|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 1, No. 2||December 1990|
The Racial Politics of Murder
The race of the victim may be all that matters.
by William Robertson Boggs
Perhaps the most publicized murders in America in the last few years have been the killings of black men in the New York neighborhoods of Howard Beach and Bensonhurst. They became national incidents and were made into symbols of white bigotry. The very names of the neighborhoods are now intellectual shorthand for the oppression of blacks. Even though these were unusual, thoroughly atypical crimes, this did not prevent the press from treating them as if they were characteristic of the way white people treat blacks.
The furor stirred up by these killings is all the more noteworthy because of the studied silence that greets similar crimes when the victims are white. There is hostility in this country to news suggesting that blacks are just as capable of racial crimes as whites. Since black racism doesn’t fit neatly into the theory of blacks as innocent victims, many people profess a fear that an open discussion of it would fuel a white backlash. Nevertheless, taken in the overall context of inter-racial crime, the way America reacted to the deaths in Howard Beach and Bensonhurst was not only disproportionate but dangerous.
Although the Howard Beach incident was widely viewed as an unprovoked attack by whites on peaceable blacks, the facts are much more ambiguous. One evening in 1986, some white teenagers were driving a girl home when three black men walked out in front of their car and were nearly hit. An argument broke out, in which one of the blacks shouted, “F*** you, honky,” another flashed a knife, and one reportedly stuck his head through a car window and spat in the face of one of the whites. The whites drove away furious, and after dropping off the girl returned with baseball bats. They attacked and injured one of the blacks, and another was hit and killed by a passing car as he tried to escape.
Since the attackers were white, the victims were black, and the word “nigger” was used, this incident became a national sensation. It fueled a flood of analysis and white self-criticism. Blacks held rallies, marches and demonstrations. Then-mayor Ed Koch, who presided over a city whose citizens were committing about 1,700 murders every year, chose to call this one the most horrendous crime in all his years in office. Blacks demanded and got a special prosecutor to try the case, since the usual procedures were allegedly shot through with racism. The whites were, of course, duly convicted.
The Bensonhurst killing, three years later, was clearly unprovoked. A gang of bat-swinging whites started chasing four blacks who they thought had come to visit a white girl in the neighborhood. One of the whites reportedly yelled, “To hell with beating them up. Forget the bats; I’m going to shoot the nigger.” He then pulled out a gun and shot a 16-year-old to death.
Despite press reports of the incident, the whites were not simply lying in wait to attack any blacks who came along. They were on the lookout for a specific group of blacks who they had heard were planning to invade their “territory,” and repeatedly asked each other “Is it them?” before attacking. The purely racial explanation for the killing is further weakened by the fact that one of the young men who helped round up bats for the group was a Bensonhurst resident named Russell Gibbons, who is black. He was, and continues to be, a close friend of one of the whites, Keith Mondello, who was later convicted in connection with the killing.
None of this mattered in the out-pouring of white soul-searching and analysis that followed the killing. Blacks used the incident for anti-white provocations. Film maker Spike Lee blamed all whites for the shooting, declaring that Mayor Ed Koch’s finger was on the trigger of the murder weapon. Black demonstrators, chanting and waving signs, marched through Bensonhurst — not just once — but four different times, condemning the whole neighborhood for the crime.
During another demonstration, protesters chanting, “What’s coming? War!” tried to block traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge. When police moved in to keep the bridge open, marchers attacked them and injured 23 officers. As the crowd turned back from the bridge, hundreds ran through the streets, kicking cars and screaming insults at whites. One black activist vowed, “From this day forward, for every black child that we bury, we are going to bury five of theirs” Even middle-class blacks lost their heads. One wondered, in a New York Times guest editorial entitled “Will I Be Next?”, whether “white people secretly aspire to intern us all in jails or concentration camps — to permanently do away with us?”
The significance of these killings lies more in the reactions to them — both black and white — than in the incidents themselves. If America were really seething with white racism, violence against blacks would presumably be common. It is because it is so rare that Howard Beach and Bensonhurst became huge sensations.
In the agony of self-recrimination that followed, no one bothered to look up the statistics on inter-racial crime. When whites do violence — rape, murder, assault — how often do they choose black victims? If America is a nation of racists shouldn’t they target blacks most of the time? At least half of the time? They don’t. The annual report from the Department of Justice shows that when whites commit violence they do it to blacks 2.4 percent of the time. Blacks, on the other hand, choose white victims more than half the time.
What about inter-racial murder? Recently, the Boston police were widely criticized for believing Charles Stuart’s claim that his pregnant wife had been killed by a black man, whereas it was he who had shot her. In fact, the police had good reason to believe him. In those cases in which the race of the killer is known, blacks kill twice as many whites as whites kill blacks. Given the disproportions in the population between blacks and whites, this means that, statistically, any given black person is more than 14 times as likely to kill a white person than the reverse. The figures for inter-racial rape or assault are even more lopsided. In New York City, for example, any white is over 300 times more likely to be assaulted by a gang of blacks than is a black by a gang of whites.
