|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 21, No. 12||December 2010|
What to Make of Black Conservatives?
Can they be a gateway drug to race realism?
Q: What do you call a black man at a conservative conference?
A: The keynote speaker.
This joke has circulated among the more intelligent conservatives for several decades. In the age of Obama, however, things are even worse. With blacks intensely loyal to Mr. Obama, the conservative opposition is whiter than ever. Accordingly, the need to find token blacks to speak at Republican gatherings and Tea Parties has become an even greater priority. What role do these blacks play, and can they be, in any sense, our allies?
Conservatives like to pretend that blacks would be natural supporters if they had not been brainwashed by Al Sharpton and his media allies to hate Republicans, but it is perfectly logical for blacks to support the Democrats. At every socio-economic level, blacks depend on government. The black underclass gets its welfare from the government. The much vaunted black middle class is made up almost entirely of government workers. The black upper class, aside from athletes and entertainers, would hardly exist without affirmative action.
Reducing the size of government, which is one of the few consistent goals of Tea Partiers and other self-styled conservatives, would have an enormous “disparate impact” on blacks, and they know it. Furthermore, unlike whites, blacks see politics through a tribal lens. To the extent that they are interested in politics at all, they have the same perspective as the Congressional Black Caucus: what’s in it for blacks? The left encourages this tribalism while conservatives urge everyone to be color blind.
Some blacks have relatively conservative attitudes on social issues such as school prayer or homosexual marriage, but they are more concerned with jobs and handouts for the tribe than with these luxury issues. Now that we have a black president, conservatives and Republicans feel more compelled than ever to prop up blacks as leaders just to prove they are not racist, and the pickings are slim. What kind of black have they managed to get to come over to their side?
I am active in mainstream opposition to affirmative action and other race-based giveaways, and in my work I have met a number of prominent black conservatives. I do not put all my cards on the table when I talk to them, and it is clear that many of them — J.C. Watts, Michael Steele, Armstrong Williams, and Ken Blackwell, for example — support affirmative action. They don’t care about race-blindness; tribal politics come before equal rights or fair treatment. White conservatives overlook this and embrace them because they are grateful to have any blacks whom they can call allies.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is the worst of the lot. Last November, he said that some white Republicans were afraid of him because he is black. Then he went on to speak at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network Conference. There was no transcript of the speech but the Daily Caller, a website that generally supports Republicans, summarized it:
Civil rights, equality on paper, the familiar story. But, of course, dreams do not reflect reality. When you were growing up, he asks the audience, “Did the American Dream feel like part of you, like it was your birthright?” For many it did, he says. For many more it did not, “and as you and I know, that dream has often been delayed and sometimes denied — and until our children are born thinking the American dream is their birthright, it will remain that way.” Moreover, he adds, it will remain that way until the children have access to fair and affordable housing, access to credit and capital, and voting machines that work. “You didn’t think I knew about that, huh?” By god, it could be Reverend Al up there at this point — and then Steele commits outright GOP treason and quotes, at length, from a litany of depressing statistics about the racial achievement gap — first delivered, he reveals at the end, on June 11, 1963, by John F. Kennedy himself. “Not much has changed,” he concludes, dropping the words slow and hard as an axe-head, “In forty. Seven. Years.” Don’t even ask about his follow-up statement on pervasive Justice Department bias.
Obviously, the Republicans chose Mr. Steele to head the party because the Democrats had a black at the head of their party. It was a transparent attempt not to appear “racist,” and so of course Mr. Steele likes affirmative action; he owes his job to it. And, as usual, the Republicans got no credit for racial “tolerance” by appointing him. Instead they got a bumbler who sounds, most of the time, more like a Democrat than a Republican.
There are other blacks whose conservatism is rooted in Christianity. This group includes people like the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Alan Keyes, and Martin Luther King’s niece, Alveda King. They like to call the high abortion rate among blacks “genocide,” as if white abortionists were going door to door, forcing loving black couples to abort their babies. Since support for abortion is strong on the left, calling it “black genocide” is an attempt to pin the dreaded label of “racist” on the Democrats. Rev. Peterson writes: “It is time for America, but especially the black community, to come out of its state of denial and realize that true racism is the attack on the black unborn baby, started by Margaret Sanger and carried out by the liberal elite in this country.” It is true that Margaret Sanger, who was born in the 19th century and died in 1966, promoted birth control for the lower orders — in which she included many blacks — but the idea of whites somehow tricking blacks into having abortions is lunacy. Real conservatives, especially serious Christians, would point out that the real cause of high black abortion rates is irresponsible sex.
There is another group, now growing quickly, that exists almost solely to reassure white conservatives that they are not racist — or at least that Democrats can be pegged as racists, too. A good example of the level of their arguments is to point out that during the presidential election of 2008, Democratic Senator Harry Reid said Mr. Obama had a good chance because he was “light skinned,” and spoke “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Another one of their favorite proofs that Republicans are not racist is to point out that it was Southern Democrats who were the grand champions of segregation.
Here is black blogger, John Hawkins:
Remember George “segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever” Wallace standing in the door of an Alabama schoolhouse to keep black children from being able to go to school with whites? George Wallace was a Democrat. Remember Bull Connor turning water hoses and dogs on civil rights protestors? Bull Connor was a Democrat … Who’s the only black American currently on the Supreme Court? Clarence Thomas. The first black Secretary of State? Colin Powell. The first black woman ever to be a Secretary of State? Condi Rice [all appointed by Republicans].
You can imagine how far they get with arguments like this.
Finally, there is a group of genuinely intelligent and thoughtful black conservatives such as Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Shelby Steele, Ward Connerly, and Elizabeth Wright, who forcefully oppose race-based preferences. But black conservatives, no matter how intelligent, are not necessarily our allies.
Although Mr. Sowell acknowledged that The Bell Curve’s arguments for a genetic basis for racial differences in intelligence were based on legitimate scholarship, he tried desperately to refute them. Nor is Mr. Sowell above making politically correct attacks against fellow conservatives. In 2002, Senator Trent Lott caused an outcry when, at the 100th birthday party for Strom Thurmond, he said the country would have been better off if Thurmond had won his 1948 bid for the presidency on the segregationist Dixiecrat ticket. Mr. Sowell wrote that these remarks meant that “the position of black Republicans, especially, will be undermined, if not made untenable,” and that “any blacks considering becoming Republican candidates, or even Republican voters, will have to have some long second thoughts.” He concluded with the now-standard euthanasia prescription for Republicans: “The changing demographics of the country mean that Republicans over the years will have to make inroads into the minority votes that now go automatically to the Democrats.”
Shelby Steele has written very perceptively about how cynically both blacks and whites play the racial preferences game, but he is no friend. In 2003, when he was running for president, Howard Dean said the Democratic Party needed to appeal to guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks. Mr. Steele lashed out at the idea of appealing to whites. He acknowledged there was a “double standard on race,” but said it was necessary because:
No group in recent history has more aggressively seized power in the name of its racial superiority than Western whites. This race illustrated for all time — through colonialism, slavery, white racism, Nazism — the extraordinary human evil that follows when great power is joined to an atavistic sense of superiority and destiny. This is why today’s whites, the world over, cannot openly have a racial identity.
In other words, whites are so uniquely evil that they should be consigned to oblivion. This type of thinking is more dangerous coming from a “conservative” than from a left-wing sociology professor.
The promotion of black conservatives of dubious credentials is nothing new. For example, the John Birch Society promoted black conservatives such as Julia Brown, Lola Belle Holmes, and George S. Schuyler, all former communists or socialists. The message was the same: It was the communists and socialists who were the real racists.
