ANTHROPOLOGY HURTS: DiAngelo reinvents Jackie Robinson!


Why we made a mistake: When John McWhorter reviewed Robin DiAngelo, he highlighted Jackie Robinson.

To be more clear, he wasn't reviewing DiAngelo herself. He was reviewing her mammoth best-selling book, White Fragility, in an essay for The Atlantic. 

His essay appeared last July. Along the way, he wrote this:

MCWHORTER (7/15/20): When writers who are this sure of their convictions turn out to make a compelling case, it is genuinely exciting. This is sadly not one of those times, even though white guilt and politesse have apparently distracted many readers from the book’s numerous obvious flaws.

For one, DiAngelo’s book is replete with claims that are either plain wrong or bizarrely disconnected from reality. Exactly who comes away from the saga of Jackie Robinson thinking he was the first Black baseball player good enough to compete with whites? “Imagine if instead the story,” DiAngelo writes, “went something like this: ‘Jackie Robinson, the first black man whites allowed to play major-league baseball.’” But no one need imagine this scenario, as others have pointed out, because it is something every baseball fan already knows. 

We stumbled upon McWhorter's essay last weekend. We don't think we saw it in real time, when the pandemic was center stage.

McWhorter is extremely negative on DiAngelo's work; we're quite negative on her work too. That said, we were somewhat skeptical concerning his passage about Jackie Robinson, who was a sensational multi-sport athlete at UCLA before he became a professional baseball player.

(There was athletic talent in the family. Robinson's older brother, Mack Robinson, won the silver medal in the 200 at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He beat every sprinter in the world, except for Jesse Owen.)

In her book, does DiAngelo really misstate the way Robinson is typically remembered? McWhorter's account seemed perhaps a little bit fuzzy to us, and so we decided to check.

When we checked, we ruled in McWhorter's favor. We found that DiAngelo, a stone-cold dogmatist, had written the following account, beginning with the requisite statement of dogmatic true belief:

DIANGELO (page 26): The story of Jackie Robinson is a classic example of how whiteness obscures racism by rendering whites, white privilege, and racist institutions invisible. Robinson is often celebrated as the first African-American to break the color line and play in major-league baseball. While Robinson was certainly an amazing baseball player, this story line depicts him as racially special, a Black man who broke the color line himself. The subtext is that Robinson finally had what it took to play with whites, as if no black athlete before him was strong enough to compete at that level. Imagine if instead, the story went something like this: ‘Jackie Robinson, the first black man whites allowed to play major league baseball.’ This version makes a critical distinction because no matter how fantastic a player Robinson was, he simply could not play in the major leagues if whites—who controlled the institution—did not allow it.

In fairness, it may be that DiAngelo doesn't follow baseball. But she's supposed to be an expert on race, and that is an absurd account of the way these widely-remembered events are typically remembered.

Robinson is always remembered as "the first black man...allowed to play major league baseball." Has he ever been remembered as the first such man who was "strong enough to compete at that level?" 

We'd be surprised if anyone has framed it that way in, let's say, the last fifty years. We don't know whether anyone ever did.

Robinson is always remembered as "the first black man...allowed to play major league baseball." Quite often, it's major league owners, rather than "whites," who are fingered as the principal culprits in this widely remembered drama. 

But DiAngelo is the type of person who wants to spread the stain of blame as widely as humanly possible. She wants to finger everyone in the targeted group. 

Everyone has to be guilty; everyone has to be shamed. Only she herself will be left—she herself, seeing what no one else can see, as in the absurdly misdescribed case of the immortal Robinson. 

We don't want to finger DiAngelo as the classic "bad person" or villain. In our view, we humans are all at the mercy of the ways our human brains are wired, and some people's brains are wired to produce dogma of the vastly overstated kind.

According to top anthropologists, our brains are all wired to produce tribally-pleasing dogmas at times of enhanced tribal conflict. According to these credentialed experts, we humans are strongly inclined to divide into tribes, then to create the Storylines which help us proceed to our latest war.

We mention DiAngelo to highlight a major mistake we ourselves made last weekend. Over that elongated holiday weekend, we encountered so much of the dogma which currently rules our own blue tribe that we backslid on a previous decision.

At long last, we'd made the leap! We had finally come to see that the die has been cast. We had come to accept the fact that there is no reasoning with the way our self-impressed tribe currently deals with issues of gender and race. Or with the way we use our dogmas to distinguish ourselves from The Others.

