DiAngelo considers white fragility a form of bullying that effectively shuts down conversations about race and racism before the first layers of opinion and prejudice have been peeled back.
“It’s an everyday form of white racial control — acting as if you cannot tolerate any association with racism,” DiAngelo says.
Younger whites, contrary to conventional wisdom, are no more willing to dive into the topic from their own perspective than their parents or grandparents, DiAngelo says. That’s because the vast majority of whites still grow up in exclusively white settings with mainly white friends and associates throughout life and therefore never have to think about what their skin tone projects to others — or what people of color have to endure because of their skin color.
“It’s a refusal to know,” she says. “We don’t want to see.”