(Selectively copied and pasted from this thread
by request. Please refer back to this thread for all relevant links.)
Below is the analysis/opinion piece that I wrote about Derbyshire's controversial article...
I think that the best way (for me) to look at this is to go to the source material and comment on it point by point.
(1) Among your fellow citizens are forty million who identify as black, and whom I shall refer to as black*. The cumbersome (and MLK-noncompliant) term “African-American” seems to be in decline, thank goodness. “Colored” and “Negro” are archaisms. What you must call “the ‘N’ word” is used freely among blacks but is taboo to nonblacks.
*and for my own purposes I will use the word, "white" or maybe, "non-black."
This is something that has irritated me for most of my life...that is, the whole "identity" issue and "what shall we call ourselves?" thingy. This notion buys into the very liberal concept of dividing ourselves into groups and categories...race, religion, sex, country of ancestral origin, etc. I remember at one time the PC term was "Afro-Americans" which I thought was particularly absurd since it was more or less based on the name of a hair style. Lincoln quoted from the gospel of Mark that, "a house divided against itself cannot stand," and those words are no less true today (about dividing us along the above mentioned lines) than they were then.
Getting into the whole PC nature of the "bad" words... I am personally offended that we can tolerate blacks using the word "nigger" while non-blacks self-censor ourselves to the ridiculous "N-word" which everyone knows to represent "nigger" as if that somehow makes it acceptable. If a word is taboo for some then it should be taboo for all. And if allowable for some then allowable for all. And if "colored" and "negro" are not acceptable then why can we still use them in a purely academic discussion while we are simultaneously forbidden from spelling out "nigger" in a similar type of discussion? Obviously, "nigger" is no more acceptable than any other racial epithet (kike, spic, wop, hebe, etc.) when used in a derogatory, defamatory or insulting way...but, we will never get over any of this crap as long as mere words are given such power over some of us while not a problem at all for others.
We should be reviled at any attempt to divide or subdivide us. We are Americans. End of story.
(2) American blacks are descended from West African populations, with some white and aboriginal-American admixture. The overall average of non-African admixture is 20-25 percent. The admixture distribution is nonlinear, though: “It seems that around 10 percent of the African American population is more than half European in ancestry.”
I file this under, "Who cares?" This makes absolutely no impact on me at all...no more than my own particular and distant European heritage does. I am first and foremost a child of God and after that an American citizen. If anyone is confused by this concept then they are beyond hope and I certainly won't trouble myself attempting to explain it further.
(3) Your own ancestry is mixed north-European and northeast-Asian, but blacks will take you to be white.
My reaction to this point is similar to the previous one. The lone distinction is the issue of how I or others may be perceived. Yes, it is important to realize that some people (in this case blacks but certainly not limited to blacks...it is said by some that the most racist people on Earth are the Chinese) will judge me by the color of my skin instead of the content of my character. Although it would be smug to say that that is their problem but the truth is that, because of their inherent racism, it's my problem, too. This is largely an "awareness" issue. Be aware of how others might pigeonhole you and be prepared for the circumstances that that might entail.
(4) The default principle in everyday personal encounters is, that as a fellow citizen, with the same rights and obligations as yourself, any individual black is entitled to the same courtesies you would extend to a nonblack citizen. That is basic good manners and good citizenship. In some unusual circumstances, however—e.g., paragraph (10h) below—this default principle should be overridden by considerations of personal safety.
I suppose that the above point is as close as one might expect an atheist to quote scripture...it is, more or less, "the golden rule," with an exception thrown in for "unusual circumstances." Like when one might expect to get one's head bashed in. I would certainly broaden it to include everyone of every race, ethnicity, religion, etc. For instance, I would certainly extend respect and good manners to a muslim except in cases of "unusual circumstances" such as those times when I had good reason to believe that they might be trying to give me the "full infidel" treatment. Then they can get screwed. "Turning the other cheek" is certainly a command of Christ by I sincerely doubt that he meant it to be a "suicide pact" or to extrapolate it to the point where it could result in risk to life and limb. So this point is a universal truth (Do unto others...) with a common sense exception for self preservation.
