Apr 7, 2012

'The Talk' is something that most African Americans are familiared with. It is the discussion that parents have with their sons and daughters to prepare them to deal with the racial realities of America.

The Trayvon Martin tragedy has introduce nonblack people to a part of being Black in America that is rarely shared outside of the black community.

John Derbyshire, a prominent conservative writer for The National Review, decided it was time to share the white version of 'The Talk'. What he writes is very offensive but nonetheless insightful.

I realize that when some of you read what he has to say about information he's shared with his children when it comes to their possible encounters with black people you may get upset.

I implore you not to get upset but rather use this as an information tool. If we are ever going to have a real and honest conversation about race it's important that we all start from an honest place. I just wish Derbyshire would have told his children that it was in fact white people that came up with the racial construct that he seems to insinuate is only used by black people.

It's very insightful to see what people really think when they're no longer hiding behind the veil of political correctness.

Here's just a snippet of what he wrote:

(9) A small cohort of blacks—in my experience, around five percent—is ferociously hostile to whites and will go to great lengths to inconvenience or harm us. A much larger cohort of blacks—around half—will go along passively if the five percent take leadership in some event. They will do this out of racial solidarity, the natural willingness of most human beings to be led, and a vague feeling that whites have it coming.

(10) Thus, while always attentive to the particular qualities of individuals, on the many occasions where you have nothing to guide you but knowledge of those mean differences, use statistical common sense:

(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.

(10b) Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.

(10c) If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date (neglect of that one got me the closest I have ever gotten to death by gunshot).

(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.

(10e) If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.

(10f) Do not settle in a district or municipality run by black politicians.

(10g) Before voting for a black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.

(10h) Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.

(10i) If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving.

(11) The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday situations. “Life is an IQ test.”

(12) There is a magnifying effect here, too, caused by affirmative action. In a pure meritocracy there would be very low proportions of blacks in cognitively demanding jobs. Because of affirmative action, the proportions are higher. In government work, they are very high. Thus, in those encounters with strangers that involve cognitive engagement, ceteris paribus the black stranger will be less intelligent than the white. In such encounters, therefore—for example, at a government office—you will, on average, be dealt with more competently by a white than by a black. If that hostility-based magnifying effect (paragraph 8) is also in play, you will be dealt with more politely, too. “The DMV lady“ is a statistical truth, not a myth.

(13) In that pool of forty million, there are nonetheless many intelligent and well-socialized blacks. (I’ll use IWSB as an ad hoc abbreviation.) You should consciously seek opportunities to make friends with IWSBs. In addition to the ordinary pleasures of friendship, you will gain an amulet against potentially career-destroying accusations of prejudice.

(14) Be aware, however, that there is an issue of supply and demand here. Demand comes from organizations and businesses keen to display racial propriety by employing IWSBs, especially in positions at the interface with the general public—corporate sales reps, TV news presenters, press officers for government agencies, etc.—with corresponding depletion in less visible positions. There is also strong private demand from middle- and upper-class whites for personal bonds with IWSBs, for reasons given in the previous paragraph and also (next paragraph) as status markers.

(15) Unfortunately the demand is greater than the supply, so IWSBs are something of a luxury good, like antique furniture or corporate jets: boasted of by upper-class whites and wealthy organizations, coveted by the less prosperous. To be an IWSB in present-day US society is a height of felicity rarely before attained by any group of human beings in history. Try to curb your envy: it will be taken as prejudice (see paragraph 13).


Of course a lot of people have come out condemning what Derbyshire wrote, but I'm not going to be one of them. I'm just happy that someone finally has the testicular fortitude to finally say what they really think instead of hiding behind the cloak anonymity on the internet.

Some people are saying he should have never wrote the piece, but I'm happy he did. This is what I like to call progress. Now if we could only get the rest of these bigots to take off their hoods and be honest.


  1. I think that the personal safety piece of this is a likely talk that whites have. The rest of it was him slamming black people. I read the article in its entirety. To me the tone of i t was not reconciliatory at all. It wasnt in an effort to promote a healthy dialogue and honest conversation and advance race relations. He was retaliating. So from that standpoint, I think people are within their right to be upset.

  2. I don't think I ever implied that people shouldn't be upset, nor was I saying that he was trying to be reconciliatory with his statements. Derbyshire wasn't trying to promote healthy dialogue. He was trying to make a point in letting us know that white people have the 'The Talk' as well, but their's go a little differently.

    We need to get away from this political correctness BS and realize that what Derbyshire wrote is indicative of how a lot of people feel about black people. Derbyshire was just arrogant enough to voice his opinions out open instead of pretending he feels one way when he doesn't.

    To have a real dialogue on race you have to start from an honest place. And when you start from an honest place, there are going to be some hurtful and offensive things said.

    In our haste to rush to this place of post-racial, we are failing to deal with the real issues around race, racism, and white privilege in this country. Black people can't be the only ones engaged in the topic of racism. Everyone needs to be involved and share their truth whether we want to hear it or not.

  3. I am for a healthy, honest even ugly conversation that advances and improves race relations. To just be honest and double down on racist or supremacist views doesn't help the situation, in my opinion. To me, that's what his article does. The tone to me was "y'all have a talk; well we got one too." If that tone is what is taken, to me the conversation isn't worth having. They are just merely restating the obvious.

  4. Stuart the VikingApril 8, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    I have always said that getting racism out in the open where it can be discussed (and pointed at and laughed at) is the next step. Sure, it will be hard at first. Emotions will run hot, and a few people might even get killed. But, it is the only path that I can see to a future without racism. A long hard path it will be. I worry that the human race will never have the fortitude to step foot on that path.


  5. You want to be "post-racial" but you still use (ergo presumably believe in) the phrase "white privilege"? Next.

  6. Well I know I will be slammed for this but telling someone they are 'racist' or 'white supremacist' or whatever else will shut down the conversation period. Judging people usually does that. and you may think BUT I'M TELLING THE TRUTH!!! THEY ARE RACIST!! However, it is that exact kind of tone that usually leads to violence or people just not being honest period and hiding their beliefs. I hope that more people will find a way for us to communicate differently and LISTEN TO EACH OTHER. the book NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION can really help us on that path I think.

  7. For a moment, take race completely out of the issue. How would you reconcile a relationship between any two people where trouble has cropped up?

    Marriage counseling is very fine example. Unless the goal is pent up anger, frustration, mistrust and more, each party should be able to be honest in speaking what bothers them.

    Rather than becoming hostile, defensive, etc, trying to understand why the other person feels the way they do will do more in healing the relationship than attacking, belittling them (or whatever other negative action you can think).

    These same principle need to be applied here. You don't have to like what you hear, but hearing it and understanding why someone feels the way they do comes from things they have had happen - their life experiences.

    We all have our own luggage that we carry whether its from relationships or the way encounters went with certain groups of people. Whether the groups is segregated by race, gender, sexual preference, political lines, religious lines, economic group, etc.

    This is also affected by the generation of the person whether we like it or not. Older generations lived in obviously different times and their experiences are very different than those we have. For example, interracial dating was not as common as it once was.

    The problem when it becomes a group is focusing the conversation and keeping it on the positive rather than the childish finger pointing and name calling and acting out.