|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 2, No. 2||February 1991|
Racial Preferences Go To College
The recent flap over scholarships for blacks was only skimming the surface.
by Samuel Taylor
Late last year, a black Assistant Secretary of Education named Michael Williams touched off a roaring debate when he was so naive as to suggest that civil rights laws were passed to ensure equal treatment, not racial discrimination. In December he announced that the widespread practice of setting aside scholarship money to be used exclusively by students of one race was just the sort of discrimination the law forbids. Any school guilty of this, he said, would get no more federal aid.
Of course, race-exclusive scholarships — always for non-whites, never for whites — are only a small part of the discriminatory machinery that operates on American campuses. If Mr. Williams had succeeded in eliminating them, a host of other practices would surely have fallen under the axe.
The howls of pain and indignation from non-whites were deafening. Benjamin Hooks, head of the NAACP, called Mr. Williams rude names. Other blacks told him privately that if he stuck to his policy he would be drummed out of black society. Hispanics whooped about the approaching end of equal opportunity. But it was whites who tipped the balance against the brave, honest assistant secretary.
President George Bush himself, frequent contributor to the United Negro College Fund, ordered the White House staff to find a way, once again, to interpret anti-discrimination laws in a way that permitted discrimination. Mr. Williams was forced to withdraw his ruling.
The Department of Education came up with an elaborate formula that allowed “private” money to be doled out according to race, but required that “public” money be colorblind. Colleges were given four years to figure out the new rules and to stop spending general revenues on race-based programs. Some vowed to take the government to court. In the bluster and confusion, it was not clear whether anything was going to change or not.
Nevertheless, it was good for the country to be made to debate, if only briefly, the question of anti-white discrimination. It is typical, in these tortured times, that the debate was prompted by a black rather than a white. Blacks have far more freedom to say obvious things about race than whites do. Now that the debate has faded, it is worth looking at some of the other anti-white racial preferences that now pervade the university.
The New Holy Grail
On campuses today, the campaign to recruit, train, hire, and promote minorities is a juggernaut that will take more than an assistant secretary to stop. “Diversity” is the new holy grail, and ensuring the right number of non-white faces is more important than education itself.
First of all, it has become a fetish on campuses that the student body reflect the racial composition of the nation. Up to twelve percent of students must therefore be black, and colleges are desperate for black students who can do the work.
Unfortunately, there are not many. Just as the average black IQ score is 85, the average black combined score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test is 200 points lower than the white average. The difference in scores is particularly great in the higher ranges. In 1983, only 66 blacks in the whole country scored over 700 on the verbal SAT (0.093 percent of all test-takers) while 9,024 whites and 496 Asians did (0.94% and 1.4%, respectively, of all test-takers). Only 205 (0.28%) scored over 700 on the math test while 31,704 (3.3%) whites and 3.015 (8.6%) Asians did. Whites and Asians are therefore many times more likely to get outstanding scores.
It has become routine to complain that SAT scores are culturally biased, but for thirty years the test has been the best indicator we have of how well a high school student will do in his freshman year of college. For black students also, the test accurately predicts performance, whether they go to black or to mainly-white colleges.
If ours were a sensible country, and black students went to colleges that matched their abilities, there would be virtually none in the top schools and a large number in community colleges. This, our system will not permit. Harvard, Yale, and Berkeley must have their quota of blacks, so, aside from the tiny number of blacks who can actually do top-flight work, they must recruit many who can’t.
Since the Ivy League draws off the students who would normally have gone to second-tier schools, the second tier must likewise recruit unqualified students to fill their quotas. The effect cascades down through the system, so that at every level blacks are in over their heads. The system is as cruel to blacks as it is unfair to whites.
To meet racial quotas, colleges have no choice but to lower standards. The blacks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have SAT math scores that put them in the top ten percent for the country. That sounds promising, but it’s not good enough for MIT. MIT gets the nation’s top one percent, so blacks are still at the bottom. Many drop out, and those who don’t get the worst grades.
The University of California at Berkeley requires whites and Asians to have at least a 3.7 grade point average even to be considered for admission. Blacks and Hispanics with much lower grades are automatically admitted, so long as they meet minimum requirements. Roughly one fifth of the applicants to Berkeley who are rejected have nearly perfect, 4.0 averages. In 1989, that was 2,500 people, none of whom was black. Once they are in, can it be a surprise that unqualified blacks fail to graduate? Seventy-three percent of all blacks admitted to Berkeley drop out, while only 33% of whites and Asians do. This is not considered a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Berkeley has been so zealous about squeezing out qualified whites for the benefit of unqualified blacks and Hispanics that the whites who are admitted have to be very well qualified indeed. The overlap in SAT scores between the two groups is now close to zero; virtually all whites on campus have higher scores than virtually all blacks or Hispanics. This is directly reflected in grades.
Even when it creates such starkly unflattering differences in performance, non-whites glory in the new racial spoils system. When the number of whites at Berkeley first sank below 50%, in 1988, black and Hispanic groups greeted the news with cheers.
