My letter to the Free Press about D’Souza’s lies
This is the letter I sent to Adam Bellow of The Free Press in August 1995 after receiving the galleys of the chapter from D’Souza’a book, The End of Racism, which told many outrageous lies about the 1994 American Renaissance conference where I had spoken. Letters were also sent to Mr. Bellow by Jared Taylor and Samuel Francis. In response to those three letters, and without any involvement of lawyers on our part, the Free Press destroyed the entire first print run of D’Souza’s book, consisting of many thousands of copies, and had him re-write the entire chapter.
BY FACSIMILE AND REGISTERED MAIL
Dear Mr. Bellow:
It has come to my attention that Dinesh D’Souza’s forthcoming book, The End of Racism (now in galleys), contains serious misquotations and misrepresentations of a speech on immigration and race relations that I gave at the American Renaissance conference in Atlanta in May 1994. I am writing to you now to demand that these inaccuracies and distortions be corrected before the book is published.
Let me alert you at the outset that my speech is available in its original manuscript form; in audio and video recordings that were made of the speech and have been commercially distributed; and, most significantly, in a slightly abridged version that was published as the cover article in the August 1994 issue of American Renaissance, which Mr. D’Souza has certainly seen since he is a subscriber to American Renaissance. Mr. D’Souza’s misquotations of my speech are thus especially galling since he apparently did not bother to check his notes against the published version of my speech that appeared less than two months after the conference.
First, Mr. D’Souza gets the title of my book wrong. On page 390 of his galleys he identifies me as “the author of Immigration: The Path to National Suicide.” The correct title of my book is:
The Path to National Suicide: An Essay on Immigration and Multiculturalism.
This is much worse than mere inaccuracy. Mr. D’Souza has changed the title in such as way (particularly by leaving out the word “Multiculturalism”) as to make the title appear to be suggesting that immigration per se—regardless of the kind of immigration, its size or its cultural circumstances—must destroy America. This is a caricature of my position.
Mr. D’Souza has no excuse for not knowing the correct title. There have been numerous references to my book both in the literature he is criticizing and in the brochures and announcements of the conference he attended, as well as in National Review. Whether by negligence, reckless disregard or deliberate intent, Mr. D’Souza has changed the title of my book in such a way as to give it a more extreme tone.
Mr. D’Souza misquotes and distorts my comments on racial intermarriage, attributing bizarre ideas to me that I never expressed. He writes:
Intermarriage, [Auster] warned, would lead “not just to the dilution of white America but to its complete elimination.”I never said anything like this. I was not speaking of what actual intermarriage would lead to but what proponents of racial intermarriage—including respectable journalists such as Morton Kondracke, Ben Wattenberg and the editors of Time magazine—are openly advocating. I quoted Kondracke’s comment that since racial inequality was creating intractable problems in America, “It would be a lot easier if each of us were related to someone of another color and if, eventually, we were all one color. In America, this can happen.” Mr. Kondracke and others are advocating the elimination of all existing, distinct races through intermarriage in order to eliminate racial inequality and conflict. Here, commenting on that idea, is the relevant passage from my speech in its full context, with the sentence misquoted by Mr. D’Souza printed in bold:
I want to be very clear about the meaning of all this. Modern liberalism said that racial differences don’t matter, and on the basis of that belief, liberalism then set about turning America into a multiracial, integrated, race-blind society. But now that very effort has created so much race-consciousness, race conflict and race inequality that those same liberals have concluded that the only way to overcome those problems is to merge all the races into one. The same people who have always denounced as an extremist lunatic anyone who expressed concerns about “the racial dilution of white America,” are now proposing, not just the dilution of white America, but its complete elimination.Completely distorting what I actually said, Mr. D’Souza makes me appear to be saying that intermarriage per se must lead to the “complete elimination” of the white race, a statement which would be both logically absurd and absurdly alarmist, whereas I was criticizing explicit proposals by mainstream journalists who see the disappearance of the existing races—including whites—as a desirable thing. I was simply spelling out the full implications of what Wattenberg, Kondracke and others have been calling for.
Next, Mr. D’Souza writes:
Universal doctrines of racial equality, Auster concluded, are simply “the insanity that results from uncritically accepting the idea that race doesn’t matter…. Let us have a race-conscious politics based on truths about race. It is the race-blind ideology which is insane.”In this passage Mr. D’Souza has removed my words from their context, reversed the order of the second and third sentences, eliminated—without ellipsis—an entire paragraph that came between them, and made a hash of my ideas. The insanity I was speaking of was the insanity of liberals who start from the position that race differences don’t matter at all and end at the opposite position that race differences matter so much that the only solution is to eliminate all distinct races through massive intermarriage. Here is the full context, beginning with the passage already quoted at item #2 above (and with the sentences misquoted by D’Souza in bold):
The same people who have always denounced as an extremist lunatic anyone who expressed concerns about “the racial dilution of white America,” are now proposing, not just the dilution of white America, but its complete elimination. Race-blind ideology has led directly to the most race-conscious—and indeed genocidal—proposal in the history of the world.The preceding passage provides the correct context for my rejection of race-blindness in favor of race-consciousness (which Mr. D’Souza has also made a hash of), as follows:
So before we recoil in horror or embarrassment from speaking explicitly about race, let us remember that America’s current politics is already a race-conscious politics, only it’s a politics based on lies about race; it’s a politics directed against whites and their civilization; and it pretends that it’s not about race at all, but that it’s race-neutral and universal. So instead of today’s race-conscious politics, which is based on lies about race, let us have a race-conscious politics based on truths about race.Mr. D’Souza says that “Auster offered a strong defense of a kind of white volk sensibility.” This is an utter fiction. I did say, as indicated above, that whites need to develop some degree of race-consciousness for the purposes of simple self-preservation in an increasingly nonwhite America. That is a far cry from a Nazi-style “Volk” idea connoting Germanic notions of a mystical idea of peoplehood seen as superior over all other peoples. In fact, I specifically denounced such notions:
Once again, these propositions have nothing to do with any notions of race-hatred of the other, or of race-worship of one’s own; white people are just as sinful and imperfect and limited and mortal as any other people. Unlike ideologies such as Afrocentrism and Nazism which are based on a superhuman glorification of one’s own people at the expense of others, this new politics is based on a Christian recognition of our human limitations: namely that we do not possess the godlike power to create a perfect world where everyone is equal, and where differences don’t matter. If there is any arrogance to be seen today, it is in our current immigration and affirmative action policies which are among the greatest examples of hubris is the history of the world.Clearly, what I am speaking of is not any kind of romantic Volk myth, but the simple, legitimate desire of white Americans not to be swamped and thus lose their majority culture and national identity—a right that is accorded to every other national majority on earth, including the French and the English, without their being compared to Nazis.
