[Note from AR: We invite you to comment on the articles or the cartoon below at the Daily Mississippian website. Just click on a headline to go to the orginal article and look for the comment link at the bottom.]
By now you’ve probably seen or heard about the ad from the American Renaissance in The DM on Friday. It seemed like everyone I knew was asking me how an ad like that could run, and unfortunately, the answer is that it just slipped through the cracks at every level.
Though nary an academic would agree, American Renaissance bills itself as a scholarly “journal,” truthfully reporting the state of “immigration, race and the decline of civility.”
The man behind American Renaissance is Jared Taylor, a white supremacist who has promulgated shoddy racial quasi-science and promoted the practice of eugenics, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He has also aligned himself with the publisher of a notorious Holocaust-denial publication. Remember those old black-and-white films of Nazi physicians using calipers to measure the skull proportions of imprisoned Jews and Roma, finding them to be sub-human degenerates? That’s exactly the rubbish this modern-day-Dr. Mengele is promoting.
Recent American politics, thankfully, have largely slipped the grasp of racist debate of the kind instigated by such organizations as the New Century Foundation, the publisher of American Renaissance. However, the mere existence of such organizations in Western nations is a sad indicator of a deeply flawed way of thinking that is hanging on despite clear social, academic and economic disapproval.
The element that adherents of such extremist organizations in all nations have in common is that they are “losers of modernization.” That is, to say, they are people who are unable to function in an increasingly high-tech, multi-ethnic, multi-national, borderless global economy.
Franco Healy, Daily Mississippian (U. of Miss.), Apr. 18
Friday, April 15, 2005 a controversial advertisement was published in The Daily Mississippian. The advertisement was for an organization called the American Renaissance, which attacked racial diversity, claiming “Diversity is a weakness, not a strength.”
The advertisement, which attempted to rationalize a quarter-page of bigotry and ignorance, seemed to chastise the reader for not sharing similar beliefs. The American Renaissance writes, “Don’t just swallow slogans. Think for yourself,” while ironically campaigning their own slogan of intolerance. I almost wet myself laughing.
If one would truly think for oneself, one would realize that the entire basis for the advertisement’s argument is inherently flawed. Diversity is not only a strength, it is the defining characteristic of our nation. In almost every aspect, diversity provides an overwhelming advantage compared to uniformity. From a biologist’s perspective genetic diversity has provided a statistical advantage, not only to our species but to all life on the planet. A more practical example would be the World War II Olympics, where the racially diverse roster of the United States triumphed over Hitler’s team of Aryan “supermen.”
Racial diversity has provided the United States with some of the world’s greatest artists and scientists. Ever since the original thirteen colonies wrested freedom from British rule in the Revolutionary War, the United States has become a Mecca for those seeking freedom and tolerance. In turn those immigrants enriched American life and culture. How dare the American Renaissance question immigration when their ancestors were once immigrants themselves.
Let me be clear: I abhor illegal immigration in any form. However, the American Renaissance criticizes legal immigration also. That assertion is absurd. If a man is willing to educate himself and put himself through the rigors of legal citizenship, while others sneak their way into the country, then I am proud to share my country with someone of that caliber.
The organization that created that advertisement has no right to use the word “Renaissance” in its name. The original Renaissance was a time of enlightenment and the improvement of man, the organization that calls itself the American Renaissance champions none of these ideals. Instead, it attempted to fabricate ignorance into legitimacy.
Organizations like this one that are the most dangerous, not angry mobs or political extremists. In these times of turmoil, Americans should band together instead of tearing ourselves apart. It is time we focus on our similarities instead of our differences.
Emery Carrington, Daily Mississippian (U. of Miss.), Apr. 18
“Diversity is a weakness, not a strength.”
Those words played over and over in my head all weekend.
Unfortunately, as most know by now, an inflammatory ad pushing a white supremacists’ agenda slipped through the cracks into The Daily Mississippian’s Friday edition.
Ad sales representatives are to alert their superiors to any questionable content they come across. Over the years, plenty inappropriate ads have been kept out of the newspaper.
However, the American Renaissance ad did not receive one glance, nevermind a second, from anyone on staff.
“If onlys” aside, the message sickens me for so many reasons.
I, like many others my age and beyond, am proud that I refuse to judge others solely on the basis of their skin color.
The university has traveled a long way since the days of intolerance. My generation rose above the views of our predecessors, while people continued to hang the intolerance over our heads. Our history makes us a target, something I reluctantly acknowledge.
One visit to the group’s Web site makes it clear that it’s not debate that they want, it’s the spreading of intolerant propaganda.
We are in the business of giving people information they need and want.
Take a poll, and it will likely show that people neither want nor need the American Renaissance’s message.
The ad was the subject of much talk around campus and elsewhere Friday. One teacher even let out class early.
People, tolerant people, wondered why the ad ran in the first place.
E-mails and calls came into The DM office from concerned, offended readers. When our staff said we do not condone this message, we had the backing of a large majority of our readership.
People were as shocked, disgusted and offended as I was when I first laid eyes on the ad Friday morning.
The original ad AR placed in the newspaper,
and the Ole Miss parody.