|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 17, No. 5||May 2006|
The Island Race Debate
Britain begins to awake from a drugged sleep.
It is something of a cliché to say that “the world changed” when those airliners hurtled into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. And yet clichés sometimes become clichés because there is truth in them. I believe the Sept. 11 attacks signaled the beginning of the end of multiculturalism, and that in retrospect they may even come to be seen as a turning point in the global ethnic struggle for space and self-determination.
In the years after 1948, when large-scale immigration into the UK began again for the first time since the Norman Conquest almost 1,000 years ago, there had been a consensus on immigration. There had been a fondly-held hope uniting the mainstream left and right that immigration policy wasn’t really important compared to budget deficits, ownership of public utilities, free milk for schoolchildren, and the sex lives of politicians. There was a belief — grounded in always dubious, now increasingly discredited, sociology and a kind of vague collective guilt — that human beings were infinitely malleable and interchangeable, and that anyone who came to Britain would sooner or later become, as another cliché put it, “as British as you or me.”
Of course, there had always been pessimists. The Conservative Party was once full of them, from Enoch Powell (see “No Representation,” AR, May, 2001) down to the 40-odd MP patrons of the Monday Club (first established in the early 1960s in opposition to overhasty decolonization) in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Such people, with their suggestions of looming conflict, were easily dismissed, just as human beings always dismiss Jeremiahs.
The infrequent large-scale race riots — Notting Hill (1976), Brixton (1981), Broadwater Farm (1985) in London, and Toxteth (1981) in Liverpool — were ascribed to deprivation, unemployment, youthful high spirits, a shortage of skateboard parks, and that all-purpose standby, white racism. The new ideal of multiculturalism was supported by new laws to criminalize freedom of association and what had once been respectable opinion, and by the creation of a whole new public sector devoted to promoting it. In the 1970s, the recently-deceased Daily Telegraph columnist Michael Wharton invented the term “race relations industry.” He was amazed to see life imitating and even surpassing his art.
The ever-louder rumblings of racial problems — muggings, drive-by shootings, ethnic gang fights in streets and even school yards — could be ignored because they were confined to areas our leaders scarcely visited. And even the increasingly frequent race-related complaints, misunderstandings and legal cases were all seen as essentially unrelated stories with no policy implications. No one wanted to consider the possibility that mass immigration might have been a grievous mistake. Everyone thought it was responsible and statesmanlike not to discuss the subject. Everyone had forgotten Enoch Powell’s 1968 warning: “To see, and not to speak — that would be the ultimate betrayal.” Those who did feel doubts swallowed them, or voiced them tentatively, only to backtrack and apologize in the face of liberal wrath.
People who had played important roles in permitting mass immigration retired from public life laden with honors, or were given generous obituaries when they died. As recently as the mid-1980s, even Margaret Thatcher, an intelligent woman, a genuinely patriotic prime minister, and an admirer of Enoch Powell, was saying that Muslim immigration was good, because the Muslim work ethic and family values would be examples to the rest of us.
The ruling ideology amounted — and still amounts — to a series of cartoons of lions lying down with lambs, and heterogeneous children holding hands in fields of endless sunshine. Skeptics came to be regarded as evil, and were visited with insult and even legal sanctions, but by 2001, even our leaders could no longer entirely ignore the monster sitting in the drawing room.
2001 had already been a disquieting year for those who liked to talk about vibrancy and diversity. That summer saw large-scale race riots in Bradford and Burnley (see “Oldham Erupts,” AR, July 2001). These riots, the first serious racial disturbances for some years, and which were followed by unprecedented British National Party (BNP) success in some areas, were sufficiently alarming for even the present government to set up a special enquiry. When the Director General of the BBC called the Corporation “hideously white” there was much outrage, and he had to apologize.
These events, too, would have been swept under the ever-lumpier drawing room carpet had it not been for 19 men who believed that by killing thousands of infidel Americans they would go straight to a paradise of sherbet fountains and willing virgins.
The next five years have been sometimes confusing and contradictory; just as some people were opening their eyes to the crisis, others pushed multiculturalism to even more foolish extremes. I will cite only a few of many possible examples of the events of the period, but I think they give a flavor for the present state of the island race debate in the UK. There has been a great deal of zigzagging since Sept. 11, but on balance there has been real progress.
On the morning after the attacks, the Paris newspaper Le Monde famously declared “We are all Americans now.” Later disagreements damaged this new European-American understanding, but the shocking sight of those iconic buildings crumbling made at least a few Western opinion-makers wonder whether, just perhaps, there was something called the West, and that it might be worth preserving. Furtively and almost against their will, some even seem to have begun to think, “We are all Westerners now.”
As one leading leftist, the head of the Institute of Public Policy & Research, said: “We will look back on the year 2001 as the year when the story of diversity and tolerance was exposed as a fiction.” Former Thatcher adviser and long-time opponent of mass immigration, Sir Alfred Sherman, wrote in the October Right Now! that “the 11 September attack is both a turning point and a link in a long, centuries-old chain.”
David Blunkett, then Home Secretary, suddenly began to emphasize the importance of Britishness, and why we needed “common values” and citizenship tests. Both Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Minister Jack Straw started to talk about withdrawing from EU and UN refugee commitments, and Mr. Blair promised to deport half of all asylum-seekers within the year. Labour MPs in the north of England began wondering whether liberalism was compatible with Islam, and why mass immigration meant importing poverty. To add more fuel to the fire, the 2001 census was the first to show whites becoming a minority in certain areas. Twenty towns and cities had electoral districts where whites were a minority. They were a minority in 116 of the 8,850 electoral wards in England and Wales, and in two whole London boroughs, Newham and Brent.
Widely-publicized opinion polls in December 2001 suggested that almost no Muslims would fight for Britain, while about 50 percent would fight for Osama bin Laden. “We don’t perceive ourselves as British Muslims. We are Muslims who live in Britain,” said one.
A radio program on the ultra-left BBC Radio 4 was called “Is it time for racism to become acceptable?” Of course, the answer was no, but even to ask the question was a sign of a subterranean shift in possibilities. Nor were Mr. Blair’s promises about asylum-seekers and refugees fulfilled (although there has been some recent action), but the promises themselves were reminiscent of old Monday Club manifestos and even BNP policy. In this new climate, the EU’s Action Plan Against Racism, which proposed far-reaching powers to ban racism, suddenly seemed reactionary, even an embarrassment.
In 2002, the momentum continued. After decades of near-silence on immigration, there was a spate of high quality books on the subject. The half-Indian Times journalist, Anthony Browne, began with his fine Do We need Mass Immigration?, which a horrified David Blunkett called “bordering on fascism.” Myles Harris of Ireland followed up with the ominously titled Tomorrow is Another Country. Then came Ashley Mote’s Overcrowded Britain, which had an enormous impact on the policies of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), and was at least partially responsible for that party’s electoral breakthrough in the European elections of June 2004.
Meanwhile, after a lifetime defying reality, the ultra-left mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, felt compelled to set up a special body to investigate the poor educational attainments of black boys in London. In June, when Tony Blair’s wife Cherie said that a Palestinian suicide bomber who had just murdered 19 people in Israel was just one of those “young people who feel they have got no hope but to blow themselves up,” she met widespread condemnation.
2002 was significant in another way: a record number of people — 120,145, a 33 percent increase on the preceding year — became naturalized British citizens.
In 2003, there was no let-up. There was the terrible, widely-publicized death of a little black girl, Victoria Climbie, beaten and starved to death by an aunt and her lover in east London. Social workers were overwhelmed by sheer numbers of asylum seekers (nine percent of the population in that part of London), and the 160 ethnic groups and languages with which they had to cope. White social workers and a doctor who had noticed the abuse of the little girl were reluctant to interfere because they did not want to be thought racist, but as the presiding judge of a subsequent inquiry noted dryly, “This is not an area in which there is much scope for political correctness.” Sunday Times columnist Minette Marin was beginning to see the truth: “The murder of Victoria Climbie seems to me, in some part due to this country’s long and shameful failure to address our problems of immigration and multiculturalism.”