Of this group, Schuyler was the best known. He counted H.L. Mencken among his admirers and took some strong positions. For example, he opposed awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Martin Luther King. However, he was married to a white heiress, who believed “the white race … is spiritually depleted and America must mate with the Negro to save herself.” He also wrote a pamphlet called Inter-racial Marriage in the United States, which claimed America’s race problems could be solved through miscegenation, something that many “conservatives” such as Ben Wattenberg, Douglas Besharov, and Stephen and Abigail Thernstrom now endorse. Some things never change. Promoting a few blacks did not prevent mainstream conservatives from attacking the Birchers as racists.
Today, compared to the better known black conservatives, some of their lower-profile counterparts seem to be more willing to consider our views. In 2006, Kevin Martin agreed to debate Jared Taylor about race and was quite genial about it. Jesse Lee Peterson has interviewed Mr. Taylor respectfully on his radio program, as has Ken Hamblin. None of these men made the most articulate replies to race realist arguments, but it is to their credit that they are willing to give them a hearing — something that cannot be said of most white conservatives.
Without a doubt, however, Vanderbilt University Law Professor Carol Swain is the black conservative who has done the most to bring some level of acceptability to our views. Professor Swain is hard to pigeonhole. She is a strong evangelical Christian and occasionally appears on Sean Hannity, sounding like an entirely conventional conservative. She opposes mass immigration mainly because she says Third-World immigrants put wage and job pressures on blacks.
However, what makes Professor Swain unique is her interest in white racial consciousness. She seems to take seriously the view promoted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that white consciousness is a serious threat to American democracy. However, given that it is a threat, she argues logically that the best way to defuse it is to remove the real grievances that give rise to it: racial preferences and mass immigration. She also suggests that bringing white nationalists into mainstream political discourse is better than marginalizing them. To deny their legitimate complaints only makes them angrier and more dangerous.
Again, this is an entirely logical position — but it infuriates the left. For the SPLC, white nationalism is not really a threat to democracy; it is an invaluable tool for fundraising and for delegitimizing opposition to mass immigration and anti-white advocacy. For a black to point out the logic of white nationalism not only undercuts their arguments, it hits the SPLC where it hurts most: It takes the urgency out of their appeals for money.
Perhaps the only black writing today who fully recognizes the legitimacy of white racial consciousness is Elizabeth Wright, editor of the always-interesting Issues and Views. She finds it deeply regrettable that “the average white is programmed to avoid anything that smacks of conscious endorsement of his own race,” and she despises blacks who are always looking to whites for handouts.
She also understands what a non-white America will mean for blacks:
The new dominant ethnics come to this land with their own sob stories of oppression. Unlike whites, they are hardly likely to fall over one another to apologize for past wrongs. Nor are they likely to spend their time in Congress concocting new laws designed to discriminate against their own sons and daughters in favor of blacks. “Reparations,” did you say? Just wait until the first move is made to un-name and re-name some of those Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevards.
Needless to say, Miss Wright says too many shrewdly intelligent things to have anything like mainstream recognition.
I have had honest conversations about race with a few reasonably bright and open-minded blacks who are not involved in politics. On one occasion, a light-skinned woman whom I knew through mutual acquaintances cornered me at a cocktail party and wanted to talk about affirmative action. I knew she had advanced degrees in sociology from an Ivy League school, and I dreaded the conversation.
Much to my surprise, she vehemently opposed affirmative action. She worked at the undergraduate admissions office at the same Ivy League school, where she clearly saw the biases in favor of blacks and against whites. She was also against the anti-white posture so many black professionals assume. She had wanted to do legitimate scholarship, but was pressured by her department to study the usual claptrap about race and gender.
One black friend told me he got his racial views from his grandparents. They grew up in the Deep South in the 1930s and 40s, managed to attend an all-black college, and became successful despite segregation. The man’s parents grew up in the 1960s, embraced black radicalism, and, like many blacks, dumped their child on the grandparents. The grandparents could not stand the whining of their own children, who never faced any real discrimination, and left my friend with a strong sense that society owed blacks no special favors and that they should make it on their own.
The generation who grew up before the civil rights movement is disappearing, however, and I don’t imagine many of their children will inherit their self-reliance. On the contrary, many are likely to conclude that if their parents were moderately successful in the 1950s — when racism was said to run rampant in the land — they would have been millionaires if the system had been fair. Indeed, Benjamin Hooks, who was executive director of the NAACP from 1977 to 1992, claimed in 1989 that if it were not for racism, he would have been president of the United States.
Timid white conservatives who cannot bring themselves to say that affirmative action is wrong because it hurts whites argue instead that it stigmatizes blacks who have the ability to make it without preferences. Almost no blacks say this. As black comedian Dave Chapelle has said, he would rather be considered an affirmative-action hire than be unemployed.
And just who are these prodigies who can make it to the top on their own? At least in education, virtually all blacks are on the race-preferences escalator. Someone qualified to go to community college gets into a good state school. Someone with the brains to go to a state school gets a full scholarship to the Ivy League. At the far, far, far right end of the black bell curve there are a few blacks who are genuinely qualified to get into the top schools, but even they are sure to get honors and appointments more easily than whites. And how many of them resist the easy, grievance route of “black studies,” and instead learn something useful like engineering or biology? If affirmative action is an unbearable stigma, millions of blacks should be groaning under the strain. I, for one, don’t hear much groaning.
To put this in perspective, however, how many whites would object if they moved to Korea, for example, and found that Koreans were constantly pressing undeserved advantages and adulation on them? Would they complain that this was insulting and unfair, and campaign to get the Koreans to stop? Or would they sit back and enjoy it? A few might object out of a European sense of fairness, but none would pretend that they were being insulted or hurt by the advantages they were receiving.
Blacks have to overcome nearly insuperable barriers in order to oppose preferences for themselves. It is almost too much for even the most level-headed of them to see that “racism” has nothing to do with black misery, especially when so many whites keep apologizing for slavery, Jim Crow, and everlasting “white privilege.” At the same time, to accept that black failure is the fault of black people is to accept that they really are, on average, less capable than whites. Finally, even if blacks understood this, how many would be principled enough to give up an advantage that is freely offered? They’re not holding guns to whitey’s head. If whitey insists on lavishing unearned advantages on blacks, why not cash in?
A totemic belief in “white racism” also makes it very difficult for blacks to argue that race preferences are wrong because they punish innocent whites. Ward Connerly, who has run state ballot initiatives against affirmative action, and Clarence Thomas, who fights it in the Supreme Court, are among a tiny, tiny handful — and blacks have seen to it that they are among the most hated men in America.
Black conservatives will never get their co-racialists to join the GOP. I doubt that even the pandering whites who invite them to be speakers or who appoint them to high positions believe they ever will. And the blacks who do nothing but call Democrats or abortion “racist” are counterproductive because they only perpetuate the idea that calling someone a “racist” is a knockout blow.
However, to the extent that black conservatives make whites more comfortable with only a few of our ideas — that we should abolish racial preferences or reduce immigration — they serve a useful purpose and we should welcome them. The presence of token blacks will never keep liberal commentator Keith Olbermann or the NAACP from calling the Tea Parties the “Tea Klux Klan,” but they do give weak-minded whites permission to dislike Obama and oppose illegal immigration.
