Is There a Person Who Can Lie with Quotes Better Than Tom DiLorenzo?

Here he says:

'William F. Buckley, Jr., the man who once said that black people in the South were "retarded"'

This certainly sounded extraordinary. But the fact that DiLorenzo quoted a single word and offered no link made me think that he was doing the same thing has done throughout his Lincoln-hating: selectively quoting so as to effectively lie about his target while using that target's own words. So I decided to find out what was actually said.

Well, first of all, it is an unsigned National Review editorial that the "quotation" comes from, which means it may or may not have been written by Buckley. And what a fuller says is this:

"In the Deep South the Negroes are, by comparison with Whites, retarded ('unadvanced,' the NAACP might put it)..."

In context, it is clear that National Review is claiming that blacks in the Deep South are not as culturally advanced as whites. One may object to that claim, but it is a far cry from what DiLorenzo tries to make it appear "Buckley" claimed, which is that blacks are mentally retarded.

That's called lying Tom, and it's not nice.


  1. This is kind of an epic contest of liars, seeing as it pits DiLorenzo against Charles Krauthammer. Cause Buckley didn't by any means read racists out of the GOP, as Krauthammer claims. He purged anti-Semites from National Review, which is not nothing, but didn't stop NR from winking at the oppression of black people right through the Civil Rights era.

  2. Yes, the point here was not to be a defender of Krauthammer or NR. But as soon as I saw what DiLorenzo said, I was immediately suspicious. And those suspicions proved well-founded.

  3. That quote is better evidence of the changing usage of the word "retarded": from a euphemism for "not as advanced" to an insult.

    In other words, the kind of thing a real historian would be interested in.


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