|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol 7, No. 4||April 1996|
Sowing the Seeds of Destruction: Gunnar Myrdal’s Assault on America
Some of today’s most destructive ideas were first popularized by a socialist from Sweden.
An American Dilemma, written by the Swedish economist, Gunnar Myrdal, is unquestionably the most influential book ever written about race relations in America. Published in 1944, this 1,400-page treatment of “the Negro problem” went through 25 printings — an astonishing record for a heavily academic work — before it went into a second, “twentieth anniversary” edition in 1962. It influenced presidential commissions and Supreme Court decisions, and established rules for public discussion about race that endure to this day. More than any other book, it laid the groundwork for integration, affirmative action, and multi-racialism, and destroyed the legitimacy of white racial consciousness.
Although the title is as famous as ever, virtually no one now reads An American Dilemma. Partly this is because its exhaustive statistics are out of date, and the legal segregation it set out to eradicate has been gone for 30 years. Another reason is that by today’s standards the book is grossly “insensitive,” not only to Southern whites whom Myrdal obviously despised, but even to blacks whose cause he championed.
Yet another reason may be that for anyone with an interest in the ideas that have paved the way for an increasingly third-world America, this book is a gold mine. Every anti-white cliché is here, as is every excuse for black failure. What is more, Myrdal pronounces them in the starkest, most unsubtle terms. Liberal race policies had not yet been tried. Myrdal had not witnessed their failure and therefore did not temper his language as liberals do today. The result is the clearest possible statement of the calamitous ideas that have shaped the last 40 years.
|The most influential book ever written about race relations in America.|
For Myrdal, “the Negro problem” has only one cause. Today he would have called it “racism” or “bigotry” but those words were not yet part of the liberal vocabulary. He writes instead of “prejudice” and “discrimination,” and this is perhaps his key passage:
“White prejudice and discrimination keep the Negro low in standards of living, health, education, manners, and morals. This, in its turn, gives support to white prejudice. White prejudice and Negro standards thus mutually ‘cause’ each other.”
In other words, whites degrade blacks and then point to their degradation as justification for degrading them. Myrdal saw several ways out of this vicious cycle. If whites could be cured of prejudice, they would not oppress blacks so much, blacks would improve themselves, and their example would further cure whites of prejudice. Alternatively, the government could take measures to improve the circumstances of blacks, which would reduce white prejudice, which would permit blacks to improve themselves still further. Myrdal devotes an entire appendix to this “principle of cumulation,” whereby even the smallest improvement will constantly magnify itself.
For this to work, though, blacks must be, aside from their oppression, no different from whites. Although anthropologists had been promoting this egalitarian view since the 1930s, Myrdal was the first economist to write that discrimination rather than low intelligence caused black poverty. Myrdal knew this claim was central to his argument and repeated it throughout the book.
“Social research,” he says, is “constantly disproving inherent differences and explaining apparent ones in cultural and social terms.” He cites the assertions of Franz Boas and his disciples (but offers no data) to discredit conventional views about racial differences in intelligence and temperament: “[T]he popular race dogma is being victoriously pursued into every corner and effectively exposed as fallacious or at least unsubstantiated.” As a result, “the undermining of the basis of certitude for popular beliefs has been accomplished.” Myrdal was sure that science was on his side, and voices a complaint that is, ironically, echoed in the pages of AR — that there is a “wide gap between scientific thought and popular belief.”
The difficulty, he says, is that unlike biological differences, the cultural explanation is just too much for rubes: “It requires difficult and complicated thinking about a multitude of mutually dependent variables, thinking which does not easily break into the lazy formalism of unintellectual people.” We can be optimistic, though, because “white prejudice can change ... as a result of an increased general knowledge about biology, eradicating some of the false beliefs among whites concerning Negro racial inferiority.”
Already in 1944, Myrdal sensed the demise of theories about racial differences: “Most of them never reach the printing press or the microphone any more, as they are no longer intellectually respectable. The educated classes of whites are gradually coming to regard those who believe in the Negro’s biological inferiority as narrow-minded and backward.”
The better class of whites now understood that “the Negro problem in America represents a moral lag in the development of the nation,” and this was, in fact, the American dilemma. Blacks were in every respects the equals of whites, yet were treated as inferiors. This injustice was particularly jarring in the United States because it violated what Myrdal calls “the American creed” of equality.
Why did Americans persist in violating the creed? In the South, Myrdal discovered elaborate mechanisms of racial separation that he called the “caste system.” He notes that although caste rules govern virtually all contact between blacks and whites they serve one central function: to keep blacks from marrying or having sex with whites. In both the North and the South Myrdal found a universal revulsion among whites for miscegenation and the “amalgamation of the races” that this would bring. In virtually all the states, this revulsion was reflected in laws that forbade interracial marriage.
Myrdal scoffs at this. He even “jestingly argues” that amalgamation “might create a race of unsurpassed excellence: A people with just a little sunburn without extra trouble and even through the winter; with some curl in the hair without the cost of a permanent wave; with, perhaps, a little more emotional warmth in their souls; and a little more religion, music, laughter, and carefreeness in their lives.”
Myrdal never even accepted white opposition to amalgamation as genuine. With no data to support his view, he insisted that opposition was nothing more than a pretext for keeping blacks out of economic competition. He went on to call it “an irrational escape on the part of the whites from voicing an open demand for difference in social status between the two groups for its own sake.” Whites, he said, have a purely tyrannical desire for supremacy, but claim that they are trying to prevent miscegenation.
What, then, underlies the desire for supremacy? Myrdal claimed to understand white Americans better than they understood themselves: “Without any doubt there is also in the white man’s concept of the Negro ‘race’ an irrational element which cannot be grasped in terms of either biological or cultural differences... In this magical sphere of the white man’s mind, the Negro is inferior, totally independent of rational proofs or disproofs. And he is inferior in a deep and mystical sense.”
The Vicious South
This form of mysticism was particularly prevalent in the South; some of Myrdal’s comments about Southerners beggar the imagination:
“[It would be correct to say that] the white South is virtually obsessed by the Negro problem, that the South has allowed the Negro problem to rule its politics and its business, fetter its intelligence and human liberties, and hamper its progress in all directions ...”
“The issue of ‘white supremacy vs. Negro domination,’ as it is called in the South, has for more than a hundred years stifled freedom of thought and speech and affected all other civic rights and liberties of both Negroes and whites in the South. It has retarded its economic, social and cultural advance. On this point there is virtual agreement among all competent observers.”
“White Southerners are prepared to abstain from many liberties and to sacrifice many advantages for the purpose of withholding them from the Negroes.”
These charges — that Southerners are obsessed with blacks, that obsession retards progress, that whites deny themselves liberties in order to withhold them from blacks — are tossed off without elaboration or substantiation.
