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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, fife'n'drum version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air. Greetings, listeners, from your wearily genial host John Derbyshire, with reflections on the week's news.
When I first came to these shores in August of 1973, the first place I ever lived was down on New York's Lower East Side, with some Chinese friends from Hong Kong. They were fairly recent immigrants themselves, and keen to show me the sights.
One evening they took me to Macy's in Herald Square. I'd been in department stores before, of course; but I had to admit, Macy's was pretty darn impressive. I can still recall riding up those escalators.
Monday this week a mob of looters broke in to Macy's. The store had boarded up its windows two days before; and the break-in happened at night, when there was supposed to be a curfew in place. And they looted Macy's.
This was a further metastasizing of the disturbances we reported last week, over a black guy dying in Minneapolis while under arrest. Let's review that.
02 — A policeman's lot. Yes: This is yet another Emmett Till! These things are happening faster than I can keep up. The last one — that black guy out jogging with his tuxedo on, remember that? — was only four weeks ago. Now here's another.
This one concerns George Floyd, a black man who died while under arrest in Minneapolis a week ago this past Monday. Floyd had tried to pass a counterfeit bill at a convenience store. Store employees called the cops, who struggled with Floyd both before and after handcuffing him. He seems to have put up a lot of resistance. Floyd was a very large heavy guy, either 6'6" or 6'7", depending which report you read.
The fracas ended with one cop, Derek Chauvin, kneeling over the perp with a knee on his neck. It's not clear how much weight was on the knee, or the degree — if any — to which this style of restraint led to Floyd's death. He had high levels of illegal drugs in his system, as well as being seriously unhealthy. The convenience store employees he'd interacted with thought he was drunk.
It's also not clear to me how unorthodox this knee-on-the-neck style of restraint is. Our own correspondent who posts as "Federale" here at VDARE.com, and who is a law-enforcement professional, says it's pretty routine. Quote from him:
Kneeling on the head or neck is quite a common and useful physical control technique. It is also used daily in hundreds of arrests.
Federale supplies a supporting video from an arrest in New York City; and at least one law-enforcement website has said that Officer Chauvin was, quote, "compliant with existing policy."
On the famous video clip, Officer Chauvin plainly knows he's being filmed; yet he doesn't have the look of someone aware that he's doing anything wrong.
It's difficult for a lay person to know how to judge this. I've noted before, in the context of the coronavirus panic, how, when some issue comes to major public attention, there is a sudden widespread outbreak of expertise.
If there's a pandemic, suddenly everyone's an amateur epidemiologist. If there's a nasty earthquake, the guy behind you in the supermarket line turns out to know a heap of stuff about seismology, … and so on. This week everyone's had an opinion on police restraint techniques.
And of course all of us, including normal law-abiding citizens, nurse some ambivalence towards the police. We know, from personal encounters, that police work attracts a certain proportion of obnoxious jerks.
One of the great truths about human nature is that power corrupts. For a police force to be effective at all, the cops have to have power over civilians; so it's not a surprise that some cops get corrupted.
Looking back over my own interactions with the guys in blue, across several decades and many jurisdictions in half a dozen countries, what surprises me is how few cops go bad. In a broad and general way, I'm pro-cop.
This past few days we've been hearing calls to defund the police. The people calling the loudest are of course rich celebrity types living in gated communities, but there seems to be some broader support too.
Speaking as the inhabitant of a quiet middle-middle-class white suburb, I'm not totally unsympathetic. If there was no organized police force, myself and my neighbors, many of us armed, could keep order among ourselves with no trouble. Community self-sufficiency is a fine old American ideal.
The problems would arise, of course, when underclass blacks from some nearby ghetto came in to steal our stuff and rape our women. We'd end up shooting a couple, and then we'd quickly be where Officer Chauvin and his colleagues are now, where the three guys in Brunswick, Georgia are, looking at four hundred years porridge on federal "civil rights" and "hate crime" charges.
