|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 14, No. 12||December 2003|
Race in Scandinavia
There are strikingly different policies in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
Until the 1970s, Scandinavia was virtually all white, and content to stay that way. As recently as 1965, Swedish prime minister Tage Erlander noted with regard to racial problems in the United States: “We Swedes are in an infinitely better situation. Our population is homogenous, not just regarding race, but in many other aspects too.”
Today this is no longer true. Immigration began slowly in the 1970s and has since picked up speed. The large cities of Sweden, Denmark and Norway are increasingly multiracial. Whole districts of Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö in Sweden, and parts of Copenhagen and Oslo have non-white majorities. Still, the Scandinavian countries are much whiter than the United States. Approximately seven percent of the population of Sweden is non-European, and the figures for Denmark and Norway are five and four percent. Even so, for Scandinavians, for whom a non-white used to be a rarity, the change has been shocking, especially because non-whites are often concentrated in the biggest cities, where their effect is much more visible.
Although it is common for outsiders to think of Scandinavia as more or less uniform, there have been sharply different national reactions to non-white immigration. The utter failure of the restrictionist movement in Sweden is in stark contrast to its ringing success in Denmark. Different national circumstances have strongly influenced the outcomes, but a variety of approaches has also yielded a variety of results. There are useful lessons here for all nationalists.
Failure in Sweden
Undoubtedly the most famous Swede in the history of American race relations was Gunnar Myrdal, whose book, The American Dilemma, set the terms for American racial thinking for the second half of the 20th century. Myrdal’s egalitarian views were typical of Scandinavian intellectuals, even though race relations were, for them, strictly an abstraction. There were essentially no non-Europeans in Scandinavia until the 1970s, and, as Tage Erlander’s 1965 comments show, there was a certain commonsense understanding of the consequences of immigration.
All this changed in 1969, when Erlander resigned after 23 years as prime minister, and was replaced by Olof Palme as leader of the Social Democrats. Palme was heavily influenced by Myrdal, and by the civil rights revolution in the United States Myrdal had helped bring about. His ideological commitment to “solidarity” with the Third World meant sharp increases in foreign aid, especially to countries like Vietnam, Cuba and Zimbabwe (after it was “liberated”), and support for movements like the Viet Cong, the African National Congress and the PLO. It also meant bringing Third-Worlders to Sweden. During the 1970s, Sweden started admitting more and more asylum seekers, and Denmark and Norway soon followed Sweden’s example. In 1975, Palme even managed to persuade the Swedish Parliament to adopt a resolution declaring that Sweden would henceforth be a multicultural society. Palme was assassinated by an unknown assailant in 1986, but his Social Democrat successors, with the full support of the Conservatives, continued his open-borders policies.
During the early 1980s, more and more immigrants of distinctively un-European appearance began to arrive in Sweden, and a mosque was built in Malmö — the first ever in Scandinavia. This gave rise to the first anti-immigration organization, Bevara Sverige Svenskt (Preserve Sweden Swedish), whose initials BSS became very popular graffiti on walls in Sweden. It was never an effective political party, and after years of obscurity, reemerged as the Sweden Democrat Party (see below).
In 1985, just one year after the mosque went up in Malmö, opposition to immigration scored its first electoral victory. The vehicle was the populist Skane Party, which favored immigration control, lower taxes, a liberal alcohol policy, and self-rule for the southern Swedish province of Skane, which includes the city and county of Malmö. It won election to the Malmö County council, but had little effect, and was largely ignored. (There are 286 counties in Sweden, which range in size from 760,000 inhabitants in Stockholm to only 2,600 in Bjurholm. Malmö is the third largest county, with 265,000 inhabitants.)
Three years later, however, in Sjöbo County in Skane Province, the voters spoke again, this time with considerable effect. The issue was applicants for asylum. It usually takes the authorities about a year to decide whether an asylum-seeker is legitimate, and to grant permanent residency. During that period of evaluation, a county can refuse to let the applicant live within its borders. The local leader of the centrist, rural-based Centre Party, Sven-Olle Olsson, managed to get a local referendum on the question of admitting asylum seekers.
No fewer than 67 percent voted to keep asylum-seekers out. The Swedish establishment was outraged. The Centre Party announced it could do without “fascist vermin,” and expelled Sven-Olle Olsson and all other Centrists who supported the “no” vote. Politicians and the media denounced Sjöbo County as “racist,” “Nazi,” “xenophobic,” etc., and Sven-Olle Olsson became the official “new Hitler.” This harsh treatment apparently scared enough people so that no other county dared have a referendum on asylum, and very few kept out asylum seekers.
However, in 1991, Sweden entered its deepest recession since the 1930s, and this produced tremendous resentment against the political establishment. Two businessmen formed a new populist party, Ny Demokrati or New Democracy. Except for autonomy for Skane, it had basically the same platform as the Skane Party, including opposition to immigration. New Democracy got 6.7 percent of the vote in the 1991 elections, and immigration control gained its first toehold in parliament.
The other parties denounced their new colleagues as racists, and rejected their proposals for reform — but only initially in many cases. Because of the sharp rise in asylum-seekers from Bosnia, the established parties were forced to adopt some New Democracy policies. Thus, the party managed to influence immigration policy in at least a slightly more restrictive direction. Unfortunately, New Democracy started to disintegrate in early 1994 because of internal personality conflicts, and in the 1994 elections it got only 1.2 percent of the vote and lost representation in parliament. The party soon dissolved.
After the self-destruction of New Democracy, only one of the 349 members of the Swedish parliament advocated restrictions on asylum and immigration: Sten Andersson, the Conservative Party member from Malmö. Between 1994 and 2002, he was almost like Tom Tancredo in the US Congress, except that Mr. Andersson was totally alone and did not have an Immigration Reform Caucus. Even so, he greatly irritated the other 348 members with his questions about the costs of immigration and rising crime rates.
Consequently, in early 2002, the Conservative Party declared it would not let him run for re-election as a Conservative because he was “xenophobic.” Mr. Andersson left the party, and joined the nationalist anti-immigration party Sverigedemokraterna or the Sweden Democrats (SD) in their bid to gain the four percent of the votes necessary for representation in parliament. SD, which is the heir of the BSS-movement, also got the support of Sven-Olle Olsson, former “fascist vermin,” who had been active in local politics and had managed to raise a considerable campaign war chest.
An encouraging pre-election sign had been the attention-getting activism of the SD, especially its Rissne campaign. Rissne is a southern Stockholm suburb, which became the scene of one of the most notorious rapes in Swedish history. Eight young Middle Easterners brutally gang raped a 14-year old Swedish girl for several hours in a parking garage, where they beat her and cursed her as a “filthy Swedish whore.” This crime was so bestial even the establishment media made big news of it — though, as they almost always do, they failed to mention the ethnicity of the rapists.
The SD learned the facts, and published the names and origins of the rapists on their web sites and on fliers, which they handed out at the girl’s school. Of course, the school and the media condemned the SD, not the rapists, claiming the party was “exploiting the tragedy for racist purposes.” The SD gained many new members and voters because of this campaign.
Still, the campaign failed. The Sweden Democrats got only 1.44 percent of the votes, which though much better than their 0.37 percent in 1998, was not enough to enter parliament. Now there is not one person left in the Swedish legislature who openly advocates restriction, and indeed all parties except the Social Democrats favor even more immigration. Many parties want permanent residency for any foreigner who can get a job. The foreigner would have to be paid the same wages as a Swede, but when this provision goes into effect — probably in 2005 or 2006 — it will mean a big increase in immigration.
The current hegemony of immigration-enthusiasts has brought increased repression of dissidents. Many immigration opponents — outright Nazis as well as Sweden Democrats and independent immigration opponents — have lost jobs because of “xenophobia” or “racism.” In more and more cases they have also been imprisoned for violating the Swedish law against “incitement to ethnic hatred,” a law used only against Swedes and never against immigrants.
Recently in Malmö, a man living in the almost all-white neighborhood of Bunkeflo was convicted for sending an e-mail message to a public official, in which he said he believed Arabs were mostly criminals, and that he was opposed to subsidies for immigrants who moved to Bunkeflo, because “Bunkeflo was one of the last few refuges in Malmö where you could go out and not see Arabs loitering all around you.” He managed to avoid prison, but had to pay a fine of 10 percent of his annual pre-tax income. With Sweden’s high tax rates, this means a fine of about 20 percent of net income.
Immigrants, on the other hand, can write just about anything. For example, Tobias Hubinette was adopted as a child from South Korea, and has been active in “anti-racist” organizations like “Anti-Fascist Action” and “Expo.” He wrote this in the “anti-racist” magazine Creol: “To feel or even think that the white race is inferior in all conceivable senses of the word is quite natural given its history and current behavior. May the western world of the white race perish in blood and suffering.” He has not been charged with “incitement of ethnic hatred” and continues to be a leading “anti-racist” activist.