Another little black girl, Toni-Ann Byfield, was shot dead along with her drug-dealing stepfather by other blacks, but attempts to reduce gun crime among young blacks were less than successful. As journalist Tim Lott explained in the Evening Standard in September: “There was a council forum about the shooting of Toni-Ann Byfield in my neighborhood this week … About 60 people turned up. Only three of them were black.” Mr. Lott found this puzzling until he hit upon the obvious explanation: “I can only imagine that local government forums are seen as overwhelmingly white and middle-class.”
The government made a half-hearted attempt to require that new Britons be at least faintly British. Prospective citizens would be “required to show a basic knowledge of the country’s history, institutions, and values like toleration, fair play, freedom of speech and of the press.” They would not have to speak proper English so long as they were studying it. Anyone who failed could stay in the country and re-sit the test. In the same speech, David Blunkett played both sides of the street by denouncing “trendy liberal multiculturalism.”
In October, the BBC actually dropped a mixed-race newsreader because he sounded too white and middle class. In December, a 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of provoking racial hatred simply for displaying a BNP sign inside a school bus. At the same time, Daily Telegraph columnist Barbara Amiel wrote that current immigration and multiculturalism policies were “a dog’s breakfast.” She recalled there had been a time when immigrants “did not expect the larger community to accommodate their dress preferences, their dietary needs, religious holidays and laws. They took it for granted that they would pay whatever price there was for their self-exclusion from the larger society.”
It was a sign of changing times when, in a December national poll, 31 percent of Britons described themselves as “racist.” As an anguished letter-writer to the leftist Observer noted: “Since the everyday racist routinely disavows his/her status with such phrasings as ‘I’m not racist but’ we can safely assume that far more than 31 percent are effectively racist.”
Meanwhile, 124,315 foreign nationals were granted British citizenship in 2003, a three percent increase on 2002.
2004 proved to be a remarkable year for race-realists. The economic arguments for immigration were savaged by Migrationwatch UK, an immigration-skeptic think tank led by a former diplomat, Sir Andrew Green.
In February, the influential leftwing magazine Prospect also published articles — written by two Marxists! — attacking the economic arguments for mass immigration. Its editor, David Goodhart, went on to criticize multiculturalism. Trevor Phillips of the Commission for Racial Equality, who is black, rounded on him, asking: “Is this the wit and wisdom of Enoch Powell? Are these the jottings from the BNP leader’s weblog? … Nice people do racism too.”
Yet, by April 3, Mr. Phillips had changed his tune, telling the Times that “multiculturalism suggests separateness” and should be scrapped. He went on to say that the UK should strive towards a more homogeneous culture with “common values … the common currency of the English language, honoring the culture of these islands, like Shakespeare and Dickens.”
This surprising statement prompted yelps of pain from the left, and surprise on the right. A few cynics suggested Mr. Phillips’s remarks were a ploy, devised to reassure disquieted Britons that the government — Mr. Phillips is a renowned Blairite — is not hopelessly ‘soft’ on race. Most observers seem to think he was making a sincere, if confused, attempt to come to terms with what are increasingly being recognized as real problems with ominous implications.
Liberal Rod Liddle wrote of this volte-face in the Spectator: “The rest of us might have suspected that multiculturalism was officially dead on 12 September 2001; but to hear multiculturalism disavowed, in public, by an organization hitherto dedicated to its propagation is something else entirely.”
An unlikely hero came to the fore in 2004, in the shape of civil servant Steve Moxon. He had been working at the Managed Migration section of the Home Office in Sheffield, and noticed that many visa applications were approved without being checked. After fruitless attempts to interest his superiors, he went to the Sunday Times. The resulting uproar resulted in the resignation of the minister concerned, and the publication of The Great Immigration Scandal (see “Exposing the British Immigration Bureaucracy,” AR, June, 2005).
Robert Kilroy-Silk wrote a Sunday Express article entitled “What do we owe Arabs? Nothing!” in which he called Arabs “limb amputators, women repressors and suicide bombers.” He went on to ask, “Apart from oil, which was discovered, is produced and paid for by the West — what do they contribute? Can you think of anything?” The BBC was horrified, and suspended Mr. Kilroy-Silk from a chat show, but the electorate promptly voted him into the European Parliament as a member of UKIP. In the same elections, the BNP failed to get into the Euro-Parliament, but made a strong showing with over 800,000 votes.
In a March poll that year, 13 percent of British Muslims said they believed further Sept. 11-style attacks on the US would be “justified.”
Rock star Eric Clapton gave an interview and refused to apologize for having said in 1976 that “we should vote for Enoch Powell,” and that Britain should “stop becoming a colony.” He said that he still thought the “outrageously brave” Powell “was making sense.”
In another remarkable development, a Daily Telegraph editorial in May attacked mass immigration, calling it “neither desirable nor necessary.” The summer saw major riots in Peterborough between Asian gangs, starting, ironically enough, at a “peace” festival in the city.
In July, Rod Liddle, caused a fuss with an Evening Standard article called “Why must I respect Islam?” “Why must we respect what other people believe?” he asked. “In fact, if we consider a certain belief stupid or wicked or vicious, isn’t it our moral and civic duty to contest it without worrying that we might soon be serving seven years in an open prison for inciting religious hatred? Am I now compelled by the law to have respect for Scientology? … Am I inciting religious hatred when I suggest that the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, was a self-deluding charlatan and his followers as mad as a box of frogs?”
“Islamophobia” continued to gain respectability. The Daily Telegraph spoke for many when it noted in July that “an extreme Christian believes that the Garden of Eden really existed; an extreme Muslim flies planes into buildings — there’s a big difference.”
It emerged during 2004 that over 150,000 people a year were moving out of London. In some boroughs, more than one in 10 families had moved out. Yet London’s population had risen by 627,000 to 8.3 million in the previous decade.
The prominent intellectual and one-time Oxford liberal, David Selborne, could not find a British publisher for his new book, The Losing Battle With Islam, because editors were afraid of Muslim retaliation. The American publisher Prometheus stepped into the breach.
Enforcing multiculturalism in police forces was proving to be tricky. The Cambridgeshire police offered the director of the Ipswich and Suffolk Commission for Racial Equality a job as head of its diversity program, but had to withdraw the offer when he turned out to be an illegal immigrant. The country’s first black chief constable, Michael Fuller, vowed that the top priority for his Kent police force would be fighting “racial discrimination within the police.” Protecting the public would have to come second. The Detective Chief Inspector running Scotland Yard’s £20m Diversity Training Initiative was removed after allegations of racist behavior.
At the same time, two white policemen sued Scotland Yard for racial discrimination, claiming they were investigated for wrong-doing when an Asian doing the same thing was not. The Police Federation said white officers were “queuing up” to sue the Metropolitan Police.
In August, black columnist Darcus Howe wondered why there was conflict between West Indians, Asians and Africans. His conclusion? They are just imitating white people: “It is inevitable that among immigrants and their offspring, copycat divisions would appear.”
In September election campaigning, both sides tried to sound tough on immigration. Michael Howard of the Conservatives noted that “net immigration to Britain has averaged 158,000 people a year for the last five years,” and warned that according to the government’s predictions, “Britain’s population will grow by 5.6 million people over the next 30 years.” He added that growth of this kind has “important public policy implications, which no responsible political party could — or should — ignore.”
Tony Blair was not to be outdone. He wrote in the Times on September 16 that “There remain genuine concerns about how our asylum system operates … raising such concerns is neither extremist nor racist.”
Meanwhile, more than £150,000 of tax money went to teach civil servants in Wales to avoid expressions like “Dutch courage,” “manila” (which reportedly means “a bangle used to buy slaves”) “bulldozer” (a man employed to beat slaves), “poll tax” (it kept blacks from voting), “nit-picking” (examining slaves’ hair for lice) and “maverick” (which might offend anyone who worships cattle).
In October, some schools showed a new video about Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, Divali, and Ramadan’s Eid-ul-Fitr festival but did not mention Christmas. The producers said it was “easy” to find out about Christmas.
In November, in the wake of Prospect’s ground-breaking February article, another leftist magazine, the New Statesman, officially endorsed immigration reform. In an article called “The Fewer the Better,” David Nicholson-Lord wrote: “We dare not discuss population growth lest we be called racist. Yet wouldn’t lower numbers give us a gentler, less materialistic Britain?”