It is not only the SAT that gives different results by race. The racial gap on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which is the basis for admission to graduate school, is even greater. In 1983, the national average for the verbal part of the test was 499, while for blacks it was 370. For the quantitative test, the figures were 516 and 363, and for the analytical test, 522 and 363. Blacks who take the GRE are not uneducated ghetto dwellers, but college graduates who want advanced degrees. If “cultural bias” causes the differences in test scores, it is hard to explain how four years of undergraduate education only widens the gap.
The National Merit Scholarship Test is another good indicator of a student’s ability and it also shows sharp differences in results by race. Since there are rarely any blacks among the 6,000 high school seniors who win the prestigious scholarships, the testing company has set aside 700 grants for “outstanding Negro students,” who can’t meet the general standards. This 12% quota matches the quotas on college campuses.
The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is the most widely used entrance examination for medical schools. Black scores are usually 1.5 standard deviations lower than white scores. In most years, blacks who are admitted to medical school have lower average scores than whites who are rejected. Blacks also have much higher medical school dropout rates.
With blacks so manifestly unqualified in comparison to whites, how do colleges attract the tiny number who can actually do the work? The most obvious way is to bribe them. At Harvard graduate school, for example, all minorities get full scholarships whether they need them or not. At Penn State University, black students who manage a C average get cash rewards of $550. Blacks with a B average or better get $1,100. Whites, of course, get no such handouts.
Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton recently decided to increase the size of its freshman class, and naturally had to increase the number of blacks by the same proportion. The university was already struggling to get blacks on campus, and knew it couldn’t get more in the usual ways. It therefore decided to offer free tuition to every black who meets admissions standards — whether he needs it or not.
The state of Pennsylvania recently set up what it calls the Pennsylvania Graduate Opportunities Tuition Waiver Program. Thirty of the state’s 133 universities have agreed to offer complete, graduate-studies scholarships to blacks. Sixteen have made the offer to any qualified black, in any field of study he chooses. Race, not financial need, makes students eligible. The state is raising $15 million to pay for the program, which is modeled on a similar scheme in Florida.
Outright, wholesale body-buying as crude as this is still unusual. However, it bids up the price of scarce blacks, and if it catches on, any second-tier school that doesn’t waive tuition for blacks may find that it has none on campus at all.
The more conventional way to attract blacks is through the openly race-based scholarships that Mr. Williams does not like. These are everywhere. The General Electric Foundation recently announced a ten-year, $20 million program that is designed to train non-whites for teaching careers in business, science, and engineering. Whites are not eligible. General Motors has promised the NAACP it will give half a million dollars to five law schools, to be used to support non-white students only. Ford and Chrysler have signed similar agreements.
The University of Chicago, along with 12 campuses of the Big Ten universities, has established what is called the Summer Research Opportunities Program. It offers research experience under the personal guidance of a professor, in the hope that this will encourage students to go on to graduate school. The program was started in 1986 and sponsored 571 students for the summer of 1990. Whites are not eligible.
In 1987, the business school at Washington University in St. Louis founded what it calls the Minority Youth Entrepreneurship Program. Every year, 40 blacks are selected for an eight-week program, in which business school professors give intensive courses in accounting, marketing, and business strategy. Whites are not eligible.
The state of Louisiana ferrets out promising non-white junior-high school students and shepherds the most likely ones into special teaching tracks. The best go on to summer internships and get scholarships to university. Whites are not eligible.
The University of Michigan has what it calls a Minority Summer Institute. It pays all travel, living, and campus expenses for 30 non-whites to come to the university for six weeks during the summer. There they work with representatives from 30 different business schools, who try to persuade them to enter doctoral programs in business. Every participant is paid a $2,500 “stipend” just for showing up. Whites are not eligible. Columbia University has a Malcolm X Scholarship Fund, for which whites are not eligible.
What good does all this do? Are blacks working hard and getting degrees? Hardly. One conservative black associate professor writes:
“At the university where I currently teach, the dropout rate for black students is 72 percent, despite the presence of several academic-support programs; a counselling center with black counselors; an Afro-American studies department; black faculty, administrators, and staff; a general education curriculum that emphasizes ‘cultural pluralism,’ an Educational Opportunities Program; a mentor program; a black faculty and staff association.”
The New Gospel
Since today’s dogma holds that black students, given the right conditions, will perform just as well as whites, the search goes on for those magical conditions. The new gospel is that black students will suddenly start to learn if only they are taught by black teachers. The hunt for black professors is, if anything, even more frantic and desperate than the search for black students.
Universities across the country have announced big plans. The University of Wisconsin at Madison recently agreed to hire 70 more minority teachers by the end of 1991. The University of Vermont will hire between four and eleven minorities during each of the next four years. Yale University has set a 10-year goal of increasing its tenured minority faculty by 40 percent and its non-tenured minority faculty by 60 percent. In 1988, Duke University promised to hire one black for every department by 1993. California state law requires that 30 percent of all new faculty at community colleges be minorities.
