Robin DiAngelo, "White Fragility"
In this article, DiAngelo introduces the concept of white fragility, “a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.” It’s an in-depth look at a phrase that is often used at a surface level in popular media. This article is probably best used to frame societal or political conversations, as appropriate to course materials, rather than to frame classroom guidelines about discussing race. DiAngelo also offers background on historical and current concepts of race, racism, and Whiteness, and emphasizes that “White racism is ultimately a white problem and the burden for interrupting it belongs to white people.” DiAngelo suggests these interventions are made possible by working through the idea of white fragility to build stamina for conversations about race. This article may also be of use to instructors to reflect on their own and students’ perspectives and reactions to discussions of race.
(Annotation by Elizabeth Galoozis)