The New Statesman was not exactly demonstrating early insight. The number of citizenships granted in 2004 set another record: 140,795.
In December, writing in the Times,Anthony Browne denounced the “war on Christmas.” “Almost no companies and few individuals send cards with any religious message,” he wrote. “For the third consecutive year Christmas postage stamps will be Christless. A quarter of schools will not have Nativity plays, and almost as many have banned carols.”
The Queen’s traditional message broadcast by the BBC every Christmas Day is never intellectually demanding, but in 2004 it set new lows by calling for tolerance and diversity. Fortunately, that year the Queen’s message had its smallest audience since television became widespread — it was seven million as opposed to 20 million in 1991 — and various Lord Lieutenants, the Queen’s official representatives at local level, said they were inundated with protests.
Not even ultra-lefty Ken Livingstone escaped accusations of “indirect racism” when he introduced a system of charging fees to drive in Central London. The course director at an “equalities training” seminar for Greater London Authority staff said the policy meant traffic was routed to places with large ethnic minority populations, and that some Asian shopkeepers in central London might go under because of lost business. As the Times’s Mick Hume, a former Marxist, put it: “In the bad old days, Britain used to be racist. Now we’re just obsessed with race.”
The new year started bleakly, with the announcement that the Lake District National Park would abolish free, guided walks conducted by volunteer rangers because they attract only “middle-aged, middle-class white people.” The Football Association destroyed thousands of DVDs after complaints that there were no blacks on its list of England’s best postwar international players.
A hint of spring came when a backbench Labour MP broke with his party and said that economic migration should be halted. Roger Godsiff said that “enough is enough,” and “I do not believe that economic migration is any longer necessary and I also don’t think it is going to be good for the future of race relations in this country.” Home Secretary Charles Clarke put him in his place with the official position: “We want more migration, more people coming to study and work. We want more people coming to look for refuge.”
In February, three Tory councillors in Norfolk refused to take part in a £10,000 diversity training program. “I will be the first to refuse to do it. I am English and proud to be English,” said one. Another said that as a “white, straight man born in Norfolk,” he was “one of the most downtrodden people in this country.”
The following month, the ubiquitous Trevor Phillips of the Commission for Racial Equality suggested that black boys might have to be segregated in order to improve school performance. Meanwhile, Sir David Calvert-Smith, a former prosecutor, warned of resentment among police officers because of diversity training: “There is a real potential for backlash, particularly amongst white officers …”
This was hardly surprising. In June, all 11,000 Greater Manchester police officers received a letter saying “this force will not tolerate sexist, racist, homophobic or other discriminatory behaviour. You should be very clear that unless there are extreme extenuating circumstances, you are likely to be sacked — whatever your position in GMP — if you are seen to behave in this way.” Meanwhile, in London, three white police officers won £90,000 compensation in a race discrimination case. An employment tribunal ruled that Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, “hung them out to dry” after an Asian female officer accused them of racist behavior. Almost simultaneously, members of the BNP were banned from joining the police.
On July 7th, the bombs went off in London, killing 56 people and injuring about 700. Arguably, this was not as shocking as Sept. 11, because sensible people had long warned of such attacks. Yet there were some, like then-Spectator editor Boris Johnson, who wondered how British-born assassins, “as British as Tizer [a soft drink that has been around since 1924],” could have done it. His wonderment at the bombings has not, however, curbed his enthusiasm for Turkish entry into the EU.
London mayor Ken Livingstone said the attacks were not “against the mighty and the powerful,” but against “working-class Londoners.” Presumably, it would have been fine if the bombs had gone off in Kensington, or the Houses of Parliament.
By August, according to the Independent, intelligence sources were warning the government that “Britain faces a full-blown Islamist insurgency, sustained by thousands of young Muslim men with military training now resident in this country.” Even so, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick insisted that “Islam and terrorism don’t go together.” Charles Moore summed up the angst-ridden official view of Islam in the July 9 Daily Telegraph: “We flap around, looking for moderates and giving them knighthoods, making placatory noises, putting bits of Islam on to the multi-faith menu in schools, banishing Bibles from hospital beds, trying to criminalize the expression of ‘religious hatred,’ blaming George Bush and Tony Blair.”
Meanwhile, the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) reported that just 76 of its 204 staff (37.3 percent) were white. Conservative MP Philip Davies urged that the £20 million bureaucracy be abolished. The Commission has been charged with racism by its own staff six times in the last five years, and 20 times in the preceding five years.
In August, the Church of Scotland’s most senior official, Moderator Rev. David Lacy, said extremist Muslim clerics should leave the country, saying they were “hypocrites” who treat their neighbors as enemies. He also accused radical Islamists of speaking out “against us from within” while receiving “heart operations and care on our system.”
South of the border, a group of senior bishops said in September that the Church of England should arrange a meeting with Muslim leaders to say sorry for the Iraq war. Catholics were not so soft-hearted. In the same month, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, said he would not want large numbers of Catholic children brought up in the “particular atmosphere” of Muslim schools. His remarks were echoed by Tom Butler, the Bishop of Southwark, who said he would never send children to a Muslim school. He said: “I think the particular insight of Islam … is not mine.”
The same month, it was estimated that 240,000 UK citizens of all ages are leaving the country every year. At a packed exhibition for aspiring emigrants, one visitor said people give many reasons for leaving but the most common is “bloody immigration” — “but such words are whispered in hushed tones as though frightened that they will be overheard.” One exhibitor added that Britons are being replaced by people “who have no means of support; people who have no home, no skills, who aren’t able to contribute in any way.” He added that the newcomers “have a cultural background wholly alien to that of the indigenous population. It is frightening.”
Still in September, perhaps by coincidence, London’s emergency services decided to hire linguists to translate emergency calls into 150 languages, because three million of London’s eight million inhabitants are not native speakers of English.
In October, there were yet more race riots, this time of Asians against blacks in Birmingham.
In November, Britain’s first black Archbishop, who regularly denounces racism within the Church of England, said that multiculturalism had left the English embarrassed about celebrating their true national identity.
In the same month, Trevor Phillips showed more confusion about multiculturalism. In an interview with Le Monde on November 12, he said the French identity was “rigid and crushing” — yet had succeeded in “asserting a national identity that everyone can more or less refer to.” He contrasted this with the UK, where “immigrants are given some space and flexibility to adapt and where the host culture takes on board some elements of the immigrant’s culture,” yet he had to admit that even what he called “the envy of Europe” was becoming more and more segregated.
In January, a festival to promote Muslim culture, which was partly funded by the government and opened by the Prince of Wales, refused to showcase the experiences of Muslim homosexuals. As one homosexual activist said heartrendingly “It’s a terrible thing when members of one minority attack members of another minority.”
Trevor Phillips got into trouble for giving advice to a recruitment firm that had broken the Race Relations Act by refusing to take on white candidates.
In one of the more bizarre racial preferences stories yet, Sgt. Leslie Turner was awarded £30,000 in an out-of-court settlement after suing Scotland Yard. Mr. Turner was the first black officer to be made a royal bodyguard, but was dropped from the force in the spring of 2005. He brought suit for “racial discrimination,” claiming he was over-promoted because he was black. If he had been white, he would have been given a job that matched his abilities. Mark Steyn summed up the problem in the January issue of the National Review: “In discriminating in favor of him because he was black, they in effect discriminated against him, also because he was black.”
The same month, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a new website aimed at promoting what it calls English icons, including the SS Empire Windrush, which brought the first West Indian migrant workers in 1948, the black Notting Hill Carnival, and the Brighton Gay Pride Festival. The public voted overwhelmingly for London’s black cabs, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the Trooping of the Colours, pubs, telephone boxes and cricket.
Towards the end of January, government figures revealed that one in seven people living in England — seven million — was non-white. In London, the non-white quotient was more than four in ten. The ethnic minority population had grown by 500,000 over two years.
