|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol 10, No. 7||July 1999|
Race, Crime, and Violence
What is the color of crime in America?
Who is committing crime in this country and against whom? How much crime do blacks commit? Are Hispanics as violent as blacks? What about Asians? How much so-called hate crime is there in the country and who is committing it? The U.S. Department of Justice collects a huge amount of information on crime — enough to answer these questions. And, indeed, there are very substantial differences in crime rates by race.
Government statistics are essentially of three kinds: survey data, statistics on crimes reported to the police, and arrest figures. The annual Department of Justice survey is important because it gathers information on crimes that victims don’t report to the police. Even more important, every few years it gathers information on the race of both victims and perpetrators of violent crimes. It is therefore the only information about interracial crime collected at the national level. The survey is about as accurate a picture as it is possible to get of crimes Americans say they have suffered.
The Department of Justice also collects data on the number of crimes reported to the police and the number of arrests made — and racial data are included on most people who are arrested. Needless to say, these three kinds of information — crimes reported in surveys, crimes reported to the police, and arrests — represent a steady decrease in volume. For example, in 1997, the most recent year for which there is complete information, the annual survey found there were 1,883,000 cases of aggravated assault (attacks that could cause serious injury or death). Only 1,022,000 cases were reported to the police, and only 535,000 resulted in an arrest.
It is significant that the racial proportions for perpetrators as found in the survey data and the racial proportions for arrests are remarkably similar. Americans report in the survey that close to 60 percent of all robberies are committed by blacks and, indeed, 57 percent of arrests for robberies in 1997 were of blacks. The proportions are close for other violent crimes as well, which means that the police are arresting people of different races at essentially the same rates at which the public is being victimized by them. Endless assertions that the police arrest non-whites because of “racism” are largely false (see sidebar, p. 5).
So who is committing the crime — and against whom? To start with the survey data on interracial violent crime, in 1994 (the most recent year racial data were gathered) there were about 1,276,000 single-offender crimes and 490,000 multiple-offender crimes. Although the survey categorizes victims and perpetrators as only “white,” “black,” and “other,” 89 percent of the single-offender crimes and 94 percent of the multiple-offender interracial crimes were committed by blacks against whites.
These are astonishingly lopsided figures. One way to understand just how lopsided they are is to express them as rates. The frequency of crime is usually expressed as a rate per 100,000 people. In these terms, 3,494 blacks out of every 100,000 committed a violent crime against a white person in 1994 while only 63 whites out of every 100,000 committed a violent crime against a black. The black rate is more than 55 times the white rate, meaning that the average black was 55 times more likely to attack a white than vice versa. In the case of robbery, or “mugging,” blacks were 103 times more likely to go after whites than the reverse. These figures are shown on the graph on this page.
The numbers are even worse for group attacks. For overall group violence, the black-on-white rate is 102 times the white-on-black rate, and for robbery it is 277 times the white-on-black rate. It is very unusual to find multiples this great when comparing the behavior of different groups. If blacks are just two or three times more likely than whites to drop out of school or die of prostate cancer, it is considered a matter of national importance. But practically no one even knows that blacks are 50 to 200 times more likely than whites to attack someone of the other race. If whites were just four or five times more likely to attack blacks than the reverse, it would be considered a crisis that required national attention.
Some people have argued that blacks attack whites because whites are richer and more likely to be profitable robbery targets. However, fewer than 20 percent of all violent black-on-white crimes are robberies. The rest are assaults and rapes, which presumably do not have an economic motive. In 1994 more than 30,000 white women were raped by black men while only 5,400 black women were raped by whites (the latter figure is uncertain because the actual survey found too few actual white-on-black rapes to permit confidence in an extrapolation to the country at large). Blacks are thus approximately 40 times more likely to rape whites than vice versa. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that much of the violence committed by blacks against whites is motivated by racial hatred.
From the national survey data it is possible to tell how much violence is interracial and how much is not, and in fact there is more black-on-white violent crime than black-on-black. When blacks committed violent crime in 1994, they attacked whites 56.3 percent of the time, whereas when whites committed violence they attacked blacks only 2.6 percent of the time. This does not mean that blacks are victims of violent crime no more often than whites are. Even if blacks are victims of only about half of all black violence, that half is concentrated in the 13 percent of the population that is black. Therefore, blacks are still about five times more likely than whites to be victims of violent black criminals.
These findings from the national survey data are very important, but the data are limited to crimes of violence other than murder (you cannot survey a murder victim) and the racial breakdown of “white,” “black,” “other” tells us nothing about Hispanics or Asians. For information on other crimes and for better racial categories we can turn to arrest data.
Murder is, of course, the most spectacular violent crime but it is relatively rare. Of all violent crimes reported to the police, fewer than one percent are murder. In 1997 there were 15,289 known murders in the United States, which represented a rate of 6.8 per 100,000 Americans. This is the lowest rate since 1968, and represents the fourth straight year of decline. The murder rate hit an all-time high of 10.2 per 100,000 in 1980.
Of the 15,289 Americans who were killed in 1997, 49 percent were black, 48 percent were white and the rest were “other” with a handful of “unknowns.” More than half of those arrested for murder were black. Murder is the one crime for which the federal arrest data give some information about the race of both victim and criminal, and murder usually does not cross racial lines: Approximately 90 percent of murderers were the same race as their victims.
