John Derbyshire’s “Talk”

Ex Hong Kong resident and film extra, ex computer programmer, quondam author of popular math books, and ex National Review writer John Derbyshire has written a disgusting essay at Taki’s Magazine, called The Talk: Nonblack Version.

The feebleness, the utter feebleness of a word like “nonblack”: it makes perfect sense to a little computer programmer but shows Derbyshire’s conflict. His views are a minor key and yes, feminine, yes, girlieman, yes, girly girly GIRLY version of REAL Nazi, KKK speech: there is no bright line that divides a feeb like Derbyshire’s pathetic word choice “nonblack” and “White and Proud”, because in both forms of language the speaker assumes that white men can do folk anthropology and not get the shit beaten out of them, hopefully in some verbal way by a guy like me (who has indeed come in low and slow over the site for a good pounding of Derbyshire’s logic) but perhaps in the old style.

But I realized after making a smoking ruin of Derbyshire’s insane thesis a basic male contradiction. It is that he wrote this pathetic attempt at a genteel racism (where the genteel racism of the White Citizens Councils of the 1960s in the South was a direct enabler of murder of blacks and their white allies) when Trayvon Martin was killed by the downward mobile and not so genteel son of a judge using a “Stand Your Ground” law.

These laws make gun owners the law and they were why Trayvon’s murderer wasn’t arrested.

But Derbyshire counsels flight when his son sees a crowd of blacks, even if they happen to be The Black American Mathematician Club waiting for a table at Denny’s near Duke University so they can check a brothah’s proof of Riemann before they all put it on the Web (word to Derbyshire’s Mama is that I was present at the transformation of Nash from schizo nutbag in the ignorant eyes of the world to Nobel Laureate, and word to his Mama is don’t count them chickens, dude). Derbyshire counsels his son to flee if his son has a fire extinguisher and sees a black man whose car is on fire.

The “construction of masculinity” here dates to World War II, that event which Richard Yates, the alcoholic author of the novel that became the film Revolutionary Road called the Father that you could never please. During that war, “real men” gradually realized that only losers went back to the front when they could use racial and class privileges to stay in the rear with the gear, and Hemingway in Paris.

Losers…like Edward Joseph Nilges, 1915-1945, KIA 6 April 1945, Mt Folgorito, Captain, 442nd Regimental Combat Team (Nisei: Go For Broke), United States Army, Silver Star and Purple Heart, who appears to have traveled back to the front when he did not have to after getting a Dear John letter. Who may, and I am speculating, been assigned (as Van Johnson’s character was assigned in a 1950s film about this Nisei unit) to a Japanese-American unit because perhaps, and I speculate, like many of the MEN of my family, he simultaneously was good at what he did but also a pain in the ass…not a good ole boy at all, who never got the word about schlamperei, baksheesh, and sucking up to the right people.

Derbyshire (as the countless anonymous posts from in all probability the “good fathers”, “loving husbands” and “professionals” indicate) enables America’s odious return to ante-bellum race relations, so I posted this poem about his cowardly Talk.

Not with a Stand Your Ground bang, son
Rather flee the scene with a whimper:
If you see de Black Man, run, son
He probably wants kill yer.

But Father o Father, my role model Dad
Is that not womanish, feeble and sad?
Should I not Stand My Ground like a man with a gun
And not from el Paredon run?

No! You young brute that conduct does not suit
We are white scholars not made for the field
We are the red-tabbed planners in the rear with the gear
When the Reds overrun us we yield

The losers like the Scots Guards in Korea
Threw bully beef tins when shit out of ammo
The winners know when to run in real terror
Out of the field do we go.

But Father o Father that name on the wall
You traced back in Washington on the green mall?
Your brother rejected that job in Japan
And went down in flames o’er North Vietnam

And before that I know that he went to the South
And registered voters thought worthless uncouth
To him the Reds were as bad as Bull Connor
And right or wrong he had some real honor

Shut your mouth be quiet and do as I say
What are you? A man? Or maybe you’re gay?
A real man is smart and knows when to flee
And screw the brave and the fine. It’s all about “Me”.


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