But how are racially motivated crimes by blacks against whites reported, and how does America react to them? A month after the Bensonhurst shooting, an almost identical crime was committed in the Bronx by blacks. A white got out of his car to make a telephone call on East Tremont Avenue. Two blacks approached and asked, “What are you white guys doing on Tremont? You don’t belong here.” An argument followed and one of the blacks pulled a gun and shot the white, wounding him in the stomach. This incident provoked no marches, no hand-wringing, and scarcely any press coverage. When a black minister, who had taken the lead in berating whites after the Bensonhurst killing, was asked about the Tremont shooting, he replied, “I don’t know that that’s racism as I define it … There’s a difference between racism and revenge.”
There wasn’t even any revenge in the death of white, 23-year-old, Danny Gilmore. One evening, in July 1988, he was driving his pickup truck through a black part of Cleveland, looking for the freeway. A black man on a moped pulled out without looking and bumped the truck. He was uninjured, but a crowd of about 40 black men soon showed up. A few started pouring beer into Mr. Gilmore’s truck. Someone tried to get into the cab and grab the keys. A scuffle broke out and the blacks mercilessly thrashed Mr.Gilmore. He broke away, stumbled in front of his truck, and collapsed on the street. One of the blacks started the engine, and as the crowd cheered, he crushed Mr. Gilmore under the wheels of his own truck. Mr. Gilmore was covered with so much blood that when the medics finally got to him they assumed he was black.
The black reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer who covered the murder immediately recognized that the story was racial dynamite, but his white editors buried it and, over his protests, suppressed the race angle. The killing got little local attention and no national coverage. The Cleveland homicide detective who covered the case explained it this way: “The mayor’s office doesn’t want us to have racial killings in this town, so Danny Gilmore’s death wasn’t a racial crime. And I’m the tooth fairy.”
A similar crime was committed in Philadelphia just a few months before the Bensonhurst killing. A gang of Hispanics, who had been prevented from crashing a white party, vowed to take revenge. A week later, they did. Since they couldn’t find any of the people who had kept them out of the party, they shot and killed the first white youngster they could find. This incident was ignored by the national media and provoked no marches, demonstrations, or public breast-beating.
A more recent incident took place in May, 1990. One Saturday night in Tampa, a dozen blacks showed up at a hangout popular with white teenagers. They were looking for a fight, were accommodated with some minor fisticuffs, and left vowing to return with reinforcements. An hour later, they found some of the whites in a parking lot five blocks away and attacked them. The whites met the attack with their fists. The blacks then started swinging clubs, and when one opened fire with a pistol, the whites scattered. One of the whites didn’t get away in time and was cornered by seven blacks. According to a woman who saw the attack from her window, the blacks beat the 19-year old white to death with two-by-fours. “I could see a piece of wood come down and crack against his head,” she said. She told police that with every blow, the assailants said, “Don’t ever f*** with us. Don’t ever f*** with us again.” Police later found the attackers and have charged four black adults and two juveniles with first-degree murder.
In the famous Howard Beach incident, the whites who cornered a black could have killed him with their baseball bats but did not. The man who did die was accidentally hit by a car. The deliberate killing of a white in Tampa is insignificant local news, while the accidental killing of a black in New York is national news. When whites kill people for racial reasons it is front-page stuff and cause for agonized self-examination. When blacks or Hispanics kill whites for racial reasons there is silence.
A partial exception to this rule was the recent Central Park rape, in which a white woman was gang-raped, beaten, and left for dead by a pack of young blacks and Hispanics. This was met with a torrent of press commentary, but no white marches, demonstrations, or “revenge.” And even though one of the attackers reportedly said “Let’s get a white woman,” many commentators carefully avoided calling the rape a racial crime, arguing that the woman’s race did not matter.
But to return to the cold eloquence of statistics, what are we to make of the fact that more than half of the victims of black violence are white, while only 2.4 percent of the victims of white violence are black? How much of this difference is due to anti-white racism? No one knows; no one is even interested. When a black man kills or robs a white man, no one makes it his business to wonder if the motive was racial. There are no government commissions, watchdog groups, civil rights activists, or editorial boards constantly on the alert for black racism. When a black kills a white, it’s homicide; when a white kills a black, it’s racism.
There are several reasons for this double standard. First, the official theory of race relations requires it. Blacks are said to be unsuccessful in America because of white racism. Any suggestion that blacks are at all responsible for their own failures is called “blaming the victim.” Blacks are eight times more likely than whites to be in jail, four times more likely to have illegitimate children, and four and a half times more likely to be on welfare. If white racism is what causes all this, there must be an enormous amount of it around. It must therefore be denounced — repeatedly and furiously — whenever it is found.
This is why the Howard Beach and Bensonhurst killings were portrayed as unprovoked white violence intended for the first black passerby. It is because such purely random anti-black violence — and even incidents that can be made to look like it — are so rare that Howard Beach and Bensonhurst were made into sensations. Such incidents are vital to the theory of white responsibility for black failure. The image of blacks as innocent victims is clouded by incidents suggesting that blacks may not always be so innocent. It’s easiest to ignore them.
