Why Race Matters

Sam Francis, American Renaissance, September 1994

There is an old saying — supposedly an ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Today the curse has come true. The interesting times are here. What is most interesting about them is that for perhaps the first time in history, certainly for one of the few times in history, we are witnessing the more or less peaceful transfer of power from one civilization and from the race that created and bore that civilization, to different races.

In South Africa, the transfer has already been completed, at least in a formal political sense, with the apparent support of most of the white population. In the remainder of what was once the common imperium of the European people in Africa and Asia, the transfer has long since taken place, occurring when the imperial powers withdrew or were chased out of the territories they had conquered.

In Europe the transfer has probably not quite yet begun on any major scale, and it probably will not begin until the immigration of non-whites is considerably further along than it is now. But in North America and more especially in the United States the transfer is well under way. It is in our own nation that the times are most interesting and therefore most cursed.

Culture and its Symbols

We see the transfer of power in almost every dimension of public and private life. Thus far, the transfer is more cultural than it is political or economic; it is clear in the rise of multiculturalism, Afro-centrism, and the other anti-white cults and movements in university curricula, and in the penetration of even daily private life by the anti-white ethic and behavior these cults impose. It is clear in the ever-quickening war against the traditional symbols of the old civilization and the elevation of the symbols of the new peoples who aim at their displacement.

The Martin Luther King holiday in 1983 was the first and most important instance of the trend but by no means the last; indeed, it can be argued that the King holiday was merely the legitimizing agent of the attacks on other symbols that have occurred since. Attacks on the display of the Confederate battle flag and on other Confederate and Southern white symbols are now commonplace, but the Alamo in San Antonio is another traditional white symbol that is also under attack — by Hispanics. The Custer battlefield in Montana now celebrates the Indian victory, although what is historically memorable about the battle of the Little Big Horn is not the victory of several thousand Indians over a small American cavalry detachment but rather the defeat of whites at the hands of non-whites.

The holidays, public anniversaries, flags, songs, statues, museums, symbols, and heroes that a people shares are fundamental to its identity and its existence as a people. What we are witnessing on the official level of public culture in the attacks on these traditional symbols and their displacement by the symbols of other races is the effective abolition of one people and the gradual creation of another.

Of course, this process is not limited to official culture, which is often merely the plaything of politicians. It is also true even more clearly on the level of popular culture, by which is meant today not the culture created by the people but rather the culture created by elites for consumption by the people. Western movies now routinely define the whites as the villains and the Indians and Mexicans — or, even more fantastically, blacks — as the heroes or martyrs. Almost all TV and cinematic depictions of the Civil War now unequivocally portray the South and Confederates as the villains; perhaps at best misguided but nonetheless on the wrong side of history.

It is routine also to display almost all criminals — rapists, murderers, robbers — as whites, though the statistical truth, of course, is that violent crime in the United States is largely the work of non-whites. A few years ago, political scientist Robert Lichter showed in a study that while during the last 30 years, whites were arrested for 40 percent of the murders committed in the United States, on television whites committed 90 percent of the murders.

Non-whites are frequently shown as not only heroic but also dominant over whites. It is a staple feature of police movies to portray blacks as the administrative superiors of the white protagonists, Mel Gibson’s “Lethal Weapon” series being perhaps the best-known. The second installment in the series even depicted white South Africans — today’s Hollywood version of Nazis, no doubt — as masterminding drug smuggling into the United States.

While the explicit racial hatred of whites expressed in black-directed films is well known, an increasingly common theme in mainstream television and film is that of the dangers represented by hordes of violent and vicious white supremacists, skinheads, neo-Nazis, paleo-Nazis, and racist terrorists who seem to lurk in every city, behind every storefront, in every small town throughout the country, everywhere, all the time. Recently, in the ABC-TV production of the eight-hour film of Stephen King’s “The Stand,” a tale of the final struggle at the end of the world between supernatural forces of good and evil, the personification of goodness and of God was an elderly black woman, while the devil was portrayed as a blue-eyed, blond-haired white man, whose evil followers waved the Confederate flag. Even at the end of the world, it seems, Hollywood cannot rid us of white racism.

Most of these examples, to be sure, are trivial enough. Euro-American civilization and the people who created it can survive the artistic contributions of Stephen King and Mel Gibson — maybe. But these examples are of interest precisely because they are so trivial and because for the most part they do not represent the main, explicit subject matter of popular culture today. In the 1960s, a film like “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” explicitly explored the subject of interracial marriage and brought it up for discussion, but today anti-white themes more typically provide the background and the context of popular entertainment. As such they either sneak into the public consciousness unexamined or in many cases are already there.