This said, the behavior of white conservatives around black allies is a sorry sight. They swarm around the two or three blacks who decide to attend a tea party, and literally thank them just for being there. Mainstream activists tell me how brilliant certain black conservatives are — despite the fact that they are obvious mediocrities. I suspect the only remotely original idea most of those blacks ever had was to realize that it is much easier to become a Republican celebrity than a Democratic celebrity — the competition is thin and Republicans are so desperate they will promote anyone who owns a suit — and that they can sound almost like a Democrat and still be a star.
Their motives aside, these blacks still serve a purpose. It is easy to dismiss most black conservatives as affirmative-action hires, but race realists need to remember that people do not come to our views overnight. Millions of Americans have good instincts, but are overwhelmed by the message that racism is the worst thing possible. Anything that helps nudge whites even a few inches our way is good.
In my own case, I first became interested in race through a gut reaction to Spanish-speaking enclaves in my hometown and to the clearly under-qualified yet indignant blacks who attended my college. I did not think about racial differences in IQ or the changing racial demographics of America. When I first read American Renaissance, I thought it went way too far. However, the more I thought about affirmative action and immigration, the clearer it became that they cannot be understood without understanding racial differences. My progress was relatively quick, but it takes a lot longer for some people.
The point, of course, is to get whites to act in their own interests in an era in which most conservatives do not understand that reducing the size of government and stopping illegal immigration are in their interests as whites. If it takes the approval of blacks for whites to take these positions — to take their first, tiny mental steps onto the fringes of forbidden territory — then let there be black conservatives. If it takes a boob like Armstrong Williams to help cure some whites of glassy-eyed multi-culturalism, let’s keep the boobs in business.
Mental habits are like physical habits; they grow stronger through repetition. Eventually they take on a force of their own, and an insight that first arrived with the blessing of a black conservative can become part of the mental landscape. Every new step makes further steps more likely, and eventually whites learn to follow the logic and morality that lead to a proper understanding of race.
There are many paths that can lead to race realism, and it would be wrong to block any of them.
Mr. Parker is a DC-based political analyst.
Telling It As It Is
The truth about our civilization and its enemies.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel: My Life, Pocket Books, 2008, 353 pp., $10.80 (soft cover)
Most white people either do not know or are too intimidated to say that we have created the most wonderful civilization in the history of the world. So it is fortunate that a black woman has the courage to say it for us.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia in November 1969. Her father opposed the brutal Marxist dictatorship of Siad Barre. He was imprisoned but escaped and went into exile, where he worked with Somali exiles to try to overthrow Barre’s regime. Miss Ali, her mother, brother, and sister went with him to Saudi Arabia in 1978, Ethiopia in 1979, and Kenya in 1980. In July 1992, at the age of 22, she left her family and went alone to Europe, where she eventually became a Dutch citizen and then a member of the Dutch parliament. She was catapulted into international prominence in 2004 by her movie Submission (Islam means “submission”), which depicted the cruelty Islam inflicts on women and was shown on Dutch television. Shortly afterwards, Theo van Gogh, who produced Submission, was murdered by a Dutch citizen of Moroccan descent, who stabbed into his chest a letter addressed to Miss Ali, which ended with predictions of the destruction of the enemies of Islam: the United States, Europe, and Miss Ali herself.
Four years later, Miss Ali wrote her autobiography, Infidel. In Part I, “My Childhood,” she describes her life before coming to Europe, and Part II, “My Freedom,” begins with her arrival in Europe.
Her entire narrative is fascinating. Of special importance in Part I is her account, from her own experience, of the immense appeal to young Muslims of the more pious, devout, and deeply-felt version of Islam that has been ousting the older, formalistic, ritualistic Islam in which she was reared. She summarizes the difference on pages 87-8 (Pocket Books edition): “A new kind of Islam was on the march. It was much deeper, much clearer and stronger … than the old kind of Islam … It was not a passive, mostly ignorant, acceptance of the rules … It was about studying the Quran … getting to the heart of the nature of the Prophet’s message. It was … backed massively by Saudi Arabian oil wealth and Iranian martyr propaganda. It was militant, and it was growing. And I was becoming a very small part of it.”
Nevertheless, even before the 1980s, when this new, more potent form of Islam began to become popular, Islam already imposed sex roles that are unparalleled in any other religion. When Miss Ali’s family moved to Ethiopia in 1979, it was the first time she had lived in a non-Muslim country. She recalls, “You could see the difference in the street. Ethiopian women wore skirts only to their knees, and even trousers. They smoked cigarettes and laughed in public and looked men in the face” (p. 56).
In the first sentence of this review, I described Western civilization as “wonderful.” Some readers undoubtedly found that adjective hyperbolic. But that was Miss Ali’s reaction to Western civilization. She was full of wonder. In fact, it was more than wonderful to her; it was awe-inspiring.
In the first sentence of Part II, when she arrives at the Frankfurt airport she says, “I was dazed.” She changed planes for Dusseldorf, where an uncle lived. When she left the airport in Dusseldorf (still on the first page of Part II), “Everything was so clean, it was like a movie. The roads, the pavements, the people — nothing in my life had ever looked like this.” On the next page, she describes with wonder the hotel room in which she stayed. The quilt was “an amazing invention.” The bathroom “was another revelation.” In the next paragraph, she describes what she saw during a walk: “Men and women were sitting together … with easy familiarity.” She adds: “Everything was so well kept … the street [was] clean. The shopfronts gleamed. I remember thinking, ‘This is amazing’… I felt as if I had been thrown into another world, calm and orderly, as in the novels I had read and certain films, but somehow I had never really believed them before.” When she returned to her hotel, a friend of her uncle, a man named Omar, took her to a restaurant. “I … realized that all the streets had their names helpfully written on signposts. You didn’t have to stop people constantly and ask them for directions … I asked Omar who put them up. He just rolled his eyes and said, ‘This is a civilized country.’ ” With this sentence, she ends her description of her first day in Europe.
Shortly afterwards, she left for the Netherlands, “It was Friday, July 24, 1992, when I stepped on the train … I see it as my real birthday; the birth of me as a person.” In the Netherlands, her wonder and awe did not abate at garbage being collected from houses once a week, at a policeman who is “helpful” (her italics); and nearly everything else that we in the West take for granted. When she was told she had been given an A-status as a refugee, which meant that after five years, she could apply for naturalization and could vote, her reaction was, “I didn’t even know they had elections in Holland. What would they vote about? I thought. Everything seemed to work so perfectly” (p. 199).
As time passed, Miss Ali began to realize that something more basic was involved: “I was beginning to see that the Dutch value system was more consistent, more honest, and gave more people more happiness than the one with which we had been brought up” (p. 217).
However, she also knew she was atypical. Most other Somalis in the Netherlands “seemed to spend all their time complaining … They weren’t working [because they were being supported by Dutch taxpayers] … [They] sat around all night talking about how horrible Holland was” (p. 223). “It irritated me now when Somalis who had lived in Holland for a long time complained that they were offered only lowly jobs. They wanted honorable professions: airline pilot, lawyer. When I pointed out that they had no qualifications for such work, their attitude was that everything was Holland’s fault. The Europeans had colonized Somalia, which was why we had no qualifications … [T]he claim was always that they were held back by racism. Everyone seemed to be in a constant simmer about how we were discriminated against because we were black … Yasmin … and Hasna [two Somali acquaintances] told me that they often didn’t bother paying for buses … if the refugee office didn’t give them a ticket they said they were being racist. ‘If you tell a Dutch person it’s racist he will give you whatever you want,’ Hasna told me with satisfaction” (p. 224).
Miss Ali found that Somalis were typical of Third-World immigrants in the Netherlands. She became friendly with a Moroccan woman named Naima. Naima’s husband, also a Moroccan, beat her frequently. “Naima complained constantly, but it was about the Dutch … She never complained about the violence and humiliation she suffered at home, only about Dutch racism” (p. 232).
