Friday, April 13, 2012

Derb's ugly advice

As I earlier posted, John Derbyshire has been canned from NRO for a nasty essay he had penned in another magazine. In this essay, Derbyshire reflects on advice he has given to his teen-aged kids, particularly about race.

Excerpt:


(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.
(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.”
(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 paribusthe 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.
(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.


Derb's advice is pretty nasty. Whatever the statistical validity or invalidity of a few snippets of his advice, he carries an obvious racial animus. He refers repeatedly to alleged differences in intelligence between races, to differences in sociability, racial propensity to criminality, ad nauseam.

I despise political correctness, and political correctness is not my motive here for denouncing Derbyshire. The fact is that his essay is wrong. I don't mean that he's wrong about data and studies and research, etc. I don't know the field, and frankly I don't care a lot about it. I have little interest in studies on interracial differences.

I mean that Derbyshire is wrong about people. About treating people with respect and affection and a reasonable presumption of benevolence. About dealing with people as individuals and not as representatives of his own internal racial filing system. About dealing with character, not melanocytes.

'But', you may ask, 'what about the very real differences in crime rates between blacks and whites?' I answer: the differences are cultural, not racial. There are profound cultural issues in our country, and these cultural problems afflict some communities more than others. The reasons are myriad, but biology-- race-- is not one of them. Anyone who believes that black skin predisposes to violence missed the 20th century. Paste-white I.G. Farben killed a helluva lot more people than the Crips.

Derbyshire's race-mongering is pseudo-intellectual bilge, of a long pedigree. What I hear in Derbyshire's screed is eugenicists bemoaning the burden of the "genetically unfit", and National Socialists denouncing the perfidy of Jewish financiers, and Grand Wizards impugning 'darkies' who are a danger to Southern women, and race-baiting "activists" showing up at every inter-racial tragedy to flame up the hate, and vanguards of the proletariat demanding retribution against the bourgeoisie, and critical race theorists demanding that racial spoils take precedence over equal justice under the law.

I don't like race mongers. I don't like class mongers. I don't like bigots.

I strongly disagree with Derbyshire's assertions about racial differences, at least in my personal experience. I've found no difference in everyday intelligence and decency according to race. I do find real socioeconomic differences related to behavior. If I had to put people into categories, I'd have to say that my most difficult patients and colleagues seem almost invariably to be narcissistic over-achieving yuppies with a maddening sense of entitlement. My nicest patients and colleagues, from 30 years of medical practice: poor people, illegal immigrants, and devout Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

Ideas deserve criticism. Actions should be scrutinized. Race is irrelevant. People deserve to be treated according to what they are: God's children, created in His image. We are each a perplexing and enchanting mix of saint and sinner. I've got enough sinner in me that I don't need to look for it in other people.

My take: Derb and all his bigot clones can take their "facts" about people and race and human worth and shove 'em.

Just one more bit of advice to Derb's kids: stay away from people who think like your father. 

6 comments:

  1. Yeah, he's a nasty racist. I can see why they fired him.

    TRISH

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feel sorry for his kids. Dad's raising them to be racists. Hopefully they'll grow up to see that dad is wrong.

    JQ

    ReplyDelete
  3. "I don't like race mongers. I don't like class mongers. I don't like bigots."

    Then you should hate yourself. You're pretty bigoted about certain groups. Atheists for example. You're a poster boy for anti-Atheist bigotry. Anti-gay bigotry too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Given your take on so many issues I wouldn’t be surprised if reproducing and disseminating the offensive comments and the hyperlinks to numerous articles showing black people in a bad light is really the point of your post.

    You denounce the essay yet say “I don't mean that he's wrong”.

    The Travon Martin case really has reveiled the nasty racism at the heart of the conservative movement.

    -KW

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anon,
    "Then you should hate yourself. You're pretty bigoted about certain groups. Atheists for example. You're a poster boy for anti-Atheist bigotry. Anti-gay bigotry too."
    Are you capable of ANY sort of comment beyond ad hominem remarks, Anon? The post denounces the article and group identity politics in general.
    I bet you're a lot more cordial and meek in person. Perhaps it is all these pixels that brings out Mr Hyde?

    KW,
    "Given your take on so many issues I wouldn’t be surprised if reproducing and disseminating the offensive comments and the hyperlinks to numerous articles showing black people in a bad light is really the point of your post. "

    How utterly predictable. Who would have guessed your comment would A) Accuse Dr Egnor of latent racism B)Blame the 'conservative movement' for racism.
    Dr Egnor is denouncing the snide article as veiled racism/bigotry.
    You may also want to consider that racism is as old as the hills, and has been the tool for various regimes and movements that would today be considered both 'left' and 'right' by your highly polarized mind.

    Here some simple points to ponder in a form that may JUST be reductionist enough for you to understand:
    Intelligent ≠ Good
    Affluent ≠ Good
    Liberal/Conservative ≠ Good
    Statistical Evidence ≠ Good OR Truth
    All these ideas (and groups) CAN be good, but they are not so by default. Statistics are (like the sciences) simply a tool. They can be used for good or evil; to portray truth or be used twist it.
    Get it?

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete