American Renaissance
American Renaissance magazine
Vol. 2, No. 11 November 1991


The Nation We Are Becoming, Part I
The Immigration Policy That Might Have Been
Scribbling While Rome Burns!
O Tempora, O Mores!
Letters from Readers


The Nation We Are Becoming, Part I

Immigration is profoundly changing the nation we will leave to our grandchildren.

For how much longer will the United States have a white majority? Thirty years? Forty years? If American immigration policy remains unchanged, and white fertility rates stay low, your grandchildren will certainly be minorities in their own country, and you, yourself, have a good chance of living out your last years in a nation that is predominantly non-white.

Many Americans do not even realize that in just a few generations their homeland may have a Third-World population, but if pressed to voice an opinion about it in public, they would probably stammer the obligatory praise of “diversity.” They have adopted the official view that a Third World America will be a marked improvement over the self-consciously white nation we once were.

Immigration, the force that gave America its cultural identity, is now the force that is driving its transformation. Only in the last few decades has America’s traditional commitment to its European heritage been tossed aside, and millions of non-whites been allowed to pour into the country. No government action is likely to affect the future of our country more profoundly than decisions about who will populate America; yet immigration policy is now made in complete disregard of the wishes of the current majority and runs directly counter to America’s obvious needs.

The graph below shows the effect of two centuries of immigration on the racial composition of the United States. It is interesting to note that in the early years of the Republic, blacks, at nearly 20 percent, were a larger proportion of the population than at any time since. After the slave trade was banned in 1808, their numbers grew only by natural increase, and their proportion dropped to an all-time low of just under 10 percent in the 1920s and 1930s.

GRAPH 1: American Population by Race

The white percentage of the population, boosted by high, virtually all-white immigration around the turn of the century, rose to its highest level of around 90 percent in the 1930s and 1940s. How this number was quickly reduced to the 75 percent figure of today is explained by graphs numbered 2 through 5 below.

GRAPH 2: Immigration Since 1881

Graph 2, above, shows total immigration to the United States, by decade, since 1881. It shows no long-term pattern, since immigration was greatly reduced by the Depression and the Second World War. Since the 1950s, however, immigration has continued to climb, and more immigrants came to this country during the last decade than in any previous decade save that of the 1900s.

GRAPH 3: Sources of Legal Immigration, 1881-1980

Graph 3, immediately above, represents the racial composition of immigration for almost the same historical period. It shows that just as immigration was surging after the war, the mix of immigrants changed dramatically. As a result of new immigration laws in the 1950s and 1960s, the proportion of whites coming to America plummeted. Graph 4, immediately below, is a continuation of Graph 3, but on a finer time scale. It shows that in the last decade, when immigration was climbing to near-record highs, white immigration dwindled to almost nothing. During that decade, even black immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa — hardly traditional sources of American immigration — outnumbered arrivals from Europe.

GRAPH 4: Sources of Legal Immigration, 1981-1990

Graph 5, immediately below, shows the number of legal immigrants who came to America in 1990 from the top eight countries of origin. Not a single one of these nations has a white population. It is this huge wave of non-white immigration that brings us back to the question implied by graph1. How quickly will whites become a minority in America ... and how small a minority will it be?

GRAPH 5: Countries of Origin, 1990

The downward slope of the line labeled “White” is likely to get much steeper, as people fleeing Third-World misery pour across our borders and continue to have babies at Third-World rates after they get here. Although whites are still some 75 percent of the population, they make up only 69 percent of the population under age 18. Non-whites are already a majority of all children in Washington, D.C. (90 percent), Hawaii (75.5 percent), and New Mexico (67 percent). They are over 40 percent of all children in California (46.4), Florida (46.4), Mississippi (47.6), and Texas (47.1).

Children are the future of any society, and the United States is rushing towards a non-white future at ever-increasing speed. A hundred years from today, whites and European culture could be furtive remnants on a continent they once dominated; as soon as non-whites become the majority, it is not likely that immigration or other policies will ever be changed to reverse today’s trends.