Although Myrdal conceded that by the time he studied race relations lynchings were unusual and widely condemned, he finds great significance in them:
“The South has an obsession with sex which helps to make this region quite irrational in dealing with Negroes generally... The sadistic elements in most lynchings also point to a close relation between lynching and thwarted sexual urges.”
Oddly, he thought that Southern Christianity was partly to blame for lynching:
“[Another factor is] the prevalence of a narrow-minded and intolerant, ‘fundamentalist’ type of Protestant evangelical religion. Occasional violently emotional revival services, and regular appeals in ordinary preaching to fear and passion rather than to calm reasoning, on the one hand, and denunciations of modern thought, scientific progress, and all kinds of nonconformism, on the other hand, help to create a state of mind which makes a lynching less extraordinary.”
|“The South has an obsessioon with sex which helps to make this region quite irrational in dealing with Negroes generally.”|
Of course, lynching was part of the “amazing disrespect for law and order which even today characterizes the Southern states in America and constitutes such a large part of the Negro problem.” Thanks to this lawlessness, “a white man can steal from or maltreat a Negro in almost any way without fear of reprisal ...” This is part of a long tradition: “[A] main way to get and remain rich in the South has been to exploit the Negroes and other weaker people, rather than to work diligently, make oneself indispensable and have brilliant ideas.” Exploiting blacks is apparently known as “mattressing the niggers.”
Myrdal writes that although Southerners claim to understand blacks, this is “one of the most pathetic stereotypes in the South.” On the contrary, the Southern white is willfully ignorant: “The ignorance about the Negro is not, it must be stressed, just a random lack of interest and knowledge. It is a tense and highstrung restriction and distortion of knowledge, and it indicates much deeper dislocations within the minds of Southern whites.”
Mental dislocations characterize Southern politics: “[F]ear of the Negro shadows every political discussion and prevents the whites from doing anything to improve themselves.” This, says Myrdal, results in “an amazing avoidance of issues in Southern politics.” Debate is one-sided: “Even at present the South does not have a full spectrum of political opinions ... There are relatively few liberals in the South and practically no radicals.” He describes Southerners as the only true reactionaries in the developed world; their goal is “to accept the static state as ideal and to denounce progress.”
What little hope there may be is found in Southern liberalism, which he finds “beautiful and dignified.” As for its proponents, “they are the intellectuals of the region and are responsible for a large part of the entire high-grade literary, journalistic and scientific output of the region... They are, indeed, the cultural facade of the South.” This “gives to liberalism in the South a flavor of intellectual superiority ...”
Victims of Discrimination
As these passages suggest, when An American Dilemma turns to analysis, its subject is whites rather than blacks. This is consistent with Myrdal’s view that “the Negro problem” begins and ends in the minds of whites. Without discrimination, blacks would be perfectly ordinary Americans, so it is only whites who must be dissected and denounced.
The descriptive passages, on the other hand, are largely of the circumstances of blacks, with detailed accounts of agriculture, education, the professions, social life, criminal justice, government employment, black churches, protest movements, and much more. Myrdal finds a great deal that is unpleasant, even “pathological,” but he always has explanations: slavery, Jim Crow, and discrimination.
|“Ignorance about Negroes indicates much deeper dislocations within the minds of Southern whites.”|
If blacks riot it is because their just resentments have boiled over. Blacks have been given a place in popular music but “have been greatly hampered in more serious music.” Violent crime is a reaction to Southern lawlessness. Slavery broke up the black family. Discrimination causes poverty — and prostitution, drug addiction, even bad manners and anti-white crime.
What is striking about these arguments is not that Myrdal made them — in the pre-civil rights 1940s they were powerful and persuasive — but that people make them today. This habit of trotting out white wickedness to explain every form of black failure is one of the most persistent and destructive elements of liberal thinking. Myrdal was its most influential progenitor.
On the other hand, it may have been Myrdal’s confidence in his explanations for black deviance that allowed him to write about it with candor that would today be called “racist.”
“[M]any Negroes, particularly in the South, are poor, uneducated, and deficient in health, morals, and manners; and thus not very agreeable as social companions,” he writes. Any given black is “more indolent, less punctual, less careful, and generally less efficient as a functioning member of society.” He notes that blacks are more likely to be repeat criminals, and that “Negro criminals have become more addicted to crime and less corrigible.”
Myrdal finds black thought narrow and sloppy: “Negro thinking in social and political terms is thus exclusively a thinking about the Negro problem... Particularly in the lower classes, and in the Southern rural districts, the ideological structure of Negro thinking — even in its own narrow, caste-restricted realm — is loose, chaotic and rambling.”
He also notes the hypocrisy of middle-class blacks who denounce segregation but profit from the monopoly business of serving black customers. He also writes that much as blacks may claim to be proud of their race, they often describe themselves as lighter-skinned — and never darker — than they actually are. He observes that successful black men invariably marry light-skinned women.
Although many authors praise the black church, Myrdal was repelled by black worship services and writes disapprovingly of “rolling in a sawdust pit in [a] state of ecstasy, tambourine playing, reading of the future, healing of the sick, use of images of saints, footwashing, use of drums and jazz music, etc.” “These ‘rousements,’” he goes on to say, “bring most of the congregation into some degree of ‘possession.’” “There is a tendency to emotionalize the collection so as to elicit more money.”
Preachers are worse than congregations: “The chief prerequisite for becoming a minister in most of the denominations to which Negroes belong is traditionally not education, but a ‘call’ which is more often the manifestation of temporary hysteria or opportunistic self-inspiration than of a deep soul-searching.”
Myrdal doesn’t see much use for church at all: “The small upper class of Negroes tends to belong to the Episcopalian, Congregational, and Presbyterian churches, since for them a main function of church membership is to give prestige.” Furthermore, “Negro preachers condemn extra-marital sex relations, but they seldom take any specific steps to stop them because usually so many of their congregation engage in the condemned behavior.”
Even when he is complimenting blacks, Myrdal can adopt a contemptuous tone:
“Negroes have acquired the art of enjoying life more than have whites. Because they have no direct background in puritanism, they have taken sex more as it comes, without all the encumbrances and inhibitions... The habit of spending a good deal of leisure time out-of-doors, due in part to the over-crowdedness of the Negro home, has contributed to the social pleasantness of Negro life, since being outside involves meeting friends and having no worries about destroying furniture.” Destroying furniture?
Myrdal professes to admire the “wholesome” way blacks entertain themselves while working: “Singing, for example, accompanies all work, even on the chain gang; gambling while working is another example.” Gambling while working?
