Beyond Derbyshire

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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67 Responses

  1. Dhex says:

    No fan of das derbs and all but the tulsa jackhole(s) seems to be more of a severely deranged inigo montoya jam, no?Report

    • Erik Kain in reply to Dhex says:

      The point is simply that violent people do violent things. We should avoid providing them with bullshit intellectual reasons to justified their actions.Report

      • Dhex in reply to Erik Kain says:

        I confess to being unable to imagine the paleocon current in america having any influence on the two men above. Or national review, for that matter.

        Or books, for that matter.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Dhex says:

      Right. Racism is racial collectivism. A black guy killed my father, and all blacks are interchangeable parts of a collective, so let’s go kill black people.

      Individualism. It’s my anti-racism.Report

      • Will H. in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Where there is no recourse under the law, the burning of injustice will create its own demands.
        I haven’t been following this story, but I haven’t seen anything that would suggest that these were some sort of racist hicks.
        I believe the dynamic is more akin to the Irish, who didn’t grow up hating Catholics/Protestants, but came to in their later teens after seeing friends die in some defining attack.
        As usual, similarly affected parties, etc.Report

  2. Must we always separate the crazies from the mainstream of the Republican Party? How is Derbyshire a heterodox conservative versus a standard, run-of-the-mill, garden variety Republican? Because he said what he was thinking in explicit terms and out loud?Report

    • Erik Kain in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

      No, because he coined terms like Happy Meal Conservatism to bash talk radio, and because of some of his social views on God, abortion, etc.Report

      • I don’t think that’s enough to say that Derbyshire is somehow that much different from the conservatives that currently dominate the party. Sure, he strayed from the reservation occasionally, but every single one of them does so accidentally. Besides, declaring Derbyshire some sort of outlier continues to allow conservatives to get away with the nonsense wherein they never have to confront the ugliness of (some of) their positions.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Erik Kain says:

        I have likely read more HBD material than almost anyone here. I have likely spent more time in actual GOP circles than most people here. There is some overlap, but they are in broadly different modes of thought. One is not voicing the secret thoughts of the other. Among other things, Derbyshire’s views on God and abortion are not anomalies or accidental deviations from the latter group. There is a preference for the GOP over the Democrats, but only in a lesser of evils sort of way and not a “those (the GOP) are my kind of people” sort of way.Report

        • Alex Knapp in reply to Will Truman says:

          I second Will.  The HBD crowd is a class unto itself.  I wasted several months of my life arguing with them.Report

        • Erik Kain in reply to Will Truman says:

          Basically what Will said. There *is* some overlap, and I think there are probably people who are simply racist Republicans, but the HBD crowd itself is unique, and maybe just not all that interested in many of the things that mainstream conservatives are interested in. This is one reason I think that Derbyshire provides “cover” if you will for more noxious proponents of these ideas, by writing for a mainstream pub like NR.Report

          • Mike Schilling in reply to Erik Kain says:

            Why is “race hustler” always used to mean someone like Sharpton, rather than an HBD-er like Sailer whose entire career has been based on getting people riled up about race?Report

            • I think a big part of it is that Sharpton gets a lot more attention in the overall. To be honest, this is probably a good thing. If Sailer became as well-known as Sharpton, being a race-hustler would be the least of it.Report

              • Will H. in reply to Will Truman says:

                To Sharpton’s credit, he investigates quite a number of civil rights complaints that people send to him. Some of those turn out to be unfounded, or the evidence is lacking.
                But that doesn’t alter the fact that, without him, there would be no one investigating.
                I think the false alarms are held against him too much. Those things are to be expected on occasion.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Will H. says:

                false alarms are false alarms. glad someone’s looking.

                Man started a RIOT, dat’s no false alarm.Report

          • Nob Akimoto in reply to Erik Kain says:

            Is HBD necessarily synonymous with all racially tinged views though? I get the impression it’s only one small subset. A particularly repugnant set that tries to scientifically validate it, but still small.Report

            • Though there’s more to the theory than the racial implications, I am not sure that I’m familiar with anyone who uses the term that is not somewhere between sharply race-interested and race-obsessed. If the term ever meant something else, it’s been hijacked.


