Woke Fragility is a psychological condition that describes the predisposition of "woke" folk to resist challenges to being "woke". This condition was first described in a 2020 essay by a STEM graduate student writing under the pen name "I. Karamazov."
Woke Fragility is defined as "discomfort and defensiveness of the part of a Woke person when confronted with information about racial inequality and injustice that isn’t flattering to their worldview. Woke Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of empirical or analytical stress on Woke ideology becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, leaving the stress-inducing situation, and worst of all, satire."
To paraphrase Robin DiAngelo, "For those of us who work to raise the racial consciousness of woke folk, simply getting woke folk to acknowledge that our politics gives us advantages is a major effort. The defensiveness, denial, and resistance are deep."
"Woke" folk identify defects in society (e.g., poverty and racism) and then insist that the only possible solution to those problems is to turn over control of society to "woke" folks by placing them in positions of power. This belief ignores the empirical evidence that poverty and racism are improving without such a transfer of power. Woke Fragility blinds "woke" folk from seeing other options or the facts.
"Woke" folk operated in an "echo chamber" of biased media that constantly reinforce a certain "woke" perspective regarding race relations and other sensitive topics. This provides a false sense of ideological comfort known as "woke" privilege. "Woke" privilege, in turn, represents the ability to attack people holding contrary views so as to create a cancel culture. Because "woke" folk can get confused by the conflicting claims of various identity groups under intersectionality, professional "woke" facilitators offer training (at a high fee) "to the development of empirical and analytical skill sets talk directly about how such skills can be used to challenge ideologies generally, and almost never discuss Woke privilege specifically." Indeed, Robin DiAngelo's speaking fee runs between $10,000 to $15,000. Woke Fragility explains why policymakers on many university campuses have used their "woke" privilege to enact "speech codes" that prohibit discussion of anti-"woke" viewpoints.
Relationship with "White Fragility"
According to Karmazov, "woke" fragility owes "its existence to Robin DiAngelo’s seminal 2011 paper on White Fragility, without which my theory of Woke Fragility would have been impossible to formulate." Some people argue that the essay was intended as a satirical attack on DiAngelo's book White Fragility. Certainly, most white people find the attack on "woke" folk made by the "woke" fragility theory to be more valid and realistic than the attack on white people made by the White Fragility theory. However, by definition, neither theory offers any empirical way of validating or choosing one over the other. Given the critical epistemology theory of making everything relative to subjective viewpoints, "woke" fragility theory will win out over White Fragility theory because the world's population of white people is greater than the population of "woke" folk. Any effort to deny this obvious truth (or to delete it from this article) would be an improper exercise of "woke" privilege.
Human Resources staff in federal departments and agencies used their "woke" privilege to require training of employees to become "woke". In response, President Trump took action to curb federal spending on such training. On September 4, 2020, President Trump ordered federal executive branch departments to halt employee training based upon critical race theory (and the order probably includes many forms of anti-racism theory). Russ Vought, director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote a memo announcing Trump's instruction to stop using controversial forms of training on “critical race theory,” “white privilege” and “any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either...that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or...that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.” Vought added, “These types of ‘trainings’ not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce."
- Woke Fragility (August 13, 2020). Retrieved on 2020-08-31.
- $12K A Day: How White Liberals Profit From Pushing ‘White Privilege’. Daily Caller (July 28, 2019). Retrieved on 2020-08-31.
- The Wages of Woke (July 25, 2020). Retrieved on 2020-08-31.
- Falsifying Wokeness with King Crocoduck. Retrieved on 2020-08-31.
- "Trump ends 'critical race theory' training for federal employees, calls it a 'sickness'", Fox News, September 5, 2020. Retrieved on 2020-09-05.
- Boyce, Benjamin. "Trump BANS Critical Race Theory!", September 5, 2020. Retrieved on 2020-09-05.