Meanwhile, Sweden’s demographics are changing rapidly. Not only is immigration increasing, non-white immigrants have at least twice the birth rate of Swedes or of immigrants from the West. Somali immigrants have the highest birth rate, at more than three times the white rate. More than half of all Somalis in Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia are under the age of 18 and only 10 percent are over 40. Among Swedes about 20 percent are under age 18, while 50 percent are older than 40. Although non-whites are only seven percent of the population, 15 percent of all children born in Sweden are non-white. Given current levels of immigration and disparate birth rates, non-Europeans are projected to be 10 percent of the population in 2010 — a number that could be even higher if there are further increases in immigration, especially of Somalis and others with extremely high fertility.
The most non-white county in Sweden is Botkyrka, which has 75,000 inhabitants and includes some of Stockholm’s southwestern suburbs. At least 35 percent of the population is non-European, as is a majority of the children born in the county. Botkyrka has a particularly large concentration of Turks, with more than 11 percent of Sweden’s Turks, even though Botkyrka has only 0.84 percent of the total population of Sweden. Needless to say, Botkyrka tops many statistical indicators, with the highest birth rate and the highest violent crime rate of all Swedish counties.
As Sweden darkens, the problems associated with immigration grow more acute. Violent crime — particularly robbery and rape — has increased rapidly the last few decades. Compared to the 1960s, murder is up 100 percent, from 100 to 200 each year. Rape has gone from 580 a year to 2,380 (an increase of more than 400 percent), and robbery is up a staggering 1,035 percent to 8,700 a year. At the same time, most of Sweden’s provinces and counties are in deep financial crisis. More and more Swedes are leaving the biggest cities, especially the non-white districts, and moving to areas that are still overwhelmingly white. The counties of Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Botkyrka continue to grow, but the ethnic Swedish population is declining. Sweden is experiencing classic “white flight.”
Usually people prefer not to discuss why they move from immigrant areas, but an anonymous survey by Malmö County asking why so many people were leaving got interesting answers. Many Swedes at least pretended to be shocked to learn that the most frequent answer was “too many immigrants,” together with problems related to immigration like crime, bad schools and high housing costs (in areas where white flight pushes up house prices).
Here are some of the reasons people gave for leaving Malmö:
- “Who wants 80 percent immigrants in one school class? Who wants four or five interpreters at a parents’ meeting?”
- “Unfortunately, violence, burglary and car theft, etc., have affected life in Malmö very negatively. It is very difficult to have a positive view of foreign youths, especially those in gangs who have attacked some of my good friends who are in their 30s. Just in the last year four of them have been attacked, some beaten to the ground.”
- “Mixed cultures are good. It enriches man. But when the most common boy’s name in Malmö is Mohammed things have gone too far!”
- “Malmö is falling apart. In some parts of the city there are too many immigrants. It feels like you are in some foreign country and not in Sweden when you are in Malmö. It creates problems, insecurity, irritation, fear and injustice.”
- “When children are attacked on the street just because they are Swedes something is very sick in this society.”
As one respondent said about his new location: “Here there are no disturbing neighbors who play loud Arabic music and have strange traditions and clothes.”
If Swedes don’t leave non-white areas voluntarily, they may be forced out, since some immigrants are turning their neighborhoods into “no-go zones” for whites. In Rosengard, in the very center of Malmö, anyone who appears to represent Swedish society is likely to be met by young stone-throwers as part of their intifada against Swedes. There used to be bus service in Rosengard but it was cancelled after buses were repeatedly stoned. The transit company managed to persuade the local Imam to speak out against stone-throwing, if only because many of the passengers were Muslims. It didn’t work; the buses now skip Rosengard.
Swedish construction workers who were to add a new building to one of the schools in Rosengard to accommodate the rising number of immigrant school children were likewise pelted with stones. The workers fled in panic, and demanded security guards. Two security guards arrived but they, too, fled in a hail of stones. The construction site finally had to be protected by a force of 10 security guards, combined with police patrols. That the workers were there to build a school building for Arabs made no difference. Arabs have attacked firemen, mailmen, and in some cases even police officers who venture into Rosengard.
Stone-throwing at buses has been reported in mostly-immigrant areas in Gothenburg as well, but not to the same extent as in Rosengard. In the mostly-immigrant district of Husby, in north-western Stockholm, a bus was met with gun-fire — but not from Arabs. The perpetrator — a black man — told a Swedish newspaper he was taking revenge because a “racist” driver had refused to let him board.
Success in Denmark
In Denmark, the situation is similar demographically but far more promising politically. Denmark began admitting asylum seekers a few years later than Sweden, and generally the numbers were lower, so the population is only five percent non-white. Nevertheless, even with the much more restrictive immigration laws passed last year, that number will continue to rise, given that over 10 percent of all babies being born in Denmark are non-white.
Denmark has had a populist party since 1973, when Mogens Glistrup started Fremskridtspartiet or The Progress Party (PP). At the time, Denmark was still virtually all-white, and immigration was not Mr. Glistrup’s main issue. Instead, he ran on a libertarian platform that called for a 90 percent reduction in public spending, and abolition of the income tax. Although such radically libertarian ideas didn’t resonate with the mostly welfare-state loving Danish public, many people were so fed up with the political establishment that his party got 15 percent of the vote in the 1973 elections. In parliament, the PP failed to gain support for its ideas, and lost ground in later elections. Mr. Glistrup himself was convicted of tax evasion, for which he has been repeatedly jailed.
In the 1980s, when Muslim immigrants began to arrive, Mr. Glistrup added immigration control to his platform. The PP now had two main objectives: purging Denmark of both taxes and refugees, with Mr. Glistrup even calling for the forcible expulsion of all Muslims. However, the party failed to repeat its 1973 success, and Mr. Glistrup kept going in and out of jail — and not just for tax evasion. Denmark has relatively mild and seldom-enforced laws against incitement to racial hatred, but Mr. Glistrup managed to violate them. “Muslims reproduce like rats,” he told a radio audience, and he also said that if Muslims resisted his plans to expel them from Denmark, the women should be rounded up and sold on the world market to the highest bidder.
In 1995, Pia Kjærsgaard led a group of PP members of parliament out of the party and founded Dansk Folkeparti, or the Danish People’s Party (DPP). Free of both of Mr. Glistrup’s eccentric behavior and his platform, the party promptly abandoned the futile goal of abolishing the welfare state, and it stopped short of urging the expulsion of Muslims. By turning its back on the erratic Mr. Glistrup, the party won a moderate level of support. In the 1998 elections, it received 7.3 percent of the vote (the PP got 2.6 percent), but was unable to influence immigration policy in a country ruled by a coalition of Social Democrats and Liberals.
Still, after 1998, as the problems associated with immigration rose, so did the party’s fortunes. Violent crime, especially rape and robbery, were increasing sharply, and an astonishing 68 percent of all rapes are now committed by immigrants. At just five percent of the population, this means immigrants commit rape at no less than 40 times the native rate. As in Sweden and Norway, Middle Easterners are the worst offenders.
The increasingly frequent gang-rapes of Danish women by Muslims has particularly outraged the Danes. Unlike Sweden, where the media cover up the ethnic origins of criminals, the Danish press reports the facts. Gang-rapists often brought further criticism of immigrants because of their complete lack of remorse. After one highly-publicized trial of Arab gang-rapists in May 2000, the sister of one the offenders — wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf — ran up to journalists waiting outside the court and gave them all the finger. The burning hatred clearly visible on her face — her contempt for all of Danish society — led many Danes to ask themselves why they should admit people who hate them.
Not only was immigrant-related crime rising rapidly, heavy welfare use by immigrants was burdening the welfare state. According to one study, 35 percent of those receiving cash benefits were immigrants, for a dependency rate ten times the native rate. Immigrants also paid little in taxes, and the Danish media were not afraid to publicize these differences. One of the largest newspapers in Denmark, Jyllands-Posten, openly supported immigration control in its editorials, and publicized the worst horrors of immigration.
The Social Democrats took fright as more and more of their voters defected to the DPP. They began to sound a little “xenophobic” themselves (and were condemned by the politically correct), and made some minor changes to curb immigration. This did little good politically, because the DPP could say the Social Democrats’ new stance was just talk, and that their Liberal coalition partners would not permit real restrictions.
Then came the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, just two months before the Danish elections. The attacks caused an anti-Muslim backlash world-wide, but it was particularly sharp in Denmark for several reasons. In some heavily-immigrant areas, Muslims celebrated in the streets after the attacks. Some days later, an Islamic fundamentalist group called Hizb-u-Tahrir, which has long stated its goal of turning Denmark into an Islamic state, handed out fliers calling for Muslims to kill Jews and to go to Afghanistan to join the jihad against America.
The DPP instantly saw the value of the anti-Muslim backlash, and used it skillfully. It had always been strongly anti-Muslim, so the DPP could say “See, we told you so! Muslims are the enemy of Western society.” In the ensuing election, the DPP campaigned on an explicitly anti-Muslim theme, and described Muslims as savages incompatible with life in Denmark. Most of its campaign posters were explicitly anti-Muslim. One showed a mass meeting of armed Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East, with the text “The future of Denmark? Your country — your choice . . .” Another was a picture of a little blonde Danish girl, age four or five, with the text “When she retires, there will be a Muslim majority in Denmark.”
