|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 15, No. 2||February 2004|
Fantasy and Fraud: No Child Left Behind
President Bush’s new program is doomed to failure.
In 2001, Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the Bush administration’s ambitious public education law. Its main goal is to close the student achievement gap between whites, blacks, and Hispanics, and will reward schools that narrow it and punish those that do not. The White House is convinced that if no other administration could close the gap, it was because no one understood the power of accountability programs and charter schools.
This is a goal that cannot be achieved and reflects a staggering lack of realism. The main result of the law will be more fraud in the education system. Schools already cook the books to make their students look better, and the punishments President Bush has in mind will only give them more reasons to cheat. On the other hand, when this attempt to eliminate the racial gap inevitably fails, it will open more eyes to the reality of racial differences.
Each Must be ‘Proficient’
NCLB requires that students who are not officially “learning disabled” be “proficient” in reading and math by the end of the 2013-14 school year, and that schools show “adequate yearly progress” towards that goal in the meantime. “Proficiency” will be defined by the states which must come up with “high-quality tests” for it. By the 2005-6 school year, all schools must test students in reading and math every year in grades three to eight, and at least once during grades ten through twelve. Schools must also develop plans to reduce dropout rates, and show they are sticking to them.
The law also sets qualification requirements for teachers, and requires that schools cut down on crime and violence. It is supposed to help them prevent and prosecute crime by improving communication between schools and police, but it also punishes schools classified as “persistently dangerous.”
The act massively increases education spending. Since it was passed in 2001, federal grants to schools have increased 28 percent, from $28 billion to $35.8 billion. Much of the money is for teacher recruitment and training, reading instruction, and special education, but a whopping $11.7 billion now goes to “Title One” schools, that is, schools that get extra money because their students are poor. This is an increase of 33 percent over 2001, and was required by No Child Left Behind. Poverty is so rewarding it has become the fashion: No fewer than 58 percent of public schools now get Title One money. The program has increased more under Mr. Bush than during the entire eight years of the Clinton administration.
But NCLB can take as well as give. If a Title One school fails to make enough progress for two straight years, the school district must let its students go to other, better schools. If the school still fails to improve, the district must start replacing staff and perhaps even reopen it as a charter school. (A charter school is relatively free from the education bureaucracy: Principals can hire non-union teachers, and have more say in curriculum and budgeting than other principals.) The law rewards schools that meet federal standards by giving them more money.
In order to spur schools to close the racial gap, the law judges a school’s performance not by the overall student average, but by the performances of blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Asians, as well as poor students, the “limited English proficient,” and so forth. Therefore, if all the students in the school make adequate progress except for blacks, the school still fails to meet federal standards. There will be lower standards for low-performing groups until 2014, but in that year every single student of every group (except for the “learning disabled”) must achieve proficiency.
Teachers and journalists have attacked the act for its delusional optimism, and rightly so. The most widely-used test for measuring performance is the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam (NAEP). In 2002, only 36 percent of 12th graders were “proficient” or better on the NAEP reading test. That was 42 percent of whites, 16 percent of blacks, and 22 percent of Hispanics. In 2000, the latest available year for math scores, only 17 percent of 12th graders were “proficient:” 20 percent of whites, but only three percent of blacks, and four percent of Hispanics. It is inconceivable that every student in America will be “proficient” in math and reading by 2014.
Some people argue that the NAEP score of “proficient” is a very high standard, and “proficiency” will end up closer to the NAEP score of “basic.” Even this more modest goal is impossible. In 2002, 79 percent of white 12th graders, but only 54 percent of blacks, and 61 percent of Hispanics met this standard in reading. In math, 74 percent of white, but only 44 percent of Hispanic, and 31 percent of black students were “basic” or better. Therefore, even if the standard is equivalent to NAEP “basic,” blacks and Hispanics will have to make tremendous progress.
Some states have already adopted the NCLB system of evaluating each racial group separately rather than grading a school on average performance of all students. The result is a huge increase in “failing schools,” and is a taste of what is to come. In Florida, for example, no fewer than 87 percent of schools failed to make “adequate yearly progress” last year; for South Carolina, New Jersey, and Delaware, the figures were 77 percent, 58 percent, and 57 percent. In California, 800 schools flunked the state’s evaluation, but when all racial groups were evaluated separately the way NCLB requires, 3,000 schools failed.
NCLB has other crazy requirements. It will, for example, be impossible for schools to be fully staffed with “highly qualified” teachers — by federal standards — by the 2005 school year. Only 63 percent of math teachers nationwide now meet the standard. Also, students in “failing” schools are supposed to be able to transfer to better ones, but this policy won’t work because the good schools are full. In 2003, 19,000 Chicago students asked to transfer, but there were places for only 1,000 of them.
Of course, schools can be expanded and teachers can be qualified. It is the goal of closing the racial gap that is fantastic. Always, everywhere, whites and Asians outscore blacks and Hispanics. To require schools to close the gap is to encourage them to lie.
This gap is large and persistent. In fact, test results show that by the time they finish high school, minorities (unless otherwise specified, this means blacks and Hispanics) are approximately four academic years behind whites. Their achievement test scores in 12th grade are, at best, about equal to those of whites in the 8th grade, and sometimes dramatically lower. The graph below this paragraph, taken from No Excuses by Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom (see sidebar, page 6) deserves careful study. Please note that the racial comparisons are not of children in the same grade, but of 8th grade whites and Asians and 12th grade blacks and Hispanics. It shows that an employer who hires a black or Hispanic with a high school diploma will, on average, get the intellectual equivalent of a white 14-year-old. Things are actually even worse. Only slightly more than half of blacks and Hispanics even graduate from high school, as opposed to 72 percent of whites, so the dropouts are even more miserably qualified.
The gap is not closing. The graphs on the next page, also taken from the Thernstrom’s informative book, show where the average score of black and Hispanic 17-year-olds fell in the white percentile distribution between 1975 and 1999 on NAEP tests of reading and science. Thus, if the black score is 25, it means 75 percent of whites scored better than the average black. The science scores are particularly dismal. In 1999, 90 percent of white 17-year-olds scored higher than the average black, and 78 percent scored higher than the average Hispanic. In the past 29 years, neither minority group has ever scored higher than the 30th percentile of the white distribution in reading, math or science. Between 1975 and 1990, blacks and Hispanics narrowed the gap with whites on the reading test, but it has widened since then. In math and science, the racial gap has scarcely changed at all since 1975
Scores on the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) show the same pattern. In 1976, there was a 240-point gap between black and white combined scores, and the difference narrowed to 189 points in 1988. Since then, the gap has grown larger again, reaching 206 points in 2003. The gap between whites and Hispanics has changed in the same way. In 1976, there was a 163-point gap between whites and Mexicans, which narrowed to 124 points in 1990, and is now back to 158. The scores of other Hispanic groups show the same pattern.
Liberals and conservatives have different explanations for the gap. Liberals blame poverty, racism, and school funding. Conservatives blame bad teaching, school bureaucracy, and “minority culture.” The classic liberal statement was Jonathan Kozol’s 1991 best-seller, Savage Inequalities. Mr. Kozol argued that considerably less money was spent per capita on minority than on white students and that minority schools were therefore squalid and overcrowded. He examined a few inner-city schools and compared them to better schools in rich suburbs, but did not try to prove his examples were typical by looking at large-scale studies. He believed money would eliminate the performance gap.
No Excuses decisively refutes Mr. Kozol. The Thernstroms look at average spending on minority and white students in the period Mr. Kozol covered — 1989 to 1990 — and find there were only negligible differences in per-student spending by race. Since then, the trend has been towards almost complete equality in spending on whites and minorities. This reflects deliberate transfer of money from white taxpayers to minority schools.
The Thernstroms also make short work of another “savage inequality,” class size. At the time Mr. Kozol was writing, class sizes were actually smaller at mostly-minority than at mostly-white schools. The average across the board was 17.7 in 1992, in the range educators call “ideal.” Since then, average class size has dropped to 15.1. The Thernstroms acknowledge that some high-minority schools are squalid, but blame this on negligent school employees and destructive students rather than on lack of funding.
