The Writings That Cost
Sam Francis His Career
||n 1995, riding the wave of self-immolation engulfing Western institutions, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution expressing repentance for the evil of slavery that co-religionists had supported 150 years ago. One daring conservative columnist for the Washington Times who questioned the group's motives suddenly found his career at risk. That writer was Samuel Francis, whose persistent intellectual honesty and courage would continue to incur the wrath of the conservative establishment and ultimately cost him his job.
After Francis pointed out in his Times column that "neither Jesus nor the apostles nor the early church condemned slavery," and that in the Bible there is "no indication that slavery is contrary to Christian ethics," the Times' trembling bosses, fearful of angry mobs that never materialized, revoked his position as staff columnist, the first blow in a series of attacks from neoconservatives that would later culminate in his firing.
The paper's horrified honchos ignorantly supposed that Francis had defended slavery. His argument apparently sailed right over their heads. Neocon Tod Lindberg, who would become editor of the editorial page, suggested the column was "a theological defense of slavery." But in reality, Francis had merely lampooned the Baptists' newfound political correctness by pointing to the letters of Paul where slaves are enjoined to obey their masters.
Despite the fall of the neocons' ax, Francis continued to write about subjects that frightened conservatives up until his death in 2005. In his syndicated columns for Tribune Media Services, Creators Syndicate, and for publications such as Middle American News, Chronicles, and American Renaissance, he wrote about the role and the importance of -- gasp! -- race. Left-winger had been writing about race for decades without a peep of protest from anyone, stirring up non-white resentment for political gain. While conservatives -- especially the intellectuals among them -- sat on their hands, Left-wingers enjoyed a monopoly on racial issues, assiduously cultivating and developing racial consciousness among non-white groups and fanning the flames of hatred against the white West, the chief defenders of which conservatives pretend to be.
Until Samuel Francis started writing about the subject, many conservatives didn't understand the nature of the racial assault being launched against them and everything they hold dear. Even today, many still do not understand. Listen for example to the words of a startled Greg Forster, an aide to neocon Linda Chavez, as he described his reaction in 1996 to coming across articles on race that Francis had penned for American Renaissance:
"When we got that stuff [articles on race by Francis], our eyes just got big as dinner plates."
In a move that reveals the political reliability of neoconservatives, Forster and John Miller, another Chavez operative upset with Francis's bold defense of the white West, cooperated with leftists in an attack on Francis. When the left-wingers at the Washington, D.C., City Paper, which specialized in publishing hit pieces on beltway conservatives and especially the Washington Times, decided to target Francis, Miller happily told them it was his intent "to run Sam Francis out of polite society."
Fortunately, however, polite society had something different in mind. Reprints of his columns and essays continue to find a receptive audience, influencing new readers every day.
This latest offering, Essential Writings on Race, compiled by his good friend Jared Taylor, is continuing evidence of that influence. The collection comprises some of Francis's most provocative, controversial -- and to his critics, most infuriating -- work. Here is Sam Francis at his analytical best, fearlessly addressing taboo subjects in columns, essays, and speeches that sent his limp-wristed conservative colleagues running for the comfort of their mothers' skirts.
To Francis, the white West was worth defending, and he was willing to say so explicitly. As a conservative, Francis actually believed in conserving. Others, such as Miller, Forster, the bosses at the Times, and most of the leadership of the conservative movement disagree, having long ago adopted universalist philosophical premises of the Left that regard men as interchangeable units like so many nuts and bolts.
Francis believed that race matters. "The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people," he said in remarks to the first American Renaissance conference in 1994. Those remarks were quoted by neocon Dinesh D'Souza in his uninfluential book, The End of Racism, and interpreted in conservative circles as bigotry and racial hatred, and led to Francis's firing at the Times.
But contrary to the image of him conjured by his enemies, this new collection of commentaries reveals that Francis never penned a single line of racial hatred. He sought only to protect and conserve his own people and culture. Nor was he "obsessed" with race, as some thoughtless critics have alleged. "I do not suggest," he wrote, "that race as a biological reality is by itself sufficient to explain the civilization of European man." Far from it. Race is merely a building-block, but an important one. "The skeleton of race acquires concrete meaning ... only as it takes on cultural and political flesh, as race becomes tied up with community, kinship, nationality, territory, language, literature, art, religion, moral codes and manners ..."
This collection, which includes the now notorious column on the Southern Baptists as well as the entire speech to the AR conference that so horrified D'Souza and the neocons, is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the importance of race in politics. Because Francis is the only conservative intellectual who put the crisis of the West into clear focus by analyzing both race and politics, this book is must reading.
He believed that the attack that has been launched against the civilization of the West "is not confined to the political, social, and cultural institutions that characterize the civilization, but extends also to the race that created the civilization." The purpose of his writings on race -- which cost him his career to produce -- was to find a solution for the white West's dilemma. He feared that failing to do so would be catastrophic. "As long as whites continue to avoid and deny their own racial identity," he wrote, "at a time when almost every other racial and ethnic group is rediscovering its own, whites will have no chance to resist their dispossession and their eventual possible physical destruction."
This collection demonstrates why Sam Francis remains so influential on the real American right.