All this caused a dramatic change in the political debate, and the Social Democrats and the center-right parties agreed that immigration had to be sharply cut back. This reversal in the other major parties’ policies limited the DPP to only 12 percent in the November 2001 election, but the views of the DPP clearly won the election. There was an almost revolutionary spirit in the air, and as one commentator put it, “This election was a referendum on Islam, and Islam lost.”
Later, the two big center-right parties, the Left Party and the Conservative People’s Party, formed a new government, and made a deal with the DPP to slash immigration in return for the DPP’s support. Asylum rules became much stricter, and tough new family-related immigration laws made it far more difficult for immigrants from Somalia, Pakistan, and the Middle East to import spouses from their home countries. The result was a dramatic decline in immigration. The new center-right government even banned Hizb-u-Tharir, the organization that called for jihad against America, on the grounds that it incited violence against Danish citizens (Danish Jews) and against Denmark’s key NATO ally, the United States. Now only a few fringe parties oppose strict curbs on immigration.
The Swedish media, which had virtually blocked all news about the Danish elections during the campaign, finally broke the silence on election day. In the days that followed, news programs and political debates were filled with denunciations of the “racist” and “xenophobic” Danes. “Debates,” to which only anti-racists were invited, all began with unanimous condemnation of Denmark, followed by discussions of “How did the Danes become such evil racists?” or most importantly: “How do we keep this from happening in Sweden?”
When the new Danish immigration laws were passed, there was another round of vitriol and hand-wringing. Mona Sahlin, the Swedish Minster of Integration, who has children by a Chilean immigrant, denounced Danish “xenophobia.” Danes retorted that Swedes should mind their own business. As DPP leader Pia Kjærsgaard put it: “If the Swedish government wishes to turn Sweden into a ethnic melting pot, that’s their business. And if they wish to turn Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö into Scandinavian New Beiruts with clan warfare, honor murders and gang rape, that’s also their business. I suppose we could always close down the Oresund bridge [which connects Copenhagen and Malmö].”
This greatly upset Swedish politicians, and the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Youth Group even tried to have Miss Kjærsgaard charged in Sweden with “incitement of ethnic hatred.” Naturally, Swedish courts threw out the case, because Danes are not under Swedish jurisdiction.
Still, Swedish politicians are able to undermine the new Danish immigration laws to some degree, because Sweden and Denmark are members of the European Union (EU), which guarantees free movement of people within its borders. Since the new Danish laws were passed, hundreds of Middle Easterners and others have moved from Denmark to Sweden, where they have made use of liberal Swedish immigration law to import spouses. Though many of them will stay in Sweden, after two years, they have the right to return to Denmark, and there is nothing the Danes can do about it. “Closing down the Oresund bridge” would mean leaving the EU.
Mixed Results in Norway
In Norway, the political situation is midway between that of Sweden and Denmark. Norway started its transformation in the late 1970s, and, as was the case in Denmark, the effects of immigration turned a tax-cutting movement into an immigration-restriction movement. As in Denmark, the vehicle was the Norwegian version of the Progress Party, founded in 1973 by Anders Lange. The original name was actually Anders Lange’s Party for Sharp Reductions of Taxes, Charges and Public Interventions. It demanded big cuts in public spending and taxation, and is still officially a libertarian party.
Lange had a strong racial consciousness. He opposed official Norwegian support for the ANC and stated that “Anyone who supports black rule in South Africa is a traitor to the white race.” The only reason his party focused on tax cuts rather than on immigration was that there were virtually no non-whites living in Norway in 1973. Leftist “anti-racist” groups in Norway have claimed Lange received financial support from the white government of South Africa. The PP has neither confirmed nor denied this, but if it is true, it would be a remarkable exception to the apartheid government’s general passivity in the face of world-wide condemnation. Lange died in 1974, and in 1978 the party elected its current leader, Carl I. Hagen.
Unlike Lange, Mr. Hagen denied having racial views but as significant numbers of immigrants started to arrive in the 1980s he made opposition to non-white immigration the party’s main issue. One big problem for the PP was its libertarian ideology and its official “anti-racism,” which would imply open borders. Mr. Hagen squared the circle by saying the party was for open borders in principle, but that free immigration required abolition of the welfare state. Open borders and a welfare state meant Norway had a theoretical obligation to feed the entire world — an obvious impossibility. Mr. Hagen thought he could win both libertarians and nationalists to one party by promoting a “vision” of open borders while restricting immigration in the short term.
For a while this succeeded reasonably well, but after losing more than half their seats in the 1993 parliamentary election, there was a fierce internal battle between the nationalists and the libertarians. The PP’s Youth Group, which lead the libertarians, wasn’t convinced the existence of a welfare state required immigration restriction, especially since the nationalists did not appear to be hostile to white immigrants. If white immigrants and native Norwegians were assumed to prefer work to welfare, wasn’t it “racist” to assume non-whites would prefer welfare?
It is probably true that Mr. Hagen and others in the PP are more racially conscious than they want to admit, but the official PP argument has some factual basis. A study made by the Norwegian Statistical Bureau showed that while European immigrants have rates of employment that are as high or, in the case of Nordic immigrants, even higher than the Norwegian employment rate of 70 percent of the population between 16 and 64, working-age non-white immigrants have an employment rate of only about 50 percent. As in Sweden and Denmark, the lowest rate of employment was for Somalis, at 29 percent.
The libertarians lost the internal battle, left the party, set up shop as the Free Democrats, and have had little success. The PP then started moving to the center in economic policy. In the 1997 elections, it got a respectable 15.3 percent of the vote, and in late 2000, its opinion poll numbers reached an all-time high of 35 percent. Many people thought it would become Norway’s biggest party, and perhaps form a government, but it was crippled by serious setbacks. First, there was increasing internal fighting, and the expulsion of some of the more controversial officials, who kept making comments like those of Mogens Glistrup. Then a leading member of the PP was accused of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party conference. This led to a 2001 result of 14.7 percent, a marginal decline from 1997.
In Norway, as in Denmark and Sweden, the majority of serious crimes are committed by non-white immigrants. As noted correctly in the January AR, some 69 percent of teenage robbers and 65 percent of rapists in Oslo are immigrants, even though they are only slightly over 20 percent of the city’s population. Although the media are more open than in Sweden, and often report the ethnic origins of perpetrators, they still prefer to highlight crimes by whites.
Typically, there was extensive coverage of the rape case against the leading PP member, and there was a national uproar when a group of Nazis murdered a 14-year old mulatto (African father, Norwegian mother). Some 20,000 Norwegians demonstrated against the “racism” symbolized by the crime. Even though the PP never had any connection to Nazis, and even though Mr. Hagen strongly condemned the murder, it was still used against the PP, which was accused of “creating an atmosphere of hatred.”
Unlike Sweden, whose only real anti-immigration party destroyed itself after three years, Norway at least has a strong party. But unlike Denmark, the PP has been unable to influence Norwegian immigration policy, since the established parties unanimously reject restrictions.
Why the Differences?
Why have nationalist movements in Scandinavia had such varied results? Why complete failure in Sweden, success in Denmark, and mixed results in Norway?
One important difference is the experience of the three countries during the Second World War, and the stance immigration-control activists have taken towards Nazism. This is important, because while it is probably fair to say that a majority of Scandinavians want sharp restrictions on immigration, a much greater majority also believe Nazism is pure evil. Denmark and Norway, where immigration-control has been relatively successful, were both occupied by the Germans, and had resistance movements. Sweden was not occupied, and made important raw materials available for the German war effort.
Both the Danish and Norwegian People’s Parties have been very thorough in distancing themselves from Nazis, and they highlight their older members who were active in the resistance against occupation. They can portray themselves as anti-Nazis who have always resisted invaders: yesterday it was German soldiers, today it is Muslim civilians. They even call pro-immigration politicians Quislings, after the Nazi Norwegian leader Vidkun Quisling, who collaborated with the Germans.
PP leaders in both countries also take a strong pro-Israel position, which further distances them from the neo-Nazis. The PP has an official, Zionist plank in its platform, and the DPP invited the Israeli ambassador in Copenhagen to address its annual convention. The ambassador praised the strong friendship between Israel and the DPP, while the Danes ate Israeli fruit and drank Israeli wine. Philosemitism is partly a consequence of the strongly anti-Muslim component of the nationalist movement, but it also makes any accusations of Nazi ties seem ridiculous.
The SD in Sweden has behaved quite differently, and this has undoubtedly hurt it. Several of its earliest leaders — including the first party leader Anders Klarstrom and the founder of the youth group Robert Vesterlund — had ties to Nazi organizations. Indeed, after Mr. Vesterlund left the SD, he went on to become one of Sweden’s most prominent Nazi activists. The party takes a neutral position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and has only recently purged Nazi sympathizers. These ties are so recent that the media still feel justified in dismissing the SD as closet Nazis. It remains to be seen whether the passage of time and the recruitment of the former Conservative parliamentarian Sten Andersson and former Centre Party activist Sven-Olle Olsson will, in the minds of ordinary Swedes, dissociate the SD from Nazism.
