Skip to comments.John Derbyshire: Racial Heretic
Posted on 04/07/2012 6:46:31 AM PDT by Motherhood IS a career
John Derbyshire has set off a mini firestorm by responding to an article which details advice that black parents give their kids about coping with "White America", by giving advice to his own kids about coping with black America. And imagine White America's collective shock... he has been denounced for it as being racist. (actually I think it's ... "RACIST!!!")
Racism, as we know, is the ultimate liberal heresy. There are difference between black (ethno-African) Americans, and White (European) Americans which are obvious at a distance. And there are dramatic difference between the sub culture of Black America and the many Sub Cultures of white America. But secular liberalism, our religion of state, is based almost entirely on un-knowing things that are obvious. And noticing the differences between White and Black America is strictly off limits.
That something is obviously true is totally irrelevant to the discussion. If you call attention to one of these unutterable facts you will be shunned. And since John Derbyshire has done that very thing, there are already those out there demanding his head on a plate. But it seems to me that it isn't just what John said in his piece that's causing an uproar - it's his tone as well. He's too 'matter of fact' about it. He states facts as if they are ... well... facts. He doesn't kowtow to the liberal establishment by stating how sorry he is to call attention to the points he raises - he just raises them. This, I suspect, is what's really getting under people's skin.
I think it's probably pointless to say this, in that it won't change anyone's mind about anything, but since John is my friend I'll go ahead and do it anyway. Like most of us, there are a great many things John cares about. He cares about his family of course and his home life. He cares about the fate of America, and the future world that his children will inherit. He cares about his dog, and his friends, and all the small things that we all value. But what he does not care about - not a whit as far as I have ever been able to tell, is race.
And that's mainly because there is something else that John cares about. He cares about the objective truth. He wants his personal view of the universe to be as accurate and verifiable as is humanly possible given the limits on his intelligence and his time. He wants his understanding of the world to be correct, in the same way that any scientist wants it. This gives his writing what I have referred to many times in the past as a "logical irreducibility." He boils down society and politics to its principle components, the same way that a mathematician would when analyzing a data set. The same way I often do in my work when examining the markets.
And that's the thing that I believe has really rattled the liberal cages. John has said things about race, which are objectively verifiable and absolutely true - but it is part of the liberal religion to never admit them. I'm not going to slice and dice too much. I'm quite sure there is no secret code in John's words. But I do think it serves a useful purpose to provide a few examples from his piece in takimag.
For instance, when he said :
The default principle in everyday personal encounters is, that as a fellow citizen, with the same rights and obligations as yourself, any individual black is entitled to the same courtesies you would extend to a nonblack citizen. That is basic good manners and good citizenship. In some unusual circumstances, howevere.g., paragraph (10h) belowthis default principle should be overridden by considerations of personal safety.
While the latter point about personal safety may leave a few more feeble liberals with the a sudden case of the vapors, (as will his reference to a "black" and not a "black American" or one of the more liberally appropriate monikers) I don't think anyone in the liberal intelligencia is too horrified by this obviously true statement. It's controversial, but not specifically heretical to the liberal religion. The very same can be said of his statement:
As with any population of such a size, there is great variation among blacks in every human trait (except, obviously, the trait of identifying oneself as black). They come fat, thin, tall, short, dumb, smart, introverted, extroverted, honest, crooked, athletic, sedentary, fastidious, sloppy, amiable, and obnoxious. There are black geniuses and black morons. There are black saints and black psychopaths. In a population of forty million, you will find almost any human type. Only at the far, far extremes of certain traits are there absences. There are, for example, no black Fields Medal winners. While this is civilizationally consequential, it will not likely ever be important to you personally. Most people live and die without ever meeting (or wishing to meet) a Fields Medal winner.
Every word of that is absolutely true in the strictest, most objectively verifiable sense of the word, especially the part about never wishing to meet a fields medal winner. And yet, there is something in the matter of fact tone that leaves your personal radar, finely honed after years of Al Sharpton being treated like a serious thinker, sending up a 'yellow alert'. You can almost see the liberal high priests stepping out from behind altar and calling the grand inquisitors over to listen to the rest.
Then John says a few things in public that every single white person in America already knows (including liberal America) but to my knowledge no one has ever said before in public. He basically tells his kids that if it can be reasonably avoided, they should stay out of black neighborhoods. Liberals will say "that's terrible" and then find a way to communicate the same idea to their children without specifically saying so (and will continue to avoid those neighborhoods themselves). But encouraging self segregation is definitely considered over the line to the liberal high priests. It's an open heresy.
