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White Fragility: Book Discussion Series

Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility - Spring 2019 Library Book Discussion, sponsored by ISU Library

Question 1 List

DiAngelo lists the following ways that whiteness shapes the lives of white people in the U.S.


Belonging: As I move through my daily life, my race is unremarkable. My presence is not questioned. I belong! 

Freedom from the burden of race: I don't have to worry my race will be held against me. Race just isn't my problem.

Freedom of movement: I am free to move or sit in virtually any space & will be seen as normal, neutral, valuable. I won't be the only white person there. I am not being surveilled or singled out. My presence is not questioned.

"Just people": My race is held up as the norm for humanity. I am the default; others are "diverse" or "multicultural."

White solidarity: Maintains status quo; this requires silence & tacit agreement to remain racially united.

The "good old days": The past was great for white people, white men in particular.

White racial innocence: I grew up in segregation and thus have been sheltered of race. It's not my fault if I say or do something insensitive since no one taught me. If I get in trouble, I am likely to get the benefit of a doubt. It's not my fault!

Segregated lives: There are few if any people of color in my neighborhood / church / work / department / circle of friends / movies or tv shows that I watch. That is no loss to me.

-Paraphrased from DiAngelo's White Fragility

White Fragility: Readings & Discussion Questions banner



Readings & Discussion Questions


TOPIC:  How Does Race Shape our Lives?

Topic Leader: Susan Vega García

Meeting:  June 13, 1:00-2:00, Rm 304

Please read the following & be prepared to discuss at our meeting:

  • Chapter 4: How does race shape the lives of white people? -- pages  51-69

  • Chapter 5: The Good / Bad Binary -- pages 71-87

  • Chapter 6: Anti-Blackness -- pages 89-98

You can always read more from the book at any time, but these are the Chapters we will focus on in our discussions for today.