American Renaissance magazine
|Vol. 23, No. 1||January 2012|
C O V E R S T O R Y
I am writing to tell you about a change in emphasis at American Renaissance. We will be shifting our efforts from the monthly publication into what we expect to be the very best race-realist website on the Internet. Our revamped and expanded website will henceforth be publishing the articles and features that have been going into the magazine, and you can expect dramatic changes at the site very soon. However, this means that more than 20 years after the first issue of AR went into the mail in November 1990, we are closing the monthly publication.
Some of you have been subscribers since Volume 1 Number 1, and all readers have been vital to our efforts. I owe you an explanation for this decision.
We face the same choices as other print publishers. We have seen the costs of printing and mailing continue to rise while, at the same time, more and more people look to the Internet for information. The result has been a dramatic shift in our readership. We never had more than a few thousand subscribers to the monthly American Renaissance, while our website, www.AmRen.com, gets 100,000 to 200,000 different readers every month. In a recent radio interview, even Jill Abramson of the New York Times conceded that the Internet version of her paper has much greater reach and impact than the print version. At the same time, the business of running a publication — tracking subscriptions, sending renewal notices, registering address changes, supplying missing issues, dealing with printers — is a time-consuming distraction from the all-important goal of serving our readers and seeking new ones. I believe we are better able to serve the greatest number by switching to an all-web American Renaissance.
The greatest obstacle to this change is the wishes of those of you who do not use the Internet, and who tell us AR is an invaluable monthly tonic. We have tried to think of ways to keep alive a print version of what appears on the website, but this would still involve all the headaches and expense of printing, mailing, and record keeping. We are truly, truly sorry to be saying good bye to those subscribers who cannot join us on the Internet. Some of you have been very loyal and generous supporters, and although changing circumstances force this decision on us, I cannot help feeling that we are letting you down. We will miss you — your calls, your letters, your good wishes — very much. Thank you for your many years of support. I hope to see as many of you as possible at the conference in Tennessee next March.
For me, this is a sobering turning point. This is the 243rd monthly issue of American Renaissance that I have edited, proof-read, and laid out. My children have never known me not to be working on the next issue, and are in a state of mild shock to think the publication is coming to an end. It is some comfort to know that all 243 issues will be available forever in archives on the Internet, but it is sad to think that, barring an unlikely revival, there will never be another.
As I look back on the decades that have passed since AR began, there have been many other changes besides the tremendous growth of the Internet. When we began publishing in November 1990, it was very hard to get unorthodox information about race. There were a few small publications, such as Instauration, The Thunderbolt, and Mankind Quarterly, and a few specialty book sellers. The only way to find out about them was through luck, word of mouth, or diligent library research. There were no non-profit organizations devoted to the interests of our people. There was only a meager network of racially conscious whites who rarely met each other.
The Internet has given rise to scores of racially conscious websites — many of them excellent — and it has become easy to find like-minded people. Comrades in Europe, Canada, South Africa, or Australia are a few mouse clicks or a phone call away. A 12-year-old with a computer can find first-class race realism and white advocacy. Several non-profit organizations are doing serious research and outreach and holding conferences. There is an entire universe of heretical ideas and an increasingly solid framework of institutions to support it.
We are still a minority, of course, and it will take a great deal of work to move our ideas fully into the mainstream or to begin to shape policy. We still have nothing like the patriotic political parties that are doing so much good in countries such as Austria, Denmark, and Belgium.
And yet, race realism is clearly spreading. The 1990s were, in retrospect, astonishingly open to heresy. They were the decade of The Bell Curve, A Question of Intelligence, Why Race Matters, Dysgenics, Paved With Good Intentions, Ethnic Conflicts Explained by Ethnic Nepotism, and Race, Evolution and Behavior. But as the decade came to a close, even Arthur Jensen had trouble finding a mainstream publisher for his magisterial The g Factor, and Richard Lynn lost access to the wider market. My latest book, White Identity, could not find a commercial publisher despite the efforts of two literary agents.
Now, of course, traditional publishers can no longer control what the public reads. Small presses are proliferating, and loads of heresy slip past the gatekeepers. Letters to the editor in daily papers used to be carefully vetted and only an occasional dose of good sense got through. Now, many of the comments to the electronic versions of newspapers read as if they were written by AR subscribers. Articles about flash mobs or prison riots will obviously attract comments about race, but even general articles about welfare, crime, the economy, or immigration draw out readers who clearly have a sophisticated understanding of what is happening to their country. When I am a guest on talk-radio programs, many callers agree enthusiastically, and cite facts to bolster my positions.
But what most encourages me is the number of young people I meet who have a fully-formed understanding of race. By the time they are 20, they know more than I did at twice their age, and draw better, more nuanced conclusions. Some of them are kind enough to say that American Renaissance helped open their eyes. My generation and the one before have made a terrific mess of things, but we are leaving the country to at least a few clear-eyed youngsters who are impressively knowledgeable and dedicated.
We have a great deal left to do. All the white countries of the world are changing quickly — but in all of them more and more patriots understand that we face a common struggle. American Renaissance will continue to be part of that struggle, but in a different way. I invite all of you to join us in that struggle at www.AmRen.com.
A R T I C L E
Race and the War
Agreement on race could not prevent our bloodiest war.
America’s greatest war — which ended slavery, devastated the South, and killed 620,000 soldiers and 50,000 civilians — does not even have an agreed-upon name. Federal zealots officially called it “The War of the Rebellion,” while Southerners generally preferred to call it “The War Between the States.” “The Civil War” is the name that seems to have stuck — despite Southern objections. As Jefferson Davis pointed out, the South did not want to rule the North; only to “be left alone.” A century and a half after the guns fell silent we still cannot agree on the names of some of the major battles: Is it Manassas or Bull Run, Sharpsburg or Antietam, Murfreesboro or Stone’s River?
What role race played in the war is, if anything, even more unsettled. Did Yankees and Confederates really disagree about the nature or status of blacks? Why did the South want independence? Did the North fight to abolish slavery? Were slaves loyal to the South and did some fight for the Confederacy? Conventional answers to these questions are not always correct. A strong case can be made for the view that North and South were essentially united on the subject of race at the time of the war, and despite the colossal struggle were quickly reunited afterwards.
