Debunking ‘White Fragility’ with Benjamin Boyce, Jonathan Church, and Christopher Paslay

Reinventing Racism author Jonathan Church, and Exploring White Fragility author Christopher Paslay, discuss white fragility with Benjamin Boyce on his popular YouTube podcast, The Boyce of Reason. Thanks for watching!

‘Exploring White Fragility’ Audio Excerpt: Preface

Click on the video above to listen to the Preface to “Exploring White Fragility: Debating the Effects of Whiteness Studies on America’s Schools.” Purchase the book and arm yourself with the knowledge and tools to push back against identity politics in our schools.

Click here to purchase Chris’s new book from amazon. Click here to purchase directly from Rowman & Littlefield.

“Paslay’s thorough review of attitudes and actions associated with whiteness studies and racism give voice to all sides of diversity and pluralism so that we, as a nation, can continue the ongoing conversation about how to treat each other with the respect ALL humans deserve.” –Dr. Eugenia Krimmel, education professor and ESL/Bilingual education advisor at the Pennsylvania Department of Education

“This is a brave book. Paslay reveals and cuts through the endless layers of antiracist gospel which, in the name of enlightenment, leave one cohort of brown kids after another uneducated. Aspiring teachers seeking clear eyes and genuine progressivism should start by inhaling this book.” –John H. McWhorter, associate professor of linguistics and comparative literature at Columbia University

“This well-researched, well-argued, and thoughtful book provides a clear and comprehensive account of how the theory of white fragility is dividing rather than uniting American society and America’s classrooms. A must-read.” –Jonathan Church, author of Reinventing Racism: Why ‘White Fragility’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Racial Inequality

Paslay provides a thorough exposition and measured critique of the new ideology that has colonized the minds of America’s school administrators and threatens to wreak havoc on our students—especially students of color. It’s a must-read for any parent or teacher who is concerned about the soul of the next generation.” –Max Eden, education policy expert and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute

The Anti-Science Behind Anti-Racism

Click the picture above to watch the companion video.

by Christopher Paslay

Tragically, today’s leading anti-racist educators are anti-science, and forward theories filled with logical fallacies that don’t stand up to rigorous inquiry.

Modern anti-racism, which is based in Critical Race Theory and focusses on systems instead of people, has become the new way to think about race in America. Although the term “anti-racism” sounds admirable and courageous — and brings to mind equality and justice — its core tenets are far from productive, healing, or unifying. Anti-racism actually turns Martin Luther King Jr.’s “dream” on its head, because it uses race and skin color to stereotype and judge entire groups of people, and operates under the premise that in order for one race or culture to succeed, we must disrupt or dismantle another.

Unlike classic multiculturalism — or Baylor University sociology professor George Yancey’s “Mutual Accountability Approach,” which uses Intergroup Contact Theory based in active listening to unify rather than divide — anti-racism is zero-sum and teaches that all whites are inherently racist and privileged and suffer from internalized superiority; that all people of color are victims who suffer from internalized oppression; and that failure to support anti-racism is to support and perpetuate racism and white supremacy.

The most concerning thing about anti-racism is that it is anti-science. Not only do the leading scholars promoting anti-racism fail to adequately test their theories using measurable, quantitative analysis, but today’s leading anti-racist educators have outright rejected the scientific method as biased, because they argue objective science is the product of Western, white European culture.

A pamphlet called “Aspects and Assumptions of Whiteness and White Culture in the United States,” published by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, shows this to be true. 

Robin DiAngelo, whose book White Fragility has sold over two million copies, has minimalized the use of quantitative analysis. In an article by writer and economist Jonathan Church, titled “The Orwellian Dystopia of Robin DiAngelo’s PhD Dissertation,” Church exposes DiAngelo’s lack of scientific rigor:  

For her dissertation, DiAngelo conducted four two-hour sessions on inter-racial dialogue with only thirteen participants—a very small sample from which to derive wide-ranging interpretations about things like whiteness and racism. But that is par for the course in fields like Whiteness Studies and Critical Race Theory. As one paper argues, “many critical race scholars are fundamentally skeptical of (if not simply opposed to) quantitative data and techniques to begin with.” 

