Why am i know 2

racism: "Most whites only see explicit racism"


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ZEIT Campus ONLINE: Can you give an example?

DiAngelo: When you watch American films, you cannot fail to see negative portrayals of black people in particular. But also in the media: In Great Britain there was an article about the so-called "science of beauty". The headline was, "Is that the scientifically perfect face?" A blond, blue-eyed white woman was also shown. On a CNN series called The most beautiful women in the world the broadcaster chose Charlize Theron to represent South Africa, a country where 92 percent of the population is black. But the way we divide schools and neighborhoods into good and bad also shows that: I can imagine that in your city you can say whether each neighborhood is a good or a bad area - and the neighborhoods Who you classify as bad will always be the ones in which many people of color Life.

ZEIT Campus ONLINE: But doesn't that mean we need to talk about social inequality and poverty rather than racism?

DiAngelo: No. I am white and I grew up in poverty. And I can tell you: it is different whether you are white and poor or whether you are black and poor. Talking about poverty is only one way not to be about race having to speak. But you cannot talk about wealth and poverty without talking about race to speak.

ZEIT Campus ONLINE: Why not?

DiAngelo: For example, you could predict whether my mother and I will survive my birth and how long I will live just because I am white. That shows how real the meaning of these categories is.

ZEIT Campus ONLINE: In German, the term "race" refers to the idea that there are different races of people. This concept has long been refuted. What do you mean if you by race speak?

DiAngelo: Race is a social construction that is real in its effects: Those who are seen and raised as white have a certain way of seeing the world - and they lack a certain awareness of certain things. Whites don't usually see themselves as white, we have the privilege of being seen as individuals and as objective. People of color on the other hand are always seen as a representative of their group and not as objective when it comes to race and racism goes.

ZEIT Campus ONLINE: In your book, you write that it is not Conservatives who are people of color and their social equality most harm, but liberals, progressives and leftists. Why?

DiAngelo: I would no longer say that we - I count myself among them - harm them the most, but we are part of the problem. White leftists and liberals can often be complacent because we think that we already know everything about racism, that we cannot behave in a racist manner and cannot learn anything. Therefore we are not open to discussion. And because our identities are so deeply connected to the idea of ​​being progressive and left-wing, we can react even more negatively when someone suggests that we are behaving in a racist manner. But at the same time it is precisely left and liberal whites who have a lot with people of color have to do with them, work with them, be friends, live together. And yet they cannot talk to us about their experiences. I guess a lot of the people of color, who have now shared their experiences with racism under the hashtag, had these racist interactions with whites who would classify themselves as liberal or left.

ZEIT Campus ONLINE: In your work you confront whites with their racist behavior and get them to see themselves as whites. What is the reason why many whites react so negatively to this? white fragility. What's this?

DiAngelo: It's a term I developed to capture how difficult it is to talk about racism with whites. The Fragility-Aspect captures how quickly we react negatively to it. Many whites react to the suggestion that whiteness is important with extreme disapproval. Also, the hint that I might know something about them just because they are white causes irritation. We can hardly handle it when someone points out that our race shapes our lives and our views.