|American Renaissance magazine
|Vol. 12, No. 1
It’s Race, Stupid
If there is one pattern that emerges from the confused national election of 2000, it is that race and ethnicity are the driving forces in American politics today. An analysis of exit polls confirms that, so far from evolving toward a “color-blind” society in which most citizens are indifferent to racial identity, Americans are voting along clearly defined racial and ethnic lines. These voting patterns strongly suggest, if they do not confirm, that racial consciousness is a major determinant of voting behavior and that political appeals to racial interests and consciousness will continue to play a major role in the politics of the future.
The correlation of racial identity and voting behavior is most clear among blacks, who voted overwhelmingly for Democratic presidential candidate Vice President Al Gore. Black voters, making up some 10 percent of the electorate, supported Mr. Gore by 90 percent. While 85 percent of black men supported Mr. Gore, his support among black women was even larger-a huge 94 percent. Nationally, about 19 percent-nearly one in five-of Gore’s votes came from blacks.
Correspondingly, the level of black support for the Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, was strikingly low-only eight percent. Black men went for Bush by 12 percent, but only six percent of black women supported him. While black voters have historically been overwhelmingly Democratic since the 1960s, Mr. Bush’s black support, analyst DeWayne Wickham reported in USA Today, was “the lowest total garnered by any Republican presidential candidate since Barry Goldwater managed to win just 6 percent of the African-American vote in 1964,” and was lower even than the nine percent Ronald Reagan won in 1984.
One of the main reasons for strong black support for Mr. Gore is that both his campaign as well as its black supporters in the NAACP and similar racial activist lobbies worked hard to increase black turnout and to incite racial fears. Thus, in a speech at Wesley Center AME Zion Church in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Nov. 4, Mr. Gore told the black church audience, “When my opponent, Gov. Bush, says that he will appoint strict constructionists to the Supreme Court, I often think of the strictly constructionist meaning that was applied when the Constitution was written and how some people were considered three-fifths of a human being.”
The vice president was referring to the section of the Constitution (Article I, §2) that provided that slaves would be counted as three-fifths of a person for purposes of congressional apportionment. This section, inserted into the Constitution against the wishes and interests of Southern slave owners to diminish their power in Congress, was never a result of “construction” of any kind and referred only to slaves, not to free blacks. Mr. Gore’s misrepresentation insinuated that Mr. Bush’s support for “strict constructionism” would lead to the restoration of segregation, if not slavery.
Mr. Gore also told the same audience, “I am taught that good overcomes evil if we choose that outcome,” a passage the Bush campaign understandably interpreted to mean that Mr. Gore as implying Gov. Bush himself was “evil.” If that was his meaning, it was entirely consistent with a television ad sponsored by the NAACP that used the voice of the daughter of black murder victim James Byrd, Jr., slain in Texas in 1998 for apparently racial reasons, and which, as Matthew Rees of the Weekly Standard wrote, “all but blamed Bush for her father’s death at the hands of white racists.” This and similar NAACP-sponsored ads on television and radio accused Bush of indifference to “hate crimes,” opposing new hate crimes legislation for Texas in the wake of the Byrd killing, and opposing federal legislation against “racial profiling.” Most of these ads strongly insinuated that Bush’s positions were driven by racial bigotry. In the congressional elections of 1998, Democrats used similar ads that sought to link Republicans with the arson of black churches. In 2000, the NAACP spent some $12 million through its National Voters Fund in a campaign to register black voters and get them to the polls.
The result of this kind of direct appeal to racial fears and animosities was not only the 90 percent black support for Gore but also a record black voter turnout in critical swing states. While the national black turnout remained about the same in 2000 as in 1996 (about 10 percent of all voters), “black turnout increased more dramatically in states targeted by the NAACP, labor unions, and the Democratic Party,” the Washington Post explained. The Wall Street Journal reported that in Florida “[black] turnout surged by 50 percent from four years ago, giving blacks clout beyond their share of the voting-age population,” and DeWayne Wickham in USA Today attributed the forced vote recount in Florida to the massive black support for Gore (93 percent) in that state. Some 29 percent of Gore’s votes in Florida came from black voters. Political scientist David Bositis told the Journal that “Black-voter turnout appears to be a significant factor this year. In Michigan, Delaware, Florida, and Pennsylvania, black voter turnout was absolutely critical” to Gore’s final vote counts.
Much the same racial-ethnic pattern is apparent in the strong Hispanic support for Mr. Gore, despite concerted efforts by Mr. Bush and the GOP to court the Hispanic vote. Mr. Bush did make some gains among Hispanic voters, winning 31 percent of their support nationally as compared to Bob Dole’s poor showing of only 21 percent in 1996. But Hispanics, who make up some 7 percent of the electorate nationally, went for Mr. Gore in 2000 by a huge 67 percent-if not as large as his black support, nevertheless a return of landslide proportions. In California, Hispanic turnout increased by about 20 percent over 1996, while nationally Hispanic turnout rose by about 2 million voters in 1996 to about 7 million. It should be noted that Green Party candidate Ralph Nader received one percent of the black vote, two percent of the Hispanic vote, and four percent of the Asian vote; Mr. Gore’s support among all these groups would undoubtedly have been somewhat larger had Mr. Nader not been on the ballot. Moreover, analysis of the Hispanic vote by region suggests that all of Mr. Bush’s rather frenetic courtship of it availed him little.
In an analysis written the day after the election, United Press International correspondent Steve Sailer examined Hispanic voting trends in the four major regions of the United States where Hispanics are concentrated: California, Texas, New York, and Florida. In California, which has the nation’s largest number of Hispanic voters (3 million) and where Hispanics make up 13.4 percent of the electorate, Bush lost the Hispanic vote to Gore by an even larger margin than he lost it nationally-28 percent to Gore’s 67 percent (the Orange County Register a week after the election reported Bush won only 21 percent of the state’s Hispanics). Yet, in New York, with the third largest concentration of Hispanic voters (8.2 percent of the state electorate), Mr. Bush lost (largely Puerto Rican) Hispanic support even more dramatically, carrying only 18 percent to Mr. Gore’s 80 percent. (Hillary Clinton in her successful race for the U.S. Senate seat from New York won 85 percent of Hispanic votes.)
In his native state of Texas, which has the nation’s second largest Hispanic electorate (19.6 percent), Mr. Bush also did poorly, losing the Hispanic vote to Mr. Gore, 42 percent to 54 percent. This was an improvement over Mr. Bush’s 39 percent Hispanic vote in his re-election for governor in 1998, but it was considerably less than what he and his pro-immigration conservative supporters had expected. In Florida, Mr. Bush actually did win the Hispanic vote, though narrowly. There, where the nation’s fourth largest Hispanic community constitutes 11.9 percent of the electorate, Mr. Sailer reported Mr. Bush winning the Hispanic vote 50 percent to 48 percent.
The Florida Hispanic vote, however, is largely Cuban, and Cubans have historically voted Republican. Democratic presidential candidates have traditionally received only 13 percent to 15 percent of the Florida Cuban vote, though in 1996 Bill Clinton actually won 27 percent of the Cubans. In 2000, unofficial returns showed Mr. Gore won the heavily Cuban Miami area by 39,000 votes, though this was a considerably smaller margin of victory than that of Mr. Clinton in 1996. But in two heavily Cuban precincts, the 510th and the 555th, Mr. Bush won 79 percent and 89 percent respectively. The reason for Mr. Bush’s win among Hispanics in Florida, in most experts’ views, is the Clinton administration’s support for returning Elian Gonzalez to Cuba. As Fox News’ Malcolm Balfour reported, one local voter of Cuban background told him a few days after the vote, “I know hundreds of people who registered to vote just because of that raid on Elian’s relatives’ home. Last time, I voted for the Democrat, Bill Clinton, but no way would I vote Democrat this time around . . .” Two days before the election, the St. Petersburg Times reported that “as Election Day nears Cuban-American exiles are getting ready to exact their revenge [for Clinton’s policy toward the Gonzalez boy],” even though Mr. Gore himself expressed disagreement with the administration’s policy.
In three of the four major regions of Hispanic concentration in the United States, therefore, George W. Bush lost the Hispanic vote to Al Gore, including in his own state. Even in the only state where he did win a bare majority of Hispanics, his victory was mainly due to a combination of unique traditional Republican loyalties among Cuban voters coupled with ethnic solidarity with the Gonzalez boy and anger at the Clinton administration. Mr. Bush also did poorly with Hispanic voters in other Western and Southwestern states. In Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, where Hispanics are eight to 35 percent of the electorates, Mr. Bush consistently won only about 30 percent, to about 67 percent for Mr. Gore.
The low Hispanic vote for Mr. Bush was of special significance because of the drift of the Republican Party’s policies toward immigration in the last few years. While GOP presidential candidates from Nixon to Reagan generally won about 30 percent to 35 percent of the Hispanic vote nationally until 1992, GOP candidate Bob Dole in 1996 won only 21 percent. This low figure has been used by many pro-immigration Republicans to argue that the party made a major blunder when in 1994 it and incumbent California Republican Gov. Pete Wilson supported California’s Proposition 187, which would have denied public benefits to illegal immigrants.