And that's only to speak of the civilized part of town. Removing police from the ghetto itself would lead to real mayhem. The black-on-black homicide rate would go from the current seven or eight times the white-on-white rate to seventy or eighty times. I wouldn't rule out cannibalism. And it would all, of course, be white people's fault.
You may say: "OK, but George Zimmerman was doing neighborhood watch, and he was acquitted at trial."
That's true; but what George Zimmerman went through is not an advertisement for community self-policing. In any case, that was before the Great Awokening really got under way. Nowadays the ruling class would move heaven and earth to get a conviction.
Derek Chauvin's jury will be stacked with 70-IQ Somalis; and Minnesota's state Attorney General, a black Muslim Bernie Sanders supporter, will rig the prosecution nine ways to Sunday … or nine ways to Friday, whatever the Muslim equivalent is.
So forget about self-policing communities. We need professional cops, with their occasional obnoxiousness, powerful unions, and extravagant benefits. Guess what: It's an imperfect world.
03 — The Church of Antiracism. Listen to this.
[Clip: Bethesda rally.]
That was a rally the other day in Bethesda, Maryland. All I have of it is a video clip and soundtrack. It's an open-air scene in some kind of parking lot or plaza outside a library, in what looks like a spacious middle-class suburb a lot like my own. There are several hundred people present; so far as I can see, all of them are white — males and females both, with I think a slight preponderance of females.
The liturgical quality of their responses illustrates plainly — more plainly than anything I have seen or heard in a long time — John McWhorter's thesis that antiracism is a religion.
You yourself may be more or less religious, or not religious at all, just as you may be more or less musical, more or less athletic, and so on. As individuals we vary; but religiosity, like musicality and athleticism, is a core feature of human nature at large, and will find expression anywhere human beings are living together in quantity.
I'm not very religious myself, and I can't get much of a handle on the appeal of antiracism to Goodwhites, though I see it obviously has great appeal to these Bethesda congregants.
Also to leaders of the big old established religions. This week the Pope declared that racism is a sin. The Archbishop of Canterbury, not to be out-pontiffed, said that racism is, quote, "an affront to God," end quote.
At the risk of having my door kicked down by outraged elderly gents in clerical robes, I'll admit I don't mind racism, in its dictionary definition of thinking some races are better than others. It's a common enough opinion — a wellnigh universal one until about fifty years ago — and harmless in itself.
Racism has of course a lunatic fringe of people who want to rob, persecute, or kill other races. A lot of ideas have lunatic fringes, though, including some old and respectable ideas. Islam has a lunatic fringe, we all know that; so does socialism; so does belief in UFOs; so does animal-rights activism. So, come to think of it, does antiracism.
There are, however, well-established laws against robbing, persecuting, and killing other people for any reason, and I whole-heartedly support those laws. If we are going to judge opinions by the lunatic fringe of those who hold them, the zone of acceptable ideas will be awfully small.
Which, of course, where true believers are concerned, is the whole idea. In the pure world of universal enlightenment, there will be only one permitted opinion on any topic.
For a person like me with a more open frame of mind, the appeal of antiracism is as incomprehensible as the religious observances of Australian Aborigines. I can only watch and wonder as antiracists wave their arms, chant in unison, and shriek in horror at unbelievers.
And genuflect. That seems to be a big thing with antiracist believers. If you don't know the word, "genuflect" is defined at Dictionary.com as, quote:
(1) to bend the knee or touch one knee to the floor in reverence or worship.
People have been genuflecting all over this past few days in displays of antiracist reverence and to express a servile attitude. Michelle Malkin wrote a fine spirited article about it, posted here on VDARE. Sample quote:
America, straighten your spines. Unbow your heads. No home or nation was ever saved by kowtowing to invaders or ransackers. Unless you are praying to God, get up off your knees.
I entirely agree. The guiding ideal here, far as I'm concerned, is: It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
Like Michelle, I'll allow an exception for kneeling before the Creator of the Universe, by those who believe in Him; but I'll be damned if I'll make any allowance, or express anything but contempt and scorn, for those who kneel to honor a lowlife junkie with a twenty-year rap sheet.
