National Review Just Can’t Seem to Shake Its Racist Image

National Review editor Rich Lowry (cc photo: Gage Skidmore)

National Review editor Rich Lowry (cc photo: Gage Skidmore)

The National Review can’t seem to shake its racist reputation. Its latest hire, Jason Richwine, shows why.

Richwine was fired by the Heritage Foundation earlier this year when the Washington Post revealed (5/8) that his graduate research at Harvard argued that Hispanics are immutably, genetically inferior to whites–“the low average IQ of Hispanics is effectively permanent”–and that immigration policy should be IQ-based. 

Last year, the National Review fired columnist John Derbyshire for writing a column in another magazine advising white kids to avoid “concentrations of blacks,” and to fend off charges of prejudice by befriending the rare civilized black person (FAIR Blog, 4/11/12). Editor Rich Lowry announced the firing in a blog post calling the column “nasty and indefensible,” though he failed to call it racist. Perhaps National Review‘s shaky grasp of racism explains why Lowry had to go public again, just three days later, to fire contributor Robert Weissberg for participating in a conference sponsored by the white supremacist group American Renaissance.

But racism is an National Review tradition. From its 1950s founding, when it campaigned for the racist order in the American South and South Africa, to recent years with the like of Derbyshire, Weissberg and “scientific racists” like Philippe Rushton, Steve Sailor and Mark Snyderman, who say black people are less intelligent than other groups, the National Review has been significantly defined by racism.

Which brings us back to National Review’s latest hire. When the liberal website Think Progress noted Monday (10/28) that Richwine’s byline was appearing on the magazine’s website, they wrote to editor Lowry, who responded briefly, acknowledging that Richwine was doing occasional blogging for the site.

Perhaps Lowry was too busy pondering why the National Review can’t seem to shake its racist reputation to write more? 


About Steve Rendall

Senior Media Analyst and Co-producer of CounterSpin Steve Rendall is FAIR's senior analyst. He is co-host of CounterSpin, FAIR's national radio show. His work has received awards from Project Censored, and has won the praise of noted journalists such as Les Payne, Molly Ivins and Garry Wills. He is co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error (The New Press, 1995, New York City). Rendall has appeared on dozens of national television and radio shows, including appearances on CNN, C-SPAN, CNBC, MTV and Fox Morning News. He was the subject of a profile in the New York Times (5/19/96), and has been quoted on issues of media and politics in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and New York Times. Rendall contributed stories to the International Herald Tribune from France, Spain and North Africa; worked as a freelance writer in San Francisco; and worked as an archivist collecting historical material on the Spanish Civil War and the volunteers who fought in it. Rendall studied philosophy and chemistry at San Francisco State University, the College of Notre Dame and UC Berkeley.