|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 16, No. 3||March 2005|
Does Scholarship Make a Difference?
The case of The Bell Curve — 10 years after.
The publication of The Bell Curve (TBC) in 1994 by economist Charles Murray and psychologist Richard Herrnstein was one of the more dramatic events in 20th century differential psychology (see “For Whom the Bell Curves,” AR, Feb. 1995). Only the physical assaults by leftists on IQ researchers Hans Eysenck and Arthur Jensen around 1980 compare with it — and perhaps the Sunday Times’s 1976 allegations that Sir Cyril Burt cooked his twin data to exaggerate the heritability of IQ (see “Kicking the Corpse,” AR, Jan. 1993).
At first, I thought things would go well for TBC. The book demonstrated enormous scholarship, and was written clearly and without racial animosity. I immediately gave a seminar on it in the psychology department of Edinburgh University. Though there were quizzical faces among liberal-leftist staff, I was optimistic that the central findings of the London School — the tradition of exploring measurable human psychological differences in the tradition of the hereditarian Sir Francis Galton — were on their way towards greater acceptance.
I was wrong. Quickly, TBC’s defense of the importance of IQ (and to some extent of genes) ran into what one observer called “a barrage of scathing critiques and ad hominem attacks on the book’s authors,” followed by silence. The only exception was a further dozen books that came late and little remarked, claiming to rebut TBC. Though many ordinary people bought the book, it remained publicly unmentionable in any positive way by any substantial person. Its policy proposals of limiting welfare, controlling immigration, discouraging low-IQ mothering, raising standards, and eliminating “affirmative action” do not even appear to appeal to George W. Bush, allegedly the most “right-wing” US President since the 1920s.
Assessing the Impact
In 2004, ten years after the publication of the book, I used the Internet search engine Google to make a rough estimate of the impact TBC had had on the intellectual climate. Although this is by no means a perfect method, it allows rough comparisons; someone who appears on many Internet pages has had greater intellectual influence than someone who seldom appears. A search for “The Bell Curve,” together with the name “Murray,” turned up 14,700 pages — a respectable number, though far fewer than the 40,000 pages that mentioned the influential anti-IQ book, Multiple Intelligences, together with its author’s name, Howard Gardner, or the 50,000 pages for Emotional Intelligence along with author Daniel Goleman.
I then examined the top 100 Internet pages for TBC, and found that 60 went beyond a brief mention and included serious commentary. Of these 60 pages, however, only eight (13 percent) generally accepted TBC’s thesis, seven (12 percent) were ambivalent, while 45 (75 percent) were plainly hostile. By contrast, the Internet pages that referred to Multiple Intelligences (written in 1993) and Emotional Intelligence (written in 1995) were overwhelmingly favorable.
|If an educator or politician has ever admitted he was positively influenced by the book, I have yet to hear of it.|
In 2000, journalists Peter Brimelow and Steve Sailer had noted on their Vdare.com web page that discussion of IQ and race had actually become more difficult as the 1990s progressed. Daniel Seligman, who had written a very readable little volume on the IQ debate in 1992 called A Question of Intelligence, also thought the atmosphere for discussing IQ and race had deteriorated. In his view, the liberal-left had shouted down all serious talk of IQ and had thereby “won” the argument. Ron Unz, who has campaigned to eliminate “bilingual education,” thought America’s intellectual elite had become significantly more frightened to talk about IQ since 1994.
Although it forced its way onto academic reference lists, TBC had emphatically not turned the tide. If an educator or politician has ever admitted he was positively influenced by the book, I have yet to hear of it. It may be permissible to joke in letters to the editor about “new excesses of political correctness,” but no one in the political or media mainstream will mention the problem of the black American average IQ of 85, let alone the black IQ in sub-Saharan Africa of about 70.
Occasionally young journalists get carried away with this great story, but efforts to report it, as in the Spectator (May 24, 2003) and the London Times (Nov. 10, 2003), quickly bring down the iron curtain. Despite a half-page article and map of worldwide IQ distribution displayed on page 9 of the Times, Google found no subsequent mention of the article in the British press. Absolute repression works pretty absolutely.
What top psychometrician Raymond Cattell (1905-1998) first called “ignoracism” reigns so supreme today that there is continuous pseudo-hysteria in the Western press over the lack of black police chiefs, army generals, surgeons, lawyers, accountants, professors, etc. Aside from a few brave souls like Linda Gottfredson, no one outside the London School dares offer the correct explanation, and certainly not by referencing Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein. So slight was TBC’s public impact that the “conservative” president George W. Bush even proposed in 2004 that every American child receive two years of college, and he declined to oppose racial preferences at the University of Michigan. Richard Lynn’s 2002 book, IQ and the Wealth of Nations, which explains the link between a nation’s average IQ and its GNP (see “The Global Bell Curve,” AR, Dec. 2002), remains unreviewed in any important academic journal.
But the real ignoracist comedy has been the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (see “Fantasy and Fraud,” AR, Feb. 2004), which will apply increasingly tough academic standards to all American schools, and officially categorize them as “failing” even if only blacks or Hispanics are not up to snuff. Perhaps when good-quality suburban schools are designated as failures only because blacks cannot pass the tests — and school administrators face the dire sanctions for “failure” — people will begin to say the words “race and intelligence” out loud again. In this climate, the London School has had nothing resembling impact.
Some might argue that TBC did not have great influence because it was flawed in some respect. I myself doubted its thesis that America became substantially more stratified by IQ during the 20th century. (I think Americans, in an attempt to distinguish themselves from “old” Europe, underestimate the degree to which they have always had a full-blown class system, with blacks at the bottom.) Other supporters of the book noted its reluctance to talk about the heritability of racial differences in intelligence.
In fact, TBC has stood up well to criticism. Liberals blamed the authors for relying on race realists like Richard Lynn and Philippe Rushton. Yet, around 2000, both those scholars produced high-quality new evidence for the devastatingly low black IQ, implying that this is what largely explains the enduring poverty of sub-Saharan Africa. When new American data published in a new Festschrift for Arthur Jensen (see “In Praise of Arthur Jensen,” AR, Sept., 2004) showed the especially strong influence of g (the “general factor,” the purest measure of intelligence) in the lower-ability range, it became clear that TBC had, if anything, underestimated the importance of IQ in accounting for variance in mental ability.
Through the 1990s, the left relied heavily on the so-called Flynn Effect, pointing out that IQ scores rose throughout the 20th century. They eagerly explained that this must be due to environmental influences — the genes haven’t changed rapidly — and argued that the same influences would eventually bring the black IQ up to the same level as that of whites. The Flynn Effect is not yet entirely understood, but Philippe Rushton has shown that the highest gains in scores have been in tests that are in fact not heavily g-loaded — that is to say, in tests that measure things like memory or specific knowledge in addition to intelligence.
At the same time, the much-touted and anticipated narrowing of the black/white gap has simply not occurred. As educators Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom pointed out in their 2003 book, No Excuses, the racial gap in educational achievement in 2000 was actually wider than in the 1980s. If the Flynn Effect is real, and IQs really are rising, the IQs of whites are rising just as rapidly as those of blacks.
The problem TBC ran into was not refutation or bad empirical evidence, but rather the neurotic relativism of “postmodernists” who have taken over large swathes of the universities of the West. One of their favorite doctrines is that nothing can be really measured or known, especially if it is to the disadvantage of non-whites or women. In 1994, I did not appreciate the sheer scale of this problem — the power with which postmodernism enforced its decrees that race and sex not be researched or discussed unless it is to the advantage of precious “victims.” Political correctness had become the new religion of the West.
To evaluate the respective influences of the London School and its opponents, I compared the number of Google pages devoted to each. To identify the leaders on both sides, I first looked for the number of pages that listed more than one of some 25 London School “big names.” I found, for example, that 741 pages referred to both “Arthur Jensen” and “Charles Murray.” In this way, I established that there are eight clear leaders among hereditarian psychologists: Francis Galton, Charles Spearman, Raymond Cattell, Hans Eysenck, Arthur Jensen, Charles Murray, Richard Lynn and Philippe Rushton. After determining these eight leaders, I found that they were mentioned on a total of 53,945 pages (Charles Murray was mentioned in no fewer than 22,900 of these).