Michelle and I are whistling into the wind, though. The Church of Antiracism is mighty in this land now. Bending the knee to its missionaries, and to holy martyrs like the Blessed George Floyd, is every good citizen's duty.
[Clip: Tom Lehrer: "Genuflect! Genuflect! Genuflect! …"]
04 — Kneeling by the gold casket. A footnote here to that last segment.
Jotting down my notes preparatory to recording this podcast, I ended that segment right there. Then, before heading for the microphone, I did a last quick browse of the internet and turned up video footage of a memorial service for George Floyd, conducted by Al Sharpton.
At one point in the clip we saw the Mayor of Minneapolis, a 14-year-old white girl eccentrically named Jacob Frey, sobbing uncontrollably while reverently touching Floyd's gold casket.
A gold casket! I'm sure it's not solid gold, presumably just gilt, but it sure does look grand and holy. Any lingering doubts that antiracism really is the religion of Goodwhites like Ms. Frey were dispelled by that image of her kneeling, and of the casket she was kneeling at, which looked like the kind of object that, a thousand years ago, would have had a basilica built over it.
And, come to think of it, by the time George Floyd's family are through collecting on the Ghetto Lottery, they probably will be able to afford a casket in solid gold. Last time I looked, their GoFundMe page was up over thirteen million dollars.
How many family members are there, though? We're told that Floyd had six siblings, is father to five children, and was living with a lady he met three years ago. We don't know much about the baby-mommas of Floyd's children, but the youngest child we've heard about is six years old, so I guess she's not from the lady he met three years ago.
I do hope there isn't any unseemly squabbling among siblings, children, and baby-mommas over the division of that thirteen million dollars, or however much it ends up as. There's plenty there for everyone; easily enough to buy each of them a house in a nice white neighborhood.
05 — Where are the unbelievers? I customarily frame these Emmett Till episodes in the context of the Cold Civil War between two big groups of whites who hate the sight of each other, with minorities lurking on the fringes of the battlefield looking for opportunities to scavenge and loot. I must say, though, watching the events of this past few days, the forces of Badwhite resistance to Goodwhite hegemony have looked awfully puny.
We have seen the Church of Antiracism marching in its hundreds and thousands; but where are the unbelievers? Where is the other side in the Cold Civil War?
There have been one or two signs of resistance. A small group of Antifa communists tried to demonstrate in the town of Yucaipa, in Southern California, but the locals, who look to be well-armed, chased them out without so much as a token genuflect.
Here in my neck of the woods, which is to say on Long Island, residents of Merrick, in the county adjacent to mine, protested a march through their town by the Antifa-looter coalition. The townsfolk were shouting at the marchers: "Go west!" meaning, to the next town over, which is more … diverse.
Cops negotiated some kind of compromise, and the march went through; but at least the Badwhites of Merrick put up a fight. Thanks, guys!
Here in my own bosky town a few miles further out on the island, a restaurateur scandalized the local faithful by referring on Facebook to the town's small mob of protestors as "punks," "little animals," and "savages." He further claimed that, quote:
They came in and they came out, they saw a bunch of us with a bunch of watermelons we were going to throw at them.
This gentleman, may his name live in honor, is Luigi Petrone, proprietor of Tutto Pazzo restaurant, where I have eaten many times. The food is excellent.
Tutto Pazzo has been closed recently as part of the coronavirus lockdown. Presumably they will re-open at some point. I'd like to tell you that I shall be going there to eat as soon as they do. However, it seems that Luigi Petrone is only the co-owner with his brother Joey; and Joey is a true believer in the Church of Antiracism. Quote from Joey via his attorney:
Mr. Petrone wants to express his DEEPEST APOLOGY for the reprehensible comments made by his brother Luigi …
See, it's just like a real civil war: brother against brother. Until the Petrones have come to some kind of terms, I shall withhold my patronage of their restaurant.
