In a recent poll Kip asked for input on the worst nonsensical claim to come out of the murders at Virginia Tech. Of the three choices, I voted for the third option, John Derbyshire and Nathanael Blake blaming the victims. Read them both, but I’m going to focus on Mr. Blake’s comments. He had the opportunity to review Mr. Derbyshire’s comments before broadcasting his opinion to the world. Rather than passing, or at least calling out the grotesque implication that the victims didn’t respond correctly to their nightmarish situation, Mr. Blake carried it further.
College classrooms have scads of young men who are at their physical peak, and none of them seems to have done anything beyond ducking, running, and holding doors shut. Meanwhile, an old man hurled his body at the shooter to save others.
Something is clearly wrong with the men in our culture. Among the first rules of manliness are fighting bad guys and protecting others: in a word, courage. And not a one of the healthy young fellows in the classrooms seems to have done that.
If these sentences offered mere speculation, Mr. Blake might earn a pass (barely) because he wrote this on Tuesday, when many details were still unknown, as many are still unknown today. But it’s not mere speculation. It’s a naked assumption that the men did nothing to stop their fates. Bullshit. Even if it happened to be true, and we’ve learned now that it isn’t, it makes no difference. These men and women didn’t deserve to die, whether they died with or without a fight. That’s what counts. It has nothing to do with manliness, for the ability to kick someone’s ass doesn’t make a man. The only male in Mr. Blake’s narrative who isn’t a man is Mr. Blake himself.
For a more thorough analysis, John Cole states the case against Mr. Derbyshire.