(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