White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Of many movies and books I’ve recently reviewed trying to become more aware of my white privilege, White Fragility is best.

That surprised me as the author is White writing for a White audience.  Writing for me, a privileged white male who believes he’s anti-racist.

Click PLAY or watch DiAngelo on YouTube.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism is a 2018 book written by Robin DiAngelo about race relations in the United States.

An academic with experience in diversity training, DiAngelo coined the term “white fragility” in 2011 to describe any defensive instincts or reactions that a white person experiences when questioned about race or made to consider their own race.

In White Fragility, DiAngelo views racism in the United States as systemic and often perpetuated unconsciously by individuals….

DiAngelo linked to a study pointing out that children aged 3 upwards believe it better to be White in the USA.

She points out that white, males avowing to be Christian and heterosexual are at consistent advantage.  Everyone else at a disadvantage, especially Black Americans.

That’s systemic racism.

The book is popular but has had a fair bit of criticism, as well.

Personally, I learned a lot.  On the other hand, it’s not well written: too academic, frequently repeating the same bullet points.

Also, I wouldn’t sign-up for one of DiAngelo‘s lectures nor diversity training workshops.  I find her arrogant and too defensive with those who challenge.

And here’s how comedian Ron Hart learned about his white privilege in 1994.  As the only White guy in a comedy club.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

“All Lives Matter” is denial of systematic racism

When your All-Lives-Matter friend has a birthday, be sure to message:

“All Birthdays Matter”. 😀

According to professor of critical race theory, David Theo Goldberg, “All Lives Matter” reflects a view of “racial dismissal, ignoring, and denial”.

Philosopher Chris Lebron describes “All Lives Matter” as a “disingenuous retort” that misunderstands the problem raised by Black Lives Matter proponents.

On Real Time with Bill MaherBill Maher expressed support for use of the “Black Lives Matter” phrase, stating that “‘All Lives Matter’ implies that all lives are equally at risk, and they’re not”. …


Comedy and White Privilege

A one woman investigation into her White Privilege.

On Netflix.

Best part is when she went to meet her High School boyfriend. He had been in prison for 14 years.  Out and clean for 3 years.

“Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea” follows comedian Chelsea Handler as she confronts and explores her personal and cultural impacts around white privilege.

Handler travels around the country speaking with a wide range of people on the topic of race including fellow comedians Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and W. Kamau Bell, anti-racism writer and activist Tim Wise, a Republican women’s group in Orange County, CA, college students at an open mic night, and her former high school boyfriend in New Jersey.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

ABOUT those pro-life hypocrites …

I can see the argument for being pro-life.

Nobody wants abortions.

But if you are pro-life you must also have a consistent life ethic:

… an ideology that opposes abortioncapital punishmentassisted suicide, and euthanasia.

Adherents are opposed, at the very least, to unjust war, while some adherents also profess pacifism, or opposition to all war.

The term was popularized in 1983 by the Catholic Cardinal Joseph Bernardin to express an ideology based on the premise that all human life is sacred and should be protected by law. … 

In the States, many who claim to be pro-life also support the death penalty, support the right of untrained neighbours to own weapons of war.

They support wasting any amount of money on the military while denying basic health care and education to the young women who might consider having an abortion.

They are pro-birth, not pro-life.  Once the baby is born they no longer care what happens to the child.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt is a 2020 novel by American author Jeanine Cummins, about the ordeal of a Mexican woman who had to leave behind her life and escape as an undocumented immigrant to the United States with her son.

Lydia and her eight-year-old son Luca are the only survivors of the backyard barbecue massacre of her family by a drug cartel.

Her husband had been a journalist who was reporting the crimes.

Mother and son become two of the countless undocumented immigrants from Latin America who undertake the dangerous journey to the United States.

American Dirt debuted on New York Times best sellers list as the #1 on the list for the week of February 9, 2020.

The novel has been optioned for a film adaptation.

Oprah loved the book.  I’d agree.

But many, especially Mexican writers, accused the author (American, born in Spain) of exploitation and inaccuracy in her portrayals of both Mexico and the migrant experience.  A planned book tour was cancelled.

Personally, the book was insightful for me.  It’s the closest I’ve ever come to appreciating the experience of a migrant trying to cross the Mexican border illegally.

It’s fiction.  Not reality.  I understand that.

Amazon

 

 

 

Rise and Fall of the American Empire – Wade Davis

UPDATE – Deanna Kreisel posted a rebuttal to the Wade Davis article:

The Unraveling of “The Unraveling of America”

Wade Davis is a Colombian / Canadian professor of anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia.

