Who is Kevin Williamson?

The National Review, founded by William F. Buckley and in publication since 1955, is a semi-monthly conservative editorial magazine focusing on news and commentary pieces on political, social, and cultural affairs.  Since its founding, the magazine has played a significant role in the development of conservatism in the United States, helping to define its boundaries, while establishing itself as a leading voice on the American right.  Though I disagree with most of its ideas, I have respect for a number of the contributors to the National Review, such as George Will, Jonah Goldberg, and Charles Krauthammer.  One contributor for whom I have absolutely no respect is Kevin Williamson.

The Atlantic, formerly The Atlantic Monthly, has a good reputation.  While its focus was once on literary and cultural commentary, it has shifted focus towards political commentary and reporting in the 21st century.  It has been around since 1857 and, as I mentioned, has a very good reputation for quality reporting and for presenting opposing points of view in a relatively unbiased manner.  “We reach thinking people — and make them think harder” is their motto.  The Atlantic just hired the aforementioned Kevin Williamson from the National Review.

Who is Kevin Williamson?  He is either one of the biggest jerks in the world, or else he is playing at being one of the biggest jerks in the world.  Either way. Interestingly, while Williamson is a virulent racist, a bigot, and an uber-conservative, he is an anti-Trumpeter.  But let us look at some of the things he has said over the years, for his words speak volumes.

  • In 2014, Williamson tweeted that “the law should treat abortion like any other homicide” and “women who have had abortions should face capital punishment, namely hanging.”
  • “The fictitious rape epidemic is necessary to support the fiction of “rape culture,” by which feminists mean anything other than an actual rape culture … ‘Rape culture’ simply means speech or thought that feminists disapprove of and wish to suppress.”
  • He said that that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a “desire to see as many poor children killed” as possible through abortion.
  • “From an evolutionary point of view, Mitt Romney should get 100 percent of the female vote,” including “Michelle Obama’s vote,” because “the ladies do tend to flock to successful executives and entrepreneurs.”
  • “As every female police officer knows, there is something maddeningly sexy about a woman enforcing rules, and something sexually repugnant about a woman without any rules at all. Miss Manners is sexy for the same reason that librarians and teachers and nurses can be sexy: she is an authority — it’s fun to play with authority.”
  • Williamson attacked transgender actress and advocate Laverne Cox, writing that she was “not a woman, but an effigy of a woman,” because transgender identity is a “delusional tendency.”
  • “The left always needs an emergency because they can’t get this stuff done through normal democratic means.”
  • Williamson compared Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to a Nazi.
  • Williamson declared that the epidemic of campus sexual assault “is a fiction” and compared efforts to curb the crime to “mass hysteria” during the Salem Witch Trials. “There is no epidemic of rapes on American college campuses. The campus-rape epidemic is a fiction.”

In the words of Slate’s Jordan Weissmann …

“These are not views one would typically associate with The Atlantic, which has a long, unique history in American intellectual life that’s partly bound up with the advancement of civil rights — it was founded by abolitionists, published Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail,’ and helped make Ta-Nehisi Coates a leading American voice on race … He reacted to Black Lives Matter with an O’Reilly-esque rant about ‘race-hustling professionals’ and black-on-black crime that I have a hard time picturing sharing space with a TNC essay.”

In reference to a young black child, he wrote:

“Hey, hey craaaaaacka! Cracka! White devil! F*** you, white devil!” The guy looks remarkably like Snoop Dogg … raising his palms to his clavicles, elbows akimbo, in the universal gesture of primate territorial challenge. Luckily for me, he’s more like a three-fifths-scale Snoop Dogg, a few inches shy of four feet high, probably about nine years old …”

So why would a 161-year-old, well-respected publication hire such a jerk?  According to The Atlantic editor, Jeffrey Goldberg …

“The larger question is this: What am I trying to accomplish by having Kevin write for us? The first answer is this: He’s an excellent reporter who covers parts of the country, and aspects of American life, that we don’t yet cover comprehensively. I happen to think that conservatives made ideologically homeless by the rise of Trump are some of the most interesting people in America, and I want to read them whenever I can.

As our staff knows, because I go on about this ad nauseam, I take very seriously the idea that The Atlantic should be a big tent for ideas and argument. It is my mission to make sure that we outdo our industry in achieving gender equality and racial diversity. It is also my job is to make sure that we are ideologically diverse. Diversity in all its forms makes us better journalists; it also opens us up to new audiences. I would love to have an Ideas section filled with libertarians, socialists, anarcho-pacifists and theocons, in addition to mainstream liberals and conservatives, all arguing with each other.”

Diversity, an exchange of opposing views … I am all for those.  But Williamson is a first-class jerk, plain and simple … a racist, a bigot and a man with no moral filter for his words.  Many have already criticized Goldberg’s decision to hire Williamson, to which he responds:

“I don’t think that taking a person’s worst tweets, or assertions, in isolation is the best journalistic practice. I have read most, or much, of what he has written; some of his critics have not done the same. I would also prefer, all things being equal, to give people second chances and the opportunity to change. I’ve done this before in reference to extreme tweeting (third chances, too, on occasion), and I hope to continue this practice.”

Thing is, Williamson has absolutely no intention of ‘changing’, for in his farewell letter to the staff at the National Review, he commented that …

“… I will be an apostle to the Gentiles. I am very much looking forward to raising a brand new kind of hell.”

I wish The Atlantic luck with this one … personally, I will not be reading his columns.

49 thoughts on “Who is Kevin Williamson?

  1. Pingback: Snippets of Stoopid … | Filosofa's Word

    • Now you see Mr Singer this is exactly the problem anyone has with trying to winning an argument. You simply have to keep your powder dry. One of the responsibilities of a citizen of a democracy is not just to represent their feelings, but to endeavour to win the opposition over by reasoned argument and example.
      Let me cite an experience here…
      I have just spent a little time on a FB site where folk on the Remain side of the brexit debate were blaming the BBC for bias, I suggested they were wrong. As a result I was labelled;
      Fascist- which is very funny since I am UK Hard-Left (Your previous president was kinda right-of centre as far as we were concerned, ok, but wouldn’t fit in our side of things)
      A Putin Troll- still trying to figure that one out.
      Incapable of intelligent debate (yes I admit to not insulting folk, which presumably comes under some folks classifications of ‘intelligent’)
      I was also a click-baiter….which is a new one to me!
      And after seeing there was no more to be done there I left, quite convinced I had been dealing with a crew of narrow-minded folk who were intolerant of anyone who did not agree with them. No on tried to convince me, just hurled outrage. Which I am now letting other folk know about here and there.
      So who won here?
      It is vital Mr Singer, if you are going to enter another person’s arena you start off with a solid base to work from, True you can inject a bit of humour and you can also allow a measure of tough defence. But it is only with a hard grasp of facts and an erudite manner can you hold your head up in another’s ‘back yard’.
      Be honest did you think you were hoping to win an argument or just throw mud, the latter never works. Trust me on this one.

