This is the version of our story that aired on Michigan Radio. To hear an extended version of our interview with Robin DiAngelo on the theory of white fragility, click here.
Robin DiAngelo was right out of college when she started thinking about it. She'd landed a job leading workshops on racism. And she met a man who became very angry, and pounded on a table. He said white people are the target of discrimination, white people can’t even find jobs anymore.
DiAngelo looked around the office and she saw nothing but white people, all of them with jobs.
"It was unnerving," she says now. "It was like, 'This is not rooted in any racial reality that is happening, in this room, in this workplace, or in this man’s life.' And yet, these feelings are real. His rage is real. How do we do that?"