Res Philosophica 97 (2):325-344 (2020)

Leland Harper
Siena Heights University
Jennifer Kling
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
This essay extends Robin DiAngelo’s concept of white fragility in two directions. First, we outline an additional cause of white fragility. The lack of proper terminology available to discuss race-based situations creates a semantic false dichotomy, which often results in an inability to discuss issues of racism in a way that is likely to have positive consequences, either for interpersonal relationships or for social and political change. Second, we argue that white fragility, with its semantic foundations, has serious consequences for racial justice. It perpetuates the mass incarceration of black Americans, and undergirds the knowledge gap and subsequent wealth gap. The result of these racial injustices, which are maintained partially through white fragility, is that black Americans do not live in a democracy; they neither occupy positions of social and political power, nor have the ability to obtain power or directly impact who does obtain power.
Keywords racism  white fragility  democracy  justice  mass incarceration  equality  wealth gap  knowledge gap
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DOI 10.11612/resphil.1891
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References found in this work BETA

Collective Responsibility.Joel Feinberg - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (21):674-688.
The Heart of Racism.J. L. A. Garcia - 1996 - Journal of Social Philosophy 27 (1):5-46.
Religion as Conversation-Stopper.Richard Rorty - 1994 - Common Knowledge 3 (1):1-6.
Unjust Sex Vs. Rape.Ann J. Cahill - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (4):746-761.

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