Jared Taylor`s Introduction To Sam Francis` Essential Writings on Race




[See also:



In Memoriam Sam Francis
,
by



Peter Brimelow
]



[Essential Writings on Race,

By Samuel Francis; edited and introduced by Jared
Taylor; New Century Books, 2007, 119 pp., soft cover,
$13.95 (postpaid) For sale through the



American Renaissance Store
]



Samuel Todd Francis
wrote brilliantly on a wide
range of subjects—terrorism,
politics, society, history,

the South
, literature, theory of elites—but he will
be best known to future generations for what he wrote
about the

politics of race
. He was his generation`s most
incisive theorist on this difficult subject, and he paid
a high price for his determination to write the truth as
he saw it.


Francis was born on April 29, 1947, and was reared in
Chattanooga, Tennessee. He showed great ability as a
student, winning citywide prizes for poetry and essays.
He went to John Hopkins as an undergraduate and earned a
Ph.D. in British history from the University of North
Carolina. From 1977 to 1981, he was a specialist on
terrorism and security at the Heritage Foundation in
Washington, D.C., before

joining the staff of Sen. John East,
Republican of
North Carolina.


When Senator East died in 1986, Francis found his true
calling as a journalist and

essayist
, when he joined the Washington Times
as an editorial writer. In both 1989 and 1990, he won
the

Distinguished Writing Award for Editorial Writing

given by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and
in both years, he was a finalist for the Scripps Howard
Foundation`s Walker Stone Prize for editorial writing.
He became a staff columnist for the Washington Times,
and Creators Syndicate distributed his twice-weekly
columns for national syndication.


When Francis began his career at the Times, the

rules that govern what may be said and thought about
race
had already hardened into the rigid orthodoxy
that continues today. Francis did not at first break
those rules, not because he concealed his views, but
because he wrote on other subjects. His opinions
evolved, however, in directions that increasingly
stretched the boundaries of orthodoxy.


For a few years, Francis seemed to live a charmed life.
His national reputation not only made it difficult to
fault him for increasingly dissident views, it vastly
increased the reach of those views. He thumbed his nose
at dogma, writing one merrily subversive column after
another—until the ax fell in 1995. The first two
selections in this anthology are what finally provoked
even the generally tolerant Washington Times to

fire him
. The circumstances are explained in the
prefatory comments to each article.


It was a shock to Francis to lose his job and his
livelihood, but he quickly landed on his feet. Friends
stepped in with support, and although he lost his most
prominent podium, he gained something that enriched us
all:

the freedom to write entirely as he pleased.
He
spent the next ten years—until his untimely death at
only age 57—expanding his understanding of race and the
role it plays in American and world events. Except for
the two pieces that led to his dismissal, the essays in
this collection date from the last decade of his life
and reflect his most mature and unfettered writing on
the subjects he cared about most.


Although the Washington Times never published
Francis again, and many newspapers dropped his column,
he had a large, loyal audience and many outlets for his
work. He became editor of the

Citizens Informer,
published by the
Council of Conservative Citizens,
and

book editor
of the
Occidental Quarterly.
He continued as a

contributing editor to Chronicles,
and also
appeared regularly on the

Vdare.com
website and as a featured essayist in

Middle American News
. He also wrote for the
magazine of which I am editor,

American Renaissance,
where many of the articles in this
collection first appeared.


During those years, Francis was the intellectual leader
of a small but growing movement to awaken whites to the
crisis they face, to alert them to

what is at stake
if they fail to defend their

legitimate interests
as

a distinct people with a distinct culture
. Francis
and I were colleagues in this work, but also close
friends. I could claim that privilege for perhaps the
last 15 years of his life, and by the time he died there
was no one—besides my family and coworkers—with whom I
spoke more often.


I have written at length elsewhere about the man behind
the body of work that influenced so many readers. (See

Sam Francis,
American Renaissance,
February 2005, and

Personal Recollections of Sam Francis,
the
Occidental Quarterly
, Vol. 5, No. 2.) Those who did
not know the man, however, may appreciate even a greatly
abbreviated sketch.


Francis was famous for good conversation. Like so many
brilliant men, he had an omnivorous curiosity and an
apparently limitless memory. Although sometimes
standoffish with strangers, he could delight his friends
late into the night with insights on everything from

Plautus
to

Playboy
. There was no one with whom one could
spend a more pleasant and instructive evening, and to
enjoy his society was to feel oneself in the presence of
one of the great minds of our time.


More than anyone I have known, Francis had a vivid sense
of the present as a direct extension of the past. Unlike
many people, whose Ph.D. is a labor undertaken for
professional purposes and then set aside, Sam`s
historical learning reflected a real joy in knowing the
past. He could observe his own times from a perspective
that was rich with historical lessons and parallels. I
believe it was his love of

history
, his pride in a

heritage that stretched back to the Greeks
, that
gave him so clear a sense of the immense risks his
country was running by

accepting a view of race
he

knew was wrong
.


Because he was so aware of these risks, Francis became
increasingly annoyed with liberals who were blind to
those risks, and with

self-styled conservatives
from whom he expected
greater insight and honesty. It irked him to be unable
to persuade others of the truth of what seemed obvious,
and an aroused Francis could write so bluntly it

could startle even his admirers.
But that was Sam
Francis; in his hands, words were weapons.


Francis died on February 15, 2005,

after a brief illness.
He is buried in Chattanooga`s
Forest Hills Cemetery, in the

shadow of Lookout Mountain
. It is a fitting but
melancholy place for a proud Southerner who always rode
to the sound of the guns. There, on

November 23, 1863,
outnumbered Confederates fell
back before

Joe Hooker
`s men, thus ending the South`s hopes of
retaking Chattanooga.


Our generation will not produce another Sam Francis. The
few who could have matched him in learning and
brilliance will not have his courage; those who have his
courage will lack his brilliance. Our work must go on
without him, but we can still find wisdom and
inspiration in the words he left with us.


Readers must understand that this is a selective
collection that by no means captures the breadth of
Francis`s thinking. Some day, someone will compile the
definitive anthology of his important
writings on the theory of elites.


Indeed, at the time of his death, Francis had begun a
major historical work that was to investigate how the

nature of elite behavior
contributed to the loss,
among whites, of their capacity to understand and defend
their interests. It is a great misfortune that Francis
could not complete this synthesis of his two great
intellectual passions.


In the absence of what was to be his masterwork, I can
say with confidence that this anthology—partial though
it is—includes much of the work he hoped would be most
enduring and influential.


Jared Taylor (email

him) is editor of


American Renaissance

and the author of


Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race
Relations in Contemporary America
.
(For Peter Brimelow`s review, click


here
.)