John Derbyshire: Race Denial Fanatics Vs. Law Enforcement, Academic Reality
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[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through]

The core ideology of our Ruling Class, which citizens contradict at peril of losing their livelihood, is Race Denialism. Statistical differences in outcome by race cannot possibly be biological in origin. The only reasons for those differences you may discuss in public are social: poverty, oppression, lack of self-esteem. And in fact all of those reasons have a single root cause: “systemic racism” on the part of whites towards other races.

Of course, there are at least two problems with this Race Denialism.

You might therefore think that the evidence against Race Denialism is now so glaringly obvious as to force Denialists to some reconsideration—some doubts as to the soundness of their theory.

That, however, would be to underestimate the fanaticism of the Race Denialists. Once a big idea has a real grip on believers, mere logic has no power to dislodge it.

Think of those religious cults that proclaim the Second Coming on a certain date. The faithful assemble on a mountain-top the day before to await the blessed event. Nothing happens. Do they realize the folly of their belief? Not at all. The cult leader just revises his calculations and announces a new date. When the new date arrives, there are the faithful, waiting on the mountain-top again.

There are two social zones in which differences in outcome by race are most plain and have proven most intractable: 1) law enforcement; and 2) academic achievement. Decade after decade, social program after social program, administration after administration, black Americans end up in jail at rates stupendously higher than whites and Asians, and black Americans perform academically at rates dismally lower than whites and Asians.

Nothing works, nothing changes; the statistics stay stubbornly the same. What's a race denialist to do?

Well, he could abandon his faith and become a race realist; but as I've already noted, that's asking the psychologically impossible.

So here's what the Race Denialists have come up with at last: Stop generating the statistics! Too many blacks getting arrested, tried, convicted, and jailed? Stop arresting them! Blacks' academic test scores are way lower than whites' and Asians'? Stop testing!

This is actually the point Race Denialism has arrived at.

  • Law Enforcement

Monday December 7, the city of Los Angeles CA, home to our country's largest prosecutor's office and biggest nonfederal jail system, got itself a new District Attorney: 66-year-old Cuban immigrant and ex-cop George Gascón.

At his swearing-in ceremony on Monday, Mr. Gascón [Tweet him] promised a sweeping, top-to-bottom relaxation of law enforcement for the city. No more cash bail; no more prosecutions of most first-time, nonviolent offenders; no more enhanced prison sentences for accused gang members; a review of thousands of old cases to reduce sentences or overturn convictions altogether.

A whole slew of misdemeanors will no longer be prosecuted by DA Gascón's office at all. They have essentially been de-criminalized.

Driving without a license, or with a suspended license? No prosecution. Public intoxication? No prosecution. Open soliciting for sex? No prosecution. Vagrancy? No prosecution.

You're a small-business owner and customers can't get into your store because of bums sleeping in the street outside—or, when not sleeping, shooting up with drugs, picking fights with passers-by, or crapping? Don't bother calling the cops, they won't respond.

Most incredibly, DA Gascón will no longer prosecute for resisting arrest. How will that work?

If anyone in authority sincerely wanted to reduce the shooting of suspects by police, there would be no better strategy than to mount a massive long-term publicity campaign to tell people not to resist arrest. Conversely, if some lunatic wanted to increase the shooting of perps by cops, the best way to do that would be to encourage people to resist arrest—by decriminalizing it, for instance.

Apparently, DA Gascón is that lunatic.

As Heather Mac Donald wrote:

The vast majority of police shootings … could be eliminated tomorrow, if all suspects complied with officers' commands. Resisting arrest is the biggest predictor of officer use of force.

 ‘No bail’ just part of it: LA’s new DA totally eviscerating basic law,   NY Post, December 9, 2020

And I must say, for such a powerful official of the law, DA Gascón's grasp of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence seems not very firm. Quote from him at Monday's swearing-in ceremony

There's no question that the murder of George Floyd shook the conscience of this country in many corners where people were not concerned about this work before.

 [‘A Tsunami of Change’: How Protests Fueled a New Crop of Prosecutors, By Tim Arango, NYT, December 8, 2020]

So the Los Angeles DA pronounces a murder verdict on the Minneapolis police officers three months before their trial is scheduled to open.

