|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 14, No. 8||August 2003|
What the Supreme Court Did
More bad law on racial preferences.
On June 23 the US Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited decision on “affirmative action.” This thoroughly bad ruling is likely to set racial preference policies for the next generation, so it is important to understand it. With the slimmest possible majority of five to four, the court ruled that racial diversity in education is such an important part of learning that it justifies outright discrimination against whites (and sometimes Asians). The decision is an amalgam of assertion, fantasy and self-righteousness that was easily picked apart by the dissenting justices.
The enshrinement of diversity as a paramount national goal is a radical new interpretation of the Constitution, yet it is based on nothing more than bald assertions about its value. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who wrote the decision, cited business leaders who “have made clear that the skills needed in today’s increasingly global marketplace can only be developed through exposure to widely diverse people, cultures, ideas, and viewpoints.” She has decided that this sort of exposure is so vital to the future of the country that it justifies an exception to the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment that rules out group preferences. Arranging the student body of a college or graduate school so that there are plenty of students who don’t look like you is now a “compelling governmental interest.”
It is worth considering just what this worship of diversity means. If, for example, you went to college in Maine or Idaho with a bunch of white people, you do not have what it takes to function in the “increasingly global marketplace.” Presumably, the Chinese, who have lived all their lives among other Chinese, don’t have what it takes either, but they still somehow manage to run huge trade surpluses with us. Likewise, the Japanese and the Germans have somehow overcome the terrible handicap of not living and studying amidst the invaluable stimulus of blacks and Mexicans, and seem to do very well in the global marketplace, too.
This diversity-equals-exports argument is simply silly, but the justices cited another from retired soldiers that is no better: a “highly qualified, racially diverse officer corps … is essential to the military’s ability to fulfill its principle mission to provide national security.” Please note that racial diversity is essential to national security. Are we to think that the overwhelmingly white command structure in Afghanistan and Iraq is a threat to national security? How did an army with no black field commanders manage to win the Second World War? The real wonder is that officers and businessmen actually make diversity arguments with a straight face.
As was pointed out in the June cover story about these cases, the most careful study so far of campus diversity has found that the more diverse a campus is, the less satisfied the students are with the quality of their educations. Even the University of Michigan’s internal evaluation of its own diversity programs found that blacks, in particular, do not want to confer the benefits of diversity by mixing with others but want to stick to themselves.
Diversity-worship is particularly jarring because the legal setting in which these decisions have been handed down requires that “diversity” have many demonstrable benefits. This is because, as Justice O’Connor placidly admitted, racial preferences violate the “equal protection” clause. She genuflects before the ideal of equal treatment, and approvingly cites Justice Lewis Powell in the 25-year-old Bakke decision: “when governmental decisions ‘touch upon an individual’s race or ethnic back-ground, he is entitled to a judicial determination that the burden he is asked to bear on that basis is precisely tailored to serve a compelling governmental interest.’” In other words, if the government or a state institution is going to practice racial discrimination, it had better have very good reasons for it. Astonishingly, Justice O’Connor and the other four concurring justices think the unmeasured and probably illusory benefits of campus diversity are so vital to the nation’s future they justify a clear departure from equal treatment.
To their credit, the justices appear to be a little worried by race preferences, and look forward to the day when they end: “[R]acial classifications, however compelling their goals, are potentially so dangerous that they may be employed no more broadly than the interest demands. Enshrining a permanent justification for racial preferences would offend this fundamental equal protection principle [of the 14th Amendment].” Consequently, wrote Justice O’Connor, “the Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today [namely, diversity].”
Also, the justices pride themselves on not giving the green light to just any kind of racial preferences. They issued the usual denunciations of quotas and racial balancing (“patently unconstitutional”), arguing that preferences cannot be applied mechanically but must be “holistic,” giving “serious consideration to all the ways an applicant might contribute to a diverse educational environment.” Race can be an important factor but it must be handled mysteriously and not openly.
It is because of this distinction that the racial preferences practiced by the University of Michigan undergraduate college were found unconstitutional, but those practiced by the law school were not. As noted in AR’s earlier cover story, the college had a rating system with a range of 103 points, and simply added an automatic 20 points to the scores of all blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians. (Having perfect SAT scores was worth only 12 points more than getting every question wrong.)
No good, said the court. That smells of quotas. They liked the way the law school did it better. There, the admissions committee mulled and communed and pondered, and considered, and devised a system in which “all factors that may contribute to diversity are meaningfully considered alongside race.” The law school bureaucrats conceded that only 27 percent of the preferred minorities could have gotten in without race preferences — about the same percentage as in the undergraduate school — but since they conferred preference less mechanically, the justices blessed the process.
The justices were pleased that the law school did not necessarily make race the only or primary diversity “plus factor,” but asked all applicants “to highlight their own potential diversity contributions through the submission of a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and an essay describing the ways in which the applicant will contribute to the life and diversity of the Law School.” Maybe even white people can be carriers of diversity. But, as black commentator Elizabeth Wright asks, what about students who just want a law degree and think this is all rubbish? Clearly, Michigan is no place for them.
In fact, if we really must have racial preferences, the undergraduate system was better than the law school’s. It was clearly numeric, and everyone knew how it worked (although U of M tried to hide their system, and divulged it only when forced). However, a transparent 20-points-for-blacks scheme is too open and straightforward; our rulers like their racial preferences veiled, mysterious and subjective. They want people putting thumbs on the scales in the back room, not out where everyone can see.
With a secret system, everyone is in the dark. If whites know that at U of M the deck is stacked against them by 20 points, they can apply to some other college where the anti-white bias was set at, say, 15 points. Blacks and Hispanics want to know where they get the most preference, too. The Supreme Court has now forbidden that kind of openness, so applicants take their chances with systems that, by law, must be whimsical and inconsistent.
In effect, the undergraduate college had a version of race norming, which is the cleanest, most open, and in fact the fairest way to discriminate against whites (see next article). However race norming, like the point system, has been banned. It is not mysterious and subjective enough.
In addition to enshrining diversity as a vital national goal, the Supreme Court has given its blessing to a trendy new bit of sociology called “critical mass.” According to this doctrine, it is not enough to have just a few blacks, Hispanics, etc. A handful of non-whites could be admitted without racial preferences at all but the most demanding campuses, but the court says that’s not good enough for three reasons. First, there must be enough of them so they won’t be lonely, or pressured to think they are spokesmen for their races. Second, there must be enough to go around: whites must not have to stand in line for doses of diversity. And finally, there have to be enough of each kind of non-white for whites to realize they don’t all think the same: “racial stereotypes lose their force because nonminority students learn there is no ‘minority viewpoint’ but rather a variety of viewpoints among minority students.”
This last is interesting on several counts. First, can we really expect sharp disagreement among blacks about “the legacy of slavery,” “400 years of oppression,” or “institutional racism,” which are, presumably, the areas on which their privileged perspective is meant to throw special light? How many blacks are going to join the campus Republicans? How many Hispanics are going to demonstrate for closed borders? In fact, the more non-whites show up on campus the more likely whites are to realize just how large a role racial solidarity plays in their views on all subjects.
On the other hand, if, as the Supreme Court tells us, there is no “minority viewpoint” what is the point of violating the equal protection clause in order to get them on campus? They are supposed to be valuable because they are different, not because they are just like whites.
As for the second purpose for “critical mass” — having enough non-whites to go around — does this mean whites have a right to demand the kind of personal exchange that is supposed to be so enriching? No one will ever speak these words, but theoretically whites at U of M have the right to say: “Hello, black person. Better qualified whites were denied admission so that your presence here would benefit me. Now, do something to enrich my campus experience.”
But does anyone really believe there is going to be lots of stimulating interracial intellectual cross-fertilization? Everyone knows — and campus administrators better than anyone — that students stick to their own kind. Most universities even encourage minority self-segregation in black-theme dormitories, Hispanic student unions, and sometimes separate graduation ceremonies. Even if contact with people of different races actually did improve us in some way, it rarely happens spontaneously, even on the most rigorously tutti-frutti campuses.
It is hard not to suspect there is a different reason academics — and Supreme Court justices who are careful not to rule in ways that offend academics — want preferences. Today, moral fashion requires hatred of “racism,” ostentatious sympathy for the Negro, and the appearance of solicitude for all non-whites. As Lino Graglia of the University of Texas Law School has pointed out, the people who run universities would be embarrassed if their campuses were overwhelmingly white (Asians don’t seem to count). A certain number of whites therefore have to be kept out so our rulers can look around the campus, see black and brown faces, and preen themselves on their moral superiority.
Of course, the most important practical effect of racial preferences is to give protected minorities a better shot at the brass ring at the expense of whites. Needless to say, Justice O’Connor puts it a little differently: “In order to cultivate a set of leaders with legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry, it is necessary that the path to leadership be visibly open to talented and qualified individuals of every race and ethnicity.” She is willing to knock whites off the “path to leadership” to make it look open to every race.
