Every year Time magazine identifies the 100 "most influential people" in the world. The 2020 version of this list, published Wednesday, contains what some might call a glaring omission.
Robin DiAngelo, the white anti-racism expert, corporate consultant, and bestselling author of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, was not among the 100 influencers featured in the once-prominent publication.
DiAngelo's seminal literary work, originally published in 2018, became one of the most popular titles of 2020 following the widespread protests and racial unrest in response to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Media outlets scrambled to interview the author about why, according to her book, all white people are racist, and why attempting to deny this fact is just further evidence of racism. Columbia University professor John McWhorter called White Fragility a work of "dehumanizing condescension."
DiAngelo's primary competitor in the lucrative anti-racism consulting racket, Ibram X. Kendi, did make the Time 100 list, where he was praised by activist Al Sharpton as "one of the most important scholars of his generation." Kendi was similarly hailed in elite media circles as a critical source for white liberals seeking to assuage their racial guilt. His books, How to Be an Antiracist (2019) and Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (2016), jockeyed with White Fragility for position atop national bestseller lists.
Despite the snub, DiAngelo is still primed to cash in on the culture of mandatory wokeness that is increasingly embraced by U.S. universities and corporations. She charges $30,000 for an hourlong speech. Kendi charges a mere $25,000, but his speaking fee is certain to skyrocket as America's wealthiest activists, such as Bill Gates and George Soros, open their wallets to fund whatever it is he actually does at his "Center for Antiracist Research."
It is not immediately clear whether Time's decision to promote Kendi while snubbing DiAngelo was racist, anti-racist, both, or neither.