Robin DiAngelo’s new book sold fewer than 3,500 copies in its first week, suggesting that people are tired of the sort of racial lectures that sold one million copies of her earlier “White Fragility.”
Yet The New York Times placed it on its new “Best Sellers” list, which the week prior entirely omitted Daily Wire host Michael Knowles’ book on censorship, “Speechless,” despite selling 18,000 copies in a week.
Knowles’ book was absent from the NYT nonfiction list again in the new installment, covering the week ending July 3, even though comprehensive data from industry tracker NPD BookScan, and used by Publishers Weekly, showed that it sold more than 6,500 copies during that time period, which was the book’s second week.
That is about double DiAngelo’s figure, even though debut weeks include all pre-sales and are typically a book’s best week. However, “White Fragility’s” mammoth sales could be attributed partly to institutions making the book mandatory reading for teachers, college students, and others, as opposed to a book individuals buy upon release because they are actually eager to read it.
Under typical formulas, “White Fragility’s” one million copies sold would mean about $4 million in royalties to the white anti-racist author.
DiAngelo’s newest work, released June 29, is called “Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm.” As of Thursday night, it was ranked #2,288 among all books on Amazon, where it had only 13 reviews — many of them sarcastic.
Knowles’ book, whose full title is “Speechless: Controlling Words, Controlling Minds” and which was released June 22, is ranked #23 on Amazon, where it has 178 reviews.
A spokeswoman for the Times did not immediately return a request for the Times’ estimate of sales figures that lead to the rankings. Unlike BookScan, the Times does not publish the quantity sold, only a ranking. It says that ranking is based purely on sales, as extrapolated through a sample of book stores that send the newspaper their sales data confidentially.
Last week, when The Daily Wire noted that the Times did not put Knowles’ book anywhere on its list of the top 15 nonfiction books despite the BookScan data pegging it as the top-selling book in the country, the Times said that “The sales of the book did not meet the standards for inclusion this week. Our best sellers team will continue to track this title and will rank it, if its sales meet our standards for inclusion for future weeks.”
Matt Taibbi read DiAngelo’s latest and penned a scathing review, writing:
Reading DiAngelo is like being strapped to an ice floe in a vast ocean while someone applies metronome hammer-strikes to the the same spot on your temporal bone over and over. You hear ideas repeated ten, twenty, a hundred times, losing track of which story is which. …
When she goes through the list of arguments people make in favor of the idea that they can or should exist beyond race, she concludes ominously, “None of these factors provides immunity.” The idea that “continually” availing oneself of DiAngeloid antiracist training is a requirement to remain above suspicion is an explicit warning.
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