The roots of war
By the time the war ended, many in the North flattered themselves that its goal had been abolition. The pages of Harper’s and other Northern magazines were filled with images of happy freedmen praising God and Father Abraham. It is clear, however, that the North did not start the war in order to end slavery but to maintain the Union. Many Northerners had a sentimental attachment to the nation created by the Revolution, and feared that disunion would diminish national glory and hobble manifest destiny.
There was a clear majority sentiment in the North against the expansion of slavery, but very few Northerners would have started a war to end it. However, fanatics have influence far beyond their numbers, and this was certainly true of the abolitionists. People usually associate the South with the Bible and strong opinions, but the antebellum North saw some of the most bellicose, blood-thirsty preaching — both secular and religious — ever heard in this country. It set a tone that was not representative but still alarmed the South.
It is well known that Southerners cited the Bible to justify slavery, but abolitionists cited it as well, in sermons against “man-stealing.” They quoted 1Timothy 1:10-11, which lists “manstealers” along with “manslayers,” “whoremongers,” and “murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers” as among those who must suffer the consequences of the law. They particularly liked Exodus 21:16: “And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.” Deuteronomy 24:7 also prescribes death for anyone who steals a man. Harriet Beecher Stowe added her voice to this view, writing that “the [Hebrew] legislation commenced making the great and common source of slavery — kidnapping — a capital crime.”
The wildest abolitionists therefore held that slaveholders deserved to be exterminated. James Redpath, one of John Brown’s associates, saw a bright and bloody future. “Let nations be dismembered, let dynasties be dethroned, let laws and governments, religions and reputation be cast out,” he preached, if that was what it took to free the slaves — even to free just one slave: “If only one [black] man survived to relate how his race heroically fell, and to enjoy the freedom they had won, the liberty of that solitary negro . . . would be cheaply purchased by the universal slaughter of his people and their oppressors.”
Crazed talk of this kind was unusual, but it got wide circulation in the South. Many slaveholders did not want to live in a country that gave birth to such sentiments.
The better known abolitionists were more sober, but still used disturbing language. Senator Charles Sumner said slavery was “blasphemy” and contrary to Biblical principles. Lewis Tappan, who gained prominence in the effort to free the illegally captured slaves found aboard the Amistad, called slavery “morally wrong, wicked and sinful in the sight of God,” likening it to “murder, arson, robbery, theft and assault and battery.”
Biblically founded revulsion for “manstealing” led naturally to what was called the “Rescue Doctrine,” which justified the liberation of slaves. Many Northern states passed “personal liberty laws” that threw up obstacles to the return of escaped slaves by requiring jury trials and habeas corpus hearings. Several states, such as Wisconsin and Massachusetts, became virtual sanctuary states, because it was impossible to persuade a jury to order a Negro returned to bondage.
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 should have overturned these local laws and practices, but it did not. In a curious reversal in support of states’ rights, the South looked to federal supremacy over the states to get their property back, while the North claimed broad autonomy under the doctrine of federalism.
In yet another irony, some abolitionists actually urged secession — either the virtuous North’s departure from a tainted Union or the outright expulsion of the South. William Lloyd Garrison famously burned the Constitution calling it a “covenant with death and an agreement with hell.”
Many abolitionists did not bother with the niceties of the law, believing that the Rescue Doctrine justified all means of liberation. Mobs sometime attacked Southerners who had come north to retrieve their slaves, and in one instance actually killed a slave holder. Yet another extension of the Rescue Doctrine was the encouragement of slave insurrections, and exhortations to slaves that they rise up against their masters began to appear in the 1820s. Abolitionist Henry C. Wright proclaimed that “resistance to slaveholders and slavehunters is obedience to God, and a sacred duty to man . . . . [It is] our right and duty . . . to instigate the slaves to insurrection.” The abolitionist orator Wendell Phillips called slave rebellion an expression of divine will: “Under God’s law, insurrection is the tyrant’s check. Let us stand out of the path, and allow the Divine law to have free course.”
David Walker was a black abolitionist who urged slaves not to hold back should they ever rise up: “[I]f you commence, make sure work — do not trifle, for they will not trifle with you . . . . [I]f there is an attempt made by us, kill or be killed. . . . It is no more harm for you to kill a man, who is trying to kill you, than it is for you to take a drink of water when thirsty.”
Calls for the Lord to wreak bloody vengeance on the slaveholders of Dixie reached a peak about the time of the John Brown raid of 1859. He had attended Tappan’s abolition convention in New York in 1855 on his way to Kansas, and received financial support from some of the participants. The next year, he led the Pottawatomie Massacre, in which five pro-slavery Southerners were killed.
The purpose of the raid on the Harper’s Ferry arsenal, of course, was to seize weapons, arm the slaves, and lead them in the massacre of their masters. Within 36 hours, all of Brown’s men had fled, been killed, or were captured. Brown himself was hanged, but his forthright attempt to exterminate slave-holders was a shock to the South and even to the North — at least at first. Some of Brown’s financial supporters panicked. One checked into an insane asylum and others fled the country. They recovered, however, when it became clear that for some Northerners Brown was a martyr for freedom.
No less a person than Ralph Waldo Emerson said that Brown “will make the gallows glorious like the cross.” James Redpath, who was prepared to see nations dismembered to save even one slave, managed to get a piece of Brown’s scaffold, which he called “the true cross.” Wendell Phillips wrote that “John Brown is the impersonation of God’s order and God’s law, molding a better future.” William Lloyd Garrison, who was officially a pacifist, made a speech in Boston on the day Brown was hanged, in which he said, “[W]henever commenced, I cannot but wish success to all slave insurrections.”
Henry David Thoreau was another alleged pacifist who set aside his scruples against violence, calling Brown “an angel of light.” He wrote that he agreed with Brown’s doctrine that “a man has a perfect right to interfere by force with the slaveholder, in order to rescue the slave.” He added that although he disdained the use of weapons, he wrote that in the case of Brown’s raid, “I think that for once the Sharps rifles and the revolvers were employed in a righteous cause.”
In the South, the fact that so many Northerners praised Brown rather than condemn him caused, if anything, more shock than the raid itself.
There are many even today who heap praise on a man better considered a terrorist. Brown biographer Richard Owen Boyer calls him “an American who gave his life so that millions of other Americans might be free.” Another biographer, Stephen B. Oates, calls him “one of the most perceptive human beings of his generation.” Historian and Brown scholar Louis Ruchames wrote: “Brown’s action was one of great idealism and placed him in the company of the great liberators of mankind.” Perhaps we should not be surprised to learn that when someone once asked Malcolm X if there had ever been “any good white people,” he proposed John Brown.
