Derbyshire follow up: defending the “indefensible”
Eric Holder once told us were were afraid to have a real dialogue on race. And he did so because he knew we were — as I think this episode is proving, particularly in the way it is dividing those “on the right,” many of whom chided Holder for those remarks at the time but who now vindicate him and his attempt at rhetorical bullying.
The fact is, any real dialogue on race would seek to answer why an intelligent guy like Derbyshire, wielding probability tables and statistical analyses based on evidence he provided (within the constraints of the format), would feel the need to give that talk at this point of the 21st century in the USA. And why so many who are now acting outraged about it heed precisely the advise he articulates — without ever daring to articulate it themselves, at least, not publicly (or if they do, are given a pass, because they happen to be black and liberal).
– Which, that seems kinda selfish, if you think about it.
The point being, these kinds of questions would get to the heart of how the issue of race in the United States has become so poisoned politically — and why the Left is able to control reactions to racially-charged subjects, even if you believe you’ve liberated yourselves from that particular snare.
Derbyshire didn’t just assert without basis: as a commenter pointed out previously, Derbyshire made an argument based on probabilities and generalities in situations where specifics are unknown; and clearly and specifically set up his article as proceeding from that baseline assumption.
It was at once a pointed commentary and wake-up call regarding race relations that, under Obama and Holder and the demogoguery of the New Left, have (perhaps?) regressed. And somehow this is labeled “indefensible”?
If this is the case, the issue of race in the US is settled. And it’s been settled on the side of the anti-foundationalists — with a whimpering tap out from those on the side of individualism. That is, the ideals of our Constitution have been effectively jettisoned, and individual primacy has been displaced by by the ascendancy of identity politics and group narratives, individual autonomy by appeals to racial and gender “authenticity” and a pernicious PC culture that has resulted not only in Crimethink, but in a rabid defense of such by those who, ideologically, would purport to stand against it. And that’s because they fear being labeled “racist” by the left, which makes one of its defining political goals ownership over various (minority) identity groups whom they then keep confined to the reservation by threatening them with banishment from the group.
And yet, we’re told these are battles we need to fight at another time?
These are the battles Holder and Obama and the “progressive” Left are fighting right now. They are governing this way. And in fact, so emboldened are they that Stanley Fish came out recently and spelled out the maneuver for those on the left still too tied to Enlightenment principles.
Derbyshire may seem an inconvenient hill to fight on. But Christ, if you continue to cede ownership of the rules to the left, one day you’re going to awaken and find out the game is over — because they tell you it is. And that’s that.
Sure, you’ll grouse and whimper, but in the end, so frightened are you of being on the end of one of their rhetorical wildings, that you’ll fall in line like a good little citizen — though you may continue to roar from time to time like the paper tiger they know you to be.
At which they’ll just kind of smile.
Welcome to the United States of Benetton.
update: an anecdote isn’t data; but then, statistical probability isn’t a dental surgeon.