Remember our friend John Derbyshire, formerly of the National Review? He’s the guy who wrote an article on Taki’s Mag about talking to your children about black people, which started out sort of funny in that hipster racist way, but then quickly veered off into a danger zone of bizarrely arbitrary stereotypes. (To paraphrase: “Black People Day at Six Flags is the worst!”)
Well, ever since he was fired by Rich Lowry for going over the implied racism quota set by the Review, Mr. Derbyshire has been keeping himself busy. Writing about how White Supremacy has a bad rap, going to his radiology checkups, brushing up on his Smithsonian back issues…he’s kind of your granddad, isn’t he?
Mr. Derbyshire finally found a topic he can really sink his politically incorrect teeth into: U.S. cities that pretend that they’re more racially diverse than they are. And he’s got the data to back it up! Though he’s not really sure what it means! Also: Stuff White People Like, NPR, and the term “multicultural” as an insult…all below!
After reading an article entitled “The 20 Best Towns In America,” Mr. Derbyshire uses his confounding logistical skills and determined the best response to this piece would be to investigate the racial make-up of several of these locations. Always one for throwing a curve-ball, Mr. Derbyshire starts off enraged that someone from NPR was quoted as saying that a small Massachusetts town was racially diverse, when it fact it was full of white people.
We also hear from a local NPR (!) director that:
Great Barrington is a small, manageable, economically and ethnically mixed town.
That started me wondering just how ethnically mixed Great Barrington and the other Best Small Towns are. I brought up city-data.com and opened a spreadsheet. Look, it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. In what follows, bear in mind that the USA as a whole is 63.7% non-Hispanic white, 12.2% non-Hispanic black, 16.3% Hispanic, and 7.8% Other.
Great Barrington turned out to be deplorably un-diverse, the NPR guy notwithstanding. The percentages of white-black-Hispanic are 84.9-2.6-7.7. Smithsonian readers might have to hunt around for those chimichangas.
(Love city-data.com by the way; we just learned that in our hometown, “the number of registered sex offenders compared to the number of residents in this place is a lot smaller than the state average.” Score!)
The thing you have to understand about Mr. Derbyshire is that he thinks he’s being equitable. So while he mocks the concept of Stuff White People Like on one page, on the next he feels its his duty to prove that he’s still an edgy provacateur.
With Key West, FL, though, we’re back in Bobo-land:
Hippies, artists, writers and chefs have sustained a vibrant, kitschy art scene for decades.
Spare me. And do people still use the word “vibrant” non-ironically to mean something other than “crime-riddled multicultural slum”?
This type of lazy racism wouldn’t be worthy of a post–Though we’ve never heard the term ‘multicultural’ as a slur before. Did he mean multiethnic?– except that as it turns out, Key West is actually more white than the national average:
On one hand, Key West is whiter than the USA at large, though only slightly (66.1%). On the other, it has 19% more crime than the US average given by city-data.com, with particularly high levels of burglary and theft.
We’ve always wondered what a failed attempt at bigotry would look like, but apparently it involves calling a predominantly white neighborhood a multicultural slum. Which makes John Derbyshire about as accurate at reporting racial disparities as an NPR reporter.
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