Myrdal can’t seem to decide whether black illegitimacy is good or bad. He notes that the black rate is eight times higher than the white rate but adds that “the Negro community also has the healthy social custom of attaching no stigma to the illegitimate child ...” This means that “the Negro lower classes, especially in the rural South, have built up a type of family organization conducive to social health, even though the practices are outside the American tradition.”
On the other hand: “The over-crowdedness of the homes and the consequent lack of privacy prevent the growth of ideals of chastity and are one element in encouraging girls to become prostitutes.” Myrdal sometimes seems as sex-obsessed as he claims Southerners to be. Indeed, he spends several pages in fascinated speculation about the illicit couplings that gave blacks so many white genes.
Today, one of the most striking aspects of An American Dilemma is its touching faith in social science. Myrdal writes with much satisfaction about his “scientific” methods and solutions. Rather more ominous is his infatuation with “social engineering.” The following passage is one of the clearest statements imaginable of the goals and tactics of liberalism:
“Many things that for a long period have been predominantly a matter of individual adjustment will become more and more determined by political decision and public regulation... [T]he social engineering of the coming epoch will be nothing but the drawing of practical conclusions from the teaching of social science that ‘human nature’ is changeable and that human deficiencies and unhappiness are, in large degree, preventable.”
|“The 150-year-old Constitution is in many respects impractical and ill-suited for modern conditions.”|
This passage, which could have been written by Karl Marx, is worth rereading for its breathless arrogance. Society will make all sorts of decisions for people that they used to make for themselves. Social engineering will then prevent unhappiness by changing human nature. It was, of course, enlightened liberals like Myrdal who would boss us around for our own good. The first project for Americans was to stamp out their pathological attitudes towards blacks and their false opposition to racial amalgamation.
Myrdal’s arrogance leads to contempt for American institutions, especially if they stand in the way of “social engineering.” He writes of the “nearly fetishistic cult of the Constitution” and goes on to complain that “the 150-year-old Constitution is in many respects impractical and ill-suited for modern conditions and ... drafters of the document made it technically difficult to change ...” Once again he sounds like Marx when he writes, “the Constitutional Convention was nearly a plot against the common people.”
Given that he seems to make no attempt to conceal his politics — he even refers to Eleanor Roosevelt as the President’s “gallant lady” — it is baffling to find an appendix in An American Dilemma on how to avoid bias in social science. Mere description, Myrdal writes, is actually bias because it implies that society cannot or should not be changed. His approach — vastly superior — is to analyze rather than describe, and to do so with the clear intent of transforming society. Unlike many who followed him, he was at least honest about his goals, yet he makes the astonishing claim that his analysis was unbiased:
“In a particular problem where public opinion in the dominant white group is traditionally as heavily prejudiced in the conservative direction as in the Negro problem, even a radical tendency might fail to reach an unprejudiced judgment ...”
Just as remarkable is another appendix called “A Parallel to the Negro Problem.” He argues that men oppress women just as whites oppress blacks, and predicts massive social transformation. Myrdal concludes that the Soviet Union is perhaps the only country in the world to get sex roles right.
Why, though, was the Myrdal vision of race able not only to sweep everything before it but prepare the ground for all the other “liberation” movements? One reason, undoubtedly, was selective reporting, combined with repeated assertions of moral superiority. But there is another reason that Myrdal himself unwittingly suggests. He notes that even the most conservative whites rarely defend segregation personally, but say that “community feeling” or “tradition” requires it. He says this about the intellectual bases for white solidarity and an understanding of racial differences:
“They live a surreptitious life in thoughts and private remarks. There we have had to hunt them ... When they were thus drawn out into the open they looked shabby and ashamed of themselves. Everybody who has acquired a higher education knows that they are wrong.”
He then adds the very interesting observation that the white man “does not have the moral stamina” to codify and defend a system based on explicit racial differences.
Those who would promote white consciousness today face the same obstacles. The Myrdal vision triumphed because there was no thoughtful, moral argument to oppose it. Many conservatives were ashamed of their views and afraid to voice them. Compared to maintaining segregation, the goal of preserving a people and a way of life should, by anyone’s terms, be morally irreproachable. And yet hesitancy, shame, and fear of opprobrium are still the greatest obstacles to the pursuit of legitimate white interests.
It is for this reason that the expression of group interests, which for others is simply a matter of stamina is, for whites, a matter of moral stamina. The Myrdal vision succeeded because it harnessed, in a dangerously deluded way, the moral energy of whites. Only by directing that energy toward their own survival will whites break the shackles that Myrdal and his followers forged for them.
The Man Behind the Book
Although Gunnar Myrdal is best known in the United States for his work on race, he was primarily an economist and politician. From his student days in Sweden he had dreamed of a “party of the intelligent” that would manipulate the masses and guide the nation. He was radicalized in 1929 when he first visited the United States. The depression-era contrast between millionaires and paupers convinced him that “market forces work to perpetuate inequality.”
Myrdal had already served in the Swedish Riksdag and had established himself as an architect of the Swedish welfare state by the time the Carnegie Foundation asked him, in 1936, to do a study of American blacks. Myrdal writes that he was chosen for the job because the foundation wanted a foreigner’s untainted perspective. A Swede was the perfect choice because the foundation thought blacks would trust an author who was not from a nation with an overseas empire.
The foundation gave Myrdal $300,000 — a huge sum at the time — and free rein to hire staff and commission research. One reason the book was so well received is that Myrdal deliberately involved as many prominent liberals as possible in the project. They became co-authors, in a sense, and promoted the book in universities and the press. Myrdal called An American Dilemma his “war work,” because he considered its message an attack on Nazism.
After the war, Myrdal returned to Sweden and was Minister of Commerce from 1945 to 1947. He continued to spread a socialist, redistributionist message, and even argued that once enough welfare states had been established in the advanced countries, they could inaugurate a global “welfare world.”
Not everyone approved of Myrdal. The FBI compiled a list of 41 people acknowledged in the preface of An American Dilemma, noting that many were Communist Party members, sympathizers, or members of front groups. Myrdal’s wife and son, Alva and Jan, were investigated by the FBI for pro-Communist activity. Alva Myrdal was eventually denied entry to the United States and Jan Myrdal went on to organize a communist “festival” in Bucharest.
Meanwhile An American Dilemma was helping change the United States. Myrdal was a personal friend of Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, and his book was cited in the Brown v. Board of Education decision. When President Truman established a presidential commission on civil rights, its members used An American Dilemma as their central text. In 1947 the commission issued a report, “To Secure These Rights,” which followed Myrdal’s recommendations. Truman implemented the report in his 1948 civil rights program that abolished segregation in the armed forces, set up a civil rights division in the Justice Department, and promoted national legislation to combat racism. During the first sit-in demonstration, in Greensboro, North Carolina, blacks cited Myrdal as an important influence.
