White Fragility Review

In White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo uses her exhaustive experience running diversity-training and cultural-competency sessions to explicate why white people have a hard time discussing racism. Her argument focuses on the system of white supremacy and how it has by design, insulated the white individual from racial discomfort. DiAngelo (2018) defines white fragility as “a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.” DiAngelo continues to argue that these reactions amount to a gaslighting that works to reinforce the entire system of racial protection that significantly benefits white people.

She brings her argument to life describing how individual behaviors reinforce and perpetuate white supremacy. This is where her work is at its most controversial yet most profound. Backing her argument up with cold hard facts and data, she takes on the full spectrum of white fragility and connects it to white supremacy. Everything from proclaiming to be ‘colorblind’ to the argument that affirmative action is meant to harm white people is open for critique. She is not tribal in her words covering everyone from diehard conservatives to progressive liberals, who she claims are often the most insulated and fragile. It goes without saying that she implies ‘staying in your lane’ means white people need to be uncomfortable enough to notice racism and their place in that system, and even more uncomfortable to stand up against white supremacy.

It is worth noting that Robin DiAngelo is white and a progressive liberal, but that even she admits that she contributes to reinforcing the system of oppression that founded our country. She is not saying all white people are KKK members, and that white supremacy is not a matter of good and bad people, but instead, all white people encompass a place on the spectrum of white supremacy. We should work to move along the spectrum by listening, not personalizing, getting educated, and thinking before we speak. White Fragility is a compelling read for any American who wishes to understand on a personal level the history of racial oppression in the US.

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Beyond the Wrapper: Cultural Dissonance

Cultural dissonance is the largest problem facing the United States. It is not fake news or shallowly branded politicians nor is it Russian hacking, and it is not Donald Trump as a President. Although, his foreign policy might really put us in grave danger. Cultural dissonance is the underlying diseases with fake news, shallow politicians, propaganda hacking, as well as many other visceral fears we hold as a society representing the symptoms. But do not forget, cultural dissonance has to have a population willingly believe in falsehoods (yeah, it’s just as much our fault at this point). Many of you are going to say that you don’t buy into a lot of the falsehoods out there. Well, good for you, but we’re a nation, not only a group of different states and communities and we are all in this together. So, if my neighbor is stupid, so too am I, at least in an attempt to relate and understand.

Sad day, I know

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Permanent Stagnation: The United Nations Security Council and Syria

The failure of the United Nations (UN) Security Council (UNSC) to enact any meaningful response to the conflict in Syria is eroding not only life in Syria but the very foundation of international order. This report uses the Arab Spring conflicts which the conflict in Syria is a part of to talk about larger systemic problems in the UN framework. This report argues the responsibility to protect (R2P) needs to be utilized in Syria because it could end the violence and further entrench R2P as customary law. This report also argues that the permanency of the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), France, Russia and China in the UNSC, known as the P5, represents a lofty roadblock to fully realizing the R2P. As well, the P5 are halting the progression of human rights, state sovereignty, and a ceasing of bloodshed in Syria. Authoritative regimes are on the rise, and as soon as 2017 the international community could see three out of the five permanent seats of the UNSC governed by such regimes. The UNSC is in peril and needs broad reform if the UN desires to continue its hegemony in diplomacy. However, this report concludes the international community will not utilize the prescribed solutions because it would kill any legitimacy in the UNSC, albeit a decidedly false legitimacy.

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One Step Forward and Two Steps Back: The 2007 Global Crisis and Our Future

Have the worst wounds of the crisis been avoided? We might have cauterized the injury with an infection still inside. To name a few: advanced economies, the European Union (EU) and emerging nations face dire economic imbalances; archaic geopolitical style maneuvering is occurring at rising rates in Eastern Europe while Africa and the Arab region are bleeding migrants in alarming numbers. Even if you do not add in a changing climate, these relations will not equal a description of ‘smooth sailing’ for global economics in the foreseeable future. At the very least, they show an expressed need to move away from crisis economics as a ‘new normal’ and return to the ability to use conventional Keynesian models of economics. If taken as critical, as they should be, there is a need for broad structural changes that would see new models of economics that temper global arrangements in exchange for a more powerful state.

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