Another reason why America glosses over black misbehavior is that it is thought mean-spirited to inquire into it. Simply to state facts that reflect badly on blacks is thought to be boorish, perhaps even “racist.” This is why the statistics on violent inter-racial crime are nothing more than an obscure footnote in a dusty government publication. If they suggested that whites, rather than blacks, were racist, we would have heard them so often we would know them by heart.
Of course, by smoothing over black misbehavior, liberal America treats blacks as moral inferiors. Whenever anyone gingerly raises the subject of black crime, someone is sure to offer “root cause” explanations that put the blame on whites. But whenever America tracks down a violent white racist, he is condemned as fully responsible for his actions. No root cause explanations for him. By offering excuses for blacks that it denies to whites, liberalism treat blacks as second-class citizens.
America’s preoccupation with white racism has created a dangerous climate. Blacks have heard over and over that white bigotry thwarts them at every turn. But if, as one black spokesman recently explained to the Wall Street Journal, 90 percent of black people’s problems would go away if racism were eliminated, why should they lift a finger to help themselves? If white people are responsible for their problems, white people must cure them.
Anyone who doubts the prevalence of this attitude need only reflect on the number of blacks who believe that drugs, rocketing black murder rates, and even AIDS are part of a government campaign to exterminate black people. It is no longer only Louis Farrakhan and Angela Davis who believe this. The Black Scholar and The Nation write darkly of “genocide,” and the editor of Brooklyn’s City Sun is convinced of it. Even the National Urban League mutters about the possibility of genocide.
If millions of blacks are so deluded as to think their government is trying to exterminate them, what else are they prepared to believe? Will they not see “racism” in every white gesture, no matter how well intentioned? Such people are likely to be beyond the terms of rational discourse.
The problem, of course, is one that the white media have helped create. Their treatment of inter-racial crime makes rational discourse impossible. By making Howard Beach and Bensonhurst national sensations, and ignoring Tremont Avenue, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Tampa, they are foreclosing the frank discussion of race relations that solutions require. Ignoring disagreeable facts does not make them go away.
Recently, a white New York City high school student reflected in the New York Times about a group of blacks who attacked him because he was white. Did he complain about black racism? No. “Getting attacked because of my race made me look at myself and understand what I symbolize to others,” he wrote; “It doesn’t matter that I have not a single racist bone in my body; too many white people before me did.” This boy didn’t condemn the attack because it was racial; he excused it because it was racial. His solution? Vote for Jesse Jackson.
Hollywood Does Howard Beach
The media promote the view that whites are crude racists while blacks want only to live in peace. The Howard Beach killing (see main story) was made into a two-hour television docudrama, which twisted the facts at every turn to fit this accepted view. In its depiction of the original face-off between the whites and blacks, the blacks don’t walk in front of the car, don’t flash a knife, don’t spit in anyone’s face, don’t say “F*** you, honky.” In fact they don’t do anything at all. The whites deliberately try to run them down, and shout “Get out of the neighborhood, niggers,” — a line invented purely for television. They return with baseball bats for the sole purpose of ridding the neighborhood of blacks.
White brutality is consistently exaggerated. For example, in real life, the black who was beaten needed five stitches; on television he gets a concussion and needs 67 stitches. The thesis of the TV version is that blacks merely had to wander into Howard Beach in order to be attacked. In fact, the bowling alley across the street from where the attack took place has a black bowling league; blacks are in the neighborhood all the time.
One of the white Howard Beach defendants has an ex-girlfriend who is black. She is furious about what she calls the TV version’s “horrendous” distortions. It’s clear that scriptwriter Steve Ballo and producer Ken Kaufman weren’t trying to be truthful. They were making propaganda and passing it off as history.
No one, of course, is planning a film about the death of Danny Gilmore, the white man who was run over with his own truck, even though the story has all the elements of high drama: a brutal killing, a big city newspaper that covers up the facts, a brave black reporter who fights for truth, a streetwise detective who sees through the lies. If only whites had killed a black man, it would be the perfect Hollywood plot.
Swift Punishment for Heretics
by Erica Blair
In 1969, Professor Arthur Jensen of the University of California at Berkeley suggested that the compensatory education programs then in vogue would fail because intelligence is largely hereditary. He went on to conclude that the difference in the measured intelligence of blacks and whites was also largely due to heredity.
He was met with the terrible fury a nation reserves for those who challenge its myths. Professor Jensen was the target of such spite and threatened with such violence that the Berkeley campus police assigned him two bodyguards. I recall from my own university days on a different campus, that when Professor Jensen was invited to lecture on intelligence, the meeting hall was surrounded by rioting students who promised to beat him senseless if he tried to speak. Newsweek printed a story about him with the title, “Born Dumb?”
Philippe Rushton, an Englishman who now lives in Canada, is a professor at the University of Western Ontario. He has studied racial differences in great detail. He recently published the conclusion that north Asians are more highly evolved that whites, who are in turn more highly evolved than blacks. He has been boycotted, demonstrated against, and likened to Hitler. Colleagues prefer not to speak to him, he has lost most of his graduate students, and the Premier of Ontario Province has vowed that were it not for academic tenure, he would give the professor the sack.
