The thing about John Derbyshire

He is a self-avowed racist. And also a sexist – both for a long while.

And in the couple days following his racist screed, Derbyshire a longtime writer for the National Review, that age-old bastion of truth telling, was fired from the publication.  In the immediate aftermath, conservative commentators have been clutching their pearls and carrying on about how “contemptible” and “breathtaking” Derbyshire’s racism is, calling it “indefensible.” They couldn’t run fast enough or far enough.

To my mind, there are a couple of interesting elements of this public shaming and ostracization of Derbyshire.

First, as Jessica argued in the Nation, it’s not really a heavy lift to call a self-avowed racist a racist. Water is wet. This horror and outrage at Derbyshire’s might even be sincere, though I’m not going to bet the farm on that one — he’s been around saying indefensible things for many years, and remained a writer for the National Review and others. It might even be a neat little present for the conservative media to be able to ratchet up their anti-racist bonafides by throwing Derbbyshire under the bus — they get to fire a racist in a big huff, proving that they are indeed the party of inclusion.

Secondly, as it turns out, nothing seems to have changed in conservative media. The Daily Caller, the same site on which a writer  called Derbyshire’s words indefensible,  posted, a mere 48 hours later, a racist diatribe about theft and white guilt. Furthermore, TODAY, the National Review itself has posted a piece by Dennis Prager calling America the “least racist” country, and referring to the outage in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s murder as “manufactured” by the left. This is on the same page as Rich Lowry’s post about the site “parting ways“with Derbbyshire because of his racism.

So tell me, conservative media, what exactly has changed?

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