Justice O’Connor then follows with a very hearty pat on the back to her own profession. Getting non-whites into law school, she says, is particularly important because so many of America’s leaders are, ahem, lawyers. She notes that half the state governors, more than half of US senators, and a third of congressmen are lawyers (she modestly forebore to mention that every Supreme Court justice is a lawyer). The message is clear: blacks and Hispanics must be hauled bodily up the ladder of success, qualified or not, since “effective participation by members of all racial and ethnic groups … is essential if the dream of one Nation, indivisible, is to be realized.”
If their consciences ever prick them because of the wrongs they are doing whites, our rulers need only contemplate the rosy vision on which so many are fixated: that of a raceless world in which people of all kinds live in joyous harmony. Promoting non-whites beyond their capabilities is a step towards the utopia we are all taught to crave.
Justice O’Connor’s delusions are underlined by her suggestion that racial preferences need last no more than 25 years. In the meantime, she suggests, universities should consider “sunset provisions in race-conscious admissions policies and periodic reviews to determine whether racial preferences are still necessary to achieve student body diversity.”
Like the rest of the country, the Supreme Court deliberately closes its eyes to the reality of race. If the court knew anything at all about race and IQ it would realize blacks and Hispanics will be no smarter in 25 years than they are now. Harvard Law School recently celebrated 35 years of racial preferences. Another 25 will make it a full 60 years. Let us go on the record with a prediction: In 2028 — even after 60 years — blacks, Hispanics and Amerindians will need just as much special handling to reach “critical mass” in elite institutions as they do now. Racial utopia will seem even more distant than it does today.
The path the Supreme Court has chosen — handing over privilege and power to non-whites — leads not to utopia but to dispossession. Sandra O’Connor has probably never heard of C.G. Tracey, the white Zimbabwean farmer AR reported on in the previous issue. Mr. Tracey was an enthusiastic collaborator in the transition to black rule in 1980, and is now said to be “heartbroken and confused” after being thrown off his farm along with other whites. The non-whites who acquire power with the help of foolish white Supreme Court justices will use it to advance their interests even further at the expense of whites. Sandra O’Connor will not live long enough to meet the same fate as Mr. Tracey, but she is ensuring something similar for her grandchildren. We cannot know exactly what form dispossession will take, but it will be as unpleasant as it is certain, and it will help forge a newly-awakened awareness among whites of the crisis they face.
Although the press has not quoted from them at length, the racial preferences decisions prompted several sharp dissents. Chief Justice William Rhenquist scoffed at the new doctrine of “critical mass,” asking why it takes 90 blacks to achieve it, but only 40 Hispanics. In one recent year, he pointed out, the law school had only three Amerindians. What happened to “critical mass”?
What the law school really did, he pointed out, was admit protected minorities in almost exactly the same proportions as their numbers in the applicant pool. “Stripped of its ‘critical mass’ veil,” he wrote, “the Law School’s program is revealed as a naked effort to achieve racial balancing,” and is therefore precisely the kind of program the majority says is “patently unconstitutional.”
He was also very suspicious of the 25-year sunset provision:
“These discussions of a time limit are the vaguest of assurances. In truth, they permit the Law School’s use of racial preferences on a seemingly permanent basis.”
Justice Antonin Scalia wrote sarcastically — even angrily — about the alleged benefit derived from a racially-mixed student body:
“This is not, of course, an ‘educational benefit’ on which students will be graded on their Law School transcript (Works and Plays Well with Others: B+) or tested by the bar examiners (Q: Describe in 500 words or less your cross-racial understanding). For it is a lesson of life rather than law — essentially the same lesson taught to (or rather learned by, for it cannot be ‘taught’ in the usual sense) people three feet shorter and twenty years younger than the full-grown adults at the University of Michigan Law School, in institutions ranging from Boy Scout troops to public-school kindergartens.”
He referred bitterly to the majority opinion’s assertion that getting to know people of other races makes us better citizens: “And surely private employers cannot be criticized — indeed, should be praised — if they also ‘teach’ good citizenship to their adult employees through a patriotic, all-American system of racial discrimination in hiring. The nonminority individuals who are deprived of a legal education, a civil service job, or any job at all by reason of their skin color will surely understand.”
Justice Scalia is also contemptuous of the hair-splitting distinctions the majority draws between preference programs that are constitutional and those that are not: “Unlike a clear constitutional holding that racial preferences in state educational institutions are impermissible, or even a clear anticonstitutional holding that racial preferences in state educational institutions are OK, today’s Grutter–Gratz split double header [law school preferences good, undergraduate preferences bad] seems perversely designed to prolong the controversy and the litigation.” He predicts fat times for the lawyers who will haggle over which discrimination programs are legal and which are not.
Justice Clarence Thomas also scoffed at the idea racial diversity is a “compelling state interest,” arguing that what the University of Michigan really wants is something different:
I refer to the Law School ‘s interest as an ‘aesthetic.’ That is, the Law School wants to have a certain appearance, from the shape of the desks and tables in its classrooms to the color of the students sitting at them.” He goes on to point out that if this “aesthetic” is so important, the law school can get it without racial preferences, simply by lowering standards for everyone. In his view, it is better to throw out selectivity rather than resort to dangerous and demeaning government-mandated racial categories.
Justice Thomas even cited the study quoted in AR two months ago, which pointed out that the more diverse the campus, the less satisfied the students. He also noted research suggesting that blacks do better at historically black colleges than they do at largely white ones, which likewise undermines the rationale for “diversity.”
In a particularly astute comparison, he pointed out that the same court that now allows race discrimination at U of M, banned sex discrimination at the Virginia Military Institute. VMI argued that its “adversative” method of education was a worthy goal that would be sacrificed if it admitted women. Not good enough, said the court, even though sex discrimination is subject only to “intermediate” rather than “strict” scrutiny, that is to say, it is permitted to attain goals far less urgent than “compelling state interests.” Campus race diversity is so important it justifies the judicial equivalent of nuclear weapons: racial discrimination. The advantages of VMI’s martial, male-only education are so insignificant, they cannot even justify sex discrimination, which the Supreme Court holds to be legally far less objectionable.
Is there anything to like about this set of decisions? Theoretically, yes. It does not require racial preferences in the name of diversity. It only permits them. Also it says, essentially, that aside from compensation for recent acts of direct discrimination, achievement of diversity is the only grounds for preferences.
The states of California, Texas, and Florida have either passed laws or voted referenda to outlaw racial preferences by state universities. These rulings do not strike down those laws, nor do they provide grounds for legal challenge. However, by endorsing diversity so enthusiastically, the Supreme Court has given tremendous support to opponents of those laws. It will be interesting to see whether state houses maintain their independence or whether they all flock to the court’s colors.
What will be the effect on private companies? Many diversity officers are already jumping for joy; they have a clear mandate to discriminate against whites. Preferences are not obligatory, but big companies will keep at them because they are often the only way to hold off lawsuits. Only by discriminating against whites can an employer hire enough non-whites to appear — in the eyes of our obsessively egalitarian society — not to be discriminating.
However, there is interesting material in these opinions for any company that wants to buck the trend. It is now on the official Supreme Court record that a company cannot have a critical mass of top-level blacks or Hispanics without racial preferences. If, as so often happens, an employer is in the dock because he doesn’t have enough dark faces in management, he can argue that this was simply because he didn’t practice racial preferences. The court encourages them but doesn’t require them, and the record is clear: “critical mass” cannot be had without them. We shall see if any American company is bold enough to mount such a logical defense.
Finally, there is a deeper lesson to be learned from the Supreme Court that goes beyond whether these are good or bad decisions: they would not be necessary in a homogenous society. The current decisions happen to be bad. There may be good decisions in the future. But even good decisions are worse than the fact that decisions must be made. For as long as the United States remains the aggressively multi-racial country it has chosen to become, it will be cursed with the consequences, legal and otherwise.
Grading on the Curves
Race norming was a practice that arose as part of the tortured his tory of affirmative action. Supreme Court decisions of the early 1970s banned the use of employment criteria that had a “disparate impact,” which means that they weeded out more non-whites than whites. For example, in the past, many police and fire departments would not consider a job applicant who had been dishonorably discharged from the military, but since blacks were more likely to receive dishonorable discharges than whites, this had a “disparate impact” and was therefore found unconstitutional.
The theory — naturally — was that if employers set high standards, it was just a cover for “racism.” If a company decided its secretaries should have college degrees, this was not a legitimate attempt to get capable secretaries. “Racists” were trying to screen out blacks by using artificial standards.
Clearly, just about any meaningful job qualification has a “disparate impact.” Whether it is a college degree or a high test score or the ability to fly a 747, whites are more likely to meet the standard than blacks. Were all standards therefore illegal, since they all had a “disparate impact”? No. A standard with a disparate impact could be maintained only if it was a “bona fide occupational qualification” (BFOQ). For example, truck drivers had to know how to drive trucks, and it was permissible to hire a white driver who could drive better than a black. Disparate impact ruled out general qualifications, or tests that could not be shown to be narrow evaluations of precisely those abilities necessary for a specific job.