Perhaps most astonishing, Professor Rushton has been investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police for “promulgating false information.” For this charge to stick, it must be proven not only that Professor Rushton is wrong, but that he knows he is wrong and is deliberately spreading lies. Only thus can the Province of Ontario officially conceive of his point of view.
Michael Levin, a professor of philosophy at the City College of New York, has found that first amendment rights don’t apply to views on race. He thought it safe to express a heterodox position in a journal published in Australia but he was found out.
It does not matter that Professor Levin’s students of all races agree that he is scrupulously fair; or that in the classroom he sticks to philosophy, which he teaches brilliantly. His classes have been disrupted by demonstrators, he has been physically prevented from speaking in public, and for a time was forbidden by his university to teach introductory philosophy. Once, he returned to his office to find it covered with swastikas and the message, “You F***ing Jew.” A newspaper editorial writer recently called him a horse’s ass. Like Professor Rushton, he continues to be employed, despite this gaudy process of harassment, thanks only to academic tenure.
Those not so protected are quickly turfed out. Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder, a television commentator who should have known the rules, was immediately sacked for unbosoming the view that blacks are naturally better athletes than whites. Though this would appear complimentary to blacks, it is an opinion forbidden to whites because it is thought to imply that what blacks enjoy in athletic prowess they lack in brains. Al Campanis, a baseball executive, likewise found himself unemployed after pronouncing a few ill-chosen words on television. When asked why it was that so few professional black athletes go on to become sports executives, he replied that he thought they didn’t have “the necessities” for such work. The ideologically correct reply is that blacks are held under by racist whites.
H. L. Mencken on Free Speech
The common notion that free speech prevails in the United States always makes me laugh … The American people, I am convinced, really detest free speech. At the slightest alarm they are ready and eager to put it down.
… The government I live under has been my enemy all my active life. When it has not been engaged in silencing me it has been engaged in robbing me. So far as I can recall I have never had any contact with it that was not an outrage on my dignity and an attack upon my security.
— Diary entry of April 1, 1945
On The Trail of the Great Taboo, Part II
In the previous issue, Mr. Jackson summarized the authors’ findings that there is the following general consensus among experts about IQ: IQ tests measure intelligence accurately, 60 to 70% of the differences in IQ between individuals is due to heredity, and IQ is important to success in life.
Mark Snyderman and Stanley Rothman, The IQ Controversy, Transaction Publishers, 1988, 310 pp. $24.95
Reviewed by Thomas Jackson
Racial differences in test scores are, of course, the touchiest issue in the whole IQ debate. Ever since the First World War, when large numbers of Americans first started taking IQ tests, average black scores have been about 15 points lower than white scores. With an average IQ of 85, only 16% of the black population scores over 100, while half the white population does. What accounts for these differences?
The most common explanation in the popular press is that the tests are “culturally” biased against blacks. To make the case for bias it must be shown that there are specific, culture-oriented test problems that blacks consistently get wrong. However, in modern IQ tests there are no questions that only one racial group has particular trouble answering. Anyone who argues that the tests are biased must therefore prove a very difficult case: that every single question on the tests is equally biased.
Furthermore, if intelligence tests are culturally biased, it should be possible to devise a reliable test that is not biased. Despite repeated attempts to do so, no one has been able to develop a meaningful intelligence test on which blacks and whites score equally. Finally, if the tests are biased against blacks they are presumably biased against Asians as well. In fact, Asians have higher average IQ scores than whites, but no one ever suggests that the tests are culturally biased in their favor. IQ and aptitude tests also tend to be almost equally valid for people of all races. They can predict the grades a child will get or how well an adult will do at a job, no matter what his race.
Another popular explanation for low black IQ scores is that blacks come from deprived environments. This undoubtedly has an effect on IQ. However, even when blacks and whites have the same backgrounds, in terms of family income and childhood advantages, blacks still have average IQ scores 12 to 15 points lower than comparable whites. American Indians and Mexican Americans often live in circumstances that are even more meager than those of blacks. Nevertheless, both groups consistently score better on IQ tests than blacks.
In cases where black children have been adopted by white parents, test results are the same as in other adoption studies: The children’s IQs may be improved by environment, but they are still closer to those of their biological parents than to those of their adoptive parents. Finally, it would be hard to deny that racial oppression of blacks has receded dramatically over the last 60 or 70 years. Nevertheless, the racial IQ gap has been stuck at 15 points for the entire period, suggesting that environment — at least white malevolence — by no means explains all of it.
The majority of the experts polled by Mr. Snyderman and Mr. Rothman therefore conclude that genetic differences account for at least part of the black/white IQ difference. Only 15% said they thought that the differences were due to environment alone. Since the race/IQ question is the most politically explosive one in all the social sciences, it is highly significant that only a small minority took the safe, liberal position.
If the experts are in rough agreement on the heritability of IQ, and acknowledge that genes account for at least part of the IQ differences between different races, why do the media continue to distort their views? After a thorough study of press stories about IQ and a series of interviews with editors, the authors conclude that the media simply write what they wish were true about IQ rather than what the experts say. And, to be sure, they can always find some experts, notably Professors Leon Kamin and Steven Jay Gould, who are prepared to argue a strictly environmental position. It suits the bias of the media to present men like these as typical of the scientific community, whereas they are a maverick minority.