Miss Ali was reared as a Muslim. When she was an adolescent, she became fervidly devout, but her fervor had subsided by the time she arrived in the Netherlands. She soon stopped wearing a headscarf. Then she studied Darwin, Freud, and Spinoza. She found Western thought vastly superior to anything she had been taught before: “The more I read Western books, the more I wanted to read them … I was enamored with the idea that you could think precisely and question everything” (p. 248). Nevertheless, until 2001 when she was 31, she continued to consider herself a Muslim.
Then came the September 11 attack on the Twin Towers. Her immediate reaction was to think, “Oh Allah, please let it not be Muslims who did this.” That night, Dutch television showed Muslim children in the Netherlands rejoicing at the attack. Miss Ali was working at a think-tank of the Labor Party, which had a plurality in the Dutch parliament. The next morning, “I found myself walking to the office with Ruud Koole, the chairman of the Labor Party … He said, ‘It’s so weird, isn’t it, all these people saying that this has to do with Islam?’ I couldn’t help myself … I blurted out, ‘But it is about Islam [her italics] … This is Islam.’ Ruud said … ‘[T]hese people … are a lunatic fringe. We have extremist Christians, too … Most Muslims do not believe these things. To say so is to disparage a faith … which is civilized and peaceful.’ I walked into my office thinking, ‘I have to wake these people up.’… It was not a lunatic fringe who felt this way about America and the West. I knew that the vast majority of Muslims would see the attacks as justified … This was not just Islam, this was the core of Islam” (pp. 268-9).
Miss Ali proceeded to dissect the “infuriatingly stupid” reasons proposed for the attack: poverty, Western colonialism, American support for Israel, arguing that none of these explanations can withstand even a moment’s analysis (pp. 270-72). What Osama Bin Laden and those like him believe comes straight from the Quran and the hadith. “Every devout Muslim who aspired to practice genuine Islam … even if they [sic] did not actively support the attacks, they must at least have approved of them.” Moreover, on the basis of what the Quran itself narrates, “[T]he Prophet Muhammad … [was] a cruel man who demanded absolute power and who stunted creativity” (p. 303).
In the last three pages, Miss Ali concludes: “I moved from the world of faith to the world of reason … Having made that journey. I know that one of those worlds is simply better than the other … When people say that the values of Islam are compassion, tolerance and freedom, I look at reality, at real cultures and governments, and I see that it simply isn’t so. People in the West swallow this sort of thing … for fear of being called racist.”
Miss Ali discusses at considerable length the causes of the extremely high rates of poverty, unemployment, and crime among Muslims in the Netherlands, and the backwardness of Muslim countries. However, she never mentions the possibility that racial differences could be a cause. Obviously, she simply assumes they are not, and nothing could more clearly show how thoroughly Westernized her thinking has become. The only people in her book who do not think race is significant are white Europeans. Everywhere she lived before coming to Europe, physical differences were regarded as crucially important. References to race pop up constantly in her account of her experiences as a child and adolescent, but they are offered only as casual details that provide a full portrayal of her youth. Consequently, few readers probably notice that they form a significant pattern. They do.
In 1978, when Miss Ali was eight, her family moved from Somalia to Saudi Arabia. There, they lived first in Mecca and then in Riyadh. At her school in Mecca, “All the girls … called Haweya [her sister] and I [sic] Abid, which meant slaves. Being called a slave — the racial prejudice that term conveyed — was a big part of what I hated in Saudi Arabia” (p. 42). (“Abid” is the plural of the Arabic word “Abd,” which means both slave and black person.) At her school in Riyadh, “The teacher was an Egyptian woman, and she used to beat me. I was sure she picked on me because I was the only black child. When she hit me with a ruler she called me Aswad Abda, black slave-girl. I hated Saudi Arabia” (p. 49).
However, the racial situation reversed when her family moved to Kenya, in 1980. Somalis’ skin is somewhat lighter than Kenyans’ skin, and their facial features are nearly Caucasian. She recalls that “Kenyans … looked different from us. To my mother, they were barely human … She called them abid, which means slave … [M]y grandmother said Kenyans stank. Throughout the ten years they lived in Kenya, the two of them treated Kenyans almost exactly as the Saudis had behaved to us” (p. 61).
Miss Ali attended Muslim Girls’ Secondary School in Nairobi, where many of the children were from India and Pakistan: “The Untouchable girls, both Indian and Pakistani, were darker-skinned. The others wouldn’t play with them” (p. 68). She also recalls that “on the school playground … [t]he Yemenis, Somalis, Indians, and Pakistanis played with each other and interacted, but in the hierarchy of Muslim Girls’ Secondary School, the Kenyans were the lowest” (p. 68). It is extremely unusual for natives of a country to be socially inferior to immigrants. Yet, in her school in Nairobi all immigrant groups were higher in the social hierarchy than the Kenyans. Miss Ali seems to have thought that the reason was so obvious she did not have to state it: the Kenyans were the darkest and the only ones with Negroid features. When Miss Ali was 16, a teacher at her school, Sister Aziza, a Kenyan of Arab extraction, converted her from ritualistic, superficial Islam to the new, all-encompassing Islam that was spreading rapidly. Miss Ali recalls, “Sister Aziza was young and beautiful — light-skinned and fine-nosed” (p. 80).
After Miss Ali had left for Europe, her sister had an abortion after becoming pregnant by a man from Trinidad who worked in Nairobi. Miss Ali explains what her mother would have thought of this man: “Flat-nosed, round-faced, kinky-haired. My mother would have seen such a man as subhuman, like the Kenyans” (page 226).
I will add to Miss Ali’s references the promise that the Saudi Arabian cleric Sheikh Muhammad al-Munajid made on Saudi TV on July 25, 2009, that the 72 virgins with which every pious Muslim man will be rewarded in Paradise will be “beautiful white young women … They are like precious gems … in their whiteness” (http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/89-76227.aspx).
In fact, with only one exception, everywhere in the world, for as far back as records go, lighter skin color has been regarded as both more aesthetically appealing and as an indication of superiority. Color and Race, edited by John Hope Franklin (pages 91-5, 119-20, and 129-85) documents belief in the superiority of whiteness among Chinese, Japanese, Mongolians, Black Africans, American Indians, and Asian Indians; Bernard Lewis does the same for the Islamic world in Race and Color in Islam. Ironically, the only people who do not think whiteness indicates superiority are Europeans and people of European origin of just the past few decades; even though they are the whitest of all races and the people whose achievements could entitle them to feel superior.
Miss Ali’s book brings to mind an incident that was reported in the South African newspaper Business Day on April 8, 1993 (“Race Row Flares over World Cup Encounter”). In a World Cup qualifying game, the Egyptians defeated the Zimbabweans 2-1, but the result was annulled because a crowd in Cairo stoned Zimbabwe’s players and officials. The Egyptian soccer magazine Al-Ahlawiya wrote about Zimbabweans, “They haven’t forgotten that they are slaves, and naturally there is a great difference between masters and slaves. They look at everything that is white with a sore eye, because their hearts are filled with hatred.” In response, a Zimbabwean wrote in the Herald, the largest circulation newspaper in Zimbabwe, “I didn’t know the Egyptians were white, maybe because they have achieved nothing close to what a real white man has achieved.”
We have reached the pathetic situation in which we must rely on black people, like Ayaan Ali and the above-quoted Zimbabwean, to tell us what we have achieved.
