Samuel T. Francis
Samuel T. Francis
Samuel Todd Francis
April 29, 1947
Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.
|Died||February 15, 2005 (aged 57)|
Cheverly, Maryland, U.S.
|Resting place||Forest Hills Cemetery, Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Johns Hopkins University|
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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the United States
He was a columnist and editor for the conservative Washington Times until he was fired after making allegedly racist remarks at the 1995 conference of the group American Renaissance. Francis would later become a "dominant force" on the Council of Conservative Citizens, an anti-black, anti-immigrant group that espoused racism. Francis was chief editor of the council's newsletter, Citizens Informer, until his death in 2005.
Scholar George Michael, an expert on extremism, identified Francis as one of "the far right's higher-caliber intellectuals". The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups, described Francis as an important white nationalist writer known for his "ubiquitous presence of his columns in racist forums and his influence over the general direction of right-wing extremism" in the United States. Analyst Leonard Zeskind called Francis the "philosopher king" of the radical right, writing that "By any measure, Francis's white nationalism was as subtle as an eight-pound hammer pounding on a twelve inch I beam." Scholar Chip Berlet described Francis as an ultraconservative ideologue akin to Pat Buchanan, to whom Francis was an advisor. Hans-Hermann Hoppe called Francis "one of the leading theoreticians and strategists of the Buchananite movement".
The Washington Times
Francis was an aide to Republican Senator John East of North Carolina before joining the editorial staff of The Washington Times in 1986. Five years later, he became a columnist for the Times, and his column became syndicated.
In June 1995, editor-in-chief Wesley Pruden "had cut back on Francis' column" after The Times ran his essay criticizing the Southern Baptist Convention for its approval of a resolution which apologized for slavery. In the piece, Francis asserted that "The contrition of the Southern Baptists for slavery and racism is a bit more than a politically fashionable gesture intended to massage race relations" and that "Neither slavery' nor racism' as an institution is a sin."
In September 1995, Pruden fired Francis from the Times after conservative journalist Dinesh D'Souza, in a column in the Washington Post described Francis's appearance at the 1994 American Renaissance conference:
A lively controversialist, Francis began with some largely valid complaints about how the Southern heritage is demonized in mainstream culture. He went on, however, to attack the liberal principles of humanism and universalism for facilitating "the war against the white race." At one point he described country music megastar Garth Brooks as "repulsive" because "he has that stupid universalist song (We Shall Be Free), in which we all intermarry." His fellow whites, he insisted, must "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 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."
After D'Souza's column was published, Pruden "decided he did not want the Times associated with such views after looking into other Francis writings, in which he advocated the possible deportation of legal immigrants and forced birth control for welfare mothers."
Francis said soon after the firing that
I believe there are racial differences, there are natural differences between the races. I don't believe that one race is better than another. There's reasonably solid evidence for IQ differences, personality and behavior differences. I understand those things have been taken to justify segregation and white supremacy. That is not my intent.
Francis became a "dominant force" on the Council of Conservative Citizens, an anti-black, anti-immigrant group that espoused racism. Francis was chief editor of the council's quarterly newsletter, Citizens Informer, until his death in 2005. Francis wrote the council's Statement of Principles, which "called for America to be a Christian nation" and "oppose[d] all efforts to mix the races of mankind." In his writings, Francis advocated for a moratorium on all immigration, plus an indefinite suspension of all immigration from non-European and non-Western people.
He served as a contributor and editor of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's quarterly, Modern Age. After his dismissal from The Washington Times and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Francis continued to write a syndicated column for VDARE.com and Chronicles magazine, and spoke at meetings of American Renaissance and the Council of Conservative Citizens. He attended the American Friends of the British National Party's meeting on April 22, 2000, where he heard and met Nick Griffin. His articles also appeared in Middle American News. Francis' last published work was an article penned for the 2005 IHS Press anti-war anthology, Neo-Conned!.