In DiAngelo’s seminal paper, “White Fragility,” she states “Whiteness Studies begin with the premise that racism and white privilege exist in both traditional and modern forms, and rather than work to prove its existence, work to reveal it.” 

DiAngelo starts her work with a conclusion (that racism and white privilege exist everywhere), not a hypothesis (do racism and white privilege exist everywhere?), and rather than running tests to prove this false, she only performs scant qualitative studies, based on anecdotal observations, to prove it true.  In other words, she sets up her theories so that they can only be confirmed, not falsified — which is a major flaw and does not meet what is known as the principle of falsification

DiAngelo turns the classic six-step scientific method on its head. She skips the “research question,” the “hypothesis,” and the “experiment,” and goes right to the so-called “results and conclusions.” And what are her conclusions? That racism and white privilege exist everywhere.  Has she run tests or done any rigorous quantitative studies to prove this? Of course not. Why? Because she considers objective science biased, and the tools of a white supremacist culture. 

Anti-racism is anti-science, and is filled with logical fallacies that don’t stand up to rigorous inquiry; one common fallacy of anti-racism is that correlation equals causation. Which is why DiAngelo refuses to engage in any kind of scholarly debate. She’s more of a political activist or cult leader than she is a serious social scientist. In July of 2020, when her book White Fragility blew up after the George Floyd protests, she was invited to debate John McWhorter on MSNBC’s Moring Joe. But of course, DiAngelo didn’t show. She stayed behind, sending Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson to do her dirty work. 

Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to be an Anti-Racist, is also anti-science, which forces him to play the same game as DiAngelo. Kendi refuses any kind of public debate — turning down invitations from Coleman Hughes and John McWhorter — instead preferring to play the role of activist minister, lecturing his faithful anti-racist congregation, shielding himself from any real academic debate over his ideas. 

Why? Because as John McWhorter has pointed out, Kendi’s ideas are overly simplistic and lack the backing of scientific research and rigorous quantitative analysis.     

Take his idea about the racial achievement gap in America, for example. The very idea itself is racist, he argues, insisting the supposed gap is simply the result of poorly designed, culturally biased standardized tests. As Jonathan Chait writes in The Intelligencer: 

It does not matter to [Kendi] how many different kinds of measures of academic performance show [the achievement gap] to be true. Nor does he seem receptive to the possibility that the achievement gap reflects environmental factors (mainly worse schools, but also access to nutrition, health care, outside learning, and so on) rather than any innate differences.

To Kendi, all racial disparities are the result of only one thing: racism. Hence, the racial achievement gap in America isn’t really a gap at all, but merely the result of racist thinking.

But science shows this isn’t the case.  The Princeton study, called “Parsing the Achievement Gap II,” by noted researchers Paul Barton and Richard Coley, use three decades of educational and social science research to show that the skills gap is indeed real, and that a multitude of factors — in addition to systemic racism — play a part in the gap.  Things like rigor of curriculum, teacher preparation, teacher experience and turnover, class size, technology in the classroom, fear and safety at school, parent participation, frequent school changing, low birth weight, environmental damage, hunger and nutrition, talking and reading to children, and television watching, have an effect on academic achievement.  

But to Kendi, who espouses the anti-science behind anti-racism, the skills gap is a myth, based in racism and white supremacy. Because to Kendi, any suggestion that any of these factors has an impact on success in school is a racist idea. 

To Kendi, you are either racist or anti-racist, period. Like DiAngelo, Kendi starts with his conclusion — that every racial disparity is the evidence of racism — and instead of running tests to prove this false, he only performs research to prove it true.  In other words, he sets up his theories so that they can only be confirmed, not falsified — which is a major flaw and does not meet what is known as the principle of falsification. 

