[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, piano version]
This podcast marks something of a milestone. Radio Derb first podcast on May 27th 2004, fourteen years ago last Sunday; so with this edition, we enter our fifteenth year.
By way of commemorating this event, I have done a little work on my personal website, johnderbyshire.com. All my podcasts back to that first one in 2004 are now available there. If you want to hear my comments on the 2004 election campaign, Hurricane Katrina, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Arab Spring, or anything else that's happened since the Boston Red Sox broke an 86-year losing streak, check it out.
Go to johnderbyshire.com, click on "Opinion" at top right, then on "Radio Derb." If you'd rather read than listen, there are transcripts for most of the podcasts back to 2008; earlier than that, it's spotty. Transcribing sound files is a chore. You can pay people to do it but it's expensive. I'm waiting for good transcription software.
OK, to the news.
What, it seems plain to me, exists in plain sight beyond any trace of doubt, is mulatto privilege. If you're just a little bit black — I think one-eighth is about the sweet spot — and your family is upper-middle-class or better, you've got it made. You get a good start in good schools (which is to say, schools with lots of upper-middle-class white, Jewish, and Asian students), then you get to float effortlessly upwards on the warm drafts of liberal guilt and affirmative action.
Hence the phenomenon of the Mulatto Mafia that was so prominent in the Obama administration. There was Obama himself, of course, and Eric Holder, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, … you know the cast list. The Mulatto Mafia.
Our own Steve Sailer has written very perceptively about this. Quote from Steve, writing at Taki's Magazine a year ago:
As Hillary's failure to motivate blacks in key Electoral College states to turn out suggests, the future increasingly belongs to the small number of individuals who can, Obama-like, scrape together some biological claim to blackness without being weighed down by African-American cultural traits.
End quote. These exotic part-blacks are awful prickly, though. You really don't want to offend them. They'd like you to know how oppressed they feel, what with having spent their childhoods picking cotton and being abused by overseers. In point of actual fact they spent their childhoods attending tony private schools and expensive summer camps; but don't you dare say that.
That is one aspect of the fuss over Roseanne Barr this week. I say one aspect: there are plenty of angles you can come at this story from. This aspect — the class aspect — is under-reported, though, so it's my duty to bring it to you.
What Roseanne did, as I'm sure you know, is, she tweeted a rude comment about Valerie Jarrett, a quintessential member of the Mulatto Mafia. The actual tweet went, quote: "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj," end quote.
That's kind of dumb and not very funny; but, as plenty of commentators from our side have been pointing out, lefty comedians and commentators say worse things about our elected President every day of the week, and get applause for it.
Rosie got fired. Her show was dropped by ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey.
I'd never heard of this person Channing Dungey, so I googled her. Guess what: a mulatto.
Upper-middle-class family? Can't find details, but the lady did attend Rio Americano High School in a very nice area of Sacramento. I see neighboring residential properties for sale at 3½ million, 725 thousand, 1.1 million. I don't know how things were when Ms Dungey graduated in 1986, but the current student body at Rio Americano is 66 percent white, 15 percent Hispanic, seven percent Asian, and five percent black, which no doubt includes part-black, slightly-black, and just-barely-black.
So with Ms Jarrett as the offended party here, backed up by Ms Dungey, I'm going to call mulatto privilege on this one.
In fact, coming like Roseanne out of the white working class, my position in this silly business is one of class solidarity. The Jarretts and Dungeys, the Rices and Holders, beneficiaries of comfortable upbringings and liberal white guilt favoritism, were twice privileged over grubby white proles like me and Roseanne.
And sure, I know: Roseanne is not any kind of beacon of hope for the Dissident Right. She's a showbiz airhead, with political opinions all over the place. I don't mind that. I actually prefer it to the lockstep ideological rigidity of university Cultural Marxists. For all her fog of political confusion, Roseanne has more of a clue than they do, as witness the success of the show that just got canceled.
So: Roseanne, honey, any time you're in Long Island, drop by and we'll have a drink. On me.
