On Politics and Race JUNE 01, 1996 PRINT PAGE | SEND TO FRIEND Now that Samuel Francis's two-part installment on his "Rise and Fall" appears complete (April and May 1996), it's time for the readers of Chronicles to hear the rest of the story. What he did not disclose was the nature of his blatantly white supremacist writings that appeared in a newsletter called American Renaissance. In the March 1995 issue, Mr. Francis wrote that whites should begin a "reconquest of the United States," which "would mean the supremacy of whites in a cultural sense." Whites could solve the "racial problem" by, among other things, "imposing adequate fertility controls on nonwhites." Mr. Francis also says that "whites must correct their political and legal order to end the political power of nonwhite minorities and their white anti-white allies." He says he supports "equality of legal rights," meaning the rights of "personal security, personal liberty, and property," but that this "does not mean political equality, the right to vote, or the right to hold political office, let alone . . . the 'right' to attend the same schools, to serve on juries, to marry across racial lines," etc. Mr. Francis further notes that "the history of the white race is one of the conquest and domination of nonwhites. . . . The tragedy of this history of conquest is that there have almost never been enough whites to avoid being absorbed by the conquered peoples, either racially or culturally." In the past, Mr. Francis has defended himself against criticism of these quotations by saying that they are taken out of context. But the entire article from which they are taken is just more of the same. I wonder what possible context could reveal the enlightened nature of a call for "adequate fertility controls on nonwhites" and an end to "the political power of nonwhite minorities and their white anti-white allies." Mr. Francis is entitled to his opinions. But a major newspaper is entitled to maintain itself as a public forum and to keep its opinion page free of bigotry. I would hardly expect the Washington Times to run a syndicated column written by Louis Farrakhan, even if it did not convey the racist and anti-Semitic views of its author. Mr. Francis complains about me and my "wrecking crew" at the Center for Equal Opportunity. But his is entirely a case of self-destruction. The filth he wrote in American Renaissance does not represent any respectable strain of conservatism, including paleoconservatism. He has, indeed, "gone too far." By the way, Mr. Francis is telling "untruths" of his own when he says that "not once did a single one of [my critics] contact me or offer any public criticism of anything I had written." Greg Forster, a policy analyst at CEO, telephoned Mr. Francis not long after he was fired from the Times. Mr. Francis could be forgiven for having forgotten about the call, because it was very brief—Mr. Francis would not answer any questions. But what excuse does he have for forgetting about the public criticism of his writings contained in Mr. Forster's letter to the Wall Street Journal, which was published on December 1, 1995? —Linda Chavez, President Center for Equal Opportunity Washington, D.C. Dr. Francis Replies: Actually, I expect that most of the readers of Chronicles are way ahead of Miss Chavez in knowing the "rest of the story." They have been reading my views—on race and many other subjects—in these pages for years, and at least a few of them have also read American Renaissance, a newsletter that so far from publishing "filth" has in fact published writings by and interviews with some very prominent scientists and academics and is always a reliable and sane account of racial realities and relations. It is difficult to restore passages to their context after careless or dishonest minds have distorted them. Nevertheless, I have already tried to repair the damage in my response to Gregory Forster's December 1, 1995, letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal in a letter of my own (December 20, 1995) and in a subsequent letter (March 21, 1996) responding to inaccuracies in a Journal news story. Of course, in her zeal to impart to the readers "the rest of the story," Chavez makes no reference to either of these, though she faults me for not discussing Forster's letter. And of course, in their determination to prove me a "white supremacist," both Chavez and Forster neglect to cite my explicit disavowal of white supremacy in the American Renaissance article, a disavowal that I quoted in my letter to the journal of December 20. That too is a part of the "rest of the story" Chavez would prefer the reader not hear. The "reconquest" of the United States, I wrote, "does not involve any restoration of white supremacy in the political and legal sense that obtained under slavery or segregation, and there is no reason why nonwhites who reside in the United States could not enjoy equality of legal rights." While Chavez is eager to instruct us in what "respectable conservatism" is, she seems to find it inconceivable that neither I nor other paleoconservatives endorse Warren Court-era notions of political equality, voting rights, school integration, etc., and she fails to show the least grasp that equality before the law is the only equality the Constitution can be said to recognize. I do not intend to correct yet again all