All of those colleges are going to have a hard time. In 1986, only 820 blacks earned PhDs in the whole country, and half of those were in education. Not a single black got a PhD in geology, aerospace engineering, astronomy, geometry, astrophysics, or theoretical chemistry. No black got a PhD in European history, Russian, Spanish, German, architecture, or the classics. American universities gave out 8,000 degrees in physical sciences and engineering, but blacks earned only 39 of them.
In 1987, of the 290 doctorates granted in electrical engineering, not one went to a black. Blacks earned three of the 281 doctorates in chemical engineering, two of the 240 doctorates in mechanical engineering, and five of the 698 in astronomy and physics. In subsequent years, the total number of PhDs granted to blacks has bumped along at the same level: 813 in 1988 and 811 in 1989. What’s more, many black PhDs plan to work in industry, where they are diligently recruited and can make more money than in teaching. In 1986, a survey of 547 blacks earning doctorates found that less than half expected to teach. And, of course, one of the reasons why there are so few black PhD candidates is that private companies are wooing black undergraduates so ardently.
One trick universities use to get more black professors is to set up slots that are out of bounds for white men. The University of Wisconsin Law School, for example, established four tenured positions several years ago, specifically for minorities and women. Northeastern University is setting aside money for minority slots throughout the university.
Naturally, this means that any white man looking for a teaching job is likely to face systematic race- and sex-discrimination. John H. Bunzel, former president of San Jose State University, has documented just a few of the deliberate acts of prejudice directed against whites. When an affirmative-action search was launched recently in a large department at San Francisco State University, the head of the hiring committee told its members to “save time and energy by not examining any applications from white males.” In March 1989, the hiring committee in another department designated four candidates who were “persons of color” as “hirable,” while designating six white candidates as “also well qualified but not hirable.” They were disqualified because of their race.
Over the winter of 1989/90, a white man with a PhD applied for an opening in Stanford University’s required course in Culture, Ideas, and Values. He learned that “only racial minorities will be hired to fill the slots in the Europe and America “track’.”
When the provost of San Francisco State University approved the English department’s 1984 application for two additional slots he wrote: “candidates recommended to me [must] be nonwhite. Let me underscore that the stipulation is an absolute condition.” In September, 1989, the head of the faculty search committee for sociology at Wayne State University wrote a memo to the committee saying that both of the two newly authorized positions “must be filled by a minority person.”
Often, white men know better than to apply at all. Ohio Wesleyan ran an advertisement that began with these words: “Ohio Wesleyan University seeks black applicants for a tenure-track position.” A faculty member explained that his department had been given two years to find a black; otherwise the position would be taken away.
In the past, employers could make their intentions known with ads that said, “We are an equal opportunity employer.” Some colleges even put the phrase on their stationery. However, once everyone started using it, it no longer stood out. Now, it is common to see ads for academic positions that say, “Minorities are encouraged to apply.” The political science department of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) went a little further and ran an ad that “invites nominations and applications from outstanding minority and female candidates.” This makes it pretty clear that the employer is not interested in white men. It may be simple kindness to let them know that their applications are going to be a waste of time.
Naturally, there is tremendous pressure to hire minorities for jobs that are not specifically set aside for them. Recently, when the political science department at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville hired a white woman to chair the department, the administration rejected her. She had a national reputation, but the university wanted a black. It took control of the selection committee away from the political science department and put a black activist professor in charge. Now the department has a black chairman. Michael Harris, a black professor of religion warned that whites couldn’t be trusted to make fair hiring decisions. “[W]hen you see the word “qualifications’ used,” he said, “remember this is the new code-word for whites”.
This scramble for black faces has meant that professors are constantly being wooed from campus to campus with higher salary offers. Not surprisingly, black PhDs now make more money than white PhDs.
There can be no doubt that fellowships, courting, and pampering bring some blacks into the teaching business who don’t have a real interest in it. They make unenthusiastic or even incompetent teachers, who only exacerbate the race relations that their presence is supposed to improve. At the same time, students who might have blossomed into first-rate teachers may never get the chance because they had the misfortune to be born white; the fellowships they might have won are available only to non-whites.
The Threat of Disaccreditation
Colleges that don’t take sufficiently vigorous measures in favor of minorities can get in deep trouble. At Baruch College in New York, only 36 percent of the students are white, the student body president is black, and there have been no reports of racial incidents. Nevertheless, in 1990, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools delayed renewal of accreditation because there are not enough minorities on Baruch’s teaching staff, and minorities drop out more often than whites do. There was no suggestion that Baruch had done anything at all to hinder minorities; it risked losing accreditation because it had not taken enough specifically race-based measures to help them.
Shortly after Baruch’s problems became known, one of its professors was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. This must have been the first time in the history of American higher education that a university that was producing Nobel-quality research had been threatened with disaccreditation.
