"Posterity will owe everlasting thanks to John Brown for lifting up once more to the gaze of a nation grown fat and flabby on the garbage of lust and oppression, a true standard of heroic philanthropy, and each coming generation will pay its installment of the debt. . . . John Brown saw slavery through no mist or cloud, but in a light of infinite brightness, which left no one of its ten thousand horrors concealed." Frederick Douglass

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Monday, June 22, 2015

White Supremacy Speaks--
Brown Called "Homicidal Maniac" on Anti-Immigrant Website, Compared to Dylann Roof by Dissident Right-Winger

Following the racist killing spree of Dylann Roof in Charleston last week,  John Derbyshire--who identifies himself as "a novelist, pop-math author, reviewer, and opinion journalist" on his own website, has taken to opining about John Brown on the blog of an organization called V-DARE. Derbyshire apparently Tweets @ "DissidentRight," so you can pretty much guess where this is going. Derbyshire, whose website images resemble a mug shot, has contributed to the National Review, has written numerous articles and published six works of fiction and "pessimistic conservative" writing, and even has his own podcast, "Radio Derb."
Dissident Right-Winger John Derbyshire
has compared Dylann Roof to John Brown

The V-DARE organization, upon whose blog Derbyshire has opined, evidently draws its name from the story of Virginia Dare, the first North American born white settler (b. 1587).  Dare and her mother were among a British colony on Roanoke Island, off of the North Carolina Coast, often referred to as "The Lost Colony" after all of its residents were discovered missing without explanation in 1590.  Legends grew up about Dare, including a myth that a Native medicine man had transformed her into a "white doe."  Of course, it is more likely that she was taken and subsumed within a native community.  And therein lies the significance of V-DARE, whose editor, Peter Brimelow, is the author of Alien Nation: Common Sense about America's Immigration Disaster.  V-DARE is an alternative, not mainstream, conservative website for white people who advocate "patriot immigration reform and the voice of the historic American nation."   V-DARE wants to push back against "pro-amnesty" policies toward immigrants and advocates "your principles"--meaning, I assume, the fanatical prejudices of white racists and xenophobes.

As far as the racist murders in Charleston, Brimelow wrote on the V-DARE website that he appreciated how the writers on V-DARE were waiting "to see what actually happened."  According to one of his contributors, in fact, what "really happened" was that the killer Dylann Roof was driven to this extremist crime by the abuses of the liberals, who just talk too much about white privilege and the Trayvon Martin case.  Poor little armed brat.  He was driven to shooting nine black people in a church because of liberal propaganda.

To such opinions, our Long Island conservative commentator, Mr. Derbyshire, added his two cents the other day, writing on the V-DARE blog (Jun. 21), under the title, "John Brown, An Earlier Homicidal Maniac Who Wanted 'To Start a Civil War.'"

John Brown was an ardent abolitionist.  He was also, like Dylann Roof, a homicidal maniac.  That latter fact does not invalidate abolitionism.  Was Abraham Lincoln’s Republican Party responsible for John Brown’s crimes? 
Crazy people can believe non-crazy things.  I bet Charlie Manson believes that 2+2=4, that Tuesday comes between Monday and Wednesday, that water will wet us and fire will burn, etc.  You can’t function in the world at all unless a majority of your beliefs are true. 
As my Marxist friends used to tell me back in Cold War days, when I pointed out the horrors of Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, etc.: “An idea is not responsible for all the people who hold it.” 
John Brown is a fascinating figure, as lunatics go.   I re-acquainted myself with him earlier this month at Harper’s Ferry. . . .  Prior to that I knew him mainly from George MacDonald Fraser’s, Flashman and the Angel of the Lord.
"The Derb" apparently is not so much of a right-winger that he believes in restoring slavery, and he apparently thinks Abraham Lincoln was the hero of the antislavery cause, which is a typical brain fart among Republicans and conservatives.  The point of these remarks appear to be that even though Brown was right about slavery, he was still crazy and homicidal--the antislavery idea not being responsible for the men like Brown who embraced it, along with the good conservatives like Lincoln, who had to be dragged into doing anything about slavery.

It is obvious enough that whatever else Mr. Derbyshire knows (and I have no doubt that he knows a lot of stuff), by his own admission, he knows nothing about John Brown except what he apparently learned from those questionable "authorities" who work for the National Park Service at Harper's Ferry.  Besides that, "The Derb" has read the essential book on John Brown--a piece of fiction by MacDonald Fraser.  Laugh out loud.

It is no surprise that the Derbyshires and Coulters of this world dismiss John Brown.  They are as out of touch with the antebellum and antislavery history of this nation as they are from the oppressed and marginalized of this nation.  Great minds think alike, and apparently so do prejudiced ones.  Yet, it is ultimately befitting that Brown's enemies and critics can be found in association with such views, especially the kind espoused by white reactionaries and bigots on V-DARE--the kind of people that build their politics on racial prejudice, and then rationalize a discourse after the fact from their own darkened hearts and minds.

More immediately, Mr. Derbyshire is simply misinformed and ignorant.  Comparing Brown to the depraved and malicious Roof, who showed himself like some malignant KKK afterbirth, capable of murdering Christian black people in church, is beyond ridiculous.  The comparison has no substance, except in the godless mind of an aging dissident leftover from the golden age of "America"--you know, the good old days, when white people called themselves "Native Americans" and killed the real ones, while cursing immigrants and debating whether blacks had sufficient intelligence to live apart from their kind tutelage.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The mind boggles at the ability of some to frame any issue. The fact that John Brown did not intend to kill anyone and Roof presumably did, seems to be of no consequence.