White people are fragile

by chloe langlois on September 11, 2015 - 8:55am

 In Robin Diangelo's article “White America's racial illiteracy: why our national conversation is poisoned from the start they talk about race” published on salon.com in 2015, Caucasians are protected from the extremities of racism due to how they are raised and taught. It is recognized by the author that Caucasians' thoughts and feelings about racial topics are molded by their culture. Many Caucasians are misinformed about the topic because the education system provides a very limited selection of opinions and knowledge. Furthermore, when asked a question about racism, white people neglect the fact that they hold most of the hierarchical power in society and so they may not be thinking or saying rude comments but their status is putting the other races down. Due to many factors such as segregation, Caucasians are protected from the full extent of non-white races and in return only connect racism as an individual act. Diangelo concludes by explaining that there is a way to fix white fragility and it includes constant amelioration through trying to understand the reality of race and to take ownership. By doing so Caucasians can expect an enriched comprehension of races in society.

Personally I agree with Diangelo's hypothesis, but my main concern is his conclusion. In my eyes it is true that culture shapes white people's opinion in a way that they don't even realize it is happening. As said in Darren Curnoe's article “Human races: biological reality or cultural delusion” races were distinguished by culture and language. Furthermore, it only makes sense that today it is our culture that molds our thoughts and beliefs about race. White people have held a lot of power in the past and it has lead to a set wall between the reality of race and the illusion. The illusion being what Caucasians see due to their hierarchy, as said by Diangelo. Now, regarding Diangelo's conclusion, I personally do not believe that an individual can fix a problem within themselves that involves a whole history of societies involvement. Although the positivity is appreciated, it does not seem possible in this century that white people will be able to accomplish this at the extent that the author explains. For this to happen, many Caucasians would have to acknowledge what has been done in the past and how it is not completely resolved. Lastly, race is a topic that is neglected and avoided by many white people because of their discomfort but this needs to change through our culture. Education, parenting, advertisements and the environment need to shift so that future generations will feel comfortable with such a topic and start moving towards resolving the issue at hand.  

References:

 Curnoe, D. (2014). Human races: biological reality or cultural delusion? Australian Science, 35(8), 37-38

Diangelo, R. (April 10th 2015).White America's racial illiteracy: why our national conversation is poisoned from the start {indent} they talk about race. Retrieved from {indent}http://www.salon.com/2015/04/10/white_americans_racial_illiteracy_why_ou... {indent}from_the_start_partner/

 

 

 

Comments

Article Response
Why are Caucasians so fragile with racism and race?

I believe this topic is very intriguing as well as depicting the truth. I agree with the poster of such. Caucasian people in a
generalized manner are less in a sense involved with racism. Caucasian populous never had to deal with some of the
hardships other races in society have. Caucasians never had issues finding jobs in society due to skin color, or had to deal with
slavery like other races did. Most corporation heads of today are caucasian, most iconic figures in society are of Caucasian
decent. Caucasian populations never had much discriminatory actions committed against them simply due to skin color. This
indeed provided some sort of sheltering to the hardships that were realized by citizens of a different race/races. The ideology
of race and racism for Caucasian populous is one sided, because suffering due to race was never actually a part of their
history, they capitalized on race in their histories.

To conclude, I believe Caucasian populations had a far simpler life, as well as a far more sheltered life, than that of the
racial counterparts of society, that they capitalized on the ideology of race in the past, and them themselves formed their own
definitions of such; thus never physically understood the hardships other races had to endure to survive, and to grow. I believe
that other races in a sense, may be stronger than some of Caucasian decent, simply due to the fact that they rose from the
ashes of racism, to where as we did not have too, in a manner, such a statement brings about the belief that yes cultures of
other race had a harder life, but I believe that their growth made citizens of other races stronger than us.