The Thernstroms are rightly skeptical of any claim that more money will close the racial gap or produce any other real improvement. They note that per-pupil spending has nearly doubled in real terms between 1970 and 2000, but performance has stayed flat. They also give an extreme example of spending on minorities that led nowhere. In 1985, a federal judge ordered Kansas City to upgrade its schools to attract more white students to the 75-percent-black system, and raise abysmal test scores. Over the next 15 years, the city raised property taxes, and spent $2 billion on schools. Central High School got an Olympic-size pool with six diving boards, a classical Greek theater, an eight-lane indoor track, a gym stocked with professional equipment, a planetarium, a recording studio, and a 100-acre farm. It got a world-class Russian fencing coach, and enough violin teachers to give private lessons to a whole elementary school. All this did no good. In 2000, Kansas City schools were no more racially integrated than before, and test scores were as bad as ever (see AR, Dec. 1995, for a detailed account).
Shaker Heights, a wealthy Cleveland suburb that serves many children of educated black parents, has tried for years to narrow the race gap. It spends 50 percent more money on each student than the national average, but black high school students still lag far behind whites: They are about four times more likely to fail state proficiency tests and less than a tenth as likely to pass those tests with honors. Shaker Heights may have worked harder for equal results than any other school district but still has almost nothing to show for it.
The racial gap starts even before students get to school, so it is hard to blame free-floating school “racism.” Black preschoolers score considerably lower on ability tests than white preschoolers. Differences in social class or parents’ education do not explain the gap either. Indeed, the performance gap between the children of black and white college-educated parents is even greater than the average black/white gap.
Nor can “racism” explain why Asian students perform as well or better than whites. It is likewise worth noting that, as the graphs on pages three and four show, Hispanics almost invariably outscore blacks, even in reading, despite the fact that immigrants often speak poor English. This is very hard to explain in terms of “racism,” poverty, etc.
The failure of the liberal explanation suggests the gap reflects innate racial differences, but conventional “conservatives” like the Thernstroms claim the problem is “cultural.” They blame the misbehavior of minority students, the lack of an atmosphere of learning at home, and minority teachers who promote ethnic separatism. These things probably contribute to the gap, but conservatives refuse to consider the possibility that these things themselves may be innate.
Behavior differences make it hard for blacks to learn. Black kindergartners are less persistent, less eager to learn, and less able to pay attention than white kindergartners, and these differences continue through high school. Blacks are 21/2 times more likely than whites to be suspended from school, and students in high-minority schools are sixteen times more likely to be robbed than students in largely-white schools. One teacher at a heavily non-white school said her job was “nine-tenths policeman, one-tenth educational.”
Minority households are different from white households. Minority parents spend much less time reading to children or teaching them the alphabet and numbers. Nearly half of black fourth graders spend five or more hours watching television or videos on a typical school day. Fewer than 20 percent of white fourth graders watch that much.
Needless to say, none of these arguments in any way refutes the view that the racial problem is genetic. What the Thernstroms describe is to be expected from low-IQ people who do not plan for the future. The behavior and environment of minorities are not some unfortunate accident that somehow manages to befall them wherever they go. It reflects who they are. The Thernstroms, for example, point out the disadvantages for minority children of the large number of single parents — as if blacks and Hispanics were just plain unlucky to be having so many illegitimate children.
The Thernstroms’ research suggests minority students are doubly disadvantaged by the effects of innate racial differences, because minority teachers gravitate towards minority schools. Teachers who do well on tests teach better, and there are large race differences in scores on teaching exams. Although the passing grades are often called “ridiculously low,” serving only to screen out illiterates, more than 30 percent of black and Hispanic teachers fail them, as opposed to fewer than 10 percent of whites. Low-IQ minority students have trouble learning; low-IQ teachers have trouble teaching.
Schools often encourage minorities to see themselves as ethnically separate, and stress white racism to encourage feelings of grievance. Some minority schools promote outright black and Hispanic nationalism. This may or may not affect grades, but the Thernstroms are convinced racial nationalism keeps non-whites at the margins of society, and lowers their performance.
There actually are a few reasons for the race gap that cannot be blamed on racial differences. The National Education Association (NEA), the main teachers’ union, has made it virtually impossible to fire incompetent teachers, and has opposed accountability programs, charter schools, and school vouchers, all of which tend to improve schools. The burden of the NEA’s obstruction to change falls mainly on minority students, who are less able to afford private schools not under the NEA’s control.
Conservatives are enthusiastic about charter schools. Indeed, faith in charter schools is at the foundation of NCLB, which gives districts the option of reopening bad schools as charter schools. The Thernstroms write glowing profiles of several charter schools, and offer evidence that they improve performance. These schools do this by working students extremely hard, instilling respect for authority, and severely punishing misbehavior. They also add many more hours of instruction: For example, the school day at Amistad Academy in New Haven, Connecticut, runs from 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The school year is two weeks longer than normal, and students can attend summer school.
But do charter schools close the racial gap? For most of them, the Thernstroms do not give enough test data for a clear answer, but the students at Amistad Academy, which is 66 percent black and 33 Hispanic, scored at about the state average in 2001. This is very good for minorities in a state that is still 78 percent white, and is certainly evidence that intensive teaching improves performance. The crucial question, of course, is how well whites would do in an equally intensive school?
Furthermore, the minorities at Amistad Academy and the other charter schools that so impress the Thernstroms are not random samples. The schools do not have admissions tests, but they require a firm commitment to education from students’ families. Parents must promise to encourage learning at home, and agree to a long school day. Minority parents who go to the trouble to find out about charter schools, talk to school officials, and abide by school rules are not average. Moreover, students who break academy rules are expelled, and this weeds out the worst.
Good results from charter schools are encouraging, but they are not proof — they are not even very strong evidence — that the racial gap can be closed. Instead, they suggest that white students are poorly served by public schools, and that if minority students do well in charter schools, whites would probably do even better.
For years, the evidence has shown that all students benefit from intensive education, but that smart children benefit even more than dull children. The average performance rises, but the gap between the best and worst grows wider. The only way to eliminate the racial gap would be to teach nothing at all and leave our children all equally ignorant.
NCLB sets up so many impossible expectations that only liars will prosper. Previous federal and state-level accountability programs have already prompted schools to disguise failure, particularly that of minorities, and NCLB’s requirements will only make things worse.
Rod Paige, Secretary of Education, is an instructive example. From 1994 to 2001, he was superintendent of schools in Houston, where high test scores for poor Hispanics and low dropout rates were the envy of the nation. Mr. Paige got his current job on the strength of his supposedly stellar performance, and the accountability program he used to perform these miracles became the model for NCLB.
It has since become clear that much of the success was a fraud. Robert Kimball, assistant principal at Sharpstown High School in Houston, discovered that although his mostly-Hispanic high school had a freshman class of 1,000 that dropped to fewer than 300 by graduation, the school was on record as not having had a single dropout. Nor was this an anomaly. A state audit found there were 2,300 more unreported dropouts in the district. Fourteen schools that had the highest performance rating were busted to the lowest rating on the basis of their actual dropout rates.
There were other tricks. In order to improve average scores on the state math test given in the 10th grade, many schools held weak 9th graders back a year so that only good students took the exam. After two years in the 9th grade, they moved straight to the 11th grade, bypassing the exam. Houston principals cheated because the district gave them bonuses for good reports and fired them for bad ones. As Mr. Kimball noted, “The principals who survive are the yes men.” NCLB encourages the same kind of dishonesty
Either Mr. Paige knew what was going on and was a fraud, or didn’t know and was incompetent. In either case, he is the kind that succeeds under the current racial orthodoxy, and it was his system that was the model for NCLB. For months, Mr. Paige refused to comment on the revelations, and now dismisses them as “inflammatory” and “unfair” attacks by political enemies. He is already claiming great success for NCLB.
Dishonesty has cropped up all over the country in the wake of accountability programs. South Carolina reported 2001 graduation rates of 87 percent; on closer inspection, it turned out to be 57 percent. California claimed a rate of 87 percent when it was really 70 percent. Indiana reported a graduation rate of 90 percent that was actually 74 percent.
One reason for high dropout rates is that schools push out weak students so they can raise test scores and comply with accountability programs. The New York Times recently found that five to ten percent of New York City students are pushed out of school. The same thing happens in Miami.
When states require accountability, the number of students classified as “learning disabled” suddenly rises — because they are excused from testing. In North Carolina, the number of students excused from testing more than doubled from four percent to 10 percent after the state set performance requirements.