The raid did not reduce support for Republicans in the elections of November — something Southerners noted with dismay. With the collapse of the Whigs under the pressure of the slavery issue, Southerners felt increasingly marginalized and even singled out as deserving capital punishment.
Republicans also promoted a sharp criticism of slavery called The Impending Crisis of the South, written by a Southerner named Hinton Rowan Helper. Sixty-nine Republican Congressmen endorsed the book, which became an official party tract — the Republican party distributed an estimated 100,000 copies. Helper, who was vilified in his native North Carolina, was blunt:
Our own banner is inscribed: “No co-operation with slaveholders in politics; no fellowship with them in religion; no affiliation with them in society; no recognition of pro-slavery men, except as ruffians, outlaws and criminals.”
He also wrote: “It is our honest conviction that all the pro-slavery slaveholders deserve at once to be reduced to a parallel with the basest criminals that lie fettered within the cells of our public prisons.” His book called for the election of Republicans so that slavery could be abolished. (Although Helper opposed slavery, like many abolitionists, he was even more opposed to the presence of free blacks. He proposed that slaveholders be taxed to raise the money to ship all blacks outside the country.)
Lincoln was elected with only 39 percent of the popular vote in a four-way race. He did not call for abolition, but refrained from public assurances that might have allayed the fears of Southerners. In any case, the stances his party had taken, along with the blood-curdling talk of John Brown’s admirers left many in the South with the conviction that their section had no future in the Union.
Agreement, North and South
The quotations cited above that so disturbed the South represented a minority view. Most Yankees fought to preserve the Union. They did not want slavery in their states, but they did not want free blacks either. They had little desire to abolish slavery in the South but were manipulated by an increasingly abolitionist administration that took advantage of the war to emancipate the slaves.
It was basic agreement — North and South — on the undesirability of living on terms of equality with blacks that led the North to give the South home rule on racial matters when Reconstruction collapsed after the war. Although they were no longer slaves, Southern blacks enjoyed only a brief period of legal equality before being reduced to second-class citizenship. The North would never have permitted this had there not been a broad, long-standing agreement across the sections about the need for racial distinctions.
This agreement dated back to the founders, who did not consider non-whites to be Americans. At the time of the Declaration of Independence all the colonies recognized slavery. In 1786, New Jersey discouraged free blacks from moving into the state, noting that “sound public policy requires that importation be prohibited in order that white labour be protected.”
Homogeneity, not diversity, was America’s greatest strength. In 1787, in the second of The Federalist Papers, John Jay wrote that “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country, to one united people; a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs.”
It is well known that the first American citizenship law, passed on March 26, 1790, limited naturalization to “free white persons,” and thus left out indentured servants, slaves, free blacks, Indians, and Asians.
The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 barred slavery in the territories, but the first three General Assemblies of the territory also discouraged the immigration of free blacks by voting a head tax on every black over the age of 21. Nor could blacks serve as witnesses against whites.
There was a proposal to allow slavery at the Illinois constitutional convention of 1824, but it was defeated 57 to 43 percent. Much of the “nay” vote reflected the desire to have no blacks in the state, slave or free. Free blacks were required to have a “Certificate of Freedom” in order to move into the state, and to post a $1,000 bond to settle in a particular county (Ohio required only $500). Anyone without a certificate could be seized, and bound over for indenture.
There were similar explicitly anti-black laws in Indiana, Michigan, and Iowa, and even in the West. Blacks were barred from moving into the state of Oregon, and those who were already there were barred from owning real estate, making contracts, or bringing law suits. Many states, including Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and even California banned testimony by blacks in any case in which a white was a party.
In 1829, the whites of Cincinnati, Ohio, tried to expel their resident blacks, and half went to Canada. The whites found, however, that they had driven out the “sober, industrious and useful portion of the colored population,” and that those who stayed were the “idle and indolent, as well as the profligate.” When Tocqueville wrote in Of Democracy in America (published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840) that American whites disliked blacks, he was describing a reality that was plain to anyone.
In May 1856, the Supreme Court of Indiana ruled against a black man who sought to bring a black woman into the state in order to marry her. The decision was blunt: “The policy of the state is thus clearly evolved. It is to exclude any further ingress of negroes, and to remove those already among us as speedily as possible.”
The famed Dred Scott decision of 1857 established that black people were not citizens of the United States. The 7 to 2 decision held that although they could be citizens of states, they were not citizens of the United States and therefore lacked the right to sue in federal court.
Justice Peter V. Daniel joined with the majority, explaining that emancipation had no bearing on federal citizenship. Drawing on Roman law, he argued that the relationship between master and slave was a private one while the relationship between the citizen and the state was public. A master could change his private relationship with a slave by freeing him, but only government could grant citizenship.
Roger Taney, the chief justice who wrote the majority decision, added that slavery arose out of an ancient conviction that Negroes were “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the White race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they had no rights which a White man was bound to respect.”
The New York City draft riots of July 1863, were a vivid indicator of how ordinary Northerners felt about blacks. Most of the 50,000 to 70,000 rioters were working-class men who were angry that rich men could buy their way out of the draft. However, Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation earlier that year, and many whites were furious at the thought of being forced to fight for emancipation.
Rioters quickly focused their anger on blacks, lynching at least 11 and burning down the Colored Orphan Asylum, home to 200 black children. “Kill the damned nigger!” was the mobs refrain. It took 20,000 federal troops and three batteries of artillery to calm what was clearly a vicious outpouring of mob hatred against blacks.
In 1865, at the end of the war, the people of Wisconsin took part in a ballot on whether blacks should be given the franchise; only 46 percent voted in favor. In that year 19 of 24 northern states barred blacks from the polls. Only after the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1868 were blacks considered citizens of the United States. Indians did not become citizens until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, and the “white persons” clause in the citizenship law barred some Asians from naturalization until 1952.
A strong case can therefore be made that North and South were united in their basic view of blacks, and that it was only the differing circumstances in the sections that caused friction. Both regions set up a system of race control because white Americans did not envision social or political equality with a group they considered inferior. In the North, blacks were held at a distance, and in some areas simply forced out. The South controlled blacks through slavery, in a system that often did not allow even for the idea of free blacks. Many slave states forced blacks to leave if they were emancipated.