For these Republicans, one of the major attractions of George W. Bush as a candidate was his pro-immigration positions and his supposed attractiveness to Hispanics. Throughout the campaign Mr. Bush repeatedly called for more immigration from Latin America, praised its results, and distanced himself from immigration restriction. Last August, Mr. Bush described the effects of immigration in these glowing terms in a speech to a Hispanic audience in Miami:
“America has one national creed, but many accents. We are now one of the largest Spanish-speaking nations in the world. We’re a major source of Latin music, journalism and culture.
“Just go to Miami, or San Antonio, Los Angeles, Chicago or West New York, New Jersey . . . and close your eyes and listen. You could just as easily be in Santo Domingo or Santiago, or San Miguel de Allende.
“For years our nation has debated this change-some have praised it and others have resented it. By nominating me, my party has made a choice to welcome the new America.”
Mr. Bush often campaigned in Spanish and made heavy use of his half-Mexican nephew, George P. Bush, in his campaign appeals to Hispanic voters. His enthusiasts in the conservative press, such as the Washington Times’ Donald Lambro, confidently predicted (in Dec., 1999) that Mr. Bush would win the Hispanic vote. “George W. Bush is winning support from a majority of Hispanic voters,” he wrote and cited “Hispanic officials and grass-roots activists” who said Mr. Bush’s support among Hispanics was “the result of Mr. Bush’s efforts to reach out to Hispanics with a message of inclusiveness and with tax-cut proposals that appeal to business owners and families with children.”
In fact, the whole argument that Republican and conservative support for Proposition 187 and for immigration control had alienated Hispanics from the GOP is open to question. In the first place, strong Republican candidates like Nixon and Reagan could win 30 to 35 percent of the Hispanic vote nationally, while weaker candidates like Gerald Ford in 1976 and George H.W. Bush in 1992 were able to win only smaller shares — well before Proposition 187. Mr. Ford in 1976 won only 24 percent and Mr. Bush in 1992 won only 25 percent of the national Hispanic vote. Mr. Dole’s 21 percent in 1996 is consistent with the performance of a weak Republican candidate. Moreover, Mr. Dole himself publicly repudiated the Republican Party’s platform plank calling for immigration control (drafted by Buchanan forces at the GOP convention) and chose as his running mate the militantly pro-immigration neoconservative Jack Kemp, who had actively opposed Proposition 187 in 1994. Mr. Dole himself had no visible record on immigration issues. Whatever Pete Wilson and California Republicans might have said or done to alienate Hispanic voters in 1994 did not apply to Mr. Dole and Mr. Kemp in 1996 (or cause low Hispanic support for George W. Bush outside of California in 2000). In any case, 23 percent of Hispanic voters in California voted for Prop. 187, suggesting that about a quarter of the Hispanic vote in the state is essentially conservative and is what Republican candidates should normally expect to get.
It is likely that Hispanics vote for Democrats over Republicans simply because, like most low-income groups, they favor liberal candidates over more conservative ones and because Democrats are far more open than Republicans to multiculturalism and the black-Hispanic racial agenda. Nor should Hispanic solidarity with the Democrats be surprising. As a report in the Boston Globe pointed out shortly before the election, “more than 1.7 million resident aliens have become U.S. citizens in the past two years, most of them with an incentive to vote and a lopsided preference for the Democratic Party.” The story quoted one California Democratic activist as saying, “Both parties show up at swearing-in ceremonies to try to register voters. There is a Democratic table and a Republican table. Ours has a lot of business. Theirs is like the Maytag repairman.”
The only people surprised that Hispanics did not flock to Republican banners were the Republicans themselves. All the desperate pandering to minorities Mr. Bush and his “Rainbow Republicans” practiced at the Republican convention and during the campaign does not alter the basic pattern of racial-political solidarity of both blacks and Hispanics.
Other ethnic groups showed similar solidarity in the 2000 election, with Jews voting 79 percent for the Gore-Lieberman ticket (Jewish voters traditionally cast about a third of their support to the Republican nominee, but in the 1992, 1996, and 2000 elections the Republican candidates won only 11 percent, 16 percent, and 19 percent of the Jewish vote respectively). Similarly, Asian voters went for Mr. Gore by a solid (though not overwhelming) 54 percent; in 1992, 55 percent of Asian voters supported George H.W. Bush and in 1996 48 percent supported Mr. Dole and only 44 percent Mr. Clinton. These figures show a steady trend among Asian voters toward the political left during the last decade. Reportedly, about 70 percent of American Indians and about 60 percent of Arab-Americans also voted for Mr. Gore.
The pattern is clear: Non-white voters tend to form increasingly solid blocs that support the Democratic Party’s deference to explicitly racial and anti-white policies. Yet, despite the racially driven politics among non-whites, there is one major racial group in the American electorate that does not vote as a bloc: whites themselves.
In 2000, white men, who compose 39 percent of the electorate, voted for George W. Bush over Al Gore by 60 percent to 35 percent. White women, who make up 43 percent of the electorate, were much more evenly split, with 49 percent voting for Mr. Bush and 48 percent for Mr. Gore. White voters in general, who compose 82 percent of the electorate, voted for Mr. Bush over Mr. Gore by 54 percent to 42 percent.
The table on this page shows that while a majority of white voters usually vote for the Republican candidate, only twice in the eight presidential elections since 1972-in that year and in 1984-have they voted together by more than 60 percent and only four times have more than 55 percent of whites voted together for a single candidate. Compare this level of bloc voting to that of blacks (always 80-90 percent) or Hispanics (always 60-75 percent), and it is clear that of the three major racial/ethnic groups in the United States, whites vote much less as a bloc than the two others.
|Bush, Sr.,* 59%
|Bush, Sr., 40%
The percentage of whites who support the Democrats does not usually change significantly from year to year, but by winning 42 percent Mr. Gore did better than most Democratic candidates in the recent past. The 42-43 percent of white votes Messrs. Gore and Clinton won in 1996 and 2000 respectively is more than any Democratic presidential candidate has won since Jimmy Carter in 1976. Correspondingly, Mr. Bush’s 54 percent majority last year, while better than Bob Dole’s and Mr. Bush’s father’s losing performances in the ’90s, is a distinct decline from the nearly 60 percent average won by Republican nominees in the 1970s and ’80s.
One major reason for the improvement of the Democratic ticket in winning white votes is the change in political strategies of the two parties in recent years. The Republicans have deliberately neglected their natural political base among white voters in a fruitless pursuit of non-white voters, while the Democrats have not hesitated to appeal to at least key sectors of the white vote even as they also made appeals that were non-white and even anti-white.
Thus, the “Rainbow Republicanism” of the GOP convention and campaign, with minorities conveniently sprinkled in visible spots, Colin Powell’s speech defending affirmative action, the benediction offered by a Muslim, and Mr. Bush’s slogan of “compassionate conservatism” were all consistent with the Republicans’ abandonment of immigration control, their support for Puerto Rican statehood, and their backing away from opposition to affirmative action despite successful state-level ballot measures against it. As black conservative columnist Armstrong Williams wrote, “Gov. Bush pursued African-American connections with more avidity than any Republican candidate of recent memory did. He studded his campaign trail with stops at inner-city schools, churches, welfare offices, and black communities. He filled his commercials with minority faces in an attempt to tell minority voters they were part of his party. He prominently kissed a black baby and could often be seen mingling with Hispanics.”
These tactics were not exclusively the result of Bush’s growing prominence in the party but due also to a widespread belief among party leaders that winning non-white votes is essential to the party’s future. Whereas strong Republican candidates like Nixon and Reagan in the 1970s and 1980s relied on what came to be known as the “Southern strategy” to win high levels of support among white voters, the new Republicans of the 1990s explicitly rejected that strategy.
Thus, GOP pollster Lance Tarrance told the Washington Times in January 2000, “We have now moved from the Southern strategy we pursued for the last three decades, since Richard Nixon, to a Hispanic strategy for the next three decades.” Similarly, Jim Nicholson, chairman of the Republican National Committee, told the Times, “This party is going after the growing Hispanic vote with TV ads, Hispanic candidate recruitment attempts, campaigns conducted by Spanish-speaking Republicans in Latino communities and an all-out effort to persuade newly naturalized citizens of Hispanic origin to join the Republican Party.” In 1999, Republican state Sen. Jim Brulte of California vowed he would no longer support financial contributions to white, male candidates. “My leadership PAC will give no more money to Anglo males in Republican primaries,” Sen. Brulte said. “Every dollar I can raise is going to nominate Latinos and Asian Americans and women.”
In August, 2000, the Washington Post cited Karl Rove, Bush’s top political strategist, as dismissing the Southern strategy as an “old paradigm” that “past GOP candidates had employed in a calculated bid to polarize the electorate and put together a predominantly white majority.” “People are more attracted today by a positive agenda than by wedge issues,” Rove told the Post. Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition and now a Republican political consultant, also told the Post, “This is a very different party from the party that sits down on Labor Day and cedes the black vote and cedes the Hispanic vote, and tries to drive its percentage of the white vote over 70 percent to win an election.”
But the actual result of this new strategy is evident from the exit polls of the 2000 election. The strategy failed to attract significant numbers of non-white voters; it failed miserably to win black votes and won only enough Hispanic votes to raise Hispanic support to not quite the traditional level. More significantly, it also failed to attract the large numbers of white voters who are the natural base of the party and who remain essential for the kind of clear-cut, landslide electoral victories won by Mr. Nixon and Mr. Reagan. Mr. Bush was able to win a small majority of white voters, but without the explicit appeals that Mr. Nixon and Mr. Reagan made, he and his party are unable to win larger majorities. Experts like Messrs. Reed and Rove are entirely correct that today’s GOP is a different party from the old one. The old party could win landslide victories through the Southern strategy and by appealing to white voters. The new party can barely win elections at all and managed to lose the popular vote.