So yes, there have been some small scattered signs of resistance. It's not much, though; and of course the real centers of power are all genuflecting to the terrorists and looters. That includes the Republican side of the Uniparty, whose Senators and Congressmen have been declaring their devotion to the Holy Blessed Martyr Floyd just as loud as they can squeal.
Our useless, ineffectual President has been mostly not present, other than when tweeting pathetically about how he's reduced black unemployment. This is part of a subtle scheme cooked up by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to win this November's election by raising the eight percent of the black vote Trump got in 2016 to eight and a half — maybe nine! — percent. That Kushner guy is a real political genius, isn't he?
So I may have to revise my model of a Cold Civil War. Right now we look more like an occupied nation, dominated by this bizarre cult of anti-white totalitarianism, dissenters from which have no organization, no leadership, and almost no public voice. It's hard to think this will end well.
Fifty-five thousand of them are in Japan, I guess so that we won't be caught out by another surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
Twenty-six thousand are in South Korea, protecting that nation from North Korea, which has half the South's population and one-fiftieth its GDP. Hold the line there, guys!
Where else are they? Well, there's 35,000 in Germany, at battle stations there waiting for the Red Army to come storming through the Fulda Gap. We also have 12,000 in Italy — you know, just in case Mussolini stages a comeback. You can't be too careful.
Meanwhile, a feral mob is looting Macy's. The police can't cope and the Governor won't call in the National Guard for fear the Church of Antiracism will excommunicate him.
So why not bring in the troops? Surely we could spare a few hundred from the, oh, the four thousand we have stationed in Bahrain, wherever the hell that is?
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas made the case in a New York Times op-ed on Wednesday. Sample quote:
It's past time to support local law enforcement with federal authority. Some governors have mobilized the National Guard, yet others refuse, and in some cases the rioters still outnumber the police and Guard combined. In these circumstances, the Insurrection Act authorizes the president to employ the military [inner quote] "or any other means" in "cases of insurrection, or obstruction to the laws." [End inner quote.]
That ignited a civil war in the Times itself, with staffers tweeting their displeasure that the newspaper had published the piece.
We heard from, for example, Nikole Hannah-Jones, the black female reporter who just won a Pulitzer Prize for her "1619 Project" arguing that blackety blackety blackety-black-black-black. Tweeted she, tweet:
As a black woman, as a journalist, as an American, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this.
Jazmine Hughes, an editor of the New York Times Magazine, agreed. Tweet from him, her, or xer:
As if it weren't already hard enough to be a black employee of the New York Times
Poor thing! You can just imagine the hardships they endure, those black employees at the Times, cowering in fear that the white overseers might at any time bring out the whips and cudgels, waiting in line deferentially in the lunch cafeteria until all the white people have been served first. Our hearts go out, Jazmine.
A common opinion was that, to quote one much re-tweeted tweet, tweet:
Running this puts Black @nytimes staffers in danger.
Because, you know: First thing the GIs are going to do, once they've landed in Manhattan, is head up to 41st and Eighth to shoot up the New York Times building.
Late Thursday the newspaper's management caved, telling the world that Tom Cotton's op-ed was the result of a, quote, "rushed editorial process" and "did not meet our standards," end quote.
All this confirms my remark a couple of segments ago: that in the brave new world of wokeness, there will be only one permitted opinion on any topic. Disagreement will be treason.
It confirms something else, too, something I've been hearing for quite a while: That the older staff members at the Times — and some similar institutions — people with the traditional, somewhat open, gentry style of East Coast liberalism, these older staffers have been increasingly at odds with the younger, more "woke" cohort, who have a less tolerant, more totalitarian mindset.
Not just at odds, in fact: Some of what I've been hearing is that the grown-ups are scared of the young radicals. The way the paper caved over Tom Cotton's op-ed suggests this is indeed the case. The grown-ups are scared.
You've probably heard that saying — it dates from the French Revolution — that "A revolution eats its children." To judge from these events at the New York Times this week, what's happening over there is more a case of the children eating the adults.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Just going back for a moment to that point about a preponderance of white women at the Bethesda gathering. White women have been much in evidence at all the protests, and it calls for some kind of explanation.
