How Racist Do You Have to Be For the National Review To Fire You?

Yesterday, the National Review ran a peach of a column from Victor Davis Hanson, a white military historian and professor whose self-professed expertise includes distinguishing "real" black men from "fake" black men. Hanson's 1900-word exposition was ostensibly pegged to President Obama's Trayvon Martin speech, but was effectively an anecdotal justification for blanket racism.

Hanson writes that his Democrat father warned him to be cautious of "a group of black youths" in San Francisco because that demographic was more dangerous:

The advice was not about race per se, but instead about the tendency of males of one particular age and race to commit an inordinate amount of violent crime.

It was after some first-hand episodes with young African-American males that I offered a similar lecture to my own son. The advice was born out of experience rather than subjective stereotyping. When I was a graduate student living in East Palo Alto, two adult black males once tried to break through the door of my apartment — while I was in it. On a second occasion, four black males attempted to steal my bicycle — while I was on it. I could cite three more examples that more or less conform to the same apprehensions once expressed by a younger Jesse Jackson. Regrettably, I expect that my son already has his own warnings prepared to pass on to his own future children.

That may not even be the worst part of the column, though we won't spoil the patently offensive kicker.

What's mind-boggling is that the National Review fired John Derbyshire—or technically stopped using his work, since he was a freelance contributor to the magazine—for expressing the very same sentiment in April 2012, even down to the framework of giving his kids "The Talk." And Derbyshire's piece wasn't even published in the National Review, yet they cut him loose.

Why was Derbyshire unceremoniously dismissed, but not Hanson? An also-horrified Andrew Sullivan tried to understand the National Review's arbitrary line of acceptable racism:

The difference is that Derbyshire tells his children to avoid all “blacks”, while Hanson focuses on advising his children solely about young black men. Any young black men they don’t know.

Actually, Derbyshire can tell you the difference. We reached out to him today for a comment, but the Derb's already working on a piece about this very subject for VDARE.com and emailed us this paragraph to use (he was, in fact, very polite):

When we asked John Derbyshire for comments he politely declined, except to say that his piece of last April was much more professionally done than Prof. Hanson's, containing as it did more than 30 hyperlinks to support his statements of fact. Prof. Hanson's piece, Derbyshire observed, has no links at all.

That's some shade.

Update: Here's John Derbyshire's VDARE.com column on the matter, "John Derbyshire Wonders: Will NATIONAL REVIEW Derbyshire Victor Davis Hanson?"

[National Review via Andrew Sullivan's The Dish // l-r Victor Davis Hanson, John Derbyshire]

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