White people are fragile

by chloe langlois on Septembre 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.  


 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/