03 — The death of humor. Roseanne's offending tweet didn't strike me as funny; but she is a comedienne by profession, and quite a good one in her prime. I didn't see any of this latest show, the one that got canceled, but I have dim, vague recollections of quite enjoying the previous version, back in the late 1980s.
I can actually remember the first joke I ever heard Roseanne utter. That was on the Johnny Carson show when she was really new, even before she got a sitcom. The joke was about growing up Jewish in the American West, which Roseanne did. The Jewish cowboys, she said, used to call out: "Yippee-ay-oh chai-ay!" Not bad.
So my topic this segment is the place of humor in an age of Cultural Marxism. This is another angle from which to come at the Roseanne episode. Has anyone called it "Roseanne-gate" yet? I really hope not. I certainly won't.
Kyle Smith did a good column on this general topic, the topic of humor, last week, before Roseanne-gate … Oops, sorry; I mean, the Roseanne episode, before the Roseanne episode blew up.
The hook for Kyle Smith's piece was the story of Richard Lebow, Professor of Political Science at King's College, London.
Professor Lebow, who is 76 years old, was attending an academic conference held by the International Studies Association at a hotel in San Francisco last month. Also attending was Simona Sharoni, age unknown (looks to me like fiftysomething). Ms Sharoni is Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Merrimack College.
The two professors found themselves sharing a crowded elevator. Someone next to the buttons asked Professor Lebow what floor he wanted. "Ladies' lingerie," quipped Professor Lebow. Professor Sharoni took strong exception to that, so much so she lodged a complaint with the International Studies Association. They demanded Professor Lebow apologize to the outraged feminist. Professor Lebow refused, and where things went after that I have no clue. The elevator thing happened back in April.
That stupid little incident was, as I said, the hook for Kyle Smith's piece last Sunday. Quote from Kyle:
Any suggestion that political correctness amounts to "just being polite" is bonkers. Today, it's a weapon deployed by capricious neurotics from Planet Grievance to ruin perfectly normal people who display normal Earthling behavior such as "joking."
End quote. That's right, and it illustrates a truth about the CultMarx hegemony that is descending on us like a cloud of volcanic ash. The truth is: CultMarx can't abide humor.
No, that's not quite right. There is a style of CultMarx humor, but its scope is narrow and repetitive. The main components of it are:
Outside that narrow scope there is very little to CultMarx humor.
Aside from this narrowness of scope, the other thing you notice about CultMarx humor is how ill-natured it is — actually, cruel. There's a taunting, jeering pleasure in it, a rubbing of the enemy's face in the dirt. These people hold the commanding heights of our culture, and they want us to know it.
Humor doesn't have to be like that. Humor can be good-natured, without malice. Even jokes that make fun of pompous, important persons aren't necessarily malicious.
Arthur Koestler, in his 1964 book The Act of Creation, went in search of the archetypal joke. Here's one of those he came up with.
A man comes home unexpectedly one day and finds his wife in bed with the local bishop. Having seen them, the man crosses the bedroom, throws open the window, and starts calling out blessings on people in the street below.
"What are you doing?" asks the bishop.
"Well," says the man, "since you're doing my job, I may as well do yours."
All right, it's not a great joke. It's a couple of hundred years old, though, and illustrates the point that you can be funny without malice. The people who laughed at that joke were mostly Christian church-goers. They didn't hate bishops or the church; they just liked to imagine a pompous, important person in a silly situation.
This mode of thinking is inaccessible to CultMarx ideologues like Professor Sharoni. The sacred objects of their creed — women, blacks, homosexuals, trannies — are way, way more holy to them than bishops were to 19th-century Christians. Conversely, the hatred they direct at those outside the creed is far more intense than a 19th-century Christian would feel towards a Muslim or a Buddhist.
This is the rising totalitarianism of our age. You don't make jokes about ladies' lingerie any more than a loyal Soviet party member in 1950 would make jokes about Stalin.
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Professor of Women's and Gender Studies stamping out all jokes — forever … except, of course, jokes about Donald Trump and his voters.
04 — Coo coo ca-choo Mr Robinson. The machinations of the Mulatto Mafia — try saying that five times fast — offer an answer to the question Pat Buchanan posed as the title of his column this week: "Is America's Racial Divide Permanent?"
