Saturday, March 21, 2015

Razib Khan's Struggle

All my thoughts on Razib Khan here.

Well it looks like the brass ring has been snatched away from Razib Khan.

Politico: New York Times drops Razib Khan
The New York Times has terminated its contract with one of its new online opinion writers after a Gawker article highlighted the writer's previous association with racist publications, according to that writer's Twitter account. 
Razib Khan, a science blogger and a doctoral candidate in genomics and genetics at the University of California, Davis, was one of 20 writers who signed contracts with the Times to write for the paper's online opinion section. 
The Times announced its new stable of contributors on Wednesday. Hours later, Gawker's J.K. Trotter reported that Khan had a "history with racist, far-right online publications." Khan wrote 68 posts for Taki's Magazine, a publication founded by a "flamboyantly racist Greek journalist," Trotter wrote. Khan also wrote a letter to VDARE, "a white nationalist website named after the first white child born in America, in which he discussed [an essay] concerning the threat of the United States becoming “more genetically and culturally Mexican.”
The Washington Post also reported this news, rather more chattily, and included a link to my blog.
Here’s the upside of signing 20 new opinion writers in a single strategic move: You make a big splash. 
Here’s the downside of signing 20 new opinion writers in a single strategic move: That’s a lot of people to vet. 
In a statement released by spokeswoman Eileen Murphy this morning, the New York Times has signaled that it is severing its recently inked relationship with Razib Khan:
After reviewing the full body of Razib Khan’s work, we are no longer comfortable using him as a regular, periodic contributor. We remain open to consideration of submissions from him to our op-Ed pages, both in print and online.
You have to wonder why the writers weren't vetted before the announcement of their selection went out. You'd think the New York Times would have its shit together better than that.

I should say that I suspected something was up on Thursday when I started to get hits on this blog from National Geographic, NPR and yes, several visits from the NYTimes.

Khan himself, writing from his perch at the far-right Unz Review, wants you to know he isn't bothered by it:
After the events of today I’m going to curl up with Xunzi: The Complete Text. That’s just how I roll. Most of my friends are more outraged than I am. I don’t know why. It just is that way. It is heartening that people care about me, and I appreciate it. But there’s not much more to say than has been said, and perhaps even less. Things happen. If today I was a dying man and I would tell you that I was the child with a book in hand, not the proud one demanding that my views be heard because of the stridency of my voice. My views aren’t important, the truth as best as I can understand it is important. My friends know who I am, and that is all that matters to me. I regret the day that I am the story. That’s besides the point, and uninteresting to boot. Being at the center of a mini-media mini-controversy is rather tiring.
The passage above includes this sentence, which demonstrates that not only is Khan a sociobiology racist, he's a bad writer too: If today I was a dying man and I would tell you that I was the child with a book in hand, not the proud one demanding that my views be heard because of the stridency of my voice.

It's incorrect as a sentence, lacking a predicate:  If today you were a dying man and you would tell me that you were the child with a book in hand not the proud one demanding that your views be heard because of the stridency of your voice what?

Now don't forget - he gets paid by Ron Unz to post this stuff.

At first I thought he must have been quoting a song or something but an online search turned up nothing. I think that's the pure literary stylings of Razib Khan.

Khan mentioned his friends are outraged - but who are his friends? Let's see...

There's John Derbyshire, who as the New Yorker reports here, was fired from the National Review in 2012...
Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review,announced over the weekend that he was ending the magazine’s association with John Derbyshire because of a post he published in Taki’s Magazine (an online publication that promises “Cocktails, Countesses & Mental Caviar”). Lowry said that the column, “The Talk: Non-Black Version,” was “nasty and indefensible.” Given its conceit—Derbyshire explaining to his children that black people are generally dumber than they are and dangerous and should, on the whole, be avoided—it might also be described as racist. (Josh Barro, at, called it “kind of unbelievably racist.”) In firing “Derb,” Lowry directed readers to his “delightful first novel” but said, in effect, that “Derb” had become bad for theNR brand:
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.
Wasn’t Lowry at the party where Derbyshire “danced around the line”—hosting it, in fact? Lowry called the column “outlandish,” as if the ideas, as opposed to their expression, were foreign to the National Review. Derbyshire years ago called himself a “mild and tolerant” racist; “tolerated” seems like the right modifier.

