Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Zugzwang
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    17 Feb '19 19:105 edits
    “The problem with white people is that they just don’t listen. In my experience, day
    in and day out, most white people are absolutely not receptive to finding out their
    impact on other people. There is a refusal to know or see, or to listen or hear, or to validate.”
    --Robin DiAngelo (white American sociologist)

    "White Americans are probably the sickest and certainly the most dangerous people,
    of any colour, to be found in the world today."
    --James Baldwin

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/16/white-fragility-racism-interview-robin-diangelo

    "Academic Robin DiAngelo: 'We have to stop thinking about racism as someone who says the N-word'."

    Almost all white Americans insist on defining 'racism' narrowly enough to excuse their own racism.

    "Her book, White Fragility, has been a US bestseller and provoked
    an uncomfortable conversation on what it means to be white.
    She explains why she won’t give liberals an easy ride."

    'Liberal' white Americans tend to be nearly as racist, only less overtly, as 'conservative' white Americans.

    "Of course, DiAngelo’s words provoke. They cause discomfort and defensiveness.
    She picks at the disbelief and sensitivity white people exhibit when they are told
    they are complicit in society’s institutional racism. She challenges rather than gives solutions.
    Her book is a harsh wake-up call for white liberals, who she thinks could be much
    more progressive if they first listened."

    "DiAngelo says she encounters a lot of “certitude from white people. …
    She defines this as white fragility – the inability of white people to tolerate racial stress.
    This, she says, leads to white people “weaponising [their] hurt feelings” and being
    indignant and defensive when confronted with racial inequality and injustice.
    This creates a climate where the suggestion or accusation of racism causes more
    outrage among white people than the racism itself."

    That's an accurate description of how almost all white people behave in this forum.

    “And if nobody is racist,” she asks, “why is racism still America’s biggest problem?
    What are white people afraid they will lose by listening?"

    White people are afraid of losing their rationalizations for white privilege.

    "This means understanding that racism is a system rather than just a slur; it is
    prejudice plus power. And in Britain and the US at least, it is designed to benefit
    and privilege whiteness by every economic and social measure."

    Exactly.

    "That is why she is scathing of those who claim “reverse racism” exists; after all,
    people of colour can show prejudice against white people. It is equally condemnable,
    but this form of discrimination does not come with systemic privilege and so is
    not racism as per the modern definition.

    "Reverse is an interesting term,” she says. “Why not just say racism is racism?
    Reverse suggests it is going in the wrong direction. People who complain about
    reverse racism never seem to complain about racism otherwise. These are not
    racial justice advocates.”"

    "The idea that whiteness isn’t discussed is, to her, the first stumbling block.
    “We have a pattern of whiteness never being named or acknowledged, at the
    same time as we name the race of people who are not white. So we grant white
    people the individuality that we don’t afford people of colour.” Whiteness is
    considered the norm for humanity, its default setting."

    "As soon as they [white people] start asking what they’re supposed to do, there’s
    some sarcasm there. That’s not a genuine question, and, in my experience, they
    won’t do what I offer anyway.”"

    "Very few white people, she says, will think they need to read this book.
    “I know my people really well, and we will do whatever we can to mark ourselves as ‘not racist’.”

    "“Racism is a white problem. It was constructed and created by white people and
    the ultimate responsibility lies with white people. For too long we’ve looked at it
    as if it were someone else’s problem, as if it was created in a vacuum.
    I want to push against that narrative.”
    --Robin DiAngelo
  2. Zugzwang
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    17 Feb '19 19:294 edits
    I expect that almost all, if not all, white people (particularly white Americans) here will feel
    that they have nothing to learn from anti-racist white Americans like Robin DiAngelo
    (or Jamie Utt, whom I often have quoted) and ignore everything that they write.

    These smug insular white people will keep congratulating themselves (and one another)
    or their self-perceived absence of racism, while remaining deeply racist for their rest of their lives.

