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Just as I predicted last year, another crackpot has popped up spouting mindless drivel about Robert E. Howard.
It is fairly easy to throw punches at someone who has been dead for nearly 75 years and can’t mount a defense against hateful and malicious accusations. By now many of you are aware of this post made by author Jason Sanford, which seems oddly out of place in our new, more tolerant post-racial society shepherded in by our first bi-racial president.
Despite what he says, I doubt Mr. Sanford read much past Gary Romeo’s “Southern Discomfort” and “Black Canaan” — he certainly didn’t read over 200 Howard stories before making his conclusion, which is what a serious researcher would have done.
Were there elements of racism in some of Howard’s stories? Why yes there were. But the vast majority of his writings don’t have a racist element in them. There were a number of other pulp writers who catered to the racist crowd – Howard was not one of them. And as he matured, he softened his views which were formulated by his environment. Despite Mr. Sanford’s contention that environment has nothing to do with it, I say it has everything to do with it. The part of Texas where Howard was born and raised was just 40 years removed from the time when Comanches killed and scalped settlers. So yeah, there was some animosity there toward American Indians. But remember, it was a vastly different world than the one we live in today.
Friend of TGR, Al Harron, defended Howard brilliantly on his blog, which includes a comment from Charles Saunders wherein he agrees with Al’s take on the racism question. I respect the opinions of both Al and Charles who have probably have forgotten more about Howard and his writings than Mr. Sanford will ever know or understand.
Sorry Mr. Sanford, but I can’t take anyone seriously who panhandles online. And I say this with all sincerity — you are wrong in your conclusions and are doing a great disservice to Howard and the important place he holds in American literature. Thank God no one with an IQ above 60 will take you seriously.