Fired National Review Writer John Derbyshire Is Racist, Homophobic And None-Too-Bright

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. 

Have a nominee for DOTW? E-mail it to us at [email protected].


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



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  • Shannon1981

    Even conservative publications are firing open bigots now. A change is gonna come!

  • Stop Political Correctness

    What did he say that was factually incorrect?

  • Marcus

    @Stop Political Correctness: The implication that homosexuality is a choice is factually incorrect, but I’m sure you’ll debate that. The disgusting nonsense about avoiding black people is straight out of 1950, too.

  • jason

    But what about buggery between a man and woman, Derbyshire? Does that get a pass from you?

    What Derbyshire really fears, in my view, is the notion that all men are capable of having sexual relations with other men. In a world without the male-male stigma, most men would turn to other men in my view.

  • jason

    Sexual orientation is not a choice but behavior can be guided by social forces such as stigma. This is why the stigma on male-male sexuality is so big in modern society. It acts as a brake on unbridled male sexuality and, therefore, male-male sexuality.

    Without the stigma, most men would turn to other men. This would happen because it is generally easier for male personalities to co-exist than it is for a male personality to co-exist with a female personality. The stigma on male-male interactions serves as a guiding force to encourage men away from male-male sexuality.

    In essence, it is as much a stigma on male promiscuity as it is on male-male sexuality. Think about it.

  • Muleskinner

    Still the same ole song and dance: racism will get you fired but homo hate will get you a raise.

  • unclemike

    jason, that is the stupidest thing I’ve read in a long time.

  • tjr101

    I’m sure he has a nice high paying position waiting at Fox “news.”

  • michael

    Homophobic douche? As far as homophobes go he isn’t a douche. Sure, he’s a racist douche but he doesn’t appear to be advocating making sure gay people don’t have equal rights.

  • Stop The Races From Mingling

    @Chad: I was mocking the post by Stop Political Correctness.

  • B

    No. 2 · Stop Political Correctness wrote,”What did he say that was factually incorrect?”

    Well, I’m not sure John Derbyshire deserves to be “the douche of the week,” but primarily because he might qualify for “idiot of the week.”

    One thing he said that is factually incorrect is that “Male-male buggery has been proscribed in every society that ever existed.” that statement is simply not true:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Societal_attitudes_toward_homosexuality#Regions_and_historical_periods and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_society#Law

    Example 1. Ancient Greece. Need we say more?

    Example 2. Ancient Rome. This case is complicated because the rules included social status. A high-status Roman citizen could not be penetrated, but could penetrate a slave or an individual of sufficiently low status. Status was important; gender was not (but women had a low status anyway).

    Example 3. Ancient China. No problem until Christian and Islamic influences came into the picture.

    Example 4: Ancient Israel. While Leviticus seems to suggest otherwise, there are no records of anyone being actually punished for it.

    Example 5. 21st century Western Europe, Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico all have gay-accepting majorities or no laws criminalizing homosexuality. Some allow same sex marriages and most of the remainder recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships. Of these, the U.S. and Italy are the furthest behind the curve, with a few U.S. states being an exception.

    With a few exceptions most of the countries with serious criminal penalties against homosexuality are located in the Middle East and a nearly contiguous group of countries in Africa, some of which are adjacent to the Middle East. It seems that from a homophobic standpoint the Middle East is the root of all evil.

  • Ben

    Unfortunately, the simple reality is that some of what this guy has said is actually scientifically accurate.

    For example, as noted by FBI/CIA/DOJ crime statistics, black neighbourhoods are almost universally disproportionally high with regards to assault, battery and theft. There could be any number of reasons why of course, but the simple fact is that they are. Period.

    And that is not actually “racism” to observe that statistical fact.

    Trying to claim that black people cause crime is of course absurd (and racist), but there is nonetheless a government documented statistical correlation. The areas in the United States with the highest concentrations of rape and assault, also tend to have highest concentrations of blacks.

    Thus, telling your children to avoid black neighbourhoods is not racism. It is pragmatic, common sense.

  • Dr. Dick

    @B: Abrahamic (cults) religions are the root of all evil. Period.

  • neill

    That world would be short-lived.

  • Buck Johnson

    The guy didn’t get fired for the supposedly anti-gay comments. He got fired for the 110% true “don’t allow yourself to get robbed beaten or murdered by the barbarian elephant in our societal room.” Just sayin.

  • pedro

    Derbyshire has been saying these things for years, he is a race realist, i.e. he believes that blacks are intellectually inferior through their genetics…He is constantly talking about blacks vs non-blacks…In his theory there are blacks on one side and all other races on the other….He is married to an Asian woman, and talks about his Asian fetish constantly. He essentially considers Asians and whites to be the superior races, and other non-black races, such as myself (beig Latino), to be second tier races…But he really, really despises black people, and essentially considers them subhuman…I used to listen to his podcast, because it was always good for a good laugh…I can’t believe they fired him, this recent essay is very much in line with what he’s been saying for the past few years in his podcast.

