White supremacists are rallying to John Derbyshire's side, but not without reservations. Derbyshire was fired from the National Review this weekend for writing a racist essay in another magazine, after years of defining exactly how racist a writer could be and still get published in a prestigious magazine. Perhaps Derbyshire was surprised by his dismissal, given that the National Review has recently published Victor Davis Hanson wondering why Trayvon Marton could use the N-word freely but George Zimmerman was attacked for allegedly saying "coon," Jonah Goldberg writing that prominent black leaders couldn't understand the lives of regular black folks as well as he could, and Heather Mac Donald statistically proving that white racism is no longer a problem because hardly any white people murder black people any more. But the folks at American Renaissance, a white supremacist magazine, are not surprised Derbyshire is out the door. The truth -- racists' idea of the truth, that is -- is dangerous, they say. We are glad that on this tiny point -- writing really racist stuff will cost you your job -- they are right.
Derbyshire's essay was an imaginary talk with his children about the dangers of large groups of black people, the intellectual and cultural inferiority of blacks, black people's hatred of whites, and the public relations benefits of having one smart black friend. American Renaissance's Jared Taylor writes that Derbyshire "committed the usual crime of pointing out something that is not only true but that everyone knows to be true." There is a terrible double standard, Taylor says, because it's OK to say bad things about whites but not about blacks. (Taylor quotes someone "demanding 'the abolition of the white race,'" but provides no link or citation for who said it.) "What people like John Derbyshire say is different. He must be fired, silenced, and disgraced because everyone—from the mooncalves at Huffington Post to the 'conservatives' at National Review—lives by the very rules Mr. Derbyshire put into print… There is nothing cowards and hypocrites hate more than brave men who live by their convictions."
Most American Renaissance commenters support Derbyshire. While he might not be a white supremacist, he is a "race realist" (a term we learned researching this post, along with "ethnomasochism" and "Holder's people," a term, it seems, for black people and a reference to Attorney General Eric Holder, who is black.) "There is no way Derbyshire published these absolute but forbidden truths about black crime rates and the mandate for whites to take precautions without knowing what the repercussion would be," writes one commenter. Another smells conspiracy: "Maybe these "conservative magazines" are set up by the enemy in the first place? They really are not conservatives to begin with."
Even so, Derbyshire does not make the perfect victim of liberal anti-white demagoguery. For one thing, his wife is Chinese. For another, some of his recommendations are problematic. No, not Derbyshire's advice to his kids that that they should avoid large groups of blacks, or that they should expect black people to be genetically inferior. No, the problem is that he suggested his kids make friends with smart black people to inoculate themselves against charges of racism.
On this point, commenter Whiteyyyyy complains, "That is where he lost some credibility with me, I know he has to cover his back but the have some token blacks to improve your status bit. THATS 90 percent of the problem right there, thats the clever thinking that keeps the whole race spoils war going." Others share this concern. "He talks about having friends with the 'good' blacks (no such thing) for 'Public Relations benefits.' Oh to hell with that. Did he also tell them to have sex with asians for good PR?" commenter Hunter Morrow complains. "Hey kids! Play with matches and have kickball games in the middle of the road! Oh, and hang out with 'good' blacks for positive press!... He is the definition of gatekeeper/controlled opposition/manufactured dissent." Commenter Anon12 agrees, "Sounds more like pandering and "helping" his career, to me. To h...with that nonsense! That is counter-productive, to say the least."
As for Derbsyhire's Chinese wife, commenters have mixed feelings about whether this disqualifies him as an ally. Wayne Lo, an apparent troll, called Derbyshire a hypocrite for his marriage to a non-white person. "Utter nonsense," Blaak Obongo responds. "There are some (certainly not all) White nationalists who believe that interbreeding with Orientals is acceptable, at least on a limited basis." And Celestial Time adds, "Asian communities and people are not hostile to White communities at anywhere near the level that blacks are." FInnland gets into the details: "Some white advocates are OK with asian women because they are intelligent, reasonably attractive and carry a work ethic. If we had to do with alien races, importing asian WOMEN would be the smallest evil as women do not have the aggressive drive to dominate that men have, but they have a reasonably similar skill set." Still, Fakeemail allows, "I will say that you have a point regarding Derbyshire's hypocrisy in regards to his interracial marriage. But an individual's personal life and the macro truth are not always the same thing."
Another point of contention: Derbyshire's assertion that "around half" of all black people will go along with extremist anti-white views. It's way more than that Celestial Time says: "Where are all of these black people? ... Mr. Derbyshire is being far too generous in saying half would passively accept the 'Kill Whitey' approach. I've lived around black people a good portion of my life, and I think that "half" is easily more like 90%."
Over at FreeRepublic.com, a conservative message board not dedicated to racist causes, many approve of Derbyshire's essay. "I read the Derbyshire article. It was honest. The Kenyan lizard’s pimp pimp Holder would be impressed. NR is worthless and weak," poster y6162 writes. "America is a failed state. We will never get over the issue of slavery. Blacks bring it up for cash and power and Whites accept it," mourns poster NoLibZone." A long personal comment came from heartwood, who confessed:
"I gave a curtailed version of that talk to my daughter when she went off to college in Baltimore… She cut me off; she thought I was racist, but a few months of the local news and older students’ stories showed her that I was on the mark, and she is properly cautious.
I added that she should keep her long hair tied up and not “flip” it.
I didn’t say anything about acquiring a well-spoken black friend as a shield against accusations of racism; that IS wrong.
I do not want my sweet, loving, unprejudiced daughter injured or raped or killed because she is naive about the racial realities of big city crime, or for her to suppress her survival instincts and common sense for fear of being “racist.”
Others are happy Derbyshire said blacks were intellectualy inferior; another writes of "a white tourist in downtown Baltimore being assaulted, stripped, and robbed by a gang of Holder's people." (Again, "Holder's people" apparently means black people, unless we are missing some nuance.) But Derbyshire shocked some Freepers. Poster jocon307 writes, "I think the biggest problem I have is with the admonition to not help black people who are in distress. … [O]f course one should use discretion about helping people (look at what those white people did to that white schoolteacher in VT), but I don’t think you should tell your children to never help a black person." As for blacks' supposed intellectual inferiority, "low IQ does not make someone a bad person."
The now-unemployed Derbyshire is now soliciting donations on his website. "I live entirely, and somewhat precariously, by the pen, and am shameless about accepting donations," he wrote. But not all his "race realist" allies agree with that either. It seems to violate some other conservative principles of American Renaissance commenter Anon12:
Doesn't his wife and kids work to help him out? He has had cancer for quite awhile hasn't he? His kids are teenagers or in college, I think. A lot of people cannot work due to cancer, other disabilities, etc. No one thinks of donating to them. I imagine JD has some money set aside or has investments or stocks or something, I would think after all these years. We all need to have something set aside for a rainy day, we never know when we will lose our job due to illness or being fired. It is happening to millions of people as we speak and who also have lost their homes too boot.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.