How about the opposition? I am less certain about who the “big names” are in postmodernism, but I compiled a list of 100 celebrated late-20th-century thinkers and writers who are hostile to IQ and heritable differences. I included prominent anti-racists, feminists and socialist/Marxist opponents of IQ such as Stephen Jay Gould and Britain’s Steven Rose. By looking at cross-links — the extent to which internet pages mention more than one of these people — I found three main groups: (1) A postmodernist cluster in which the top eight people are little known to the public but have a formidable intellectual influence: Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Lacan, Martin Heidegger, Jean Baudrillard and Pierre Bourdieu; (2) An anti-racist cluster with four clear leaders: Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Jesse Jackson; and (3) A feminist group composed of Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Simone de Beauvoir and Germaine Greer.
So what was the score? How many mentions did these anti-heredity leaders receive? For the eight postmodernists, 495,300 — almost ten times more than the combined score of the London School’s eight leaders; for the four anti-racists, a staggering 2,491,000; and for the four feminist leaders, 140,800. In addition to all this, the arch-opponent of IQ, Stephen Jay Gould clocked up 70,400 pages all by himself, making him a bigger Internet presence in his own right than the entire eight-man leadership of the London School.
I also ran a validating test to determine whose names appeared most often in conjunction with the key terms of contemporary liberalism: “racism,” “sexism,” “homophobia,” and “sensitivity.” The 10 names with the most links to these terms were, in order, Martin Luther King, Bell Hooks (a black, Buddhist feminist who says that blacks who do not want to murder whites are victims of false consciousness), Malcolm X, Michel Foucault, Cornel West (a black Princeton professor who tries to blend Marxism and Christianity), Jesse Jackson, Judith Butler (a lesbian “gender theorist” at Berkeley), Karl Marx, Nelson Mandela and Gloria Steinem. All four leading black “anti-racists” therefore scored high, and were joined by two more blacks, Cornel West and Bell Hooks, along with Karl Marx and Judith Butler.
When I added up the top 25 names from both sides of the argument, a Google search yielded a total of 3,251,445 internet pages, with the eight London School leaders accounting for just 1.66 percent of that figure. It is clear that the London School is not in the position of being a “loyal opposition” to academic convention, or even a respected minority. If anything, it has become more isolated and “extreme” than is the British National Party in British politics. Forty years ago, Hans Eysenck, the famous IQ researcher and leader of the London School, was Penguin Books’ best-selling author. How times have changed!
|Betty Friedan: will not face facts.|
There are indications that we may have seen a peak in postmodern anti-science and in the belief that there is only language and no reality. The weird veneration of other “cultures” (many of whose members oddly want to live in the West) may be waning. Samuel Huntington of Harvard has pointed out that continuing low-quality mass immigration from Mexico threatens America’s identity. Voices in Britain have surfaced saying much the same thing. In Holland, martyr-to-be Pim Fortuyn rallied opposition to Muslim immigration on the grounds that Islam is incompatible with Dutch liberalism. Educational theory in the United States is again recognizing the importance of traditional learning.
Yet still there is no serious public talk of race or IQ, and dissent is harshly beaten down. Last year, when the American anthropologist Vincent Sarich and Skeptic editor Frank Miele brought out their moderately race-realistic Race: The Reality of Human Differences, (see “Science Strikes Back,” AR, April, 2004), the leading academic journal Nature condemned it as “disturbing,” “overstated,” and “bombastic,” and said it drew ill-advisedly on the work of “raciologists” like Arthur Jensen and Phil Rushton.
French postmodernism has been a particularly slippery opponent. Its genius is to have made its arguments impervious to evidence. Science and historical scholarship have no more status than literary texts, and can thus only be “critically” analyzed for oppressive bias towards the underclass and precious minorities. The facts themselves do not matter. This approach brings out the worst of the French mind (loving clever-sounding phrases) and the German mind (venerating authority) while ignoring evidence (preferred by Anglo-Saxons).
The resulting political correctness has become the religion of a “globalizing” world. Businessmen who want to trade, employers who want cheap foreign labor, Third-World people who want to move to the West — all these groups are happy that part of the effort to tamp down ethnic tensions is to make race differences unmentionable. Hard-core postmodernists may still dream of revolution in Paris, but businesses have learned to see the new rules simply as a form of taxation that requires them to hire a few dud minority workers to preserve appearances. In any case, Asian workers are often better than TV-gawping, nicotine-addicted, obese whites. In business, nothing is ever ideal; quota hiring is now just part of the interventionist paraphernalia of the state.
How Do We Resist?
| Gloria Steinem:
At present, in Britain, the most elementary acts of resistance are probably forbidden by the 1976 Race Relations Act. For example, I cannot sell my house to a white rather than an Asian or a black — that would be discrimination, just as in the United States. If I can’t even choose how to dispose of my property, I can hardly help my neighbors build or maintain a nationalist community. This is already a serious issue in North Wales and on the Isle of Skye. Middle-aged English and Scots are flooding in to escape the Pakistanis and blacks, but in the process are destroying ancient, Gaelic-speaking communities.
On the other hand, if globalization, imperialism and the “war on terror” run into problems (ethnic civil war in Iraq, the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan, carnage in Western cities) or if the American economy falters, people will clearly prefer the safety of people like themselves rather than continue with expensive, doomed experiments that falsely assumed a brotherhood of man.
Is there any way short of economic collapse to dethrone the race-denying merchants of postmodernist political correctness? Probably there is, and the end may come in ways no one suspects. Communism collapsed with surprising speed, despite its appearance of permanence, and to the dismay of its legions of postmodernist supporters in the West.
In the meantime, we must admit that the West’s numerous successes of the past half-century have been accompanied by one massive failure. Allowing sexual freedom not just to the elite but to the entire population has unleashed a massive assault on ordinary family life. Sex is now primarily for entertainment rather than for procreation, with the result that politicians tell us we “need” immigrants to make up for falling birthrates. Feminism, with its lure of fancy jobs outside the home, has particularly cut the birthrate for high-IQ women. At the same time, divorce and separation are now commonplace. No one of the old right or left (apart from a few Marxists) wanted children to grow up with just one parent, but 40 percent of British children now do so. The absence of fathers is strongly associated with youth suicide, drug-taking, delinquency, school failure, and teenage pregnancy.
|Sir Francis Galton.|
Perhaps one way to weaken political correctness would be to replace it as the West’s religion by a new concept of the family. An extended “neo-family” of 12 to 20 people might become, along with marriage, the focus of individual loyalty, and be a suitable conduit for state expenditures on health, housing, and education.
We must move people from the statism of the first half of the twentieth century and the individualism of the second half towards a more voluntary and manageable arrangement whereby government exists primarily to support small groups of adults who make serious commitments to look after each other and their children. These self-chosen “neofamilies” could be the main agents in the dispensation of state largesse, and would often provide a racially homogeneous and culturally integrated context for child-rearing.
There is something else that must change. At least in Britain, the demand for foreign labor — some of it disastrously low in IQ and high in criminality — is partly due to politicians paying the fees for white students to study hopelessly exotic subjects at university. The resulting “graduates” are capable only of taking up bureaucratic positions and expanding the internal socialist empire of welfare benefits, which now consume 35 percent of British government expenditures, as compared to two percent in 1945.
To some extent, this folly may be self-correcting. A 41-year-old Birmingham University molecular biologist noticed recently that British plumbers earned twice as much as he did, and decided to re-train. The process of matching young people to vocations would be much assisted by proper intelligence testing, and would reduce the alleged need for immigrant labor.
It remains to be seen whether politicians can correct the mistakes they have made by ignoring IQ and race. But with London now a 40 percent non-white city — and 50 percent of Inner London — the danger flags are going up. Whites are fleeing north and west, reducing the white population by 50,000 a year (this averages out to a 10 percent decline every decade). Even some Labour social democrats now take the risk of being called “liberal Powellites” (the term comes from the name of Enoch Powell, who opposed non-white immigration to Britain in the 1960s — see “The Racial Transformation of Britain,” AR, Aug. 2000) by urging a little realism about immigration. Hopefully, mistakes can be corrected before real ethnic strife begins.
|This wall collapsed suddenly. Orthodoxy could do the same.|
One day, TBC may be seen to have had an impact. Children will have to be told the best estimates of their own abilities so they and their parents can plan their lives realistically. Societies will have to understand that races differ, and that groups do not always get along. When that day comes, scholars will find not just TBC but a host of thoughtful books moldering in the libraries, proving that even in the benighted 20th century the facts were well established, even if severely suppressed. As Sunday Telegraph reviewer Blair Worden put it — though not about the study of IQ: “Scientific discovery is rarely the sudden victory of truth over error or the abrupt abandonment of old assumptions for new.” After all, it took Plato, Jesus, Galileo and Darwin each a century or more to win wide support; and even our current orthodoxies were a long time gestating among leftists before they achieved their current sorry dominance in academia and public debate.