The experts themselves are partly to blame. Mr. Snyderman and Mr. Rothman put it this way: “[T]he expert community has more or less accepted such distortions as inevitable. Since their scientific findings run counter to a conventional wisdom whose supporters are quite passionate, they have accepted a tradeoff that permits them to publish their findings in professional journals, but not for popular consumption. Under such circumstances they can continue their scientific work without the fear of being pilloried by the larger community and of being deprived of grants for research by government agencies and private foundations. So fully have many experts accepted this arrangement that they are angered by colleagues with whom they agree but who popularize their views and threaten their scientific work.”
In other words, experts are happy to talk honestly about IQ among themselves, but don’t want anyone else to hear. The liberal fury that the facts about IQ inevitably unleashes (see sidebar on previous page) disturbs their academic tranquility.
On the other hand, it is easy to understand why people prefer not to hear the expert view. Many people so dislike the idea that there may be genetic limits to achievement that they simply refuse to consider the evidence for it. Others fear that if it is acknowledged that much of the IQ difference between blacks and whites is genetic, it will somehow lead to the preposterous notion that all blacks have lower IQs than all whites. Blacks are reluctant to consider the possibility that their failures may be due to their own shortcomings rather than to white oppression. The faint-hearted just keep silent. All this results in the enshrinement of a theory of equality that is agreeable but for which there is scarcely any evidence.
America therefore operates according to a political view of reality that willfully ignores the opinions of the best informed. Egalitarians, and their allies in the press, are vehement in insisting that racial oppression alone accounts for differences in black/white achievement. It is only by disregarding — even reviling — expert opinion that affirmative action, quotas, and the rest of the racial preference industry can be justified. Gruesome distortions result.
For example, intelligence tests have long been used to decide which school children should be in gifted classes and which should be in classes for slow learners. Although black/white IQ scores overlap in the middle ranges, there are striking differences at the high and low ends. Blacks are six times as likely to have IQs of 50 to 70, which put them in the slow learner category, while whites are 10 times more likely to score 130 or over.
Egalitarians refuse to accept the best, scholarly explanations for these differences, and promote the only explanation they find acceptable: test bias. It was on this basis that a federal judge in California ruled that any test that detected racial differences was, by definition, biased. He forbade the use of IQ tests for black school children (but not for children of any other race) and ordered that children of all races be put into gifted and slow learners classes in strict proportion to their population. Narrow, anti-scientific thinking of this kind forces children into the wrong classes and thwarts learning for all. In the long run, of course, whites simply abandon the public schools.
Affirmative action programs, which lower standards for minorities, are based on a similarly willful disregard for expert opinion. They assume that blacks are just as intelligent and hard-working as whites and that the only reason they have not achieved as much is because of America’s history of racism. Even if one were to accept this theory, most Americans think it is wrong to punish today’s whites for the presumed sins of yesterday’s whites. But if, as the evidence suggests, the distribution of intelligence among blacks is not the same as for whites, racial preference programs are not just unfair to whites; they are doomed to failure.
The great irony of intelligence testing is that one of its original purposes was to get rid of subjective bias so as to distribute jobs and schooling purely on the basis of ability. It helped break down class and social divisions. To criticize testing because it does not produce the results one wants is like killing the messenger because he brings bad news. Racial preference programs have brought back precisely the arbitrary decision-making that objective testing was designed to eliminate. Policy makers have been greatly influenced by closed-minded editors and television producers who ignore the experts and refuse to listen to disagreeable truths.
In Notes on Virginia, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.” President Jefferson made the mistake of thinking he could count on the press to help the truth prevail.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Minority Club in Manhattan
A group of black businessmen has set up a social and business club for minorities to be known as the New Yorker Club. Robert Samuels, a general partner, says that its purpose is to give minorities a base of operations independent from clubs whose memberships are mainly white.
Opium Poppies in Minnesota
The residents of St. Paul (MN) public housing are growing a curious crop: opium poppies. Public housing authorities have discovered dozens of plots, all tended by South East Asians.
Asians vs. Bears
The influx of Asians into California has had dangerous consequences for the animal that graces the state flag. Korean medicine men believe that a bear can eat anything without getting sick because its gall bladder purifies its blood. Tincture of bear gall is therefore a hot item among Koreans as an all-round pick-me-up. Demand for the stuff was so high that wildlife biologists began to notice a sharp drop in the average age of California black bears.
Last year, a big police operation snared 23 medicine men but did not put a stop to a different kind of poaching. Lately, park rangers have found bear carcasses with their paws cut off. Chinese have a special craving for bear paw soup.
More Citizens for the ‘new’ America
The United States grants automatic citizenship to anyone who was born here — even if the parents were just passing through. Now that Britain has agreed to give Hong Kong back to the Chinese, nervous colonials are flying here to have babies. No one knows how many pregnant Hong Kongers have made the trip, but certainly hundreds and possibly thousands have. When the children grow up, they can demand US passports, move to America, and sponsor other relatives who want to live here.