Last weekend, we encountered so much of the ugly, low-IQ guff which currently drives our own tribe that we decided to backslide and attempt to discuss it. That was a very large mistake. Our tribe has passed the point of no return. These matters can't be discussed or debated in productive ways at this point.

There's simply no point in discussing these matters. As our nation slides toward the sea, our tribe loves Our Stories too much.

DiAngelo lies on the far edge of our tribe's current dogmas. Last weekend, C-Span rebroadcast the tape of her recent hour-long discussion with Eddie Glaude, and we watched the bulk of their discussion again. 

As we watched, we saw Glaude bow and scrape to one of the strangest figures we've ever seen in the American discourse. This doesn't mean that DiAngelo is a "bad person." It means that she lives in the realm of denunciation in a way few others do.

She lives in the realm of scorn and blame, and in the realm of shaming. According to experts, our brains are wired to accept the role of guilty party when we're confronted with such figures.

DiAngelo believes the various things she says, but we've never seen anything like her. In the end, she seems to have no sense of our species' inbred limitations—no sense of understanding.

She's cultural revolution / re-education all the way down. In whatever way, her brain seems to be wired to create a drama in which she herself is cast as the Last Righteous White Person Standing.

That stance strikes us as quite unhelpful. It also strikes us as dumb. That said, it's part of the stance Our Town has chosen as the current war takes shape. 

We actually saw a lot of garbage proceeding from Our Town last weekend. Some of Our Town's comment threads spilled with human loathing,  they now typically do. 

"This is the way we're wired to play," disconsolate scholars all told us.

This led us to make a mistake in our choice of topics this week. We were wiser when we had come to see that there's no point discussing such matters. 

We'll close with a note about Jackie Robinson, the former UCLA great:

We began following major league baseball at the very end of Robinson's relatively short career. (Due to his prior exclusion, he joined the Dodgers at age 28. His career ended at age 37, in part due to some physical problems.)

Robinson was no longer a great player at the end of his career. It wasn't until later that we learned how great he had actually been.

To wit:

Robinson joined the Dodgers in 1947. Two years later, he hit .342, with 124 TBIs and 37 steals. For full career stats, click here.

He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player. It's an award which was, and still is, bestowed by the nation's baseball writers. Robinson got 12 of 24 first-place votes, outdistancing Stan Musial's five.

Those writers have been known to punish candidates they disfavor. In the famous 1947 case, Ted Williams won the triple crown in the American League, but wasn't elected MVP. One writer excluded Ballgame from his full list of ten picks.

Two years later, that same group went ahead and honored Robinson. It's a bit surprising to us that they did, but it also seems that it might be somewhat instructive.

DiAngelo isn't a "hater," but she's very much a loather. Mainly, she's a dogmatist, an apostle of guilt and shame. The glass can never be one percent full. The novelized account of the world is built upon nothing but blame.

The rest of us are wired to accept our mandated guilt even as we build our own tribal dogmas. We can see how dumb The Others are, but we seem unable to stop creating and churning such novelized dogma as this:

GIVHAN (9/8/21): Trayvon Martin was a kid carrying candy when he was killed and a toxic public tried to use his childish missteps and impetuousness as evidence of malevolence. 

In that tragic incident, he was just a kid carrying candy, full and complete total stop! Other facts have been disappeared. We prefer our stories this way.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our own blue tribe is unmistakably human. We love to repeat our tribal tales. Disconsolate experts keep suggesting that in this case, as in all other historical instances, there may be no turning back.

Final point:

As this story has taken shape, our logicians have been on sabbatical somewhere on Neptune, debating the Theaetetus! 

For the record, there will be no recovery from that lack of intellectual leadership. It's just an interesting story, one involving a bit of pushback from the later Wittgenstein, who was barely coherent.

Professor Glaude bows and scrapes on that C-Span tape. By the rules of the game, DiAngelo's presentations simply have to be right, even when she's telling him how he feels each day.

More politely, he defers. Our wiring is very much like that, despondent top experts insist.

The next two years: Robinson hit .328 in 1950, .338 the following year.

Whites didn't name him MVP! Whiteness is like that, we'll guess.


  1. tldr, dear Bob.

    All we needed to know about White Fragility we have learned from Matt Taibbi.


    "DiAngelo isn’t the first person to make a buck pushing tricked-up pseudo-intellectual horseshit as corporate wisdom, but she might be the first to do it selling Hitlerian race theory."