In the 1960s, Saturday Review asked American intellectuals which book of the previous 40 years had been most influential. Only John Maynard Keynes’ General Theory got more votes than An American Dilemma.
Myrdal went on to win the Nobel Prize in economics in 1974, and cultivated a role as international elder statesman. In his later years he lost faith in “social engineering” and began to see that it led inevitably to tyranny. At the time of his death in 1987, he was working on An American Dilemma Revisited. The black sociologist, Kenneth Clark was to be co-author but withdrew because of Myrdal’s “egocentricity and desire to dominate the project.”
Not surprisingly, blacks still cite An American Dilemma. Last year, the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research held a three-day conference to mark the book’s 50th anniversary. Black academics from two dozen universities gathered at Harvard for the occasion. As a spokesman for the Du Bois Institute explained, “Myrdal was not only on the mark 50 years ago but continues to provide a scathing analysis of the contemporary scene.” Wilbur Rich of Wellesley College no doubt summed up the thinking of many blacks when he said that, compared to 50 years ago, “blacks are more complicated and whites are less enlightened.” The spirit of Myrdal lives on.
The Coming White Serfdom
Race and sex quotas are a return to feudalism.
The New Color Line: How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy, by Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence Stratton, Regnery Publishing, 1995, 247 pp., $24.95
If this book is any indication, mainstream conservatives are beginning to wake from their trance of the last 30 years and notice the horrors that have been perpetrated in the name of “civil rights.” In this welcome volume, Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence Stratton offer both a theory and a history of how laws passed to prevent discrimination against blacks have been stood on their heads and now require discrimination against whites. The theory is constrained by the illusion that with enough effort multi-racialism can be made to work; the history, on the other hand, is excellent.
The authors take the view that the rot began with Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma. Myrdal was convinced that whites were so benighted they would never vote democratically to abolish segregation. He urged Supreme Court action to force liberalism onto the backward masses. This, as it turned out, is exactly what happened, and Messrs. Roberts and Stratton trace all our current racial foolishness to this flouting of the democratic process.
The New Color Line draws heavily on an illuminating 1987 Harvard Law Review article (Vol. 100, pp. 817-852) to show how one of the Supreme Court’s most important decisions, Brown v. Board of Education, resulted from a mixture of arrogance, collusion, and utter disregard for the law. The decision was, in large measure, a conspiracy between Justice Felix Frankfurter and his former law clerk, Philip Elman, who was working in the Solicitor General’s office.
Both men knew that school segregation was not illegal under the Constitution, but were determined to end it anyway. A combination of luck and underhanded tactics — Elman, who was preparing the Justice Department’s arguments in the case, was in constant, improper contact with Frankfurter — produced a decision that had no basis in law. As the authors point out, even the New York Times recognized this in its headline of May 18, 1954: “A Sociological Decision: Court Founded Its Segregation Ruling on Hearts and Minds Rather Than Laws.”
Messrs. Roberts and Stratton think that ending school segregation was a good thing; the harm was in the non-democratic, extra-legal manner in which it was done. They see Brown as the first, fateful step towards the tyranny of the bench so ably described by William Quirk and Randall Bridwell in Judicial Dictatorship (reviewed in AR, Sept. 1995).
As The New Color Line points out, democracy requires faith in the nation’s citizens. Once unelected judges decide to toss aside the Constitution and tell the country how to run its schools, prisons, hospitals, and virtually everything else, democracy has been supplanted by oligarchy.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited racial discrimination in public accommodation and private employment, was duly passed by Congress, and Messrs. Roberts and Stratton think this was a good thing. Of course, the law was promptly transformed by bureaucrats and judges into hiring quotas and racial preferences. The New Color Line’s account of how this happened is one of the best in print. The story of how Alfred Blumrosen, compliance chief of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), almost single-handedly banned employment testing and turned workforce imbalances into proof of discrimination is particularly good. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. was chairman of the EEOC and ostensibly in charge. He spent most of his time away on his yacht, leaving Mr. Blumrosen free to work his mischief.
Succeeding sections of the book describe the metastasis of quotas into college admissions, mortgage lending, promotions in the military, disciplinary action at the FBI, etc., etc. We have now reached the Alice-in-Wonderland stage in which the U.S. Forest Service posts employment notices that say “only applicants who do not meet standards will be considered.” The purpose of this announcement was to exclude men from consideration, and out of 184 people hired during the period, 179 were women. The Federal Aviation Administration explains to its supervisory staff that “the merit promotion process is but one means of filling vacancies, which need not be utilized if it will not promote your diversity goals.” The city of Los Angeles recently turned away white applicants who wanted to take the test for fireman because the city was under court order to hire non-whites.
As Messrs. Roberts and Stratton point out, from a legal point of view, whites are worse off than blacks were under a regime of “separate but equal.” Whites face blatant, legal discrimination by both public and private sectors with no recourse to their own “equal” domain. In many cases, discrimination is required by law.
The New Color Line also describes how the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was passed only to ensure that blacks could vote, has now been used to ensure that blacks are elected to office in numbers proportionate to their voting strength. Gerrymandered districts are only the best-known examples of how this works. The city council of Mobile, Alabama, for example, cannot pass ordinances that are not approved by at least one black council member. If there are three blacks on the seven-man council, ordinances require a majority of five. If there are only two blacks, they require a majority of six. In Jackson, Tennessee, and Calhoun County, Alabama, chairmanships on local councils must alternate racially without regard to election results.
One of the book’s interesting insights is that by basing legal status on group membership, the United States is returning to a kind of feudalism. Just as nobles and serfs were born into classes with different privileges and obligations, race and sex (and, to some degree, disability or homosexuality) are today’s congenital markers of privilege and obligation.
The authors have no illusions about what this means. Because blacks now take quotas for granted, they “could not be terminated without conflict.” At the same time, as quotas are justified by increasingly hysterical anti-white hatred, whites may lose status in even more dangerous ways: “Although an outbreak of violence in the United States comparable to the extermination of class and race enemies seems farfetched, the systematic delegitimization of the white male targets this group for mistreatment.” Eventually, they note, whites will decide to throw off second-class status: “Separation is one possible outcome. Violence is another.”
It is gratifying when authors (and publishers) begin to realize that current racial policies have serious, potentially deadly consequences. However, Messrs. Roberts and Stratton fail to understand that separation and violence are inherent to multi-racialism and were not created artificially by Brown and race-based preferences.
The authors think that school segregation could have been ended by legislation rather than judicial ukase, but even if it had been, whites would still be fleeing integration just as they do today. They think that if the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had not been perverted beyond its original purpose of prohibiting discrimination, it “might have led to improved race relations and a more open society.” They do not understand that because numerical parity is the only proof of non-discrimination, quotas were an inevitable consequence of “equal opportunity.”
