David Horowitz Critiques AR: A Reply

Jared Taylor
Jared Taylor.
The cover story of the August 2002 issue of AR was the first comprehensive account of the Wichita Massacre to appear in any publication. We thought the story was so important we released it in electronic form on the day AR went into the mail. Several web sites posted it, including David Horowitz’s FrontPageMag.com, which ran a version that edited out some of the more explicitly racialist commentary. Mr. Horowitz himself wrote a friendly and generous disclaimer justifying his decision to post an article from a publication many would call “racist.” To this disclaimer, Mr. Taylor has replied. His reply is reproduced below.

Read David Horowitz’s critique.

Reply to David Horowitz

I have long admired Mr. Horowitz’s efforts to expose the double standards and ethnic shakedowns that go by the name of multiculturalism. He is also among the very few commentators who understand the significance of crimes such as the Wichita Massacre — and the media silence that greets them — and I greatly appreciate his help in making this outrage better known.

Mr. Horowitz is quite correct in his description of how his vision of America differs from mine, and also correct to say that I would argue racial consciousness is a natural part of the human condition that we should accept rather than attempt to change. It is his historical perspective that is wrong. My view of America-as a self-consciously European, majority-white nation-is not a recent reaction to the excesses of multiculturalism; it is the original conception of this country, and one that was almost universally accepted until the 1960s.

Many people appear to believe that the motto E Pluribus Unum means that the United States was always meant to be a melting pot of the world’s people. In fact, “out of many, one,” the motto chosen for the great seal in 1776, refers to the 13 colonies united into one nation. It has nothing to do with multi-racialism.

Since the founding, and up until just a few decades ago, virtually all Americans took it for granted that the United States was, by nature and destiny, a white country. To be sure, there were blacks and Indians, but most Americans saw their presence as a misfortune, and certainly as no threat to the numerical and cultural dominance of whites.

In 1787, in the second of The Federalist Papers, John Jay gave thanks 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 ... .” This is not a celebration of “diversity” or of the melting pot.

Thomas Jefferson thought it had been a terrible mistake to bring blacks to America, and wrote that they should be freed from slavery and then “removed from beyond the reach of mixture.” He looked forward to the day when whites would populate not just North but South America, adding “nor can we contemplate with satisfaction either blot or mixture on that surface.”

The American Colonization Society was founded to free black slaves and persuade them to return to Africa. As Henry Clay put it at the society’s inaugural meeting in 1816, its purpose was to “rid our country of a useless and pernicious, if not dangerous portion of the population.” The following prominent Americans were not just members but served as officers of the society: Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, Stephen Douglas, William Seward, Francis Scott Key, Gen. Winfield Scott, and two Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, John Marshall and Roger Taney. As for James Monroe, the capital of Liberia is named Monrovia in gratitude for his help in sending blacks to Africa.

Abraham Lincoln also favored colonization. He was the first President ever to invite a delegation of blacks officially to visit the White House; he held the meeting to ask them to persuade their people to leave. Even in the midst of a desperate war with the Confederacy, Lincoln found time to study the problem of black colonization, and to appoint Rev. James Mitchell as Commissioner of Emigration.

His successor Andrew Johnson felt the same way: “This is a country for white men,” he wrote, “and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government for white men ... .” James Garfield certainly agreed. Before he became President he wrote, “[I have] a strong feeling of repugnance when I think of the negro being made our political equal and I would be glad if they could be colonized, sent to heaven, or got rid of in any decent way ... .”

What of 20th century Presidents? Theodore Roosevelt thought blacks were “a perfectly stupid race,” and blamed Southerners for bringing them to America. In 1901 he wrote: “I have not been able to think out any solution to the terrible problem offered by the presence of the Negro on this continent ... he is here and can neither be killed nor driven away ... .” As for Indians, he once said, “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn’t inquire too closely into the health of the tenth.”

Woodrow Wilson was a confirmed segregationist, and as president of Princeton prevented blacks from enrolling. He enforced segregation in government offices and was supported in this by Charles Eliot, president of Harvard, who argued that “civilized white men” could not be expected to work with “barbarous black men.” During the Presidential campaign of 1912, Wilson campaigned to keep Asians out of the country: “I stand for the national policy of exclusion... . We cannot make a homogeneous population of a people who do not blend with the Caucasian race... . Oriental coolieism will give us another race problem to solve and surely we have had our lesson.”

Henry Cabot Lodge took the view that “there is a limit to the capacity of any race for assimilating and elevating an inferior race, and when you begin to pour in unlimited numbers of people of alien or lower races of less social efficiency and less moral force, you are running the most frightful risk that any people can run.”

Harry Truman is remembered for integrating the armed services by executive order, but in his private correspondence was as much a separatist as Jefferson: “I am strongly of the opinion Negroes ought to be in Africa, yellow men in Asia and white men in Europe and America.”

