Posted on August 19, 2016

How to Cope with ‘White Fragility’: Academic Sells Out Her $60 Workshops

Liam Quinn, Daily Mail, August 18, 2016

An academic and author is offering courses for white people teaching them how to cope with their ‘white fragility’–and tickets for the lectures have sold out.

The City of Seattle is offering the class through its Office of Arts and Culture, with Dr. Robin DiAngelo taking students through the course.

The workshops, which cost $60 to attend and had its first four-hour session on Wednesday night, focus on: ‘the specific way that racism manifests through White Fragility and provides the perspectives and skills needed for white people to have more constructive cross-racial interactions’.

The Office of Arts and Culture also defines ‘white fragility’ as: ‘the inability for white people to tolerate racial stress.’

‘White people in the U.S. live in a racially insular social environment,’ a description on its website reads.

‘Because these racial perspectives are so rarely challenged within this environment, white people have not had to develop the stamina needed to tolerate racial stress.

‘When white people are challenged in cross-racial interactions, White Fragility triggers a range of defensive moves including: argumentation, invalidation, silence, withdrawal and claims of being attacked and unsafe.

‘While these moves are effective at blocking the challenge and regaining a perception of racial equilibrium, they are also damaging to people of color and prevent white people from developing the skills needed to create a racially just society.’

Fans of DiAngelo have called her work and books on the topic of ‘white fragility’ ‘profound’ and ‘very important’.

However, critics have slammed the class.

’60 dollars to be told how I’m terrible for being white? SIGN ME UP,’ one person wrote.

‘All these talks do is incite racial hatred against people of European heritage . . . it’s very triggering and will eventually lead to violence against European-Americans, if it hasn’t already. Very irresponsible,’ another said.

‘White lefties love telling other white people how terrible they are . . .  I’m proud to be white. Why isn’t that ok?’ another added.

Robin DiAngelo received her PhD in Multicultural Education from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2004. She has also written a number of books on the issue of race, and has taught diversity and anti-racism courses.