Matthew knows that for years my least favorite writer at National Review Online has been John Derbyshire. He was my least favorite not just because of his outspoken atheism, but because of his smug utilitarianism. What I and many others found in his writing was that he often spoke of people as things or in terms of statistics. In a world without God, that is what we are reduced to, statistics. I have always been frustrated by Derb because I found his worldview to be completely un-Conservative and out of place at a magazine founded by William F. Buckley.
So it was that Matthew called me and told me that Derb had just gotten the boot at NRO. Why? You have to see for your self. And boy did I.
Rich Lowry in his post announcing the canning referring to a piece Derb had written at another site said “Derb has long danced around the line on these issues, but this column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation. It’s a free country, and Derb can write whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Just not in the pages of NR or NRO, or as someone associated with NR any longer.”
What issues? At first you will say to yourself “He got fired for this?” but keep reading. You’ll know. For those of you without the time, a few snippets.
(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.
(11) The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday situations. “Life is an IQ test.”
In reading it, I could not help but think that this is exactly what I never liked about Derb’s writing. The tendency to reduce people to statistics. In my view this is the direct result of a Godless world view. If people have no intrinsic value as individual persons endowed by their creator with certain unalienables, then they are merely statistics or worse.
While I am sure that Derb reviles the work of Stalin, Hitler, Mao et al, but it is this same line of thinking that leads to their solutions to these statistical problems.
It is noteworthy that Derb took so much time to link up “supporting” evidence for his, I don’t know even what to call it. I would say screed, but the detailed links show that this was no Mel Gibson like screed, but something much more deeply held, more cold and calculating. And it is so much the worse for it.
I am glad Derb got fired for it. But I can’t help wonder if he even understands what is wrong.