Naturally, there was tremendous confusion over what constituted a BFOQ. It had been customary to check the credit ratings of potential employees who were to be handling company money. Blacks and Hispanics have worse credit ratings than whites, so a credit check has a disparate impact, but aren’t personal finance habits a BFOQ? Lawyers grew fat determining that they are not. Responsible personal finance is not a BFOQ because it does not have a direct relationship to job performance, even in a company’s finance department. The law took the position that jobs require discreet, definable skills and only those skills should be considered by employers — if considering anything else would have a disparate impact.
Needless to say, this was a huge bother for employers. If they wanted to test applicants they had to design a specific and limited test for each job. Often they hired “civil rights” specialists to vet the tests to make sure they were not inadvertently testing some unrelated skill. It also meant companies had to junk a very reliable employment test called the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB), which had been used since 1947. The GATB gave employers an excellent overall assessment of a candidate’s abilities for many different kinds of job, but like all tests it had a disparate impact, and it was a general rather than specific job test.
Employers loved the GATB, and in 1981, the US Department of Labor figured out how to salvage it by curing it of disparate impact. The trick — which came to be known as race norming — was to make “ethnic adjustments” to all applicant scores so that all races were equally represented at all ability levels. It took a lot of adjusting to get rid of disparate impact. If a black, a Hispanic, a white, and an Asian each got the same GATB raw score of 300, the black would be ranked in the 87th percentile, the Hispanic in the 74th, and the white and Asian together at the bottom in the 47th percentile. The test could then be used to give the job to the black. He was, after all, in the 87th percentile for blacks, and was therefore a better candidate, after race norming, than the white who got the same score but was only in the 47th percentile for whites. With race norming, the trusty old GATB no longer had a disparate impact, and could still be used legally.
By 1986 about 40 state governments and hundreds of private companies were race norming test scores, but they kept it a secret from the estimated 16 million candidates who went through the process. Companies that hired through state employment agencies often got race-normed candidate profiles whether they knew it or not.
About this time, whites got wind of what was happening and raised a stink. The National Academy of Sciences did a “thorough scientific evaluation” of the GATB, and concluded in 1989 that it had no internal racial bias, but that race norming was a statistically valid way to eliminate disparate impact. By then, though, it was fashionable to oppose race norming, and in July 1990, then-Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole suspended use of the GATB for a two-year review period. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 banned race norming (but did not lift the ban on disparate impact), so that finally put an end to the ancient and honorable GATB.
Employers were unhappy. They like standardized tests, because they are an objective way to compare candidates. With race norming, at least the candidate rankings within the same race were meaningful, and if companies had to have a certain number of non-whites to avoid discrimination suits, a test like the GATB was a good way to hire the best black or Hispanic. Had race norming been publicly acknowledged, it would have been a transparently unfair, but at least transparent preference system. It was this very transparency that Congress could not stomach in 1991 and that the Supreme Court cannot stomach in 2003. Then as now, racial preferences had to be subjective and kept out of sight.
Whites do not know what is good for them. It is far better to have open, quantifiable discrimination than secret discrimination. Open discrimination is a standing insult to whites, and a constant reminder that blacks and Hispanics cannot meet standards. It raises the question of racial differences in IQ, and forces whites to recognize what their country is doing to them. If Congress and the Supreme Court want discrimination against whites, they should require a full, pubic accounting of it.
Blondes Through the Ages
Are Nordics the most beautiful race?
Joanna Pitman, On Blondes, Bloomsbury, 2003, 272 pp., $24.95
Blonde women, both natural and contrived, are disproportionately represented in film, fashion, advertising, and television. Blonde women are generally thought of as the most beautiful, not only in northern Europe and North America where many natural blondes live, but also in those parts of the world where blondes are rare. Tens of millions of women — and not just in America and Europe — lighten their hair, while only a few darken it.
Many would dismiss this almost universal passion for blondeness as a recent fashion, or as a consequence of the ubiquity and power of American culture, but Joanna Pitman’s new book On Blondes shows that it is much more. Although racial correctness prevents her from drawing the conclusions to which all her evidence points, her book makes it clear that in female beauty there is a hierarchy of races, in which Nordics stand at the top.
Mrs. Pitman, who is the photography critic for the Times of London, reports that brunettes have wanted to be blondes since at least Classical times. The ancient Greeks, for example, clearly thought blonde women were the most beautiful. The poet Homer described the goddess Athena as having gray eyes and Aphrodite, the goddess of love, as having blonde hair. One of the most famous and most visited sculptures of the ancient world was the Aphrodite of Knidos, sculpted by Praxiteles in 360 B.C. She had blonde hair — the Greeks painted their statues, so there was no mistake about this — as did the myriad copies of this statue that decorated the temples, gardens, and villas of the Greek city-states. Pliny the Elder wrote that people traveled great distances to marvel at this beautiful and even erotic sculpture. One man was so overcome with desire for the blonde Aphrodite, that late one night he sneaked into the temple to be alone with the statue: “He embraced it intimately; and a stain bears witness to his lust.”
Praxiteles is said to have modeled Aphrodite after his mistress Phryne, who was said to be the most beautiful woman in Greece. She had long, flowing blonde hair, and she was the star attraction at the festival of Poseidon in which she emerged from the sea god’s temple, disrobed, and waded into the ocean to offer a sacrifice.
The Greek’s longing for blondeness is revealed in Aethiopica, a tale about a royal Ethiopian couple who gave birth to a blonde girl, Charicleia, because they conceived under a painting of the naked blonde goddess Andromeda. This tale represents what may be the near-universal desire of parents to have children with lighter complexions than their own. How many parents, of any race, hope for darker children?
Mrs. Pitman reports that the Romans were no less enamored of blonde hair than the Greeks. They, too, portrayed their goddess of love, Venus, with light skin and blonde hair. The Romans had long known of the fair-haired Celts, and military conquests in Gaul and Britain brought them in contact with even more Celtic and Germanic tribes. The result was a wave of blonde envy among the aristocratic ladies of Rome, an envy no doubt prompted by the admiration Roman men showed for the fair-haired women of the north. Roman women took to wearing blonde wigs, made from the hair of captured or slain northern European women, or dyed their own hair blonde with expensive saffron dyes. Other bleaching agents included such things as sapo (goat’s fat mixed with beechwood ashes), Batavian pomade (a dying soap), lees (sediment of wine or vinegar), and pigeon dung.
This passion for blondes offended the pride and patriotism of some Roman men. Mrs. Pitman quotes the poet Ovid, who castigated Roman women for “using rinses” and dangerous “concoctions” in their quest for blondeness. There were safer ways to seek beauty: “[A]fter our German conquests a wig is easily come by — a captive Mädchen’s tresses will see you through, … eliciting admiration galore.” However, he warns women to remember, “The praise (like the hair) has been bought. Once you really deserved it. Now each compliment belongs to some Rhine maiden, not to you.”
The epigrammatist Martial wrote of a Roman lady: “Her toilet table contained a hundred lies, and while she was in Rome, her hair was blushing by the Rhine.” Tertullian, a Carthaginian Christian theologian, complained that Roman women “are even ashamed of their country, sorry that they were not born in Germany or in Gaul. Thus, as far as their hair is concerned, they give up their country.”
It is understandable that women might want to look more like rulers or conquerors, but the women of Rome wanted to look like enemies who had been defeated and enslaved. Surely, only blondes have been envied and imitated even in defeat. Southern belles had no desire to resemble their African slaves, nor did English lasses imitate the features of the subject races of the British empire. Nor did American girls during the 1960s try to look Vietnamese. The Roman preference for blondes seems to have been more than a matter of fashion or a passing desire for the exotic.
During the Middle Ages women continued to dye their hair blonde, despite exhortations to the contrary by clerics, who pointed to the blonde tresses of the temptress Eve (perhaps thereby making blonde hair even more attractive). For the Europeans of this period, blonde hair represented dangerous eroticism, sexual temptation, and beauty, but also sexual purity, moral goodness, and spirituality. In Christian art, angels were usually blonde, as were the chaste heroines of chivalric romance. The French court poet Chrétien de Troyes of the twelfth century filled his Arthurian legends with beautiful blondes like Guinevere and Soredamor, who had flowing hair and blue or green eyes. Likewise, the blonde Iseult from the twelfth-century tale, Tristan and Iseult, was described as “the most beautiful woman from here to the Spanish Marches.” In Roman de la Rose, a thirteenth century French poem, the hero encounters a bewitching beauty with grey-blue eyes, a straight nose, snowy breasts, and blonde hair — features that represented the pinnacle of female beauty in the Middle Ages.
Mrs. Pitman has found that if European men of the Middle Ages had a passion for fair-haired women, so did the Arabs who were their principal foreign foe. During the Crusades, the twelfth-century Arab historian Imad ad-Din records the arrival of “three hundred lovely Frankish women, full of youth and beauty, … loving and passionate, pink-faced and unblushing … blue-eyed and grey-eyed,” who had come to offer comfort and companionship to their male countrymen. Mrs. Pitman also cites the account of Ibrahim ibn Jaqub, a tenth-century Spanish Jew who converted to Islam, and traveled in northeastern Europe. He wrote that one of the purposes of his journeys was to purchase blonde prisoners for Turkish and Arab customers. By contrast, European knights did not bring home dark-skinned Middle Eastern brides.
