The Talk: John Derbyshire Stirs the Pot

John Derbyshire

John Derbyshire, lately of the National Review, but recently dismissed from that magazine, has penned a piece titled “The Talk-Non-Black Version”. “The Talk”, as you probably know, is the obligatory cautionary remarks certain black parents make to their teenagers about the dangers of the white world. Derbyshire has submitted his version of cautionary words to be directed to whites.

John Derbyshire’s piece for Taki Magazine  the other day (April 5) has caused a firestorm of criticism and controversy. It even resulted in Mr. D’s dismissal as a contributor to National Review. He discusses “The Talk” which conversation is considered obligatory to certain parents of black teenagers. Derbyshire however offers an alternative; “The Talk: Non-Black Version”.

National Review editor Rich Lowry said the piece is ” maddening, outrageous, cranky, and provocative… is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation…”  and would never have been published in his magazine. However, a careful reading of Derbyshire’s observations and caveats yields no small amount of useful information and it cannot, I believe, be characterized as racist as many, not including Rich Lowry, are claiming. Politically incorrect to be sure, but not racist. Here is one of opinions that  what Derbyshire has written indeed racist; from Mark Adomanis writing at Forbes (April 9):

“…what made Derbyshire’s piece so unusual, and what resulted in his summary dismissal, was not the fact that it dealt with race but that it did so in a uniquely bullheaded and crass way: it wasn’t a racist dog whistle so much as it was an out-of-tune racist marching band.”

Here is the article in its entirety: Link to Taki’s Magazine

                          The Talk: Nonblack Version

Taki's Magazine

There is much talk about “the talk.”

“Sean O’Reilly was 16 when his mother gave him the talk that most black parents give their teenage sons,” Denisa R. Superville of the Hackensack (NJ) Record tells us. Meanwhile, down in Atlanta: “Her sons were 12 and 8 when Marlyn Tillman realized it was time for her to have the talk,” Gracie Bonds Staples writes in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Leonard Greene talks about the talk in the New York Post. Someone bylined as KJ Dell’Antonia talks about the talk in The New York TimesDarryl Owens talks about the talk in the Orlando Sentinel.

Yes, talk about the talk is all over.

There is a talk that nonblack Americans have with their kids, too. My own kids, now 19 and 16, have had it in bits and pieces as subtopics have arisen. If I were to assemble it into a single talk, it would look something like the following. (to read more see page 2 link below)

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