Conflicting policies arose because of historical and economic differences in the regions. Because slave labor was more profitable in the South, the region contained vastly more blacks. At the time of the 1850 census, it was 37.3 percent black. The Northeast — the hotbed of abolitionism — was only 1.7 percent black. In the Midwest, even including the slave state of Missouri with a population that was 13 percent black, blacks were still only 2.5 percent of the population.
Outside the South, there was strong sentiment to keep the region white. The Free Soil movement was designed to reserve the newly opened Western lands for white men. The Wilmot Proviso, which would have banned slavery from any territory acquired after the Mexican-American War, was also meant to keep out free blacks. David Wilmot called his measure “the white man’s proviso.”
The large population of blacks in the South dictated very different policies. Early support for manumission was coupled with plans for repatriation, but both the expense and the loss of human capital meant colonization was never tried seriously. Some estimates put the value of slaves at 20 percent of the gross wealth of the antebellum South. Southerners therefore tried to promote the “positive good” defense of slavery — which never convinced anyone outside the South — and sought to maintain a political balance by expanding slavery.
In other slave societies, it was common to move from chains to liberty. Romans, for example, viewed Greek slaves as fit tutors for their children, and acknowledged that Greek culture had much to teach them. This made it easy for a freed Greek slave to become a Roman citizen. Probably no one in the antebellum North or South considered blacks to be fit tutors for their children or sought to learn the philosophy of Africans. The racial divide was simply too great. Southerners therefore had no choice: either maintain slavery or live with free blacks in conditions that no whites, Northern or Southern, would have considered acceptable.
Hatred of slavery in the North and violent talk of abolition pushed the South out of Union. The North fought to preserve the Union. The war, with all its tragic consequences, came despite basic agreement about race.
It was this basic agreement that led the mass of northern whites to recognize that Reconstruction forced onto Southerners a kind of racial equality Northerners would not have accepted for themselves. It was a shared dislike of blacks that largely explains why, after war fever declined, the majority of Northerners lost interest in forcing Reconstruction onto the South. As soon as Southern whites regained some measure of home rule, they reinstituted a two-tiered society that reflected the pre-war agreement between North and South that blacks were not really part of America.
The freedoms of whites
It is not well known that before the war, the Southern states limited the liberties of whites in order to protect slavery. In the minds of slaveholders, the abusive and sometimes violent language of the radical abolitionists was criminal sedition that had to be stopped. The South therefore curtailed free speech and the right to petition for redress of grievance, both of which are fundamental rights guaranteed by the First Amendment (though at the time it applied only to the federal government). Abolitionist agitation was outlawed, and anti-slavery tracts were kept out of the US Mail.
Why would the South take such oppressive measures? Simply put, Southerners feared that slavery rested on too precarious a foundation to permit certain liberties. The rare slave revolts in the United States and the blood bath of the Haitian revolt convinced Southerners that their race-control system must be preserved — even at the cost of basic freedoms. There were forms of criticism that could not be tolerated in a biracial America.
Today, in multiracial America, we find that the intellectual descendants of the abolitionists have adopted the tactics of the slave holders of the 19th century. Although they do not say so explicitly, they recognize that multiracial America is too fragile to permit the full exercise of the liberties envisioned by the founders. Liberals believe that frank discussion of race is not merely insensitive or rude — though that would be enough for them to ban it; they believe it could lead to mass murder. Offenders face government or private sanction, and sometimes both.
Certain views are banned in America, just as arguments for abolition were banned in the South. Newspapers often refuse to print certain opinions and even certain facts. Internet sites censor heretical views, and some servers block objectionable websites. Private filtering programs treat race realism as if it were pornography. Institutions that claim to be of higher learning enforce speech codes and stop unfashionable inquiry. The European Union has gone further, and punishes the expression of certain opinions with fines and jail time.
Liberty of expression and freedom of inquiry simply cannot be permitted in a multiracial state. The multiracial state is therefore a slave state, in which its residents have the task of forging their own mental fetters.
Liberals and egalitarians appear to believe that whatever Nature has ordained, the races can be made equal. All it takes is more set-asides, affirmative action, Head Start, and forced integration. Today’s racial conversation is therefore not about facts, but a series of assertions about how the world should be. The neo-Abolitionists have imposed far more uniformity than any “gag rule” of the 1830s, with the result that public debate about race is more constrained than even in the antebellum South.
Today, the words of Leo Tolstoy could not be more relevant:
A R T I C L E
The Black Confederate Delusion
Orthodoxy holds that any symbol of the Confederacy must be reviled because it is a symbol of hate. This is a source of great sorrow for the many neo-Confederates of the 21st century who profess conventionally liberal views on race but still want to be allowed to be proud of their ancestors. They are the ones who assure their opponents that they stand for “heritage, not hate.”
But how do you rehabilitate a heritage that, according to official doctrine, is steeped in hate — is composed of nothing but hate? You completely recast the Confederacy in the hope of protecting it from charges of “racism.” That doesn’t work, of course — anti-racists will never grant legitimacy to Southern pride of any kind — but the neo-Confederates have cooked up a series of propositions that are supposed to disinfect the Old South. They can be summarized as follows:
1. The War Between the States was fought over a number of issues, mostly economic. Slavery played no part whatsoever. If slavery had anything at all to do with secession, it was of minor importance. The tariffs that protected Northern industries were the real problem.
2. Large numbers of Africans living in the South — probably the overwhelming majority — supported the Confederacy enthusiastically.
3. Many black men shouldered rifles to defend Dixie from Yankee attack. “Conservative” estimates put their number at 50,000 and there could well have been more than 100,000 black troops.
4. The fact that so many blacks were ardent Confederates proves that slavery was not the major cause of the war.
5. Racism is very bad, but the South was not racist. When properly understood, Southern symbols and monuments actually embrace the black experience.
This all adds up to something like a Southern version of the Stockholm Syndrome or the abused child syndrome, and goes to show the extremes to which an unforgiving racial orthodoxy can drive otherwise reasonable men.
The idea that slavery had little or nothing to do with the war can fool only the ignorant. Virtually every major political crisis between the War of 1812 and Fort Sumter was, in one way or another, about slavery: The Missouri Compromise, the Wilmot Proviso, the Compromise of 1850, the the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John Calhoun spent practically their entire careers trying to keep slavery from tearing the country apart. The John Brown raid had the tremendous impact it did only because of slavery.