Renaissance Italy and England continued to admire blonde hair. When Italian painters depicted what they conceived to be the highest female beauty, they chose blondes, as in Botticelli’s “Venus” (1486), Carpaccio’s “The Two Courtesans” (1495), and Titian’s “Venus of Urbino” (1538). Venetian ladies devoted their Saturday afternoons to blonding their hair (they could choose from at least 36 recipes for bleach), and a contemporary noted that just as “the women of old time did most love yellow hair … the Venetian women at this day, and the Paduan, and those of Verona, and other parts of Italy practice the same vanity.”
Mrs. Pitman writes that the next 200 years were an anomaly in an otherwise blonde millennium, as dark hair came into fashion, at least among the upper classes. This may have reflected the rise of France as the preeminent power. The ideal beauty now had dark brown or black hair with a fair complexion. During this period, natural blondes actually sought to conceal their true color by wearing wigs or dying their hair. Women from poor families could not afford these artifices, and the aristocracy and upper bourgeoisie associated blondness with lower-class promiscuity.
During the Romantic age of the nineteenth century, blonde hair began to win back its ascendancy, helped in part by the publication of fairy tales. In France, the Baroness d’Aulnoy and, in Germany, the Grimm brothers crafted stories based on the ancient folklore of the common people, in which the heroines were blue-eyed blondes with rosy cheeks and milky-white complexions. The growing prestige throughout Europe of German culture also encouraged a greater appreciation of the Nordic look.
More encouragement for blondness came from the poetic and artistic fascination with the early Middle Ages. Artists and authors revived the Arthurian romances, Germanic mythology, Scandinavian epic poetry, and the history of the ancient Germans and Celts. Sir Walter Scott wrote Ivanhoe (1819) to celebrate the virtues of the ancient Saxons. His hero and heroine, Ivanhoe and Rowena, both have blue eyes and fair hair. In Coningsby (1844), Benjamin Disraeli, who later became Prime Minister, praised the Saxons for their pure Nordic features: “You come from the shores of the Northern Sea, land of the blue eye, and the golden hair.” In his next novel, Tancred (1847), he ascribed England’s greatness to its predominant “Saxon race.” “All is race,” Disraeli wrote; “there is no other truth.”
In the twentieth century, blonde hair has reigned supreme as the pinnacle of beauty. During the Second World War, even Germany’s enemies shared certain Nazi ideals. As Mrs. Pitman notes, “The top wartime box office female film stars in all three [belligerent] countries were blonde” — Kristina Soderbaum in Germany, Lyubov Orolova in Russia, and Betty Grable in America. Soviet art, both before and during the war, uniformly portrayed Soviet citizens as blonde and Aryan-looking. “Stalin’s ideal [Soviet] citizen was definitely an Aryan,” writes Mrs. Pitman. American soldiers decorated their Quonset huts and B-29s with posters of Betty Grable and other Hollywood blondes, as well as with Varga girls (known later in Playboy magazine as Vargas girls), most of whom were blondes. (Alberto Vargas painted stylized watercolors of beautiful women for calendars and posters).
Regrettably, Mrs. Pitman devotes little space to the last several decades. The triumph of multiculturalism and anti-white ideologies has failed to displace blondes from their pre-eminence in fashion, film, and even pornography. The blonde continues to be sought after by men worldwide. In Brazil, for example, the two provinces in the southeast that have large German ethnic populations supply the vast majority of models for the local fashion industry.
Mrs. Pitman notes that even in so successful a country as Japan, light skin and Caucasian features are at a high premium. In the streets of Tokyo every fourth or fifth woman seems to lighten her hair — some going all the way to full blonde — and even men are beginning to dye their hair. As one blonde Japanese 20-year-old explains, “It’s a form of rebellion, rejecting my Japaneseness in order to look more Western, to look better.” It is fashionable for Japanese women to have their epicanthic folds removed surgically, to take the “slant” out of their eyes and make them look rounder and more Caucasian.
Although Mrs. Pitman does not mention this, Africa and the Caribbean are large markets for hair dyes and skin bleaches, even for crude, caustic products that harm users. Likewise, most of the women who appear on Mexican television could almost be mistaken for Norwegians.
Mrs. Pitman, herself an attractive English blonde, draws few lessons from her illuminating study but she does ask a few tantalizing questions. She notes that many whites who are not natural blondes dye their hair in the hope of “passing,” and wonders: “Are those who blonde themselves still subconsciously seeking to distinguish themselves from darker and less powerful ethnic groups?” Mrs. Pitman concedes that non-white women have often turned themselves blonde but never permits herself to wonder whether at some level they may wish they were white.
Mrs. Pitman disapproves of the “racialist … belief that the blonde and fair-skinned should not marry a member of a darker race.” Yet how else are Nordics, whose hair color ranges from red and brown to blonde, whose physical traits are generally recessive, and who make up only a small percentage of the world population, to survive in a world of mass migrations? Mrs. Pitman’s book suggests that blonde women will continue to be sought after as wives by successful men of all races. Without strong sanctions against miscegenation, the natural blonde will disappear.
We would do well to remember the wisdom of the English racialist G. P. Mudge who wrote in the aftermath of the terrible European Civil War of 1914-18: “England still contains a large percentage of the tall, well-built, blond, blue- or grey-eyed type… This is the type that must at all costs not only preserve itself against extinction, but must multiply until all the needs of the Empire are met.” We might not today wish to define our target population quite so narrowly, but if we substitute the term racial reawakening for “Empire” we find an almost perfect expression of the pressing duty of our age.
H.A. Scott Trask is a freelance writer and historian from St. Louis. He is currently working on a history of the northern antiwar movement during the Civil War and a study of William Graham Sumner.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
After 13 years of doing nothing while Liberians slaughter each other, the United States has suddenly decided to bring peace. The current warlord, Charles Taylor, has agreed to seek asylum in Nigeria, and the Pentagon has plans to send 2,000 soldiers to tramp around Monrovia. Why, after announcing during the 2000 elections that he had little interest in Africa, is President George Bush now determined to liberate Liberia? He says “failed states,” of which Liberia is certainly one, are breeding grounds for terrorism. This is an odd argument, given that there is very little anti-Americanism in Liberia, and that the country that supplied 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers — Saudi Arabia — is not exactly a “failed state.” Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, the Black Congressional Caucus, and other highly-placed blacks are said to be pushing the president to pay more attention to their co-racialists. [Karl Vick, Liberia’s President Agrees to Leave, Washington Post, July 7, 2003, p. A1. Michael Dobbs, Trip Marks President’s Turnabout on Africa, Washington Post, July 7, 2003, p. A1.]
One wonders whether it will occur to the president’s black advisors to propose a change to the Liberian constitution in exchange for the uplift we propose to apply. Chapter IV, Article 27b is unambiguous:
“In order to preserve, foster and maintain the positive Liberian culture, values and character, only persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent shall qualify by birth or naturalization to be citizens of Liberia.” We note also, in Chapter III, Article 22, that “only Liberian citizens shall have the right to own real property within the Republic.”
Needless to say, no one in Liberia pays any attention to the constitution, and most Liberians cannot read it and probably have never heard of it. However, once we have established democracy, which will no doubt be our goal, this little matter of “Negro descent” might require attention.
The president’s father tried to bring peace and prosperity to Somalia and failed. President William Clinton tried to “restore democracy” in Haiti and failed. Mr. Bush will fail in Liberia. Let us hope this futile mission to Africa never gets out of the planning stage.
Meanwhile, Mr. Taylor is reported to be clinging to power with the same techniques that got him to the top: black magic. He is known to have drunk the blood of prisoners when he was a rebel in the bush war, and now that he is besieged in Monrovia by two enemy armies, he is said to be drinking blood and casting spells like never before. “Right now he is surrounding himself with the strongest zoes [witch doctors] and using the strongest ju ju [magic] to keep power,” says a Monrovian expert on magic. “There is no way you can be at his level and not do rituals. These guys deal in blood.” One Taylor associate used to keep the bones of a murdered rival in his desk drawer. [Tim Butcher, Taylor Turns Back to Cannibalism, Telegraph (London), June 23, 2003.]
West Africa, of which Liberia is a part, is reported to be a large market for imported ingredients for magic rituals. At a recent international business fair in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the government set up a gruesome exhibit of products the country would prefer not to export. All parts of the human body appear to have some value for witch doctors, but complete human skins are especially prized. Southern Tanzania has had a rash of murders in which corpses have been found without their skins. In 2001, Tanzanian police broke up a skin-smuggling ring and charged 13 people with murder.