As Steve Sailer has shown in an interesting set of calculations on immigration expert Peter Brimelow’s Vdare.com website, if Mr. Bush had cultivated his natural base and increased his percentage of the white vote by only a few percent he would have won overwhelmingly. If, instead of 54 percent he had won 57 percent (not hard to imagine, since his father won 59 percent in 1988), he would have won an electoral college landslide of 367 to 171. What if winning another three percent of the white vote had required appeals that scared away so many non-whites their support dropped by more than a third, from 21 percent to 13 percent? Mr. Bush still would have won comfortably, with 310 electoral votes to 228. Incredible as it seems, if by increasing his percentage of the white vote by those crucial three percentage points the number of non-white supporters had dropped to zero, Mr. Bush would still have ended up with a tie in the electoral college. As Mr. Sailer points out, no less than 92 percent of Mr. Bush’s votes came from whites; it is folly for Republicans to go on a snipe hunt for non-white votes if by doing so they risk losing even a tiny percentage of white votes.
The Democrats under Al Gore, by contrast, made every effort to cut into the Republicans’ white base. They did so with what was called the “class war” strategy, denouncing Big Business, promising free prescription drugs and health care for the elderly, and appealing to white union members. Washington Post political reporter Thomas Edsall noted this strategy during the campaign:
“Gore’s success in making inroads with working-class voters, especially white men, has been crucial to his improved standing in the battleground states of Michigan, Ohio and Missouri that hold the balance of power in the 2000 election. Among all voters in each of these states, Democrat Gore is either fully competitive with, or slightly ahead of Texas Gov. Bush, the Republican nominee.” Although Mr. Gore lost in two of these states, the strength of his challenge forced Mr. Bush to divert resources and attention he might have deployed elsewhere.
Coupled with his success in winning non-white voting blocs through appeals to fear and racial animosity, Mr. Gore won the popular vote for president and lost the electoral vote only after a series of agonizing recounts and court battles. Moreover, had Ralph Nader not been in the election, the vast majority of his votes would surely have gone to Mr. Gore, giving him the presidency without any post-election recounts.
The conclusion is inescapable: George W. Bush won the election not because his “compassionate conservatism,” “Big Tent,” or “Rainbow Republicanism” mobilized a majority of voters or attracted non-whites but because the political left was split between the Democrats and the Naderites. The Democrats won the popular vote and, despite the Naderite rebellion, nearly won the election because they explicitly appealed to and made use of the racial solidarity and racial consciousness that drives the majority of non-white voters, while at the same time using white working class economic anxieties to attract white voters and cut into the Republicans’ neglected political-demographic base.
For all the rhetoric among “new Republicans” about winning non-whites, the lesson of the 2000 election for the GOP ought to be clear: Trying to win non-whites, especially by abandoning issues important to white voters, is the road to political suicide; the natural and logical strategy of the Republican Party in the future is to maximize its white vote.
The party* could accomplish this by supporting a long-term moratorium on legal immigration, terminating welfare and other public benefits for immigrants, seeking the abolition of affirmative action, and working for the repeal of “hate crime” laws and the end of multi-culturalism. The Republicans could become and remain a majority party by seeking to raise white racial consciousness; they do not need to appeal to irrational racial fears and animosities, but they can and legitimately should encourage white voters to (1) perceive that they as a group are under threat from racial and demographic trends and (2) believe that the Republican Party will support them against this threat.
Advocates of Rainbow Republicanism will argue that this is not possible or desirable, that it will only promote racial divisions, and that attracting more white voters than the Republicans now are able to win is not practical. This line of argument is wrong. Racial animosity is already being inflamed-by the Democrats’ willingness to exploit anti-white sentiments and by racial demagogues like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the NAACP, and analogous Hispanic activists. The only force that can quell or check this kind of anti-white racism is the solidarity of whites against it and those who try to use it for political gain. As for winning more white votes, it is entirely feasible — as the 67 percent and 64 percent white majorities won by Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan in 1972 and 1984 show. It is quite true that neither Nixon nor Reagan ever did much to address white concerns once they won their votes, but a political leader who actually did seek to address their concerns could surely win that level of white support again.
Peter Brimelow has noted that, for all the Republican foreboding about the growing Hispanic and non-white presence in the electorates of California and other states, Southern whites now and historically have had to confront even larger racial disparities in the electorates of their own states. Blacks in the South constitute about 35 percent to 40 percent of the electorate and, there as elsewhere, vote as a bloc. Nevertheless, the largely white Republican Party in the South routinely manages to win majorities in these states for both presidential and many congressional and gubernatorial candidates. It is able to do so because white Southerners — far more than whites elsewhere-vote as a bloc. In the 2000 election, exit polls showed that whites in the South voted for Bush by 66 percent; in the three other regions (East, West, and Midwest), white voters supported Bush by an average of only 49 percent. Obviously, white racial consciousness remains highest in the South, though the election of 2000 shows that there is, among a small majority of whites and especially white men, at least a kind of racial subconscious in much of the rest of the country as well. Only if whites of both sexes and in all parts of the nation bring that subconscious to the surface and make it a real force in national politics can they expect to resist the racial politics that threatens them and their future.
*These comments should not be taken as an endorsement of or a commitment to the Republican Party or its leadership and platform. The strategy outlined here would be effective for the Republicans or for any other viable political party. There is no reason why it should be restricted to the Republicans, and there are in fact compelling reasons to doubt that the Republicans will use it.
Samuel Francis is a nationally syndicated columnist and Editor-in-Chief of the Citizens Informer.
Let’s Hate America
And let’s teach our children to hate America, too!
Racist America: Roots, Current Realities, and Future Reparations, by Joe Feagin,
As a service to readers, AR occasionally drags itself through some of the foolishness that now passes for scholarship, and Racist America by Joe Feagin is a masterpiece of the genre. In the opening pages we learn: “One can accurately describe the United States as a ‘total racist society’ in which every major aspect of life is shaped to some degree by the core racist realities.” And that: “Every part of the life cycle, and most aspects of one’s life are shaped by the racism that is integral to the foundation of the United States.
Racist America is blind fanaticism of two kinds. First, the author hates white people so passionately he can’t see straight. Second, he is blinded by unrepentant Communism. A decade after the fall of the Soviet Union, he is still writing sentences that begin, “As Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels long ago pointed out . . .”
Unfortunately, one cannot toss this book aside, confident it will fool no one, if only because Joe Feagin — who is white — teaches sociology at the University of Florida at Gainesville and is the president (!) of the American Sociological Association. It is books like these that create the climate for anti-white doggerel of the kind on page nine.
This book attempts to lay bare the nature and origins of American “racism,” to describe its workings, and propose antidotes, but Prof. Feagin tips his ideological hand from the start: “The Marxist tradition provides a powerful theory of oppression centered on such key concepts as class struggle, worker exploitation and alienation . . . In the case of racist oppression, however, we do not as yet have as strongly agreed-upon concepts and well-developed theoretical traditions as we have for gender and class oppression.” Therefore, “it is time to put white-on-black oppression fully at the center of a comprehensive study of the development, meaning and reality of this nation.”
Needless to say the “development, meaning and reality” of America is an unrelieved chronicle of wickedness since “racism” of the most virulent kind shaped us from the start. Of the founders, we learn “many were oppressors who made their living by killing, brutalizing and exploiting other human beings.” They were only following the lead of “the savage, often genocidal operations of Spanish colonizers such as those led by Christopher Columbus . . .”
“The political system,” writes Prof. Feagin, “including its founding documents, was shaped in response to the need to protect slavery.” From the ground up, the country “was crafted to create wealth and privilege for those transplanted Europeans who stole the lands of the indigenous peoples and enslaved African Labor,” and the Constitution was written to “maintain separation and oppression at the time and for the foreseeable future.” Prof. Feagin approvingly quotes the old communist, Herbert Aptheker: “the Constitution was a “bourgeois-democratic document for the governing of a slaveholder-capitalist republic.”
Prof. Feagin tells us when Jefferson was in his 40s he “coerced” Sally Hemmings into bed and fathered at least one child by her as “has now been confirmed by DNA testing.” What the DNA testing showed is that Jefferson could not have been the father of any child born to Sally Hemmings when he was in his 40s or 50s and that someone in the Jefferson line fathered a child by Hemmings when Jefferson was 65. DNA evidence is mute as to whether Hemmings was ever “coerced” into anyone’s bed.
The founders, we learn, were obsessed with slavery for two reasons, the first being economic: “[T]hex exploited labor of enslaved black men, women, and children was critical to the creation of prosperity and development in the United States . . .” (Note the avoidance of the word “slave.” The virtuous prefer “enslaved person,” which suggests an evil “enslaver.”) Without slavery, “it is unclear how or when the United States would have become a major industrial power.” The industrial revolution also got its start, thanks to slaves: “It seems unlikely that British and other European economic development would have occurred when it did without the very substantial capital generated by the slavery system.” And, naturally, Africa is poor because Europeans plundered it: “this impoverishment was directly and centrally linked to European prosperity and affluence.”
