Tag Archives: National Review

Why Firing John Derbyshire Serves Racism

12 Apr

If you’re a frequent traveler in the blogosphere, you’ve probably read about the National Review’s canning of John Derbyshire, a frequent opinion writer in that conservative rag. The firing was over an article describing the racist advice he gives his white children.

I won’t get into all the gory details as you can see Derbyshire’s rant for yourself, but the low-lights include warnings against going into Black neighborhoods, and claiming that the mean (as in medium) intelligence of Black people is much lower than for whites.

This one time I will go against my own advice and say it is good anti-racist practice to be self-righteous and call him an a**hole for that b.s.

The National Review went one better and canned him. Editor Rich Lowry released a statement that described Derbyshire as “a deeply literate, funny, and incisive writer” before distancing the National Review from this so-called “deeply literate, funny” man’s racist ranting.

So, the a**hole had his say and the publication fired him. Should be good and done, right?

Well, no, because the National Review firing Derbyshire for overt racism casts light on one of the big challenges confounding racial justice advocates. That is the strategy of reducing racism to individual racist prejudice in order to make efforts to promote much more potent and damaging institutional racism appear like something other than racism.

Here’s the breakdown. The National Review was founded in 1955 as the main communications organ of the New Right. It was intended to marginalize the old, isolationist right and make way for a new, more effective conservatism – you know, the kind that has taken hold of our Congress right now?

They started out being pretty upfront in their racism, with founder William F. Buckley, Jr., basically coming out in 1957 and saying that even in places where Black people out-numbered white people, white supremacy should trump democracy because the more “advanced” race needs to be in charge.

The Review was also a mouth piece for Barry Goldwater whose presidential campaign became the template for the racist Southern Strategy to rebuild the GOP by rolling back civil rights. In the name of this strategy, the New Right eventually moved away, at least publicly, from overt racism, with the National Review in the lead.

But by the ’70s, they were attacking Affirmative Action with a two-fer strategy of using coded racism (like referring to Affirmative Action as “reverse discrimination,” and suggesting that its beneficiaries were less qualified than whites) to appeal to white resentment, while also fronting a love-sees-no-color politic that made those defending Affirmative Action look like anti-white racists supporting pro-people of color racial preference programs.

When a publication like National Review, one of the architects of this New Right Wing strategy, fires a racist writer for over-sharing, they’re just playing us. They claim outrage at the words, while promoting the sentiment behind them through the public policies they support. Public policies like William Buckley, Jr. was talking about in ’57 when arguing against voting rights for Black people.  Only now, they don’t come out and say they are keeping people of color in their place. They claim they are trying to prevent voter fraud by requiring photo I.D.

How To Recognize A Racist: A Note To The National Review

12 Apr

Surprise! The National Review is firing another writer for racism.

According to National Review editor Rich Lowry,

“Unbeknowst to us, occasional Phi Beta Cons contributor Robert Weissberg (whose book was published a few years ago by Transaction) participated in an American Renaissance conference where he delivered a noxious talk about the future of white nationalism. He will no longer be posting here. Thanks to those who brought it to our attention.”

The speech happened last month, and Lowry needed someone to bring this to his attention?  Sounds like the National Review needs a little lesson in recognizing racism.

So, here’s one way you know someone is a racist.

First, do a Google search of his name.  The heading of the first hit?  “Racist Prof Who Gave Blacks Low Grades.” No real story is attached to that hit so who knows what that’s really all about. But in a racism hunt, a hit like that ought to get you looking further.

Next, I went to that obscure compendium of knowledge called Wikipedia and found that Weissberg is the author of a book called Pernicious Tolerance: How Teaching to “Accept Differences” Undermines Civil Society, published in 2008.

The book description on Amazon opens with the following:

“Recent decades have seen a consistent effort by the American educational establishment to instruct schoolchildren about the importance of “appreciating differences,” all in the name of “tolerance,” so as to quell burgeoning “hate.” In Pernicious Tolerance, Robert Weissberg argues that educators’ endless obsession with homophobia, sexism, racism, and other alleged hateful disorders is part of a much larger ongoing radical ideological quest to transform America, by first capturing education.”

Of course, I’m not wasting my time going to the library for that particular tome, so maybe that’s not substantive enough evidence.

Back to Google.  A quick scroll down the page of hits took me to an article by Mr. Weissberg published in 2010 in Alternative RightThe article featured this cute little graphic:

Truth in Advertising

What’s written suggests that government is obsessed with imposing “‘diversity’ on a reluctant public” and describes diversity education as a “liver-and-cauliflower diet.” Don’t want to eat it? Government power will play “daddy” and “jam it down your throat!

If nothing else, I’m glad I’m not this man’s son.

Anyway, so this search for clues isn’t so hard, right?  Did I just say “hard right?” Sorry, Freudian slip.

But, I admit, these are mostly covert expressions of bigotry, and that’s National Review’s speciality, so maybe a little hard to recognize.

But then, wait a sec, didn’t National Review figure out the guy is a racist because of a speech he made at an American Renaissance (AR) conference?

I figured, a look at the AR website might yield something.

It turns out that Mr. Weissberg gave a major speech at AR’s 2000 conference.

According to the AR website, he spoke about how Jews have supported Black causes in spite of privately harboring fear and dislike of Black people. Only Israel, he argued, receives more support than Black causes like the NAACP, and Jewish support for Israel has contributed to what AR paraphrases as “an increase in sometimes violent Black anti-Semitism, and unceasing attacks on Jews by Black leaders.” 

The site further paraphrases the speech, writing, “Jews fear Black crime and violence, and loathe Black ineptitude and sloth. Jewish academics resent the price they pay for affirmative action and are repelled by the Afrocentric “scholars” who are now their colleagues. Jews are the first to move away when a neighborhood changes, and do not socialize or intermarry with Blacks.”

So why, according to Weissberg, do they continue to support Black causes?  Because they fear the anti-Semitism of white Gentiles even more.

However, he is paraphrased as saying, “Jews are increasingly disenchanted with both liberalism and neutered conservatism, and are increasingly open to racial appeals so long as they are free of anti-Semitism.”

Okay, here is a ginormous 12-year-old clue that the guy is a racist. He’s speaking of the attitudes of Jews, and Jewish academics in particular are mentioned. What is Robert Weissberg? A Jewish academic.

I’m not saying, as he apparently did, that Jews are generally racist. Quite the contrary. I’m suggesting he’s talking about himself. And his 2000 speech? Essentially a guide to getting Jews to respond to racial appeals.

So, I thought, these American Renaissance guys are a**holes. Gotta look into that. And you know what I found?

American Renaissance is an openly racialist magazine published by the New Century Foundation, a group that receives significant funding from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate group.”

That took me, a guy sitting at a laptop computer in a home office 25 minutes to find out. But I’m giving National Review a break. It’s gotta be tough for National Review, a publication founded by a man who in the 1950s went against civil rights because he believed that whites were the more advanced race, to hunt down a racist without trapping themselves.

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