White fragility - Robin DiAngelo


August 5th, 2020

44 mins 8 secs

Season 3

Your Hosts

About this Episode

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

A 2018 book written by Robin DiAngelo about race relations in the United States. An academic with experience in diversity training, DiAngelo coined the term "white fragility" in 2011 to describe any defensive instincts or reactions that a white person experiences when questioned about race or made to consider their own race. In White Fragility, DiAngelo views racism in the United States as systemic and often perpetuated unconsciously by individuals. She recommends against viewing racism as committed intentionally by "bad people".

Published on June 26, 2018, the book entered the New York Times Bestseller List that month, remaining on the list for well over a year and experiencing a resurgence in demand during the George Floyd protests beginning in May 2020. As of the July 26, 2020 edition, the book is in its 97th week on the list in the Paperback Nonfiction category, where it is ranked number one. Critically, the book received generally positive reviews following its publication. It received more mixed reviews in the aftermath of the George Floyd protests two years later. Some reviewers lauded the book for being thoughtful and instructive, but characterized it as diagnostic rather than solution-oriented. Other reviewers criticized the book for making false claims about race and racism in America, for putting whites in a situation where anything they say is used against them, for infantilizing Black people, and for doing nothing to promote racial justice.