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.
October is Black History Month, which means a flurry of corporate entities signalling their virtue in a curious attempt to convince us they don’t hate black people. The UK’s second largest chain of supermarkets does not appear to be immune from the woke virus given their recent statements.
Sainsbury’s and Argos (which is owned by Sainsbury’s) both posted statements regarding their plans for Black History Month to their websites. In the below section titled ‘What have we been doing to support our colleagues?’, you may notice some areas of concern:
‘Recently we provided our black colleagues with a safe space to gather in response to The Black Lives Matters [sic] movement’. Of course, by ‘safe space’ for ‘black colleagues’ they simply mean no white people allowed. This is literal racial segregation taking place in a British workplace in 2020. Read more
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.
It’s been an interesting day or two for Maajid Nawaz of the anti-extremism think tank Quilliam. We learned via Nawaz’s Facebook page that he’d had a run in with a number of Islamist thugs in London:
Keep in mind, Nawaz is a Muslim who is a staunch opponent of Islamic extremism and spends his time championing human rights and secularism for all. The fact that doing so in 2016’s London from within the Muslim community carries such risks demonstrates that the problem is worse than most care to understand.
I’ve watched with dismay and horror at the well-publicised shootings by (and of) the police in America. I’ve also been incredibly sceptical and suspicious of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement based on some of the rhetoric and tactics that I’ve seen (mandatory ‘not all BLM supporters’ disclaimer).
I’m also disappointed this issue hasn’t received greater scrutiny and attention from prominent ‘skeptics’ and ‘skeptic groups’. This is understandable however when you consider the toxic swamp this discussion has become.
The dust and (some of the) anger has begun to settle somewhat after the EU referendum result was confirmed in favour of the ‘leave’ campaign. We will know in the coming months and years just how significant this decision will be for the British economy and our place in the wider world.
One deeply troubling consequence widely reported this week is the significant increase in racial hatred claimed to have been inspired by the result. Of course, it’s difficult to know if this constitutes a genuine increase, or if more cases are simply now being reported. I’ve also previously bemoaned the ambiguous criteria for confirming a crime of this nature.