Mexicans, of course, have known about our laws for a long time. It is common for pregnant Mexicans to slip across the border and present them-selves, well into labor, at hospital emergency rooms. An astounding 80% of all infants born in Los Angeles county public hospitals are children of illegal immigrants.
We think it’s crazy to grant people US citizenship just because they happen to be born here, and we are not alone. Virtually no other country in the world has such a policy.
Multi-Racial Drug Testing
Tony Strickland is a black doctor at the UCLA medical school who has studied the effects of drugs on patients of different races. He reports, for example, that black manic depressives metabolize the drug lithium differently from white patients and therefore need smaller doses. He has called for drugs to be tested on groups of blacks and Hispanics as well as on whites. He acknowledges that this would double or triple the cost of drug testing, but argues that America’s changing population makes this necessary.
New Consulting Opportunity
White Americans have, by now, been so thoroughly browbeaten on the subject of “stereotypes” that they bend over backwards to treat everyone identically. Now it appears that’s not good enough. A flock of consultants have sprung up to teach executives how to “manage for diversity” by treating different kinds of people differently.
They will teach you, for example, that when Asians refuse to look you in the eye it doesn’t mean they are shifty — just Asian. Consultants will explain that Cherokees love to be publicly praised but Navajos don’t like to be singled out for blame or praise. At last count there were more than 160 member nations at the UN. Will it become one of the responsibilities of “diversity managers” to memorize the cultural habits of all 160?
Objective Testing Wins a Round
Standardized tests have a bad name these days because some groups do better on them than others (see article on IQ testing, p. 5). That the very purpose of tests is to distinguish between those who do well from those who do poorly, has been lost in the noise over whether they are “culturally biased.”
Professor Richard Herrnstein of Harvard has taken the trouble to study whether a good score on an employment test is likely to translate into good performance on the job. To the surprise of no level-headed person, it is. Professor Herrnstein recently released his work on the New York City Police Department’s hiring class of 1940. They have been policemen long enough for anyone to distinguish the good ones from the bad ones. As he explains,”Neither background, family status, nor the individual’s own educational history was as predictive of success as the score earned on a 3½ hour test taken over half a century ago.”
It was possible to give fair, accurate tests half a century ago because no one insisted that they produce the same results for every group — and New York City got the best police force possible.
New Federal Job Exam
For years, entry-level jobs in the federal government were filled by competitive examination. That is, they were until 1982, when the tests were thrown out because so few minorities could pass them. In the old days, only 0.07% (yes, that’s seven in ten thousand) of the blacks who took the Professional and Administrative Career Examination (PACE) scored high enough to be considered for a job.
In a capital city that is 70% black, this was politically unacceptable, so, for the last eight years, jobs in the government have been doled out on the basis of “softer” criteria, like job interviews, recommendations, and college grades. It was a procedure that one director of government personnel calls “intellectually confusing, procedurally nightmarish, inaccessible to students, and very difficult to explain.”
Well, yes, it is difficult to explain to white applicants that objective hiring criteria have been junked because the feds want to hire more non-whites. At the same time, after eight year’s worth of determined, non-white hiring, even the bureaucrats began to notice that some of the new recruits weren’t up to the job. Former Reserve Bank chairman, Paul Volcker, headed a commission reporting last spring that incompetent employees were creating a “quiet crisis” in government and that things had to change.
A new government test has been developed at great expense, and with an eye to eliminating “adverse impact” on minorities. Nevertheless, if it is a genuine test of professional aptitude, we suspect that blacks and Hispanics will score worse than whites. We hope this will not cause the Mandarins too much embarrassment.
SAT Scores Slump
In 1990, American children scored as well on the math SAT as they had in the previous year, but the average verbal score dropped by three points. It’s unusual for the average to drop by that much in a single year, and the last time it happened was ten years ago. It is common to see hand-wringing articles about the decline in average scores. It is less common to hear anything about one of the important reasons for it: More and more minorities are taking the test. In 1980, 17% of the test takers were minorities. In 1990, 27% were.
From the Vernacular Press
The Amsterdam News is one of New York City’s two leading black newspapers. Recently, it ran a story advising black parents to tell their children not to trust the white-dominated media. It went on to say that one of the main objectives of the American criminal justice system is “putting young black males in jails by any means necessary so that lower-class whites can exercise authority, supremacy, and make a nice living.”
The American criminal justice system has a hard enough time putting vicious, repeat criminals in jail, but let us assume that the News is right — that our jails are bursting with innocent men who were rounded up just because they are black. At a cost of about $20,000 a year per prisoner, this would be a crazy way to give lower-class whites a job.
It is sad to think that there are blacks who believe this nonsense, but it is even sadder to note who the author of the article is. He is not a celebrated crazy but a Roman Catholic priest named Lawrence E. Lucas, with a church in Harlem.
Black Bisexuality and AIDS
A recent San Francisco study of black homosexuals helps explain why AIDS is two to three times more prevalent among blacks than whites. Only 54% of the blacks claimed that they have safe sex almost all the time. Twenty percent said that they would have unsafe sex even if they knew they had the AIDS virus. This is an astonishing way to treat a “lover,” but if as many as 20% admitted to potentially homicidal behavior, the number who would actually engage in it is surely higher. Another 20% said they have ducked the issue entirely. They haven’t been tested because they don’t want to know the results.
