|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 18, No. 11||November 2007|
What Science Says About Diversity (Part I)
People seem to have an instinct for homogeneity.
Universities are some of the most conformist places on earth. The diversity on which they pride themselves applies only to skin color, not ideas. And yet, on many campuses, academics are quietly doing work that completely undermines some of America’s most cherished orthodoxies about human nature.
There is now a large body of research that completely undercuts the view that diversity of race, religion, or ethnicity is a strength. Studies on individuals have found unconscious processes deep in the brain that reflect an instinctive suspicion of people unlike ourselves. Studies of groups show that these instincts invariably lead to conflict at the societal level.
These findings are seldom publicized, and almost never drawn together into a coherent critique of government policy. However, taken as a whole, they are a devastating indictment of some of the most important choices our country has made over the last 50 years. Virtually every common assumption about race, integration, and the attempt to build a multi-racial society is at complete variance with the findings of modern social science.
This article will begin with a summary of what science tells us about the nature of individuals, and will conclude next month with findings at the group level.
Genetic Similarity Theory
There is a theoretical framework that explains ethnocentrism. As the Belgian authority on ethnic relations Pierre L. van den Berghe put it more than 25 years ago, “The degree of cooperation between organisms can be expected to be a direct function of the proportion of the genes they share; conversely, the degree of conflict between them is an inverse function of the proportion of shared genes.” (Emphasis in the original.) Prof. van den Bergh used the word “organisms” because he found this principle true in animals as well as people; there is cooperation between relatives and conflict between strangers. When there is great genetic distance between strangers—in the case of humans, when they are of different races—conflicts are sharper.
It is easy to understand the first part of Prof. van den Bergh’s proposition. People everywhere make great sacrifices for their families and close relatives. They do this instinctively, and the evolutionary explanation is that close relatives share many genes. Parents devote themselves to their children because children contain more copies of their distinctive genes than strangers do. So do brothers, cousins, and nieces. All forms of life can be viewed as striving to pass along their genes to future generations. Each individual therefore has a “genetic interest” in close relatives, which helps explain solidarity and cooperation.
The British geneticist J.B.S. Haldane said jokingly in the 1930s, “I would lay down my life for two brothers or eight cousins.” A sacrifice of this kind would be genetically neutral, because each brother would share half his distinctive genes while each cousin would share one eighth.
What about hostility to strangers? Much of our evolution as a distinct species took place before the invention of agriculture, during the millions of years our human and proto-human ancestors lived in hunter-gatherer bands. The members of small bands were usually related to each other, and it was important for them to cooperate and even sacrifice for each other. At the same time, strangers were potentially dangerous competitors for food and shelter. As Edward O. Wilson of Harvard has explained:
“The strongest evoker of aggressive response in animals is the sight of a stranger, especially a territorial intruder. This xenophobic principle has been documented in virtually every group of animals displaying higher forms of social organization.”
Groups that did not defend their territory against intruders were less likely to survive. “Our behavioral predisposition to ethnic nepotism evolved in the struggle for existence because it was rational and useful,” explains Finnish scholar Tatu Vanhanen. Today our lives are vastly different from those of hunter-gatherers, but research on human behavior suggests that the instincts we developed over millennia of small-band evolution have remained with us.
Many kinds of animal behavior can be explained by genetic similarity theory. It has been well established that animals have a preference for close kin, and study after study has shown that they have a remarkable ability to tell kin from strangers. Frogs lay eggs in bunches, but they can be separated and left to hatch individually. When tadpoles are then put into a tank, brothers and sisters cluster together rather than mix with tadpoles from different mothers. Even though they were hatched in isolation, the tadpoles can tell who their family members are.
Female Belding’s ground squirrels may mate with more than one male before they give birth, so a litter can be a mix of full siblings and half siblings. Somehow, they can tell each other apart. Full siblings cooperate more with each other than half-siblings, fight less, and are less likely to run each other out of the territory when they grow up.
Even bees know who their relatives are. In one experiment, bees were bred for 14 different degrees of relatedness—sisters, cousins, second cousins, etc.—to bees in a particular hive. When these bees were released near the hive, guard bees had to decide whom to let in. They distinguished between degrees of kinship with almost perfect accuracy, letting in the closest relatives and chasing away more distant kin. The correlation between relatedness and likelihood of being admitted was 0.93.
Ants are famous for their cooperation and willingness to sacrifice for the colony. This is due to a quirk in ant reproduction that means worker ants are 70 percent genetically identical to their sisters. But even among ants, there can be greater or less genetic diversity, and the most closely related groups of ants appear to cooperate best.
Linepithema humile is a tiny ant that originated in Argentina but has migrated as far north as the United States. Many ants died during the trip, and the species lost much of its genetic diversity. This made the northern branch of Linepithema humile more cooperative than the one left in Argentina, where different colonies quarrel and compete with each other. This new level of cooperation in has helped the invaders link nests into supercolonies and overwhelm local species of ants. American entomologists want to protect American ants, and may try to do so by making the newcomers more quarrelsome. “In the war against invasive species, introducing genetic diversity might sow discord and slow supercolonies,” explained a researcher from the University of California at San Diego.
Surprisingly, even plants cooperate with close kin and compete with strangers. Normally, when two plants are put in the same pot, they grow bigger root systems, trying to crowd each other out and get the most nutrients. Susan Dudley of McMaster University in Ontario found that a wild flower called the Sea Rocket, which grows on beaches, does not do that if the two plants come from the same mother. “Usually it’s a case of each plant for itself,” said Prof. Dudley, “but when plants recognize close kin they grow their roots more normally and do not engage in wasteful competition.” No one knows how plants recognize close kin.
Higher animals show the same tendencies. Chimpanzees are our nearest living relatives, and offer hints as to how our distant ancestors may have behaved. Chimps live in bands within territories, and show a ferocious in-group out-group consciousness of the kind described by Edward O. Wilson. It has long been known that males drive off intruders from other bands and kill their young if they catch them. Psychologists from St. Andrews University in Scotland, watching what is known as the Sonso community of chimps in Uganda, found that even females can be murderously territorial. On three occasions they saw females drive off invaders and kill their children. “We are very interested in keeping a close eye on levels of female aggression in the Sonso community, especially in the instances when new females attempt to immigrate,” said Simon Townsend, who lead the study group.
People often seem to behave according to genetic similarity theory, and the scholar who has probably written most extensively in this field is J. Philippe Rushton of the University of Western Ontario. “Genetically similar people tend to seek one another out and to provide mutually supportive environments such as marriage, friendship, and social groups,” he has written. For example, spouses tend to resemble each other, not just in age, ethnicity, and education (r = 0.6) but in opinions and attitudes (r = 0.5), intelligence (r = 0.4), and even in such things as personality and physical traits (r = 0.2). Somewhat more surprisingly, they are also like each other in undesirable traits like aggressiveness, criminality, alcoholism, and mental disease. In fact, it is possible to predict how happy a couple is by knowing how similar they are. Best friends are as similar to each other and in the same ways as spouses. Likewise, in mixed families of adopted and natural children, the friends of biological siblings resemble each other more than do the friends of adopted siblings.
One of the classic examples of the extent to which people are attached to their own kin is the risk of violence children run when they live with a man who is not their biological father. A preschool-age child is 40 times more likely to be assaulted by a step parent than by a biological parent.
For people, the most obvious indicator of genetic similarity is appearance. People of the same race are always genetically closer to each other than to people of different races, and even within the same race, greater resemblance usually means genetic similarity. Appearance therefore becomes the most obvious indicator of genetic closeness.
Young children very quickly learn what race they are, and even three-month-old infants seem to prefer faces of their own race. In a joint British-Israeli study, babies sitting on their mothers’ laps were shown side-by-side photographs of white and back faces matched for attractiveness. How long a baby looks at something is considered an indication of preference, and white babies reared in a white environment looked at the white faces an average of 63 percent longer than they looked at the black faces. Black babies reared in Africa looked at the black faces 23 percent longer.
