John Derbyshire: Tumescent for Jim Crow

John Derbyshire is sure to avoid blacks he does not know personally. That means if you are not Thomas Sowell you cant be friends with him.

John Derbyshire, a reprehensible dude the National Review still employs as a writer wrote a pretty amazing (in a bad way) editorial for some website called Taki’s Magazine that I had never heard of. It’s tagline is “Cocktails, Countesses & Mental Caviar” whatever the fuck that means. Among a lengthy 15 point piece about how to avoid being robbed, beaten or murdered by black people are these recommendations:

(10) Thus, while always attentive to the particular qualities of individuals, on the many occasions where you have nothing to guide you but knowledge of those mean differences, use statistical common sense:

(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.

(10b) Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.

(10c) If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date (neglect of that one got me the closest I have ever gotten to death by gunshot).

(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.

(10e) If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.

(10f) Do not settle in a district or municipality run by black politicians.

(10g) Before voting for a black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.

(10h) Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.

(10i) If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving.

Mind you, this is all being written under the guise of things white folks ought to tell their kids about black people. In the context of the uproar of the fact that some character’s in the Hunger Games were black, evidently to the surprise of a number of idiotic readers of the books, a wonderful and thoughtful piece appeared in the New Yorker in which the man who began cataloging tweets of surprise, horror and anger about the fact that some characters in the Hunger Games movie were black (they had missed the fact that the book describes them as such) says the following:

“That tweet was very telling, in terms of a mentality that is probably very widespread,” says Adam, speaking softly from his office high above Toronto’s downtown financial district. He doesn’t sound angry, but he also isn’t amused. The phrases “some black girl” and “little blonde innocent girl” are ringing in my head as he talks, as are thoughts about how the heroes in our imaginations are white until proven otherwise, a variation on the principle of innocent until proven guilty that, for so many minorities, is routinely upended.

Adam tells me that, on the post featuring a screenshot of Alana’s tweet, he added, “Remember that word innocent? This is why Trayvon Martin is dead.” As he says it, I am thinking the same thing: of our culture’s association of whiteness with innocence, of a child described without an accompanying adjective, of a child rendered insignificant and therefore invisible because of his or her particular shade of skin. “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me,” explains the protagonist in another famous work of fiction, Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man,” which was published sixty years ago this month. “Invisible” can mean unseen, but just as often it speaks to others’ inability to see beyond something, or someone. The renaming of Rue as “some black girl” is a version of this, as is the pursuit and murder of the seventeen-year-old Martin, who, by some accounts, was shot dead by the self-professed neighborhood watchman of an Orlando-area community because all George Zimmerman could see was that he was young, male, and black.

That said, what Derbyshire essentially argues is that proximity to black people is dangerous and undesirable. He marginally attempts to avoid accusations of racism by treating this all as an exercise in statistical analysis, ie, more black folks are in prisons so black people must be more violent and prone to criminal behavior. This is a thin degree of separation away from ante-bellum attitudes and mindsets and almost comically resembles the narrative of that famous pro-KKK film Birth of a Nation (the first film ever screened at the White House that was praised by then president Woodrow Wilson).  If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s formally very good and historically significant if also thematically regressive and undoubtedly racist as fuck.

Anyway, Derbyshire actually makes the tone-deaf comment that those he calls IWSBs (Intelligent Well-Socialized Blacks) are “something of a luxury good like antique furniture or corporate jets” (really, he says this). I’m assuming the editor must have changed the language away from “field negros” and “house negros” but otherwise all the subtext is there. So, Black Americans are either dangerous creatures (especially in packs) or goods to be possessed like a Gucci handbag, original Matisse sketch or Dred fucking Scott. And, once again, this is in the context of him telling white parents out there things they ought to tell their white kids about black people. And some dumb fuck website decided to publish it. And the National Review continues to think Derbyshire is someone they ought to pay for his ideas. This shit is enough to make someone become a Kenyan Anti-Colonialist, amirite?


As I said to a friend, this shit is so regressive that it almost reads like something published in the Birmingham Times (not a real newspaper as far as I know) in 1845. Part of me thinks Derbyshire is essentially trolling for page views/dollar billz ya’ll because part of me also finds it hard to believe he could really, actually believe this drivel he is pushing right now. That said, perhaps my opinion of him (which is already low as  fuck) is still an overestimate of his shoddy, race-baiting/hustling utter lack of character.