Derbyshire: Slavers Weren’t All Bad, Some Only Beat Their Slaves “Once in a While”

I’m sure you remember John Derbyshire, the National Review columnist who was fired after he wrote that you should avoid black people.

Ole John is at it again and, frankly, I’ve been at a loss on how to convey how racist and disgusting he is.

via RightWingWatch

In his latest racist column, Derbyshire calls 12 Years a Slave “Abolitionist Porn” and chides the film for not including what he sees as the happier instances of slavery, such as one slaveholder who only doled out beatings “once in a while.”

“Plainly there was more to American race slavery that white masters brutalizing resentful Negroes,” Derbyshire writes. “Slavery is more irksome to some than to others; and freedom can be irksome, too.”

Aw shucks, slavery was “irksome” to some people, perhaps those people who were whipped, beaten, and killed, but freedom can also be irksome to people who can’t be trusted to make the right decisons for themselves. That’s where honorary Klansmen like John Derbyshire come into play. He knows best.

Derbyshire admits that he hasn’t actually seen 12 Years a Slave, which he refers to as “porn,” but, you know, he’s a brilliant white man so he doesn’t need to see it to know that it’s biased against wholesome slave owners.

It seems I’ve picked up an interest in the Civil War just as America is undergoing a revival of Abolitionist Porn. That, at any rate, is what I take this much-talked-of new movie 12 Years a Slave to be.

No, I haven’t seen the thing, but I’ve read reviews. Also I’ve seen (and reviewed) a specimen of the allied genre: Civil Rights Porn.

This idea that there are different degrees of slavery is ridiculous.

Slavery is slavery. Whether some slavers were more brutal than others may be true, but they’re still slave holders. The men they owned, men they bought and paid for, were still slaves even if their master only beat them “once in a while.”

They only beat them “once in a while?” Well shit, I guess life isn’t so bad.


If Derbyshire were alive at the time, he would have been a slave owner. A noble, sympathetic slave owner one who only beats his slaves every now and then. And his slaves would have been appreciative that he gave them scraps to eat and a barn to sleep in at Candieland, all out of the goodness of his heart. After all, freedom is for suckers.

If you don’t find Derbyshire revolting I’d say you aren’t human.

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  • Zen Diesel

    Welcome to Candieland !!!!, I guess Derbyshire Assclown had a sad when Calvin Candie was killed in Django Unchained.

  • moelarryandjesus

    I’ll start stopping by Derbyshire’s house and beating him into a stupor once a month. The other days we’ll exchange pleasant phone calls and borrow books from each other. Just think how pleasant it will all be.

  • Sabyen91

    Man…that guy is dumb.

  • muselet

    It hurts to write this, but I have to give credit to Derbyshire. No one has ever written a funnier sentence than this:

    Personally, I’d be a terrible slave—too ornery.

    A terrible slave? Yes, but only because he’d be so obsequious that his owner would give him his freedom just to be rid of him. Until then, though, give him an extra ration of food and Derbyshire would happily let Massa know exactly who was complaining loudest so that person could be dealt with appropriately.

    John Derbyshire has certainly found his niche, cranking (see what I did there?) out tedious and inane columns for an anti-immigration/anti-diversity website. Good for him. And good for us, because we know how to avoid him.


    • Nefercat

      “Personally, I’d be a terrible slave—too ornery.”

      Really? Has he thought through that oh, quite a few slaves were probably “ornery” but knew that by God you damn well hid your orneriness and any other attitude or opinion you might have, in order to try to prevent the rape, beating, sale, death, and on and on of yourself, your wife, your children…

      What a revolting {splutter-words fail} he is.

      • muselet

        A complete lack of knowledge, reflection and insight seems to be a requirement for working in Righty media.