Their greatest error, however, is to think that a happy multi-racial society could have been democratically created, if only judges had not tampered with the Constitution and bureaucrats had not tampered with the law. They believe that the common man has sufficient goodwill to work out, through the democratic process, the contradictions of multi-racialism.
Goodwill is certainly necessary for democracy. In a majority-rule system, no one always gets his way, so compromise, loyal opposition, and goodwill are essential. “Jefferson’s trust in the common man and Madison’s trust in majority rule are illusions if goodwill is an illusion,” they write.
The irony in this passage is that neither Jefferson nor Madison thought democracy could survive without racial homogeneity. Jefferson wrote: “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people [the Negroes] shall be free: nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live under the same government.” He wanted to send all blacks to Africa — Central and South America were not far enough.
Madison even tried to put such a plan into action. After eight years as President of the United States, he served as president of the American Colonization Society. He thought that Negro colonization was too important to be left to private initiative: “It is the nation which is to reap the benefit. The nation, therefore, ought to bear the burden.” He estimated that colonization would require liquidation of one third of the national assets, but thought the money would be well spent.
Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence Stratton are right, therefore, to warn of the dire consequences that may follow from the reestablishment of feudalism. They are wrong, however, to think that racial conflict is the accidental result of some kind of temporary or technical failure of democracy. It is also disingenuous to quote Jefferson and Madison in support of their views. What the authors see and decry are only the latest symptoms of the disease from which America has always suffered: multi-racialism.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Black Rage, White Victims
Last November, Joseph Harris, a black from Wayne, New Jersey, broke into the home of his former supervisor and, after shooting her boyfriend, stabbed her to death with a samurai sword. He then drove to the post office from which he had been recently fired, and killed two white mail handlers.
A note written by him and found near the bodies in the post office details his conviction that his employment problems were the result of a secret, white-led war against blacks. He claimed his killings were merely self-defense. He wrote: “Remember that this was a war that they started and I finish and sometimes a few innocent people get killed ...” By murdering whites, he felt he was not simply obeying his conscience but Fate itself. “It’s like the only reason I was brought in to this world, was to kill this particular group of people.” (Thomas Zambito, Note Hints at Postal Killer’s Mental State, The Record (Bergen, NJ), Nov. 10, 1995.)
More Rage, More Victims
In December, 1994, a 41-year-old black man named Clifford McCree was dismissed from his Fort Lauderdale job as a beach cleaner. After suspending him four times for absenteeism and bad conduct, the city finally fired him from the $27,000-a-year job when he failed a drug test.
In February of this year, having been fired from another job as a security guard, Mr. McCree went back to his old employer. He found a group of workers having breakfast around a conference table and opened fire, killing his former boss and four former co-workers, before turning his gun on himself. All of Mr. McCree’s victims were white. He would have killed two more co-workers if one had not feigned death and another had not raced out the back door, followed by a hail of bullets.
In his suicide note, he wrote that “the economic lynching without regard or recourse was — is — something very evil... I also wanted to punish some of the cowardly, racist devils that help bring this about.” A relative of one victim recalled a conversation with the killer, saying “He said that white people should be dead, white people shouldn’t be able to live.” (Florida Killer Said Victims Were Racists, Police Say, New York Times, Feb. 11, 1996. Freida Frisaro, 5 Shot Dead in Fort Lauderdale, Naples Daily News, Feb. 10, 1996, p. 1A.)
Die, the Beloved Country
Post-apartheid South Africa is becoming increasingly African. With the integration of schools, white children are taught at the level of blacks. Police are becoming scarce and in a single year violent crime rose 75 percent.
The number of whites fleeing South Africa has more than doubled in five years. Experts say the figures are actually higher, since many lie on their departure forms to avoid emigration restrictions. Whites who remain have converted their homes into fortresses: topping walls with razor wire and electric spikes, barring windows, and even securing bedroom doors with steel “rape gates.”
“Should I stick around and risk my children’s lives?” asks one white businessman. “You are in a constant state of limbo trying to figure this out. That’s our daily existence.” (Suzanne Daly, As Crime Soars, South African Whites Leave, New York Times, Dec. 12, 1995, p.A1.)
At Wits End
The faculties of South Africa’s universities are discovering that post-apartheid integration is not what activists had promised. At Witwatersrand University (“Wits”), administrators report that the school is more racially divided than ever.
Despite guaranteed tuition for passing students, 60 percent of blacks drop out, and they want more remedial help. Black students are also demanding greater influence over major administrative decisions, both for themselves and for black janitors and cafeteria workers. Many white students, formerly anti-apartheid protesters, are confused by black students’ complaints that integration is not enough.
Last spring, blacks held the registrar hostage for a day when a black cafeteria worker was fired for letting students eat without paying. The school tried to expel the students, but was forced to back down when more protests erupted. Black students could not understand why the administration thought expulsions were necessary, asking, “Why are you taking such a hard line? There was no loss of life.”
Egalitarian whites are baffled. The president of Wits wonders, “Why should we be targets now? We were targets for 40 years. Maybe we need sensitivity training, I don’t know.” (Suzanne Daley, South Africa Campuses Reap Racial Enmity, New York Times, Feb. 10, 1996, p. A1.)
The American Journal of Public Health reports that inner city violence continues to escalate. A recent study shows that the number of violent injuries sustained by black women increased by 55 percent in the three years from 1987 to 1990. The majority of the injuries were the result of assaults by boyfriends or husbands. (Violence Against Black Women Soars, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 23, 1996.)
A second study in the same journal confirms that white immigrants to California are more than twice as likely to be victims of homicide than native-born whites. In order to find affordable accommodations, Europeans often move into inexpensive, non-white, crime-prone areas. (Higher Rate of Homicides For Immigrants, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 23, 1996.)
CCRI on the Ballot
Backers of the California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) announced recently that they had mustered enough signatures to ensure a place on the November ballot. The initiative, which is very likely to pass, would ban all race and sex preferences in California state policies. Since 1986, public support for measures like the CCRI has grown from 73 percent to 82 percent. Among white women, support rose from 79 percent to 88 percent. Even 83 percent of white Democrats agree that race-based hiring is wrong. (Scott McConnell, Losing the Revolution, New York Post, Jan. 31, 1996.)
Mark Fuhrman Likely to be Cleared of Charges
Mark Fuhrman is the former Los Angeles Police Department detective whose “racism” was a large part of the O.J. Simpson defense strategy. His record is under intense scrutiny by state, federal, and local investigators, who have considered bringing criminal charges. So far, he has been found to have been a first-rate patrolman and detective who never mistreated non-whites.