              • I rather meant that it seems a lot of the “black folks are thugs” etc. discussion seems disconnected from anything related to HBD rather than solely limited to that.Report

              • Among the HBD crowd, increased levels of criminality among the black population are a part of the “biodiversity.” The spectrum with people of (western) African descent on one end and (east) Asian on the other not just pertaining to intelligence, but testosterone and physicality, which combine for violent tendencies. (This is actually an area where racist conservatives and antagonistic HBDers differ. The former tend to believe it is a matter of culture and collective choice while the latter believes it is genetic.)

                (I get the sense I may still be misunderstanding you. I apologize if I am.)Report

              • My general point was more: “Folks who nod along to Derbyshire columns are probably not all proponents of HBD, but just some sort of racist or misogynist” but the clarification helps, thanks.Report

              • Oh! I see what you’re saying now. Among NR readers, I think you are correct. I think there is a reason that he pitched this one to Taki and not NR. The latter would have understood less where he was coming from (“Why does it matter that they’re from western Africa? What’s this about IQ? The real problem are the broken families and the thug culture that encourages the antisocial behavior…”). My impression of Taki is that its readers are more likely to be versed in VDare and thus exposed to Sailer and so on. I don’t know Taki as well, so I could be wrong.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                The two aren’t mutually exclusive. For example, Charles Murray argues that:

                A) The black-white IQ gap has stopped closing and the remainder is probably genetic.

                B) Low-IQ individuals of all races are ill-served by a culture which doesn’t sufficiently emphasize hard work, personal responsibility, marriage, keeping ones nose clean, etc.Report

  3. greginak says:

    Here is a bit more info on the alleged shooters. This is a bit of confusing soap opera that is going to get muddier before it gets clearer.,0,771625.storyReport

  4. Nob Akimoto says:

    On another note, I’m not sure the editors of NR wised up, so much as found the position taken by Derbyshire to be too explicit and decided to cut him loose if only to avoid being placed in the same company as VDARE. Note that despite sacking Derb, they still allow the unhinged lunatic ramblings of say Victor Davis Hanson, who continues to peddle his “western civilization is SUPERIOR” bullshit on us by cloaking it in the language of classicalism. For example his latest turd

    No. The only thing NR’s “learned” not to do is to employ someone who ADMITS to being racist that race-baiting is a bad idea. They do love to do coded/cloaked “the blacks are the REAL RACISTS” stuff, and they will forever more.Report

    • Will H. in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

      Also in the news: Media Matters’ Resident Anti-Semite Steps Down
      The Right, in general, seems to be very responsive to allegations of anti-Semitism.Report

      • Nob Akimoto in reply to Will H. says:

        Well sure. Because only lefties can be anti-semites.Report

      • Nob Akimoto in reply to Will H. says:

        I’m also curious, really…how does a gentile get the right to call a Jew an anti-Semite?Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Will H. says:

        That’s because the right uses “anti-semitism” much as the left uses “racism”—as a magic word to delegitimize opposition, rather than in any meaningful descriptive sense.

        To be sure, these phenomena really do exist—they’re just wildly overdiagnosed to score cheap rhetorical points.Report

        • Will H. in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          That’s pretty much what I was getting at.
          They seem to go about the same thing in different ways.

          According to the article:
          Early in March Dershowitz charged that Media Matters and Rosenberg had crossed the line “into anti-Semitism” for, among other things, using the term “Israel firsters” and saying American Jews had “dual loyalties.”

          When you accuse Jews of dual loyalty, you invoke a canard that goes back hundreds of years and falls into the category of anti-semitism,” Dershowitz said. “To the extent that Media Matters hired him to do that and is tolerating him, they have crossed the line into anti-semitism.


    • Brandon Berg in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

      That “turd” is a pretty fair analysis. As I’ve said elsewhere, “racism” isn’t just a magic word you can use to delegitimize the opposition.Report

      • How is it a “fair analysis”?

