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Derb’s National Rebuke
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Unlike Rich Lowry’s predictably PC response to John Derbyshire’s controversial article on what parents should tell their kids about race, I was less than “appalled” by it. John’s judgments are not entirely mine, and unlike my good friend I probably would stop (and I hope my grown-up children would stop) for a black person stranded on a highway who didn’t look quite like “one of the boyz from the hood.” But John’s article was a response to numerous rants by black celebrities in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting. These anti-white invectives, proudly featured in TIME, The New York Times, and other establishment fixtures, were also directed toward the young and emphasized the persistence of white “prejudices.” In one passage particularly lacking in self-awareness, someone named Touré explained:

Being black could turn an ordinary situation into a life-or-death moment even if you’re doing nothing wrong.

Given the glaringly disproportionate number of violent crimes black youth commit each year, most often against each other, Touré and his editors should be medically treated for being delusional. What do they think is the color of violent crime? I doubt that any of John’s accusers would dwell critically on black responsibility for black crime any more than the editors of NR would feel impelled to express indignation at the statements that occasioned John’s rejoinder. A recent column by Rich Lowry affirming his agreement with Sharpton about the Trayvon Martin shooting would fit snugly into the obligatory liberal responses to this event.

I wonder whether the counter-instruction that John would bestow on his offspring would be an ultimately quixotic gesture. Most college students I encounter have had their heads so stuffed with misrepresentations of reality that mommy and daddy would have to use blowtorches to get the embedded nonsense off their brains. But these brain-damaged youths’ parents seem to have been socialized in the same counterfactual way. This week I learned that throngs of people in nearby Lancaster and Harrisburg had put on hoods to express solidarity with Trayvon Martin—or perhaps with Reverends Jackson and Sharpton. These esteemed clerics with their media buddies are busily reminding us of the horrendous crime committed against a black youth by a nonblack Latino they’re calling a “white Hispanic.” The same celebrities also consistently underplay the most widespread source of violent crime. Perhaps the black thugs who in January 2007 raped, mutilated, and murdered a white couple in Knoxville were also wearing hoods. The gruesome Knoxville murders and numerous other violent crimes blacks commit against whites remain underreported. If these crimes were treated in the same way as Martin’s shooting, The Atlantic, New York Daily News, Guardian, and all the other leftist publications denouncing my friend’s “disgusting rant on race” would eagerly print his dispassionately presented conclusions.


Black hatemongers rarely provoke the public tongue-lashing that a scientifically literate English gentleman elicits by pointing out cognitive and social differences between races. Would any academic or journalist create the same brouhaha if a black “vocalist” called for “raping white bitches” or a professor of Black or Women’s Studies grossly insulted white males? Not on your life. No disparagement of whites in favor of blacks, or of men in favor of feminists, or of straights in favor of gays would cause discomfort in our PC-drenched country or in any other Western nation in a comparable state of cultural disintegration. Not even sadistic black murders of defenseless whites can produce this effect. I am stating this as my fellow whites are still exhibiting ritualistic shock over a partly white male shooting a black teenager in circumstances that are still to be clarified.

I am impressed by the alacrity with which The Guardian and other leftist opinion sources close off discussions of non-approved subjects. The editors presume to speak for the rest of us. It was no surprise that the pint-size Stalins who run our ideologically controlled opinions would try to bully John’s employer into firing him for something posted on Taki’s Mag. And this is only proper. Were maverick writers and thinkers allowed to publish things free of PC gatekeepers, there’s no telling how far this exercise in intellectual freedom might go. The Guardian and likeminded publications are correct to insist that even the opposition should play by rules that favor them. This is not a double standard, since the left always and everywhere is totalitarian. When it tries to suppress dissent, it is being most thoroughly itself.

I was not disappointed that Lowry and his fellow intellectual pygmies caved in and fired their most talented thinker and writer. But there was an amusing side to this outrage. Before the adolescent crew kicked John out, they raked him slowly over the coals. While groveling toward the left as he was “parting ways” with John, Lowry complained about how Derb’s piece “lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible.” My thought at the time was that I’d like to see the clueless Lowry match wits with John by trying to prove that John’s assertions were “indefensible.” It would be like having a featherweight pick a fight with Mike Tyson during his prime.

I’d be delighted to see the utterly vapid NR go down the tubes now that its editors have humiliated and fired a brilliant, principled subordinate. But I doubt that will happen. However worthless the magazine is likely to become (and even with John it wasn’t very good), its neocon and GOP donors will probably continue to keep it afloat. At my age, I was hoping to see at least one pillar of the neocon agitprop empire collapse before I leave this vale of tears. Unfortunately, given its continued usefulness to its masters, this fate is not likely to befall NR.

(Republished from Takimag by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology, Race/Ethnicity • Tags: John Derbyshire 
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  1. In hindsight, we all really benefited from the Derb getting booted from NRO. Thereafter his writing at Taki’s Magazine got better, he started writing regularly for VDARE, and speaking almost annually at American Renaissance conferences. Part of the strength of the Dissident Right comes from the fact that the authorized right is insistent on purging its most interesting, insightful, and talented intellectuals. If you don’t believe, just take a look at all the VDARE articles penned by John Derbyshire that were then cross-posted to American Renaissance. We wouldn’t have all that high-quality racial writing had Mr. Derbyshire been allowed to continue typing away about boring Republican topics in some cubicle interned within the labyrinthine of Conservatism, Inc. organs.

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