When murder is interracial, blacks are considerably more likely to be the offenders. There were approximately 1,100 whites killed by blacks and 480 blacks killed by whites, which means that a black was about 15 times more likely to kill a white than vice versa.
Because blacks are so much more likely to commit murder and robbery than any other racial group, the percentage of blacks in the local population is probably the best single indicator of the level of violence. The graph on this page, compiled by Glayde Whitney of Florida State University, plots the murder rate against the black percentage of the population for the 50 states and the District of Columbia (which is the outlying data point at the upper right). The trend could not be much clearer.
Puerto Rico is not included in Prof. Whitney’s data, but according to 1997 data, it had a murder rate of 18.9 per 100,000, which was three times the national rate of 6.8, and higher than that of any state. The murder rate was lower than that of the District of Columbia, however, which had a 1997 rate of 56.9. The states with the highest murder rates were those with the highest percentage of blacks: Louisiana (15.7 per 100,000) and Mississippi (13.1). The lowest murder rates are found in overwhelmingly white states like North Dakota (0.9), South Dakota (1.4), New Hampshire (1.4), and Vermont (1.5).
Needless to say, big cities with large black populations had the highest murder rates. In 1996, New Orleans came in first at 72 per 100,000 followed by Atlanta (47), Baltimore (46), St. Louis (44), Detroit (43) and Birmingham (42). By contrast, Seattle — mostly white — had a murder rate of seven per 100,000.
When arrest data for other crimes are compared by race, the results are as shown in the first two graphs on the next page. Here, arrest rates for different groups are calculated as multiples of the white arrest rate, with the white rate always set to one. The black rate of about nine for murder, for example, in the first graph does not mean that blacks committed nine time as many murders as whites, but that they were arrested for murder at nine times the white rate. Since there are about six times as many whites as there are blacks, it means that in absolute numbers, more blacks than whites were arrested for murder — in this case about 7,200 as opposed to 5,350.
The first graph shows a very clear pattern: Asians are arrested at lower rates than whites, and American Indians and blacks are arrested at consistently higher rates. (The “Asian” category includes Pacific Islanders, some of whom are quite crime-prone. Tongans, for example, are much more violent than Chinese or Koreans. However, their numbers are small and do not distort crime rates very much. All the data in this article on Asians also include Pacific Islanders.) As we saw earlier, arrest rates are a very good indicator of actual crime rates. Blacks are the most dangerous, crime-prone group in America and Asians are the least dangerous. Only a few crimes break this pattern. The second graph on this page shows multiples of arrest rates for atypical crimes. Gambling, for example, is the only crime for which Asians are arrested at a higher rate than whites (blacks are arrested at a much higher rate). Alcohol offenses are unusual in that whites are arrested for them at essentially the same rates as blacks, while Indians — true to their reputation — are the worst offenders. For white-collar crimes like forgery, fraud, and embezzlement, blacks are arrested at about three times the white rate and Indians at something close to the white rate. For most crimes, however, the pattern is consistent, with blacks committing the most crimes, followed by Indians, whites, and Asians.
What about Hispanics? The national arrest data give the impression that Hispanics are never arrested for anything. Hispanic criminals are, of course, included in the four obligatory racial categories for arrests: white, black, Indian, and Asian. How many in which categories? The US Census Bureau gives us a clue. Its official estimate of the 1997 population divides all 268 million Americans into the four standard racial groups, but adds that there were also 29 million Hispanics who “can be of any race.” However, it also gives an estimate of non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, etc. Thus we find that according to the strictly racial classification there were 221 million whites in the country in 1997 but only 195 million non-Hispanic whites. When American Hispanics — approximately half of whom are Mexicans — are apportioned to the four racial categories, the Census Bureau thinks 91 percent are white, six percent black, one percent American Indian, and two percent Asian. This is crazy — it would be more accurate to consider the majority of them American Indians — but as far as the US government is concerned, almost all Hispanics are white.
This makes for odd census results. For example, according to the 1990 census, of the 3,485,000 people in Los Angeles, 52.9 percent were white, 13.9 percent black, 0.4 percent Indian, and 22.9 percent Asian — which adds up to 100 percent. This makes the city sound majority white. However, Los Angeles was also 39.3 percent Hispanic, and if we subtract the 91 percent of them who were probably classified as white, the real white population suddenly drops to 16.6 percent.
What does this mean for crime rates? Since at least 91 percent — if not all — Hispanics are lumped in with “whites,” if Hispanics commit crimes at higher rates than whites, official statistics inflate the white crime rate. Fortunately, some government jurisdictions can tell the difference between whites and Hispanics. The state of California, which has more Hispanics than any other, classifies its criminals as black, white, Hispanic, and other. The graph at the bottom of this page shows California arrest rates for the major violent crimes. As expected, blacks are the most violent, and specialize in mugging. Hispanics are roughly three times more likely than whites to be arrested for violent crime.
There is another way to estimate Hispanic crime rates. In 1996 the Department of Justice calculated incarceration rates per 100,000 population for non-Hispanic whites (193), Hispanics (688), and non-Hispanic blacks (1,571). Expressed as multiples of the white rate, the Hispanic rate is 3.56 and the black rate is 8.14. These multiples are close to the multiples for the California arrest data and justify the conclusion that Hispanics are roughly three times more likely than whites to commit various crimes.
