Why does racism persist in the United States? Why is it so difficult for even well-meaning white people to discuss the issue with blacks? According to academic Robin DiAngelo, part of our dilemma is that “whiteness” is the “default setting . . . .We have a pattern of whiteness never being named or acknowledged, at the same time as we name the race of people who are not white. So we grant white people the individuality that we don’t afford people of color.”
Dr. DiAngelo has written a book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, to explore this continuing problem in our society. On Wednesday, March 27, at 7 p.m., the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River, 914 Gateway Drive in Chestertown, will convene a discussion of the book and its implications. The public is invited to attend, free of charge.
The Book Plate, 112 S. Cross St., Chestertown, has copies of the book for sale at a modest price.
Journalist Nosheen Iqbal recently interviewed DiAngelo for the British publication The Guardian. During the conversation DiAngelo states, “We have to stop thinking about racism simply as someone who says the N-word. This book is centered on the white western colonial context and in that context white people hold institutional power.” In her article about the interview Iqbal explains further, “This means understanding that racism is a system rather than just a slur; it is prejudice plus power. And in Britain and the US at least, it is designed to benefit and privilege whiteness by every economic and social measure. Everyone has racial bias, but, as DiAngelo is determined to establish, ‘when you back a group’s collective bias with lingering authority and institutional control, it is transformed.’”
As a part of its new Strategic Plan, UUCR has committed to undertake a church-wide focus and community activism regarding racism and racial equity. In January the group held two public discussions of the book Deep Denial: The Persistence of White Supremacy in United States History and Life, by Dr. David Billings.
For questions or more information please contact Lynn Dolinger, firstname.lastname@example.org.