"Fear of a Black Planet" - Public Enemy
I guess John Derbyshire just wasn't able to muster the strength to engage in suitable euphemism. I mean, shit, it isn't hard to do the minimum necessary to avoid NRO shutting you down for racism -- Christ, look at Victor Davis Maximulist Assholacist Hanson, who weekly and weakly gets to denounce those with darker skin hues for their crimes against the white race (and chainsaw owners), without drawing the ire of Rich Lowry. But long self-admitted racist Derbyshire evidently did not see the need to keep the pasties of respectabilty on any longer.
What is in its own way more remarkable is that even when the author admits he is a racist, even when he claims that whites are inherently smarter than blacks, and exhorts his children to avoid black neighborhoods or any gathering at which blacks might be a substantial part of those in attendance, or even living in cities run by black politicians, there is still outrage on the right that some dare call the man a racist, something he unabashedly calls himself.
The readers of NRO themselves seemed like they would have none of this purging of racists. The white male fossils who keep the National Review alive seemed baffled that someone would be removed for such trivial reasons --NRO had to turn off the comments on Lowry's announcement of Derbyshite's "resignation" -- Lowry has now asked for comments, claiming he temporarily turned them off because they couldn't be moderated over the weekend -- but the commenters would not be deterred, filling the previous post with mostly expressions of outrage at the summary dismissal of the racist.
I read quite a lot of the comments -- the type of hazmat work I usually leave to Edroso -- and found it fascinating how many of them think Derb just spoke the common sense that we all understand, including we phony liberals. How do you explain to these fearful ignoramuses that this is just not the case? That many of us have long lived in places with large, even majority, black populations, that we do so without spending every day cringing in fear or clinging to our guns, that we walk the streets and ride the subways and go to bars and restaurants and clubs without becoming paralyzed by fear that "they" are out amongst us.
I am coming up on thirty years in DC (my first three were spent in heavily racially mixed cheap suburbs) and have somehow miraculously avoided being victimized by crime. When I first lived here -- in Prince Georges County, the first majority black suburban area in the U.S. -- I spent a great deal of my free time playing basketball, which was the ultimate in cheap entertainment. I was often the only white guy on the court -- I was certainly the only one going to law school -- and yet, I was not subject to hostility or ill treatment of any kind. I think I was viewed as a bit of a curiosity for a while, but after a couple of weeks of steadily enduring the stunning heat of a DC summer, I pretty much blended in. Thereafter, I lived in a variety of gentrifying or marginal neighborhoods in the District itself. This was from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s -- not exactly the city's golden age in terms of crime -- but again, I did not feel like I was living under a state of siege. I kept my wits about me and probably enjoyed some degree of luck, but I just didn't experience the supposed wanton criminality of my neighbors.
I've also now experienced five different black mayors since I've lived here and, what do you know, I feel rather differently about each of them -- Marion Barry is a scumbag and racist, who I despise about as much as I have any politician I've ever known. Tony Williams was a remarkably effective chief executive who did great things for the city. Adrain Fenti was both admirable and infuriating -- he too did a lot of good, but unnecessarily burned a whole lot of bridges and lost office. I don't know what to think of Vince Grey at the moment. Sharon Pratt Kelly was sadly in over her head. In other words, each of them was an individual in his or her own right, with a sum of strengths and weaknesses that made them succeed or fail or fall somewhere in between.
As for Derbyshire's notion that black politicians are uniquely corrupt, well this was news to me. When I was a kid, I recall a pretty steady stream of politicians making their way to the slammer for feathering their own nests. Not a one was black -- they were almost always Irish or Italian, the yeomanry of graft in the Bay State, with the odd Greek thrown in for good measure. The attainment of power will always be for some -- and here race is truly unimportant -- the opportunity to take a little money that isnt' legitimately theirs. This is now new.
The IQ stuff remains startlingly offensive and Sullivan and Murray should do penance for giving this kind of crap the veneer of respectability.
Ulitmately, I think Derbyshire's world view is held by a pretty signficant swath of the right, but most of them under the age of 60 understand that they cannot express this in such unabashed terms. But, and this is the subject for another day, those who are clamoring for an unabashed economic politics of the left better understand that this is read in many quarters as a call to give money to undeserving black people. And that remains, something that can be said and treated with respect in large swaths of the country, with only a minimal amount of camoflauge.
What do you all have to say? (Sorry for the slowness in posting -- both work and home have been quite busy.)