WGST 2P98 Chapter Notes - Chapter WGST 2P98, Week 4, Watts, reading Note: White Privilege, Monster Pain

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White Fragility is real: 4 questions white people should ask themselves
during discussions about race.
Sarah Watts Week Four Reading
Page | 1
Page 1
White Fragility
o A term coined by author Dr. Robin DiAngelo.
o a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable,
triggering a range of defensive moves”
Most people live in a social environment that insulates them from race-based stress due to
their privilege as part of the cultural majority.
Whites are infrequently challenged and have less of a tolerance to race-based stress caus-
ing them to be hostile, guilty, defensive, or fearful when confronted.
White fragility ensures that conversations are derailed and the status quo of white su-
premacy is upheld.
Page 2
How to check against white fragility.
Am I trying to change the subject? Does it make you uncomfortable and want to change
the subject?
o When racial discomfort arises, whites typically…blame the person or event that
triggered the discomfort.
Page 3
Am I using inappropriate humor to deflect?
o Sometimes humour can be healing and sometimes it can be hurting.
Am I getting angry or defensive?
o Having white privilege doesn’t meant a life has been perfect or that it has never
had a single hardship, or never suffered loss.
o (Page 4)We know that white people have oppressed and colonized indigenous
people and people of colour and the effects of that are still felt to this day.
o But hearing that we are personally connected to the problem hurts.
o People of colour are almost always seen as ‘having a race’ and described in ra-
cial terms (‘the black man’) but whites rarely are (‘the man’), allowing whites to
see themselves as objective and non-racialized…Race and racism become their
problems, not ours.”
Page 4
Am I going out of my way not to focus on “the negative?”
o Asking others to choose love and forgiveness, especially so soon after suffer-
ing a tragedy, is just one way of many to minimize black pain.”
o If you think it’s inappropriate to go to a funeral and tell the bereaved to “cheer
up” and focus on something positive, then it makes no sense to call for for-
giveness or flood your twitter withpositivity” immediately after a shooting.
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Document Summary

White fragility is real: 4 questions white people should ask themselves during discussions about race. White fragility: a term coined by author dr. robin diangelo, a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves . Most people live in a social environment that insulates them from race-based stress due to. Page | 1 their privilege as part of the cultural majority. Whites are infrequently challenged and have less of a tolerance to race-based stress caus- ing them to be hostile, guilty, defensive, or fearful when confronted. White fragility ensures that conversations are derailed and the status quo of white su- premacy is upheld. Does it make you uncomfortable and want to change the subject: when racial discomfort arises, whites typically blame the person or event that triggered the discomfort. Am i using inappropriate humor to deflect: sometimes humour can be healing and sometimes it can be hurting.

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