In a March 11 entry to his weblog, columnist and film critic Steve Sailer -- who has written that African-Americans "tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups" -- posted excerpts of an article about Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) that Sailer claimed will be published in full in the March 26 edition of The American Conservative, a magazine co-founded by MSNBC political analyst Patrick J. Buchanan in 2002. Sailer has launched race-based attacks on Obama in the past and has drawn criticism for racist claims about African-Americans in general. The excerpts of Sailer's piece for The American Conservative are rife with baseless allegations, name-calling, and racial stereotypes.
Sailer, whose columns appear on VDARE.com, wrote on January 2: "The brutal truth: Obama is a 'wigger'. He's a remarkably exotic variety of the faux African-American, but a wigger nonetheless." Sailer's column linked to a Wikipedia entry on the word "wigger," which, at the time (as well as currently) read: "Wigger (alternatively spelled wigga or whigger or whigga) is a slang term that refers to a white person who emulates mannerisms, slangs and fashions stereotypically associated with urban African Americans; especially in relation to hip hop culture."
Following the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Sailer wrote in a September 3, 2005, VDARE.com column that the "unofficial state motto" of Lousiana, "Let the good times roll," is "an especially risky message for African-Americans," adding: "The plain fact is that they tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups. Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society." Sailer also wrote that "there was only minimal looting after the horrendous 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan -- because, when you get down to it, Japanese aren't blacks." Later, he stated: "Poor black people seldom cooperate well with each other because they don't trust other blacks much, for the perfectly rational reason that they commit large numbers of crimes against each other."
New York Post columnist John Podhoretz, writing on National Review Online's The Corner weblog, condemned Sailer's "shockingly racist" September 3, 2005, column as containing "The Most Disgusting Sentence Yet Written About Katrina." Podhoretz added: "Nobody with the unspeakable gall and tastelessness to write such sentences should be suggesting that any other person on earth requires 'stricter moral guidance.' " VDARE.com was described by the Rocky Mountain News on July 15, 2006, as a "white nationalist Web site." Peter Brimelow, who operates the site through his nonprofit organization the Center for American Unity, wrote that "VDARE.COM is obviously not a 'White Supremacist' site, if for no other reason than that it publishes non-whites. We do publish writers who could fairly be described as 'white nationalists,' in that they explicitly defend the interests of American whites."
As Media Matters has noted, Sailer has written in defense of the Pioneer Fund, an organization designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for its support of the work of white supremacists, eugenicists, and others dedicated to proving the genetic superiority of certain races. Sailer additionally describes himself on his website as "founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute," which claims that it "promotes the study of biological differences among humans and their impact on society." The SPLC has described the institute as a "neo-eugenics outfit."
In the excerpts of his article for The American Conservative, Sailer offered a critique of Obama's memoir, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (Three Rivers Press, 1995). Sailer wrote:
Beneath this bland Good Obama lies a more interesting character, one that I like far better -- the Bad Obama, a close student of other people's weaknesses, a literary artist of considerable power in plumbing his deep reservoirs of self-pity and resentment, an unfunny Evelyn Waugh. This Bad Obama, consumed by indignation toward his own mother's people, has been hiding out on the bestseller lists for the last two years in his enormously revealing, but little understood, 1995 "autobiography" -- a more accurate term might be "autobiographical novel" -- Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.
Sailer also offered several baseless and racially charged claims about Obama and Dreams From My Father:
There is the confusing contrast between the confident, suave master politician we see on television and the tormented narrator of Dreams, who is an updated Black Pride version of the old "tragic mulatto" stereotype found in "Show Boat" and "Imitation of Life."
Which Obama is real? Or is that a naïve question to ask of such a formidable identity artist? William Finnegan wrote in the New Yorker of Obama's campaigning: "... it was possible to see him slipping subtly into the idiom of his interlocutor -- the blushing, polysyllabic grad student, the hefty black church-pillar lady, the hip-hop autoshop guy." Like Madonna or David Bowie, he has spent his life trying on different personalities, but while theirs are, in Camille Paglia's phrase, sexual personae, his specialty is racial personae.
Even his celebrated acceptance of Christianity in his mid-20s turns out to be an affirmation of African-American emotional separatism. As I was reading Dreams, I assumed that his ending would be adapted from the favorite book of his youth, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which climaxes with Malcolm's visit to Mecca and heartwarming conversion from the racism of the Black Muslims to the universalism of orthodox Islam. I expected that Obama would analogously forgive whites and ask forgiveness for his own racial antagonism as he accepts Jesus.
Instead, Obama falls under the spell of a leftist black nationalist preacher, Jeremiah A. Wright, who preaches African-American unity through antipathy toward whites. Rev. Wright remains a major influence on the presidential candidate. (The title of Obama's second book, The Audacity of Hope, is borrowed from one of Wright's sermons.) Ben Wallace-Wells notes in Rolling Stone: "This is as openly radical a background as any significant American political figure has ever emerged from, as much Malcolm X as Martin Luther King Jr."
According to The American Conservative's website, the magazine was founded in 2002 by Buchanan, editor Scott McConnell, and right-wing journalist Taki Theodoracopulos in order to "ignite the conversation that conservatives ought to have engaged in since the end of the Cold War, but didn't."