VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow writes: This is a links-added Q and A with me on VDARE.com’s past, present and future conducted by James Edwards for Issue 49/50 of Dissident Right publication American Free Press, which describes itself as “an independent, populist, America First bi-weekly print and digital newspaper” (subscribe here). Edwards, also of The Political Cesspool talk radio program on which I’ve appeared several times e.g. here, is the author of Racism Shmacism, reviewed here, and was the plaintiff in Edwards v. Detroit News, Inc., in which the courts decided that a white victim of libel had no rights a black journalist or American judges need respect.
Our enemies will object that American Free Press is too Dissident, because it covers international politics, currently involving criticism of Israel. Well, I’m equally willing to do similar Q&A sessions with the New York Times, Washington Post, or the Wall Street Journal. But, as discussed below, they’re not showing up to do so.
FOUNDER OF VDARE SPEAKS WITH AFP ABOUT AMERICA’S IMMIGRATION DISASTER
James Edwards writes: What follows is an interview conducted by AFP’s James Edwards with Peter Brimelow founder of the immigration watchdog group VDARE and author of the bestselling book Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster.
JAMES EDWARDS: As recently as the early 2000s, you held coveted positions as the editor of both Forbes and National Review, while also penning regular columns for Dow Jones’ MarketWatch, as well as other publications. Some would say that such a man had “arrived” in his respective field. Were you content?
PETER BRIMELOW: I would always have preferred political journalism, but I started my career in 1973, at the height of the Cold War, and I knew in that earlier era of proto-political correctness that the Left was too dominant for conservatives to survive in the Main Stream Media (MSM). (That’s also why my twin brother and I decided not to be academics.)
After 1986, at Forbes magazine, at the behest of its great editor James W. Michaels, I began to do major public policy pieces, including a 1993 estimate of the cost of Affirmative Action quotas, which academic economists were then ducking. I am amazed to see that Richard Hanania cites it in his recent book attacking civil rights law, The Origins Of Woke. Apparently, there’s no more recent estimate. So, I guess they’re still ducking!
EDWARDS: Your seminal work, Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster, was published in 1995 and became a best-selling book while you were still employed by both Forbes and National Review. What was the reaction at the office(s) to the intense press coverage you received?
BRIMELOW: The Forbes family was intensely embarrassed, and the book was never mentioned in the magazine. Steve Forbes was and apparently still is a dogmatic Wall Street Journal editorial pager on immigration (which is why he didn’t become president).
Of course, if Steve had been more of a man, he’d have allowed a debate in Forbes. He could have given himself the last word!
I moonlighted at National Review and my book Alien Nation flowed out of a 1992 cover story there. The magazine and its then-editor, John O’Sullivan, were intensely supportive and broke dramatically with the rest of Conservatism Inc. on the issue until William F. Buckley suddenly fired O’Sullivan, effective early 1998. The magazine was then taken over by its D.C. bureau, who were always cucks, and thereafter stopped talking about immigration. I was purged and became unmentionable.
EDWARDS: On Christmas Eve of 1999 you famously launched VDARE.com, the popular webzine that examines the unsustainability of current U.S. immigration policy and the viability of the U.S. as a nation-state. What compelled you to depart from the relatively secure world of Conservatism Inc. to embark on a journey in which the scale tips much more heavily in favor of risk than reward?
I actually maneuvered pretty unheroically on political issues while I was in the MSM, and I always knew immigration was a Third-Rail issue for the Left (and the neocon/establishment Right). But once John O’Sullivan, a long-time friend, became editor of National Review, I figured it was safe to raise it.
This turned out to be a disastrous miscalculation for both of us, thanks to Buckley’s betrayal. (I don’t think this was a matter of political principle, by the way—I think it was just donor and social pressure.) O’Sullivan is much more cautious than I am, and an extremely skilled political operative—he’d worked for Prime Minister Thatcher—so it was a huge shock to me that he misjudged the Buckley situation so badly. It’s probably indicative of the exceptional passions that immigration evokes in the Ruling Class.
I continued to work in the Briar Patch of financial journalism while running VDARE.com for a few years, but I was eventually extirpated from that, too. I think my “Briar Patch Strategy,” so to speak, is probably not an option for young journalists today. The Reign of Terror orchestrated by communist vigilantes on the internet is too intense for the corporate suits to handle.
EDWARDS: VDARE.com’s signature issue is unquestionably immigration. Why is this the first and foremost topic of concern?