Kendi also turns the classic six-step scientific method on its head. He skips the “research question,” the “hypothesis,” and the “experiment,” and goes right to the so-called “results and conclusions.” And what are the conclusions? That racism and white privilege exist everywhere, and are the sole factor at the heart of the skills gap. Has he run tests or done any rigorous quantitative studies to prove this, as Barton and Coley did with their groundbreaking paper, “Parsing the Achievement Gap II? Of course not. Why? Because he considers objective science racist, and the tools of a white supremacist culture. 

Anti-racism is anti-science, and is filled with logical fallacies that don’t stand up to rigorous inquiry. Until we admit as much, this trendy yet divisive movement will further polarize and divide, placing politics over science, and indoctrination over education. 

Classic multiculturalism — or Baylor University sociology professor George Yancey’s “Mutual Accountability Approach,” which uses Intergroup Contact Theory based in active listening to unify rather than divide — is a better option for bringing about positive, holistic change. 

Facebook Will Make Policing Anti-White Speech a ‘Low Priority’

by Christopher Paslay

It’s become clear Facebook doesn’t want to get in the way of society’s coordinated disruption of whiteness, white people, or white culture.

Facebook is readjusting it algorithms to police anti-black hate speech more aggressively than anti-white hate speech. According to an article in USA Today:

Facebook bans hate speech based on race, gender and other characteristics. It relies on a set of rules called “Community Standards” to guide decisions about what violates that ban. The standards are enforced by computer algorithms and human moderators. 

According to Facebook’s hate speech policy, derogatory statements about men and white people are treated the same as anti-Semitic statements or racial epithets. 

For years, civil rights activists have lobbied Facebook to change its policy of protecting all groups equally. . . .

And protecting all groups equally — judging whites and people of color by the same standards — is definitely a big no-no in contemporary American woke culture.  

Take, for example, the Associated Press’s new rules for capitalizing the word “black” in its news articles, but not the word “white.” 

“AP’s style is now to capitalize Black in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense, conveying an essential and shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black,” the AP writes. “AP style will continue to lowercase the term white in racial, ethnic and cultural senses.”

And why don’t white people deserve to have their race capitalized?  

“After a review and period of consultation, we found, at this time, less support for capitalizing white,” the AP states. “We agree that white people’s skin color plays into systemic inequalities and injustices, and we want our journalism to robustly explore those problems. But capitalizing the term white, as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs.

So when you capitalize “black,” it’s social justice, but when you capitalize “white,” it’s racism and white supremacy.

The idea that so-called “whiteness” and white culture must be disrupted and dismantled is steadily gaining ground in a society infiltrated by wokeness. In March of 2019, The Paris Review published an article by black college professor Venita Blackburn titled “White People Must Save Themselves from Whiteness,” which stated that white people suffer from “cognitive dissonance” and “profit off of gruesome human suffering” while remaining happy.

In June of this year black education activist Nahliah Webber, the Executive Director of the Orleans Public Education Network, published an article in the Education Post titled “If You Really Want to Make a Difference in Black Lives, Change How You Teach White Kids.”  In it she speaks of the “pathology of whiteness,” explaining that whiteness is literally a disease that needs to be cured. Her article was so offensive and radical, that Megyn Kelly pulled her children from the Upper West Side private school that allegedly circulated the article.

In the fall of 2019, New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza held a training for administrators that aimed to end “white supremacy culture in schools,” a training some parents and administrators called “toxic and polarizing.” Carranza was later sued by four white female administrators for racial discrimination after they were allegedly demoted and replaced simply for being white

In July of this year, the National Museum of African American History and Culture published a pamphlet titled “Aspects and Assumption of Whiteness and White Culture,” where white children were taught to confront their “whiteness,” because according to anti-racist dogma, whiteness is inherently racist, oppressive, and provides unearned privileges to whites at the expense of people of color.

