WHITE FRAGILITY: WHY IT’S SO HARD FOR WHITE PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT RACISM by Robin DiAngelo
Reviewed by Tracy Heaton de Martinez,
LWVIN board member and LWV Indianapolis member
The author goes after the many excuses white people give for why they are not racists, such as having an adopted black child in their family, or black school friends, or having once lived in diverse neighborhoods. Many readers may also claim that they were raised to not see or consider race, that they treat everyone the same and they judge others on their actions not race. White readers may feel uncomfortable when the author peels away these defenses to illustrate that seeing the whole world in one’s own white framework is not helping the issue. The author points out that treating everyone “the same” ignores their unique experience as a person of color or ethnicity.
Why is this book relevant to members of the League of Women Voters? As we work to ensure fair, equitable voting access for all Americans, our local Leagues would benefit from looking more like the voting public. At minimum, our Leagues need to hear and listen to other voices. We are admittedly a rather white organization, rooted in the culture of our founding mothers. Actions such as reading this book will enable us to build a League enriched by voters of all backgrounds, religions, sexual identity, ethnicity and race.