Mexicans Muslims Communists Negroes Are Out To Get You!

More sweet reason and sensible centrism from WFB, on a certain subject:


Neither Buckley nor the National Review favors Federal legislation on civil rights. As far back as 1957, when the first civil rights bill was being considered by Congress, the National Review published an editorial entitled, “Why The South Must Prevail.” It said in part:

“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 predominate numerically.

The sobering answer is YES — the white community is entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.”

The editorial added that “it is more important for any community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority.”

When the late President Kennedy submitted the Civil Rights Bill of 1963 to Congress, Buckley wrote in his syndicated column that the individual states should govern their own affairs, and that States’ rights should not be abandoned.

What really bothers Buckley most, it would seem, was something which he discussed in Up From Liberalism: how the Negro would use the vote if he got it. Buckley wrote that “the problem of the South is not how to get the vote for the Negro, but how to train the Negro — and a great many whites — to cast a thoughtful vote.” In a footnote, he worried that if all Negroes in the South were enfranchised, there were two fields in which they could be expected to vote as a bloc — education and economics. In education, he said, the Negroes would vote to abolish segregated schools, and this, he said, would cause violent social dislocations. Thus, he argued, the white men deny the vote to the marginal Negro who could tip the balance. But, he said, even if the whites do not fear violence, the white man is still well motivated if his intention is to safeguard intellectual and moral standards which he is convinced would be diluted under integration. On economics, Buckley said that if Negroes, who generally comprise the lowest economic class, were to be given “plenipotentiary political power,” they would likely use it to levy heavier taxes against the white propertied classes. “I believe,” Buckley wrote, “it is a man’s right to use his political influence to protect his property; but one should be plain about what one is up to, as not all Southerners are.”

Then the authors note that Buckley fears and loathes the “monopoly power” of unions: he recommends “anti-monopoly” laws. Buckley also endorses the so-called right-to-work laws. Then they make the crucial point:

[For Buckley] such laws are no doubt good statism. Laws to protect Negroes are bad statism.

This is wounding to wingnuts; it’s just as applicable today as it ever was — and it always was. Good statism, for wingnuts, is the kind that dumps napalm on Indochinese infants. Bad statism is the kind that hands out food stamps and Pell Grants. Good statism, for wingnuts, is the kind that awards no-bid contracts to Halliburton. Bad statism is passing and enforcing Civil Rights Law. Good statism, for wingnuts, is that apparatus which is currently spying on American citizens. Bad statism is an archaic thing like the Fourth Amendment, which was meant to prevent and/or retard such spying. Good statism is applying the Reconstruction Amendments to the states so that corporations are classified as people. Bad statism is applying the Reconstruction Amendments to the states to help protect the people they were actually written for. And so on.

But then as Buckley is a poor judge of what is moral and immoral statism, it naturally follows that he’s terrible on the subject of proper reaction to immoral statism. Buckley is not a fan of civil disobedience (again from 1970):

PLAYBOY: In an Atlantic magazine interview… you made the crack…that “It was only a very few years ago that official Yale conferred a doctor of laws on Martin Luther King, who more clearly qualifies as a doctor of lawbreaking.” …do you think of Martin Luther King as a pernicious force in American history?”

BUCKLEY:…As regards what I wrote, I think it was correct. I wrote it a couple of days after Dr. King threatened massive civil disobedience if the forthcoming demands of his poverty marchers were not met. I don’t want to answer your question about whether he will be seen as a good or bad force in history, because I don’t know. He was clearly a bad force on the matter of obeying the law. His attempt to sanctify civil disobedience is at least one of his legacies; if it emerges as his principle legacy, then he should certainly be remembered as a bad force…

Buckley was then asked if he could justify breaking the law. Yes, if open worship of Jebus in the form of church attendence were forbidden. What’s the difference? Ahh, it’s agreed-upon opinion that we have separation of church and state in this country. It’s settled — the implication being that Civil Rights law was not settled, and therefore unworthy of civil disobedience. Basically, this is Reactionary Politics 101; or how to rationalize a congenital resistance to political and social progress. For a reactionary, the only allowable moral positions others may make are those that are long settled and require no courage in taking.

Anyway, more of Buckley’s and NR‘s “centrist,” “non-paranoid” writings and utterances on race have been collected by the indefatigable Clif at Outside The Tent.


Comments: 19


Not to blogwhore, well, yes to blogwhore, but you should know that I’ve compiled most of the more outrageous statements from Buckley and others at National Review on segregation here. That way you won’t have to click on the cootified link to American Renaissance, which is a white supremacist hate site, to get the goods on National Review.