The Dar es Salaam exhibit includes skulls, arms, and legs, but the main attraction is the skins. A spokesman for the exhibit says its purpose is to alert people in the skin trade that the authorities are on to them, and “to educate people that they do not have to use human skin to become rich.” However, the price of a skin can be as high as $9,600, and so long as the West Africans want them that badly, there will be suppliers. [Tanzania Fights Human Skinning, BBC News (bbc.co.uk), July 4, 2003.]
A Washington, DC, organization called the National SAFE KIDS Campaign reports that unintentional injury is the leading cause of death among children age 14 and under. More than 5,600 children die in accidents each year, an average of 15 per day. In 2000, automobile accidents accounted for 28 percent of accidental deaths, followed by drowning at 16 percent and choking at 14 percent.
The SAFE KIDS study shows significant racial differences in death rates (see chart). American Indian and black children have the highest rates — nearly twice that of whites — and Asian children have the lowest. While the overall accidental childhood death rate declined 39 percent from 1987 to 2000, among Asians it declined 52 percent. American Indians saw the smallest decline at 20 percent, followed by blacks at 36 percent and whites at 39 percent. The study did not look at Hispanic children as a separate racial category.
The authors are quick to claim that “racial and ethnic disparities in unintentional injury rates have more to do with living in impoverished communities, a primary predictor of injury, than with biological differences.” [Report to the Nation: Trends in Unintentional Childhood Mortality, 1987-2000, National SAFE KIDS Campaign (Washington, DC), May 2003, p. 6.]
White Man’s Burden
Luis Alberto Jimenez is an illegal alien from Guatemala who was severely injured in a head-on car crash in Florida three and a half years ago. Since then, he has had more than $1 million in medical treatment from Martin Memorial Medical Center in Stuart, Fla. Since Mr. Jimenez has no money or health insurance, Martin Memorial has asked a federal judge to send him back to Guatemala.
According to federal guidelines, hospitals accepting Medicare — like Martin Memorial — may not discharge illegal aliens unless they have arranged to have a hospital in the home country give the patient adequate care. Martin Memorial has worked closely with the Guatemalan government, and has received assurances from the minister of public health that Mr. Jimenez will be well treated.
That isn’t good enough for Montejo Gaspar, Mr. Jimenez’s cousin by marriage and court-appointed guardian, who is fighting Martin Memorial to keep his cousin-in-law here. Mr. Gaspar says he will agree to Mr. Jimenez’s removal only if he approves the hospital, the treatment, and the doctors. [Pat Moore, Hospital Seeks to Send Immigrant Home, Palm Beach Post, June 6, 2003.]
AIDS, the Ebola virus, monkeypox, and SARS are all diseases that probably started in wild animals and switched to humans. It now appears likely that the recent outbreak of SARS got its start from the close contact between Chinese animal merchants and their wares. The people of Guangdong Province in southern China are famous for eating “everything with four legs except a table, everything that flies except an airplane, and everything that swims except a submarine,” and support a brisk trade in cats, snakes, bats, dogs, civet cats, pangolins, and anything else hunters can get their hands on. People like the taste, but also claim a daily dose of snake’s blood or powdered pangolin scales can cure disease. Another reason for the popularity of bush meat is its price. South China is full of wheeler-dealers who like to flaunt their wealth by eating tiger penis or filleted cobra.
The Xinyuan market in Canton is the perfect place to get diseases from animals. The floor is littered with dead cats, birds, fish, frogs, and rats, and the place stinks of blood and feces. Animals of every description are crammed into tiny cages, where they gnaw at and defecate on each other. People in the trade are always around animals, and get up to their elbows in blood when they butcher them. “Patient zero” in the SARS outbreak is thought to have been a Canton animal handler, and Chinese scientists report that up to 50 per cent of the people who work with wild animals in Canton have antibodies to the SARS coronavirus.
The authorities have outlawed the animal trade, but enforce the ban only half-heartedly. Western reporters have had no trouble finding the usual assortment of animals for sale in the usual filthy conditions. The animal handlers say the link to SARS is a myth. As one explains:
“We are not afraid of any disease in our market. Chinese people have been eating wild animals for thousands of years. We eat and sleep among our animals, and not a single one of us has ever caught SARS, and neither have any of our friends or relatives.” In any case, he adds, “I think our jobs are more important than SARS.”
The World Health Organization reports that if the trade in animals continues, there could well be another outbreak this fall or winter, when the weather is more favorable for transmission. [Geoffrey York, Chinese Taste for Exotic Flesh, Globe and Mail (London), June 28, 2003.]
Movie cowboy Roy Rogers, his wife Dale Evans, and his horse Trigger all used to be American cultural icons, and there is still a museum that celebrates their lives. For years, people visited the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum in Victorville, California, to view Roy Rogers memorabilia, including his gun, boots, and Trigger himself — stuffed and on display.
As the Roy Rogers generation passed on, and immigrants moved in, attendance dropped, and last April, the museum decided to relocate to Branson, Missouri. Branson has become a major resort area catering to bluegrass and country music fans, who are overwhelmingly white, and the museum hopes to be more popular there.
Victorville mayor Terry Caldwell is sad to see the museum go. “It’s left a big hole in the heart of Victorville. There was a wholesomeness synonymous with Roy Rogers and now that the museum has gone, it marks the end of an era here.” That’s just fine with immigrant Rosalina Sondoval-Marin. “Roy Rogers? He doesn’t mean anything,” she sneers. “There’s a revolution going on, and it don’t include no Roy Rogers …” [Charlie LeDuff, Roy Rogers Museum Hits the Trail, New York Times, June 1, 2003.]
Over the past year, Iraqi Kurdish refugees have been moving into the northern Wales town of Wrexham. There are now about 70 of them, and most live in a public housing project called Caja Park. On the night of June 22/23, the town had its first full-scale race riot, as 40 Kurds and young Welshmen battled it out near the project, swinging baseball bats and metal poles. Two men were taken into intensive care with serious head injuries, and police arrested four Iraqis and two Welshmen. Rumor had it that busloads of Kurds bent on revenge were rolling in from Stoke and London. Eirian Jones works at a late-night convenience store and witnessed the violence. “I am not surprised,” she says. “There has been tension for the last week. If the police don’t sort it out there’ll be more trouble.” Of course, it is the immigration authorities, not the police, who should sort it out. [Faisal al Yafai, Race Riot Rocks Welsh Estate, Guardian (London), June 24, 2003.]
Now that blacks have taken over the country whites built in South Africa, they are demanding “reparations” for apartheid. The reasoning is as follows: Whites kept blacks out of certain jobs and certain areas. Whites were (and still are) richer than blacks. Therefore whites owe blacks money. This ignores the fact that although blacks in South Africa were certainly poorer than whites, they were far better off than the neighboring blacks who had no whites to run their countries. Under apartheid, South Africa had a big problem with illegal African immigrants who wanted a piece of the good life under apartheid. Now that blacks are in charge, immigrants are less eager to come.
Activists have sued companies, foreign and domestic, for reparations because they “propped up” apartheid. The United States has the best laws for this sort of shakedown, and the South African Council of Churches was planning a big meeting in July to report on the suits. Blacks were looking forward to the big payday when it began to dawn on a few people that South African companies and South African subsidiaries of American companies might be liquidated if courts award damages. This would mean the end of many of the best jobs in the country.
Companies doing business in South Africa have instead agreed to contribute “voluntarily” to a reparations fund if the suits are dropped. Justice Minister Penuell Maduna wants everyone in South Africa to contribute. The fund will be run by a committee that will decide who are the most deserving victims of apartheid and which groups should be specially rewarded for their part in ending white rule. [Christelle Terreblanche, Business Pledges Reparations for Apartheid, Sunday Independent (London), June 29, 2003.]
The Majesty of Law
Cheating on examinations is a tradition in India, especially on law school examinations in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. Brazen cheating is so widespread that the state supreme court issued an order banning it, and the authorities got tough. “On frisking in the presence of the police, we found almost all students carrying books and photocopied notes hidden on their body,” explains education official Radhanath Mishra in the state capital of Bhubaneswar. The students refused to hand over their crib sheets, and instead turned violent, finally leaving the examination halls in protest. The boycott spread to 20 law colleges in eastern India and involved more than 3,000 students.
Aspiring lawyers at the University Law College of Bhubaneswar and Madhusudan Law College of Cuttack blocked the Calcutta-Madras national highway for more than three hours and burned tires to protest the ban on cheating. Angry students told local television reporters they wanted the examinations rescheduled and demanded that cheating be allowed, as it has been “for years.” [Shaikh Azizur Rahman, Students Riot Over Cheating Ban, The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Australia), July 10, 2003.]
India is the fourth most common country of origin for immigrants to the United States.
May Day Mayhem
On May 1, a gang of 18 black and Hispanic children, ages nine to fifteen, attacked a 13-year-old white girl as she walked home from Wilbur Wright Middle School in Cleveland, Ohio. The victim, identified only as Melissa, says her attackers were calling her “white trash” and other names when one girl grabbed her from behind by the hair and pulled her to the ground. The others joined in, beating, kicking and choking her. When police asked the young perps why they did it, they said simply, “It’s May Day.” Asked to elaborate, they explained, “That’s the day black students beat up on whites.”
