Over the weekend the news emerged that National Review's editor Rich Lowry had fired longtime NR writer John Derbyshire for writing -- in another publication, the online Taki's Magazine -- advice on race Derbyshire said he had given to his children.
We've had our differences with Rich Lowry and our friends at NR, primarily on what many perceived was an abandoning of conservatism for the old bromides of the GOP Establishment.
But unequivocally, what Rich Lowry did in separating NR from the racial nonsense of Mr. Derbyshire was 100% correct.
We discuss race on occasion here, and our repeated and central point is the historically obvious, not to mention the politically incorrect: racism, the judging of others by skin color, has never had anything whatsoever to do with conservatism from Burke to Reagan. On the contrary, it is well and long recorded historical fact that in terms of American history it is the American Left that is not merely attracted to racism but is in fact addicted to it. The progressive movement… as evidenced in this latest episode with Trayvon Martin's killing (noted in the Wall Street Journal by Shelby Steele) and the rush for the lynch mob led by MSNBC's Al Sharpton… needs racism as a drug addict needs drugs.
Facts… history… the law… the idea of America as a colorblind society with equal opportunity and individual liberty for all -- does not matter to the left. Judging by skin color (or class or gender or gender orientation) is all. It is nothing other but the American version of Marxism's murderously collectivist dictim that all thought proceeds from an "ideological superstructure" springing from class. Or, in this case, race.
Leftists are unalterably opposed to a colorblind America for the most fundamental of reasons: without the ability to use race as a weapon, progressivism is a political dead duck. Without the ability to instill fear of The Other… in this case racial fears…. the left has nothing saleable. Whether it was the progressive whites running the Democratic Party from underneath the sheets of the Ku Klux Klan or the progressive black Al Sharpton leading virtual lynch mobs from his MSNBC show, the left must fan the flames of race to advance the progressive agenda.
Mr. Derbyshire's appalling recorded sentiments on race have nothing whatsoever to do with National Review or its superb writers -- much less with conservatism itself.
Rich Lowry did the right thing.