In chapter 2, Robin DiAngelo redefines racism in her own image. This redefinition allows her to construct an argument that only white people can be racist. This further allows her to state that disagreeing with DiAngelo’s definition of racism is a act that furthers racism.
One of the lovely things about reading on Kindle is that availability of the dictionary. Just highlighting racism reveals the conventional definition of racism. The stark contrast of the two definitions is the result of DiAngelo using a Marxist definition. In Cultural Marxism, the process known as Critical Theory, victim groups are created by various demographic categories. In the instance of race, America’s majority white population means that whiteness is in control therefore those who are not white are victims of oppression. This is racism in DiAngelo’s worldview because she sees racism as part of a proletariat struggle as opposed to the manifestation of racial prejudice.
Similarly white supremacy is redefined in the same manner, as the means that uphold “white control” rather than a belief that white people are inherently superior to nonwhite people. This would also be a Marxist conception of white supremacy.
The redefinition of words allows Robin DiAngelo to redefine the problem as she sees fit. In theory if you can redefine the problem, you can reframe the solution. But her book is a problem-focused book rather than a solution-focused book. In the video, I explain how the Marxism is at work during this play-by-play of chapter 2.
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