Why “I’m not racist” is only half the story | Robin DiAngelo
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Why “I’m not racist” is only half the story | Robin DiAngelo


All systems of oppression are highly adaptive,
and they can adapt to challenges and incorporate them. They can allow for exceptions. And I think the most powerful adaptation of
the system of racism to the challenges of the civil rights movement was to reduce a
racist to a very simple formula. A racist is an individual—always an individual,
not a system—who consciously does not like people based on race—must be conscious—and
who intentionally seeks to be mean to them. Individual, conscious, intent. And if that is MY definition of a racist,
then your suggestion that anything I’ve said or done is racist or has a racist impact,
I’m going to hear that as: you just said I was a bad person. You just put me over there in that category. And most of my bias anyway is unconscious. So I’m not intending, I’m not aware. So now I’m going to need to defend my moral
character, and I will, and we’ve all seen it. It seems to be virtually impossible based
on that definition for the average white person to look deeply at their socialization, to
look at the inevitability of internalizing racist biases, developing racist patterns,
and having investments in the system of racism—which is pretty comfortable for us and serves us
really well. I think that definition of a racist, that
either/or, what I call the good/bad binary is the root of virtually all white defensiveness
on this topic because it makes it virtually impossible to talk to the average white person
about the inevitable absorption of a racist world-view that we get by being literally
swimming in racist water. White fragility is meant to capture the defensiveness
that so many white people display when our world views, our identities or our racial
positions are challenged. And it’s a very familiar dynamic. I think there’s a reason that term resonated
for so many people. I mean even if you yourself are to explain
white fragility it’s fairly recognizable that in general white people are really defensive
when the topic is racism and when they are challenged racially or cross racially. So the fragility part is meant to capture
how easy it is to trigger that defensiveness. For many white people the mere suggestion
that being white has meaning will set us off. Another thing that will set us off is generalizing
about white people. Right now I’m generalizing about white people,
and that questions a very precious ideology, which is: most white people are raised to
see ourselves as individuals. We don’t like being generalized about. And yet social life is patterned and observable
and predictable in describable ways. And while we are, of course, all unique individuals,
we are also members of social groups. And that membership is profound. That membership matters. We can literally predict whether my mother
and I were going to survive my birth and how long I’m going to live based on my race. We need to be willing to grapple with the
collective experiences we have as a result of being members of a particular group that
has profound meaning for our lives. We live in a society that is deeply separate
and unequal by race. I think we all know that. How we would explain why that is might vary,
but that it’s separate and unequal is very, very clear. While we who are white tend to be fragile
in that it doesn’t take much to upset us around race, the impact of our response is
not fragile at all. It’s a kind of weaponized defensiveness,
weaponized hurt feelings. And it functions really, really effectively
to repel the challenge. As a white person I move through the world
racially comfortable virtually 24/7. It is exceptional for me to be outside of
my racial comfort zone, and most of my life I’ve been warned not to go outside my racial
comfort zone. And so on the rare occasion when I am uncomfortable
racially it’s a kind of throwing off of my racial equilibrium, and I need to get back
into that. And so I will do whatever it takes to repel
the challenge and get back into it. And in that way I think white fragility functions
as a kind of white racial bullying, to be frank. We make it so miserable for people of color
to talk to us about our inevitable and often unaware racist patterns that we cannot help
develop from being socialized into a culture in which racism is the bedrock and the foundation. We make it so miserable for them to talk to
us about it that most of the time they don’t, right? We just have to understand that most people
of color that are working or living in primarily white environments take home way more daily
slights and hurts and insults than they bother talking to us about. Because their experience is: they’re going
to risk more punishment. They’re going to lose the relationship. They’re going to have their experience minimized,
explained away. They’re going to cause the person to feel
attacked or hurt. And in that way white fragility functions
as a kind of everyday white racial control. None of that has to be intentional or conscious,
but that is how it functions. And there’s a question that’s never failed
me in my efforts to unpack “how do we pull this off?” How do so many of us who are white individually
feel so free of racism and yet we live in a society that is so profoundly separate and
unequal by race? And the question that’s never failed me
is not, “is this true or is this false, is this right or is this wrong,” but: “How
does it function? How do these narratives that I tell, how do
they function?” When I tell you “Well, I’m just an individual. Why can’t we all just be individuals?” When I tell you “I was taught to treat everyone
the same.” When I tell you “but it’s focusing on
race that divides us.” When I tell you “but I have lots of friends
of color!” Those narratives have not changed our outcome,
and they function to take race off the table and to exempt the person from any further
engagement. And in doing that they function to protect
the current racial hierarchy and the white position within it. It doesn’t have to be what I’m intending
to do, but it is the impact of those narratives.

