Last week, Frank Gaffney, an influential player in Republican politics despite his long record of promoting conspiracy theories and anti-Muslim sentiment, caused a stir when he invited well known white nationalist Jared Taylor onto his radio program to discuss efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in Europe and the U.S.
After the Southern Poverty Law Center, followed by Media Matters and Right Wing Watch, pointed out that Gaffney had lavished praise on a white nationalist activist, Gaffney wrote that he had simply wanted to discuss “a recent article” by Taylor and was “unfamiliar with Mr. Taylor’s views on other matters and did not discuss or endorse them.” He said that if he had known Taylor’s full history, he would not have invited him on the program, and then pulled the interview with Taylor from his website.
Now Taylor is fighting back, writing an open letter to Gaffney accusing him of caving to “lefty” organizations when “there has been no criticism of you from any conservative source.” He reminds Gaffney that “you were aware of some of my views, and found them insightful.”
Taylor notes that the article that Gaffney “admired” was very clear about his “basic views on race.” Indeed, Taylor’s article, “Is This the Death of Europe?,” begins with a quote from “The Camp of Saints,” a book that the SPLC notes “is revered by American white supremacists”; in the first paragraph, he warns that “a million wretched, brown-skinned people” wanting to “feed on the wealthy white West” will eventually ensure that “Europe is snuffed out”; and so on from there.
From Taylor’s open letter to Gaffney:
Mr. Gaffney, these people are not your friends. They hate you. They want to silence you and drive you out of respectable society. Why do you let them decide whom you may invite on your program? Why do you let them set the bounds of legitimate discussion? This is the great and perhaps fatal weakness of “conservatives”–to have conceded some strange moral power to people who hate them.
The statement on your website says you weren’t aware of all of my views when you invited me on your program, and that you now find you disagree with some of them. I believe you. But you were aware of some of my views, and found them insightful. I’m sure you don’t insist on complete agreement with all your guests. Why does disagreeing with me on some matters make me a pariah? Because the SPLC says so?
Removing our interview from your website does not mean it never happened. We will be posting a transcript shortly. What is much more dismaying is what removing the interview says about you. If you wanted to make a record of our disagreements, the manly thing would be to invite me back on your program and explain to me why I am wrong.
To your credit, you did call me personally to tell me that you were taking down the interview. I salute you for that. But your reasons made no sense. You said you were opposed to all forms for supremacy: white, black, or Hispanic. I tried to explain that wanting to live in a majority-white society is no more “supremacist” than Japanese wanting to live in a majority-Japanese society or Israelis wanting to live in a majority-Jewish society. In fact, my basic views on race should have been clear in the article “ Is This the Death of Europe?” that you admired.
It is a great pity that your name and mine have been linked in yet another success by people who despise you–and me–to stamp out the public exchange of views they don’t like. You care deeply about the preservation of certain values; so do I. But we must never trim our sails for fear of what our detractors might say. We will never succeed if we let our enemies set the boundaries of how we should act.