Comedian Hari Kondabolu ’04 Discusses ‘White Fragility’ (NPR)

Hari Kondabolu '04. Photo by Karsten Moran '05.

Hari Kondabolu ’04. Photo by Karsten Moran ’05.

Speaking on NPR’s Morning Edition, comedian Hari Kondabolu ’04 said some white audiences don’t like it when he jokes about race. Speaking to interviewer David Greene on Friday September 16, 2016, he observed that it’s sometimes not the content that offends them, but his choice of the phrase white people: “Because a lot of white people are not used to being called white. They get to be ‘people,’ ‘human beings,’ their first name.”

Kondabolu, whose parents were born in India, talked about the concept of “white fragility,” which he described as “the idea of when you question white people about race, or privilege, or things like that, they fold because they’re fragile because they’re not used to those discussions. The rest of us,” he says, “we’ve had to get used to being the other. We’ve had to get used to constantly answering those questions.” Listen to Hari Kondabolu on NPR.

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