The Democrats’ Coalition of the Margins just can’t stop themselves from clawing each other’s eyes out:
In “White Fragility,” Robin DiAngelo sets aside a whole chapter for the self-indulgent tears of white women, so distraught at the country’s legacy of racist terrorism that they force people of color to drink from the firehose of their feelings about it. https://t.co/ZT4d1rNY8g— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) August 9, 2018
Fortunately, Spike Lee’s BlacKKKlansman is premiering this weekend to provide some more KKKrazy Glue to hold together the Democrats’ Coalition of the Fringes by offering an object of hate for Democrats everywhere to unite around: the KKK Menace.
By Katy Waldman July 23, 2018
Much of Robin DiAngelo’s book is dedicated to pulling back the veil on so-called pillars of whiteness: assumptions that prop up racist beliefs without white people realizing it.
Author and diversity struggle session leader Robin DiAngelo looks rather like billionaire’s daughter Julia-Louis Dreyfus.
In more than twenty years of running diversity-training and cultural-competency workshops for American companies, the academic and educator Robin DiAngelo has noticed that white people are sensationally, histrionically bad at discussing racism.
In contrast to the usual white person, I am quite adept at rationally discussing all topics relating to race, having learned an enormous amount about the subject in the nearly three decades I’ve been writing professionally on the topic, and having arrived over my years of open-minded inquiry at objective, realistic, even-handed views. That’s why I’m constantly invited to lecture corporate America on what I’ve learned.
Oh, wait, actually, I was once asked to hold a discussion with a work group within a company. I replied, “Are you sure this won’t get you fired?”
Like waves on sand, their reactions form predictable patterns: they will insist that they “were taught to treat everyone the same,” that they are “color-blind,” that they “don’t care if you are pink, purple, or polka-dotted.” They will point to friends and family members of color, a history of civil-rights activism, or a more “salient” issue, such as class or gender. They will shout and bluster. They will cry. In 2011, DiAngelo coined the term “white fragility” to describe the disbelieving defensiveness that white people exhibit when their ideas about race and racism are challenged—and particularly when they feel implicated in white supremacy. Why, she wondered, did her feedback prompt such resistance, as if the mention of racism were more offensive than the fact or practice of it?
Maybe it has something to do with the extraordinary efficacy of charges of racism against individual whites being used to destroy the careers of even billionaires: e.g., Donald Sterling, the Papa John’s guy, etc. I imagine that if in 1692 in Salem, Ms. DiAngelo had been in the business of offering sermons on the Witch Menace, she would have similarly encountered “witch fragility” as various people objected to pleading guilty to “systemic whitchness” and then crying their “witch tears.”
In a new book, “White Fragility,” DiAngelo attempts to explicate the phenomenon of white people’s paper-thin skin. She argues that our largely segregated society is set up to insulate whites from racial discomfort,
Thank goodness that the future looks so much less insulated from discomfort! Think of all the struggle sessions we have to look forward to and the hefty retainers Ms. DiAngelo is anticipating from corporate clients.
so that they fall to pieces at the first application of stress—such as, for instance, when someone suggests that “flesh-toned” may not be an appropriate name for a beige crayon. Unused to unpleasantness (more than unused to it—racial hierarchies tell white people that they are entitled to peace and deference), they lack the “racial stamina” to engage in difficult conversations. This leads them to respond to “racial triggers”—the show “Dear White People,” the term “wypipo”—with “emotions such as anger, fear and guilt,” DiAngelo writes, “and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and withdrawal from the stress-inducing situation.”
How dare white people use “argumentation.” Why won’t all of them respond to her harangues in a more appropriate fashion, such as by pulling out their checkbooks and signing up for more sessions with Ms. DiAngelo?
DiAngelo, who is white, emphasizes that the stances that make up white fragility are not merely irrational.
