Cultural Revolutions

The Refuge of Scoundrels

Accusations of racism, unlike protestations of patriotism, are the first, not the last, refuge of scoundrels. In today's world the charge is the ultimate rhetorical weapon, the H-Bomb of public discourse. Even without accurate aim or effective delivery, it is guaranteed to destroy not only the intended target but associates and bystanders for miles around, thus obviating the necessity for follow-up precision strikes. Political and intellectual terrorists, gangsters, and assorted fellahin have not just learned to live with the bomb, they have grown to love it. And 50 years later, there will be no one around to apologize to.

Wes Pruden, editor-in-chief of the Washington Times, did not in so many words denounce Samuel Francis as a racist when, late last September, he fired him from his job as an editorial page writer for the newspaper. Unlike in June, however, when he had informed Francis that his staff column, always popular with the Times's readership, was being killed and his pay cut by 50 percent (a portion of which was later restored), he did give a specific reason. Several days earlier the Washington Post had printed a piece by Dinesh D'Souza, adapted from the author's recently published book The End of Racism, in which D'Souza, in the course of describing a meeting organized by Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance, at the Hilton Hotel in Atlanta in 1994, quoted Francis...

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