A long-time friend of the editor explains why he no longer reads AR.
Since we are friends from way back, and with an old school tie as well, I think you’re due an explanation for why I’m dropping American Renaissance when my subscription expires.
My reasons for taking your pamphlet have always had more to do with curiosity about you than with racialism’s interest for me. I have always had some discomfort with the subject but I welcomed the challenge of your ideas to my complacent liberalism. I also admired your courage in taking on this touchiest of subjects. God knows it needs honest discussion in this age of politically correct hysteria. But having been a subscriber since its inception, I am tired of American Renaissance. You have heard most of my objections one way or another before, but I am in the mood to recapitulate them.
1. AR is hopelessly utopian. It dreams of a state or society that will never be. Historical processes have already overrun the racialist’s hour.
2. Therefore AR is inutile. It articulates a point of view that, however “realistic” in terms of historical human nature, is nevertheless of no help when it comes to reinventing life on earth in the next epoch. The big mix is here already, ethnically and economically. The pertinent problems are in the mix, not in lamenting it.
What’s the use of trying to push back the tide, reossify old prejudices, encourage the tribalization of a human community that is headed for further amalgamation? Like it or not, we will have to face it. Publicizing unfairness and the tyrannies of liberalism is fine, but AR goes further than that.
|“I have never been able to come to terms with a certain animus motivating AR.”|
As you know, I have never been able to come to terms with a certain animus motivating AR, sometimes naked, mostly veiled, which I am afraid really does lend to hurting people or at least saying “Well, it’s better this way.” And this leads me to an objection that takes objection into another dimension:
3. I do not see the religious possibilities in the AR point of view. It is a tract self-limited to the biological, the social, the political. I think that at the “end of all our exploring,” whether we get there or not, is some kind of religious understanding. Something deep says that the AR perspective is inimical to this. Whether or not it is possible for one to hold to a racialist viewpoint or social philosophy with a clean and faithful heart, I know that I could not. I doubt it would be possible today, even if it were possible in the past, for Lincoln, say. I would be troubled by the worry that my race philosophy had been or could be misused as a vehicle for the expression of hatred and malice — or had, at best, been a means to look the other way. This leads me to my last point, the most troubling of all.
4. I do not detect the will nor perceive the means to resist excesses possible to commit in the name of AR’s ideology. Indeed the validation that could be given to ethnic cleansing by the kind of cogent, calm arguments put forth in AR chill the soul. There is no set of crampons sufficiently sharp and strong to keep you guys from sliding to the bottom of the philosophical slippery slope into a bloodbath. I do not detect the strength of will to resist the barbarism that could be committed in the name of your ideas. I fear that should your racialist ideas prevail politically, you would become a Goebbels at worst, at best an editor of Pravda. I’d like to see the fervor with which you militate against liberalism and its obvious excesses matched by the fervor to preserve what’s good and admirable in its sympathies and republican spirit. Your “hard truths” are all arranged on one vector, and a wrongheaded one at that.
You offer a rationalist rediscovery of human differences and suggest, by implication, concomitant social policies. But a visceral sense of human differences precedes and goes way deeper than any rationalistic appraisal. What any racialism does is immediately take those visceral reactions, make sense of them, codify them, make a veritable rosary, an unthinking incantation of them. I know what it is like to give way to a sense of repugnance. Some deep-seated appetite in one’s nature answers to it. It cries out for an answer.
Racialism organizes much of this feeling (mostly fear and guilt), makes of it a construct energized by the viscera but justified by the mind. This is your Mephistophelian business with AR. It is persuasive. I feel myself lured by it but that doesn’t make it right. It is the easy way out. It is the reptile leading the better angels of our nature.
