Synopses & Reviews
An incisive follow-up to the New York Times bestseller White Fragility asserting that it is white progressives who are responsible for inflicting the most daily harm on people of color.
Racism will not be interrupted by a hug or a smile. Dismantling white supremacy requires white people to commit to a lifetime of education and accountability. Often touting their own liberal credentials as evidence, white progressives do not see themselves as racist and therefore, have not developed the skills necessary for examining their role in perpetuating racism. This is because white progressives are often steeped in a culture of niceness which is animated by a belief that racism is limited to bad individuals who commit intentionally violent acts. The flipside to this logic is the idea that a nice person with good intentions could never be a racist. But that's simply not the case. Racism is a system in which all white people are implicated.
Continuing the work she began in White Fragility, DiAngelo challenges white readers to rethink their ideas about racism and to confront their role in maintaining it. She identifies common moves white progressives make to telegraph their niceness such as avoiding social discomfort, focusing on connections and commonalities, privileging concern for the feelings of perpetrators of racism over the victims, elevating intentions over impact, and credentialing. Writing candidly about her own missteps and struggles, DiAngelo urges other white progressives to align their practice with their values. Drawing on over 20 years working as an anti-racist educator, DiAngelo models a path forward, helping white readers to face their complicity and embrace humility.
Building on the groundwork laid in the New York Times bestseller White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo explores how a culture of niceness inadvertently promotes racism.
In White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo explained how racism is a system into which all white people are socialized and challenged the belief that racism is a simple matter of good people versus bad. DiAngelo also made a provocative claim: white progressives cause the most daily harm to people of color. In Nice Racism, her follow-up work, she explains how they do so. Drawing on her background as a sociologist and over 25 years working as an anti-racist educator, she picks up where White Fragility left off and moves the conversation forward.
Writing directly to white people as a white person, DiAngelo identifies many common white racial patterns and breaks down how well-intentioned white people unknowingly perpetuate racial harm. These patterns include:
-rushing to prove that we are "not racist";
-downplaying white advantage;
-romanticizing Black, Indigenous and other peoples of color (BIPOC);
-pretending white segregation "just happens";
-expecting BIPOC people to teach us about racism;
DiAngelo explains how spiritual white progressives seeking community by co-opting Indigenous and other groups' rituals create separation, not connection. She challenges the ideology of individualism and explains why it is OK to generalize about white people, and she demonstrates how white people who experience other oppressions still benefit from systemic racism. Writing candidly about her own missteps and struggles, she models a path forward, encouraging white readers to continually face their complicity and embrace courage, lifelong commitment, and accountability.
Nice Racism is an essential work for any white person who recognizes the existence of systemic racism and white supremacy and wants to take steps to align their values with their actual practice. BIPOC readers may also find the "insiders" perspective useful for navigating whiteness.
Includes a study guide.