National Review fires columnist accused of racism

Sat Apr 7, 2012 10:36pm EDT

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(Reuters) - The National Review has fired columnist John Derbyshire over a web posting in which he wrote that black people are hostile to whites and that white people should stay out of black neighborhoods and away from black crowds.

The magazine on Saturday night disavowed Derbyshire's "nasty and indefensible" posting - which ran on a website unrelated to the National Review - and said it amounted to a "letter of resignation" by the columnist.

"We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer," editor Rich Lowry said in a posting on the magazine's website.

"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," Lowry said.

Derbyshire's column was written as a response to recent newspaper articles about "the talk" that African American parents have with their children about being black teenagers in a country in which young black men may be considered a potential threat. The articles followed the shooting in Florida of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer.

The columnist asserted "there is a talk that nonblack Americans have with their kids, too" about the differences between themselves and black people.

He said that talk included telling children that about 5 percent of black people were "ferociously hostile" to whites and that a larger percentage would "go along passively if the 5 percent take leadership in some event."

Derbyshire said children were advised to "avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally," stay out of heavily black neighborhoods and avoid events likely to attract a lot of black people.

The column sparked outcries of racism and calls for Derbyshire's dismissal from bloggers, news publications and some of the National Review's own editors.

The Atlantic's Matt O'Brien wrote on Twitter, "Does @NRO want to be associated with someone who publishes racist trash like this?"

At least two colleagues at the National Review denounced his column as racist on Twitter.

(Reporting By Karen Brooks; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Comments (6)
AZWarrior wrote:
In my ‘talk’, I would say that many young people of all cultures haven’t fully formed stabe personalities, and as such may allow peer pressure to encourage them to sometimes act in ways that might include behavior that is dangerous to themselves and others. It is best to avoid large, unsupervised groups of young people.

Apr 08, 2012 5:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
55usaidwhat wrote:
Obviously, they did not read that article as it simply encouraged people to use logic and avoid confrontation. I do disagree that there is a talk needed, though. I learned it on my own.

Apr 08, 2012 5:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KDupre wrote:
Some media fire only white people who point out the simple truth because the truth isn’t pretty!

However, those people who aren’t white can say anything nasty that they want without reprisal. Look at Rev. Jackson who is an out and out racist hater of white people and he doesn’t get fired.

The good old double standard!!!!

Apr 09, 2012 9:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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