        The kind of strawman construction that VDH employs is worthy of the Sophists. Perhaps he consciously apes them, but it’s remarkably illucid and ignorant of everything but the fact that the white male is somehow an aggrieved party.Report

        • Will H. in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

          I thought it was an excellent article.
          It coincides with my own experience quite lucidly.
          If you would refer to this strawman you see by the numbered points, maybe I could see it as well.Report

    • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

      Excellent piece as usual by Victor Davis Hanson. Thx for the link.Report

    • Jeff Wong in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

      Western Civilization is superior.

      Which nations produced the most prolific navies, small arms, nuclear weapons, and cavalry? Might I remind you that they’re predominantly Christian cultures.

      Ironically, Jesus’s message of peace and non-violence was cleverly co-opted as a tool for psychological warfare. (PSYOPS)


    • MFarmer in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

      “They do love to do coded/cloaked “the blacks are the REAL RACISTS” stuff, and they will forever more.”

      Can you show me an example of this from NR? If not, then you should retract it and admit you made it up. I don’t like much of NR, but I also don’t like unfounded accusations, especially when they’re apparently vicious and mean-spirited posed as righteous. Show me that I’m mistaken.Report

  5. Scott says:


    You seem like BSK, rushing to judgment before the facts are in when you tie or associate the Tulsa shooting and Derb. Atleast greginak pointed out there is more here than “whites” shooting blacks.Report

  6. Jason Kuznicki says:

    As a fan of poetic justice, I look forward to the genuine white Aryan racists taking one look at that picture on the left.Report

  7. Elizabeth says:

    The point is that blacks only make up about 15% of the population but commit over 50% of all violent crimes.  Clearly there is over-representation.

    Regarding interracial crime, look at rape from a DOJ study:

    In the United States in 2005, 37,460 white females were sexually assaulted or raped by a black man, while between zero and ten black females were sexually assaulted or raped by a white man.

    What this means is that every day in the United States, over one hundred white women are raped or sexually assaulted by a black man.”



    • Will H. in reply to Elizabeth says:

      I was wondering about the numerics of that myself.
      If 14% of the population is black, and 50% of the murder victims are black, and blacks are more likely to be killed by someone who is black than any other race, something doesn’t add up.
      Unless, there is a great deal more black-on-black violence than white-on-white violence or Latino-on-Latino violence.
      I don’t think denying it is going to make much headway in ferreting out the cause, much less actually addressing the issue.
      And from the TNC post that Nob linked to denouncing Juan Williams, TNC goes on and on about all sorts of community vigils to try to reduce violence in the black community. It seems like there would be a need for something like that in order to get so many people to turn out in so many different cities.
      I really don’t remember seeing any such thing in white communities. Or Asian communities. Or the Bosnian communities. Nada.Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Elizabeth says:

      Any tabulation that shows that white men never rape black women is I think presumptively flawed.  It’s simply not a credible result.


      • Will H. in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

        I caught that too.
        I think higher instances of rape could be explained by higher rates of blacks incarcerated in our prison systems, and the prevalence of prison rape. An institutionalization problem, basically.
        I was working with the (rough) stats for homocide as previously stated.
        I wonder how much of that is drug and gang related.
        Another issue worth looking as (and I’m thinking Kansas City, Ks., here) is that high crime areas tend to be high poverty areas as well, and blacks tend to be disproportionately affected by poverty.
        There might well be structural issues that could be addressed that would be suggested by the data.
        I’m more of a behavioralist.Report

        • MFarmer in reply to Will H. says:

          The statistics are skewed when most crime comes from areas of poverty. It makes sense that those in poverty will break the law in order to make money, but then we have to ask what has caused the poverty. Many causes can be attributed to poverty. I think it would be much more enlightening to study the similarities and differences among middle class whites and blacks — I think when we study blacks and whites who basically have the same incomes and education, the differences begin disappearing, except for cultural differences that don’t create that much of a divide. But, there are great differences between, say, a black man who grew up in the meanest of mean streets in a homogeneous community with it’s own codes and rules and ideas, etc., and a successful white man in suburbs.  I can’t say how the problem should be solved, but, if, somehow, these homogeneous communities became filled with diversity, much of the us against them mindset would disappear. The areas of poverty and violence are reinforced by government programs designed to keep the communities together and out of sight, and the people who grow up in the community can’t see outside the communities — naive whites promote the problem by acting out rap fantasies, violence, addiction, abuse of women, and pretending the thuggish pose is cool. We see success denigrated by government officials and media, and we see failure idealized as victims fighting the Great White Machine. Bill Crosby addressed the mindset, as have other black leaders, but not enough successful blacks are speaking out and praising education and achievement. There are far more angles to all this, but studying how middle class blacks and whites become more integrated, individualistic, peaceful and cooperative with one another might lead us to better answers. If preserving “black culture” is more important, then why wouldn’t we encourage whites living in homogeneous communities that aren’t integrated?Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to Elizabeth says:

