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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! No adventures with the intro music this week, listeners: That was Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2 played by organist Peter Gould on the fine old organ of Derby Cathedral. This is of course your conservatively genial host John Derbyshire with another edition of Radio Derb.
Headliner this week was the Democratic Party's nominating convention. The thing wound up on Thursday night; I put my thoughts together for Radio Derb on Friday morning; so the timing there was good. I mean, I'm not trying to report a newsy event in medias res, before the outcome's been decided.
The downside is that everything sharp and interesting that can be said about the show has already been said, so I am the guy with the dustpan and brush following along behind the Lord Mayor's procession.
Well, well, let's make the best of it. My commentary here will be of the second-order type: not commentary about what was said and what happened so much as commentary on what the words and deeds tell us about … about, er, … Oh, right: about Who We Are.
02 — WhoWeAre-ism. Who We Are, yes. There wasn't actually as much WhoWeAre-ism at this week's convention as I anticipated. Incredibly, Barack Obama got through a whole 19-minute speech without a single Who We Are. His lady Michelle made up for it with three Who We Ares in her speech, while the nominee himself, Joe Biden, emitted just one.
By way of compensation for a falling-off in Who We Ares, we got a glimpse of the new-rising cliché among progressive leftists: "the work."
And so on. They make it all sound very strenuous, don't they?
Or maybe it's just me. I don't have much taste for the gassy, whiny style of political rhetoric that today's Democrats go in for. And there were sins here of both commission and omission.
The sins of commission were lies: battered, rusty old lies that have been exposed so often, anyone who pays much attention must know they are lies by now. Yet speakers here brought them out as if they were shiny and new, to make us gasp and shriek. Their great favorite is of course the Fine People lie.
[Clip of Joe Biden speaking: Just a week ago yesterday was the third anniversary of the events in Charlottesville … Remember the violent clash that ensued between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it? Remember what the president said when asked? There were, quote, "very fine people on both sides."]
Mrs Obama dragged this one out too:
[Clip of Michelle speaking: Kids in this country … see our leaders labeling fellow citizens enemies of the state while emboldening torch-bearing white supremacists.]
Hoo-kay. One more time, with weary resignation:
[Clip of Trump speaking: You had people — and I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally — but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly …]
Next up behind the Fine People lie was the Children in Cages lie, another old favorite. And then, the events of this past few weeks have given them yet another lie to pad out their speeches with and excite the indignation of the faithful: the Peaceful Protest lie.
Mrs Obama packed both lies into a single sentence:
[Clip of Michelle speaking: They watch in horror as children are torn from their families and thrown into cages, and pepper spray and rubber bullets are used on peaceful protestors for a photo-op.]
Yeah, peaceful protestors. We saw those peaceful protestors on the YouTube clips, Michelle: smashing, burning, looting, assaulting. How stupid do you think we are?
Which brings us to the sin of o-mission. The little pork pies were bad enough; but where was any mention of the utter breakdown of public order in big cities — big cities whose politics is totally dominated by the party whose convention we were watching?
That omission is itself rooted in a lie — the biggest lie of all, what I think of privately as our National Lie.
03 — The National Lie. Yes: Just as we have a National Flag, a National Anthem, a National Capital, and a National Father, we have a National Lie — a great big brazen whopper that no-one who wants a career in the public realm dares deny. Certainly no-one of any public influence does deny it: no politician, no celebrity, no TV talking head — no, not even Tucker Carlson.
The lie is that different outcomes by race are caused by something other than biology.
What, exactly, is the something other? That depends who you ask.
The viewpoint represented at this week's Democratic Party convention is that the something-else causing chronic academic failure and antisocial behavior among American blacks is racism — malice, conscious or unconscious, on the part of whites.
An alternative view — call it the Tucker Carlson view — is that yes, there may be some malicious white racists around, but not enough to account for the chronic, intractable, unfixable quality of black dysfunction — not to mention the superiority of East Asians over whites in educational attainment and law-abiding sociality.
So what accounts for these things? Culture! Some people don't behave right, because … culture. They need to get their thinking straight.
I don't myself see much difference between these two alternative supports for the National Lie. In the imaginations of those who take these positions, both "white racism" and "culture" belong, metaphysically, in the realm of magic. They are invisible vapors seeping up out of the soil, fogging our vision and muddling our brains. They are the phlogiston, the luminiferous æther, of modern social science.
I'm an old-line British empiricist. Race is real, and it makes a difference. Not always at the individual level: plenty of black Americans are smarter and better socialized than me. When a population of millions is under discussion, though, the law of averages kicks in, and you get … Well, we all know what you get.
