It seems the National Review's John Derbyshire has caused quite a stir with a recent column he wrote for Taki’s Magazine, describing "the talk" he has given to his children about race. Chris Hayes and his panel discussed the column in the video above and here's how Hayes opened up the segment:
HAYES: In the wake of Trayvon Martin's death at the hand of George Zimmerman, plenty of black journalists who are also parents have written extensively of the advice they've given to their sons about dealing with the police so as to avoid a misunderstanding that might leave them dead. And what we've learned from Zimmerman is sometimes that talk doesn't even have to be about a police officer.
National Review writer John Derbyshire has written a piece for Taki's Magazine [...] about the talk he's had with his two teenagers, white teenagers, non-black teenagers I should say, to deal with black people. I'm going to read you some of the things he says. He tells them:
(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.
It is one of the most sort of avowedly racist things I've seen in a long time. Derbyshire has a reputation for being [...] an avowed racist. He is a white supremacist. He thinks white people are superior to black people and he writes about that in the piece and all this I.Q. craziness. What is really interesting is that he is a contributor to The National Review and one of the things that happens when you have conversations about race is that the right feels that it is unfairly called racist all the time, that it is constantly being singled out and that liberals use the race card and accusations of racism way to liberally and it's unfair.
And I think the response that I tend to have is you have people in your coalition, if you look at where are the racists in America, which coalition are they part of? They're part of your coalition.
As Hayes pointed out, it's up to those like the National Review to decide whether they want to align themselves with the likes of Derbyshire or not, and it's up to them to police those boundaries. Hayes followed up with some interesting discussion with his panel of Van Jones, Joan Walsh, Ann Friedman and Josh Barro, who as Hayes pointed out, wrote about the right's problem with race even before this latest screed by Derbyshire was published.
Our own John Amato wrote about Derbyshire way back in 2007 and you can read more about that here and here. And Think Progress has more on his background here:- Derbyshire In 2003: I’m A Proud ‘Racist’ and here: In 2009, Derbyshire Argued Women Shouldn’t Vote: ‘Women Voting Is Bad For Conservatism’.
And from Think Progress as well, here's more on Derbyshire's latest: National Review Writer Pens Racist Screed: ‘Avoid Concentrations Of Blacks,’ ‘Stay Out Of’ Their Neighborhoods:
Popular conservative columnist and National Review writer John Derbyshire topped all of his previous racist screeds (and sexist rants) today by posting a long breakdown of all of the important lessons he has taught his children about race — and he’s outdone his own racism with this one.
Derbyshire wrote the column in the second person, as a list of lessons to his kids about race. The lessons are his response to “the talk” that black parents have with their children — conversations they are forced to have because of real, persistent racism. After spending a few minutes bemoaning that he can’t say a racist slur (“What you must call ‘the ‘N’ word’ is used freely among blacks but is taboo to nonblacks”) and opining on the hostility he believes all black people feel toward white people like himself (though he says he isn’t white before calling himself white several times), he cuts to the heart of his lessons for his children:
Noah Smith has preserved the entire column here in case Taki's Magazine should decide to take it down after all of the attention it's received: John Derbyshire's racist rant, preserved in full.
UPDATE: It appears this latest from Derbyshire was finally enough that the National Review doesn't want to associate themselves with him any longer. He's been fired and you can read Rich Lowry's comments on that here: Parting Ways.
And here's David Adkins' post on this whole dust up over at Digby's place: Derbyshire is conservatism incarnate:
John Derbyshire has received a swarm of very justified righteous anger over his latest horrifically racist piece. A significant number of conservatives have condemned him, even demanding that he be fired from the National Review over it. Derbyshire, they argue, doesn't reflect mainstream conservative values.
But that's simply not true. He does represent conservatism. All one need do is go to any random comments section in any major media outlet to discover it.John Derbyshire has received a swarm of very justified righteous anger over his latest horrifically racist piece. A significant number of conservatives have condemned him, even demanding that he be fired from the National Review over it. Derbyshire, they argue, doesn't reflect mainstream conservative values.
But that's simply not true. He does represent conservatism. All one need do is go to any random comments section in any major media outlet to discover it. [...]
My own home paper the Ventura County Star has simply stopped allowing comments entirely on news stories with racial overtones because the overt racism has been impossible for them to control any other way.
Far from being outside the norm, this is what a very large portion of America is made of. That's what conservatism is made of. It's rampant, extremely commonplace, and by far the biggest driver of conservative attitudes in America.
And on Lowry's statement after firing Derbyshire:
Lowry couldn't even bring himself to say the word "racist.," largely because he knows what a backlash that would entail from his deeply racist audience. What a coward.