June 29, 2020

"Have the people hyping this impressively crazy book [White Fragility] actually read it?"

"[Robin] DiAngelo isn’t the first person to make a buck pushing tricked-up pseudo-intellectual horseshit as corporate wisdom, but she might be the first to do it selling Hitlerian race theory. White Fragility has a simple message: there is no such thing as a universal human experience, and we are defined not by our individual personalities or moral choices, but only by our racial category. If your category is 'white,' bad news: you have no identity apart from your participation in white supremacy ('Anti-blackness is foundational to our very identities… Whiteness has always been predicated on blackness'), which naturally means 'a positive white identity is an impossible goal.' DiAngelo instructs us there is nothing to be done here, except 'strive to be less white.'... Corporate America doubtless views the current protest movement as something that can be addressed as an H.R. matter, among other things by hiring thousands of DiAngelos to institute codes for the proper mode of Black-white workplace interaction.... One of the central tenets of DiAngelo’s book (and others like it) is that racism cannot be eradicated and can only be managed through constant, 'lifelong' vigilance, much like the battle with addiction. A useful theory, if your business is selling teams of high-priced toxicity-hunters to corporations as next-generation versions of efficiency experts — in the fight against this disease, companies will need the help forever and ever.... It’s almost like someone thinks there’s a benefit to keeping people divided."

Writes Matt Taibbi.

50 comments:

Gahrie said...

It’s almost like someone thinks there’s a benefit to keeping people divided."

It has been the basis of Democratic electoral strategy since at least 1960.

Unknown said...

I'm not a big Matt Taibbi fan, but he's been on a roll lately. If only the left would listen to him. He'll probably be cancelled any day now...

Yancey Ward said...

Quite obviously, Taibbi is a white guy, right, so his opinion confirms the book's hypothesis. As somone earlier today pointed out, the book is a kafkatrap.

Mr Wibble said...

Can a movement enter its "grift" phase if it was always a grift?

MayBee said...

Yes! Blocked and Reported covered this book and interviewed a woman who went through her training. It's so compelling. We need more people on the left to talk about this, because they've already accused the right for being racist when they balk at this kind of thing.

A Washington Post reporter Karen Attiah went on a White-Fragility-esque tirade last night, saying "white women uphold white supremacy through violence, aggression, at the weaponizing of their gender....

The lies & tears of White women hath wrought:
-the 1921 Tulsa Massacre
-Murder of Emmit Till
-Exculsion of Black women from feminist movements
_53% of white women voting for Trump

She finished her tweet with:
White women are lucky that we are just calling them "Karen's"
And not calling for revenge.

Rick said...

Notice this isn't published at Rolling Stone - nor was his last criticism of the left. Even Rolling Stone - whose brand is non-conforming - won't step out of line.

daskol said...

All very well put. When does he get to the part where he’s sorry he’s spent all these years excoriating the right for being the home of virulent American racism while all this time it festers in his beloved left? That’s the part I’m waiting for. This tribal, racist bilge was the predominant theory underlying every humanities and social science class that touched on theory as far back as the 90s. To have spent the ensuing decades in contempt of the political right for sins of your own kind is an exercise in delusion, of your readers and yourself.

MayBee said...

It is part of the White Fragility training that white women must not cry in front of black people, especially black men, because white women tears have been so dangerous for black men.

Dave Begley said...

"It’s almost like someone thinks there’s a benefit to keeping people divided."

That's the entire goal of today's Dems and Fake News.

These people are going to be in for a giant shock when Trump wins about 40 states; including WI, MI, OH and MN.

Craig said...

All of these white people boasting about their privilege seems very narcissistic and condescending to me. Anyone else?

Wince said...

'White Fragility' by Robin DiAngelo.

"That must be Italian."

One of the central tenets of DiAngelo’s book (and others like it) is that racism cannot be eradicated and can only be managed through constant, “lifelong” vigilance, much like the battle with addiction. A useful theory, if your business is selling teams of high-priced toxicity-hunters to corporations as next-generation versions of efficiency experts — in the fight against this disease, companies will need the help forever and ever.

YoungHegelian said...

The Left has so mangled the histories of National Socialism & the various fascisms that they don't realize when they are bumping uncomfortably into its tenets.

