Robin DiAngelo, Ph.D — Nice Racism & White Fragility

MON, OCT 17, 2022 (1:01:39)

Author of New York Times (NYT) Bestseller White Fragility joins Boston Public Library President for fireside-style chat.

In this talk, Robin DiAngelo explains how racism is at play in white people and how to bring awareness on our condition, own racism to make change and stop living a segregated life.

About Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm

Based on her second NYT Bestselling book, Dr. DiAngelo identifies many common white racial patterns and breaks down how well-intentioned white people unawarely perpetuate racial harm. These patterns include rushing to prove that we are “not racist,” downplaying white advantage, romanticizing Black, Indigenous and other peoples of color (BIPOC), pretending white segregation “just happens,” expecting BIPOC people to teach us about racism, carefulness, guilt and shame. She offers a series of reflection questions, an assessment tool, and a list of the skills and perspectives that can counter “nice” racism.

About White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism

White people in the U.S. live in a racially insular social environment. This insulation builds our expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering our stamina for enduring racial stress. I term this lack of racial stamina “White Fragility.” White Fragility is a state in which even a minimal challenge to the white position becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves including: argumentation, invalidation, silence, withdrawal and claims of being attacked and misunderstood.

+ BIO: Robin DiAngelo, PhD.

Dr. DiAngelo is an Affiliate Associate Professor of Education at the University of Washington. In addition, she holds two Honorary Doctorates. She is a two-time winner of the Student’s Choice Award for Educator of the Year at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work.

She has numerous publications and books. In 2011 she coined the term White Fragility in an academic article which has influenced the international dialogue on race. Her book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism was released in June of 2018 and debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List, where it remained for over three years and has been translated into 12 languages. Her follow up book, Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm was released in June of 2021.

Her work and interviews have been featured on CBS, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, NPR and PBS, among many other forums. In addition to her academic work, Dr. DiAngelo has been a consultant and educator for over 20 years on issues of racial and social justice.

Boston Public Library