For its fourth anniversary issue in the fall of 2016, Le Harfang, a French Canadian white nationalist publication, invited foreign contributions from a number of people, including me as an American. We were tasked with producing an article that 1) speaks to how the contributor sees the world for white people “in four or forty years,” and 2) offers advice on how to prepare for tomorrow’s world. Length was up to me, and Le Harfang’s editor would trim what I wrote if need be as he translates my English into French. I replied that I’d give it a go. This writing shares my response to the Le Harfang charge with an English speaking audience.
I’ve concluded that speculating about what the future holds for white people wouldn’t be the best approach for me to take in this writing. Rather, the focus here will be on the process of getting to the future, creating it. I want to underscore that whatever the future turns out to be will have been shaped by what people did in the past — that is to say, now. Not knew in the past (now). Not favored in the past. Not hoped for in the past. Did in the past.
Indeed, as philosopher Richard Weaver famously (at least in intellectual circles) pointed out, ideas have consequences, including ideas about the future.1 But those ideas have consequences only to the extent that they result in and direct behavior. Actions, conduct — large and small scale, collective and individual — change the world now and down the line, including after our passing. Anything I offer here will be meaningful and valuable only to the extent that it gives impetus and guidance to actions in today’s present, which will in a cause-and-effect way influence tomorrow’s present. (The future never exists as a tangible, experienced reality; we always live in the present.)
A book about Abraham Lincoln by the academic Thomas DiLorenzo entitled The Real Lincoln comes to mind.2 Professor DiLorenzo informs us that the real Lincoln — in contrast to today’s Ministry of Truth depiction of him — was a now-dreaded white supremacist. “There is a physical difference between the two [whites and blacks], which in my judgment will forever forbid them living together on a footing of perfect equality,” Lincoln declared. “I am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.” On another occasion, Lincoln said flatly that he believed the Negro race was inferior to the white race and that Mexicans were mongrels.
And if that weren’t enough, DiLorenzo informs us that Lincoln was a white separatist who wanted to colonize every last black to Africa, Haiti, or Central America. “I cannot make it better known than it already is that I favor colonization,” declared Lincoln. He termed the elimination of every black from American soil “a glorious consummation” and “the true solution to the race question.” And he didn’t leave it with just talk: he got Congress to appropriate funds for colonization, and had his Commissioner of Emigration and Secretary of Interior supervise the program’s implementation. Lincoln’s colonization plan didn’t come off, however, due to inept administration and the mismanagement of funds.
The concern in this context is not with how ignorant and demonic, or wise and prescient, Lincoln was, but rather with what happened and didn’t happen back then and its unarguably profound impact on current reality. Imagine how it would be different now in America—good, bad, you decide—if colonization had taken place a century and a half ago.
Our tendency is to think that whatever happened in history was inevitable, how the Civil War turned out, or with the American black civil rights movement, or school integration in this country, whatever. That story, that narrative, becomes familiar, and with familiarity comes the impression of immutability—it had to happen that way.
Not so. Colonization might have happened, but it didn’t because of what people did and didn’t do at that time.
The lesson in this is that there are contemporary issues affecting white people, including the massive immigration into our lands by low-skilled, culturally dissident, and cognitively limited non-white people; Middle East-obsessed interventionist foreign policies that do not serve white interests; the denial of freedom of expression and association to whites; racial discrimination against whites in school admissions, grants and contracts, and employment; economic redistribution policies that disfavor whites; attacks against the European, white, heritage, including Christianity; the denigration, dilution, and replacement of traditional white social and cultural patterns; anti-white thought management practices in schools and the media; and the virtual absence of explicit white racial consciousness and commitment, organization, and collective action. How these issues will be resolved is up for grabs. Their resolution depends on what white people now alive do, which some day will be in the past tense, did. That’s my point.
We can be certain that few people back in Lincoln’s time really, truly comprehended what was at stake in what they did, or failed to do, about colonization during their lives — perhaps Lincoln himself didn’t. We can only hope that we manage to be more aware of the long-term effects of our actions during our lives than people in mid-nineteenth-century America were during theirs. As it was with the colonization effort, however contemporary matters are worked out, their consequences will be felt for hundreds of years, because one thing affects another thing, and that thing affects two other things, and they affect eight other things, and exponentially, so on and so on and so on.
Another illustration of this basic idea: at this writing the British rock and blues musician Eric Clapton, now seventy-one years old — hard to believe for those of us who grew up listening to his music — has released a new studio album. What a remarkable career Clapton has had. And he’s enjoyed it despite his big slip-up (or was it? that’s the question I’m raising here) at a concert in Britain back in 1976. His tongue perhaps loosened up by a few beers, Eric shared a few choice words with those in attendance:
Listen to me, man! I think we should vote for Enoch Powell [for Prime Minister]. Enoch’s our man. I think Enoch’s right. I think we should send them all back. Stop Britain from becoming a black colony. Get the foreigners out. Get the wogs out. Get the coons out. Keep Britain white. I used to be into dope, now I’m into racism. It’s much heavier, man. . . . Britain is becoming overcrowded and Enoch will stop it and send them all back. The black wogs and coons and Arabs and fucking Jamaicans . . . we don’t want them here. This is England, this is a white country. We don’t want any black wogs and coons living here. We need to make clear to them they are not welcome. England is for white people, man. We are a white country. I don’t want fucking wogs living next to me with their standards. This is Great Britain, a white country, what is happening to us, for fuck’s sake? We need to vote for Enoch Powell, he’s a great man, speaking truth. Vote for Enoch, he’s our man, he’s on our side, he’ll look after us. I want all of you here to vote for Enoch, support him, he’s on our side. Enoch for Prime Minister! Throw the wogs out! Keep Britain white!3
As might well be expected, Clapton has been pressured to get some serious backtracking on the record, if not out-and-out grovel, and he’s done it — or sort of, anyway; it seems to me he’s cleverly avoided out-and-out self-flagellation and butt-kissing. But, as it was with Lincoln, the focus here isn’t on the ignorance and inadvisability, or their opposites, of Clapton’s outburst. (Was it all because that afternoon a Saudi had ogled his wife’s bum?). It is on actions taken and not taken, and their consequences.