This sort of thing is widely repeated and at the heart of the “reparations” argument, so it is worth taking a moment to show how breathtakingly stupid it is. If slavery were such a fantastic generator of wealth, why was the South so much poorer than the North, even at the height of slavery? If slavery is the decisive factor in American prosperity, how did the Canadians (and New Zealanders and Australians) get along without it?
In a discussion of evil white nativism, Prof. Feagin notes with horror that California’s first English-language newspaper wrote in 1848: “We desire only a white population in California.” Since slavery had by then been turning out fabulous wealth for more than 200 years, why would Californians want to miss out on the bonanza?
In fact, in terms of contribution to the economic development of a country, it makes no difference whether workers are paid high wages, low wages, or no wages at all. What matters is how productive the labor force is, and slaves were notoriously unproductive. “It takes two slaves to watch one slave do nothing,” ran the wisdom of the day. If, instead of slaves, the South had productive laborers working for wages, its economic development would have been considerably more rapid. As every economist not dizzy with Marxism knows, slavery held back the southern economy.
Likewise, anyone who claims Africa is poor because of colonization is either stupid or thinks you are stupid. Does Prof. Feagin suppose Africans were poised to invent the steam engine and discover electricity when along came the white man and stopped science in its tracks? Africa is poor for the same reason Haiti, the South Bronx, and Brixton are poor — it is full of Africans. The richest parts of Africa are those that had the most sustained white administrations — South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast — whereas the worst hellholes are places like Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia that hardly saw a European. Africa was vastly better off and better run under white rule, as many Africans freely acknowledge.
Empire was a decisive net loss for metropolitan countries. Switzerland and Scandinavia, which never had colonies, are today the richest countries in Europe while Portugal and Spain, which both had large empires, are the poorest. What do France and England have to show for their enormous empires compared to Germany, which had virtually nothing? Only to someone blinkered by anti-white animus and Marxist mumbo-jumbo can slavery or empire be twisted into the philosopher’s stone.
According to Prof. Feagin, whites practiced slavery and imperialism for yet another reason — they are different from other people:
The ever-spreading acquisitiveness and rapaciousness of the north European bourgeoisie was reinforced by the values of certain Protestant religions to which they adhered. The individualistic Protestant ethic did not create capitalism, but it did foster certain values of capitalism, including a rather greedy individualism that contrasted with the more collectivistic values of the majority of the world’s peoples.
We also learn that Christianity, with its imagery that associates white with good and black with evil even explains how the races got their names. White people are really pink, and black people are shades of brown, but by insisting on “black” and “white” races, early racists could paint themselves the color of the angels and Africans the color of evil. (Besides being completely fanciful, this theory fails to recognize that “white” and “black” are relatively recent. “Caucasian” and “Negro” are more traditional terms, and it is blacks themselves who insisted on being called black.)
Prof. Feagin is as much as saying that white people are, by nature, uniquely rapacious and exploitative, and this explains why “the [American] slavery system was hellish and deadly beyond description and comprehension.” Prof. Feagin also insists, without substantiation, that American slavery was worse than African slavery or that practiced by the ancients.
Whites are so wicked and slavery was so profitable that to read Prof. Feagin one would never guess whites abolished slavery all by themselves. Prof. Feagin himself doesn’t discuss this spasm of virtue in an irredeemable people, but he is certain slavery (and certainly not abolition) is the central and enduring American fact. After abolition, whites shoved blacks aside and “were generally able to accumulate family resources and individual opportunities, unfairly and very disproportionately, because there was little or no black competition for most critical resources and opportunities.” But if blacks, who had been the key to American prosperity, were suddenly pushed out of the economy, why didn’t the country go into a tailspin?
Blacks were poor when they got their freedom and have stayed poor, only because “once a group is far ahead in terms of resources it is very difficult for another group without access to those resources or even with modest new resources, to catch up, even over a substantial period of time.” Somehow, this did not hold back white ethnics, Jews, Asians, and even Hispanics who are now outstripping blacks.
Whites keep blacks around as a kind of low-wage buffer workforce: “When they are no longer needed, the less-skilled black workers are kept as a ‘reserve army,’ in a condition of painful poverty and unemployment, or in the prison-industrial complex, until they may be needed again.” “Reserve army” is short for “reserve army of the proletariat,” more Marxist gibberish. The theory here seems to be that when unemployment goes up, the Fed chairmen calls up a few police chiefs and tells them to lock up all the now-unnecessary blacks. Since black unemployment is at a record low and black per capita incarceration at a record high, we should expect a call to the police chiefs to turn a few of those blacks loose so they can be put back to work.
Prof. Feagin clearly thinks “racism” and even the faintest racial consciousness are wholly unnatural and had to be thought up by whites to justify their need to oppress “the other.” “Racist thought,” he explains “did not come accidentally to the United States. It was, and still is, actively developed and propagated.” White people got right to work, and “by the mid-nineteenth century the propagation of racist thinking had become a major industry in Europe and the United States.” A major industry? But how is wickedness propagated today? “Racist attitudes and images are constantly available to virtually all whites, including the young, by means of presentations in daily discourse, as well as in the media, through the writings of intellectuals, and in the speeches of political and business leaders.” Really? Examples, please.
But there is an even worse villain: “[T]oday, perhaps the major source of the negative images of black Americans is the mass media.” Movies, we learn, have not really improved over the years. Prof. Feagin quotes two lefties approvingly: “[T]he portrayal of whites in Birth of a Nation is almost identical to their portrayal in Glory and in Amistad.” The system slants news to show blacks in a bad light and not even children are safe: “The often hidden power of the elite works through propagating the racist ideology and its associated beliefs and images by means of the mass media and the educational system, as well as in workplaces and churches.”
Churches, schools, and employers are all churning out “racist” propaganda? What is Prof. Feagin talking about? He does note that whites can often be found talking about racial equality but says this is just a smokescreen for shoring up white supremacy.
Prof. Feagin says over and over that “racism” pervades the everyday lives of whites, but he gives few specifics: “Most whites are involved in some way in creating reinforcing, or maintaining, the racist reality of U.S. society.” But how? Well, we learn that “many white parents and politicians work hard to keep their residential areas and schools as white as possible.” What’s the evidence of that? If politicians want to keep things white, why does the country import millions of non-white immigrants?
Prof. Feagin tells us there are still people who think blacks are less intelligent than whites: “Today, such views are more than an academic matter. They have periodically been used by members of Congress and presidential advisors in the White House to argue against antidiscrimination and other government programs that benefit Americans of color.” Examples? Evidence?
Moreover, it is “racism” when whites use words like “welfare recipient,” “violent criminal,” “gangs,” or “the poor:” “A white person, including a media commentator, can use these terms to target or denigrate black Americans but still appear unprejudiced, at least to other whites.” If we are allowed to talk about violent crime at all, what words may we use? Likewise when insurance companies decline to write policies on rickety buildings in dodgey neighborhoods, “obviously racism went into the formulation of such rules.” And, of course, if different playing positions in football tend to be dominated by either blacks or whites, that is “discrimination.”
“In recent years,” writes Prof. Feagin without offering examples, “the vicious mocking of black Americans’ language and culture seems to be spreading.” More signs of wickedness are the use of Spanish-type phrases like no problemo, el cheapo or hasta la vista, baby. “This mocking,” we are told, “enables whites to support traditional hierarchies of racial privilege and degradation without seeming to be racist in the old-fashioned, blatant sense.” But what are whites up to when they use words like bon voyage, kaput, achtung, Gesundheit or ciao?
Prof. Feagin points out that American whites have had the temerity to use European place names and even build museums to commemorate their culture, with the effect that “today, to use the names given by imperialists or to visit their museums is to participate, however unconsciously, in the lasting consequences of European colonialism and imperialism.”
Prof. Feagin is dismayed to note that most whites just don’t see it this way; they “do not see their own racism.” They are so “racist” they think equality of opportunity is sufficient whereas what is necessary is equality of results.
What’s more, “at the level of everyday interaction with black Americans most whites can create racial tensions and barriers even without conscious awareness they are doing so.” He reports that a black acquaintance “confronts at least 250 significant incidents of discrimination from whites each year” and that includes “only the incidents that he consciously notices and records.” “[T]his man’s experience seems representative,” he adds. Things are so bad that “many black Americans today suffer from something like the post-traumatic stress syndrome-with its pain, depression, and anxiety-that has been documented for military veterans of some U.S. wars.” (In other words, the things whites do unconsciously and without malice have the same effect on blacks as being shot up by Japs in the Pacific.) All this stress “costs the average black American about six to seven years of her or his life. Thus for many deceased African Americans, everyday racism could be listed on their death certificates as a major cause of death.”
As a result, “a black person has to view every white person as ‘a potential enemy unless he personally finds out differently.’ Black Americans of all ages and statuses are thus forced into a vigilant, cautious and defensive orientation as they deal with potentially dangerous whites throughout their lives.” That must do wonders for race relations.
At the same time, whites suffer because of racism, too: “[W]hite-supremacist thinking entails living a lie, for whites are not superior in character, intelligence, or morality. This self-deception takes a corrupting toll on the souls of white Americans.” (But isn’t self-esteem supposed to be good?) At the same time, since we all have African ancestors, “it would appear that by hating and attacking blacks, those who see themselves as white are thereby hating and attacking themselves . . . Denial of the African origins and of a common humanity is ultimately a type of self hatred.” How many whites does Prof. Feagin thinks go around “hating and attacking blacks”?