Prof. Farron is the author of The Affirmative Action Hoax.
The Galton Report
Galen on the Merriment of Blacks.
AThe Greek physician Galen (AD 130-201) is remembered for his discovery of the function of the pulse and his voluminous writings on medical subjects. The American scholar Bernard Lewis has noted that Galen made some observations on the characteristics of different peoples, which were recorded by the Arabic scholar Al-Masudi (d. 956 AD). According to this source, Galen described sub-Saharan Africans as having “black skin, frizzy hair, a flat nose, thick lips, great merriment, weakness of intelligence, and a long penis.” Reportedly, “Galen says that merriment dominates the black man because of his defective brain, whence also the weakness of his intelligence.”
Galen’s observations were remarkably accurate. They appear to be the first recorded statement of the low intelligence of blacks, which was likewise noted by Sir Francis Galton in his book Hereditary Genius (1869), and has been confirmed in numerous studies carried out during the last 90 years in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa.
Galen also appears to have been the first to note that black men typically have large penises. This has been confirmed by Prof. Phil Rushton, who records that blacks generally have larger organs than Europeans and Asians. Race differences in testosterone and androgen, the male sex hormones, are responsible for penis size, and also account for the stronger sex drive and greater aggressiveness of blacks, as well as their high rates of prostate cancer.
Galen’s observation that blacks are characterized by great merriment has received less attention, but has been confirmed by studies showing that blacks suffer less from depression than whites, but more from mania. Mania is a psychotic condition characterized by a powerful sense of euphoria, including cracking jokes and laughing uproariously at them or, as Galen put it, “great merriment.” Depression and mania are opposites, and were conceptualized by the German psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer (1888-1964) as lying at the opposite poles of a continuously distributed dimension of personality. The low prevalence of depression and higher prevalence of mania in Africans was noted in a 1953 publication for the World Health Organization by Dr. John Carothers, a medical officer at the mental hospital in Nairobi. He recorded that among 1,508 African patients admitted during the years 1939-48, only 24 suffered from depression, amounting to 1.6 per cent of admissions. He contrasted this with the 22 per cent of European patients admitted to the same hospital for depression. He wrote that “there is no doubt that classical psychotic depression of any type is relatively rare in the African.”
Dr. Carothers attributed the low rate of depression in Africans to their relatively poor “sense of responsibility for one’s past and of retribution that must follow for one’s sins.” He cited the experiences of a number of other European physicians who had noted the low prevalence of depression in Africans. On the other hand, he noted that “all writers are agreed that mania, in all its standard forms, occurs not uncommonly in Africans … [and] whenever separate figures are given for manic and depressive forms of affective psychosis, it seems that the majority are manias.”
A symptom of mania that occurs from time to time in Africans is “running amok,” described by Dr. Carothers as “a man quite suddenly seizing a machete or a tommy-gun or a rifle and rushing around slaying all he meets. It would appear that running amok is a symptom common to acute mania, katatonic [sic] schizophrenia, epilepsy, psychopathic personality and possibly other conditions such as cerebral malaria.”
The low prevalence of depression and higher prevalence of mania among blacks has been observed in the United States. In 1991 Drs. Lee Robins and Darrell Regier reported a large-scale survey that gave life-time prevalence rates for major depression and mania for blacks, whites and Hispanics. The life-time prevalence rates for major depression were significantly higher for whites (6.6 percent) than for blacks (4.5 percent), while the rate for Hispanics was intermediate at 5.6 percent. The life-time prevalence rates for mania were significantly higher for blacks at 0.1 percent, compared to 0.08 percent for whites, and 0.07 percent for Hispanics.
These differences were confirmed in 2007 by the American psychiatrist Dr. D. R. Williams and his colleagues in a report of a large-scale survey in which life-time major depression prevalence rates were significantly higher for whites (17.9 percent) than for blacks (10.4 percent). They also reported the rate for Caribbean black immigrants as 12.9 percent. Probably the reason that the rate for Caribbean black immigrants is a little higher than the rate for American blacks is that immigrants may experience greater stress in adjusting to life in a new country and this can cause depression. Despite this they have a significantly lower prevalence rate for major depression than American whites, who typically have less reason to be depressed.
Consistent with blacks’ higher prevalence of mania, they score higher than whites on the hypomania scale of standard personality tests, such as the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory). Hypomania is a form of mania, though without the psychotic elements of delusions or hallucinations.
The rarity of depression among blacks is probably related to their very high levels of self-esteem. Compared to whites, blacks are consistently more likely to agree with statements such as “I am an important person;” “If given the chance I would make a good leader of people;” and “I am entirely self-confident.”
The low prevalence of depression among blacks is reflected in their lower rates of suicide, compared with Europeans and East Asians. Many of those who commit suicide are severely depressed, so it is not surprising that suicide is “a white thing,” according to black folklore. Prof. David Lester has shown that in the United States the suicide rate of blacks is approximately half that of whites, and this has also been found in Britain and South Africa.
Why should blacks experience less depression than whites? Probably this is a by-product of their higher levels of testosterone. It has been shown in numerous studies that low testosterone levels are associated with major depression. This also explains why women are about twice as prone to depression as men.
John C. Carothers. The African Mind in Health & Diseases. Geneva: WHO, 1953.
David Lester. African American Suicide in Modern Times. New York: Nova Science, 1994.
Bernard Lewis. Race and Color in Islam. New York: Harper & Row, 1971.
L.E Robins & D.A. Regier. Psychiatric Disorders in America. New York: Free Press, 1991.
Williams, D.R., Gonzalez, H.M., Neighbors, H. et al. (2007). Prevalence and distribution of major depressive disorder in African Americans, Caribbean blacks, and non-Hispanic whites – results from the National Survey of American Life. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64, 305-317.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Sense on the Bench
Blacks are 4 percent of the population of Washington state, but are 20 percent of state prison inmates. At a recent meeting on the treatment of non-whites by Washington’s justice system, Shirley Bondon of the state Administrative Office of the Courts, who is black, told state supreme court members that she believed there was racial “bias in the criminal-justice system, from the bottom up” and that “barriers” prevented non-whites from getting “fair treatment.” When one of the supreme court justices, Richard Sanders, doubted her contention, she pointed to the racial disparity in the state’s prisons as evidence. Justice Sanders said the reason more blacks are in prison is because they commit more crime. Another supreme court justice, James Johnson, agreed, pointing out that most of those crimes were committed against blacks.
Miss Bondon complained to the press. “I know that people in all walks of life hold biases, but it was stunning to hear a Justice of the Supreme Court make these outrageous comments in my presence.” She says she took the “comments personally, as though he were saying that I and all African Americans had a predisposition for criminality and I was offended.” Justice Sanders is standing by the remarks. When asked whether he really believed more blacks were jailed because they commit a disproportionate share of crime, he said, “That’s right. I think that’s obvious.” [Steve Miletich, Two State Supreme Court Justices Stun Some Listeners with Race Comments, Seattle Times, Oct. 21, 2010.]
In 2007, two PhD students at Northwestern University dressed up for Halloween in blackface and posted pictures of themselves on the Internet. In 2009, there was panic on the Evanston, Illinois, campus (tuition: $40,000 per year) when two students went to a Halloween party in blackface and pictures appeared on Facebook. This resulted in the usual public forum to discuss campus “racism.”
Determined not to have any “racism” this year, Dean of Students Burgwell Howard sent e-mail to all students the week before Halloween warning them not to wear “racially or culturally insensitive costumes.” He also urged them not to host “ghetto,” “pimps and hos,” or “gangsta”-themed parties. “Halloween is unfortunately a time when the normal thoughtfulness and sensitivity of most NU students can be forgotten and some poor decisions are made,” he wrote. “In many cases the student wearing the costume has not intended to offend, but their actions or lack of forethought have sent a far greater message than any apology could after the fact.”
