Anti-Racism Book Group

Next Meeting: Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 7:30 PM in the church library

Our conversation goes in all directions, so please – come even if you don’t read the book.  All are welcome!

For March, the book group is doing two things:

(1) taking an anonymous test developed by Harvard’s Project Implicit to measure our hidden biases with regard to black and white people (note that we will not share our test results but use them to inform our discussion); and

(2) reading White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

As you look at your test results and read the book, consider the following posed by DiAngelo – “Dominant culture asks If I’m racist.  I want to change the question to How have I been shaped by the forces of racism.”

About the test:

The Project Implicit website says The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report.  [It] measures the strength of associations between concepts (e.g., black people, gay people) and evaluations (e.g., good, bad) or stereotypes (e.g., athletic, clumsy).  

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html      
This link takes you to an “Agreement” page, and then you proceed to a list of tests.  Look for the “button” that says Race IAT.

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White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism  
by Robin DiAngelo

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged,
and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence.

These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent
any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines
how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do
to engage more constructively.

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These videos will give you a sneak preview of what DiAngelo explores in more detail in her book.

     Debunking Myths about Race  (~4 minute video, after an Ad)

     Deconstructing White Privilege w/Dr. Robin DiAngelo (~20 minute video)

Looking forward to our next book discussion!

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