Non-white immigrants are a big problem for Prof. Feagin. On the one hand, many have done better than blacks, despite America’s storied racism. How come? Also, once they have been here a while, they dislike blacks, which is hard to explain when “racism” is supposed to be a uniquely white affliction. Prof. Feagin’s explanation for the latter conundrum is astonishing: Immigrants were corrupted by American “racism” before they even got here! “At any given moment,” he writes, “white Americans working overseas are telling antiblack stories to people around the globe or television stations across the globe are playing racist American movies . . . As a result, the U.S. media are one of the most important forces shaping racist stereotyping around the world . . . Thus, the negative attitudes of Asian or Latino immigrants toward African Americans-and the negative attitudes of African Americans toward Asian or Latino Americans-are part of the much larger system of white-managed racism, which these groups had no role in initiating.”
Thus it is that Prof. Feagin approvingly quotes another lefty who writes these amazing words: “[W]hen a Vietnamese family is driven out of its home in a project by African-American youth, that is white supremacy. When a Korean store owner shoots an African-American teenager in the back of the head that is white supremacy.”
What about the success of Asians despite horrible white “racism”? This is only a trick to make it look as though the country isn’t racist and to keep the non-whites from ganging up on us. “[S]ome groups within these broad umbrella categories-especially the better educated and lighter-skinned-have been moved by whites to an intermediate position or one closer to the white end of the racist white-to-black continuum. The purpose of this placement is often to destroy coalitions between peoples of color, and to thereby protect the system of white privilege.” We learn further that: “The ability of whites to control the placement of peoples of color on the white-to-black continuum and define their positions in the society is yet another valuable tool for the reproduction of systemic racism over time.” We likewise learn that “the white supremacist system intentionally fosters hostility between groups of color,” but we get no evidence for this.
Asians have adopted something of the European style and done well in America, but this is no credit to them or to us: “[T]he effects of this conformity to whiteness on them and their children have often been negative, with significant numbers facing great personal distress, painful self-blame, physical or mental illness, or alcoholism and drug addiction. Some have committed suicide as a result of pressures ultimately grounded in white racism.” Evidence, please?
Non-whites who try to assimilate are misguided: “[A]mong many Asian and Latino Americans it appears that the pressure to look, dress, talk, and act as white as possible increases personal or family stress and reduces their recognition of the racism that surrounds them.” Presumably the only way to be authentically non-white in America is to be as unassimilated and resentful as possible.
As a genuine, true-believer Marxist, Prof. Feagin really does want to overthrow the capitalist system, but those clever white supremacists have used race to keep the proletariat divided. “[W]hite workers and farmers have been much more race conscious than class conscious, a condition facilitating their own class oppression . . . As a result, the majority of white workers not only have lost the chance for class solidarity with black workers but also have corrupted their own consciousness of class relations and of themselves as workers under capitalism.”
If proles of all races could just band together and fight the bosses rather than each other, it might be possible to smash the system: “Indeed, the possibility of biracial coalitions was a serious concern among the white elites; out of this fear was born, at least in part, the extensions to propertyless whites of certain privileges and benefits of whiteness, as well as an extensive ideology of rationalizing white superiority.” So long as white workers can be bought off with scraps of white supremacy, the revolution will not take place since “class oppression is obscured by the elites’ use of a racist ideology.”
We must not lose hope, though, because “if we think dialectically and discern the social contradictions lying deep beneath the surface of this society, we see that the racist system has created the seeds of its eventual destruction.” Although “white elites have worked to make the least significant changes possible under conditions of mass protest and pressure” we must take heart because black activism “forced the passage of all major civil rights laws.” Needless to say, this is poppycock. From abolition to voting rights, to affirmative action, blacks have been passive recipients of white good will. Blacks rioted in the 1960s after passage of the major civil rights acts. Without the help and encouragement of whites, black “liberation” would have gone nowhere.
So what’s a good Marxist to do? Here, the naked lust for power that animates the left emerges in full hideousness: We must “go beyond reform of current institutions to the complete elimination of existing systems of racialized power.” This means “not only racist structures, but capitalist, sexist, homophobic, ageist, and bureaucratic-authoritarian arrangements will have to be dismantled.” Prof. Feagin would start with a new Constitutional convention. A few decades hence, when whites are a minority, would be a good time to hold it, and the new Constitution would not only eliminate every trace of “institutional racism” but would guarantee “a broad array of human rights.” (Comrade Feagin does not mention this, but the Soviet constitution guaranteed practically everything short of happiness itself.) At the very least, he wants it to be illegal to talk about racial differences in ability, and wants a guarantee of an “adequate” standard of living.
Whites, of course, would pay a psychological price: “To accomplish this goal [of a democratic and egalitarian society], white Americans would have to abandon their group interest in white privilege, redefine the goals of the nation, and rebuild its racist house from the foundation up-doubtless under great pressure from African Americans and other Americans of color.” That should be fun. Prof. Feagin offers us the example of South Africa as a model of the sort of thing we should strive for.
“The Reconstruction South,” he goes on placidly, “was perhaps the closest the Unites States has come to multiracial political democracy.” To be sure. Let’s bring back the regime imposed on the defeated Confederacy at the point of federal bayonets. And though Reconstruction may have been adequate on the race question, it was still no doubt “capitalist, sexist, homophobic, ageist, and bureaucratic-authoritarian,” and all that has to be fixed, too. What Prof. Feagin wants, of course, is exactly what Stalin wanted: unlimited power to regiment every aspect of life. It is hard to imagine he would have any more scruples than Stalin about the human costs of destroying a society.
But even setting aside the need to smash capitalism or root out ageism, it is clear Prof. Feagin thinks “racism” is a permanent, horrifying flaw in the white man. It would take a revolution to cure him of it, and not even the Marx-addled Prof. Feagin thinks the triumph of the proletariat is inevitable. But if whites are incurable, why not separate them from the source and object of their disease? Why not separate the races? Let the white man stew in the foul juices of capitalism while collectivist, morally superior non-whites enjoy socialism and freedom from “racism.”
This solution is entirely consistent with Prof. Feagin’s view of the unregenerate nature of whites and the horror of “racism,” but he would never propose it. He is no doubt far happier venting his hatred of whites-and encouraging others to hate whites-within the comforts of “bourgeois” society, while he peddles a “revolution” he knows is fantasy. His book is neither a diagnosis nor a search for solutions. It is nothing more than an expression of the crudest loathing for America and its history, and it is a shame that at least in Florida young Americans are forced to pay attention to him.
Ready, Set, Hate!
A reader recently had occasion to visit one of the few predominantly-white high schools in Oakland, California. The history department displayed a student presentation entitled “To Whom Does the Dream Apply?” which included 13 poems by students. Each had four stanzas, and our reader copied down the opening stanzas of eight of them.
My country ‘tis of thee, unjust captivity, of thee I sing.
Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for battlefields and pain
My country, ‘tis of thee, cold land of cruelty, of thee I sing.
My country, ‘tis of thee, that’s what we like to think, of thee I sing.
O beautiful for racist skies, for amber waves of pain,
My country, ‘tis of thee, homeland captivity, of thee I sing.
Oh give me a home where the Indians roam,
Oh, say, can you see, all the Indians killed?
|IN THE NEWS
O Tempora, O Mores!
Brave New Church
In November, 2000, the 580 members of the Church of England’s governing synod met in Westminster and approved a recommendation from the Archbishops Council to combat “institutional racism” in the church. The church has set a goal of tripling the number of black and Asian clergy and bishops in the next ten years, and will send all archbishops, bishops, and synod members to sensitivity training. The Church of England does not have its own programs for this purpose and will patronize courses run by the more advanced Methodist Church. The report on “institutional racism,” met with no opposition during a two-hour discussion. [Victoria Combe, Call to Triple Number of Black and Asian Clergy, Telegraph (London), Nov. 17, 2000, p. 8.]
At the same meeting the divines were also offered free “homophobia awareness” classes by something called the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. Movement members accuse the church of “institutional homophobia” and say church openings should be advertised in the homosexual press. They also want the church to approve liturgy for homosexual marriage and to participate in World Aids Day and in Coming Out Day. Official church reaction was not reported. [Victoria Combe, Churches Accused of Being Anti-Gay, Telegraph (London), Nov. 17, 2000, p. 8.]
The Rt. Rev. Colin Buchanan, Bishop of Woolwich, thinks he has the solution to the shortage of non-whites in the church hierarchy: “I think there is a need for white people on church boards and councils to stand down in favour of candidates from an ethnic background. I don’t think those people who have just been elected should be asked to stand down, rather, people who are coming towards the end of their term.” The Rev David Haslam, a leading adviser on race relations agrees: “There is a problem of under-representation nationwide which has to be addressed. I support the idea of white people stepping down. We need to educate people in positions of responsibility so that they can be encouraged to step aside.” Presumably these two worthies will lead by example and resign. The Archbishops of Canterbury (Primate of all England) and of York are among those scheduled for sensitivity training at the hands of the Methodists and they, too, will no doubt emerge from the experience eager to turn over their jobs to non-whites. [Chris Hastings and Jonathan Petre, Give Up Church Jobs for Blacks, Demands Bishop, Telegraph (London), Nov. 5, 2000.]