The erasure and displacement of official cultural symbols and the similar process in elite-produced, mass-consumed popular culture represents the expropriation of cultural norms, the standards by which public and private behavior is legitimized or condemned and a culture defined. While the traditional norms that are being attacked and discarded were almost never explicitly racial, the new norms that are being constructed and imposed are, and they are not only explicitly racial but also explicitly and vociferously anti-white.

This is a calculated tactic aimed at seizing cultural legitimacy and cultural hegemony and ultimately coercive political power on behalf of non-whites at the expense of whites. At the most extreme, the anti-white racialist movement resembles the ideology of German National Socialism. It offers a conspiratorial interpretation of history in which whites are systematically demonized as the enemies of the black race, and a myth of black racial solidarity and supremacy. “Afro-racism” is the ideological and political apparatus by which an explicit race war is prepared against the white race and its civilization, not as part of “rage” nor as a response to “injustice” and “neglect” but, like any war, as part of a concerted strategy to acquire power. It is not confined to blacks but extends also to other non-whites who care to sign up.

Digging Our Own Grave

Of course non-whites are by no means the only peddlers of anti-white racism. One of the most remarkable features of our interesting times is the degree to which whites themselves help dig their own racial and civilizational grave. I have in my hand here a relatively new magazine to which I am sure you will all want to subscribe at once, entitled Race Traitor: A Journal of the New Abolitionism, published in Cambridge, Massachusetts, whose motto is, “Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity.” The editors quote Julius Lester as writing that “White is not in the color of the skin. It is a condition of the mind, a condition that will be destroyed.”

While Race Traitor does not seem to advocate physical genocide, it assumes that race is merely a social invention rather than a fact of nature and argues for the abolition of the concept of race as applied to whites. Racial identity is forbidden for whites but not for non-whites (or at least blacks). Of course the explicit goal is to destroy white civilization by doing away with the symbols and institutions of the collective consciousness that defines the race and is the foundation of the culture.

Yet the war against the white race and its civilization is not new. It is part of a world-historical movement that began in the late 19th century, perhaps not coincidentally, around the time of the battle of the Little Big Horn, and which the American racialist writer Lothrop Stoddard called, in the frank language of the 1920s, “The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy” and which Oswald Spengler a few years later called the “Coloured World Revolution.”

It is easy to smile at such formulations today, but Martin Luther King himself explicitly and repeatedly linked the American civil rights movement with what in a 1960 address entitled “The Rising Tide of Racial Consciousness” he called a “worldwide struggle.” In his Playboy interview in 1965, King remarked, in a frank endorsement of racialist sentiment, that the American Negro “feels a deepening sense of identification with his black African brothers, and with his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean.”

We recently witnessed just such a display of racial solidarity at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela in South Africa, when King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, arrived to stand by his side. Mrs. King, of course, does not travel thousands of miles to celebrate the victories of democracy in Eastern Europe, but only to countries where her racial comrades are being empowered.

It is true that Martin Luther King, Mrs. King, Mandela, and many other spokesmen for the “rising tide of [non-white] racial consciousness” espouse a liberal rhetoric that ostensibly promises racial equality rather than domination. But whether these spokesmen really believe in such a liberal vision or whether they merely wield it as a weapon against whites, there is little question that most blacks in the United States do not share liberal views about equality, freedom, and tolerance.

A recent Harris poll conducted for the National Conference released in March 1994 showed that non-white minorities (Hispanic as well as black) “are more likely than whites to apply harsh stereotypes to other minorities but are united in the view that whites are ‘bigoted, bossy and unwilling to share power,’”and the poll found that each minority believed it “is discriminated against by a white-controlled economy and educational system.” Regardless of the liberalism espoused in public by many non-whites, these are hardly the attitudes from which a genuinely liberal policy can be expected to develop.

Some who support racial revolution may be sincere in invoking liberty, equality, and fraternity, but historical evidence suggests that it cannot be so. Historian William H. McNeill argues in a set of lectures delivered in 1985 at the University of Toronto that what he calls “ethnic hierarchy” is “on the rise, everywhere,” and that it is indeed the normal condition of human civilizations. “Other civilized societies,” writes McNeill, “have almost always accepted and enforced inequality among the diverse ethnic groups of which they were composed.”

