Six Degrees of Literally Hitler

So far the clampdown on right wing speech continues to expand, with virtually no resistance from elected officials, including the president.

Not only are platforms shutting down political content, the old-fashioned means of chilling speech through public shaming has become more aggressive. Guilt by association gets more invasive and tenuous at the same time guilt gets easier to acquire and alternative right wing views spread. The Narrative holds.

Guilt by association lands easier and harder when the association is “literally Hitler”. Consciously or not the left now places a lot of energy on first identifying someone as beyond respectability, and then going out and picking off anyone who can be associated with him.

Thus, Vox calls out National Review for not applying the ideological scarlet letter to an article by the notorious Jason Richwine whose unearthed “Immigration and IQ” dissertation (PDF) got him fired from the Heritage Foundation:

On Monday night, the conservative magazine National Review published an article coming to the spirited defense of a University of Pennsylvania law professor who proclaimed that she had “rarely, rarely” seen a black student finish in the top half of her class. 

But the defense not only dramatically misrepresented what took place at Penn; it also neglected to include the author’s ties to that very same law professor, to the alt-right, and to his own racist views and past work for a website formerly run by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

Amy Wax testified to her personal experience teaching law:

During her remarks, Wax said, “Here’s a very inconvenient fact … I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class, and rarely, rarely, in the top half. I can think of one or two students who scored in the top half of my required first-year course.” In his response, Ruger said that Wax’s views about black graduation rates at Penn were not factual.

We have a curious situation. Professor Wax is something like an accidental whistle blower. Ruger’s response was comic: it’s not true that few blacks graduate high because some do. Some reporters seem genuinely incapable of seeing the fallacy, but many must be silently accepting it. So a transparent fraud plays out with a wink. Note the mushy construct above: Wax’s “views” (not her first-hand experience) aren’t true or not, but “not factual”. Graduation rates remain closely held, the first-hand account of a professor is refuted with what is almost certainly a lie and the professor is demoted for snitching.

Vox recounts the case against Richwine and, since we’re talking about National Review, segues into, who else, John Derbyshire and his brilliant re-casting of the black slander that is known as “the Talk” about how to deal with dangerous white policemen.

Of course, there was a time when such views and background might have gotten one summarily removed from National Review (a publication for which I have written), which has long positioned itself as a leading conservative publication and was outspoken in its criticism of the white nationalist alt-right during the 2016 election.

In fact, that time was in 2012.

That’s when longtime National Review contributor John Derbyshire (a writer with a long, long history of racism who had even openly described himself as a “mild and tolerant” racist back in 2003) wrote a piece for the far-right outlet Taki’s Magazine titled “The Talk: Non-Black Version,” which one writer described as “kind of unbelievably racist.” In it, Derbyshire argued, among other things, that intelligent black Americans are “something of a luxury good, like antique furniture or corporate jets.”
That’s because, he wrote:

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.”

Somehow the Narrative holds, despite the point-and-sputter method’s reliance on quoting verbatim ideas that sound eminently reasonable. Of course Vox is recounting an episode wherein National Review toed the line when editor Rich Lowry quickly cut loose Richwine. Not enough. With each new firing a new baseline is set; you’re certainly not going to go out and hire someone now who’s further right of someone you just fired, are you? Thus “progress” ratchets along.

Six years later, similar views are being espoused by another National Review contributor, who has previously written for a site dedicating to promoting the views of the alt-right and whose views were too extreme for the very conservative Heritage Foundation.

So Rich Lowry is called upon to be conistent:

I’ve reached out to Lowry, National Review’s editor-in-chief, and National Review Online editor Charles C.W. Cooke for comment and will update if I receive a response.

Social justice on the line, Mr Lowry.

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