We can calculate more accurate racial arrest rates if we separate out the 91 percent of Hispanic criminals we can assume are classified as white when they are arrested. By doing so, the white arrest rate decreases by about 20 percent and the arrest multiples for other races increase proportionately (in some cases Asian rates begin to approach white rates). The two side-by-side graphs on this page show how arrest rate multiples change when Hispanics are treated separately. For lack of more precise information, the Hispanic multiple is set at three times the white rate for all crimes even though there is certain to be some variation for different crimes. Both graphs are drawn to the same scale, with the white arrest rate set to one. They show at a glance how treating Hispanics as “whites” distorts crime figures.
It is worth noting that the survey data from which interracial crime data were extracted do not treat Hispanics as a separate category and probably includes virtually all Hispanics in the “white” group. It is therefore impossible to know how many of the “whites” who were reported to have done violence to blacks (or against whom blacks did violence) were actually Hispanic. If Hispanics commit violent crimes against blacks at a higher rate than whites — and judging from their higher arrest and incarceration rates for other offenses this is likely — then the survey data inflate white crime rates. The true figures for interracial crime are probably even more lopsided than those reported in the survey.
Disproportionate black crime rates have a seldom-discussed consequence: A lot of blacks lose the right to vote. In all but four states, felons cannot vote. In twelve states, a felony conviction can mean disfranchisement for life, but in most states, felons can reapply for the right to vote after they are off probation. Lefties have been wringing their hands over this, unsure of whether by calling attention to the number of blacks without the vote they can fight “racism” or whether calling attention to staggering black arrest rates will promote “racism.” Human Rights Watch and the Sentencing Project have plumped for the former, and report that two percent of all American adults are without the vote because of felony convictions and that among black men the figure is 13 percent. In seven states — Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Mississippi, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wyoming — a quarter of all black men are permanently ineligible to vote.
The lefties go on to point out that by 2020 about one third of all black men will probably have lost the right to vote. In the black parts of cities like Houston, Memphis, Miami, and New Orleans, as many as half the black men might be off the voting rosters. It causes the lefties great pain to imagine cities with black majorities but more white voters than black.
A very illuminating comparison can be made between arrest rates for blacks as compared to whites, and men as compared to women. We find that in terms of their likelihood to commit violent crimes, blacks are as much more dangerous than whites as men are more dangerous than women. The first graph on this page shows the arrest rates for men for various crimes as multiples of the arrest rates for women. The next three graphs compare the male-female arrest multiple to the black-white multiple. Blacks are as much more dangerous than whites as men are more dangerous than women — and these graphs are not even adjusted for the inclusion of Hispanics in “white” arrest figures.
Everyone knows that a group of unknown men is potentially more dangerous than a group of otherwise similar women. It is entirely reasonable to take precautions around men that one would not take around women. From a statistical point of view, it is just as reasonable to distinguish between blacks and whites as carefully as one distinguishes between men and women. It would be foolish not to lock the car doors when driving through black neighborhoods.
Police, of course, know that blacks commit a great deal of crime, and this explains “racial profiling,” the practice of stopping and questioning proportionately more blacks than people of other races. The police would be crazy not to. They also stop more men than women and more young people than old people. The police know from experience who the crooks are likely to be. If they spent as much time investigating old Asian ladies as they did young black men they would never get their jobs done. Everyone understands that men are more crime-prone than women and they understand why men are stopped more often than women. It is only because of racial hysteria that so many people at least pretend to believe the police stop blacks more often than whites because of “racism.”
Why Crime is Down
Politicians and the press have made much of the fact that crime rates are inching down — and indeed they are. The rate of violent crime declined every year from 1991 to 1996 and decreased by a total of 12.7 percent during that period. However, violent crime rates were still 300 percent higher than they were in 1960. President William Clinton likes to take credit for the recent decline, claiming that his initiative to spend federal money on a few thousand more police officers is what did the trick. Reality is not so kind. Crime rates are down because of the huge increase in the number of bad guys who are in jail. As the graphs on the next page show, we have never had so many people in prison, and incarceration rates, in terms of prisoners per 100,000 population are at unprecedented highs.
As the graph for incarceration shows, America has traditionally had about 100 people in jail for every 100,000 citizens. In the decade of the 1960s there was a terrific increase in crime. Perhaps not coincidentally it coincided with the triumph of silly liberal views about crime: society rather than the criminal is to blame, imprisonment is ineffective, the police are brutal, blacks never get a fair shake, etc. And so, despite the surge in crime, prison sentences were reduced and incarceration rates actually went down during the decade. By 1970, however, the combination of more crime and less imprisonment had reached intolerable levels, and we started sending people back to jail: to the point that we now have 400 prisoners per 100,000 citizens — a 400 percent increase in incarceration rates.
Current research suggests that every year of incarceration prevents 12 to 21 crimes. If we returned to our traditional incarceration rate of 100 per 100,000 it would require releasing nearly one million jailbirds — and would loose upon the country a crime wave that would drive every citizen into the arms of the National Rifle Association. The connection between falling crime rates and increasing incarceration rates should be clear to even the dimmest liberal; a crook who is doing time can’t stick a knife in your ribs. And yet, the most common big-media reaction to the swollen prison population is to argue that it is caused by some kind of malicious “prison-industrial complex,” and to worry that so many of the prisoners are black.
