Robin DiAngelo

Nice Racism
  • Nice Racism

  • Racism will not be interrupted by a hug or a smile. Dismantling white supremacy requires white people to commit to a lifetime of education and accountability. Continuing the work she began in White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo challenges white readers to rethink their ideas about racism and to confront their role in maintaining it.

    The common moves white progressives make to telegraph their niceness are: avoiding social discomfort, focusing on connections and commonalities, privileging concern for the feelings of perpetrators of racism over the victims, elevating intentions over impact and credentialing. Writing candidly about her own missteps and struggles, and drawing on over twenty years working as an anti-racist educator, Nice Racism models a path forward, helping white readers to face their complicity and embrace humility.

    Often touting their own liberal credentials as evidence, white progressives do not see themselves as racist and therefore have not developed the skills necessary for examining their role in perpetuating racism. This is because white progressives are often steeped in a culture of niceness which is animated by a belief that racism is limited to bad individuals who commit intentionally violent acts. The flip-side to this logic is the idea that a nice person with good intentions could never be a racist. But that's simply not the case. Racism is a system in which all white people are implicated.

Robin DiAngelo is an academic, lecturer, and author working in the fields of critical discourse analysis and whiteness studies. She is a lecturer at the University of Washington and formerly served as a tenured professor of multicultural education at Westfield State University. DiAngelo has been a consultant and trainer for more than twenty years on issues of racial and social justice.

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