  • pedro

    By the way, I believe that Derbyshire, from everything I have heard from him, is an Atheist…So for all the anti-Catholics and anti-Christian gays…Yes, you can be a Darwinian evolutionist and still be a bigoted homophobe…I have met quite a few homophobes who were either Atheist or Agnostic and they essentially ground their homophobia in the idea that homosexuality is not advantageous to the species, blah, blah, blah…I also think this “race realist” thing is akin to modern eugenics…It could lead to some serious shit, if it catches on with people in places of power…And they’ll claim Science is on their side this time…the future could be a dangerous place…On a brighter note, Blessed Easter, from a proud gay Catholic!

  • Hephaestion

    Derbyshire is no scholar, or he would know that “male-male buggery” HAS been approved of in many societies. When Europeans sailed to the Americas, they were appalled to find that virtually all of the new world had happy, openly homosexual natives. The same was true of most of Africa centuries ago, and when western Europeans began visiting Russia when Peter the Great contacted the West, the western Europeans were shocked and dismayed to find “male-male buggery” happily accepted in Russia then. In short, homosexuality seems to have been accepted in every society until organized religions poisoned them.

  • Tackle

    @pedro: It has “been” cought on with people in places of power. Population control by the elitist directed at who they deem undesirables has been in affect for years.

  • Bi-Coastal

    @Black Panther Whitehouse: You and I seem to be the only people to acknowledge that blacks are not, nor have they ever been, gay-friendly, and yet the Queertyphiles seem determined to convince themselves of this untruth. To say something that offends one’s sensibilities is racism is absurd; it’s simple reality.

  • pedro

    @Bi-Coastal: Umm…My black boyfriend seems pretty gay friendly to me. His parents and two sisters also seem pretty gay friendly…

  • Gigi

    Why are there so many trolls here today?

  • Moo

    @Bi-Coastal: Homophobia and homosexuality both transcend race, so it’s a case of “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

  • Sansacro

    @Stop Political Correctness: Uh, that homosexuality is more unhealthy than cigarette smoking! Uh, that homosexuality is a negative to society. Show me that data for either of those ridiculous claims.

    And don’t try and pull out the old straw men such as AIDS and procreation. AIDS is an epidemiological issue, not one of sexual orientation. Gays are, and always have been, a significant minority of any population.

    Keep projecting your own fantasies and fears onto the world; it worked wonders for Hitler.

  • pedro

    Why is queerty censoring comments? I really despise censorship. Let people have their say, then others can respond in the affirmative or in opposition. Why the need to censor people’s speech?

  • Matthew Rettenmund

    Wait, who got to decide that the appalling level of anti-gay sentiment entrenched among white people is an acceptable level, and that whatever level above and beyond that entrenched among black people is NOT acceptable? Oh, right, white people. I’m white—I know your games.

    This guy is an appalling, out-and-out racist. Anyone defending him is, too, and that is NOT political correctness. Political correctness is “call me African-American, not black,” and is a courtesy thing, seemingly insubstantial to one party but obviously very substantial to the other. What this guy is up to is full-blown racism. It’s okay to label racism as racism…it doesn’t mean you have to feel ashamed to be white when other white people do or say something vile.

  • Clockwork

    Mitt Romney said it best, “I Like Being Able to Fire People”

    National Review has a good record for firing commentators who drift into bigotry.

  • the crustybastard


    Oh, give it a rest.

    Atheism doesn’t MOTIVATE racism and homophobia in anything beginning to approach the way religion motivates racism and homophobia.

    Priests and other charlatans manipulate the imagined racism and homophobia of their imaginary gods to cause the gullible faithful to believe that acting on their own racism and homophobia is what God demand of them. Atheists do not fall into such a logical fallacy (the appeal to authority) because they don’t believe in priests and gods.

    Moreover, you’re disingenuously equating the idiotic philosophy of “social darwinism” and all its eugenics-fueled dumbshittery with the science of evolution. They are very much not the same.

    Yes, atheists and agnostics can incidentally be racists and homophobes, but only because a person can both reject gods and at the same time be a self-deluded narcissist, like Derbyshire.

    This can happen, but it is rare.

    So you may know some dipshits like Derbyshire. Bully for you. But you cannot show that atheists and agnostics are even remotely as racist and homophobic as religious people, because it simply isn’t the case.

  • tj

    @ Jason
    I kind of agree with you. I think the basic fear of homosexuality is that if it is “okay” then MORE people would have same sex relationships. I’d also argue that if homosexuality becomes just sexuality people will engage in it with out thinking about. We’re centuries from that but think miscegenation in the 50’s versus now. Admitting to sexual attraction across race is no big deal in fact its just assumed that one would be attracted to people of all races.

  • the crustybastard

    Fuck you, Queerty. And fuck your auto-censorship.

  • Freddie

    To compare Evelyn Waugh and Kingsley Amis, two of the greatest novelists and writers of the twentieth century, to this pseudo-intellectual moron is absurd. Plus, Kingsley Amis’ best man was openly gay and Evelyn Waugh’s magnum opus Brideshead Revisited has homosexuality as one of its main themes. Both were gay friendly!

Comments are closed.