Derbyshire, in the racist publication VDare writes:
So, having known Razib all these years and admired his erudition; and having met him a few times and found him articulate, witty, and charming; I was glad to see him elevated to the status of New York Times contributor. 
Glad, but also surprised. Razib is of course a race realist, as anyone who knows as much genetics as he does is bound to be. True, theTimes also publishes Nicholas Wade, another race realist, to write in their Science section: but Wade is a skillful diplomat, who softens his articles on population genetics with many qualifications and cautions about the provisional nature of results and the fallacy of inferring “ought” from “is.” Razib can’t be bothered with diplomacy, he just talks science … and sometimes also history, and religion, and philosophy, always from a deep background of reading, quoting half a dozen scholarly books and papers to you as he goes. 
Well, so I was looking forward to Razib’s contributions to the New York Times blog, and to seeing him pitilessly demolish some of the innumerate idiots he’d be sharing that blog with. 
Alas, it was too good to be true. I was browsing the blogs that same evening, Thursday evening, and I saw a post on geneticist Greg Cochran’s blog with the title The Once and Future Khan. From which:

Razib Khan managed to get himself hired and fired by theNew York Times over the course of a single day, an enviable record. Having the Times look upon you with favor is a dubious honor in the first place, something like having a leper ask you out on a date — so a quick hire-and-fire is optimal. Something for the CV, but you never had to actually hang out with the slimebags. Not as cool as “refused the Fields Medal.” but pretty cool.
What seems to have happened is that, a Cultural Marxist website, did a hit piece on Razib exposing his associations with such racist white-supremacist racist far-right racist bigots as racist Taki Theodoracopulos, racist Steve Sailer, and oh my God! racist John Derbyshire.
Although Derbyshire refers to Khan as a "racial realist", Khan himself is careful enough to avoid using the term to describe himself. Another term Khan and the other sociobiology-based racists like to use is "human biodiversity." Another writer at VDare gripes about Khan's disassociation from the Times:
The latest example: the treatment of Razib Khan, a noted commentator on human biodiversity and genetics who blogs at the Unz Review and has been featured at Slate, among other publications. He was recently announced as a new monthly columnist at The New York Times, yet within a day, he was dismissed [New York Times drops Razib Khan, by Dylan Byers,Politico, March 19, 2015].
Another euphemism favored by the SB racists is "human population differences." The commenters at Stormfront are mostly supporters of Khan, although being unrepentant White Supremacists some have a problem with Khan being insufficiently Aryan. But they have to agree with his views on race:
If you couldn't tell be his name, Razib Khan is of Bangladeshi descent. So of course Razib isn't a "white nationalist", though he is a bright scientifically literate geneticist, so like anyone else well-read in the subject, he has acknowledges the reality of aggregate human population differences. His blog GNXP published the best defense of Nobel Prize winning geneticist James D. Watson after he was denounced as a racist. Considering the current quality of NYT writers, I would consider him a vast improvement.
Stormfront links to a 2003 blog post and comments from Khan's old blog Gene Expression in which Khan and others discuss whether being racial realists who comment on human biodiversity and human population differences really make him a racist. Khan wrote:
Razib adds: Racist? God-that-I-don't-believe-in I'm tired of this crap. I've addressed these issues before. I believe in equality before the law. But, I believe different groups probably have different aptitudes (not moral inferiority or superiority)-and the axiom of equality-that all groups have the exact same tendencies as our common evolutionary heritage, could cause serious problems when applied to public policy.
What he mostly means when he talks about aptitudes and "tendencies" is intelligence. He is of course a huge fan of The Bell Curve, in which Charles Murray argues - out of what I believe is a Libertarian aversion to government spending - that it is useless to aid poor minorities because they are innately, intellectually inferior. That's what Khan means by "serious problems when applied to public policy." He doesn't want tax money to be wasted trying to improve the lot of poor black people's lives when they cannot be improved that way.

But he isn't a "racist" he merely believes in "human biodiversity."