White Fragility: A Conversation on Race and Racism Part Two

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Beginning the second part of our series on Robin DiAngelo’s ‘White Fragility.’

Last week, we began a robust conversation about Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. With the wide range of responses we’ve received, it has only become clearer that engaging with this popular secular book is vital, particularly as we continue to face social and political unrest surrounding issues of race. As we have reached the conclusion of part one, we are taking a moment to pause and reflect on all of the contributions we’ve had thus far.

We began our series with higher education professional and author Allison Ash, with her article “White Fragility: Why this Book is Important for Evangelicals.” Ash provided a very favorable review of White Fragility, with some important caveats. Firstly, White Fragility is a book written for white people, specifically those who are at all invested in furthering racial justice and reconciliation. Its primary contribution is helping white people identify and describe white supremacy and to equip those same people to understand and overcome the difficulty that often arises when talking about these issues. Ash also presented a brief history of the complicity and often perpetration of racism within the Christian church. However, Ash considers White Fragility to be primarily a means to examine white supremacy as it exists today, something the white evangelical church has failed to do. Her hope for the way forward is that white evangelicals will glean the truth about racial trauma to then be empowered to provide hope through a gospel lens.

Next, we summarized a recent book review by George Yancey. Yancey is a professor of sociology at Baylor University. His take on White Fragility was far less positive. …

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