John Derbyshire's Advice for White People

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 6 2012 7:10 PM

John Derbyshire's Advice for White People

If a simmering racial controversy simmers long enough, the likelihood of someone using it to justify racism rises dramatically. We're a month into the Trayvon Martin story, which makes it time for John Derbyshire to weigh in with a column about the frightening qualities of black people in groups. Example:

A small cohort of blacks—in my experience, around five percent—is ferociously hostile to whites and will go to great lengths to inconvenience or harm us. A much larger cohort of blacks—around half—will go along passively if the five percent take leadership in some event. They will do this out of racial solidarity, the natural willingness of most human beings to be led, and a vague feeling that whites have it coming.
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The column appears at Taki's Magazine, the latest of Greek magnate Taki Theodoracopulos's many conservative opinion sites. (Theodoracopulos helped found the American Conservative, which has eased up on the race stuff since he and Pat Buchanan left it.) The column is more controversial than the site's usual output because of the framing: Derbyshire is dispensing advice that he has given his own children. (It shouldn't be relevant, but for record-keeping purposes: Derbyshire's wife is Chinese. He lived in China for a while and has a cameo in Enter the Dragon. I am serious.)

There's a sort of micro-movement building to shame National Review into firing Derbyshire. Why would they? Derbyshire is saying something that many people believe but few people with word-slinging abilities know how to say: There are differences between the races, and whites should watch out for blacks. One popular Internet hobby of the moment is grabbing dumb blog comments or tweets and assembling them like a Pinterest page, to show what racists think. Derbyshire isn't stupid and he isn't being caught out. If someone wants to publish this, someone should.

All that said, I don't think I've taken much of this column's advice.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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