But the most obvious source of information about the causes of secession is the Southern states themselves. The articles of secession of South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas all state that protection of slavery was a central reason to leave the Union. Confederate Vice President Alexander Stevens was just as explicit in his famous Cornerstone Speech of March 21, 1861. Speaking of “our new government,” he said “its cornerstone rests upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.”
As for black troops, it is a little more difficult to prove a negative, but the recent discovery, unknown to previous historians, of tens of thousands of sable Confederates, is fantasy. It is true that a desperate Confederate Congress authorized recruitment of black soldiers — but not until March 13, 1865. Lee surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.
This does not stop one neo-Confederate website from claiming that:
Aside from anything else, this assertion ignores the fact that one of the great sources of friction between North and South was the refusal to return fugitive slaves. This is repeatedly mentioned in the list of grievances against the North, and the Confederate constitution stated plainly that runaways would be returned. It is difficult to imagine the Confederate military accepting fugitive slaves as soldiers — when they could not even enlist legally — rather than returning them to their owners.
Another Neo-Confederate blandly sweeps away the legal status of black combatants with the claim that “many Confederate officers did not obey the mandates of politicians; they frequently enlisted blacks with the simple criteria, ‘Will you fight?’ ” These “frequently enlisted blacks” seem to have remained invisible to diarists, foreign visitors, and historians.
Confederate officers did consider arming blacks. One of the most interesting proposals was put forward on January 2, 1864, by Major General Patrick R. Cleburne. He had no special interest in blacks — “I never owned a negro and care nothing for them” — but he had served in the British army and had seen the effectiveness of native troops serving under white officers.
Cleburne addressed a group of fellow officers: “As between the loss of independence and the loss of slavery, we assume that every patriot will freely give up the latter — give up the negro slave rather than be a slave himself.” It is ironic that the South left the Union to preserve slavery, but war had so changed men’s thinking that it was possible to talk of giving up slavery as the price of independence.
By 1863, Cleburne thought slavery hurt the war effort. Slaves acted as spies and potential recruits for the North, and posed a threat to women and children left behind when men went to the front. But Cleburne insisted that slaves must be freed before they were given arms:
Needless to say, many Confederates were shocked by Cleburne’s proposal. Secretary of War James Seddon demanded that the officers who knew of it keep quiet. Joseph E. Johnston and Jefferson Davis both forbade all discussion of the proposal, with Davis “[d]eeming it to be injurious to the public service that such a subject should be mooted, or even known to be entertained by persons possessed of the confidence and respect of the people.”
If thousands and even tens of thousands of blacks had served or were already serving in the Confederate army by 1864, why would further discussion of the idea have shocked Davis, Johnston and Seddon? Why did Cleburne’s proposal have to be so rigorously suppressed?
It is true that after Cleburne’s explosive proposal, Johnston ordered that blacks be recruited as cooks and teamsters to free more whites for combat. This would account for the presence of blacks in Confederate encampments, but it does not mean combat.
The proponents of black Confederate troops like to quote an English observer, Arthur Fremantle, who visited the Confederacy in 1863 and traveled from Texas all the way to Pennsylvania. However, Neo-Confederates usually stop after the first few sentences:
Since Fremantle had clearly thought about arming blacks, if he had seen any bearing arms he would certainly have mentioned it.
Mainstream historians agree that if any blacks fought for the Confederacy it would have been a mere handful who served in irregular capacities. Of course, conventional historians would be disinclined to support the idea that blacks loved the Confederacy enough to be willing to die for it, and in this case they happen to be right.
As for the Neo-Confederates, their eagerness to purge their history of “racism” reminds us of Demosthenes’ adage that “nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.”
Mr. O’Toole holds degrees in history and law. This article is adapted from a speech he gave at the 2008 American Renaissance conference.
A R T I C L E
The Galton Report
Francis Galton, in Memoriam, Part IV,
This is the last of a four-part series commemorating
In 1883, Galton coined the term “eugenics” to describe programs designed to improve the genetic quality of a population. For the next quarter century he devoted much of his time to trying to formulate practical eugenic policies, but by the early 20th century he had come to realize that this is extremely difficult. His proposals for positive eugenics consisted of financial incentives to encourage those with desirable qualities to have more children, but it costs a great deal to rear a child. It would have taken huge sums to persuade a significant number of people to have more children.
Galton’s proposals for negative eugenics consisted of measures to discourage or prevent those with undesirable qualities from having children, but these also are hard to implement on a scale that would have a significant effect.
As he came to appreciate the dimensions of the problem, Galton thought of a radical solution, which he set out in a book-length blueprint for a eugenic state, which he named Kantsaywhere. In 1910, at the age of 88 and one year before his death, he finished the book and sent it to a publisher. However, even in those more robust times, it seems the editor was afraid to publish it and turned it down. Galton could have sent it to other publishers, but appears to have had cold feet himself, and abandoned the project. Some of the manuscript survived among his papers, however, and Karl Pearson included a summary in his Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton.
Kantsaywhere is a republic governed by a self-perpetuating Eugenic College that enforces a plan to improve genetic quality. Each year, some of the more elderly members of the college retire or die, and are replaced by new members, who are selected through rigorous examinations for intelligence, educational achievement, and health. The college carries out its policies by requiring couples who want children to apply for a license. To get a license, they must both pass an examination to determine whether they would be fit parents.
Couples are graded on the basis of their performance on the examination, and those in the top grade may have as many children as they like. Those in the second grade may have three children, those in the third grade two, and those in the fourth grade one. Those in the fifth grade are considered to have failed the examination and may have no children at all.
The Eugenic College recognizes that some couples will break the rules, and provides for punishments. Those who have more than their allotted number of children can be fined, jailed, or deported.
Galton’s eugenic utopia would undoubtedly have had some effect on the genetic quality of the population, but there are problems with his eugenic provisions. Galton proposed no way to promote positive eugenics, other than letting the top grades have more children. He evidently assumed that these elites would naturally have three or more children, but he could have been wrong. In the contemporary developed world, the average number of children per woman is well below the replacement level of 2.1, and the fertility of elites is even lower. Many of the most promising parents, especially high-IQ college-graduate women, choose to remain childless.
