Why does race seem to be the hardest word for white people? Dr Robin DiAngelo – a renowned anti-racism educator – argues that the underlying cause is environmental. White people in settler colonial contexts live in a racially insular social bubble. This environment builds an atmosphere of racial comfort but reduces their capacity to tolerate racial stress. Dr DiAngelo – author of What Does it Mean To Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy – describes this lack of racial stamina as 'White Fragility'.
White Fragility is a state in which white people find even a minimal challenge to their position intolerable. This intolerance triggers a range of defensive moves, including argumentation, invalidation, silence, withdrawal and claims of being attacked and misunderstood. These moves function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and maintain white control. In this talk Dr DiAngelo provides an overview of the socialisation that instils white fragility and offers perspectives and skills that white people can use to build their racial stamina and engage more constructively across race.
This event was held on Tuesday 4 December, 2018 at the University of Sydney.
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