Because of the unprecedentedly large number of adults who are locked up and off the streets, juvenile arrest rates are a better indicator than adult arrest rates of real crime trends in the country. All children begin life out of jail, after all, so their crime and arrest rates are not held down by the fact that the worst of them are already locked up and out of circulation. And, in fact, the celebrated drop in adult arrest rates has largely passed them by. From 1991 to 1996, while adult crime rates were dropping steadily — as more and more bad guys were put behind bars — juvenile violent crime was rising for all but one of those years. In fact, since 1987, juvenile violent-crime arrest rates have risen every year but one. There is every reason to think that this is the true crime trend in the United States.
Crime trends for girls have been even worse than for boys. In 1967, boys accounted for 92 percent of juvenile arrests for violent crime and girls for only eight percent. By 1996, girls were committing fully 25 percent of violent juvenile crime. From 1967 to 1996, violent crime arrest rates for boys increased 143 percent, but for girls the increase was an astonishing 345 percent.
It is often pointed out that immigration keeps the population young because immigrants have more children than natives. Most immigrants are non-white, so the American population is turning non-white most quickly at the younger ages. With the exception of Asians, non-whites commit considerably more crime than whites, so the demographic shift cannot help but produce more crime. Rising rates of juvenile crime — probably fueled largely by immigration — are reliable harbingers of rising rates of adult crime. Since the country does not seem likely to go through another 1960s-style period of soft-headedness about sentencing, we can expect the prison population to continue to grow at a good clip.
The prison population will also turn increasingly non-white — whites are already a minority. According to the Department of Justice, the 1995 racial breakdown in American prisons was as shown in the table below:
110,000 Not Known? A footnote to the table warns that in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Nevada, Wyoming, and 15 other states, “some or all Hispanic prisoners [are] reported under ‘not known’”! Footnotes also tell us that Montana considers all Hispanics to be white and that seven states — including big ones like Texas and Mississippi — just “estimate” the racial numbers. Once again, crazy bookkeeping makes it impossible to keep track of Hispanics, and impossible to know how many are lumped in with “whites.” But even if we ignore all the “not knowns” and assume none of the “whites” is Hispanic, “whites” account for only about 40 percent of all prisoners.
In 1995 there were 100,250 federal inmates, of which 20 percent were non-citizens. The feds do not have any “not knowns,” and report their prison population to be 36.9 percent black, 32.6 percent white, and 27.5 percent Hispanic, with Indians and Asians at 1.5 percent each. It is clear that an all-white America could make do with a much smaller prison system.
The dwindling minority of white prisoners — now likely to be controlled by non-white prison guards — will be increasingly vulnerable to rape, humiliation, violence, and extortion. More and more will seek protection by joining white-consciousness prison gangs. Already, in largely non-white prisons, it is whites who are members of “racist” gangs who maintain the best morale.
The large number of black and Hispanic prisoners has a significant but unquantifiable bearing on racial differences in rates of violent crime. According to the graph on page 6, blacks are about five times more likely than whites to be arrested for violent crime. Periodic Department of Justice surveys also find that Americans report blacks to be committing violent crime at about five times the white rate. It is worth noting that these figures apply only to blacks and whites who are not already in jail. To get a true indicator of genuine racial differences in violent or other criminal tendencies rather than just a record of criminal behavior for a given year, one would have to turn all the convicts loose and then compare crime rates. The 1997 black-white differential of 500 percent is large enough already, but it is substantially reduced by the fact that, proportionately, eight times as many blacks as whites are already in jail and are restrained from the violent acts they would certainly commit if they were free. A true black/white multiple of violence not distorted by existing differential incarceration rates would be considerably greater than five.
With the exception of Asians, the burgeoning non-white population presents a very significant threat to our safety and security. Crime considerations alone would justify a return to a much more selective immigration policy. So long as whites remain too timid to discuss the challenges they face, those challenges will never be met.
Police Bias? Says Who?
The “racist” police officer is practically a cliché. White cops all over the country are supposed to be shooting, beating, and arresting innocent blacks and Hispanics — or at least trying a whole lot harder to collar them than whites. Aside from some isolated incidents of racially motivated brutality, this is a false image. The police arrest blacks and Hispanics because they commit crimes.
The first line of evidence is the close correspondence between survey data and arrest data. If the public says half the muggers are black, and half the muggers the police arrest are black, it is unlikely the police are making “biased” arrests. Even more to the point, the police have essentially no discretion over whom they arrest for a violent crime. Except for murder victims, most people get a good enough look at an assailant to know if he is black or white. If the victim says a white man took his wallet, the police can’t very well go out and arrest a black man even if they wanted to.
The police have a lot of discretion over whether to make an arrest in the case of non-violent crimes, such as violation of liquor laws. Unlike murder or rape, there is not a great deal of public pressure to make arrests, and the police can walk away from crime if they want to. Presumably, a “racist” officer would see a drunk on the street and make an arrest only if the drunk were black. In fact, drunk driving and other liquor offenses — in which police can make arrests or not largely as they choose — are the very crimes for which the black multiple of the white arrest rate is the smallest (see previous page). If “racist” cops are picking on blacks they are not doing a good job.
Finally, if the police are “racist,” why are Asians arrested at consistently lower rates than whites? Wouldn’t “racist” cops think of some way to snare Asians?