Chris Brand, formerly of Edinburgh University, is the author of The g Factor (reviewed in “Whys and Wherefores of Intelligence,” AR, July, 1996). A fully-referenced and annotated version of this article is available by e-mail from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Nation Betrayed
A reader visits London.
Immigration is clearly transforming Britain. In 1992, there were 44,000 non-European immigrants — overwhelmingly non-white — but that number grew to 233,000 in 2002. That year, immigration from the European Union (EU) was just 11,000. According to Britain’s most recent census in 2001, the total population of Great Britain was 58,790,000 of which 7.9 percent were non-white.
England is already one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with 377 people per square kilometer. That is more than three times the European average of 117 people per square kilometer, and well above the French figure of 106, and 14 times the American figure of 27 people per square kilometer. Population growth in this already over-stuffed land is almost entirely non-European.
Almost all non-whites live in England (rather than Scotland or Wales), either in the northern cities, or in and around London, which receives two thirds of current immigrants. In 2001, 28.8 percent of London’s seven million people were officially classified as non-white, and two of the city’s 32 boroughs, Newham and Brent, were majority non-white (60.6 and 54.7 percent, respectively). Four boroughs are more than 40 percent non-white, and another seven are more than a third. These figures do not include illegal immigrants, whose numbers are growing rapidly, thanks to Britain’s absurd asylum policies.
Great Britain gets nearly a quarter of all the asylum applicants to the EU, 84,000 in 2002, up from 30,000 in 1996. It rejects most who apply — 63 percent between 1997 and 2002 — but it managed to deport only one fifth of these, and lost track of the rest. The government did manage to deport 48,000 failed asylees in 2002 (up from just 3,300 in 1990), but it has no idea how many are left. During a recent trial of Chinese immigrant smugglers, a Home Office official said he couldn’t even “guesstimate” the number of illegals in Britain, saying only that, “Accepted figures for people coming in are significantly higher than official figures,” perhaps six times higher. The government reports that London is already 40 percent non-white. Taking illegals into account, I would be surprised if the city is not already majority non-white.
This summer, I spent several days in London, and saw first-hand how the city is changing. In three days I dealt with only two native English people. Everyone else was a foreigner. Every time I visit England I find less English culture. No more the jolly Cockneys and polite, friendly English people with ever a joke or witty word. No more the Cockney “clippies” on the buses clipping your tickets. They were well known for their chirpy manner and sense of humor. Instead, everywhere you turn there are dour, miserable-looking Indians or blacks.
The first native English person I met sold me a ticket to the Underground after I left Heathrow Airport. At my hotel, there was a foreigner at the check-in, probably Middle Easterner. The waiters in the dining room looked Middle Eastern.
I went across the road to buy a few things. The shop was owned and staffed by Indians. The next day I caught the Underground to Tottenham Court Road, one of London’s most popular shopping areas near Picadilly and Leicester Squares in central London. The train was full of non-European foreigners. Some may have been tourists but most were clearly residents.
As I walked towards Leicester Square, I bought a theatre ticket for the “Phantom of the Opera.” The ticket kiosk was staffed by a surly, bored Indian. At Leicester Square I visited a souvenir shop and bought a present — a toy London bus, made in China. The shop was staffed by Chinese who were, at least, pleasant and served me with a smile. I had a snack at a teashop. It was owned and staffed by foreigners, but they seemed to be Italians.
The next day I visited Harrods, one of the world’s oldest and most famous department stores, now owned by Egyptian Mohammed Al Fayed, whose son Dodi was Princess Diana’s lover and died with her in the 1997 car crash. Many if not most of the staff were non-European foreigners.
I visited a snack bar where another foreigner served me tea. At least she was European, probably Italian. The usher who showed me to my seat for “Phantom of the Opera” was black, though with an English accent. The two maids who cleaned my hotel room were Muslims, complete with robes and headscarves. The day I left London, I met my second Englishman, at the British Airways check-in at Heathrow.
The British appear to believe that these foreigners “enrich their culture,” and that life goes on otherwise unchanged. In fact, foreign incursions are undermining what was once British. A minor but typical example is the decline of “Fish and Chips.” This was traditionally the most popular “quick meal,” or fast food, for which the British were well known. No longer. Curry is now the most popular fast food.
What is reputed to be the biggest mosque outside of a Moslem country recently went up in St. John’s Wood, one of London’s toniest neighborhoods. There are already, or soon will be, more mosques in England than active Anglican churches.
Muslims commonly butcher animals in the back yards of suburban houses and in the common areas of apartment blocks. They claim their culture requires this, as do the Arab sheiks who refuse to wear crash helmets on motorcycles, as required by English law. Helmets will not fit over their headdresses, and they must not be without them.
Britain was once a model of safety and orderliness, but Third-World immigrants have brought a serious crime problem. There are now African ritual murders, in which people are harvested for body parts in order to make “muti” or black magic. Foreign gangs have shootouts in broad daylight, and the famous “bobbies” who never carried guns are now routinely armed.
As I was writing this, BBC news reported that “men” were arrested in the north of England for possible terrorist activities. Ever coy, the BBC said nothing about their race or background. One had to turn to the police report to learn that “It is alleged Dhiren Barot, Mohammed Naveed Bhatti, Abdul Aziz Jalil, Omar Abdul Rehman, Junade Feroze, Zia Ul Haq, Qaisar Shaffi and Nadeem Tarmohammed conspired together with other persons unknown to murder other persons ... and commit public nuisance by the use of radioactive materials, toxic gases, chemicals and/or explosives to cause disruption, fear or injury ...”
As if crime and alien practices were not enough, immigrants insist on “outreach,” “study commissions,” and constant vigilance against “racism.” There are endless discussions in Parliament and the press about immigrant complaints and what the British must do about them.
About four years ago, the government appointed an “English” lord, Bhiku Parekh, as co-chairman of something called the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain. Among other things, the commission recommended that British history no longer be taught from a British perspective but from the “colonized” people’s point of view. Lord Parekh broadcast his findings on the BBC in a heavy Indian accent.
|The bulldog spirit is dying.|
For centuries, Britain was a great power, spreading its culture around the world, because its people acted with a common will, purpose and strength of character. Today’s Britain is undermined by foreigners of different races and beliefs, many of whom have no allegiance to the country.
Fortunately, many in Britain are beginning to awaken to the crisis they face. Eighty percent of the British people (and 52 percent of non-whites) say they want the government to get tough on immigration, and there is reason to hope their rulers will respond.
In spite of all the attempts by the ruling political establishment to destroy it with accusations of racism, the British Nationalist Party (BNP) — which fiercely opposes non-white immigration — enjoyed considerable success in local elections this year, winning more than 800,000 votes and 21 council seats. The BNP’s strongest support comes from whites in urban areas hardest hit by the alien invasion.
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has also come out strongly against mass immigration into Britain (although it disavows any racial motive for this, claiming it just wants to preserve Britain’s culture and national resources). It pledges to crack down on border enforcement, deport illegal aliens, limit the number of legal immigrants and require them to assimilate to British norms. UKIP won 12 seats in the European Parliament last June and is now Britain’s fourth most popular political party. Even the Conservative Party appears finally to be waking up to the threat mass immigration poses to Britain. In October, Tory leader Michael Howard promised that if elected, he would withdraw from the 1951 UN refugee convention, crack down on illegals, and also put strict annual limits on the number of legal immigrants allowed into the UK. Independent groups, such as Migration Watch UK, have also joined in the fight to keep Britain British.
Speaking of the courageous RAF pilots who won the Battle of Britain in 1940, Winston Churchill famously declared that, “Never before have so many owed so much to so few.” Should Britons of the current generation rise to the challenge they face, their descendents will perhaps declare this their “finest hour” and look back on them with equal gratitude.