A careful look into the cases Mr. Fuhrman worked on shows no improper conduct and virtually no complaints. Some suspects, including non-whites, even complimented him on his politeness. Carlton Brown, a black detective who was Mr. Fuhrman’s partner for nearly a year, calls him “a consummate detective” who showed no sign of hostility to blacks. Roberto Alaniz, a Hispanic who was also his partner, says Mr. Fuhrman “exemplified exactly what a police officer should be.”
Dannette Meyers, a black assistant district attorney, worked closely with Mr. Fuhrman on many cases. She has called him one of the best detectives in the city and said that he sometimes took suspects to lunch if they were hungry. When her life was threatened he volunteered to guard her on his own time, and occasionally invited her home for dinner with his wife and two children.
The only disciplinary actions taken against Mr. Fuhrman were a day off for grabbing a pedestrian by the wrist and another day off for leaving an “improper remark” on a motorist’s windshield. One supervisor also noted: “He is outspoken and critical in his perception of the department’s application of affirmative action.”
What about the tapes of his remarks to aspiring screenwriter Laura McKinny, in which he speaks of planting evidence, beating suspects, and lining “niggers” up against the wall and shooting them? This appears to have been pure braggadocio. He is also known to have lied about the horrific violence he saw as a marine in Vietnam; his military records show that he was never in the country.
Mark Fuhrman appears to have been a nice fellow and top-notch detective with a strange need to pretend to be a tough guy. He is now a disgraced former police officer and a symbol of white racism. (Fox Butterfield, A Portrait of the Detective in the ‘O.J. Whirlpool,’ New York Times, March 2, 1996, p. A1.)
WHO has AIDS
The latest data from the World Health Organization indicate that some six million adults and children have contracted AIDS since the disease was first identified. Seventy-five percent of infections occurred in Africa, with nine percent in the Americas, seven percent in the United States and five percent in Asia.
The number of adults currently infected with HIV (but not necessarily suffering from AIDS) is estimated to be 17 million. These cases are not evenly distributed either; 66 percent are thought to be in sub-Saharan Africa. For the first time, the World Health Organization has estimated the percentage of sexually active adults in each country who carry the virus. In fifteen countries — all in black Africa — more than five percent of sexually active adults carry HIV. The highest percentages in the world are Botswana (18 percent — nearly one in five), Zimbabwe (17 percent), Zambia (17 percent), and Malawi (14 percent). (Global Program on AIDS, WHO press release, Dec. 15, 1995)
In the United States, one half of one percent of adults have HIV, with black men, at three percent, six times more likely than average. One percent of adult black women have HIV. (J. Philippe Rushton, Race, Aids, and Sexual Behavior, Chronicles, Jan. 1996, p. 39.)
Diversity is Strength
Apparently there is an edible mushroom that grows in Asia that is very similar in appearance to a poisonous one that grows in the United States. From time to time immigrants eat Amanita phalloides, commonly known as “death cap,” with unfortunate results. In February, a 13-year-old Taiwanese of unknown immigration status had a liver transplant in a San Francisco hospital after eating death caps. Her family had collected the mushrooms during a family outing near the Lafayette Reservoir. Park district authorities distribute brochures urging visitors not to eat anything they take from the area, but the family appears to have ignored the warnings. On almost the same day that the girl had her nine-and-a-half-hour transplant operation, a Mexican farm worker in Sonoma County, California died after eating death caps. (Wild Mushrooms Put Mom, Kids in Hospital, S.F. Examiner, Feb. 7, 1996, p. A9. Michael Taylor, New Liver Offers Hope for Teenager Poisoned by Wild Mushrooms, S.F. Chronicle, Feb. 8, 1996, p. A17. Michael Taylor, Mushrooms Kill Man in New Poisoning Case, S.F. Chronicle, Feb. 9, 1996, p. A21.)
Chickens Home to Roost
Angela Dodson was at one time the highest-ranking black woman at the New York Times. She had a number of high-level editing jobs and was also the newspaper’s “diversity” boss. She is now suing the company for discrimination. The Times claims that the suit is a “complete sham,” and defends itself as follows:
“The nature of her complaint is only that (1) she was treated poorly, (2) she is in three protected categories [she got carpel tunnel syndrome and was therefore ‘disabled’] and (3) therefore, the poor treatment was based on her protected-category status.”
This, of course, is precisely the reasoning that reporters for the Times use when they describe the world outside their offices. (Andrea Peyser, P.C. Times Hoist by Own Petard, New York Post, Feb. 14, 1996.)
In 1983, British police reported that although blacks were 13 percent of London’s population they committed 57 percent of the city’s 19,258 muggings. This prompted so much anti-racist whooping that the police kept their statistics to themselves for twelve years. Last year, the authorities finally screwed up their courage and reported that in 1994, perpetrators in 80 percent of London’s 23,000 muggings were black. Once again, the hysteria was deafening.
British reporter Ray Honeyford has dug up a few more statistics that the British fear to acknowledge. In the London borough of Lambeth, where rapes are particularly frequent, blacks are 14 percent of the population but 72 percent of the rapists. The likelihood of a black being in prison is ten times that of a white. Although the cities of Birmingham and Manchester claim they do not keep records of crime rates by race, they do record — and report — “hate” crimes committed by whites. As early as 1982, when four percent of Britain’s population was non-white, 20 percent of the prison population was non-white. In some juvenile detention centers, the proportion of blacks was over 40 percent. No current statistics were available.
Mr. Honeyford notes that ever since the passage of Britain’s Race Relations Act in 1976 and the establishment of the Commission for Racial Equality, it has become nearly impossible to write honestly about race. He notes that “a formidable race relations lobby,” has “created a view of multi-racial Britain which is manifestly one-sided and self-serving.” (Ray Honeyford, Is there a Problem of Black Crime? The Salisbury Review, Dec. 1995, pp. 27-31.)
The Only Solution
Still, a few sane British voices break through the din of nonsense. In the Dec. 1995 “O Tempora” section we reported on Paul Johnson’s plan for letting Hong Kong Chinese settle in Britain: Admit only those who could persuade a black to leave. Mr. Johnson now has a different plan:
“A nation’s integrity can be destroyed not just by invasion but by demographic penetration on a large scale ... The character of Britain has been changed fundamentally over the past half-century by infiltration and occupation by immigrants... Race riots are now common in Britain, and the Government’s hand-flapping over the latest one in [the] Brixton [section of London] shows it has no policy to deal with them. They will occur whenever black racist leaders want them to occur.”
He goes on to say that blacks have shown themselves incapable of assimilating to British society and that the only solution is “repatriation.”
“Purchasing freehold land for resettlement of blacks who do not wish to accept the legal restraints of living in Britain will not be cheap, whether the site is in Africa, the Caribbean or alternative places such as Brazil. The capital investment would be considerable. On the other hand, the cost of underwriting the existing mess is not small either, especially now black racists have taken to burning down and looting their neighbourhoods whenever they feel like it.” (Paul Johnson, The Logical End of Black Racism is a Return to Africa, The Spectator, Dec. 30, 1995, p. 20.)
