White Fragility - Robin DiAngelo

White Fragility

Author: Robin DiAngelo

  • Publication Date: 2018-06-26
  • Category: Social Science
4 Score: 4
(From 1,294 Ratings)


The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.


  • Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

    By Richard Bakare
    Racism is a system that upholds a racial divide which benefits whites. Racist patterns and behaviors are unconsciously embedded in even the most progressive whites by media, parental examples, egregious misrepresentations of people of color, and a culture that has defined their experience as the “norm.” As the author states, it is important to realize the history our respective groups bring with us in every interaction. This setting allows for more reflective interactions where the racial context is not hidden and can confronted without resorting to waving the “bloody shirt” that often divides us. The struggle to move past this blockade is almost solely in the court of white people. Even though all of us are operate within this system of racism. The agenda does not benefit people of color, and we don’t hold the keys to truly dismantling it. As I’ve learned frustratingly, when people of color push the race topic, the push back is usually, “why does everything have to be about race?” This book does an excellent job of highlighting that racism can be a big blind spot for white people and therefore they do not realize that the lived experience for others is vastly different from their own. So, yes, it is about race a lot of the time for the rest of us. Ultimately, DiAngelo asserts that white people must begin by becoming comfortable with their discomfort and engaging in difficult conversations without resorting to defensive postures. They can begin with asking these honest questions; “What has enabled you to be a full, educated, professional adult and not know what to do about racism?” ... How have we managed not to know, when the information is all around us?” This book was highly informative in understanding the internalized discomfort and visceral reaction to race that many people have. It made me better equipped to engage in these conversations with anyone and understand their defensiveness. A must read.
  • Racist

    By saywelldurr
    Literally the biggest contradiction I’ve ever read
  • Mostly garbage

    By Mb6294
    1. New rule: if you are a black person reading this book, that loves Robin DiAngelo’s views- that’s ok. But now, you have to stop getting mad at white people for listening to Candace Owens. It’s the same thing! 2. Google the definition of “racist”. Then, go to pages 78 & 79 (available for free in the sample download). She admits that it would be wrong for her to label anyone a racist if that is YOUR DEFINITION of the word. And if you go by that definition, it would be unfair of her to label you a racist. She says “I am not using that definition”. Then goes on to create her own definition of racist based solely on the white power structure that’s been in place for years and because of that, only white people can be racist. Even though Michael Eric Dyson compares whiteness to the devil in the forward. 3. In conclusion, the rest of the book does not apply to me, or many others, because I don’t accept her narrow definition of racism or her idea that only white people are capable of that, and no one else. It’s time for all of us to be honest and admit that we’re racist or prejudiced against SOMEONE. On a positive note, the book does help me understand “white privilege” - a term I can’t stand- a little more.
  • Simply racist

    By rsmoth4986
    This book is an exorcise in thought policing, by an out of touch old white woman who’s very career depends on her making others believe they are bad and need her to fix them.
  • The most racist thing I’ve ever read

    By BandMeeting
    DiAngelo has managed to appropriate a genuine movement by carefully not discussing any of the economic factors contributing to the adverse conditions affecting Black people. While conveniently grifting from major corporation to major corporation collecting her checks. She rewrites history, has no doctorate in social, clinical, neural psychology and is a racial essentialist. There’s studies that show that this approach can actually be counterintuitive and entrench bias. But she’ll never admit this, it would get in the way of those corporate fees she’s collecting.
  • Racist drivel

    By Dtrain1
    Horrid. Racist.
  • Helpful

    By QueenBLS
    I found the book eye opening in terms of the excuses I her from fellow white folks when confronted with the subject of race. The points made were helpful in breaking down racism as a system. If you’re taking it personally you’re missing the point.
  • Avoid.

    By Kenobi-1971
    Fascist garbage.
  • Pitiful

    By KO6721
    For pathetic self-loathers.
  • Regression

    By yourmomsfaceshouse
    To those who are giving this book five stars and then claiming the one star reviews are indicative of the necessity of this book, you aren’t making any kind of argument. This book is not only poorly written, poorly argued and repetitive, but it misrepresents history and is patently reductive. Imagine replacing white with any other color in this book. The world would regard it as hate speech. There are a bunch of vignettes in which the author reveals her own personal racism, and then indicts all white people with it. In one example she’s nervous about possibly going to a party that’s all black. Sorry but I’ve never thought that, the author is projecting here. There’s a section on Jackie Robinson that retcons history by assuming the thought process of whites who supported him. This woman is clearly a hustler who is trying to sew racial division. Instead of this drivel, read something else by a great black American. Instead of this drivel, read something else by a great black American. Thomas Sowell’s “Discrimination and Disparities” was written around the same time and is brilliantly argued with hard data and no agenda.