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December 02, 2002

A Reminder on the Racist Right

Even as the rightwing Republicans become the voice of the Dixiecrat-turned-GOP South, rightwing intellectuals try to distance their racist heritage from their political present.

But it's a nice reminder to read this article from the still overtly racist American Renaissance about the "decline" of the National Review as an explicit racist voice for whites. Here was the voice of the National Review in 1957:

A famous example of the early NR stance on race was an unsigned editorial of August 24, 1957, titled “Why the South Must Prevail.” It was almost certainly written by Mr. Buckley, since he uses similar language in his book Up From Liberalism. The editorial argued against giving blacks the vote because it would undermine civilization in the South:

“The central question that emerges . . . is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not prevail numerically? The sobering answer is Yes–the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is a fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists.”

“National Review believes that the South’s premises are correct. . . . It is more important for the community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority.”

It's worth emphasizing that the same Bill Buckley controls the magazine today as controlled it then, just as its the same racist Supreme Court clerk who opposed Brown v. Board who today sits as Chief Justice.

And ten years later in 1964, National Review would attack the civil rights movement.:

“But whatever the exact net result in the restricted field of school desegregation, what a price we are paying for Brown! It would be ridiculous to hold the Supreme Court solely to blame for the ludicrously named ‘civil rights movement’–that is, the Negro revolt . . . . But the Court carries its share of the blame. Its decrees, beginning with Brown, have on the one hand encouraged the least responsible of the Negro leaders in the course of extra-legal and illegal struggle that we now witness around us. . . .

“Brown, as National Review declared many years ago, was bad law and bad sociology. We are now tasting its bitter fruits. Race relations in the country are ten times worse than in 1954.”

The Right has changed the words they speak but their policies seem little different in defunding cities where black and latinos live, promoting crime policies such as the war on drugs that disenfranchise large blocks of minority voters, and supporting the icons of racism such as the confederate flag.

Unlike the stone racists of the American Renaissance, the "new Right" has learned a hypocritical cadence to dress their racism in the language of tolerance. But nothing symbolizes the bogus nature of the rhetoric than newly elected governor Sonny Perdue of Georgia, having campaigned on reviving the confederate flag, declaring "Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty We are Free at Last" as his victory speech.

The Right today can quote Martin Luther King, but it's all in the cause of Wallace and Bull Connor.

Thanks to Eschaton for the link to American Renaissance.

Posted by Nathan at December 2, 2002 01:36 PM

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The Right has changed the words they speak but their policies seem little different in... promoting crime policies such as the war on drugs that disenfranchise large blocks of minority voters...

Excellent news! The War on Drugs is exclusively a product of the right! When do the many heros of the Democratic leadership share this secret with the rest of us? Seems a pity that in eight years Clinton skated past this issue, but perhaps in 2004 we can see some Dem candidates talk straight with the American people.

Posted by: Tom Maguire at December 6, 2002 08:52 PM

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