Speed Reads

systemic racism

Anti-racism consultant Robin DiAngelo acknowledges her workshops aren't always 'going to get this right'

In an interview with The New Yorker's Isaac Chotiner, Robin DiAngelo, an anti-racism consultant and the author of White Fragility and the recently published Nice Racism, acknowledged there are certain aspects of her workshops that don't have simple answers. 

Chotiner asked DiAngelo about a scene in Nice Racism, in which DiAngelo, who is white, critiques another white woman who started crying while a Black woman recounted a story involving her son and the police. DiAngelo believed the white woman was taking the "focus off the Black woman." Chotiner then pointed to a later chapter revolving around "white silence — the idea that white people not speaking up or not showing how they're feeling about racism is also a problem," which led him to raise the question of whether the two ideas were in tension with one another and if DiAngelo's approach, at times, results in a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" situation for her workshop attendees. 

DiAngelo replied by acknowledging that "in some ways" that is indeed the case. "In other words," she told Chotiner, "we just simply are not going to get this right. There are many tensions in this work and that is one of them, but again, that should never be the reason you don't struggle to get it a little more right." Read more at The New Yorker