The talk

Elspeth Reeve at the Atlantic Wire gives a lot of background on John Derbyshire’s…erm…views on race.

Derbyshire doesn’t say that black people, especially women, are pathetically stupid people doomed to live on the dole (For a good example of that, check out the 1941 Looney Tunes cartoon Coal Black and the Sebben Dwarfs.) Instead, he says that the black women who work at the DMV are mean and stupid because they’re genetically destined to be so. From his recent essay:

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… There is a magnifying effect here, too, caused by affirmative action. In a pure meritocracy there would be very low proportions of blacks in cognitively demanding jobs. Because of affirmative action, the proportions are higher. In government work, they are very high… “The DMV lady“ is a statistical truth, not a myth.

Derbyshire does not call Obama a hustler who has hoodwinked gullible whites. Instead, when he implies Obama is a product of Affirmative Action, he presents it as a sendup of uppity liberals consumed by white guilt. On Obama’s background, November 5, 2008:

He was a red-diaper baby, offspring of a love-the-world, hate-America sixties gal and an African socialist in the Mugabe mould, raised by leftish grandparents addled with “Uncle Tim” racial guilt, and mentored by a hard-Left labor radical.

There’s a lot more.

And then underneath there’s a whole slew of racist comments.



  1. Brownian says

    And then underneath there’s a whole slew of racist comments.

    There always is.

    At the very least, they’re usually a few datapoints for the claim that white people don’t understand statistics all that well anyway.

  2. Kevin Anthoney says

    Talking of claims of “uppity liberals consumed with white guilt”, Brendan O’Neill’s opened his yap again:

    And now it is positively fashionable, bang on trend, for everyone from top American politicians to Ivy League students to wear a hoodie to show that they “care for Trayvon”. Yet far from being an indication of deep moral sensitivity, all this hoodie-wearing looks to me like a modern, PC version of “blacking up”, with the respectable classes pulling on the garb of black America in order to send a message about their own inherent goodness.

  3. Brownian says

    all this hoodie-wearing looks to me like a modern, PC version

    It’s fascinating how expressing the merest bit of sympathy for a child gunned down is echo chamberism, but tossing out stereotypes like you’ve raided Jeff Dunham’s career for cast-offs makes you brave and individualistic.

  4. says

    After reading the comments on Reeve’s piece, as well as swimming in the shitheelery that seems to ensue every time Brendan O’Neill touches a keyboard, I am sitting here, just shaking with rage. I don’t even like cigarettes, and I need a cigarette right now.

  5. says

    I know. He makes me really angry. Not the kind that’s partly fun, just the kind that’s fury at wanton open-eyed destructiveness. I wish everyone would fire him. The National Review fired Derbyshire, why can’t everyone fire stinking O’Neill?

  6. Lyanna says

    Why is Derbyshire being suddenly fired now? He’s been spewing this crap, and even worse, for YEARS. He ADMITS to being a racist (see Ta-Nehisi Coates on this).

    Rich Lowry gets the Captain Renault award for being shocked, shocked! that John Derbyshire is a blatant racist.

  7. says

    Elspeth Reeve writes, “Race-baiting is getting harder and harder to do while holding onto your job.” Is she kidding us? It’s harder and harder to do if you’re extremely frank about it. Couch it in pseudoscience borrowed from Rushton, spew horseshit about “states’ rights,” drop codewords about welfare and crime, and you can get a job at any “respectable” newspaper or TV station. (One of the worst of many, many examples: David Brooks, right after the Haiti earthquake.)

    I agree with PZ, and Lyanna above, that Derb shouldn’t have been fired. He’s not saying anything the rest of NR doesn’t say and hasn’t been saying since Buckley started the rag. He just doesn’t use dogwhistles.

  8. Ken Pidcock says

    Hey, I have to admire Rich Lowry’s cold-blooded dismissal. Imagine being at the receiving end.

    What’s especially despicable is Derbyshire’s implication that black Americans in positions of authority should be understood to be under-qualified. It’s not just that this is demonstrably false. It’s that it’s such a beloved fantasy of millions of American racists.

    I trust that we will not try to hide from the fact that Derbyshire is one of us. He’s defended atheism in the conservative realm, and he’s written some pretty incisive stuff about intelligent design creationism. Just a reminder, if any were needed, that assholes are everywhere.

  9. Hypatia's Daughter says

    IIRC, didn’t “The Bell Curve” claim that, while whites are intellectually superior to blacks, Orientals are intellectually superior to whites?
    Funny how racist (& sexist) turds always sweep parts like that under the carpet.


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