Monday, April 12, 2010

Rightist Now Means Racist, from Intellectual Top to Bottom

National Review's John Derbyshire tells black law students they are biologically inferior.

This is important politically because the National Review is often seen as the "reasonable" organ of the intellectual right, its writers and editors held in higher esteem, more capable of participation in pluralist discourse than, say, Glenn Beck or Michael Savage. And here is a leading writer and editor for NR throwing down a racialist gauntlet at a time when we are hurling condemnation at lowbrow conservatism like racist Tea Partiers and armed right-wing, white militias.

Derbyshire's position represents the position of the conservative intelligentsia. So, you have the intelligentsia of the movement preaching biologically determined racial hierarchy, and you have the conservative lumpen preparing to engage in racist violence, and you have a whole lot of righties in between denying the racism of their positions, denying their personal racism, while using code words and catering to white supremacists through their defenses of Confederate History celebrations and other coded rituals and rhetorics.

Will anyone step forward to articulate and defend a non-racist conservatism? I might think the Libertarians would be so inclined, but unless their iconic representatives (Bob Barr, Ron Paul, those guys) were willing to issue even stronger mea culpas repudiating their past associations--really explaining why they went there, and why they're no longer there--the moral credibility of such distancing will seem weak and opportunistic.

The right really does have a race problem. Which conservative politicians and commentators will risk the circular firing squad to denounce it?


Mark said...

Derbyshire's position represents the position of the conservative intelligentsia.

Derbyshire's position represents the position of John Derbyshire. There are many writers at National Review. One of them is John Derbyshire. The rest are not.

If one or two NR writers were pro-abortion - and there are a few who are - you could not plausibly argue that therefore the whole of the "conservative intelligentsia" were pro-abortion."

Yet if NR did fire them for moving too far to the left you would never forgive them for their intolerance.

I guess there's just no pleasing you.

Will anyone step forward to articulate and defend a non-racist conservatism?

Sorry, but it is the Democrats who are the party of the racial spoils system. Will anyone step forward to defend a non-racist leftism?

matt said...

So Mark, do you personally agree or disagree with Derbyshire's position?

Mark said...

What you or I or Robert Bellarmine think of John Derbyshire's argument has no effect on its truth value.

Now since I have answered your question, feel free to answer mine:

Do you believe in evolution? On what does evolution act? How do the effects of evolution propagate?

matt said...

In all friendliness: I am no more interested in answering your questions than you are in answering mine. Good luck to you.

Mark said...

Ah - of course.

Best not to engage in a debate you will surely lose, right? Better to preach to the already converted, and to ensure the deluded masses stay far away from faith-demoting influences.

That presumes one could call your blog's audience a "mass."

matt said...

Except you didn't really answer my question. And you seem unduly agitated. Again, I wish you the best. I have no desire to discuss evolution. I'm not running from anything. I'm actually eating a taco and watching cartoons. Have a great day!