But even so, given the tone of the day and the broader conversation currently ongoing about race relations with regard to the Trayvon Martin shooting, it might have been more or less forgiven but for what he comes right out and says next.
On page 2 of John's takimag piece, he performs the modern day equivalent of storming into the Vatican and declaring that the earth revolves around the sun. He calls direct attention to the following completely true, objectively verifiable and totally inescapable fact:
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.
This is an unspeakable thing to liberals. It's a direct and public acknowledgement of the central fact that they insist on un-knowing in all their dealings with black America. It's like holding a globally televised black mass in the Sistine chapel, or using a burning Koran to fry bacon before forcibly feeding it to the high mullah of Mecca. It's such a grand heresy that they cannot even refer to it directly while demanding that John be publicly burned as a racist ("RACIST!!!") for saying it. Liberals regard this point with such overt hostility, that it's entirely possible that in spite of all my writing on the topic of race, I will very likely be called a racist ("RACIST!!!") simply for mentioning it.
Is it true? Obviously yes. But that's not the point. In order for liberal fantasies about the virtue of "equality of outcomes" to be valid, it must be treated as untrue. And John isn't doing that. Keep in mind, when a liberal reads that paragraph they don't read unassailable facts. They read it as John Derbyshire stating his "opinion" that black people are inherently inferior to white people. To anyone who can read this without jumping to their own conclusions, this is obviously not the case. All he's done is pointed out a statistical fact. But liberals won't be able to see that for what it is. They can't help imposing their own value judgments over John's empirical evidence.
National Review's Rich Lowry, political creature that he is, is distancing himself and his magazine from John's piece. I personally think that's a mistake. Didn't Eric Holder say that we should begin having "An honest conversation" on race? Doesn't National Review believe that objectively verifiable and totally inescapable facts should be a part of that conversation?
In truth they probably do yes. But they may be making the tactical political decision that you can't win the argument if you aren't invited to the table. That's conjecture of course, I have no inside data on the decision makers at NR. But it would make some sense to me if they felt that way. And while they may have publicly denounced him, I don't believe they'll take liberal demands for John's head very seriously. Respecting the people I know there as I do, I have to believe they are smart enough to understand the value of the heretic, even if they don't want to participate directly in the heresy itself.
They've done it before - but I think it's clear to any fair minded person that John is more interested in discussing the truth in a compelling and thought provoking way than he is about "diminishing black people" or whatever the liberal fantasy is about his piece. In real life John Derbyshire isn't a racist in the liberal definition of the word. And surely that matters to the editors at National Review - who have not been free of baseless racism accusations themselves.
On the topic of race, John has elected to be the ultimate Heretic. By stepping forward and saying things that are totally forbidden to utter in liberal America but are none the less objectively verifiable as true, John has shown precisely the kind of courage I've come to expect from him. Certainly more than most of us (including me) could ever demonstrate. And it's one of the many reasons I'm proud to call him my friend. Even if you don't agree with him you have to admit that it was a very brave thing to come right out and say.
The truth is very much on his side of course, as it often is with heretics - especially when a religion has become as stunted and misshapen as modern liberalism has become. But the fact that he's speaking the truth may not stop them from burning him (or at least his career). What he's said is very controversial both in tone and content. Less so I think than the Black Panther's who put a price on the head of an innocent man. But it's liberals who run our grand inquisitors office, and they will decide who starts the fires and who is tossed into them.
The real racism is from the left. Derbyshire makes valid observations which are far more modest than any that you’d get out of a black studies, women studies, or queer studies class.
If you do a google search on shootings at amusement parks. Google will be racist. Here locally the only time such a thing happened was during a BET sponsored hip hop event at King’s Dominion but while that is an isolated incident you don’t have to go far and I could go down the line from black friday tramplings to Wal-mart/McDonalds fights.
The real problem people are having with Derbyshire is that he dares make comments based on observations. They are uncomfortable observations but the definition of racism should not be what makes a liberal uncomfortable.
We went through all of this before. Truth is inner city blacks do a lot of crime and are racists on top of it all. It is stupid and dangerous for whites to be near them.
Liberals want socialism and to get socialism they smash mouth everything about the American white race because the white race is where the knowledge and practice of freedom once resided socially and culturally. They get a lot of whites killed and their hate demoralizes them. This is what Marxists do to their targets when they can comit genocide outright.
