The Washington Examiner recycles Dinesh D’Souza’s smear of Samuel Francis

A new newspaper, the Washington Examiner, has published a very nasty hit piece on the late Samuel Francis, written by the papers’s editorial page editor, David Mastio. While I obviously haven’t agreed with everything Sam Francis had written in recent years, especially in the post 9/11 period when I became a critic of the anti-war paleoconservatives, Mastio’s article is so false and vicious that it required a response. Here is the letter I sent to the Examiner:

To the editor:

Itís not enough for David Mastio to call the late Samuel Francis ďvileĒ for criticizing the aggressive promotion of sex between white women and black athletes in a Superbowl advertisement. (ďFrancis re-fought immoral battles of 1964,Ē February 22.) Itís not enough for Mastio to say that ďAmerica is a better place without [Francis],Ē because Francis didnít share the liberal orthodoxy in favor of racial amalgamation which Mastio believes is the only permissible view for any human being to entertain.

No, in addition to portraying Francis as a hateful racist who didnít deserve to exist on this earth, Mastio also has to say that Francis lived a dishonest and secret life, presenting a respectable face to the public while concealing his true, ďvileĒ racial views until they were ďuncoveredĒ by Dinesh DíSouza, which in turn, Mastio informs us, led to Francisís firing by the Washington Times.

In reality, Francis since the mid-1980s had been a regular columnist at right-wing Chronicles magazine, where he had become the leading theoretician of the paleoconservative movement. However, he only began advancing explicitly racial concerns in 1994, as a result of a continuing evolution in his own ideas about culture, race, and politics. Far from being hidden or secret, Francisís developing views were out there for anyone to see. DíSouza attended the 1994 American Renaissance conference where Francis spoke (I also was a speaker there), and Francisís speech was later published in American Renaissance. American Renaissance is not a hidden or secret publication; its editor, Jared Taylor, wants as many people to read it as possible. Nor was Francisís syndicated column hidden and secret, yet some of the statements that got Francis in trouble appeared in his syndicated column. Mastio himself indicates as much, without realizing that this refutes his charge that Francis concealed his views.

What made the splash was not DíSouzaís supposedly uncovering some supposedly shameful secret of Francisís, but the shameful way that DíSouza sensationalized and lied about the facts. The galleys of the chapter in DíSouzaís book, The End of Racism, which dealt with the AR conference were so filled with appalling falsities (such as that participants at the conference were throwing around words like ďchinkĒ and ďniggerĒ), that when Jared Taylor, Mr. Francis and I wrote letters to the Free Press protesting and detailing these falsehoods (something we did without any involvement of lawyers), the Free Press took the unprecedented step of throwing out the entire first print run of DíSouzaís book, consisting of many thousands of copies, and made DíSouza re-write the offending chapter. Unfortunately, DíSouzaís sensationalized tone remained, and did ultimately have the damaging effect on Francisís career that Mastio celebrates.

Finally, it is amazing that Mastio would say that a man who didnít share the liberal orthodoxy on race shouldnít be alive, and simultaneously revile that man for having supposedly hidden his non-liberal beliefs. In David Mastioís America, any person (or, rather, any white person) who thought that race matters would be forced to cover up his views, simply in order to protect himself from the kind of hatred expressed by Mastio. But, in fact, Francis did not conceal his views.

Lawrence Auster

I left out an important detail in the above letter. After DíSouza had been forced to remove various smears and lies from his book, he then wrote a column for the Washington Post which brought up new smears that had not been present in the book, and which further damaged Francis and other AR speakers. For further information on this saga, here is my August 15, 1995 letter to Adam Bellow, the then editorial director of The Free Press, which, along with letters by Jared Taylor and Sam Francis, led The Free Press to throw out the entire print run of DíSouzaís book. Here also is a letter I wrote in 1996 to John OíSullivan, the then editor of National Review, detailing the damage that DíSouzaís smears had done to the conservative movement.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 22, 2005 09:58 PM | Send

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