Blacks at schools on Cleveland’s West Side have reportedly been assaulting white classmates on May Day since the 1970s, after the imposition of court-ordered busing. School officials claim tales of May Day violence are largely apocryphal, but teacher Michael Charney disagrees: “If you look through the history of Cleveland schools, there’s been incidents on May Day. It exists. It’s not a figment of imagination.”
Parents are taking no chances. Many whites, like JoAnn Nelson, keep their children home on May Day. “I’m not going to have them getting beat,” she explains. Her daughter Amber, who attends the same school as Melissa, says she’s glad she didn’t go to school that day — fellow students later told her she was on the hit list. On Thursday, May 1, Wilbur Wright reported 224 student absences; on Monday of the same week, there were only 115 absences.
Elsie Morales knows about May Day. The Puerto Rican mother of two says that when she was a student in the late 1970s, she joined in attacks on whites, which she saw as payback for their treatment of non-whites. She now thinks this was “retarded,” and forbids her children to attack whites. Her daughter Jasmine says there is pressure to join in the violence: “It’s like if you don’t jump this person with us, you’re a wimp and we’ll get you next.”
Since her attack, Melissa experiences blackouts, and remains under medical care. Police are charging her assailants — twelve girls and six boys — with felonious assault, ethnic intimidation, and aggravated riot. [Brian Albrecht, 18 Kids Are Charged With Racially Motivated Beating of Teenage Girl, Plain Dealer (Cleveland), June 14, 2003. Rachel Dissell and John F. Hagan, ‘May Day’: Fact and Myth, Plain Dealer, June 22, 2003.]
Not Learning English
A new study by the Brookings Institution shows that many foreign-born residents cannot speak English proficiently. Here are the data for the 10 metropolitan areas with the largest foreign-born populations.
[Mary Beth Sheridan, D.C. Region’s Immigrants Faring Better than Others, Washington Post, June 12, 2003.)
|Metro Area||Foreign-born Population||Poor English|
|Orange County (CA)||849,899||34.7%|
On June 8, Ford Motor Credit Co. filed a lawsuit in Manhattan against Democratic presidential candidate Rev. Al Sharpton to collect money he owes on a 2001 Ford Explorer. Mr. Sharpton last made the $1,127.95 monthly payment in November 2002. In February, he wrote Ford a check for $3,600 — it bounced — and now the repo men are after him. According to a spokesman, this is all news to the reverend. “Rev. Sharpton personally does not drive, nor does he have a driver’s license,” she says. [Missing SUV, New York Post, June 11, 2003, p. 10.]
The aspiring chief executive has a long history of skipping out on debts. After the Sept. 11 attacks, he got nervous about his offices in the Empire State Building, and cleared out despite a ten-year lease. His landlord sued. State and federal authorities are often after him for unpaid taxes. He did a midnight flit on $30,000 rent on his 1996 campaign headquarters, and tried to stiff the Millennium Hotel for $25,000 in expenses for a Jan. 2000 conference timed to celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday. His refusal to pay a $65,000 libel judgment for accusing a former prosecutor of raping Tawana Brawley became so embarrassing, a group of black businessmen finally paid the fine for him. [Lois Weiss and Andy Geller, Rev. Deadbeat Bounced, New York Post, July 13, 2002.]
Last Nov. 12, California Polytechnic State University student Steve Hinkle walked into a lounge in the school’s Multicultural Center to post a flyer announcing a speech by black conservative Mason Weaver. Mr. Weaver was to discuss his book, “It’s OK to Leave the Plantation,” which argues that government programs are bad for blacks. Several students in the lounge said Mr. Hinkle’s flyer was racist and violated the Multicultural Center’s posting policy. They said they would call the police if he posted it.
Mr. Hinkle left without putting it up, but students called the cops anyway, and told them a suspicious white male was distributing racial material. On Jan. 29, Mr. Hinkle was charged with disrupting a campus event — the students told police they were holding a Bible study meeting, though they had not yet started and there was no sign asking for privacy. According to one of the students Mr. Hinkle was in the room for “no more than five minutes.”
On March 12, the offender was hauled before Cal Poly’s Office of Judicial Affairs, and Vice Provost W. David Conn found him guilty of disruption and ordered him to write a formal apology. Mr. Hinkle is fighting back. An organization called the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is demanding that the university overturn the disruption conviction, remove it from his record, and apologize. If not, they may sue. [Michael Carney, California Student Struggles Against ‘Disruption’ Finding, Washington Times, July 2, 2003, p. A3.]
Respite for Lewiston?
City officials in Lewiston, Maine, are reporting a significant downturn in the number of new Somali refugees moving there. Since September 2002, new arrivals have averaged fewer than ten a month. During the previous year, the number was 40 a month. Some say the Somalis no longer feel welcome in Lewiston since last October when Mayor Larry Raymond wrote a letter asking them to go somewhere else (see AR, Nov. 2002). Others say the winters in Maine are too cold for Somalis. Still others think it’s because there aren’t many jobs in Lewiston (the Somali unemployment rate is 50 percent). Whatever the reason, Lewiston’s respite may be short-lived. Somali leaders say as many as 200 Somalis may move to Lewiston from Columbus, Ohio, this summer. [Somali Immigration into Lewiston Drops Significantly Since Fall, AP, June 26, 2003.]
Only two percent of the London Metropolitan Police force’s 28,000 officers are Muslim, so clearly the city needs more. On June 16, assistant police commissioner Bernared Hogan-Howe announced a new recruiting tactic: Muslims may wear turbans instead of the traditional “bobby” helmet. Sikh policemen have worn turbans for years, and last year Muslim women got permission to wear headscarves on duty. [Muslim Police in London May Wear Turbans, AP, June 16, 2003.]
Fade to Brown
In just two years, 2000 to 2002, the number of Hispanics living in the United States increased by 3.5 million, and now stands at 38.8 million. The Hispanic population more than doubled in the 1990s, and in 2001 Hispanics officially surpassed blacks to become the largest minority (13.5 vs. 12.7 percent). According to the Census Bureau, Hispanics are increasing nearly four times as quickly as the general population, and almost ten times faster than non-Hispanic whites.
Two thirds of all Hispanics are Mexican, and one third are under age 18. Forty percent are foreign-born. Forty percent of Hispanics 25 and over have failed to complete high school, and 21 percent live in poverty. For the Census Bureau “Hispanic” is a cultural, rather than racial category. Of the 38.8 million Hispanics living in our midst, no fewer than 36.3 million — 93.5 percent — say they are “white.” [Genaro C. Armas, Hispanic Population Up 10 Pct. Since 2000, AP, June 18, 2003.]
“It’s our responsibility as Republicans to communicate our message better to Hispanic communities,” says Republican Congressman Gerald Weller of Illinois. “In the past, we have not been as aggressive as we should have in conveying that Republican values are Hispanic values…” In order to get the message across, Rep. Weller has organized a 10-week course of Spanish classes for about 20 Republican congressmen and 50 staffers.
“It is great that they are taking language classes, and it’s about time,” says Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “But they also need to understand our concerns and issues …” Hispanics vote Democrat two to one. For that to change, says Cecilia Muñoz, vice president of the Hispanic pressure group National Council of La Raza, the GOP must change some of its policies — like the post-Sept. 11 restrictions on immigration.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Hispanics are about eight percent of registered voters and 500,000 more become eligible to vote each year. Both major political parties want their votes. “They are the jump ball in American politics,” says Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX). [Alex Kingsbury, How Do You Say ‘Vote GOP’?, Dallas Morning News, June 17, 2003.]
At 32, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is one of the youngest mayors of a major American city. He also sports a diamond stud is his left ear and rides a Harley. Mr. Kilpatrick comes from a black political family — his mother is Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI) and his father is a former Wayne County, Mich., commissioner — and his rapid rise to power in the nation’s 10th largest city has won national attention. The Los Angeles Times calls him a “politician who runs on hip-hop,” the Democratic Leadership Council named him one of 100 Democrats to watch, and BlackVoices .com hailed him as one of “America’s New Kings” and a possible future presidential candidate. He was the inspiration for the 2003 film Head of State (produced by and starring comedian Chris Rock), in which a black city alderman becomes president of the United States.
There have been rumors of orgies at the mayor’s mansion, but Mr. Kilpatrick says it’s just talk: “I think the reason it comes out is that we are sexy. I think this is a very sexy administration because of the youth.” Rumors started again in May, when Mr. Kilpatrick fired Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown. Mr. Brown says he got the axe because he was investigating the mayor’s 20-man security force for falsifying overtime records and covering up DUIs — and because he was looking into a coverup of an assault at a wild party at the mayor’s mansion involving the mayor and nude dancers.