Terrence Jackson writes from Spain.
‘This Century is Ours’
Jorge Ramos, The Latino Wave: How Hispanics Will Elect the Next American President, HarperCollins, 2004, 257 pp., $24.95.
It is ironic that only writers at the “ex-treme” recognize the truth about how immigration is transforming this country. Jorge Ramos, a Latino anchorman for Miami-based Univision — along with Telemundo, one of the big two Hispanic television networks — finds it “fascinating” that he and Pat Buchanan cite the same population statistics. Yet while Mr. Buchanan tries vainly to awaken his countrymen to what is happening, Mr. Ramos taunts them that it is too late: “the flow of immigrants is unstoppable, like it or not.” “The United States is becoming a Latino nation.” “We are everywhere, and there is no occupation or activity in this country that escapes our influence. This century is ours.”
Mr. Ramos, like anyone who looks for them, has the statistics to make his claim credible. He points out that each year brings roughly 1.5 million new Hispanics into the United States via birth and immigration. If this continues, Hispanics, who are now 13.5 percent of the U.S. population will be 36 percent by 2125 and will outnumber the 35 percent that are non-Hispanic whites. Mr. Ramos trumpets this as “one of the greatest demographic transformations ever,” and finds it “unfathomable” that “many people haven’t even noticed that it is happening.” It certainly is unfathomable.
| Jorge Ramos does not
look very mestizaje.
Mr. Ramos argues that the “Latino wave” is different from earlier ones in three ways: it is larger, it cannot be stopped, and it will not assimilate. That it is unstoppable is something Mr. Ramos seems to assert to demoralize nativists. After showing that immigration, both legal and illegal, continued unabated in the aftermath of the 2000 recession and the September 11 terrorist attacks, he declares that nothing can stop it: “Nothing — not the National Guard, not higher walls, or stricter laws, or greater vigilance, not even the worst terrorist attack in the history of the United States ... Nothing.” Yet elsewhere Mr. Ramos concedes it could be stopped: “A radical, xenophobic politician could attempt to close the southern border of the United States using military force or some sort of new advanced technology.” He thinks this very unlikely.
Mr. Ramos points out that there are three models for how immigrants join society: assimilation or Americanization, the melting pot (immigrants and natives produce a hybrid population), and the cultural mosaic (immigrants retain their identity and culture). Mr. Ramos enthusiastically embraces the last model. He thinks Hispanics will remain different, will continue to speak Spanish (though he encourages them to learn English), and, in a process he calls Latinization, will change America more than America changes them. Hispanics are not like other immigrants for several reasons: They come from nearby countries, continuing immigration reinforces their cultural and ethnic loyalties, Spanish-language media are booming, there is easy communication across borders, and international travel is cheap and common.
At the same time, Mr. Ramos defiantly insists Latinos — he prefers this term to Hispanics — are as authentically American as anyone. How can they be authentic if they are transforming America? Because the American identity has no history, language or culture. To be an American is to be pro-immigration, and nothing more: “I believe that this country’s two main characteristics are its acceptance of immigrants and its tolerance of diversity. These things are what bind us together; we’re here thanks to these unifying principles. That’s what it means to be an American.”
Presumably, those of us who do not want limitless “diversity” and unending immigration are not Americans. Ours must be the only country in the world in which first-generation immigrants pompously tell those of us whose ancestors have been here for hundreds of years what it means to be “American.”
In any case, Mr. Ramos assures us that an American is already much like a Latino, because both are defined by mestizaje (“a mixture of races and languages”). The United States is already a mestizaje jumble, and Americans should recognize and appreciate this.
|They could keep them out.|
But if Americans have no identity other than a love of immigration, do Latinos have a distinct identity? Mr. Ramos struggles with this, even throwing up his hands and crying, “What the hell are we?” He makes the usual claim that Latinos have stronger “morals and family values” than other Americans (in fact, their rates of illegitimacy, divorce, child-abuse, abortion, venereal disease, AIDS, and crime are considerably higher than those of whites — see “The Myth of Hispanic Family Values,” AR March, 2004). He explains that “Hispanic” emphasizes geographical origin, while “Latino” the Spanish language, which he believes is essential to Latino identity. He finally settles for mestizaje: “Hispanic identity is a mixture” — with the exception that the Spanish language is essential to it, while English is irrelevant to American identity.
In fact, distilling Hispanic/Latino cultural norms is not that difficult. Even Mr. Ramos recognizes Latin America’s distinctive problems: political instability, corruption, authoritarianism, militarism, extremes of wealth and poverty, bad education, overpopulation, controlled economies. Mr. Ramos admits that these failures are what drive immigrants north, but cannot bring himself to recognize that they constitute the very identity he has such trouble defining.
Inadvertently, he even recognizes that Latinos are bringing their social inequalities with them. He writes about a ski vacation in Vail, Colorado, where he noted with pride how many wealthy, upper-class Mexicans were on the slopes, while the help — cooks, maids, trash collectors, day-care workers — were all lower-class Mexicans, without whom “Vail would grind to a halt.” He finds it “strange and sad” that Mexican attitudes (contempt from above, submission from below) are repeated in Vail.
|Ours must be the only country in the world in which first-generation immigrants pompously tell those of us whose ancestors have been here for hundreds of years what it means to be “American.”|
Another Hispanic habit that crosses the border is high birth rates. For all his posturing, Mr. Ramos cannot cite a single contribution Hispanics have made to America besides spicy food and more people. It seems that for certain peoples — Arabs, Hispanics — breeding is a form of warfare, even of revenge. If they cannot measure up to their neighbors, they can at least outnumber them.
Mr. Ramos has a typically Hispanic disrespect for American sovereignty. He thinks no one on earth needs obey our immigration laws. Anyone who wants to should get in any way he can. Lying on visa applications and staying in the country after visas expire are fine. Illegals should be able to get driver’s licenses, and their children should get medical treatment and in-state tuition. Anything else is “discrimination,” and he calls for a brown-black “alliance” to fight it. Whites and the government constantly “maltreat” immigrants, he warns us. If that is so, why do they come? Because their rulers maltreat them even more? This is hardly an argument for increasing Latinization.
Victimology and ethnic chauvinism pervade this book. Mr. Ramos bears a grudge against the Bush administration for rejecting Mexican President Fox’s proposal for open borders. “Latinos remember this,” he warns. He was deeply offended when, a few days after Mr. Bush claimed the United States had “no more important relationship in the world” than with Mexico, he praised Great Britain as America’s “truest friend.” Great Britain supported the American invasion of Iraq while Mexico opposed it, but that means nothing. Mr. Ramos believes that as long as the United States has a southern border, Mexico owes the United States nothing.
Mr. Ramos argues that American immigration policy is driven by the demands of agribusiness and service industries for cheap labor. He is right to point out that if illegals are law breakers, so are the people who hire them. He correctly describes US immigration policy as “confused, counterproductive, contradictory, and largely ineffective.” He surmises that the government’s “true policy is to silently permit a certain level of illegal immigration so that certain segments of the American workforce can continue to operate,” and that US elites are satisfied “leaving things exactly as they are.”
|Demographic weapon unleashed.|
Mr. Ramos repeats all the immigrationist clichés about how the American economy would collapse without a steady influx of newcomers. These arguments are especially effective against Republicans, who are the chief employers of immigrants. The GOP never tires of telling us Hispanic immigrants do work no one else will. Naturally, no one wants to do it at the low wages that result from the very immigration that is said to be so indispensable. On the other hand, if Hispanics are such willing workers, why is the Hispanic unemployment rate 50 percent higher than the white rate? Why is the Hispanic welfare rate twice the white rate?
But if the United States really needs a class of menials, why all the talk about educating them, making them citizens, and giving them the vote? Won’t they grow up to disdain the work their parents did? This is a recipe for endless immigration, overpopulation and constant cultural upheaval. In fact, things are even worse. Many children of Hispanic immigrants disdain manual labor even though they have been slow to learn the skills necessary for better-paying jobs. Unlike other immigrant groups, Hispanics tend to slide backwards from one generation to the next, with higher rates of welfare use, illegitimate birth, and school failure.
| Americans will do this
for the right wage.