    Yes, dear Bob: hitlerian. Sadly, this is the company you keep.

    1. Mao, I credit you with turning me on to Matt Taibbi. I've become a subscriber. He is a voice of reason in the wilderness. But apparently you base your constant reference to "Hitlerian" liberals to that Taibbi quote in his justifiably scathing post about DiAngelo. But you take it quite a bit out of context. Your "hitlerian" references are way below the belt, and stupid and thuggish. If you want to criticize liberals, it'd be better if you applied reason, as opposed to conclusory, toxic invective.

    2. 'Criticize liberals', dear dembot? You have gotta be joking. Are we on the same planet? Contempt and ridicule is all they deserve.

      And you, dear dembot, are among the worst, we're sorry to say: knowing it and still holding on to it. We certainly have more sympathy for the hapless soros-bots and your brain-dead comrades.

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    4. It sounds like this is what Somerby read, not the book itself.

    5. How can someone who says this about Democrats be taken seriously when writing about a book they dislike?

      "Democratic Party leaders, pioneers of the costless gesture, have already embraced this performative race politics as a useful tool for disciplining apostates like Bernie Sanders."

    6. Why is AC/ MA writing here on a public platform? I thought we took away his First Amendment Right of free speech.

    7. 11:40,
      We're not protecting the First Amendment Rights of those who go by the moniker AC/ MA.
      Doing so would be "identity politics", which I'm told gave us Trump.

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  2. Replies
    1. She was great in those National Lampoon movies.

    2. We prefer Papa Gino's.

    3. No, DiAngelo the white scholar.

  3. Bob Somerby, a writer who believes that repeating himself constitutes evidence. In this column, he says he "checked" whether McWhorter's claim of DiAngelo's error was true. Then, he repeats what DiAngelo says, followed by NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER to support McWhorter's condemnation. What in fact did he "check"? He checked whether DiAngelo said what McWhorter quoted her as saying. And then he wrote it all out. This in Somerbyworld counts as "checking -- not a quotation from anyone in 1947, or 1948, or 1949. No, that would actually count as mental labor -- which is something of which Mr Somerby is a little short: please notice on how many occasions he denounces someone for some statement, but then proceeds to offer NO REASON WHATSOEVER for his denunciation; he assumes that it's all too obvious to articulate.

    That's the Daily Howler here.

    1. mmeo, you're way too indignant. And seemingly without much baseball knowledge. I'm not going out on a limb, but everyone who is familiar with Robinson breaking the color barrier knows that he got to play in the majors because the powers that be, especially Branch Rickey, reversed course and decided to break the barrier. By the way, hat proof does DiAngelo cite for her claim?

    2. What proof do McWhorter or Somerby have for theirs?

    3. TDH & McWhorter, have common sense on their side - contrary to whack job DiAngelo.

    4. In other words, they have no proof.

    5. 'TDH & McWhorter, have common sense on their side - contrary to whack job DiAngelo.'

      AC/MA, anyone who defends Donald Trump, Roy Moore, Ron Johnson, Devin Nunes and Matt Gaetz and still expects to be taken for a liberal is uncommonly bereft of common sense. TDH is not just a Trumptard, but he is a Trumptard without common sense.

  4. DiAngelo’s claim that Jackie Robinson is presented as larger than life is substantiated by the bios written about him and the recent film. There was a complaint that Branch Rickey’s role was magnified too. Robinson is otherwise applauded for his ability to remain professional under provocation. Blaming DiAngelo for a perspective she describes, as if she invented it, is wrong, and both McWhorter and Somerby treat her unfairly.

  5. God - just look at that CSPAN interview and you can see DiAngelo's whole agenda is a projection of her shame.

    “my mother was a single mother she was struggling with cancer, she couldn't keep a job, she couldn't keep us housed, we were often left with strangers for long periods of time, she couldn't keep us fed or bathed. I'm quite sure that I wasn't clean as a child and I had a lot of shame.”

    No wonder she grew up to baselessly dispense shame for a living.

    1. Yes, those early experiences no doubt gave her empathy for the shame characterized as white fragility.

      You and Somerby seem to hear her as accusatory instead of descriptive. That's called defensiveness.
      No wonder you are not able to hear her and are attacking her instead of thinking.

    2. Of course her early childhood experiences gave her the empathy for the shame characterized as white fragility. White fragility is a completely subjective concept that she invented within her own mind whole cloth ... and she has been racked by shame since she was a child.

