JOHN DERBYSHIRE: “Asymmetry Of Indulgence”—Why Black Cops Can Kill When White Cops Can’t, And Why No-One Cares About Mexicans (Or Whites)
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[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through]

Earlier, by Steve Sailer: Nope, No Riot in Chicago Last Night Over Mexican Kid Shot by a Cop

Here's a phrase due for an airing: "asymmetry of indulgence."

That phrase was coined by conservative British journalist Ferdinand Mount. He was writing about how Leftist politicians get a pass, an indulgence, when they speak in the globalist-universalist diction of Karl Marx and Mao Tse-tung; but when a conservative dares to murmur that perhaps rampant multiculturalism is not a great idea, he is denounced as Literally Hitler.

Plainly we have an asymmetry of indulgence in regard to police shooting of civilians. The asymmetry was in exceptionally plain sight this week, after the shooting of Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb.

The tiny minority of us whose memories stretch all the way back to early January could not help contrasting this shooting and its consequences with the death of Ashli Babbitt:

  • Possibly armed black male with an arrest warrant already extant is accidentally shot dead by white female cop. Nationwide outrage. Cop is fired and charged with manslaughter. City manager who said the cop was entitled to due process is also fired. Mass rioting and looting. 
  • Obviously unarmed white female is deliberately shot dead by black male cop without challenge or warning. [Crickets.]

As Steve Sailer noted, the "Who, whom?" principle doesn't get any more in-your-face than that.

What happened to Ms. Babbitt was a shameful travesty of law enforcement, and the silence on it enforced by the Regime and its media lackeys is outrageous. It tells us all too plainly where we are.

We have, as the late Larry Auster told us, descended into an ersatz religion, with black people as the sacred objects. The emblematic image of our time: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, a white man, kneeling in reverent supplication before the gilded casket of black street thug George Floyd.

White people are bad; black people are good. You didn't know that? The rising generations know it: it's taught to them in kindergarten [Failure Factory, by Christopher Rufo, City Journal, February 23, 2021]. In the world of the mid-21st century, if the U.S.A. is still around—which I increasingly doubt—most Americans will stand on it as the foundation of their social outlook.

Another, and perhaps more surprising, example of the “asymmetry of indulgence" has been in the news, belatedly. This one took place in the early hours of March 29th in Little Village, a heavily Mexican neighborhood of Chicago. A white cop shot a 13-year-old Mexican boy, Adam Toledo.

The cop was one of two responding to gunfire picked up by that ShotSpotter technology that I think all big-city forces use now. Eight shots had been fired, and the two cops headed for that location.

The teenager was plainly a delinquent. He'd just returned home the night before after going missing for several days. He was also one of two on his side of the shooting drama. The other was an adult male, 21 years old.

Well, the two cops saw the two shooters and went after them. One of the cops seems to have been faster than the other: he caught the 21-year-old, handed him off to his partner, then took off after the 13-year-old, Adam Toledo [What to Know About the Police Shooting of Adam Toledo, by Neil Vigdor, New York Times, April 16, 2021].

The kid dropped his gun behind a fence and raised his hands; the cop shot him. The dropping and the hand-raising all happened in less than a second, in poor light. Probably the cop just didn't see the kid drop the gun.

This all happened, as I said, in the wee hours March 29th. The video footage was released to the public only on April 15, Thursday, around 2:30. So then, says this report in the Chicago Sun-Times, "Protestors took to the streets …"


Mass looting? Police stations set alight? Out-of-control mobs of angry Mexicans dancing on top of police cars?

Actually, no. Around fifty protestors marched through the city to a park, shouting slogans. One protestor, name of Jose Herrera, claiming to be a cousin of Adam Toledo, drove around blasting Banda music (whatever that is) and waving a Mexican flag. He later claimed that a cop snatched his flag away and broke the shaft. Oh, dear [Protesters decry fatal police shooting of Adam Toledo following video release, by  Tom Schuba, Manny Ramos, and Sam Kelly, Chicago Sun-Times, April 15, 2021]

By comparison with the Minneapolis ructions, it all sounds a bit lame. Asymmetrical, in fact.

What came to my mind at this point was David Cole.

If you don't know the name, David Cole is a Dissident Right columnist over at Taki's Magazine, and a very good one. He is a Jewish white guy living in Los Angeles.

Cole attended majority-black Los Angeles public schools in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including Alexander Hamilton High School, which at that time, he tells us, was 85 percent black. What was a nice Jewish boy doing in an 85-percent-black high school? He explains that in his March 30th column The War Against Instinct, which I'll leave you to read for yourself.

Main point: That 85 percent black school is today only 26 percent black. Hispanics are 52 percent.

That's a running theme of Cole's: the replacement of blacks by Hispanics. He's not crazy about so many foreign Hispanics settling in his state, but he sees their replacing the blacks as an improvement:

Is there crime in Hispanic underclass neighborhoods? Absolutely. Southern California will never be Reykjavik (it never was). However, Hispanic crime lacks the predatory antiwhite hate-driven hostility of black crime. The best deal? No. But a better deal than 1980s black L.A., and I say that from experience. Plus, there's the issue of offsets. To an extent, Mexican underclass criminality is offset by the value of Mexican labor. There was no such offset in black L.A. You got just the crime, but not the dishwashers and drywallers.

Spicy White and Urban Blight, March 16, 2021

I think Cole overstates his case. A lot of Los Angeles blacks in 1985 must have been doing some kind of useful work. I don't know about L.A. or drywallers, but dishwashers? I was a dishwasher in New York City, 1973–4, and worked alongside many black guys.

The demographic truth Cole's stating is there in the statistics, though. "The black population in East and West Oakland and South Central Los Angeles—places where they held the majority for decades—has greatly decreased," says Wikipedia.

Where did they go? To Georgia, says Cole. "Blacks account for nearly half of the Georgia electorate's growth since 2000." Wikipedia just says "to the South," which I guess encompasses Georgia. They also say, however, that "the black middle class has relocated to nearby suburbs."

If you were to ask Steve Sailer, who's done some deep diving in this pond, he would likely tell you that unscrupulous property developers, in cahoots with local politicians, have moved blacks out of cities like St. Louis and Milwaukee to Section Eight housing in small towns like Ferguson, Missouri and Kenosha, Wisconsin. Presumably that's happened with L.A., too.

And a part of the answer seems to be—surprise!—Minnesota. In the 20 years from 1990 to 2010, the black population of the state went from 2.2 percent to 5.2 percent, from one in 45 to almost one in twenty. For the city of Minneapolis across the same 20 years, the percentage black went from 13 percent to almost 19 percent.

Some of that was refugee settlement from Somalia and Liberia, but not as much of it as you'd think. Wikipedia again:

Minnesota's black population nearly tripled in less than two decades, a large fraction hailing from cities such as Chicago and Gary, Indiana. Black migrants were drawn to Minneapolis … by its abundance of jobs, good schools, and relatively safe neighborhoods. [Emphasis added].

Minneapolis - Demographics - Wikipedia, April 16, 2021

Yes, I'm smiling.

Final word from Steve Sailer

Sure, if a 13-year-old black kid had been shot there would have been riots and if a 13-year-old white kid had been shot there would not only have been no riots but the story might not even have made the national news.

A 13-year-old Mexican kid, however, falls into the beige zone from which it was worth raising the question to find out what the answer was.

The answer, like I said, is asymmetry…of expectations—and outcomes.


John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

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