NCLB also has penalties for “persistently dangerous” schools, but leaves the definition of “persistently dangerous” up to the states. The result is yet more dishonesty. This year, California reported it had no persistently dangerous schools, although one Los Angeles high school had 289 battery cases, two assaults with a deadly weapon, a robbery, and three sex offenses during 2001-2. School officials are also rumored to be sweeping crime under the carpet.
The Democratic charge that NCLB is an “unfunded mandate” is also true. Good schools that get an influx of students from bad schools will have to hire new teachers and maybe even build new classrooms, but the law does not now cover these costs. “Failing” schools must hire tutors for poor students, but no one know how much tutoring they will need. These costs come on top of the expense of developing tests and training “highly qualified” teachers. If the government is serious about NCLB, it will have to spend a lot more money.
Also, since the act shifts disproportionate amounts of money to students who are “left behind” — minorities — it means failing minorities will cost white taxpayers even more than they do now.
Many states have already cut their meager programs for gifted children so as to shovel money into the gaping maw of NCLB.
Because the new system will make it look as though entire schools — not just minorities — are failing, many states will be tempted to design ridiculously simple tests non-whites can pass. They will be free to do this because the definition of “proficiency” is largely up to the states. The result will be a patchwork of different tests, and a child who is proficient in one state will be a failure in another.
Finally, transferring students from failing schools to successful ones means busing inner-city bruisers to white schools. The results are likely to be the same as in the 1960s and 1970s, when busloads of poor blacks threw happy, successful schools into chaos. Under busing, test scores plummeted.
On the other hand, some good may actually come of this law. The NEA resists even the most obviously needed changes in schools. NCLB gives government officials the power to go over the head of the NEA and dismiss incompetent teachers and principals, and turn failing schools into charter schools. The administration is generally hostile to education fads and multicultural nonsense, so putting more power in its hands may result in some improvement.
Finally, the inevitable failure of NCLB to close the racial gap will be further proof of the intractability of racial differences. The neo-conservatives who smugly tout charter schools and accountability on television will end up failing just as badly as the liberals did. The failure of one more expensive government program to make blacks and Hispanics act like white people will nudge America further towards racial understanding.
No Excuses for the Thernstroms
Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom, No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning, Simon and Schuster, 2003, 334 pp., $26.00.
Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom’s new book blames the racial gap on typical neo-conservative culprits, such as multiculturalism and single black parents, and proposes typical neo-conservative solutions, such as charter schools and vouchers. Because of its real merits as well as its strict orthodoxy, the book has been favorably received.
No Excuses is packed with data on student performance and behavior, and demolishes the liberal explanation for the racial gap. The discussion of charter schools is also valuable because it shows there really are ways to improve performance. Giving students farms and fencing lessons does not work; making them study and follow the rules does. Most of the charter schools the Thernstroms profile require uniforms and punish even small infractions. The book goes on to give the reader the impression these schools close the racial gap, but offers no hard evidence that they do.
No Excuses breezily dismisses the whole question of inherent racial differences: “Since the numbers [on the race gap] we discuss in this chapter and later are deeply depressing, the reader should remember that they are not measurements of fixed, innate traits that are independent of the environment and cannot be changed.” Ordinarily, the Thernstroms carefully marshal evidence to support their views. This baseless claim that there are no innate differences is a glaring exception that demonstrates the power of the race/IQ taboo.
The book is racially correct even in its smallest details. In test-score graphs, there are black bars for white scores, white bars for Asians, and the bars for blacks are a lighter shade of gray than the ones for Hispanics. It would be hard to think of a more deliberately confusing color-scheme — see page 3 for an example.
Of course, deliberate blindness about race is essential to the authors’ argument. It is what permits them to claim to believe the achievement gap can be closed even when all the data they present indicate otherwise. Their book is a fine illustration of how the egalitarian fantasy means even a carefully researched book must be written so as strengthen the American delusion about race.
Black and Blue
A good start on racial profiling.
Heather Mac Donald, Are Cops Racist? How the War Against Police Harms Black Americans, Ivan R. Dee, 2003, 170 pp., $22.50.
During the 1980s, when drug violence reached all-time highs, blacks accused the police of bias for avoiding their neighborhoods and leaving them at the mercy of criminals. By the end of the 1990s, more aggressive policing in high-crime (mainly black) areas had helped reduce the nation’s violence rates by 25 percent. In New York City, crimes of all kinds fell an astonishing 64 percent between 1993 and 2001, to a level of safety the city had not seen in decades.
However, as Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute writes in this collection of articles originally published in City Journal, police were met with accusations of racism rather than the praise they deserved. To black race-hustlers, their liberal white promoters, and their allies in the press, police were unfairly targeting blacks and other minorities. The great “racial profiling” hullabaloo, in other words, came on the heels of one of the greatest policing successes in American history.
As Miss Mac Donald explains, there is no evidence police unfairly target non-whites. Police go after criminals. It may be an inconvenient fact for some, but criminals are disproportionately black. She sees the entire furor over “racial profiling” as a massive attempt to deny this.
During the 1990s, the New Jersey State Police were America’s favorite target for accusations of “police racism,” and Miss Mac Donald covers their case with particular care. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had asked the state to crack down on smugglers who used New Jersey as a pipeline to New York for drugs and weapons. The DEA explained that “Jamaicans, Haitians and black street gangs” control the street-level crack cocaine trade, and that the “predominant wholesale traffickers are Colombians, followed by Dominicans, Chinese, West African/Nigerians, Pakistanis, Hispanics and Indians,” with mid-level distributors consisting of “Dominicans, Colombians, Puerto Ricans, African-Americans and Nigerians.” Whites, it appeared, played almost no part in the drug trade.
New Jersey police paid close attention to suspicious vehicles driven by people who fit the DEA description. They did not pull over anyone only because of race; they stopped drivers for violations like speeding or missing tags. If drivers were twitchy or gave inconsistent answers to questions, the officers asked permission to search the car.
Between 1994 and 1998, 77 percent of police searches were of non-whites; 53 percent were of blacks. Whites accounted for only 21 percent of searches. Since only 16 percent of the drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike are black, this was proof to critics that the police were racially biased. Under intense media and political pressure, New Jersey’s then-attorney general, Peter Verniero, sold out his own state police. He issued a 1999 report, in which he conceded, “The problem of disparate treatment [of blacks] is real, not imagined,” and accused his officers of acting on racial stereotypes. He also abandoned the appeal against a 1996 court finding of “institutional bias” in the state police, and dismissed weapons and drug charges against 128 defendants who claimed they were stopped because of race. It is hard to imagine acts more likely to destroy the morale of dedicated officers.
Miss Mac Donald calls Attorney General Verniero’s report on profiling “shoddy,” and its evidence “meaningless.” In effect, it completely threw out the results of DEA intelligence, and took it for granted that no ethnic group is any more likely than any other to be in the drug trade. It assumed that if blacks were only 13.5 percent of the population of New Jersey, they could account for 60 percent of drugs and weapons arrests only if the police were racist. In fact, in no way did the study show that the police were doing anything other than searching people who were particularly likely to be criminals. Miss Mac Donald concludes: “If blacks in fact carry drugs at a higher rate than do whites, then this search rate merely reflects good law enforcement. If the police are now to be accused of racism every time they go where the crime is, that’s the end of public safety.”
The facts, of course, did not matter. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered troopers to list the race of every driver stopped and the duration of the stop, and began screening all officers for racial patterns. Any officer whose stops or arrests tilt heavily towards a particular racial group can be fired. The result is what is called de-policing: drug arrests on the Garden State Parkway — where racial differences had been greatest — dropped by 55 percent in 2000, and 25 percent on other state highways. The results were predictable. Not only were there a lot more drugs and guns on the street, but between 2000 and 2001, the homicide rate in Newark, for example, jumped 65 percent.
Other jurisdictions have faced similar charges of “racial profiling,” been hobbled by similar measures, and seen similar drops in arrest rates. In Minneapolis, traffic stops plummeted by 63 percent in 2001 after the mayor and police chief accused officers of racial profiling. Police in Pittsburgh told Miss Mac Donald they now effectively arrest by racial quota. In Los Angeles, during the first nine months of 2000, arrests declined by 25 percent, while the number of homicides increased by 25 percent.