Pat wonders aloud why there is more "noise" about race nowadays — more news and commentary over petty things like the Roseanne story, the Starbucks story, the NFL players kneeling, and so on — why there is more of this nowadays than there was fifty years ago, when there was real, legalized racial injustice, and many thousands of Americans were alive whose parents had been slaves.
The answer to Pat's question is yes, we're stuck with the race business, at least pending some really dramatic advances in genetic engineering. This issue, this horrible curse of racial diversity, was baked into the U.S.A. from the start. We can't escape it; we can't get rid of it; we just have to manage it as best we can, as you manage an incurable but not necessarily fatal disease, in a proper republican spirit of common humanity and equality under law.
The really amazing thing about the modern world is that nations that never had racial diversity, that were never cursed with this dreadful blight, voluntarily imported it. Ancient established nations, their people united by common ancestry, religion, and culture, threw it all away and embraced the follies and horrors of multiculturalism.
The poster child for this mass collective folly is Britain. When I first moved to London in 1963, it was an almost entirely British city. There was a scattering of minorities: a very small Chinatown — just a couple of streets — some Caribbean and African blacks, Indians and Pakistanis, Cypriots. They were few, and no-one paid them much attention.
There was some prejudice, but the overall attitude was good-natured tolerance. Even the prejudice wasn't especially racial. When I was looking for lodgings in the early 1960s, the commonest expression of prejudice, written on notices of rooms to let, was: NO BLACKS, NO IRISH.
Good-natured tolerance is what you can have when you're an ethnic supermajority. That doesn't necessarily mean you will have it; but you can have it, and the Brits mostly did.
Then the floodgates opened. Now Britons are a minority in London. The Mayor is a Pakistani Muslim; so is Britain's Home Secretary, in charge of immigration, citizenship, and the police. There are mosques everywhere, even in the Outer Hebrides.
Many of the mosques preach jihad and hostility to the infidel host society. There are regular terrorist attacks. Gangs of Muslim men prey on lower-class British girls; there have been thousands of victims of these so-called "grooming" gangs.
The reaction of the Brits to this transformation, to these outrages, has been a most peculiar one: They have looked the other way, pretended none of it is happening. If it's forced on their attention, they get angry.
It's human nature to look for a scapegoat here, for someone to blame. I've been pondering the matter for years, and I can't find that scapegoat. Sure, the ruling classes pushed the process forward. They enjoyed a sensation of moral virtue from having helped the wretched of the earth; their dividends increased as cheap labor flowed in; they poked a finger in the eye of their lower-middle classes, who they never much liked; and they were insulated by wealth and status from the social problems created. It hasn't been their little girls being passed around by the Muslim gangs.
Britain was always a parliamentary democracy, though. The voters, if they had cared enough, could have gotten themselves a new ruling class. They never did care enough. So who do you blame?
That's the background to the arrest and immediate imprisonment last week of British dissident Tommy Robinson, who was doing some freelance reporting on one of the grooming trials.
Robinson's arrest and imprisonment were, so far as I can judge, lawful. As a result of a previous prosecution he had entered into an agreement not to do the thing he was doing.
Lawful as it may have been, the authorities have wide discretion in these situations, and if this had been anyone but Robinson there would likely have been no arrest and certainly no instant imprisonment. Nor would there have been the judge's order, issued at the time of the arrest, forbidding comment about the arrest in the media, including social media.
The authorities have been hunting Robinson since he founded the English Defence League nine years ago. They went over his personal affairs with a fine-tooth comb back then, at last turned up a picayune irregularity in a mortgage application, and sent him to jail, where he was beaten up by Muslim gangs. The authorities have kept a close watch on him ever since — a much closer watch than they ever put on the Muslim gang-rapists.
Tommy's arrest took place last Friday, so Radio Derb comes to this late. There's been masses of comment on it, from all angles. YouTube has some good pro-Tommy pieces if you have time to watch videos: I recommend Stefan Molyneux, Black Pigeon, and Paul Weston. If text is your thing, Douglas Murray did what I thought was a good balanced piece at National Review. For an anti-Tommy argument from our side of the fence, I refer you to Greg Johnson at Counter-Currents.
