Ep. 41: An Interview With Author Robin DiAngelo

Special Guest: Dr. Robin DiAngelo has a PhD in Multicultural Education from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2004 and is a two-time winner of the Student’s Choice Award for Educator of the Year at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work. She is the author of White Fragility, Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk about Racism (2018), and What Does It Mean to Be White: Developing White Literacy (2012). Check out this NEWLY RELEASED, FREE White Fragility Reader’s Guide

We were elated to conduct this interview! Some highlights of the conversation include:

  • A description of “whiteness studies”.

  • The elevation of white people as the norm for humanity which reproduces white supremacy & white fragility when you challenge it.

  • No matter where you travel in the world, white fragility is the SAME (even if the history of the region is different).

  • Anti-blackness is EVERYWHERE--doesn’t matter what country (ex. Aboriginals in Australia and Native people in Canada).

  • White people don’t understand that we bring our histories to each situation. In particular, teachers bring this history of harm, especial for students of color. Teachers get offended rather than understanding the context of time and place. See the example of The Citadel, an all-male military school.

  • Race work is sometimes “only” given to people of color which reinforces the notion that we’re racially innocent. There is no “clean” space outside white supremacy.

  • A mapping out of Mark Meadows white fragility in response to Tlaib’s speech

  • People have a hard time talking about race because they are afraid of being called a racist and want to point out all the ways they aren’t a racist.

  • They want to be divorced from that term. In particular, white men get to yell and shout and be victims when they want to.

  • Advice for white parents: Slow it down, do your own work around your whiteness. When children of color (with white parents)  have some structural analysis they do better--it’s not just about “something is wrong with me”. Check out DiAngelo’s resources for white parents.

The interview questions were listener-driven. Shout out to: Jennifer B, John M, Shannon M, Marguerite M, Siri K, Jacquie J, Stephen M, and Hilary S.

Do Your Fudging Homework:

Read Less Basic Book Club: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Discussion Highlights Include:

  • Passages that resonated with us - insights, challenges, surprises, and takeaways

  • Discussion around the  idea that “Racism is a structure, not an event,” (J. Kēhaulani Kauanui)

  • Colorblindness and associated issues

  • White women’s tears

  • Personal experiences dealing with racism as perpetrators or bystanders and how white people must disrupt racism to make any meaningful change

  • Lessons from the book that we can apply to our everyday lives and next steps

Listener To Do List:

  • Read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo so this episode makes sense

  • Reach out to IWL on social media if you have questions for Robin DiAngelo - we’re interviewing her in early March!

  • Become a subscribing member of Channel 253

  • Borrow or buy (at your favorite local bookstore) our next #readlessbasic book - White Rage by Carol Anderson

Ep. 25: No Finish Line for Ending White Supremacy

EQ: What are white people doing wrong this time and how do we make it right?

Guest: Danielle Stubblefield - Seattle-based  online and anti-racist frontline protester.

Danielle brings her expertise and insights to a number of topics, including:

  • White privilege,  white entitlement, and white terrorism, including the idea of “polite” white supremacy (no matter what, white people make sure the conversation stays civil and comfortable).
  • No finish line for white supremacy--keeping it 💯, we have so much work to do
  • We're all like dirty sponges--we can clean up a mess but we're tainted
  • White supremacy is the house you need to tear down---demolition phase (take a hammer and tear sh!* up)
  • Think about IMPACT, not just intent. Own our whiteness from the beginning, stumble through life and stop trying to be well-intended but causing damage.
  • How to not be a “teacher” (aka think you know everything and are source of all knowledge). Instead we need to think of teaching and learning as hand-in-hand
  • How to leverage white privilege for good and associated risk factors (Nordstrom comes up)
  • How what is safe for white people is not safe for others.
  • The impacts of racism on quality of life and health outcomes. Watch “How Racism Leads to Health Issues”

  • How to not worry about losing face with a stranger...fight dispassionately so it becomes your routine.

  • The fact that anti-blackness is real, and thoughts about why it exists.  Jealousy? Why are white people so mad? Maybe it's because they see something they don't have! There’s a twisted sense of community that racism fills. Read Debbie Irving Waking up White to get a better understanding of racism as boxes & ladders.

  • It takes guts to challenge Oprah...especially when you're on a cruise with her!

Do Your Fudging Homework:

Ep. 17: White Ladies, White Lies

Our EQ: Are lies ever really victimless and why do lies from white women have a disproportionate impact?

Lying is a familiar activity to everyone. Whether it’s little - I swear I didn’t take the last Girl Scout cookie, must have been you - or big - I swear I’m not cheating on you, we’re just friends - lies have consequences. This is especially true for White women who are believed innocent more than anyone else. White lady lies or hwhite lies have more detrimental consequences because of systemic racism and white supremacy. Urban Dictionary defines a white lie as “lies that white people have told others to make their self look righteous”
Famous white ladies who lied:

Timeless or Terrible:

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Do Your Fudging Homework:

Episode 4: Shame Bell Your Gender Norms & Pumpkin Spice Yogurt

Our essential question is: what is gender and why does it matter?

Hope & Annie continue their conversation about gender norms. What happens when we reject them? How do we work on making our relationships more equitable? The IWLs hit on double standards for girls in school dress codes, how LGBT folks disrupt gender norms by sharing household chores, and the disproportionate amount of emotional labor female-identified folks tend to do in the workplace.

Today’s pop critical theory is deviance.  Deviance is behavior that violates social norms.  Deviance actually serves a really important purpose - if you deviate from the norm, it's often because you're figuring out your identity and finding a sub-group to belong to, which can be really empowering.  It can also be alienating, since you're separated from the group that sets the norms.  How are we rewarded when we deviate? How are we punished? How many people need to be deviant before it becomes the norm? Deep thoughts!

References:

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This episode we forgo our usual timeless or terrible conversation and opt for a Pumpkin Spiced themed segment where we actually taste PS themed foods from our favorite white lady store, Target. From poptarts to gum, listen to our lip-smacking reviews.

Spoiler: This is nasty

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Do Your Fudging Homework:

 

Episode 2: Fish Crackers and White Supremacy

Our essential question is: What is white privilege and why do we need to talk about it?

Defining privilege as unearned advantage or right based on group status, Annie and Hope breakdown examples of white privilege from shopping without receipts to traveling without being stopped. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there!  Privilege is systemic.  IWLs talk briefly about gendered and whitewashed toys, including where you can find some rad Barbies with afros (Etsy).  BONUS TRACK: other diverse Barbie-like dolls, because representation matters.

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IWLs experiment with a new segment in the show called “pop critical theory.” Today's segment focuses on intersectionality. Intersectionality originally comes from feminist sociological theory and the work of Kimberle’ Crenshaw, who says that discrimination or criminal behavior against women can be targeted or intensified based on that woman’s race.  So intersectionality has the power to compound your oppression, BUT! It can also be a source of personal power, because it gives you the ability to stratify different groups, AKA be in more than one group at a time.

Articles mentioned in the episode that you should go read RIGHT NOW:

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Timeless or Terrible: Annie and Hope weigh in on the staples of interchangeable white women everywhere.

Today’s topics--boot cuffs and the obsession with talking about generations (leave those millennials and their avocado toast alone).

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Do Your Fudging Homework: Go read Tim Snyder’s book, “On Tyranny.”  It’s like pamphlet-small, no excuses.  Go Google pictures of the Panopticon so you can get an idea of what it looks like.  Go read up on the idea of the invisible or imaginary audience.  Take notes and prepare to discuss.

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