National Review used to be better

Various leftists are excited by an essay that was published in National Review in 1957 that stated in part:

It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is a fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists....It is more important for the community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority.

If white leftists truly disagree with the above, why is it in the cities where most of them reside (Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc.) white leftists choose, at great expense, not to live in predominantly black neighborhoods, and if at all possible not to send their children to predominantly black schools? Perhaps white leftists should explain their own incongruous behavior instead of attempting to discredit a magazine based on what it published nearly 50 years ago.

Comments

  1. Well, I didn't live back then, and nothing I've read in NR since I received it as a gift in highschool suggests anything racist, so "bah!" to it all.

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  2. I don't see how the paragraph is embarassing to National Review, although it's disturbing to think of black culture as troubled in the fifties, considering what it became once the Great Society was done with it.

    But anyway, think how many liberal heroes could be embarassed by quoting them from 1957. That is, if sympathy for Communism was something that embarassed liberals.

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  3. Well I think you hit the nail on the head with "it's disturbing to think of black culture as troubled in the fifties, considering what it became once the Great Society was done with it."

    Now what is embarrassing is the belief in the cultural superiority of "the White race" (words which I find impossible to identify with) in 1957. There is nothing superior about Jim Crowe and lynchings, about regarding your fellow man as inferior merely because of their pigment -- by and large this is the attitude which the South (I should say those in power in the South) wanted to advance in the fifties. There is something superior in fifties black culture which made it possible for the civil rights movement to be a success, and further which helped many cope day-to-day with the type of society they were living in. And where black culture falls short in 1957 can in many ways be attributed to the actions of the White race, wouldn't you agree? (talkin' 'bout race here, but I hope for a vitriol-free conversation...)

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  4. >black culture falls short in 1957 can in many ways be attributed to the actions >of the White race, wouldn't you agree?

    Sure—I don’t know what they were referring to when they mentioned “cultural superiority”, or how much of the South’s racial policies they were defending. I’m just saying that criticizing any given culture, whether correctly or mistakenly, is an appropriate thing for a political or cultural journal to do, and, right or wrong, shouldn’t be considered racially malignant.

    And since they probably weren’t wrong in this instance (I don’t know), their only fault here seems to be not scrupulously making it clear that an oppressive history is relevant to the black predicament. It’s good to be sensitive to that, but failing that, and even being brusque about it, doesn’t make the magazine’s case unfair or beyond the pale. Particularly in 1957.

    Finally, I’m not saying that nothing that has ever been published in NR—or nothing from its famed early years—could be cause for embarrassment. The odds suggest the opposite! If they defended Jim Crow, I’d certainly count that as embarrassing, even though they would presumably have had non-racist reasons.

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