People back then—and I’m assuming that includes Clapton’s concert audience—didn’t support Enoch Powell and, just possibly, that mattered in a major way. A few nights ago, I watched the fine British film from the early 1960s, The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner. (Speaking of longevity, its star, Tom Courtenay, has a lead role in the critically acclaimed recent film, 45 Years.) The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner is replete with crowd scenes, and there are no non-white faces that I saw. That most certainly wouldn’t be the case in a contemporary version of this same story. I note that British whites are now a minority in London, and that London’s mayor is a Muslim by the name of Sadiq Khan.4
The journal editor said to offer advice to whites on how to prepare for tomorrow’s world. OK, I’ll offer a couple pieces of advice.
The first, I think white people would profit from taking stock of what they are made of as individuals. Other terms for it: their personal character, their moral fiber, their sense of honor, their integrity—or to put it indelicately, I suppose, what shit they’ll take and what shit they won’t take. I’ll use a couple of incidents on American college campuses in November of 2015 and my high school memories to make my point.
A group of blacks, shouting Black Lives Matter chants and wielding protest signs burst into the Dartmouth University library where several dozen white students were studying. “Stand the fuck up you filthy racist white pieces of shit!” they screamed. They pushed and shoved the young white women and men. One of the women, pinned to the wall with the blacks yelling “filthy white bitch” in her face, began to cry. “Fuck your white tears,” one of her attackers sneered.5
One of the few compensations for being an advanced geriatric is being able to remember what it was like at Monroe High School in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1957. I can guarantee you that if a group of blacks had stormed into the Monroe High School library and bellowed “Stand the fuck up you filthy white pieces of shit!” to a group of white Monroe kids, holy hell would have immediately ensued and it would have been sans tears. If one of the Monroe girls did happen to get pinned up against a wall and was being debased as a “filthy white bitch” by some blacks, the Monroe boys in that library, including Bernard Flanagan if he’d been there, I remember Bernard well, would have handled it posthaste.
And then there was an episode at Yale University where a black female student snarled at a white male faculty member who also was an adviser in a residence college: “Who the fuck hired you? You should not sleep at night! You are disgusting!” His response was to say that the student had “broken his heart.” He apologized to her — “I have disappointed you and I’m truly sorry”—and then he resigned.6
On May 12th, 2016, Harold Joseph Romansky, aged 90, beloved husband, brother, uncle, and educator, died in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I was a student in Mr. Romansky’s American history class at Monroe. The obituary said he had served with the 82nd Naval Construction Battalion in the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia during World War II.7 I didn’t know anything about that back when I was around him. What I did know from being in his class was what Mr. Romansky was like as a man, as a white man. He would have been 31 years old in 1957. I’m here to tell you that if a black student, any student, had gotten up in Harold Romansky’s face and shouted “Who the fuck hired you!” it wouldn’t have gone to a next sentence, and his heart wouldn’t have been broken, and he wouldn’t have apologized, and he sure as hell wouldn’t have resigned.
What have we become, and how did that happen?
My second piece of advice: whatever you decide is the best possible thing for you to do regarding white racial matters, get busy doing it, because the clock’s ticking. Deep in old age, 76, while I’ve found the energy—just barely, and between naps — to type up these words for whatever they are worth, basically the ballgame is over for me, two outs in the ninth. I’m deaf, exhausted all the time, my back is killing me and I need surgery. And it’s all I can do to get from this leather couch I’m sitting on right now with my laptop to the bathroom and back. I’m seated on a trap door (seated is a more apt metaphor in reference to me than standing these days) that is going to spring at any minute. And if it isn’t to the eternal oblivion of death, it’s getting lost on the way to Lowe’s.
And of course there is nothing unique about me. All of us are bound by the limits of time. For that matter, Eric Clapton very recently revealed to an interviewer:
I’ve had quite a lot of pain over the last year. It started with lower back pain, and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy — which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg. And I’ve had to figure out how to deal with some other things from getting old.8
The nerve damage has gotten so bad, Clapton says, he is struggling to play his guitar.
With reference to the future, our legacy will be the consequences of the actions we take during our one shot at existence. No matter how young or old you are, some of your shot is already gone forever. Yesterday is gone, this morning is gone, and soon it will be bedtime and today will be gone. Keep in mind the ultimately reality: life then death.
One of the things racially aware and active white people in particular have to deal with is being told they don’t matter for anything, go back in your hole. But indeed we do matter, as much as anybody matters — anybody. Each of us, in our own unique way, needs to live the life of someone who matters. Take your life seriously. Live it as if what you do with it, every aspect of it, every moment of it, is of the utmost importance. Decide what you believe in doing and are capable of doing around race, and start doing it now. Not tomorrow. Now. Trust that both the present and future (tomorrow’s present) will be different in a good way because you are, right now, being responsible for the opportunity you have been granted for, really, a very limited time: to be alive.
Robert S. Griffin is emeritus professor at the University of Vermont. A free copy of his book about the white advocate William Pierce, The Fame of a Dead Man’s Deeds, can be obtained at his website, www.robertsgriffin.com.
1. Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences (University of Chicago Press, 1984).
2. Thomas DiLorenzo, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War (Forum, 2002).