The dean also provided a handy list of questions to ask before dressing up for Halloween: Is the costume based on making fun of real people or cultures? Does the costume promote cultural myths? Could someone take offense to it? If so, students should “rethink their choices.” [Stacy St. Clair, NU to Students: No Offensive Halloween Costumes, WGN-TV (Chicago), Oct. 27, 2010.]
Like the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts think they need more Hispanic members. “They’re making up a large percentage of our population now, and our numbers don’t reflect that, and we have to do something about it,” says Liz Farrell, spokesman for the Chesapeake Bay Girl Scout Council. Across the country, Girl Scout volunteers have been going into Hispanic schools, Hispanic community centers, and churches to tout the scouts.
Jessica Carmona, mother of a 14-year-old Girl Scout, says she wishes she had known about scouting when she was a child. “Girl Scouts is traditionally an American activity,” she says. “Being Hispanic ourselves, we didn’t grow up with an understanding of what Girl Scouts was. We just knew they sold cookies and didn’t belong in our neighborhood.” According to her daughter Faralynn, who has had trouble getting her Hispanic friends to join, many still feel that way. “Some of them think it’s childish,” she says. [Edward L. Kenney, Girl Scouts Go On a Recruiting Push for Hispanic Members, News-Journal (Wilmington, Del.), Oct. 5, 2010.]
Rich Whitney, a “civil rights” lawyer from Carbondale, ran for governor of Illinois on the ultra-left Green Party ticket. Already facing an uphill battle, his quest became a little more difficult in October when his campaign discovered that his name was misspelled on touch-screen voting machines in about two dozen wards in Chicago. While his name appeared correctly on the screen where voters made their selections, on subsequent screens, where voters reviewed their choices, it appeared as “Rich Whitey.” Half of the affected voting wards were in majority-black neighborhoods. Jim Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections, said the problem could not be fixed before the November 2 election, but Mr. Whitney was considering legal action to force a correction. “I don’t want to be identified as ‘Whitey’ ” he said. “If this is happening in primarily African-American wards, that’s an even bigger concern … This has to be disconcerting to a voter, and I wonder how this will impact the vote.” [Dave McKinney, Whitney is ‘Whitey’ on Some Ballots, Chicago Sun-Times, Oct. 14, 2010.]
He got 2.7 percent. It must have been the typo.
Sign of the Times
Lakeside Lutheran Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was built to seat 520 worshipers when it opened in 1959. Attendance starting declining in the 1970s, but Sunday services were still attracting around 200 people well into the 1980s. Today, the church is lucky to bring in 30 — too few to support the cost of maintaining the building — so Lakeside Lutheran is being sold. Paul Fullmer, chaplain of Lebanon Valley College, says this is an increasingly common fate for mainline-denomination churches built in the 1950s. At that time, people wanted to walk to church in their neighborhoods, but now they like to drive to huge, interdenominational palaces with movies and rock bands.
Who is buying the church? The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, an off-beat sect of Islam, which claims that Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian was the second coming of Jesus Christ. Somehow, the rest of us missed it, but according to the sect’s website, Ahmad “recognized the noble teachings of the great religious founders and saints, including Zoroaster, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu and Guru Nanak, and explained how such teachings converged into the one true Islam.” [Mary Klaus, Lakeside Lutheran Church in Harrisburg Plans Final Service After Sale to Muslim Community, Harrisburg Patriot-News, Oct. 22, 2010.]
In October, the Los Angeles Times reported that California welfare recipients were using state-issued debit cards to withdraw millions of dollars at unlikely locations all over the country. Between January 2007 and May 2010, more than $69 million intended to help poor Californians pay rent and feed their children was withdrawn in 49 other states, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam. Indigent Californians withdrew more than $11 million from ATMs in Las Vegas alone, including $8,968 at the Tropicana casino and $7,995 at the Venetian. Welfare recipients withdrew $16,010 on 14 cruise ships sailing from as far away as Rio de Janeiro and Shanghai, and pocketed nearly $400,000 in Hawaii.
However, out-of-state spending was less than one percent of the $10.8 billion the state splashed out in welfare during the three-year period. California, which is home to 12 percent of the US population, accounts for 30 percent of welfare spending.
Lizelda Lopez, a spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services, says that to qualify for the card, a single parent with two children must earn less than $14,436 a year. Recipients are supposed to stay in California and attend weekly job training, but nobody checks unless they go missing for at least three months. After the report in the Times, state officials cut off access at casinos and on cruise ships. [Jack Dolan, State Officials Cancel Access to Welfare Benefits on Cruise Ships and at All Casinos, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 4, 2010. $69M in Calif. Welfare Money Spent Out of State, AP, Oct. 4, 2010.]
Voters in Detroit, Oregon (population 300) voted on November 2 whether to change the name of their town to Detroit Lake. The ballot proposal was the brainchild of local builder Doug DeGeorge, who said the name invoked “unsavory” images. Others have turned their backs on Detroit. In 1992, voters in East Detroit, Michigan, rechristened their city “Eastpointe.”
Detroit (Michigan) City Councilman Gary Brown said he thought it would be a mistake to rename the town. “We’re going to be the great Detroit that we once were. In the future, they’ll be sorry they did that.” [George Hunter and RoNeisha Mullen, Ore. Town Steers Clear of Detroit, Detroit News, Oct. 26, 2010.]
Good news for Councilman Brown: Residents voted 47-37 to keep the name, and Alabama, Texas and Maine still have towns named Detroit.
Hispanic Family Values
On September 27, more than 150 Hispanics gathered at the Eagles Hall in the Cincinnati suburb of Elmwood Pace, to celebrate a three-year-old’s birthday. The party, well fueled with beer, went on until one a.m., when the boyfriend of a reveler’s ex-wife exchanged words with the former husband. Insults lead to blows, and soon at least 75 celebrants were mixing it up in full view of at least 30 children. Many of the brawlers used broken bottles as improvised knives.
It took more than 20 police officers from several jurisdictions to restore order. “It was an unbelievable scene, the amount of blood and broken glass,” says Elmwood Place Police Chief William Peskin. More than 15 party-goers needed medical attention, five of whom were hospitalized. One man had eye surgery from a broken-bottle stab wound, and doctors fear he may have brain damage. Surprisingly, police arrested only one man: 26-year-old Ramon Marcelo-Hernandez, father of the birthday girl, who was booked on charges of disorderly conduct while intoxicated. Police expect more arrests, but, says Chief Peskin, “The whole party was Hispanic, so we’re having language barriers and they are being very uncooperative.” [Jennifer Baker, Kid’s Birthday Party Turns Into Brawl, Cincinnati Enquirer, Sept. 28, 2010.]
‘Old Dead White Men’
Oklahoma City schools use a special curriculum for so-called “at risk” — meaning black — students. It’s called “Flocabulary” and uses “raps, rhythms and rhymes” to help students remember everything from vocabulary to math to social studies. Flocabulary’s US history course includes a rap song called “Old Dead White Men.”
On James Monroe: “White men getting richer than Enron./ They stepping on Indians, women and blacks./ Era of Good Feeling doesn’t come with the facts.”