Another Ramos/Republican argument is that we need immigrants to pay the social security for our aging population. Mr. Ramos cites the Maestro himself, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, testifying along these lines before Congress. But who will support the immigrants when they are old? Yet more immigrants, of course. The truth is that manual laborers pay very little into Social Security, and will take more out when they retire. Only more high-paid jobs will keep Social Security afloat. But the more-immigration theory is fine with Mr. Ramos, for it means more “Latinization” and more “browning.” He boasts that “Latinos will put some color in the concept of white, so that white will be darker in America than it will be in Europe.”
Mr. Ramos reassures anyone with reservations about the current influx that immigrants make us all richer. In fact, most immigrants are poor — that is why they come here — and poor people burden society. In 2000 alone, post-1969 immigrants consumed an estimated $61 billion more in government services than they paid in taxes. In 1996, every immigrant family in California swallowed up an average of $6,145 in state, federal, and local spending over and above what it paid in taxes. And these are the people who are going to make us rich and bail out Social Security?
The tone and nature of Mr. Ramos’s arguments leave no doubt that if the coming decades really do lead to a “Hispanic century,” and he and his kind gain real power, they will exercise that power to their own exclusive advantage — and they will do so without hesitation or compunction.
John Sims is the pen-name of an American who is descended from British colonists.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Six in ten babies born in New York City since 2000 have at least one foreign-born parent. In 2000, the foreign-born population of the city stood at 2.87 million, 36 percent of the total. If their children are included, foreigners account for no less than 55 percent of the city’s population. The largest groups of foreigners are Dominicans, numbering 369,200; Chinese at 262,600; Jamaicans at 178,900; and Guyanans at 130,600. More than a third of the city’s black population is now foreign-born. The number of Mexicans, consisting almost entirely of illegal immigrants, quadrupled between 1990 and 2000, from 32,689 to 122,550. Other fast-growing groups include Bangladeshis, whose population quintupled, and Pakistanis, whose numbers rose by more than 250 percent. Natives are leaving; there were 5.2 million in 1990, but only 5.1 million in 2000. The white population dropped from 62 percent in 1970 to 35 percent in 2000. Thirty-four percent of the total population under the age of 18 are Hispanic, 29 percent are black, 24 percent white, and 10 percent are Asian.
Sixty-six percent of the foreign-born who immigrated legally were let in because they were relatives of US citizens, 14 percent were refugees, 10 percent came on work visas, and eight percent won the diversity lottery (see “The Green Card Crap Shoot,” AR, Sept. 2004). Forty-eight percent of the foreign-born cannot speak English proficiently. This includes 76 percent of Mexicans, 75 percent of Chinese, and 70 percent of Dominicans. Foreigners are three times more likely than natives to live in overcrowded housing: 25 percent versus 7.5 percent. Sixty-six percent of Mexicans, 61 percent of Bangladeshis, and 38 percent of Dominicans live in crowded conditions. [Nina Bernstein, Record Immigration Is Changing the Face of New York’s Neighborhoods, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2005. New York City Department of Planning, Population Division, The Newest New Yorkers: Immigrant New York in the New Millenium, October 2004.]
Last December, the Houston, Texas, public school system — the nation’s seventh largest — appointed its first Hispanic superintendent, Dr. Abelardo Saavedra. He will administer a district that has 300 schools, 30,000 employees, 210,000 students, and an annual budget of $1.3 billion. Dr. Saavedra is a good match for the district. Sixty percent of Houston’s students are Hispanic, 32 percent are black, and only eight percent are white. [Steve Barnes, Texas: Hispanic to Lead Houston Schools, New York Times, Dec. 10, 2004.]
Your Taxes at Work
The federal government requires all local governments that receive federal funding to offer language services for non-English speakers. If 3,000 people or 10 percent of the population in an area speak a foreign language, the locals must translate documents into that language. Non-English speakers are also entitled to interpreters. Alexandria, Virginia, subscribes to a national telephone interpreting service called Language Line, which offers more than 100 languages. Common foreign languages cost $1.60 per minute, but exotic languages like Bengali cost $3.69. The monthly interpreter bill for the Alexandria police department alone often reaches $3,000. There is a poster in Alexandria’s Department of Human Services advertising free interpreting. It is in 12 languages, including Amharic and Swahili. [Brigid Schulte, Communities Struggle to Break Down Language Barriers, Washington Post, Jan. 27, 2005.]
Alameda County, California, which includes Oakland, wants to make sure immigrants use all government services. Many people who qualify for food stamps do not get them, so the US Department of Agriculture has given the county $125,000 to boost enrollment among Asians who do not speak English. The county tried the same thing with Spanish speakers. They found that many illegal immigrants thought the government would deport them if they applied for welfare. Hispanic non-citizens also did not realize their children qualified for food stamps even though the parents didn’t. The county sent outreach workers to tax-preparation and nonprofit agencies, and increased Hispanic food stamp use by 15 percent. [Meredith May, A Boost for Food Stamps, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 25, 2005.]
Stories about fights between black and Hispanic students at high schools appear in newspapers all over the country. Some fights involve so many people that they could be called race riots. On November 20, a black-Hispanic brawl broke out at Jordan High School in South Los Angeles. Police estimate as many as 1,000 people took part when a fight between two girls spread through the campus. Local gang-members joined in, and it took about 60 policemen in riot gear to break up the fray. The school was locked down for several hours, as were two other schools in the area, for fear the violence might spread. [Fight at Local School Turns Into Chaos, ABC 7 (Los Angeles), Nov. 20, 2004.]
|Wanted at the local high school.|
More violence quickly followed. Three days later, there was a fight between 100 blacks and Hispanics at Manual Arts High School. Dozens of officers, some in helicopters, restored order. A week later, black students broke the jaw of a Hispanic student in front of Crenshaw High School. Police arrested one student for the attack, which the high school’s principal called a “hate crime.” Police believe the three incidents were connected: Students who fight at one school call their friends at other schools and encourage them to fight. Since then, there have been a number of small skirmishes. The schools already had police officers on campus, but increased their numbers from two, to six or seven.
Students think interracial dating caused the riots. A Hispanic girl said, “When I was dating a black guy, I had a lot of racial comments. Their most common thing is, ‘Stick to your own kind.’” [Hector Becerra, Schools Beef up Patrols After Fights, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 3, 2004.]
There are similar problems at Hug High School in Reno, Nevada. It has traditionally had a large black minority, and blacks resent a recent surge in Mexicans. Hispanics are now 54 percent of the school, blacks are 10 percent, Asian/Pacific Islanders (some from Tonga) 9 percent, and whites 33 percent. The school is very violent: In a two-month period to mid-October, there were 112 suspensions, including 34 for fighting. Hispanics and blacks accounted for 79 percent of the suspensions.
One student says there are three or four fights a week between blacks and Hispanics. Tongans also fight, but whites do not. Many fights start because students flash gang colors, and the school has set up a task force, which includes one Tongan, to stop interracial violence. [Geralda Miller, Hug High School Works to Resolve Racial Tensions, Reno Gazette-Journal, Oct. 15, 2004.]
In Chicago, police made seven arrests after a brawl in January between black and Hispanic gang members at Washington High School. Two thugs attacked teachers who were trying to break up the fight, and police had to use a Tazer to control one student. The teachers’ union says many teachers feel unsafe; it has been pressing the district to increase security. [William Lee, Gang Brawl Breaks out at Southeast Side High School, Daily Southtown (Chicago), Jan. 12, 2005.]
On April 5, 2004, three eighth-grade black girls at Maxine O. Bush Elementary School in Phoenix knocked down a Hispanic girl named Gloria Galeno and repeatedly kicked her. The three black girls have been convicted of assault and disorderly conduct. The parents of the Hispanic, who think the attack was racially motivated, threatened to sue the school district for $25 million, and asked the local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for help. LULAC demanded that the principal be fired for failing to protect Hispanics, and later threatened a boycott if he were not removed. “We are going to talk to Hispanic parents, and we will ask them to pull their kids from Bush school, and we will shut down the school,” said a LULAC official. [Betty Reid, 3 Girls Found Guilty in Beating of Hispanic Student at Bush, Arizona Republic (Phoenix), Jan. 21, 2005. Latino Group Warns it will Pull Schoolkids, Arizona Republic, Jan. 7, 2005.]
