America's virulent racists: The sick ideas and perverted "science" of the American Renaissance Foundation

White supremacy and 15th-century polygenics live on at shockingly ugly American Renaissance foundation conferences


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Robert Wald Sussman
October 11, 2014 7:00PM (UTC)
Excerpted from "THE MYTH OF RACE"

The American Renaissance Foundation is an extremely conservative right-wing organization that also publishes a monthly magazine of the same name, American Renaissance (AR). The magazine’s first issue appeared in November 1990. The foundation was established by Jared Taylor (1952–) who serves as president of the New Century Foundation and as editor of AR. Taylor has ties to a variety of domestic and international racists and extremists. He is on the editorial advisory board of Citizens Informer, the newspaper of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a virulently racist group whose website has referred to blacks as “a retrograde species of humanity." He has contributed writings to The Occidental Quarterly, a racist journal. He also has been a member of the board of directors of the National Policy Institute, a self-styled racist think tank, and has received funding from this institute.

Taylor has close ties with members of various neo-Nazi groups and with Gordon Baum, the CEO of Council of Conservative Citizens. He is a frequent radio guest of Don Black’s, operator of Stormfront, a white supremacist online forum that also advertises American Renaissance conferences. He also has ties to Mark Weber, head of the Institute for Historical Review. European racists are among his close associates, including members of the British National Party, a racist, far-right political party in England, and the National Front, a racist, far-right political party in France. Nick Griffin, the head of the British National Party, has been a speaker at two American Renaissance conferences. Frédéric Legrand, a member of the National Front, is a frequent contributor to American Renaissance.

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Jared Taylor has written and edited a number of books with racist themes. One of AR’s and Taylor’s favorite and oft-used quotes, recalling fifteenth-century polygenecist thought, is that of zoologist Raymond Hall from an early issue of Mankind Quarterly: “Two subspecies of the same species do not occur in the same geographic area.” Taylor believes that slavery may have been wrong but the alternative was “Negro pandemonium.” He complains that civil rights laws prohibiting racial discrimination have turned “common sense” into a “crime." In 2005, he wrote in AR: “When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization—any kind of civilization—disappears." He argues that racial diversity is a negative for society and that racial integration has failed. Taylor promotes the main Pioneer Fund themes of a genetic basis for differences in intelligence between the races, the benefits of racial homogeneity, a propensity of African Americans to commit crimes at higher rates than whites, and the need to reverse an alleged reconquest of the American Southwest by Mexicans.

Both the American Renaissance Foundation and its magazine are dedicated to the ideal that the United States is a white European nation. Its publications and biennial conferences state that the foundation’s goal is to demonstrate the purported superiority of the white race and the threat nonwhite minorities pose to American society. “The stated purpose of the journal, from the outset, was to create ‘a literate, undeceived journal of race, immigration and the decline of civility.’ It held that ‘for a nation to be a nation—and not just a crowd—it must consist of people that share the same culture, language, history and aspirations’." To the foundation, race is an essential ingredient for citizenship. “Blacks and Third World immigrants did not really belong in the United States and certainly could not be ‘real’ Americans."

AR’s list of some of its subscribers provides insight into the historical underpinnings and views of the American Renaissance Foundation. Included on its list of “Americans Who Have Advanced White Interests” are Jared Taylor; David Duke; Robert E. Lee; Arthur Jensen; William Shockley; Wilmot Robertson, who viewed Hitler as defender of the white race; Revilo P. Oliver, who argued that Hitler should be recognized as “a semi-divine figure;” William Pierce, founder of the Nazi group National Alliance; George Wallace, past governor of Alabama; Madison Grant; and Theodore Bilbo. In a survey of subscribers, Adolf Hitler ranked first (by a large margin) among “Foreigners Who Have Advanced White Interests.” Hitler also ranked as first among “Foreigners Who Have Damaged White Interests,” probably because his policies were a public relations disaster for the racist and anti-Semitic causes. Among the list of “Americans Who Have Damaged White Interests” is every U.S. president since 1932 except Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. The first four people on this list are Lyndon Johnson, Franklin Roosevelt, William Clinton, and Abraham Lincoln (the list was compiled before Obama’s presidency).

