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.
If you're just joining the story, Derbyshire, in a piece for Taki's Magazine, explained the lessons he has shared with his children about race in America. The list of tips Derbyshire has given his kids include urging his kids to "avoid concentrations of blacks," steering clear of events and locations likely to be "swamped with blacks," and among other things, choosing not to live in communities "run by black politicians."
He added, "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."
The piece was published on Thursday; controversy erupted on Friday; and Derbyshire was told he's no longer welcome at National Review on Saturday.
Given Derbyshire's record of hateful rhetoric -- the wasn't the first time the writer has published offensive content on race -- it's worth considering why he was given such a platform in the first place. For that matter, given National Review's often-ugly history on race, the Derbyshire controversy represents a fairly significant setback for the conservative magazine.
But in the larger context, I often wonder where the tipping point lies for conservative media figures -- just how far do they have to go in order to face consequences for their outrageous rhetoric? For Limbaugh, it was calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" and requesting a sex tape. For Coulter, it was a public condemnation of 9/11 widows. And for Derbyshire, it was apparently an online racist screed.
Whether Derbyshire is eventually welcomed back into the mainstream conservative fold remains to be seen.