Of particular concern to heterosexuals is the fact that black homosexuals are more likely than white homosexuals to sleep with women. There is more pressure among blacks to be “macho.” A third of the men in the survey said they had sex with women, not out of desire, but to conform to community expectations.
The Apple Continues to Rot
A recent issue of U.S. News & Word Report collected some of the more dour statistics about New York City and printed them all on one page. In 1952 the city had 8,757 robberies but last year it had 93,387, which means there is a stickup every six minutes. Chances are, there is one every three or four minutes, since so many New Yorkers don’t bother to report them anymore.
The public school system, which has one of the worst records in the nation, employs more bureaucrats than all of the school systems in all of Western Europe combined! The city has 830,000 people on welfare — if they all moved to the country and founded a new town to live in, it would be the eleventh largest city in the United States. Every day, 366 cars are stolen in the city; that’s 131,760 every year.
Every day, 20,000 people jump the turnstiles and ride the subway for free. We might add our own statistics and point out that fare-beaters cost the city $60 to $65 million dollars a year in lost revenue, which makes the transit system run an annual deficit of about $55 million a year. Most of the deficit is covered by grants from the federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration, which means that taxpayers in Kansas and Mississippi pick up the tab when New Yorkers jump a turnstile. We might also point out that fare-beating is highly localized. A spot check by the city in April found that less than two-thirds of the riders at one Harlem station paid the fare.
We could help out US News & World Report with a few more statistics about New York City: 1,500 felonies are committed every month in the subways alone; 85% of the people arrested for crimes test positive for drugs; more black women of child-bearing age die of AIDS than of any other cause. Sixty percent of New Yorkers worry about crime all or most of the time, and an equal number would move away if they could. There’s no end to statistics about New York. We think that there is one that explains all the rest, but which US News coyly refrained from mentioning: Whites are now only 45% of the population.
The African Bead Game
Double standards crop up in peculiar places. Black students at Steinert High School in Hamilton (NJ) have taken to wearing “African peace beads,” as a sign of opposition to apartheid in South Africa. No one has complained. But in November, when a few whites started wearing them, the principal, who is white, threatened them with suspension. As one of the white students explained, “I guess they think that when white people wear [them] then black people think, “They’re trying to make fun of us,’ and start a riot or something.”
Emergency in Encinitas
Encinatas (CA), 35 miles from the Mexican border, has become the first town in America to declare a state of emergency because it is overrun with illegal immigrants. There may be as many as 1,500 illegals camped out around the town, harassing passersby and defecating wherever they please. The local Wendy’s stopped opening for breakfast because so many Mexicans were washing up in the rest rooms. During the day, illegals hang around street corners offering to work for $15 to $25 a day.
The city council voted 5 to 0 to declare a state of emergency, and sent a request for help to the California state Office of Emergency Services. A spokesman for the state would not speculate on the chances of granting aid. “We’ve never dealt with something like this,” he said.
Illegals Pay Full Fare
A California superior court has handed down one of those rulings that never should have been necessary: illegal aliens are not eligible for reduced, in-state tuition at California universities. But even more astonishing is the reason the case was tried in the first place. David Bradford, a tuition claims processor at UCLA, was forced by the university to resign because he wouldn’t approve in-state rates for illegals. Even in these crazy times that was more than judge David Yaffe could stomach. Mr. Bradford is now free to sue UCLA for asking him to commit illegal acts as a condition for employment. In the meantime, the worst that has happened to the real lawbreakers — the ones who stole into the country — is that they have to pay full tuition.
When Does He Move to the Women’s Unit?
A Michigan judge has ordered a state prison to give one of its prisoners daily shots of sex hormones. Marty Phillips, a former female impersonator who is in the slammer for first-degree murder, had been taking estrogen since he was 17, and hopes to have a sex change operation some day. The prison doctor did not think this was the state’s business, so he refused to prescribe estrogen or issue Mr. Phillips a bra. In finding for the prisoner, Judge Richard Enslen of Kalamazoo berated the doctor for his lack of “empathy.” Mr. Phillips now plans to sue the state for “cruel and unusual punishment,” on the grounds that it withheld medical treatment (and underwear?).
No More Top Wops
Ethnic “sensitivity” has reached the point where people can’t even make jokes about themselves, much less anyone else. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has been persuaded to recall all the vanity license plates with the word “Wop” or “Dago” on them. There are now 350 Italians driving around the state with plates like IMAWOP or IDAGO. Just plain DAGO is so popular that imitators have run the numbers up sequentially to around DAGO 42. Some stereotypes just won’t die. The man who claims to be TOPWOP has reportedly threatened to “put a hit” on anyone who tries to take away his plates.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently passed a new regulation on who may sit next to emergency exits on airplanes. The FAA thinks that people sitting by the doors should be able to understand instructions from the flight crew and help with an evacuation. That rules out the obese, the blind, the deaf, the feebleminded, and people who don’t speak English. Predictably, Hispanic groups have complained that the new ruling is linguistic chauvinism that discriminates against them. The FAA is sticking to its guns.
