Canadian children’s hospital president faces intense backlash for promoting anti-racism book
Canadian children’s hospital president is slammed for telling her white female friends to read ‘Deconstructing Karen’ – that warns against ‘tone-policing to weaponizing tears’
- Julia Hanigsberg is the head of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
- ‘If you’re my friend – and a white woman – I may have a present for you,’ she wrote
- Backlash toward book meant to educate white women about anti-racism
The CEO and president of one of the top children’s hospitals in Canada made a stir when she offered her white, female friends a book about anti-racism.
Julia Hanigsberg, the head of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, promoted a book by authors Saira Rao and Regina Jackson called ‘White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better (With a Guide to Start the Unlearning).’
She wrote: ‘If you’re my friend – and a white woman – I may have a present for you. #WhiteWomen #Race2Dinner #DeconstructingKaren.’
Hanigsberg – who has held her position at the hospital for eight years and is also on the board of Children’s Healthcare Canada – added a link to the book.
Julia Hanigsberg, the head of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, promoted a book by authors Saira Rao and Regina Jackson
The book is titled: ‘White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better (With a Guide to Start the Unlearning).’
The book promotes itself as a way to ‘deconstruct and analyze nine aspects of traditional white woman behavior – from tone-policing to weaponizing tears – that uphold white supremacy society, and hurt all of us who are trying to live a freer, more equitable life.’
It asks readers questions, including: ‘how has being ‘nice’ helped black women, Indigenous women and other women of color? How has being ‘nice’ helped you in your quest to end sexism? Has being ‘nice’ earned you economic parity with white men?’
‘White Women’ shot to the New York Times bestseller list upon its release.
The backlash on Twitter was pretty swift in retaliation, with writer Noam Blum saying: ‘You have no friends.’
Podcaster Miller Frost added: ‘Welcome to the face of hysterical white liberals, with their incessant need to virtue-signal, and their poisonous self-loathing and white shame.’
Another reader jokingly chimed in: ‘Hey friend, wanna a decent way of intellectualizing your self-hatred? Boy do I have a book for you!’
One simply used a popular Twitter joke format, saying ‘Narrator: she had no friends.’
She wrote: ‘If you’re my friend – and a white woman – I may have a present for you. #WhiteWomen #Race2Dinner #DeconstructingKaren’
Hanigsberg has held her position at the Holland Bloorview Hospital in Toronto for eight years and is also on the board of Children’s Healthcare Canada
Race 2 Dinner, the organization Rao and Jackson founded, tweeted about the controversy as well, saying: ‘If you want to SEE how badly white people need this book, just read the comments. MY LORD.’
Hanigsberg responded to their tweet: ‘Oh my! I have the trolls FIRED UP and I didn’t even write the damn book. Imagine what @reginajacksonme and @sairasameerarao deal with on the daily.’
Her hospital provides care for ‘kids with disabilities, kids needing rehabilitation after illness or trauma, kids whose medical complexity requires a kind of care they can’t get elsewhere,’ according to its website.
The book has received praise from liberal comedian Chelsea Handler and actress Anna Paquin.
Rao has herself caused outrage in the past with wild statements like ‘American schools are white supremacy factories,’ ‘white supremacy is behind all violence’ and even ‘if you idolize Nancy Pelosi, you may as well declare allegiance to David Duke.’
She also ran a failed campaign for Congress in Colorado, losing in a Democratic primary in 2018.