Commentary By Ron Beasley
There has been a great deal of blogospheric activity in regards to John Derbyshire's racial screed at the web site Taki's Magazine. Most of it is silly, especially this reaction from Derbyshire's employer The National Review.
Anyone who has read Derb in our pages knows he�s a deeply literate, funny, and incisive writer. I direct anyone who doubts his talents to his delightful first novel, �Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream,� or any one of his �Straggler� columns in the books section of NR. Derb is also maddening, outrageous, cranky, and provocative. 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.
Of course this is pure BS. The National Review and it's founder William Buckley was opposed to the civil rights act and desegradation from day one.
During the Civil Rights Era, Buckley made a name for himself as a promoter of white supremacy. National Review, which he founded in 1955, championed violent racist regimes in the American South and South Africa.
A 1957 editorial written by Buckley, �Why the South Must Prevail� (National Review, 8/24/57), cited the �cultural superiority of white over Negro� in explaining why whites were �entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where [they do] not predominate numerically.� Appearing on NPR�s Fresh Air in 1989 (rebroadcast 2/28/08), he stood by the passage. �Well, I think that�s absolutely correct,� Buckley told host Terry Gross when she read it back to him.
A 1960 National Review editorial supported South Africa�s white minority rule (4/23/60): �The whites are entitled, we believe, to preeminence in South Africa.� In a 1961 National Review column about colonialism�which the magazine once called �that brilliantly conceived structure� (William F. Buckley, John Judis)�Buckley explained that �black Africans� left alone �tend to revert to savagery.� The same year, in a speech to the group Young Americans for Freedom, Buckley called citizens of the Congo �semi-savages� (National Review, 9/9/61).
National Review editors condemned the 1963 bombing of a black Birmingham Church that killed four children, but because it �set back the cause of the white people there so dramatically,� the editors wondered �whether in fact the explosion was the act of a provocateur�of a Communist, or of a crazed Negro� (Chicago Reader, 8/26/05).
Just months before the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed, Buckley warned in his syndicated column (2/18/65) that �chaos� and �mobocratic rule� might follow if �the entire Negro population in the South were suddenly given the vote.� In his 1969 column �On Negro Inferiority� (4/8/69), Buckley heralded as �massive� and �apparently authoritative� academic racist Arthur Jensen�s findings that blacks are less intelligent than whites and Asians.
Perhaps that doesn't mean that conservatives are racists but then what does it mean? In a comment over at an Outside The Beltway thread Micheal Reynolds nails it.
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.
We are dealing with tribalism which may or may not be racism. 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.