Whatever the police do, or don’t do, they can’t win. In February, Mohammad Sarwar, the Labour MP for Glasgow Central, said he believed the Macpherson Report (see “Whites As Kulaks,” AR, Jan. 2002) on the murder of Stephen Lawrence, which found racism everywhere, meant that police are now afraid to investigate black and Asian crime for fear of being called racist.
The BBC insisted it would not scrap a forthcoming episode of a spy drama about terrorism despite suggestions it might antagonize Muslims. It explained: “This episode is not about al-Qaida — it is about a fictional Christian extremist who forms his own group.” That made it alright.
And yet, on the same day, another senior Christian, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, head of Scotland’s Roman Catholics, said of immigrants of other faiths, “I would also like them to realize that they are living in Scotland as a Christian country.” In November 2003, writing in the Mail on Sunday, Peter Hitchens wrote that “if we don’t respect our own customs and religion, we may end up respecting someone else’s.”
A Mixed Record
The record since Sept. 11 has been mixed, but all in all, there has been a massive shift in thinking about race. One could say that for the first time in a very long while, there has actually been some thinking about race.
This growing sensibility at home has been reinforced by international events: the Bali bombs, the Sydney riots, the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, continuing violence in Israel, the Chechen outrages in Beslan and elsewhere, the fallout from the Iraq war, the present situation in Iran, and the furor over the Danish cartoons, in which police looked the other way whil protestors in London carried placards calling for the decapitation and burning of infidels. Across all of Europe and the European-descended countries, people of all political persuasions are beginning to understand that our days are numbered unless we act now. At least a few liberals, like Oriana Fallaci, are grudgingly realizing that they share certain characteristics and concerns with Enoch Powell, Pat Buchanan, and Jean-Marie Le Pen. As a 2003 article in the Spectator put it: “We are all racists now!” A genie let out of the bottle cannot be easily put back, and taboos once broken cannot be remade.
For readers of American Renaissance the changes I have described may not sound like very much, but they are not nothing either. There is a very long way to go before we achieve satisfactory policies, but political change is always gradual, and piecemeal, and occasionally we may even seem to be getting nowhere. Despite setbacks, it seems to me that the intellectual (if not yet the moral) advantage is with the race-realists.
The key point to remember is that after decades of almost complete silence, even leftist journalists are thinking thoughts and saying things that were once the sole preserve of the despised and feared “far right.” It would be easy to write this off as cynical attempts to retain credibility, but human beings are more complicated — and slightly better — than that. While not all of these Damascene conversions should be taken seriously, it is possible that some of the more honorable among the formerly politically correct may truly regret what they have done to their country.
It is very, very difficult for people to admit they were wrong. This is why hardly anyone ever does! When it comes to immigration, multiculturalism and all the other aspects of modern race relations, the great and good have been woefully wrong. Despite their brilliance and insights in other areas, on immigration, even the best of our postwar leaders have been out-thought by taxi-drivers, plumbers, and street-cleaners. To eat humble pie, to go against the habits of a lifetime, to stand against the combined ideological currents of a lifetime — all these things must be very hard. We cannot expect them to come around all at once. They are still a little groggy after their decades-long drugged sleep. They will need encouragement to cast off their remaining doubts, and they will also need to be pressured into translating words into deeds. We should not expect them to thank those of us who always took a different view.
Nor should we crow about how “we were right” and “they were wrong.” We must be magnanimous in our moral victory, and try to work together with the best of the converts to salvage something of our common civilization.
Mr. Turner is the editor of Right Now. This article is adapted from his speech at the 2006 AR conference.
The Affirmative Action Hoax — Another View
Affirmative action did not always mean quotas.
Thomas Jackson’s review of Steven Farron’s The Affirmative Action Hoax helpfully summarizes many of its salient contentions but Mr. Jackson fails to point out some of Prof. Farron’s questionable interpretations and omissions. According to Prof. Farron, affirmative action (AA) was intended to be a quota-like program from the beginning. Thus, he describes heads of bureaucracies during the Kennedy administration scrambling to increase the number of blacks employees. Quota-hiring did become widespread, and it is easy to conclude that later AA practices were implicit from the days of John Kennedy, but things developed somewhat differently.
By 1960, most Americans accepted the view that blacks (10.5 percent of the American population) and whites (about 88.57 percent) were intellectually equal. The chief reasons blacks had not achieved at the white level were segregation and racism. Segregation existed mainly, but not exclusively, in the South, where most blacks still lived. The assumption was that once the bars of legalized segregation were removed, black achievement would rise to the white level in all areas.
Thus, the mantra of the civil rights movement remained unchanged: treat people without regard to race, creed, or color. In his special message on civil rights of Feb. 28, 1963, President Kennedy proclaimed, “Our Constitution is color blind.” On Aug. 20, 1963, he added, “I don’t think quotas are a good idea. I think it is a mistake to assign quotas on the basis of religion, or race, or color, or nationality. I think we would get into a good deal of trouble.”
Even Kennedy’s Executive Order 10925, which first uses the phrase, says “affirmative actions” will be taken “to insure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.” It was typical that during the 1963 March on Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of his children being judged by the content of their character, not by color. This was the reverse of today’s AA.
In the early 1960s, a few companies did hire blacks by quota, mainly to stop black boycotts. Examples were Sealtest in New York, and Pepsi, Esso, and Sun Oil in Philadelphia. When Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, its intent was to ban all race-conscious hiring, and the law’s backers made clear that racial imbalance in a workforce was not to be corrected through discrimination. Liberal Democrat Senator Hubert Humphrey assured the bill’s opponents, “There is nothing in it that will give any power to the Commission [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] or to any court to require hiring, firing, or promotion of employees to meet a racial ‘quota’ or to achieve racial balance … In fact, the very opposite is true … Title VII is designed to encourage hiring on the basis of ability and qualifications, not race or religion.” Other supporters spoke in similar terms.
Republican Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois likewise changed the bill’s wording to ban only “intentional” discrimination. Republican Senator John Tower of Texas revised it so that businesses could continue using job tests, like the popular General Aptitude Test Battery, even though blacks and whites did not get equal scores.
Despite these efforts, the Civil Rights Act would soon be turned upside down. This is not the place to describe the many lawsuits and threats of lawsuits that forced quotas on the nation. My point, in contrast to Prof. Farron’s view, is that most civil rights leaders in the early 1960s and certainly the legislators who voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 wanted to achieve equal opportunity by removing the bars of segregation and overt racism. They believed quotas would not be necessary because proportional outcomes would flow naturally.
After the 1964 act, the EEOC was bombarded with allegations of discrimination. Activists inside the commission did not want to investigate each case, because they were less interested in intent to discriminate than in outcomes. They assumed that even if blacks were not victims of intentional discrimination today, they were victims of past discrimination (segregated schools, poverty, etc.).
The pressure mounted for more jobs and promotions without delay. When protests and boycotts spread to the North, and when Black Power and Black Nationalism replaced the demand for civil rights, the movement changed. Non-violent, integrationist groups like the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee expelled their white members, abandoned non-violence, and demanded change “by any means necessary.” “Civil rights” now meant immediate hiring, immediate housing, and immediate promotions, with the threat of violence if that did not happen.
By the late 1960s the civil rights leadership had generally rejected equal opportunity and integration, in favor of the Black Power agenda. By 1968, the government under Lyndon Johnson began to yield to these demands, and initiated a quota plan for hiring blacks in the building trades of Philadelphia. However, in November 1968, Democrat Hubert Humphrey lost to Richard Nixon, and lame-duck President Johnson canceled the Philadelphia Plan. Quotas appeared to have come to an end with the election of a Republican.
Contrary to expectation, Nixon resurrected the Philadelphia Plan. When Democrats balked (white unions had helped elect many Democrats), the administration joined forces with the NAACP to pressure Congress, and the Philadelphia Plan passed by a close vote in the House. Quotas had been legalized. President Nixon then instituted quotas throughout the federal government, and later added women and other pet minorities.