Muslims in Hillsborough County, Florida, want schools closed on Eid al Fatr, the Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, noting that there are school holidays for Christmas and Easter. Schools will stay open, but the school board reaffirmed its policy of excusing students who miss class for religious reasons, and asked teachers not to schedule important events on Muslim holy days. It also said it would consider observing Muslim holidays if the number of Muslim students keeps growing. [No Holidays Added for Muslim Students, Herald (Miami), Jan. 20, 2005.]
The Chicago Police Department requires each of its 14,000 officers to watch video tapes on how to deal with non-Christians. Videos on Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus note, for example, that many Sikhs wear a small sword under their clothes, that Orthodox Jews may refuse to move illegally parked cars on Saturdays, and that non-believers may not take pictures in Hindu temples. The videos also tell officers not to eat non-Kosher food in a synagogue or ask a Sikh to take off his turban in public.
Muslims approve. “This is not just a superficial thing,” says Kareem Irfan of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. “It [the training] has changed our community’s relationship with the police to the extent that people are beginning to see the Chicago Police Department as an ally rather than an opposing force.”
The Chicago PD has sent copies of the videos to the police chiefs of the nation’s 50 largest cities. “Police need to know about diverse communities, and people out there need to learn our tactics,” says Superintendent Philip Cline. [Videos Teach US Police about Non-Christians, Palm Beach Post, Jan. 23, 2005.]
Race in Cuba
The following is from the “Lonely Planet” travel guide for Cuba:
“Although Cuba prides itself on freedom from racial discrimination, visitors of non-European origin are more likely to attract the attention of the police and other officials than a white might. Tourists of African, Asian and Arab origin have a better chance of being asked to show additional documentation at the airport or of receiving that borderline traffic ticket. Latin visitors with a somewhat Cuban appearance may have to show their passports to enter hotels and other places from which ordinary Cubans are barred. Cubans of African origin are far more likely to be hassled by the police at beaches, discos, and even streets frequented by tourists than are other Cubans, though there doesn’t seem to be any resentment over this. Mixed-race couples, especially black-white mixes, face constant problems if they’re traveling independently, as the black partner will be taken for a prostitute.”
A British tourist traveling with his black British girlfriend reports that Cubans assume she is a jinetera (prostitute) hanging around a wealthy foreigner and that many restaurants and hotels have refused to admit them. “It has gotten to the point where she cannot walk anywhere without her passport ready,” he says.
“I had trouble all over the place,” says a black tourist. “Whites being nicely treated and blacks asked what the hell they’re looking for in whatever establishments... I honestly would not recommend Cuba to non-white tourists, at least not for the next decade or so.” [David Stanley, Cuba, Lonely Planet Publications (Melbourne, Australia), 2000, p. 104.]
Apples and Oranges
Many medical researchers ignore race because they think it is not an accurate genetic indicator, but a recent study proves them wrong. A team lead by Neil Risch, genetics professor at Stanford, examined the genes of 3,636 people who identified themselves as either white, black, Hispanic, or East Asian. Without knowing how the subjects classified themselves, the team searched their genetic profiles for racial patterns. Four clear clusters showed up, corresponding to each of the racial groups. It is especially significant that Hispanics formed a distinct group, since most Hispanics are a mixture of Indian, white, and black. Upon further examination, the researchers found that Asians could be broken down into Chinese and Japanese subgroups. The DNA matched the subjects’ own reported race in all but five cases, for an error rate of just 0.14 percent. This was by far the largest study of this kind, and Dr. Risch says it proves racial classifications are a sound and cost-effective way to determine genetic differences. [Hua Tang et al., Genetic Structure, Self-Identified Race/Ethnicity, and Confounding in Case-Control Association Studies, American Journal of Human Genetics, Feb. 2005, pp. 268-275.]
Doctors are learning they need to consider race when they treat disease. Heart specialists at the University of California were puzzled by Chinese patients who were diagnosed with a dangerous heart disease called Long QT Syndrome, but showed no symptoms. Because the diagnostic technique was developed for whites, they ran a new study that included Asians, and found that the diagnosis that works for whites does not work for Asians. Asians who tested positive for Long QT had a benign form of the condition, and had been treated unnecessarily for years. Other Asians, who had tested negative, actually had the disease. One doctor commented: “I cannot stress how important it is to have accurate matches when you are dealing with genetic issues. You need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges.” [April Lynch, Case Reflects Influence Ethnic Differences Have on Genetic Medicine, Knight Ridder Newspapers, Dec. 27, 2004.]
The planetarium of the Virginia Living History Museum in Newport News, Virginia, will celebrate Black History Month with a special program on weekend afternoons called “Follow the Drinking Gourd: A Quest for Freedom.” Based on a children’s book of the same name, it tells the story of a slave family’s journey northward on the Underground Railroad using the constellations — particularly the Big Dipper or “Drinking Gourd” — as their guide. The program highlights art by the book’s author, Jeanette Winter, as well as “traditional” African music, Negro spirituals, and, of course, the Lovey Williams song, “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” [Allison Brunner Medeiros, Freedom Stars, AAA World, January/February 2005, p. 18.]
Grade School Sex
In January, we reported that an 11-year-old sixth grader at a Philadelphia middle school raped one of his male classmates. That same week, police charged a 12-year-old boy with forcing an 8-year-old girl to give him oral sex behind an elementary school in West Philadelphia, and in December, two Philadelphia kindergarten boys — one of whom was just five-years-old — were caught simulating oral sex on each other in a restroom. As was the case with the sixth-grade rape, the parent of one of the kindergarten boys is blaming the school. “You are trusting the teacher, you are trusting the school to protect your child, and look what happens,” says Viviana Sweeney.
During the 2003/2004 school year, Philadelphia public school students committed 310 indecent assaults, 56 indecent exposures, 10 rapes or attempted rapes, and 86 other acts of sexual misconduct. This figure is down 20 percent from the 2002/2003 school year, but 145 of the incidents — nearly a third — were in elementary schools. Schools are installing surveillance cameras and posting patrols in hallways. They will also begin psychologically screening for students who misbehave sexually, and will train staff to be on the lookout for them.
Teachers blame parents for the way students behave. Paul Vallas, the Philadelphia school district’s chief executive officer, says, “When you have children as young as first grade engaging in sexualized behavior, that wasn’t learned in the school.” School principals say they have overheard students talking about what they saw in pornographic videos and on pay-cable channels. School officials once found a salacious note written by a fifth grader that was so sophisticated, they thought an adult had written it. The boy was just describing pornography he watched at a friend’s house.
Other experts say society is to blame, because there is more and more sex on television, in movies, on the radio, online, and at home. “The stuff is available at their fingertips,” says Jill Levenson, a professor of human services at Lynn University in Florida. “That is really going to change the development of a whole generation of youth.”
“The more children are exposed to adult-like sexual behavior, the more likely they are to try some of that on,” says Thomas Haworth, a Philadelphia expert on sexual violence. [Susan Snyder, Shocking Sex Acts in Schools, Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 19, 2004, p. B1.]
America has two economies, according Robert Justich, a senior director at Bear Stearns Asset Management: the legitimate economy, in which workers report income and pay income taxes, and the underground, off-the-books economy. The underground economy has an output of $970 billion a year, and it is growing at 5.6 percent, faster than the legitimate economy.
It is growing because more people hire illegal aliens, about half of whom work off the books. The unreported wages of illegals cost the government $50 billion a year in taxes, and the underground economy is growing at the expense of the legitimate one. Low-wage, off-the-books illegals are so attractive to employers that four to six million jobs have moved from the legitimate to the underground economy. In California, active retail permits have been stable over the last several years despite rapid population growth; new retailers are simply joining the underground economy rather than start legitimate businesses.
The Bear Stearns report finds evidence that there are far more illegals than the official estimate of 8.5 million. The government says that between 1995 and 2000, the number of Mexicans in the US rose 56 percent. However, during the same period, remittances to Mexico jumped 300 percent, suggesting a much larger increase. The census says the population of the New Jersey cities of Newark, New Brunswick, and Elizabeth — all popular immigrant destinations — increased by 5.6 percent between 1990 and 2003, but the number of housing permits given out each year increased six fold. Eighty percent of the new permits were for apartment buildings and duplexes. This suggests much higher population growth than the census found. Mr. Justich of Bear Sterns estimates that there are 18 to 20 million illegal aliens in the United States, and that they hold 12 to 15 million jobs.
