I recently wrote about my issues with the UK’s second largest supermarket throwing its hat into the ring of race based identity politics. Since then, courtesy of some ‘leaked’ internal notices, some further information has come to light regarding Sainsbury’s recommendations for Black History Month.
If the following materials are authentic, it would appear Sainsbury’s are recommending that their staff read the book ‘White Fragility’ by Robin DiAngelo.
This creates a larger PR headache for the supermarket than they appear to be aware of.
You see, I have actually read White Fragility. You can read my review here. The problem is, the entire book is based on one simple premise. And it’s that white people are inherently racist and exist solely as part of a white supremacist system. And if you disagree with this accusation, well, the book’s author tells us this is just proof of your ‘white fragility’.
The author summarises her warped view of the world best when she says: ‘a positive white identity is an impossible goal. White identity is inherently racist. White people do not exist outside of the system of white supremacy’.
So, my question to Sainsbury’s is: given that they are recommending the book ‘White Fragility’ to their staff, do they agree that all white people (and therefore the majority of their own customers) are racist? And if they reject this hypothesis, what was it about the book ‘White Fragility’ that they found worthy of recommendation given ‘all white people are racist’ appears to be the sole and central argument of the book?
Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.
I make a habit of reading books and articles that I expect to find disagreeable. This serves to test my convictions as I bounce them off opposing views and discover whether or not they survive the collisions. Moreover, the willingness to seek out alternate views invariably teaches you something that you did not know. In fact, sometimes you actually learn that your understanding of the issue was completely wrong altogether.
The fact that Robin DiAngelo’s ‘White Fragility’ did not manage to be informative or useful on any level is an achievement in and of itself. I’ve never encountered a book so intellectually vapid as to make me worry that reading it may have actually subtracted some knowledge.
Back in June 2017, the British public watched in horror as a North Kensington Tower block went up in flames. 72 people died as a result of the accidental fire, the majority of which were ethnic minorities. This terrible tragedy has since been weaponised as a political football and understandably provokes a lot of emotional response from the general public.
As Guy Fawkes celebrations were in full swing in the UK, it was reported that a group of men had created and burned a card mock-up of the Grenfell Tower block. This was then filmed and posted on the internet.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that ‘defaming’ the Prophet Muhammad “goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate” and “could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace”.
The ruling was passed against an Austrian national referred to as ‘E.S’ in reports. Mrs. S, born in 1971 held two seminars in 2009 entitled ‘Basic Information on Islam’.
Referencing Muhammad’s marriage to 6 year old Aisha, Mrs. S was reported to have said “Muhammad liked to do it with children” and “… A 56-year-old and a six-year-old? … What do we call it, if it is not paedophilia?”
I was very pleased to be at the Battle Of Ideas this year to speak about religion. The festival itself consists of many, many, (many!) public discussions and debates with an emphasis on inviting the audience to have their say by challenging the guest speakers.
It was great to spend some time with David Smalley last week at Mythcon. We were on two panels together and we also managed to find some time to sit down and talk about lots of good stuff. You can watch that in full below now. Be sure to tune in to David Smalley’s Dogma Debate too.
I had planned to record a number of other interviews, but plans changed when the theatre was evacuated for over an hour due to a bomb threat. I’ll hopefully share some fuller thoughts about the event in the coming weeks.
Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcasthere, and support it by becoming a patron here or making a one–off payment via PayPal here.