The link to John Derbyshire’s original article is here:
Among the comments made, here is Mr. Derbyshire’s advice to his kids:
(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.
I highly recommend Mr. Derbyshire’s book “We Are Doomed! — Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism”.
Please see post #23 about the coffee, but add: yes, you are correct and I did NOT read the article thoroughly. MY bad.
I think they do care but probably aren't aware of those things as "issues."
I also think that they wouldn't BELIEVE that article.
They might not think that they are SUCH a problem, especially, ESPECIALLY since SOUTH Dakota was NUMBER TWO on that list. :o)
Besides, I can hear my friend from North Dakota say: "What would a NEW YORK writer know about North Dakota?"
The folks there are descendants from German-speaking principalities/dukedoms, etc., (Germany didn't become a country until 1871.) and Scandinavian countries with LITTLE influx of other groups or cultures. Thus, it's been a fairly closed society for a long time. The state bleeds young people leaving for greener and SLIGHTLY warmer pastures.
A lot of people have trouble accepting the fact that God did NOT create us all equal. If He had, we’d all be clones, indistinguishable from each other. He created us with equal rights. We are, however, equal in HIS eyes. As we should be under the law.
It’s a conservative blog. You should check it out.
I believe it’s in reaction to the black community’s reaction to the Trayvon Martin tragedy. He’s illustrating, quite effectively, that what black people say or do is ok, but when a white person mirrors that behavior, it’s racism (or RACISM!!)
From Radio Free NJ.
It’s interesting how there are certain things you can and cannot say: You can say “White people can’t dance... they have no rythm.” And people think it’s funny. But you CAN’T say “black people can’t do algebra.”
You're probably right. The African-Americans I work with sound so sane and normal until they start talking about Obama and "black issues." I then see, with alarming clarity, where their heart REALLY is. Depressing.
The double standard: back to Black Power and Women's Lib. It IS all right and "righteous" to have this double standard because straight, white males deserve it, after all the years of having it their way.
Logic and history go by the board and these racists and sexists REALLY believe, despite HISTORY and their own eyes, that white men were all wealthy and privileged. Why do they forget that money is only in ONE color, green, and privilege was in every culture on the planet since the beginning of human history. Privilege was/is/will always be color blind too.
I really do have a couple of problems with this article.
I think the biggest problem I have is with the admonition to not help black people who are in distress. (In the original article he links to a pretty atrocious story about some Spanish guy (iirc) who helped some black woman who was fighting with her BF and then the 2 of them beat the Spanish guy (to death? I can’t remember.))
So, of course one should use discretion about helping people (look at what those white people did to that white schoolteacher in VT), but I don’t think you should tell your children to never help a black person.
And the bit about scrutinizing politicians is just wrong I think. The problems with most black pols is that they are stinking, lefty dems. And while corruption is to be deplored many honest pols do a lot of damage because of their bad ideas and/or lust for control. Yes, Nanny Bloomberg, I’m thinking of you.
Also, while it is beyond dispute that black people pose far more of a danger to themselves and others than white people do and you’d be a bad parent if you didn’t convey this to your children, the harping on the IQ stuff bothers me.
I have told my own kid, many times, that most people are not as bright as one would like and you have to take that into account when dealing with them.
However, low IQ does not make someone a bad person.
I like Derbyshire, but the entire tone of this piece is just insulting. He’s like that about the Irish too, at times. He basically says: hey blacks are stupid and corrupt and dangerous, avoid them at all costs, don’t even help a black person who’s in trouble, and if by slim chance there are any smart black people around, expect them to be getting their b*tts kissed on a regular basis, including by you, my dear child.
I think all the factual points he makes could have been made in a sober tone and he would have done well to emphasize that it is the BEHAVIOR of blacks, rather than their IQ points which causes problems in society.
And despite this author’s claim that Derbyshire doesn’t think about race he actually seems to have given it a great deal of thought although he seems incapable of seeing people as persons rather than as statistical blips.
We need to have more honesty about race, but I don’t see this piece as being any more helpful than the rantings of Sharpton, et al.
>>I highly recommend Mr. Derbyshires book We Are Doomed! Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism.<<
Own a copy :)
No one, especially not John Derbyshire said anything about IQ points being correlated to how good a person is. There are in fact, and have been throughout history, many smart, yet evil people in our world. (Have you never heard the term “evil genius?”) He is not insulting anyone, he is merely stating facts. So if you find the piece insulting, it’s a perception problem on your part.