      I'm not attacking her at all. It's very sad. As McWhorter said again and again, she obviously has the best intentions. But we can all see by her own admission that she grew up extremely poor, filthy and abandoned. And this has pretty clearly left her full of unprocessed shame and guilt which she is now projecting on all whites.

      It totally makes sense. It's like that incredible part of the Lance Armstrong documentary on ESPN when his stepfather talks about how brutally he beat Lance as a young boy. Everything after that makes perfect sense and gives context to behavior that was before so mysterious.

      It's the same here. Her whole bag never made any sense. Like all whites and all blacks are exactly the same and think alike. As if blacks are fragile little children. She actually says the whites should not cry around blacks because it will hurt their feelings. (?????)

      I know she has good intentions as you probably do too. I'm not saying you are a low-bred, mentally damaged white trash like she is. But it is pretty obvious her whole bizarre, shame-riddled take on racism stems from her childhood trauma. She probably had a horrible Church experiences too when she was young as she projects shame and guilt so much like the western Christian religions.

      But if you like White Fragility and want to subscribe to its orthodoxy and apply it to your interactions with black people, go for it! I don't judge you. I can where it makes sense to a certain set of whites.

    3. "and she has been racked by shame since she was a child."

      The shame she describes is not about being white but about being poor.

      That you describe her as "white trash" says everything we need to know about you. You seem excessively attached to being better than someone, and who better than blacks and your trashy whites for making you feel like top dog?

      I suspect her shame has been processed but it would leave her well-equipped to recognize it in others as a need to be better than, which must be protected at all costs, hence the fragility.

      You go ahead and be you, but don't kid yourself that your fragility is invisible.

    4. @8:59 Don't attack the messenger, man.

    5. Nice try at deflection. Fragile white people make that association, not DiAngelo.

  6. "In that tragic incident, he was just a kid carrying candy, full and complete total stop! Other facts have been disappeared."

    That wasn't all Givhan said (full stop). She also said:

    "...a toxic public tried to use his childish missteps and impetuousness as evidence of malevolence."

    Somerby stops the quote there, so perhaps she went on to explain. (Anything is possible.) She isn't ignoring other facts but objecting to their characterization.

    Trayvon Martin was a kid and he was carrying candy when he died. Somerby always disappears those facts. He should be ashamed of a world where kids are harassed on the street by thugs like Zimmerman.

    1. anon 3:03, what Givhan left out, and our side always deceptively manages to, is that there was an eye witness who testified at the trial that Martin was on top of Zimmerman, pounding on him. There was a jury trial. Wikipedia has a summary of all the evidence. Zimmerman was found not guilty. The jury wasn't all white. She leaves out those facts. That Martin was carrying candy might add poignancy to the tragic event, but is irrelevant.

    2. “Our side”? You mean, all liberals always ‘deceptively’ omit this one particular data point? Always? All liberals? Deliberately?

    3. Another fact is that Zimmerman started the interaction with Martin. Why didn't he leave him alone? Florida has odd laws but no one considers Zimmerman exonerated by that verdict. The candy is not irrelevant. It signals his youth.

    4. mh - ok, you got me. Not "always." For example TDH doesn't fit that category. But to be honest, I've never seen any "liberal" discussion of the Martin homicide where the "data Point" about the witness at the trial is mentioned. The point isn't whether that "always' the case - it's whether it is the case virtually always, or almost always. If that is a "data point" it's a pretty significant data point. And I mentioned 2 data points - the other is that Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury that was not all white. You are sophistic. You ignore my real point, presumably because it can't be refuted, and come up with some nitpicking deflection.

    5. anon 6:57. The "fact" that Zimmerman started the interaction, even if true, doesn't refute the fact that a witness testified that he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, whomping him. That Martin was a teenage is what "signaled" his youth. That he had candy is not relevant to whether or not Zimmerman was guilty of the charged crime. Wikipedia has a summary of all the witness testimony at the trial. Maybe you should check that out.

    6. I'm not disputing that Martin had the better of Zimmerman until he drew his gun, but that isn't the only relevant fact.

      Black people are harassed for doing things that white people do without concern. Zimmerman started the confrontation by engaging in harassment of a kid who had walked to a neighborhood store for candy. White kids do that without being targeted by would-be vigilantes.

      Somerby will not acknowledge this racist aspect.

