Tuesday, April 10, 2012

John Derbyshire responds to the kerfuffle

I mentioned the John Derbyshire imbroglio yesterday evening. I've appreciated the comments from readers providing their perspective on the points I raised, and I'll probably work on a more in-depth article to continue the discussion at some future date.

Meanwhile, Mr. Derbyshire has responded to all the fuss in an interview with Gawker. Here's a brief excerpt. Gawker's questions are in bold print, followed by his answers.

Have you been following the internet outcry about your article?

I can't really say so. I looked at a couple, but they seemed very malicious—willfully distorting what I wrote. A lot of the PC left is just hysterically deranged. Why read stuff by deranged people? I'd rather play FreeCell.

Is racism — yours or other people's — a problem?

... My own sense of the thing is that underneath the happy talk, underneath the dogged adherence to failed ideas and dead theories, underneath the shrieking and anathematizing at people like me, there is a deep and cold despair. In our innermost hearts,we don't believe racial harmony can be attained. Hence the trend to separation. We just want to get on with our lives away from each other. Yet for a moralistic, optimistic people like Americans, this despair is unbearable. It's pushed away somewhere we don't have to think about it. When someone forces us to think about it, we react with fury. That little boy in the Andersen story about the Emperor's new clothes? The ending would be more true to life if he had been lynched by a howling mob of outraged citizens.

There's more at the link. Recommended reading, providing much food for thought.



Old NFO said...

Yep the IAT is a rather interesting set of tests... :-) I will post my results later this afternoon.

Matthew said...

I came down with a "slight preference" for black people (not the right terms but I took it at work) and no preference between Gingrich and Romney (which is about right, they are both pretty "meh").

The questions, as always, made assumptions as to what "conservative" means, though at least they did have follow-ups on social and economic, though the more accurate method would be to simply break out a series of issues. For instance they lumped abortion and gun control together for a "liberal / conservative" either/or choice without defining terms.

Anyway, the Derbyshire article notes something the test elides, that class is really more important than race anymore. I grew up middle class so the "black people" I know are guys I went to school with K-12 from middle-class neighborhoods, people in my college classes, and my upper middle class in-laws.

Of -course- I have a positive outlook on black people in general, the ones I have any personal knowledge of are more or less just like me, if not actual family.

Frankly, I have more in common with them than I do most lower class whites or any other race. I grew up doing construction and sales is in my blood, I did 13 years in the Marines, I can effectively blend "working class" or any other spectrum, but I swear even at 40 I have no idea how a lot of people actually process (thought-wise) the same world I live in. They respond to the same stimuli in often wonderfully intriguing, but sometimes deeply disturbing if not actually frightening, ways.

If I viewed that negatively I suppose that would make me an elitist or classist or something, but mostly I just marvel at the diversity of Creation. Except for people of any "class" (though particularly those with an education) who who revel in letting emotion override, as opposed to inform, reason, logic and critical thinking. Those people I despise.