About Bill McCormick

Read All Posts By Bill McCormick

100 thoughts on “Why “I’m not racist” is only half the story | Robin DiAngelo

  1. The comments below can all be summed up with two words, and I think we all know what they are.

    It's "White Fragility." Just in case you didn't catch that. Whole lotta selective listeners down there.

  2. I have not read her book. I looked it up and listened to this.

    But two things came up while reading the outline:

    1) All identities are fragile. As the Buddha said "there is neither a self nor is there not a self."

    To single out "white" is one sided and full of assumptions as to how a person identifies or how they were socialized.

    2) I don't think she understands how transference works.

    Transference first described by Freud as an early relationship strategy that creates a grammar of relationships with accurate anticipation and expectations.

    So what happens when your anticipations or expectations of the Other are disrupted, what happens when they have another grammar or way of relating? Often people get upset with each other, or have certain defenses.

    This happens all the time, among everyone. Any argument you have comes from this phenomenon (which is now becoming scientific consensus).

    The issue is transference is a TWO way street. Everyone projects onto everyone else.

    A person might object to your behavior because it does not meet their relationship grammar and then you might object to their objection because their objection does not match up with your relationship grammar. Etc.

    The only way to resolve the issues is to negotiate person to person. And in certain cases you might not be able to.

    3) What this theory does is forecloses on the person to person negotiation. Because she is assuming what people think or believe in a totalizing way. If you object to something it might be fragility.

    I think we have pretty good tools to negotiate differences in psychology, but these tools can be really frightening for anyone involved that's why they are not very popular, they expose everyone's ego fragility, and it does not discriminate.

  3. almost all videos of robin diangelo have comments disabled. Lol
    Do you ever notice how she never debates her ideas? She refuses because she can't defend her ideas.

  4. She suggests that being "racist" is just the way you are and sort of ridicules that you'd be offended at being called that. But racists are, without exception, portrayed as villains. That said, you have no way of escaping being lumped into the massive villainy. The truth is, this is not unlike textbook propaganda. Like the Nazis, the progressive left is creating an "other" to be feared and hated by every group possible: the white, straight, cisgendered male. You're a villain to women because you're male and sexist. You're a villain to people of color because you're white and racist. And you're a villain to the LGBT+ community because you're homophobic and transphobic. In other words, they're making you the target of everyone's hatred. Where does it go from here?

  5. There is a problem out in our society with people like Robin. I call it stupidism, it’s when someone discriminate, is prejudice, OR has malice against someone because of the color of their skin. Now, ask yourself, is it wrong to be a stupidist? Is it wrong discriminate, be prejudice, or have malice against someone because of the color of their skin? If you say yes, congrats you agree with me that Robin DiAngleo is a stupidist. She discriminates and is prejudice against white people. And anyone who assume all white people have privilege because of the color of their shin are also stupidist.

  6. Wow. Just… wow. So defending yourself when someone claims you are a racist is an unmistakable sign that you are a racist.

    Also, please explain why this is only true for white people?

