#PopsugarReadingChallenge Category: A book that was banned or challenged in any state
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo
This book was an uncomfortable read, but that's sorta the point. The author is a diversity trainer, which sounds like a pretty thankless job. Lots of people seem to "get it" when talking about structural racism (white people control almost all the corporate, governmental, and media decisions that affect our lives). People can grasp that we all have unconscious biases. But point out an actual instance of someone saying or doing something racist, and the response she saw every time was denial, defensiveness, "But that's not what I meant," and an immediate refocus onto soothing the white person's hurt feelings.
Part of the problem, she suggests, is the good/bad binary that's made it such a taboo subject. As a culture, we have general agreement that racism is a bad thing (finally, after much struggle over this). But it's led to the idea that only a bad person, like a Klansman, could ever say or do anything racist. So rather than examining the particular behavior, the person called out is likely to think something along the lines of, "You said I did something racist, so you're accusing me of being a bad person! How dare you!" Sometimes followed by "You must be the real racist!"
Whether you agree with DiAngelo's analysis or not, it does rather make her point that her book and others like it keep getting banned in Florida schools - on the explicit argument that they would make white children feel bad.
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