      Could you link to this Dept of Justice study you’re referring to? Because the Frontpage article you link to talks about the study, but their link is broken, so it’s hard for anyone else to assess that data. Thanks in advance.Report

    • LarryM in reply to Elizabeth says:

      Lots of good responses to this – though one wonders if engaging this sort of hate is even useful. But here goes a little more.

      One of the things interesting here is a combination of  significant misrepresentation of the numbers (overstating black on white rape by a factor of more than 3*), selective citation of the numbers, and the … ah, interesting and dramatic presentation of some of the data. I’m being kind.

      The fact is that, accepting the survey data cited by Liz as true (the real data, not the inaccurate summary), the majority of rapes in the United States are white on white. The next largest category is black on black. A (very) distant third is black on white. And the significance of this is … what, exactly?  The reductio of this “argument” is that the best way for a woman of any race to avoid rape to avoid the company of ALL men of any race.  Not, I think a solution that many would endorse. Oh, heck, if you believe that unlikely 0% number, I guess African American women can safely hang out with white men. Not, I expect, a conclusion that Liz and her ilk would endorse.

      Or maybe I can play Liz’s game “What this means is that every day in the United States, over two hundred and fifty white women are raped or sexually assaulted by white men.” Pretty scary stuff. Actually it IS pretty scary stuff. Just not very relevant to the issue of race in America.

      And Liz, please don’t take my relative civility as an indication that I have a friendly attitude for you, or that I take your views at all seriously. I don’t like you, and your views are vile and disgusting. You’re free to hold those views; I and the rest of society are free to shun you for those views.

      *I’m relying on 2004 data; the linked 2005 data was taken down because of methodological flaws. It seems rather unlikely that the data changed very dramatically from 2004 to 2005. To be fair to Liz, the misrepresentation is from the racist site she linked to; I imagine she just accepted the false data at face value.  Also interesting, the estimate of black on white rape was ALSO based on a sample of less than 10 responses.Report

      • Will H. in reply to LarryM says:

        There’s no need for all that; seriously.
        If it’s a matter of incorrect data, then what insidiousness lies in that?
        Sufficient to point to the correct data.
        As the man said….Report

      • LarryM in reply to LarryM says:

        The other thing to note is that, looking at the data, what really stands out is the high rate of black on black violence. Others have discussed the plausible, even likely, true (and non-racist) explanations for this fact. But the smarter racists focus on those statistics, because there at least they have some real data, albeit data which doesn’t really mean what they want it to mean. However, the data for crime against white victims is unremarkable – white crime victims are overwhelmingly victimized by other whites. There is no scary epidemic of black on white crime; it occurs demographically at about the rate you would expect, even maybe a little lower.  Notably, if we look at violent crime overall, white on black and black on white crime are proportionately about the same (even a little LOWER for black on white crime, at least using the 2004 data). Which means, of course, on raw numbers, there is much MORE white on black crime than black on white crime.

        All of which means not much. My point is that even the raw crime data doesn’t say what the racists want it to say.

        As for Liz’s misrepresentation, I’m guessing it is caused by lumping “other” in with “black.” At least that makes the numbers approximate the numbers cited in the linked piece.

        Another, much smaller misrepresentation is that the rape/sexual assault category includes threats of rape/sexual assault.Report

  8. Mike Dwyer says:

    Connor Friedersdorf says:

    “Parting ways with Derbyshire isn’t going to do anything to improve race relations in America. But it has brought National Review a step closer to relying on the younger rather than the older generation of conservatives.”