More British Breast-Beating
The British are in sack cloth and ashes over the death of Damilola Taylor, a 10-year-old Nigerian boy who was stabbed to death on Nov. 27 near a housing project in south London. Home Secretary Jack Straw has made a condolence visit to the boy’s school, Prime Minister Tony Blair has lamented the killing in the House of Commons and offered to visit the boy’s family, and the mayor of London calls the stabbing “an event of unique horror.” The boy was killed only three months after he arrived from Nigeria, and commentators have wondered what has gone wrong in British society to make London more violent and dangerous than Lagos. Reporters have been dispatched to Nigeria to look into the boy’s past, and his father is loudly calling for justice. No fewer than 40 detectives were assigned to a massive manhunt in a part of town where witnesses distrust the police and seldom cooperate.
Surely, the suspects must be white-but no! Three blacks were seen running away after the murder. Young Damilola had complained desperately to his father that West Indian blacks were tormenting him. Mrs. Lola Ayonrinde, a Nigerian and former mayor of Wandsworth, south London, says there is plenty of black-on-black violence but it is swept under the carpet:
Nigerian people are not popular in this area because they try to fit in and do well. The West Indian community likes to pretend there is racism everywhere and black people are being held back. Anyone who doesn’t subscribe to that point of view suddenly becomes a target. We have got to recognize that there is something called black-on-black racism. We may all have the same skin but that doesn’t mean there isn’t discrimination on the basis of the country of origin.
The country is in agony over all this but if enough blacks live in Britain for long enough, whites will stop feeling responsible for black mayhem.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Tony Blair thinks he has figured out how to get Britain back on track: revive patriotism! Michael Wills, an education minister whom he has appointed “patriotism envoy” will help knit the country back together. Apparently Mr. Wills has decided that openness, fair play, decency, and diligence are the quintessentially British qualities he will promote. Mr. Blair himself says, “few would disagree with the qualities that go towards British identity . . . qualities of creativity, built on tolerance, openness and adaptability, work and self-improvement, strong communities and families, fair play . . .” This listing of qualities is proof that Mr. Blair and Mr. Wills are, to put it delicately, fools. What they want is good behavior, and have confused it with patriotism. Patriotism is precisely what socialists and multi-cultists have been trying to destroy for years: the conviction that our people, our culture, our way of doing things are better simply because they are ours. Patriotism comes from a shared sense of history, destiny, and ancestry, which is the very thing the left hates. For socialists to pretend British “patriotism” will keep African teenagers in housing projects from stabbing each other to death is idiocy of startling proportions even for these benighted times. [Minette Marrin, A Sense of Patriotism Might Have Saved Damilola Taylor, Telegraph (London), Dec. 2, 2000.]
‘Cousin of Slavery’
Hess Yntema, a member of the City Council of Albuquerque, New Mexico, wants the city to declare itself “immigrant-friendly,” and to fund programs to help immigrants — both legal and illegal — get public services. He wants all newcomers to get education, housing, credit, and medical insurance, and wants the city to lobby Congress to overturn any restrictions on distribution of federal benefits to illegals. “I would describe our current immigration policy as a sanitized cousin of slavery,” he says. Mr. Yntema is white and is not an immigrant. [Oliver Uyttebrouck, Councilor Wants Immigrant Services, Albuquerque Journal, Nov. 2, 2000, p. D1.]
Preserving the Pupfish
The Pecos pupfish is native to the Pecos River, which runs through Texas and New Mexico. In just a few years it has gone from great abundance to near extinction because of the accidental introduction of a competing species known as sheepshead minnows. The minnows are commonly used as bait fish, and a fisherman dumped a bucket of them into the river some time in the early 1980s. Male minnows are more active and aggressive than pupfish males, and mate more successfully with pupfish females, and the resulting hybrids have driven pupfish out of all but a few isolated spots in the river. Public authorities have launched a crash program to save the pupfish, erecting fish barriers to keep minnows out of those places where pupfish can still be found, and banning the use of sheepshead minnows as bait in the rivers of Texas and New Mexico. Former habitat of the pupfish that has been damaged will be restored so the pupfish can be reintroduced. [Tania Soussan, Sexy Minnows May Endanger Pecos Pupfish, Albuquerque Journal, Oct. 20, 2000.]
Anglo American, the mining giant based in South Africa, had a leading role in developing copper mining in Zambia, back in the days when it was knows as Northern Rhodesia. After independence, Zambian authorities nationalized the mines and took over operations. Not surprisingly, annual production is down to 38 percent of the rate in the late 1960s, just before nationalization. Staff is bloated, equipment falls apart, suppliers are unpaid, and the mines lose an estimated $1 million a day. After 30 years of mismanagement, the Zambians got desperate and sought buyers for the failing operation. Anglo American has stepped in and bought back what was taken from it in 1970. The company is laying off thousands of workers, repairing equipment, and expects to be running a modest profit by the end of 2001. [Henri Cauvin, Hope for a Copper-Mining Renaissance in Zambia, New York Times, Nov. 10, 2000.]
In November, 2000, President Clinton signed a bill that relieves naturalized citizens of the obligation of taking the oath if they are too handicapped or mentally debilitated to do so. The first beneficiary of this law was Vijai Rajan of India, 25, who has cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease, cannot speak, and has the mental ability of a two-year-old. The immigrant from India was reportedly caught up in her family’s excitement during the naturalization ceremony, and giggled and smiled. Someone gave her a small American flag to hold, but her grip failed and she dropped it. [Woman’s Citizenship Oath Waived, Miami Herald, Nov. 22, 2000, p. 11A.]
A Policy for Everything
“Discrimination” law suits are on the rise. In 1999, 19,694 cases were filed with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, up 77 percent from 11,096 cases in 1992. Approximately 37 percent claimed racial discrimination, 31 percent sex discrimination, and nine percent claimed national origin discrimination.
“Sooner or later, virtually every medium-to-large sized company is likely to find itself the defendant in a discrimination or sexual harassment lawsuit,” says. Robert P. Hartwig, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute. “It is estimated that six out of 10 companies have been named in a discrimination or sexual harassment lawsuit in the past five years,” he adds. Mr. Hartwig even knows what the problem is. “The 21st century’s racially and ethnically diverse workforce is a potential powder keg,” he says, and America’s love of law suits is the spark that could set it off. For Mr. Hartwig, this is a business opportunity. He represents the industry that sells employment practices liability insurance, which pays off if a company is sued. There are now more than 60 companies that sell this kind of policy compared to just a handful when the business started in 1990. For a company with 200 employees, a typical $1 million policy with a $10,000 deductible costs between $10,000 and $20,000, depending on the industry. “For about $40 a day, a mid-sized company can protect itself against the ruinous impact that a discrimination lawsuit can have on a modest-sized business,” says Mr. Hartwig. [Is Your Business Prepared For a Discrimination Lawsuit? Anti-Discrimination Policies, Education, and Insurance Can Help, Says I.I.I., PRNewswire, Nov. 30, 2000.]
Australian Aborigines have long been famous for their ability to navigate the trackless wastes, to find water holes and locate animal lairs. Modern testing has shown that this is because they excel in what is called “visual memory.” On average, they perform about 50 percent better than whites when asked to recall what they saw in a room or picture. For 4,000 generations-about 80,000 years-Aborigines were hunter-gatherers in the harsh Australian interior, an environment that put a strong premium on remembering landmarks that could mean the differences between death and survival.
Now Clive Harper, a professor of pathology in Sidney, Australia, reports that the visual cortex, which processes visual information, is about 25 percent larger in Aborigines than in whites and has more nerve cells. He points out that no one really knows how the visual cortex works, but the difference in size suggests inherently superior spatial ability. However, racial differences in brain structure are a very unfashionable area of study, and Prof. Harper has been unable to publish his work in any scientific journal. Editors are “anxious that this was going to be seen as some form of discrimination,” says Prof. Harper. The organizers of a conference in the United States also refused to let him present his work. [Alasdair Palmer, The Difference, Sunday Telegraph (London), Nov. 19, 2000.]
It is easy to scorn the unwillingness of editors to deal with scientific fact, but their terror is easy to understand. Overall, the Aborigine brain is only about 85 percent the size of the European brain, and the skull is about twice as thick as in other races. Aborigines also have other morphological structures similar to those of distant, pre-sapiens ancestors, leading John Baker, late of Oxford University, to conclude in his book Race (p. 302): “Australids are exceptional in the number and variety of their primitive characters and in the degree to which some of them are manifested.” If, given their generally smaller brains, the Aborigine visual cortex is exceptionally large, this would mean other areas of the brain are correspondingly smaller. This would conform entirely with the low performance levels Aborigines show in other mental abilities-which is precisely what science editors are afraid to talk about.
News From South Africa
South Africa is developing the world’s premier child sex industry. Legal loopholes make it difficult to prosecute pedophiles and there is a ready supply of underage prostitutes. This, combined with high demand both from locals and tourists, has created an industry that has attracted organized crime from Angola, Bulgaria, Thailand, Hong Kong, and the Russian Mafia. Many parents are willing to sell children as young as four in what are the equivalent of sex-slave markets. Brothel operators are the usual buyers but many individuals are in the market, too. It is reportedly common to make the children do housework when they are not servicing their “masters.” By some estimates there are 38,000 child prostitutes in South Africa, with a high concentration in Cape Town. Demand is so high smugglers bring children in from Angola, Zimbabwe, and even Eastern Europe. Child prostitution was highlighted recently by wide publicity given to a woman from Mozambique who was stopping cars on a freeway off ramp, offering to rent out her daughters, aged seven and ten, for the equivalent of $26.00 a week. [Steven Swindells, Child Sex Trafficking on Rise in South Africa, Reuters, Nov. 23, 2000.]