It is often argued that the large number of blacks arrested for drugs — particularly crack cocaine — is evidence of police bias. However, there is a completely independent indicator of who is using illegal drugs, which suggests that the police are arresting the very people they should. The Department of Health and Human Services keeps statistics on people admitted to emergency rooms because of drug overdoses. Blacks are admitted at 6.67 times the white rate for heroin and morphine, and no less than 10.5 times the white rate for cocaine (Hispanics are admitted at two to three times the white rate). What better evidence could there be that people of different races are using drugs at markedly different rates, and that the police are simply doing their job?
Like so many other destructive racial myths, the myth of the racist cop refuses to die.
Eye-opening crime facts from the ‘the Sourcebook.’
The Department of Justice collects an enormous amount of information in addition to arrest records and crime survey data. Some of the most interesting findings are summarized in a fat, annual volume called Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics. The most recent edition generally reports data no later than for 1996, but it includes many interesting facts, which are presented here in no particular order. We find, for example, that in 1996 Americans murdered 300 infants and about the same number of children aged one to four. Races of perpetrators and victims are not reported.
In a rather chilling table we discover the number of children under the age of ten who were arrested in 1996 for the following crimes: Murder — 17, Rape — 61, robbery — 266, aggravated assault — 1,000, car theft — 199, forgery — 28, drunkenness — 103, weapons carrying — 600. Once again, it would be instructive to know the racial distribution of these arrests.
We also find that although during the 1970s, 120 to 130 police officers were killed in action every year, there has been a substantial decline since then, mainly because of the increased use of bullet-proof vests. In 1996, criminals killed only 55 police officers. Every year since 1979 (the first year for which data are given), no fewer than 80 percent of the slain officers have been white, and the figure has been as high as 91 percent. In 1996, blacks killed more officers than “whites” (including Hispanics) did — 45 percent of killings v. 42 percent.
As of December 31, 1996, there were only 48 women on death row — 1.5 percent of the total. Executions were halted in 1968 by a Supreme Court ruling but became Constitutional again in 1976. Since then there have been only 358 executions, with Texas killing the most (107) followed by Florida with 38 and Virginia with 37. Since resumption in 1977, 188 “whites” (there are no separate data for Hispanics) have been executed and 121 blacks.
Although it is not included in the standard government index of violence, suicide is a crime, so Sourcebook covers it. The very elderly have the highest suicide rates (around 22 per 100,000) but otherwise the most dangerous years are between ages 20 to 24 with a rate of around 16 per 100,000. At every age men are five to eight times more likely to kill themselves than women, and have grown more likely to do so over time. Male suicide rates have shown a steady increase from 9.3 in 1950 to 27.7 in 1995, though the rate has held steady in the mid to high 20s since 1990. From 1950 to 1995, the suicide rate for women aged 20 to 24 has been as low as 2.9 and as high as 5.6 and was most recently 4.3. There is essentially no trend.
“Whites” are considerably more likely to knock themselves off than blacks. The white rate is about double the black rate at virtually all ages except for people 75 and over, at which point they begin to treble and quadruple. White men over the age of 85 are the most dangerous to themselves, with a suicide rate of 68 per 100,000. Black women at that age kill themselves at a rate of only 1.5 per 100,000.
Racial differences in suicide rates are seldom reported, though we can be sure that if blacks were killing themselves at two to three times the white rate it would be explained as a reaction to “racism.”
Sourcebook tells us that 1996 was a record year for deporting illegal aliens, which is different from catching them at the border. The feds bounced 50,000, which was a jump from 41,800 the previous year. About 33,000 had been convicted of crimes, which means that most illegals have to have a record before the feds bother to send them home.
In 1996 authorities eradicated more marijuana plants in Tennessee (1,113,000) than in any other state. California took second place with 632,000.
In 1997, counterfeiters passed 589,000 bogus banknotes with a total value of $31,750,000.
Only ten percent of rapists were complete strangers to their victims; the rest were at least acquaintances. Seventy-eight percent of robbers, however, were total strangers.
Every year there are about 25 times as many thefts from automobiles as there are incidents of pickpocketing or purse-snatching. Every year about 0.66 percent of all cars in the US. are stolen, or about one in every 150.
The Sourcebook also reports crime-related attitude surveys carried out by private organizations. There has been a steady increase in support for the death penalty. In 1965 — perhaps the height of the society-is-to-blame era — only 38 percent of Americans supported the death penalty, but by 1997 that figure had grown to 75 percent. There are substantial racial differences, with 80 percent of whites in favor of capital punishment but only 46 percent of blacks. Seventy-two percent of Hispanics support it.
There are considerable racial differences in reported gun ownership, with 47 percent of whites, 17 percent of blacks, and 37 percent of Hispanics saying they have a gun in the house.
Religion does not seem to have a great influence on attitudes to crime and law enforcement except in the case of Jews. They are most likely to favor stricter gun control, least likely to own a gun, most likely to favor legalization of marijuana, and most likely to want to liberalize pornography laws.
In a rather surprising finding, Sourcebook reports that American attitudes toward legalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults have hardly budged in 20 years. In 1977, 43 percent favored legalization, 43 percent were opposed, and 14 percent couldn’t make up their minds. In 1996, 44 percent favored legalization, 47 percent were opposed, and only nine percent were unsure. Public opinion has been remarkably impervious to constant pro-homosexual propaganda.
The Department of Justice’s Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics is probably the single most informative crime document published by the US government, and can be ordered by calling (800) 732-3277.
