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Arab professor: ‘White fragility’ keeps anti-blackness alive in Arab countries

An Arab professor of Islamic and Arab cultures at the University of Waterloo believes Robin DiAngelo‘s concept of “white fragility” is what “perpetuates” anti-black racism in Arab societies.

Amir Al-Azraki (he/him pronouns), who’s also a “playwright, literary translator, [and] Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner,” writes that he has to “wrestle” with the fact that he’s a “’white’ or lighter-skinned Arab within the Arab world,” and “a ‘person of colour’ navigating Canadian spaces.”

What’s more, he has to “grappl[e] with the complexities of adopting a concept advanced by a white American scholar.”

(That last one is on you, buddy, because let’s face it — there’s little “complex” and “scholarly” about DiAngelo’s rantings on whiteness.)

In his piece, Al-Azraki (pictured) reiterates many of white fragility’s tenets such as “defensiveness” and “discomfort” which allegedly “hinder meaningful dialogue and perpetuate systems of oppression.”

Naturally, this “defensiveness” can encompass virtually anything so that any challenge to DiAngelo’s nonsense is neatly pigeonholed into “racism.”

For Al-Azraki, “defensive” responses such as “I grew up in a household that values fairness and rejects racism,” “We’re all Iraqis; race doesn’t matter,” and “Judge people based on their actions, not their identity” violate DiAngelo’s principles because they’re “shaped by problematic ideologies and beliefs such as individualism, objectivity, colour blindness, meritocracy, good/bad binary and moral judgment.”

But only in the well-insulated world of academia are objectivity, seeing people as individuals, and looking beyond one’s skin color viewed as “problematic.”

MORE: Marquette highlights professor who wants to ‘rupture anti-blackness’ in mathematics

Which means now is a good time to revisit why DiAngelo’s “white fragility” is such a crock:

It defies the principle of falsifiability. This means any sort of opposition to her theory is racist. Which ties into another bullet point: It’s “emotionally manipulative.”

DiAngelo’s vacuous notions “lock well-meaning people into an impossible conundrum. If you refuse to admit you’re racist, that means you are both mentally and emotionally fragile, as well as racist. If you admit you’re racist, at least you aren’t fragile.”

It ignores individuals and ascribes attributes based on (racial) groups. How else can DiAngelo “accuse nearly everyone of racism and white supremacy”? Just remember, though — negative group characteristics are for white people only. Bringing up any about other groups is, of course, racist.

— It ruins relationships. See here. Thankfully, there are plenty of minorities who see through “white fragility”-style BS, such as a science-teaching former colleague of mine.

Years ago during a Glenn Singleton-based white privilege activity, this colleague said to me “Mr. Huber, my brother — do we get along OK?” I responded “Yeah, I always thought so.”

Her reply: “Then why the hell are we doing this bullsh**??”

MORE: UMich ‘anti-racism grants’ include $50,000 for ‘anti-Blackness’ in engineering study

IMAGE: renisonvideo/YouTube

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.