    I think this is an interesting question. Quite simply, are America’s youths less racist than their parents? On the surface the answer is definitive ‘No’ however, there is nuance. Kids today still generalize, still stereotype and dislike certain aspects of other races’ cultures. I guess maybe more accurately it’s not racism, but it’s culturism. I’m reminded of a friend whose teenage daughter was being picked on during their bus ride home every day. The bully was threatening all sorts of bodily harm. My friend asked their daughter what color the bully was. “What do you think Dad?” was the reply. Now I know this kid and the girl has close black friends. She has crushes on black celebrities. She seemed completely oblivious to race until that moment. That’s when you realize that it is still there, just below the surface. I don’t know if that will ever go away. But it’s not really about race, it’s about he culture of some people who happen to be that color.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Mike, let me ask you a question, in all seriousness: does political commentary, especially at well respected, agenda setting outlets, shape people’s views, or does it merely reconfirm people’s views? I ask, because presumably, the act of writing political commentary has a purpose, and it’s to shape how people think about a particular issue. And if so, then when Conor is wrong when he says

      “Parting ways with Derbyshire isn’t going to do anything to improve race relations in America.

      If the purpose of political commentary is to shape readers views, then getting rid of a rabid racist from the commentary community will improve race relations, exactly to the degree that permitting Derby to say racist things contributed to the degradation of race relations.

      Conor, I think, is deeply embroiled in a contradiction here: people’s views aren’t effected by political commentary, but if so, then why is he writing political commentary saying that people’s views aren’t effected by political commentary?


      • Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater says:

        It is both. For some they read and they nod their head the whole time and they feel better about their own views. It’s a verbal circle jerk. I used to do that with Charles Krauthammer circa 2002 when I was pretty hawkish and he said all the right things to my crowd. In other cases it can change one’s views. I’ve had my views changed many times in the last 5 years or so when I started reading (and participating in) discussions that challenged my own views.

        The way I read Conor was that National Review doesn’t change culture but culture can change the National Review. I disagree. I think there it goes both ways.Report

  9. Elizabeth says:

    That should say 12% of the population.Report

  10. Nigel says:

    Human biodiversity is real, very real:

    Derbyshire was essentially fired for telling the truth. Welcome to Stalinist America.Report

    • Nob Akimoto in reply to Nigel says:

      Oh dear…the pseudoscientific eugenicists are invading…

      Y’all know that Khan Noonien Singh was already banished into space 10 years ago, right? Just saying…Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to Nigel says:

      Yeah, that’s exactly what happened under the Stalinists: published writers suddenly found that one of the multiple outlets publishing their work no longer wanted it. The blood runs cold.Report

      • Nob Akimoto in reply to Rufus F. says:

        He’s right about human biodiversity, though. We all know, for example, that I am much, much smarter than everyone else due to my superior biological traits…or whatever.Report

        • James Hanley in reply to Nob Akimoto says:


          Well, statistically you are. But we don’t really know just where you lie on the Asian curve… some poor Asian guy has to be sitting down at the lower end.

          (Just kidding, man! Although you’re much to macro and Keynseian for my taste, I always make sure to read your posts and comments.  Whatever curve we’re using, you’re pretty high up on it.)Report

      • Chris in reply to Rufus F. says:

        [In Yakof Smirnoff voice]

        In Soviet Russia, the online magazine writes you!

        Thank you, I’ll be in Branson all week.Report

  11. Jeff Wong says:

    High-minded writing is aimed at elites to help justify their racist beliefs. Jake England’s justification was simple. Black people killed my dad, therefore I should kill black people (also my girlfriend killed herself and my foetus).

    I’m wondering if this murder spree constitutes a hate crime or terrorist activity. Was he trying to instill fear in some group of people or was he killing for pleasure? Or perhaps killing to get rid of some terrible feeling inside (anger)?

    As someone who is 33, I am ashamed that another 30-plus man would go along with a murder spree instead of helping this young man work out his anger in a non-violent way.Report

  12. ZillaMod says:

    “I suppose Derbyshire’s exit from National Review will simply mean he’ll write at one of the many other publications I’ve listed (among others) that would be only too glad to have him.”

    I am ashamed to say I thought exactly the same thing this AM.