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John Derbyshire Fired By National Review

In a not entirely surprising development, John Derbyshire has been fired by National Review in the wake of his racist rant from yesterday:

Anyone who has read Derb in our pages knows he’s a deeply literate, funny, and incisive writer.

(…)

His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically  incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways. 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.

It was the right decision, of course.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. legion says:

    Wow. I’m actually impressed. Good job, NR.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  2. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    It’ll be mighty uncomfortable for Lowry & Co. as the archives are culled for Derb’s work and the truth gets out he’s been writing stuff just as vile FOR YEARS.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

  3. calder says:

    Tells you something about NRO that it wouldn’t allow comments on the Derb postings.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  4. calder says:

    @calder:

    I mean the Rich Lowry’s posts regarding the current Derb affair.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  5. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @calder: Indeed.

    I wonder if this will be the moment when a few conservative columnists reassess their lives after they get a face-to-slimy face look at who reads their stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  6. Ron Beasley says:

    His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible.

    Key word politically incorrect. Nothing there he hasn’t said before. He just put it all down in one place without the PC filter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  7. Ron Beasley says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy: Chances of that approach zero.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  8. Unsuprising says:

    Derb was a RINO, so it is unsurprising to find out that he plays the race card like sharpton

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 30

  9. Bennett says:

    And RedState is ATM banning people who support Derb’s arguments. Didn’t see that coming.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  10. Liberty60 says:

    Dr Frankenstien, allow me to introduce you to your monster.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  11. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @Ron Beasley: You’re most likely correct, but I’m seeing tweets from conservatives referencing the awful comments they’re reading, which is new.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  12. bluespapa says:

    Lowry is following a standard business model that is bereft of any real principle. He excuses himself from responsibility as the publisher because, after all, “Derb” can write whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Lowry pretends the “screed” is itself “a letter of resignation,” but it was Lowry’s choice to publish it, and he held off on recognizing it as such until the public fallout became unmistakable, rushing first to claim, well, you don’t think we agree him here, do you?

    Since NR and NRO purport to be representative of a set of views, and not simply a place where any old sensational article is published to sell advertising, yes, we do believe Lowry and the gang pretty much agree with Derb’s principles, including his reprehensible racism.

    We also see the parting for what it is: Lowry covering his exposed behind in the face of foolishly unanticipated public backlash. It’s not like the discovery that Derbyshire perpetrated some sort of reporting fraud. Lowry would have us believe this “parting” is the publication taking the moral high ground instead the spineless quick fix for the moral low ground NR and NRO occupies for the reprehensible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  13. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @bluespapa: Actually, the piece was published in a further-right blog; Taki, I think it’s called.

    Lowry’s firing was purely “He’s hurting the brand.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  14. jukeboxgrad says:

    calder:

    Tells you something about NRO that it wouldn’t allow comments on the Derb postings.

    Exactly. This is an important point that is mostly unnoticed, and quite telling.

    Lowry’s 50 most recent posts can be seen here. I looked at every one of the other 48. This is how many of those were not opened for comments: zero. So why are these two most recent ones not open for comments? I think Lowry knows what many or most of his readers think about this, and he doesn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of hearing them say it publicly. What a coward.

    Yes, this deliberate act on Lowry’s part (to try to conceal the reality of his racist readers) definitely “tells you something about NRO.”

    gold:

    It’ll be mighty uncomfortable for Lowry & Co. as the archives are culled for Derb’s work and the truth gets out he’s been writing stuff just as vile FOR YEARS.

    Yes. But it’s not just that Derbyshire has a racist history. It’s that NR does too, as I pointed out in the other thread. So it’s no surprise that they’ve been happy together for so long, since they’re birds of a feather.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  15. Michelle says:

    @Bennett: There’s always good old Jeff Goldstein left to help hold up the racism:

    At any rate, Derbyshire should be commended for broaching the subject, even if you wish to condemn him for the opinions he draws from the data. And of course, all the typical caveats exist — anecdotes aren’t data, etc., — just as what is also true is that Derbyshire was writing an article, not a dissertation or monograph or scholarly journal piece.
    If we are really interested in “having the conversation,” we need to have somebody who is willing to start it. Derbyshire did. And the reaction has been to denounce it or run from it.
    That speaks to where we are as a society.
    ****
    update: As does this. We aren’t “losing more slowly.” We’ve lost.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  16. Hey Norm says:

    That’s one. There’s a huge party left.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  17. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    Between Breitbart, Rush and now Derb, this has not been a good year for the RW media.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  18. Liberty60 says:

    Wm. F Buckley himself was pretty vile when it came to race relations, as recently as the mid 70’s.

    No surprise that his legacy would follow the same path.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  19. jukeboxgrad says:

    Wm. F Buckley himself was pretty vile when it came to race relations, as recently as the mid 70′s.

    I posted some details about that. His racism manifested itself more recently (that is, when he was interviewed in 1989).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  20. Ron Beasley says:

    @jukeboxgrad: I think Michael Reynolds nailed it in the other post.

    Second, by definition, conservatives favor power structures that already exist, and since power has been held by whites since this country was founded, conservatives almost automatically oppose anything that changes the status quo.

    It’s always about tribal power and the need to have someone below you. Until the 60s even the poverty stricken whites in the south had the blacks below them. “The other” was suddenly equal and the world was turned upside down. The Republican’s Southern Strategy took advantage of this.
    As for Derbyshire – in addition to being smart he is also insecure on many levels. Not uncommon. Being English it may have been a reaction to the dissolution of the British class system starting after WWI and nearly complete after WWII – a change to the status quo and the status quo offers some level of security to those at all levels.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  21. Buffalo Rude says:

    The National Review fired teh Derb because he de-stilled every dog-whistle/covertly-bigoted thought espoused for decades by said magazine and the conservative movement writ large into a single column with numbered arguments clearly outlining the ignorant prejudice of the right wing. More importantly, he demonstrated that Republicans can’t/won’t win a national election without the support of white supremacists.

