News Story

Teachers Union Will Promote Concept Of ‘White Fragility’

NEA: ‘White supremacy culture has fashioned a social norm ...’

America’s largest teachers union has resolved to incorporate the concept of “white fragility” into its staff training and development programs, literature, and “other existing communications on social, gender, LGBTQIA, and racial justice,” to the extent that existing budgets and context permit.

The proposal was approved by delegates to the National Education Association’s recent annual conference in Houston.

The NEA offered this rationale for the action: “White supremacy culture has fashioned a social norm insulating white people from the impact of racial stress, which consequentially constructs a social atmosphere that depresses the ability of society, in general, to tolerate racial stress, also known as ‘White Fragility.’”

The term appears to have been coined by sociologist Robin DiAngelo, and is part of the title of a book she wrote, “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism.” DiAngelo says on her website that North American white people have been insulated and protected from “race-based stress,” which is created when people encounter situations or surroundings that are racially unfamiliar.