I wondered when at last it would happen. But somebody decided to take Derbyshire up on his assertion that the fact of no black Fields Medalist is 'civilizationally ...' something. Significant, I think was his word. Well it turns out the Fields Medal has something to do with mathematics, and mathematics has something to do with civilization, therefore..
Sine qua non is perhaps the logical cliche that Derbyshire was attempting to dog whistle, wink wink, nod nod. Insults and insinuations don't have to be logically precise, and sly implications are part of the joke but Derbyshire's syllogism doesn't parse. I leave it to you as an exercise.
Now it's time for my dog whistle. Two words. Dick Feynman.
There is a community of black folks out there who would pay attention and would be genuinely proud of the author and I'm almost one of them. In my race man days, I would always cite some black American mathematician at the U of Chicago who corrected Edward Teller's homework although he was not specifically invited to be on the Manhattan Project. But all such proving is unnecessary unless you are racialist in the first place - which is that you believe the acts of the one reflect on the capacities of the many and therefore the illogic of the enemy of the many.
On the other hand it's possible that by citing examples of racist discrimination you mean to suggest that it is racism and only racism that keeps the other man down. Fortunately the author doesn't make the logical error of citing a lack of proportional representation as significant because that too fails serious scrutiny.
It doesn't present itself as a compelling question to me to find the exact person who convinced me that in order to undermine the fallacies and immorality of racial reasoning, one must behave *as if* the proper actions will make for the proper environment. But I know this to be true - it is as axiomatic as any profession. And so black apologetics remains to me, something of a pedantic exercise riddled with futility.
Two weeks ago I was reminded by the presence of an old clunker automobile with a Harvard sticker of the snide kind of statement that would be. It was something I always wanted to have. I grew up thinking that the coolest job in the world was to be a tenured professor of philosophy at Harvard. The man who helped me believe that was Dr. Alfred Ligon.