DAY 6: Talking About Race is Challenging for Some People. Here’s Why.

“The key to moving forward is what we do with our discomfort. We can use it as a door out – blame the messenger and disregard the message. Or we can use it as a door in by asking, ‘Why does this unsettle me? What would it mean for me if this were true?’” –Dr. Robin DiAngelo, author, White Fragilty
What is White Fragility? Dr. Robin DiAngelo describes White Fragility as the defensive reactions that white people have when their racial worldviews, positions or advantages are questioned and/or challenged. For many white people, the mere suggestion that their whiteness equates to advantage triggers a deep, defensive response.
Common responses include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear and guilt and behaviors such as argumentation, silence and leaving the stress-inducing situation. This defensiveness serves to maintain both their comfort and their positions in a racially inequitable society from which white people benefit.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following…


Take this short quiz from Dr. Robin DiAngelo, professor and author of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, to see if you exhibit white fragility traits.
Review this list of 28 common racist attitudes and behaviors that indicate a detour or wrong turn into white guilt, denial or defensiveness.


Watch this video of professor and author Dr. Robin DiAngelo  talk about How White Fragility Reinforces Racism.


Check out season 2, episode 2 of How Race Was Made on the “Seeing White” podcast. Radio host and producer John Biewen, along with an array of leading scholars, takes a deep dive into the following questions: Where did the notion of whiteness come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for?
Listen to NPR’s Interrupt the Systems conversation with Dr. Robin DiAngelo as she shares ideas about ways that white people can use their power and voices to make a difference.


Discuss what you have read about privilege and white fragility the last two days with someone who is not participating in the 21-Day Equity Challenge. Don’t be afraid to have uncomfortable conversations. Consider taking a deeper dive and reading the book White Fragility by Dr. Robin DiAngelo.


Take part in this week's service activity: Sock Drive

Nonprofit agencies serving our homeless neighbors have a constant need for socks, as well as current needs for facemasks, hand sanitizer and hats/gloves. NEW items (no used items, please) will be provided to these local organizations active in serving homeless individuals in our region. Learn more and give back.



Capture what you learned by journaling your thoughts and feelings about today's content. Click below to download a journal page for today.
If you are participating in the Challenge as part of a group, download this free guide to help facilitate discussion.

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