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 (B.A. in History)|
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D. in Modern History)
Samuel Todd Francis (April 29, 1947 – February 15, 2005), known as Sam Francis, was an American columnist and writer.
He was a columnist and editor for the conservative Washington Times until he was dismissed after making racist remarks at the 1995 conference of the American Renaissance. Francis would later become a "dominant force" on the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist hate group. Francis was chief editor of the council's newsletter, Citizens Informer, until his death in 2005.
Political scientist and writer 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. Anarcho-capitalist political theorist Hans-Hermann Hoppe called Francis "one of the leading theoreticians and strategists of the Buchananite movement". To the white supremacist Jared Taylor, "Francis was the premier philosopher of white racial consciousness of our time".
Francis was born Chattanooga, Tennessee. He received a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1969, and a master's degree in 1971 and doctorate in 1979 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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 newspaper, and his column became syndicated.
In June 1995, editor-in-chief Wesley Pruden "had cut back on Francis' column" after The Washington 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 Washington 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. 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 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!.
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.
Thought and legacy
Francis's term "anarcho-tyranny" refers to armed dictatorship without rule of law, or a Hegelian synthesis when the state tyrannically or oppressively regulates citizens' lives yet is unable or unwilling to enforce fundamental protective law. Commentators have invoked the term in reference to situations when governments focus on weapon confiscation instead of stopping looters. On Francis's death, the Rockford Institute magazine Chronicles dedicated its April 2005 issue to his memory and the concept.
Writing in The Week, commentator Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote that Francis's writings, and his rejection of movement conservatism, presaged the 2016 election of Donald Trump. 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.
- 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.
- Taylor, J. (2005). Personal Recollections of Sam Francis. The Occidental Quarterly, 5(2), p. 55.
- Holley, Joe (2005-02-26). "Conservative Writer Samuel T. Francis". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-06-26.
- Howard Kurtz, Washington Times Clips Its Right Wing, The Washington Post, October 19, 1995.
- Rockwell, Llewellyn H., ed. (18 August 2014). 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).
- Berich & Hicks (2009), pp. 112.
- 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..
- Holley, Joe (February 26, 2005). "Conservative Writer Samuel T. Francis". Washington Post. p. B8.
- Lew Rockwell. "Anarcho-Tyranny in Baghdad", lewrockwell.com, 12 April 2003. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
- Chilton Williamson, Jr. "Synthetic Syntheses", Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, 3 October 2005. Archived.
- Kevin D. Williamson. "A Bit More on the Speech Police", National Review, 18 April 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
- David Kopel. "Defenseless On the Bayou", Reason, 10 September 2005. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
- "April 2005—Anarcho-Tyranny: The Perpetual Revolution", Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, April 2005 issue. At the Internet Archive.
- "The Coming War on Business" The New York Times Sept. 22, 2017