For adults, it is easer to tell people of their own race apart than to distinguish between people of other races. This difference is so well known that psychologists call it “the other-race effect.” In a 2006 confirmation of the effect, researchers at the University of Texas at El Paso showed subjects an equal number of photos of faces from their own race and from a different race. Some time later, they showed the subjects twice as many photos of people of both races—including the faces they had already seen—and asked which ones they had seen before. All subjects, whatever their race, made about 50 percent more mistakes with the faces of the race different from their own.
Prof. Edward Seidensticker, who taught Japanese at Columbia University, once overheard a conversation that hinted amusingly at the other race effect. He was touring one of the southern islands of Japan, where abut 1,000 monkeys live in the wild but are tame enough to be visited and observed by tourists. A guide mentioned that he could tell every one of the monkeys apart by sight. A skeptic in the crowd wanted to know how anyone could tell 1,000 monkeys part. “Oh, it’s very easy,” said the guide. “It’s like telling foreigners apart.”
Three-and-a-half-month-old infants already seem to exhibit the other-race effect. In a study at University of Kentucky, white babies were very good at telling apart faces with 100 percent Caucasian features from faces that had been graphically morphed to include features that were 70 percent white and 30 percent Asian. They couldn’t distinguish the reverse: They could not tell 100 percent Asian faces from those that were morphed to include 30 percent white features. In other words, they could detect small differences between white and not-quite-white faces, but not the same kinds of differences between Asian and not-quite-Asian faces.
Lawrence A. Hirschfeld of the University of Michigan did some of the pioneering work on how early in life children begin to understand race. He showed children of ages three, four, and seven, a picture of “Johnny:” a chubby black boy in a police uniform, complete with whistle and toy gun. He then showed them pictures of adults who shared two of Johnny’s three main traits of race, body build, and uniform. Prof. Hirschfeld prepared all combinations—policemen who were fat but were white, thin black policemen, etc.—and asked the children which was Johnny’s daddy or which was Johnny all grown up. Even the three-year-olds were significantly more likely to choose the black man rather than the fat man or the policeman. “They know, in other words, that weight and occupation can change but race can’t,” explained Prof. Hirschfeld. In 1996, after 15 years of studying children and race, he concluded: “Our minds seem to be organized in a way that makes thinking racially—thinking that the human world can be segmented into discrete racial populations—an almost automatic part of our mental repertoire.”
Pre-school children show racial preferences even when they have not been taught anything about race or had any experience with people of other races. An Australian study of four- and five-year-olds found that white children preferred to play with white dolls. They would not play with an Aboriginal doll; one child even said “It’s yuck, yucky. Put it back.” White children would not accept an Asian doll, either, with one saying it “could not be Australian.” It could be argued that these children simply picked up the unconscious prejudices of their parents, but it is also possible that their reactions reflect innate preferences.
By the time people are adults their perceptions of race are finely tuned. Stanford researchers have found that people can distinguish race from very minimal facial clues. They showed subjects just the front slices of plain, black profiles—the face from forehead to chin, without the hair. Subjects could tell the race of the profile (80 percent of the time) more often than they could tell the sex (70 percent), or the age within 10 years (68 percent). Race is commonly equated with skin color, but all the profiles were black. It is of obvious biological importance for adults to be able to tell the sexes apart, but they were even better at telling races apart.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to determine that what is called the fusiform region of the brain may be associated with the other-race effect. The fusiform region is involved in expert appraisal. In a bird-watcher’s brain, for example, the region lights up at the sight of a bird. All people have considerable expertise in recognizing human faces, but MRI scans show greater fusiform activity when they are looking at faces of their own race. A test at Stanford University found this to be true for both blacks and whites. Test subjects showed more expert-appraisal brain activity when they looked at faces of their own race.
Genetic similarity theory would suggest that even among people of the same race, there is greater affinity for people who are physically similar. Lisa DeBruine of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland has tested this several ways. In one study, she had subjects play a computer game with an unseen opponent whose face was projected on a screen. The players could trust each other and cooperate to win a large prize, or they could compete and win a small prize. When the face on the screen the player saw was a morphed version of his own face—with very similar features—he was more likely to be generous and cooperative. If the face on the screen did not look like him, the player was more likely to be suspicious and ungenerous. Prof. DeBruine interpreted this to mean that players instinctively trust people with traits that suggest they have close genetic ties.
In a different version of the same experiment, Prof. DeBruine asked students to choose from among photos of various faces the person they thought the most trustworthy. Again, unbeknownst to the student, one of the faces was a morphed version of his own face. That was the face the majority picked as most trust-worthy. “This supports the idea that people—perhaps unwittingly—detect facial resemblance,” said Prof. DeBruine. “It means to them, on some level, that this person is ‘family’ and they are more trusting of them.”
Pet owners even choose dogs that look like themselves. Researchers at the University of California at San Diego found that undergraduates could match photos of purebred dogs with their owners 64 percent of the time. “Like picking a spouse or a friend, you look for dogs who are like you,” said Nicholas Christenfeld, who led the study.
The trust and preference evoked by similar faces seems to be matched by wariness in the presence of strangers. Jennifer Richeson of Northwestern University has conducted experiments in which white subjects had to interact in some way with a white or a black man before taking a mental test. Those who dealt with the black man got lower scores, and their brain scans showed what Prof. Richeson called “heightened activity in areas of the brain associated with regulating our thoughts and emotions.” She interpreted this to mean that white subjects were struggling with the “awkwardness” or “exhaustion” of dealing with a black man, and that this interfered with their ability to take the mental test.
Researchers at Harvard and New York University found similar results. They had white and black subjects look repeatedly at a series of photographs of back and white faces, all with neutral expressions. Every time the subjects looked at one particular black face and one particular white face from the series they got a mild electric shock. Lie detector-type devices showed that subjects would sweat—a typical stress reaction—when they saw the two faces they associated with the shocks. The researchers showed the photo series several times again, but without the shocks. White subjects quickly stopped sweating when they saw the white face formerly associated with the shock, but continued to sweat when they saw the black face. Black subjects had the opposite reaction, continuing to sweat when they saw the white but not the black face. Mahzarin Banaji, the study’s leader, concluded that this was a sign of natural human wariness of unfamiliar groups.
MRI testing again shows what may be the underlying brain mechanism. The amygdalae are two primitive lobes of the brain that are involved in fear, arousal, and emotions. When they are active, it is thought to be a sign of vigilance, meaning that the brain is wary and wants more information. A study at Massachusetts General Hospital found that when subjects looked at photographs of faces—half were white, half were black—MRI scans found high amygdala activity. This was considered to be a normal reaction to unfamiliar faces. When the subjects looked at the photographs a second time the faces were more familiar; only the other-race faces continued to provoke high amygdala activity. This was true for both blacks and whites, and suggested that encounters with people of different races keep the brain at a higher level of watchfulness.
Such encounters may have other physiological effects. Wendy Berry Mendes at Harvard found that when subjects played a game with someone of another race, they showed physical signs of distress, such as lower cardiac efficiency and constricted arteries. They did not show these signs when they played with someone of their own race.
Reactions of this kind may explain why both black and white patients rate their doctors higher when they are of the same race. A Johns Hopkins study reported that “patient ratings of care and of doctors’ efforts to get the patient to participate in decisions were higher when both the doctor and patient were African American or both were white than when the doctor and patient had different backgrounds.”
A study at the University of Massachusetts found that certain emotions bring out negative stereotypes. Subjects first did a writing exercise designed to leave them feeling angry or sad or with no particular feeling. Then they read case histories of fictional criminal suspects and were asked whether the suspect was innocent or guilty. For some subjects, the name of the suspect was Juan Garcia; for others it was John Garner. Otherwise the case histories were identical. Whites who were left feeling angry by the writing exercise were more likely to think Juan Garcia was guilty. Those who were left sad or with no particular emotion showed no difference in their reaction to the two names. Similar tests have found that people who were feeling happy were more likely to find Juan Garcia guilty than those who were sad or feeling neutral.