Most people think that accreditation is based on a school’s academic standards. It now includes a judgment on a school’s preference policies for non-whites. During the Baruch controversy, it came to light that at least 15 or 20 other colleges had had their accreditation delayed that year for the same reason. Baruch was only the first to be identified publicly.
Of course, across-the-board preferences leave a bad smell that no one can fail to notice. In The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom wrote of the “shadow of university life” in which blacks operate at Cornell University:
“… permanent quotas in admissions, preference in financial assistance, racially motivated hiring of faculty, difficulty in giving blacks failing marks, and an organized system of grievance and feeling aggrieved. And everywhere hypocrisy, contempt-producing lies about what is going on and how the whole scheme is working.”
Even if preferential measures did blacks some good — and there is no sign that they do — blatant unfairness to whites is unpardonable. At a time when the United State is falling further behind its international competitors, waste and self-deception on such a breath-taking scale are unconscionable.
A future article will examine the reported rise of “hate crimes” on American college campuses.
America At The Crossroads
A Guest Editorial
by Frank Edwards
Last summer, President Bush cited a purported threat to “our way of life” to justify sending American troops to Saudi Arabia. If that phrase means more than just short-term economic prosperity, our “way of life” is threatened far more seriously by events here in the United States than it ever could be by Saddam Hussein.
Over the last several decades, violent crime has increased dramatically, many school systems have virtually given up on their students, and a shocking social disorder has taken root in what are euphemistically known as “inner cities.” More subtly, there has been a continuing breakdown of standards, a flouting of community, a decline in civility, and a growing tawdriness in virtually every aspect of social and cultural life.
Though our politicians boast about the glorious future they are building for us, there is little that points to anything but further decline. If there is something that will make the next generations of Americans more ethical, honorable, hard-working, and public-spirited, there is no sign of what that may be.
It is no wonder that many thoughtful white Americans contemplate the future with dread. If our future can be seen in our once-great cities, from which millions have fled during the past decades, there is much cause for alarm.
Academics and commentators flood us with explanations for our decline. They cite productivity rates, tax policies, voting patterns, and investment strategies as if these could account for crack babies, casual murder, and widespread illiteracy. The explanation they dare not endorse is the one lesson that the twentieth century teaches more clearly than any other: that a healthy society can be built only on the bedrock of values held in common.
In our country, that bedrock has been our European origins. From Europe have come our people, our language, our legal system, our standards of morality, our customs, and our sense of justice. For much of our history, white Americans have taken their common racial-cultural heritage for granted. Indeed, during the past forty years, the United States has engaged in a great social experiment on the assumption that people from every race and culture can be assimilated to European standards and expectations.
In the face of the obvious failure of that experiment, the new wisdom now holds that assimilation doesn’t matter after all, that all ways of life are equally valid, that America will somehow profit from the “diversity” of peoples with nothing in common but abstract citizenship.
The history of our century tells us otherwise. The deep cracks in the multi-ethnic, multi-racial Soviet empire, and the widening fissures in multi-ethnic states like Yugoslavia and even Canada should teach us the dangers of trying to ignore language, culture, religion, and race. They are at the heart of every major conflict around the world, and have always pitted men against each other in America as well.
To disregard the age-old ingredients of nation or, as is now fashionable, to deplore them as parochial and passé, is completely to misread human nature. It is to abandon the only way to understand the past or shape the future.
Social pathology in America has grown to the point where we can no longer take our European heritage and collective destiny for granted. If we continue to drift, trusting in platitudes, further social and cultural disintegration is inevitable. It is now time to cast off the illusion that a nation can be built by denying the very foundations of nationality.
As we approach a new millennium, we stand before a great historical crossroads. America faces the choice of collapse or rejuvenation. Whichever choice it makes, it will be governed by the ancient forces of loyalty, nationality, and peoplehood that determine the character of every nation.
If white Americans can be moved to defend anything, it must be their racial and cultural heritage. Much as one might wish it to be otherwise, the culture will not survive without the people who created it. If America’s population continues to become more African, Latin American, and Asian, America’s character will cease to be European.
We must begin to build a better future for our people on the basis of a restored sense of racial and cultural self-awareness. As we applaud the right to national integrity for Lithuanians, Quebecois, Latinos, American blacks, Kurds, Poles or Afghans, we must not sacrifice our own destiny.
In the hope that it will be part of the great work of restoring a sense of peoplehood to the cultural heirs of this nation’s founders, I salute American Renaissance as an articulate expression of what millions of Americans already sense, but are not yet willing to say out loud.
Mr. Edwards is a historian with a particular interest in the conflicts of the 20th century.
What Can Replace Religion, Part I
Raymond B. Cattell, A New Morality from Science: Beyondism, Pergamon Press, New York, 1972, 482 pp.
Reviewed by Thomas Jackson
Although Professor Cattell’s book, A New Morality from Science, is now nearly 20 years old, it is one of the most astonishing, thought-provoking essays on human destiny to appear in decades. Destiny is not too dramatic a word. Prof. Cattell is deeply concerned about progress in every aspect of human life, not just for the next few years, but for the next million years.