Illegal Immigration

The graphs on this page cover only legal immigration. Although there are still hundreds of thousands of American troops guarding Europe against an increasingly improbable invasion from the East, at any one time there are no more than 500 guards patrolling our border with Mexico. Every year they manage to catch about one million people trying to break into America. How many others manage to slip through their net is anyone’s guess.

In 1986, in an astonishing act of capitulation, the United States “solved” its illegal immigrant problem by granting amnesty to all illegals who could prove they had been in America since 1982. In effect, our government decided to reward anyone who had been able to break our laws continuously since that date. In 1989, 492,000 people were granted amnesty, and in 1990 the figure was 880,372. The Immigration and Naturalization Service expects that more than 2,000,000 illegals will eventually be granted amnesty under the law.

In both 1989 and 1990, about 70 percent of the people given amnesty were Mexican. This helps account for the very high figure for Mexicans in graph 3. Amnesty effectively quadrupled Mexican immigration for that year.

What has been a huge gift to Mexico has hardly been a bargain for us. The state of California, which got the largest share of amnestied illegals, discovered that its newly-legal residents had an average of four years of education and that 80 percent did not speak English well enough to hold a job. These former law-breakers can now sponsor immigration of relatives they left behind in Mexico.

At the same time, the fact of having once granted amnesty suggests that the United States could very well grant it again in the future. Mexicans certainly seem to think so. The border patrol reports a sharp increase in apprehensions of entire families trying to make the crossing together. This is a departure from the usual pattern of illegal immigration by unaccompanied men. Generally, illegals bring their wives and children only when they intend to settle permanently.

Disappearing America

Whether by design or by accident, the United States of previous decades is disappearing. The “diversity” that is replacing it is said to be a blessing for the whites who would otherwise have to live only with their own kind. Curiously, only white people appear to be qualified to receive or appreciate this blessing. No non-white nation is said to be plagued by a troublesome homogeneity that must be put right by importing people who are as different as possible from its current residents. If the United States were sending its poorest, least educated people to Japan or even to Mexico, no one could trick the Japanese or the Mexicans into “celebrating diversity” or thinking they had been “culturally enriched.” AR

The second part of this article will describe some of the adjustments America is making as it sheds its European past and becomes a Third-World country. Joseph Fallon lives in Rye, New York.

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The Immigration Policy That Might Have Been

The author of The Path to National Suicide replies to our August review by Lynne Richards.

The critics of a racialist view of immigration usually dismiss it as “bigotry.” AR is pleased to present an unusual and welcome addition to the debate: a dissent from the racialist view that is both thoughtful and well argued.

Lynne Richards’ main complaint with my essay, The Path to National Suicide, is that I don’t call for a total exclusion of non-Europeans from future immigration, even though, as she points out, the logic of my argument about the threat to America’s cultural identity seems to point in that direction. It is a rare and heady experience for me to be criticized for being too soft on immigration. However, Miss Richards’ question is a fair one and deserves a thoughtful response.

What is at issue is the sort of society we desire to live in. But that immediately raises the question of the gulf between the ideal and the possible. The political philosopher Leo Strauss has written:

“The legislator is strictly limited in his choice of institutions and laws by the character of the people for whom he legislates, by their traditions, by the nature of their territory, by their economic conditions, and so on. His choosing this or that law is normally a compromise between what he would wish and what circumstances permit.” (Leo Strauss, What is Political Philosophy, p. 86.)

For Miss Richards (as well as for the classic political philosophers), one of the conditions of the ideal society is that its members be sufficiently homogeneous so as to identify with its traditions and be able to carry them forward. The multiracialism resulting from recent immigration, as well as the biracialism embedded in our history (not to mention the pan-European multiethnicism brought about by earlier waves of immigration), mean that the sort of homogeneity that Miss Richards regards as ideal is long since past. But that doesn’t mean that the ideal of cultural homogeneity is irrelevant. The ideal is still the means of judging and guiding the actual. Keeping in mind the goal of achieving the best possible society, the practical question becomes: given our existing situation, to what extent can we approximate the ideal and preserve as much of a common heritage as is possible?