  7. She literally sees whites as superior to other races. Its the only way everything she says could make any sense. But all you have to do is walk around in any major city to see how ridiculous that belief is. There are black people in positions of power everywhere. There are black cops arresting white suspects. Black judges sentencing white criminals. Black business owners employing white workers. This morning at the airport I saw a black woman searching the bag of a white man. I'm at a casino in Las Vegas right now as I type this. Right behind me a black woman is in charge of the cashiers cage, responsible for millions of dollars. The man playing high stakes poker right next to me is black and has $12,000 in front of him. The fundamental error in her broken world view is that racial groups share the same experience in our society. The truth is that the experiences of black people are just as diverse as every other racial group. Black people are existing at every strata of our society from skid row to law enforcement to mayors to congress to the white house. And as all emotionally healthy people know…we don't define our lives by what we experience. Our lives are defined by how we react to what we experience. The lives of black people are not in the hands of white people. They have self determination. They have agency. Their life will be the result of the individual choices they make. Despite what Robin says, life happens on an individual level, not at a group level. And the only way to achieve the equal outcomes she wants is to strip away our civil rights. We can have equality of outcome or we can have freedom, we can't have both.

  8. Robin Go fuck yourself you stupid racist piece of shit. You are racist towards whites and even more racist towards blacks, because you treat them like poor little puppies without agency who can never get anywhere in the world unless amazing wonderful virtuous people like you help them. News flash, black people don't need you!

  9. God Im a white racist. I try not to harm others. I bang black chicks when the oppurtunity arises(HWP&>5) Yet I'm a dirty no good racist but this bitches first name is a mans name and this is gender appropriation. UNACCEPTABLE FLAG THIS VIDEO.

  10. This is utterly moronic. It’s the same mentality of the Spanish Inquisition or the Maoist thought police of the Cultural Revolution. Pure 1984!
    Judging by this cretinous argument then EVERYONE is “racist”! Even if you’re the LEAST racist person who has ever existed, you’re STILL “racist” to these idiots.
    And defending yourself and your character only CONFIRMS your “racism” and your “fragility”!!
    Hahahaha!
    What kind of moron do you have to be to be taken in by this sort of hogwash?
    A LEFTIST MORON! A virtue signaling elitist TWAT like this dumb shit in the video!

  11. Isn’t it telling how a BLATANT racist bigot like this stupid cow can spew her bigotry all over YouTube and be applauded by people like “the Big Think”, yet bog standard, middle-of-the -road conservatives are being banned and demonetised all over social media. It’s almost as if there’s an agenda at work……

  12. So you are admitting you're racist, and are trying to rationalize it by projecting the biases you hold into the minds of the rest of white people. Got it.

    "Literally swimming in racist waters". I don't know if you understand the concept of literally.

  13. The irony is that White People, specifically western Europeans, are among the least tribalistic and most individualistic people on earth. In other words, white people are the only people in the world willing to accept, celebrate and facilitate a complete demographic transformation of their Nations which is occurring at a staggering rate.

  14. I can't condone to people who promote this kind of idiotic, disgusting and hateful propaganda.

    Unsuscribed and automatic "not interested" for this channel from now on.

  15. Many of these comments and attacks on Dr. DiAngelo prove her point. They include defensiveness, denial, "white racial bullying" and many more.

    One of those "many more" is to attack the person carrying the message rather than entering into a civil dialogue about the message

    Below, one criticism of Dr. DiAngelo was that she didn't say what to do about racism.

    Here is one.

    How many whites laugh at racist jokes or say nothing? What should whites do? The answer . . . . Don't laugh; don't be quite. Challenge racist jokes. That is just a first step.

  16. This person is white therefore intrinsically racist and she also speak English, the language of the oppressor: so how can she tell something about racism that is not racist itself?

  17. Hey Hello, black folk here. If someone come to me and tell me that i am racist when I genuinely think im not, i'm gona defend myself by saying that i am not. Does that mean that i have white fragility? Even tho i'm not white?