On Andrew Jackson: “Andrew Jackson, thinks he’s a tough guy./ Killing more Indians than there are stars in the sky./ Evil wars of Florida killing the Seminoles./ Saying hello, putting Creek in the hell holes./ Like Adolf Hitler he had the final solution./ ‘No, Indians, I don’t want you to live here anymore.’ ”
Flocabulary CEO and co-founder Alex Rappaport is white. “In general, the purpose of our program is to motivate students, and we often say the enemy here is student apathy,” he explains. “We want students to ask questions and challenge assumptions.” Mr. Rappaport claims Flocabulary works wonders: “Some students are incredibly motivated to go on to read their history textbooks with more passion.”
So far, the Oklahoma City school district has spent $10,000 on Flocabulary, and the school board has authorized up to $97,000 in federal grant funds, but Superintendent Karl Springer is taking a second look after complaints about some of the history lessons. [Megan Rolland, Oklahoma City District Pushes Pause on Hip-Hop Curriculum, The Oklahoman, Oct. 1, 2010.]
Another Dead White Man?
In February of this year, a work crew from the Jersey City Board of Education removed a bronze statue of colonial administrator Peter Stuyvesant from its pedestal in front of Martin Luther King School in Jersey City, New Jersey. Known locally as Old Peter, the statue was erected in 1913 and pays tribute to the last Governor-General of the Dutch New Netherland colony, which included the present-day states of New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Connecticut. School superintendent Charles T. Epps, who is black, ordered the removal — apparently without consulting anyone — and planned to replace it with a statue of Martin Luther King.
The disappearance of Old Peter upset historians and preservationists. They were outraged when city historian Bob Leach unearthed documents proving that it was the city — not the board of education — that owned the statue, meaning Mr. Epps had no right to take it down. Supporters of the statue printed up “Bring Him Home” stickers as part of a campaign to return the statue to its rightful place, and in October the city announced it was restoring the statue. Maryann Kelleher, director of Jersey City’s Division of Cultural Affairs, called the removal an “honest mistake.” It will cost Jersey City taxpayers $40,000 to correct Mr. Epps’s “mistake.” [Agustin C. Torres, Old Peter Ripped from His Pedestal Outside School 11, Jersey Journal, Feb. 6, 2010. Karina Arrue, Peter Stuyvesant Statue to be Restored and Returned to Bergen Avenue Post, Jersey Journal, Oct. 18, 2010.]
End of an Era
When he died in October, nonagenarian Ancentus Akuku, Kenya’s most prominent polygamist, left behind more than 100 widows and 200 children. Akuku, nicknamed “Danger” because his good looks supposedly made him irresistible to women, married his first wife in 1939, his last in 1992, and outlived 12 of them. He became a polygamist at age 22. He fathered so many children that he established two elementary schools to educate them.
In Kenya, having many wives is a sign of wealth and status, and many Kenyans thought Akuku was the “ultimate symbol of traditional manhood.” His death was the talk of Kenya, with many men calling in to radio programs to pay their respects.
The status of women in Kenya has changed, however, and while many Kenyans had mothers and grandmothers who were part of polygamous families, most young women say Akuku could not get so many wives today. “We all understand that polygamy was allowed back then in some Kenyan communities, but Akuku is something else,” says Linet Wambui, a Nairobi saleswoman. “Personally, I would never be married to a man who has another wife let alone a hundred more. Those women were clearly different. Try having an Akuku at this day and age, the women would kill one another.”
Some men aren’t keen on the idea either. “I had heard of Akuku Danger back in the day when I was a teen, and up to now I still wonder how he did this,” says Jeff Kilumi, a businessman in Nairobi. “Right now, even if I had a lot of money, ‘Bill Gates’ rich, I wouldn’t even go for a second wife. The more the women, the more the headache and stress.”
There is still polygamy in Africa, though it is not as common as in the past. South African president Jacob Zuma has five wives and over 20 children. He says this is part of Zulu culture. Mr. Zuma takes a back seat, however, to King Mswati III of Swaziland, who has 14 wives and 23 children. [Dana Hughes, ‘Danger’ Akuku Dies and Leaves Behind 100 Widows, ABC News, Oct. 4, 2010.]
Who Needs Polygamy?
Howard Veal is an unemployed 44-year-old black man from Muskegon, Michigan, who will be spending the next two to fours years in state prison. His crime? Failure to pay child support. Most child-support scofflaws in Michigan serve six months or less, so why so long? According to the Michigan attorney general’s office, he owes more than $533,000 to the 14 mothers of his 23 children. Kent County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Leiber told Mr. Veal at sentencing that he was “stunned and amazed” by his irresponsibility, adding, “Animals procreate. Human beings are supposed to nurture their children. You’re an insult to every responsible father who sacrifices to provide for their children.” Mr. Veal denies fathering 23 children, and says he paid what he could. “I was paying money from my unemployment,” he told the judge. “I never chose not to pay.”
Sherri Black, the mother of two of Mr. Veal’s children, is happy he is going to prison, but would have preferred to get money, noting that over the past seven years, he has paid only $87.75 of the $60,000 he owes her. “Now my taxes will go to support him in prison,” she says. [Dad of 23 Gets Prison for Non-support, AP, Sept. 24, 2010.]
Dousing for Diesel
In 2007, Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe thought he had found the solution to his country’s chronic fuel shortage when “spirit medium” Nomatter Tagarira convinced him she could summon diesel fuel from rocks. Of course, Miss Tagarira had run a pipe from a tank of diesel to a rock, and a hidden assistant turned the tap at her signal, but officials who witnessed the stunt — including the ministers of state security and defense and top military commanders — were astonished. They took off their shoes, sat down on the ground, applauded in unison, and reported to Mr. Mugabe that their fuel woes were at an end.
The government rewarded Miss Tagarira with $2.7 million in cash, flew her around on air force helicopters, gave her a farm seized from a white man, and put a 50-vehicle convoy at her disposal so she could travel to perform night-time rituals needed to maintain her powers. A round-the-clock guard kept watch over the diesel-producing rock. Miss Tagarira lived the high life for a year until Mr. Mugabe asked for another demonstration; perhaps he was wondering what was taking so long to get the taps flowing. This time Miss Tagarira was found out. She skedaddled, got caught, escaped again, and managed to stay on the lam for nearly three years. In late September, a judge sentenced her to 39 months in prison for defrauding the government and supplying “false information to the state.” Magistrate Ignatius Mugova said Miss Tagarira’s lies “brought despondency in the nation.”
Even after her arrest, many Zimbabweans remained convinced of her supernatural powers. At her first court appearance, she appeared to go into a trance, growling as if she were possessed. Many spectators fled the courtroom in terror. [Jan Raath, 3 Years’ Jail for Diesel Diviner Who Took Robert Mugabe for a Ride, The Australian, Oct. 2, 2010.]
Under Britain’s Race Relations Act of 2000, the government requires all “public authorities,” including schools and churches, to “promote good relations between persons of different racial groups.” Part of promoting good relations requires that any “racist” incident be logged into a special database. Munira Mirza, a senior advisor to London Mayor Boris Johnson, says this has turned teachers into informants who have accused more than 250,000 children — including toddlers — of “racism.” She says this means “a massive increase of cases reinforcing the perception that we need an army of experts to manage race relations from cradle to grave. Does this heightened awareness of racism help to stamp it out? Quite the opposite. It creates a climate of suspicion and anxiety,” she says, concluding, “The more we seek to measure racism, the more it seems to grow.” [Laura Clark, Three-Year-Olds Being Labeled Bigots by Teachers As 250,000 Children Accused of Racism, Daily Mail (London), Sept. 23, 2010.]