In the December, 1995 issue of Science there is an advertisement for a director of clinical services for the National Cancer Institute. It says: “Selection for this position will be based solely on merit, with no discrimination for non-merit reasons such as race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability.”
Earlier this year, while three Miami Fire Rescue paramedic workers were in a high-rise building helping a heart-attack victim, thieves stole their truck. It was quickly recovered when someone reported three men in a parking lot taking things from it. The stripping job was not very private; the thieves could not figure out how to turn off the flashing lights.
Paramedics leave truck doors unlocked and engines running so that they can get a patient to hospital as quickly as possible. In America’s Hispanic capital they may have to rethink their policy. (David Hancock, Firetruck is Swiped During Call, Miami Herald, Feb. 2, 1996.)
California has a competency test for public school teachers. Sample question: “Which fraction is closest to 0.35: 3/5, 1/2, 1/5, or 1/3?” The 13-year-old exam, which tests for 10th-grade level abilities, has a 80 percent pass rate for whites, 35 percent for blacks, 51 percent for Hispanics, and 59 percent for Asians. Non-whites have declared the test “racist” and are suing.
One of the black plaintiffs is Sara Boyd. A journalist reported on a portion of her deposition:
“Boyd testified that six out of 80 teachers at her school were black — by her estimation, 1 or 2 percent. Then she realized that eight teachers were black. “Oh,” her interrogator remarked, “10 percent.” “No,” she said. “So what percent of 80 is 8?” she was asked. For 40 seconds — I timed it — Boyd was silent. Then: “Can you rephrase that? I’m drawing a blank here.” The question was rephrased. She answered, “That’s about 1 percent.”
Miss Boyd was formerly a vice-principal in a California school. (Debra Saunders, 2+2=4 Doesn’t Equal Racism, San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 9, 1996.)
A recent Government Accounting Office (GAO) study says that hundreds of thousands of federal workers are paid more than their job descriptions say they are worth. Non-white workers are more likely to benefit from this than whites. The study concluded that this is probably because supervisors are afraid that appropriate pay will result in charges of racism. The GAO spent five years and nearly $2 million on the report. (Frank Greve, Thousands of Federal Workers Overpaid, Auditors Report, Houston Chronicle, Nov. 22, 1995, p. 11A.)
The AR conference, to be held in Louisville, KY over Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27), will feature outstanding speakers on the racial problem. Philippe Rushton, Michael Levin, Samuel Francis, Lawrence Auster, James Thornton, Michael Hart, Samuel Dickson, and Jared Taylor will be among the speakers.
An AR conference is a unique opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with people who care as passionately about our race and civilization as you do. We have already received registrations from as far away as Germany, Canada, and South Africa. This will be an inspiring gathering you cannot afford to miss!
Numbers to Ponder
In New York City, more cabbies are native speakers of English than of any other language but they are only 16 percent of the total. The next most commonly spoken languages are Urdu (15.7%), Punjabi (12.7%), Arabic (11%) and Bengali (10.6%). The remaining 34 percent speak a mix of other foreign tongues. (... but wait, there’s more, Autoweek, Sept. 25, 1995, p. 48.)
Seventy-nine percent of the children living in Detroit, Michigan are on AFDC welfare. In other large cities, the numbers are Los Angeles (61.8%), San Diego (44.2%), Chicago (44%), and New York City (28%). (Welfare Shock, Washington Times, Sept. 1, 1995.)
In California, nearly 40 percent of black men in their 20s are in prison, on probation, or on parole. For whites, the figure is five percent and for Hispanics it is 11 percent. In New York State, about 33 percent of black men in their 20s are in prison, on probation, or on parole. (Fox Butterfield, Study Finds a Disparity in Justice for Blacks, New York Times, Feb. 13, 1996, p. A12.)
Yet More Numbers
A recent poll found that people of every race underestimate the percentage of whites living in the United States. The average estimate by whites (49.9%), blacks (45.5%), Asians (54.8%), and Hispanics (46.7%) were well below the actual figure of 74 percent. At the same time, every group thought that blacks were 20 to 26 percent of the population (the actual figure is 12 percent) and that Hispanics were 15 to 21 percent (the actual figure is 9.5 percent). (Lori Rodriguez, Racial Division Tearing at Fabric of U.S. Society, Houston Chronicle, Nov. 5, 1995, p. 28A.) Affirmative-action media portrayals no doubt explain why most people think whites are already a minority.
Another example of ignorance is the fact that an astonishing 41 percent of whites think that “affirmative action” includes benefits for white men. Sixty-two percent of blacks, 57 percent of Hispanics and 41 percent of Asians think this, too. (Affirmative Action for White Guys? Washington Post, Oct. 22, 1995, p. C5.) These illusions are probably fostered by the fact that “affirmative action” is so seldom described as the anti-white racial preference system that it actually is.
Kinshasa on the Potomac
The Washington City Paper is a lefty, “alternative” weekly that covers the nation’s capital. A recent cover story describes the city’s lamentable public health conditions. D.C.’s infant mortality rate is the highest in the nation. In eight of the top ten disease categories, it also leads the nation. Death rates from cancer are twice the national average, and venereal disease rates are five times the average. An estimated one in every 40 district residents carries the AIDS virus.
Water treatment is so sloppy that every year since 1993 deadly bacteria have slipped into the supply. Last November, city officials warned old people to boil water before drinking it. Many officials who work in public health never drink tap water. Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the FBI have started formal investigations.
The city’s public health programs are a third-world joke. Restaurants go uninspected, and from time to time, city clinics run out of medicine, X-ray film, even soap and toilet paper. The city can’t manage to collect garbage, and a spokesman for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases says that the fattening rat population is a perfect breeding ground for a new hantavirus. Some strains are known to kill 50 percent of the people they infect. “D.C. could turn into a swirling hellhole of disease if something went really wrong,” concludes the City Paper. Somehow, the article fails to note that the nation’s unhealthiest city is run by blacks, who make up two thirds of the population. (Julie Wakefield, Baby is D.C. Sick, Washington City Paper, Feb. 23-29, 1996, p. 20.)
California State University at Chico recently advertised for “dynamic” applicants for teaching positions. Zaida Giraldo, the school’s affirmative action director complained that the word was associated with white men and not with women or non-whites. The school promptly started advertising for “excellent” teachers. (Courtney Leatherman, Advertisement Spurs Debate Over ‘Dynamic’ Professors, Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 5, 1996, p. A17.)
