Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Robin DiAngelo - still a counterproductive, authoritarian, obnoxious charlatan

The name "Robin DiAngelo" has been cropping up again in social media because she's apparently published another book proclaiming all white people are racists and any white people who don't agree with Robin DiAngelo are not only racists but fragile too.

You can see that DiAngelo is still riding her simple-minded hobby horse in this latest article, in Medium. Most Medium articles come with a comments section, but DiAngelo's does not. Because DiAngelo must control the narrative. 

DiAngelo doesn't want a dialog about race, she wants to make a well-paying career out of her simplistic revenge narrative without having to respond to any questions about her statements and in some cases, her outright lies.

She ends her Medium article like this:
But we aren’t likely to get there if we are operating from the dominant worldview that only intentionally mean people can participate in racism.
You see, you cannot be trusted to be anti-racist merely because you consciously object to racism and because you've taken actions to oppose racism. Presumably even Heather Heyer, who lost her life opposing racism, is no better than "intentionally mean" white people.

Robin DiAngelo would like a life in which she can feel free to point at any random white person she sees and accuse them of racism, without knowing anything about them, and rather than the white person objecting to her accusation, instead, bow down to Robin DiAngelo and say: "oh thank you Robin DiAngelo for teaching me what an unconsciously racist piece of shit I truly am. Please allow me to give you money to say it again in front of a group."

And since DiAngelo controls the narrative and her audiences so carefully, this is almost always exactly what she gets. 

But every now and then DiAngelo meets a non-compliant white person and so she writes articles like the one in the Medium telling tales of those stupid white people.

It's important to note that Robin DiAngelo never admits to being wrong on this subject. She never admits to going too far. She has a true authoritarian personality and it shows, even though the cause of anti-racism is a good one. Her authoritarian personality twists the fight against racism into something else entirely.

I have spent the past six months poring over the literature of European and American white nationalism, in the process interviewing noxious identitarians like the alt-right founder Richard Spencer. The most shocking aspect of Mr. Coates’s wording here is the extent to which it mirrors ideas of race — specifically the specialness of whiteness — that white supremacist thinkers cherish. 
This, more than anything, is what is so unsettling about Mr. Coates’s recent writing and the tenor of the leftist “woke” discourse he epitomizes. Though it is not at all morally equivalent, it is nonetheless in sync with the toxic premises of white supremacism. Both sides eagerly reduce people to abstract color categories, all the while feeding off of and legitimizing each other, while those of us searching for gray areas and common ground get devoured twice. Both sides mystify racial identity, interpreting it as something fixed, determinative and almost supernatural.
He could have had DiAngelo in mind.

DiAngelo's belief in "the specialness of whiteness" - the special evilness of whiteness - is demonstrated in this Medium article. 

There is a huge problem of racial inequality in the United States as a result of slavery and the various terrorist and apartheid systems developed by the white majority right up to the present time. There's a very specifically black/white dynamic, which I have written about at length in my evo-psycho bros series, in which I discuss the way evo-psychos and their sociobiology fellow travelers erase American history in order to maintain that there is something innately bad about blackness.

Robin DiAngelo has much in common with the evo-psycho brotherhood. The difference isn't in her approach to the concept of "race" though. They both believe race to be fixed and determinative, as Williams said - the only difference is which "race" is bad. 

And the evidence that DiAngelo has a problem with whiteness itself, rather than the race system of the United States is that DiAngelo does not only accuse white Americans of being congenital racists. She blames all white people for racism, as in her charming tale of the German woman named Eva. 

Of course we're never going to hear Eva's side of it. DiAngelo writes:
 I was working with a small group of white participants when a woman I will refer to as Eva stated that because she grew up in Germany, where she said there were no black people, she had learned nothing about race and held no racism. I pushed back on this claim by asking her to reflect on the messages she had received from her childhood about people who lived in Africa. Surely she was aware of Africa and had some impressions of the people there? Had she ever watched American films? If so, what impression did she get about African Americans? I also asked her to reflect on what she had absorbed from living in the U.S. for the last 23 years, whether she had any relationships with African Americans here, and if not, then why not. 
We moved on, and I forgot about the interaction until Eva approached me after the workshop ended. She was furious and said that she had been deeply offended by our exchange and did not “feel seen.” “You made assumptions about me!” she said. I apologized and told her that I would never want her to feel unseen or invalidated. 
However, I also held to my challenge that growing up in Germany would not preclude her from absorbing problematic racial messages about black people. She countered by telling me that she had never even seen a black person “before the American soldiers came.” And when they did come, “all the German women thought them so beautiful that they wanted to connect with them.” This was her evidence that she held no racism. With an internal sigh of defeat, I gave up at that point and repeated my apology. We parted ways, but her anger was unabated. 
A few months later, one of my co-facilitators contacted Eva to tell her about an upcoming workshop. Eva was apparently still angry. She replied that she would never again attend a workshop led by me. Notice that I did not tell Eva that she was racist or that her story was racist. But what I did do was challenge her self-image as someone exempt from racism. Paradoxically, Eva’s anger that I did not take her claims at face value surfaced within the context of a volunteer workshop on racism, which she ostensibly attended to deepen her understanding of racism.
If I was Eva I would have been very tempted to take a pop at DiAngelo's smug obnoxious face with her "internal sigh."

The German woman said what all white people can say about Robin DiAngelo: "You made assumptions about me!" Robin DiAngelo is the anti-Martin Luther King, Jr. She firmly believes in judging people completely on the basis of their color and never on the content of their character. 

  • In DiAngelo's world, you as a white person do not get to claim your own narrative about your life. 
  • Your pointing out that you were not raised in the US black/white apartheid system means nothing to DiAngelo. 
  • Your saying you think black people are beautiful means nothing to DiAngelo.
Robin DiAngelo has a ready-made narrative for you.

And if you push back against her simplistic literally black-and-white model of the world she will sigh at your stupidity and then write up your interactions to make herself the patient yet bemused heroine.

The best part of the Eva narrative is the gas-lighting. DiAngelo "challenged" everything this woman said about her life and her attitude towards black people because DiAngelo was clearly implying the woman was racist.

After DiAngelo recounts Eva's protestations, DiAngelo writes: "This was her evidence that she held no racism."

DiAngelo could not possibly be more obvious: she has heard the woman's evidence against DiAngelo's implied charges of racism, and Judge Robin has ruled Eva guilty of racism. And yet DiAngelo shamelessly states "I did not tell Eva she was racist."

DiAngelo doesn't even have the personal or professional integrity to admit what she did to this woman.