On this week’s pod, Ana (@anamariecox) sat down with Robin DiAngelo, author of the book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. To kick things off, Robin explained what white fragility is, and the impact that it has on all white people and white progressives in particular: “It captures something that is recognizable. One of the things that can trigger white fragility is generalizing about white people. And yet, I think there’s a reason the term caught on. It is meant to capture the defensiveness that is so predictable whenever white people’s worldviews, identities, racial positions or advantages are questioned.”
Ana and Robin then talked about the need for people who recognize that racism is wrong not to get complacent or arrogant, but rather be actively anti-racist, and continue educating themselves: “I don’t call myself an ally. I don’t call myself an anti-racist white. I say I’m involved in anti-racist work.”
They then switched gears, and explored why white women often fail to be allies for people of color before probing the ways de facto segregation and tokenizing minorities are so deeply problematic. Robin took aim at the way we tell the story of Jackie Robinson and other model minorities: “The subtext is, the rest of them are not. And, finally one was good enough to compete at our level, and also it suggests that racism ended whenever those barriers were crossed. I think we can see neither in sports or in politics has racism ended.”
Ana and Robin also put forth a series of suggestions for what well-meaning white people should do when they put their foot in their mouths and say something racist.
You can find Robin’s book here.
Robin referenced an article she wrote, which you can find here.
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Live from the 6th Annual Women Rule Summit in D.C.! In this episode, Anna Palmer and Ana Marie Cox speak to Piper Perabo about going from actress to activist. Piper shares her journey from wanting to help, to being willing to get arrested for what she believes in. They talk about what it means to really be an ally, and how to listen and help those who are marginalized without taking over their causes.
This week Dr. Carol Anderson joins Ana Marie Cox to talk about current events in the context of her new book, One Person, No Vote. They cover an intensive history of voting rights and the violence in those battles. Dr. Carol Anderson clarifies the lie that is the American dream, and discusses with Ana the work that needs to be done by White people to stop the onslaught of violence that People of Color face day in and day out.
Kiese Laymon joins Ana to discuss his new book, Heavy: An American Memoir. They talk about what it’s like deal with other people’s difficult stories, as well as how they cope with their own. Additionally, they connect the concept of the body to struggles that we face internally with our own issues and externally with political and social issues.
Diana Butler Bass joins host Ana Marie Cox to talk about gratitude, and the contradictions that ensue. They asked what it means to celebrate Thanksgiving, when you’re on stolen land. They conclude by making a distinction between optimism and hopefulness, attempting to change the paradigm on what effective gratitude looks like.
Ana sits down with Rick Wilson to talk about the results of the 2018 Midterms. They analyze the Blue Wave, and discuss voter suppression, the struggles they faced in the election, and what will happen next in terms of the White House, investigations, and potential policy.