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In Defense of Heather Mac Donald
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April 02, 2012, 04:59 PM
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 I have been surprised by a lot of the articles attacking Heather Mac Donald for her coverage of the Trayvon Martin in two articles. Federale claims that she is intentionally holding back so she can receive “Manhattan dinner party invitations,” Nicholas Stix calls her a neocon, and Patrick Cleburne called her a “poor polemicist.”

Before getting to Trayvon Martin, I think at VDARE, we should at least give Mac Donald some deference given all the great work she has done on immigration.  While most conservatives make the issue about economics, national security, or the rule of law (if they are not silent or on the wrong side of the issue), Mac Donald has zeroed in on the problem of the Hispanic underclass.  I have not seen any neoconservatives make this point.  And while I am not privy to Mac Donald’s social life, I do not imagine it winning her invitations to Manhattan cocktail parties.

  Mac Donald does an excellent job in laying out these facts, and I have seen her debate the issue many times, and she holds her own.  Patrick Cleburne linked to some blog about her doing a less than stellar job debating Jason Riley a few years ago.  Even if she flubbed one debate, that’s no reason to call her a poor polemicist after all her great work. 

What about Mac Donald’s Trayvon pieces?  I agree with Federale that Mac Donald was overstating the case against George Zimmerman when she said “Unless Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, had reason to believe that Martin was armed, shooting him was a grossly disproportionate response to a fistfight, even leaving aside the fact that Zimmerman had initiated the encounter.”  [Why Manipulate the Tragedy of Trayvon Martin, National Review, March 26, 2012]

Mac Donald ignored that there are in fact times that fistfights can lead to death, and that it is far from clear that Zimmerman did not initiate the encounter.  However Federale and other writers who suggest that Zimmerman would certainly have ended up dead had he not shot Martin are just as presumptuous. That aside, the main point of Mac Donald’s piece was to debunk the idea that had been widely circulated since the shooting that the police are racist and that blacks are frequently the victims of white crime. 

I am not sure that George Zimmerman was justified in shooting Trayvon Martin.  Frankly, there is a lot of things that need to be known.  As James Fulford pointed out there are over 800 murders each year that involve no weapons.  However, there are probably over a million fistfights too, and we do not want to allow someone to use deadly force in each time. 

Ultimately the issue is

1)               Whether Zimmerman or Martin initiated the fight

2)               Whether Martin was beating up Zimmerman so badly that he feared for his life and/or if Martin grabbed for Zimmerman’s gun.

After calling Mac Donald a neocon, Nicholas Stix says “When neocons now deal with crime and race, which is with ever less frequency, it is to bemoan the black victims of black crime, and ignore the white victims.” 

Stix omits that in the very piece he is discussing, Mac Donald writes:

“Here’s another difference between police killings of blacks, white-on-black killings, and black-on-black killings: Sheer numbers…The relative rates of interracial killings are wildly skewed towards black on white killings: There were two and a half times as many white and Hispanic victims of civilian black killers in 2009 as there were black victims of civilian white and Hispanic killers, even though the black population is one-sixth that of whites and Hispanics combined. Yet to read columnists such as the Times’s Charles Blow or to listen to the professional racial extortionists, it is the police and whites who are the biggest threat to blacks, not other blacks.”  [The Media and Black Homicide Victims, National Review Online, March 29, 2012]

I agree that it is wrong to ignore black on white violence, but it seems like a perfectly good point to make that when the media is going apoplectic over the dangers blacks face from “white racists” or “White Hispanic racists” to mention that blacks face more danger from themselves.

There are plenty of leftists and craven conservatives acting like complete buffoons in response to the Trayvon Martin case.  I don’t see the need after one of the most articulate writers on both immigration and crime.