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John Derbyshire Is Just a Little Too Openly Racist for NRO

Gingerly tap-dancing around the real issue
Wingnuts • Views: 40,963

Notice that in this post announcing the firing of John Derbyshire from National Review, Rich Lowry doesn’t use the word “racist” once: Parting Ways - by Rich Lowry - the Corner - National Review Online.

Anyone who has read Derb in our pages knows he’s a deeply literate, funny, and incisive writer. I direct anyone who doubts his talents to his delightful first novel, “Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream,” or any one of his “Straggler” columns in the books section of NR. Derb is also maddening, outrageous, cranky, and provocative. 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. Derb has long danced around the line on these issues, but this column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation. It’s a free country, and Derb can write whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Just not in the pages of NR or NRO, or as someone associated with NR any longer.

For the record, I wish NRO hadn’t fired him. Now they can use that as cover for the constant race-baiting and masked racism that continues daily at the site.

But as Ta-Nehisi Coates points out, Derbyshire himself admitted he was a racist years ago. What took so long?

Rich Lowry and National Review were very embarrassed by Derbyshire’s disgusting racist article, and they had no choice but to fire him. But it’s obvious that Lowry’s trying to do it in a way that won’t piss off their readers, who’ve been following Derbyshire for decades and agreeing with every word he’s written.

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