Taibbi is, of course, right that the idea that race determines consciousness is a foundational belief of National Socialism. The Nazis were very clear on this point & made the equivalence that just as class determined consciousness for the Marxists, so one's Volk determined consciousness. For the Nazis, it wasn't so much about "race" as it was about ethnicity, e.g. the German Volk vs the Slavic Volk as opposed to the "white" race vs the "black" race.

In the Marxist view, the state is the instrument of the ruling class, either an instrument of the Will of the proletariat or the bourgeoisie. For the National Socialists, the state is the embodiment of the will of the Volk: "The Reich is but a vessel & it is the Volk that fills it" --- Hitler.

What's interesting is that in an ideology that views racial consciousness as simultaneously ubiquitous but unbridgeable, it destroys any notion that ethnic and racial pluralism can be sustained in a polity. The Nazis and the other 20th & 19th C European "scientific" racists never thought so. I imagine in their heart of hearts, ideologues like DiAngelo don't either.

Fernandinande said...

"Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility (Amazon’s #1 seller!)"

Scroll down on his Amazon link and you'll see that the top two "most read" books are of the "white people are bad" genre.

"This dingbat racialist cult, which has no art, music, literature, and certainly no comedy, is the vision of “progress” institutional America has chosen to endorse in the Trump era."

That should probably be "dingbat racist cult".

And maybe a stronger term than "dingbat", perhaps "evil and stupid".

Sebastian said...

"It’s almost like someone thinks there’s a benefit to keeping people divided."

Right. Someones.

Used to be bourgeoisie vs. proletariat. Same difference though: division as a means to impose total control.

Of course, the craziness of the book is a feature, not a bug: getting people to wallow in such absurdity is one way to make them lose self-respect: POS vs. POC.

Lucien said...

Mr. Taibbi is perhaps too kind to Ms. DiAngelo.
But it is hard to be too sympathetic to a man who tosses off the phrase "the murder of George Floyd". I think in that case reporters are supposed to wait and see whether anyone can be convicted of anything beyond negligent or reckless homicide.

Temujin said...

One morning, very soon, Taibbi will wake up with a horse's head in his bed. Or a guillotine in front of his house. Or worse, a loud young woman sporting green or purple hair, squeezed into a black t-shirt and black slacks, screaming into a bullhorn like a 4 year old who is not getting her way.

Original Mike said...

Matt Taibbi:. "DiAngelo isn’t the first person to make a buck pushing tricked-up pseudo-intellectual horseshit as corporate wisdom, but she might be the first to do it selling Hitlerian race theory. White Fragility has a simple message: there is no such thing as a universal human experience, and we are defined not by our individual personalities or moral choices, but only by our racial category."

I've spent my life wondering how Nazi Germany happened. It just seems so far fetched. I still don't understand it, but I'm going to get to watch it from inside the horror.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"getting people to wallow in such absurdity is one way to make them lose self-respect: POS vs. POC."

And, historically, they get it back over the corpses of their (perceived) tormentors.

mccullough said...

Taibbi moving into the role Christopher Hit hens used to fill.

His line that White Fragility makes Art of the Deal look like Anna Karenina is gold.

Chris N said...

I closed the cover. Tears welled-up. I had met this brave soul in person. This genius ahead of her time.

Were the tears from my auto-flagellation therapy?

Were they from my privilege? Years of falsely conscious promotions up the dominant power hierarchy of the HR department at Teledildonics?

I wandered outside and stared into the sunset. A light breeze held from the West. It was cool here. I felt my chest releasing into long wails and manly sobs. Was that actually me, Drake Whiteman, crying?

I wept for so much sin and suffering.

-Drake Whiteman, HR Senior Coordinator, Teledildonics Inc and DiAngelo fanboy.

Peace. Love. Empathy.

Anthony said...

Yeah, a couple of weeks ago my Kindle app started suggesting Anti-Racism Books for me, I didn't see a single title by, say, Thomas Sowell.

Expat(ish) said...

I told my wife that I'm hoping I'm in my last corporate job so I don't have to attend any more annual reprogramming classes. Luckily the online ones are easier to ignore. And if they're recorded you can have a contest with your friends to see if you can finish fastest.

