Friday Reading List. 17/03/23.

  1. An EDI Pledge
  2. DiAngelo’s White Fragility and Canadian Universities


1.An EDI Pledge

“Through these actions, I will uphold my commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.”

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) “Equity and Community Inclusion Pledge,”Vice President, Equity and Community Inclusion,, accessed March 17, 2023.

  • The pledge originated at a “Soup and Substance” event, 2017.
  • A pledge form is still available for TMU community members to fill out. There is no information about whether the forms are kept in a data base, or what happens to them.
  • A list of what one agrees to by making the pledge is provided on this page.
  • You can watch an explanation of the pledge from the 2017 event on this page.


2.Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility and Canadian Universities:

My husband, Paul, and I are about to read Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. Why? We want to analyse the concept and evaluate DiAngelo’s argument for it. Academic integrity dictates we read the primary source — her book.

John McWhorter has read White Fragility. McWhorter claims it is the “second worst book ever written (11 seconds).”[2] On his view: “White Fragility is the prayer book for what can only be described as a cult”; “is, in the end, a book about how to make certain educated white readers feel better about themselves”; and, “entails an elaborate and pitilessly dehumanizing condescension toward Black people.” [1]

On the other hand, White Fragility stands at 4.19/5 stars on Good Reads from 154, 655 ratings (as of March 23, 2023). Fairly close to E.L. James’ Fifty Shades Trilogy at 4.11/5 stars from 123, 687 ratings (as of March 23, 2023). Popular ratings among general readers tell us not one whit about the soundness of DiAngelo’s argument. Nor does its popularity at Canadian academic institutions where one might have to navigate the fragile egos of those who’ve been a tad sloppy in their endorsements — or critiques — of White Fragility. If McWhorter’s evaluation is correct, I’m certainly more worried about the former.

Examples, Canadian Universities:

Dalhousie University. The Faculty of Medicine’s Global Health Office offered an online White Fragility Clinic every 2 weeks from February 3rd to June 23rd, 2022.

Royal Roads University. Neils Agger-Gupta and Catherine Etmanski write a passage about ‘Acknowledging White Fragility’ in a Leadership Studies post.

Toronto Metropolitan University. The White Privilege resource page — Office of the Vice President, Equity and Community Inclusion — lists DiAngelo’s definition of White Fragility in its glossary, as well some of her comments about “whiteness.”

Both the University of Manitoba and the University of Victoria have hosted DiAngelo as a speaker.


[1] McWhorter, John. “The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility,”The Atlantic, July 15, 2020,, accessed March 17, 2023.

[2] Williamson, Chris. “John McWhorter Gives His Opinion on Robin DiAngelo & Ibram X. Kendi,” Oct 29, 2021, accessed March 17, 2023.


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