The issue is further complicated by the fact that the ideal of homogeneity is balanced by the desirability for a certain degree of variety and cosmopolitanism. After all, we are not the tiny city-state of the Greek philosophers (where a tight-fitting homogeneity makes sense) but a nation-state of 250 millions. Strict ethnic homogeneity among such a vast population, even if it had ever existed, might get to be an awful bore.

One way to approach this problem is to imagine what a good immigration policy in 1965 might have been, if our legislators had been thinking of achieving a good society instead of just responding to humanitarian clichés. At this point I hope I will not shock readers of American Renaissance when I say that, in principle, I like immigration. There is truth in the saying that immigrants bring welcome energy and a fresh appreciation for our institutions. In 1965 I, along with Sen. Sam Ervin, might have favored a cautious reform of the national quota system (not its total elimination, as was the case) to allow in small numbers of previously excluded, non-European groups — enough perhaps to add to the cosmopolitan mix of our metropolitan areas, but not enough to pose any threat to the overall character and identity of this country.

That is, by the way, what the 1965 lawmakers thought they were getting: Sen. Hyram Fong of Hawaii said at the 1965 hearings that under the new law Asians would never surpass one percent of the U.S. population. A moderate number of select individuals of various races could easily have been assimilated into this country while providing a certain enlivening variety. But of course that’s not what we got. We have already gone so far beyond an assimilable demographic mix, not to mention a sane population policy, that the question arises whether we can afford to allow in any more immigrants at all, let alone non-Europeans. In other words, in “ideal” circumstances I would have favored a small amount of non-European immigration. But we are not in ideal circumstances.

Miss Richards asks of me: “What are the necessary qualities and qualifications for becoming the sort of American he wants for fellow citizens?” With regard to the problem of national identity, I think the main qualification for citizenship should be the capacity for what sociologist Milton Gordon calls “identificational assimilation,” i.e., for the adoption of the cultural and political heritage of the host people as one’s own.

We must remember that this is not a mathematically precise formula that can be determined in a laboratory, but a rough truth to be arrived at by political experience. If we were to apply such a formula with absolute strictness, then the only “good” citizens would be the lineal descendants of the 18th century Americans, and all the immigrants since the 18th century (except perhaps those from England) would be seen as a falling-off from the original American type; I assume such a criterion would seem too exclusive even for most readers of American Renaissance. If we applied a somewhat broader, “Northern-European” perspective, then the pre-1880 Americans — including the then-despised Irish — would be the “real” Americans, and the 1880-1920 immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe would be seen as the fatal departure from the true America.

I do not believe that an exclusion of all non-Europeans, strictly on racial basis, is morally desirable or politically possible.

Now it cannot be denied that each immigrant group brought significant changes to this country; Germans in the 19th century turned puritanical Sunday into a family fun day; the entry of Catholics and Jews resulted in the secularization of our formerly Protestant school systems; and so on. But we need to recognize that, as unsettling as some of these changes were, they occurred within an overall continuum; the basic spiritual and institutional framework of this nation remained largely intact. The standard of identificational assimilation, to a sufficient degree to provide for essential social continuity, was tacitly (if roughly) followed throughout our entire history up to the 1960s. For example, despite some grumblings, the Germans and Scandinavians were not seen as a serious threat to national identity. Jews, Italians and Slovaks were perceived as more foreign; and such concerns inspired the Americanization movement in the World War I era to help ensure that the newcomers would adopt this country’s heritage. When anxieties on that score persisted, because of the ongoing huge numbers of European immigrants, immigration was sharply curtailed in the 1920s — a step that helped advance the assimilation of the Southern and Eastern Europeans who were already here. Asians, in the meantime, had been virtually excluded from the U.S.