McNeill’s term “ethnic hierarchy,” of course, consists of words derived from Greek; if those words are loosely (but not too loosely) translated into their Latin equivalents, it is clear that McNeill is saying that racial domination, in one form or another, is the norm of human civilizations, that equality has little historical foundation, and that the illusion of such equality is about to be rudely dispelled.

The fraudulence of the liberalism espoused by the leaders of the racial revolution was clear to Spengler himself. “The hare,” he wrote in his last book, The Hour of Decision, “may perhaps deceive the fox, but human beings can not deceive each other. The coloured man sees through the white man when he talks about “humanity’ and everlasting peace. He scents the other’s unfitness and lack of will to defend himself. . . The coloured races are not pacifists. They do not cling to a life whose length is its sole value. They take up the sword when we lay it down. Once they feared the white man; now they despise him.”

What is happening in our interesting times, then, to summarize briefly, is this. A concerted and long-term attack against the civilization of white, European and North American man has been launched, and the attack is not confined to the political, social and cultural institutions that characterize the civilization but extends also to the race that created the civilization and continues to carry and transmit it today. The war against white civilization sometimes (indeed often) invokes liberal ideals as its justification and as its goal, but the likely reality is that the victory of the racial revolution will end merely in the domination or destruction of the white race and its civilization by the non-white peoples — if only for demographic reasons due to non-white immigration and the decline of white birth rates.

We know from the population projections by the U.S. Census Bureau last year that by the middle of the next century the present white majority of the United States will have dwindled to a minority in its own country, and given that fact and the increasing legitimization of anti-white racism in the United States, the situation in this country for whites is not going to get any better, to say the least.

Of course, the revolution could not have succeeded or gone as far as it has without the active assistance of whites. Some have supported the racial revolution against their own race and civilization and even larger numbers have acquiesced passively, their allegiance to their own people steadily subverted by the infusion of hidden assumptions hostile to them.

Self-Generated Poisons

Stoddard and Spengler as well as the late James Burnham in his Suicide of the West analyzed these self-generated poisons by which the Western people prepare their own destruction. The ideological poison has assumed several different names: Marxism, liberalism, globalism, egalitarianism, and indeed much of the conservatism now espoused by people like Jack Kemp, Newt Gingrich, Bill Bennett, and William Buckley, as well as a good part of Christianity, especially in its “Social Gospel” forms. But behind all of these ideologies and slogans lies the pervasive venom of universalism, the vision of mankind with a capital M, which now often extends to include “animal rights” so as not to offend our brothers of field and stream.

In the universalist world-view, there is neither history nor race nor even species, neither specific cultures nor particular peoples nor meaningful boundaries. Therefore there are no concrete duties to race, nation, community, family, friend or neighbor and indeed no distinctions to be drawn between neighbor and stranger, friend and foe, mine and thine, us and them.

In the happyland of universalism, we owe as much to the children of Somalia — indeed, more — than we do to the hapless citizens of Los Angeles, and Marines who could not have been sent from Camp Pendleton to Los Angeles during the riots of 1992 and who are not ordered to prevent violation of the Mexican border adjacent to their own installation in southern California are speedily dispatched to Somalia. Even to invoke “our” identity, our interests, our aspirations is to invite accusations of all the “isms” and “phobias” that are deployed to prevent further discussions and to paralyze the formation or the retention of a common consciousness that might at some point swell up into actual resistance to our dispossession. The principal white response to the incipient race war thus far, manifested in neo-conservative critiques of “Political Correctness” and multiculturalism, is merely to regurgitate the formulas of universalism, to invoke the spirit of Martin Luther King, and to repeat the universalist ideals of equality, integration, and assimilation. The characteristic defense of Western civilization by most conservatives today is merely a variation of the liberal universalism that the enemies of the West and whites also invoke. It is to argue that non-whites and non-Westerners ought to value modern Western civilization as in their own best interests. It is to emphasize the liberal “progress” of the modern West through the abolition of slavery, the emancipation of non-whites, the retreat from imperialism, the achievement of higher living standards and political equality, etc.

Of course, if the liberalism espoused by non-whites is a thin veil for the assertion of their own racial solidarity against whites, then all such argumentation is vain. It accomplishes nothing to preach liberalism to those who despise liberalism along with everything else derived from the white West. The uselessness of doing so was pointed out by the 19th century French rightist Louis Veuillot in his ironic comment, “When I am the weaker, I ask you for my freedom, because that is your principle; but when I am the stronger, I take away your freedom, because that is my principle.” Or, as Neitzsche put a similar thought even more succinctly, “The values of the weak prevail because the strong have taken them over as devices of leadership.”