    7. AC/ MA,
      The fact that Zimmerman started the altercation gave Martin the legal right to be on top of him pounding him into the ground.
      Now, if you want to argue that Martin isn't protected by stand your ground laws because he isn't white, then I completely agree.

    8. AC/MA is being disingenuous. No witness said Martin was on top of Zimmerman pounding his head into the ground. A witness said that Martin was on top of Zimmerman, hitting him. Also, the jury was 5 out of 6 white. More to the point, Florida law may have made it hard for the jury (let alone a possible holdout) to convict in any case

    9. That's what crime stats show.

    10. that's because stats is a tool of WHITE SUPREMACY.

    11. That makes no sense when the stats measure the racism in our justice system. Stats are a tool of science.

    12. And science is a tool of WHITE SUPREMACY.

    13. AC/MA is a liar as they have been corrected on this point here before. Nobody testified as such at the trial. In fact the witness could not confirm the person on top was hitting the other person; indeed when asked if he could not confirm, he replied "Correct."


      Let that word hit dumb motherfuckers like Somerby and his fanboys like a brick. That won't stop these idiots from spreading their lies, misinformation and racism denial.

      Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury that misunderstood the law; however, Zimmerman's life has been nothing but a horrible nightmare since his trial. Since Zimmerman was clearly guilty and is clearly a despicable human being, nobody is upset except for fragile folks like Somerby and his pathetic fanboys who quake in their boots when they see young black males roaming freely in public.

    14. Jury trial is a tool of WHITE SUPREMACY.

    15. Mao Cheng Ji is a tool.

  7. "The next two years: Robinson hit .328 in 1950, .338 the following year.

    Whites didn't name him MVP! Whiteness is like that, we'll guess."

    My guess is that he got MVP for the circumstances under which he batted .342, not for the number itself.

    If Somerby thinks DiAngelo was randomly blaming white people for things, he wasn't paying attention -- and he is clearly unwilling to acknowledge white privilege, which makes him Exhibit 1 of white fragility.

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  9. 'We mention DiAngelo to highlight a major mistake we ourselves made last weekend. '

    'We' think the major mistake Somerby made was at least 4 years ago. That was when he decided to turn this blog into a defense/cheering squad for the likes of Donald Trump and Roy Moore.

    The mistake was in assuming that he could be a 'useful idiot' for Trump. But his Trumptardism was so obvious that he ended up being a 'useless idiot'.

    1. Here is what Somerby is about:

  10. “does DiAngelo really misstate the way Robinson is typically remembered?”

    How do Somerby or McWhorter know how Robinson is “typically” remembered? Have they taken a poll?

    Here is the font of all knowledge (or whatever Somerby calls Wikipedia):

    “Jack Roosevelt Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was an American professional baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era.[1] Robinson broke the baseball color line when he started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.”

    It does not say Robinson was "the first black man...allowed to play major league baseball."

    Most people, I imagine, would phrase it as Wikipedia does. And this does come with a set of assumptions. At the very least, it illustrates DiAngelo’s point: the author of that Wikipedia entry did not write “the first black man...allowed to play major league baseball."

    And what’s with Somerby’s ellipsis? He can’t bring himself to say the truth? Sounds like white fragility to me.

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  12. “Everyone has to be guilty; everyone has to be shamed.”

    DiAngelo’s purpose would seem to be to point out a set of unfortunate circumstances, to inform people who may be unaware of the truth, so that improvements can be made.

    Somerby calls that shaming and pointing the finger of guilt. His indignant reaction is telling.

  13. “Quite often, it's major league owners, rather than "whites," who are fingered as the principal culprits in this widely remembered drama. “

    The owners were, of course, white. And blacks were prevented from playing in the major leagues because they It might have been the case that blacks were considered inferior athletes, but that was always a racist lie.

    Is Somerby aware of the intensely racist reaction to Robinson from white baseball fans? In a very real sense, the owners barred blacks from playing because they and the fans were heavily racist.

  14. "Those writers have been known to punish candidates they disfavor. In the famous 1947 case, Ted Williams won the triple crown in the American League, but wasn't elected MVP."

    It is almost as if Somerby is implying that Robinson was elected MVP to spite Ted Williams and not on his own merits.

    That's kind of like when Rachel Nichols called Maria Taylor a diversity hire.

    Just when I think Somerby can't be more offensive, he surpasses himself.

