In this installment of the White Fragility Rebuttal series, we cover the one of the foundational pieces of Robin DiAngelo’s worldview, a belief that human nature is basically good; therefore, being racist doesn’t make you a bad person (and by the way, you’re racist). However, in my own unique criticism, I also point out how the premise of the Assassin’s Creed video game series is the framework for her arguments about racism.
The premise of Assassin’s Creed is that there’s this machine that can use your DNA to take you back in time to relive the memories of your ancestors. The concept of ancestral memory is a great premise for a historical fiction video game series, but it is not a very realistic view of racism. This analogy points out that she views white people of carrying their slaveholding history with them and black people carrying their slave history with them. In Assassin’s Creed, this would be called the “bleeding effect.”
The problem is this isn’t true. Robin DiAngelo goes on to explains that interracial friendships cannot be free from racism the same way that marriage cannot be free from gender (which she maintains is a social construct). DiAngelo’s argument is a strawman that assumes the average person is a strict egalitarian, and the Christian, in theory is a complementarian. Complementarianism invalidates her equivocation of interracial friendships to marriage. The other problem is that she is using absolute language which is very easy to logically disprove. This concept of “Assassin’s Creed Racism” is one she will use throughout the rest of the book.
Modernism – the belief that man can achieve his own enlightenment
Postmodernism – the denial of absolute truth in favor of personal experience
Marxism – the social, political, and economic philosophy named after Karl Marx, which examines the effect of capitalism on labor, productivity, and economic development and argues for a worker revolution to overturn capitalism in favor of communism. (Investopedia)
Critical Theory – a social, economic, political philosophy that applies the bourgeoise vs proletariat dynamic in Marxism to every cultural dynamic.
Synonymous: Cultural Marxism
Critical Race Theory – the application of Cultural Marxism as it relates to racial dynamics, disparities, whereby an oppressor vs victim relationship is created among racial or socially-constructed racial lines.
Intersectionality – the navigation of postmodernism where personal experience is given hierarchy depending on the lens of the individual. The more intersections of oppression, according to Critical Theory, an individual has, the clearer the more valuable their experience is.
Social Justice – the remedying of perceived oppressor versus victim dynamics according to Critical Theory
Standpoint Epistemology – the belief that a person is limited in their understanding of Scripture according to their Intersectionality