But there has also been good news for the multi-racialists, who say former apartheid-supporters are coming over to the African National Congress. Robby Sutherland of Roodeplaat, 51, spent most of the past 25 years in conservative white politics, serving in Parliament for nine years as a member of the Afrikaner Herstigte Nasionale Party. Now he says he has had “an epiphany.” “I didn’t expect the ANC government to be so open-minded and let our white people join and be a part of them,” he says. “This is the most democratic party ever in South Africa and that moved me.” He has even run for political office as an ANC candidate, and shouts “power to the people” and “long live the ANC” in Zulu at campaign rallies.
Mr. Sutherland is not alone. Pik Botha, former foreign minister with the National Party, has joined the ANC. Late in 2000 there was much rejoicing when Craig Kotze, a former secret agent for the apartheid regime, announced at a news conference that he had “finally come home to the ANC.” He denies he is an opportunist and claims that he just “needed to get out of the ghettoes of my mind.” He says he wants to work as a bridge between the ANC and other Afrikaners. [Ravi Nessman, Reformed Right-Wing Racist Joins ANC, AP, Dec. 1, 2000.]
Meanwhile, more white farmers are being killed. In November, blacks strangled a 59-year-old woman on her chicken farm and shot and wounded a 82-year-old man who returning to his farm from church. Blacks have killed more than 1,000 farmers since 1996, which makes being a white commercial farmer the most dangerous job in the country. [Steven Swindells, South Africa Hit by New Rural Race Murders, Reuters, Nov. 20, 2000.]
World AIDS Figures
The United Nations estimates that at the end of 2000 36.1 million people carry the AIDS virus, and 5.3 million of them were infected during the year. Worldwide, the infection rate is 1.1 percent of the adult population, and about three million people are thought to have died of AIDS in 2000. Women account for 47 percent of the infected population.
The United Nations estimates that at the end of 2000 36.1 million people carry the AIDS virus, and 5.3 million of them were infected during the year. Worldwide, the infection rate is 1.1 percent of the adult population, and about three million people are thought to have died of AIDS in 2000. Women account for 47 percent of the infected population.
In North America, about 920,000 people had the virus, with 150,000 infected during 2000. About 20,000 died during the year, and the adult infection rate is 0.6 percent. In black Africa there are 25.3 million people with the virus, and the adult infection rate is 8.8 percent. Some 2.4 million people are thought to have died of AIDS during the year. The area with the lowest adult infection rate is East Asia, with 0.07 percent. The rate for Australia/New Zealand is 0.13 percent and for Western Europe it is 0.24 percent. [Worldwide, Regional Impact of AIDS, AP, Nov. 28, 2000.]
‘A White a Day’
Three black girls who attend Bowie High School in Bowie, Maryland, face hate crime charges after they attacked a white boy at a bus stop. On October 6, they pushed him to the ground and punched and kicked him until a passerby stopped them. He says he heard one of the girls say she “hated white people” and was going to “pick on a different white person each day.” [Ellen Sorokin, Bowie High Students Accused in Assault, Washington Times, Oct. 26, 2000.]
Test Not ‘Racist’
Anyone who wants to teach in the public schools of California has to take the California Basic Educational Skills Test or CBEST. The test, which has been given since 1983, consists of two essays and 100 multiple choice questions in reading and math. Eighty percent of whites pass on the first try but only 53 percent of Asians, 49 percent of Hispanics, and 38 percent of blacks. In 1992, a group of non-whites filed suit, claiming the test was culturally biased, but on Oct. 30 a special 11-judge panel of the federal appeals court upheld the test as a fair assessment of the minimum qualifications for being a teacher. [Mandatory Test of Teacher Skills Upheld by Court, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 31, 2000.]
Chicago Alderman Bernard Stone thought it would be a nice patriotic gesture if every City Council session began with the Pledge of Allegiance. “It seemed to me to be a no-brainer, something that would be passed almost without discussion,” he said. He was wrong. Black members of the council object to the pledge because they say the final phrase, “with liberty and justice for all” is hypocritical because it does not include blacks. On Nov. 1, The council finally did vote to open meetings with the pledge, but several black members abstained. When the first recitation of the pledge took place, at least one black member remained outside the room. [Council Passes Proposal for Pledge, AP, Nov. 2, 2000.]
‘Very Good Kids’
A 13-year-old boy beat and raped a woman in Bronx, New York, while his twin brother held down the woman’s two-year-old son and covered his mouth to keep him from screaming. The twins were waiting for the 40-year-old woman outside her apartment, and attacked her as she returned from the grocery story. Afterward, they stole $375 in cash and ran away. The victim recognized the boys and gave police enough information to find them. The boy accused of the rape had scratches on his face from struggling with the woman. Police charged the twins as juveniles with rape, sexual assault, burglary, and robbery. Outside the courtroom their mother insisted they were innocent. “They said they didn’t touch no baby, and they didn’t touch no lady,” she said. “I’m mad as hell. They’re very good kids. They wouldn’t rape nobody.” Police report the boys have been in and out of foster care and were charged two years ago with raping a five-year-old cousin. [Murray Weiss, Zach Haberman and William Neuman, Cops Nab Twin Boys in Rape of Bx. Mom, Oct. 17, 2000, New York Post.]
African-Style Panty Raid
We reprint the following article, verbatim and in toto, from the London Guardian:
Three hundred Kenyan schoolboys tried to fight their way into a neighbouring co-educational school on Saturday night, allegedly in an attempt to rape the school’s 200 female boarders.
After a pitched battle with the girls and their male classmates lasting most of the night, the boys were dispersed when police arrived and fired shots over their heads. Thirty-four boys were yesterday arrested in connection with the attack, which apparently failed in its objective.
‘This raid was well organised,’ said a teacher at the besieged Ndururmo Mixed High School in Kenya’s Central Province, who wished to remain anonymous. ‘The invaders came dressed in our uniforms which they had stolen on Thursday night. We suspect they planned to rape the girls.’
Several dozen students were injured in the attack, which began when the boys gathered around the girls’ dormitory at 10 p.m., reportedly high on drink and drugs. Alerted by the girls’ screams as the intruders tried to force their way in, male pupils came running from their own dormitory to fight them off with broken-up chairs and other makeshift weapons.
Police called all 600 pupils of Nyahururu Boys High School, at the foot of Mt. Kenya, to an inspection yesterday morning. Any boy with fresh cuts or bruises was arrested. However, many of the schoolboys were thought to be hiding in nearby maize fields to escape arrest.
The incident is only the latest example of the violence currently plaguing Kenya’s schools. More than 100 pupil riots have been reported this year. In one recent incident, schoolboys set their matron’s house alight after she refused them access to their female classmates’ dormitory. In another, high school pupils attempted to burn their prefects alive, complaining that they were too strict. [James Astill, 300 Boys Attack Girls School, Guardian (London), Nov. 14, 2000.]
Blacks love to fantasize about being paid huge sums because of slavery, but until now the theory has been Congress would pass out the boodle. Now a group of experienced trial lawyers has announced they plan to file a civil suit on behalf of the descendants of slaves. Some of the lawyers have won big cases. Alexander J. Pires helped win a $1 billion settlement for black farmers who claimed discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Richard Scruggs won the $368.5 billion settlement for states against tobacco companies, and Dennis C. Sweet, won a $400 million settlement in the “phen-fen” diet drug case. Also in the group are O.J. Simpson defender Johnnie Cochran, black Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree, and Randall Robinson of TransAfrica (see the May, 2000, issue for a review of his miserable book, The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks).
“We will be seeking more than just monetary compensation,” says Prof. Ogletree. “We want a change in America. We want full recognition and a remedy of how slavery stigmatized, raped, murdered and exploited millions of Africans through no fault of their own.” He says the group has not yet decided in which court to sue nor who the defendants will be, but they will probably target federal and state governments, as well as private companies alleged to have profited from slavery. [Paul Shepard, Lawyers Plan Slave Reparations Suit, AP, Nov. 4, 2000.]
Spoils of War
Twenty-five years after the end of the Vietnam War, Vietnamese are still flocking to the United States. What was predicted to be a brief, small exodus in 1975 has ended up being a 1,000,000-man tidal wave, and the flow shows no sign of stopping. Most of the 26,000 or so immigrants who come every year cannot pretend they are escaping Communism. They are part of what the U.S. Consulate calls the “expanding pyramid” of family reunification: the children, spouses, parents, and siblings of people already here who will, in turn, bring in their own relatives. Many who leave now are women-brides of men who return to Vietnam to marry their own kind. Vietnamese in America send an estimated $2 billion a year back home, about twice as much as the country gets in foreign aid from all sources. Vietnam has also become one of the main adoption markets for childless Americans, who brought home 717 children in the last year.
“It’s going to outlive us all,” says Courtland Robinson, an expert on Vietnamese migration. “I don’t think anyone in 1975 thought it would last more than a few months or a few years. But here we are, all these years later, seeing not just the last vestiges but a new manifestation of this migration.” [Seth Mydans, 25 Years Later, Vietnamese Still Flock to the U.S., New York Times, Nov. 7, 2000.]