Last January, Pittsburgh police arrested 24-year-old Jeffery McGowan for aggravated assault and resisting arrest after he tried to fight the officer who pulled him over during a routine traffic stop. As a first-time offender, prosecutors offered Mr. McGowan, who is white, a plea deal: three months probation in exchange for a guilty plea on disorderly conduct charges.
When Mr. McGowan went to court in October to finalize the deal, Judge Joseph K. Williams, who is black, rejected it. “[The assistant district attorney] for some reason comes up with I think ridiculous pleas whenever it’s a young white guy,” he said. “If this had been a black kid who did the same thing, we wouldn’t be talking about three months’ probation.”
“Now that the court has essentially called me a racist, I think that’s unfair,” said the prosecutor in question, Brian Catanzarite. “I don’t make offers based on race. I make offers based on facts.” Mr. McGowan’s lawyer Giuseppe Roselli then asked Judge Williams whether he was rejecting the plea because McGowan is white. “Not because he’s white, but because it’s a ridiculous plea that only goes to white boys that come into this court for the same facts, and I’m not going for it,” the judge replied.
Judge Williams recused himself after complaints from the district attorney’s office. The court clerk then assigned Mr. McGowan’s case to another judge, who is white, who accepted the plea deal. [Bobby Kerlik, Allegheny County Judge: ‘White Boys’ Given Deals, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Oct. 6, 2010.]
What a Croc
Twenty people died on a flight from Kinshasa to Bandundu in the Democratic Republic of Congo last August when their plane nosed straight into the ground. According to an unidentified sole survivor, trouble started when a crocodile escaped from someone’s carry-on bag. He says passengers panicked at the sight of the smuggled reptile and stampeded to the front of the plane, and the pilots were unable to regain control when the plane went out of balance.
Tim Atkinson, an investigator with the British Department of Transport, which is looking into the crash, says, “I would say it’s extremely unlikely this story holds water but I wouldn’t rule it out completely.” [Escaped Crocodile May Have Caused Congo Plane Crash, Guardian (London), Oct. 22, 2010.]
Millinocket, Maine is a former mill town, 200 miles north of Portland. Its population has been declining since the last of the pulp and paper mills shut in the 1970s and now stands at 5,000. School enrollment is also dwindling, down 43 percent since 2000, and there are now just 550 students in the town’s schools. Fewer students mean fewer dollars for school administrators, and this worries Superintendent Kenneth Smith.
His solution? Bring in scores of students from China. Dr. Smith has been on a fact-finding trip to China, where he hopes to convince Chinese officials and parents that Millinocket would be a great place to send the children to prepare them for college in the United States, provided they can pay $27,000 a year in tuition, room and board. “They want to learn English, and they want a college education. If we can get them into a college here, they will have achieved their major goal,” he says. When asked why Chinese students would want to come to a depressed town an hour’s drive from the nearest mall, Dr. Smith points to the town’s many assets: “There’s the beauty, number one, and the fresh air. And the roads are good,” he says, adding, “We have a tremendous music department and small classes with plenty of room. In China, you’re elbow to elbow.”
English teacher Terry Given thinks her neighbors could use some gingering up. “We’re pretty vanilla,” she says. Not everyone is eager to hop on the Chinese bandwagon, however. Seventeen-year-old Matthew Preble says he would welcome the Chinese, but says: “We’re used to Stearns High School being a small, hometown type of thing. The fact that suddenly we might have up to hundreds of kids from China might change that — in a good way, but we’re also kind of scared to lose our town.” [Abby Goodnough, Needing Students, Maine School Hunts in China, New York Times, Oct. 26, 2010.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — In the Galton Report in AR of November 2010, “Hippocrates” writes that the average IQ of white Americans is 100. But when he provides the average IQs of the states with the highest proportion of whites, they are all significantly higher than 100. The cause of this paradox may be that “Hippocrates” has fallen into a common error.
When the raw scores (percentage of correct and incorrect answers) on IQ tests are converted into reported scores, the conversion is done in such a way that the average reported score of the sample group is 100.
The most widely used IQ test in the United States is the WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children). The original WISC was standardized on a sample that consisted of only white Americans. The average American white IQ was therefore 100. When the WISC was revised in 1974, it was standardized on a sample that included all American racial groups. Therefore, the average white American IQ was 102.26. The WISC has been revised twice since then. I do not know what the average white American IQ is on these revisions. However, since the black and Hispanic proportion of the American population keeps increasing, the average white IQ (although not, of course, the average white intelligence) increases with each revision.
These facts have serious consequences. The difference between the average American black and white IQ is usually stated to be 15 points (100 minus 85). In fact, on the 1974 WISC it was 17.26 points (102.26 minus 85). For the same reason, the difference in average IQ between American whites and Americans of North-East Asian origin is less than is commonly reported.
Steven Farron, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sir — My high school in New Jersey recently established an Asian Heritage Club, an African-American Heritage Club, a Muslim Heritage Club, and a Hispanic Heritage Club. One of my friends went to the main office to apply to set up a European Heritage Club, but was immediately turned away.
After doing much research, I have found out that this is not the first time this has happened. In 2003, Lisa McClelland, a high school student at “Freedom” High School in Oakley, Oklahoma, tried to start a Club for Caucasians. She had 300 people sign a petition in favor of the club, but it was still denied, and the incident gained brief national attention.
It is sad to see whites being cast out of society in their own country due to political correctness and the continuing feeling of guilt for actions that took place hundreds of years ago. If something is not done soon, the disappearance of white culture will not be a question of “if,” but of “when.”
Alexander Redinikov, New York, N.Y.
Sir — I very much enjoyed Prof. Wolters’s review of Robert Weissberg’s Bad Students Not Bad Schools. However, I fail to understand why teachers refuse to acknowledge racial differences in IQ. There must be thousands who know better than any of us arm-chair race realists what causes gaps in performance.
Blacks and Hispanics are two years behind by fourth grade, and four years behind by 12th grade. As Prof. Weissberg points out, Asian boat people do fine in the inner-city schools that are said to depress black achievement. Teachers see this every day — and are blamed for it. You would think that it would be teachers, threatened as they are with sanctions if all racial groups do not make “adequate yearly progress,” who would be the foremost advocates of race-realist explanations for school failure. Teachers’ unions should be the most enthusiastic promoters of Arthur Jensen, Richard Lynn, and Philippe Rushton.
Why aren’t they? The only reason I can think of is that underperforming blacks and Hispanics are a great excuse to screw more money out of the rest of us. As Prof. Weissberg points out, teaching “consultants” and other frauds are doing a booming business. But at some point there will be no more money for quacks. Unless teachers explain the real reason for school failure, they will get the blame.
Sarah Wentworth, Richmond, Va.
Sir — November’s “O Tempora” section includes an item (“Time to Celebrate”) explaining the origin of National Hispanic Heritage Month, noting that it was President Reagan who expanded it from a week to a month back in 1988. It is worth pointing out that in 1983, Reagan also set aside a day — a mere 24 hours — officially to recognize the contributions of what is still the largest ethnic group in America: Germans. Reagan and the first Bush celebrated Nation German-American Day at the White House, but Bill Clinton ended that.
October 6, 1983 was the 300th anniversary of the arrival in Philadelphia of the first thirteen German immigrant families. Today there are more than 60 million Americans of German descent, but they are largely invisible because they assimilated and rejected hyphenated Americanism.
We are told constantly that the Hispanic work ethic is crucial to our economy. I wonder if these Hispanics realize that it was the mostly German work ethic that built the meat-packing plants, dairies, and other industries that give them the opportunity to work here?
J.C. Moyer, Quakertown, Pa.
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