All posts by Mary Hess

The pandemic of Anti-Blackness

Macalester College’s Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship recently hosted a webinar that was both deeply engaging and very insightful. It was led by the Dean of the Institute, Donna Maeda, and featured Duchess Harris, Professor, American Studies; Bill Hart, Professor, Religious Studies; Brian Lozenski, Associate Professor, Educational Studies; Kenjus Watson, Postdoctoral Fellow, San Francisco State University, and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Occidental College.

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).