I should probably say single white women. As Steve Sailer has noted, and as Ed West covers in his new book, which I recommend to your attention, quote from Ed:
The marriage rate among white women remains one of the most reliable variables for predicting the Republican Party's support in any state.
All right, so, single white women: What are they doing, filling the pews at the Church of Antiracism — whose gospel is, let's be blunt about it, anti-white?
I don't know the answer, but whenever this comes up on a Dissident Right human-sciences thread, there's always someone arguing that it's a matter of evolutionary psychology. He argues — and yes, of course it's always a he — that white women are dissatisfied with the weakness of white men, and keen to submit to some more forceful conqueror.
So is the anti-whiteness of single white women the fault of white men somehow? I don't see why it shouldn't be; everything else is.
Item: This week saw June 4th, thirty-one years on from the crushing of the anti-government demonstrations in Peking and other Chinese cities. Those demonstrations were just as impassioned as this week's; although, strange to say, I don't recall any looting of department stores.
In Hong Kong there has been a tradition of honoring that event every year on June 4th with a peaceful vigil. Tens of thousands of people take part every year — with, again, inexplicably, no looting or burning.
This year, with the ChiComs turning the vise on Hong Kong and its liberties, Hong Kong authorities banned the vigil under cover of coronavirus. To their great credit, protestors turned out anyway practicing proper social distancing.
One of their chants was, "End one-party rule," referring of course to the ChiCom monopoly of political power in China.
So: In the USA, violent chaotic protests all over demanding strict adherence to the One True Anti-White Faith. In Hong Kong, orderly protests for freedom of thought and political pluralism … with no looting!
What is it that makes the difference, I wonder?
Lu was a writer — essays and short stories — of the 1920s and 1930s. He has been called "the Chinese Orwell" for his cold-eyed critiques of China's sociopolitical customs, mixed with a deep patriotism and some naïve leftism.
Here is a story about Lu Xun, who was born in 1881. In his early teen years his father got sick, probably from TB. He spent much of the family's small amount of money on traditional Chinese medical treatments, which did nothing for him — they were just quackery. He died when Lu Xun was fifteen.
Disgusted by that quackery, Lu went to Japan at age 21 to study Western Medicine.
This came to mind when I read on Thursday about a new law being drafted by the ChiComs to outlaw criticism of traditional Chinese medicine, TCM for short.
Why would they do that? Isn't TCM just as bogus today as it was back in the 1890s, when Lu Xun watched it do nothing for his father except impoverish him?
Yes it is. TCM is nothing but pseudoscience. So why are the ChiComs outlawing criticism of it?
Quote from the Breitbart report:
TCM has been co-opted by the Chinese Communist Party in recent years to promote a profitable pseudoscience-based medical industry for China that generates vast sums of money for [them]. Recent reports indicate that the CCP expects its brand of TCM to grow into a $430 billion industry by the end of 2020.
That's commies for you: Always looking to make a fast buck.
Item: Finally, my headline of the week, from Yahoo Finance, June 3rd, headline: Spain porn star held after man dies in toad venom ritual.
Executive summary: Nacho Vidal, a porn star in Spain, has been arrested for manslaughter after supervising a mystic ritual in which he caused another man, a well-known fashion photographer, to inhale psychedelic toad venom.
Mr Vidal's Twitter feed, we are told, is full of ads for his 25-centimeter aromatic candles of the male genitalia. Twenty-five centimeters is a tad short of ten inches, though I can't imagine why you'd want to know that. The candles are available in black, white or cerise.
Yes, the jokes write themselves; and yes, the story comes with a comment thread I shall leave you to explore at your leisure.
08 — Signoff. That's all I have for you this week, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and I'm sorry if the news has depressed you. I did try my best for a light touch there at the end. Candles … light … get it? Never mind the touch.
For your further decompression, I have just the thing: some country music!
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Hillary Klug, "Oh! Susanna."]