Of course, to Mr. Verniero and other police critics, higher arrest and conviction rates for blacks and Hispanics do not prove they commit more crime than whites. They only reinforce the very racial stereotypes that lead police to profile by race in the first place. Miss Mac Donald calls this the “circularity argument,” which “has become de rigueur among the anti-racial profiling crowd.” She quotes former New Jersey Senator Robert Toricelli telling the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2000: “Statistically it cannot bear evidence [sic] to those who suggest that, as our former superintendent of the state police suggested, that certain ethnic or racial groups disproportionately commit crimes. They do not.” Carl Williams was a “former” superintendent because he was fired in 1999 by Governor Christine Todd Whitman for reporting that non-whites control the cocaine and marijuana trades.
Our rulers usually take the word of experts. If the public health authorities tell them chicken pox is a greater threat than whooping cough, they are unlikely to disagree. When it comes to race, however, a lady governor who knew nothing about crime rates blithely threw out a man who had worked in law enforcement all his life.
Not surprisingly, the police are sick of this, and some have tried to defend themselves. It is not easy to get independent confirmation that non-whites smuggle drugs more often than whites, but the New Jersey State Police did manage to get the attorney general to look into whether blacks break the speed limit more often than whites, thus justifying more traffic stops. The Public Service Research Institute found that blacks are twice as likely as whites to speed on the New Jersey Turnpike, and are even more likely to drive at reckless speeds of more than 90 miles an hour. The study found that, proportionately, not enough blacks are stopped for speeding!
Did the attorney general of New Jersey trumpet the results that vindicated his state police? No. He tried to bury it, claiming the methodology was bad. Our rulers are so committed to the idea that there are no race differences in crime rates that they ignore and even suppress evidence to the contrary. Only after the report was posted on the Internet by a New Jersey newspaper did the attorney general officially accept it, but both he and the DOJ said it didn’t really mean very much.
Miss Mac Donald is at pains to point out — it is even the subtitle of her book — that it is blacks who have the most to lose in the current war against the police. She spoke to ordinary blacks who respect the police, and indeed criticize them for not running off the drug dealers. She faults the press for not publicizing the generally pro-police attitudes of non-criminal blacks, especially when police do make mistakes, such as in the shooting death of African illegal immigrant Amadou Diallo in 1999 (see next article). Instead, the press invariably falls at the feet of Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, who then force concessions out of craven politicians — all at the expense of blacks who will be the targets of the black criminals the police are now either unable or unwilling to arrest.
However, it is not only law-abiding blacks who suffer because of the anti-profiling crusade. Whites suffer from black crime, too, but Miss Mac Donald warns of even larger consequences. In the wake of the September 11 attacks, Muslim and Arab pressure groups yelled when the government rounded up Middle Easterners, and complained about racial profiling rather than encourage their people to cooperate with authorities. If anti-terror efforts are undermined as easily as the New Jersey State Police were — and indications are not encouraging — the results could be a lot worse than a plague of black drug peddlers.
A Good Start
Miss Mac Donald’s book is an antidote to anti-police hysteria, but there is something shifty about her treatment of racial profiling. She says there are two kinds, “hard” and “soft.” The hard kind would mean stopping someone only because of race, and she says that’s wrong. She’s not very clear though, about the legitimate “soft” kind. She seems to think it should not go beyond acting on intelligence like that of the DEA on drug runners. She even seems to think that since non-white neighborhoods have a lot of crime, the fact that police spend a lot of time in them and pick up a lot of non-white criminals is some kind of acceptable racial profiling.
Sometimes, race may be the only thing the authorities need to know. In national parks that run up to the Mexican border, whites with backpacks are campers; Hispanics with backpacks are illegal immigrants.
Miss Mac Donald does not seem to understand that profiling of all kinds is a combination of soft hunch and hard statistics, and is essential to good police work. The cops know men are more crime-prone than women and that young men are more crime-prone than old men, and they profile constantly by sex and age. Does that mean they stop every young man and never stop an old woman? No, but they stop perhaps 500 innocent young men for every innocent old woman, in the process of finding the guilty. No one complains about it, because we know that to treat old women and young men equally would be an idiotic waste of time.
Race is like sex and age: it carries information it would be foolish to ignore. Three unknown black men in your back yard are a greater menace than three otherwise similar white men in your back yard. Everyone knows this, including blacks and liberal journalists and Ted Kennedy.
Does that mean the police should stop every black? No more than they should stop every young man. An experienced officer takes in everything at a glance: dress, manner, location, time of day, etc. Race is an important part of the picture. Police departments therefore took a wrong turn when they denied they were profiling by race. They should have said, “Sure, we do it, and here’s why.”
But the “here’s why” brings us to Miss Mac Donald’s most important failing. Where are the statistics? Different treatment of young men and old women causes no outcry because everyone knows young men commit a lot of crime and old women commit hardly any. The public does not know the exact numerical difference but it doesn’t need to know. It’s obvious.
The same should be true about race. The general sense everyone has that blacks commit more crime than whites should be enough for people to understand why police pay more attention to them. However, there is so much fantasy, cowardice, and outright lying about race, that even things that are obviously true require vigorous defense and careful explanation.
As we know, there are people who insist there are no race differences in crime rates. It’s unlikely they believe it, but they say it, and the servile media report it. The only way to convince these people race is as legitimate a profiling category as sex or age, is to prove there are race differences in crime rates. Miss Mac Donald makes no attempt to do so. Her evidence — arrest rates — is exactly what police-haters cite as proof of “police racism.” Who’s right?
In a book like hers, it is unforgivable not to have consulted the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). This is an annual survey of more than 100,000 Americans that gathers a tremendous amount of information about the violent crimes they have suffered during the past year. From time to time the NCVS asks about race of perpetrator, and America’s crime victims report that, indeed, more than half the muggers were black. Many of them get away, of course, but police records show that just over half the muggers they arrest are black. If the public says 60 percent of the muggers were black and if 60 percent of the muggers the police arrest are black, it suggests the police are doing their job regardless of race. When the racial proportions for rape and assault are also in line, it is an even stronger argument. It is an argument Miss Mac Donald — inexplicably — fails to make.
Statistically, blacks are about as much more likely than whites to commit violent crime as men are more likely to do so than women. This fact alone, if it were widely recognized, would remove almost all criticism of racial profiling. Miss Mac Donald apparently does not know the facts, and is therefore unable to make the arguments on which her position depends.
What about racial differences in drug use? Police critics constantly tell us whites are just as likely as blacks to take drugs, and that police viciously target blacks. Miss Mac Donald assumes they are wrong, but how does she know? In this case there are no data as forceful as the NCVS, but there are very interesting indicators. The US Department of Health and Human Services keeps records by race of drug-related emergency room admissions. Blacks are admitted at six times the white rate for heroin and morphine, and ten times the white rate for cocain (Hispanics are admitted at three and two times the white rates respectively). These rates cannot be attributed to wealth differences. Whites may be better able to afford fancy, private drying-out clinics, but these are emergency admissions, for which whites can plan no better than non-whites. The simple explanation for these admissions differences is that non-whites take a lot of drugs. There is plenty of other evidence to show that race differences in crime rates are substantial, and consistent over time (see AR, July 1999). Miss Mac Donald would make a much stronger case if she used it.
Finally, Miss Mac Donald takes a conventionally soft-headed view of the causes of crime. She writes:
“If officers stop and arrest proportionately more blacks than whites, claimed the conventional dodge, it is because cops are racist, not because blacks commit more crime. So rather than tackling the culture that produced such high rates of criminality, the nation’s media and political élites campaigned to purge law enforcement of ‘bigotry.’”
“Culture,” of course, has very little to do with crime. Both crime and “culture,” however defined, reflect genetic endowments. The Japanese do not have a “culture” that steers them away from crime. They have high average intelligence and low average blood testosterone levels, and commit very few crimes, whether they are living in Japan, the United States or anywhere else. Their culture does not determine their crime rates any more than their crime rates determine their culture; both reflect their biological nature.
Miss Mac Donald is probably best known for her book, The Burden of Bad Ideas. The idea that “culture” rather than biology drives most human behavior is an exceedingly bad idea with which she continues to burden herself.
Amadou Diallo’s Revenge
City Hall sells out the police — again.