The result of all of the above was a society consisting of an Anglo/Northern European majority, Southern and Eastern European minorities, and an even smaller sprinkling of non-Europeans, as well as our historic black population. This was the way the U.S., partly by choice, partly by chance, sought within the context of immigration policy to maintain its cultural integrity. It is only with the open immigration era beginning in the 1960s that the criterion of identificational assimilation has been cast aside; the resulting experience with multiculturalism and other social disorders clearly indicates that the massive and growing presence of diverse Third-World peoples is not compatible with the survival of our national and civilizational heritage.

Based on what I have said so far, it would appear that no further non-European immigration should be allowed. However, I do not believe, given current realities, that an exclusion of all non-Europeans, strictly on a racial basis, is morally desirable or politically possible. America is no longer the homogeneous society it was in the 19th century, when it simply took its Caucasian character for granted and acted accordingly (e.g., the Chinese exclusion acts). In today’s racially mixed society one could not argue, in principle, for total racial exclusion without invoking the sort of explicit racialist ideology that views race qua race as the supreme and defining idea of political life.

The inner form of our common Western culture — the very basis of liberty under law — is the love of transcendent values higher than race or state. According to the Western philosophical tradition, it is the hierarchic order of man’s natural constitution — of his natural wants and inclinations — that supplies the basis for natural right. (Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History, p. 127.) I would argue that man’s natural need for membership in a cohesive and continuing community is one level of that hierarchy; and relative racial homogeneity is undeniably a factor in such cohesiveness. There is thus a universal right, proceeding from nature, to preserve one’s own particular society. But the racial/national aspect is not the highest aspect of the constitution of man’s being.

The potential danger of racialist thinking, evident in its more extreme manifestations, such as Nazism and Afrocentrism, is that, by making an idol of race, it cuts man off from the transcendent — from God, from universal moral principles, from our common humanity. Moreover, as I just indicated, it is only within the larger constitution of being that man’s more particular needs and values, such as the national, can find their true meaning and justification.

It is thus a great mistake to blame Christianity (as some rightist thinkers do) for today’s globalist ideologies. Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan is a story of brotherly love between like-minded individuals, not a prescription for the massive and coercive blending of entire nations. Indeed, Biblical religion is one of the very sources of the American nation. We should thus defend our way of life from the threat of Third-World immigration, not on the basis of a racialist ideology (with its reductive — and potentially demonic — view of man), but on the basis of an appeal to our cultural particularity, and which we, like any other nation, have a natural right to protect.

It may well be that America has already become racially too diverse to be able to preserve and recover its common tradition on a cultural, non-racialist basis.

Returning to the issue at hand, I see two possible approaches to the problem Miss Richards has posed. The first is to reduce the total number of immigrants to a much lower number (say 200,000), while eliminating extended-family preferences and introducing a more equitable proportion of European immigrants relative to the total numbers. This would reduce the annual influx of non-Europeans from the 1.5 million we are currently receiving to something under 100,000. From a restrictionist point of view, surely this would be a scarcely-hoped-for deliverance.

The only practicable basis for achieving the total exclusion of non-Europeans that Miss Richards desires could not be racial, but environmental. This would mean excluding all Europeans as well, i.e., ending all immigration — an approach that has the advantage of cutting through the invidious race issue (and avoiding the sort of “numbers game” that Miss Richards dislikes) by simply excluding everyone. From an environmentalist, population-growth and quality-of-life perspective, as well as from a cultural perspective, this may be a plausible position to take, at least as a temporary measure while America gets its cultural and economic houses in order.

It has been argued that such a drastic reduction or total cessation of immigration, even if not formally justified in racial/cultural terms, would still be understood to be aimed at non-Europeans and would thus create difficulties regarding the status of non-Europeans already here. I do not see that as an insuperable problem. The immigration restrictions of the 1920s were aimed at keeping out further influxes of Southern and Eastern Europeans. Yet those groups, far from suffering any legal persecution, continued to thrive and become part of this society throughout the 20th century.