As an old friend of mine is wont to say when the social dysfunction of black Americans comes up, quote: "It's a different critter." End quote. Another old friend, a retired academic, in an email exchange with me the other day, said the following thing, which I think is wise and true, quote:
The entire civil rights movement has evolved from passing laws to prescribing totalitarian schemes for transforming blacks into whites, and this has been a disaster for both races. Let them be who they naturally are.
Wise words, but of course flagrantly, shockingly disrespectful of the National Lie.
04 — Who is a danger to whom? And that great big National Lie breeds lesser lies. Most in evidence at this convention was the lesser lie that whites are dangerous to blacks. Mrs Obama again:
[Clip of Michelle speaking: And here at home, as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and a never-ending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered, stating the simple fact that a Black life matters is still met with derision from the nation's highest office.]
Well, yes. It meets with derision for perfectly good reasons, again to do with the law of averages.
Whatever happened to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the statistics show that by far the greatest danger to the lives of American blacks comes from other American blacks; and that blacks are ten, twenty, thirty times more dangerous to whites than vice versa, depending on the style of interpersonal violence we're talking about.
We've presented those statistics many, many times over here at VDARE.com; other investigators have reported them elsewhere — Heather Mac Donald for example at City Journal; and Jared Taylor has a concise and characteristically eloquent presentation of them on his current BitChute video, link here.
Yet facts, statistics, and empirical inquiry can't leave a bruise on the National Lie, certainly not for the people speaking to us from this week's convention. For them, our National Lie is too precious to discard — more precious to them than the National Flag or the National Anthem, for sure. The more the National Lie is challenged (to the degree anyone dares challenge it), the tighter our elites clutch it.
My friend's wise words again:
The entire civil rights movement has evolved from passing laws to prescribing totalitarian schemes for transforming blacks into whites, and this has been a disaster for both races. Let them be who they naturally are.
05 — The Church of Antiracism. Thence to the Church of Antiracism.
Being essentially a metaphysical doctrine indifferent to empirical verification, antiracism has naturally assumed some of the aspects of a religion. That is to say, it delivers some of the same psychological rewards to believers that religions do.
To say that antiracism is a religion, or at any rate an ersatz religion, is by now a cliché. Certainly you've heard it from me before; and as before, if you want to read a good brief argument for antiracism's religious nature, I recommend John McWhorter's article at the Daily Beast, posted July 2015, updated April 2017, title: "Antiracism, Our Flawed New Religion."
This religious aspect came to mind when I saw the news item about Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, donating ten million dollars to something called the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. Hey, I thought, that's just like some grandee aristocrat in medieval Europe donating a cartload of silver coin, or a patch of good farming land, to a monastery.
Dorsey is worth billions, so ten million dollars is just dinner and a movie to him. The donation is pretty impressive none the less. What is this Center for Antiracist Research? What kind of research will they actually do?
Now my imagination is drifting towards the Academy of Lagado in Book Three of Gulliver's Travels, where scholars occupied themselves with such projects as extracting sun-beams out of cucumbers. That is unkind of me, though — probably racist, in fact. Let's take a closer look.
The Center seems to be the brainchild of professional black guy Ibram X. Kendi, author of the Number Two antiracist bestseller How to Be an Antiracist. Number One is of course professional white ethnomasochist Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility. I don't think either title has yet outsold the Bible, but they are headed that way.
No, I haven't read Mr Kendi's book, and don't plan to. Three hundred and twenty pages of magical-thinking woo would be several hours out of my life, and I don't have all that many hours left. I did read Coleman Hughes' withering review of the book in City Journal. He quotes Kendi as writing, quote:
Capitalism is essentially racist and racism is essentially capitalist.
Given that Jack Dorsey acquired his billions by sheer capitalist enterprise, you have to wonder whether he's read Kendi's book. But I guess if you can hate your own race as much as these white ethnomasochists do, hating your own path to a colossal fortune comes easily.
Kendi also wants an antiracist amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the establishment of a federal Department of Antiracism empowered with, quote:
disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.
As Coleman Hughes says: "Kendi's goals are openly totalitarian."
Some unkind spirits on Steve Sailer's comment thread have predicted that Dorsey's ten million dollars will go the way money generally goes when it falls into the hands of black grifters: on bling, dope, fancy hookers, rowdy parties where someone gets shot, and bribes to public officials.
I hope they're right. At least that way, the money will do no serious social harm.
