John Derbyshire was, until last weekend, a writer for the National Review where his far right opininions about race, culture and economics had a wide and thirsty audience.
But now he’s gone, fired for having the audacity to express his racist opinions with a little less sugar on top, in another magazine called Taki. Derbyshire took a stab at the Trayvon Martin case, most notably the idea of the “Talk” wherein Black pundits have been lamenting a discussion on the ugly side of race with their sons after the Martin murder.
What Black parent looks forward to telling their son that no matter how good you do in school, how well you behave or how good your driving record is, random White people may still mistake you for a criminal and kill you. And then not go to jail for it? “Derb” as he was affectionately called at the National Review, had about enough of this and offered his own version of the “Talk” where he warned his children (and all White kids) about how to properly deal with African Americans.
I know a lot of folks are going to fault him for this, but honestly I read his column and thought: “Right Idea, Wrong Message.” White kids do need “The Talk,” but their parents need help giving it.
Let’s dispense with the hand wringing first. Yes, Derbyshire is a racist, yes he is a bomb throwing troll who knew perfectly well that saying something crazy and offensive would get him attention, but it’s not like he’s the only one that’s done that recently. His talk starts out well enough with basic boiler-plate stuff about equality. Then he quickly takes a left turn at Bob Jones University and starts to warn his kids about socializing with large numbers of Blacks, reminding them of Black’s low I.Q.s and that what he refers to as IWSB’s (Intelligent and Well Socialized Blacks) are good to have as friends because it will innoculate you against charges of racism.
I already lived through the Bell Curve 90’s so there’s no reason to debunk his individual warnings – there are other people who can do that. However, intentionally or not, John Derbyshire makes an important point. Just like the original “Talk” (Y’know: birds and bees and storks) that parents avoid, White parents in particular completely avoid “The Talk” about race with their kids.
Most Well Intentioned White Folks (heretore known as WIWFs) think that by NOT saying anything about race – and not specifically screaming “nigger” every time they see a Black person on the street – they’re actually raising color-blind, non-prejudiced kids.
Which couldn’t be further from the truth.
See if you’re not clear about these things at home, your kids will learn about race on the streets, from their friends, or bad influences like Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck.
Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. Between growing up in an upper class neighborhood that was about 2% Black (and that’s when we had relatives in town) and teaching at a majority White institution in the Midwest, I know that most White parents are not doing their due diligence on the whole race thing before sending their sons and daughters off to the big bad multicultural world.
Check in tomorrow for Part II when I give you a free cheat sheet – consider this “the Talk for White Parents to their White Kids about Black People.” Stay tuned …
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.