All posts by Mary Hess

Robin DiAngelo on white fragility

Here is the powerful article Robin DiAngelo has written that is having such a profound impact in discussions of anti-racism work — particularly in predominately white communities. Identifying “white fragility” as a key dynamic to interrupt and engage, she elucidates the challenges white people need to meet to do this work in both transformative and sustainable ways:

For instance:

The disavowal of race as an organizing factor, both of individual white consciousness and the institutions of society at large, is necessary to support current structures of capitalism and domination, for without it, the correlation between the distribution of social resources and unearned white privilege would be evident (Flax, 1998). The existence of structural inequality undermines the claim that privilege is simply a reflection of hard work and virtue. Therefore, inequality must be hidden or justified as resulting from lack of effort (Mills, 1997; Ryan, 2001).


Beyoncé released a very powerful music video a couple of weeks ago, Formation:

There has been much fascinating criticism, such as this piece in RacismReview, this piece in Salon, and this blog post by Jouelzy. The video is provoking a lot of useful engagement with the very diverse ways meaning gets made in the US these days. Even a Jesuit weighed in!

This weekend SNL did a funny take on the reception of the video in certain parts of the white community:

And just because it’s beautiful, here’s a documentary about Beyoncé’s singing of Take My Hand, Precious Lord at the 2015 grammys: