Why do self-styled liberals and centrists keep working for a magazine that is obviously a racist, far-right mouthpiece? Is it perhaps because they’re not actually liberals or centrists?
While Lehmann calls Quillette “independent,” “centrist,” and even “a community of liberal humanists,” the publication showcases racist pseudoscience purporting to show that people of color are intellectually and morally inferior to whites. Many of the writers of its race pieces are proponents of the Human Biodiversity Movement (HBD), a euphemistic name for a campaign to advance scientific racism launched in 1996 by Steve Sailer, a blogger for the white supremacist website VDare. (Sailer famously said that “in contrast to New Orleans, there was only minimal looting after the horrendous 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan—because, when you get down to it, Japanese aren’t blacks.”) Quillette contributors Ben Winegard, Bo Winegard, Brian Boutwell, and John Paul Wright have all either said they are part of the HBD movement or used the term to describe their own research. When asked to comment about why she publishes such writers, Lehmann said she rejected the premise of the question and did not elaborate further.
What Quillette is essentially doing is repackaging these white nationalist ideas in milder, pseudo-intellectual form and selling them to liberals who aren’t reading closely.