I do not believe that criticizing French history and culture is “essentialist,” let alone racist (see here). Cultural criticism is not tantamount to racism. Alas, real racism still exists, and it finds its way into print all too often.
One recent example is this column by Samuel Francis, decrying the “brazenly” interracial subtext of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” intro to Monday Night Football, as well as the still-infamous Janet Jackson-Justice Timberlake Super Bowl performance and “wardrobe malfunction. Francis is aghast at the “radical” notion in such episodes that “interracial sex is normal and legitimate.” The point of the MNF skit “was not just to hurl a pie in the face of morals and good taste but also of white racial and cultural identity.” Francis writes further:
Breaking down the sexual barriers between the races is a major weapon of cultural destruction because it means the dissolution of the cultural boundaries that define breeding and the family and, ultimately, the transmission and survival of the culture itself.
Although Francis was long ago dropped by the Washington Times for his unsavory views, his column still manges to find its way into print. Francis apparently remains in syndication thank to Creators Syndicate. The folks at Media Matters for America (who, I admit, are not always so reliable) have rightly condemned the column and sent this letter to Creators President and CEO Richard Newcombe. It’s a shame the distributors of Andy Capp, Heathcliff, and the Wizard of Id also see fit to distribute the likes of Sam Francis.
Update: Yes, in case you were wondering, the offending column was distributed by Creators Syndicate. I can’t find it on the Creators site, but here’s a Google cache of it.