One brilliant man.

A recent article of his in Rolling Stone sums up how COVID-19 signals the end of the American era.

In a dark season of pestilence, COVID has reduced to tatters the illusion of American exceptionalism. …

No empire long endures, even if few anticipate their demise …

In 1940, with Europe already ablaze, the United States had a smaller army than either Portugal or Bulgaria. Within four years, 18 million men and women would serve in uniform, with millions more working double shifts in mines and factories that made America, as President Roosevelt promised, the arsenal of democracy.

When the Japanese within six weeks of Pearl Harbor took control of 90 percent of the world’s rubber supply, the U.S. dropped the speed limit to 35 mph to protect tires, and then, in three years, invented from scratch a synthetic-rubber industry that allowed Allied armies to roll over the Nazis. At its peak, Henry Ford’s Willow Run Plant produced a B-24 Liberator every two hours, around the clock. Shipyards in Long Beach and Sausalito spat out Liberty ships at a rate of two a day for four years; the record was a ship built in four days, 15 hours and 29 minutes. A single American factory, Chrysler’s Detroit Arsenal, built more tanks than the whole of the Third Reich. 

In the wake of the war, with Europe and Japan in ashes, the United States with but 6 percent of the world’s population accounted for half of the global economy, including the production of 93 percent of all automobiles. … 

COVID-19 didn’t lay America low; it simply revealed what had long been forsaken.

As the crisis unfolded, with another American dying every minute of every day, a country that once turned out fighter planes by the hour could not manage to produce the paper masks or cotton swabs essential for tracking the disease. The nation that defeated smallpox and polio, and led the world for generations in medical innovation and discovery, was reduced to a laughing stock as a buffoon of a president advocated the use of household disinfectants as a treatment for a disease that intellectually he could not begin to understand.

… With less than four percent of the global population, the U.S. soon accounted for more than a fifth of COVID deaths. … 

Odious as he may be, Trump is less the cause of America’s decline than a product of its descent. As they stare into the mirror and perceive only the myth of their exceptionalism, Americans remain almost bizarrely incapable of seeing what has actually become of their country.  …

The Unraveling of America

 

If Trump were gone tomorrow, the USA is still screwed because of FOX News and right wing media. And the GOP.

If a vaccine were available tomorrow, half of Americans would refuse to take it.

Wade Davis:

… even should Trump be resoundingly defeated, it’s not at all clear that such a profoundly polarized nation will be able to find a way forward. For better or for worse, America has had its time. …

BAYONNE, NJ – MAY 3: A wind blown American flag at the Tear Drop 9/11 Memorial flies over the skyline of New York City as the sun sets on May 3, 2020 in Bayonne, New Jersey. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Brit Bennett can write.

She studied at Stanford, University of Michigan, and Oxford.

The Vanishing Half was #1 on the New York Times best-seller list June 2020.

But I read it as recommended for privileged white people trying to better understand the African American experience.

#BlackLivesMatter

Spanning nearly half a century, from the 1940s to the 1990s, the novel focuses on twin sisters, Desiree and Stella Vignes, who were raised in Mallard, Louisiana, a (fictional) small town conceived of by their great-great-great grandfather — after being freed by the father who once owned him — as an exclusive place for light-skinned blacks like him.

“In Mallard, nobody married dark,” Bennett writes starkly.

Over time, its prejudices deepened as its population became lighter and lighter, “like a cup of coffee steadily diluted with cream.” The twins, with their “creamy skin, hazel eyes, wavy hair,” would have delighted the town’s founder.

Yet fair skin did not save their father, whose vicious lynching by a gang of white men marks the girls irrevocably.

Nor did it save their mother from an impoverished existence cleaning for rich white people in a neighboring town, and it won’t save the twins from an equally constricted life if they stay in Mallard.

We learn in the first few pages that at 16, Desiree and Stella ran off to New Orleans, two hours away, but “after a year, the twins scattered, their lives splitting as evenly as their shared egg.

Stella became white and Desiree married the darkest man she could find.” …

‘The Vanishing Half’ Counts The Terrible Costs Of Bigotry And Secrecy

ALL PARENTS MATTER – Boycott Father’s Day 😀

My buddy Dean — a father on Father’s Day — posted something I’d not considered.

According to professor David Theo Goldberg, “All Lives Matter” reflects a view of “racial dismissal, ignoring, and denial”.

On Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill Maher expressed support for use of the “Black Lives Matter” phrase, stating that “‘All Lives Matter’ implies that all lives are equally at risk, and they’re not”. …