We’re generally opposed to the idea that a person should lose his livelihood because he says or writes something that other people find offensive, whether the offender is on the right or the left. So we don’t join the growing calls in the blogosphere for John Derbyshire to be fired by National Review for opinions he wrote on race (which were on a different website, not nationalreview.com), specifically about what he would teach his children about their black fellow Americans. National Review certainly has a right to end their relationship with Mr. Derbyshire. An opinion magazine has every right to decide what opinions it will promote, and which are out of bounds.
But all the phony outrage from left-wing blogs and liberal media outlets should be ignored by National Review and everyone else. The left is in no position to lecture anyone about their supposedly superior values, especially on the issue of race. Dividing Americans into groups, and treating people differently based on which groups they’re in, is at the core of leftist ideology and practice.
The left’s primary aim is to shut up anyone who disagrees with them, whether it’s John Derbyshire, or Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck, or Sean Hannity, or whoever. Their main objection is to dissent from leftist ideology. The editor of National Review, Rich Lowry, was attacked as a bigot for simply pointing out the fact that George Zimmerman isn’t the greatest threat in the nation to young black males. Mr. Derbyshire, unfortunately for him and for the publication he writes for, has given the right’s enemies a legitimate complaint with which to attack. And of course they won’t hesitate to attempt to smear the entire conservative movement with his words.
Demonstrating that their real objection is to conservatism itself, the outrage is highly selective. Just a couple of examples from the last few weeks:
Director Spike Lee tweeted an address which he believed was that of George Zimmerman (Lee got the address wrong), implicitly encouraging mob violence and putting an innocent couple in some potential danger. And not a peep from most of those who are now so concerned about what Mr. Derbyshire wrote.
Al Sharpton routinely says things worse than anything Derbyshire said, and has for years. Sharpton has recently been working to create another Freddy’s Fashion Mart or Crown Heights incident in Florida – and he was an invited guest to the White House this week, and has his own show on MSNBC. And again, you’ll have to look pretty hard to find any criticism of the racist Rev. Al from the left, let alone any effort to have him removed from his television program.
And of course the left-wing propagandists at Media Matters, the Center for American Progress, and Mumia Abu Jamal supporter Van Jones’ group Color of Change aren’t pushing boycotts of Bill Maher.
None of this is to defend what Mr. Derbyshire wrote. We believe it’s a core conservative value to approach people as individuals, and judge them on their own merits, and skin color has nothing to do with anyone’s value as a human being. Liberals are the ones who believe otherwise, who believe in judging people based on their group identity, including the color of their skin.
The issue here is one of gross hypocrisy. Liberals are simply in no position to lecture anyone about their values when it comes to race or anything else.
UPDATE: National Review has ended their relationship with Derbyshire.