(5) As with any population of such a size, there is great variation among blacks in every human trait (except, obviously, the trait of identifying oneself as black). They come fat, thin, tall, short, dumb, smart, introverted, extroverted, honest, crooked, athletic, sedentary, fastidious, sloppy, amiable, and obnoxious. There are black geniuses and black morons. There are black saints and black psychopaths. In a population of forty million, you will find almost any human type. Only at the far, far extremes of certain traits are there absences. There are, for example, no black Fields Medal winners. While this is civilizationally consequential, it will not likely ever be important to you personally. Most people live and die without ever meeting (or wishing to meet) a Fields Medal winner.
Well, right off the get go the author gets it wrong. There is (at least by my observation over the years) a very definite tendency for some
blacks to identify themselves and others on some kind of a weird sliding scale of "blackness." This is, by my definition, stupid and, yes, I will say it, racist. Again, by my observation, this sliding scale of "blackness" is almost always used to marginalize those blacks with whom the "categorizer" disagrees with...usually in terms of politics. I can point to just about any black conservative (Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, etc.) as classic examples of "not being black enough" as judged by "authentic" blacks. Pure rubbish and absolutely self serving and racist.
Most of the rest of this point is true. Except that there are obvious exceptions. Blacks have a distinct and statistical advantage in certain areas of athletics. Is this racist? Of course not. Men have a distinct and statistical advantage over women in athletics. Physiological differences are what they are and race (or sex) are beside the point. Deal with it.
As to the gratuitous shot at blacks for not yet having the distinction of earning a Fields Medal, well, more about that later.
(6) As you go through life, however, you will experience an ever larger number of encounters with black Americans. Assuming your encounters are random—for example, not restricted only to black convicted murderers or to black investment bankers—the Law of Large Numbers will inevitably kick in. You will observe that the means—the averages—of many traits are very different for black and white Americans, as has been confirmed by methodical inquiries in the human sciences.
The implication (by way of the link) is that blacks are statistically more aggressive (violent) and prone to criminal activity than whites (or asians). I won't dispute the statistics and math in the linked article because I am not a statistician or mathematician. But I will cast a few of my doubts upon the implied conclusion: that this is a difference caused by race alone. I believe that not a small amount of the behavior described is the result of cultural rather than racial factors. The black culture of today is substantially different than it was 100 years ago. Or 500 years ago. The black culture of today is the end result of several decades of social engineering by liberal politicians and theoreticians. Mostly the result of good intentions gone bad...though not always (Margaret Sanger comes immediately to mind). So now we find ourselves where we are with libs and Democrats enforcing a tacit "plantation" system for blacks. Although...they are now pushing their welfare dependency model on an ever expanding base of non-blacks.
So while there is truth in the implication one must at least acknowledge the complicity in liberals, Democrats and various welfare institutions for having brought us to this sorry state of affairs...a culture that encourages dependency, sloth and violence by way of "the soft bigotry of low expectations." So, no, while I don't disagree with the numbers and I certainly don't make excuses for bad behavior, I most definitely see where the problem originates. It's the culture.
(7) Of most importance to your personal safety are the very different means for antisocial behavior, which you will see reflected in, for instance, school disciplinary measures, political corruption, and criminal convictions.
This is, again, a matter of culture. I will say, though, that the link regarding political corruption is gratuitous...an anomaly...you can't tell me that black politicians are more prone to corruption than any other race (or sex) of men. Political power tends toward the absolute and absolute power can quite easily seduce and corrupt one absolutely. Blacks have no corner on political corruption. Or sin in general.
(8) These differences are magnified by the hostility many blacks feel toward whites. Thus, while black-on-black behavior is more antisocial in the average than is white-on-white behavior, average black-on-white behavior is a degree more antisocial yet.
Finally, a pure truth. Sort of. It's true today. But a few decades back it was whites who were the undisputed champs at inter-racial violence. That was true then, and this is true today. Same sh*t, different day.