Views and writings
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For many years the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (owned by conservative Richard Mellon Scaife) and several major newspapers in smaller metropolitan areas published his column. According to a 2017 study, "Of the major paleoconservatives, Francis was the most openly racist."
Among Francis's views:
- Francis condemned interracial relationships. In a column, Francis denounced a promotion for the television series Desperate Housewives that aired on ABC Monday Night Football because it featured a white actress, Nicollette Sheridan embracing Terrell Owens, a black football player. Francis asserted that the promotion was "intentional act of moral subversion"; that interracial relations were "fairly radical"; and that "breaking down the sexual barriers between the races is a major weapon of cultural destruction."
- Francis asserted that Barack Obama's campaign for the U.S. Senate from Illinois in 2004 would lead toward the moment when America ceases to be "characterized by the white racial identity of its founders and historic population".
- Francis argued that society must regulate "sexual behavior, consensual or not" whether "through law or through socially enforced moral custom or both." He condemned "normalized and unrestricted homosexuality" and believed that "a 'society' that makes no distinction between sex within marriage and sex outside it, that does not distinguish morally and socially between continence and debauchery, normality and perversion, love and lust, is not really a society but merely the chaos of a perpetual orgy. It is an invitation to just such an orgy that the proponents of normalized and unrestricted homosexuality invite America.
- While Francis was influenced by his Southern roots and wrote that he supported "authentic federalism," but stopped short at supporting a contemporary return to Southern secessionism, saying that is impractical and that fissures between elites and non-elites were more important than regional differences.
- Francis suggested to The American Conservative magazine, founded by his friend and fellow columnist Pat Buchanan, to "forget about the social issues" that divide left- and right-wing anti-globalization activists. He also complained that the "Religious Right" focuses on certain social issues and neglects other civilizational crises. He also said that the Cold War conservative movement, represented by National Review, was "archaic." Francis regarded himself as a Southern Presbyterian, "long after he had lost a specifically Christian faith."
- Francis complained about popular culture, asserting that it was crude and mass-produced and promoted a multicultural, managerial ideology. He complained that chain bookstores "offer exactly the same stock in every city in the country, almost none of which would have complied with the conventional and moderate obscenity laws of the 1950s." He wrote that Star Trek represented a "global democratic capitalism gone galactic" with plotlines that were "transparent allegorical representations of whatever social crisis preoccupies the real cultural elite," such as "racism," "sexism," and "the obsolete customs and sometimes obnoxious beliefs and habits of 20th century man." He argued that the decades-long popularity of the franchise shows the power of this myth.
- Francis criticized capitalism, writing "Capitalism, an economic system driven only, according to its own theory, by the accumulation of profit, is at least as much the enemy of tradition as the NAACP or communism ... The hostility of capitalism toward tradition is clear enough in its reduction of all social issues to economic ones. Moreover, like communism, capitalism is based on an essential egalitarianism that refuses to distinguish between one consumer's dollar and another. The reductionism and egalitarianism inherent in capitalism explains its destructive impact on social institutions. On the issue of immigration, capitalism is notorious for demanding cheap labor to undercut the cost of native workers."
- Francis asserted that "Almost all non-European contributors to American history either have been made by individuals and groups that have assimilated Euro-American ideas, values, and goals, or have been conceived, organized, and directed by white leaders. He believed that "multiculturalism is replacing an old culture with a new one" and was an "expression of a deep-seated hatred of this culture in its religious, racial, and moral expressions."
- Francis called for "(1) a long-term moratorium on all immigration, (2) the withdrawal of the federal government from involvement in all racial issues, and (3) the repeal of all federal laws and court decisions (including the civil-rights laws of the 1960s and the rulings of the Warren Court) that authorize such involvement."
- Francis wrote that "paleoconservatives, unlike libertarians, most neoconservatives, and many contemporary mainstream conservatives, do not consider America to be an 'idea,' a 'proposition,' or a'creed.' It is instead a concrete and particular culture, rooted in a particular historical experience, a set of particular institutions as well as particular beliefs and values, and a particular ethnic-racial identity, and, cut off from those roots, it cannot survive."