Another disadvantage for the Swedes has been the absence of a charismatic leader like Carl Hagen in Norway or Pia Kjærsgaard in Denmark. The official SD leader, Mikael Jansson, is dull. Sten Andersson is more attractive, but is unwilling to take over, and Sven-Olle Olsson is now too old to play a very active roll.
There are also what might be called national differences in temperament that affect the different countries’ political movements. Beer drinking and pork eating are important to Danes, while Norway and Sweden have a long tradition of teetotal movements, and consume more fish than pork. This has made Danes naturally more hostile towards Islam, which forbids both beer and pork.
Of the three countries, Sweden has the strongest legacy of racial egalitarianism, due to the tremendous influence of Gunnar Myrdal and Prime Minister Olof Palme. Myrdal, who had a world-wide reputation as a racial liberal, influenced Palme heavily, who in turn was the dominant Swedish political figure for nearly 20 years.
The press is firmly in the Myrdal-Palme tradition, and this may be the single most important obstacle to nationalism in Sweden. The media are relentlessly hostile to any suggestion of curbing immigration, and virtually never permit spokesmen for immigration control to print their views or participate in news programs or political debates. If the media do criticize the government on immigration, it is only because it does not bring in more non-whites.
In Norway, the media are also basically hostile to immigration control but are not so one-sided as in Sweden. They do occasionally publish reports on immigrant crime rates, and reveal the ethnicities of perpetrators. They sometimes even let immigration opponents express their views. In Denmark, the media are tolerant and even supportive of immigration control, and usually report the backgrounds of criminals.
It is impossible to predict how the dynamic of nationalist movements will unfold, but one can be cautiously optimistic about the Danish model for Scandinavia. It is true that free movement within the EU means Denmark cannot prevent non-white immigrants to other European countries from crossing its borders. However, it already has a vital, invisible barrier to immigration: its reputation. It is well known within Europe that the Danish people, press, and even government are officially restrictionist, and this discourages migration. At the same time, because very few Third-World people will find asylum in Denmark, very few will experience integration into Europe in a Danish-speaking environment. Those who come from elsewhere will face a serious readjustment problem.
If, as time goes on, Gothenburg and Malmö do become New Beiruts, the contrast with Denmark will be all the more striking. Perhaps even the Swedes will eventually see the light.
Mikael Widmark is the pen name of an economist who lives in northern Sweden.
The Agony of Africa
A distinguished travel writer pulls no punches.
Paul Theroux, Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003, 472 pp., $28.00.
Most whites know modern Africa, if they know it all, either through television nature programs, or through luxury vacations at exclusive game lodges. The tourists play at going on safari and dining on marinated gazelle, washed down with a South African Cabernet. It’s all very comfortable, and the sunsets are beautiful, but it is hardly the real Africa. For a brutally honest depiction of the 95 percent that is dangerous and dirty and decrepit — though often still beautiful — we turn to Dark Star Safari, a chronicle of a journey through the heart of a continent of failure.
Three years ago, Paul Theroux, who is known for his brilliant travel writings, traveled overland from Cairo to Cape Town. For months, he rode on buses that reeked of body odor, rumbled across axle-breaking roads in the back of a truck through bandit-filled deserts, slept on filthy mattresses in insect-infested hotel rooms, warded off packs of beggars and thieves, turned down prostitutes and meals of rancid goat meat, sweated under a scorching and merciless sun, and met hard-working Africans who had long-since despaired of their continent and whose only hope was to emigrate.
Mr. Theroux had worked as a Peace Corps teacher in Malawi from 1963-64, and as an instructor at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, from 1965-68. These were the years immediately after independence, when hopes were high, and the colonial patterns of life had not yet succumbed to African leadership. He knew that “all news out of Africa is bad,” but this only made him want to see for himself. Moreover, he wanted again to taste and feel Africa. This is what he found:
“Africa is materially more decrepit than it was when I first knew it — hungrier, poorer, less educated, more pessimistic, more corrupt, and you can’t tell the politicians from the witch doctors. Africans, less esteemed than ever, seemed to me the most lied to people on earth — manipulated by their governments, burned by foreign experts, befooled by charities, and cheated at every turn. To be an African leader was to be a thief, but evangelists stole people’s innocence, and self-serving aid agencies gave them false hope, which seemed worse. In reply, Africans dragged their feet or tried to emigrate, they begged, they pleaded, and they demanded money and gifts with a rude, weird sense of entitlement.”
Mr. Theroux does not expect things to improve. Often the only things that seemed to work were left over from European colonists. The ferry he took across Lake Victoria was built by the British in 1962; its original engines, boilers, and generators were still running.
According to Mr. Theroux, the worst part of Africa is the cities. “Whenever I arrived in an African city, I wanted to leave.” “Urban life is nasty all over the world, but it is nastiest in Africa.” “None of the African cities I had so far seen, from Cairo southward, seemed fit for human habitation.” “African cities became more awful — more desperate and dangerous as they grew larger.” “Even at their best, African cities seemed to me miserable improvised anthills, attracting the poor and the desperate from the bush and turning them into thieves and devisers of cruel scams.”
“In Egypt, every wall attracts dumpers, litterers, shitters and pissers, dogs and cats, and the noisiest children.” “The heat in Khartoum, with its sky specks of rotating hawks, left me gasping.” Khartoum was so dangerous that the American counsel general did not even live there, but flew in from Cairo during the week. Addis Ababa was “dirty and falling apart, stinking horribly of unwashed people and sick animals, every wall reeking with urine, every alley blocked with garbage,” the streets “full of loud music, car horns, diesel fumes, and pestering urchins.” Hyenas stalked the streets of Harar, Ethiopia, at night, and people howled at foreigners. Djibouti’s “oppressive heat was not relieved by the scorching breezes off the Gulf of Aden, nor was there any terrain except the landfill look of reclaimed swamp.”
“Nairobi was huge and dangerous and ugly.” There was a palpable sense of “desperation” which was “not the dark side, or a patch of urban blight, but the mood of the place itself.” He did not go out at night, for even “the wariest people were robbed.” Three FBI agents investigating the 1998 embassy bombing were robbed of their wallets and pistols and then mocked and jeered by a large crowd. Even the wild birds stole from people. Kampala was an improvement by comparison but decrepit and in decline. While there, he visited Makerere University, where he had taught, and found it a ruin — the buildings falling apart, the trees cut down, the library an empty shell.
“Mozambique,” he writes, “was not a country in decline — this part of it, anyway, could not fall any further.” Of its capital city, “It was hard to imagine how much worse a place had to be for a broken-down city like Maputo to seem like an improvement.” Even once prosperous and orderly Johannesburg was crime-ridden and increasingly ringed with teeming and angry slums. “That’s what happened in Africa: things fell apart.”
Mr. Theroux tells story after story that demonstrate the hopeless passivity of so many Africans. In the “sun-baked emptiness” of the Wagago Plains in Tanzania, he spotted a single mango tree “of modest size but leafy with dense boughs. There was a circle of shade beneath it. Within that shade were thirty people, pressed against one another to keep in the shade, watched by a miserable goat tethered in the sunshine.” He wondered why “no one in this hot, exposed place had thought to plant more mango trees for the shade they offered. It was simple enough to plant a tree.”
Mr. Theroux rode with a cattle truck on the desert road linking Ethiopia and Kenya. He described the road as “spectacularly bad,” full of “wheel-swallowing potholes,” deep ruts, and enormous razor-sharp boulders. One of the tires ripped open. “That was to be expected here — by me, anyway,” he writes. “Apparently not by Mustafa and the others, for they had no spare. They shook out junk from a burlap sack . . . and began amateurishly to whack the wheel, as though they had never been in this fix before.” Mr. Theroux sums up the situation: “This is not good — a breakdown in the desert where no one cares whether I live or die. I am stranded among the most incompetent and unresourceful mechanics I have ever seen.” Luckily, another cattle truck rumbled by and Mr. Theroux was able to catch a ride.
In Zimbabwe, he visited a farm run by a charming hard-working white family $22 million in debt and assailed by squatters. He spoke to one of the latter, who was from neighboring Zambia. He was furious because the government had not helped him. He needed seed, fertilizer, and a tractor. He now expected the owner of the farm to give him supplies and plow his fields. “Having invaded the land and staked his claim and put up four big huts, he now wanted free seed, free fertilizer, and the fields plowed at his bidding, his victim working the tractor. It was like a thief who, having stolen a coat, insisted that his victim have the coat dry-cleaned and tailored to fit.” When Mr. Theroux asked him what he would do if people came and squatted on his land, he exploded in rage. He would drive them off.
While in Malawi, Mr. Theroux visited his old school, hoping it had been modernized and improved. “The school was almost unrecognizable,” he writes. “What had been a group of school buildings in a large grove of trees was a compound of battered buildings in a muddy open field. The trees had been cut down and the grass was chest high. At first glance the place was so poorly maintained as to seem abandoned: broken windows, doors ajar, mildewed walls, gashes in the roofs, and only a few people standing around, empty-handed, doing nothing but gaping at me.” It seemed as if the failure of post-colonial Africa was all here, as if deliberately staged.