Mr. Kilpatrick says he fired Mr. Brown because he betrayed “the trust of his chief.” The Michigan State Police and Detroit’s US District Attorney are investigating. [Patricia Montemurri, Alejandro Bodipo-Memba, and Chris Christoff, Mayor Didn’t Roll Off Assembly Line, Knight-Ridder News Service, May 18, 2003.]
In 1803, an army of Haitian former slaves drove the French army out of Haiti (the soldiers were dying of yellow fever) and massacred the remaining whites. Toussaint Louverture, the hero of the revolution, died in a French prison a few months later. Thirty-five years later, the French government agreed to recognize Haitian independence in exchange for 90 million francs in gold to compensate French landowners who lost property.
The government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide is now using the bicentennial of Louverture’s death to mount a PR campaign aimed at shaming the French government into giving the money back; they say its worth $21,685,135,571.48. The French have no intention of paying, pointing out that Haiti’s corrupt government is the real source of its problems.
Nevertheless, the Haitian government is acting as though they expect the French to pay up any minute. Haitian TV and radio stations run ads calling for payment, and banners and bumper stickers demanding money are all over the country. Headlines in newspaper give the impression the check is virtually in the mail. In a recent interview, Haitian Foreign Minister Joseph Philippe Antonio said the French are embarrassed by colonialism, and are refusing to pay restitution because they are afraid of setting a precedent, which other former colonies could follow. But, he says, “France will pay restitution for the monies it owes Haiti.” [Carol J. Williams, Quixotic Haiti Seeks French Restitution, Los Angeles Times, June 14, 2003.]
The Hmong are perhaps the most unsuccessful people to wash up on our shores because of misadventures overseas. They are Southeast Asian hill people whom the CIA recruited to fight Laotian Communists during the 1960s and ‘70s. They are extremely primitive even by south Asian standards, and have formed knots of unemployment, poverty, and school failure in the three states in which they have congregated: Minnesota, Wisconsin, and California. After a well-publicized rash of teenager suicides, the California legislature decided it should do something about Hmong self-esteem, and passed one of those meaningless laws of which Americans are so fond. The bill, shepherded through the statehouse by Sarah Reyes (D-Fresno), “encourages” California schools to teach students about the role of Southeast Asians during the Vietnam war. (Even if schools do this, the example of blacks shows that stuffing them full of Hmong history and happy mumbo-jumbo will not change their behavior.)
Alas, the bill does not mention the Hmong by name, something many believed would be a huge boost to self-esteem. The trouble is, it turns out there are all manner of different kinds of Hmong — blue, green, white, even striped — and they couldn’t agree on what to call themselves. The distinctions seem subtle to outsiders, but the biggest split is apparently between the Hmong Der (white Hmong) and the Mong Leng (green or, sometimes, blue Mong). The Mong, who insist they are not Hmong, are even more backward and failure-prone than the Hmong, and have learned to blame this on oppressors, including the Hmong. The Hmong say “Hmong” is inclusive and covers them all, but Mong say no, they want to be mentioned specifically by name, too. There was such a wrangle that Rep. Reyes threw up her hands and put “Southeast Asians” in the bill. Now the Mong are getting hate mail from Hmong who accuse them of sabotaging the bill. [Lee Romney, What’s in a Name? For Hmong Disappointed by Bill, Everything, Los Angeles Times, July 5, 2003.]
Ward Connerly is the black man who has made a career of banning government-sponsored affirmative action. As one of the regents of the University of California system, he played a key role in eliminating racial preferences in college admissions in the state, and was the most prominent backer of Proposition 209, the ballot initiative that abolished preferences state-wide. He was promoting a similar initiative in Michigan, but when the Supreme Court agreed to hear the two University of Michigan cases (see cover story), the effort came to a halt in expectation of a victory.
Now, Mr. Connerly is back in Michigan to revive the initiative. His formal announcement on the U of M campus was met with boos and heckling from dozens of affirmative action supporters who don’t want to let the voters decide. Within the state, both the Republicans and the Democrats are siding with the hecklers. “I fear that this proposed ballot initiative would only serve to further divide people along racial lines,” says state GOP Chairwoman Betsy DeVos. Presumably affirmative action unites them.
Encouragingly, the Supreme Court decision has stimulated action from others who may have held off in anticipation of sanity from Washington. In Colorado, lawmakers have proposed a bill to eliminate or greatly restrict race as a factor in college admissions. Gov. William Owens says he favors such legislation. [David Runk, Group Takes Race Issue to Mich. Voters, AP, July 9, 2003.]
Last January, former Rochester, New York, police officer Clint Jackson was convicted on 15 counts of third-degree sexual abuse for groping eight women while on duty. The women claimed Mr. Jackson, who is black, fondled their thighs and breasts as he searched them following traffic stops. The city fired Mr. Jackson in January 2002, after less than two years on the force, and he is now serving a two-year prison sentence.
In July, Mr. Jackson said he may sue the city alleging malicious prosecution, and charging the department failed to train and supervise him properly. “I was being inadequately supervised leading to my loss of employment,” he wrote. “I had been poorly trained to do my job.” Rochester City Attorney Linda Kingsley calls Mr. Jackson’s claims absurd, and notes that as for malicious persecution, a jury found him guilty. “This [suit] is an offensive waste of taxpayers’ money,” she says. Mr. Jackson has already cost the citizens of Rochester $44,000 in payments to the eight women. [Rick Armon, Ex-Cop, A Convicted Molester, Blames Training, May Sue City, Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester), July 3, 2003.]
On June 24, 19-year-old Kevin Johnson and his 16-year-old cousin Nafeese Holton left a birthday party at a house in largely black southwest Philadelphia and were waiting at a stop to catch a trolley home when five teenage boys approached them. They demanded that Mr. Johnson hand over the custom Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers basketball jersey he was wearing. When Mr. Johnson refused, 15-year-old Raymond Ferguson shot him in the neck. Another 15-year-old, Robert Chisholm, shot Mr. Holton, hitting him in the jaw. Both shots were fired from less than a foot away.
Philadelphia detective Michael Chitwood says the two shooters had been at the party with the victims, and had noticed they were not from the neighborhood, were dressed well, seemed to have money, and were chatting up girls. The two rounded up some friends and decided to rob them partly, police speculate, as punishment for coming onto their southwest Philly turf.
The victims remain hospitalized. Mr. Johnson will probably be paralyzed from the neck down and Mr. Holton has a bullet lodged near his carotid artery. [Thomas J. Gibbons, Jr., 5 Teens Charged in S.W. Phila. Shootings of Two, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 27, 2003.]
Lauren Ellison says she had to quit her job at the Victoria’s Secret lingerie store in the Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, Pa., in 2001 because co-workers and managers made “offensive remarks and engaged in practices that were insulting” to her race and religion. Miss Ellison is black, and a Baptist. She says she was forced to work when she wanted to attend church, and was told to assume black shoppers were shoplifters. Miss Ellison complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which sued Victoria’s Secret — part of Limited Brands, Inc. — on her behalf. The company settled for $179,300. [Victoria’s Secret to Settle Suit, Bloomberg News, June 27, 2003.]
In June, after a gang of a dozen young blacks attacked and slashed a 23-year-old white man in suburban Ottawa, Canada, city councilor Jan Harder told a local newspaper, “The problem arises when a large group of — I’m going to say it — non-whites comes into our community looking to cause trouble.” Miss Harder’s remarks set off the usual shrieking about “racism,” but she is sticking to her guns. “I’m not defining race,” she says. “It’s police terminology, not mine. That’s how the police report it and that’s why I use that terminology. In that particular case, it was non-whites, so I’m reporting accurately.” She says her constituents support her: “I’ve had so many e-mails and calls from people saying ‘We’re really glad you’re working on this, Jan. We’re nervous about letting the kids go out in the evening.’”
Young whites in the area agree with her. “I have been chilling here since I was 12. It was a safe haven, but they’re [non-whites] going to keep coming and it’s getting worse,” says Andrew Racine. “She may be racist, but she’s truthful,” adds J.L. Jarvis. [Jason Fekete and Adam Grachnik, City Councillor Blames ‘Non-Whites’ for Violence, Ottawa Citizen, June 20, 2003.]
Meanwhile, in Toronto, on June 11, police and social workers took four of a Jamaican Rastafarian woman’s five children into custody. She had not sent them to school for eight months, and Children’s Aid Society (CAS) officials feared for their health and safety. Immediately after the police took her children, the woman forced her way into a neighboring townhouse and attacked Madelene Monast with a machete. She had been feuding with Miss Monast for more than a year, and was already the subject of an arrest warrant in connection with an assault on Miss Monast. She mistakenly believed Miss Monast had called CAS about her children, and in revenge fractured her skull, broke her arm, cut up her face, and nearly severed both hands.
“Her hands were basically just hanging by the tendons,” says Anthony Barnes, a neighbor who helped the white 44-year-old mother of five until paramedics arrived. “It was awful — gruesome, terrible, terrible.” Miss Monast underwent hours of microsurgery to reattach her hands, but doctors think only one can be saved. [Jim Wilkes, Slashing Horrifies Community, Toronto Star, June 13, 2003.]