- Francis was greatly influenced by James Burnham's theory of the "managerial revolution" and wrote two books about James Burnham. In part based on Burnham's idea of the "managerial revolution" he developed a theory for a new populist movement based on the idea of "Middle American Radicals." He asserted that "The managerial ruling class, lodged primarily in the state and the other massive bureaucratic structures" sought to "undermine such institutions of traditional social life" and used "Disparities between races – rebaptized as 'prejudice,' 'discrimination,' 'white supremacy,' and 'hate' ... as a means of subverting traditional society."
- Francis praised and admired Patrick Buchanan but after Buchanan's poor performance in the 2000 presidential election, Francis remarked that success was still a "long way off."
- Francis' last column was critical of the second inaugural address of U.S. President George W. Bush, delivered on January 20, 2005.
- Francis argued that anarcho-tyranny, a Hegelian synthesis of the two opposites anarchy and tyranny, is an "entirely deliberate, calculated transformation of the function of the state from one committed to protecting the law-abiding citizenry to a state that treats the law-abiding citizen as, at best, a social pathology and, at worst, an enemy."
Francis died on February 15, 2005 at Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly, Maryland following an unsuccessful surgery to treat an aortic aneurysm. Francis was buried at the foot of Lookout Mountain. The funeral was attended by Francis' friend Patrick Buchanan, who gave the eulogy; Michael A. Milton gave the homily.
Reception and legacy
In September 2017, New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote:
The only time I saw Sam Francis face-to-face — in the Washington Times cafeteria sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s — I thought he was a crank, but it's clear now that he was at that moment becoming one of the most prescient writers of the past 50 years. There's very little Donald Trump has done or said that Francis didn't champion a quarter century ago.
- (1984). Power and History, The Political Thought of James Burnham. University Press of America ISBN 0-8191-3753-7
- (1994). Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism. University of Missouri Press ISBN 0-8262-0976-9
- (1997). Revolution From the Middle. Middle America Press ISBN 1-887898-01-8
- (1997). "Classical Republicanism and the Right to Bear Arms," in Costs of War. Transaction Publishers, pp. 53–66 ISBN 0-7658-0487-5
- (1999). James Burnham: Thinkers of Our Time. London: Claridge Press ISBN 1-870626-32-X
- (2001). America Extinguished: Mass Immigration and the Disintegration of American Culture. Americans for Immigration Control Publishers OCLC 52154966
- (2003). Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American Political Future. Representative Government Press ISBN 0-9672154-1-2
- (2005). "Refuge of Scoundrels: Patriotism, True and False, in the Iraq Controversy," in Neo-Conned! IHS Press, pp. 151–160 ISBN 978-1932528060
- (2006). Shots Fired: Sam Francis on America's Culture War. FGF Books edited by Peter Gemma ISBN 0-9777362-0-2
- (2007). Essential Writings on Race. New Century Foundation ISBN 978-0-9656383-7-1
- (2016). Leviathan and Its Enemies. Washington Summit Publishers ISBN 978-1593680497
- Heidi Berich and Kevin Hicks, "White Nationalism in America" in Hate Crimes (ed. Barbara Perr: Praeger, 2009), pp. 112-13.
- Berich & Hicks (2009), pp. 112.
- Berich & Hicks (2009), pp. 110-11.
- Extremist Files: Individuals: Sam Francis, Southern Poverty Law Center (last accessed May 5, 2017).
- George Michael, Confronting Right Wing Extremism and Terrorism in the USA (Routledge, 2003), p. 51.
- Leonard Zeskind, Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009).
- Chip Berlet, "Who Is Mediating the Storm?" in Media, Culture, and the Religious Right (eds. Linda Kintz & Julia Lesage: University of Minnesota Press, 1998), p. 251.
- Michael Brendan Dougherty, How an obscure adviser to Pat Buchanan predicted the wild Trump campaign in 1996, The Week (January 19, 2016).