I wholly approve of the war on cant and duplicity. We all have to fight it for our selves and for our souls. But I guess it has seeped into me that I shouldn’t give money to promote ideas that have at best no future, at worst could help recapitulate the greatest horrors of the past. Ultimately I worry that AR attacks that which can give a human life its highest form of understanding. Times have changed. What Jefferson said then and what he might say now are unlikely to be mutually recognizable. You are talking last year’s language and peddling a dangerous nostalgia.
Which is why I will not renew my subscription when it expires.
Malcolm Meldahl attended high school with the editor of AR and the two have been friends ever since. Mr. Meldahl lives on Cape Cod with his wife and two sons.
Naturally, it is disappointing that an old friend should read AR for three full years and remain unconvinced by it. Even so, you gave it the benefit of the doubt for a long time, longer than any friend or editor could have asked.
Of the many objections you raise, there is only one that really matters. It is the view that for whites to think in racial terms is inherently evil and can only be the result of animus, or “hatred” as the press invariably calls it. Racial consciousness among whites has been forced underground because so many people have been taught to think this way. I must say that it is painful that you should think this of me. It is irritating to be thought evil by strangers; it is dispiriting to be thought evil by one’s friends.
By your own admission, though, much of what AR says is persuasive. Am I wrong to suspect that if you no longer thought it immoral, your other objections would drop away? You are rejecting a view that, as you concede, promotes your own interests and that may even express your own instincts. Nevertheless, you are willing to forego an advantage because you think it wrong — an admirable position to take.
The scruples you express are, I believe, one of the hallmarks of our people. I think that to an unusual degree, whites must believe that what they do as a group is not just expedient but moral. That is one of our great strengths, and the last thing I would ask is that you set aside your scruples. My task is to convince you, and others who share your instincts for fairness and generosity, that it is not merely natural but right for whites to assert their own interests. Only then will they use their distinctive qualities to defend their race and culture rather than, as they do now, permit their own dispossession in the name of those qualities.
Before considering this all-important question I will reply to the objections I think less important. The first two are parts of the same argument: It does no good to promote the AR view of the world because that world will never be.
“Historical processes,” you say, “have already overrun the racialist’s hour.” A moment’s reflection should convince you that this is not so. Racialism now marches from strength to strength — but for everyone but whites. In the United States, blacks, Hispanics, and even Asians are banding together along racially exclusive lines as never before to extract privileges from whites. For millions of non-whites, race is central to their identities and informs everything they think and do. Indeed, every corner of every continent is exploding with assertions of peoplehood — sometimes violent — that reflect not just race but human differences of all kinds.
The current racial regimen is one of unilateral disarmament. Whites can be bullied and intimidated by non-whites because non-whites have clear understandings of their racial interests and whites do not. For blacks, especially, race comes before anything else. No matter how much they may differ among themselves, they almost invariably close ranks against whites.
This is why the rap singer Sister Souljah’s advice to blacks — that they leave off killing each other for a week and kill whites instead — was not repudiated by other blacks. It is why the thugs who nearly killed Reginald Denny at the start of the Los Angeles riots were lionized as “The L.A. Four.” It is why a man so corrupt and incompetent as Marion Barry has been re-elected as mayor of Washington, DC.
What you meant to say is not that there is no hope for the white racialist. To that I would say only that ten years ago no one expected the Soviet Union to disappear, Germany to be reunited, or Yugoslavia to be torn apart. History is far from over. French royalty was at the height of its glory when it was struck down by revolution. Who can say that the current “tyrannies of liberalism,” as even you call them, are not at flood tide and may soon recede? In Europe, the racialist right influences national policy. Is such a development unthinkable in the United States?
In any case, if you are a man willing to forego advantage in the name of what is right, surely you can understand persistence in a cause simply because it is right. There may never be world peace or a cure for cancer or an America as it should be, but people devote their lives to these things because it is right to do so and because much good can be accomplished short of total success.
