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Well, When You Say It Like That…


Holbo is making sense:

Ponnuru and Goldberg have tweeted against him. I would be curious to hear them explain why they think this is over the line, not just that it is. To me, it looks to me like an assemblage of points, all of which are, by general and specifically Derbish precedent, accepted as mainstream conservative discourse. Admittedly, put them together and they look bad. Yes, I can see that now. (Did they never notice that the Derb thinks these things before now?)

Yes, had someone put these kind of points in a 600 page book with the trappings of science and some pro forma qualifications that of course individuals should not be judged by the white supremacist group stereotypes that are totally true — let’s call this hypothetical author “Mharles Curray” — then the NRO would still be treating him as a sage worth of consideration, as would the “respectable” conservatives on the NYT op-ed page. What makes the Derb’s latest especially sickening is that there’s nothing in it that’s new either to him or to American conservatism (as the fact that he was working for the pre-eminent conservative opinion journal at the time he once again expressed these sentiments should make clear.)

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  • c u n d gulag

    Well, to his credit, Derb did leave out that “they” make fine athlete’s, singers, and dancers, can shine a shoe to a mirror polish, and carry bags at the train station almost as well as any white man.

    Oh, and the “house” ones can be useful when you’ve finally got them trained properly – but neither you nor your family should ever, ever, trust a field Niggrah.

    • Mufuletta

      …but neither you nor your family should ever, ever, trust a field Niggrah.

      1)I don’t like your racist language. You don’t have some kind of license to use those terms while condemning others.

      2)Also, I was outraged by all of this when I first read it here, but the truth is that even the liberal MSM such as NYT don’t share your outrage. They don’t seem to paint half the country with the broad brush.

      It seems that only on blogs like this is the whole world responsible for this one individual. Only here are heads spinning around and spewing green puke.

      • c u n d gulag

        “…even the liberal MSM such as NYT …”


        Are you doing another gig at the club this evening? I’ll have to tell my friends. You’re funny!!!

  • mark f

    Jonah’s line seems to be that since it was published elsewhere his mild denunciation should be sufficient. I doubt he’ll ever respond substantively (or at all, but a “Yawn.” wouldn’t surprise me), which is too bad because he thinks Charles Murray is about the smartest and most honest person alive.

    Researching his Twitter feed I did find two amazing pieces of hubris: (1) Jonah Goldberg lecturing Jon Chait on how to do academic research, and (2) is even better:

    I suspect this [The Hill writer’s] employment is based on factors not related to talent

  • DocAmazing

    Let’s see: a guy named Derbyshire writes a baldly white-supremacist piece, and two guys named Ponnuru and Goldberg have mild objections.

    In other news, chickens are pleased that the Colonel now uses the initials “KFC” instead of that other, more offensive name.

    • DrDick

      I think their objections are more in terms of his being too explicit, since their embrace of Charles Murray’s racist horseshit shows they share those same beliefs.

  • kth

    What Holbo said, especially as the likely impetus for the Derbyshire ‘satire’–annoyance at the Trayvon Martin coverage and the discussions spawned therefrom–permeates nearly every comment on the incident made by a conservative pundit.

  • joe from Lowell

    Derbyshire is being denounced for being “dumb enough to get caught.” The conservative program to advance racism has had to go underground, and dress itself up as non-racist, even anti-racist. It is important for them to be able to maintain some plausible deniability, such as finding the two black, Republican county commissioners in America and seating them on the stage at the Republican National Convention every four years.

    To his NRO colleagues, Derbyshire let the cat out of the bag.

  • Rarely Posts

    This piece really is the equivalent of a Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift (in terms of being over-the-top), except it’s not meant as a parody.

    I have to admit that Derb’s essay really did open my eyes. I am aware of racism, both conscious and subconscious. I understand, on an intellectual level, how racism and ethnic discrimination feed into modern American conservatism. But, I had begun to think that modern conservatives were incapable of being consciously this racist.

    I imagined that their unconscious racist thoughts were strongly prevalent, and that they had some consciously racist views, but I honestly couldn’t really imagine one of them consciously holding this much racism in their head at once without realizing how it’s vile bullsh*t. If anyone had written this piece as parody, I would have been dismissive of it as too over-the-top and foolish. But, he put it all on paper. And, it makes me wonder if I’ve been giving the conservatives at National Review way too much credit all this time.

    • R Johnston

      If you’ve been giving the conservatives at National Review any credit at all then you’ve been giving them way too much credit.

  • Pith Helmet

    The sad part of this is that, even if Derbyshire gets fired at NR, he’ll still have a lifetime of wingnut employment ahead of him somewhere, and there’s always stormfront, or a KKK gig.

  • dl

    Rare that a RedState post agrees with a LGM/Lemieux post:


    Though the first four commenters quickly jump on the post’s author, and defend Derb.

    Also, the poster has this unitentionally amusing response to the Derb-defenders:

    “People who don’t get that racism qua racism is wrong aren’t welcome at RedState, which has been policy since it’s inception in 2004. ”

    But racism qua other things is OK!

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      Dog whistles were once what separated the slightly more clever white supremacists from the total mouthbreathers.

      Now all white supremacists are expected to employ them.

      This is what counts as progress on the American right.

      • DrDick

        It is all about plausible deniability.

  • FMguru

    Dave Weigel took to the pages of (where else?) Slate to defend Derb against his baying critics, which just goes to show that there really is no such thing as a Reasonable Conservative – they are all monsters with differing skills in how well they hide it.

    Susan has the gory details.

    • DrDick

      You ever had any doubts about the duplicity of the “Reasonable Conservative” pose?

    • Scott Lemieux

      I don’t agree with Susan’s reading; I don’t think Weigel was defending Derbyshire at all.

      • I don’t think he was defending Derbyshire, I think he was downplaying Derbyshire’s actions by saying “If someone wants to publish this, someone should.” And that the problem with the post was it “doesn’t have any new science or research in it.”

        He also says ” The alleged value of Derbyshire-style analysis of race is that it’s honest about human differences. You’re explaining the thin-slice bias of the basketball coach who’d rather put a tall black kid on his team than a shorter white kid, something like that.” Only Derbyshire is usually saying Black people are stupider than white people, on the whole, not that tall black kids will be picked for basketball before short white kids..

        He did call Derbyshire and his article racist, so I don’t think he’s defending the racism, just mitigating Derbyshire’s actions.

        • heckblazer

          From my reading Wiegel alleges the value of publishing Derbyshire is that it gives us a view into what lots of racist white conservatives actually think without having do wade through ALL CAPS, exclamation points!!!!!, misspelingz, and badly grammar.

  • Stop doing this!

    It’s like you are more interested in scoring points against the right, than making this a more tolerable country for black people to live in.

    If Derbyshire’s stuff is treated as the vicious, vile, racist spew it is, that is a Win for humanity Even if the people so treating it are nasty hypocrites.

    • djw

      Accepting the condition that racist discourse is perfectly acceptable, tolerable, and mainstream as long as its wearing a thin veil may not always be the best path toward “making this a more tolerable country for black people to live in” either. At the end of the day it’s a good that there’s been a negative reaction to this, and I hope he gets fired, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t also value to pointing out how little daylight there is between Derbyshire and Perfectly Respectable Serious Discourse on race on the right.

  • Incontinentia Buttocks
  • LosGatosCA

    He simply forgot Lee Atwater’s guidelines:
    “You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

    Well, everyone makes a mistake once in a while.

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