    Nice party ya got there, James and Doug.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  22. jukeboxgrad says:

    ron:

    It’s always about tribal power and the need to have someone below you. Until the 60s even the poverty stricken whites in the south had the blacks below them.

    This is an important point. It explains a lot.

    I can’t remember where I saw it, but an interesting study was done that showed people are much less anxious about being poor, even if they’re quite poor, as long as they believe that someone else is even poorer. This has a lot to do with what you’re talking about.

    This is also related to what Robert H. Frank has explained about how wealth is positional, not absolute. “When asked whether they’d rather have a 4,000-square-foot house in a neighborhood of 6,000-square-foot McMansions, or a 3,000-square-foot home in a zone of 2,000-square-foot bungalows, most people opt to lord it over their neighbors.” Link. This impulse “to lord it over their neighbors” is exactly what you mentioned: “the need to have someone below you.”

    The problem with blacks being free, powerful and respected is that they become unavailable to satisfy that need. Therefore it’s important to diminish them, and that’s the attitude reflected by the Derbyshires of the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  23. Nikki says:

    Gun shortages throughout the US because nutcases believe the President’s re-election will bring about the end of the 2nd Amendment. Five black men in Tulsa, OK, hanging around outdoors for varied reasons and in varied locations, are shot; three of them are dead. Commenters at various rightwing sites rage about the coming race war. All that is old is made new.

    I’m actually grateful to Derb for so eagerly doing his part to peel back that bandage and let the corruption flow freely…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  24. Nick says:

    Lowry claims Derbyshire’s article was “nasty and indefensible” and “outlandish”.

    It would be instructive if Mr. Lowry would explain what made which comments nasty and indefensible and outlandish. h/t Digby.

    As noted above, it’s telling that NRO didn’t allow comments here. And is it true that even Red State is deleting pro-Derbyshire comments? Freedom of speech, bitchez!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  25. al-Ameda says:

    Vaya KKKon Dios, John.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  26. DRS says:

    Derbyshire’s problem was timing.

    The Right was getting all set to do a national “Obama is the real racist” line based on his comments about Trayvon Martin’s killing which coincides with Romney’s weak-ass securing of the Republican nomination. You know, the official candidate of Team Red is looking a little wobbly there, after annoying the hell out of the women, the Hispanics, the gays – not that Republicans care but they know that angry people are voting people and they’d better get the culture war started up again.

    And then Derbyshire whips out his dick and takes a public whizz against the whole self-righteous edifice, leaving unsightly stains streaking the marble.

    He had to go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  27. DRS says:

    Clarification: Team Red annoyed the women/gays/Hispanics; Romney simply annoyed Team Red.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  28. Paul Howard Kotik says:

    Nothing that Derbyshire wrote in the article that got him fired is untrue.

    The statistics-based rules for living he described are the ones all the National Review staff living in urban areas have lived their lives by. They are the rules that all white Americans live by, to the extent that they are able to.

    Excepting, of course, fools, masochists, and self-immolating political activists.

    National Review has disgraced itself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

  29. legion says:

    @Paul Howard Kotik: Then leave. Pack your racist bags, join Derb on his parents’ couch, and f*uck off out of this place. Thick-skulled troglodytes like you tend to say things like “we want our country back”. Well let me tell you something: I _am_ America. And we’ve decided we don’t want you. Get out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  30. An Interested Party says:

    Nothing that Derbyshire wrote in the article that got him fired is untrue.

    Someone else crawled out from under his rock to join the Derbyshire Amen Corner, I see…it makes me wonder exactly how many white people are afraid of everyone else who isn’t white and what are these white people going to do when their ethnic group is no longer the majority in this country…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  31. Ron Beasley says:

    @jukeboxgrad: There was a study showing this even applies to squirrels. They try to build bigger nets than the other squirrels. Perhaps it’s deeper in the genes than we might like to admit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  32. george says:

    The statistics-based rules for living he described are the ones all the National Review staff living in urban areas have lived their lives by. They are the rules that all white Americans live by, to the extent that they are able to.

    So, what’s it like to walk around in perpetual fear?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  33. legion says:

    @george:

    So, what’s it like to walk around in perpetual fear?

    Ask a Republican.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  34. Tyshunn Felton says:

    @Paul Howard Kotik: Ok, now take what Derbyshire said and apply it to white rural Mississippi. Do you see the problem now?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  35. Tim says:

    Ask the man in Baltimore if Derbyshire was right. Do your research.

    Funny, can Democrats win any election without the help of Sharpton and Jackson and the New Black Panther Party?

    Funny, only African-Americans vote 95% for one party. Is their any other group in America, race or religion, that votes 95% for anything?

    As your liberal bumper sticker that defaces the American Flag says….Think!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  36. An Interested Party says:

    Ask the man in Baltimore if Derbyshire was right.

    Umm, if someone was a racist like Derbyshire, that person probably wouldn’t be living in Baltimore…

    Funny, can Democrats win any election without the help of Sharpton and Jackson and the New Black Panther Party?

    Oh absolutely…can Republicans win elections without the help of voter ID laws meant to attack bogus phantom voter fraud problems or homophobic voter propositions?

    Funny, only African-Americans vote 95% for one party. Is their any other group in America, race or religion, that votes 95% for anything?

    Oh, do share with us why you think that is the case…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2