My fellow Vidalophiles will have seen the famous clip of the Gentleman-Bitch crossing swords with the reactionary William F Buckley, Jr. back in 1968. Here's the juicy bit, and here it is in context. It must've been clear to anyone who followed Buckley closely in those days that he was a racist. Here's an excerpt from his editorial in a 1957 issue of National Review entitled 'Why The South Must Win' which I found in an old CounterPunch article:
The central question that emerges is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes–the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. The question, as far as the White community is concerned, is whether the claims of civilization supersede those of universal suffrage. The British believe they do, and acted accordingly, in Kenya, where the choice was dramatically one between civilization and barbarism, and elsewhere; the South, where the conflict is by no means dramatic, as in Kenya, nevertheless perceives important qualitative differences between its culture and the Negroes’, and intends to assert its own. National Review believes that the South’s premises are correctThe great majority of the Negroes of the South who do not vote do not care to vote, and would not know for what to vote if they could.Universal suffrage is not the beginning of wisdom or the beginning of freedom. The South confronts one grave moral challenge. It must not exploit the fact of Negro backwardness to preserve the Negro as a servile class. It is tempting and convenient to block the progress of a minority whose services, as menials, are economically useful. Let the South never permit itself to do this. So long as it is merely asserting the right to impose superior mores for whatever period it takes to effect a genuine cultural equality between the races, and so long as it does so by humane and charitable means, the South is in step with civilization, as is the Congress that permits it to function.
As he was about so many things, Gore Vidal was right about Bill Buckley.