Unless I have misunderstood it, your objection that racialism has no “religious possibilities” is the weakest of your arguments. I do not claim that the defense of race and culture is a religious task, but I see it as far more spiritually uplifting than its opposite. The reality of multi-racialism crushes the spirit. What are the special religious possibilities that are to be found in Detroit, Camden, Miami, or South-Central Los Angeles? Godhead may or may not be found in devotion to one’s people, but there is the very devil to be found in every American city that has been transformed from white to non-white.
Our country has made a kind of secular religion out of the belief that pouring the nation’s wealth into cities wrecked by non-whites will somehow bring back clean streets and polite neighbors. The real work that goes into this task is grim and spirit-killing; I do not believe that it is, for anyone, “the end of all our exploring” that you seek.
To turn your religious argument on its head, there are many things you care about passionately — poetry, integrity, beauty, work well done — that you do not, as far as I know, think of as having religious possibilities. Why must racialism have such possibilities in order to gain your support?
Questions of Biology
I am surprised that you write as if an interest in the scientific study of racial differences is only a cover for vulgar feelings of repugnance. Any number of people — and I count myself among them — have approached the questions of race and IQ from a desire to know the truth. And the truth, by the way, includes the likelihood that North Asians are more intelligent, on average, than whites. Let the chips fall where they may.
You remind me of the Victorian lady who said, when first hearing of Darwin’s theory of evolution: “I pray that it is not true, but if it is true, I pray that it will not become widely known.” The link between race and IQ is almost certainly true, and it is becoming widely known. AR has taken up this question at some length, so I will not cover old ground. I will say only that one of the greatest challenges our nation faces — and one utterly unacknowledged — is the desperate need to devise a humane system that recognizes the differences in abilities of the races.
The current pretense of equality only creates injustice, bitterness and a relentless destruction of standards. It guarantees that every attempt to solve racial problems will only make them worse. If all one did with one’s life were to publicize the truth about race and intelligence, it would be a great service to justice and progress.
Thus it is not the racialist who strings his views into “a veritable rosary, an unthinking incantation” as you so gracefully put it. It is the egalitarian who lets his predispositions blind him to the facts. There are no racialist or even conservative mantras to numb the brain like “All men are created equal,” “We are a nation of immigrants,” or “Diversity is our strength.” Liberals will chant these slogans right up to the edge of the precipice. These are your rosary, to which you might add another bead, “White racial consciousness is evil.”
We come, therefore, to the heart of the issue. Is it moral for whites to defend their race and culture?
This reply will conclude in the next issue.
Dissenting Voices II
Can a black person be a “white racialist”?
Today, when there is so much resentment expressed by blacks for whites, it can be a revelation to meet a black who speaks of whites with genuine affection.
I recently had a frank, four-hour conversation with a middle-aged black woman, whom I will call Miss Channing. She has medium-brown skin and pleasant features, and was reared in a middle-class household. She claims some French and American Indian ancestry from her mother, and an unknown black-white mixture from her father.
When we met I was immediately struck by her consistent use of the word “Negro.” “‘Black,’” she explained, “was forced on us by dark-skinned Negroes who were jealous of light-skinned Negroes.” She herself finds nothing attractive, much less beautiful, about blackness. She said that no one, not even the most strident Afro-centrist, thinks that “those big Negroid features” are appealing. She pointed out that all the models in advertisements in Ebony and Essence have light skins and sharp features. As she put it, “none of them look like they just stepped out of the jungle.”
She noted that even frankly anti-white movie producers work the same preference into their casting decisions. Female leads are the light-skinned mixed-bloods who are the only blacks whom even other blacks find genuinely attractive.
Miss Channing is single. She says that most black men are worthless and that ever since she could remember, she has been attracted to white men. She believes that the great tragedy of her life was to have been an adolescent when inter-racial dating was not considered acceptable. She says she knows many black women younger than herself who have lost all patience with black men and she confidently predicts a marked rise in the number of black women who date and marry white men.
|“You people [whites] have to do something about this. You can’t let it happen.”|
Miss Channing is adamantly opposed to non-white immigrants, whom she calls “pre-moderns.” She fears that current policies will flood whites in a sea of third-wonders who will “turn the country into a banana republic.” At one point she put her hand on my arm and said, “You people [whites] have to do something about this. You can’t let it happen.”