    What I have written is so commonly accepted by non-white people (in white majority societies)
    as describing white reality that non-white people seldom feel obliged to point it out
    among themselves.
  3. SubscriberSuzianne
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    17 Feb '19 19:42
    @duchess64 said
    I expect that almost all, if not all, white people (particularly white Americans) here will feel
    that they have nothing to learn from anti-racist white Americans like Robin DiAngelo
    (or Jamie Utt, whom I often have quoted) and ignore everything that they write.

    These smug insular white people will keep congratulating themselves (and one another)
    or their self-perceive ...[text shortened]... escribing white reality that non-white people seldom feel obliged to point it out
    among themselves.
    I was with you all the way on this. That is, UNTIL you wrote this:

    'Liberal' white Americans tend to be nearly as racist, only less overtly, as 'conservative' white Americans.

    For you to say this shows that you have absolutely NO CLUE what the political divide in America is all about.

    I reckon you were right on in your evaluation, until you decided that simply 'being American' is reason enough to label someone as horribly racist.

    You've never gotten off your 'hate America, hate Americans' rant long enough to discover that one's political stance in America is a BIG deal, affecting nearly every component of their personalities, including racism.

    I just can't abide your 'lumping' all Americans into one big pile and then calling that pile 'horrible'.
  4. Standard membershavixmir
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    17 Feb '19 20:101 edit
    “White privilege” is a problem; not in the way the author you’re referring to implies.

    Yeah, sure, if a white person is middle-class, owns two cars and has 4 weeks paid vacation a year, it might look or feel privileged.

    But what about those hundreds of thousands of white people who can hardly get by? Living in trailer parks? Lost their jobs, their houses. Drug problems; the lot.
    How the hell are you going to convince them they’re privileged?

    They’re not. They don’t have this privilege you’re talking about. They’re indoctrinated with patriotism from the day they were born and they see that their country is screwing them over. This dialectic emotional state is not going to leave them feeling anything but anger.

    And telling them they’re privileged as they have to stop mum’s cancer treatment ‘cause there’s just no money’, isn’t ever going to be a real thing.

    As for the UK: “white privilege” isn’t a thing.
    The privileged are landed gentry (white) or industrialists (mostly white). Everybody else is a pleb and nothing but a means of production. There’s no difference between the Catholic Irish, the Carribbeans or the Glaswegians in London and Manchester.

    To suggest that you have a privilege because of your skin colour is as pathetic as saying you don’t.
    They are both blanket statements and serve no purpose.

    Just because the police shoot you faster if you’re black and just because you lose out to a promotion because you are black, does not mean that lots of white people have white privilege.
    It means some white people benefitted in those situations because they were white.
    And a lot of white people didn’t.

    There is no inherent racism.
    Racism is a reaction. You have to single out the causes of it (poverty, fear, anger, divide & rule) and in each situation pick at it from those angles.

    Just saying: “white privilege” is the same as saying: “blacks are inherently lazy.”

    Some are, some aren’t.
    The same as with everyone and everything else.
  5. Zugzwang
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    17 Feb '19 20:111 edit
    @suzianne said
    I was with you all the way on this. That is, UNTIL you wrote this:

    'Liberal' white Americans tend to be nearly as racist, only less overtly, as 'conservative' white Americans.

    For you to say this shows that you have absolutely NO CLUE what the political divide in America is all about.

    I reckon you were right on in your evaluation, until you decided that simply 'bei ...[text shortened]... st can't abide your 'lumping' all Americans into one big pile and then calling that pile 'horrible'.
    Suzianne's reaction validates Robin DiAngelo's description of 'white fragility'.

    "Her book is a harsh wake-up call for white liberals, who she
    [Robin DiAngelo]
    thinks could be much more progressive if they first listened."

    Robin DiAngelo (a white American woman) does NOT share Suzianne's smug self-serving
    belief that 'liberal' white Americans are free (or almost free) of racism in themselves.

    As a White Feminist (which she prefers to deny), Suzianne apparently prefers to pretend
    that White Feminism does not exist or that it cannot be racist. Suzianne already
    has always refused to listen to any feminist critics (even some other white women)
    of White Feminism, which she apparently cherishes. But most non-white women
    don't believe that some arrogant privileged white women can even understand,
    let alone represent them. White Feminism is a form of racism.