I fully recognize the paradoxical quality of the argument I have presented here, as well as its possible futility. It may well be that America has already become racially too diverse to be able to preserve and recover its common tradition on the cultural, non-racialist basis that I have proposed. But we must try. The only alternative, as immigration and multiculturalism proceed apace, is a deepening descent into the hell of ethnic tribalism. AR

Lawrence Auster is a freelance writer living in New York City. The Path to National Suicide is available for $3.00 from the American Immigration Control Foundation, Box 525, Monterey, VA 24465.

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Scribbling While Rome Burns

Los Angeles: Capital of the Third World, David Rieff, Simon & Schuster, 1991, 270 pp., $20.00

This book is not what its title suggests. It is not about the millions of non-white immigrants who are turning Los Angeles into a city that is no longer recognizably American. It is not about Salvadorans, Koreans, Mexicans, or Ethiopians. Instead, it is about white people; how they live, and what they think — when they do think — about immigration. For author David Rieff, a New York City free-lance writer, the waves of aliens are a looming presence that is as obvious as it is uninteresting. He does not even bother to tell us how many Third-Worlders now live in Los Angeles, much less how many illegal immigrants are on welfare, or in jail, or have babies in city hospitals.

What he does do, and he does it very well, is describe what white people think about what is happening to Los Angeles. He is fascinated to find that people who have subtle, well-reasoned opinions about nearly anything else are happy to mouth slogans when it comes to immigration. Though he doesn’t quite realize it, Mr. Rieff has stumbled onto one of the most appalling mysteries of late-twentieth century America: that people who live face to face with the imminent dispossession of European America have scarcely given the future a thought.

‘Little Brown People’

Because Mr. Rieff is not looking for immigrants on welfare lines or in maternity wards, he finds them where upper middle-class whites find them. To the oblivious Anglo, what Mr. Rieff calls the “little brown people” appear primarily as maids and gardeners. Virtually anyone with a white-collar job can afford someone to clean the apartment, and no one with a back yard need do the mowing or pruning himself. Dirt poor Third-Worlders are delighted to work below the minimum wage, and the threat of deportation keeps illegals docile.

The other point of contact with immigrants is at the ubiquitous “strip malls.” Traffic in Los Angeles is so snarled and full-time house-wives so rare that white Angelenos have taken to shopping at ugly, over-priced, but convenient mom-and-pop stores that have sprung up everywhere. Blacks are not willing to put in the 60- and 70-hour weeks it takes to run them, so white Angelenos now buy beer and potato chips from small brown people who scarcely speak English.

The thinking of whites invariably glides along well-worn groves.

Mr. Rieff is startled to discover how many whites think and act as if the immigrant presence amounts to no more than this. Of course, Los Angeles covers many square miles. There are huge, ever-growing tracts of it into which whites never venture. The ten-to-a-room world of rape and gang warfare that is on the TV news every night might as well be on a different planet — even though that is where the cleaning lady lives. The brown tide laps ever closer, but so long as whites still have white neighbors, and the only non-whites at the office are janitors, white Angelenos need never realize that they are a dwindling remnant.

What happens when they do? To Mr. Rieff’s astonishment, the thinking of whites invariably glides along well-worn grooves. One runs like this: “L.A. was great, L.A. was now full of newcomers, therefore the newcomers must be great.”

Similarly, he writes of the “suspension of disbelief” that makes the following kind of reasoning possible:

“If L.A. was the city most open to the new, and the new was also, by definition, what was best, then the immigration, which, whatever else it was, could hardly be described as anything but unprecedented, also had to be a fundamentally good thing, however it might appear on the surface.”

After all, the United States is supposed to be a country in which everything always gets better, so immigration must be part of this perpetual betterment. And why would millions of people be coming from all over the world if Los Angeles weren’t such a wonderful place?

