White Fragility is Just Another Way for White People to Have In-Group Bias

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I don’t drive that much, so what I listen to when I do is pretty simple. Three FM stations. Two are classic rock, the third is NPR. A station which about half the time I flip to its frequency, I have to very quickly flip away. Yet out of all the boring blather I’ve balked at, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything quite as obnoxious as a Robin DiAngelo lecture on racism.

First of all, this lecturer who gets paid 10,000 dollars a pop to do corporate seminars, didn’t sound very smart. From what I could stand to listen to; she began by comparing racism to a dock. It has support structures underneath that you can’t see and that is racism. Well, you know Robin there are such things as free floating docks, but ignoring that; it’s still a pointless analogy. Many docks you can see their support structure, and, even if you couldn’t, one is still aware that they’re not just magically gliding over water.

But I’m not here to question her intelligence. Knowing what people want is a skill that seems more and more in demand. What clicked in my brain was listening to her speak in front of a crowd — when she proclaimed herself as racist, everyone in the audience cheered. Now maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think racism is something to cheer about. If one honestly thought that about themselves, it would deserve deep contemplation. Walking around a lake or by a river, asking questions of yourself. If after a thorough introspection one still decided that they were racist — such information would seem bizarre to be met by cheers. Pity would be the more obvious emotion.

But this isn’t about treating people as individuals. It’s about groups of white people wanting very badly to know that they’re around their kind.

I’m resisting using the word Woke, but y’all knew it was coming. It’s curious this war of words.

I have a friend who’s a bit of a Neal Cassidy type, or at least tries to be. Every day is a different story. Including, on at least two occasions, having a transgendered person in his bed. One day he called up his mother who had gone SJW of recent past. He was telling her his story about this tranny that he met and his mother kept getting irate with him. “The correct term is trans.” She insisted — and then hung up on him. My buddy couldn’t understand why she was getting so upset about a single syllable. I had to agree, not least of all because: You know she’s never slept with a trans person or even really interacted with one (she was a shut in for a decade).

Treating people kindly isn’t about just using the right words and racism isn’t combated through cheers. Pretending that a notion of White Fragility does anything is just another way for white people to feel woke around other white people. Another in-group bias, basically.

Podcast: Western Thought. Writes literary fiction. His audiobook The Town of Books; first chapter. https://www.mixcloud.com/jondrist/town-of-books-chapter-1/

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