ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

White Fragility, by Robin Diangelo

Updated on December 8, 2018

A frank, unapologetic look at white privilege and the challenges of talking about racism

Robin Diangelo, author of What Does It Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy, presents a compelling look at white privilege. Even the uncomfortable topics of white supremacy and white flight are discussed in depth.

The book starts with a foreword by Michael Eric Dyson, author of Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America and other works, and professor of Sociology at Georgetown University.

Diangelo opens up the work by reminding readers that our country, the self-declared "land of the free, where all are created equal", is the same country that "began with the attempted genocide of Indigenous people and the theft of their land" and "American wealth was built on the labor of kidnapped and enslaved Africans and their descendants". She also notes that nearly all of the people in positions of power in our country, whether they be in government positions, CEO's of high-grossing companies or owners of professional sports teams, are white.

Diangelo argues that white people are the sole beneficiaries in a society that is deeply separate and unequal by race. They often confront challenges with anger, fear and/or guilt. Whites responses to the various topics of racism, whether they be to argue, explain, minimize, etc., are powerful because they take advantage of historical and institutional power and control. White fragility is a form of bullying, according to Diangelo.

Diangelo gives many examples of how she has been hired by various companies to speak to their employees about racism and white fragility and many, or sometimes all, of the white people in the trainings become very angry and defensive at the mere suggestion that they are inherently responsible for racism in any way.

She also makes the compelling argument that white "progressives" can be the most difficult for people of color because they will put all of their energy into making sure others see them as "having arrived" as opposed to expending the same energy in actual anti-racist practice. As a self-proclaimed white "progressive", this would have never occurred to me before reading the book, but now it makes perfect sense.

She also points out that with the election of Donald Trump to the United States presidency, we are far from being post-racial.

The greatest attribute of the book is Diangelo's exploration on what we can do to engage in the topic of racism and cross-racial dialogue more constructively.

Whether you think of yourself as a white progressive, an anti-racist or are in any way hesitant to confront your own contribution to white fragility, privilege or supremacy, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

The Author, Robin Diangelo
The Author, Robin Diangelo | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)