So – the blog kerfuffle du jour is John Derbyshire and the internet essay that he wrote for another obscure blog-magazine, the topic of which has raised such a general ruckus among the right-thinking side of the blogosphere, that it got him dumped over Easter weekend from the National Review and has the Breitbart conglomerate all in a twitter, and many of the rest of us on the libertarian/conservative/free-thinking side of the spectrum seeming to be thinking thoughts pretty much split three ways; cringing and thinking ‘oh, s**t’ or ‘about damn time’ and ‘ ‘OK then – if representatives of the capital ‘B’ Black community can witter all over the print media and the intertubules about their worries about their children running afoul of the 21st century version of the KKK – can those of us from the race of pallor worry frankly and openly about getting lost in certain neighborhoods, the odds on survival when taking the wrong exit off particular interstates in big urban areas, or the wisdom of going to certain sports venues without being armed to the teeth?’
To judge from news dispatches by the legacy media, our worries on that score are inconsequential. However, bald experience (not that you’d ever see it reported in the national media and in the local only with an effort akin to pulling out wisdom teeth with a pair of pliers) suggests that such ventures are indeed a pretty dicey proposition, when ventured by a person of pallor. Even if the reported crime stats tend to indicate that black, white and whatever tend to depredate among their own race … but I didn’t intend to get sidelined into a discussion of who kills whom, and the delineation of ‘bad hoods’ from the POV of a casual interloper. I’m also not here to defend Mr. Derbyshire in every particular. He appears to be well-inclined and equipped to defend himself. I’m a firm believer in the old saw about maybe not agreeing with what you say, but defending to the death your right to say it … which rather obviously isn’t a principle that the New Republic feels particularly burdened with. But why has conventional wisdom somehow become unspeakable? Oh, yeah – because it’s been agreed (by whom, I am not sure) that venting such worries is raaaaacist with five a’s, and even noting the existence of such realities and worries on the part of those who actually have to live with the reality of it is extra-special-raaaaacist.
But here’s the main thing; I am sick and tired and tired and sick of the kind of discussions and questions raised by his article being dismissed and considered unsayable, considered something beyond the pale of discussion, polite or otherwise. I’m tired of seeing the limits of the debate controlled and constrained like the borders of North Korea. Myself, I sure as heck would like to know if there is a genetic component in making Kenyans champion long-distance runners and why there are so few white NBA players. Is there a physical advantage, or is it merely a socio-cultural one, occasioned as various ethnic components of our great experiment were passing up through the various avenues available to them? Once it was that the Irish were the cops, and Italians were prize-fighters… I am fairly certain there’s likely to be a cultural component, but why is even asking the question with regard to African Americans a horrendously unspeakable taboo? Why is honest curiosity about these and many other matters the Question Which May Not Be Asked?
I can also for darned sure see that incidents of white on black crime get wall to wall coverage when it comes to the news-making machinery, while news about black on white criminal incident is hastily bundled out of sight like someone cleaning up cat-crap in the middle of an expensive carpet. Why, it’s almost like the mandarins of our culture and legacy news media are conspiring to hide matters from the general public, rendering them a kind of thoughtcrime – and that is at least as dangerous to the credibility of the news-making machinery as it is for a person of pallor to go walking into a bad neighborhood. It’s not so much what Derbyshire said – and some of it I thought was over the top – but it’s that he said it at all, and that’s what I thought was great; ignoring the set agenda, under which certain matters racial are not to be voiced. Yea these many years ago Attorney General Holder (whom I hope to see perp-walked for allowing Fast and Furious to go ahead) accused Americans of being cowards when it came to talking frankly about race. Well – now we’re talking frankly. One should be careful of asking for things; you just might get them.
(Cross-posted at www.ncobrief.com. Name of publication involved corrected after initial posting)