The New York Police Depart-ment’s elite undercover Street Crimes Unit (SCU) played a vital role in reducing the city’s crime rate in the 1990s. It was established in the 1970s to protect cabbies and truck drivers, but Mayor Rudy Giuliani shifted its focus to getting illegal guns off the streets. SCU officers patrolled high-crime areas, using aggressive “stop and frisk” tactics. As an SCU veteran explains, “We’re trained to look for things that don’t make sense: people congregating, turning away fast, or holding or picking up their belts.” “Stop and frisk” paid off — homicides, which had been as high as 2,200 a year under Mr. Giuliani’s black predecessor, David Dinkins, fell to 638 by 1998. Gun homicides dropped by an astonishing 75 percent.
But on Feb. 4, 1999, four white members of the street crimes unit shot and killed Amadou Diallo, an unarmed African immigrant. The officers spotted Diallo pacing nervously in front of an apartment building in a neighborhood that had recently seen a rash of shootings and in which an armed rapist had been on the prowl. Diallo matched the description of the rapist. When the officers identified themselves, Diallo ran into the building and tried to open the locked inner door. Two of the officers ordered Diallo to come out with his hands up. Instead, he turned away and pulled a black object from his pocket, which one of the officers thought was a gun. They opened fire, hitting Diallo 19 times. The object was a wallet.
The sky fell on the Street Crimes Unit. Critics accused it of racial profiling, pointing out that blacks were 24.5 percent of New York’s population, but accounted for 50.9 percent of the SCU’s searches. A left-wing group called the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) sued the city on behalf of ten black plaintiffs, alleging they were singled out by the SCU solely because of race. In November 2003, the city paid the men a total of $167,000 and agreed to make police officers fill out detailed forms for every stop, noting the suspect’s race and exact reason he was stopped. The CCR, together with a federal judge, will review the forms for any evidence of racial profiling.
Critics claimed “stop and frisk” had no purpose other than to intimidate non-whites, noting that 16 innocent blacks were stopped for every one arrested. However, Columbia Law School professor Richard Ulliver explains this supposedly shocking figure is “well within tolerance.” “I don’t know of any other way to fight the war on handguns,” he adds. Nor did all blacks oppose “stop and frisk.” “If the Street Crimes Unit pats me down because I match a description, and the next guy they pat down has a gun, God bless them,” says Richard Green of the Crown Heights Youth Collective. “I have a right to privacy, but you have an absolute right to your life and property.”
Indeed, 50.9 percent of the people the SCU stopped were black, but 59 percent of street crime victims reported that the attacker was black. Police did not stop enough blacks. Of course, the settlement with the Center for Constitutional Rights means the NYPD will search even fewer blacks from now on, so crime — including gun homicides — should rise.
When that happens, New Yorkers won’t have the Street Crimes Unit to protect them. Because of the uproar over the Diallo shooting, the city disbanded it in April 2002.
The Late, Great City of Mayberry
Siler City becomes Mexico pequeño.
“The Divide”, PBS Television, directed by John Valadez.
Frances Bavier, “Aunt Bee” of the old Andy Griffith television show, is buried in Siler City, North Carolina, where she spent the last 17 years of her life. The Andy Griffith Show chronicled life in Mayberry, an idyllic Southern village, a place where time seemed to have stopped. In the words of Richard Kelly, author of The Andy Griffith Show, “Mayberry is totally conservative and … is guided by its traditions and rituals and resists change of all sorts.”
When the series ended, Miss Bavier retired and set out to look for the town in America most like Mayberry. She ended up in Siler City, which had been mentioned frequently on the show. “I … came here looking for a fairyland,” she explained. And for those 17 years, she found it.
Now, in the years since Miss Bavier’s death in 1989, that fairyland has taken a monstrous turn. What had been a quiet town of 5,000, of whom about 71 percent were white and 27 percent black, has now nearly doubled in size and consists of three uneasy racial groups — white, black, and Hispanic — each about a third of the population. The local elementary school is at least 50 percent Hispanic. With the population of the rest of the surrounding Chatham County figured in, at least 10,000 Mexicans now live in the area, virtually every one of whom arrived in the last ten years. More come every week.
The rapid changes that have come to Siler City and Chatham County have brought the region much publicity, and the town was the subject of a September 2003 PBS documentary called “The Divide.”
What accounts for Siler City’s dramatic change? At various points in the program, the area is called a “magnet,” as though illegal aliens are irresistibly drawn there, like so many iron filings. It is true that Mexican peasants did not choose Siler City on their own. They are actively recruited, primarily by chicken processors like Townsend Poultry, eager to pay low wages for dirty, disagreeable work. Management appears to think only of profits, and finds the immigrants’ rustic naïveté to be an advantage. According to Mother Jones magazine, one local poultry executive has said of the illegal employees, “I don’t want them after they’ve been here a year and know how to get around. I want them right off the bus.” Although the government has investigated firms such as Tyson Foods for recruiting illegal workers, the meatpacking industry and many others continue to flout the law.
If white businessmen are ultimately responsible, the white townspeople and civic leaders are no better. In the program there are short interviews with residents. Predictably, the blacks and Latinos speak out for the interests of their own race, without apology or compromise. Of the three whites interviewed, only one — National Alliance member Will Williams — speaks for whites, and is presented, as we shall see, in the worst possible light. The other two whites, a county commissioner and a Baptist preacher, talk about how important it is to seek “understanding” and “celebrate diversity.”
The county commissioner, Rick Givens, has not always been so agreeable. In August 1999, he wrote to the INS asking for help with the flood of illegals, and suggested they might need to be “routed back to their homes.” The letter caused a stir, and it seemed that Mr. Givens might be on the verge of becoming an anti-immigration crusader. But then came a chance politicians-on-the-make crave: a political junket.
In Mr. Givens’s case, it was an all-expenses-paid trip in 1999 to Puebla, Mexico, birthplace of many of Siler City’s new residents. Along with 25 other state and local officials, Mr. Givens was sent by a group called the North Carolina Center for International Understanding, which is sponsored by the University of North Carolina. After touring rundown homes and schools, and seeing the conditions in which his new neighbors used to live, he decided he had to make it easier for them to come to Siler City. According to salon.com, “Givens felt humbled by the experience and changed his position.”
“I still say illegal is illegal,” he said on his return, but apparently some illegal is less illegal than others. “I found out it wasn’t just a simple black-and-white issue,” he added. He came home with a new calling: to decide “how we can work with the people that are here to help integrate them to our way of living.”
The other pro-immigrant white on the program is Reverend Neal Kight, who has a quickly-growing Hispanic congregation. Rev. Kight has made it his mission to convince the white people of Siler City — at least the whites still in his congregation — to accept and welcome their new neighbors. Although at one point he appears to speak with great authority about the evils of life under segregation, he later admits that that he arrived only recently. For 14 years, he was a minister in New Mexico, where he and his wife were the only whites. The current complexion of Siler City makes him feel quite at home.
The Reverend does concede that when his daughter reached school-age, he passed on the local elementary school (the one that is 50 percent Hispanic) and sent her to a newly-formed charter school. This had “nothing to do with race, not at all,” he emphasizes. It was a question of class size, student-teacher ratio, that sort of thing.
Rev. Kight recently helped put on a “Siler City Racial Unity Rally,” to banish the specter of David Duke, who had spoken at an immigration-control rally. Rev. Kight’s purpose was — what else — to “celebrate our diversity,” but judging from the scenes in “The Divide,” most Siler City residents apparently decided to celebrate by staying home.
National Alliance activist Will Williams no doubt appeared on the program only because he invited David Duke to Siler City in April 2000. As Mr. Williams explains, as soon as he began to hear the town referred to as “Little Mexico,” he had to do something. The program portrays the Duke rally as a unifying event for blacks, Hispanics, and “good” white people. Although the rally was about the problems brought on by the influx of immigrants, the program highlights the emotional response of blacks to a “former Klansman.” At the same time, it gives the impression that anyone who opposes the transformation of Siler City is, at heart, a night rider.
Although Mr. Williams is allowed a few statements here and there, and Rev. Kight and Mr. Givens speak of the difficult “adjustments” whites have had to make, “The Divide” glosses over substantive complaints about mass immigration, and suggests anyone who preferred the town the way it was, is either ignorant of the benefits Latinos are providing or downright bigoted and hateful. The program is silent on drug use, gangs, school violence, overtaxed services, plummeting test scores, an increase in sexually transmitted diseases, underage drinking, domestic violence, traffic accidents, noise violations, unsanitary housing, livestock within the city limits — all problems created or exacerbated by Hispanic immigrants.