    So Suzianne prefers to wave the US flag and hurl insults at me.
    That only shows the unwillingness of most white Americans to listen to any serious criticism.

    "White Americans are probably the sickest and certainly the most dangerous people,
    of any colour, to be found in the world today."
    --James Baldwin

    "I know why this came as a shock to me then, at the age of 22, and it wasn’t necessarily
    because he said I was sick, though that was part of it. It was because he kept calling
    me that thing: “white American”. In my reaction I justified his accusation. I knew I
    was white, and I knew I was American, but it was not what I understood to be my identity.
    For me, self-definition was about gender, personality, religion, education, dreams.
    I only thought about finding myself, becoming myself, discovering myself – and
    this, I hadn’t known, was the most white American thing of all.

    I still did not think about my place in the larger world, or that perhaps an entire
    history – the history of white Americans – had something to do with who I was.
    My lack of consciousness allowed me to believe I was innocent"

    "But it is very, very rare that young white Americans come across someone who
    tells them in harsh, unforgiving terms that they might be merely the easy winners
    of an ugly game, and indeed that because of their ignorance and misused power,
    they might be the losers within a greater moral universe."
    --Suzy Hansen

    On a deeper level, Suzianne has more in common with the MAGA supporters of
    Donald Trump than she has with me. Suzianne apparently believes that the USA
    always has been a fundamentally good and just country--always well-meaning--
    except when it's been led astray by some bad Republican Presidents. That's absurd.
  6. SubscriberSuzianne
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    17 Feb '19 20:19
    @duchess64 said
    Suzianne's reaction validates Robin DiAngelo's description of 'white fragility'.

    "Her book is a harsh wake-up call for white liberals, who she
    [Robin DiAngelo]
    thinks could be much more progressive if they first listened."

    Robin DiAngelo (a white American woman) does NOT share Suzianne's smug self-serving
    belief that 'liberal' white Americans are free (or almost f ...[text shortened]... well-meaning--
    except when it's been led astray by some bad Republican Presidents. That's absurd.
    And apparently, you've never read a word I write in this forum (after all, I'm just a racist American by your reckoning), because if you did, you'd realize that I am far from this "White Feminist" label you continually plaster me with. One can only assume that you're not paying attention.
  7. Zugzwang
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    17 Feb '19 20:221 edit
    @shavixmir said
    “White privilege” is a problem; not in the way the author you’re referring to implies.

    Yeah, sure, if a white person is middle-class, owns two cars and has 4 weeks paid vacation a year, it might look or feel privileged.

    But what about those hundreds of thousands of white people who can hardly get by? Living in trailer parks? Lost their jobs, their houses. Drug problem ...[text shortened]... acks are inherently lazy.”

    Some are, some aren’t.
    The same as with everyone and everything else.
    First of all, Robin DiAngelo's a white American writing primarily about a US context.
    Let's try to stick to that.

    Second, Shavixmir shows ignorance or misunderstanding of white privilege.
    It does NOT mean, of course, that ALL white people are affluent or have no problems.
    Of course, white people encounter obstacles, but they tend to be individual, not institutional.

    White privilege means that, all else being equal (in terms of class, talent, etc.)
    white people tend to have more advantages and opportunities than non-white people.
  8. Zugzwang
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    17 Feb '19 20:24
    This post (originally in another thread) should be reiterated here.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/08/unlearning-the-myth-of-american-innocence

    "Unlearning the myth of American innocence
    When she was 30, Suzy Hansen left the US for Istanbul – and began to realise that Americans
    will never understand their own country until they see it as the rest of the world does."

    "For all their patriotism, Americans rarely think about how their national identities
    relate to their personal ones. This indifference is particular to the psychology of
    white Americans and has a history unique to the US. In recent years, however, this
    national identity has become more difficult to ignore. Americans can no longer
    travel in foreign countries without noticing the strange weight we carry with us."

    "We were all patriotic, but I can’t even conceive of what else we could have been,
    because our entire experience was domestic, interior, American. … The lone Asian
    kid in our class studied hard and went to Berkeley; the Indian went to Yale. …
    The world was white, Christian; the world was us.