She has no compunction about saying that it is not only the country that must be kept from going non-white. She quoted a black friend as asking, “Why is it that whenever we finally get into any place that we have been kept out of all these years, the first thing we do is pervert it?” She believes that whites (and the better class of blacks) have every reason to resist integration because once the percentage of blacks reaches a certain level, standards cannot be maintained.
Miss Channing became aware of the research on race and intelligence only recently. It does not make her happy to think that Africans probably are, on average, less intelligent than people of other races, but she is prepared to accept the verdict of the data — as long as whites are willing to judge her as an individual rather than simply as a “Negro.”
She observed that an understanding of racial differences and the genetic basis for intelligence has solved a riddle that had long puzzled her: Why have light-skinned blacks always been the most successful? She has recently been persuaded that although greater social acceptance may play a role in their advancement, the decisive advantage for light-skinned blacks is white genes.
Like her intellectual idols — Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams — Miss Channing believes that liberal interference by means of affirmative action and welfare has been a disaster for blacks. She thinks black underclass men are the nation’s worst scourge and even wonders if black men may not be genetically inferior to black women.
She cannot understand why whites have permitted the liberal/socialist destruction of American institutions. She scarcely recognizes in today’s whites the same race that founded the United States and made it great. “What happened to you,” she says, “is that the non-whites and the pre-moderns ganged up on you.”
Miss Channing says that she knows many blacks who feel as she does and that their number is growing. She says that since whites are so afraid to talk about race and other taboo subjects, conservative blacks will have to do it for them. “Negroes have been a huge problem in this country,” she says; “Maybe by speaking out we can become part of the solution.” Her personal vision of salvation would be marriage to a white man and children who also married whites. She would be perfectly happy to have grandchildren who looked white.
What does one make of Miss Channing? It is not unusual for people to prefer one part of their family tree over another. Whites who are “part Irish” or “part Italian” often take pride in what they think of as their ethnic heritage. A woman with no more Confederate than Union ancestors may well think of herself as a staunch Confederate.
Race is somehow different. Virtually all whites are glad that they are white, and if they had to choose some degree of black-white mixture for themselves they would go long on the white and short on the black. And yet, perhaps because an honest admission of it is so rare, there is something heart-breaking about a black woman’s admission of something that whites take for granted.
Miss Channing almost seems to think of herself as a white woman trapped in a black woman’s body. To the extent that rising racial consciousness finally prompts whites to rally to their nation and their culture she applauds it. At the same time, it can only cause whites to think of her as different from themselves, and to the extent that white racial consciousness may exclude her she fears it. Among most blacks, of course, her views are anathema. Here may be the ingredients of tragedy.
Sacrificing the Best
An essay on the dysgenic savagery of war.
War and the Breed, David Starr Jordan, Beacon Press, 1915, (abridged reprint by Cliveden Press), 127 pp., $12.50.
Today, the welfare state is the most powerful force working to lower the genetic level of the population. Any system that forces the responsible and hard working to support unlimited procreation by the incompetent can only drag down the average. In this little book, David Starr Jordan reminds us that war is even more ruthlessly dysgenic. The very best of a nation’s men are cut down in battle, often before they have had even a single child.