A eugenic utopia would have to introduce incentives that work. The only political leader who has tried to solve this problem in recent decades is Lee Kuan Yew, who was prime minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. He introduced tax incentives for graduates and high-income earners to have children, and these did have a small effect. Still, the fertility rate in Singapore today is very low — approximately 1.0 — so the problem of inducing the elite to have children has not been solved.
Galton’s eugenic utopia made provisions for promoting negative eugenics by punishing the less genetically desirable who had more than their permitted number of children or, in the case of those in the lowest grade, any children at all. These provisions could not be implemented in liberal democracies, where having unlimited numbers of children is considered a human right, but could possibly be enforced in an authoritarian state. Indeed, something resembling these provisions has been implemented in China’s one-child policy, which was generally enforced.
Chinese authorities have likewise banned parenthood for anyone who suffers from certain hereditary conditions. This policy, too, has been enforced with far more success than would be possible in a democracy. Galton evidently recognized that the measures for promoting negative eugenics could not be implemented in a liberal society, which is why Kantsaywhere is an oligarchy governed by an elite.
We therefore arrive at three verdicts on Galton’s ideas on eugenics. First, Galton was remarkably prescient in perceiving that natural selection had largely ceased to operate against poor health, low intelligence, and weak moral character, and that the populations of the economically developed nations were therefore deteriorating. The evidence for this has recently been summarized by Richard Lynn in his book Dysgenics (see “Decline of the West,” AR, October 2011), in which he shows that the deterioration that Galton identified in the mid-nineteenth century has persisted up to the present. Second, Galton was also correct in perceiving that eugenics is the solution to the problem. Third, however, neither he nor his followers in the eugenics movements that flourished in the first half of the 20th century were able to formulate policies that had any real effect on the problem. To use a medical analogy, the disease has been diagnosed, but the cure has yet to be found.
The problem, of course, is in finding the right incentives, and in the implied threat of coercion in the case of negative eugenics, but progress could be made without coercion of any kind. A great step forward would simply be to educate people about the facts of heredity, and for governments at least to acknowledge that reckless procreation by the least capable members of society burdens everyone. Today, most citizens of Western countries understand instinctively that school dropouts, criminals, crack addicts, and those who live on the dole should not be having children. And yet, there is no official disapproval of this kind of childbearing; indeed, welfare policies make it easy for the unproductive to have children. Official societal disapproval of irresponsible childbearing might make it less frequent. A reduction of benefits for single mothers would certainly make it less frequent.
In past decades there was strong social condemnation of illegitimacy, for example. Most people waited to have children until they were married, and those who were unmarriageable did not have children. A nation’s values can promote healthy behavior.
There can be a positive effect at the other end of the social scale. Some elites might have more children if there were at least official recognition by government, universities, churches, commentators, and politicians that the genetic quality of a nation greatly affects its future. Today, all the institutions of modern society convey the opposite message — that genes do not matter, and that even the least favored should have as many children as they want.
There may be no cure for this disease, but at least a frank admission that the patient is sick might encourage healthier behaviour.
Karl Pearson Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton. Cambridge: University Cambridge Press, 1914.
Richard Lynn Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations. Second Revised Edition. London: Ulster Institute for Social Research, 2011.
A R T I C L E
Dr. Yeagley Marks Milestone in
This is very good news for all champions of freedom of speech and assembly, and for supporters of American Renaissance. The AR conference to be held in Tennessee in March will be at a government facility, which has certain obligations under the Constitution, so will not submit to pressures in the same way a private company would. Moreover, the facility is not likely to face much pressure, thanks to Dr. Yeagley’s clear determination to protect his — and our — right to gather and discuss controversial questions.
Dr. Yeagley is no stranger to controversy. He is the great-great-grandson of the legendary Comanche chief Bad Eagle, and his commentaries on American patriotism have so infuriated a few liberal Indians that some have accused him of being an imposter and not really an Indian. Dr. Yeagley has brought libel charges against his accusers. He has all available evidence of his identity, and expects to rout opponents who clearly never researched his background. One even recklessly claimed that Chief Bad Eagle never existed.
Dr. Yeagley has long been involved in the struggle to keep Indian mascots and logos for sports teams. He has always argued that giving Indian names to a team — or to an attack helicopter like the Apache — is a sign of respect for the Indian warrior’s prowess and by no means an insult.
In this connection, he recently wrote three open letters to the United Nations in an effort to inspire this international authority to enforce its own conventions. According to Dr. Yeagley’s reading of the 1948 UN mandate and the 2007 Declaration of Human Rights, the removal of American Indian images and symbols from public view is one of the acts that constitute genocide. Dr. Yeagley has pointed out these provisions of basic UN documents to that organization’s Special Advisors on the Prevention of Genocide. He has called on the UN to warn the United States Commission on Civil Rights and the National Collegiate Athletic Association that their actions against Indian mascots are a potential crime against humanity. An Oklahoma lawyer has vowed to sue the UN on Dr. Yeagley’s behalf if it ignores his appeals.
Being a plaintiff in a lawsuit is burdensome and time-consuming, and we are grateful to Dr. Yeagley for his fight against the people who want to silence us. Dr. Yeagley manages a small, 501(c) 3 educational public charity, and is by no means a wealthy man. We encourage all those who approve of his action against the “anti-fascists” to send a tax-deductible contribution to:
Bad Eagle Foundation
PO Box 75017
Oklahoma City, OK 73147
Dr. Yeagley extends his sincere appreciation to American Renaissance readers who have already contributed to his foundation, and would be deeply grateful for any possible further support. He has said that he sees his cause as “the preservation of America and of all the precious freedoms it represents,” and looks forward to further successes in the new year. “America will be the beneficiary,” he says, “both Indian and white.”
I N T H E N E W S
O Tempora, O Mores!
Russell Pearce Recalled
In a recent recall election, Arizona Senate President and author of the famous SB 1070 immigration law, Russell Pearce, was ousted by his pro-amnesty Republican challenger Jerry Lewis. Sen. Pearce received 45.3 percent of the vote to Mr. Lewis’ 53.4. Critics of Sen. Pearce were quick to frame the results as a referendum on his immigration efforts, but the truth is more complicated.
Because this was a special recall election, there was no Republican primary, and Democrats threw their support behind Mr. Lewis. Sen. Pearce won the support of seven out of 10 conservatives, so he would probably have won a Republican primary. Since his district leans Republican, if his opponent had been a Democrat, he would have probably won a general election.