    We did not study world maps, because international geography, as a subject, had
    been phased out of many state curriculums long before. There was no sense of
    the US being one country on a planet of many countries."
    "I’d had no idea that we had ever had to define our identities at all, because to me,
    white Americans were born fully formed, completely detached from any sort of complicated past."

    "White Americans are probably the sickest and certainly the most dangerous people,
    of any colour, to be found in the world today."
    --James Baldwin

    "I know why this came as a shock to me then, at the age of 22, and it wasn’t necessarily
    because he said I was sick, though that was part of it. It was because he kept calling
    me that thing: “white American”. In my reaction I justified his accusation. I knew I
    was white, and I knew I was American, but it was not what I understood to be my identity.
    For me, self-definition was about gender, personality, religion, education, dreams.
    I only thought about finding myself, becoming myself, discovering myself – and
    this, I hadn’t known, was the most white American thing of all.

    I still did not think about my place in the larger world, or that perhaps an entire
    history – the history of white Americans – had something to do with who I was.
    My lack of consciousness allowed me to believe I was innocent"

    "But it is very, very rare that young white Americans come across someone who
    tells them in harsh, unforgiving terms that they might be merely the easy winners
    of an ugly game, and indeed that because of their ignorance and misused power,
    they might be the losers within a greater moral universe."
    --Suzy Hansen
  9. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    17 Feb '19 20:30
    @duchess64 said
    First of all, Robin DiAngelo's a white American writing primarily about a US context.
    Let's try to stick to that.

    Second, Shavixmir shows ignorance or misunderstanding of white privilege.
    It does NOT mean, of course, that ALL white people are affluent or have no problems.
    Of course, white people encounter obstacles, but they tend to be individual, not institutional.
    ...[text shortened]... s, talent, etc.)
    white people tend to have more advantages and opportunities than non-white people.
    Just to clarify, is your ultimate goal to have every white person on the planet (starting with America) apologize for being white?
  10. Zugzwang
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    17 Feb '19 20:34
    @suzianne said
    And apparently, you've never read a word I write in this forum (after all, I'm just a racist American by your reckoning), because if you did, you'd realize that I am far from this "White Feminist" label you continually plaster me with. One can only assume that you're not paying attention.
    First of all, I note that there's an 'edit war' in Wikipedia about the 'White Feminism' article.
    Evidently, sympathizers and critics of White Feminism have been changing the
    definition to reflect their ideological agendas. The latest version seems to have
    been written by a supporter or sympathizer of White Feminism.

    Suzianne (at best) keeps failing to comprehend the meaning of White Feminism.
    I am aware that Suzianne has criticized some forms of racism against black people,
    but that does not mean that she's free of all racism or cannot be a White Feminist.

    And Suzianne keeps being dishonest about what was written.
    Many times I have asked Suzianne to read criticisms of White Feminism, and she
    evidently always has refused.

    As far as I know, Suzianne always has rejected INTERSECTIONAL Feminism or
    Black Feminism in contrast to the White Feminism that she (ignorantly?) supports.
    White Feminism is the least intolerable form of 'feminism' for racist white men.

    And I note with disdain that the hypocritical Suzianne eagerly waves the US flag,
    eager to appeal to xenophobic (if not racist) Americans in personally attacking me,
    when I have cited and quoted a white American woman academic (whom she rejects).
  11. Standard membershavixmir
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    17 Feb '19 20:35
    @duchess64 said
    First of all, Robin DiAngelo's a white American writing primarily about a US context.
    Let's try to stick to that.

    Second, Shavixmir shows ignorance or misunderstanding of white privilege.
    It does NOT mean, of course, that ALL white people are affluent or have no problems.
    Of course, white people encounter obstacles, but they tend to be individual, not institutional.
    ...[text shortened]... s, talent, etc.)
    white people tend to have more advantages and opportunities than non-white people.
    Yes.
    So, if a large part of the goal group feels no privilege and, objectivly, they have no privilege, what’s the point of telling them they have institutional privilege?

