Why Derbyshire Had to Go
Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, April 7, 2012
John Derbyshire has now joined the roster of brilliant journalists who have been fired by publications that call themselves “conservative.” Mr. Derbyshire’s April 5 column for Takimag.com committed the usual crime of pointing out something that is not only true but that everyone knows to be true. He noted that blacks are on average less intelligent than whites, that many of them hate whites, and that when they gather in large numbers they can be dangerous. Mr. Derbyshire’s column was framed as a white parent’s “talk” to his children about the facts of race.
Of course, anyone not a tourist from Iceland learns by about age 10 to avoid crowds of blacks, but it is considered “racist” actually to say so. It took National Review two days to fire Mr. Derbyshire — an eternity in the age of the Internet, even if it was Easter weekend — and lefty publications like Atlantic Wire and Huffington Post were yelling for blood long before the ax fell.
National Review’s editor Rich Lowry’s public notice of dismissal started with fluff about Mr. Derbyshire’s “delightful first novel,” but called his Takimag piece “nasty and indefensible.” This is another way of saying Mr. Derbyshire was writing honestly about race, and National Review has a history of firing people who write honestly.
In the late 1990s, the magazine was saying sensible things about immigration, multiculturalism, and even race and IQ. It defended The Bell Curve, called for serious immigration reform and published Philippe Rushton. This was too much for the NR’s founder, William Buckley, who removed the two men most responsible for honesty. He forced out Editor John O’Sullivan in December 1997, and in February 1998 exiled Senior Editor Peter Brimelow to the powerless position of Contributing Editor. Mr. O’Sullivan’s replacement was none other than the Mr. Lowry who now finds Mr. Derbyshire’s work “nasty and indefensible.”
Buckley was jumpy about anyone who got frisky. In 1993 he had already fired Joe Sobran for writing columns Buckley called “contextually anti-Semitic.” Anyone who violated what Buckley liked to call “the prevailing structure of taboos” was out the door.
Just two years later, another “conservative” publication, the Washington Times, fired Sam Francis for remarks he made at an American Renaissance conference:
The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people, nor is there any reason to believe that the civilization can be successfully transmitted to a different people.
It was the usual sin: writing something obviously true.
In 1997, it was Scott McConnell’s turn to be bounced from a “conservative” paper, this time, the New York Post. In a July 14 column he pointed out that Puerto Ricans are poor, live on food stamps, are often hostile to English, and that it was therefore a bad idea to make Puerto Rico the 51st state. He suggested that instead of going on about how wonderful statehood would be for Puerto Ricans we should actually talk about whether it would be good for us. Thirty Puerto Rican “leaders” had a meeting with Post publisher Martin Singerman, and Mr. McConnell was gone.
A more recent example of “conservatives” turning on their own was Human Events’ 2005 firing of Kevin Lamb for editing a magazine the Southern Poverty Law Center called “racist.” All it took was one phone call from the SPLC and in just a few hours Mr. Lamb was out of a job.
In January of this year, the Maine Heritage Policy Center, which bills itself as a “conservative” advocacy group, fired political reporter Leif Parsell after it discovered that he had written that “cultural diversity combines with our increasing racial and ethnic diversity to degrade our society” and had recommended a video by me in which I point out that diversity is not a strength.
And, of course, in February, Patrick Buchanan was fired from MSNBC for his book Suicide of a Superpower, in which he made such common-sense observations as:
Mexico is moving north. Ethnically, linguistically, and culturally, the verdict of 1848 is being overturned. Will this Mexican nation within a nation advance the goals of the Constitution — to ‘insure domestic tranquility’ and ‘make us a more perfect union’? Or has our passivity in the face of this invasion imperiled our union?
MSNBC’s president explained that such ideas were not “appropriate for the national dialogue.” Mr. Buchanan’s case is slightly different, since he was fired from a “liberal” network, but where is the “conservative” network that is rushing to take him on?
Clearly, as an ex-journalist who violated “the prevailing structure of taboos,” Mr. Derbyshire adds his own indisputable luster to a distinguished group. But what does it say about our country that even “conservatives” — and only “conservatives” — suffer from such hair-trigger nervousness about race? When was a “liberal” ever fired for calling whites “the cancer of the human race” or demanding “the abolition of the white race”? It doesn’t happen. There is no such thing as “liberal” excess. You can say the vilest things about white people and be a hero.
Why is this? Part of it is the vicious double standard that protects every group but whites from “negative stereotypes,” but it is also because no one is afraid of obvious foolishness. Even crazed, ethnomasochist whites who say hateful things about their own race clearly do not believe them. They do not repent of “white privilege” by giving up their jobs to pet minorities. They do not “celebrate diversity” in their own lives.
What people like John Derbyshire say is different. He must be fired, silenced, and disgraced because everyone — from the mooncalves at Huffington Post to the “conservatives” at National Review — lives by the very rules Mr. Derbyshire put into print. I don’t even know Rich Lowry but I’m sure he avoids crowds of blacks, does not live in a black neighborhood, and would never send his children to a black school. He may babble racial moonshine to his children, but the real “talk” he gives them is exactly the one Mr. Derbyshire wrote about. Mr. Lowry’s real “talk” is the way he lives his life.
And that is why Mr. Derbyshire had to go. There is nothing cowards and hypocrites hate more than brave men who live by their convictions.
Editor’s note: Mr. Derbyshire now has no job but still has a wife and two children. In the last day or so a “contribute” button has appeared on his personal home page. We think we know why. Please be generous.