The Great Hate Crimes Hoax
Much ado about not much.
The idea of “hate” crimes and the increased penalties attached to them are a radical departure from traditional criminal justice in that they punish certain motivations more than others. Increased penalties are justified by pointing out that the law has always taken a criminal’s state of mind into account: Was the killing deliberate or an accident? Was it planned in cold blood or done in the heat of the moment? However, these are questions of intent, and intent is, indeed, a factor in determining guilt. “Hate”crimes break new ground by considering motive. Traditionally the law does not care about motive. You are just as guilty of murder whether you kill a man because he stole your wife, blackmailed you, or stepped on your toe.
Hate crime laws require that the courts search for certain motives and add extra penalties if they find them. Therefore, if you punch a man in the nose because he took your parking spot or because he was unbearably ugly or because you just felt like punching someone that day, you are guilty of assault. If you say “nigger” and punch a black man you are guilty of a hate crime and are punished more severely. Like almost all recent innovations in morals, what started with race has expanded to “sexual orientation” and even disabilities like blindness or feeble-mindedness.
Ever since 1990, when Congress passed the Hate Crime Statistics Act, the FBI has been charged with collecting national statistics on criminal acts “motivated, in whole or in part, by bias.” The law does not force local police departments to supply this information but most do. In 1997, the most recent year for which data are available, the FBI received “hate crime” information from 11,211 local agencies serving more than 83 percent of the United States population.
That year, there was a total of 9,861 “hate crimes,” of which 6,981 were based on race or ethnic origin. The rest were for reasons of religion (1,493, of which 1,159 were anti-Jewish), sexual orientation (1,375, of which 14 were anti-heterosexual), or disability (12).
The FBI reports 8,474 suspected offenders whose race was known — 5,344 were white and 1,629 were black. Their crimes can be divided into violent and nonviolent offenses, and by calculating rates we find that blacks were 1.99 times more likely than whites to commit hate crimes in general and 2.24 times more likely to commit violent hate crimes. This over-representation of blacks in hate crimes, not just in race bias cases but in all categories, runs counter to the common impression that whites are the virtually exclusive perpetrators of hate crimes and are certainly more likely to commit them than blacks.
The real significance of “hate” crimes, however, is their small number. Of the 6,981 offenses based on race or ethnicity, only 4,105 were violent, involving murder, rape, robbery, or assault. The rest were such things as vandalism and intimidation. These numbers are almost insignificant compared to the 1,766,000 interracial crimes of violence (combining both single- and multiple-offender offenses) reported in the Department of Justice survey for 1994.
How important is the distinction between interracial crimes that are officially designated as hate crimes and those that are not? For a crime to be considered a hate crime, the perpetrator must make his motive clear, usually by saying something nasty. It is not hard to imagine that of the nearly two million interracial crimes committed in 1994, some — perhaps even a great many — were “motivated, in whole or in part, by bias” but the perpetrators didn’t bother to say so.
Given the realities of race in the United States, would it be unreasonable for someone attacked by a criminal of a different race to wonder whether race had something to do with the attack, even if his assailant said nothing? Such suspicions are even more likely in the case of the 490,266 acts of group violence that crossed racial lines in 1994. A white woman gang-raped by blacks or a black man cornered and beaten by whites will think he was singled out at least in part because of race, even if the attackers said nothing.
Hate crime laws assume that special harm is done to society when people are attacked because of race. But which does more damage to society: the few thousand violent acts officially labeled as hate crimes or the millions of ordinary interracial crimes of violence — 90 percent of which are committed by blacks against whites? If race relations are so fragile they must be protected with laws that add extra penalties to race-related crimes, why not automatically add extra penalties to any interracial crime, on the assumption that it harmed race relations? The problem, of course, is that most of the people slapped with heavier penalties would be black.
Official thinking about “hate crimes” suffers from another crushing defect. As Joseph Fallon, who has written for AR has noted, the FBI reports hate crimes against Hispanics but not by Hispanics. In the forms the FBI has local police departments fill out, Hispanics are clearly indicated as a victim category but they are not an option as a perpetrator category when the FBI asks for “Suspected Race of Offender.” The FBI therefore forces local police departments to categorize most Hispanics as “white” (see p. 4). Official figures for 1997 reflect this. The total number of “hate crimes” for that year — 9,861 — includes 636 crimes of anti-Hispanic bias, but not one of the 8,474 known offenders is “Hispanic” because the FBI’s data collection method doesn’t permit such a designation.
If someone goes after a Mexican because he doesn’t like Mexicans it is an anti-Hispanic crime. If the same Mexican commits a “hate crime” against a white, both the victim and the perpetrator are considered white. And, in fact, the 1997 FBI figures duly record 214 “white” offenders who committed anti-white hate crimes! The offenders were undoubtedly Hispanic, but the report doesn’t say so. Some of the “whites” who are reported to have committed hate crimes against blacks and homosexuals are almost certainly Hispanic, but there is no way to be sure.
Hispanic perpetrators show up only if you investigate specific “hate” crimes. The FBI lists five cases of racially-motivated murder for 1997 — three “anti-black” and two “anti-white.” The report says nothing about the perpetrators or the circumstances of the killings, so AR got the details from the local police departments.