- Hans-Hermann Hoppe, "The Intellectual Incoherence of Conservatism, Mises Daily, March 4, 2005.
- Howard Kurtz, Washington Times Clips Its Right Wing, The Washington Post, October 19, 1995.
- Rockwell, Llewellyn H. (ed.). Murray Rothbard, In Memoriam (PDF). Auburn, AL: von Mises Institute. pp. 64, 127.
- Timothy Stanley, The Crusader: The Life and Tumultuous Times of Pat Buchanan (New York City: St. Martin's Press, 2012), p. 358; ISBN 978-0-312-58174-9
- Samuel T. Francis, "All those things to apologize for," The Washington Times, June 27, 1995.
- Dinesh D'Souza, "Racism: It's a White (and Black) Thing", The Washington Post, September 24, 1995.
- Simon Maloy, The lowlights of Sam Francis, distributed by Creators Syndicate, Media Matters for America (December 13, 2004).
- Elizabeth Bryant Morgenstern, "White Supremacist Groups" in Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia (Vol. 1: A-R; ed. Kathleen R. Arnold), p. 508.
- Chris Haire, The problem with Sam Francis, Charleston City Paper (April 14, 2010).
- "American Friends of the BNP: April Meeting". Archived from the original on March 12, 2001. Retrieved 2001-03-12..
- Hawley, George (2017). Making Sense of the Alt-Right. Columbia University Press. p. 32. ISBN 9780231546003.
- Samuel T. Francis, "Morality Not The Only Target on Monday Night Football." VDARE, November 26, 2004.
- Francis, Sam. "What Kind Of People Are 'People Like Obama'?," VDARE, August 16, 2004.
- Samuel T. Francis, "Sex and consequences", The Washington Times, February 2, 1993.
- Samuel T. Francis, ""Judicial Tyranny"". Archived from the original on November 14, 2006. Retrieved 2014-01-24.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). The New American, Vol. 13, No. 8. April 14, 1997.
- Samuel T. Francis, ""An Infantile Disorder"" (PDF). Archived from the original on October 7, 2007. Retrieved 2017-09-14.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Chronicles, February 1998. (Pp. 9–18 of the PDF file.)
- Foer, Franklin. ""Buchanan's Surefire Flop"". Archived from the original on August 6, 2002. Retrieved 2010-03-08.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). The New Republic, July 22, 2002.
- Francis, Samuel. ""Religious Wrong"" (PDF). Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved 2014-01-24.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Chronicles, December 1994. (Pp. 103–112 of the PDF file.)
- Gottfried, Paul (Feb 24, 2005), "Parallel Lives: William F. Buckley vs. Samuel T. Francis", VDARE
- Samuel T. Francis, ""Beam Us Out"" (PDF). Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved 2014-01-24.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Chronicles, April 1994. (Pp. 31–40 of the PDF file.)
- The Rebuke of History, p. 242.
- Grace, Kevin Michael. "The global race to the middle." Report Newsmagazine, June 11, 2001.
- ""Paleoconservatism and Race,"". Archived from the original on January 13, 2004. Retrieved 2016-02-08. Chronicles Magazine, January 2001.
- Samuel T. Francis, (2002-12-16) "The Paleo Persuasion", The American Conservative.
- Andrews, Louis (2000). "James Burnham," The Occidental Quarterly 5 (2), pp. 93–94.
- Francis, Sam. "Power Trip." The Occidental Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 2. Summer 2003.
- "Sam Francis, columnist, 57, dies". washingtontimes.com. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- "Joe Holley, "Conservative Writer Samuel T. Francis", February 26, 2005". washingtonpost.com. February 26, 2005. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- Samuel Francis. "Synthesizing Tyranny", Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, April 2005 issue. At the Internet Archive.
- "Sam Francis, Obdurate for Truth". WorldNetDaily.com. Retrieved March 7, 2005.
- "The Coming War on Business" New York Times Sept. 22, 2017