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English dictionary adds ‘white fragility’

The term "white fragility" has been added to an English dictionary as a result of racial discussions on social media.

Published: April 15, 2019, 8:07 am

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    USA Today reporter Jessica Guynn welcomed the strange addition, adding that she had explored how the digital world is able to “amplify bias and widen disparities”.

    Sociologist Robin Di Angelo, an “expert” on racial politics, coined the term “white fragility” in 2011. In 2016, the Oxford Dictionaries put the term on its short list for word of the year.

    Last week, it was added to Dictionary.com, defined as “the tendency among members of the dominant white cultural group to have a defensive, wounded, angry, or dismissive response to evidence of racism”.

    The politically correct lexicographers of the Oxford Dictionaries in 2017 wrote about an instance of “white fragility” where, at diversity-training session for police officers in suburban Plainfield, Indiana, Captain Carri Weber presented an academic finding that said black transgender were about 2,5 times more likely to be assaulted by police than white non-transgender people.

    Captain Scott Arndt reacted defensively and said, “Most of the people I know have never … accused the police of violence,” and Weber replied, “Because of your white male privilege, so you wouldn’t know.”

    Arndt said he had been the victim of racism and sexism — hence his “white fragility,” because he felt “discomfort with being told about the structural advantages that both men and white folks are more likely to have”.

    The dictionary makers argued that he “takes the story away from the victims of discrimination and gives it back to the perpetrators, who then use it as a weapon to defend the unjust status quo”.

    Aria Razfar, professor of education and linguistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago told USA Today that terms like “white fragility” was a signal that the idea has “become more mainstream”.

    Terms like white fragility “provide a language so that dominant society could interrogate itself and really look at itself in the mirror in terms of its relationship with non-dominant populations and oppressed groups”.

    The questionable “academic data” about “racism” in diversity training sessions has a clear anti-white bias. Another expert told USA Today, that people were “interrogating the concept of whiteness”.

    The constant stream of accusations against Europeans about racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and now white fragility, seems to be never-ending.

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