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I don’t read the National Review, which describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion." Though not a reader, I often run across citations from it and quotes from its writers in publications I do read, like the New York Times, which unfortunately serve to lend it gravitas, and I am well aware it was founded by William F. Buckley, Jr.

As far as I’m concerned, National Review and its online pages have stayed true to the principles of its founder. He was a racist, and it continues his legacy. Those who have the magazine's imprimatur and the current editor Rich Lowry can play games by pretending that the recent letting go of John Derbyshire and Robert Weissberg are little more than hypocritical attempts to obfuscate its agenda.

As my grandma was fond of saying, "It's like trying to close the barn door after the horse gets out." I doubt that few people are fooled by yet another non-apology apology from racists. Editor Rich Lowry's turn of phrase, which opened with 'Unbeknowst to us ..." when severing the relationship with Weissberg, and his glib description of Derbyshire as a "deeply literate, funny, and incisive writer," carries no water with me. Buckley was touted as deeply literate too. One's ability to read, write and play with words are no hindrance to racist beliefs; in fact they make the wielders more dangerous.

We are supposed to believe that these two bottom-feeders are some type of aberration.  

Well. I don't buy it.  

(Continue reading below the fold)

Lowry tried to slough off culpability by pointing out that Derbyshire's disgusting racist piece was published elsewhere. The post included:

The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday situations. “Life is an IQ test.”
As if Lowry was totally clueless about Derbyshire's screeds at Taki's Magazine, which plays host to other bigoted luminaries like Steve Sailer and Pat Buchanan, Jared Taylor and includes a crew from VDare. White nationalist Peter Brimelow, VDARE's head hood-cho, is now actively soliciting funds to pay Derbyshire.

Gee. Anyone with half a brain and the ability to Google can see that Derbyshire has been spewing hate over at Taki while being touted as a National Review editor for quite a while. And at the National Review, pieces by Hate-fest Queen Michelle Malkin are prominently displayed. Derbyshire's response was predictable from a racist: He called the National Review "race-whipped."  

We are supposed to buy Lowry's bullshit about purge the racists, and they are still to be dubbed "conservative intelligentsia" (an oxymoron that would make George Carlin proud). Try to sell me the Brooklyn Bridge while you're at it. It's even more telling that the obsession with intellect and IQ by members the self-appointed elite is somehow wrapped in pseudo-science, which reminds me of the farce of "Intelligent Design."  

All of this brings back memories of the many excuses that were made for Buckley's racism during his lifetime, and the fulsome praises sung in his funeral obituaries.  

He was a lettered and wordy racist. But it all boils down to racist, in my book.  
Oh, where is James Baldwin when we need him?

Baldwin knew who Buckley was at his core and eviscerated him at their debate at Cambridge, much to the eternal chagrin of that prominent mouthpiece of the right-wing intelligentsia.  

I wrote about that debate, and its impact on me, my family and my community last year.

Baldwin said:

The white South African or Mississippi sharecropper or Alabama sheriff has at bottom a system of reality which compels them really to believe when they face the Negro that this woman, this man, this child must be insane to attack the system to which he owes his entire identity. For such a person, the proposition which we are trying to discuss here does not exist. On the other hand, I have to speak as one of the people who have been most attacked by the Western system of reality. It comes from Europe.(in his speech he speaks of a doctrine of white supremacy which comes from Europe) That is how it got to America. It raises the question of whether or not civilizations can be considered equal, or whether one civilization has a right to subjugate--in fact, to destroy--another. [...]

It comes as a great shock around the age of 5, 6, or 7 to discover that the flag to which you have pledged allegiance, along with everybody else, has not pledged allegiance to you. It comes as a great shock to see Gary Cooper killing off the Indians, and although you are rooting for Gary Cooper, that the Indians are you.

God, I miss you Jimmy. Wish you were here today to verbally slice and dice the new crop of bigots who masquerade as intellectuals.  

For those of you who have never seen it, there are now clips online, and the full program is available.

I won't forget the Buckley who took these positions and uttered these words, which Steven Rendell reminded us of upon his death, in a more accurate obit than the lachrymose paeans he received even in so-called liberal publications.

A 1957 editorial written by Buckley, "Why the South Must Prevail" (National Review, 8/24/57), cited the "cultural superiority of white over Negro" in explaining why whites were "entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where [they do] not predominate numerically." Appearing on NPR’s Fresh Air in 1989 (rebroadcast 2/28/08), he stood by the passage. "Well, I think that's absolutely correct," Buckley told host Terry Gross when she read it back to him.

A 1960 National Review editorial supported South Africa’s white minority rule (4/23/60): "The whites are entitled, we believe, to preeminence in South Africa." In a 1961 National Review column about colonialism—which the magazine once called "that brilliantly conceived structure" (William F. Buckley, John Judis)--Buckley explained that "black Africans" left alone "tend to revert to savagery." The same year, in a speech to the group Young Americans for Freedom, Buckley called citizens of the Congo "semi-savages" (National Review, 9/9/61).

National Review editors condemned the 1963 bombing of a black Birmingham Church that killed four children, but because it "set back the cause of the white people there so dramatically," the editors wondered "whether in fact the explosion was the act of a provocateur—of a Communist, or of a crazed Negro" (Chicago Reader, 8/26/05). Just months before the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed, Buckley warned in his syndicated column (2/18/65) that "chaos" and "mobocratic rule" might follow if "the entire Negro population in the South were suddenly given the vote." In his 1969 column "On Negro Inferiority" (4/8/69), Buckley heralded as "massive" and "apparently authoritative" academic racist Arthur Jensen's findings that blacks are less intelligent than whites and Asians.

Beware these wordsmiths. They aren’t the Rushbos of the right, nor are they David Dukes, or loony Glenn Becks, nor even Pat Buchanan, who styles himself as a warped historian cum politician. They have dug up Buckley's moldy mantle and wrapped themselves in hollow echoes of His Wordiness. They have crowned themselves his heirs—an elite of literary hissing swans whose world is dying.

They are a raft of racists.

The fact that two got shoved off the raft last week into the sludge fails to address
those still aboard, clinging to a white supremacist derangement syndrome as their raft sinks slowly into the slime they spew.

And those who stand by on the National Review pages, "innocently" co-signing this, are as guilty as those who actively promote racial hate, homophobia, anti-immigration, xenophobia, antisemitism and sexism.  

Let's lift the cover off of the sewer. Back in 2005, Rendell wrote Academic Racists Make Mainstream Inroads, From National Review to the New York Times. He reminded us:

[T]he past isn’t even past. Although sophisticated racists are thriving in conservative outlets and are gaining a foothold in centrist, mainstream outlets, the subject of racism is not one to which most newsrooms devote a great deal of resources.

Not much has changed. Yet.

So I say to them all, "Sail on you bigots, on your crowded little raft." For I predict you will in a few decades sink beneath a shining sea of black, brown, red, yellow and white progressive faces who will swamp your pretensions, and wash you away to the shores of history.  

Your cherished IQs won't save you. The only lifesaver you can hope for is a change of heart.

Which is hard to do when you are missing one.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 01:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community, Barriers and Bridges, RaceGender DiscrimiNATION, Invisible People, White Privilege Working Group, and History for Kossacks.

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