06 — Where we eece-flay the ongregation-cay. Just a footnote to that last segment.
Bringing up the website of the Center for Antiracist Research, I saw that one of their projects is a National Antiracist Book Festival. Apparently Ibram Kendi and Robin DiAngelo are not the only ones cashing in on the antiracism cult. There are enough antiracist books on the market for an entire festival.
Quote from the website:
The festival assembles a day full of author panels and editorial workshops. A vibrant crowd of authors and attendees engage in antiracist dialogue that will challenge, inspire, and mobilize. Workshops bring together leading book editors and literary agents to provide insight and guidance for aspiring writers.
That mention of book editors and literary agents, if not bogus, suggests that the market for antiracist literature is still not saturated. There is still gold in them thar hills!
It looks, in fact, as though antiracism is not one of those sack-cloth and ashes kinds of religion, with a strict rule of poverty and obedience. It more closely resembles Al Bundy's Church of NO MA'AM, right up to the point where Rev'm Al whispers to his helpers that "this is where we eece-flay the ongregation-cay."
If this is your kind of thing, though, listeners, by all means go to the website of the Center for Antiracist Research and get a ticket for the National Antiracist Book Festival, to be held in Washington DC next April 24th. An all-access ticket, with which you can attend all those vibrant discussions and workshops, costs only $250, and you get a free tote bag and a copy of Mr Kendi's book!
Hard to resist, eh? Go for it, true believers! You may come home financially poorer, but you will be spiritually richer. And — who knows? — perhaps Jack Dorsey will show up to add some billionaire glamor to the event.
It stands for "Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K." The idea, which seems to be a spin-off from the Brexit debate, is for free trade and freedom of movement between the CANZUK nations.
Well, here's an update. Actually a short video, six minutes, put out in May this year by the CANZUK promoters. They've done some polling and claim to have learned that CANZUK is remarkably popular among its member nations. Approval percentages, they say, are:
That's a good showing. It needs some qualifying, though.
The qualification is related to the argument made by British journalist Ed West, as noted here last month: the argument that the Anglosphere nations are too suicidally multicultural to survive in any form.
That's not so much the case with Australia and New Zealand, which maintain fairly sensible policies on immigration — as they can easily afford to, being far, far away from Africa and West Asia, where live the hundreds of millions of people who are desperate to go live somewhere else.
Canada and Britain not so much. Canada is almost as reckless about mass immigration as we are: Britain is even recklesser. A running story in the British press this year has been the boat people pouring in from France and Belgium, crossing the English Channel in just-barely-seaworthy small boats and rubber dinghies.
These are not, of course, natives of France and Belgium. They come from dysfunctional countries further south: mainly West Asians and Africans, with a seasoning of Albanians. The numbers arrived in Britain this year, at the time I speak, are given as 5,103 — five times the figure for the same period last year. It's the Camp of the Saints in slow motion — slow, but accelerating.
A poll from last week shows that almost three-quarters of Brits, 73 percent, now think that illegal migration is a serious problem. Of those, 45 per cent checked "very serious." Among voters who support the ruling Conservative Party, the number checking "serious" is ninety-seven percent.
Given that Britain's current ruling party is the Conservative Party, you might suppose that they'd be all over the issue. No: they seem unconcerned. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is a globalist multiculturalist who seems to think there is nothing wrong with thousands of Africans, Middle Easterners, and Albanians settling in his country uninvited. Very few of those who arrive are ever deported. Sound familiar?
The Tories are perfectly shameless about it all. Their party manifestos for both the 2010 and 2015 general elections included promises to reduce immigration. A few weeks ago George Osborne, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer — that's like Treasury Secretary — under Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron for both those elections, admitted in a newspaper op-ed that those promises were never intended to be kept. They were, to put it in the blunt American style, just boob bait for the bubbas. Again: Sound familiar?
So my advice to the Aussies and Kiwis would be: If you want the Anglosphere to stay Anglo-Saxon, keep Britain out of it. Canada's not beyond hope; they at least have immigration controls over who enters their country. The Brits have no will to do what needs to be done to keep out the surging numbers. Ten thousand this year, fifty thousand next year … Which year will it be a million, I wonder?
Poor old Britain. Poor, poor old Britain.
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: The Green New Deal got good coverage at the Democrats' national convention. Joe Biden has promised to eliminate carbon emissions from the U.S. electric sector altogether by 2035.
I wonder how well that's playing in California right now. They're having a heat wave over there and it's causing rolling blackouts. A power plant fueled by natural gas failed, and there was not enough wind or solar power to make up the difference.