In addition, though both candidates are Mormon, Mr. Lewis had the advantage of being a former Morman bishop running in a district where 34 percent of the electorate is Mormon. Sen. Pearce still won the generally-conservative Latter-day Saints by a 16-point margin, but this was a significant drop from his previous support from the church.
It also didn’t help that various out-of-state groups and ethnic organizations had their sights on the author of SB 1070. The Public Campaign Action Fund (PCAF), an organization “dedicated to improving America’s campaign finance laws,” spent over $47,000 on a direct mail campaign attacking Sen. Pearce for accepting free football tickets — a move that is considered ethical since the tickets were offered to the entire legislature. PCAF ignored dozens of other lawmakers who accepted the tickets, so it appears it targeted Sen. Pearce for reasons other than campaign finance.
Much ado was made about the Hispanic vote, which Fox News Latino called a “key factor” in Sen. Pearce’s loss. In fact, Hispanics were only 13 percent of the recall electorate, and voted against Sen. Pearce only by a three-to-one margin — not much worse than any conservative could expect in an election. This was in spite of Mr. Lewis’ extensive pandering: He went door-to-door in Hispanic neighborhoods, appeared on Hispanic shows, and used his broken Spanish to encourage Hispanics to vote.
Sen. Pearce remains defiant. In an article for Politico, he noted his many accomplishments, including writing bills that successfully restricted benefits for illegal immigrants, controlled voter fraud, and required employers to use E-Verify. He was also the author of a constitutional amendment that denies bail to illegal immigrants who commit serious felonies. Most important, his SB 1070 unleashed a wave of restrictionist energy that culminated in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina passing similar bills.
Sen. Pearce concluded: “I have not yet decided whether I will run again for the State Senate — or another office. I promise you though, that I will not retreat from this fight.” [Ben Smith, Mormon Voters Recalled Pearce over ‘Character,’ Not Immigration, Politico, November 11, 2011. Elizabeth Llorente, Poll: Latinos Were Key Factor in Arizona Recall Vote, Fox News Latino, November 15, 2011. John Papagiannis, Election 2011: Down Goes Russell Pearce! Public Campaign Action Fund, November 9, 2011. Russell Pearce, It Took a Recall to Defeat Me, Politico, November 15, 2011.]
Can’t Stand the Truth
Activists in the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests were upset when commentators started noticing the movement’s lack of racial diversity. Advertising analyst Harrison Schultz and Ford Foundation sociologist Hector Cordero-Guzman analyzed data from a survey conducted by Occupy Wall Street supporters, hoping to find, in Dr. Guzman’s words, that “the 99 percent movement comes from and looks like the 99 percent.” It doesn’t: 81.2 percent of protesters were white and only 1.6 percent were black.
When the researchers published a graphic that represented these data, one unnamed female OWS activist was furious: “Eight-one percent white protesters — and you actually made a flyer proudly advertising this lie, in a multicultural city like NYC? You must be crazy and blind.” She also accused Mr. Schultz of “insidious racism” and “white supremacy.” Another organizer said Mr. Schultz should attend “anti-oppression workshops.”
Some liberals have accused the Tea Party movement of racism because their protestors are overwhelmingly white. OWS appears to be terrified of facing the same accusations. [Joel B. Pollack, ‘Racism!’ — Occupy Activists Clash After Internal Survey Reveals Occupy Wall Street 81.2% White, 1.6% Black, Big Government, November 4, 2011.]
Education or War?
In November 2011, racial tension was running so high at Highland High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that police had to be called in to keep the peace. A fight between two boys set blacks and Hispanics at each other’s throats, and police locked down the campus. Rumors that outsiders were going to come on campus and start a “race war” added to the tension, which parents say has been building for months. Two days later the high school was still locked down, and a heavy police presence prevented violence.
One student explained that “all the black people want to fight the Mexicans and all the Mexicans want to fight the black people — it’s as simple as that, that’s as simple as you can put it.”
“Everybody is lined up to go to war basically,” another student said. “It’s just a lot of fear because people are scared for their lives . . . people are crying and running and basically scared to death. I know I was.”
Sgt. Patrick Ficke of the Albuquerque Police Department explained that “the students have almost segregated a little bit into their different racial groups — today there was word that there was going to be a large racial fight.”
Parents were upset that a police presence and lockdown were necessary. “Why did they let it get this far?” one mother asked. “If they’ve been told by the students, by the children who are there every day that there’s a problem — why did it take this long to do something?”
“They need to make this stop — they really do,” another mother added. “It’s about education not about war and that’s what all these kids feel like — that they have to fight a war.” [Eddie Garcia, Albuquerque Police Monitor Racial Tensions at Highland High, KOB News, November 18, 2011.]
The next week administrators put off an assembly to celebrate cultural diversity. Sophomore Breanna Jarvis, who is black, explained that it was “because there was such tension that was in the school, they were afraid to do it so they had to put it on hold,” adding, “Rumors I’ve heard are there was going to be a race war and they were coming on campus with weapons and they were going to target all the black girls first.” [Eddie Garcia, ‘Race War’ Rumors Postpone Assembly at Highland High, KOB News, November 22, 2011.]
Highland High is 61 percent Hispanic, 14 percent white, 9 percent American Indian, and 7 percent black.
No Different Online
Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley analyzed data from over one million participants in online dating sites and found that whites prefer to date other whites. This was true even for whites who claim to be indifferent to race. Eighty percent of the potential dates contacted by whites were also white, and only 3 percent were black. Blacks were ten times more likely to contact whites.
The researchers expected to find some white same-race preference, but were surprised that the Internet did not reduce it. “When the constraints of segregation are lifted by technology, what do people do? They don’t act all that differently,” explained Gerald Mendelsohn, an academic who worked on the study. “Segregation remains a state of mind as much as it is a physical reality.”
Black women were the group least likely to be approached for dates, and black men actually contacted more white than black women. Prof. Mendelsohn says this is because, in America, “our notions of feminine attractiveness are based almost entirely on images of white women.” [Chelsea-Lynn Rudder, Study Reveals Racial Segregation in Online Dating, The Grio, November 15, 2011.]
This seems to have no effect on the self-esteem of black women. An Allure magazine survey found that black women are three times as likely as white women to say they are “hot.” [Julee Wilson, Black Women Have Amazing Confidence, Survey Shows, Huffington Post, November 9, 2011.]