Harvard researchers have designed a computer-based test that is supposed to detect racial prejudice. It begins very simply. When a black face appears on the screen the subject hits a key on the left, and when a white face appears he hits a key on the right. He distinguishes in the same way between a series of positive words like “glorious” and “wonderful,” and negative ones like “nasty” and “awful.” Then the test combines the two categories, and the subject hits the left key for either a white face or a positive word, and the right key for either a black face or a negative word. Finally, the combination is reversed, and the subject must hit one key when black faces or positive words appear, and the other key when white faces and negative words appear. Analysis of tens of thousands of tests shows that 88 percent of whites are better at associating white faces than black faces with positive words. (Interestingly, 48 percent of blacks are, too.) Many whites who believe themselves to be without bias are reportedly crushed by the results.
Steven Neuberg of Arizona State University has also done experiments that suggest instinctive bias, which he, too, attributes to evolution during our long, hunter-gatherer past. “By nature, people are group-living animals—a strategy that enhances individual survival and leads to what we might call a ‘tribal psychology’,” he says. “It was adaptive for our ancestors to be attuned to those outside the group who posed threats such as to physical security, health or economic resources, and to respond to these different kinds of threats in ways tailored to have a good chance of reducing them.”
A preference for one’s own kind runs very deep in human nature, and can assert itself in strong and even heart-breaking ways. Lowri Turner is a British woman whose second marriage was to a man from India. “I am white and I have two sons from my first marriage who are both milky complexioned and golden haired,” she wrote. She then explained how unprepared she was for the feelings she had when she had a mixed-race child with her new husband:
“[W]hen I turn to the mirror in my bedroom to admire us together, I am shocked. She seems so alien. With her long, dark eyelashes and shiny, dark brown hair, she doesn’t look anything like me. …
“I didn’t realise how much her looking different would matter and, on a rational level, I know it shouldn’t. But it does.
“Evolution demands that we have children to pass on our genes, hence the sense of pride and validation we get when we see our features reappearing in the next generation.
“With my daughter, I don’t have that. …
“I didn’t think of myself as racist and yet my daughter has shown me a side of myself about which I feel deeply uncomfortable.
“Even admitting to having mixed feelings about her not being blonde and blue eyed, I feel disloyal and incredibly guilty.”
An American woman who adopted a baby from India wrote of similar feelings:
“When I was trying to decide who and from where to adopt, I had a lot of questions about transracial adoptions, and most people responded to my curiosity with a subtle discomfort. I felt embarrassed voicing possible concerns to my liberal friends, because all of us were adamant that race made no difference to our choice of friends, lovers, or tiny babies up for adoption.
“I flew to Bombay and became a mother.
“Back home, after a couple of weeks had passed, I stared at Vaishali’s naked bottom—her darkest part—and tried to ignore the insistent whispers of fear. Instead of brimming with pride, I felt like a trespasser, performing ablutions on this private flesh with color so foreign from my own. It was one thing to swoon over her photographs for months, but now she was in my home; she was my family. How could this be my daughter? I looked at her and tried to find similarities between us, relieved that her hair was straight, her lips not too full. Just thinking these thoughts made me feel horribly ashamed. I tried to sort emotion from fact: was it the dark color of her skin that was making me uncomfortable, or just that she did not look like me? I ached to talk to someone about it, but I was too afraid people would disapprove, would doubt my ability to be a loving mother.”
Transracial adoption has long been controversial but not uncommon. By the mid-1970s, some 12,000 black American children were being adopted every year by whites. After 1972, such adoptions dropped sharply when the National Association of Black Social Workers denounced them as “cultural genocide.” Black-white adoptions increased after 1994, when Congress passed the Multiethnic Placement Act, forbidding agencies that receive federal assistance from denying an adoption for racial reasons. Nevertheless, the unspoken rule is still to try to place children with adoptive parents of the same race.
The urge to see oneself in one’s children is so strong it can take strange turns. At least a few fertility clinics are willing to help deaf people or dwarfs have children who are also deaf or are dwarfs. A technique known as embryo screening involves in vitro fertilization of a number of eggs and then comparison of the genetic characteristics of the resulting embryos before deciding which one to implant. With enough embryos to choose from, a parent can have what amounts to a custom-designed baby, who may be deaf or a dwarf. Cara Reynolds, a dwarf, was outraged by people who criticized deliberate selection for what most people consider a defect. “You cannot tell me that I cannot have a child who’s going to look like me,” Miss Reynolds said. “It’s just unbelievably presumptuous and they’re playing God.”
Identity is powerful. Humans have a deep-seated urge to be part of a group, and the groups with the greatest pull appear to be ones with which we share physical characteristics.
The Need for Racial Identity
It is common to assume that multi-racialism is inevitable, and that as races mix, racial identity will disappear. This may underestimate the importance of biological grouping. There is evidence that mixed-race people, far from moving freely in two groups, may be uncomfortable in both.
A report from Harvard may be typical. Paloma Zepeda, who is half-Mexican and half-Russian, said that she was not welcome at the campus Mexican-American group La Raza. She said people pointed and said, “Look, white people come to Raza.”
Yalun Tu, also mixed-race, told of going to meetings of Chinese students: “They would talk about how Chinese mothers are overbearing and strict. But my mother is Caucasian and relaxed, so I couldn’t empathize. … I just didn’t feel that communal bond that I think often binds these groups.”
Some mixed-race “outcasts,” as they sometimes call themselves, have started their own groups. At Harvard, the multiracial group is called ReMixed, at the University of California at Berkeley there is a Mixed Student Union, Brown has an Organization of Multiracial and Biracial Students, and Bryn Mawr has a club called Half and Half. Some campuses—Columbia, Cornell, and UCLA—use the word hapa, a Hawaiian word meaning “part,” “half,” or “mixed blood,” for clubs that are usually for students who are part Asian.
Even these groups are not always satisfactory. One student complained that the Harvard Hapa group concentrated on East Asian identity whereas she was half South Asian. She did not feel welcome in the regular South Asian group, either, where she had been cast to play a white person in a play. One journalist concluded: “Students do not seem to be learning to be more tolerant of people unlike them. They are demanding that they be surrounded and sheltered by people who are exactly like them.”
Americans prefer to think that the “tragic mulatto,” welcome in neither community, was either a myth or a reflection of outmoded racist thinking. Recent research suggests, however, that a distinct racial identity is valuable for children, and that people of mixed race may suffer because they do not have one.
Yoonsun Choi of the University of Chicago found that in Seattle middle schools, a single racial identity seems to protect against certain problems. Bi-racial children were 47 percent more likely than blacks to smoke and take drugs, 61 percent more likely than whites, and twice as likely as Asians. They were 2.7 times more likely than whites to have been in fights, and 2.9 times more likely to have threatened to stab someone. Mixed-race children held even with blacks in some kinds of violence, but were 64 percent more likely than blacks to have hurt someone badly, and 85 percent more likely to have carried a gun. Prof. Choi believes that mixed-race children suffer because they do not have a social group. In middle school and high school, she said, “some [racial] groups are very exclusive. Other children will push you out if you’re a racial combination. … There is some indication that a strong ethnic identity helps protect kids from these [undesirable] behaviors.”
Prof. Choi also argued that a strong immigrant identity keeps children out of trouble. According to her research, foreign-born children of all races—black, white, Asian, Hispanic—get into less trouble than American-born children of the same groups. She said black immigrants adopted the bad habits of native-born blacks most quickly, while Asians took the most generations to reach the levels of misbehavior of American-born Asians. Prof. Choi suggested immigrants should not hurry to assimilate: “Rapid assimilation, which used to be thought of as the answer, may not be. Nowadays there’s a shift in people keeping close connections to their country of origin. And at this point it seems like that’s protection.”
