“Is ‘White Fragility’ a helpful resource for Christians? To that question I give a resounding no.”

"It is built upon the rotten foundation of identity politics. It is becoming increasingly clear that identity politics is establishing itself as nothing less than a competing religion, and one that is very good at dividing but very poor at uniting. That alone should be of significant concern to Christians who want to consider DiAngelo’s case, since she is explicit and unapologetic that her book is built upon that very foundation." - Challies 

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Joel Shaffer's picture

Not only is there a lot of push back against "White Fragility" from Christian evangelicals (including this article and the series of articles from Christianity Today), but there is starting to develop a lot of push back against "White Fragility" from unlikely people, such as liberal columnist Jonathan Chait.   https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/07/antiracism-training-white-fragility-robin-diangelo-ibram-kendi.html?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=p2&utm_campaign=Sub+%7C+Content+Campaign+%28Low+Funnel%29+%7C+Aug+%7C+DYN+%7C+At+Paywall%2C+Mixed+%2B+Other+Intent+Signals+%7C+8.5.20&utm_id=fb_cmp-6205750490607_adg-6205750562407_ad-6205870791207&k_cca=PleaseAssignTagToAd&fbclid=IwAR0-xyQkhEXIRibktT6bzAhUadcLLNDAjPcLtgwfUa9u0H-PX3yAro_w91w

 

TylerR's picture

Editor

See this wonderful review of Ibram Kendi's book, How to be an Antiracist, from National Review:

The “antiracism” of which Kendi is the most trusted exponent is not just a new name for an old precept. It is the political doctrine behind the street demonstrations, “cancelings,” Twitter attacks, boycotts, statue topplings, and self-denunciations that have come together in a national movement. Anti-racists assume that the American system of politics, economics, and policing has been corrupted by racial prejudice, that such prejudice explains the entire difference in socioeconomic status between blacks and others, that the status quo must be fought and beaten, and that anyone not actively engaged in this system-changing work is a collaborator with racism, and therefore himself a legitimate target for attack.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Joel Shaffer's picture

Tyler I haven't read Kendi's book yet, but it is getting a buzz, especially in the secular circles that I am connected to. About a month ago, I read "White Fragility" when I was on vacation and it put me in a bad mood for two days, where my sin nature got the best of me (anger and snarkiness). But I do plan on reading it later this year. 

I am spending more time recommending different alternatives as opposed to the white fragility'anti-racism corporate industry. George Yancey-a sociologist prof from Baylor is a great resource of articles and books.  Here are two articles that he wrote in response to White Fragility.  

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/shatteringparadigms/2020/07/not-white-fragility-mutual-responsibility/

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/shatteringparadigms/2020/08/why-anti-racism-is-so-popular/

Also, here is Yancey's book on race relations, which is written more from a faith perspective almost 15 years ago.  It's interesting that he critiques secular solutions including the CRT model (doesn't use that language, but rather calls it the "White Responsibility" model) and also critiques the "Colorblindness" model. I still find this book the best one on racial reconciliation, He also roots the sin of racism in the doctrine of Total Depravity.  

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Racial-Gridlock-Embracing-Responsibility/dp/0830833765/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2XXM7UXJK8XOC&dchild=1&keywords=beyond+racial+gridlock&qid=1597081065&sprefix=beyond+racial+%2Caps%2C177&sr=8-1

 

 

 

TylerR's picture

Editor

Both DiAngelo and Kendi's works are heavily promoted by government and corporate HR (for example, my own HR). I suspect there is an incestuous list of "resources" that circulate in the HR sub-culture.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

John E.'s picture

I read White Fragility about a year ago and found it beyond annoying. It's a book written by a white person to enable white people to wallow in that oh-so-satisfying mire of self-pity/loathing without offering any real actionable solutions. As John McWhorter wrote for The Atlantic, "[White Fragility] openly infantilized Black people" and that the book's main purpose is to glorify "white suffering."  

When people ask me if they should read it, I recommend Racecraft by the Fields sisters instead. 

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/dehumanizing-condescen...