  18. That ladies neck skin is incredible! It looks like she has an issue with her skin. Maybe she could seek professional help to improve her skin situation. Big thanks to her for trying to help me with mine. It was a pleasure to help her see her problems too. 🙂

  19. The thing that sucks the most is that white ppl don't understand entirely how ppl of color feel. When you bring up an issue no matter how small or large they want to dismiss it as reverse rascism.. Make us feel like we are over reacting

  20. As soon as she said, "white people" she declared her hand. She's the true racist. Only seeing people as groups of color and reasons for victimhood. This BS is sickening and her racism is awful.

  21. I was called racist for speaking Japanese. I'm white, I was at a University party, I said the name of a Japanese series I was watching with accurate Japanese pronunciation, and this Asian American woman called me racist. Not ironically, not humorously, just flat out "wow, you're a racist" and walked away. I studied Japanese for 3 years. This is why white people are defensive about race. If a white person doesn't act as if the world is dominated by an oppressive white supremacy, they're racist. That's the rule. No wonder white people get defensive, it's like walking on eggshells.

  22. you do not like peoples based on race, you are conscious , and want you are mean against them with stereotypes and prejudices, the white peoples.
    Yes you are racist.
    The dumb thing is that you are racist against you skin color category…..

    Yes this is the definition of racist ideology.

    This is the only honest way to all someone racist.
    Then a black person who don't like white peoples because they are white, is a racist too.
    Racists think peoples in term of race, anti racist peoples think peoples i term of human being.

    Only a racist can speak about "racial equilibrium", anti racist don't think in term of race.
    White peoples who do not think other peoples in term of race, are not racists.

    In fact you are confusing the American society build on slavery and racism, with white peoples in general.
    Nothing of what you speak is related to white peoples, but to American society where white peoples are the majority.
    This is is bad sociology.

  23. This video helps debunk white guilt but it still makes all these keks so sad. lol. Shoutout to the triggered redpill cult-leader that must've sent his personal army here to comment: thanks for illustrating the premise of white fragility. If you're alt–white: Plz google "structuralism" before trying to play madlibs with political terminology.

  24. The fact that so many white in the comments are bothered by this video basically supports the whole white fragility thing 🤣

  25. Monopoly has end game. Who running and benefits from these monopoly system

    400 years. Never repent for it sins. We tried several times to make it right fear stop . 12 step program in greed of fear a book

  26. What if white racists withheld funding from the university where she indoctrinates students? What if she refused to use technology invented by white racists to spread her babble?

  27. Wow just by the way she speaks and what she's saying, what did she do that was so bad in her past that she's got to atone for? wow I don't know anybody that thinks the way she says all white people do, where are these people? I'm guessing it's the same type of people that are ignoring all the homelessness out in California where the distance between the rich and the poor is ever-widening. And by the way, trying to flip it around so" you're guilty until proven innocent " ,we're not falling for it

  28. God damn this lady's racist..
    I think it's hilarious how white people create excuses why there racist… it's simple you guys are full of hate

  29. We live in a white supremacist society and as white people we benefit from that everyday whether we acknowledge it or not. It is our job as white people to think about these important issues in order to try and change them as we have the power and ability to do so. This is not to say that individual white people don’t face hardships in their life but race is not one of them.

  30. I'm hopeful that white people are reading her book, and acknowledging their place, and challenging themselves, to grow and be better about this topic 🙂

  31. All this is true because you say so?

    Robin, I would like to see you attempt to rigorously disprove your own theories, rather than making assertions without basis in fact.

  32. The funny part is that all the white people here are so butthurt and offended because its true or they dont accept its true. All the reactions to what she said really just reinforces her point validating it. Look at the white people bottling up into their safespace haha. Its really hilarious the amount of delusion in this comment section. The dumbest and worst people think they sre smart and right.

  33. You definition just made a lot of persons of color fit the term racist.
    You can all yell at me, but it's true going purely by her definition.

  34. The concept of "white fragility" is flawed to begin with. And the circumstances of Robin hersf speak much louder than her bloviating on white fragility.