There had been efforts to impose quotas prior to Nixon’s “surrender.” Some people who worked for the EEOC, mandated to enforce the 1964 Civil Rights Act, tried to administer the law as if it had banned testing rather than quotas. Leading this campaign was Alfred Blumrosen, who admitted that his “creative” interpretation of the act was contrary to the law’s “plain meaning.” He quickly persuaded the EEOC to send out questionnaires to companies to determine the racial composition of their work forces. If there were significant discrepancies between the percentage of blacks (and other minorities and women) and the general population, this was presumptive evidence of discrimination. No “intent” was necessary. The EEOC could sue to get preferential hiring for “under-utilized blacks,” and later for other minorities and women.
Even if a company had not discriminated, proving innocence in court was costly. Sears fought the EEOC and won, but victory was so expensive it made more sense to compromise. Business, university, and local government leaders settled out of court with the EEOC and agreed to hire and promote by quota. The losers in these proceedings were better-qualified whites, but what did the EEOC care about white policemen or firemen, or whites in general? By 1984, two members of the Civil Rights Commission, Mary Frances Berry and Blandina Ramirez could issue a joint statement proclaiming that the civil rights laws were not passed to protect white men, and did not apply to them. Later, when it was clear blacks were still unable to pass examinations at the same rates as whites, Eleanor Holmes Norton, head of the EEOC under President Carter, did everything to restrict or abolish testing — again in violation of the clear intent of the Civil Rights Act.
Because aptitude tests were so useful in choosing employees, the Reagan administration resorted to “race norming” so as to be able to continue using them despite the disparity in scores. Thus, a raw score of 35 might result in percentile scores of 35 for a white, 45 for a Hispanic, and 50 for a black. The employer would see only the percentile scores and, naturally, hire the black or Hispanic over the white. When this practice became known in the early 1990s it caused an uproar, and race-norming was banned. Prof. Farron argues that if employers must hire by quota, they might as well use race-normed aptitude tests, and at least get the best-qualified candidates of each race. I see it not only as unacceptable discrimination, but a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Employers also found they were barred from inquiring if an applicant had a high school diploma, had failed college courses, or had a criminal background. Tests of this kind were “discriminatory” because they were more likely to eliminate blacks than whites. No test that had a “disparate impact,” as it was called, was permitted unless it was very closely related to the job. It was often impossible to devise tests close enough to the job to satisfy the EEOC, so testing declined, but more blacks, women, and pet minorities got jobs.
To an astonishingly cynical extent, companies, governments, and universities have been forced in the name of “non-discrimination” to discriminate against whites and men. The courts have slowly backed away from some of the most egregious departures from the clear intent of the law, and a few whites have begun to win damages for the discrimination they have suffered. Prof. Farron is entirely right to denounce AA for the sham and scourge that it is, but its development was not entirely as he describes.
Mr. Murray was arrested in 1960, in the first lunch-counter sit-in in his native New Orleans. His “White Male Privilege: A Social Construct for Political Oppression,” which appeared in the Winter 1998-99 Journal of Libertarian Studies is a lengthier account of his views on AA.
Jews and American Renaissance
Time to clear the air.
I started American Renaissance 17 years ago in order to awaken whites to the crisis they face and to encourage them to unite in defending their legitimate interests as a race. To these ends, AR has deliberately avoided taking positions on questions about which racially-conscious whites are likely to disagree. Some of these have been foreign policy, abortion, the role of homosexuals in a white consciousness movement, and whether Christianity helps or hinders our efforts. By taking no position, AR has served readers who may be sharply opposed on these questions but who agree on the central importance of race, and are committed to our survival.
AR has likewise taken no explicit position on Jewish matters. Readers have always included both Jews and people who believe Jews play no useful role in a movement that promotes white interests. It has been my intent to emphasize questions crucial to our interests and on which we agree.
To put it more accurately, AR has taken an implicit position on Jews by publishing Jewish authors and inviting Jewish speakers to AR conferences. It should be clear to anyone that Jews have, from the outset, been welcome and equal participants in our efforts. There has always been a minority in the AR constituency that has criticized me and AR for welcoming Jews, and there has been another minority that has criticized me and AR for not denouncing the first minority. These groups have generally treated each other with polite reserve, and expressed their bitterness only among themselves or to me — as was proper.
There are other divisions within AR. There are Christians and atheists, Democrats and Republicans, evolutionists and creationists, and advocates of different foreign policies. There has been tension within AR on these questions, but always good manners.
That changed at the most recent American Renaissance conference. At least one participant told a Jewish conferee that Jews were not welcome. One participant well known for strong views rose to denounce Jews as the historic enemy of the European people. Another called him “a f***ing Nazi,” and stormed out of the conference hall.
There will be no more disgraceful behavior of this kind if people who attend AR conferences bear in mind that Jews have a valuable role in the work of American Renaissance, and are welcome participants and speakers. Anyone who thinks otherwise has the choice of staying home or keeping his views to himself.
AR does not, on the other hand, have litmus tests for subscribers or conference participants. There will always be disagreement and debate in our ranks on many issues, including the role Jews may or may not have played in creating the crisis we face. Some people in the AR community believe Jewish influence was decisive in destroying the traditional American consensus on race. Others disagree.
Gentile whites — without help from anyone else — have repeatedly shown themselves capable of egalitarian excess. The French Revolution, the Clapham abolitionists, John Brown and his backers, the miscegenist enthusiasms of the Grimke sisters and other radical integrationists are all products of purely gentile delusion. Even if it were possible to prove that Jewish influence derailed what used to be a healthy American racial consciousness, that is a historical question not directly relevant to what we must accomplish now.
Today, even groups that openly resist Jewish influence are deeply liberal-egalitarian. In 2005, the Presbyterian Church angered many Jewish groups by voting to divest itself of stock in companies it considered to be supporting injustice against Palestinians. In 2006, the Church of England voted to do the same. These churches are prepared to ignore the wishes of many Jewish organizations, yet their members are as relentlessly suicidal on race as any group in either country. Whatever its origins may have been — and they are hardly exclusively Jewish — white ethnomasochism has a life and momentum of its own.
The role of Jews in a society, the morality of abortion, the influence of Christianity, the appropriate foreign policy, and the place of homosexuals should all be discussed openly in a free society, all in their appropriate places. AR is not that place. We cannot afford dissension that distracts us from our goal.
We have vital work to do. Our civilization, our way of life, even our continuity as a distinct people depend on whether we succeed or fail. It is a distraction from our proper work to hunt for culprits, to blame others for our own loss of will.
We may still be a small minority, but we have history, human nature, and morality on our side. Success for us lies in demonstrating that our views are right, healthy and moral — and that liberal-egalitarianism is wrong and immoral; not in trying to “unmask” it as a Jewish conspiracy.
More Racial Hysteria in Britain
Former AR conference speaker under attack.
A new bout of racial hysteria has broken out in Britain over remarks by Frank Ellis, professor of Russian and Slavonic studies at the University of Leeds. Prof. Ellis has been a proponent of race realism for many years. In Nov. 1999, he published an article in AR called “Multiculturalism and Marxism,” in which he compared multiculturalism to communist totalitarianism, and in 2000 he spoke at the AR conference, delivering a speech aptly called “Racial Hysteria in Britain.” In 2002, he published a pamphlet called The Macpherson Report: Anti-Racist Hysteria and the Sovietization of the United Kingdom (see, “Whites as Kulaks,” Jan. 2002). The Macpherson Report was a British government investigation of a white-on-black murder that concluded British society should be completely restructured to eliminate “institutional racism.”
On February 24, the university paper, the Leeds Student, published an interview with Prof. Ellis, in which he said he was an “unrepentant Powellite” who supported the BNP even though he found it “a bit too socialist for his liking.” Books like The Bell Curve had convinced him beyond reasonable doubt that there were substantial racial differences in intelligence. He would support repatriation of non-whites from Britain if it were done humanely.
This produced the predictable outrage. A Leeds Member of Parliament urged the university to consider firing Prof. Ellis because his “extraordinary views” were “narrow-minded, intellectually bankrupt, morally reprehensible nonsense.” Five hundred students signed a petition calling for him to be fired. Hanif Leylabi, a member of the group United Against Fascism, said, “Knowing he’s a lecturer and that he holds views that black people are inferior and women can’t achieve the same as men, it’s disgusting and certainly not conducive to an academic environment.”
