At U.S. News, there’s an article titled “The Renaissance of Intellectual Racism”, with a byline which reads: “How institutions gift a veneer of respectability to white nationalists who promote racist pseudoscience.”
Each time I encounter an article like this, I smile. It usually makes my day.
Intellectual racism, in its cultural and pseudoscientific guises, is having a bit of a renaissance of late. At least, it’s receiving more attention than at any time since the debut of “The Bell Curve,” the 1994 book by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray about race and IQ. Murray himself is back in the news, triggering protests as he tours college campuses. Andrew Sullivan, who published excerpts of Murray’s work as editor of The New Republic, recently went out of his way to make a case against the persistence of racism and for black pathology at the end of a much-read piece about Hillary Clinton. Within the last year, white nationalist sites like VDARE, American Renaissance and Radix have become part of the political landscape.
Apart from the usual suspects, the villain of the piece is Raymond Wolters:
In the February issue of the American Historical Review, one of the history profession’s flagship journals, Raymond Wolters reviewed Ansley Erickson’s new book, “Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and Its Limits.” Wolters seemed to have the right credentials to review Erickson’s work on desegregation and busing in Nashville: emeritus professor at the University of Delaware, author of several books on race and education.
Oh, and also an active proponent of racist pseudoscience.
The list of white nationalist publications Wolters has written for is extensive: American Renaissance, VDARE, the Occidental Quarterly, Taki’s Mag, the National Policy Institute (Richard Spencer’s organization). He credits John Derbyshire and Jared Taylor for influencing his transformation to a “race realist” (that is, “racist”). Taylor is the founder and editor of American Renaissance. A taste of his “race realist” analysis of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: “Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization – any kind of civilization – disappears.” For his part, Derbyshire was booted as a contributor to National Review after publishing “The Talk: Nonblack Version,” in which he advised his children not to “act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress” (but to cultivate an intelligent black friend as “an amulet against potentially career-destroying accusations of prejudice”).
Unintentionally, the most telling paragraph is:
The surprising thing here is not that a college professor would advocate for racist ideas – well-credentialed people can have racist belief systems – but rather that a respected journal would solicit him to write a review. So why did one? When the editor of the AHR,Robert Schneider, apologized for the review, he explained that Wolters had all the markings of a legitimate scholar. He had a university webpage, a “long and solid” list of publications and had published in credible venues.
For the Alt Right, any press is good press.
As the piece above, as well as the past 18 months shows, they are no longer able to box us into their neat little categories anymore.