I once did four hours of reprogramming in 17 minutes by getting my browser to play videos at 25x speed. I had to guess the answers, but averaged 97%.

-XC

Openidname said...

Thank heaven Matt Taibbi took the red pill.

madAsHell said...

I remember when Total Quality Commitment (TQC) rumbled through Boeing, and they hired young, impressionable people to teach TQC. After TQC was revealed as so much clutching of pearls, we were burdened with Total Quality Management (TQM).

The most tangible result of these initiatives was the conversion of a conference room into Total Quality status center where you could post your PowerPoint presentation expressing your commitment to Total Quality.

Don't get me started about the Software Engineering Institute, and their five levels of software capability!!

Chris N said...

Expatish,

As a Whiteman, I can procure the right literature for you on privilege, oppression and the upcoming HR changes for the fiscal year.

Also, we have an hour long seminar on Wednesday on trust and facial aggressions.

Hope to see you there :)

-Drake Whiteman, Universal HR Senior Coordinator for Global Humanity.

jk said...

The depressingly great podcast "Blocked and Reported" has a frighteningly insightful interview with a woman whose workplace conducted a year-long training/witchhunt administered by Diangelo and her team. https://pca.st/episode/3d7b7994-53b9-442a-8e34-9753f2a344b6

Calypso Facto said...

Anthony said..."I didn't see a single title by, say, Thomas Sowell."

Thomas Sowell's 90th birthday tomorrow. Celebrate him on his day!

tcrosse said...

I would be interested to know how exactly one could 'strive to be less white.'

rhhardin said...

Everything is ultimately about U.S. blacks having an average IQ of 85 and how to avoid noticing it instead of working with it. Working with it like by teaching good character, the key to success at any IQ.

The work-arounds are causing all the problems.

mezzrow said...

If he keeps this stuff up, Taibbi's going to wear the mark of the alt-right before the leaves fall. He's doing necessary work, as far I'm concerned.

Hope he can hang on to that platform.

The Crack Emcee said...

Taibbi is becoming a national treasure. My favorite line:

"DiAngelo writes like a person who was put in timeout as a child for speaking clearly."

Think Oswald Bates on "In Living Colour".

Big Mike said...

I read Taibbi’s column yesterday. He’s right. The woman is purest bullshit, but as long as corporations are forced to toe the line on diversity quotas, folks like DiAngelo will be able to work her con.

Chris N said...

Speaking of National Treasures, have you guys seen 'National Treasure' starring Nic Cage?

At last year's company picnic, it became a learning tool for a lack of diversity and hierarchies of oppression.

Namaste, dawg.

tcrosse said...

Will Asians be required to strive to be less Asian?

Banjo said...

I realized studying the faces of the Madison school board and that Seattle (and I believe Portland) are in their hands and the ones who scream the loudest at the BLM and other protests that white women are the problem. Emotional white women.

YoungHegelian said...

An interesting link from Insty that's relevant.

MikeR said...

https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1277397947731369984
"Having read way too much Robin DiAngelo now, I'm convinced she's one of the most racist people in America."

Lewis Wetzel said...

If racial identity is a received part of the self, how can you become less white without rejecting part of the self? And what is it that does the rejection?
In _Between the World and Me_, Ta Nahesi Coates wrote about the inauthenticity of the white race. Whites are just a group of non-black Africans with no racial identity who band together & call themselves "white" solely for the purpose of oppressing black people.
I'm sure Coates didn't originate the idea, you can see the shape of this idea in Tony Morisson's _Beloved_. In _Beloved_ even the Quakers who run the underground railroad are tainted with evil because they consider themselves to be white.

Gordy said...

It's clear that all this racialism is just a women's thing. No point in even trying to understand what the hell is going on.

Marty said...

Are we sure Robin didn't dictate her book about ihr Kampf to Rudolph Hess?

Yancey Ward said...

Chris N,

I thought the entire comment was a parody, but Teledildonics is a real thing!