Next, Mr. D’Souza writes:
When whites refuse to concede to minority madness, Auster concludes, then “Many nonwhites will begin to respect whites.”Absolutely nothing in my speech refers to minority madness or anything like it. My subject was the insanity of the white majority for allowing these policies to continue. I was saying that minorities are acting in a perfectly rational manner given the insane behavior of whites, but that if whites begin acting sanely, by speaking up for their own interests as an endangered majority culture, then non-whites will begin to see whites, not as the “oppressors” of left-liberal demonology, but as human beings who have the same basic interests and concerns for their people and culture that the minorities have for theirs…. At bottom, all we are doing is making an appeal to justice. The injustice and unacceptability of the current double standard will become obvious to any person of good will once it is pointed out.
I thus describe minorities as people of “good will” and “justice” who will understand and respect whites’ legitimate concerns if they are clearly stated. That doesn’t sound like “minority madness” to me.
Apart from his distortions of my speech, Mr. D’Souza writes that the participants at the meeting “did not flinch from terms like ‘chink’ or ‘nigger.’” I never heard any such language at the conference—not by the speakers, not by questioners in the audience, nor in the many conversations I had. If anyone happened to use such offensive language in a conversation with Mr. D’Souza, D’Souza should criticize that individual. Instead, he falsely suggests that the conference as a whole countenanced—and was characterized by—such attitudes. This is a scurrilous falsehood. During breaks in the conference I saw people, many of them Southerners, eagerly crowding around Mr. D’Souza to speak with him, a dark-skinned immigrant from South Asia. Is this the “white bigotry” he professed to find?
D’Souza’s comment that “There were no confederate battle insignia or swastikas in sight” implies that the participants were merely suppressing outward displays of their “true” Nazi sympathies. That is another slander. Both the conduct of the conference—as led by Jared Taylor—and its intellectual substance were at an impressively high level, though certainly heterodox by current “respectable” standards.
To my awareness it only emerged after the conference that there had been at least one anti-Semite in attendance, since this person wrote a letter to American Renaissance bitterly complaining about the fact that four of the ten speakers at the conference (including myself) were Jewish. The fact that a virulent anti-Semite denounced American Renaissance for including Jewish speakers proves that that individual is an anti-Semite. It also shows that Jared Taylor and American Renaissance are not anti-Semitic. The individual who complained about the presence of Jews—and any others who may feel as he does—will doubtless not attend any more AR conferences.
May I add that Mr. D’Souza’s bald description of Jared Taylor as a “gaunt Southern man” is particularly nasty. He could have just as easily as described him as an exceptionally courteous and cultivated man who looks and even speaks like William F. Buckley (a resemblance that several people have commented on). Instead, Mr. D’Souza tries to paint Mr. Taylor as some sort of obsessed fanatic.
Finally, if D’Souza wanted to attack me and other speakers at the conference, why did he falsify our statements? The fact that D’Souza fantasized things that we did not say suggests that the things we actually did say were not really objectionable. Therefore he had to concoct statements in order to create a right-wing bogey-man. I have always thought of Dinesh D’Souza as an intelligent and nice person. That he would violate the most minimal standards of intellectual probity, making up false quotations in order to destroy people’s reputations, is horrifying. Apparently D’Souza feels that if someone is to the right of himself, then then are literally no limits to the falsehoods he may invent in order to discredit that person. Ironically, what liberals have done to neoconservatives like Charles Murray and Dinesh D’Souza himself, D’Souza is now doing to me and others.
Beyond the harm to the truth and to my reputation, I have had to take many hours away from my own work in order to deal with this situation and prepare this letter, an annoyance made necessary by D’Souza’s inexcusable sloppiness and dishonesty.
In closing, I repeat my demand that the damaging inaccuracies I have described in this letter be corrected before D’Souza’s book goes to press. I understand from Jared Taylor that on August 14th your assistant Stephen Morrow informed him that there was still time to make corrections. I look forward to getting a personal response from you on this matter.
P.S. Here is one last thought for your consideration: If Dinesh D’Souza could commit this many mistakes and slanders in just the few pages of his book that I have seen, what errors and distortions might be found in the rest of his 600-page work?
cc: Dinesh D’Souza