GO FOR IT, DERB! I usually rejoice in John Derbyshire's unfiltered Asperger's rants on race, and today's celebration of Enoch "Rivers of Blood" Powell started promisingly enough, with a declaration that "Powellite sentiments" -- segregation and expulsion of dark people, in case you didn't know -- "were brow-beaten out of the public square" via a "campaign of propaganda, brainwashing, and intimidation."
When he got to "[Powell's] first trip ever to the United States," I looked forward to ravings about the British statesman's clear-eyed appraisal of the intractability of Negro anger, and how right he was, as the United States has become a place where African-Americans cannot be avoided, even at most country clubs. Alas, Derbyshire changes the subject to Vietnam.
What a disappointment! It's not like he needed to blaze a trail; rehabilitation of Powell's racially "contrarian" views has been going on among legacy-hungry conservatives for some time. I suspect even Derbyshire is feeling the heel of political correctness on his neck. Let us hope he wrenches free of it and, his ardor engorged by the spirit of resistance, unleashes a stemwinder on what he really thinks.
Till then, it's pretty sweet to see even Derb's watered-down racial obsessiveness share a page with Andy McCarthy's lament that Obama consorts with extremists. Spasms of self-awareness sometimes trammel (though unconsciously) individual National Review writers, but the magazine's institutional memory seems not to register with them at all.