As a sociology experiment this fine Monday I’d like everyone to watch a video. This video features an odious and detestable racist. Behold a man who has literally used racism to continue in public life despite a criminal record of prostitution and drugs. A man whose criminal defense argument when caught perusing said hookers and smoking a chemical derivative of said Bolivian Marching Powder was “The Canine of Feminine Gender* set me up.” Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the perspicacious Marion Barry to instruct us all on the entrepreneurial spirit of East Asian people.
So how does this make everybody feel? Like punching Mayor_For_Life in his crack-smoking kisser? Do you feel less felicitous towards Washington DC because as Marion Barry put it “He’s not perfect, but he’s perfect for DC?” Or do you generalize this man’s detestable conduct far more extensively than it deserves? Or to put this more bluntly, does Mayor Barry’s professional conduct as a stridently self-identifying representative of African Americans justify all of us telling our children to have a lower opinion of blacks?
Apparently former National Review writer John Derbyshire believes that such is the case. National Review Editor, Rich Lowry reacted by rapidly putting Mr. Derbyshire into the fiery NRO memory hole. In an NRO Blog Post entitled “Parting Ways.”
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.
This solved a micro-level problem. It solved Rich Lowry’s micro-level problem, but not the bigger one involving our divergence of national culture. In Lowry’s defense, his options were limited. He cut Derbyshire loose and stopped the bleeding. And don’t misunderstand me, Derbyshire should have been fired.
He should should have been fired for his obnoxiousness, but also for his intellectual laziness as well. He wrote what made him feel good instead of what intelligently addressed the problems of interracial relations. Reaching for the easy and emotionally satisfying solution will only make the problem worse. This reaction, opted for by John Derbyshire could be termed the Sistah Soljah Solution or S3. I call it S3 because a famous Sistah Soljah song “The Hate That Hate Produced.” It had the following lyrics.
Souljah was not born to make white people feel comfortable. I am African first. I am black first. I want what’s good for me and my people first. And if my survival means your total destruction, then so be it. You built this wicked system. They say two wrongs don’t make it right, but it damn sure makes it even.”
So Derbyshire responds by suggesting telling our kids that any black they meet is potentially a thug and has a high probability of landing on the wrong half of the IQ Bell Curve. Which accomplishes exactly what? Responding to Sistah Souljah in kind just helps her sell records. Demonstrating the hatred and racism that we’ve just been accused of only makes people like Sistah Souljah look somewhat logical. Perhaps she is in comparison to Mr. Derbyshire.
Doing what Derbyshire did provides the dying racialist left with a new boogeyman. Their cupboard was getting pretty bare. They now fear the wrath of gun-wielding “White-Hispanics” and have discovered a new hate group…The Pick-Up Artist! Absent John Derbyshire’s inexcusable stupidity, these idiots are Duke Faculty members out harassing Lacrosse Players.
So if anyone out there believes that race-baiting the racists on the left will actually help strengthen the right; please remove your cranial member from your impacted colon. It may generate lots of blog hits from the “HBD” community and it may feel really good to give Marion Barry a dose of his own venom, but it only serves to keep the failed Progressive Ideology on undeserved life-support. We shouldn’t need NICE, IPAB, or any other death panel to tell us that America can no longer afford that self-destructive luxury.
The only effective solution we as Conservatives have to the problem of race-baiting is to stand above it and simply point out that Marion Barry is evil. Be patient and point out that these stores he falsely maligns are either compliant or non-compliant with appropriate city ordinances respecting proper cleanliness and sanitation. What John Derbyshire does, despite his diction and affiliation, descends to Marion Barry’s level of cheap vituperation. Perhaps it is not entirely unfair or racially biased to ask if Mr. Derbyshire was smoking crack when he sat down and wrote such an utterly unintelligent screed.
*- Ok, so I paraphrased it a tad….