A major debate that has been extensively covered in the pages of AR is the question of what of two strategies whites should follow in order to preserve “racial survival” in the face of the “brown” threat. The first strategy is racial segregation and immigration restriction and, if that is not effective, to enter into negotiations with black and Hispanic nationalists to establish racially based nations within the United States. The second alternative, as articulated by Samuel Francis, a regular contributor to AR, is to exercise the white man’s “instinctual . . . proclivity to expand and conquer” and thus achieve a “reconquest of the United States.” To accomplish this goal, Francis believes that the “phony” rights of nonwhites should be revoked. These include voting, holding office, attending schools with whites, serving on juries, marrying across racial lines, serving in the armed forces, buying homes near whites, and eating at lunch counters with, riding on buses with, holding jobs with, or even associating with “superior” whites. Further, he proposes that we should seal the nation’s borders and impose fertility controls on nonwhites. Francis also points out that the first solution of partitioning nonwhites would pose problems related to the definition of Eastern and southern Europeans, Jews, and even the Irish.

For Francis, the statement in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” was “one of the most dangerous sentences ever written, one of the major blunders of American History." So we see in the pages of the AR a reflection of the history of polygenics and racism, mirroring ideas that have persisted through the ages, beginning with the Spanish Inquisition, going through colonization, slavery, the eugenics movement, Nazism, and the fight against the civil rights movement.

The American Renaissance conferences, which began in 1994, have become a gathering place for white supremacists, white nationalists, white separatists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, Holocaust deniers, and eugenicists. It has become a place where many of the usual Pioneer Fund proponents can voice their vitriolic racial hatred to a mostly friendly audience. The conferences are open to the public and usually attended by 200–300 people. Frequent speakers at the conferences have included Richard Lynn, J. Philippe Rushton, Jared Taylor, and many Pioneer Fund grantees. Many of these amazingly racist lectures can be viewed on YouTube.

Many of the papers in AR and lectures at American Renaissance conferences are given by the same old Pioneer Fund people. Here are just a few examples, as pointed out by Tucker. Arthur Jensen in an AR “conversation” stated that the country’s attempt to build a multiracial nation “is doomed to failure.” He also claimed that at least one-quarter of all blacks are “mentally retarded” and “not really educatable." Glayde Whitney, as a contributing editor of AR, wrote a regular column in which he suggested that different races did not belong in the same species. Lynn wrote in AR that environment has no effect on IQ scores and that differences between blacks and whites are entirely genetic. In a lecture at an AR conference, Rushton said that race differences were nature’s way of allowing people to distinguish friend from foe. Michael Levin declared at a conference that whites dominate mankind in all of the important criteria for evaluating accomplishments in society, and in AR he wrote that the average black is “not as good a person as the average white.” Levin also believed that whites would realize this and once again discriminate against blacks in housing, employment, and schools. Taylor approved of Levin’s predictions and speculated that his inspired vision would lead to “policies strikingly similar to those of the pre-civil rights American South.” At the 2000 AR conference, Taylor was greeted with a burst of applause when he speculated that whites may have lost so much ground in the last century because of Jews.

In 2010, the American Renaissance conference was scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C., as usual. However, the conference had to be canceled because of protests by a number of groups over the racist content of the upcoming conference. Late in October 2010, American Renaissance was planning to hold the conference in February 2011 at an undisclosed location in Charlotte, N.C. This was the first time in over a decade that the conference was not held in the Washington, D.C., area, and the first time it was to be held in an “off” year for the biennial conference. After it was discovered that the conference was to be held at the Airport Sheraton and the underlying theme of the conference became known, the hotel canceled the group’s reservations. Other hotels in the area followed suit, also shutting their doors to the conference. Taylor was eventually forced to cancel the event. Instead, he held a session in another hotel where the planned speakers and a few spectators gathered to videotape the speeches.