Far from being cowed, Prof. Ellis went on the offensive in the next issue of the Leeds Student. In “Time to Face the Truth about Multiculturalism,” he said the belief that all cultures are equal “requires the same hatred and willful refusal to confront evidence, logic, and history that characterised the individuals who believed Stalin had built a paradise on earth when in fact he had exterminated millions of so-called class enemies.” People who believe race is a social and political construct are “professional, serial liars.” He outlined the evidence that the average African IQ is 70, and said this was the reason the continent was characterized by “unbelievable corruption and stupidity, superstition and random savagery.” He suggested that popular musician Bob Geldof, who has promoted charity for Africa, should “go and live there and … not come back when you need medical treatment which is only available in the ‘racist’ West.”
Prof. Ellis also denounced the vilification of whites in the media. He pointed out that Jeremy Hardy, a radio host for the BBC, has said, “If you took everyone in the BNP and everyone who votes for them and shot them in the back of the head, there would be a brighter future for us all.” Prof. Ellis also noted that he had filed a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission against the Daily Telegraph for writing about “Georgia rednecks.” The PCC said the Telegraph had done no wrong. Prof. Ellis noted that if the Telegraph had referred to “Georgia niggers” the reaction would have been very different. Prof. Ellis later went on BBC radio and repeated his views.
On March 8, the University of Leeds released a statement saying that while Prof. Ellis’s views were “abhorrent to the overwhelming majority of [its] staff and students,” there was no indication he had violated university policies by discriminating against students because of race. The university was, nevertheless, investigating the “legal implications” of Prof. Ellis’s statements, and it asked him not to say anything more about race for the time being.
On March 17, 200 university students and staff demonstrated against Prof. Ellis. Former students claimed that he made comments about the inferiority of blacks and women in his seminars.
On March 27, the university announced it had suspended Prof. Ellis from teaching, and was considering punishing him. Its reasons? First, Prof. Ellis had violated the university’s values, which are those of a “civilised, 21st-century society,” which include “diversity, inclusiveness, equal opportunity, community, and mutual respect.” Prof. Ellis may also have put the university in violation of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 that requires public bodies to create good relations between different groups. Furthermore, Prof. Ellis had refused to apologize for the distress he may have caused students, or to admit that the question of race differences lies outside his academic area. Finally, Prof. Ellis had refused to refrain from talking about race in any setting in which he could be associated with the university — that is to say, in virtually any setting.
Prof. Ellis had a few defenders. One student said, “Dr. Ellis is forthright in his views, but certainly doesn’t try to impose his outlook on others, nor punish those who do not conform to his political outlook.” Dr. Munira Mirza, who teaches “multiculturalism and community relations” at the University of Kent, said, “Academics and students are resorting to lazy, blame-game discussion and not engaging in debate. I would rather disagree with him openly and explain why his theories do not stand up.”
This was not the first time Prof. Ellis has gotten in trouble with the university. When it was learned he was to speak at the 2000 AR conference, left-wing groups tried to get him fired. He received hate mail and phone calls calling him a “white pig” and a “fascist.” The university buckled under the pressure and told Prof. Ellis he could not, as he had planned, skip a class to attend the conference, because “the event [was] not an appropriate conference to attend during working time.” Dr. Ellis, a former special forces soldier, thwarted the university. He caught a plane from London early Saturday morning, managed to get to the conference in time to be the after-dinner speaker, flew home early Sunday morning, and made it back to the university for Monday classes.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
The debate over US immigration reform got off to a promising start in December when the House passed HR 4437, a bill that would decrease legal immigration by eliminating the Diversity Lottery, and would cut illegal immigration by building a wall across much of the Mexican border and punishing employers who hire illegals (see AR, Feb. 2006, “House Passes Immigration Bill.”) Now the debate moves to the Senate, which is likely to push amnesties and guest worker programs.
The debate in Congress has prompted massive marches across the country advocating amnesty for illegals and protesting the House bill. On March 10, 100,000 marched in Chicago, and between March 24 and 26, there were demonstrations across the country: 500,000 marched in Los Angeles; 50,000 in Denver; 20,000 in Phoenix; and 10,000 in Milwaukee. Over the next week, tens of thousands of Hispanic high school students in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada staged walkouts; on March 27, 36,000 students in Los Angeles alone skipped class, and 1,000 demonstrated outside city hall.
Mexican nationalism was much on display at the protests, with observers reporting as many Mexican as American flags. Many banners took a blatantly reconquista tone: “THIS IS STOLEN LAND,” “CHICANO POWER,” “THIS IS OUR CONTINENT NOT YOURS,” and “ALL EUROPEANS ARE ILLEGAL.” Some banners displayed Rep. James Sensenbrenner, author of the House immigration bill, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger dressed up in Nazi uniforms. [Karen Hawkins, Tens of Thousands March in Chicago to Support Immigrant Rights, AP, March 11, 2006. Hundreds of Thousands Rally for Immigrant Rights, AP, March 26, 2006. Student Immigration Protests Continue, AP, March 28, 2006. Michell Malkin, Racism Gets a Whitewash, WorldNetDaily, March 29, 2006. A Photo Summary of the Great March, Mexica-Movement. org.]
These rallies were hardly spontaneous expressions of outrage but were, instead, carefully orchestrated by Spanish-language radio and television. In Milwaukee, Spanish-language radio station WDDW 104.7 FM began promoting the march two weeks in advance. Afterwards, operations manager Armando Ulloa telephoned local businesses, asking them not to punish employees who skipped work. Telemundo Chicago began whooping the march 10 days before it took place. In Los Angeles, illegal immigrant Adrian Velasco says he first heard about the March 25 demonstration more than two weeks beforehand from Que Buena 105.5 FM. “They told all the Hispanic people to go and support these things,” he says. “They explained a lot. They said, ‘Here’s what were going to do.’” He and three friends joined a crowd of 500,000 in downtown Los Angeles.
One of the people telling Hispanics what to do was Eduardo Sotelo, a syndicated morning-show host who goes by the on-air name El Piolin, or “Tweety Bird.” Mr. Sotelo, who came to the US illegally as a teenager and got a green card in 1996, persuaded other Spanish radio stations to promote the event, and says it was his idea to tell protestors to wear white and carry American flags in order to demonstrate “their peaceful intent and love of the United States.” [Spanish Media Organized Nationwide Mass Protest, AP, Mar. 28, 2006.]
Race Gangs Down Under
Violent race-based gangs are becoming a serious problem in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city. Once confined to the suburbs where most immigrants live, the gangs, with names like Full-Blooded Islanders, Viets In Defence, and Brothers For Life, are now invading Melbourne’s business and entertainment districts.
During recent months, African gangs armed with knives, machetes, samurai swords, baseball bats and batons attacked pedestrians, stealing their wallets and cell phones, and robbed convenience stores and gas stations. Police say the attacks — they know of at least 20 — are becoming more violent, and that the locals are living in fear.
On January 26 — Australia Day, the country’s national holiday — a gang of about 10 young Asians attacked an Australian teenager near a train station. When 17-year-old Nathanael Raimundo tried to help the victim, the gang turned on him. “I was pretty scared … and disappointed. I mean, who could do that to someone else? Ten to one … they looked like they were going to kill him,” he says. One gang member hit Mr. Raimundo over the head with a metal pole, putting him in the hospital for five days with a fractured skull.
White guilt in the wake of the recent Australian beach riots is making it hard for police to go after the gangs, and the gangs know it. “Some are becoming more brazen as they realize what they can get away with, and the fact the cops are not allowed to give them a smack over the ear,” complains one police source. Gang members, many of whom are refugees and illegal immigrants, do not fear imprisonment. “Prison would be like Buckingham Palace compared to where they’ve been — refugee camps and the like,” says social worker Les Twentyman. [Paul Anderson, Race Gangs Terrorize Inner City, Herald Sun (Melbourne), Mar. 3, 2006.]
Black Power Poet
Students at the middle and high schools in Peekskill, New York (40 percent black, 30 percent Hispanic, 30 percent white and Asian), got an interesting lesson during a Black History Month assembly on February 28. Seven-year-old Autum Ashante, the home-schooled daughter of Nation of Islam activist Batin Ashante, recited a poem she claims to have written called “White Nationalism Put U in Bondage.” These are the lyrics:
White nationalism is what put you in bondage
Pirate and vampires like Columbus, Morgan, and Darwin
Drank the blood of the sheep, trampled all over them with
Steel, tricks and deceit.