In August, the City of Seattle held a training called “Internalized Racial Superiority for White People” for its 10,000 city employees.  

According to an article in the City Paper by Christopher Rufo:

The trainers require white employees to examine their “relationships with white supremacy, racism, and whiteness” and explain how their “[families] benefit economically from the system of white supremacy even as it directly and violently harms Black people.”

Entire academic journals now exist for dismantling  so-called “whiteness,” like the journal “Whiteness and Education.” An article published in October of 2019 was titled, “Unmasking white fragility: how whiteness and white student resistance impacts anti-racist education.”

Robin DiAngelo, whose book White Fragility has sold several million copies, says Whites must be blunt and actively call out the oppressiveness of “whiteness” in order to stop systemic racism. To be “less white,” DiAngelo states, “is to be less oppressive racially. To be less arrogant. To be less certain. To be less defensive. To be less ignorant.”  

Cal-Berkeley now offers a course titled “Deconstructing Whiteness,” which “aims to confront conversations about privilege and positionality to understand where white bodies have the responsibility to be in movements against white supremacy and in solidarity with marginalized peoples and groups of color.” The class will not “coddle white fragility,” the course description states, but will help students “deconstruct and relearn whiteness through case studies, speakers, and critical readings.”

It’s become quite clear that Facebook doesn’t want to get in the way of the coordinated disruption of whiteness, white people, or white culture. 

“Facebook still considers statements about men and white people to be in violation of its hate speech policy, and users can still report these statements, but the company’s algorithms will no longer automatically flag and delete them, resulting in about 10,000 fewer posts being removed each day,” Facebook said.

It’s good to see that Facebook is living up to its obligations to remain fair and impartial.

Why ‘White Fragility’ is the Wrong Way to Think About Racial Inequality

Reinventing Racism: Why ‘White Fragility’ is the Wrong Way to Think About Racial Inequality is a new book by Jonathan Church. It’s a must read for those parents, teachers, and community members who want to keep Robin DiAngelo’s polarizing and scientifically flawed “White Fragility” out of America’s schools.

From Amazon’s book description:

The theory of white fragility is one of the most influential ideas to emerge in recent years on the topics of race, racism, and racial inequality. White fragility is defined as an unwillingness on the part of white people to engage in the difficult conversations necessary to address racial inequality. This “fragility” allegedly undermines the fight against racial inequality.

Despite its wide acclaim and rapid acceptance, the theory of white fragility has received no serious and sustained scrutiny. This book argues that the theory is flawed on numerous fronts. The theory functions as a divisive rhetorical device to shut down debate. It relies on the flawed premise of implicit bias. It posits a faulty way of understanding racism. It has serious methodological problems. It conflates objectivity and neutrality. It exploits narrative at the expense of facts. It distorts many of the ideas upon which the theory relies.

This book also offers a more constructive way to think about Whiteness, white privilege, and “white fragility,” pointing us to a more promising vision for addressing racial inequality.

Click here to view the book on Amazon.

BLM Harasses Burlington Area School Board

by Christopher Paslay

Why would any Burlington parent put up with such belligerent behavior, let alone want policies presented in such a manner in their schools?

Last week, a school board meeting in the Burlington Area School District in Wisconsin was shut down by Black Lives Matter protesters. Organized by the Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism, the meeting abruptly ended Monday night with shouting, arguments, and school board members exiting the building with police protection.

According to the Journal Times:

The issue at hand was a proposal that BASD adopt an anti-racism policy and curriculum, which advocates have demanded but others in the community have opposed and the school board has not adopted. Such polices have been internally discussed since March. The demands have been made after numerous allegations of racism in Burlington schools, with critics saying the school district has done little to discourage such behavior.

A mother of a former student who attended Burlington schools insisted BASD refused to acknowledge racism in their schools, and cared nothing for black and brown children.