As recent a President as Dwight Eisenhower argued that although it might be necessary to grant blacks certain political rights, this did not mean social equality “or that a Negro should court my daughter.” It is only with John Kennedy that we finally find a President whose public pronouncements on race begin to be acceptable by today’s standards (although he made virtually no effort to end segregation).

I have quoted politicians because they are cautious people who recirculate the bromides of their times. Mark Twain, who never sought anyone’s vote, wrote of the American Indian that he was “a good, fair, desirable subject for extermination if ever there was one.” Jack London explained that part of the appeal of socialism was that it was “devised so as to give more strength to these certain kindred favored races so that they may survive and inherit the earth to the extinction of the lesser, weaker races.”

Samuel Gompers, probably the most famous labor leader in American history, reflected prevailing views. In 1921 he wrote: “Those who believe in unrestricted immigration want this country Chinaized. But I firmly believe that there are too many right-thinking people in our country to permit such an evil.” He went on to add, “It must be clear to every thinking man and woman that while there is hardly a single reason for the admission of Asiatics, there are hundreds of good and strong reasons for their absolute exclusion.”

The white, European character of the United States was enshrined in law. The first naturalization bill, passed in 1790, made citizenship available only to “free white persons.” A few localities recognized free blacks as citizens of states, but the Supreme Court ruled in 1857 that no black, slave or free, could be a citizen of the United States. Blacks did gain U.S. citizenship under the post-Civil War amendments, but other races did not. State and federal laws excluded Asians, and in 1914 the Supreme Court upheld the principle that citizenship could be denied to foreign-born Asians.

The ban on immigration and naturalization of Chinese, established in 1882, continued until 1943. It was only when the United States found itself allied with China in the Second World War that Congress repealed the Chinese exclusion laws-but not by much. It set an annual quota of 105 Chinese. Needless to say, it permitted no immigration from Japan. Until 1965, the United States had a “national origins” immigration policy designed explicitly to keep the country white.

The history of the franchise reflects a clear conception of the United States as a nation ruled by and for whites. Before the federal government took control of voting rights in the 1960s, the states determined who could and could not vote. Only in 1924 did Congress confer citizenship on Indians, and every state that entered the union between 1819 and the Civil War kept blacks from voting. In 1855, Negroes could vote only in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island, which together accounted for only four percent of the country’s blacks. The federal government did not allow free Negroes to vote in the territories it controlled.

The 15th Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibited withholding the franchise on racial grounds, was not an expression of egalitarianism so much as an attempt to punish the South-where most blacks lived-and a political calculation by Republicans that they would win black support. In the West, there was great opposition to the amendment for fear it would mean Asians could vote, and in Rhode Island ratification nearly failed for fear it would mean the Irish “race” would get the vote.

Strong opposition to mixed marriage was enshrined in law. Sixteen states still had anti-miscegenation laws on the books in 1967, when the Supreme Court overturned them in Loving v. Virginia.

Mr. Horowitz is simply wrong when he writes of “going back to the good old American ideal” of multi-racialism. I am certain that if all the prominent Americans I have quoted could rise from their graves, they would endorse the American Renaissance view of race and nation, and would be shocked at the idea of a multi-hued America in which we are to pretend race can be made not to matter. It is American Renaissance that is faithful to the original vision of America. Walt Whitman perhaps put it most succinctly when he wrote, “[I]s not America for the Whites? And is it not better so?” Yes, it is.

Mr. Horowitz deplores the idea that “we are all prisoners of identity politics,” implying that race and ethnicity are trivial matters we must work to overcome. But if that is so, why does the home page of FrontPageMag carry a perpetual appeal for contributions to “David’s Defense of Israel Campaign”? Why Israel rather than, say, Kurdistan or Tibet or Euskadi or Chechnya? Because Mr. Horowitz is Jewish. His commitment to Israel is an expression of precisely the kind of particularist identity he would deny to me and to other racially-conscious whites. He passionately supports a self-consciously Jewish state but calls it “surrendering to the multicultural miasma” when I work to return to a self-consciously white America. He supports an explicitly ethnic identity for Israel but says American must not be allowed to have one.

Not long before he was assassinated, Yitzhak Rabin told U.S. News and World Report that as Prime Minister of Israel he had worked to achieve many things, but what he cared about most was that Israel remain at least 90 percent Jewish. He recognized that the character of Israel would change in fundamental-and to him unacceptable-ways if the non-Jewish population increased beyond a small minority. Equally obviously, the character of the United States is changing as non-whites arrive in large numbers.

Throughout most of its history, white Americans took the Rabin view: that their country had a distinctly racial and ethnic core that was to be preserved at all costs. When Mr. Horowitz writes about the “good old American ideal,” that is what he should have in mind, not a historically inaccurate view that drapes a radical new course with trappings of false tradition.

By all means, let Israel remain Jewish, but by the same token let the United States remain majority-white. Mr. Horowitz has a distinguished record of fighting double standards, so he should recognize one when he sees it. If he supports a Jewish Israel, he should support a white America.