Lisa Kiang of Wake Forest University has also found value in a strong ethnic identity. She asked ninth graders to keep track of worrying events like exams and homework, and to record how they felt emotionally—whether they were happy, sad, nervous, etc. Her findings: “Adolescents with a high ethnic regard maintained a generally positive and happy attitude in the face of daily stressors and despite their anxious feelings. So, having positive feeling about one’s ethnic group appeared to provide an extra boost of positivity in individuals’ daily lives.” Prof. Kiang concluded that society should encourage strong ethnic identity, at least for Chinese and Mexicans, which were the two groups she studied.
Part II will appear in the next issue.
Are Cassandras Fated Only to Talk to the Wind?
A prominent journalist who understood.
Oriana Fallaci, The Force of Reason, Rizzoli, 2004 (English translation, 2006), 307 pp., $19.95
The late Oriana Fallaci (1930-2006) cannot be accused of racism or fascism. As a teenager, she fought in the resistance in her native Italy, and for most of her life, she considered herself to be part of the European Left. Nor can she be accused of not knowing her last and most important subject: Islam.
Fallaci was an independent-minded and courageous journalist, and also well-read in the history and literature of her fatherland, which for her was more than Italy; it was all of Europe. As a foreign correspondent, she reported from Vietnam and Cambodia in the 1960s, and from Mexico City in 1968, when government troops fired on student demonstrators in Tletololco Square, killing and wounding hundreds. Fallaci herself was hit with three rounds, dragged down a flight of stairs and left for dead by Mexican soldiers. She recovered and resumed reporting. In 1971, she was in Bangladesh, covering the Indo-Pakistani War. In 1982, she was in Beirut, for the fighting between the Lebanese government and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
She became most famous, however, for her interviews with world leaders, including such figures as Haile Selassie, Yassir Arafat, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the Shah of Iran, Nguyen Cao Ky, Indira Gandhi, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Muammar Gaddafi. She asked tough, persistent questions, and her subjects rarely agreed to a second round. Henry Kissinger described his interview with her as the most disastrous conversation he ever had with a member of the press. Khomeini was an exception. The second time she interviewed him was in October 1979 in the holy citadel of Qom, right after the Islamic Revolution and Khomeini’s triumphant return.
Later in life, she turned to writing novels, and exiled herself because of disgust with what was happening to her Tuscan homeland, in particular, the Muslim inundation of her native city of Florence. In 2001, she was living in New York City when terrorists brought down the twin towers. This prompted her to write, in a fervor of white heat, The Rage and the Pride (2002). It was not that the attacks changed her opinions, it was that they so enraged her that she was ready to write in defiance of what she called “the New Inquisition:” the system of social and legal repression used to enforce public adherence to multicultural orthodoxy. The book went off like a bomb. Leftists howled and Muslims called for her assassination. But real Europeans read it, and it became a best seller in Italy, France, and Germany. Two years later came The Force of Reason, a better book, more closely reasoned, more historical, more heroic, an instant classic. Its message: Wake up sons of the West! She writes:
“I don’t like to say that Troy is burning. That Europe is by now a province of Islam or rather a colony of Islam and Italy an outpost of that province, a stronghold of that colony. Saying this amounts to admitting that the Cassandras really do talk to the wind, that in spite of their screams of pain the blind remain blind, the deaf remain deaf, consciences reawoken soon relapse into sleep, and the Mastros Ceccos [a medieval scholar burned by the Inquisition for heresy] die for nothing. But the truth is just this. From the Strait of Gibraltar to the fjords of Soroy, from the cliffs of Dover to the beaches of Lampedusa, from the steppes of Volgograd to the valleys of the Loire and the hills of Tuscany, the fire is spreading. In each one of our cities there is a second city … a State within the State. A government within the government. A Muslim city, a city ruled by the Koran.”
After reviewing nearly a thousand years of Muslim aggression against the Christian West (Saracens invading Spain and France, Ottomans besieging Constantinople and Vienna) and defending the Crusades (a “counter-offensive designed to stem Islamic expansionism in Europe”), she arrived at the most dangerous period of all—now:
“Today’s Islamic invasion of Europe is nothing else than a revival of its centuries-old expansionism, of its centuries-old imperialism, of its centuries-old colonialism. More underhand though. More treacherous.”
Why more treacherous? Because this invasion is waged not by marauding cavalry but by terrorism, immigration, and fertility, and it is the last two that she finds most dangerous. Unlike a terrorist bomb or an invading army, they do not provoke a reaction. They work slowly, imperceptibly, without violence, their consequences unforeseen or ignored by all but a few. But over time, these weapons are more effective than conquering soldiers:
“The strategy of exporting human beings and having them breed in abundance is the simplest way to take possession of a territory. To dominate a country, to replace a population or to subjugate it.”
Europe, not America, is the prize. “Islamic colonialism has always tried to subjugate Europe because, besides being rich and full of water, Europe is the cradle of Christianity.” It is also closer than America.
Fallaci’s research demonstrates there is a long-range plan. She admits she was unaware of it when she was at the height of her prestige as a correspondent. George Habash of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine boasted during an interview in Beirut in 1972:
“Our revolution is part of the world revolution. It is not confined to the reconquest of Palestine. … The entire Arab Nation must go to war against Europe and America. It must unleash a war against the West. And it will. America and Europe don’t know that we Arabs are just at the beginning of the beginning. That the best has yet to come. That from now on there will be no peace for the West. To advance step by step. Millimetre by millimetre. Year after year. Decade after decade. Determined, stubborn, patient. This is our strategy.”
At the time, Fallaci thought he was talking about terrorism. Only later did she understand: “He meant the cultural war, the demographic war, the religious war waged by stealing a country from its citizens, … the war waged through immigration, fertility, presumed pluriculturalism.”
She reminded readers of the words of Houari Boumedienne, president of Algeria, speaking before the United Nations in 1974: “One day millions of men will leave the southern hemisphere of this planet to burst into the northern one. But not as friends. Because they will burst in to conquer, and they will conquer by populating it with their children. Victory will come to us from the wombs of our women.” That year, the Islamic Conference, meeting in Lahore, Pakistan, resolved to push Islamic immigration into Europe and take control of the Continent through a strategy of “demographic preponderance.”
In 1974, Italian Minister of Defense Giulio Andreotti told her about a conversation between King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and the president of Italy just a few months before the Arab oil embargo of October 1973. The king told Giovanni Leone that he wanted to see a grand mosque built in Rome. Surely the president said no, Fallaci replied. Andreotti only sighed. Construction began in 1984 and the mosque was finished in 1995. Today, there are grand mosques in every major European capital.
Europe’s leaders betrayed their people. Fallaci writes that they did so out of fear of Islamic terrorism and the oil weapon. They did so because of the European Left, which Fallaci believed governs Europe with the collusion of a bogus Right, and is defined not by socialism or liberalism, but by anti-Westernism. They did so openly in a series of government conferences, beginning in November 1973, immediately after the embargo. The Paris Conference of July 1974 established the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation, based in Strasbourg. The next year it founded the journal, Eurabia, in the back issues of which are the terms of the bargain: a “long term policy” of transferring European technology to the Middle East in exchange for “crude oil and Arab manpower reserves.”
In June 1975, 200 parliamentarians from European countries met in Strasbourg and unanimously adopted the Strasbourg Resolution. It called on governments “to safeguard the free movement of Arab workers who will immigrate to Europe,” to protect “their fundamental rights [which] must be and will be equivalent to those of national citizens,” to “use the press and the various information outlets to create a climate favorable to the immigrants and to their families” and to “exalt through the press and the academic world the immense contribution given by Arab culture to European development.”