The whole of the West may be heating up. Last Sunday the temperature in California's Death Valley clocked 130 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperature recorded anywhere on earth since 1913.
But hey, it's California, right? So they can always just head for the beach, do a little surfing. No worries.
Item: In this week of Democratic Party triumphalism, here are two items about Democratic mayors of big cities.
First mayoral item: When those Antifa peaceful protestors object to a public official on some grounds or other, it's getting to be a thing for them to go and fill the street outside that official's house or apartment and shriek obscenities at the windows.
Well, that won't be happening to the mayor of Chicago. That city's police department, who seem to have done little to prevent the looting of Chicago's downtown stores on August 10th, the police department has been ordered not to allow any peaceful protestors into her street.
Says the mayor, a Person of Color named Lori Lightfoot, quote:
I think that residents of this city, understanding the nature of the threats that we are receiving on a daily basis, understand I have a right to make sure that my home is secure.
Madame Mayor: You don't just have a right, you have a duty to make sure that all the citizens of Chicago are secure from mob assault, including downtown business owners.
In any case, as several commenters asked in the comment threads, why should the mayor feel her security threatened by peaceful protestors?
Item: Second mayoral item: This one is not a mayor, only a mayor's wife. The name is Chirlane McCray, wife of New York City's communist mayor Bill de Blasio.
The Big Apple is in dire straits. Businesses and residents are fleeing. Moving companies have so much business, they're turning customers away. Crime is through the roof, lunatics and junkies are camped out on the streets in midtown Manhattan, trash is piling up uncollected, the subway cars are empty, and guesses about the city budget shortfall this year due to unpaid taxes start at a billion dollars.
And here is Ms McCray, the mayor's wife, with no skills or talents anyone has been able to detect, elected by no-one at all. We learned this week that the lady has a staff of fourteen, all on the public payroll of course, with salaries from $62,000 to $237,000, median $116,000, total two million dollars.
McCray is, like her husband, a communist. They took their honeymoon in Fidel Castro's Cuba, remember. An unelected communist with two million dollars-worth of staff on her payroll. Today's America.
Item: Because I put in fifteen years working in the back offices of a Wall Street firm, Mrs Derbyshire looks to me as a gushing fount of knowledge about things financial. I try to explain that I was merely a managing director's cup-bearer — making his coffee, sharpening his pencils, and programming the occasional computer — but her faith remains unshaken.
Thus it was that she asked me the other day why, with the nation going to hell in a handbasket, millions out of work, and stores and businesses shuttered all over, where they haven't been burned out or looted by peaceful protestors, why is the stock market doing so well?
I feigned a disabling attack of hiccups, ran to my study, and looked it up on the internet. Why is the stock market doing so well?
Best I can figure from fifteen minutes browsing is: those shuttered restaurants, those unemployed people, none of them are listed on the exchanges. The names that are listed are names like Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Google. They're all at record highs.
This is capitalism 2020. Perhaps Ibram Kendi could explain it to my wife. If not, maybe I'll try Ms McCray.
09 — Signoff. That's all I can offer you this week, ladies and gents. Thank you for your time and attention, and of course for your emails and donations.
Was I too dismissive back there of the CANZUK idea? Possibly so. By way of making amends, for my signout music I'll reach into Canadian history.
I intend no disrespect to the other CANZUK nations. You hear plenty from me about poor old Britain, including in this podcast. Australia has also been amply covered: doing a site search on the Radio Derb archives, I got 170 hits for "Australia" against only 113 for "Canada." For "New Zealand" there were only 66; but hey, the place is small and remote, I once wrote the definitive long-form article about it, and there are only so many sheep jokes.
So, Canada, Friendly Giant to the North. We weren't always friends. There was a hard-fought battle between American and Canadian forces at the very beginning of the War of 1812, the Battle of Queenston Heights.
Strictly speaking the Canadians weren't Canadians at this point, just colonial British; and the main part of their forces were British Army regulars under the command of a British Major-General, Isaac Brock. They were outnumbered two to one by the Americans, but they won the battle anyway.
Brock died in the fighting. There is a colossal monument to him at the battle site, and a university named after him nearby. His ADC, Lieutenant Colonel John MacDonnell, took over command and fought heroically until he too was killed.
Canadian folk singer-songwriter Stan Rogers apparently thought that MacDonell's heroism had been unfairly lost in the glare of General Brock's, so he wrote a fine stirring song to redress the balance. Here it is: "MacDonnell on the Heights."
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Stan Rogers, "Macdonnell on the Heights."]