Review: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

Cover for White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Title: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Author: Robin DiAngelo

Narrator: Amy Landon 

Length: 6h 21m

5 out of 5 stars
5 stars – I loved it!

“White people raised in Western society are conditioned into a white supremacist worldview because it is the bedrock of our society and its institutions. Regardless of whether a parent told you that everyone was equal, or the poster in the hall of your white suburban school proclaimed the value of diversity, or you have traveled abroad, or you have people of color in your workplace or family, the ubiquitous socializing power of white supremacy cannot be avoided. The messages circulate 24-7 and have little or nothing to do with intentions, awareness, or agreement. Entering the conversation with this understanding is freeing because it allows us to focus on how–rather than if–our racism is manifest. When we move beyond the good/bad binary, we can become eager to identify our racist patterns because interrupting those patterns becomes more important than managing how we think we look to others.

I repeat: stopping our racist patterns must be more important than working to convince others that we don’t have them. We do have them, and people of color already know we have them; our efforts to prove otherwise are not convincing. An honest accounting of these patterns is no small task given the power of white fragility and white solidarity, but it is necessary.”

Yes, I know that is a long quote but it felt like a great way to start this review. This book is perfect for white people who are trying to understand racism and how to properly respond to it. Robin DiAngelo is a white woman who easily breaks down white fragility and why white people have these responses when confronted with their racisms. 

“The key to moving forward is what we do with our discomfort. We can use it as a door out—blame the messenger and disregard the message. Or we can use it as a door in by asking, Why does this unsettle me? What would it mean for me if this were true?”

DiAngelo explanations and breakdowns of the different racisms, responses, and excuses that are used by white people to ignore racism was extremely enlightening. Her writing was simple, straightforward, and easy to understand. I learned so much from this book and about myself as well. Some of her examples have made me realize how I was racist in the past without even knowing it. This is an uncomfortable feeling but it is good because I know that I am starting to identify racism, which is why I am educating myself. 

“Authentic antiracism is rarely comfortable. Discomfort is key to my growth and thus desirable.”

I highly recommend this book if you are interested in identifying racism and becoming an antiracist, especially if you are a white person. I will most likely buy a physical copy of this book and reread it again because there is so much important information in this book. 

Goodreads / Amazon

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