Many black charities report that the growing numbers of middle-class blacks are increasingly unwilling to make donations. A 1989 study revealed that one third of black households earning between $30,000 and $50,000 donated nothing to charity whereas only one sixth of similar white households donated nothing. Last year, the nation’s top black school, Howard University, received donations from only 4 percent of alumni. By comparison, 28 percent of Vanderbilt University’s alumni contributed — though Vanderbilt made a much greater effort to raise money.
One black fundraiser says it is easier to raise money from whites than from blacks because whites feel guilty. Another black fundraiser accuses black professionals of hypocrisy because they denounce white racism but ignore the needs of poor blacks.
Often, when blacks do give money, it is only to black institutions. One graduate of Hampton University and M.I.T. gives only to Hampton. “My assumption is that whites will take care of white institutions,” he says. A black dentist explains that she gives money to the American Heart Association because “blacks suffer from heart disease at a greater rate than whites.” (Jonathan Kaufman, Black Charities Say Growing Middle Class Isn’t Giving Enough, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 29, 1996, p. A1.)
Ripe for Harvesting
Koreans are colonizing Argentina just as they are portions of the United States. They first began to come in 1965 and now the close-knit community numbers about 35,000. During the late 1980s there were as many as 50,000 butmany left for the United States during a difficult period of high inflation. Koreans now own more than 1,000 businesses in Argentina, including several newspapers and a cable television channel. There are 300 Korean cultural, athletic and business associations, as well as 30 Korean Protestant churches.
Koreans have been particularly successful in textiles and now dominate garment districts in larger cities. They have the reputation of working 12-hour days and hiring illegal immigrants from Bolivia at slave-labor wages. When they are assured of anonymity, Argentines grumble that Koreans are taking over the trade.
Sang Hyun Kim, a poor farm boy from South Korea, is typical of the first wave of immigrants. He arrived in 1965 and now has a successful insurance business. He has also brought nine of his brothers and sisters to Argentina and all own businesses. “In Korea, there were too many people and too few economic opportunities,” explains Mr. Kim. “When I arrived in Argentina, I thought it was a paradise, like virgin territory ripe for the harvesting ...” Now that they have established themselves as an economic force, Korean leader say their next goal is more political power. (Calvin Sims, Don’t Cry, This Land is Rich in Kims and Lees, New York Times, Nov. 15, 1995, p. 1.)
Genes and Health
Experts at the Michigan Department of Public Health report that blacks are more likely than whites to die from eight of the state’s top ten causes of death: heart disease, malignant tumors, strokes, accidents, pneumonia/flu, diabetes, liver disease and homicide. Blacks are also more likely to die from almost every kind of cancer. Whites are more likely to die of lung disease and to kill themselves. Though black activists claim that “racist” medical care is to blame for these differences, studies show that many blacks are afraid to visit a doctor even when they are sick and that even when they do, they ignore medical advice. Research increasingly suggests that much of the racial disparity in death rates is genetic. (Carol Stevens, System, Race and Suspicion Promote Medical Disparities, The Detroit News and Free Press, Dec. 10, 1995, p. 1A.)
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — The two-part series by Michael Masters is an excellent discussion of the origin of races, which illustrates the great gaps in our knowledge. Mr. Masters’ skeptical account of the theory of a recent African Eve, “Mother of Us All,” is greatly bolstered by an article in the 22 Dec. ‘95 issue of Science entitled “The Myth of Eve: Molecular Biology and Human Origins.” Therein it is argued that instead of a single mother within the last 200,000 years, “the theory of gene coalescence suggests that, throughout the last 60 million years, human ancestral populations had an effective size of 100,000 individuals or greater.” (p. 1930.)
The single Eve theory is said to have resulted from a confusion between the history of individual genes and the history of individuals in populations. Relegated to a footnote in the article is the following interesting commentary:
“The controversy about the origin of modern humans has at times been heated and prone to overstatement. Recently a science journalist quoted with implicit approval a distinguished scientist saying that ‘there is no genetic data that is consistent with the multiregional hypothesis.’ ... Apparently, neither the scientist nor the journalist reflected that Mendel’s laws, the double helix, and the immense majority of genetic data are consistent with the multiregional hypothesis, as well as with the African replacement or any other model of human origins.” (p. 1936.)
It may well be that paleoanthropology was on his mind when Mark Twain observed that:
“There is something fascinating about science,Glayde Whitney, Tallahassee, Fla.
One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture,
Out of such trifling investment of fact.”
Sir — As much as I enjoy AR, I found Michael Master’s cover story in the February 1996 issue very disappointing. Like many of your subscribers, I believe in God and in the creationist view of how everything, including mankind, came into existence. To show how the races differ by arguing that man evolved from apes is weak and shallow. The atheist and evolutionist want people to be taught only their point of view and usually refuse to defend their position in a public debate.
Jeff Wolverton, Mountain Park, Ga.
Sir — In “The Origin of Races,” Michael Masters marshaled an array of facts that we, the men and women of the West must know if we are not to go the way of the dinosaur — which will surely happen if we fail to “secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” It is either existence or extinction. Let us therefore welcome to these pages all but would-be-censors.
Raymond Miller, Mannsville, Ky.
Sir — I think you made a mistake in publishing “The Origin of Races.” It does not state a central or necessary racial message, yet was guaranteed to divide your readers. This kind of division is harmful and unnecessary. One does not have to pick sides between evolution and creationism to know that the races are different and that our people will be dispossessed if they fail to defend themselves. Your editorial touch is usually deft. To have devoted not just one but two covers to an article that needlessly antagonized a large number of readers was clumsy and uncharacteristic.
Dorothy Elders, Klamath Glen, Cal.
Sir — A few AR readers are unhappy with my article, “The Origin of Races” but certain facts cannot be ignored. Human-like bones and fossils of great antiquity exist. Various scientific methods date hominid fossils at many thousands and even millions of years old. Those bones had to get there somehow. Furthermore, genetics reveals that humans share 98.4 percent of their genes with chimpanzees. This is a startling degree of resemblance; human races share 99.5 percent of their genes with each other, making the variation between humans and chimps only three times the variation among human races. (Conversely, variation among human races is fully one-third of that between humans and chimps, indicating the folly of the egalitarian myth.)
If one believes in God, it appears to me that there are only two choices. One can believe that the deity buried false fossils and continues to falsify scientific analysis of those fossils. The second choice is that Nature — in all its infinite beauty and complexity, including the laws of genetics — was molded by God. In these matters, as in others, I look to America’s Founders for wisdom. In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson’s words about “laws of Nature and Nature’s God” bespoke an inseparable union between God and God’s manifest creation. Is it not a sign of lack of faith for man to presume to decide what mechanisms God is permitted to have used to create humanity?
Michael W. Masters, Fredericksburg, Va.
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