To enter the VDARE.com War On Christmas Competition, email reports of egregious examples of War On Christmas attacks to either VDARE.com editor Peter Brimelow [email@example.com] or VDARE.com Editor James Fulford. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
VDARE com Editor Peter Brimelow writes: Time to kick off our annual War On Christmas competition!—in which VDARE.com gives a prize to the reader who sends in the most outrageous attempt to abolish Christmas. I’ll be posting my State of the Khristmaskampf in a couple days, but meanwhile here are my answers to questions from a young journalist who tells me she is writing an article on WOC for a New Media website (don’t hold your breath!)
- I’ve seen a few news articles credit you as the person who brought the War On Christmas into the modern consciousness. Do you think that’s true?
Well, I see that Snopes.com recently said
As far as we know, the term “War on Christmas” was coined by conservative author Peter Brimelow, whose race-based critique of U.S. immigration policy, Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster (Harper Perennial, 1995), in many ways prefigured the white nationalist political movement of today.
In 1999, Brimelow launched the polemical web site VDARE.com (named after Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the Americas), which, besides being condemned by the Anti-Defamation League for its “racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant” postings, would become ground zero in the battle to “save” Christmas. Brimelow’s December 2000 post containing the first known mention of a “War on Christmas” warned readers that said war was “part of the struggle to abolish America.”
Part of Brimelow’s schtick was publishing annual compilations of the most egregious “attacks” on Christmas, citing the same kinds of examples Bill O’Reilly would later cite in his broadcasts…
A History of the War on Christmas, by David Emery, November 29, 2017. [Links and smears in original]
Actually, National Review
ran a War On Christmas competition 1995
-1997, but I have to say I was responsible for talking John O’Sullivan
into it when he was Editor and I was on the masthead. After we were purged, effective early 1998, NR
dropped the competition along with opposition to immigration—not coincidentally
Still, the effort to purge Christmas from the public square, and the resistance to it, goes back a long way. There are several different factors and personalities involved, but one factor is certainly successive waves of immigrants and the struggle of some of them to remake America in their own image.
- What’s your earliest recollection of discussing the topic with a broader audience, either in writing or in conversation?
I first heard “Happy Holidays”
used instead of “Merry Christmas” just before Christmas 1970, by a Jewish classmate at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business
as we were all leaving the building for the miserable few days they gave us off. It struck me as especially jarring because in British English “holiday” is (was?) used where Americans use “summer vacation,” so it just seemed bizarre in the context of Christmas. I’d gone to a fairly Jewish undergraduate school in England (University of Sussex) but never heard it, probably because British Jews
are relatively a much smaller community and more assimilated
. Similarly, I’ve seen Christmas cards from South African Jewish stockbrokers that actually say “Merry Christmas.”
Other Americans with whom I discussed this phenomenon were unsurprised, although they did regard it as eccentric. In those years the American Christmas was perhaps at its glorious apogee—more intensely celebrated than in Britain, no doubt because of the German immigrant influence, a fascinating example of crowd-sourced culture.
So I chalked “Happy Holidays” up as just another subtle difference between American and British culture. But of course it metastasized. Thus the Los Angeles Times said in 2006:
Perusing 125 years of Christmas editorials in the Los Angeles Times is a dizzying experience…journalistic sensibilities have shifted so radically…Up until the 1960s, many of these annual paeans read as if they were written by Christian pastors, and wouldn’t sound out of place if read aloud during a Sunday church sermon.
Few things could signal the about-face more sharply than an editorial from 1989 that urges people to say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas,” so as not to cause offense to non-Christians.
- What was the initial response to the idea? What did people think of your perspective?
As of 2016, I counted nine phases
in the War On Christmas. In the first, which I describe as Guerilla War 1990-2000
, when it was never mentioned in the Main Stream Media, I found basically two reactions when I brought it up in private conversation:
- Instant affirmation. Thus the late managing editor of Forbes Magazine, Lawrence Minard, responded with the anecdote about his children’s private school requiring them to sing “All I Want For The Holidays Are My Two Front Teeth” that figured in John O’Sullivan’s 1994 National Review Editor’s note.
- Puzzled recognition I recall an elderly Manhattan WASP (they do still exist) saying wonderingly: “Well, I don’t know when we started saying Happy Holidays…. I suppose it was because we had so many Jewish friends.”
The elimination of Christmas was rather like the disappearing of men’s hats. If you look at the famous picture
of Lee Harvey Oswald
’s murder in 1963, you’ll see that e.g. the detective and Jack Ruby were wearing hats. Ten years later, hats
had vanished—without anyone really being aware it had happened.
