My Looby talk went great. Even over Zoom. I felt super interesting and like I had things people wanted to hear to say. It’s really gratifying and I’m maybe feeling a little hope that the book might make a difference.
Ha ha ha. We’ll see how long my optimism can be sustained.
I’m reading White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo for work. It’s not great. I was telling the Professor that 75% of it is fine, if sometimes a little too simple, 20% of it reads as if the author didn’t read the book–like claiming that white people don’t think about whiteness and then saying that she knew from the time she was very little that it was better to be white.
The last 5% is just wrong. Like, deeply, wrong. Even in the wake of us electing a white supremacist to the Presidency, she still downplays the importance of white nationalism in understanding white people’s racism.
It’s really something to be reading a book about how the biggest racial problem we face is white people’s inability to acknowledge their whiteness when white people are showing up with guns at statehouses. Like, maybe rethink your thesis?
But also, it super annoys me how many of her anecdotes are about her shitty friends and their racist ways or her shitty colleagues and their racist ways and yet, unless it’s in some part of the book I haven’t gotten to yet, there’s nothing about how she confronts her asshole colleagues or how she drops her shitty racist friends.
She’s a diversity trainer–that’s her job–and an anti-racist activist and she wrote this book that’s being used by workplaces around the nation to foster discussions of racism–including mine. AND SHE CAN’T DO THE NECESSARY WORK.
And if she can’t do it, and this is her job and passion, isn’t that a problem for the teaching of her book?
Also, she takes white people’s thoughts about racism at face value and I just don’t understand how anyone in this culture who pays attention doesn’t realize white people lie about race all the time–even if only to ourselves.
I’m just irritated. So many people of color have written so many books about whiteness and its problems. We couldn’t throw a little book money their way instead?