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From the Occasional Papers of the Conservative Citizens Foundation Issue Number One: Conservative Reaction to Multicultural America. (1997)

Tribute to Michael Westerman

by Samuel Francis

Speech delivered at Jefferson Davis Monument

Fairview, Kentucky, April 27, 1996

The poet T.S. Eliot wrote, "In order to possess what you do not possess, you must go by the way of dispossession." Last year, on a lonely road not far from where we stand now, Michael Westerman traveled the way of dispossession. He was dispossessed for two reasons: first, to put it bluntly, because he was a white man; and second, because he showed that he was proud of being a white man, by carrying on his truck a Confederate flag that its enemies have convinced themselves is a symbol of hatred.

Michael Westerman was not alone, he was not the first to endure dispossession, and he will not be the last. He was a small part of a far larger process of dispossession that the white men and white women of the United States now confront and will be confronting for the next 50 years or so, perhaps longer. Many of them, many of you here today, do not want to confront it, and you don't want to think of it as a racial conflict. Many prefer to think of it as a regional conflict, between the South and the North, and it is partly that, but the men who took Michael Westerman's life were not Yankees.

Many of you want to think of it as a religious conflict, and it is partly that too, but some of the men who killed Michael Westerman, I am told, had been guests in his home, at a Bible study group. They were not of a different religion.

Many want to think it is a class conflict, and it is partly that. But Michael Westerman was a poor man, and the men who killed him were also poor. There was little if any class difference between them.

However ugly it may seem to say it, the truth seems inescapable that Michael Westerman was murdered because he was white and because many non-whites have been drilled in the hatred of the white race that led to his death and the deaths of many more than we are usually told about. When black leaders—churchmen, politicians, journalist—tell their followers that anyone who honors the Confederate Flag is someone who hates black people and wants to enslave them, they are not only lying, saying things they know very well to be untrue, but also they are setting the stage for other murders in the future. And yet that and much more is exactly what non-whites—not only blacks but also Hispanics and other non-whites—are being told by their leaders and indeed by many whites as well.

In California, Hispanic radicals praise the death of a Border Patrol agent, saying "we feel absolutely no remorse for the death of this pig...As far as we care all of the [INS] pigs should be killed, every single one." We hear a constant barrage from rap music calling for black violence against whites, from rape to torture to murder, music that is distributed by the largest and most powerful corporations in the country. We hear black singers like "Sister Souljah" call for the random murder of whites and then we see Jesse Jackson honor her. The instances of black leaders blaming whites for the most brutal crimes and wrongs against blacks and of blacks calling for the most brutal violence against whites in revenge are commonplace, and while it is certainly not true that most blacks are violent or criminal, it probably is true that black racist hatred of whites is widespread and that it serves to justify black violence against whites.

We can deny these ugly truths if we want to, my friends, but they will remain whether we want to hear them or see them or not. And if we are able to face these truths, we need also to face another, that in this country today the white men and white women of America are not allowed to defend themselves against the attacks of their racial enemies. Bernhard Goetz, attacked by four black men in a New York subway in 1984, shot all four of them. He's been in legal trouble ever since. He spent nine months in jail for carrying and firing an illegal weapon, and just this past week a black jury held him liable for $43 million to one of the men who tried to rob him. The lawyer who brought that suit against Mr. Goetz was William Kunstler, who was the same man who defended Colin Ferguson, a black man who murder six whites on another New York train just because they were whites. The lesson is clear: nothing wrong with killing white people at random, shooting them down on the streets; but if you are a white man and use a gun to defend yourself, you go to jail and you owe money the rest of your life to the people who attack you.

Isn't that the lesson of the O.J. Simpson trail? The jury, composed largely black, simply didn't care about the two white people who had been murdered. Maybe if it had been a white man who was charged with killing them, the jury would have come back with a verdict that made sense, but it wasn't a white man on trial, it was a black man, and any evidence that pointed to Simpson's guilt was simply dismissed by the jurors as part of a white racist plot.

The bloody glove at the Simpson house? "Somebody planted it," black juror Brenda Moran told the press after the verdict. Simpson's beating of his ex-wife as evidence of motive? "A waste of time," says Mrs. Moran. "This is a murder trail, not domestic abuse." After nine months of evidence, Mrs. Moran says she just didn't see "enough evidence," to convict. "I know O.J. Simpson didn't do it," she said, but as for Los Angeles detective Mark Fuhrman, she "couldn't believe anything" Mr. Fuhrman said after seeing evidence be was a "white racist." In her mind, and probably in the minds of most of the other jurors, any evidence incriminating the black defendant was simply the product of "racism" and illegitimate, while anything that contributed to acquitting the defendant and anything that cast blame on whites was legitimate.