Also in Malawi, he visited the old Zomba Gymkhana Club, which had once been the social center for resident Europeans, mainly British. In the early ’60s, Mr. Theroux had heard members complain that if Africans were let in, they would ruin the club: They would get drunk, tear up the billiard table, women would nurse babies in the game room. At the time, Mr. Theroux considered such thoughts “rude and racist,” yet seeing the club today he realized they were “fairly prescient, for the rowdy teenagers at the billiard table were stabbing their cues at the torn felt, the bar was full of drunks, and a woman was breast feeding her baby under the dart board.” Many writers would have left out this story, as it vindicates “racist” predictions, but Mr. Theroux is too truthful and thorough a writer for that.
He asked a Malawian official to explain why the government had chased the Indian shopkeepers out of the country in the 1970s. The official explained that the Africans deserved a chance to run the shops, so they took them over; but soon the stores all failed. Twenty-seven years later, the town still had no shops. When Mr. Theroux pointed out that expropriation had backfired, another African interrupted and began mocking the way the Indians did business: “They sit there, you see, and they have these little pieces of paper, and have these columns of numbers. And one Indian is running the calculator, and another is counting the sacks of flour and the tins of condensed milk. One two three. One two three.”
Mr. Theroux explains: “What this educated African with his plummy voice intended as mockery — the apparent absurdity of all this counting — was the description of people doing a simple inventory of goods in a shop.” When he pointed this out, the African replied that his people had neither the aptitude nor the desire to run businesses. “What do we care about shops and counting? We have a much freer existence. We have no interest in this — shops are not our strong point.” Mr. Theroux, growing exasperated, asked why then had they taken over the shops. The answer was that the Africans might find a use for them some day (most were still empty, but a few had become beer bars). Mr. Theroux’s conclusion: “I had never heard such bullshit.”
Mr. Theroux does not say this, but the real answer to his question was envy. The Africans could not stand to see successful small businesses run by foreigners, so they kicked them out and took them over. Envy of non-Africans continues to motivate Africa. The land seizures in Zimbabwe, the murders of white farmers in South Africa, and the urban crime wave in Johannesburg and Cape Town, are obvious examples (see next article for a complementary view of African thinking).
Mr. Theroux fits most Westerners in Africa into one of three categories. First, there are the tourists, usually on safari. Mr. Theroux dismisses them as “fantasists.” Then there are the “agents of virtue” — the international aid workers, whom Mr. Theroux describes as haughty, aloof, ineffective jerks who rarely stay in Africa long enough to realize the extent of their failure; and the altruists, missionaries and others, who are there to save Africa and Africans.
He met a young, attractive Finnish woman working on an AIDS project in Zambia. She had been in Africa only a short time, but was already disillusioned. “It is horrible. There is no sex education. No one will talk about sex, but everyone does it. No one will talk about AIDS, and everyone is infected. We were sent an anti-AIDS film and we showed it. But people in the village said it was shameful — too indecent — and so it was withdrawn.” Mr. Theroux asked if she had talked to them. She had. The result? “They wanted to have sex with me.”
In Mozambique, he met a naive female missionary who was running a shelter designed to get prostitutes and boys off the streets. One night she was robbed by a group of boys. She recognized them as boys she had bathed, fed, and clothed; what’s worse, they recognized her. Mr. Theroux recalled that Christian missionaries had been at work here since 1508: “Five centuries of this!”
Mr. Theroux was victim of only one crime in Africa, and it came at the very end. Before taking a four-day side trip to the coast, he left his valuables (watch, wallet, cash, air tickets, African artifacts) for safekeeping in a Johannesburg hotel strong room. He returned to find everything stolen. “That’s very Janiceburg, very Jozi,” one resident later told him.
Mr. Theroux does not absolve Africans of responsibility for their own plight, but the only Africans he singles out for blame are the corrupt and thieving leaders. His book makes it clear that sloth, lack of planning, and envy are to blame for much of Africa’s plight, but he never says this directly nor does he consider the possibility Africans may be of lower intelligence than whites.
What is to be done with the place? Mr. Theroux condemns Western governments, international organizations, and private aid agencies for making the continent’s problems worse. He believes the only solution is to pull out the whole apparatus of Western relief and development, and let Africans define their problems, work out solutions, and live according to their habits and customs. He does not doubt that by Western standards the continent will remain undeveloped and primitive, will perhaps become much more so, but it may be able to sustain itself and create a life that is livable for Africans. He seems to think that if left alone, Africans will drift slowly back to their ancestral villages and turn once again to labor-intensive agriculture. Africa would not revert entirely back to a pre-contact state, but it might go halfway.
This may be an overly romantic view. The slaughter in Rwanda/Burundi, the double amputees in Sierra Leone, the witch-burnings and black magic common throughout black Africa, and the cannibalism that has come to light in the Congo are chilling examples of what Africans can do when left to themselves. Perhaps a return to old-fashioned European colonialism is the best solution. Short of that, a policy of leaving Africa alone, with all its potential perils, may be the best realistic choice we have.
Dr. Trask is a free-lance writer and historian who lives in St. Louis.
Africa and the Cult of Development
The following is adapted from the Sept -Oct. 1993 review of a book about Africa by Gedahlia Braun called Racism, Guilt and Self-Deceit. It throws light on what the Malawians may have been thinking when they expelled the Indian shopkeepers and took over their stores. It may also explain why blacks in Zimbabwe who know nothing about running a modern farm seize white farms and expect wealth to follow.
How the vast majority of Africans think must be understood in light of how poorly they grasp how the world works. Dr. Braun reminds us that belief in magic is deeply rooted among Africans. He reports that when a European magician came to Ibadan, Nigeria, and “sawed a woman in half,” the audience assumed he had actually cut her in two. After all, if African witch doctors can fly through the air and turn people into alligators, the least a white man can do is cut people in two and put them back together.
Dr. Braun reports that many Africans see Western technology and high standards of living as a kind of magic. Many think a college diploma is not an indication of a certain level of knowledge but a talisman that can magically make a big house and a Mercedes appear. Even the blacks who run African schools have superstitious beliefs in the forms of education; if white schools have a study period at 2:00 p.m., black schools must have one at the same time even if it is inconvenient. Many blacks think whites get their money simply by walking around in a suit with a briefcase and going into banks, where they get as much as they want. Whites have selfishly denied the benefits of this magic to Africans.
Dr. Braun quotes extensively from a brilliant article that likens the African attitude towards economic development to the cargo cults of the Pacific islanders. Some of these islands had been ignored by the modern world until the Second World War, during which the Allies used them as staging areas. To the wonderment of the natives, giant metal birds flew down from the sky, in response to various ceremonies such as the building of long flat clearings in the jungle. Out of the bellies of the giant metal birds came marvelous things like flash lights and round metal boxes filled with food.
When the war was over and the Allies left, the islanders decided to take over the rituals themselves. They built their own flat clearings in the jungle, and set upon them giant birds made of boxes and coconut trees so as to coax their great metal cousins down from the sky. They pretended to be soldiers, marching in formation around the flat clearings and waving strips of cloth stuck on sticks. Somehow the magic did not work; the giant metal birds never came back.
Just as the cargo cultists believed that by manipulating some of the forms of 20th century commerce they could reap 20th century rewards, Africans believe that a paved highway here and a parking lot there will bring the magical cargo of development.
Dr. Braun quotes further:
When the first spurt of national infrastructure building failed to produce the desired cargo of development, additional rituals were invented. A ritual of North-South dialogue was started to persuade the guardian spirits of development to bring aid, to transfer technology, and to grant better terms of trade. When this ritual also failed, Third-World spokesmen resorted to blaming the West for holding up Third-World Development.
If Africans continue to believe that development is a form of magic they will never achieve it.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Liver of Darkness
An estimated three million people have died in Congo’s four years of civil war. At various times, five neighboring countries have sent in armies to fight over land and natural resources. In the chaos, tribes have vented ancient hatreds against each other, and revived an ancient form of dominion over one’s enemies — cannibalism. Most Congolese appear to believe that eating a man’s heart, liver, or genitals adds that man’s strength to one’s own. They despise Pygmies as sub-human, but believe that their organs, too, give special powers for hunting and surviving in the forest.
A reporter who recently traveled to the Congo listened to first-hand accounts of cannibalism. One pygmy, for example, told of coming back to his village and finding soldiers butchering and eating his family. Another man, named Kakule, was rich enough to have a chain saw, and was cutting trees with two assistants. Soldiers appeared and held the three at gun point. Their chief ordered Kakule and one assistant to hold the other down on the ground. The chief then:
. . . yanked a knife across the throat of Kakule’s assistant. He cut the tongue from below and pulled it out through the throat; he cut the belly down the middle and claimed the liver; he stripped off the trousers so he could slice off the testicles and penis. One of his squad hacked up the body. The commander gave Kakule his knife, told him to pare the skin from an arm, a leg. He told Kakule and his other assistant to build a fire. From their satchels, the soldiers brought cassava bread. They sat in a circle. The commander placed the dead man’s head at the center. He forced the two loggers to sit with them, to eat with them the pieces of boiled limb. The grilled liver, tongue and genitals had already been parceled out among the commander and his troops.