Jordan wrote this book in 1915, one year into the great, fratricidal struggle that desolated so much of Europe and set the stage for an even more terrible struggle. He saw the Great War as only the latest and most horrible of the butcheries that have retarded the evolution of the race. This contemporary and abridged reprint is illustrated with 28 full-page photographs and brief biographies of some of the young Britons who were needlessly sacrificed in that war. Their strong, honest faces are a silent reproach to governments that were willing to snuff them out without issue.
|Captain M.A. Fitzroy left his studies at Oxford to join the Seaforth Highland Regiment. He was killed on April 16, 1915, leaving no children.|
Jordan offers several reasons why war sends a nation’s best to their deaths. First, armies do not accept the feeble-minded, sickly, or deformed. Second, among those who serve in combat, it is the bravest, most intelligent men who make the best soldiers and who are therefore relied upon by commanders when combat is most desperate. Finally, until recently, all European nations had military traditions that drew their best and most patriotic sons to the colors.
Jordan makes the point that this has always been the case. Though he may press the point a little too far, he argues that it was war that brought down Greece and Rome by slaughtering their best men. The Greeks were not unmindful of the terrible genetic risks of war, and at one time took precautions against them. Every one of the Spartans who died in the defense against the Persians at Thermopylae was a volunteer, but no man who had not already had at least one son was left behind to guard the pass. Later, during the Pelloponesian Wars, hard-pressed Greeks could no longer hold their childless men in reserve.
Jordan notes that the burden of empire so decimated the Romans that whole tribes of aliens and even slaves were made into legionnaires. Horace, writing near the beginning of the Christian era, recorded the consequences:
Our grandfathers sired feeble children; their’s
Were weaker still — ourselves; and now our curse
Must be to breed even more degenerate heirs.
The British, too, have suffered both from the losses of war and from the great outpouring of adventurous men who sought their fortunes in the colonies. The exertions of empire and the costs of two world wars have changed the character of the British. Jordan quotes Havelock Ellis: “The reckless Englishmen, who boldly sailed out from their little island to fight the Spanish Armada, were long since exterminated; and an admirably prudent and cautious race has been left alive.”
Under Napoleon, France too reaped a gruesome harvest of Europe’s best men. In the emperor’s time, soldiers were chosen for their height, because tall men made a more fearsome impression on the battlefield. Jordan writes that the wars of the Republic and the First Empire notably diminished the stature of Frenchmen. The declining average height of a population can be measured; the other qualities that were lost — bravery, dash, and intelligence — cannot.
The losses that Napoleon inflicted on Europe come into perspective when compared with casualties during America’s own fratricidal war. At Gettysburg, our bloodiest battle, 163,00 men were engaged and 37,000 killed or wounded. At Napoleon’s defeat in 1813 at the Battle of Leipzig, 440,000 were engaged and 92,000 killed or wounded. However, the greatest loss France suffered under Napoleon was during the Grand Army’s retreat from Moscow in 1812. Of the 400,000 men who had set out to discipline Russia, only 20,000 returned. It is testimony to the martial vanity of man that Napoleon, who once said that “a boy will stop a bullet as well as a man,” should still be a hero to the French.
Of course, tanks and machine guns soon made modern war even more murderous. The Battle of the Somme, which dragged on for four months in 1916, claimed over 600,000 British and French casualties, and an unknown but roughly equal number of German casualties.
It is fortunate that war does not kill off the best of the women along with the men — at least it did not before the era of civilian bombing. However, as Jordan explains, war often so thins the ranks of the better men that the women they would have married may be unable to find husbands.
In today’s climate of enforced silence on genetic matters, it is instructive to note how unself — consciously Jordan wrote about the dysgenic effects of war. At the time, he was chancellor of what became known as Stanford University, and his concerns about the genetic quality of the race were widely shared. He quotes many others — journalists, professors, and even poets — who issued the same warnings about the effects of war.
Neither Europe nor America has fought a major war since 1945, so an entire generation has been spared. Moreover, the technical means to wage mass war and the disappearance of the gentleman-soldier tradition mean that future conflicts may be more akin to indiscriminate massacres than to selective, dysgenic killing.
Today, welfare is a greater threat to the gene pool than warfare.
War and the Breed is available for $14.00, postage included, directly from Cliveden Press, 6861 Elm St, Ste. 4H, McLean, VA 22101.