All eleven Deep South states, along with Delaware, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and West Virginia, had anti-miscegenation laws that were overturned by the 1967 Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia. Nearly half a century later, miscegenation rates are climbing rapidly in the area.
The US Census Bureau started letting people identify themselves as “multiracial” in the 2000 census, and continued that practice in 2010. During that decade, the number of multiracial Americans who are at least partly white climbed at least eight percent in all 50 states, but of the 10 states that saw the most rapid growth, nine were in the South.
From 2000 to 2010, South Carolina saw a 112 percent increase in the number of whites who were mixed with people of other races, just ahead of North Carolina at 111 percent and Georgia at 93 percent. In South Carolina, the number of white/black mixes jumped 247.7 percent, from 7,890 in 2000 to 27,432 in 2010. Nationally, the number of white/black mixes more than doubled, from 784,764 to 1.8 million.
Mixed-race people of all combinations increased from 2.4 percent of the US population to 2.9 percent. The white population increased by 4 percent. [Frank Bass, Black-White Kids Surge in South Where Mixed Unions Once Banned, Bloomberg, Sept. 30, 2011.]
Bjerke School, a secondary school in Oslo, Norway, has come under fire for segregating its classes in order to curb white flight. “We made the decision because many Norwegian students were moving to other schools because they were in classes with such a high percentage of students from other nations,” explained Gro Flaten, the school’s headmistress. “They seemed to be in a minority.”
Separation was short-lived, however, as Oslo education commissioner Torge Odegaard quickly demanded reintegration. He made the school write a letter to parents saying that “[s]uch a division of the students is not in accordance with the requirements of the Education Act. The school regrets this error.”
Some defended the school. Robert Wright, a Christian Democrat politician and former head of Oslo’s school board, said separate classes kept Norwegians from leaving: “Bjerke School has come up with a radical solution to a real problem,” he argued, “but the politicians have just said ‘no.’ ”
Eighteen-year-old head girl Helena Skagen also defended her school: “They had the best intentions. They just wanted to keep the Norwegian students at the school. But they now know that what they did was wrong because you can’t split the students according to their culture.” She added that “it’s a very emotional discussion because of what happened in July [the Anders Breivik shootings], and for that reason politicians don’t want to enter the discussion at all, because they are afraid.”
A 17-year-old Somali immigrant named Illias Mohamed didn’t like separation. “This is apartheid,” he said. “They do this because I’m from Africa and my father is from Africa. But every one of us is Norwegian.”
Immigration, of course, is the problem. Between 1990 and 2009, no fewer than 420,000 “non-Nordics” moved to Oslo, and they now make up 28 percent of the city’s population. [Richard Orange, Apartheid Row at Norwegian School After It Segregates Ethnic Pupils, Telegraph (London), November 25, 2011.]
|L E T T E R S F R O M R E A D E R S|
Sir — I enjoyed your reprint of Hilaire Belloc’s spoof of Nordicism in the December issue. Belloc knew that Europe — the Europe of brachycephalics and dolichocephalics alike — was the fortress within which our heritage grew. He famously equated Europe with Christianity, believing that one could not exist without the other.
His insights into Islam were impressive. In The Crusades, he wrote with great passion of the loss to Europe of the Holy Land and how this changed the world. I especially like this passage:
When was this written? In 1937, at a time when the whole world was at Europe’s (and America’s) feet. It took a wise and far-seeing man to have seen the latent power of Islam at that time.
Sarah Wentworth, Richmond, Va.
Sir — I liked your cover articles about Madison Grant and the adventures of Nordic Man. Grant was a hugely important figure from a political and organizational point of view, but his writings on race do not hold up well. He was a dilettante rather than a scholar, but did not hesitate to take dogmatic positions on unsettled questions. Some of his positions are now clearly wrong. For example, he wrote that modern humans entered Africa from the Middle East, whereas it is now almost universally agreed that homo sapiens originated in Africa. Many of his errors, of course, can be forgiven because he did not have the benefit of the last 80 years of research. Population studies using DNA, for example, were many years in the future when he wrote.
Even more unfortunate were the invidious distinctions Grant drew between whites. As a WASP, it was certainly his right to want to preserve the country for “Nordics,” but his worries about America filling up with Tyroleans or Irishmen now seem worse than quaint. His Nordicism set whites against each other. Fortunately, there is not much left of that narrow thinking today. We need unity rather than division, and worrying about who has a round skull and who has a long skull does not promote white solidarity.
Grant was a tireless worker for the preservation of species and habitat — not just for the elk and the bison but for whites. Let us remember him for the enormous good that he did, and not for the dissension he sewed.
Andrew Peterson, Huntsville, Ala.
Sir — In the November issue, you wrote about Jacqueline Kennedy’s sneering comments about Martin Luther King, which got her in hot water with the Jackie-was -royalty crowd. Frankly, I could never understand the admiration for that woman.
I compare her to Mary Anna Jackson, Stonewall’s wife. Mary Anna was only 32 when she became the widow of one of the legends of the Confederacy. Many men courted her but she refused them all, saying “I’d rather be the widow of Stonewall Jackson than the wife of any man on earth.”
And Jackie? When she became a widow at age 34 she married a fat, homely, shady — but immensely wealthy — businessman 23 years older than she, and then haggled shamelessly in court over the estate when he died.
Her low opinion of King is the only good thing I have heard about her in years.
Carl Long, Plain View, Long Island
Sir — I was surprised and pleased to read in the December issue about “Les Tuniques Bleues” (The Blue Coats). AR noted that the treatment of the Confederates is quite fair in this Franco-Belgian comic book series. In the story of “Black face” (album number 20), the authors, Raoul Cauvin and Willy Lambil, even recognize that the War Between the States was not fought for or against the abolition a slavery, a statement that would infuriate our equivalents of the Southern Poverty Law Center — if only they read comic books.
However, on broader racial issues, the authors fail to break free from antiracist dogmas. Album number 35 is called “Captain Nepel.” If you reverse the letters, you get “Le Pen.” The reference to Jean-Marie Le Pen, the former president of the French National Front, is all the more obvious, since Captain Nepel (a Yankee officer) is one-eyed and depicted as a “racist,” just like the French politician. The album was published in 1993, at a time when Jean-Marie Le Pen was still very influential in French politics.
Bernard Roman, Paris, France