As Prof. Cattell points out, the most important and most difficult question that men can ask themselves is “What ought we to do?” This is the central moral question, and how it is answered is crucial to the future of man. Distinguishing right from wrong has been the passion of philosophers and theologians, but the jumble of beliefs they have produced has never satisfied all men, nor do they satisfy Prof. Cattell.
He does not, however wish to throw out the work of the sages. Theirs are probably the best conclusions that humans could reach, but their methods have been bad: exalted, intuitive, untestable, in short, unscientific. As Prof. Cattell puts it: “One may guess that the great religions have reached appreciably valid conclusions, but they have undoubtedly done so by processes with which no self-respecting scientist would want his work to be associated.” Faith and supreme conviction are powerful emotions, but they are not the best ones to take into the laboratory.
Furthermore, the advance of science has whittled down the majesty of religion so that it no longer has the unquestioned grip on men’s minds that it once did. Although a large majority of Americans still profess to believe in God, it is rarely a personal, demanding God of the sort that ruled the lives of Abraham, Martin Luther, or even President Jimmy Carter. And though rationalism shot great holes in the more implausible dogmas, reason alone has not offered anything with which to replace the certainties of religion.
The result is a great moral void in the Western world. Men still try, in a fumbling way, to do what is right, but their choices are not built on bedrock. If anything, men who claim to found their choices on truth and certainty are treated either as cranks or bigots. A snide uncertainty has so pervaded the thinking of the West that tolerance — tolerance with as few limits as possible — has become the new dogma. Nevertheless, as more and more people have come to realize, radical tolerance is a dead end. To tolerate everything is to stand for nothing. Radical tolerance wears away all grounds for choice, for morality.
Prof. Cattell is a scientist. He believes that if a sound ethics can be established at all, it will be through the rigor of science. Science has now told us far more about our bodies and the physical world than religion ever did. “Science has answered far more fully than have other institutions the questions “What am I?’ and “Where am I?’” writes Prof. Cattell; “It is reasonable, therefore, to hope that it has an inherently greater chance of more clearly answering the final question “What ought I to do?’”
According to the French proverb, there are truths of the heart that the head cannot recognize. Such are the truths of religion. According to Prof. Cattell, science may have reached the point at which it can begin to elucidate even the truths of the heart. After all, he asks, how much sense does it make to reject the religious view of creation, of biology, and of the cosmos, but to retain the religious view of morality? If it was wrong to say that the earth was created in six days it may also be wrong to tell a man to love his neighbor as himself.
Prof. Cattell does not claim that he has discovered a scientific ethics. However, he is confident of the right path to that discovery. Only as the human mind expands and leaves its animal nature further behind will it be able to grasp its own ultimate purpose. For this, men must hasten the work of evolution that nature has begun. The ascent from brutishness, which has taken millions of years, is now a process that is reasonably well understood. Humans now have the scientific knowledge to direct the development of their own natures; what has heretofore been left to accident can be consciously directed.
Prof. Cattell is, therefore, an unabashed eugenicist. He acknowledges the reactionary, hysterical opposition to conscious improvement of the species, and finds it astonishing that decades after the death of Adolph Hitler, people still evoke his name as if to do so were to refute the science of genetics. Man is no more exempt from the laws of biology than are carrots or race horses. The techniques that produce sweeter vegetables and faster thoroughbreds can produce better people. To pretend otherwise is an illusion and all illusions, in the end, are costly.
The advantage of taking charge of man’s evolution has been clear ever since evolution was understood. Before the Second World War, there were a great many eugenics societies in the United States, and many states passed eugenics laws. Nor was eugenics thought to be in conflict with religion. Just as the fundamentalist Christianity of Isaac Newton did not keep him from outstanding scientific achievement, the devout catholicism of the French anthropologist, Teilhard de Chardin did not keep him from writing this:
“So far we have certainly allowed our race to develop at random, and we have given too little thought to the question of what medical and moral factors must replace the crude forces of natural selection should we suppress them. In the course of the coming centuries it is indispensable that a nobly human form of eugenics, on a standard worthy of our personalities, should be discovered and developed.”
Science, therefore, can be expected to discover a sound, human morality only when the scientists themselves are better people. They can become better, along with everyone else, through the conscious direction of human evolution. In the mean time, a makeshift morality consists in practices that improve the species, while immorality debases it.
This morality has enormous consequences. Now that men have, as Teilhard de Chardin predicted, suppressed the forces of natural selection, they can make of themselves greater, nobler creatures or they can destroy themselves. As is so often the case, not to choose is also to choose. For Prof. Cattell, an evolutionary morality has consequences not only for how a society should be governed, but how it should govern its relations with other societies. These will be the subjects of the second part of this review, to appear in the following issue.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Feds OK Private, Race-based Scholarships
In the midst of much confusion and waffling, the federal government has provisionally ruled that private money may be used to set up scholarships for students of one race only (see cover story). If we take this ruling at face value, it opens the door to much else. By drawing a distinction between private and public money, the government is saying that although it will not discriminate by race in the way it spends money, private citizens can. It is implicitly accepting the principle that private assets may be disposed of in a racially discriminatory way.
