white become angry, dissented and extremely sensitive when they are challenged on their race.
“The impact of that response is not fragile at all. It’s actually a very powerful way to repel the challenge to police people of color away from challenging us and talking to us about racism and ultimately it functions to protect the racial hierarchy and white position within it.”
DiAngelo says in South Africa and in the US, there is a deeply embedded hierarchy in a way that people live based on race.
“The message of white superiority is unavoidable. It’s just unavoidable and young people today, young white people, they know, all children know at a very early know that it’s better to be white and this internalizes the sense of that superiority that also have to be addressed.”
She says while there are several reasons for white superiority complex, the foundational one is what she calls ‘the good bad binary’ which indicates that if a person is morally good they cannot act in racist ways, much less benefit from a system of racism.
DiAngelo says individualism is another factor where people are themselves as so special and unique and therefore exempt from forces of culture that surround them.
Listen to the interview with Dr Robin DiAngelo