National Review Still Selling 'Racialist IQ Hogwash'

Former National Review writer Robert Weissberg (Salon)
Former National Review writer Robert Weissberg (Salon)

Salon's Alex Pareene says that National Review may have fired two bigots, but we shouldn't expect the conservative publication to part with the idea that race determines intelligence.


The National Review this month is having one of its semi-regular “purges,” in which formerly welcome members of the conservative establishment are declared distasteful and relegated to the “fringes.” It began when self-declared racist and longtime National Review contributor John Derbyshire wrote a piece (not for the NR but for “Taki’s Mag,” an online magazine devoted to lighthearted racism) that went well beyond the bounds of “acceptable” race-baiting. He was canned. Shortly thereafter, another National Review contributor, Robert Weissberg, was fired for having given a presentation at a conference devoted to white supremacy last month.

These two were not fired for suddenly revealing some hitherto unknown and successfully buried racist attitude — these were not out-of-left field outbursts, like Michael Richards’ onstage meltdown — but for beliefs they had always had and had always expressed. This is what makes it a purge — a decision that this sort of modern “racialism” is no longer considered an acceptable mainstream Conservative attitude.

That’s good! Though it took a while. The National Review’s rejection of the overt racists is actually a fairly new phenomenon. Joan Walsh recently wrote of how the magazine was a strong supporter of racial segregation in its early days, and while that support didn’t last long, prejudice against black Americans and crank “racialist” beliefs were welcome in the magazine long after the 1960s ended.

Read Alex Pareene's entire piece at Salon.