Creating the Fifth Column
On July 6, Manuel de la Cruz of Norwalk, California, became the first American citizen to win a seat in Mexico’s Congress. Jose Jacques Medina of Maywood, California, was waiting for late returns to determine whether he would join the 500-seat Mexican legislature. Four other US citizens ran for office and lost. All six are all among the two million Mexicans with dual citizenship living in the United States. No fewer than 10 million Mexicans living here are eligible to vote in Mexican elections, and one of the campaign issues Mr. Medina and Mr. de la Cruz both pushed was measures to make even more Mexicans living here eligible to vote in the 2006 Mexican elections.
Beyond this, both men have another goal: to make the United States Mexico’s sixth electoral district. The country now has a complex system with five districts, but with 20 percent of all Mexicans — more than 20 million — living in el norte, why shouldn’t they have formal representation? Mr. de la Cruz envisions a kind of virtual Mexico, north of the border, with amnesty for illegals and easy guest-worker status for millions more.
Mr. Medina, a labor leader who fled to the US in the 1970s because of alleged “political crimes,” says that if he has won a seat, he will stay in Maywood. “I am Mexican,” he says, “but I will always live in California, fighting for the emigrant Mexicans who live here.” [Ken Bensinger, Mexican Lawmaker Sees Voting in U.S., Washington Times, July 10, 2003, p. A1.]
Mr. Medina makes it refreshingly clear where his loyalties lie, and his goal for the United States is entirely consistent with those loyalties. Nothing could better symbolize the debased nature of American citizenship and America’s colonial tie to its neighbor than to make it a voting district of a foreign country. Whether this happens — and the necessary arrangements could be made before the 2006 elections — is entirely up to the Mexican authorities and the Mexicans who live among us as citizens but whose loyalties lie elsewhere.
Who Drops Out?
What is the US high school dropout rate? This is a surprisingly difficult question; no one really knows. One simple calculation is to count the number of 11th graders, count the number of students who graduate the next year, and call the difference the dropout rate. That ignores students who dropped out before the 11th grade, as well as the fact that the US population is growing because of immigration.
Different calculations result in big differences. The federal government says the high school graduation rate for 2000 was 86.5 percent, while Jay Greene of the Manhattan Institute says the figure is 69 percent. The feds include people who get a high school equivalency diploma while Mr. Green does not. More important, Mr. Green counts students who end up in prison as dropouts whereas the feds do not.
Racial differences are also unclear. According to some studies, the black dropout rate has fallen from 21 percent in 1972 to 11 percent in 2001 — a considerable decrease. However, at the same time, the number of high school-age blacks behind bars has shot up, and if jailbirds are counted as dropouts, graduation rates decline. Bruce Western of Princeton University says imprisonment accounts for about half the fall in dropout rates, and that the decline is really from over 20 percent to about 15 percent. He says that in 1980 14 percent of black men aged 22 to 30 who had dropped out of high school were in jail. By 1999, just under 20 years later, that figure had jumped to 40 percent. No doubt the gentlemen pictured on the previous page will add to that figure.
No matter how the rate is calculated, Hispanics are the group least likely to graduate. The government says that in 1972 their dropout rate was 34 percent but declined to 27 percent by 2001. US-born Hispanics appear to be more likely to graduate than the foreign born. Richard Fry of the Pew Hispanic Center says that during the 1990s their dropout rate dipped from 15 to 14 percent. [Marjorie Coeyman, The Story Behind Dropout Rates, Christian Science Monitor, July 1, 2003.] No one appears to have calculated the effect of imprisonment on the Hispanic rate, and it may be that if prisoners are counted as dropouts, the rate for the US-born has actually risen.
‘One if by Land …’
Paul Westrum likes to think of himself as a modern-day Paul Revere, warning fellow Minnesotans of the dangers of mass immigration. Mr. Westrum heads a group called the Steele County Coalition for Immigration Reduction, which wants fewer legal immigrants, deportation for all illegals, and English as the official language. He recently mailed letters to officials in Steele County informing them that “we are watching” how they handle immigration policy.
Thanks to immigration, the number of Hispanics in Minnesota increased by 166 percent during the 1990s, and Mr. Westrum’s organization is growing. It has 27 branches in southern Minnesota and four in Iowa.
The coalition has run into the usual opposition. On June 12, Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in St. Paul, held a press conference to denounce the group as “racist.” “It sounds like a group of citizens who are misinformed about the contributions of immigrants to this country,” he explained.
For his part, Mr. Westrum says, “This is not an anti-immigrant group. It’s not anti-immigration, and this has nothing to do with race. The group is nothing more than trying to cut back on immigration.” [Renee Ruble, Groups Draw a Bead on Immigrants, AP, June 15, 2003.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — I found the July cover story about Robert Mugabe’s anti-white Zimbabwe too depressing. I do not think it is helpful to write on and on about whites being beaten, raped, murdered and humiliated by blacks. This only promotes the lie that our situation is hopeless. Also, I don’t like the article’s reference to a time when whites did fight back, when armies from Britain or colonial India would be assembled to face down anti-white despots. This longing for the “good old days” is a sign of having too many old conservatives around. Everything was not better for whites in “the good old days.” Compare white attitudes to Africa now with those of 30 years ago. The tide has turned: whites no longer view despots like Mr. Mugabe with rose-colored glasses.
Now is not the worst of times for whites. White were not safer when white governments in America and the UK were carpet bombing German cities, slaughtering tens of thousands of whites. Also, I grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the ‘60s and ‘70s at a time when the federal government was giving millions to black street gangs like the Blackstone Rangers. I lived through pre-Guiliani New York City — total hell. Life is much better in New York now, also in Chicago. The best news is that whites around the globe are putting aside their foolish differences and starting to close ranks against the Muslims, black Africans, and the Third World.
The whites in Southern Africa are certainly in severe danger. Let’s try to think of ways to help them there or help them escape to new lives in places like Australia, Canada, North Dakota, Russia, Poland etc. It does no good to go on crying and moaning about thugs like Mr. Mugabe and then not act. Let’s build on small victories and aim for big ones. Please, let’s not push the line that the hate-whitey terrorists are winning everywhere and there is nothing we can do to stop them.
Sir — Your otherwise excellent June article, “The Hollow Debate on Race Preferences,” contains a factual error. In the third paragraph on page 5 you point out correctly that only 16 percent of blacks have IQs above 100. However, the next assertion is mistaken: “Whites are about six times more likely than blacks to have IQs of 135 or higher …”
Because the standard deviation for IQ is 15 points, for mathematical convenience let us consider IQs of 130 or greater — two standard deviations (SD) above the white mean. Since the black mean, 85, is one SD below the white mean of 100, a black with an IQ of 130 is three SD above the black mean. The percentages of populations at various SDs above or below any given mean are well known. Two point three percent of a population have IQs two SD above the mean, but only 0.15 percent have IQs three SD above the mean. The ratio of 2.3%/0.15% is 15. Therefore 15 times as many whites, per capita, have IQs above 130 as compared to blacks, per capita.
This is not the end of the story. There are 200 million whites and 37 million blacks in America. Therefore there are 4.6 million (2.3% × 200M) whites with IQs above 130, but only 56,000 (0.15% × 37M) blacks at the same level. Therefore the ratio of whites to blacks in America with IQs over 130 is 4.6 million/56 thousand = 82. The ratio of 82, not six, is the relevant number. On the college campus of meritocracy, we would expect to find 82 white professors for every black professor, assuming that professors should be drawn from society’s top 2.3 percent.
At the other extreme of low IQs, 2.3 percent of whites have IQs of 70 (2 standard deviations below the mean) or lower, while 16 percent (1 SD) of blacks are in that category. The per capita ratio is therefore seven (your article says six, which is close enough).
Perry Lorenz, Fort Collins. Colo
Sir — When I grew up, the idea of a woman like Missy McLauchlin (“Missy McLauchlin, RIP,” March 2003) having sex with three black men she didn’t even know was inconceivable. Parents told their daughters of the dangers of consorting with blacks, and of the loss of status that would result. Attending racially integrated schools in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in the 1970s, I never saw a white girl even date a black boy.
Today, however, it is commonplace to see white girls and women openly consorting with black men. In my own county, which is still 85-90 percent white, it is not uncommon in a supermarket or department store to see young white women shopping with their mulatto children.
What has changed since the 1970s? Today’s young women are indoctrinated in our schools that it is wrong to “discriminate” in their romantic lives. American Pop culture celebrates the masculinity of the black male. Because so many of today’s marriages end in divorce, many girls are raised without fathers, who would reinforce the strictures against interracial dating. And of course, these days one is met with instant condemnation — publicly, and increasingly privately as well — for even hinting at “thinking racially,” despite the fact that it was natural to do so only a generation or so ago.
Missy McLauchlin was the product of a society that failed to protect her from those who would prey upon her. Perhaps she can be blamed for the behavior that led to her death, but there are many others who are responsible for making her the kind of person susceptible to that behavior.
Derek Leaberry, Queenstown, Md.
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