I had seen sections of Taibbi’s excellent takedown of White Fragility, but only read the whole essay today. Robin DiAngelo’s only solution offered to white people is that they become less white. I think she, and others, are pointing to a different consensus as to what must be done. You must denounce other white people, individually and collectively, in order to be saved. Notice that this doesn’t cost you a cent. Redemption without sacrifice.
Reading my previous posts that touch on the subject, I once made the point that “fragility” is not the potential sin I would associate with white people, but it’s opposite. What seems to be happening is the formulation “See? You are defending yourself, therefore you must feel defensive. People feel defensive when they are actually weak, not strong. Therefore you prove my accusation that you are fragile. UH! UH! See? There you are, doing it again!”
However, I think there is a place where this is subtly true. They are attempting to motivate some white people to join in by using this tactic. For those people, it might be true. For the others, I don’t see how they can have it both ways.
For myself, I long ago decided that black spokespeople have little or nothing to do with the black people I actually encounter in my life. The people I encounter are human beings, and some are darker, some are lighter. I am now told this is an impossible formulation that denies the reality of oppression. However, I am told this by precisely those people who have an interest in maintaining division, because their jobs, their self-esteem, or their excuses why they ain’t rich depend upon it. The black people I actually know are worried about their golf handicap, whether they have enough money to retire, whether their children are going to get a good education, whether they are going to keep this new job, whether their church will weather this CoVid storm, whether the young Christians they are teaching will actually learn the life lessons they need, whether their daughter’s teacher will be willing to be strict with her…very much the same things my white and Asian acquaintances have. They’re just darker people saying these things.
The world has gone mad, and I’m just trying not to get dragged in its trail.