(9) A small cohort of blacks—in my experience, around five percent—is ferociously hostile to whites and will go to great lengths to inconvenience or harm us. A much larger cohort of blacks—around half—will go along passively if the five percent take leadership in some event. They will do this out of racial solidarity, the natural willingness of most human beings to be led, and a vague feeling that whites have it coming.
Another truth. But again, sort of. What the author is (generally) describing is "mob psychology" with a racial bent. There is nothing here that is uniquely black other than the penchant to attack whites. European soccer hooliganism is almost totally devoid of a race based motivation. A few start trouble and those who are easily led fall in line. Riots happen (and have happened) everywhere. So while there is most definitely truth in the author's point (especially today) it is by no means a uniquely black phenomenon.
(10) Thus, while always attentive to the particular qualities of individuals, on the many occasions where you have nothing to guide you but knowledge of those mean differences, use statistical common sense:
(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.
(10b) Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.
(10c) If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date (neglect of that one got me the closest I have ever gotten to death by gunshot).
(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.
(10e) If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.
(10f) Do not settle in a district or municipality run by black politicians.
(10g) Before voting for a black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.
(10h) Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.
(10i) If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving.
The above bullet points are pretty much common sense and accepted conventional wisdom. Sad, but true. One need look no further than the words of the infamous race baiter and poverty pimp, Jesse Jackson to see the truth in these items. He was famously quoted as saying that he was apprehensive at hearing footsteps behind him on a street at night but was relieved to turn and see that it was a white person.
(11) The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday situations. “Life is an IQ test.”
I find this statement to be somewhat gratuitous. Intelligence tests tend to be, by their very nature, subjective...that is, who designed the test? I cannot believe that the brain of a black man is physiologically different from another race in any significant way any more than I can believe that blood is different. It isn't. What is different is the cultures. There is most definitely a difference in cultures where asians consistently outperform whites who consistently outperform hispanics who consistently outperform blacks. The author implies that this is a physiological issue and I find that to be an extremely dubious conclusion regardless of the IQ test results that he points to.
(12) There is a magnifying effect here, too, caused by affirmative action. In a pure meritocracy there would be very low proportions of blacks in cognitively demanding jobs. Because of affirmative action, the proportions are higher. In government work, they are very high. Thus, in those encounters with strangers that involve cognitive engagement, ceteris paribus the black stranger will be less intelligent than the white. In such encounters, therefore—for example, at a government office—you will, on average, be dealt with more competently by a white than by a black. If that hostility-based magnifying effect (paragraph 8) is also in play, you will be dealt with more politely, too. “The DMV lady“ is a statistical truth, not a myth.
This is true but it is true because we (as a society) have allowed it to become this way. Again, I lay the blame at liberal Democrat social engineering. Affirmative action and the other arms of the social welfare state have most definitely resulted in "the soft bigotry of low expectations." My belief is that people, given a challenge, will rise to the occasion. Blacks have been screwed over for years by the Democrat social engineers. It sucks but it's true.
(13) In that pool of forty million, there are nonetheless many intelligent and well-socialized blacks. (I’ll use IWSB as an ad hoc abbreviation.) You should consciously seek opportunities to make friends with IWSBs. In addition to the ordinary pleasures of friendship, you will gain an amulet against potentially career-destroying accusations of prejudice.
(14) Be aware, however, that there is an issue of supply and demand here. Demand comes from organizations and businesses keen to display racial propriety by employing IWSBs, especially in positions at the interface with the general public—corporate sales reps, TV news presenters, press officers for government agencies, etc.—with corresponding depletion in less visible positions. There is also strong private demand from middle- and upper-class whites for personal bonds with IWSBs, for reasons given in the previous paragraph and also (next paragraph) as status markers.
(15) Unfortunately the demand is greater than the supply, so IWSBs are something of a luxury good, like antique furniture or corporate jets: boasted of by upper-class whites and wealthy organizations, coveted by the less prosperous. To be an IWSB in present-day US society is a height of felicity rarely before attained by any group of human beings in history. Try to curb your envy: it will be taken as prejudice (see paragraph 13).