Generally speaking, people aren’t aware of things unless they can put a name to them—for example, Hate Hoaxes, anti-Gentilism, Christophobia (which of course an underlying issue here).
- Do you have any specific memories or anecdotes about the early days of the debate?
- What do you think about the evolution of the debate? Fox News (Bill O’Reilly in particular) harped on it consistently throughout the years, for example. Do you think that was a good thing?
was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, by getting involved in 2004
he really raised the issue’s profile. On the other hand, a lot of people absolutely couldn’t stand him, so he brought along a whole host of new enemies. Ordinary lumpen
liberals, who were neither Jewish nor homosexual (a group whose Christophobia has become more open since about 2012
), felt obliged to toe the line and engage in War On Christmas Denial
O’Reilly also had the irritating habit of periodically declaring victory in the War On Christmas, apparently to calm things down when he thought people (a.k.a. advertisers and Fox executives) were getting too upset e.g. War on Christmas won by the good guys, but insurgents remain, By Bill O’Reilly, Fox, December 15, 2016. See also his 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, and 2007 declarations of victory. I suppose this was understandable—there’s a limit to how Politically Incorrect you can be and sell advertising, which is why VDARE.com relies on donations—but it was confusing to people and just plain wrong: Christophobes remain in possession of the field.
Nevertheless, I would bet that O’Reilly gave Donald Trump the idea of attacking the War On Christmas on the campaign trail.
- How did you respond to critics who said the war on Christmas was imaginary and/or ridiculous?
I would respond that they are fools
, possibly both. It is simply a fact that public acknowledgement of Christmas has diminished to vanishing point over the last fifty years—look at the LA Times
editorial above and hundreds of examples from VDARE.com’s archive
As for “ridiculous,” we’ve long argued that the War On Christmas is ultimately a War On The West—and, right on cue, we now see efforts to extirpate America’s Founding Fathers e.g. Washington, Jefferson. Jackson from the public square.
To adapt Ann Coulter’s title, America is on the way to becoming a Third World Hellhole—and the War On Christmas was an early symptom.
- There were several branches of the debate: the removal of Christmas decorations in public spaces; saying "happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas"; corporations that removed references to Christmas (here I'm thinking specifically of Starbucks and its 2015 holiday cups). In your mind, which branch was the most worrisome?
All of them, of course.
But I think the gravest was the Skoros vs. City of New York decision, which held that New York City could extirpate Christmas symbols from its public schools while at the same time allowing Jewish and Muslim ones. This in effect begins the process of writing Christophobia into American law.
- Are you still concerned with the issue today, or do you think the war has largely been put to rest?
The War on Christmas is just a symptom of the death struggle between America, basically the Historic American Nation as it had evolved by 1965, and what we call Anti-America—the coalition of minorities, imported to a significant degree since the 1965 Immigration Act, self-hating whites etc. It won’t end until one or other gains control of the American polity and institutionalized itself.
For example, Skoros and all the other interventions by the imperial judiciary could be ended by simply removing the subject from the jurisdiction of the federal courts by an Act of Congress. If that were done, cities and towns could go back to having crèches or not, as their citizens pleased—which of course was the case for most of American history, with no threat to anyone's religious liberty whatever.
Needless to say, there is no sign of the Stupid Party having even thought about this, let alone doing it. But when it is done, we can talk about whether the War On Christmas has been “put to rest.”
- What’s your take on Donald Trump’s insistence that he’s going to bring “Merry Christmas” back as the dominant greeting?
It’s an aspect of Trump’s undeniable if weird political genius. (He won the nomination
, didn’t he? And the election
? And got an overwhelming majority of Evangelicals to vote for him despite his distinctly unevangelical life style?)
Trump isn’t making Merry Christmas “dominant,” he’s simply telling people like the elderly Manhattan WASP quoted above that, well, it’s OK to say Merry Christmas.
Of course, this is deeply infuriating to the Politically Correct sheepdogs who thought they had stampeded the flock.
- Fears over immigration and the diversification of America have increased greatly since the presidential campaign and Trump’s election. What connections do you see between the war on Christmas movement and these fears?
Fears have not “increased greatly,” it’s just that you (and the Main Stream Media) have become aware of them. It is not possible have a public policy that drives whites from 90% of America population in 1960 to below 50% in 2040 without people noticing, no matter how much you scream “racism” whenever someone e.g., me in 1992
tries to bring the issue into public debate.
Tell me if I can help further!
And Merry Christmas!
Peter Brimelow [Email him] is the editor of VDARE.com. His best-selling book, Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster, is now available in Kindle format. Follow Peter Brimelow on Twitter.