"Race Matters, Friends" to hold discussion on "White Fragility" book
COLUMBIA - A local civil rights group will host a discussion on Robin DiAngelo’s book “White Fragility,” which addresses why white people often don’t want to talk about racism.
The group "Race Matters, Friends" will lead the discussion at 6:30 p.m. at the Youth Empowerment Zone.
Peggy Placier, a member of the group, said Race Matters, Friends has transformed in recent years.
"It started out as a series of book discussions at different people's homes," Placier said. "It evolved into a group with a broader purpose and that was to organize, to challenge racial inequities in Columbia in a variety of places."
The group focused on city government and has broadly looked at the criminal justice system as well.
Members usually meet twice a month. Placier said she and the rest of the group wanted this meeting to be different.
"We thought we needed a way to bring people into the conversation, in particularly white people," Placier said.
The author of the book explains why she believes it is difficult for white people to talk about racism. Placier said the author's message will help people learn to talk about tough issues, instead of avoiding them. This will, she said, allow them to learn more about issues that are easy to ignore.
"Racism shifts shapes overtime and takes different forms," Placier said. "We have to try to just be more honest and not defend.”
Members of Race Matters, Friends said they hope discussing this book will start some uncomfortable conversations, helping combat racism in today's society.