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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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White Fragility has an epistemological problem

White fragility bases its thesis on implicit bias research which not conclusive and does not employ rigor in hypothesis testing. The thesis is unfalsifiable and is therefore nonscientific, like Freud's psychoanalytic insights into the unconscious mind from the faulty premise of the Oedipus complex.
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The context of this problem can be predicated on the analysis by Di Angelo that it is an epistemological problem as it perpetuates institutional racism .

The Argument

Sigmund Frued and Carl Jung establish that Human Beings deeply have inherent biases as a consequence of their environment.When a society perpetuates a certain narrative that perpetuates , hate , inequality and conflict.This automatically then perpetuates a norm that is highly segregative, alienating and one that normalises hate within the socie [1]ty. [2]

Counter arguments

This is a form of idealism that perpetuates reverse-hate .That is the solution to fire is fire, where people will grow with the inherent belief that prejudice against the white is the only solution.This exacerbates hate rather than integration between the black and white.It also ideally establishes that white people are born to be evil. [5] [6]


The inherent crisis in viewing race as an epistemological crisis ,is as a result of idealism and hypothetical bias.There is no objective analysis and outcome that establishes truth.Secondly, the finding is built on statistical prejudice that is as a result of historical conflict. It also lays claims and criticisms on the source of the race issue being the epistemological bias but with no sufficient empirical and pragmatic finding. [8]


Epistemology can never be a source that can be used as a basis to assess race.This builds a belief that white people are inherently evil. This qualifies that all white people are evil.This [3] polarises fragmentation within the society instead of the society being able to achieve equality progressively. [4]

Rejecting the premises

The essence of assessing Race as an epistemological problem is to nurture decolonisation and rigorous interrogation, internalisation and negotiation.This eliminates the constant neglect and rejection to be informed about race , the historical prejudices, the existing long-lasting conflicts amongst the Black and the white. [7]



This page was last edited on Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 21:22 UTC

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