Two of the anti-black killings took place in the same town, a mostly-Hispanic suburb of Los Angeles called Hawaiian Gardens. Hawaiian Gardens has a history of black-Hispanic tension that is so bad many blacks have cleared out. In one of the 1997 murders, a 24-year-old black man was beaten to death by a mob of 10 to 14 Hispanics who took turns smashing his head with a baseball bat. In the other, a Hispanic gang member challenged a 29-year-old black man’s right to be in the neighborhood. A few minutes later he came back and shot the man in the chest. In both cases, the victims and killers did not know each other and the motivation appears to have been purely racial. These crimes are typical of what we think of as hate-crime murders, but because no Hispanics are identified as perpetrators in the FBI report, the killers were classified as white.
The third anti-black killing took place in Anchorage, Alaska. A white man, Brett Maness, killed his neighbor, a black man, Delbert White, after a brief struggle. Mr. Maness, who was growing marijuana in his apartment and kept an arsenal of weapons, had been shooting a pellet gun at Mr. White’s house, and the black came over to complain. Interestingly, a jury found that Mr. Maness killed Mr. White in self defense. The incident — which sounds rather ambiguous — was classified as a hate crime because Mr. Maness had shouted racial slurs at Mr. White in the past and because “racist” literature was found in his apartment.
The remaining two killings were classified as anti-white, but only one fits the usual idea of these crimes. Four white men were walking on a street in Palm Beach, Florida, when a car came to a stop not far from them. Two black men got out with their hands behind their backs and one said “What are you crackers looking at?” One of the white men replied, “Not you, nigger,” whereupon one of the blacks brought a gun from behind his back and fired several times, killing one white and wounding another. Attackers and victims did not know each other, and the motivation appears to have been purely racial. The other anti-white killing involved a Texas businessman from India, Sri Punjabi, who shot his Mexican daughter-in-law because his son had divorced an Indian wife to marry her. Mr. Punjabi was furious because his son married someone who was not Indian. (Presumably, this crime could have been classified as anti-Hispanic rather than anti-white.)
These five “hate crime” murders reported for 1997 do not exactly fit the media image of whites brutalizing non-whites. In fact, only one perpetrator, the Alaskan, was “white” in the usually accepted sense. What was the nature of the thousands of other officially-reported hate crimes? Without examining all 9,861 of them it is impossible to say.
It is clear, though, that the FBI report gives a false impression of what is going on. It inflates the number of hate crimes committed by “whites” by calling Hispanics white, and suggests that Hispanics never commit “hate crimes.” Every year, the press duly reports this nonsense. No one, apparently, ever bothers to ask why hundreds of whites are reported to be committing hate crimes against other whites. By leaving out Hispanics and blaming their crimes on whites, the FBI report paints so distorted a picture of race relations in America that it is worse than useless.
The Future of an Illusion
Never give up trying to achieve the impossible.
By the Color of our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and the Reality of Race, Leonard Steinhorn and Barbara Diggs-Brown, Dutton, 1999, 299 pp. $23.95.
This book has one of the most promising subtitles to appear in years: The Illusion of Integration and the Reality of Race. Has American publishing actually produced a realistic, hard-headed book about race? Not yet. The subtitle is only a tease.
Leonard Steinhorn is white and Barbara Diggs-Brown is black and both teach at American University in Washington, DC. They recognize that despite much hypocritical blather, blacks and whites have not integrated and are not likely to. And in the early part of the book, they write as if they are prepared to draw serious conclusions from this:
We ask whether our national devotion to the integration ideal hinders or helps race relations . . .
[W]e . . . believe it is best for America to face the truth and cease pretending that the integration myth has anything to do with the racial reality.
The sooner we acknowledge the permanence of the color line . . . the sooner we can begin an honest accounting of our racial divide and develop an alternative vision of our collective future.”
The races do not have to hate each other to be divided, and indeed we can be very cordial about it.
These are sound sentiments and could have been the basis for a genuinely thoughtful book, but the authors quickly veer into conventional liberalism. Much of the book is devoted to disapproving examples of the unwillingness of whites to mix with blacks. Whites move when blacks buy the house next door, they send their children to private schools, they socialize only with whites, etc. “Integration,” as the authors put it “exists only in the time span between the first black family moving in and the last white family moving out.” They quote a student about campus race relations: “I don’t remember any overt racial hostilities. You need a certain amount of contact to have hostilities.” America, they argue is scarcely any more integrated than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
The authors note that this is especially remarkable given that whites almost invariably claim to support integration and even to practice it. According to polls, 60 to 90 percent of whites say they have at least one close friend who is black. Given the difference in numbers between blacks and whites, this means that all blacks — including the most degenerate criminals and ghetto bums — must have five or six close white friends. Whites tell silly lies like this because they have so thoroughly absorbed the prevailing fear of “racism.” To have no black friends might be a sign of “bigotry.”
Profs. Steinhorn and Diggs-Brown give another example of the extent to which whites have absorbed the correct attitudes. After the O.J. Simpson murder trial, 62 percent of whites had an unfavorable opinion of the murderer, but 88 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Mark Furman, the white detective who lied about using the word “nigger.” William Clinton says that integration and racial tolerance are the most important moral ideas he grew up with, and many others would probably agree — at least in public. The authors are right to call this hypocrisy: “most whites don’t want to be integrated with blacks but also don’t want to be seen as unwilling to integrate with blacks.”
