National Review editor Rich Lowry has finally announced the firing of controversial writer John Derbyshire. Lowry broke the news on the NR website Saturday night saying that Derb, "is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways." Derbyshire recently came under fire for an essay in Taki magazine where he warned his kids about venturing into black neighbourhoods, and how he told them to make friends with the few nice ones for public relations purposes. Our Elspeth Reeve looked at why Derbyshire hadn't been fired before, despite dancing around racial issues in the past.. The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates called out Lowry for employing Derbyshire on Saturday afternoon. Hours later, Lowry announced Derbyshire's termination. His full statement from the NR website:
Anyone who has read Derb in our pages knows he’s a deeply literate, funny, and incisive writer. I direct anyone who doubts his talents to his delightful first novel, “Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream,” or any one of his “Straggler” columns in the books section of NR. Derb is also maddening, outrageous, cranky, and provocative. His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways. Derb has long danced around the line on these issues, but this column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation. It’s a free country, and Derb can write whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Just not in the pages of NR or NRO, or as someone associated with NR any longer.