If you're black and murder two white people, that's OK. If you're a white on trail for the shooting of a black, you've guilty. More than 60 percent of black Americans believed O.J. Simpson was innocent, the victim of a white racist plot. In 1990, according to a CBS-New York Times poll, 25 percent of black Americans believed the U.S. government was deliberately supplying drugs to blacks to destroy them, while 30 percent believed the government had deliberately invented AIDS to kill blacks, and 80 percent believed there existed a racist plot to discredit black elected leaders or that such a plot was possible.

What we are seeing in this country, my friends, is simply the rise of a militantly anti-white black racism, an attitude that identifies whites as enemies and criminals who have committed and are committing such evil actions against black people that they deserve death, and we are seeing that message preached by black leadership throughout the country, tolerated and even encouraged by white leadership, and put into practice here, in Todd County, and many other places as well.

You know, at the rally held for Michael Westerman here last year, you had the honor of being reported on in The New Yorker magazine by a gentleman named Tony Horwitz, and maybe he enjoyed himself so much he decided to come back and is here today. I hope you realize it was an honor, because The New Yorker usually doesn't pay much attention to places like Todd County or people like Michael Westerman; but they paid attention this time because of what Mr. Horwitz called in his article the "network of resentment" that grew up after Michael's death and which "won't let him rest." A "network of resentment"—that's how The New Yorker thinks, you see; an innocent man is murdered because he bore the Confederate Flag and those who want to show their support and sympathy for him are part of a "network of resentment."

What I am talking about today has little to do with resentment or nostalgia or racism. It is irrelevant to what I am talking about today whether the South was right to secede or whether it should have won the war or whether blacks and whites are equal in their talents. The kind of anti-white hatred we see developing all around us, and being preached and defended from every quarter in different tones and different arguments, always has the same conclusion—that the white man is the enemy, that the white man and his civilization must go, that any evil you say or think about whites is all right and nothing you do against white people is wrong. And, if you have anything to say in defense of white people, then you're a "white supremacist" and part of a "network of resentment."

White people today find it hard to understand that attitude because for the last 30 years or so, since the civil rights movement, they have been taught by their own leaders in government, the media, the churches, and business that thinking in terms of race is wrong, that race doesn't really exist, and that it's only a matter of time before all of us reject race and live together in a color blind society. Today it is clear that what we have been told is false, that for non-whites at least, race is more important then ever and promises to because even more important.

One reason it promises to get even more important in the future is that the next 50 years, as the U.S. Census Bureau has reported, whites will no longer be the majority in the United States. By the year 2050, whites for the first time in the history of the United States will be on the verge of becoming a minority in their own country. Now 2050 is no longer a date in some science fiction thriller. Some of the young children here today will still be alive in 2050, and they and their children will be minorities in their own country. Is the new non-white majority of that time going to respect their rights the way we have tried to respect the rights of minorities, or will people like O.J. Simpson even be arrested and tried for murdering white people?

What happened to Michael Westerman last year, my friends, was not isolated and his death will not be the last one of which we hear in the new race war that our self-declared enemies are trying to start. There are two possible responses we as whites can make to the kind of hostility, hatred. and aggression we are witnessing and even, if we knew or loved Michael Westerman, are forced to suffer ourselves. One response is the same one we have been giving for the last 30 years, that race doesn't really exist and isn't important and that sooner or later racial division will just disappear.

That hasn't happened, most of the reasons people originally thought it was true have turned out to e false, and regardless of what whites think, non-whites clearly don't think it is true. But if we do keep thinking that, that race is not real or isn't important, we will have no grounds whatsoever for meeting or resisting the kind of racial hatred that anti-whites and self-hating whites allies now spew at us. The big lie that race isn't real is what disarms white people today and exposes them to the destruction that they face.

The other response is one that recognizes the existence and the legitimacy of race, that allows us as whites to think of ourselves as white men and white women and to act together for our common interest and our common heritage. It does not mean that we must hate other races or should try to do them injustice, and it does not mean that we welcome or advocate any "race war" or any violence against other races. But the recognition and acceptance of white racial identity would allow the white people of America to build up the common strength with which we can meet the racial hatred, violence, and murder that is being preached and practiced against us and try to avoid its worst consequences, of the kind that Michael Westerman and his friends and family and his community have already had to pay.