Although the mother insisted the Burlington Area School District has remained silent about racial issues, and that the educators in the room have made it clear that they don’t care about black and brown children, BASD documents show otherwise.

In July of 2020, the Burlington Area School District issued a public letter directly responding to several accusations of racism made by the Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism. 

One accusation was that the school district had “inequitable hiring practices.” The activist group stated that “the district refused to hire a qualified black assistant principal for Burlington High School and instead, hired a white person with less experience.” 

BASD respectfully responded to this accusation by stating:

The goal of BASD’s collaborative hiring process is to identify the very best candidate for the position and make a recommendation to hire to the school board. BHS’s vacant assistant principal position received 69 applications. Sixteen applicants were interviewed in the first round by four BHS staff and administrators. Five applicants participated in the final round of interviews with fourteen staff on the final interview team. 

The Burlington Area School District sent a letter to families and staff (Seeking Solidarity) on June 3, 2020, after the BHS assistant principal hire. We continue to be committed to equitable hiring practices and hiring a diverse workforce.

The second accusation of so-called racism by the Coalition revolved around student suspensions. The Coalition claimed that “the suspension rates were 25 times higher for 39 black students in the entire district than 2,505 white students.”

A look at the actual numbers showed a completely different picture, however.  According to actual data from the 2018-2019 school year (which is the most recent available), 4 of the district’s 43 black students were suspended (9%), while 54 of the districts 2,523 students were suspended (2%). 

BASD wrote in response, “This data confirms that in the 2018-2019 school year, the suspensions of black students compared to their white counterparts were 4.45 times greater, not 25 times. We recognize that this is an area where we can explore a more restorative approach to student discipline.”

A third accusation made by the Coalition was that “black kids we’re being called the n-word on a daily basis and Mexican kids we’re being called beaners and wetbacks. . . . Also, white students were regularly displaying Confederate flags on their person, lockers and vehicles.” 

After a thorough investigation, BASD found these accusation were not credible. The district wrote in their letter:

The BASD has no evidence to support the assertion about these behaviors having merit. That said, we fully recognize that there are past and present student-to-student microaggressions that may or may not be intended as racist but inflict harm to others and communicate hostility and negativity. We know this can be hurtful and will continue to do all we can to ensure that every student and staff member feels welcome and valued in our schools and within the Burlington community.

As a part of BASD’s public response to the Coalition, Superintendent Stephen T. Plank wrote a personal response, stating in part:

I write to you today representing the BASD as an educator, school leader and member of the greater Burlington community. . . . I, too, wish to be an ally in the efforts to put an end to the racism that causes anguish in our community and our country. I see the BASD as partners in making change happen in our community. The Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism has brought forth four desired outcomes, in short, to: update curriculum, require diversity and inclusion training, increase the number of educators of color in our district, and encourage other districts to follow our lead are acknowledged. The BASD has been pursuing action around your four points and more to take an aggressive stance toward eliminating racism in the Burlington area community.

Yet according to the Coalition, black lives don’t matter, and BASD has done nothing to end racism in the schools.

But there is a clear irony underlying the Coalition’s actions. One of the components contained in their anti-racism policy proposal involves ending student harassment and bullying. But when one takes a look at how the members of the Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism acted during Monday’s school board meeting, it’s clear they failed to model the very behaviors they claimed to want in the school; the protesters were belligerent and disrespectful, bullying and harassing the school board members, insisting that their anti-racist curriculum should have superseded the scheduled agenda, creating chaos to the point where the police were needed to retain order (see video above). 

The behavior of the Coalition says everything you need to know about their so-called anti-racism curriculum. As the saying goes, “Rules for thee, but not for me.” As evidenced by their blatant disregard for those around them, it becomes clear these so-called concerned community members care little for creating an environment free from bullying and harassment.  Why would any parent put up with such behavior, let alone want their policies in the district? 

