White Fragility and The Religion of Anti-Racism

I finally got around to listening to the ideas put forward in White Fragility and I have not been able to escape the feeling that I'm being preached at/to by an evangelical Christian.

From what I can understand, the book basically starts off by forgiving all white people for being inherently racist - the same way that evangelicals preach that all people are inherently sinful but are (or can-be) forgiven through/by Jesus.

It goes on to describe the many ways/reasons that they must (continually and in a neverending way) earn that forgiveness by accepting their racist nature and engaging in anti-racist practices - including preaching the good word to other white people - which to me is no different from the rest of the evangelical Christian tactic to get people to spread the "good word" that we are created sick and commanded to be well.

The book even sets up an unfalsifiable cannon whereby any objection to the book's assertions or even any thought to the contrary is confirmation that the objection or thinker is racist.

My review of the book is in no way a denial that racism exists, excuses racist behavior, or even that I have some sort of racial bias. Some of the ideas in this book are quite good just like there are some passages in the Bible that are beautiful and ring true.

That said, the visceral negative reactions to the author's way of thinking described in the book might have less to do with the idea that all white people are racist and more to do with the unfalsifiable and inescapable nature of the author's espoused worldview:

You (a white person) are, and will always be, racist unless you become (a member of the author's sect of) anti-racist.

To me, the foundation of the book’s premise is itself based on one of the “great untruths” put forward in The Coddling of the American Mind "Life is a struggle between good people and bad people." — No caveats, no nuance, and nothing in between.

IMHO, that kind of division (however well-intended) is not a good way to try to move a society forward.

Just my thoughts.

Creative analysis of and solutions to interesting issues.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store