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< Back to question Is white fragility real? Show more Show less

In July 2020, "White Fragility" topped the New York Times Bestseller list. Though two years had passed since its publication, protests following George Floyd's murder thrust its controversial theory of race back into the mainstream. Written by University of Washington Professor Robin DiAngelo, the book claims that white people sustain racism by refusing to engage with it. The idea assumes that white people consider themselves the "default" race, and actively avoid and undermine challenges to this worldview. As the thesis has gained traction, it has also come under criticism for being reductive and choosing to see entire populations based on race. So, who are the groups forming around this debate, what do they believe and why?

No, white fragility does not exist Show more Show less

This group sees white fragility as a flawed thesis that undermines meaningful conversations about race.
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The white fragility focus on white guilt oversimplifies a very complex debate

The way racism is reproduced across generations is a very complex subject. Reducing the problem to white guilt and genetic identity fails to acknowledge the innumerable other contributing factors.
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The context of the argument is that it is justified to reduce the race issue to a single white fragility premise.This ignores the long historical struggle that has existed , the suffering of the black people through slavery, the existing progressive fight against institutional racism.What it does is , it focuses on race through a single frame that the white are evil and this solely can be used as a source of analysis and the justification [1]

The Argument

The focus on white guilt creates an atmosphere that any attack against the white justified the means used.This essentially means in the practical analysis , where the black lives matter movement decides to vandalise property, to attack the white people and even in the creation of a class war then this is justified because it is eliminating the deeply entrenched privilege, power and biasness that exists among the white. [2] [3]

Counter arguments

The central reason why white fragility is a sufficient premise to be used as a tool against the white even at a point where it establishes white guilt is ; to create traction, to create a plethora of decolonisation discussion and finally to mainly create awareness that there's institutional privilege, political privilege, economic privilege and social privilege amongst the white.This then creates oppression among the Black who at the end of the day suffer without any form of freedom. [4] [5]


White fragility is real to the extent that it establishes self-examination and awareness.This awareness within the context of the historical prejudice enhances more of a critical interrogation to question , the individual privilege that exists among the white, the societal and institutional privilege.This voices a lot to the society to excersibate for the black people and understanding the problems to the core than conceding to the existence of the problems and at the end of the day maintaining nuetrality. [6]


The interrogation and self-examination is critical to understand the problems.In interrogating the problems then the society will awaken to the truth and react as a ripple effect and change the inherent biasness. This is more progressive and leads to progressive equality than just sitting back.A change in terms of the laws, policies, benefits for the oppressed and traction to change

Rejecting the premises

However, this can be used as a basis to be radical against the white.It also incentivises the politicisation of black African American's issues and profit out of them.It also builds resentment, anger and suffering of the black people to equate all their problems to the white people.This inhibits choice autonomy and rationalisation of problems




This page was last edited on Tuesday, 8 Sep 2020 at 13:39 UTC


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