    TL;DR- white fragility is only a thing out of convience. Since its not a risk to racially attack whites, pretentious academics/petty people of color will put whites under a microscope and find anything to criticize them, for they are too scared to insult/attack/critique anyone else.

  35. This is theology. This is a fundamentalist preacher sincerely straining to make her audience understand that they are all wretched sinners, and that if then deny it that's the sin talking. And the fundamental doctrine of the religion she is preaching is "white people are always wrong." And then, to top it off, she honestly doesn't understand why white people don't want to talk about it!!!

  36. Whites are more than willing to talk about race than she's afraid to think. This "Whiteness expert" should move to Zimbabwe or somewhere she would feel liberated and at home. She is so self-delusional and mixed up. And whites are always wrong and criminal and racist while no other race can never be any of these. Even if a White agrees with her, she'll still accuse them and their response as racist. She hates and is ashamed of her race, clearly. Perhaps she can be like that NAACP "director", or whatever in Spokane, was it?

  37. At some point in her life DiAngelo realized she was racist. Instead of accepting responsibility for it she blames the culture and her skin color. She rationalizes that because she is white and grew up in the US she was socialized to be racist. She then concludes that all other white people must also be as racist as her because they too grew up white and in the US. This way of thinking is actually a manifestation of her racism and tendency to judge people based on skin color. This way of thinking also allows for DiAngelo to ignore responsibility for her own racist views. She then talks about her ideas with other people who agree, or are afraid to disagree, for so many years that she ends up Big Think spewing her dribble like we got here. She should take responsibility for herself and stop being a racist.

  38. Robin DiAngelo, the Super-SJW, able to leap over any logical objection, any dictionary definition, and any scientific data set with a single buzz word or projection.

  39. I love this! 'White fragility' a concept to automatically shut down all disagreement with out the hassle of evidence. People are offended when I make unfounded derogatory claims about them based on race? (The very definition of racism) well, I will articulate all of those natural reactions and create terms that ASSUMES that those are unjustifiablele defense mechanisms not natural responses to unfoubded attacks. Now morons will quote my artifice terms and never question their sounded.

  40. Well, if growing up in a society makes us white people racist, then every Muslim is a homophobe, a patriarchal misogynist and a misanthrope and every black person that have grown up in the ghetto is a thug, a gangster, a welfare-queen and overall just a massive ass.
    You are welcome.

  41. How does this women got a doctors degree? Hilarious. This a caricature of left social ideolog who spend three decades theorising without objective reality interfering. A chain of incrowed defenitions and
    generalizations that could go on for hours and hours. I barely made it. This video bares no evidence of science.

  42. White fragility, white privilege and “all white people are racist“ are extremely racist evil concepts. Prove me wrong.

  43. This is stupid. All she says is riding on you accepting you are racist and forced by your own culture. That is a weak point. I live in a metropolitan area that is 99% Mexicans and democrats. I was raised here in the USA without meeting one white person till I was 18. This place is covered and crime and poverty. Our city mayor has been caught twice taking stolen taxes of 400,000 dollars. The kids here are on drugs and gangs and like I said, no white people. I blame the system of power and not the individual. I blame the cops and city officials. People stop confusing racism with Greed.

  44. her book is very misleading and perhaps culturally insensitive. If anything it's just another piece of american supremacy. the title WHY IT’S SO HARD FOR WHITE PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT RACISM is BS. Maybe it's hard for America white people to talk about x,y,z. But for the other billion or so of us not from america, who happen to be white, it's completely untrue. My ancestors are from central asia, I'm white. My dad was born in canada. He has nothing to do with american slavery. He has no problem talking about it.

  45. Propaganda. Boring word salad propaganda. More hate whitey bullshit. Just preach about treating people with love. In a perfect world the respect given and received is equal. We can only strive for that.

  46. Oh boy, that dislike ratio is some white fragility if I've ever seen it. If only people could grow up and realize none of this has to do with demonizing white people.

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