And while some of the Coalition’s anti-racism curriculum has merit — like their efforts to bring about diversity and inclusion, and to protect victims of harassment — the core of the policy centers around the principals of anti-racism, which are extremely polarizing and divisive.   

An anti-racist approach to equity involves stereotyping entire groups of people — branding all whites as inherently racist, privileged, and suffering from anti-blackness, while labeling all people of color as oppressed victims who have no control over their own lives; the empowerment of people of color depends on the dismantling of whiteness and so-called white supremacy culture.

Anti-racism is a zero-sum approach, which in effect is more about indoctrinating students and community members into adopting the ideology of identity politics, and transforming our youth into partisan activists. 

And ironically, where has such activism gotten the Coalition?  The disruption of the school board meeting kept their own agenda from being considered, and according to the Journal Times, the Burlington Area School District’s communications director, Julie Thomas, said she did not know when the items from Monday’s agenda may be taken up again.

In the end, the infantile temper tantrum put on by the Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism got them tossed out of the meeting and into the parking lot, where in all honesty, they should remain until they can learn to conduct themselves in a manner that actually models the behaviors they claim to support. 

Vote Trump and Get Critical Race Theory Out of Our Schools

Donald Trump has effectively gotten Critical Race Theory out of government training, and given a second term, will fight to remove this toxic and polarizing ideology from our children’s schools. Thanks for watching.

The Battle to Keep ‘White Fragility’ Out of Okaloosa County Schools

by Christopher Paslay

The debate over the use of Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility in a high school English classroom is heating up in the Okaloosa County School District. 

As Reported in the Northwest Florida Daily News:

A book called “White Fragility” has been removed from the reading list at Choctawhatchee High School at the direction of the Okaloosa County School District.

The book, whose full title reads “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism,” was not included on this year’s approved reading list for the Choctaw English Department, a statement from the School District said.

“More importantly, the Florida Department of Education has established standards for each course in the public-school setting that define what students should be taught in that course,” the statement said. “It is not apparent that this material aligned with the standards for the course.”

The book’s removal, which was prompted by a complaint from a parent, quickly sparked a response from social justice advocates. The Niceville chapter of Black Lives Matter soon got involved, and launched a petition to keep the book in the high school which has now received over 1,300 signatures.

As Jennie McKeon reported for WUWF:

According to the change.org petition, an English teacher at Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach was planning a lesson on racism — past and present — using excerpts from the 2018 book “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, a white academic with experience in diversity training. 

When a parent made a complaint, the Okaloosa County School District backed the parent. 

However, when Niceville parent Misti Schneidewind heard about the incident, she contacted her daughter, Hannah, who started the petition Wednesday. 

When she was home from Northeastern University during the summer, Hannah was part of the students that helped facilitate four Black Lives Matter billboards around the city. Hannah said the petition may not do much but raise awareness, but that’s OK with her.

“Many people in our community are so uncomfortable with this topic,” said Hannah. “But it’s not just something you can shut down and ignore.”

But those familiar with the book White Fragility know it’s more than simply a conversation about race, diversity, or multiculturalism; White Fragility is a polarizing and divisive book, which teaches that all whites are racist by default, suffer from white supremacy and anti-blackness, and labels all who challenge or disagree with this dogma as “fragile.” It is all about indoctrination through identity politics, and provides no real means for discussion, collaboration, or critical thinking. 

The Okaloosa County School Board agreed to read the book for themselves, and ruled that the book would be granted the opportunity to be considered as part of their English curriculum, as long as the proper procedure was followed.   

To watch my video commentary on the topic, which contains excerpts of the official Okaloosa County School Board meeting, please click here.

Conversations on White Fragility – with Jonathan Church, Neil Shenvi, and Christopher Paslay

Three writers with an interest in Robin DiAngelo’s white fragility theory — an economist (Jonathan Church), a Christian and theoretical chemist (Neil Shenvi), and a Philadelphia public school teacher (Christopher Paslay) — critique DiAngelo’s controversial concept.