Many Congolese believe that if they eat the organs of enough people they will be able to deflect bullets, but there are other ways to do that. The same reporter watched as the men fighting under a warlord named Vita Kitambala demonstrated their leader’s powers. They believe he can fly, make himself invisible, and work some kind of mumbo jumbo with water so that it wards off bullets. The demonstration was as follows:
At last a camouflage-patterned hat was drenched . . . I focused carefully on the gunman, on whether he aimed downward precisely at the target. He didn’t. He lifted the barrel several inches as he fired. Dirt spattered up three feet from the hat. His move seemed so awkward, so obvious, that for a moment I believed I felt everyone’s embarrassment.
But the general didn’t look embarrassed at all. The spiritual force of the water bent the barrel, he explained matter-of-factly, causing the bullet to veer off target. He showed me the rifle, whose tip did look a bit battered from years of use but hardly bent.
There is widespread belief in magic throughout black Africa, and cannibalism for the purpose of absorbing a man’s strength has been reported in Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, and the Central African Republic. In the Congo, where non-African influences have largely disappeared, this form of fetishism has certainly become more common, but cannibalism appears to have acquired another purpose.
“Fetishism can’t explain why, according to testimony given to U.N. investigators, M.L.C. [Movement for the Liberation of Congo] troops forced one woman to eat from her husband’s corpse. It can’t explain why some victims were ordered to swallow their own ears or toes, why Kakule had to eat the less desirable parts of his assistant’s body alongside his captors or why, after the butchering of a Protestant priest, others were forced to pay money or eat his flesh — or be butchered themselves. The inflicting of vengeance and spreading of terror — aspects of war that are as modern as they are ancient — have played a part in Congo’s cannibalism. A Human Rights Watch report released in July suggests that ‘perpetrators have found that fear of cannibalism terrorizes victims more effectively into compliance with their orders than does the simple fear of death, so frequently faced in daily life.’” [Daniel Bergner, The Most Unconventional Weapon, Sunday New York Times Magazine, Oct. 26, 2003.]
The Tragic Mulatto
A recent study of 90,000 middle school and high school students has found that mixed-race children have more health and psychological problems than children who are not mixed. For example, children who consider themselves both black and white are more likely than black or white children to be depressed, sleep badly, skip school, smoke, drink, and have sex. They are also more likely to suffer from stress-related health problems, get hold of guns, consider suicide, and suffer various aches and pains. White-Asian hybrids also show the same symptoms. The principal author of the study, J. Richard Udry of the University of North Carolina, says, “The most common explanation for the high-risk status is the struggle with identity formation, leading to lack of self-esteem, social isolation and problems of family dynamics in biracial households.” The study appeared in the Oct. 30, 2003, issue of the American Journal of Public Health. [Connie Cass, Study: Mixed-Race Youth Have Health Woes, AP, Oct. 30, 2003.]
Diversity Begets Violence
In late October two prisoners died in a race riot that pitted blacks against Hispanics. Violence at the Eagle Mountain prison about 60 miles east of Palm Springs, California, involved an estimated 150 inmates and raged for 90 minutes. Fighting broke out in a recreation room, where prisoners were watching the World Series, and spread throughout the prison. Four badly injured inmates had to be helicoptered out to hospitals, and another 50 were treated by prison medical staff.
Prisoners also broke windows and smashed furniture. “I walked onto the yard when it was over, and it looked like Beirut,” says Lt. Warren Montgomery, who traveled from a different prison to help put down the riot. He says prisoners attacked each other with knives and meat cleavers from the kitchen, as well as table and chair legs and mop handles — “anything they could get their hands on.”
Eagle Mountain is a low-risk prison for non-violent prisoners. [Jenifer Warren, Inmates are Moved After Riot Kills 2, LA Times, Oct. 29, 2003.]
Earlier that same month, what could be thought of as a training session took place at Compton High School in Compton, California, where a black/Hispanic riot resulted in several arrests. Jimmy Perry of the Compton School Police reported that the violence began with a fight between two Hispanic girls but then became a racial battle mostly involving boys. Although the school district officially said only 50 to 60 students were involved, Mr. Perry thought there were about 400 combatants. The school was put under “code yellow” lockdown for two hours and the children were released early. [50-60 People Involved in School Melee, KABC-TV (Los Angeles), Oct. 10, 2003.]
In the early 1970s, whites outnumbered Hispanics six to one in the public schools of San Diego County, California. Last year, for the first time, Hispanics, at 39.83 percent of the school population just nosed out whites, at 39.82 percent. There are 67.6 percent more Hispanics in local public schools than there were just 11 years ago, a figure that mirrors the 67.7 percent increase in non-English-speaking students during the same period.
Academic achievement has, of course, plummeted. Last year, 74 percent of whites in tenth grade passed the math exam necessary for high school graduation, while only 40 percent of Hispanics did. Whites are three times more likely than Hispanics to pass advance placement tests or to be admitted to gifted programs. The performance gap is increasing: Ten years ago the white-Hispanic difference in average SAT verbal scores was 82; now it is 93.
“It’s no longer Latinos or Hispanics entering the mainstream,” says Ed Brand, superintendent of one of the county’s school districts and head of a committee that is supposed to boost Hispanic performance. “They are the mainstream.” [Chris Moran, Latino Students Now Outnumber Whites in County Classrooms, San Diego Union Tribune, Oct. 10, 2003.]
The Great Black Hope
Largo, Florida, is 93 percent white and apparently rather self-conscious about it. Last year, the city fired a lieutenant in the fire department for unbosoming a “racial slur,” and resolved to put more non-whites on the force. It was therefore with much happy anticipation that the department prepared for the first day on the job for Nolan Avery, who is gratifyingly black. When he failed to show up without so much as a telephone call, firemen made a few calls of their own and discovered that their investment in diversity had spent the last five nights in jail. Last summer, he and a friend robbed a Burger King — Mr. Avery forced a woman to the floor and tied her up before they made off with $300 — and the law had finally caught up with him.
The Largo authorities investigated Mr. Avery as part of the hiring process, but found no criminal record. The city manager concedes that the candidate’s answers on a routine polygraph test were cause for concern, but the department hired him anyway. “I’m just devastated,” says Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Bullock, who visited Mr. Avery in jail and accepted his resignation. [Shannon Tan, One of Two Firefighters Hired in Largo this Summer is Charged With Armed Robbery, Kidnapping and False Imprisonment, St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 2, 2003.]
Admitting the Obvious
A recent article in The Atlantic has stumbled onto something. It starts like this:
Maybe it’s time to admit the obvious. We don’t really care about diversity all that much in America, even though we talk about it a great deal. Maybe somewhere in this country there is a truly diverse neighborhood in which a black Pentecostal minister lives next to a white anti-globalization activist, who lives next to an Asian short-order cook, who lives next to a professional golfer, who lives next to a postmodern-literature professor and a cardiovascular surgeon. But I have never been to or heard of that neighborhood. Instead, what I have seen all around the country is people making strenuous efforts to group themselves with people who are basically like themselves.
Later the author observes:
New suburbs in Arizona and Nevada, for example, start out reasonably well integrated. These neighborhoods don’t yet have reputations, so people choose their houses for other, mostly economic reasons. But as neighborhoods age, they develop personalities (that’s where the Asians live, and that’s where the Hispanics live), and segmentation occurs. It could be that in a few years the new suburbs in the Southwest will be nearly as segregated as the established ones in the Northeast and the Midwest.
The author says all this is rather a pity but, needless to say, resolutely refuses to draw conclusions about immigration policy, forced integration, or anti-discrimination law. [David Brooks, People Like US, The Atlantic, Sept. 2003.]
Down the Rat Hole
In the last ten years, politicians have poured more than $70 million in taxpayer money into the black part of Miami but have so little to show for it the FBI is investigating. The idea was to build “affordable housing” for Overtown, but the number of derelicts is rising even though the population is declining. In 1990, the population was 11,350 with 52 people on the streets. In 2000 the population was down 14 percent to 9,755, but there were 170 bums on the street. This means one out of every 55 Overtonians has no place to live, perhaps the highest rate in the country. Half the population is below the poverty line.
It is not clear what happened to the $70 million, but do-gooders knocked down slums without replacing them. In the past decade, Overtown lost 150 buildings — many of them inhabited — with the result that 1,000 people were turned out. “Investors” got 20 cheap loans from the government to build houses, but most of them say they couldn’t rent what they built. Seventeen of the 20 are in default. Some of the “investors” spent less money on construction than they borrowed, and the difference has gone missing. On at least two occasions, the city sank hundreds of thousands of dollars into patching up buildings that were then torn down at taxpayer expense because they were declared unfit for habitation. Miami’s Community Redevelopment Agency swallowed up no less than $35 million, but has practically nothing to show for it. [Oscar Corral, Urban Renewal Millions Yield Little, Herald (Miami), Oct. 12, 2003.]