… Much of “White Fragility” is dedicated to pulling back the veil on these so-called pillars of whiteness: assumptions that prop up racist beliefs without our realizing it. Such ideologies include individualism, or the distinctly white-American dream that one writes one’s own destiny, and objectivity, the confidence that one can free oneself entirely from bias. As a sociologist trained in mapping group patterns, DiAngelo can’t help but regard both precepts as naïve (at best) and arrogant (at worst). To be perceived as an individual, to not be associated with anything negative because of your skin color, she notes, is a privilege largely afforded to white people; although most school shooters, domestic terrorists, and rapists in the United States are white, it is rare to see a white man on the street reduced to a stereotype. …
In DiAngelo’s almost epidemiological vision of white racism, our minds and bodies play host to a pathogen that seeks to replicate itself, sickening us in the process. Like a mutating virus, racism shape-shifts in order to stay alive; when its explicit expression becomes taboo, it hides in coded language. Nor does prejudice disappear when people decide that they will no longer tolerate it. It just looks for ways to avoid detection. “The most effective adaptation of racism over time,” DiAngelo claims, “is the idea that racism is conscious bias held by mean people.” This “good/bad binary,” positing a world of evil racists and compassionate non-racists, is itself a racist construct, eliding systemic injustice and imbuing racism with such shattering moral meaning that white people, especially progressives, cannot bear to face their collusion in it. (Pause on that, white reader. You may have subconsciously developed your strong negative feelings about racism in order to escape having to help dismantle it.)
The late anthropologist Henry Harpending recounted that one lesson he learned from his years of fieldwork with African tribes is that a major distinction between African belief’s in magic and curses vs. traditional European ones is the African belief in bad spells is much less based on intentionality. If an old lady in Sicily thinks she has been cursed with the evil eye, she usually has a list of suspects and reasons for why they would wish her ill.
In contrast, in Africa the belief system of African witch doctors in its emphasis on system factors that work unconsciously at a distance is rather similar to that of the most woke Diversity Trainer in Current Year America:
That evening [in Africa in the 1970s] we had something like a seminar with our employees and neighbors about witchcraft. Everyone except the Americans agreed that witchcraft was a terrible problem, that there was danger all around, and that it was vitally important to maintain amicable relations with others and to reject feelings of anger or jealousy in oneself. The way it works is like this: perhaps Greg falls and hurts himself, he knows it must be witchcraft, he discovers that I am seething with jealousy of his facility with words, so it was my witchcraft that made him fall. What is surprising is that I was completely unaware of having witched him so he bears me no ill will. I feel bad about his misfortune and do my best to get rid of my bad feelings because with them I am a danger to friends and family. Among Herero there is no such thing as an accident, there is no such thing as a natural death, witchcraft in some form is behind all of it. Did you have a gastrointestinal upset this morning? Clearly someone slipped some pink potion in the milk. Except for a few atheists there was no disagreement about this. Emotions get projected over vast distances so beware.
Even more interesting to us was the universal understanding that white people were not vulnerable to witchcraft and could neither feel it nor understand it. White people literally lack a crucial sense, or part of the brain. An upside, I was told, was that we did not face the dangers that locals faced. On the other hand our bad feelings could be projected so as good citizens we had to monitor carefully our own “hearts”. …
A colleague pointed out a few weeks ago, after hearing this story, that if it is nearly pan-African then perhaps some of it came to the New World. Prominent and not so prominent talkers from the American Black population come out with similar theories of vague and invisible forces that are oppressing people, like “institutional racism” and “white privilege”.
Back to The New Yorker:
… Unpacking the fantasy of black men as dangerous and violent, she does not simply fact-check it; she shows the myth’s usefulness to white people—to obscure the historical brutality against African-Americans, and to justify continued abuse.
DiAngelo sometimes adopts a soothing, conciliatory tone toward white readers, as if she were appeasing a child on the verge of a tantrum. “If your definition of a racist is someone who holds conscious dislike of people because of race, then I agree that it is offensive for me to suggest that you are racist when I don’t know you,” she writes. “I also agree that if this is your definition of racism, and you are against racism, then you are not racist. Now breathe. I am not using this definition of racism, and I am not saying that you are immoral. If you can remain open as I lay out my argument, it should soon begin to make sense.”
… Yet the point of the book is that each white person believes herself the exception, one of very few souls magically exempt from a lifetime of racist conditioning.
See, if you are skeptical of “systemic racism” and “white privilege” and the like, you are the one guilty of magical thinking.
… DiAngelo sets aside a whole chapter for the self-indulgent tears of white women, so distraught at the country’s legacy of racist terrorism that they force people of color to drink from the firehose of their feelings about it.
… For all the paranoid American theories of being “red-pilled,” of awakening into a many-tentacled liberal/feminist/Jewish conspiracy, the most corrosive force, the ectoplasm infusing itself invisibly through media and culture and politics, is white supremacy.
Whiteness is black magic.