Monday, April 09, 2012

good riddance!

On April 5, 2012, the extremely unlikable conservative "thinker" John Derbyshire shoved his foot so far down his throat that it popped out of his ass. In an article called "The Talk: Nonblack Version," "the Derb" (as he's known among conservative admirers) wrote, in part:

(10) Thus, while always attentive to the particular qualities of individuals, on the many occasions where you have nothing to guide you but knowledge of those mean differences, use statistical common sense:

(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.

(10b) Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.

(10c) If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date (neglect of that one got me the closest I have ever gotten to death by gunshot).

(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.

(10e) If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.

(10f) Do not settle in a district or municipality run by black politicians.

(10g) Before voting for a black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.

(10h) Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.

(10i) If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving.

(11) The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday situations. “Life is an IQ test.”

I find this rhetoric odious but unsurprising, considering its source. Unlike my conservative friends and acquaintances who find Derbyshire intelligent, articulate, and insightful, I've found him, since I first heard of him in 2003, to be a pugnacious know-it-all blowhard on the order of Keith Olbermann, and no less deserving of an Olbermannesque fate.

Well, the universe has granted my wish. On April 7, two days after the publication of the above article, John Derbyshire was fired from his post as writer at the conservative National Review Online. While I'm not a regular reader of NRO, I've visited the site perhaps ten times over the past several years, mostly to read columns by the civilized and professorial Victor Davis Hanson, whom I admire. Hanson belongs to the old William F. Buckley school of urbane conservatives who know better than to traffic in leftist-style race-baiting. It's gratifying to see the more combative (and far less intelligent) Derbyshire shown the door. NRO staffer Rich Lowry comments:

Anyone who has read Derb in our pages knows he’s a deeply literate, funny, and incisive writer. I direct anyone who doubts his talents to his delightful first novel, “Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream,” or any one of his “Straggler” columns in the books section of NR. Derb is also maddening, outrageous, cranky, and provocative. His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways. Derb has long danced around the line on these issues, but this column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation. It’s a free country, and Derb can write whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Just not in the pages of NR or NRO, or as someone associated with NR any longer.

NRO is right to jettison this fool, who does the right no favors by confirming the left's suspicions that conservatives are all, to some degree or other, racists. I've seen intelligent conservative discussion of racial differences at other blogs on my blogroll, and in no case did any blogger known to me cross the line by warning non-blacks to stay away from black folks on the basis of statistics. Derbyshire has been getting things wrong since the 2003 invasion of Iraq; I should dig through his old columns and find examples of failed predictions and faulty analyses. But why waste my brain on such an exercise?

So! Good riddance, jackoff. I hope your racist column haunts you for years and makes you as hard to employ as Mel Gibson. But there's hope, Derb: instead of sucking off the tit of NRO, you can now go full-on Ayn Rand and make yourself into a self-made man. Build an empire from the ground up, my friend! Show everyone how it's done! Surely there's a market for erroneous analysis, racism, and xenophobia! But believe me when I tell you that I'll be very disappointed if your answer to this crisis of employment involves hitching your wagon to yet another established publication. Not very individualistic, that.

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