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Exclusive: Ohio State University Paid ‘White Fragility’ Author $12,000 For Zoom Talk


Robin DiAngelo, one of the most prominent critical race theory (CRT) peddlers and the author of the 2018 book “White Fragility,” was paid $12,000 in the by Ohio State University to lecture on white privilege, while contractually concealing her work and avoiding dialogue.

DiAngelo, an “anti-racist” consultant with a limited liability corporation (LLC), addressed the third-largest university in America by enrollment. Ohio State paid her for a virtual keynote speech on March 24, according to a signed contract exclusively obtained by The Federalist.

The event was the 22nd Annual President and Provost’s Diversity Lecture & Cultural Arts Series. Diangelo was the sole speaker, according to university spokesman Benjamin Johnson, and she lectured for a little more than an hour. It was over Zoom, free, and open to the public.

The contract I obtained outlines two “primary frameworks” DiAngelo uses to craft a given keynote or workshop. Her first framework, titled “Seeing the Racial Water,” is characterized as DiAngelo’s way to “explain what makes racism so hard for White people to see, and identify common White racial patterns that prevent us from moving towards greater racial equity.”

“Weaving information, analysis, stories, images, and familiar examples, she provides the framework needed to develop white racial literacy,” the framework states. “Although the focus is on white racial identity development, people of color may also find the analysis valuable as it is one that is rarely affirmed or provided in mainstream society.”

Framework two, “White Fragility,” centers on her notion that whites “maintain control” over society and live in insulated environments that make them lack a “racial stamina.” The author says white people claim to be “misunderstood” and when racially threatened try to “reinstate white racial equilibrium and maintain control” of society.

DiAngelo’s book with the same title as framework two has been instrumental in the CRT movement in the United States, forming the basis for workshops and trainings The Federalist has uncovered before. “White Fragility” hit number 1 on the New York Times bestsellers list in June 2020 during the Black Lives Matter protests.

Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, told me DiAngelo’s central thesis on race has earned her plaudits from the ivory towers of academia, to the detriment of the taxpayers who fund such controversial lectures.

“Her three books on the topic are fatuous and rather silly diatribes, but they have made her famous and, it seems, wealthy,” Wood said. “DiAngelo’s words to the students of Ohio State are guaranteed as worthless and a waste of public resources. Her $12,000 speaker fee at OSU is, in effect, a tribute paid by the taxpayers of Ohio to a race-hustling propagandist.”

A spokesman for Ohio State University told The Federalist the president and the provost’s lecture series is paid for by endowment funds, not tax dollars.

The speaker contract, which was signed by the author and Ohio State’s Senior Commodity Manager Alejandra Meechan, includes several sections indicating DiAngelo tries to hide her material and minimize discourse about it. A flyer for the event claimed DiAngelo’s lecture would be “live captioned and recorded,” however, Johnson confirmed it was not.

According to her contract, DiAngelo does not permit a live audience question and answer (Q&A) session while giving a keynote. Debate is not in the cards. “On a topic as charged as racism, opening the floor to the audience allows for very problematic dynamics (e.g. long-winded speeches, convoluted questions, debates),” the contract claims.

The contract also states DiAngelo “does not consent to having her presentation filmed or recorded, whether for archival purposes or later broadcast.” Similar lecturer policies appeared in other Federalist reports of CRT trainings and workshops.

Further, DiAngelo is unwilling to allow for the distribution of any slides she uses for her lectures. They are her “Intellectual Property” and “She does not send her slides in advance of the event, nor does she make them available to participants.” DiAngelo’s contract also notes she “generally cannot accommodate phone conversations” but charges $300 an hour should it be “necessary.”

The University of Washington professor has made quite a sum lecturing on topics like “white privilege” at taxpayer-funded colleges. The “anti-racist” author reportedly reels in around $728,000 annually from speaking engagements. She charges an average of $14,000 per speech.

A whistleblower informed the public in February that DiAngelo lectured for the Coca-Cola company and told employees to “try to be less white,” leading to a national backlash. Her latest book, “Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm,” was released in June. It graced the New York Times bestsellers list after selling only 3,500 copies the first week.

DiAngelo could not be reached for comment. Ohio State did not respond to subsequent questions regarding whether it backs DiAngelo’s worldview and stands by inviting her to speak. The institution claims no other funding went toward the major event.

Below is the contract, which was obtained through a public records request.

Correction: This article originally stated the lecture series was paid for by tax dollars. A university spokesman claims it is paid for by endowment funds.