UPDATED: National Review Drops Writer For Speaking At “White Supremacist” Conference
|NRO contributor Robert Weissberg (left)
at American Renaissance conference
with “pro-White” radio host James Edwards
and editor Jared Taylor.
In a post last night at NRO, Rich Lowry announced that Weissberg “will no longer be posting” at National Review due to his appearance at the American Renaissance conference:
Unbeknowst to us, occasional Phi Beta Cons contributor Robert Weissberg (whose book was published a few years ago by Transaction) participated in an American Renaissance conference where he delivered a noxious talk about the future of white nationalism. He will no longer be posting here. Thanks to those who brought it to our attention.
National Review, which recently severed its relationship with writer John Derbyshire for a column in which he advised parents to teach their children to be wary of blacks, has another contributor who may draw similar scrutiny.
In March, National Review Online contributor Robert Weissberg spoke at the annual conference of the magazine American Renaissance, described as a "white supremacist journal" by the Anti-Defamation League. Reportedly proposing “A Politically Viable Alternative to White Nationalism,” Weissberg described to the audience of 150 an “enclave” solution in which zoning laws and other methods could be used to create “Whitopias” in America.
Weissberg, an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois, is a regular contributor to National Review Online, having written 10 posts for its Phi Beta Con blog on education, the most recent coming within the last week.
During his speech at the conference, Weissberg discussed how to keep “Whitopias” white and the positives of “maintaining whiteness,” according to the American Renaissance website:
Prof. Weissberg argued that an “80 percent solution” would be one that enforced the “First-World” standards of excellence and hard work that attract and reward whites. He pointed out that there are still many “Whitopias” in America and that there are many ways to keep them white, such as zoning that requires large houses, and a cultural ambiance or classical music and refined demeanor that repels undesirables. This approach to maintaining whiteness has the advantage that people can make a living catering to whites in their enclaves.
Prof. Weissberg went on to argue that liberals are beyond reason when it comes to race, that explaining the facts of IQ or the necessity of racial consciousness for whites “is like trying to explain to an eight-year-old why sex is more fun than chocolate ice cream.”
Other speakers at the conference include James Edwards, known for his “pro-white” radio show, Political Cesspool, and the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the white nationalist American Third Position party, Mervin Miller and Virginia Abernathy.
Last Thursday, longtime National Review writer Derbyshire published a piece for Taki's Magazine that urged parents to teach their children to, among other things, not “attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.” The piece was swiftly condemned across the ideological spectrum; on Saturday night National Review Editor Rich Lowry announced that Derbyshire could no longer write for National Review. Lowry did not respond to repeated requests for comment on Weissberg's standing with National Review Tuesday morning.
Weissberg spoke with Media Matters Monday evening about his views and American Renaissance involvement, first noted at LittleGreenFootballs.com.
Asked why he would appear at an event sponsored by American Renaissance, Weissberg defended the group.
“It really is, it's not a white supremacist, as far as I'm concerned. There are probably people in the organization who are white supremacists, okay. There are probably people in the Democratic party and the Republican party who are also, okay,” he said. “But I would not tar an organization by singling out a few members who have odd extreme political views and then labeling the organization as endorsing those views. The problem, if I may digress here a little bit, I am a member of several organizations, sort of conservative, ranging from AR, which is, to much more respectable things and the thing about AR is that they cannot control who shows up. You walk in the door, or you pay your whatever it is, $75 convention fee, and you are part of the crowd, that's it.”
But contrary to Weissberg's suggestion, “extreme political views” permeate not only the attendees of the American Renaissance conference but its speakers as well.
The ADL has criticized Edwards for having “white supremacist views” and interviewing “a variety of anti-Semites, white supremacists, Holocaust deniers, conspiracy theorists and anti-immigrant leaders.” The Southern Poverty Law Center wrote in 2007 that The Political Cesspool host “has probably done more than any of his contemporaries on the American radical right to publicly promote neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, raging anti-Semites and other extremists” and that his program “has become the primary radio nexus of hate in America.”
During his speech Edwards reportedly complained that white people “are too civilized to start rioting when a white couple is kidnapped and tortured by a gang of diversity.”
Likewise, American Renaissance provided a platform for A3P's Miller to promote his party's actions against “the dispossession of the white race.” The American Third Party mission statement declares, in part:
The American Third Position Party believes that government policy in the United States discriminates against white Americans, the majority population, and that white Americans need their own political party to fight this discrimination.
Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance and another speaker at the event, has been described by the ADL as editing a magazine that “promotes pseudoscientific studies that attempt to demonstrate the intellectual and cultural superiority of whites and publishes articles on the supposed decline of American society because of integrationist social policies.”
The ADL also says of Taylor:
Taylor promotes his views by attacking racial, ethnic, and religious diversity, which he calls “one of the most divisive forces on the planet” and therefore “dangerous.” Through speeches delivered at the biennial American Renaissance conferences; books, pamphlets, and articles; and public appearances via mainstream venues, including television shows and universities, Taylor promotes the idea that racial segregation is “natural” and society is best organized along racially homogenous lines. He maintains ties to a variety of racist organizations, publications, and individuals, both domestic and international, and many of North America's leading intellectual racists have written for American Renaissance or have addressed the biennial American Renaissance conferences.
During his speech, Taylor reportedly “said that a faulty understanding of human nature makes it impossible for egalitarians to understand the profoundly moral nature of the white desire for a homeland.”
Weissberg defended what he called his “very selective” relationship with the group.
“My involvement is very selective with going down there. It is like any kind of open door policy. There are some people down there who are very bright, very knowledgeable, who are worth talking to and who I consider to be well-informed. These are people who have done serious research on topics published in reputable places and well-regarded in their respective fields. Other people I absolutely avoid. It comes with the territory,” he explained. “When you have an open admissions policy, I guess that's what it is, who knows what will show up? Take my word for it, there are people down there who, it's like people on the subway, you stay away from. But on the other hand, there are people I've met over the years who are very knowledgeable.”
Reminded that other speakers have included people like Edwards, part of a “pro-white” radio show, Weissberg said he picks and chooses events to attend.
“I saw him speak and my feeling was I have no interest...For the most part I am very, very suspicious of talk radio, regardless of the ideology. I have never listened to Rush Limbaugh in my life. The only time I listened to him is when he read a piece of mine on the air...That is the only time I think I ever heard his voice. I just don't go for that kind of stuff.”
"...I like facts, I like scientific analysis, I like that kind of stuff. I don't go there for therapeutic raving and ranting. In fact in some cases I just walk out."
But he later raised the issue and sought to defend the right of whites to flee areas with growing black populations.
“When I was a kid, I was part of white flight. Leaving a community to go to better schools is often times a fairly expensive process, to be uprooted and go to some place, but people do it, they do it by the millions.”
“You have to respect the fact that they are incurring the cost for their beliefs. You may not agree with their beliefs, but you cannot call them insincere.”
The revelation of Weissberg's ties to a white nationalist organization comes just days after National Review ended its relationship with Derbyshire due to his recent controversial column, in which the longtime National Review writer stated that he would tell his children to:
Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally...Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods...If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date...Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.
The column drew critical response from National Review Editor Lowry, who said Derbyshire could no longer write “in the pages of NR or NRO, or as someone associated with NR any longer,” calling the column “nasty and indefensible.”
Asked what he thought of Derbyshire's column, Weissberg appeared supportive.
“My take on the thing, I read the article, I've read a lot of other stuff he's written, his book, We Are Doomed. What he is saying is basically, factually correct. It is an open secret for example that the whitest communities in America are populated by affluent liberals,” Weissberg said. “I haven't been out to the Hamptons lately, I don't go to places like that, I go to the Catskills, but you know you go out to the Hamptons or you go out to these wealthy places, Aspen, Colorado, and other places where very, very wealthy liberal whites congregate and I'm willing to bet you that the only blacks they encounter are people who might work in the catering service or clean the rooms in the hotel or something like that.
”I just think that avoiding blacks is a way of life in the United States that cuts across class and, believe it or not, cuts across race. I think there is a huge division between native-born, American blacks and blacks say from overseas. This comes up in college admissions. I'm not sure if you are aware of this or not but I've been told for example that many blacks from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, from Africa are just as strident in avoiding American blacks as American whites of all political stripe. I mean it's just a reality."
Reminded that Derbyshire wasn't saying that you won't see many blacks at predominantly white locations, he was writing about how you should advise your children to avoid them, Weissberg said
“I have kids, too. You are taking your family to an amusement park. Suddenly you see a few hundred young black males milling around, what is your response, what is your gut reaction?
”You go to Wally World, remember Wally World? You go to Wally World and you walk in there and suddenly the place is filled with young black males who are wearing the getup of lower class life, you know the baggy pants, the unlaced shoes, the hat off to the side. What is your view?"