I Thought Derbyshire was a Smart Guy, but Actually He’s a *Racist*

People are up in arms about a recent article by John Derbyshire in Taki’s Magazine. I didn’t think the article was that interesting, myself, but apparently the proper response is to think that it’s ‘racist trash,’ which seems to mean that Derbyshire had the temerity to say what everyone thinks.

This Atlantic article is extremely annoying for the author’s obtuse assumption that a real ‘intellectual’ couldn’t say or think the things Derbyshire says and thinks. She actually offers a convoluted theory about why Derbyshire has a job (it seems to boil down to: “he flatters prejudiced people’s prejudices.”)

The truth is that John Derbyshire is one of the smartest pundits out there. If for some reason you can’t see this from his writing, you can see it from his two book-length attempts to popularize number theory. They’re not popularizations in the bad sense, either. To my shame, I gave up halfway through Unknown Quantity, because it was too hard—though admittedly I’ve done shamefully little formal mathematics.

‘Anti-Racists’ Also Anti-Free Speech

They shouted down a handful of White Pride demonstrators in Edmonton, but apparently would like to have done more:

As the groups neared City Hall, police kept the anti-racists from crossing the street and getting close to the white-pride rally, but both sides shouted insults at each other until the white pride group left.

Anti-racist demonstrators ran from entrance to entrance of the subway in an effort to follow the rally, and expressed their frustration at police who were blocking the doors.

“I think it’s a shame that our tax dollars are being used to coddle and protect racist hate groups in our city,” said one anti-racist demonstrator with a megaphone.

“Shame on police for coddling extremists. They should be ashamed of themselves,” he added.

As an aside, the term ‘anti-racist’ really irks me. I think it’s because the word ‘racism’ itself is not a very useful one. To declare yourself an ‘anti-racist’ is really to announce your obliviousness to a variety of social dynamics, and then (in effect) to announce your desire to ‘oppose’ those social dynamics. And that doesn’t even make any sense.