    Will repeating that message make them less racist? Less privileged? More angry?

    What do you think?
  12. Zugzwang
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    17 Feb '19 20:462 edits
    @ghost-of-a-duke said
    Just to clarify, is your ultimate goal to have every white person on the planet (starting with America) apologize for being white?
    “The problem with white people is that they just don’t listen. In my experience, day
    in and day out, most white people are absolutely not receptive to finding out their
    impact on other people. There is a refusal to know or see, or to listen or hear, or to validate.”
    --Robin DiAngelo (white American sociologist)

    Ghost of a Duke (who has disingenuously pretended not to be white when trolling earlier)
    spews an absurd 'response' that shows the depth of 'white fragility' as described by Robin DiAngelo.
    Ghost of a Duke has shown that he's as insecure about racism, if not also racist, as most white people.

    ALL 'responses' so far by white people here show their extreme 'white fragility'
    their extreme defensiveness about racism, and their absolute unwillingness to
    listen seriously to any substantial criticism, even by other white people (such as
    Robin DiAngelo now or Jamie Utt whom I have quoted earlier).

    As I expected, the normal (almost universal) 'response' of white people is to say,
    in effect, "I obviously am not racist. I have nothing to learn about racism."

    Of course, I expect that, in a forum dominated by white people (including many overt racists),
    white people will always hate any non-white person who dares to criticize their racism.
    Non-white people know that white people almost never listen to them about racism.

    I can respect (while not necessarily agreeing completely) anti-racist white Americans
    like Robin DiAngelo and Jamie Utt. As far as I know, none of the white people
    (except perhaps for Finnegan) comes close to their understanding or honest
    self-criticism of white racism.
  13. Standard membershavixmir
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    17 Feb '19 20:51
    @duchess64 said
    Ghost of a Duke (who has disingenuously pretended not to be white when trolling earlier)
    spews an absurd 'response' that shows the depth of 'white fragility' as described by Robin DiAngelo.
    Ghost of a Duke has shown that he's as insecure about racism, if not also racist, as most white people.

    ALL 'responses' so far by white people here show their extreme 'white fragili ...[text shortened]... perhaps for Finnegan) comes close to their understanding or honest
    self-criticism of white racism.
    My white fragility?
    You mean, because I disagree with you on cause and method that I’m defensive about my own skin colour?

    A little rich, do you not think?
    You seem very eager to apply generic terms to large groups of people.
    Perhaps you have some bias based on some other fragility you’ve not yet discovered?
  14. Zugzwang
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    17 Feb '19 20:52
    @shavixmir said
    Yes.
    So, if a large part of the goal group feels no privilege and, objectivly, they have no privilege, what’s the point of telling them they have institutional privilege?

    Will repeating that message make them less racist? Less privileged? More angry?

    What do you think?
    As a white man, Shavixmir apparently prefers that white privilege and male privilege
    never should be discussed. As long as reality remains ignored, it cannot be changed.
    Perhaps Shavixmir prefers that white privilege or male privilege never be challenged?

    White privilege means that, all else being equal (in terms of class, talent, etc.)
    white people tend to have more advantages and opportunities than non-white people.

    I note that, when it seems to be the other way around (as in post-apartheid South Africa),
    white people tend to object loudly to any other people appearing more 'privileged'.
  15. Standard membershavixmir
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    17 Feb '19 20:56
    @duchess64 said
    As a white man, Shavixmir apparently prefers that white privilege and male privilege
    never should be discussed. As long as reality remains ignored, it cannot be changed.
    Perhaps Shavixmir prefers that white privilege or male privilege never be challenged?

    White privilege means that, all else being equal (in terms of class, talent, etc.)
    white people tend to have mor ...[text shortened]... South Africa),
    white people tend to object loudly to any other people appearing more 'privileged'.
    For once you are correct.
    I do not want white or male privilege discussed. They’re non-terms and at the very least counter-productive.

    And for god’s sake, don’t make the mistake of thinking I don’t think sexism or racism exist.

    As I pointed out in my initial post in this tragic thread, I would opt for a completely different angle in tackling society’s injustices.
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