Conversing on race, ctd

by Sonny Bunch on April 8, 2012

(13) In that pool of forty million, there are nonetheless many intelligent and well-socialized blacks. (I’ll use IWSB as an ad hoc abbreviation.) You should consciously seek opportunities to make friends with IWSBs. In addition to the ordinary pleasures of friendship, you will gain an amulet against potentially career-destroying accusations of prejudice.” — John Derbyshire, comparing black people to property in an epic, career-destroying racist rant at a fringe publication.

“Needless to say, no one at National Review shares Derb’s appalling view of what parents supposedly should tell their kids about blacks in this instantly notorious piece here.” — Rich Lowry, “Derb’s Screed,” at the Corner.




—Ramesh Ponnuru, Twitter.




—Jonah Goldberg, Twitter.





—Me, Twitter.

“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.” — Rich Lowry, the Corner.

“I think that the reason few white people want to have this “important conversation” about race is because they know, or at least they fear, this conversation can only go one way: minorities telling white people how racist they are, and white people nodding in agreement. … Besides, they are not fools to believe that this would almost certainly be not a conversation, but a monologue, in which they are invited to consider all the ways they are racist.” — Rod Dreher, “Race and the ‘Important Conversation.‘”




Clara Jeffrey, Twitter.




Jamelle Bouie, Twitter.




Christopher Callihan, Twitter.

Et cetera. Meanwhile……

“‘We’ve got to do something about these Asians coming in, opening up businesses, those dirty shops,’ [Marion Barry] said in the course of laying out his vision for the ward. ‘They ought to go. I’ll just say that right now, you know. But we need African American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.'” —Marion Barry, in his victory speech during DC’s Ward 8 Democratic Primary.









Marion Barry, Twitter.

Now, at the risk of ignoring the real issues and unfairly focusing on the “race hustlers” (or whatever), let’s just consider for a moment which bit of racism is more damaging: Derbyshire’s rant at some obscure webzine or an elected D.C. official calling for the ethnic cleansing of his ward like it’s a latter day Zimbabwe and he’s Robert Mugabe?

At least Derbyshire’s been (deservedly) fired and ostracized by friends and colleagues.

What repercussions, pray tell, does Barry face?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

NG April 8, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I’m not sure if Derb’s use of “IWSB” is the equivalent of comparing black people to property. He’s suggesting to create strategic friendships based on ethnicity. Not something I would agree with, but not something at all uncommon and not the same thing as treating people as property. These strategic friendships are highly common among guilty white liberals.
I thought Derb’s IQ stuff was much more offensive.
This rant aside, Derb was one of the few remaining interesting writers at NRO. It’s a shame it had to end like this.


Fake Herzog April 9, 2012 at 7:13 pm


Let’s get one thing straight — while I have my own objections to Derbyshire’s piece (see my blog for what those may be), it is not a rant. Derb is an amazing writer and nothing he writes can properly be characterized as a “rant”.


I should have criticized the whole “IWSB” thing myself, but I chose to focus on some of the other sections of the piece. As for the IQ “stuff”, that was the only part of the piece that everyone should agree was totally unoffensive, given that everything he said was the truth.


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