Is this really a guy Los Angelenos want supervising their city's law enforcement?

Apparently, it is. They elected him: In fact he prevailed in a runoff election against Jackie Lacey, who (a) is female, (b) is black, and (c) had the support of every big political player in Southern California, including the Mayor of L.A.

It's not just Los Angeles, either. The New York Times—which, by the way, in their "news" story about DA Gascón's swearing-in above, also mentions, quote, "the killing of Mr. Floyd," although no killing has yet been proved, he may have died of an overdose—that the decriminalization of crime is a nationwide trend. Quote:

The dynamics that propelled Mr. Gascón to victory played out in similar fashion in Austin, Texas, where a candidate vowing to end prosecutions of some drug sales won, and in Orlando, Fla., where voters elected Monique Worrell, whose background includes investigating claims of wrongful convictions.

…followed by approving mentions of similar cases in Georgia, Michigan, Colorado and Ohio.

Those of us with long memories have been here before. My favorite example, which I have pulled out from my own long memory at least once before, features "Turn 'em Loose Bruce." Longish Quote from self:

Back in the late 1980s, there was a judge in New York City named Bruce Wright, known to all as "Turn 'Em Loose Bruce"  for his lenience towards the criminals who came up before him. This was one of those liberal judges who had an excuse for every felon, even for those too stupid or obstreperous to have prepared an excuse for themselves.

Well, one day Judge Wright [pictured right] got mugged in the street near his home. He was off work for a few days. It was a big story in the tabloid newspapers, and a lot of people were making jokes about it.

When Judge Wright returned to the bench, he made a point of starting off that day's session with an announcement: "As I'm sure you all know, I was the victim of a criminal assault the other day. I want to make it clear that this experience will in no way change my sentencing policies on this bench!"

As he paused to let this sink in, someone called out from the back of the courtroom: "Mug him again!"


To judge from the results of these DA elections, a substantial part of our country is now infected with what I hereby christen "Turn 'Em Loose Bruce Syndrome."

Mug 'em again!

  • Academic Test Scores

Here the Race Denialists have gotten a big assist from the Coronavirus panic. Resistant as I am to conspiracy theories, I'm starting to wonder if perhaps this virus was sent to us by Satan in order to destroy civilization.

Use of the SAT and ACT standardized tests is fading fast. Here's a typical announcement from the University of California at Los Angles:

UCLA will not consider SAT or ACT scores for admission or scholarship purposes through fall 2024.

 Freshman Requirements, UCLA Official Website

It's like that all over. Here’s the University of Texas:

High school students who apply to The University of Texas at Austin for fall 2021 undergraduate admission will not be required to submit an ACT or SAT test score as part of their application.

 Standardized Testing Policy FAQs, UT Austin Official Website

The Ivies, too—Yale University:

Applicants who are unable to complete an exam or who choose not to report exam scores will not be disadvantaged.

Standardized Testing Requirements & Policies, Yale Official Website

The official explanation for all this dropping of SAT/ACT requirements: a lot of the test centers have closed, so that students who want to take the tests, can't. The InsideHigherEd website claims that more than half of the students who registered to take the SAT on September 26th, couldn't.[ More Bad News for the SAT,  by Scott Jaschik, September 28, 2020]

I don't see any reason to doubt that official explanation. But it plays right into the hands of the Race Deniers, who've been agitating to kill standardized tests since way before the coronavirus showed up. The University of California was being sued in state court last year by activists seeking to get rid of SAT and ACT requirements. (Carol Christ, [Email her] the chancellor of the Berkeley campus naturally sided with the activists.) [Should The SAT Test Be Outlawed?, by Richard Vedder, Forbes, December 16, 2019]

So how should colleges select the most promising students from among their applicant pools? Holistically. The word "holistic" shows up time and again in college statements about their admissions processes.

What does it mean in practice? Nine years ago at the Claremont Review of Books I reviewed Andrew Ferguson's book titled Crazy U: One Dad's Crash Course in Getting His Kids Into College. I wrote:

Ferguson closes a long paragraph on "holistic" admissions with the observation: "A more practical and accurate term for holistic admissions is 'completely subjective.” Which I think we all kind of knew.

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

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire's writings at can do so here.

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