One of the commentators in the program is Ruben Martinez, a musician and writer. He is, of course, sympathetic to the immigrants and approves of the adjustments Siler City has made to welcome them. “The Divide” does not, however, go into Mr. Martinez’s views on how the Mexican invasion has affected Mexico, which he described in his book Crossing Over:
“A cholo [gangbanger] from the Purépecha Plateau in Michoacán strolls down the main street of Nahuatzen … He’s wearing his Oakland Raiders cap backwards and his head is shaved East-L.A. style. He’s got his Nikes on and his baggy pants. He’s wearing a sleeveless T-shirt to display the tragicomic mask tattooed on his shoulder, with the slogan ‘la vida loca [the crazy life].’
“He goes into a video arcade with his buddies and spends an hour killing ninjas, blacks and Arabs. Each time he kills a bad guy he screams: ‘En la madre [any reference to a Hispanic’s ‘mother’ rather than ‘mommy’ is an insult], motherfucker!’ Then he climbs into his ranfla [low rider], a broken-down ‘79 Datsun with North Carolina plates, and he goes cruiseando through town singing the refrain from a golden oldie: ‘My angel baby, my angel baby/oooh I love you, yes I do …’”
America is poisoning Mexico but Mexico is enriching America.
“The Divide” ends with a visit to a young Hispanic woman bustling about her Siler City home, sort of a youngish, Latinized Aunt Bee for the 21st century. In sad Spanish phrases accompanied by a strumming guitar sound track, she says that while Mexico is her country [“Mexico es mi pais”], Siler City — Mexico pequeño [Little Mexico] — is her home.
As I watched “The Divide” again on videotape to write this review, the tape ended and the television switched automatically back to the news. There, in his best pidgin Spanish, President George Bush was rolling his Rs before a Hispanic crowd. It was “con nosotros” this and “este es” that, as he schmoozed and oléd with his hermanos. Such a performance no longer seemed surreal.
Meanwhile, back in Siler City, new Hispanic families arrive each week on North Chatham Avenue, while Aunt Bee’s house on Elk Street has been put on the market again. Even the ghosts are leaving Mayberry now.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Letter From South Africa
We have received the following letter from Mrs. Lynn Finlay of South Africa about the Dec. 11 murder of her friend Johan Bester. It captures the bitterness many South Africans feel in this tenth-year anniversary of the ANC takeover of their country, and the world-wide silence that has greeted the war on white farmers that has already left more than 1,500 dead.
“A friend of ours from Walkerville was shot and killed yesterday by blacks supposedly looking to buy a tractor. He was shot in the head as he turned to go into his kitchen to fetch tea for his visitors, who had been there the previous day to look at the tractor. Bessie was not a small man and the cowards waited to shoot him with his back turned. He could have killed them with his bare hands and they could not risk him fighting back. Johan Bester and his family are well known and liked in our area and we are all horrified at this senseless killing. THIS IS THE 5TH FRIEND WE HAVE LOST IN THE PAST 10 YEARS TO THESE MURDERING SAVAGES. How many people in the civilised world can claim they have lost so many friends in ‘peace time.’
“Let this be a warning to all who think that things ‘are coming right in SA’. The only thing that is coming right is that the blacks are wiping out everything that is seen as ‘white.’ Doing business with these savages and socialising with them is going to cost you more than your life … it is going to cost us our country, families and friends.
“WAKE UP ALL OF YOU STUPID, LAZY AND NEW LIBERAL WHITES.
“They called us Radicals, Nazis, right wing maniacs, white supremacists and every other insult that the liberal could think of. They chucked us in jail, hounded us, tapped our phones (and still do) helped the Sunday Times to destroy reputations and showed us that they would destroy us in their quest to get the black into power. They have all since buggered off out of the country and now chirp from the sidelines.
“This is the result.
“We were right.
“If it takes 100 years for the world to accept this, then that is just too bad, and who cares what the USA, UK, Israel and the rest of the rubbish think about us anyway. They don’t live here.
“But in SA, if we allow ourselves to be complacent, we are going to be murdered out of existence.
“By the way, they did not take anything except an empty cash box… anyone who tells you the motive was robbery is very mistaken. As usual, it is the same old, same old. As far as they are concerned, the only good white farmer is a dead one. Funny, but I feel the same way about the entire black race.
Carr Brothers Redux?
In Carthage, North Carolina, three blacks are charged with the murder of four whites, aged 18 to 21, and the attempted murder of a fifth. According to police, Mario Phillips, his girlfriend Renee McLauglin, and a friend invaded the trailer home of Eddie Ryals, and shot and stabbed the owner and his friends Joseph Harden, Carl Justice, Amanda Cook, and Harvey Hobson. The blacks then set the home on fire to destroy the evidence. Mr. Phillips, the ringleader, lived across from Mr. Ryals’s trailer, and the murderers were friends of the victims: They first met more than a year before the crime, when Mr. Hobson helped out Mr. Phillips and his girlfriend when their car ran out of gas. This is how they repaid the favor.
One of their victims, 15-year-old Amanda Cook, miraculously survived being shot twice and stabbed 22 times. As the blacks watched the trailer burn down, they saw her stagger out the back door. They threw her in the back of their truck, and drove off to dispose of her. The truck got stuck on a stump, and they abandoned it when they heard police sirens. They ran back to Mr. Phillips’s home — just across the street — and were arrested. Miss Cook’s life is still in doubt.
Police say robbery was the motive but there was only about $170 in the home. A neighbor says the murderers were involved in drug trafficking. [Wade Rawlins, NewsObserver.com, Dec. 21, 2003. Mary Anderson, Robbery Starts Tale of Horror, Courier-Tribune (Asheboro, N.C.), no date. Survivor of Moore County Shootings, Stabbings, Fire Remains in Critical Condition, WRAL. com, Dec. 20.]
Where Are They Now?
Damian Williams was one of the first blacks to start rioting in Los Angeles after the 1992 acquittal of the officers who beat Rodney King. He was one of several men filmed by a television news crew as he attacked white truck driver Reginald Denny. He served four years of a 10-year term for felony mayhem.
In July 2000, he got into an argument with Grover Tinner in a Los Angeles crack house and Mr. Tinner ended up dead of gunshot wounds. Last December, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge sentenced him to 30 years to life for murder and another 21 years for theft of a firearm. Mr. Williams’s co-defendant, who actually pulled the trigger, got 110 years to life, plus 20 years. [Monte Morin, 1992 Riots Figure Sentenced, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 6, 2003.]
Out of the Past
Chicago Alderman Dorothy Tillman, who is black, was the driving force behind the Chicago city council’s directive in February 2003 requiring all companies with city contracts to report whether they or any corporate predecessor had anything to do with the slave trade. Since then, more than 2,000 city contractors have filed “slavery disclosure” affidavits, and all but one denied any tie to the slave trade. The investment bank Lehman Brothers reported that the three brothers who founded its predecessor, H. Lehman & Brothers, bought a woman named Martha in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1854. The brothers may have owned other slaves, but the company says “historical records provide no evidence as to what role, if any” Martha or any other slave played at the firm.
Lehman Brothers is co-manager of a $145 million bond issue for Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, and last September, Mayor Richard Daley appointed a black Lehman Brothers senior vice president, Carole Brown, as chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). When the press reported the story about Martha, Miss Brown defended her company, saying, “[T]he Lehman Brothers in the 1850s is not the company that it is today. That’s evidenced by my leadership and the fact that they don’t condone violations of fundamental human rights in any form.”
Miss Tillman is outraged. “She should have kept her mouth shut and said, ‘I’m not going to speak against my people,’” she said, and on she went: “Why is this young lady trying to speak on behalf of slave owners? [They’re saying] ‘let’s parade this black woman out there.’ Who is she to say that things have changed? Things have not changed. The economy for blacks is just as bad as it was under Jim Crow. We still have only one percent of the wealth. She’s not there because of her merits or because someone loves her. She’s there because of the fight waged for parity in this country.”