I find the final three points to be highly offensive. I would no more use a black person in this way than I would anyone else (to further my own ends).
Now here is where his article ends. I would, however, add a few more points of my own.
A) Do not discuss race in mixed company. Not ever. There is nothing to be gained and potentially a great deal to be lost by needlessly bringing up the subject of race in a group of people that you do not know. This especially includes online social media. Am I being a racist or a chickensh*t to advise such a course? No. I think of it as something akin to "discretion being the better part of valor." I similarly don't discuss politics or religion in mixed company. Lincoln said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." The problem with shooting one's mouth off about subjects such as these is that everyone has an opinion and chances are it won't be yours. Why risk alienating a potential (or worse, an existing) client and losing a business situation? Or being socially shunned? Not worth it. Keep mouth closed.
B) Be aware that, as a non-black, in today's world, if there is ever a conflict with a black chances are that you are going to lose. I am not talking about a physical conflict. As an example, imagine being a non-black employer and going before an EEOC review in a conflict with a black employee. Chances are you will lose regardless of the facts. Sad but true.
C) Be aware that some
blacks are ALWAYS looking for ANY reason to find and take offense at ANY comment or action by a non-black. I have had this happen on numerous occasions where the seemingly most innocuous comment is suddenly pounced upon for the purpose of putting you in your place. It's stupid but it happens.
I am certain that there are other points that I would list if I could think of them but those are the ones that immediately come to mind.
That said, we are all created in the image of God. We are all God's children. We have all fallen short of the glory of God and are incapable of overcoming the consequences of our sinful behavior in our own strength. These artificial divisions, of which race is only one, are a tool of Satan in an attempt to defeat us and they should be thought of in this way. None of the prescriptions of man (I'm talking to you, libs) will ever succeed in overcoming what is essentially a problem rooted in the sin nature of humanity. Seek the answer elsewhere.
So, try and exercise wisdom in your dealings with others no matter what the color of their skin might be. In a perfect world none of this crap would be necessary.
Another point that I would like to make:
What makes Derbyshire's article controversial?
There is no universal consensus on it. On one side you have the NRO editors (and others) who have been overcome by revulsion and abhorrence that this person was ever associated with them. And on the other side you have people who are saying, "Wait a minute...there are some truths here. Perhaps uncomfortable truths but truths, nonetheless." I would wager that the split on these points of view is closer to 50/50 than most people would believe.
I believe that the controversy (largely hidden due to self censorship...NRO did not allow comments on the page announcing Derbyshire's termination) has much to do with the articles linked at the beginning of Derbyshire's piece. These would be the "talk" articles in which black parents were quoted and described regarding the warnings they gave their children about how to conduct themselves with white people in general and the police in particular.
Specifically, these articles implied a double standard that black parents have a legitimate need to discuss these things with their children and (by omission) that non-black parents do not. Therein lies the thing that makes this issue controversial. After decades of social conditioning (shame) in schools and the media, most non-blacks are more than a little irritated that they are still being perceived as "the problem" in race relations.
Non-blacks have, in their minds, bent over backwards to atone for the sins of the past. The myriad accommodations (real and perceived) are everywhere from MLK deification to never-ending-affirmative-action, from black awareness month to wildly over-the-top racial hypersensitivity. I could go on and on and on. You could, too.
But it's not enough. And it's never enough.
So when this article comes out which rubs everyone's collective noses in this discrepancy, this disparity, well...people line up and choose sides. The sides aren't racism versus anti-racism. The sides in this case are "more of the same PC liberal accommodations" versus "had enough of the hypocrisy."
Some of us wish to be adults and discuss these things while others choose to remain virtual infants unable to crawl, let alone walk, toward a solution.
Derbyshire's article, as I have noted above, is far from perfect and in many ways is completely wrong. But it was a legitimate attempt at moving the ball down the field and should have been treated as such rather than being put on the receiving end of the usual liberal PC "racism" fusillade.