Hispanics feel less inclined to adapt to mainstream America. According to a Yankelovich study called 2000 Hispanic Monitor, 69 percent of Hispanics say Spanish is more important to them than it was five years ago. In 1997, the figure was 63 percent. In 1997, 72 percent of Hispanics said they were concerned about fitting in to American society, but three years later the figure was down to 64 percent. Likewise, the number who say they are concerned with finding acceptance from non-Hispanics has dropped from 77 percent to 68 percent. [Lee Romney, Latinos in U.S. Increasingly Favoring Spanish, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 8, 2000.]
Joseph Abdullah, whose mother is German and father Iraqi, drowned in a swimming pool in 1997 in the small German town of Sebnitz. In 1998 local authorities judged the death a swimming accident, but in 2000 fresh witnesses stepped forward to claim anti-miscegenist skinheads had drugged Joseph and held him under water. All of Germany, which has been in paroxysms of remorse over a series of recent racial incidents-some real, others alleged-worked itself into certifiable hysteria at the news. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder set the tone by visiting the boys’ parents and issuing ringing denunciations of skinhead barbarity. The parents claimed to have gotten death threats. A massive police effort swung into action, and three young Germans were arrested. Now, it appears that Mr. and Mrs. Abdullah paid the new witnesses (race unspecified) the equivalent of about ten dollars each to claim to have seen things they did not see, and that the alibis of the suspects turned out to be unshakable. The prosecutor concluded that “grounds for suspicion against the three suspects cannot be supported” and released them. It has not been reported whether charges will be brought against the Abdullahs. [Adam Tanner, Suspects in German Boy Death Freed, Reuters, Nov. 27, 2000.]
Took in by ‘Big Took’
Stanley Williams is a co-founder of the black Crips gang, which he helped establish in 1971 in order to fight rivals. The other founder, Raymond Washington, was shot to death in 1979. In 1981, Mr. Williams, or “Big Took” as he was known to his pals, got the death penalty for killing four people. During 19 years of appeals, he has taken to writing children’s books, eight of which have appeared since 1996. They are supposed to warn “at risk youth” of the perils of crime, but critics say they glamorize the very things they warn against. He is also involved in something called the Internet Project for Street Peace, through which yet more “at risk youth” in California and South Africa use e-mail and chat rooms to “share experiences.”
As it happens, an admirer of Mr. Williams extended the activities of the Internet Project for Street Peace to Switzerland, where there are reportedly “at risk” Somalis, who have greatly benefited from “sharing experiences” with Californians and South Africans. Mario Fehr, a member of the Swiss Parliament, is so impressed with Mr. Williams’ good works he has nominated the death-row killer for the Nobel Peace Prize (members of any nation’s parliament can offer nominations). Mr. Fehr knows about the murders but says, “Everyone can change his life, no matter what mistakes someone has done.” [Ron Harris, Inmate Nominated for Nobel Prize, AP, Nov. 18, 2000.]
Stirrings in Romania
By the time this issue of AR is distributed, Romania will have held its runoff election for president. In the Nov. 26 ballot the usual people were in a swivet over the second-place finish of Corneliu Vadim Tudor, leader of the Greater Romania Party. He finished with 28 percent of the vote, and forced ex-Communist Ion Iliescu into a runoff by keeping him from getting a majority.
A victory by Mr. Tudor is unlikely, but it would be hugely significant. He takes the quaint view that Romania should be Romanian, a position that has broad appeal to people who feel hemmed in by increasing numbers of Turks, Hungarians, and other Slavs. Romanian is a Romance language, and Romanians feel much more akin to their Western than to their Eastern neighbors. Mr. Tudor has also struck a chord with voters by promising to clamp down on Gypsies and on the widespread corruption that has followed the fall of Communism.
Mr. Tudor came up through the Communist ranks and had the unofficial position of court poet for the last Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Only months after Ceausescu was executed in 1989, Mr. Tudor established the Greater Romania Party, whose name does not stand for territorial enlargement but for improving the country. He won a seat in the Senate in 1992 and got five percent of the presidential vote in 1996. A man who can quote Byron and who also expresses earthy colloquialism with perfect grammar, Mr. Tudor likes to wear sun glasses and white suits. White, he explains, is the color of truth, and points out that Jesus Christ is always depicted wearing white. For the campaign, however, he has worn dark suits without sun glasses.
Romania has been “Westernized” to the point that Mr. Tudor has no media support. Every paper either ridicules or ignores him. Poll-takers have stopped publishing results for fear of giving him encouragement. His opponent Mr. Iliescu refuses to debate him and television stations will not let him in the studio. It is a perfect sign of our times that Western Europe is far more worried at the prospect of victory by a nationalist than by an ex-Communist whose conversion to markets and ballots is widely recognized to be only halfhearted. [Alison Mutler, Romania’s Tudor Frightens Many, AP, Dec. 5, 2000.]
Stephen and Chinlin Leung, immigrants to New York from Hong Kong, disapproved of their 17-year-old daughter Connie’s choice of boyfriend. The girl had been dating 20-year-old Eric Louissant, who is black, and the parents strongly disapproved. So Connie and Eric decided to kill Connie’s parents. They strangled Mr. Leung with a belt while he was watching television, waited three hours for Mrs. Leung to come home, and strangled her, too. They kept the bodies in the Leung’s Manhattan apartment for several days before dumping them in the East River. Connie is a minor and can get no more than 25 years in jail. Boyfriend Eric could face the death penalty. [N.Y. Interracial Lovers Accused of Killing Parents, Reuters, Nov. 17, 2000.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS
Sir — I appreciated the excellent analysis of Western decline in AR’s December issue. However, I think you may exaggerate the degree to which whites have lost their “racial consciousness.” For example, anybody who has grown up in the multiracial public school system knows that the races essentially segregate themselves and that young whites are not the multiracial cheerleaders some of them come across as being. I would suggest this loss of racial consciousness is rather illusory, as whites can afford to hide it when they move to all-white schools and neighborhoods. In addition, I would say that this “loss” mainly afflicts members of the older generation who have become insulated from reality.
Recently, I delivered a speech to a mostly non-white audience of “gifted” students on the subject of IQ and race. I gave them evidence, such as Prof. Jensen’s RT/MT [reaction time, movement time] data, which disproves test bias and points to a lower average intelligence for Blacks and Hispanics. What truly surprised me is that non-whites thanked me afterwards and most everybody seemed to be very interested, and in agreement with the conclusions. Most everyone in my audience, regardless of race, knew what I was saying was true. I would go so far as to say that whites have become more racially conscious in recent decades. The problem is, we lack the organization and influence of other races. Also, we lack the righteousness of non-whites who feel they have been denied the “American Dream.” Finally, we lack responsible, legitimate nationalist leaders. Exposing white people to our message first-hand, via political activity or outspoken advocacy, is the only way to improve our prospects — and is almost guaranteed to work in the long run.
Brian Copp, Dallas, Tex.
Sir — I noted with interest Jacques Barzun’s observation that modern (decadent) man always looks forward, convinced that everything in the past was inferior. Prof. Barzun doesn’t seem to realize that much of what drives this contempt for the past is the set of diseases that go by the general name of political correctness. If one were to point out that in the 1950s we had few divorces, little violent crime, low illegitimacy rates, a coherent culture, and a patriotic citizenry, a typical product of our times would reply: “But think of all the oppression suffered by blacks and women and homosexuals.” After a pause he might add, “And think of how sexually uptight people were. They were virgins when they got married.” I wonder if it is not unique in human history for a people to consider itself superior in every way to the past — especially in matters of morality — rather than indebted to it and even awed by it.
A more typical, if somewhat extreme, feeling about history is in Book III, 6 of Horace’ Odes:
Time corrupts all. What has it not made worse?
Our grandfathers sired feeble children; theirs
Were weaker still — ourselves; and now our curse
Must be to breed even more degenerate heirs.
Any generation that despises the past will most certainly poison the future.
Sam Harrell, Royal Oak, Mich.
Sir — In light of James Lubinskas’ November article, “Hate Crimes 101,” it is important that your readers understand the danger posed by hate crime laws. In Virginia, as in other states, a simple assault (i.e. any unlawful touching) is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. A first-time defendant convicted of simple assault might expect to be sentenced to a modest fine or some hours of community service. In a serious case, he might get a suspended sentence. However, under the hate crime statute, if the defendant is found to have selected his victim because of race, religion, color, or national origin, the law imposes a mandatory minimum term of six months. Take a moment to let that sink in — six months in jail for the unlawful touching of a non-white. Believe me, this is your worst nightmare become reality.
In northern Virginia non-white gangs run an assault scam to try to incite whites to commit assault against them. An argument starts and most witnesses run away because no one wants to get involved. But one “neutral” witness stays behind to testify that you committed the assault, and that you uttered a racial slur. In short, hate crime laws put a weapon in the hands of minority criminals, giving them the means to destroy the lives of innocent whites and their families. Your readers should avoid arguments and physical contact with non-whites at all costs.
A Virginia Attorney
Sir — The November article about “white power” music was illuminating, but I fear you have downplayed the Nazi angle. A quick Internet tour reveals that some of these bands decorate their albums with swastikas and SS symbols.
The lyrics you chose to quote were unexceptionable, but the article left me curious to know what the Death in June song “We Drive East” is all about. Who, for example, are “we?” Somehow, I don’t think “we” are Gen. Patton and the Americans.
Fred Hooper, Mussel Shoals, Ala..