I acknowledge some of the negative points made by Johnson and Murray. At last, though, looking at the big picture, I think Murray gets it right. The ferocity that the authorities bring to bear on native British reaction to the problem, as illustrated by Tommy Robinson, makes a sad and depressing contrast to their utter lack of interest in dealing with the problem itself.
The name of the problem is not Tommy Robinson. The name of the problem is multiculturalism. Our nation was born with it. We must cope as best and humanely as we can. The Brits brought it on themselves, in a gross act of collective folly. It's hard to feel much sympathy.
First, Italy. Any time I report on Italian politics I include a warning that it's Italian politics I'm reporting on; so whatever situation I'm describing, this time next week it might be a totally opposite situation.
So it's been since last week's report. In fact it's been so twice over: a reverse, then a re-reverse.
Remember that the March 4th election was followed by weeks of horse-trading that ended at last with two populist parties, the League and Five Star, agreeing to form a government — the first populist, Trumpian government in any major West European nation, counting Austria as Central European.
The fly in the ointment there — l'unico neo, thank you Google Translate — was that the two parties couldn't agree which of them was to supply a Prime Minister. They finally picked an independent named Giuseppe Conte. Signor Conte went off to the Presidential Palace to kiss the ring of Italy's head of state, President Sergio Mattarella.
When the populists and Signor Conte tried to put a cabinet together, though, the President balked at their choice of Finance Minister, a Euroskeptic. Conte resigned the Prime Ministership and it looked as though there'd be another election. That's probably what the President wanted. In European politics, when the voters vote the wrong way, the Establishment makes them vote again until they get it right.
The populists saved the situation, though. They dropped the finance guy, Conte came back on board, and as of yesterday, Thursday, it looks as though Italy may have a government at last — a populist government.
This is still Italian politics, though; so next week the situation may be totally different. I shall try to keep you informed.
One of the successes of recent Italian politics has been the bribing of Libyan warlords to stop the flow of illegal aliens from black Africa into Italy.
Steam under pressure has to find an outlet, though; swelling populations in dysfunctional countries likewise.
So where are the illegals going? To Spain, in growing numbers, from northwest Africa — Tunisia and Algeria — bypassing Libya. The actual number for last year was 21½ thousand, up from six thousand the year before. So far this year: 4,400, but more come as the weather warms, so this year's numbers will likely surpass last year's. All young men, to judge from the news pictures.
Shall we see an Italian-style rise of populist nationalism in Spain in reaction to the swelling flood? That's a very interesting question.
As with Italy, I have to include a caution here that Spanish politics defies easy summary. In fact they just this week lost their Prime Minister over a corruption scandal, and no-one seems too sure what comes next.
It won't likely be populist nationalism, though. There just isn't much of that around in Spain. In fact there's a whole body of recent literature on Spain as an exception to the rise of populist parties elsewhere in Europe. Common themes in that literature:
It'll be interesting to see whether a swelling inflow of black Africans, year after year, as other European countries try ever harder to keep them out, will change Spanish minds. We can only watch and report.
Finally, for a trifecta of old Roman Catholic European nations: Ireland. In a referendum last weekend nearly seventy percent of Irish voters said "yes" to repealing the Eighth Amendment in their country's constitution, the amendment forbidding abortion. That amendment, which dates only from 1983, will now be struck from the constitution, and abortion will be legal.
The 1983 vote to ban abortion was 66 percent, so there's been a total reversal here in just 35 years. The cultural change in Ireland across just the past generation has been tremendous. The old priest-ridden potato republic of my youth is now the advance guard of social progressivism.
Religious indicators — attendance at mass, baptisms, marriages, vocations — have been in free fall since the nineties. The clerical abuse scandals didn't help a bit; but the graphs were heading downward before the various official reports on the scandals that came out from 2005 to 2011, and they've continued heading down since at much the same rate.
The causes are europeanism and globalism, immigration and emigration, the internet and the smartphone. The cause is modernity.
A hundred years ago Irish nationalism was a mighty force. Today it is a historical footnote.
