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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Shorter John Derbyshire

If John Derbyshire had thought for a hundred years for a time to write The Talk: Nonblack version, he couldn't have chosen a worse one. With the country more racially divided than ever over the Trayvon Martin shooting/smear campaign/irrational rallying around George Zimmerman, both Derbyshire and the right wing rag that employs him, the National Review, thought it would be the perfect time to remind people of how much we've regressed rather than progressed.

Derbyshire, you might remember, last caused this big a stir by proposing two and a half years ago taking away from women the right to vote. It's pretty tough to top that level of wingnuttery but Derbyshire, in letting out his inner Kipling, somehow managed it.

What was overlooked at the time was his little sidebar on Alan Colmes's radio show in which he said that it may not be a bad idea to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on the grounds that the government “shouldn’t try to force people to be good.” And it's that little sidebar that provides us with a springboard in explicating Derbyshire's virulently racist and hideously researched article.

First, let's take a look at the lead picture (Click to expand it. I'll still be here pinching the bridge of my nose when you get back). Let's shorten each paragraph to the essence of what Derbyshire says.

Paragraph One: "I'm too lazy to type 'African American' so let's just go back to the nearly archaic term 'black.'"

Two: "They come from West Africa. Pay no attention to the fact they came in chains and largely against their will. They fucked some Indians. Ignore, also, the fact that many of their slave owners raped them."

Three: "You're North European and Asian only. The spics and redskins don't count."

Four: "Like it or not, blacks are considered citizens and have the same rights as you. But if they scare you, they're immediately rescinded (see Zimmerman, George)."

Five: "Believe it or not, they don't all tap dance, eat fried chicken, chit'lins and watermelon. But not one has ever won The Fields Medal for mathematics. Forget the fact only 13 Americans have ever won it and not one Caucasian American since 1998. So they're not as smart as you think."

Six: "Chances are you may actually have to meet your first black person before you're 16. Sorry. Law of averages and all that."

Seven: "Meeting blacks automatically segues into white safety, but ignore the fact the links I provide show a widespread bias against black students and lawmakers plus another making specious claims about people of color without links or source material."

Eight: "Blacks, for some reason, have a problem with this discrimination, so avoid them. You're better off with your own kind, anyway."

Nine: "About, oh, 5% will really hate you for the color of your skin. Alpha males lead the rest out of racial solidarity, which is inconsistent with the rest of human behavior."

Ten: "Since about, oh, 5% of blacks should be given a wide berth, play the law of averages and just stay away from as many of them as possible. Here's some more source data, in the form of an 11 year-old op-ed that could've been written by me."

Ten A: "Since they can't all be trusted, carefully vet every black if you get caught in a clump of them."

Ten B: "They have George Zimmermans, too. Trust me on this."

Ten C: "If going to a public place that may allow black people, check your weather report to see what the black barometer says. Consult your local racist. I almost witnessed a shooting once a quarter of a century ago. Trust me on this, too."

Ten D: "They clump like overcooked black beans. That's when they're the most dangerous."

Ten E: "They can magically materialize and multiply like krill or a crowd out of a Jerry Lewis movie. Beware."

Ten F: "If your Congressman is black, move. Luckily they have no senators. In the President's case, however..."

Ten G: "Black politicians are more corrupt than George W. Bush, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham or any white Republican in the Senate or House."

Ten H: "If you see a black bleeding by the side of the road, fuck 'em."

Ten I: "Be civil and don't piss them off. Keep moving if you haven't vetted them."

Eleven: "Five white people who aren't doctors said over 10 years ago that blacks are stupider. Someone said 'Life is an IQ test'."

Twelve: "You have Affirmative Action to thank for seeing so many blacks get ahead. Otherwise they'd be too dumb to advance beyond dishwasher or porter. You'd be better served by your own kind (see Republicans, white.). To show how much smarter I am, I'll throw ceteris paribus at you, tho most blacks just say, 'All things being equal'."

Thirteen: "Believe it or not, some are like us and can be trusted up to a point. Let's reduce them to an acronym such as IWSBs. You can use them to answer well-founded charges of racism with, "Some of my best friends are..."

Fourteen: (see Action, Affirmative.) Political correctness will force you to meet more of these decent blacks because, as I said, slumming with them makes you look progressive. Don't worry, there's enough to go around."

Fifteen: "Wait, scratch that. Quality blacks are scarcer than Brazilian hockey players. Don't be too jealous when you see them or you'll be accurately labeled a racist."

In response to this, uppity blacks and their strategically-placed white friends began calling for Derbyshire's ouster. This caused Slate to remind us yet again why it was such a huge mistake to hire Dave Weigel.

Weigel utterly does not get the point. After reminding us that Derbyshire can't be racist because he once lived in China and his wife once briefly appeared in a Bruce Lee movie (Yes, he actually said that), Weigel then writes,
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.

First off, Derbyshire "slings words" like a disinterested cook in a diner on Rt. 66 near Alamogordo, New Mexico slings hash. Secondly, Weigel misses the point by saying that some African Americans are hostile toward some whites because people such as Weigel and Derbyshire keep harping on racial and cultural differences that reduce them to ignorant stereotypes. Gee, why would they do that? All they tried to do was help keep them in their place and the rest of us safe from them.

The question now circulating all over the internet is, "Should Weigel and Derbyshire be fired from the places that employ them?" They, too, miss the point. The point is that both places supposedly have editorial gatekeeping, meaning both articles passed muster with at least one editor at each publication. Not only should these... writers, for want of a better word, be kicked out on their fat keisters, so should their editors for allowing the publication of this racist tripe that comes dangerously close to sounding like something out of The Onion or Stephen Colbert. And not only should Derbyshire be immediately given the Olbermann treatment, he shouldn't be allowed near his kids for filling their heads with such fact-starved bullshit.

Bye bye, John. Don't let the door hit your narrow, uptight, pasty white ass on the way out. Say hello to the 17th century for us.
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Blogger Bob said...

Blogger jurassicpork said...
My own kids are 19 and 17 and since they're obviously biracial, I warn them about white people. That's my right as a parent. My 19 year-old's band is planning a trip to Spain and they're all 20 or in their teens. My kid's the roadie and I'm already worried about them and trying to warn them of the pitfalls of international travel. After what happened in Sanford then Tulsa yesterday with those two maniacs, you'd be reckless not to have that talk with your kids if they're black or biracial.

Blogger Interrobang said...
Derb had to use ceteris paribus because it would have damn near killed him to use the word "equal" in that context.