Mr. Rieff is also fully attuned to the contradictions inherent in coupling trendy environmentalism to trendy “tolerance” of non-white immigrants. “One of the most perplexing aspects of conversation in ecologically minded West L.A.,” he writes, “was to hear people who worried over the slightest disturbance to the ecosystem assert that as far as human boundaries were concerned, there should be virtually no constraints at all, let alone prosecution of those who were found to be in the country illegally. So sensitive were liberal Angelenos to the possibility of appearing xenophobic that they almost invariably used the term ‘undocumented worker’ rather than ‘illegal alien’ ...” Nor surprisingly, Mr. Rieff also finds the same defense of immigration most commonly given on the East Coast:

“There was an enduring conviction, particularly among liberal Angelenos, a disproportionate number of whom were Jews, that, despite the evidence of their own eyes, the new immigration simply recapitulated the immigration of 1900; in other words the experiences of their own grandparents and great-grandparents.” Typical white Angelenos “preferred to believe that the new immigration was just a rerun of what had happened before, or else to hunker down into the privileged folds of their careers and private lives and insist that nothing was happening at all.”
“Most Anglos understood that what they were in fact witnessing was the de-Europeanization of Southern California, and, farther down the line, of the U.S.”

Of course, not everyone is fooled. Gleeful Hispanic activists talk about reconquering the land that Mexico lost to invading gringos in 1846-48. They already have a name — Aztlan, meaning “the bronze continent” — for the chunk of the Southwest that they look forward to breaking off from the rest of the United States. Hardly a month goes by without Mexican-American “spokespersons” demanding that the statues of white explorers and conquerors be torn down.

Leftist whites who hate the United States also look forward to the future. As Mr. Rieff puts it, “Exuberant Third World-loving activists ... were describing L.A. to anyone who would listen the capital of a new country that they had taken to calling Mexamerica.”

Even the benighted white man has moments of lucidity:

“Most Anglos understood, if only instinctively and intermittently, that what they were in fact witnessing was the de-Europeanization of Southern California, and, only a little farther down the line, of the United States as a nation as well ...

The problem, of course, is that this is a racial question just as much as it is a cultural question, and a racial analysis of what is happening is strictly out of the question.

False Explanations

Mr. Rieff is smart enough to understand this and to see through the false explanations that are obligatory in a society that must ignore race. For example, many neighborhoods that remain white have taken to blocking off through streets. This is called crime prevention or community building, but the true purpose is to keep out non-whites. Many of the local “no-growth” movements that are couched in environmentalist terms are meant to keep immigrants out.

An even better example of disingenuousness is the typical talk about public schools. They have gone down hill in perfect parallel with the decline in the number of whites who attend them, but dogma forbids that this be noticed. Mr. Rieff scorns the naiveté of those who talk about how the schools have “failed” the immigrants rather than recognize that the schools have been overwhelmed by little brown children who do not speak English. As he points out, there are signs everywhere of de-Europeanization and the decline that inevitably follows, but whites must pretend that the explanations lie elsewhere.

Even when they are forced to acknowledge what is happening, they profess not to care. According to Mr. Rieff, the common feeling is: “So what if Hollywood High — alma mater of countless movie stars, from Lana Turner and Mickey Rooney to James Garner and Carol Burnett — now ranked in the bottom 20 percent of all California schools and was better known for its English as a second language program than for its amateur dramatics?”

Mr. Rieff himself has no illusions about what this means. “After all,” he writes, “nobody got up one balmy afternoon on the Capitoline Hill sometime in the fifth century and said that the Roman empire was over and the Dark Ages had begun. Had something equally important taken place without anyone quite having realized it? More and more, the answer seemed to be yes.”

Of course, plenty of people realize it. But while Mr. Rieff is contemptuous of whites who refuse to see that the brown tide is about to push them aside, anyone who notices and objects is an ignorant “racist.” For him, the ideal state of mind is to have no illusions about the imminent destruction of the United States, but to maintain a studied detachment from it all.

After a conversation with a white about the city’s transformation, Mr. Rieff writes that his informant “placed no value on what was happening.” Though Mr. Rieff permits himself a shiver at the thought, he finds that he agrees. It may be fascinating to watch it happen, but Mr. Rieff is no more concerned about the end of America than he is about the end of the Roman Empire. Once the “little brown people” start swarming too close for comfort, perhaps he will move back to wherever his Jewish forebears came from. It doesn’t matter whether America prospers or enters the dark ages; what matters is that he enjoy the spectacle without emotion or illusions.