Imprimis: How could I resist this one? Twenty-six-year-old Desmond James, a black guy, was in court at New Haven, Ct., on a rape charge. His accuser claimed she could identify him by his member. It was, she said, lighter than the rest of him.
The judge agreed to let Mr James show it to the jury, so out it came.
I don't know the verdict in this case, if there's even been one yet, but I can report that pun-loving newspaper subeditors had a field day with it. Hung jury? Check. Hard evidence? Check. Upstanding in court? Check. Hanging judge? Check … I don't think they missed one.
On the general matter of using that item to verify an assertion, I'm sorry to say what came to my mind was the old showbiz joke about Milton Berle, who was supposed to be exceptionally gifted and was sometimes challenged on that account. "Just take out enough to win the bet, Milton!"
Now that Meghan Markle is the Duchess of Sussex she needs a coat of arms, so the College of Arms — which is who you go to when you become armigerous — the College of Arms duly obliged.
I was mildly interested in this. Heraldry has all the charm of the very seriously arcane, with its own special language and vocabulary. Would there be animals in the coat of arms; if so, would they be rampant, couchant, or passant? Would there be a full quartering of the escutcheon, or merely an impalement? Would the rule of tincture be fully observed? I waited with eager anticipation.
(Although actually I know the answer in the case of impalement: In heraldry a wife usually gets impaled on her husband. When you've once heard that it's kind of … hard to forget it.)
So naturally I was disappointed to see that the news stories about the coat of arms were all written in ordinary language. Sample: "The blue background of the shield represents the Pacific Ocean while two golden rays symbolise the famous Californian sunshine," end quote. Bor-ing! They couldn't put that into Norman French? All right, the Norman French didn't know about the Pacific Ocean, but surely something could have been worked out? There's no respect for tradition any more.
There was a frisson of controversy about the coat of arms. The Duke and Duchess are represented by a lion and a songbird, respectively. Both have a crown: but the lion's crown is on his head, while the songbird's — that is, the Duchess's — is round the bird's neck. The poor critter looks as if she's being strangled.
The apologies for this, when finally issued, did at least come out in proper heraldic jargon. The Duchess's songbird, we're told, is being "ducally gorged." Ducally gorged … Make of it what you will.
At a rally in Harlem the very same day as the wedding, Rev'm Al told us that, quote: "When you got little white girls in Wales saying, 'I want to be like Meghan,' there's a shift worldwide that white male supremacy is on its last breath," end quote.
Hm. I'm not sure that Welsh people count as white … Given the very strong certainty that Rev'm Al could not find Wales on a map, however, I'll give him a pass.
The following day Louis Farrakhan — Sheikh Louis Farrakhan, Emir Louis Farrakhan, Pasha Louis Farrakhan, whatever the hell his title is, who knows? — Imam Louis Farrakhan, not to be out-crackered by Rev'm Al, tweeted for an end to white males altogether. Tweet: "Why should there be an end to him (White man)? Because his nature is not in harmony with the nature of God." End tweet.
With two holy men of that stature, each with a private line to the Creator of Heaven and Earth, it looks like the game's up for us white guys. I shall sell my car and put my affairs in order.
I'd like to make it up to the Welsh, having been rude to them back there. I'm really sorry my ancestors stole your country from you and pushed you into the mountains, and I'm sure seaweed on toast makes a lovely snack. It would be even nicer if there were something to wash it down with; but since you are the only nation in the world that never developed an alcoholic beverage, English ale will have to do.
No, I'm going to make it up, I promise. The royal wedding, yes. In there among all the buffoonery and minstrelsy and mulatto triumphalism, there were some splashes of good taste. One of them was the bride's favorite hymn, which is also one of my favorites.
They sang it in English for the wedding, but really — and I am not being facetious here, I mean really — it sounds much better in Welsh. The words actually translate differently, but the tune's the same and it's still a very lovely hymn. Here it is from the fine Welsh tenor Rhys Meirion.
Bydd mwy o Radio Derb yr wythnos nesaf.
[Music clip: Rhys Meirion, "Wele'n sefyll rhwng y myrtwydd."]