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 existShow moreShow less
This group sees white fragility as a flawed thesis that undermines meaningful conversations about race.
The context of the argument is that race is a construct.This essentially means the political , economic and social conditions in the society that are alienating , oppression and marginalisation. This pre-disposes that the constructs of slavery ,segregation and colonialism were frameworks established.The construct also pre-disposes that until the construct is eliminated then emancipation shall never be realised. This essentially means that a form of a Revolution to eliminate these structures are of necessity .That as long as these structures exist then class struggle against the Black will persist.The only solution available is a form of a Marxist revolution to eliminate the structures. This then eliminates the fragility realism
The argument is that as much as structures do exist to ostracise the black and oppress the black, then the psychoanalytical pre-disposition that the white individuals are the source of the crisis. This also qualifies that the result of an oppressor and oppressed is one that is majorly predicated on superstructure and base structure. That the base structure, corporate systems, political systems control and oppress the minority African -Americans.
The issue established calls for a radical solution.The de-prioritisation of white fragility then shifts the attention from re-constructing pre-existing narratives to seek radical solutions.In the worst case scenario armament of the black people is one that is a requirement.Secondly, the interrogation is specific that its an interrogation on structures , the power relations and the oppressor -oppressed existence in the status quo.
The Framing on the argument is on the basis that structural analysis of the American society is a reliable form of metric to understand the Black issues within the United States of America.This type of framing then eliminates the existence of White Fragility and presents a perspective that white fragility is an idealist concept.That it doesn't deeply interrogate the real material problems; the social and economic relations that exists within the society.So the best form of analysis that seeks to establish concrete truth is one that is based on structural analysis of the society to asses the race problem than an idealist form of White Fragility analysis.
The essence of falsifying white fragility is to provide a pragmatic analysis of the complex issues of race.That the primary focus should be structure , the benefits , privilege and power benefits accrued by the white supremacists .This then ensures a push through protests for institutional and structural change. A push for reforms for the rights of Black workers , the rights of black women being recognised and protected within the work policies.This lens of interrogating race also involves establishment of critical race theories than a reliance on white fragility
Rejecting the premises
The realisation of change through a view and analysis of the complex racial issues through structural analysis omits the inherent biases and prejudice hate that is perpetuated in the society.It takes a materialistic perspective and form of analysis.It omits the unequal power dynamics that exists amongst racial classes.That there's a deep epistemological bias that exists, that within family Units some families do propagate hate against the Black through partisanship to enhance white supremacy. It ignores the existence of black on black problems perpetuated by crimes within some contexts in America and European states such as Chicago and Dixon in Canada .