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What is White Fragility?

White fragility is a newly coined term from a 2018 publication written by a White sociologist and diversity trainer, Robin DiAngelo. The concept refers to defensive reactions and feelings of discomfort a White person experiences when their ideas about racism are challenged which creates stress.

When racial stress hits a reactionary point, a range of defensive moves can be expressed ranging from anger, fear, guilt, arguing, silence, and leaving the situation creating the stress. Within this construct there is a focus on what causes White people racial stress and why. Below are common examples of racial stress cause and effect noted in DiAngelo's book.

DiAngelo, has also been criticized that the book and concept helps White liberals retain a sense of moral superiority over their more reactionary cousins, White conservatives and White fascists. We will explore this in more detail later on.

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