David Duke Writes Cover Article for NYT MAGAZINE
Former KKK leader David Duke published a cover story in Sunday's NYT
Magazine, in which he suggested that the hyper rich have a moral duty to
alleviate the worst poverty in the world by giving away up to one-third
of their fortunes. Despite Duke's motive of seeking to alleviate poverty,
observers were outraged. "I don't care how worthwhile the ideas expressed
in this article were," declared Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. "Racists
do not deserve the respect that is accorded by having such a prominent
article published in the nation's leading newspaper." The Times issued a
quick apology and blamed the decision to publish Duke on "a distortion in
the editorial process."
Wait a minute. I got the names mixed up. It wasn't David Duke. It was
Peter Singer. And even though Singer advocates the right of parents to
kill infants who are disabled by such conditions as Down syndrome or
hemophilia (and in fact, under personhood theory, any infant who did not
serve the interests of the family), there were no outraged press releases
from Senator Clinton or any other major public figure decrying the Times,
nor, needless to say, was there any Times apology.
This brings up a disturbing dichotomy within the Liberal Establishment,
of which, I think it is fair to say, the Times is a leading member. Does
anyone think the Times would have published the very same article if it
were authored by Duke? Of course not because Duke is considered
(properly, in my view) a racist who is beyond the pale of respectability.
Yet, here is an irony: As far as I know, Duke has never suggested that it
would be okay to kill minority babies. But Singer has, the minority
category being disability, which makes his advocacy at least as
pernicious as Duke's--just aimed at different victims.
Here is another example of this paradox involving Singer: I once spoke at
Princeton and decried America's premier university giving Singer a
tenured chair. A faculty member spoke up and stated that Singer had
sterling credentials and having someone like Singer on campus provided a
diversity of views. I asked the professor if Nobel Prize winner William
Shockley--who clearly had sterling credentials but who was also a
racist--would ever be allowed to teach at Princeton. No, the professor
admitted, which means I guess, that being racist is not an acceptable
diverse view at Princeton, but advocating eugenic infanticide is.
Here is what I think: Liberalism used to be about protecting the equal
worth of all human beings. No longer. The respect for and acceptance of
Peter Singer by such Capital-E Establishment institutions as Princeton
University and the New York Times offers disturbing evidence of this