Lax immigration enforcement policy has encouraged the underground economy. In 2002, there were fewer than 1,000 arrests for hiring illegal aliens, down from 18,000 in 1997. This may change: The IRS hired 2,200 enforcement personnel last year, so arrests should go up. [Jim McTague, Going Underground, Barron’s, Jan. 1, 2005.]
The Jornalero Problem
In 1977, Florida passed a law prohibiting anyone from knowingly hiring illegal aliens, but rarely enforced it, especially after 1986, when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which made hiring illegals a federal crime. The feds hardly ever enforce IRCA, however, and when they do, it is against large employers like Tyson Foods or Wal-Mart, rather than small contractors who hire jornaleros, or day laborers.
The jornalero problem in Lake Worth, Florida, has gotten so bad police are dusting off the old state law, and have told would-be employers they face a $500 fine for the first offense and misdemeanor criminal charges if they keep hiring illegals. They say contractors looking for workers, and immigrants who surround their trucks are a traffic hazard and threaten public safety. Spanish-speaking men once mobbed a woman who stopped to shop for picture frames. Some of them jumped in her car, thinking she was looking for workers. On Janurary 26, police began handing out warning notices to roofers, landscapers and others who were cruising for jornaleros.
Immigrant-lovers are predictably outraged. “It’s another troubling sign that the welcome mat has been pulled from under these communities,” complains Cheryl Little of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center in Miami. “What the police are doing is fining the employer, but hurting the people who want to work,” says Lucio Perez Reynoso of the Guatemalan-Mayan Center in Lake Worth. “It sounds like pure harassment.”
A local immigration lawyer says the police should not try to act “as the Border Patrol,” and should just give out traffic tickets to anyone who blocks streets. Even Mayor Rodney Romano, who supports the policy, says it probably won’t work, and that the city should consider building a day labor center and dormitories to house the city’s 15,000 to 20,000 jornaleros. He also supports Pres. Bush’s guest-worker/amnesty scheme.
The city may have trouble enforcing the state law because IRCA preempts state and local laws. “We are going to send them a letter saying this state law has no force or effect,” says lawyer Jim Green, who handles cases for the ACLU. Greg Schell of the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project adds, “There will be plenty of lawyers out there licking their chops to sue Lake Worth on behalf of anyone arrested under this law.”
Residents of another Florida town are also fed up with jornaleros. On January 29, 50 members of the Jupiter Neighbors Against Illegal Labor took to the streets to protest a proposal to build a “resource center” for illegals. “This country is not indestructible,” says organizer Bill Burton. “My motivation is to protect what my ancestors built.”
Not everyone is so sensible. There are about 130 jornalero hiring centers in the country. [Bill Douthat, Hiring of Day Laborers Off Street Targeted, Palm Beach Post, Jan. 27, 2005, p. 1B. Bill Douthat, Lake Worth Labor Crackdown Challenged, Palm Beach Post, Jan. 28, 2005, p. 3B. Pamela Perez, Foes of Day Laborer Center in Jupiter Protest, Palm Beach Post, Jan. 30, 2005.]
German Birth Dearth
If current trends continue, the population of Germany will fall from 82 million to 24 million by the end of the century. Even with its current rate of immigration — 230,000 a year — the population will shrink by 700,000 during just the next 15 years. By 2050, the number of children is expected to fall by 12 percent, and a third of Germans will be over age 65, double the current proportion. “There will be 10 million fewer young people in my lifetime,” says Frank Schirrmacher, who has written a best-selling book about German demography called The Methuselah Conspiracy. “Our whole infrastructure is designed for a bigger population,” he says, noting that Germany already has too many schools, hospitals and even roads.
The decline in birthrates began after birth control pills became widely available in 1967. Within five years, the lifetime fertility rate dropped from 2.5 to 1.5, and has drifted down to the Italian and Spanish level of about 1.3. Mr. Schirrmacher says such low rates will bring about “the first societies in human history with more older people than children.”
|More important than babies?|
Why don’t Germans have more children? “The biggest reason is financial,” says Slobodanka Jovanovic, mother of two, who says she will not have a third child. “We don’t get enough support from the state.” She also thinks Germans don’t appreciate children, noting that her neighbors complained when her first child cried at night. “They want their houses, they want their cars, they want their peace.” Thorsten Schoenhoff, whose wife is expecting twins, agrees. “They want a Mercedes, and it costs so much that they can’t afford a child.”
Saskia Schenck, 35, may be a sign of change. She has just given birth to her second child, but is already thinking about a third. “In our generation of Europeans, there are far too many families with one child,” she says. [Mark Landler, Empty Maternity Wards Imperil a Dwindling Germany, New York Times, Nov. 18, 2004.]
|Singapore wants more.|
When Singapore gained independence from Britain in the 1960s, large families were the norm, with women having on average of six children. Worried that the population of the island city-state was growing too fast, the government adopted a “Stop at Two” policy, with taxes and other incentives to reduce family size. This policy was particularly effective with educated women. The government was alarmed by the dysgenic effect, and tried to encourage educated women to have more children, but with no success. As Singapore’s economy boomed in the 1970s and 80s, more women became educated and entered the workforce, and the birthrate continued to fall. Singapore now has one of the lowest birthrates in the world: 1.25 children per woman.
The government views low fertility as a national crisis. It has reversed course and now offers working mothers three-month paid maternity leaves, several thousand dollars in “baby bonuses,” and tax breaks for child-care. [Ellen Nakashima, Trying to Boost Birthrate, Washington Post, Sept. 26, 2004.]
Tuberculosis is endemic in many parts of the Third World, but had largely disappeared in the West until immigrants brought it back. Although highly infectious — and sometimes fatal — it is easily cured with antibiotics, if the patient submits to a full course of treatment. Patients who stop taking medicine before the bacteria are eradicated risk developing antibiotics-resistant strains of TB and pose a greater public health threat.
Feliciano Morelos, a 19-year-old Mexican farmworker and TB carrier living in California, infected 56 people, prompting public health officials to order him quarantined. He refused the order, so police arrested him for endangering public safety. Mr. Morelos, the first person jailed in Santa Barbara County for refusing to obey an isolation order, was being held in a special jail cell with air filters to keep him from infecting other inmates. [TB Carrier Jailed, AP, April 4, 2004.]
In October 1996, during a St. Petersburg, Florida race riot after a white policeman shot a black criminal, 17-year-old Emory Carter, tried to burn down the Trinity United Methodist Church. He botched the job, only doing $750 in damage, and setting his pants on fire. Police arrested him for arson after he flagged down paramedics to treat his burns. Mr. Carter, who is black, then wrote a letter to Trinity’s congregation, saying, “if I could I would rebuild the church ... I am truly sorry.” The pastor, a white man named Joseph Teague, asked the court to be merciful, describing Mr. Carter as a teenage boy “caught up in the moment.” Instead of sending him to prison for two years, the judge sent him to a camp for wayward boys. Mr. Carter did not do well. He got into several fights and once sent another boy to the hospital. After he wracked up 30 violations in just one week, the judge who had agreed to be merciful sent him to prison.
Six months after his release in July 1999, Mr. Carter robbed and murdered Mike Kelley, a white man with AIDS. Mr. Carter stabbed him with a fork and a pocketknife and beat him with a motorcycle helmet before strangling him. Mr. Carter was convicted of first-degree murder last September.
At his sentencing on Dec. 17, Mr. Carter showed no contrition, lashing out at the judge and the family of the man he killed. He demanded that Judge Brandt Downey give him the death penalty, yelling, “F — you! Give me my sentence so I can get the f — out of your ugly face.” At one point, he spat toward the judge, calling him a “filthy dog.”
When the victim’s sister, Tina Kelley, began to read a statement, he screamed, “Shut your mouth, bitch!” and told her the family was to blame because her brother had AIDS and a drug problem. When Judge Downey sentenced him to life in prison instead of death, Mr. Carter erupted and had to be forcibly removed by bailiffs.
After the sentencing, Miss Kelley said of the man who killed her brother, “There’s a special place in hell for him. And I hope he finds it.” [Chris Tisch, A Second Chance Dissolves into Life in Prison, St. Petersburg Times, Dec. 18, 2004.]
