Each week, Queerty picks one blowhard, hypocrite, airhead, sanctimonious prick or other enemy of all that is queer to be the Douche of the Week.
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John Derbyshire is having a rough weekend: A writer for the National Review and a celebrated novelist, he came under attack yesterday for his essay, “The Talk: Nonblack Version,” published on the reactionary website Taki’s Magazine. In this polemic disguised as a lesson to his children, Derbyshire offers several interesting bits of advice, including:
* If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date
* Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.
* If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.
* Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.
* If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving.
NR editor Rich Lowry said that “no one at National Review shares Derb’s appalling view of what parents supposedly should tell their kids about blacks.” It was announced today that Derbyshire had been fired from his post at the magazine. (Of course, that will only fuel his legend as a victim of political correctness.)
British by birth, Derbyshire comes from a long line of English intellectuals who flirted with racism, fascism, anti-Semitism and other “isms,” as if they stood above it all from the perch of Her Majesty’s Empire. People like Evelyn Waugh and Derbyshire’s hero, Kingsley Amis. These were the kind of folks who thought Hitler took it a bit too far.
So what’s Derbyshire’s take on the love that dare not speak its name? The New Civil Rights Movement dug up an interview he did with blogger Kevin Holtsberry in 2003. It was supposed to be about Prime Obsession, Derbyshire’s then-new book about mathematician Bernhard Reimann. But somehow the eccentric conservative got talking about his political views and explained that—having grown up before political correctness—he considered himself a homophobe, “though a mild and tolerant one.”
This means that I do not like homosexuality, and I think it is a net negative for society. As a conservative, inclined to give the benefit of the doubt (when there is doubt) to long-established practices, I cannot help note that there has never been a human society, at any level of civilization, that has approved egalitarian (that is, adult-adult) homosexuality.
Male-male buggery has been proscribed in every society that ever existed. I am inclined to think that there are good reasons for these universal prohibitions. To say the least of it, male homosexuality is very unhealthy–much more so than, for example, cigarette smoking.
What does that even mean—is being a lesbian healthier than smoking? Are bisexuals at equal risk? Remember this guy is a trained mathematician.
Homosexuality both male and female is also antisocial, in a profound sense. I do not believe that any stable society can be founded on any basis other than heterosexual marriage. Under modern conditions, I think you would have to add “monogamous,” too.
That’s the “homophobe” part. Now here’s the “mild, tolerant” part. I think homosexuals should be left alone by the state. While I do not think, as I have said above, that private discrimination against them (or any other group) should be outlawed, I do not believe that homosexuality should be criminalized. Where it currently is criminalized, I should like to see it decriminalized.
I think homosexuals who are willing to give normal life a try should be offered all possible encouragement and support, public and private. Those who are determined to live as homosexuals, or who feel they have no choice in the matter, should just be left alone. It goes without saying–I hope–that I would like to see anyone found to have beaten up a homosexual to be charged with assault and battery, and dealt with accordingly.
Derbyshire’s “mild” strain of homophobia is fairly rampant—we’d dare say it’s prevalent in Western society. Most Republicans would blanch at seeing gay people assaulted in the street, even crusty ol’ Newt Gingrich.
They’d just prefer us out of sight and out of mind.
But suggesting that a whole community of people should be just “left alone” is fairly vague. Would Derbyshire and his ilk want someone who called us names in the street to be “dealt with accordingly”? How about people who kick us out of our apartments? What about the government—can it deny jobs based on an applicant’s race? Can doctors deny treatment to patients because of their sexuality? Because in the absence of legal protections all of these things will happen.
And what does giving a “normal life” a try entail exactly? Banging a few babes before giving in to dick? Getting married to a man and popping out a few kids before accepting you’ll always be a dyke?
It’s nice that you cop to your homophobia, Mr. Derbyshire, but we’re gonna need a little more information if we’re gonna ratchet back our civil rights to your liking.
All together now: What a douche!
Photo: David Tribble, Taki’s Magazine