the distortions of my views that Mr. Forster has slapped together for her, but this is the full sentence I wrote in American Renaissance having to do with "imposing adequate fertility controls on non-whites": If whites wanted to do so [italics in original], they could dictate a solution to the racial problem tomorrow—by curtailing immigration and sealing the border, by imposing adequate fertility controls on nonwhites and encouraging a higher white birth rate, by refusing to be bullied into enduring 'multiculturalism,' affirmative action, civil rights laws and policies; and by refusing to submit to cultural dissolution, inter-racial violence and insults, and the guilt that multiracialists inculcate. My point in this passage was not so much to advocate these specific policies as to emphasize that at the present time there is not sufficient white will to support these or any other policies that will effectively protect white Americans from the eventual extinction they face due to the combination of long-term falling white birthrates with the unrestricted nonwhite immigration that Chavez so enthusiastically supports. As for the passage about ending "the political power of nonwhite minorities and their white anti-white allies," here is the full sentence, followed by the immediate context: Whites must correct the political and legal order to end the political power for nonwhite minorities and their white anti-white allies. This political effort would involve a radical dismantling of all affirmative action and civil rights legislation as well as a good part of the federal superstructure that entrenches minority power. It also would require recovering an understanding of constitutional law that permits local and state governments to govern, and private institutions to function independently of government. As a foe of affirmative action herself, Chavez surely cannot find the meaning of this context very mysterious or sinister. Indeed, I and many other paleoconservatives have repeatedly argued for this and similar positions in Chronicles, the Washington Times, and other places. It simply means the abolition of the civil rights and affirmative action machinery of the federal government. It is perfectly obvious that it is through that machinery that nonwhites and anti-white whites have grabbed political power to advance anti-white agendas and interests. While some of the proposals I put forward in the American Renaissance piece remain problematical to my mind—e.g., despite my proposal for a strict federalist solution to racial conflicts, I am not totally convinced such a solution would work today—I stand by all of them and the piece as a whole as serious efforts to deal with race and racial conflict. I tried to address these issues without the cant of egalitarianism, guilt, and groveling that usually frames both liberal and conservative discussions of race, and it is precisely because the article was free of such cant that Chavez thinks it is "filth." It tells us a great deal about her mind that she cannot distinguish. "Filth" for neoconservatives is what fails to regurgitate liberal premises. Most of the rest of Chavez's comments strike me as simply stupid. Both I and Louis Farrakhan are concerned with race, so in Chavez's cant-riddled mind that means I am just as much a bigot as he. But I have never used the kind of racial insults, stereotypes, and slurs that Farrakhan and Wes Pruden use, nor do I subscribe to the kind of paranoid, pseudoscientific, and irrationalist cosmology that Farrakhan endorses. As a matter of fact, when Farrakhan visits the offices of the major Washington papers, he is received far more politely than whites who speak far less provocatively in support of their own race and people. When I said that not once did any of my enemies (not, as she says, "critics"—critics often contacted me) call me or offer any public criticism of what I had written, I was thinking of the time prior to my being fired. I do in fact recall Forster calling me after a Washington Post news story reported that I had been fired. I returned Forster's call and, when he told me he had been planning an article about me, wished him good day. I had known since the summer that he was snooping around, but I had not known until then what exactly he was up to. It does not seem to have occurred to him or the rest of them to call me up, ask to interview me on the record about what I had written, or just discuss it in an open and aboveboard manner. In general, the Chavez letter confirms the account of the neoconservative mentality I gave in my article. That mentality is so narrowly constricted to its own assumptions, values, and beliefs that it finds it impossible to give any benefit of the doubt to those who dissent from it. It is a mind incapable of tolerating or respecting any disagreement even as it chuckles over how tolerant it is. It is a mind so enveloped in certainty of its own virtue that it cannot distinguish between radically different kinds of deviation, and it does not hesitate to mount crusades to smash all deviations from itself. Most conservatives are familiar with this mentality, if not from firsthand observation, then at least from the results of its blustering course through history in such windbags as Cromwell, Robespierre, John Brown, and the Abolitionists. Chavez and her brood are well met in their company.