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Taylor complained that these cancellations were an obstruction to the right of free speech. However, nobody has to condone the ability or the right of hate groups to gather and incite racial and class hatred. Is it wrong to refuse to allow known terrorist groups to openly meet in public forums and advocate overthrowing our government and its laws? Public hotels are visited by individuals from a wide variety of ethnic groups, and they employ many “nonwhites.” They have the right to protect these people from insult and injury by those who are openly advocating their mistreatment. I would hope that most public venues would not allow a Nazi rally in their facilities. The history of the Pioneer Fund and the American Renaissance Foundation shows that there is little difference between the ideals and goals of these organizations and those of racial hate groups that have caused misery throughout the centuries. Modern science now undermines all of their basic premises, and there is no reason to tolerate their hateful, dangerous, ancient, and outdated assertions. If just one racially motivated hate crime is prevented by depriving attendees of the stimulus these conferences provide for some of its more radical and deranged followers, then we have ample reason to close them down.

In January 2011, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, six other people were killed, and thirteen were wounded while attending a political rally in Arizona. Giffords is a moderate Democrat who had been narrowly reelected against a right-wing, Tea Party candidate a few months earlier. Giffords also was the first Jewish female to be elected to such a high position in Arizona. Among those killed was Judge John Roll, an ally of Giffords in dealing with the controversial issue of illegal immigration, a very hot topic in Arizona. The shooter was 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, a Tucson native. Mein Kampf was among his favorite books, and a Department of Homeland Security memo stated that Mr. Loughner was “possibly linked” to American Renaissance, which was presumably mentioned in some of his Internet postings; he allegedly posted links to American Renaissance.com on his blog and other websites. It appears that federal law enforcement officials pored over versions of a MySpace page that belonged to Loughner and over a YouTube video published just weeks before the shooting under an account linked to him. However, the MySpace page was removed minutes after the gunman was identified by officials.

Jared Taylor denied any connection between Loughner and American Renaissance, and no connection was ever proven. However, when a group publishes a journal and holds conferences preaching pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, and racial hatred and glorifies such hatemongers as Adolf Hitler, Jesse Helms, and David Duke, it should not be at all surprised when some people that are susceptible to this hatred (and love permissive gun laws) become active, racially motivated terrorists. History shows that if you justify, condone, and preach racial hatred, racial discrimination and racist-driven terrorism follows.

In February 2012, Stormfront advertised the next American Renaissance conference on its website (along with an ad for the latest David Duke video). Stormfront has been described as the Internet’s first major hate site. The conference, entitled Defending the West, was scheduled to be held in March 2012 at an undisclosed location near Nashville, Tennessee. And indeed, the conference was held on March 16–18 on state property, at the Montgomery Bell Park Inn, which is in a state park. The location had been kept secret in anticipation of protests. Presumably, the event went smoothly; the American Renaissance website says that it took place “with the complete cooperation of the state authorities and without a demonstrator in sight." Apparently, however, some did protest at the entrance to the park, out of the sight of participants.

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Welcoming remarks were, as usual, given by Jared Taylor. Among others, Richard Lynn and J. Philippe Rushton were scheduled featured speakers, though it appears that Rushton did not attend. (Rushton died of cancer in early October 2012.) The first speaker before the small audience of 150 was Robert Weissberg, an emeritus professor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He stated that “racial nationalism is intuitive and written in our genes” and that “even children are conscious of race." Henry Wolff (2014), an American Renaissance member, summarizes his presentation as follows:

[Prof. Weissberg proposed] “A Politically Viable Alternative to White Nationalism” [instead of proposing the complete elimination of nonwhites]. . . . [He] argued that an “80 percent solution” would be one that enforced the “First-World” standards of excellence and hard work that attract and reward whites. He pointed out that there are still many “Whitopias” in America and that there are many ways to keep them white, such as zoning that requires large houses, and a cultural ambiance or classical music and refined demeanor that repels undesirables. This approach to maintaining whiteness has the advantage that people can make a living catering to whites in their enclaves. . . . In answer to questions about the adequacy of his “enclave” solution for poor whites who cannot afford to live in them, Prof. Weissberg expressed the hope that less financially successful whites could draw on their sturdy, warrior heritage to protect their own enclaves.

