Being nice is not going to end racism

Robin DiAngelo explains how well-intentioned white people uphold systemic racism.

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  • All that racism needs to keep going is for white people to keep being nice, says Robin DiAngelo. Being nice is better than the alternative, of course—but ask: What else am I doing to end racial inequality?
  • "But I have friends of color" is a deflection device, not a real way to engage in productive dialogue about systemic racism.
  • It's difficult for white people hear and, in DiAngelo's experience, many people will reject the idea of systemic racism and how they may benefit from it simply because it is too uncomfortable.
  • For the white people who want to push through this issue, the biggest thing they can do is recognize internalized superiority.

Why “I’m not racist” is only half the story

How white defensiveness derails progress on racial issues.

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  • White guilt is a roadblock to equality, says Robin DiAngelo. It takes race conversations off the table and maintains the status quo.
  • "How do so many of us who are white individually feel so free of racism and yet we live in a society that is so profoundly separate and unequal by race?" asks DiAngelo.
  • Stop feeling bad—that's not productive. Instead, start doing something to dismantle the systemic racism that benefits you at the expense of others.

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