  15. Robinson was chosen by Rickey, not just because he was an outstanding baseball player, but also because Rickey believed Robinson could handle the racial abuse he knew was coming without reacting angrily.

    I would venture to guess that many people, particularly those with minimal knowledge of baseball, might assume that Robinson simply was the greatest black baseball player of the time. That may have been the assumption in 1947 as well. How would anyone know? The Negro Leagues were viewed as unworthy. Did even the average baseball fan in 1947 know much at all about them?

  16. Somerby's narrative about Ted Williams is confusing and irrelevant.

    "In May, Williams was hitting .337.[93] Williams won the Triple Crown in 1947, but lost the MVP award to Joe DiMaggio, 202 points to 201 points. One writer left Williams off his ballot. Williams thought it was Mel Webb, whom Williams called a "grouchy old guy",[94] although it now appears it was not Webb."

    "Along with being named MVP, Robinson’s early career with the Dodgers included a Rookie of the Year Award.

    Robinson appeared in 156 games during his MVP campaign, hitting .342/.432/.528 with 16 home runs, 12 triples, 38 doubles and 124 RBIs.

    His 156 games played, .342 batting average and 37 stolen bases all established new career highs, which held as such once Robinson retired.

    Additionally, Robinson led the Majors that year with 37 stolen bases, and was the NL batting champion. The 1949 season was also the first of a six-year run during which Robinson was an All-Star."

    So, Williams and Robinson had closely similar stats and Robinson clearly won MVP on his own merits. And what the hell is Somerby talking about? Is he gratuitously mentioning Williams to suggest the voting wasn't fair? No one said Robinson was better than all other white players but Robinson is right up there with Williams, and arguably a nicer guy but they both won MVP with .342 and similar accomplishments except Robinson stole more bases, in different years. Williams in 1947 and Robinson in 1949.

    1. Williams didn't win in 1947. Maybe Somerby was rooting for him?

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  18. “Only she herself will be left—she herself, seeing what no one else can see”

    “her mammoth best-selling book”

    She seems not to be left by herself.

  19. Somerby's entire impression of DiAngelo's book, including the Jackie Robinson quote (and misinterpretation) comes from Matt Taibbi, another liberal hater. How lazy is Somerby, pretending to have read a book he clearly has not read!

  20. Rex Hupke of the Chicago Tribune thinks it is time to "make stupidity embarrassing again." He cites Jim Jordan, but I think Somerby should be replaced by a duck too. Just because he can put up one after another empty, time-wasting essays, doesn't mean he should. With the self awareness of a rock, Somerby writes essays that would embarrass even the fondest mother -- or maybe that is his goal? I call bullshit on his dishonest diatribe against DiAngelo.

  21. From the Publisher, these quotes characterize the main premises of the book: (1) whiteness rests on a foundational premise that white is the standard or norm for humans and people of color are a deviation from that norm; (2) we consider a challenge to our racial worldviews as a challenge to our very identities as good, moral people; (3) it is white people's responsibility to be less fragile; people of color don't need to twist themselves into knots trying to navigate us as painlessly as possible.

    Amazon calls it: "The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality."

    I think Taibbi and Somerby are demonstrating that counterproductive reaction and utterly failing to engage with what the book actually says. Neither quotes anything from the book except a trivial quibble about Jackie Robinson, while making heated, derogatory, largely unsubstantiated accusations. That's more like a meltdown than a review.

  22. Notable that Somerby seems so upset by the reference to Martin's having candy with him. But Somerby himself didn't hesitate to defend Roy Moore, Donald Trump et al. ferociously, while disappearing facts that he didn't like. Of course, those folks weren't killed by someone stalking them, and the facts against them were considerably worse than buying candy, but it seems Somerby believes his lies in defense of Trump, Moore, Ron Johnson, Devin Nunes et al are no vice, and indeed for a Trumptard like him, they are no vice, but a virtue.

  23. Bill Maher said quite a few ignorent things on Friday,among them that obesity increases the severity of covid. He accused the government of hiding that fact. However, not only does the CDC state that bmi above 30 (obesity) but it also says that the relationship between bmi and covid severity is curvilinear, not linear. Severity is much greater with severe obesity (bmi >40) but also with bmi < 25. So, those who are thin are at increased risk too. The sweet spot of lower risk is at bmi 25, which is the cutoff between normal weight and being overweight. These stats control for comorbidities (diseases & conditions associated with weight change).

