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Nasty and Indefensible': National Review Fires John Derbyshire Over 'The Talk: Nonblack Version


"This column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation"

National Review has fired John Derbyshire in the wake of his controversial article “The Talk: Nonblack Version,” published Friday in Taki's Magazine.

(Related: ‘Stay Out of Heavily Black Neighborhoods’: National Review Writer Under Fire for Racial Column)

Written in response to articles on "the talk" some black parents have had with their children in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, Derbyshire described some of the advice he allegedly gave his own children on the matter.

Including lessons like "Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally," the article has drawn fire from both sides of the aisle for being racist. Some of his other lessons include:

(10c) If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date (neglect of that one got me the closest I have ever gotten to death by gunshot).

(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.

(10e) If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.

(10f) Do not settle in a district or municipality run by black politicians.

(10g) Before voting for a black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.

(10h) Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.

(10i) If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving.

National Review's editor Rich Lowry released a statement Saturday evening explaining the why they fired Derbyshire:

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.
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