Illusions are for little people: “When Angelenos did occasionally take a moment to think about what was going on in the city, they tended toward slogans and formulas that were “all but guaranteed to inhibit thought ...” he writes.

To be sure. Yet only 27 pages later, Mr. Rieff ends his book with words that are a tour de force of cynicism: “We must love one another or die.” Mr.Rieff has no love for the little brown people, but he has no funeral plans either. Someone else will have to love them. AR

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O Tempora, O Mores!

Rising Black Star

Cornell West is one of those hot, young, black professors that stylish universities are dying to hire. At age 37, he already has tenure at Princeton, and virtually every other university in the country would kill to get him. A recent New York Times Magazine article about him says this: “Harvard is determined to hire him, Yale can’t believe it lost him; Columbia offered him a tenured position in its history department while he was trying to decide about Princeton.”

We were not familiar with the work of this paragon, so we have been on the lookout for something he had written. This is the first thing we found (Voice, 9/17/91, p. 35.):

“The 60s was a watershed period because black rage came out of the closet. As white institutional terrorism was challenged, black rage surfaced with a power and a potency never seen in American history. In fact, it threatened the very social order and stability of the country. The major American-elite response to this threat was to reduce tragic black persons into pathetic black victims and to redirect the channels of black rage in and to black working-class and poor communities. The reduction was done by making black poor people clients of a welfare system that both sustained and degraded them; by viewing black middle-class people as questionable and stigmatized beneficiaries of affirmative-action programs that fueled their identity crisis ...” Thus saith the new darling of the Ivy League.

Through the Looking Glass

The Houston Fire Department has been under the usual pressures to hire and promote more non-whites. Promotion to most positions is on the basis of written examinations. Firemen who are serious about advancement buy a shelf of books and study for months to pass the tests.

Recently, 815 Houston firemen took a 100-question exam for a promotion. As usual, there weren’t enough non-whites among the 308 who passed. The only acceptable explanation for this, of course, was that the test was biased. What to do? Acting under a federal judge’s order, the department decided that questions that were gotten wrong more often by non-whites than by whites, were discriminatory and would be thrown out. This was duly done and 28 questions were eliminated.

As a result, 32 people who originally passed were now declared to have failed: 22 whites, six blacks, three Hispanics, and one Asian. On the other hand, 13 people who had originally flunked were now found to have passed: five whites, four Hispanics, and four blacks. With a little more jiggling of the scores, the department managed to produce a net gain of one non-white promotion and declared the exercise a success.

The firemen who were knocked off the promotion list are hopping mad. Several are considering filing a discrimination suit against the city.

Liberal Bigotry

Kathleen Blee has written a book called Women of the Klan, about women who were active in the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s. As part of her research for the book, Miss Blee interviewed a number of these women, all of whom are now quite elderly.

In our current era of enforced “tolerance” and “sensitivity,” it is always instructive to observe the implacable prejudices of the liberal. This is how Miss Blee describes her feelings about the women she interviewed:

“[I] was prepared to hate and fear my informants. My own commitment to progressive politics prepared me to find these people strange, even repellent. I expected no rapport, no shared assumptions, no commonality of thought or experience. What I found was more disturbing. Many of the people I interviewed were interesting, intelligent and well-informed.”

Miss Blee’s “commitment to progressive politics” had brought with it the conviction that anyone without that commitment must be “strange” and “repellent.” Any white woman with a sense of her own racial destiny is bound to be such an alien, loathsome thing that Miss Blee expected to find “no commonality of thought or experience.” That these women should be intelligent and interesting was “more disturbing” than that they be loathsome. No doubt this is because the discovery shook Miss Blee’s unconscious conviction that anyone not like herself was a moral inferior. The liberal mind is a fearful thing indeed.

Later, Miss Blee goes on to say, “They just had a world, and they wanted to maintain it.” How strange. How repellent.