      Liked by 1 person

        • But I am afraid you are sir. Your opening sentence is an attack, not a debate.
          You may say this, but what are you doing to convince folk you have the strength of the argument here.
          Let me cite an example here…
          I refer back to my earlier post as the example. This morning (UK time) I was in a tussle on FaceBook with folk who share with me a ‘Remain’ belief on the ‘Brexit’ question but this group are particularly hostile to the BBC as they feel it is biased towards the Brexit argument. I suggested they were wrong, of course there was abuse and accusations and wild comments. One of the most telling came from someone who was incensed over the BBC not reporting a ‘Remain’ march but had reported on the latest shooting tragedies in the USA, when I said these were more important. They came back saying that none one cares about Americans killing Americans. Imagine that a march being thought more important than the loss of a life, any life? Just what kind of mind-set is that. Sadly I answer my own question one so wrapped up in the cause nothing else matters, not the tears of one grieving relative, anywhere in the world (I’m leaving aside the question of gun-control, that is not the issue I am dealing with here)
          Can you imagine the implied arrogance and heartlessness, which is the impression that person left; coupled with an undertone of soft racism against all things American? I am now conflicted if I want to remain, as it were in the Remain wing and simply say ‘A plague on both your houses’
          I have a great fondness for the USA and her people, I fear she may tear herself apart into a series of small nations unless everyone works together; History warns us. This may be happening to the UK, but in the scheme of world affairs that will not matter too much.
          Please think on this, in the meantime I must find your blog…


          • If we “tear ourselves apart…” it will only be long enough to rid ourselves of this leftist trash that is intent on destroying Our Constitutional Republic. Notice I did not use the word democracy. I personally wish we could “get this party started” so that we may return to Constitutional roots and enjoy Freedom and Liberty once more.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I must ask, Mr. Singer … are you referring to me and/or my readers as “leftist trash”? And if so, that sounds remarkably like a threat to me. I can clearly see that you have zero interest in civil discourse, or trying to understand anybody else’s opinions, you merely wish to obnoxiously present your own and to do so in an aggressive manner. That gets us nowhere.


              • Many of your readers are leftist, liberal, socialists…etc. And no, I’m not making threats. I never say anything I’m not willing to back up with actions. That’s what’s called being adult. One cannot have “civil discourse” when the other side begins everything with a lie. Liberals almost without exception, begin every argument/conversation with a lie. It’s not always intentional, sometimes it’s just ignorance based on believing everything they see and hear from the mainstream media. One cannot engage in civil or critical discourse with a party incapable of critical thought.
                funny how you people on the left name call and use words like “obnoxiously” when confronted with facts that contradict your own belief system. You disregard the Rights of others because of your feelings. One cannot intelligently talk about issues when your feelings run your mouth. You call my speech aggressive. I call you weak-minded and unable to openly discuss issues. I like many Americans, are sick to death of the liberal left. And, we will not compromise Our Rights, hence President Trump. That’s us playing nice. You keep pushing us towards that corner, and you won’t like what comes next. That’s not a threat. That’s a warning from Americans who have awakened and won’t be pushed any longer.


            • Always be careful Mr Singer of the simple solution.
              Yes, there are many people who anger me to the point of incoherence and they are not all from The Right (I’m Left-far left)
              There are folk who are supposed to be on the same side of the debate as I am, and yet their invective and irrational hatred of anyone who is not with them is the very mirror image of those they are opposed to.
              I place myself on the area as what you might call leftist trash, and yet this day I distance myself from many of them because of the intolerance they display.
              Before you ‘get this party started’ ask yourself this. Are you willing to look into the eyes of one, just one weeping child and tell them this is all from Freedom and Liberty?
              Or is it more noble to sit down with a group of ‘leftist trash’ (think Oooh boy, here’s we go then. It’s talking to nutsville centre’), BUT start off the conversation with:
              ‘Look folk. I get you are pissed off. Who isn’t these days? But just give me a few minutes to explain how I see it, and let’s try and tone down the insults can we?’
              If you took that line I would be the first to say ‘Let the guy speak first!’
              You ‘get the party started’ and sir I regret to say you and I have a problem.
              A battle may be won by blood and fury. A War may be won the same way. But not the hearts and minds of folk. If you espouse Freedom and Liberty that is a much harder, longer and tougher road to walk.
              I wish you a Blessed Eastertide.
              Roger (UK citizen. Socialist. Catholic. First and Foremost Husband, Father and Grandfather)