Instead of invoking a suicidal liberalism and regurgitating the very universalism that has subverted our identity and our sense of solidarity, what we as whites must do is reassert our identity and our solidarity, and we must do so in explicitly racial terms through the articulation of a racial consciousness as whites. The reassertion of our solidarity must be expressed in racial terms for two major reasons. In the first place, the attack upon us defines itself in racial terms and seeks through the delegitimization of race for whites and the legitimization of race for non-whites the dispersion and destruction of the foundations of our solidarity while at the same time consolidating non-white cohesiveness against whites.

Historian Isaiah Berlin noted in 1991 that “nationalism and racism are the most powerful movements in the world today,” and at a time when the self-declared enemies of the white race define themselves in racial terms, only our own definition of ourselves in those terms can meet their challenge. If and when that challenge should triumph and those enemies come to kill us as the Tutsi people have been slaughtered in Rwanda, they will do so not because we are “Westerners” or “Americans” or “Christians” or “conservatives” or “liberals” but because we are white.

Secondly, we need to assert a specifically racial identity because race is real — biological forces, including those that determine race, are important for social, cultural, and historical events. I do not suggest that race as a biological reality is by itself sufficient to explain the civilization of European man — if race were sufficient, there would be no problem — but race is necessary for it, and it is likely that biological science in the near future will show even more clearly how necessary racial, biological, and genetic explanations are to understanding social and historical events more fully.

The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people, nor is there any reason to believe that the civilization can be successfully transmitted to a different people. If the people or race who created and sustained the civilization of the West should die, then the civilization also will die. A merely cultural consciousness, then, that emphasizes only social and cultural factors as the roots of our civilization is not enough, because a merely cultural consciousness will not by itself conserve the race and people that were necessary for the creation of the culture and who remain necessary for its survival. We need not only to understand the role of race in creating our civilization but also to incorporate that understanding in our defense of our civilization. Until we do so, we can expect only to keep on losing the war we are in.

Unwitting Identification

The fundamental problem of the American white population was unwittingly identified by Newsweek in its March 29, 1993 cover story on “White Male Paranoia.” In an effort to puncture any tendencies among white men to think of themselves as victims, endangered or exploited, Newsweek pointed out that “White males make up just 39.2 percent of the population, yet they account for 82.5 percent of the Forbes 400 (folks worth at least $265 million), 77 percent of Congress, 92 percent of daily-newspaper editors, 77 percent of TV news directors.” From this avalanche of numbers, Newsweek infers that it’s “still a statistical piece of cake being a white man, at least in comparison with being anything else.” Newsweek may be right in its numbers, but the numbers miss the point.

What the numbers tell us is that whites do not act cohesively or think of themselves as a unit, that whites have no racial consciousness; if they did, they would be using their persisting political, economic, and cultural power in their own interests, and the very perceptible “white male paranoia” that Newsweek was talking about — the very real sense of an incipient slippage from a position of control — would not exist.

In the United States today, whites exist objectively but do not exist subjectively, and that is in my view the fundamental racial problem they face, the basic reason they (I should say “we”) are losing the racial war against us, the very reason we are in a war at all. Newsweek’s numbers offer proof of the objective existence of whites and of white power as measured materially and quantitatively; the spineless abnegation of their own country and culture that is at the root of white male paranoia offers proof of the absence of a subjective existence. Whites do not exist subjectively because they do not think of themselves as whites, they do not act cohesively as whites, and they do not think being white is important or even meaningful.

As long as whites continue to avoid and deny their own racial identity, at a time when almost every other racial and ethnic category is rediscovering and asserting its own, whites will have no chance to resist their dispossession and their eventual possible physical destruction. Before we can seriously discuss any concrete proposals for preserving our culture and its biological and demographic foundations, we have to address and correct the problem we inflict on ourselves, our own lack of a racial consciousness and the absence of a common will to act in accordance with it.

What Benjamin Franklin told his colleagues at the birth of the American Republic remains true today as the Republic, and the race and civilization that gave birth to the Republic, approach their death: If we do not hang together — not only as members of a common nation but also as part of a common race, a common people — then most assuredly we will all hang separately.

[Editor’s Note: A collection of Sam Francis’s most incisive writing about race, including this essay, is available here.]

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