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Letters from readers

Sir — I was glad to see the article in your September issue about the riots in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. As you point out, the pretext for the mob violence was an accident: a Jewish driver lost control of his car, and a young black pedestrian was killed and another injured when the car smashed into a wall. Blacks then looted stores, fought police, committed murder, and destroyed millions of dollars in property in “protest”

The reality is even more sordid. Yosef Lifsh, the driver, did not even know he had hit someone. When he got out of the car, he was immediately surrounded by blacks who started beating him. They would very likely have killed him if an ambulance had not arrived. As it was, he needed 18 stitches on his face and head.

Later, there was much talk among blacks about poor rescue treatment for the blacks who were hit by the car. But the thugs at the scene didn’t lift a finger to help. They stole Mr. Lifsh’s cellular phone rather than call an ambulance. They stole his wallet and watch. They were much more interested in beating and robbing — perhaps in killing him — than in helping the children on the sidewalk, one of whom lay dying.


Sir — To devote three and one half pages of your fine little magazine to a review of Prof. Degler’s In Search of Human Nature is like sleeping with the enemy. The book is an example of the silent wall of bias [against the truth about racial differences] that permeates the media.

In your review you mention John Baker’s Race, which was originally published by Oxford University Press. When the first edition was sold out, OUP refused to reprint the book. I then negotiated with Dr. Baker to print his book in America. We have already gone through two printings despite the silent treatment by the media.

In your review you also mention Audrey Shuey’s The Testing of Negro Intelligence. This book was also given the silent treatment and no publisher would touch it. Dr. Shuey had the book printed and distributed privately. Frank McGurk and I have supplemented Dr. Shuey’s work by including research on intelligence testing up through 1981. Our update was published in 1982, under the title, The Testing of Negro Intelligence, Volume 2.

Just out, there is another book you may find of interest, Race, Intelligence, and Bias in Academe, by Roger Pearson. If you skip Han Eysenck’s self-serving introduction you will find further evidence of bias by silence. There are chapter on Arthur Jensen, Philippe Rushton, William Shockley and other prominent scholar-victims.

On an entirely different matter, the two-part report on Japan by Steven Howell reminds me of the many predictions of eventual conflict with Japan that have gone unheeded — most recently, The Coming War with Japan, by George Friedman.

Should we not also bear in mind what the Japanese themselves have said? This is from The Military Historian and Economist of Jan. 1917, more than two decades before Pearl Harbor:

“As for America — that fatuous booby with much money and much sentiment, but no cohesion, no brains of government ... Well did my friend speak the other day when he called her people a race of thieves with the hearts of rabbits ...

North America alone will support a billion people; that billion will be Japanese with their slaves. Not arid Asia, nor worn-out Europe (which, with its peculiar and quaint relics and customs should in the interest of history and culture, be in any case preserved), not yet tropical Africa is fit for our people. But North America, that continent so succulently green, fresh, and unsullied — except for the few chattering mongrel Yankees — should have been ours by right of discovery; it shall be ours by the higher, nobler right of conquest.” Does history repeat itself?

R.T. Osborne, Box 5712, Athens, Ga. 30604


Sir — In my local library I discovered a leaflet, in Spanish, explaining how to contact local and national law-makers. It listed the addresses and telephone numbers of county supervisors, state legislators, congressmen, senators, and the President. It also listed the proper salutations and complimentary closes. For example, one addresses the President as Querido Sr. Presidente (Sra. Presidente if she happens to be a woman) and closes with Con todo respeto. To a county supervisor, one closes with Attentamente le saluda.

Evelyn Scott, Menlo Park, Ca.


Sir — I was glad to see your October write-up about our recent plague of automobile robberies. Tourists are the most frequent targets because they carry lots of money and are easily confused. Of course, Miami lives on tourism, and the authorities are very leery about letting the word get out. In an attempt to reduce crime against tourists, our city council recently voted an interesting and original infringement of First Amendment rights. Rent-a-car companies are now forbidden to put identifying stickers on their cars.

Frank Philips, Miami, Fl.

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