Miss Tillman insists that either Miss Brown apologize for allowing herself to be used to “sanitize the reputation of a company built on the backs of her own people” or resign as CTA chairman. “If she’s that insensitive as an African-American woman not to understand the effects and residues of slavery, she certainly can’t represent us on the CTA board. She cannot speak for them and us too.”
Conrad Willett, chairman of the National Black United Front, applauds Lehman Brothers for at least admitting ties to slavery, but thinks they reported “only the tip of the iceberg.” “We’re working with a major researcher who has uncovered Lehman Brothers’s deep involvement in the slave enterprise that they did not admit to in their affidavit,” he says. Miss Tillman thinks many other city contractors had historical ties to slavery: “I warn those companies who have lied on the affidavits that when we get through looking through and find out they have lied, we’re going to shine the light of truth on them, and whatever contracts they have with the city will be terminated.” [Fran Spielman, CTA Chief Told to Apologize or Resign, Chicago Sun-Times, Nov. 25, 2003, p. 13.]
Denmark collects more sperm for artificial insemination than any other nation, and the Danish sperm bank Cryos International, which offers only Danish sperm, is the largest in the world. Danes contribute to about 1,000 pregnancies a year in more than 40 countries. In fact, demand from the United States has been so great Cryos has opened an office in New York City. Donors, most of them students, receive $40.50 for every donation. Not all sperm is good enough for Cryos, though; the bank sells only about 10 percent of its donations. Women can browse for sperm on Cryos’s website (www.scandinaviancryobank.com), where information about the appearance, education, and profession of the donors is listed under Viking aliases, such as Birk, Gorm, Olaf, and Thor.
There is more Sperm donation in Denmark than in other countries because laws assure donor anonymity. Cryos has found that only 12 percent of its donors would continue to provide sperm if they were not guaranteed anonymity. Donation decreased markedly in other Scandinavian countries when courts banned donor anonymity. [Elinor Schang, World’s Top Sperm Donors Live in Denmark, Reuters, Dec. 28, 2003.]
Try Anything Once
Malaysia has struggled for many years with diversity. Its large Chinese minority is far more successful academically and economically than the native Malay majority, and the country has long practiced what it calls a “Bumiputra” (sons of the soil) policy of discrimination in favor of Malays. Ethnic relations continue to be bad, and as this BBC news story (quoted in full) suggests, the government is willing to try just about anything to improve them:
“Malaysia is to consider using mass circumcision ceremonies to promote racial harmony.
“Circumcision is a rite of passage for young Muslim boys, and in Malaysia it is common for the ceremony to become an event with dozens, or even hundreds of boys being circumcised together.
“Now the prime minister’s religious affairs adviser has suggested that circumcision can bring Malaysians of all races and religions together.
“Dr Abdul Hamid Othman said that with the growing popularity of circumcision among the country’s non-Muslim minorities — who see it as good hygienic practice — they too could be invited to join in the celebrations with their Muslim friends.
“He believes the idea could promote better race relations and he wants to see a nationwide circumcision ceremony organised.
“Just over half of Malaysia’s population is Muslim, mainly members of the ethnic Malay community, while the country’s Chinese, Tamil and tribal peoples follow a variety of other faiths.
“The government has been exploring ways of stopping the different groups from drifting apart, including the introduction of a national service scheme which begins in February.”
[Jonathan Kent, Malaysia Moots Cross-cultural Circumcision, BBC News, Dec. 17, 2003.]
Chiefs Have Privileges
The man who came be to known as Yusef Bey was born in 1934 in Greenville, Texas, and was given the name Joseph Stephens in Greenville, Texas. When he was five, he moved to Oakland with his parents. He grew up, joined the Air Force, moved to Santa Barbara where he opened a beauty salon, and joined the Nation of Islam. He moved back to Oakland and opened Your Black Muslim Bakery, which he expanded over a period of 30 years into a multi-million-dollar empire of food stores, security services, apartment management, and even a health spa. A whole block of downtown Oakland is filled with his businesses, and his trademark bean pies, muffins and carrot cakes are even sold at the Oakland Airport. He had a weekly cable television program in which he promoted “family values” and denounced the white devil’s “tricknology” that keeps black people down. He grew to be a very powerful man in Oakland, and even ran for mayor in 1994.
Now, it appears that his prominence protected him against serious charges of rape. In 1978, Oakland social services put two sisters into foster care with one of the many women Mr. Bey claimed as “wives” — he had one legal wife and a large harem of concubines — who lived at his residential compound. According to court records and police reports, he soon started raping the girls, and kept it up for eight years. The younger sister had her first child with Mr. Bey when she was 13 and had two more by the time she was 18. The older sister bore him two children before reaching age 18. Many of the men and women who lived at the compound reportedly knew about the rapes, but told the girls they would get used to it. Tarika Lewis, who was married to the sisters’ biological father, tried to get help from the police and the city’s social services department, but got the cold shoulder. “I kept running into brick walls or threats,” she says.
The sisters moved out of the compound when they turned 18, but Mr. Bey reportedly raped other young girls. He also turned his attentions to a 13-year-old who got a job at one of his bakeries. He raped her over a period of 18 months, and sent men to threaten her and her family when she stopped showing up for work. The woman, now 23, says that when she complained to a social worker she was told, “Yusef Bey is too powerful. We can’t go up against him.” The bakery worker committed an assault and ended up in a group home in 1996, where she told the police what Mr. Bey was doing, but nothing came of it.
Oakland police finally began to act in June 2002 when the younger foster sister spent several hours giving them a detailed account of what she knew. An investigator got DNA samples from Mr. Bey and several of his children, looked up the old records from the 1996 complaint, and finally got prosecutors to file rape charges in Nov. 2002. Needless to say, Mr. Bey called the charges “malicious lies,” and suggested they were part of a white conspiracy to take him down. The net was beginning to close on him when the 68-year-old Mr. Bey died in September, 2003. Forty-three children and a number of “wives” attended his lavish memorial service.
Only a few blacks — mostly women — appear to have lowered their opinion of Bey. Many of his supporters say the charges are nonsense, and others say it makes no difference even if they are true. “He was a born leader in the sense of an African chief or a Muslim caliph,” says 62-year-old supporter Maleek Al Maleek “What is prohibited here is not prohibited in East India, where there are child marriages. I can show you chiefs in Africa who have 30 wives … The ways of the high priests are not shared by the commoner.” [Lee Rommey, Dignity, Diligence, Scandal, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 30, 2003.]
In December, Christoph Blocher, whom the press calls “a fervent nationalist,” won election to Switzerland’s federal cabinet, the country’s most powerful elected body. He is a billionaire industrialist who wants lower taxes, less government, and a strict clamp down on “refugees” and illegal immigrants. He also opposes closer ties with the European Union, arguing that it would be suicide for Switzerland to give up its independence to bureaucrats in Brussels. His election was met with praise from bankers and businessmen, and shrieking from refugee aid groups. He said he looked forward to working with his six colleagues in the federal cabinet, some of whom he has criticized as “incompetent.” [Clare Nullis, Right-winger Elected into Switzerland’s Cabinet, San Mateo County Times (Calif.), Dec. 11, 2003, p. 2.]
In Serbia, a man the papers like to call an “ultranationalist,” Tomislav Nikolic, led his Serbian Radical Party to the best showing in December elections, with 27 percent of the vote. The second-place finisher, with 17 percent of the vote, was the Democratic Party of Serbia, which the papers call “moderate nationalist.” Serbia is likely to have a sound immigration policy. [Dusan Stojanovic, Nationalists Win Plurality, Washington Times, Dec. 29, 2003, p. A12.]
Hmong Coming Soon
The Hmong, primitive Laotian mountain tribesmen, were recruited by the CIA to fight Laotian communists during the Vietnam War, and became refugees in Thailand when the communists won. In the 1970s, about 130,000 came to the United States as political refugees, mainly settling in Minnesota and California. The Hmong have been highly unsuccessful here and are noted for their high rates of poverty, unemployment, and suicide. [see AR, August 2003 and September 2003].
Many Hmong in Southeast Asia have still not been resettled, and American Hmong have been pressing the US government to let even more of them in. They now have their wish: the State Department agreed in December to let in 15,000 more Hmong, and activists are hoping for more. One reason is the State Department thinks America has not been getting enough refugees recently: President Bush agreed to accept 70,000 per year, but admitted fewer than 30,000 in each of the last two years, mainly because of stricter security after the September 11 attacks.
