Noah Millman on Derbyshire

Noah Millman of the American Conservative on the Derbyshire event:

 I wonder whether that’s advice Derbyshire wants to pass on to his son: if you see a man beating up a woman, don’t help, because he might turn on you and kill you. I agree that such advice will keep his son out of trouble. But, as the cabbie in the story says, “[a] lot of drivers don’t like to get involved, but I don’t mind being involved . . . If more drivers would get involved the streets might be a little be safer.” But to generalize to “don’t be a Good Samaritan to African-Americans in distress” is transparently unwarranted – unless, of course, one presumes there are no costs at all to maximizing one’s insulation from African-Americans, no costs to oneself and no costs to society worth entering into consideration. But of course, those costs are very substantial. A declaration, “don’t help such-and-such type of person if they are in distress” amounts to a kind of declaration of war against that group of people, a declaration that they are categorically beyond moral concern.

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