Twitter Discussion with Dr. Jenn Simms on the Use of White Fragility in College Courses

Dr. Jenn Simms, Assistant Professor of Sociology and author of Mixed-Race in the US and UK: Comparing the Past, Present, and Future, in conversation with Twitter followers points to White Fragility as a useful and necessary starting point for many white students, who are by and large racially illiterate, before they're able to "appreciate and understand more critical and structural works."

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Aletha D Stahl onto White Fragility and Its Critiques

On Being with Krista Tippett: Robin DiAngelo and Resmaa Menakem In Conversation

Several months after the killing of George Floyd, Resmaa Menakem, who offers trauma-based therapy in Minneapolis and authored My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, and Robin DiAngelo discuss everything from willful white ignorance and virtue signaling to "repair" and the world they wish to live in. 

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Aletha D Stahl onto White Fragility and Its Critiques

Ibram X. Kendi, author of How To Be Antiracist, and Robin DiAngelo in 2 summer 2020 interviews together

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Aletha D Stahl onto White Fragility and Its Critiques

'White Fragility' Is Everywhere. But Does Antiracism Training Work?

Bergner, D. (2020, July 15). 'White Fragility' Is Everywhere. But Does Antiracism Training Work? The New York Times Magazine.

Daniel Bergner points to the surge of attention given to Robin DiAngelo and her book in the wake of the protests of the killing of George Floyd and considers the effectiveness or lack thereof of antiracist workshops.

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Aletha D Stahl onto White Fragility and Its Critiques

The Dehumanizing Condescension of "White Fragility"

McWhorter, J. (2020, July 15). The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility. The Atlantic. 

John McWhorter argues that DiAngelo's book is both designed "to make certain educated white readers feel better about themselves" and entails "dehumanizing condescension toward Black people." 

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Aletha D Stahl onto White Fragility and Its Critiques

"White Fragility" Has a Whiteness Problem

Jackson, L.M.  (2019, September 05). "White Fragility" Has a Whiteness Problem. Slate Magazine. September 05, 2019. 

Lauren Michele Jackson points out that DiAngelo's white fragility remains "enthralled by whiteness" whereas there also needs to be a focus towards others and towards next steps. 

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Aletha D Stahl onto White Fragility and Its Critiques

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

DiAngelo, R. (2018). White fragility: Why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism. Beacon Press. 

To cite the Beacon Press blurb (linked above) about this New York Times best-seller: "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."

The Beacon Press website also includes several reading/discussion guides and a quiz to see if you exhibit white fragility.

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Aletha D Stahl onto White Fragility and Its Critiques

"Fostering Intercultural Competence With Standards-Based Instruction" (session 3 reading)

Garrett-Rucks, P. (2016). Fostering Intercultural Competence With Standards-Based Instruction. In Intercultural competence in instructed language learning: Bridging theory and practice, 61-81.

Ebook available through Purdue Libraries.

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"Synthesizing Conceptualizations of ICC: A Summary and Emerging Themes" (session 2 reading)

Deardorff, D. K. (2009). The Sage handbook of intercultural competence. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 264-269. 

Additionally, the Table of Contents points to important readings worth pursuing, including conceptualizations emerging from specific language communities, and I recommend skimming anything available from Chapter 1 to get some of the breadth and challenges involved in conceptualizing intercultural competence (see Amazon link). 

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“The Intercultural Development Inventory: A new frontier in assessment and development of intercultural competence" (session 2 reading)

Hammer, M. R. (2012). “The Intercultural Development Inventory: A new frontier in assessment and development of intercultural competence.” In M. Vande Berg, R. M. Paige & K. H. Lou (Eds.), Student learning abroad: What our students are learning, what they're not, and what we can do about it (115-136). Sterling, VA: Stylus.

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"Components of Competence" (session 1 reading)

Excerpt from Martin, J.N. and T.K. Nakayama (2010). Intercultural Communication in Contexts. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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A.S.K.S2 -- The Intercultural Attitudes, Skills, and Knowledge Short Scale (session 1 reading)

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AAC&U Intercultural Knowledge and Competence VALUE Rubric

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Voices from the Past (session 1 icebreaker activity)

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