Some Americans have objected to shouldering the costs of resettling the Hmong. However, Minnesota State Senator Mee Moua, the first Hmong elected to state office, explains, “These are people who need help and will make good Americans.” Bo Thao, director of a Hmong advocacy group in Washington, adds, “We greatly appreciate that the United States is again living up to its role as protector of refugees.” [Marc Kaufman, 15,000 War Refugees Allowed to Apply to Leave Thai Camp, Washington Post, Dec. 21, 2003.].
Biased against Whites
A recent study discredits the view that British police are biased against non-whites. In fact, the study found the opposite: whites are more likely to be stopped and searched than blacks or Asians, even though white Britons are less likely to commit crimes than non-whites. The study found that in Slough (a suburb of London), whites were 36 percent of the street population, but more than half of those stopped and searched by police. The figures for blacks were 19 percent and16 percent, and for Asians they were 42 percent and 33 percent. [Mark Ludlow and Alison Gordon, Whites More Likely than Blacks to Face Police Searches on Streets, Sunday Times (London), Oct. 26, 2003.]
Europe is plagued by low birth rates, but in Italy the problem is particularly grave. Italian women have, on average, only 1.2 children. According to economist Giuseppe Pennisi, “If projections are right, then in 2050 Italy will have 15 million fewer people than today, which means we won’t have enough young people to pay for [the] welfare system, pensions, health and so on.” Rather than encourage immigration, the government is paying women — but only women of European origin — to have children. From Dec. 1, 2003 to the end of 2004, Italians who have a second child will get a one-time payment of 1,000 Euros ($1,200). Some local areas are doing even more to increase birth rates. Laviano, a small town near Naples whose population declined by nearly half since 1970, is offering a bonus of 10,000 Euros ($11,900) per baby. [Frances Kennedy, Italy Offers Families Baby-Cash, BBC News, Dec. 1, 2003. Tamsin Smith, Italy Baby Cash Aims to Boost Births, BBC News, Oct. 2, 2003. Italian Town Offers $11,900 per Baby, Reuters, Dec. 3, 2003.]
Washington State police have detained Khalil Nassar on charges of attempted kidnapping and felony harassment for trying to abduct his sister and punish her for marrying a Christian. His sister had taped him, threatening that he would return her to her family “dead or alive.” He was arrested with a partner a block from her house in a rented van, where police found rope, gloves, coveralls, and a hardhat; the last two items were, presumably, to be used as a disguise. Prof. Farhat J. Ziadeh of University of Washington, who specializes in Islamic law, explains that Islam requires continuation of the faith. “The man is the head of the family, and the children follow the man’s religion and they don’t want anyone to be cut off from Islam.” [Police: Man Tried to Kidnap Sister for Marrying Christian, AP, Dec. 27, 2003.]
Muslims in Europe have committed similar crimes, and this is not the first in the United States. In February 2001 in Ohio, a Pakistani computer scientist named Nawaz Ahmed killed his wife and three members of her family because her suspected unfaithfulness besmirched his honor. [Frank Hinchey, Ohio Killings Were Motivated by Husband’s Need For ‘Honor,’ Experts Say, Columbus Dispatch, Feb. 8, 2001.]
No Head Scarves
A government-appointed commission in France has reported that French Muslims are carrying out a “guerilla assault” against the secular state. Young Arab radicals encourage and even force Arab girls to wear head scarves, especially at school, where religious symbols are forbidden under French law. Muslim students and families torment female teachers, assault Jewish students, and disrupt classes about some historical issues like the Holocaust. Muslim men insist that only female doctors treat their wives and daughters, and some Muslims refuse medical treatment entirely, because French doctors are infidels.
On Dec. 17, President Jacques Chirac proposed a law to ban Muslim headscarves at schools, in an effort to reestablish the separation of church and state and quell Muslim nationalism. The law was needed, he said, “to protect our children, so that our youth are not exposed to the ill winds that separate, that divide, that pit one against another.” The law is expected to pass parliament. Some commentators believe Mr. Chirac proposed the law to steal the thunder of the National Front, which will offer the stiffest competition to his center-right party in this year’s regional elections. [Sebastian Rotella, Chirac Proposes Ban on Head Scarves, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 18, 2003.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — Thank you very much for publishing Mikael Widmark’s fascinating article on the racial problems in Scandinavia in the Dec. 2003 issue. I have been in London and am quite aware of the effect of immigration on England and France, but naively assumed Scandinavia was the last bastion of a relatively pure Nordic society.
What is most depressing of all is that the native populations have inflicted this grave wound to their culture, nation and race on themselves willingly, and in the case of Sweden, apparently gleefully. Can we really attribute to northern Europeans any meaningful advantage in intelligence?
Robert Michael, Santa Barbara, Cal.
Sir — I was astonished to learn in your January issue of the attitude with which the Jamestown colonists approached the Indians. I would have expected them very quickly to have taken the view that Indians were an obstacle to civilization, to be eliminated on any pretext. To have instead endured the vilest treachery in 1622 only to stretch their necks out to the knife yet again in 1644 shows, if possible, even less sense of self-preservation than whites show today. I think of our ancestors as sturdy, sensible folk who acted unapologetically on sound racial instincts, and of us as etiolated stock from whom something vital is missing. Moving Indians to reservations, preventing Asian immigration, keeping blacks separate from white society — these are all clear acts of racial consciousness, of which today’s whites would be incapable.
I grant Mr. Jackson’s point: We are sealing our doom through inaction. But would we act as foolishly as the Jamestown colonists? Let us try to imagine the contemporary equivalent of the Opechancenough attack of 1622. It would require that some non-white group decide in secret to rise up together at precisely the same moment and kill every white person in sight. There would be killings at schools, in offices, and in the street. At the prescribed moment, housemaids and gardeners would slaughter their employers, and nannies would strangle their charges before they turned on the parents. Imagine a third of the white population of, say, Florida or Philadelphia exterminated in just a few hours. This is what our ancestors lived through, and yet were soon back to mixing promiscuously with their murderers, only to be massacred in the same way 22 years later.
It is true that not all whites behaved like the English at Jamestown. And yet, any people that is capable of such suicidal foolishness — even just once or twice — is a people in whom some vital element is missing.
Paul Chambers, Wheeling, W. Va.
Sir — Thank you for another great article by Michael Rienzi in the January issue. It’s good to have someone on our side who sees through the fraudulent science of the other side.
Carla Thomas, Lexington, Ky.
Sir — In a December O Tempora item you offer the results of TopCoder, Inc.’s programming competition as evidence of the high abilities of white computer programmers. You then suggest this proves the error of the large number of American companies that hire out programming work to such places as India. Would that your conclusions were valid, but I’m afraid they are not. First, TopCoder’s best programmers are reportedly from Sweden, Poland, Ukraine, and Germany. Where is the US on this list? There are still a few white people left in America, and their absence suggests TopCoder’s results are skewed — perhaps by self-selection — towards Europe. Any competition result that suggests there are more good programmers in the Ukraine than in the United States is not a fair test of world-wide ability. In a fair test it may be that Indians would do better than you think.
Next, you argue that even if foreign programmers are cheap, they probably don’t have that streak of genius a high-tech company needs to stay on top. Most white programmers don’t either. A lot of programming is more or less straightforward drudge work that requires no special creativity.
Finally, the market argues against your conclusions. Dozens of companies are not moving their programming overseas out of anti-white bias but because Indians can get the job done for less. For many programming jobs, if you can find men who are half as productive but cost one fifth what their competitors charge, you are better off with two cheap workers instead of one expensive one. In any case, there are a billion Indians and many of them are Caucasians. Some are going to be fine programmers.
Yes, you could keep the work at home, but you could also grow bananas in hot houses — at great expense — rather than import them. When it comes to erecting trade barriers, whether for goods or services, analogies to immigration fail. Hiring Indian programmers in India is not the same as bringing them here. Our wealth must depend on our being able to do things better than anyone else can do them. That is possible with a well educated, high-IQ population. Protectionism is needed only for inferior goods, and leaves us all poorer.
John Corey, Fremont, Cal.
Sir — AR seems to take great delight in making fun of the black belief in witchcraft, but perhaps you should not dismiss it so quickly. Do you have a better explanation for what has happened to whites during the past 50 years?
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