It’s just like when someone says “women are, on average, physically weaker than men,” and some women react with outrage, as if someone just said something derogatory about them. It’s not a criticism, it’s just an observed fact, and it doesn’t make women less valuable in our society.
Hello everyone. I feel I have to share here.
This article disgusts me. It disgusts me because it is racist and bigoted and insinuates that black people somehow hold less value than other human beings. It disgusts me because it insinuates that I must be afraid of people because of the color of their skin. It disgusts me because...much of it is true. It makes me feel horrible that I have to live my life with the knowledge that I carry prejudice with me. It makes me feel horrible that I feel I must do so to protect myself and my family.
There are certainly things that are unfair and probably untrue in the article. There are mitigating factors, unmentioned variables, intellectually dishonest generalizations without a doubt. Yet, at the most basic level I cannot disagree. You see, I was brought up in liberal California in a multicultural environment, taught to value others equally (well, in actuality I was constantly encouraged to value other ethnic groups more than my own). I was TOLD (not taught) to look past labels and refrain from blanket generalizations. I grew up without a shred of racial prejudice, as pretty much every single friend I had was of a different race or ethnicity. I read about racism in books and never heard a white person use the "N" word until I saw the movie Mississippi Burning. I didn't UNDERSTAND racial prejudice. It was a completely foreign concept to me.
My best friend was black. When we were 15 he started to hang around people that looked more like him and less like me. Once in chemistry class I was being harassed by a group of 8 or so black students (throwing things at me, verbally insulting me, knocking my books to the floor). He was there. He didn't do it, but he was there. Well, one of them went too far and slapped the back of my head. I turned around and knocked him out with one punch (he was a lot smaller than I was). A small riot broke out, but I was escorted from the room and sent to the office. When I was walking home that day from school, an even larger group of black kids confronted me ans surrounded me. At their urging, my "best friend" - the boy who two months earlier had launched rockets with me in the abandoned field across from the park, the boy who had encouraged me to talk to my first girlfriend, who had spent countless hours with me shooting hoops in my front yard, who had played GI-Joe with me - walked up to me and punched me as hard as he could in my throat. As I lay on the ground gasping for air he and his friends took turns kicking me in the head, ribs, neck, back. They also spit on me and called me every racially charged epithet they could think of.
Since that time I have had a different perspective. That race does matter. It shouldn't, but it does. The only person to ever steal from me was black. The only person to pull a gun on me was black. The only person to assault my 5'1'', 105 lb. wife was black (she had the nerve to park in "her" parking spot). The only person to try and carjack my mother was black. As a waiter in college, I learned that black customers were far more likely to be abusive, rude and disorderly and would almost never leave a tip. As a young adult I learned that any common dispute with a black person could immediately turn into a physical confrontation even if no such confrontation was warranted. As a businessman I have learned that black customers are far more likely to cause disputes, complain about service and not pay their bills. As a husband of a teacher I have learned that black parents are far more likely to be incarcerated, less likely to care about their children's education, more likely to become physically confrontational with teachers and administrators. As a neighbor I have learned that black individuals are less likely to take care of their house, their pets and their children. As a citizen and taxpayer I have learned that blacks are far more likely to demand something for nothing and less likely to feel shame at relying on the system.
These aren't things that were instilled in me from others. This is my life experience. I don't want to be this way, and I actively try to give everyone a fair shake. I actively have to fight my first instincts and be fair to everyone. I do have black friends and none of them fit any of the above stereotypes. The thing that is crazy is that they have a lot of the same fears I do. I have children and, while I won't have "the talk," I will certainly prepare them to survive in the real world. They are still young and I don't know how I will teach them some of my life's lessons without making them blanket racists, but I will do my best. I can tell you I would rather have them be alive than naive and dead.
Does that make me a bad person?
Only if you have a low IQ. </sarcasm>
But seriously, we ALL learn from experience. And those stereotypes that people hate, they don’t start in a vacuum.
What some people deride as "stereotype", other people see as an observation of statistically-significant behavior in the described group.
BTW, John has written several articles in which he expresses his fear that, when it falls apart as all refusal to accept reality eventually does, the elite refusal to recognize the possibility of ethnic differences in average mental capability will do a 100% flip-flop to the opposite position of harsh ethnically-based racial discrimination.
This is not the position of someone who is happy about the fact of racial disparities and their implications.
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