              Liked by 3 people

    • He is, indeed, a piece of work, but I don’t think any of us would judge other bearded-baldies by him. Interestingly my resident hater, James Singer, made a comment to this piece. I initially sent it to Spam, but I think I’ll approve this one, in case you’d like to respond — give you something to have some fun with! 😎

      Liked by 1 person

      • Will be on my way directly Jill. I have just come from an FB Let’s Hate the BBC site, where I was accused on being
        a fascist,
        incapable of intelligent debate
        and being a Putin troll,
        so in all fairness I must spread myself amongst the to the Right too

        Liked by 1 person

        • A fascist??? Incapable of intelligent debate??? That is like saying the sun is dark, like saying up is down, like saying … grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

          I will leave Mr. Singer to you, then, for I have no patience for his sort, though I know that isn’t the right attitude, but my resources (time & energy, mainly energy) are limited and anyway, you are much better at getting a point across while remaining calm.

          Liked by 1 person

          • The ugly face of Remain and the UK Left Jill. I am conflicted over staying in Remain, might just be a case of ‘plague on both your houses’.
            I am getting uncomfortable about staying on the UK Left too. Too much intolerance and spite.
            Which as I have said before makes me a political orphan…
            I think I might concentrate on my writing, staying around here with you guys and doing what I can for my family.
            Who to vote for….Ah…there’s the thing.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I have a question about your left vs right. Is the ideology essentially the same as here, ie., left is more liberal, more directed toward social equality, while right is more conservative, more geared toward big business and less government regulation? And which way does the Labour Party lean? I haven’t put near enough effort into researching this, so I thought I’d ask the walking Britannica!

              You do what you need to for you and Sheila, and don’t worry ’bout the rest. But of course, you are like me and you cannot leave it completely alone. The best I can do is step back for about 24-hours. 😉

              Liked by 1 person

              • Oooh now there’s a question and a half!
                Basically, in theory the answer would be ‘Yes’.
                However when you look into the detail and exam the whole package of what you’re buying into then the matter becomes fraught.
                The Labour Party has (always has had) a far left wing which is intolerant of anyone who is against it. It is abusive as anything you will meet on the Far Right, it is also as wooly-head it what causes it espouses by denigrating them with hatred. As you will recall from my previous comments.
                As an example: there has always been an opposition to the state of Israel on the grounds of being opposed to Zionism. Over the years this has morphed into being anti-jewish in any form and is sickening. Currently the whole thing has blown up and the current Labour Party top brass have not been able to control their supporters.
                So although there are many good folk within the Labour Party as there are in Remain I do not wish to be in the same room as these bigots, hate-mongers and also a right-wing press reporter’s dream.
                Where I go from here I am unsure.
                Suffice it to say…. Very disappointed….
                Right-wing I can deal with, we are miles apart.
                Traitors to the cause of Socialism and pro-fascists……forget it!
                OK, rant done.

                Liked by 2 people

    • I think the rise of not only Trump, but populism as a whole, has influenced many areas, including the media. Can you imagine the likes of Breitbart, Alex Jones, or Sean Hannity being acceptable 20 years ago? It is a movement that I would like to see relegated to the annals of history soon, but I’m not holding my breath.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, the premise that just because someone writes well overlooks the fact what they are writing is incendiary rhetoric. William Buckley wrote and spoke very well, but does not make him write. Relying only on th excerpts you provided, this man is purveying innuendo and unsubstantiated opinion as fact.

    Having done my share of computer programming, even the most elegant program cannot cure a case of GIGO. GIGO is short for garbage in, garbage out meaning bad data will produce bad results. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Jill,

    If I ran a company, I love the concept of diversity. I would hire well qualified folks of all colors, faith or not faith based folks of various religions, women, men, LGBT, old, young, conservative, liberal and in between. The one person I would not hire is the bigot, the hater, the racist.

    The Atlantic is asking for trouble.If I wanted the input from a well informed smart bigot, I would hire him/ her as the occasional/ guest writer.
    We shall see how this works out.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

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