This has far-reaching consequences. A job at IBM is a private asset, not a public asset. Presumably it can now be disposed of in a racially discriminatory way. If racially exclusive scholarships are legal, an all-white (or all-black) IBM should be legal, too. A house or apartment building is a private asset. It should be legal to select tenants by race or to write covenants that require buyers of houses to resell them only to people of a certain race. Memberships in a private club are likewise private assets and it should be legal to give them out on the basis of race. By the same reasoning, it should once again be legal for private schools openly to discriminate by race.
Finally, if the law is to be consistent, Rhodes scholarships must no longer be available to nonwhites. The six million pounds that Cecil Rhodes left at his death in 1902 were to be used for the education of whites only. In the 1960s, this was thought discriminatory, and administrators of the fund began awarding scholarships to nonwhites. If the government is serious about the new ruling, all future Rhodes scholars must be white.
Of course, the government is not serious. With only a few exceptions, anti-discrimination laws are enforced only against whites. It is impossible for a white (or any non-Chinese) to rent an apartment in New York City’s Chinatown. There are hundreds of all-black, private schools to which a white student would not be admitted even if he applied. If a Hispanic-owned company has only Hispanic employees, no one will complain. If a white applied to join an all-black Jack and Jill club he would be rejected.
The clear intention of the Department of Education’s ruling is that race-exclusive scholarships will be set aside only for nonwhites. There will probably be no test of the legality of a whites-only scholarship, since no university would dare set one up. Just as the civil rights laws that were passed to ensure racial equality have been used to justify racial preference, race-based scholarships will be available for nonwhites but not for whites.
Condoms for the Kids
New York City’s Board of Education is studying a plan to distribute free condoms to teenage students. New Yorkers between the ages of 13 and 21 are seven times more likely than the children in the rest of the country to have AIDS, giving the city the highest rate of teenage AIDS in the country. The Schools Chancellor, Joseph Fernandez, approved the plan despite the fact that he is Catholic. “We have preached safe sex and no sex, and 80% of the kids are sexually active,” he said. “We have to do something else.”
“Racial Bias” Costs U.S. $6.1 Million
The Bureau of Printing and Engraving has settled an eight-year law suit, in which 248 former and current employees — all black — will share $6.1 million because of alleged racial discrimination. Part of the settlement requires the bureau to stop using, for five years, a “discriminatory” written examination that was used to hire workers for higher-paying jobs. When blacks do worse than others on tests, the only explanation that the law permits is “discrimination.”
The Price of Candor
Last December, the Philadelphia Inquirer published an editorial in which it proposed one of the more obvious solutions to the problems of the underclass: welfare recipients should be paid to use Norplant, the implantable female contraceptive that works for as long as five years. The reasoning is simple. Anyone who is already living on public charity should not be bringing more mouths into the world for the rest of us to feed.
The editorial caused such a fracas, particularly among employees of the newspaper itself, that the Inquirer eventually took the very unusual step of publishing a second editorial, apologizing for the first. Apparently, it was blacks who were particularly opposed to the Norplant plan, since a disproportionate number of those who would be encouraged not to have more children would be black. The editorial was therefore “racist.”
As usual, the charge of racism is a peculiar business that doesn’t have much to do with the facts. If it is wrong for women on the dole to have babies they can’t support, it is presumably wrong for all women, whatever their race. Blacks are much more likely than whites to break the laws against armed robbery, and to be sent to jail as a result. Does this make the laws “racist?” Of course not. Neither was the Inquirer’s editorial.
In America, policy has become hopelessly confused by the status of certain groups. If people with AIDS were not mostly homosexuals, drug users, and nonwhites, it would be far easier to implement policies of sexual contact tracing and even quarantine. As it is, to suggest the most elementary and obvious control measures is to bring down charges of “homophobia” and “racism.” Likewise, if welfare recipients were mainly white, states would probably have mandated obligatory contraception for them long ago.
It is just as well that the laws against burglary, robbery, and murder were passed before the current obsession with “sensitivity.” Any new law — no matter how obvious or badly needed — that blacks were likely to break at 10 or 20 times the rate for whites, would be nearly impossible to pass.
Blacks to Boycott Portland Schools
The Black United Front of Portland (OR) has threatened a boycott of public schools if they don’t adopt its plan to improve the grades of black students. Starting in February, it will tell black parents to keep their children home on certain days if the school district does not organize community groups and hire national experts as the Front demands. School superintendent, Matthew Prophet, says that he has already adopted 90% of the Front’s demands, and says he obviously can’t do everything that every group wants.
Portland blacks are complaining about conditions that are universal: black students do worse than white students. Fifty-six percent of blacks are below grade level in math, for example, while only 23% of whites are below grade level.