Another speaker, Donald Templer, a retired professor of psychology from Alliant International University, spoke on the “geographical distribution of intelligence.” His presentation repeated age-old eugenics claims that sounded very much like Nazi proclamations. According to Henry Wolff (2014):

Professor Templer spoke at length about the dysgenic effects of social policy. He noted that 70 percent of white women on welfare in the United States have IQs of less than 90, and that only 5 percent have IQs over 110. Voluntary, compensated sterilization for welfare recipients would be cost saving, and prevent many burdens on society.

Professor Templer pointed out that prison inmates are of below average intelligence, and that permitting conjugal visits is dysgenic in that it allows prisoners to reproduce . . . with the result that society must support genetically disadvantaged children.

[Professor Templer stated that] the average IQ in Arab countries is 84, so it is foolish to expect these countries to establish democratic regimes. . . . Prof. Templer wondered whether the flowering of ancient Middle East cultures must have required a higher average intelligence than that of today’s Arabs. Declines could have come about through mixture with African slaves, and the emphasis of Islam on rote memorization may have rewarded plodders rather than creative thinkers. Prof. Templer closed with a call for a recognition of reality rather than the current fetish of egalitarian fantasy.

American Renaissance glowingly describes Lynn’s presentation, which evidenced a strong adherence to the ideology of Galton, Gobineau, and Madison Grant:

Richard Lynn, the author of many by-now standard works on eugenics, dysgenics, and race differences in intelligence, spoke about the world-wide problem of declining intelligence. He briefly summarized the field of eugenics since Francis Galton coined the term in 1883, noting that the West has now had six generations of dysgenic fertility that has led to a decline in genetic IQ of about one point per generation. . . . Prof. Lynn warned that there is a global dysgenic effect, because the high-IQ peoples of Europe and East Asia have sub-replacement fertility while sub-Saharan Africans have six to eight children. . . . Eugenics is the obvious solution. . . . “We in the West,” as Prof. Lynn argued, “have become too nice.” We do not have the will to stop dysgenic reproduction or dysgenic immigration, which leads Prof. Lynn to predict that “the torch of civilization will pass from the Europeans to the Chinese.”

The website goes on:

As he always has, since the very first AR conference in 1994, attorney Sam G. Dickson brought the conference to a close. He began with a new retelling of the story of the emperor’s new clothes. Even a child, he noted, can see the foolishness of multi-culturalism and forced mixing of the races. . . . Mr. Dickson closed with a description of what can be the only guarantor of our survival as a people and culture: the ethnostate. . . . Here “the health of the people will be the supreme law,” and if, today, whites are the problem, in our own state whites would be the solution. Only in an ethnostate, he said, can there be true tolerance, because when people are all of one stock, naturally occurring diversity poses no threats and truly can be celebrated.

The report of the conference concludes that “with this invigorating benediction we returned to our homes, encouraged and inspired to fight on.”

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And fifteenth-century polygenics lives on, without any benefit of modern science. Racial bigotry, hatred, and intolerance are alive and well. As I read the proud description of the conference proceedings on the American Renaissance Foundation website, I was struck by how it is so reminiscent of the literature of nineteenth-century proponents of slavery, the early twentieth-century eugenicists, and the proponents of Nazism. The time warp is remarkable; to most rational people, it would be hard to believe, indeed shocking. One could almost read the description of the conference and think it was a joke, a satire. However, it was no joke; it was real. It is laughable, but it is not at all funny.

Excerpted from "THE MYTH OF RACE" by Robert Wald Sussman, published by Harvard University Press. Copyright © 2014 by the President and Fellow of Harvard College. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Robert Wald Sussman

Robert Wald Sussman is Professor of Physical Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis

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