Nothing has changed take a look in our streets
The mis-education of she and Hegro — leaves you on your knee2grow
Black lands taken from your hands, by vampires with no remorse
They took the gold, the wisdom and all of the storytellers
They took the black women, with the black man weak
Made to watch as they changed the paradigm
Of our village
They killed the blind, they killed the lazy, they went
So far as to kill the unborn baby
Yeah White nationalism is what put you in bondage
Pirates and vampires like Columbus, Morgan, and Darwin
They drank the blood of the sheep, trampled all over them with
Steel laden feet, throw in the tricks alcohol and deceit.
Nothing has changed take a look at our streets
Miss Ashante also asked the students to stand for the Black Panther’s “Black Child’s Pledge,” which reads in part:
“I pledge allegiance to my Black People … I will learn all that I can in order to give my best to my People in their struggle for liberation. … I will train myself never to hurt or allow others to harm my Black brothers and sisters … These principles I pledge to practice daily and to teach them to others in order to unite my People.”
When white students at Peekskill High School meekly stood up along with black classmates, Miss Ashante told them they could not recite the pledge and to sit down.
Melvin Bolton, a former Black Panther and city councilman who teaches music at Peekskill Middle School and advises the high school’s Black Culture Club, arranged for Miss Ashante’s appearance. Many parents were outraged by the performance. The school district sent a recorded telephone message of apology to the parents of all students in the two schools. Superintendent Judith Johnson says “you can’t do that” in a multicultural school district.
On March 14, Miss Ashante’s supporters rallied on the steps of New York’s city hall. Councilman Charles Barron, a former Black Panther, said the girl was “brave” and “outspoken in telling the truth.” He called the poem a work of “peace, power and pride about her heritage.” Councilwoman Yvette Clark called Miss Ashante “one of the most precious young talents that this world has ever known.” Other supporters are asking New York’s attorney general to investigate whether her free speech rights were violated.
The young poet, who is also an aspiring actress, doesn’t see what the fuss is about. She says her poem is meant to instill pride in blacks and prevent violence. “I was trying to tell them the straight-up truth,” she says. “I’m trying to tell them not to fight because they’re killing my brothers and sisters.” As for offending whites, Miss Ashante says, “I feel bad, but I know it was the right thing to do.” [David Andreatta, Better or Verse, New York Post, Mar. 13, 2006. Marcus Franklin, NYC Leaders Support Black Girl Who Read White Nationalism Poem, AP, Mar. 15, 2006. A Seven-Year-Old Speaks Out, The Afro American Newspaper (www.afro.com), Mar. 22, 2006.]
Coloring the News
Last November race riots shook France for weeks (see “France at the Crossroads,” AR, Jan. 2006.) Some people said part of the problem was that only whites report the news on television and that this “alienates” young blacks and Arabs. Even French president Jacques Chirac called for more non-whites on camera.
France will get its first black TV anchorman in July when Harry Roselmack of Martinique takes over the 8 pm news program on France’s main broadcast channel, TF1, while its regular host goes on vacation. The TF1 program claims to be Europe’s most popular news program, and is the main news source for many Frenchmen. TF1 says Mr. Chirac’s appeal played a part in their decision, but that they hired Mr. Roselmack mainly because “he is a very good journalist.” Mr. Roselmack began as a radio journalist, and has been reading news on cable television for all of six months. One newspaper describes him as “having the good looks of a playboy, smiling and sexy.” Mr. Roselmack is supposed to give up the job when the regular anchor returns from summer vacation, but some of his supporters are already acting as if the switch will be permanent.
Amirouche Laidi, president of Club Averroes, a pressure group for non-whites, says, “Harry Roselmack, a black man, on the TF1 evening news will be a bombshell, a huge advance. It’s also a victory for normality. … Pretty soon, no one will see the black man on television, only the journalist.” [John Litchfield, France Gets Its First Black TV Presenter after Chirac Pressure, Independent (London), Mar. 8, 2006.]
On March 6, the Detroit school board voted to hire 40 laid-off Detroit policemen to patrol public schools. Most teachers, like Ruby Johnson, applaud the decision. After she was robbed at gunpoint at Marquette Elementary School last summer, Miss Johnson began taking a hammer to work. “It sits comfortably next to me in my car, it sits on my desk when I get to school,” she says. “If I have to use it, I will.” Armed officers start work in late March. William Coleman, who heads Detroit Public Schools, says he hopes the extra security is only temporary. [Armed Guards to Patrol Detroit Schools, ClickOn Detroit.com, Mar. 7, 2006.]
Stupid White Man
Harvard University president Lawrence Summers resigned earlier this year, largely because he said he thought innate differences between the sexes may explain why there are fewer women in math and science. USA Today founder Al Neuharth used the occasion of Mr. Summers’s resignation to expound on what he thinks is wrong with the Ivy League: rich, white men.
After noting that Harvard’s only black governing board member resigned, leaving four white men and one white woman in charge, Mr. Neuharth wrote, “Since Harvard was founded back in 1636, it has been a haven for students from rich and/or famous, mostly Northeastern, white families. Fortunately, the Summers fiasco should make Harvard’s bosses realize that no institutions in the USA can any longer be run just by or for rich, powerful white males or their family or friends.” [Al Neuharth, Harvard Mea Culpa by Rich, White Males, USA Today (Arlington, Va.), Feb. 24, 2006, p. 13A.]
Trevor Phillips, the head of the British Commission for Race Equality featured prominently in this issue’s cover story, believes the top levels of the British civil service are too white. “I want to see the Civil Service start looking like the country it runs,” he says. “Of course we’ve got lots of ethnic minority civil servants but virtually all of them are in the lower grades. We coined the phrase ‘Snowy Peaks’ for the Civil Service because when you get above grade 5 they’re virtually all white. This is a disgrace. It’s not modern — the Civil Service isn’t keeping pace with the country it reckons it runs.”
Only one non-white holds a top-level civil service job, Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Development Suma Chakrabati. [Colin Brown, Civil Service’s ‘Racial Bias’ Attacked, Independent (London), Mar. 14, 2006.]
Nixing the ‘Nicas’
Costa Rica — known as the Switzerland of Central America — is the region’s whitest and most prosperous nation. It offers free medical care, invests heavily in education, and has a thriving technology sector. It also attracts illegal immigrants from neighboring Nicaragua. An estimated 180,000 “Nicas” — 4.5 percent of the population of 4,000,000 — live illegally in Costa Rica (illegals are four percent of the US population). Costa Ricans blame illegals for stealing jobs, sponging on public services, and crime. Unlike in the US, news reports often note the nationality of criminals. Alexandra Martinez, a housewife in San Jose, says, “There are a lot of Nicas here. It’s the biggest problem we face in the country.”
The country’s legislature agrees, and last year passed a new immigration law that goes into effect this August. Because Costa Rica does not have a standing army or the means to secure its 192-mile border with Nicaragua or deport all illegals (it deported only 775 last year), it will instead punish the people who profit from illegal immigration — employers and human smugglers. The new law punishes human trafficking with up to six years in prison, and fines employers of illegals $3,600 per violation (the current fine is $10). Johnny Marin, Costa Rica’s immigration director explains that “if they don’t hire illegals, the people won’t come, they won’t migrate.” [Maria Dickerson and Rebecca Kimitch, Costa Rica Seeks to Shut Its Doors to Illegal Migrants From Nicaragua, Los Angeles Times, Mar. 23, 2006.]
Birth of the Blonde
Until 10,000 to 11,000 years ago, most humans had uniformly dark hair and eyes. Genetic mutation at that time gave northern and eastern Europe the greatest diversity in hair and eye color. There are now at least seven different shades of blonde hair in Europe. Scientists have long wondered how this large variation developed in a relatively short period of time in a single geographic region.