    Bill Maher, back to coloring his hair, has a fear of fat and thinks fat shaming should be part of public health. In this case, he is ignoring the stats showing that being thin can also be a covid risk factor.

    1. So, what is it that you find "ignorent" about saying that obesity increases severity of covid, dear dembot? We don't get your drift.

    2. That Maher is so smug about being thin when he has just as much risk as someone an equal distance above a bmi of 25 (the weight-height ratio with the best covid outcomes. He is that much at risk while denigrating the CDC for not saying fat people are at risk (the CDC is accurate about saying those who are either too fat or too thin are both at risk).

      Facts are omitted and a partial truth is as misleading as a lie. Somerby also specializes in half truths.

    3. Does obesity increase severity of covid, dear dembot? Yes or no?

    4. the effect is not linear or causal

  24. White fragility is basically a bully concept, in the same way as calling someone "defensive" when they disagree with a criticism made of them. There's no answer to the charge of defensiveness. If you object, you're just being more defensive; if you don't object, you accept the idea that you're being defensive. Exactly the same with white fragility. Another warning sign is that it's supposedly impossible to get rid of white fragility; in other words, the Robin DiAngelo's of the world have you over a barrel. Not only are you irrevocably racist, you'll need to take my course for the rest of your live, and even then, you'll still be racist. The only remarkable thing about any of this is that anybody with sense falls for it.

    1. At the end of the day, the concepts of White Fragility are really just a way for corporate HR departments to scare, intimidate and control employees. DiAngelo examines racism as a web of deeply-ingrained attitudes rather than as a system of power: institutional or systemic racism.

      Perhaps this is because discussing the redistribution of power, wealth, and income might not sit comfortably with DiAngelo’s corporate clients.

    2. Anon 1:25:

      (From Wikipedia)
      “She [DiAngelo] recommends against viewing racism as committed intentionally by "bad people".”

      “She [DiAngelo] describes racism as systematic rather than overt and conscious”

      This refutes your accusations against her.

      The two things can coexist: a discussion of a class-based redistribution of wealth and power, and a discussion of how race-based segregation has specifically disadvantaged black people over and above pure class-based considerations. Besides, a critique of race-based problems is germane to a discussion of wealth and power redistribution, since blacks have so little of either compared to whites.

      And why would you think DiAngelo’s questioning of white hegemony would be a particularly comfortable topic for the mostly white owners of corporations? I suggest it is not.

    3. From the same article:

      "Other reviewers criticized the book for making false claims about race and racism in America, for putting whites in a situation where anything they say is used against them, for infantilizing black people, and for doing nothing to promote racial justice or combat systemic racism."

      This is true - she makes no suggestions on how to fight systemic racism.

      Robin DiAngelo's "work" is nothing more than an intellectual prison. It attempts to establish the same patterns of thought found in any repressive religion. You are born guilty and will always be guilty and only I can save you. This is the point of the statement “Only she herself will be left—she herself, seeing what no one else can see”. Everyone has to be guilty and has to be shamed according to DiAngelo - based on subjective concepts she invented and "only she can see".

      Corporations love DiAngelo because it takes the conversation away from economic class disparities to the more sulphuric, divisive issue of race.

      If you really want to see how faulty DiAngelo's concepts are - go make a black friend and with them, adhere to her suggestions on how to talk to blacks about race.

    4. Thank you for recommending DiAngelo's book. I do not have the power to address systemic racism, but I have been wondering what I can do to help address racism. Now that I recognize that it is up to me to "fix" my own attitudes, I can work on that without troubling my black friends with discussions of race that must be boring and burdensome to them.

    5. If you are willing to help change racism in our society, why would you feel shame?

    6. How can words that an anonymous dembot typed to wikipedia (for all we know it could be dear mh herself, 10 minutes ago) refute anything?

    7. A zealot congregant like mh will find refutation in cloud forms or a piece of toast. God forbid they quote anything their cult leader actually says.

    8. Somerby quoted Taibbi and McWhorter. He didn't read DiAngelo's book.

  25. 4:32

    A glaring issue with your retort to "mh" is that you quote criticism of the book and offer your own criticism yet without backing up these claims with a shred of evidence. Highly ironic considering your (rightful) attack on religion.

    1. Don't believe my "highly ironic retort" then. Join the church of White Fragility with all its well sourced claims. ;)

  26. Of course white fragility is real.
    What do you think the Proud Boys are so proud of?

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