What? Civil Rights for Whites?
Our government, which generally acts as if equality means treating whites unequally, occasionally reverses itself. In 1983, the Maryland state lottery set aside several top positions to be filled only by women and minorities. In 1985, a chain of miracles began when 10 white men, who had been summarily denied jobs, complained to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC sat on the case for three years but eventually referred it to the Justice Department. This fall, the department actually brought suit against the Maryland lottery, charging that it had violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
So far as we can tell, the lottery had done exactly what thousands of universities and employers do all the time. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which has been used to justify all sorts of discrimination so long as it’s against whites, clearly bans any kind of racial discrimination in hiring. Someone in the Justice Department must have actually read the law for a change.
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — I agree that there is a process of silent self-dispossession at work. Guilt, complacency of numbers, and the actual structure of our governing principles are all still effective in keeping “us” from an urgently felt cohesion vs. “them.” I think the big problem with your approach, the thing that keeps it from selling to a broad based audience, is precisely the couching of the debate in an us-them mode. The “us” is too heterogeneous, united more by a common horror than common conviction. To the extent that your publication emphasizes the Us-for-usness of the issue instead of the Ugh!-Them, you’ve got my ear.
I do agree wholeheartedly that the excesses of affirmative action and the “nanny state” are a national shame, entirely counterproductive, and a moral hell. These things really must stop, and it disgusts me to hear about all of the righteous bending over backward advocated by social workers who can opt out of “helping” any time they burn out.
I think there is widespread dismay among the good-hearted over the fruits of liberalism. I do think that Americans need to be taught to be more tough-minded. But focusing on the inherent deficiencies of blacks and Hispanics is simply going to get you David Duked. You’re going to be thought of as white trash in a coat and tie.
I don’t mind at all the idea of examining the taboo of race honestly. I sympathize with you for all the hell you’ll get if you manage to keep the ear of people worth talking to. Otherwise you’ll spin safely off into crackpotdom with strutters and nerds of every description.
M. Meldahl, Massachusetts
Sir — I was at first dismayed to read Marian Evans’ analysis of crime in New York City. It hardly seems fair to extrapolate from current arrest rates, by race, and then assume that if the city had an all-black population there would be three times as many muggings and two and a half times as many murders as today. Blacks are poorer and less well educated than whites. These circumstances are well known to be associated with crime of all kinds. It was my initial reaction to assume that if New York City had an all-black (or all-Hispanic) population, the proportions of rich and poor, educated and uneducated would mirror those of the mixed-race city of today. Crime rates would then presumably be no different.
On the other hand, there is not a single all-black city anywhere in the world in which wealth and education even begin to mirror today’s population (including whites) of New York City. I confess that any realistic conception of an all-black New York City begins to resemble Detroit, East St. Louis, or even Lagos more than it does today’s New York. Perhaps crime rates really would be as high as Miss Evans suggests. This raises the uncomfortable question of whether black crime is the result of poverty and lack of education or whether crime, poverty, and lack of education are all three the result of some other murky cause.
I maintain a devout agnosticism on questions like this. In today’s political climate I don’t believe a publication that raises them is one that I shall be leaving out on the coffee table.
P. Holzbauer, Trenton (NJ)
Sir — Marian Evans may be interested to know that the June 4, 1990 issue of Fortune magazine published revealing figures about inter-racial crime for the nation as a whole. It says, “87,029 blacks were violently attacked by whites, while 786,660 whites were violently attacked by blacks.” There are less than one sixth as many blacks as whites in this country, yet they commit 9 times more violent inter-racial assaults. This means that a black person is 56 times more likely to attack a white person than vice versa.
Edward J. Toner, Howell (NJ)
Sir — I read Marian Evans’ article on crime in New York City, and couldn’t help wondering why journalists always concentrate on things like rape and murder. They are horrible, all right, but lets face it: Even in a place like New York City, your chances of being killed or raped are statistically small. In New York State, a white man between the ages of 15 and 24 — the most likely ages for victims — has only a 0.018% chance of being murdered in a given year. For all I know, He’s more likely to drive his car into a telephone pole.
As a resident of New York City, I don’t walk around constantly worried that I’m going to be killed or robbed. The worst part of this city is what I know it will do, not what I’m afraid it will do. I am confident that when I go to work tomorrow, no one is going to kill me. But I am also confident that I will see mountains of garbage in the streets and repulsive graffiti on every surface within reach of a spray can. I will see and smell ugly, demented people in the subway and in every refuge from the cold. There is a good chance that I will hear someone shout obscenities in a loud voice, that a sales clerk will insult me, that I will be elbowed in the subway, and that I will have to step over a puddle of vomit. All this is what makes New York City a hive of degeneracy — not the slight chance of being murdered.
You figure that an all-white New York might have only 15% of the muggings it has today. Too bad no one keeps statistics by race on graffiti, elbowings in the subway, or lunches lost on the sidewalk. I bet that if Miss Evans did the same kind of tally for that sort of thing as she did for murder or rape, she’d get the same dramatic results.
Name withheld, Brooklyn (NY)
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