Thirty years later, there are 40 million Muslims living in the European Union, 15 million of them illegally. Deportations are rare. France alone has 10 million Muslims and nearly 3,000 mosques (Fallaci’s estimate was higher than the official one). She saw the threat as relentless:
“Everywhere, even in Iceland, they are visibly increasing. And not only because the invasion is proceeding relentlessly but because the Muslims stand as the most prolific ethnic and religious group in the world. A characteristic favored by polygamy and the fact that in a woman the Koran sees only a womb for giving birth.”
Because of the influx of refugees and asylees (“the new tools of the invasion”), human smuggling, the reluctance to deport, and, above all, fecundity, the Muslim population of Europe is expected to double by 2016 and become a majority by 2100. Fallaci quoted Bassam Tibi, a Muslim leader in Germany: “The problem is not to establish whether within 2100 the greatest majority or the totality of Europeans will be Muslim: one way or another, they will. The problem is whether the Islam destined to dominate Europe will be an Euro-Islam or the Islam of Sharia.”
Fallaci also quoted a Muslim scholar who shocked the assembled prelates at a 1999 Vatican synod on Christian/Moslem relations by saying, “By means of your democracy we shall invade you, by means of our religion we shall dominate you.” “Which is why,” wrote Fallaci, “I don’t believe in the Dialogue with Islam.” Nor did she believe in “moderate” Islam. “There is Islam and that’s all. And Islam is the Koran. And the Koran is the Mein Kampf of a religion which has always aimed to eliminate the others.”
Islam has two faces. The terrorists try “to break our spirit,” “to intimidate us, to discourage us, to blackmail us,” while the moderates colonize and out-breed us. Do not the Saudis, our “allies,” fund mosques and madrassas in Europe and America? Are not wealthy sheiks and emirs buying up land in Spain? Do not mullahs urge Muslim women to bear at least five children?
Fallaci understood that the United States faced a similar threat of invasion from the south. She never forgot her experiences at the hands of the Mexican authorities. The June 2, 2006, New Yorker reported that late in life, living in the United States, the mass demonstrations by illegal immigrants waving Mexican flags “disgust[ed]” her. “If you hold a gun and say ‘Choose who is worse between the Muslims and the Mexicans,’” she said, “I have a moment of hesitation. Then I choose the Muslims …”
Fallaci’s message was for us as well. Sons and daughters of the West, awake!
Mr. Sims is an historian and a native of Kentucky.
The ‘Jena 6’ Fraud
‘Civil rights’ in the 21st century.
Everyone in America has now heard of Jena, Louisiana. Its racism is said to be so shocking that on September 20, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton had to lead a massive “civil rights” march through the sleepy town of 3,000 to drag it into the modern era. Young blacks from all around the country took part, many comparing the demonstration to events in Selma or Birmingham half a century ago.
In fact, the “racism” blacks are denouncing is imaginary. The national media have been almost criminally negligent in describing a few harmless events in Jena as if Jim Crow had suddenly risen from the dead. They have painted an entirely ordinary town in false colors, and show no signs of apologizing or even publishing corrections.
Here is the story as the big media saw it: At Jena High School there was a shade tree under which only whites were allowed to sit. When a black student asked if blacks could sit there too, whites hung nooses on the tree to scare them away. The whites were caught, but got only a slap on the wrist. Blacks were understandably annoyed, and rising tensions led to a black/white school-yard fight. Unlike the lenient treatment the white noose-hangers got, six blacks in the fight were charged with attempted murder. This glaring case of double-standard justice has rallied support for the “Jena 6” from around the world, and prompted demands that the criminal charges be dropped immediately.
What actually happened? Craig Franklin is a reporter with the Jena Times who has covered events from the beginning. He confirms that there was no “whites-only” tree. The tree in question was planted in 1986, and only recently grew tall enough to give shade. The school put picnic tables under it, and anyone who wanted sat at them.
The question about whether blacks could sit under the tree came during a back-to-school assembly for boys on Aug. 30, 2006, to go over the dress code and other routine matters. When a black student asked about the tree, he laughed, and the whole room laughed. Everyone knew that although students sometimes self-segregate, no place on campus was off-limits to anyone. Mr. Franklin of the Jena Times has learned that the boys asked a number of joke questions, partly to keep the assembly going as long as possible, so they would not have to go back to regular classes.
It is true that early the next morning two nooses made of back nylon rope were found hanging from the tree. The school took them down immediately, and hardly any of the students saw them. School authorities quickly found the three white members of the rodeo team who hung them. Mr. Franklin says they were not even proper nooses, but crudely tied loops. Why did the boys put them there? They had recently seen the “Lonesome Dove” television series, in which Texas Rangers string up several rustlers. None of the rustlers was black. The nooses on the tree were an innocent prank, directed at white friends.
Mr. Franklin learned in September 2007 from their parents that the boys did not even know nooses had racial significance. To members of the rodeo team, nooses were about cowboys and rustlers. “They didn’t have a clue what nooses mean to blacks,” he says, and were “totally flabbergasted” to learn that they can be seen as symbols of lynching.
Adults understood, however, and realized blacks would be upset. As the school superintendent Roy Breithaupt later explained: “Even though we’d determined their true motivation had nothing to do with racial hate, we had to acknowledge that to the black community it would be perceived in that manner. Therefore, severe action was taken regarding the students and the hanging of the nooses.”
Severe is right. The boys were made to attend an off-campus disciplinary school for nine days, and then served two weeks of in-school suspension and several Saturday detentions. They were put through a school discipline court, required to pass psychological evaluation to determine they were not threats to anyone, and referred for monitoring to a family crisis intervention program. The police, the FBI, and federal prosecutors all grilled them. Everyone concluded that the nooses were a prank that had nothing to do with blacks or the question asked in the assembly about sitting under the tree. Difficult as it may be for some to believe, their appearance on the tree the day after the question was a coincidence.
It does appear that the nooses raised racial tensions at the school, but only because the local press reported them as symbols of lynching. On September 6, 2006, a few days after the nooses went up, there was a nasty argument between a black girl and a white girl, and a white boy went to the emergency room for stitches after he was hit in the head from behind. These were exceptional events for Jena High School, where race relations are normally good, and police were assigned to the school on September 7. The next day, there was a report that someone had brought a gun to school. Students were kept in classes for three hours while police searched students and school grounds. All they found were a large number of cell phones, which are forbidden in school by state law.
Given these signs of tension, why didn’t the school set the record straight about the nooses? The facts came to light during an investigation that could have led to expulsion, and state law requires that such proceedings be secret. “We were bound by law to keep the results of the investigation confidential,” explained Superintendent Breithaupt many months later. “That’s the reason we simply could not talk about it publicly.” Also, Jena had not yet become a world-wide news story, so there seemed to be no need to breach confidentiality.
In light of what happened later, it is important to note that from September 9 through the end of November—nearly three months—the nooses faded from memory and there were no racial incidents reported either at the high school or in the city or Jena. In the first days of December, however, there were two off-campus fistfights between several black Jena High School students and white townspeople. No one was seriously injured, and a federal investigation later found that the police response was entirely appropriate.
The crucial event took place back at the high school on December 4, 2006—long after the nooses went up. A black football star named Mychal Bell walked up to a white student named Justin Barker and punched him to the ground from behind. Some eight to ten boys—all black—then started kicking him. Witness statements taken later used phrases like “stomped him badly,” “stepped on his face,” “knocked out cold on the ground,” and “slammed his head on the concrete beam.” According to court documents, Mr. Barker was probably unconscious before he hit the ground, where his attackers stomped his “lifeless” body. The Jena Times calls it “one of the most violent attacks in Jena High School’s history.”
When Assistant Principal Gawan Burgess got to the scene, he thought the boy was dead. He was bleeding from ears and nose and showed no sign of life. An ambulance took Mr. Barker to the hospital, where he was in the emergency room for about 2-1/2 hours and ran up a bill of $5,467. A brain scan showed no anomalies, and he was released.
As LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters has explained many times, this was not a “school-yard fight.” It was a cold-blooded assault, and he charged six of the attackers with attempted murder. Their supporters claim this was a “racist” overreaction to a “playground fight,” especially in light of the mild treatment—generally reported as “three days of in-school suspension”—said to have been given the “racist” whites who hung the nooses. Supporters of the black attackers have tried to discredit the charge of attempted murder by pointing out that Mr. Barker attended a school function the evening after the beating. It was Jena high’s annual class ring ceremony where, as a junior, he was to get a ring. “I waited 11 years to go to it,” he has since explained. “I wasn’t going to let that get in my way.” Mr. Barker had a swollen face and was in considerable pain. He left the ceremony early, as soon as he got his ring. He says he was blind in one eye for three weeks, and was still suffering from headaches six months after the beating.
Why did the black students beat Mr. Barker? At the trial of his main attacker, Mychal Bell, he said he had no idea. Blacks said Mr. Barker had taunted one of them with having his “ass whipped” at one of the off-campus fights a few days before. A student testified at the trial that just before Mr. Bell attacked Mr. Barker she heard a black say, “There’s that white mother f***er that was running his mouth.”
It should be underlined that Mr. Barker was not one of the three whites who hung the nooses, and that at the time of his attack no one said it had anything to do with them. It was only later that “Jena 6” supporters tried to excuse the beating by tying it to the four-months-old nooses episode.
The victim, Mr. Barker, does not appear to be a choirboy. Just a few days before the end of the academic year—long after the attack—he was expelled from school after a hunting rifle was found in his car on school grounds. Students are strictly forbidden to bring weapons to school.
Blacks were outraged when District Attorney Walters decided to try the first defendant, Mychall Bell, as an adult, but he had reason to. Mr. Bell, who was 16 at the time of the attack, had been on probation since he committed battery on Christmas Day, 2005. Since then, in a period of less than a year, he was found guilty under the juvenile system of three other crimes—two violent assaults and one property crime—and this was even before he attacked Mr. Barker. Bail was set at $90,000, a figure his family could not meet. His father, who is now being portrayed as a deeply caring parent, had been living in Texas for years, and resurfaced only after the boy was charged.
Just before the trial last summer, District Attorney Walters reduced charges to aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy. On June 28, 2007, after deliberating for less than three hours, a jury of five women and one man found Mr. Bell guilty. He was to be sentenced on Sept. 20. Much has been made of the fact that all the jurors were white, but none of the blacks summoned for jury duty that day showed up (plenty of whites dodged jury duty, too). The jury pool was all white, so the jury was all white.
The guilty verdict made Mr. Bell a hero to blacks. He and the other five defendants were soon being touted around the world as classic victims of bigoted, Southern white justice.
On August 5, Al Sharpton came to town with his usual message: “You cannot have some boys assault and charged with nothing, some boys hanging nooses and finish the school year and other boys charged with attempted murder and conspiracy. That’s two levels of justice, and two levels of justice is an injustice.”
Jesse Jackson showed up on Sept. 10, demanding that the conviction for Mr. Bell be thrown out, and that the charges for the remaining attackers be reduced to misdemeanors. If not, he threatened, there would be a “major demonstration” spurred by the “national and international outrage,” with as many as 40,000 people likely to descend on Jena. “The DA and the judge can go a long way to relieve this tension,” he warned.
Perhaps the judge was listening. On Sept. 14, 28th Judicial District Court Judge J.P. Mauffray Jr. vacated Mr. Bell’s adult conviction, and ordered him retried in juvenile court. As an adult, the longest sentence could have been 22-1/2 years; in juvenile court, Mr. Bell will face a maximum of 15 years. District Attorney Walters did not give in. He intends to try all the defendants on felony charges.
On Sept. 20, Jena got its demonstration, with the usual bombast about racism and unequal justice. Perhaps as many as 15,000 people—almost all black—were bused in from as far away as Dallas, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago and Philadelphia. Blacks all across the country are lauding the “Jena 6” as the great civil rights victims of our era.
The New York Times tells us Jena is “a high profile arena in the debate on racial bias in the judicial system.” The London Observer wrote that Jena shows “how lightly sleep the demons of racial prejudice in America’s deep south.” The word went out around the world, and British pop star David Bowie gave $10,000 to the NAACP’s “Jena 6 Legal Defense Fund.”
Four hundred thousand dollars reportedly rolled in before lawyers took the case pro bono. Some of the money then ended up on the Internet, where one of the “Jena 6,” Robert Bailey, posted photos of himself and another defendant draped in $100 bills. The word in Jena—and no one is denying it—is that, thanks to the “defense fund,” Robert Bailey’s mother is now driving a BMW, and Mychal Bell’s mother has moved up to a Jaguar.
Politicians are burnishing their anti-racist credentials. Senator Hillary Clinton told the NAACP: “This case reminds us that the scales of justice are seriously out of balance when it comes to charging, sentencing, and punishing African Americans.” Senator Chris Dodd said that Jena proves we still have “de facto segregation,” and urged Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco to overturn any convictions that may result. In September, Congressman John Conyers said he would hold congressional hearings on “the miscarriages of justice that have occurred in Jena, Louisiana,” and the Congressional Black Caucus calls events in Jena “an unbelievable example” of “separate and unequal justice.”
The media are almost entirely to blame for this hideous cavorting. All too ready to assume the worst of whites, all too happy to encourage blacks to scream “racism,” they have, in effect, driven them to demand freedom for thugs who knocked a boy down and stomped him as he lay unconscious. The charges of “racism” that are supposed to justify the attack have now been shown to be just as groundless as the lies with which Tawana Brawley helped Al Sharpton find his true calling.
What are the chances the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and the rest of the world media will correct their stories? Water is more likely to flow uphill. The media have sunk their teeth into what they thought was a juicy story about small-town, Southern racism and there is no pulling back. The “Jena 6” have joined the “Little Rock 9” and the “Scottsboro Boys” as iconic victims of Southern white racism. The whole thing is a contemptible fraud.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Bye, Bye, Belgium?
Belgium is an artificial country, created by the British in 1831 to act as a buffer between France and Germany. Sixty percent of the population are Dutch-speaking Flemings who live in Flanders in the north of the country. French-speaking Walloons are concentrated in the southern region of Wallonia.
The two populations do not always get along. In June, Flemish Christian Democrat Yves Leterme won the general election. The Belgian parliamentary system requires that both regions approve all governments, but Wallonia refused. A majority of members of the Wallonian parliament believe Mr. Leterme is a Flemish nationalist who will put Flemish interests first. Belgium has therefore been officially without a government for nearly five months, and there is speculation the country could break up along ethnic lines.
Flanders is the most productive part of the country, producing some 70 percent of GNP, and the Flemings are tired of supporting the poorer, socialist-leaning Walloons. The largest party in Belgium in the ardently nationalist Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest), which wants independence for Flanders. The Belgian and European establishments—Brussels is home to the anti-national European Union—are unremittingly hostile to the Vlaams Belang, and its predecessor party the Vlaams Blok (VB), and have harassed it for years.
One tactic of the national government has been to grant foreigners, primarily Muslims, the right to vote in local elections. Immigrants vote against the VB, keeping it from becoming the majority party in major Flemish cities. A recent poll found that 43 percent of Flemings want independence.
It was against this backdrop of ethnic division, government crisis, and tension over immigration that the Vlaams Belang proposed a march through Brussels on September 11 to commemorate the attacks on Washington and New York and to protest the “Islamization” of Europe. The Socialist mayor of Brussels, Freddy Thielemans, banned the march for fear it would upset Muslims.
Two hundred protestors defied the ban, and marched along with VB leaders Frank Vanhecke and Filip Dewinter. The riot police, who outnumbered the protestors, quickly moved in and made arrests—all caught on videotape. Columnist Diana West of the Washington Times described what she saw on the tape:
“We see black-clad Belgian policemen brutalizing a man in a light-colored suit and tie. His hands are cuffed behind his back, his right elbow is clasped in what is known as an arm-bar hold, and he is being subjected to a genital hold—a vicious grip that, a retired cop friend of mine tells me, would get any American policeman thrown off the force.”