In any case, bravo!

n.n said...

pushing tricked-up pseudo-intellectual horseshit as corporate wisdom, but she might be the first to do it selling Hitlerian race theory. White Fragility has a simple message: there is no such thing as a universal human experience, and we are defined not by our individual personalities or moral choices, but only by our racial category

Diversity (i.e. color judgments), including: racism, sexism, etc., and exclusion. Lose your Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, politically congruent religion.

Individual dignity. Intrinsic value. Inordinate worth. Natural imperatives. Go forth and reconcile.

themightypuck said...

Silicon Valley probably hires more woke advocates than actual black people. Per Moldbug in 2013:
"Of course, ain’t nothin’ new here. For quite some time in America it’s been illegal to employ racists, sexists and fascists, and mandatory to employ a precisely calibrated percentage of women, workers and peasants. Because America is a free country and that’s what freedom means.

But “technology,” defined broadly as anything new and cool that happens in California, has been in practice exempt from these restrictions. The elite, especially a productive elite, always enjoys a special level of tolerance. I once asked a Googler: which population, from his unscientific experience alone, does Google employ more of? African-Americans, or Serbs? “You must be joking,” he said.

Google, of course, claims the fact that it would rather hire out of East Bosnia than East Palo Alto is a competitive trade secret. Well, I suppose. Curiously enough, Apple, Yahoo, and Oracle share the same secret. Ha, ha! Is it a secret to you? It’s not a secret to me!"

Martin said...

"It’s almost like someone thinks there’s a benefit to keeping people divided."

When your goal is to bring civilization crashing down, that's the point.

anti-de Sitter space said...

How about not being a word-racist?

Who decides what is an ugly verb or ugly noun before it is repurposed? Leave the verbs and nouns alone!

Anywho, wait til’ Taibbi finds out that some folks think it’d be better to have non-whites voicing non-white characters in cartoons.

If the race hustlers, as Matt sees them/her, are able to consult w/ businesses, they’ll be pushing for inclusion re more than just voiceover work stuff. These race hustlers, as Matt sees them/her, will try to disperse some of the big bucks away from the white folks who are currently in their positions only because of race-blind meritocracy that should not be altered (e.g., (as Althosue knows) white folks are better at voiceovering (ha) non-white characters than are non-whites), we are told.

Got it.

BTW, how can Taibbi know that this may be the worst book ever written? Seems like you’d need to read a lot of books to get anywhere close to making that claim. Doesn’t help his credibility that he rolls out three titles that are high on the list re the most commonly read books eva.

IMHO.

JaimeRoberto said...

My company put this on a recommended reading list for employees. I'm not sure how this doesn't constitute a hostile work environment.

Kirk Parker said...

Move over, Laslo, there's t new writer in town (@ 4:24pm)!

stlcdr said...

So, at the end of it all, we can actually be racist - make decisions based solely on the color of ones skin, and define which colors are superior than others - and simply apologize (sic) after and say “sorry, can’t help it, I’m white. Nothing I can do about it”?

wendybar said...

The Social Justice "Warriors" pushing the hate whitey crap is the in thing right now!!! Whitey ruined all of their lives by letting them live in freedom. Are you getting sick and tired of the hate and DIVISION YET???? This isn't going to stop, because they are winning Pulitzers, and getting #1 books on NYT list!!! Yay for all the Warriors hating and dividing!!!!!

JPS said...

I love the anecdote where DiAngelo makes a dumb joke about a black woman's hair scaring the white people, and it goes over like a lead brick, so she consults a white person as to how to properly set it right, because it would be wrong to burden people of color by asking their advice, and then grovels just so.

(Viewed from another perspective, being willing to ask only a white person what to do about inadvertently insulting a black person seems racist as hell, but I admit I haven't studied this as she has.)

She actually thinks this speaks well of her, representing another example of why she has a lot to teach the not-yet-woke. Whereas actually, it indicates two things:

She doesn't have the awareness or directness to recognize it at the time and say, Hey, that was a crappy thing for me to say. I didn't mean anything by it but I can see why you'd be pissed. I'm sorry. (Either that or the steps of this dance are just far too complex for even a certified expert to dare improvisation.)

She doesn't have any actual black friends to whom she could, somewhere in the course of hanging out together, say, Hey, can I ask your advice? I think I stepped in it at work the other day, and I'd like your take.