Derb’s Departure

Apr 9 2012 @ 12:15pm

by Maisie Allison

Drew Grant isn't impressed with the firing:

Ironically, Mr. Derbyshire was actually considered much more liberal than some of his fellow National Review coworkers: he was critical of George W. Bush and advocated against keeping Terri Schiavo in a vegetative state. While Mr. Derbyshire did screw up with the Taki’s Mag post, we’d still give him the benefit of the doubt in that it was at least partly tongue-in-cheek: the real racism at the Review is still going strong, as evidenced by a recent piece by Victor Davis Hanson entitled Walking Back the Trayvon Martin Hysteria … Ah yes: the vastly higher incidents of black-on-white crime and the carnage of African-American males in our cities! How did we forget about that stuff during our mass grieving for Trayvon Martin?

David Sessions similarly doubts that the move will inspire much soul-searching among conservatives. He points to the "type of dialogue that surrounds NRO": 

It is usually far from racist, and sometimes less far. It can be described as consistently skeptical that white racism is relevant to contemporary politics despite its own evident fascination with the topic. It shows no reservation about caricaturing/over-interpreting a black president’s statements and policies to paint him as a racial aggressor. It consistently addresses the topic of racism in a glib, dismissive, or superior tone. I cannot recall—and could not find in several hours looking through the NRO archives—one substantial piece of writing that addressed racism in the U.S. as anything besides a minor, unimportant problem. With a big stretch of generosity, one could say National Review treats the subject casually. 

Friedersdorf is more sanguine

Derbyshire saw, in the younger generation of conservatives, a determination to make a multiracial society work. It is unsettling that a longtime contributor plugged in enough to hobnob on the National Review cruise perceived himself to be writing for a subscriber base of which a significant part wasn't determined to make a multiracial society work. … That overdue evolution showed the limits of "standing athwart history yelling stop." So it goes today. Parting ways with Derbyshire isn't going to do anything to improve race relations in America. But it has brought National Review a step closer to relying on the younger rather than the older generation of conservatives. On subjects related to race that's a very good thing.

More on the Derb implosion here, here and here. Recent Dish on the right's race problem here.