The man was party chairman Frank Vanhecke. In Patrick Buchanan’s view, this would be like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell being beaten by police for leading a protest on Capitol Hill. Top party spokesman Filip Dewinter was also roughed up and bundled into a paddy wagon. The brutality of the Belgian police did not bring any international condemnation. Indeed, the president of the Council of Europe issued a statement defending the arrests: “The freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are indeed preconditions for democracy, but they should not be regarded as a license to offend.” [BBC News, Arrests at Brussels Islam Protest, Sept. 11, 2007. Patrick Buchanan, Is Belgium Breaking Up?, Creators Syndicate, Sept. 28, 2007.]
This spring, AR staff heard Mr. Vanhecke and Mr. Dewinter give an inspiring talk in Arlington, Virginia ( See “Men of the West, Stand and Fight!” AR, April 2007). They are fine men, deeply concerned with the welfare of their country, and if this is the way Belgium treats patriots, the sooner it ceases to exist the better.
Swiss Turn Violent
Last month we reported on the uproar over the Swiss People’s Party’s (SVP in German) campaign for the October 21 parliamentary elections, in which the SVP is using a poster of white sheep kicking out a black sheep. “The poster is disgusting, unacceptable,” says no less a person than the president of Switzerland, Micheline Calmy-Rey: “It stigmatizes others and plays on the fear factor and in that sense it’s dangerous. The campaign does not correspond to Switzerland’s multicultural openness to the world.” Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin says the SVPs tactics, and devotion to its parliamentary leader, Justice Minister Cristoph Blocher, remind him of Mussolini and the fascists.
The left should be careful with the term “fascist.” On October 6, the SVP was to hold a march and rally in the Swiss capital, Bern. As more than 10,000 supporters arrived at Federal Square, outside the Parliament, they were met by several hundred leftwing protestors. The protestors blocked the SVP march and ransacked the stage on which Mr. Blocher and others were to speak. Protestors threw bricks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails at police, who then used water cannons and tear gas to break up the crowd. More than 20 police officers were injured, and dozens of protestors were arrested. Bern police admitted they had been unprepared for the guerilla-type tactics used by the anti-SVP rioters, who also looted several jewelry and watch stores. Police Chief Stephan Huegli called the riot “a black day for Swiss democracy and freedom of speech.”
Mr. Blocher, addressing his supporters after they had regrouped, said that “this day will go down in Swiss history.” Defense Minister Samuel Schmid, who, like Mr. Blocher is a member of the seven-member Federal Council that serves as the Swiss executive, denounced the violence, saying it was not in keeping with Switzerland’s “democratic traditions and values.”
The SVP became the largest party in the Swiss Parliament in 2004, when it won nearly 27 percent of the vote. Before the riot, the SVP was on track to win at least a similar victory. Because political violence is so alien to Switzerland, observers say the SVP is likely to gain even more support. [Pre-election Rally Marred by Violence, SwissInfo, Oct. 6, 2007. Elaine Sciolino, Far-right Swiss Party Divides Nation on Immigrant Issue, International Herald-Tribune, Oct. 7, 2007. Ian Traynor, Switzerland Reeling as Radicals Create Havoc at Rightwing Political Rally, Guardian (London), Oct. 8, 2007.]
Foreigners in Italy
According to recent data from Istat, the Italian government statistics bureau, the number of foreigners in Italy has been increasing by about 10 percent a year, and now stands at three million—5 percent of the population. One of every 10 babies born in Italy now has foreign-born parents. The largest groups of foreigners are Albanians (376,000), followed by Moroccans (343,000), Romanians (342,000), and Chinese (145,000). Italy still has a smaller proportion of immigrants than Germany (8.8 percent), and Britain (6.2 percent). In the US, more than 11 percent of the population is foreign-born.
Foreigners in Italy have established a political party, the New Italians Immigrants’ Party. “Now that the ‘New Italians’ have reached three million, politicians cannot continue to ignore their needs,” says Mustapha Mansouri, the party’s leader, who is originally from Morocco. “We’re asking for legal residents to enjoy political rights. They pay taxes and contribute to the country’s wealth.” A recent poll found that 60 percent of foreigners living in Italy said they thought voting rights would help them feel more integrated and “less foreign.”
The city of Rome lets immigrants elect representatives to the city council but they have only an advisory role. In 2005, Italy’s Council of State, its highest court, rejected a move by the city of Genoa to let immigrants vote in municipal elections, saying only the national government had the power to extend voting rights. [Italy Now has Three Million Foreigners, ANSA (Italian News Agency), Oct. 2, 2007.]
The Color of Corruption
After two years of FBI investigations, the federal government has brought bribery and kickback charges against 16 people in Dallas in connection with construction of city-funded low-income housing. Among the people charged are some of the city’s most prominent blacks, including state Rep. Terri Hodge, former Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill, and a former City Council member. Mr. Hill was considered the front-runner for mayor until word got out about the investigation. Only four of the defendants are white. All are land developers, and none is an elected official.
Dallas is only 25 percent black, and some people think the investigation must have targeted blacks. Dallas County’s District Attorney, Craig Watkins, who is black, says that “people just have the general sense of the city being unfair to people of color.” Some blacks have even said the investigation was a deliberate attempt to destroy the black leadership. US Attorney Richard Roper and the FBI strongly deny this, pointing out there was no sting operation. Investigators simply removed incriminating documents from City Hall and followed the paper trail.
John Wiley Price, the Dallas County Commissioner, who is also black, takes a realistic view. “Unfortunately, all the actors who were in a position to make a decision … were black,” he says. [Paul J. Weber, Dallas Indictment Raises Race Issues, AP, October 3, 2007.]
Trevor Phillips, a black Briton of Guyanese origin, has made a career of being a professional minority. For years, as chairman of Britain’s Commission on Race Relations, he bellowed about “institutional racism.” He has a new perch now, as head of something called the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, but the rhetoric is the same. Immigration to Britain has become a permanent fixture, he says, and the British must get used to the country becoming less white. “There’s no going back,” he says.
Mr. Phillips recognizes that many of the new Britons do not share traditional British culture, and are not interested in assimilating. His solution? “I think we have to rewrite, redevelop, our national story so that it is inclusive. And what I mean by that in practice is this: not that we have to re-write what we are but sometimes we have to go back into the tapestry and insert some threads that were lost. … And if there is a practical thing, I would say it is that we need to revisit some parts of that national heritage, to rewrite some parts of that national story to tell the whole story.
One part that needs rewriting is the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, one of the defining events in British history. For centuries, Britons believed the Royal Navy and a helpful storm prevented Catholic Spain from invading Protestant Britain, but they got it wrong. Mr. Phillips explains: “When we talk about the Armada it’s only now that we are beginning to realize that part of it is Muslims. It was the Turks who saved us, because they held up the Armada at the request of Elizabeth I. Now let’s rewrite that story, let’s use our heritage to rewrite that story so it is truly inclusive.” [Brian Wheeler, British History ‘Needs Rewrite,’ BBC News, Sept. 25, 2007.]
Beaner’s No More
Fifteen years ago, Bob Fish and his partner were sitting at his kitchen table trying to come up with a name for the coffee-shop company they planned to start. They settled on “Beaner’s,” which was supposed to make people think of coffee beans. Beaner’s has since grown steadily, with 77 stores in nine states, mostly in the Midwest and Southeast, and the company expects $30 million in sales this year. But as Beaner’s began to move into areas with large numbers of Hispanics, it began to worry about its name. “Beaner,” short for “bean-eater,” is a common derogatory term for Mexicans. While the company has never been sued or asked to change its name, says Mr. Fish, “we decided we’d always be answering those questions.” He adds: “You remember the saying from the playground, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.’ Well, that’s not really true. Names do hurt. What we realized is we had a name that unintentionally hurt people.”