Press accounts do not say so, but given the demographics of Overtown and of Miami in general, the people and agencies that pocketed the money are not likely to be white.
Not the Usual Mug Shots
American software companies would have us believe foreign programmers, particularly Indians, are among the best in the world, and that companies will go broke unless the government lets them bring in foreigners with H1B visas. Displaced American programmers insist the foreign workers aren’t better — just cheaper. If by “foreign” they mean non-white, they could well be right.
A software training company called TopCoder, Inc. (TopCoder.com) runs an online competition in which contestants solve complex programming problems. It is open to anyone worldwide, costs nothing to enter, and offers a $100,000 purse, $50,000 of which goes to the first-place winner. Despite all the hoopla about subcontinental high-tech workers, the overwhelming majority of top programmers — 9 of the top ten and probably 23 of the top 25 (three have no picture) — are white. The only non-whites appear to be East Asians. If American companies want the best programmers, India and Pakistan could be the wrong places to go. According to TopCoder’s results, the best programmers are from Sweden, followed by Poland, Ukraine and Germany. China, the only non-white country in the top ten, comes in fifth, and India is 15th.
Moreover, programming is not simply a matter of getting the job done one way or another. It is a false argument to say that even if an Indian programmer is only half as productive as a Swede, you are better off if you can hire him at one quarter the price. The significant breakthroughs come from people who can, as they say in the business, make their colleagues say “wow.” No high-tech company without such programmers will stay on top for long. [Online Competition, Rankings and Results, TopCoder.com]
There are an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 Muslims in the US armed services. Are they loyal? Some obviously are not. Last March, as his unit was getting ready to move into Iraq from Kuwait, Sgt. Hasan Akbar killed two of his commanding officers with a grenade while they slept. Relatives said he felt “persecution” as a Muslim, and had refused to fight in the Gulf War because it went against his faith. Another out-and-out traitor is Jeffrey Leon Battle, who enlisted in the army to, as he put it “receive military training to use against America.” In October, in a little-remarked deal, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to levy war against the United States, after he tried to enter Afghanistan, where he wanted to kill Americans.
Both these men are black Muslims, who may have traditional racial reasons to hate America. What about Middle Easterners? In 2000, Ali Mohamed pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the 1998 attacks on the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. He was a high-ranking Al Qaeda member who got the best military training in the world — in the US special forces, where be became a sergeant.
Senior Airman Ahmad Halabi and Army Captain James Yee are two of the three men recently arrested for disloyalty and possible espionage at Guantanamo. Mr. Yee, who is of Chinese origin and a convert to Islam who became a Muslim chaplain, says he identifies with the captives. Mr. Halabi, a Muslim of Middle Eastern origin, opposes the detentions at Guantanamo, and thinks American foreign policy is wrong. Finally, there was Ahmed Mehalba, a civilian Arabic translator, who had classified documents with him when he was arrested after returning from a trip to Egypt. The army concedes it needs Arabic translators so badly it has rushed some into jobs without checking their backgrounds. Thor Ronay, a terrorism expert at the Center for Security Policy, probably got it right when he said that the army has not been on the lookout for disloyalty because “The military has a style of political correctness that says, ‘We’re not in the business of judging anyone’s religion.’”
Marine Sgt. Jamal Baadani says Muslims are loyal Americans, and has even started something called the Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in the Military to prove it. However, his own statements give him away: “I’ve been called a traitor and an Uncle Tom by fellow Muslims” for serving in the military. Precisely. [John Mintz and Gregory Vistica, Muslim Troops’ Loyalty a Delicate Question, Washington Post, Nov. 2, 2003.]
We reprint the following news item:
BANJUL, Gambia — A 28-year-old man accused of stealing a man’s penis through sorcery was beaten to death in the West African country of Gambia, police said.
A police spokesman told Reuters that Baba Jallow was killed Thursday by about 10 people in the town of Serekunda, nine miles from the capital Banjul.
Reports of penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, with purported victims claiming that alleged sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear in order to extort cash in the promise of a cure.
The police spokesman said many men in Serekunda were now afraid to shake hands, and he urged people not to believe reports of “vanishing” genitals. Belief in sorcery is widespread in West Africa.
Seven alleged penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs in Ghana in 1997.
[Suspected Penis Snatcher Beaten to Death, Reuters, Oct. 12, 2003.]
13 Years for ‘40 Acres’
Last July, Robert Foster and his daughter Crystal were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the government by filing 2001 tax returns claiming a fictitious slavery tax credit (see AR, July 2003). Miss Foster bilked the government out of more than $500,000, which she spent in just eight days. Government prosecutors say Mr. Foster also prepared tax returns for other blacks, claiming a total of $3.6 million in reparations, or about $500,000 per person.
On Oct. 23, a federal judge sent Mr. Foster to prison for 13 years — one of the harshest sentences ever handed down for slavery reparations fraud, for which the typical sentence is two to five years. His daughter got three years, and must pay back the money.
Mr. Foster says he’s innocent: “This was not an effort to defraud the US government. This was purely a protest against the US government. Black people are not treated as humans, but as things by the US government. We were used as resources to enrich this country and we get no inheritance from the wealth we brought.”
In prison, Mr. Foster renounced US citizenship and claimed to be a member of the Moab Tiara Cherokee Kituwah Nation, a black group in Charlotte, NC, whose members believe they are descendants of African Moors who discovered America before Columbus. Mr. Foster filed a motion to get his conviction overturned, saying the US no longer had jurisdiction over him. The judge, whom he called a “white devil,” denied the motion.
The IRS says blacks got the idea of filing for slavery reparations from a 1993 Essence magazine editorial that urged them to seek refunds of $43,206 per household as a “delinquent tax rebate.” Essence said the figure was the modern-day equivalent of the “40 acres and a mule” blacks hoped for at the end of the Civil War. Mr. Foster says he adjusted the figure upward for inflation.
In 2001, 80,000 blacks filed returns claiming the slavery tax credit, for a total of $2.7 billion. In 2000 and 2001, the government actually paid out $30 million in “reparations credits.” [Justin Bergman, Woman, Father Sentenced in Slave Claims, AP, Oct. 23, 2003. Justin Bergman, 2 Face Penalty in Slave Reparations Case, Oct. 23, 2003.]
The November 2003 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, the official journal of the National Rifle Association, published an article about the post-Civil War black US Cavalry units known as “Buffalo Soldiers.” Advertised on the front cover as “Memories of the Last of the Buffalo Soldiers,” the article is just politically-correct filler to put between gun ads. It very briefly highlights the military service of one Mark Matthews, a 109-year-old cavalry veteran, but does not record a single “memory.” It then goes on to tell how black troopers won the West for ungrateful whites.
Of Mr. Matthews, the author writes: “Born in 1894, this old soldier was 16 when he joined the Army. Matthews served as a sergeant with the 10th Cavalry, rode with Apache scouts, fought in the Spanish-American War, in border skirmishes against the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, and saw action in both World Wars.” [Gary Lantz, Buffalo Soldiers, America’s 1st Freedom, Nov. 2003, pp. 44-49.]
We hope the author knows more about firearms than history. Mr. Matthews was born in 1894. The Spanish-American War took place in 1898, when he was four years old.
Above the Law
In 2001, black rioters in Cincinnati attacked whites, pulling motorists from their cars and beating them. There is still plenty of anti-white hatred in Cincinnati, where black teenagers often throw stones at cars driven by whites — or worse. On Oct. 10, a 14-year-old black girl punched a white woman in the eye as she left a downtown restaurant. She didn’t bother to run away, and appears not to fear the police. A nearby security camera recorded the girl and her friends re-enacting the attack and laughing about it. This is only the latest version of her trademark crime. “She just walks up to [white] people in the middle of the street and socks them in the eye,” says Cincinnati police officer Alex Hasse, who patrols the area. She has been arrested six times, and faces a felony charge for the Oct. 10 attack, but is still on the streets. Cincinnati police and judges fear more riots if they crack down on blacks. [Girl, 14, Serial Attacker, Cincinnati Enquirer, Oct. 18, 2003, p. B14.]
Land of the Free?
Lovell A. Wheeler is a 61-year-old white man who lives in a Baltimore row house with his wife, Elizabeth. He works for a plastics company, and makes and sells guns as a hobby. He is also a white nationalist. His wife joined the National Alliance several years ago after being robbed by a black man, and hosts an Internet radio program called “Grandmother Elizabeth’s Reading Hour for White Children.”
Last summer, Baltimore police received an anonymous tip that Mr. Wheeler was making weapons in his basement. On June 28, two officers talked to Mr. Wheeler at his home. One was wearing a German-American lapel pin, and Mr. Wheeler praised him as a “good white officer.” He also allegedly said that “the [race] war is going to start in the city, and I am ready and need more troops to help in the fight.” He also gave the men National Alliance literature.