      • schoolmarm

        Horse breaking- refers to the process used by humans to get horses to let themselves be ridden or harnessed,to break the animals spirit, to have the animal learn that resistance is futile. Replace the word horse with the word slave now you know one of the methods by which ‘ornery’ was handled. For example, Frederick Douglass was not a compliant enough slave, he devotes a chapter of his memoir to the consequences of his orneriness…

        • Badgerite

          Seriously. How exactly does this idiot think that ‘ornery’ slaves were dealt with. They said no and the masters and overseers said, “OK”?
          An excerpt from Wikipedia about the Turner Rebellion:

          “Nat Turner’s Rebellion was a slave rebellion that took place in Southhampton County, Virginia during August, 1831. Led by Nat Turner, rebel slaves killed anywhere from 55 to 65 people, the highest number of fatalities caused by any slave uprising in the American South. The rebellion was put down within days, but Turner survived in hiding for more than two months. The rebellion was effectively suppressed at Belmont Plantation on the morning of August 23,1831.”
          “In the aftermath, there was widespread fear, and white militias organized in retaliation against slaves. The state executed 56 slaves accused of being part of the rebellion. In the frenzy, many innocent enslaved people were punished. At least 100 blacks, and possibly up to 200, were murdered by militias and mobs. —–”

          No one is ‘suited’ to slavery. No one. It is imposed on you from the outside. By force and a willingness to do immoral and cruel things. To break people. That is how it maintained itself. And you’ll notice that one of the ways that slavery maintained itself was with a “well regulated militia”. Or, probably not to ‘well regulated’.

    • petesh

      A dead slave is by definition useless, and an ornery slave …

    • D_C_Wilson

      Reading between the lines, what he means is that as a white man, he is entitled to be free, not like certain “other people”, whose natural state is servitude. Just like Jesus said.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Derbyshire admits that he hasn’t actually seen 12 Years a Slave, which he refers to as “porn,” but, you know, he’s a brilliant white man so he doesn’t need to see it to know that it’s biased against wholesome slave owners

    I’m curious, other than muselet, has any of the four (so far) other people who’ve commented here actually read what Derbyshire wrote, or would they have to answer that “No, I haven’t seen the thing, but I’ve read reviews.”

    For example, who’s aware that, while Derbyshire did include the “once in a while” phrase in his column, it wasn’t a direct quote from him as this article suggests, but a quote from a slave:

    Mars George fed an’ clo’esed well an’ was kin’ to his slaves, but once in a while one would git onruly an’ have to be punished.

    This isn’t to defend him, but only to note an irony.

  • Username1016

    Wow. Having a bit of a problem with this, JM: ‘The men they owned, men they bought and paid for, were still slaves even if their master only beat them “once in a while.”’ Yeah, that’s the men. How about the women? Not ONLY beaten but routinely raped? Hello?

    • JMAshby

      Wow. Way to nitpick. I used “men” as a general term, I wasn’t intentionally leaving out women.

      I’m glad you weren’t around when we took one giant leap for “mankind.”

      • Christopher Foxx

        Now, now. Ease up, JM. Username is just tying to join in the discussion, just trying to be one of the guys…

  • zirgar

    It’s funny how most of these assholes who justify slavery or try to downplay it are the first to whine about how tyrannical the federal government is or how it was okay for the American colonies to revolt against King George and Britain back in the day, because you know, they wanted us to be virtual slaves and all that. Why, it’s almost as if they think being a slave is a bad thing. Well, when it’s white people who are the slaves, that is. I guess they want to eat their cake and have it too.

  • Lady Willpower


  • js hooper

    I see now that it’s become fashionable for (white) people to openly flaunt their racism and wear it with pride.Of course they still HATE being called RACISTS.But that’s only for show…In the same way a man who rapes children hates being called a pedophile…only because it comes with public scorn and being ostracized.

    I’ve noticed that there’s been an attempt to “intellectualize” their racism…a way to make it seem more acceptable to the mainstream.It’s like they’re in some kind of bigot debate club and the challenge is to not sound like a classic redneck racist…but instead be a refined classy racist white supremacist. It’s something Ron/Rand Paul have mastered.

    This rebranding has allowed them to come out of the shadows and remove their hoods. They can express their views openly.With America elected a two-term black President…they no longer feel the need to tread lightly. The time for whipping up white resentment is NOW!!!

    I have no doubt that Derbyshire’s Abolishionist/ Civil Rights Porn meme will become popular on the right.Soon CNN will be debating its merits and treating it as a legitimate view point to be considered.

    • drspittle

      I wish I could multiple up-ding. And it won’t just ben CNN debating. All of the networks will “engage in the debate”. Thank God these clowns weren’t around during the Civil Rights movement of the 50′s and 60′s. Bull Conner would be making guest appearances on all the Sunday morning talk shows.

    • Badgerite

      Best Comment Award.