The company will spend more than $1 million to replace signs and other items with the company’s new name, “Biggby’s.” [Jeremy W. Steele, Beaner’s to Drop Name Some See as Derogatory, Lansing State Journal, Sept. 15, 2007.]
Bunyan Bryant, a black man who camps during the summer on the shores of Lake Huron, is used to being the only non-white. “I seldom see other African Americans or even other minorities camping. … [I]t doesn’t happen.”
Few non-whites go to national and state parks. Even un Arizona, where whites are soon to become a minority, the US Forest Service found that 88 percent of the people visiting the state’s six national forests were white.
Why don’t non-whites enjoy the Great Outdoors? Some people say the problem is money: Poor blacks can’t afford to go camping. Others says it is cultural. Marta Maldonado, a sociologist at Iowa State University, says the concept of “wilderness” is a western European idea, not one necessarily shared by non-whites. The chief of the US Forest Service, Dale Bosworth, says the “face of conservation has traditionally been rural and white.” Bunyan Bryant, the black camper, believes that for many blacks, descended from share croppers, camping might remind them of farm life and poverty. Alan Spears, associate director of cultural diversity programs at the National Parks Conservation Association, is black, and therefore perhaps speaks with more authority. “It’s all couched under a larger fear that maybe, with some of these public lands, you’re going to run into white supremacists in camouflage clothing running seven-man assault drills or something like that,” he says.
Park administrators are determined to get more non-whites into the woods, partly because they are worried about funding. Blacks and Hispanics care more about welfare than forests. As their numbers and political power increase, their interests will take an increasing share of government budgets, leaving less money for wilderness protection. [Michael Hill, Minorities Not Taking Part in Wilderness Activities, Chicago Sun-Times, Sept. 11, 2005.]
‘Racists’ Make Policy
Former Mexican president Vicente Fox is hawking a new book, Revolution of Hope, written in English because he says he wants to make Americans understand the Mexican point of view on immigration. In an interview with the Associated Press, Mr. Fox took President Bush to task for making excuses about why there could not be an amnesty: “There was always a reason for why it couldn’t be done. ‘It is not possible because of the elections.’ He couldn’t touch the topic because this election is very important, or because security was more important. So, when are they going to finally address it? It needs to be resolved.”
Mr. Fox think the US should not have a secure border: “To be so repressive isn’t democratic or free … to be putting up fences, chasing Mexicans, that isn’t right. The US needs better answers than repression, weapons and violence.” And why aren’t things going his way? “The xenophobics, the racists, those who feel they are a superior race … they are deciding the future of this nation.” [Diego A. Santos, Ex-Mexico Prez: Racists Stop Immigration, AP, Oct. 8, 2007.]
The Wallet-Drop Test
Paul Kinsella is a 35-year-old web page designer who spent a month in 2006 dropping 100 wallets around the town of Belleville, Illinois, to see who would keep them and who would mail them back to the address inside. The wallets contained $2.10 in cash and a fake but realistic-looking gift certificate for $50. Mr. Kinsella filmed every wallet drop, and noted the age, sex, and race of the people who picked them up.
His results were no surprise. As the charts on this page show, old people were more honest than young people, women were more honest than men, and whites were more honest than blacks. The age, sex, and race differences were consistent, no matter how the characteristics were mixed. For examples, 95 percent of the white women were honest while only 65 percent of the black women were. Sixty-five percent of the white men were honest, while only 44 percent of the back men were. Young black people were the most dishonest. Not even half—just 40 percent—returned the wallets, while 62 percent of young whites returned the wallets.
Mr. Kinsella’s samples were small, and statisticians might quibble over the validity of his findings, but larger samples would probably produce similar results. Details of Mr. Kinsella’s experiment and further results are available at www.WalletTest.com.
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — I was moved by Dan Roodt’s October cover story about the resurgence of national pride among the Afrikaners, and I hope it leads to independence some day.
I was long out of college before I understood that Boers have a distinct and admirable culture, and that my people—the Anglo-Saxons—have been their worst enemies. The Anglo-Boer War was one of the most nakedly aggressive acts of the British Empire, and at least some segments of British society were right to be deeply ashamed of it at the time. Even worse was the United States’ role in rallying the international pressure that finally forced South Africa’s whites to turn over power to blacks. An admirable and promising nation was strangled in its crib, and for what? For Americans and other whites to pat themselves on the back and claim not to be “racist.”
We have, of course, done the same thing to what used to be a successful country called Rhodesia; it is now a pest-hole. At least the British and the Americans are consistent: They are assuring their own eventual destruction at the hands of non-whites. What would it take for the white world to wake up? The extermination of all the whites of southern Africa? I’m not sure even that would make a difference.
Good luck and best wishes to the courageous Afrikaners.
Oliver Woodley, Shreveport, La.
Sir — I greatly enjoyed Dan Roodt’s “The ‘De la Rey’ Song.” Only a South African could have written anything so incisive about the Afrikaner soul.
I realize that Dr. Roodt’s essay was not directed to these questions, but perhaps he could answer them in a future article. First, how could the government of F.W. de Klerk have surrendered power to the known communists of the African National Congress? Mr. de Klerk and his cohorts were career politicians and must surely have seen what was coming.
Second, how much more adversity will it take before white South Africans rise up against back rule? Finally, did the Boer generals really dismantle all their nuclear weapons, or did a few farsighted commanders hide some nukes for a “rainy day?” In other words, did any of the upper levels within South Africa’s intelligence agencies or military plan for a time when the white public would come to its senses after having experienced black rule?
John Reese, Milwaukee, Wis.
Sir — I gazed long and hard at the photos of the Afrikaner commandos with which you illustrated last month’s cover story. Those men have the steady, dedicated gaze of Confederate infantrymen—and the same make-shift “uniforms.” They look like dangerous, committed men. It is no wonder they give the British years of trouble, just as my ancestors gave the Yankees years of trouble.
Alan Sparkman, New Haven, Ct.
Sir — I read the review of Marriage and Caste in America with much interest. I find it fascinating that after half a century of foolishness, at least a few intellectuals are rediscovering things most of us have known all along: children need two parents, and those parents should be a married man and woman.
What are the chances the “educated” classes will rediscover what most of us have always known about race?
Carol Spence, Richmond, Va.
Sir — I see that the author of Marriage and Caste in America really is a revolutionary: She thinks marriage is for heterosexuals and that it only batters a weakened institution when it is passed out to homosexuals. This is almost as wicked as pointing out that blacks have low IQs—and almost as obvious.
Is not someone whose reproductive desires are directed toward a reproductive dead end a pervert? As far as I am concerned, men who lust after men are no different from men who lust after animals or corpses or trees. They probably can’t help it, and are more to be pitied than censured, but certainly not to be admired or fawned over or allowed to “marry.”
Sharon Carrick, Rockford, Il.
Sir — In a television news report, I saw a classic example of biased media coverage. A pedophile on a bus fondled a 12-year-old girl, who promptly got up and reported him to the bus driver. A video camera showed the driver removing the offender, who appeared to be black. The culprit took off, the reporter said, adding that the police would appreciate any help from the public in locating a “middle-aged man of average height wearing a baseball cap.” No mention of race. This was on Fox News, which is under constant attack from CNN and other “mainstream” channels for being too conservative.
O.M. Ostlund, Jr., Altoona, Pa.
Sir — Thank you once again for another can’t-put-it-down AR (September), a monthly refuge of reason and sanity and a reminder that I am not alone in viewing the emperor’s nakedness.
I especially appreciated the quantitative proof that “diversity” is no “strength,” but a weakness. How different from the empty platitudes of the other side suggesting that embracing “diversity” will bring about the Age of Aquarius. If only the “mainstream media” had the courage to print this; unfortunately, I fear it will remain a sermon to the choir.
Robert Michael, Fort Collins, Colo.
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