Derbyshire says he was surprised by the outrage over his race article

My question whether John Derbyshire expected his article “The Talk: Nonblack Version” to set off such a firestorm and get him dismissed from National Review has finally been answered. He did not.

From an interview today with Chuck Rudd at the Daily Caller:

Asked by The Daily Caller if he saw this firestorm coming, Derbyshire tersely replied, “No.” He was caught by surprise, he said, when National Review editor Rich Lowry decided to sever the magazine’s ties with him. “I didn’t think they cared about my Takimag columns, which contain no references to National Review,” he told TheDC in an email exchange.

But his attitude towards National Review, he added, changed after Lowry decided to let him go. “I didn’t realize they were THAT race-whipped.”

Derbyshire seemed surprised by the public blowback. “I thought the piece was just common sense,” he told TheDC, “backed by facts established beyond the range of dispute.”

- end of initial entry -

Mark L. writes:

I read the Derbyshire article on Takimag and the subsequent interview linked at Gawker. I’m not a Darwinian; in fact, I’m one of those evangelical weirdos who really can say “some of my best friends are black.” Yet I find Derbyshire likeable and his candor refreshing. And let’s face it, he’s basically right about avoiding areas where blacks are in heavy concentration. A few years ago I took my family driving through Birmingham, Alabama, and wound up in an all-black area, and I simply had to get out. Thankfully we didn’t have to stop for gas.

But even though I acknowledge the reality of inborn characteristics, including IQ and other differences, I’m still bothered by Derbyshire’s biological determinism. He writes:

“For a thoughtful person today to believe that these social-engineering nostrums will (for example) bring black crime rates to a level indistinguishable from white crime rates, involves a strenuous act of what Orwell called ‘doublethink’—massive self-deception. Does anyone, after all those decades, all those trillions of dollars, all those failed social-engineering experiments, does anyone really, honestly still believe in the nostrums? I don’t.”

Isn’t the problem precisely the inverse of how Derbyshire frames it? All those social-engineering experiments occurred in the modern welfare state which denigrated the role of fathers in the black community and has turned fatherless households into the norm among blacks. So it’s not that blacks have failed despite the leftist experiments, but because of them. I know that black illegitimacy has always been higher than that of whites (at least in the West), but it was never as bad as it is now.

I’m quite persuaded that if a “social engineering experiment” were ever to be invented that was designed to strengthen the black family along traditionalist lines, if successfully implemented, a high percentage of the problems we currently face with black violence would simply disappear.

(This doesn’t touch on affirmative action, nor would it make me any more inclined to choose to undergo an operation by a black surgeon. But Derbyshire was touching on issues of violence, and I do believe the cultural element—fatherlessness—plays a larger role than does inborn characteristics like IQ.)

Andrew E. writes:

Reader Mark L. might be interested in this reference from the very beginning of Chapter 3 of Carleton Putnam’s 1967 booklet Race and Reality, where Putnam cites the F.B.I.’s Uniform Crime Report from 1963 (Ie. before the most of the left’s social programs were installed):

The American Negro on the average produced per capita eight times as many illegitimate children, six times as many feeble-minded adults, nine times as many robberies, seven times as many rapes and ten times as many murders as the White man.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 11, 2012 03:15 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):