A new study conducted by St. Andrews University in Scotland and published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior concludes that mutation occurred at the end of the Ice Age as a result of a shortage in both food and men, which left a large number of women competing for a smaller pool of mates. The researchers speculate that women in northern Europe evolved to have blonde hair and blue eyes in order to attract male attention away from the more numerous brunettes. Although the mutation was rare, the number of blondes increased rapidly because of greater opportunities to breed.
Peter Frost, a Canadian anthropologist and author of the study, says the rise of the blonde resulted from the “pressures of sexual selection on early European women.” He believes sexual selection is the only posible explanation because light hair and eyes evolved relatively quickly. “Sexual selection is particularly indicated because it is known to favor color traits,” he says.
Although early European men preferred blondes, their modern counterparts reportedly do not. Researchers at City University in London claimed last year that modern men actually respond more favorably to brunettes and redheads than blondes. They argue that the preference shift is explained by the nature of modern relations between the sexes, and that more men are now attracted to intelligent women, which to their minds means brunettes. “As the role of women has evolved, men’s expectations of women have changed,” says City University psychology professor Peter Ayton. “They are looking for more intense, equal partnerships and appearance has a large role to play.” No doubt, blondes will now start dying their hair black. [Arifa Akbar, How Women Evolved Blond Hair to Win Caveman’s Hearts, Independent (London), Feb. 27, 2006.]
The Sacrament of Separatism
According to Bridget T. Miller, coordinator of Washington, DC’s Youth Gang Task Force, there are more than 270 girls gangs in the District of Columbia. They are increasing both in numbers and violence. “Nobody wanted to acknowledge it,” she says, “because they thought it was just a short trend, but they failed to realize how dangerous a female can be.”
Pretty dangerous, according to Ronald Moten, founder of an anti-gang violence group called Peacoholics. “Girls are getting beat with crowbars, they’ve got knives, they get stabbed and cut. One girl got killed leaving a club in Southeast [Washington], a female got shot by another female.” Authorities say girl gang members — which can include homosexual boys — prefer knives, bats and stun guns to firearms, at least for now. Coco, a 17-year-old in northeast Washington, explains how girl gang fights start: “One person will bump you, mug you, put their middle finger up to you, then we’ll start fighting. Fistfights, brick fights, bats — whatever they feel like they can whoop you with, they’ll get.”
Girl gangs help explain the jump in court cases involving young women. In 2004, in Washington, DC, the number of girls arraigned for violent offenses was 322, a 43 percent increase over 2003. The overall number of cases involving girls as criminal perpetrators jumped from 445 in 2003 to 571 in 2004. This appears to be a a nationwide trend. From 1995 to 2004, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, the number of women in state and federal prisons grew by five percent per year, while the number of men grew by an average of 3.3 percent. [Gary Emerling, No More Sugar and Spice: Girls Gangs on Rise in D.C., Washington Times, Mar. 30, 2006.]
Detroit’s Long Shadow
Last month, we reported that police in New Castle, Pennsylvania, were struggling to control drug dealers from Detroit. Other Ohio Valley cities, including Huntington, West Virginia, have the same problem.
Huntington was once a way-station along the “Hillbilly Highway” that many Appalachian whites took when they headed north for better jobs in the auto plants of Detroit. These days the traffic has reversed, bringing drug dealers and violence to what were once peaceful communities.
Huntington police are still trying to solve a quadruple murder of four teenagers last year. Drug dealers suspected the intended victim, 19-year-old Donte Ward, of stealing from them, and killed the three others so as to leave no witnesses. “We believe, obviously, that there’s a Detroit connection,” says police Capt. Steve Hall. Huntington police have arrested more than 250 Detroit crack dealers and hardly any locals. “That’s just the adults we’ve caught,” says narcotics detective Paul Hunter. “There are more. Lots more.”
Police say Detroit dealers operate most of the 30 or so crack dens in Huntington. They like the city of 50,000 because there is less competition than in Detroit, which means they can sell drugs at inflated prices. Detroit dealers call Huntington “Moneyton,” and the nearby city of Ashland, Ky., which has similar problems, “Cashland.” [Milan Simonich, Detroit Dealers Invade West Virginia Town, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mar. 19, 2006.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — Hugh Murray (see page 9 of this issue) writes that my description of the development of affirmative action is “not entirely” accurate because I say it “was intended to be a quota-like program from the beginning.” Mr. Murray argues that, on the contrary, President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and the Congressmen who passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “wanted to achieve equal opportunity by removing the bars of segregation and overt racism. They believed quotas would not be necessary because proportional outcomes would flow naturally” because “most Americans accepted the view that blacks … and whites … were intellectually equal.”
But I do not say in my book that Kennedy and King wanted quotas or any other sort of anti-white discrimination. In fact, I say exactly what Murray says. I (pages 1-7) quote Kennedy and King’s categorical condemnations of any form of racial discrimination, and I show that because they assumed all races are equal, they assumed non-discrimination must mean equality of success. On pages 285-91 I show that the same was true of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
I will add here that the premise that unequal success must indicate discrimination explains why many businesses (Mr. Murray provides several examples) succumbed with little or no resistance to black demands for proportional hiring and promotion in the early 1960s. That was before the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) even existed and when white race riots were the only type of racial violence anyone feared. In fact, I point out in my book (endnote 2; bibliography in endnote 3) that equal opportunity was assumed to mean equal success well before 1960, when the most radical black demand was for the implementation of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments in the South.
Mr. Murray attributes anti-White discrimination mainly to the EEOC and to the radicalization of the black protest movement after the early 1960s. I describe the nefarious work of the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) on pages 251-52 of my book and provide a bibliography on its activities in endnotes 143 and 165, but I do not mention the black boycotts, protests, and finally riots that characterized the 1960s. They loom large in the memory of everyone who lived through them, and I am sure Mr. Murray is correct to say that they hastened the spread of proportional hiring and promotion. But I do not think that they caused them. I argue throughout my book that the cause is the belief that all groups of people are equal in innate ability. That explains why whites caved in so easily to boycotts and protests even in the early 1960s when there was no threat of violence. It also explains why equal opportunity was assumed to mean equal success well before 1960. (I provide examples in endnote 2 of my book and a bibliography in endnote 3.)
Steven Farron, South Africa
Sir — Although I agree with much of what Thomas Jackson wrote in his review of Working Towards Whiteness (see “How the White Ethnics Assimilated,” AR, April 2006), it is a fact that from the 1880s through the immigration restrictions of the 1920s and even later, the dominant Anglo-Saxons thought the white ethnics were socially and racially inferior.
In the beginning, this attitude may have arisen from the fear that unchecked numbers of immigrant laborers would hamper the nascent labor movement by making it harder for native workers to organize and bargain with management. By 1900, more educated Anglos thought white ethnics were racially unasimilable (see, for example, the writings of Reverend Peter Roberts and labor economist Frank Julian Warne on the immigrant coal miners of northeastern Pennsylvania). No doubt this attitude was based on sharp cultural differences between white immigrants and natives.
This was particularly true of Eastern and Southern European immigrants who typically could not speak English, had peculiar social customs, and were attached to Roman Catholicism, a religion much feared by Anglo-Americans, particularly of the lower social orders. By the middle 1920s, this anti-immigrant feeling had spurred a rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan, this time aimed mainly at white immigrants. There were also many nativist fraternal organizations that tried to restrict the social and economic advance of white immigrants through informal means. It was only with the decline of ethnic identity among white ethnics that hostility towards them began to dissipate.
The antipathy toward white ethnic culture by the native-born is understandable given the immigrants’ strong European identity, grounded in a commitment to family, church, work, and personal honesty, which, in some ways, ran counter to the more secular and individualistic tendencies of 20th century America. However, adopting Anglo ways was certainly not an advance in culture for the ethnics. Their assimilation of American social trends of the day amounted to a cultural loss for them and for the nation as a whole. American social culture of the day had no depth in terms of foreign languages, foreign travel, and the essential panoply of European traditions upon which Western Civilization is based. In the main, American culture was rural, isolated, and uneducated.
White ethnics found acceptance only in the 1940s and 1950s when they began abandoning their European identities. This accelerated the loss of racial identity among American whites as a whole.
Ivan Hild, Falls Church, Va.
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