National Review writer and author John Derbyshire stirred a racial hornet’s nest today after bloggers and Twitter users blasted a bizarre and offensive piece he wrote for Taki’s Magazine offering what he called the “nonblack version” of “The Talk” to his children.
It includes the following disturbing advice:
(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.
(10b) Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.
(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.
National Review editor Rich Lowry posted the following brief response tonight at The Corner:
Needless to say, no one at National Review shares Derb’s appalling view of what parents supposedly should tell their kids about blacks in this instantly notorious piece here.
It did need to be said. While honest discussion of race relations is sorely needed in this country, telling your children not to help people in distress based on their skin color and advising them that black politicians are more corrupt than white ones is downright crazy talk.
Many are calling on National Review, for whom Derbyshire writes, to fire him for the Taki’s Magazine piece:
What is all this talk about “the Talk”
The Talk: Nonblack Version – Taki’s Magazine
There is much talk about “the talk.”
“Sean O’Reilly was 16 when his mother gave him the talk that most black parents give their teenage sons,” Denisa R. Superville of the Hackensack (NJ) Record tells us. Meanwhile, down in Atlanta: “Her sons were 12 and 8 when Marlyn Tillman realized it was time for her to have the talk,” Gracie Bonds Staples writes in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
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Oh, Now there is a “Talk” Liberals give their children about stupid conservatives (came after John Derbyshire “the Talk”) but as per usual, the liberal hate begins to flow to all conservatives.. since conservatives all think alike.. right?
The Talk: Non-Conservative Version
There is apparently ”the talk” that black parents give to their teenaged sons and daughters where they tell them to be afraid of the cops, for good reason. There is also—thanks to National Review writer* John Derbyshire—another version of “the talk,” one where a white guy says some really, really racist, mind-poisoning shit to his kids. But there’s also a third version of “the talk,” one that white, socially liberal parents give their children on both coasts of the strange place known as America. It’s remained secret for a long time, but since Derbyshire decided to post his “talk” for all the world to see, I thought I’d match him and share the “talk” that my (white, socially liberal) parents gave me, and a version of which I will no doubt give my children (if I have any—us socially liberal folks don’t breed so much). Here’s how it goes:
1. There are a lot—I mean, a LOT—of folks out there in America who identify as “conservative,” and I will refer to them as conservative. Most are white and evangelical Christian; many are old and (thank goodness!) dying out. But there are still a lot of them, most of them in the Republican party.
2. You will encounter these people, America being a free and open society. You will probably be working at a non-profit, a coffee shop, a bike store, or in the media, and as such you won’t have much reason to meet such people (thank the good Lord, who doesn’t exist), but you will occasionally run into them. They are entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as you or I or any other citizen and should be treated with respect—except when they shouldn’t be. I’ll get to that in a second.
3. As with any large population, there is great variation among conservatives—they come fat, thin, short, tall, smart, dumb, introverted, extroverted, honest, crooked, athletic, sedentary, fastidious, sloppy, amiable, and obnoxious, but mostly fat, dumb, and crooked.
4. But as you meet more of them, the Law of Large Numbers will kick in and you will observe that the averages of many traits are very different for conservatives as they are for liberals.
5. For starters, the average conservative doesn’t believe in science. They let their bigoted feelings run wild—not all of them are racists like Derbyshire, but many harbor deep-seated hatreds of gay people, who they don’t think should get married. And, of course, they have insane attitudes regarding perfectly reasonable, healthy parts of human existence like birth control, drugs, and porn.
So what is “the Talk” it’s more important than the ‘birds and the bees’
For black parents, shootings give fresh relevance to ‘The Talk’
When the conversation turns urgently personal, survival its theme: On the wrong street, at the wrong time of day, he tells his son, pride might be his undoing. “I know my son can be a moment away from being killed if he acts the wrong way, if he’s arrogant,” Gordon said. “He started to learn about this as a child.”
Gordon was speaking in a Pasadena church, blocks from where an unarmed black college student, Kendrec McDade, was fatally shot March 24 by two white police officers pursuing two men who they mistakenly believed were armed robbers. Police say the incident began when the 19-year-old McDade and a friend stole a backpack from a car, and the owner lied to police, telling them the thieves were armed.
The incident, which remains under investigation, followed the controversial shooting death of an unarmed black teen in Florida by a neighborhood watch leader. For many black parents, the shootings have given fresh relevance to a painful generations-old conversation. “The Talk,” some call it.
“Certain things are a reality for him — he needed to understand that early on,” Jim Collins, a longtime Pasadena resident, recalled of his conversation with his son. “The Talk is because they have to know what to do and not do.”
Parents say some version of the conversation, ubiquitous in African American life, is necessary regardless of how high they climb on the socioeconomic ladder. It is about learning to say “Yes, sir” and “No, sir” when a policeman pulls you over, no matter how unjustified the stop seems. It is about keeping your hands on the steering wheel and giving officers no cause for panic. It is about swallowing your anger and pride and coming home alive.
Gordon, an activist with the Pasadena Community Coalition, said he worries when his son stays out late. “If I wake up and he’s not there, I go, ‘Oh, boy,'” Gordon said.
He said he speaks at seminars, instructing black youths about how to handle themselves around police. He wants them to know their rights, but also to be respectful.