BRIMELOW: At VDARE.com, we focus intensely on immigration and a few line-extension issues, like racial differences, which obviously matter in terms of who immigration policy should select.
This certainly hurts us in terms of traffic because we don’t go after the current hot issue, like Ukraine or Gaza, although obviously we personally have opinions. However, we judged we didn’t have the resources to cover the waterfront and replicate the rest of Conservatism Inc.
And we do think immigration is the Queen of the Battlefield in U.S. politics today. There is no aspect of American life it doesn’t influence—employment, income levels, education, poverty, crime, and, above all, voting patterns.
EDWARDS: You have made countless appearances as a guest on various national television, radio, and print media interviews, but it seems as though around a decade ago those opportunities began to dry up for people willing to challenge the narrative on questions about nationalism and identity. Why do you think that is?
BRIMELOW: My personal experience is that, after being the Regime Media’s go-to immigration Nazi after my book Alien Nation was published in 1995, invitations came to a screeching halt after the Southern Poverty Law Center named us a “hate group” in 2004. Indeed, I was actually taken off the air in the middle of one show because the host began to receive harassing emails.
EDWARDS: Make no mistake, you’re still regularly in the news, but rather than being spoken to, you are spoken about. Increasingly, smear terms such as “racist” and “white supremacist” are used to describe anyone who exhibits a diversity of opinion. How has media coverage of independent thinkers grown progressively worse and more unhinged throughout your career?
BRIMELOW: After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a curious 1990s interglacial, when books like The Bell Curve, Jared Taylor’s Paved with Good Intentions, my own Alien Nation, were allowed to be published. I think it’s indicative of how much the U.S. Left really was controlled by the Soviets and how disoriented they were by its defeat. It took them about a decade to regroup and focus on race/gender/identity and other Cultural Marxist, Frankfurt School–type issues.
EDWARDS: In the land of the free and the home of the brave, people such as yourself don’t have the right to exercise their freedoms of speech and assembly by meeting either on the public square or in a corporate venue. VDARE.com has booked several conferences at hotels across the country only to have them canceled every time. I was told that the civil rights campaigns of the 1960s were to ensure that all citizens would be guaranteed equal treatment and accommodations. How is that working out for you?
BRIMELOW: The VDARE Foundation had more than a dozen hotel conference venues cancel on us after Donald Trump’s victory—even though we were essentially advocating for his Aug. 15, 2015 immigration position paper and he won the election!
Significantly, we sued the City of Colorado Springs for refusing “city services,” i.e., police and fire protection, to our conference, because this issue is so well-established in civil rights era litigation that our first lawyer took it on contingency. But he ran away when the city intransigently resisted. Subsequently, the courts evaded protecting us. So, it’s two-tier justice—apparently, it’s OK to repress immigration patriots.
EDWARDS: It was in part because of these punitive cancellations that in 2020 the VDARE Foundation purchased the Berkeley Springs Castle in West Virginia to serve as a headquarters and meeting space for events. What can you tell us about that?
EDWARDS: Lawfare has become a huge problem for Dissident leaders in recent years and VDARE has not been spared. Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, has specifically targeted you and your non-profit organization. What are the details of the actions being taken?
BRIMELOW: The VDARE Foundation was registered in New York state over 20 years ago, at a less fraught time, because our then-pro bono lawyer (subsequently forced to drop us because of the reign of terror) was admitted to the bar there. We can’t leave without permission. This has allowed New York state Attorney General Letitia James to attack us, exactly as she has attacked President Trump and the National Rifle Association, among others. She’s not yet charged us with anything. She’s just trying to batter us to death with expensive subpoenas—a quintessential lawfare tactic.
EDWARDS: The need for time-tested and battle-proven leadership is at a premium right now. For 25 years, VDARE.com has been an exemplar in demonstrating how to effectively advocate for an America First immigration policy. How can people help you in your battle against the regime?
BRIMELOW: Well of course we are banned from advertising platforms so, as a free site, we absolutely need donations! https://vdare.com/donate
Beyond that, flood social media and comment threads!
And be sure to tell him hello from me.
James Edwards [Email him] is the creator and host of The Political Cesspool radio program. When not interviewing newsmakers, he is no stranger to making news himself, having appeared as a commentator numerous times on national television. For the past two decades, his groundbreaking work has also been the subject of articles in hundreds of newspaper and magazine publications around the world.