As usual, blacks are looking for white people to blame for their own failure. As usual, whites are bravely hewing to the dogma that somehow the schools, rather than racial differences in ability, are to blame for poor black performance.
All around the country, this dogma has led to endless tinkering and scarcely any improvement in black grades. Eventually, the pressures to “improve” black grades become so great that teachers may simply lower standards for everyone. All children are then taught a pabulum curriculum that blacks can pass.
Let us hope this does not happen in Portland, but it is hard to be optimistic. The last time the black group called a boycott, 5,000 of 8,000 black students stayed home. It will take an unusual school superintendent to stand up to pressure like that.
‘Clinging to Stereotypes’
On the other hand, once Portland School Superintendent Matthews is away from the reporters, he may well indulge in an occasional subversive thought about racial differences — at least if he is like the majority of Americans. According to the latest poll by the National Opinion Research Survey, 53% of whites think that blacks are less intelligent than whites. Seventy-eight percent think blacks are less reluctant than whites to be on welfare, 62% think they are less hard-working, and 56% think they are more prone to violence.
Hispanics don’t come off very well either. Fifty-five percent of whites think Hispanics are less intelligent than whites, 50% think they are more prone to violence, and 56% think they are less hard-working.
These are the results of face-to-face interviews with 1,372 adults. We wonder if there might have been an even larger proportion of politically incorrect answers if the questioning had been confidential.
Larry Bobo of the University of California at Los Angeles, who helped design and conduct the survey, made the usual clucking noises about how whites still cling to stereotypes. Mr. Bobo, of course, is clinging to his own illusions — at least in public.
A new report from the Association of California School Administrators paints a dismal picture of education in the state. More than half the kindergarten-through-grade 12 students are nonwhite. One in six was born in another country. One in four doesn’t speak English at home. One in three will fail to graduate. In Los Angeles County, more than two thirds of public school students come from homes where English is not spoken. In San Francisco, 83% of all school children are nonwhite. Teachers are throwing up their hands in despair at the prospect of trying to give these children a traditional, “American” education.
Naturally, the report is stuffed with recommendations: smaller classes, more training in “cultural diversity,” translation of school materials into many languages. Nowhere does the report suggest that America’s immigration policy — which is swamping California with nonwhite, non-English-speakers — be changed. It seems not to have dawned on the Association of California School Administrators that the “diversity” and “multi-ethnicity,” of which we are all supposed to be so proud, translates into an increasingly illiterate workforce, whose children are increasingly uneducable.
Who suffers when schools have to be geared to foreigners? Native-born, English-speakers.
Although Hispanics are still less than one quarter of the population of the state of California, they account for more than a third of the babies born in the state. Only about 33% of the babies born in the state are white. The bumper crop of nonwhite babies put the California birth rate at its highest since the end of the baby boom, in 1965.
Black Life Expectancy Drops
Life expectancy for American blacks has dropped for the fourth year in a row. Blacks can expect to live to age 69.2 while whites can expect to live to age 75.6. Blacks are more likely than whites to smoke, be overweight, or be murdered.
Blacks are also far more likely than whites to die from curable diseases. Appendicitis, pneumonia, gallbladder infection, asthma, tuberculosis, influenza, and a number of other diseases are rarely fatal if they are treated early. Blacks account for 80% of the 20,000 or so deaths from these diseases that are recorded every year, which means that they are more than 25 times more likely to die from them than Americans of other races.
Nonwhite, Heal Thyself
Here’s another reason why blacks (and Hispanics) don’t live as long as whites: They don’t get organ or bone marrow transplants as often. Whenever newspapers report this they add the obligatory breast-beating about how our “racist” medical establishment saves whites while it lets nonwhites die.
In fact, many transplants work only between people of the same race, and nonwhites rarely offer to help. Of the 200,000 registered volunteer bone marrow donors in the United States, 94% are white. That leaves only six percent for the 25% of the population that is nonwhite. Whites are twice as likely as blacks to make arrangements for their organs to be available for transplant after they die. Whites are six times more likely than blacks, while they are still alive, to donate a kidney to a sick relative.
No matter how much a white liberal wants to do for black people — and no matter how much of your money he wants to spend doing it — one thing he can’t do is grow a black kidney. This is one problem that only blacks can solve, but when have you ever heard of Jesse Jackson urging the brothers to donate bone marrow?
Of all the problems nonwhites face in America, the shortage of nonwhite organ donors is one that even liberals might admit can’t be easily pinned on white wickedness. Just as whites don’t make blacks shoot each other, get pregnant, or drug themselves, they don’t prevent them from donating kidneys. And yet, since the “root causes” of all this “hopeless” behavior are supposed to lie in white wickedness, salvation must likewise come from whites.
Another Civil Rights Bill
Late last year, President George Bush vetoed the Civil Rights Act of 1990, which would have virtually required companies to set racial hiring quotas. The Senate failed by only one vote to override the veto. This year, the very first bill introduced in the new Congress is the Civil Rights Act of 1991. It is even more vehemently pro-minority than last year’s bill.