Diversity in Britain
The Birmingham Repertory Theatre in Birmingham, England, prides itself on controversial productions. On Dec. 9, it put on Behzti (which means dishonor in Punjabi), written by a Sikh woman, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti. The action, including a rape and murder, takes place in a Sikh temple, and Sikhs are outraged. They say the play is sacrilegious, and demanded a rewrite or cancellation. The theatre refused.
|A Sikh “bobby.”|
On Dec. 18, 1,000 Sikhs from all over Britain protested, pelting the theatre with eggs and smashing windows. A group managed to get inside, storm the stage, and stop the show. The theatre had to be evacuated, and rioters injured three policemen.
Sikh leaders refused to apologize for the violence, insisting that the theatre incited the riot. They were joined by the Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, Vincent Nichols, who said, “In recent weeks the Sikh community has acted in a reasonable and measured way in representing their deep concerns to the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. I regret that the Repertory Theatre, in the interests of the common good, has not been more responsive.” Two days after the riot, the theatre’s executive director, Stuart Rogers, reluctantly canceled the play, pointing out that because Sikhs would not promise to stay away, he could not guarantee the safety of the audience. Sikhs were delighted.
Tony Blair’s Labour government, which is courting the Sikh vote, explained away the violence. Home Office Minister for Race Equality, Fiona MacTaggart, said the protestors were just exercising their right of free speech, “which is so much part of the British tradition” and “as important as the free speech of the artist.” The incident came just as Parliament is considering a bill that would make incitement of religious hatred a crime punishable by seven years in prison. If the bill passes, it may be illegal to put on a play like Behzti. [Nick Britten, Sikhs Storm Theatre in Protest Over Play, Telegraph (London), Dec. 20, 2004. Nick Britten, Violent Sikh Demo Forces Theatre to Cancel Play, Telegraph (London), Dec. 21, 2004. Government Should Denounce Protest, Observer (London), Dec. 22, 2004.]
Browning of Britain
During the 10 years between 1991 and 2001, the number of non-whites in Britain grew from 3 million to 4.6 million — accounting for 73 percent of population growth — and now makes up more than eight percent of the British population. Anne Power, professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics, says the non-white population is increasing rapidly because of mass immigration of young adults and high birth rates.
The number of African blacks living in Britain increased by 120 percent, to 485,000, about the same as the number of Caribbean blacks. Bangladeshis were up by 73 percent to 283,000; Pakistanis increased 57 percent to 747,000, and the number of Indians living in Britain increased by 25 percent to just over a million, making them the single largest non-white group. In contrast, the number of whites increased by 600,000, or just 1.2 percent. Non-whites like to live in London. More than 78 percent of Africans live there, along with 60 percent of Afro-Caribbeans, 54 percent of Bangladeshis, and 42 percent of Indians.
How are white Britons reacting? Just like Americans — they are clearing out. Prof. Power found that areas with the largest influx of non-whites saw the largest exodus of whites. Also like America, Britain has fewer all-white areas to which whites can flee, now that non-whites are spreading out across the country. “We are getting polarization and a growing racial divide at one level but dispersal at another,” says Prof. Power. [Richard Ford, Race Divide in Big Cities Widens as Whites Move Out, The Times (London), Dec. 8, 2004, p. 5.]
The media love to run stories accusing cab drivers of racism because they don’t like to pick up young black men. There are good reasons for this — fear of being robbed being the most obvious — but according to a study in New Haven, Connecticut, by a group of economists, blacks are also bad tippers. The study found that 40 percent of blacks do not tip at all, compared to just 10 percent of whites. Drivers who serve black passengers can expect 8.6 percent less income than those who serve whites.
The study also found that black drivers are stiffed more often than whites — 80 percent more often — and that they get only about two-thirds as much in tips as whites, which leave them with 6.6 percent less income than whites. (The study said nothing about whether black drivers were more likely to have black passengers.) [Ian Ayres and Barry Nalebuff, Race, Tips, and Economics, Forbes, Nov. 1, 2004, p. 136.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — Could you help me, and probably other readers who live in Europe, by explaining just what the various terms Hispanic, Latino, Chicano and Mestizo signify, and also say what, broadly speaking, is the ancestral makeup of the race(s) so described? It is puzzling because the (until recently) all-white natives of Spain itself and the Basque country are not strinkingly different in appearance from other Europeans.
If the Hispanics are in large part descended from the pre-Colombian indigenous population of the Americas, were there really so many of them, and was there such massive interbreeding, as to create a distinct new race from their very different forebears?
Anthony Young, London, England
“Hispanic” and “Latino” mean the same thing: people from Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain. In the United States, Hispanics are therefore considered an ethnic group rather than a race, though the majority are brown-skinned Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. Some Mexicans living in the United States call themselves “Chicanos.” Most are relatively recent immigrants, but some who have been here for several generations also call themselves Chicanos.
“Mestizo” is a Spanish word meaning “mixed,” and refers to Latin Americans of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry. Mestizos can run from almost pure Indian to almost pure European, and many Latin American countries have different terms to describe the extent of mixture. Latin American populations vary greatly in racial composition. Paraguay and Bolivia, for example, are heavily Indian whereas Argentina and Costa Rica are mostly European.
Although many Brazilians are a mestizo mix of European and Amerindian, they are not officially Hispanic because Brazilians speak Portuguese. There is no firm rule as to whether they are entitled to racial preferences, but if they are dark-skinned they may receive preferences in the name of “diversity.” Some of the complexities of American racial classifications are discussed in the article “Who Is White?” in the Jan. 2002 issue of AR, available at our web site, www.AmRen.com. — Ed.
Sir — I appreciate Jared Taylor’s January review of the fine work done by Dr. Frank Salter. Mr. Taylor notes: “Dr. Salter proposes federalism if ethnies cannot be unscrambled.” However, financial incentives to achieve social goals established by government are common. Relocation is common. Therefore it is practical to offer incentives to move one group to another location. What is not practical is the endless drain on society due to ethnic conflict.
In my view, the reason for family loyalty, and more particularly, a mother’s love for her children, is natural selection. Mothers who don’t care for their young have been selected out. Racial loyalty is a different matter. The races evolved in geographic isolation and did not have significant contact before the rise of agriculture.
Selection for racial loyalty cannot operate in the absence of contact. Tribal loyalty, nationalism, and patriotism, unlike a mother’s love, may not be instinctive and may require indoctrination. That would explain its decline in the West, because it is not likely our genes have changed recently. Of course, conserving our genetic heritage is important whether it is instinctive or not.
Perry Lorenz, Fort Collins, Colo.
Sir — It is a good idea for people and institutions to check their premises, as Ayn Rand used to say. In the December 2004 O Tempora item entitled “The 11th Hour,” you assume AR readers should oppose admitting Turkey to the European Union. Why? AR’s stated purpose is to promote and defend the interests of whites. At the top of its agenda is to keep Europe and its biological overseas offshoots as white as possible. But Turks are indistinguishable physically from southern Europeans, and no one has ever doubted that they are white. In fact, because Turkey has received nearly no non-white immigration, its inclusion in the European Union would increase the proportion of its population that is white.
So, clearly, we have two agendas, a cultural agenda, to defend Western civilization, and a biological agenda, to defend the White race; in this case they are opposed. Indeed, it is an empirical fact that Orientals are more assimilable into Western civilization and more valuable citizens than Muslims, even if the Muslims are blue-eyed blonds, as many Muslims in the Balkans are. That may even be true of Indian Hindus.
Another question: What about Western civilization are we defending against Islamic inundation? Surely not Christianity. Most Europeans do not even believe in a personal God. In “The 11th Hour” you quote the French prime minister, who warns that “the river of Islam will enter the riverbed of secularism.” In the January 2005 issue O Tempora item, “Vlaams Blok, RIP,” you seem to approve of the newly-formed Vlaams Belang’s proposal to deport people who reject “European values like separation of church and state, freedom of expression, and equality between men and women.” In the Netherlands, anti-immigrant crusaders defend homosexual rights against immigrant “intolerance.” But then, as defenders of Western civilization we should also oppose Protestant fundamentalists and Catholic conservatives, which would be absurd.
I am raising questions that I think are important, but I do not have answers.
Prof. Steven Farron, Johannesburg, South Africa
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