I just dipped into the sewer a bit. I tried to find some WFB quotes on Tuskegee or sterilizing blacks, but couldn’t find out where he was pro or anti on that subject. However, if you look at his writings on apartheid in South Africa, you will find much that Tacky loves—in other words, his views were appalling.
Some quotes are in this article:


You guys are great. Thanks for the links. I’m trying to lay the foundations, with all this, to do a SuperWingnut post on Buckley. I’ll do more digging after the 4th when everything goes back to normal in my neck of the woods.


NR played host to many defenders of segregation, notably Nathaniel Weyl and Ernest van den Haag. I write about them in my book, Science for Segregation available from New York University Press or

Weyl and van den Haag were both happy to associate with members of neo-Nazi fringe groups, like those folks at American Renaissance. That being said, I think there was a difference between the NR crowd and the hardcore racists.  The hardcore racists really hated black folks.  The NR crowd just really didn’t care about them much.  In practice there was little difference in actions, of course, but perhaps they’d like to think that was an important distinction.

In the book, I quote from Buckley’s personal correspondence (deposited at Yale) from the early 1960s where he explains to one of the hardcore racists that he really wouldn’t mind if his children went to school with Negroes. Of course, that egalitarian attitude never translated into social action to help them.

So, go buy the book and find out all the details. Amazon claims they have only one left in stock. They must have sold the other one.


jpj — I meant to thank you on the other thread. That was a true cache and I’m grateful for it. If I ever get any extra money before the fall I’ll buy your book. If I don’t, then I’ll have to wait to get it this winter. But I will get it.

Thanks bunches for the comments here.


Ah, Bill’s always been an elite wanker, he’s just older now.

I’m old enough (barely) to recall NR‘s cover story when Ayn Rand died. You might have expected “Ayn Rand, RIP” to be a paean from WFB to her popularization of the ubercapitalist elitism the two shared philosophically, bur instead Buckley took the opportunity to claw at her still warm corpse about what he felt to be her insufficiently respectful treatment of Catholicism.


Ayn Rand’s corpse was warm? Do you have any proof?


Taking a look at Professor Johnson’s book, or at the least the excerpts relating to WFBjr which can be read using the “Read Inside” function at Amazon, doesn’t give WFBjr a clean bill of health. Buckley’s statement that he wouldn’t mind sending his children to school with “Negroes” was this: “I would send my son only to the best school I could afford to send him to. If it had Negroes in it, I would not the least mind.”

Prior to that he said, however, that he agreed with Ernst van der Haag’s position that all integration was “coerced” and that his opposition to integration was based on his opposition to coercion. Translated: since all people but me hate Negroes, it’s wrong to force them go to school with Negroes and I only put up with them if they can be found in the best schools. This doesn’t, I submit, come even close to getting WFBjr off the hook.

Further, one has to take WFBjr’s assertion that he wasn’t opposed to “Negroes” with a grain of salt since he never hired an African-American — at least that I can tell — to write for National Review.

Sorry to have put on my “serious pants” about this, but I don’t want Professor Johnson’s quote about WFBjr to give anyone the wrong impression about someone who was in the forefront of giving intellectual cover to segregationism.


And to clarify, I don’t think Professor Johnson is trying to let Buckley completely off the hook either. He clearly isn’t. I was just trying to provide extra context.


Is William F. Buckley’s corpse warm?

That is not dead which can eternal lie.


Retardo, great work as always. If you’re going to write a comprehensive post on Buckley, you should look into the National Feview’s support of fascist regimes in Greece, Spain, and Portugal. Chomsky & Buckley go at it re: Greece a little bit in their debate available on YouTube but there should be more info somewhere else.

DeLong has a brief post on the National Review and Francisco Franco and I also remember reading about L. Brent Bozell’s — Buckley’s brother-in-law and the father of the Media Research Center guy — who had a bizarre fixation on Franco as a Catholic hero, but damned if I can find it now.


You might have expected “Ayn Rand, RIP� to be a paean from WFB to her popularization of the ubercapitalist

Rand’s atheism (which bordered on real bigotry) made her untouchable, so her writings were of limited political usefulness. IIRC, she is very rarely mentioned in National Review, although they still use many of her arguments.


Clif has it right regarding how I portray WFB in my book. He thought integration was as much an infringement of civil rights as segregation.

van den Haag’s solution in 1956 was to suggest THREE different school systems: a white one, a black one, and an integrated one. This was the only way to guarantee freedom. By 1962 van den Haag gave up that idea and was testifying in federal court in favor of segregation. So much for freedom.

And my name is Jackson, not Johnson.


[…] is shocked to find out that the National Review is behaving exactly like the National Review behaved forty years […]


Are you aware of the racist history of the progressive movement? Didn’t think so.


Psst: this thread is from 2006.

One day you’ll be a grown-up troll and you can do this by yourself!


I dont want a poverty state as the USSR was. My taxes pay for some lazy bum whether legal or no. Handouts for education, housing, food. It has gone far enough!!! If it takes a war, so be it, but get the spanish out of the USA.


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