Baltimore police contacted the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which told them the National Alliance “poses a risk” for domestic terrorism. Two days later, the Baltimore SWAT team, operating under a “no-knock” search warrant, chopped down Mr. Wheeler’s front door with an ax and seized 80 lbs. of smokeless gunpowder, 16,000 rounds of ammunition, 22 firearms, body armor, thousands of gun parts, and National Alliance literature. They arrested Mr. Wheeler at his work.
Prosecutors claimed Mr. Wheeler’s arsenal and ties to the National Alliance “created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to the citizens of Baltimore,” but charged him with three relatively minor misdemeanors: reckless endangerment, possession of smokeless powder without a license, and improper storage of smokeless powder. They did not allege a single firearms violation. Although Mr. Wheeler had no criminal record and hadn’t harmed anyone, the judge set bail at an astonishing $2 million and then denied it altogether — in a city where multiple murderers get bail.
Although prosecutors deny it, many lawyers say Mr. Wheeler is being punished for his views. “It is unusual,” says Baltimore defense lawyer Warren A. Brown of the decision to deny bail, “and to that extent, he is damn near a political prisoner. If he was an ordinary dope dealer with guns in his house, he would have bail, but because he is a white supremacist, they stick it to him.”
University of Maryland law professor Douglas L. Colbert cannot recall a similar case in which bail was denied. “A general statement of ‘I expect there to be a race war, and I am prepared for it’ falls far short of direct and imminent violence that could result in bail being denied someone.”
“I think it smacks at his First Amendment rights,” says black Baltimore attorney A. Dwight Pettit. “I think a lot of judges are more sensitive to the racial aspect of it than they are to the constitutional aspect.”
The Anti-Defamation League disagrees. “The combination of extremist ideology and weapons is something that law enforcement has an obligation to make sure that the person is just not wandering the streets [sic],” says David Friedman.
On Oct. 29, after nearly four months of jail, Mr. Wheeler, who is in failing health, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charges. In exchange, he got a suspended five-year sentence and three years’ probation — and also got to go home. He may own no firearms during his probation. [Tim Craig, Supremacist Case Unites Improbable Contingent, Washington Post, Oct. 26, 2003, p. C1. Allison Klein, Wheeler Due to be Released Today, Sun (Baltimore), Oct. 29, 2003.]
The US military has been using pilotless aircraft known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones for aerial reconnaissance and spy missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The CIA is said to have used a bomb-laden UAV to kill suspected terrorists in Yemen in 2002. The US Department of Homeland Security is testing UAVs along the Mexican border, with the idea of using them to find drug traffickers and illegal immigrants. The drones have sophisticated satellite tracking equipment, infrared sensors and night-vision cameras, and are now patrolling areas frequented by alien- and drug-smugglers. Border patrol agents recently adopted another idea from the army. They have set up military-style camps in the desert where they live for 30-day periods, conducting long-range patrols on foot and horseback. [Drones Tested to Patrol US-Mexico Border, Reuters, Oct. 10, 2003.]
The Saudi Arabian religious police recently declared Barbie dolls immoral and a threat to Islam; the buxom blonde in revealing outfits isn’t popular among American Muslims either. Enter Ammar Saadeh, a Livonia, Michigan-based businessman whose company, NoorArt, created a doll specifically for Muslim girls. Called Razanne, the less-well endowed doll comes in a long-sleeved dress and headscarf (hijab). Mr. Saadeh offers Razanne in three skin tones: black with black hair, olive with black hair — and white with blond hair.
The company sells a Teacher Razanne, an In-Out Razanne (who wears a slightly less-modest dress of the type Muslim women can wear at home with male family members), and a Praying Razanne, who comes with a prayer gown and a long hijab. It will soon introduce a line of Razannes that “reflect the aspirations” of the modern Muslim woman, including Doctor Razanne and Astronaut Razanne. The company has sold more than 30,000 dolls in the US, Canada, Singapore and Germany, and hopes to start sales in several Middle Eastern countries.
Mattel, which makes Barbie, does offer two Muslim dolls — a veiled Moroccan Barbie, and a collector’s doll named Leyla, who comes in a harem girl’s outfit. “It’s no surprise that they’d try to portray a Middle Eastern Barbie either as a belly dancer or a concubine,” says Mr. Saadeh, adding that one of the main reasons he created Razanne was to counter stereotypes. [Muslim Doll Offers Image of Modesty and Self-esteem, AP, Oct. 8, 2003.]
At the end of 2001, 5.6 million Americans, or one in every 37 adults, either were in or had been in prison. Almost five percent of men had “prison experience,” but only one percent of women. The racial breakdown for men was blacks: 17 percent, Hispanics: 7.7 percent, whites: 2.6 percent. Blacks were therefore 6.5 times more likely, and Hispanics three times more likely than whites to have served time. For women, the black rate of 1.7 percent is not quite twice the rate for whites and Hispanics, for whom the figure is less than one percent. Rates for Asians were not reported. [5.6M Americans Have ‘Prison Experience,’ AP, Aug. 17, 2003.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — Dr. Jobling notes in the November issue that although charitable donations generally raise social status, contributions to white causes lower it. New Century Foundation is a non-profit organization, and I have given money to it every time I have been asked (thank you for not dunning us ten times a year, the way so many other organizations do). And, indeed, I would not want my contributions known to my employer or neighbors, whereas if they thought I gave money to the United Negro College Fund they would think me a fine fellow. Still, for NCF and AR there is a silver lining: You know that every contribution you receive represents real commitment, not social climbing!
Steven Kendall, Flagstaff, Ariz.
Sir — I work for a large financial services corporation that is considered one of the best companies for blacks, and I have lived through some of the very things Ian Jobling writes about. Diversity is an important corporate goal, and our managers are under great pressure to hire and promote non-whites. My boss recently promoted a black woman to be our head secretary over the heads of several white women with longer tenure and better qualifications. This woman is pleasant, but does not know enough to do her job, and is always asking the white women for help. Once, I noticed my boss standing quietly off to the side, watching as I tried to explain something to her she should have known already. Later I asked him why he promoted her. He said nothing, but pointed to one of the diversity posters we have on the wall. He does not read AR, but is surely a closet sympathizer. Many of my white colleagues refuse to talk about “diversity;” those who do are baffled and depressed by it.
Dr. Jobling gave us an excellent theoretical discussion of what motivates whites, but barely touched on the things companies actually do in the name of diversity. I would love to see an article about real people who have suffered real losses — and the companies that have suffered from real incompetence — because white is now the unfashionable color.
Name Withheld, Boston, Mass.
Sir — In a letter in the November issue, I see that one of my favorite AR writers, Michael Rienzi, is promoting the view that Jews have played a crucial role in the destruction of white racial consciousness. I urge him to read the book review in the very issue of AR in which his letter appears. It is hard to think of a more serious blow to our race than wide-spread miscegenation, and yet who were the people promoting it in the ante-bellum period? Louisa May Alcott, the Grimké sisters, Wendell Phillips, Henry Ward Beecher, Parker Pillsbury, William Lloyd Garrison, Charles Sumner, the despicable John Brown and his backers — not a Jew among them.
Carl Peterson, Athens, Ga.
Sir — I appreciated Thomas Jackson’s review of “Miscegenation:” Making Race in America in the November issue. I was aware of the attacks on Thomas Jefferson by the Federalists, but had no idea how nasty and personal they were. Today’s press is cowardly by comparison. Also, from now on, I will use the term “miscegenation” with particular appreciation, knowing that it was coined by a pair of anti-race-mixing hoaxers.
Kevin Harris, Bloomington, Ind.
Sir — I recently bought your excellent “best of AR” book, A Race Against Time, at the AR web page. Although I’ve been an AR subscriber for several years, most of the articles were new to me, and I was surprised at how timely even the oldest still are. For example, Lawrence Auster’s “Multiculturalism and the War Against White America,” although published in 1994, could have been written yesterday. I hope we will not have to wait another 12 years before we see a second volume.
Brian Jones, Hattiesburg, Miss.
Sir — I read with considerable interest your November “O Tempora” item about the blacks and Hispanics on the Lynwood, California, city council looting the treasury. People of all races do this sort of thing, but what makes Lynwood different is the looters’ shamelessness. When whites are caught peculating, they hang their heads; this bunch acts as if what they did was normal.
Of course, for Third-Worlders, it is normal. Even more instructive than the shamelessness of the councilmen is the attitude of the citizens: They don’t want to clean out the corruption; they are lining up to be candidates, so they can get part of the swag.
There are probably no over-all data on this, but there can be no doubt that as the country darkens, local government gets worse. Black-run cities like Washington and Detroit are bywords for corruption and incompetence. Miami and Los Angeles are famous for medical care fraud. It is not just the schools and neighborhoods that rot as the population changes; it is entire institutions.
Needless to say, if immigration continues, national institutions will change in the same way. Imagine, if you will, Congress, the Supreme Court, the FBI, and even nuclear weapons in the hands of the Lynwood city council. Throw in the major newspapers and television networks, and you have a country in which corruption and incompetence are not only enedmic, but unpunishable — that is to say, Mexico or Haiti. To know the future we need only look south.
David Carpenter, Menlo Park, Calif.