Racist with an Explanation: Rightbloggers Defend John Derbyshire

tomt200.jpgLast week John Derbyshire, a now-former writer for National Review, published elsewhere an article that was plainly racist -- by which we mean, its racism was not veiled or masked in the manner that has become common among rightbloggers, but overt; it asserted that black people were less intelligent than whites and more prone to violence, and thus should be avoided.

You have probably already guessed what comes next. While a few rightbloggers thought this was a bridge too far, and many ignored it (or, like Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds, pretended they couldn't read it), a depressing number found it a refreshing departure from "political correctness," or just plain agreed with Derbyshire's conclusions.

Derbyshire has a long history of racist statements (including "I am a homophobe... and a racist"), so the only surprise about his alleged advice to his children in Taki's Magazine was that he did not try to sugar up its racism with charm or humor. Among his advisements:

"Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally."

"Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods."

"If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving."

"The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites... There is a magnifying effect here, too, caused by affirmative action... therefore--for example, at a government office--you will, on average, be dealt with more competently by a white than by a black."

Etc. Bloggers and newspaper writers noticed this and denunciations began flowing in; Derbyshire's longtime National Review employers first distanced themselves from, then fired him.

Some rightbloggers, too, denounced Derbyshire's article; "'Indefensible' is an apt description of Derbyshire's controversial race column," said Breitbart's Big Journalism, "which has been getting pilloried in online circles left and right for the last day and a half."

But skimming the right-blogosphere, we find such voices in the minority. The best that could be said about most of the rightbloggers who swarmed to Derbyshire's defense is that their incoherence shows they aren't used to defending these kinds of sentiments. But give them time.

Let's start, though, with the more straightforward reactions from old-fashioned racist types. "Kudos to John Derbyshire for telling the damned truth!" wrote Charles Patrick Adkins ("a proud White, Patriotic, American") at Thoughts and Rantings. "To the liberals giving him grief about it; I got one thing to say --- SCREW YOU!"

In a follow-up, Adkins revealed that "my Cousin Michael Landon Hill was brutally murdered by Black and Latino cops in southwest Detroit's Delray district in 1994," which he offered as justification for his hatred of blacks, among others: "The truth is, I owe Blacks and Latinos and yes --- Jews --- nothing at all."

Same as it ever was.
"Blacks are more violent than any other racial group, a fact supported by decades of crime statistics as well as recent events," gurgled Sabrepoint. "I don't like this terrible truth and would change it if I could," presumably by exterminating them. "Of course," he added, "many blacks are also good, decent people, but you have to play the odds if you are interested in your physical survival."

Barrel Strength said, "I read [the article] yesterday and thought to myself, 'bang on!'" and applauded Derbyshire's "straightforward - and therefore politically dangerous - observations that the people one is talking about have average IQs one full standard distribution lower, on average, than whites." He also asked, "Is it racist? Define race and racism please. I want to know." He might start here.

Vox Day back-patted Derbyshire; he knew what it was like to be misunderstood. "Now, in the past," Day wrote, "I have been urged by some to abandon what they errantly consider to be my 'support for segregation.' What they fail to understand is that I don't support segregation per se... There is nothing to support, there is only an observation to be made: Humanity is intrinsically and naturally self-segregating. It is desegregation that is unnatural, that requires the imposition of force..."

Thus, if whites do hang out with blacks, it is only the imposition of the state that keeps the races miserably together. "MLK's dream is dead," Day asserted, "and more importantly, it was never more than wishful thinking anyhow. Racial equality is the same failed myth as every other aspect of human equality..."

Curt Doolittle ("I am an independent theorist of Political Economy in the Austrian Libertarian tradition") allowed as how "racism is just plain stupidity." Nonetheless he explained that "African Americans FACTUALLY demonstrate African American distributions of IQ are FACTUALLY almost a full standard deviation lower than that of their white counterparts," and that "whites used to be racist but the wars ended their comfort with self confidence. Blacks are racist at the bottom."

Doolittle also noted that black people are disproportionately represented in crime statistics. He did not consider their disproportionate representation in poverty statistics to be connected -- that sort of thinking, we suppose, would conflict with the Austrian Libertarian tradition -- but suggested that "aberrant behavior among minorities" in the U.S. is "tolerated under the principle of diversity and freedom of self expression."

Let us leave these people to their klaverns. Most of the brethren, as we said, took a less direct approach, arguing that just because they agreed with Derbyshire that blacks were inferior, that didn't make them racists.

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