Equal Opportunity Santa
Oakland (CA) lawyer, John Burris, is making a practice of suing malls that prefer their Santas white. Three years ago, he reportedly got a six-figure settlement out of a mall in Richmond (CA) that didn’t hire a black to sit in the big chair. This year, he has filed a $1.25 million suit on behalf of a black who was told by a woman that she was looking for a Santa Claus with “fair, rosy cheeks.”
The suit seeks the $1,300 that the man would have earned during his four-week stint as Santa, plus $250,000 for “humiliation, embarrassment, ridicule and mental distress,” and $1 million in punitive damages. This is essentially an unsolvable problem. Must American school children henceforth be taught that since 12% of the American population is black, the jolly old fellow who lives at the North Pole also has a 12% chance of being black? Suits like this are one of the joys of America’s storied multi-racialism
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — In the letters column of the January issue, Margaret Hunter points out that Average Americans seem to need to believe the myths about white guilt. I think that a larger part of the problem is that Americans just don’t care. Professional acquaintances tell me that since their bills are paid, the beer is cold, and Cosby is funny on TV, they’re not worried. The typical attitude is, “This is America; we don’t want to bother anyone. I’ve still got some money, so why rock the boat?”
The Average American gets most of his ideas from television. Until he starts hearing on TV what you are saying in American Renaissance, nothing is going to change. A TV signal is more powerful than atom bombs.
Harry Dace, Alvin (TX)
Sir — In her letter to the editor, Margaret Hunter asks a fundamental question about the nature of white people. Is their willingness to submit to dispossession by other races due entirely to the guilt-ridden, “hair-shirt” mentality that Miss Hunter rails against?
I think not. After many years spent in baffled observation of whites who seem happy to hand their birthright over to people of other races, I have concluded that most are sincere and well-intentioned, and not necessarily obsessed with guilt.
There is an indiscriminate, ultimately self-destructive form of what I can only call generosity, which lies behind what many whites do and think. Is affirmative action so different from saving the baby seals? Is free medical care for illegal immigrants so different from preserving the spotted owl’s habitat by putting lumbermen out of work?
When someone finds a fledgling that fell from the nest, and tenderly nurses it back to health, does he do so because he feels guilty? Probably not. Americans who spend millions of dollars trying to help AIDS babies who will die by age six aren’t necessarily guilt-ridden either.
White people, at least those living in the waning years of this century, seem possessed by a mania for “compassion” that is probably alien to other races. Africans are happy to shoot their elephants and sell the ivory. Japanese would rather eat whales than save them. No race but whites would cheerfully give up its homeland to impoverished aliens and think it were a virtue.
Much of what whites do is folly, but it flows from the same source as much that is good and noble. The vices that are weakening us stem from our virtues.
Susan Miller, San Antonio (TX)
Sir — I was interested to read Thomas Jackson’s article about how well our troops are likely to fight in the next war. There is no doubt that cohesive, homogeneous units — preferably from the same part of the country — fight better than disparate collections of men who have nothing in common with each other. You might have mentioned that the British have always organized their army along regional lines, just as the Germans did.
I beg to differ, however, on the role of ideology in building esprit de corps. It is true that the multi-ethnic Volkdeutsch (your spelling, “Volksdeutch,” is a common error) troops, who were presumably held together by common ideology, did not always fight well. However, it was widely acknowledged that the very best German soldiers were the Waffen SS. Unlike the rest of the German army, SS men were not organized into units on regional lines, but were recruited from all parts of the country because of their devotion to Germany and to National Socialism. At some level, as these men proved, ideology can be as powerful a unifying force as the more common bond of “blood and soil.”
I might add that when I was fighting in France, in 1944 and 1945, we didn’t take prisoners when we were fighting SS troops. We figured they were “real Nazis,” so we shot them whenever they fell into our hands.
Name withheld, Santa Barbara (CA)
Sir — I agree with the aims of your publication, and think that you describe the problems we face in very convincing terms. However, if you are really interested in “American Renaissance,” why do you keep using foreign phrases? One of your sections is called O Tempora, O Mores!, which I had to look up in a Latin phrase book. In your issue of January 1991, you also used an untranslated French phrase, almost as a headline.
I wish I could read Latin and speak French, but I can’t. I bet most of your other readers can’t either. If you must throw foreign phrases around, please include a translation.
Carol Furness, Fremont (CA)
Although we believe that English is one of the forces that made it possible to build a nation out of waves of different European immigrants-E pluribus unum, if you will forgive our Latin — we see the United States as part of the great sweep of Western history and civilization. The Greeks and Romans are our cultural ancestors just as the English and the Germans are.
O Tempora, O Mores! is from Cicero’s first oration against Catiline. It is usually translated as something like “What times, what habits,” though one classicist somewhat more freely translates it as “Alas, what degenerate days these are!”
A translation of the French that we used as a subheading appeared in the text of the article. Sorry if the connection wasn’t clear. — Ed