Many whites do not even know their real feelings about blacks, party because they can’t tell the difference between real integration and what the authors call “virtual integration.” Profs. Steinhorn and Diggs-Brown suggest that whites who may have no meaningful contact with blacks nevertheless think they are intimate with them because they see them often on television. Whites become so familiar with the faces and mannerisms of black TV personalities that they may come to think of them as part of their lives. Whites who have never shaken a black hand talk about “Oprah,” as if they knew her. Sports fans have passionate attachments to black athletes. It is hard to know just how much this sort of thing tricks whites into thinking they spend time in the company of blacks, but it is a provocative idea. “Virtual integration” proves itself an illusion as soon as whites come face to face with the real thing.
Why don’t whites want to mix with blacks? Today, the most common reason whites give is fear of crime. The authors point out that this may be an excuse for something deeper, because even in the 1940s and 1950s, before crime rates shot up, whites would not integrate. So what is it about blacks that repels whites even after decades of integration propaganda that has been so successful almost all whites claim to believe it? The authors suspect whites feel a kind of physical revulsion for blacks, and wonder if this has something to do with opposition to miscegenation. Naturally, they think miscegenation is fine. The only reason they can think of why whites might oppose marrying blacks is that they fear they might appear to lose social status. They at least pretend not to realize that it is natural and healthy for people to want their descendants to look like their ancestors, to be part of the same culture, and to hold the same ideals. For the authors to profess bafflement at opposition to miscegenation — something neither practices — is as suspect as the claims most whites make about having black friends.
A tiresome number of pages is devoted to accounts of the racial indignities blacks reportedly suffer at the hands of whites. The authors love to talk about black executives tailed by store detectives, basketball players arrested driving swanky cars, law partners mistaken for janitors, executives who can’t catch a cab. They report that middle-class blacks have to spend a stupendous amount of emotional energy suppressing anti-white anger. They write of one successful executive who says it is all he can do to keep from bringing an AK-47 to work and going on a rampage.
Whites have heard so many stories like this they have no more patience for them. It is entirely rational to judge strangers on the basis of race. Black cabbies, who don’t care to be robbed any more than white cabbies do, don’t like to pick up black passengers either. Black security guards are just as likely to be suspicious of black customers as white guards. Blacks are just as surprised as whites if a partner at a law firm turns out to be black. There are excellent reasons for these things. People don’t expect Frenchmen to speak Chinese or fat people to be acrobats. Life follows certain patterns, and it is foolish to expect people not to notice them. It is all very well to decry stereotypes, but many racial stereotypes — as the authors grudgingly admit — are true. No doubt it is unpleasant for a black executive when white women refuse to get into elevators with him, but whose fault is that? If blacks did not commit so much crime whites would not be afraid of them. It is silly and ineffective for the authors to expect to shock their readers by recounting examples of rational expectations based on race.
Blacks, for their part, have discovered that most whites do not want integration no matter how much they claim to. Some blacks never wanted it, and many who at least thought they did, have stopped trying to push in where they are not wanted. And when blacks are in a position to staff an office they don’t exactly fill it with whites. The authors recognize that black indifference and even hostility to integration also contribute to its failure. They also note that even though blacks complain about being treated like criminals, they enjoy the sense of power that comes from being able to scare whites — a power they would not have if so many were not criminals.
The authors are also correct to point out that blacks and whites have dramatically different conceptions of American race relations. Whites, the huge majority of whom are not in a position to “oppress” blacks even if they wanted to, are sick of constant black complaints about “racism.” Blacks, on the other hand, believe “racism” is everywhere and accounts for everything. As the authors point out, people of different races live in the same world but see it completely differently.
And, in fact, many try to make their worlds different. The book regretfully describes the different television programs blacks and whites watch, the different magazines they read, and the segregated churches they attend. Blacks identify with Africa, celebrate the racial holiday of Kwanza, have their own “national anthem” (Lift Every Voice and Sing), and have a different “culture” from that of whites. In effect they are a separate nation within the territory of the United States.
So what do the authors propose to do about this? What is the “alternative vision of our collective future” that they propose, given the persistence of racial separation in America? The only indication that they have actually considered an “alternative vision” is to suggest one and immediately reject it: “To those who say that the only alternative to the integration ideal is separate but equal, we vehemently disagree.” They give no reasons; separation just won’t do.
Instead, they say the country should:
- Mount a national effort to recognize the uniquely tragic experience of blacks. They say that just as Jews have made the Holocaust into a badge of unique suffering and special deserving, blacks should do the same with their own history.
- It would then be possible to promote racial preferences as “a positive good that all Americans should be proud to support.”
- Finally, the centerpiece of their efforts would be a massive campaign of anti-racist television advertisements that would “educate us on subtle discrimination or alert us to the racial hurt we cause each other.” The ads would “challenge white middle-class homeowners to rethink why they consider selling when a black middle-class family moves in next door.” The authors propose some specifics:
Imagine an ad that shows two women, one black and slightly overweight, the other white and well-tailored, and then asks us to choose which one is the welfare mom and which one is the business executive — to be followed by another ad that shows two men, one black in sweats and one white in a polo shirt, which asks us to choose the ex-convict and the business executive.
Anti-racist television must “saturate the airwaves and keep reinforcing the ideas behind it,” and “in the hands of the creative and resourceful advertising industry, there is no limit to the assumptions and stereotypes such a campaign can challenge.”
In a book that has already pointed out that “the races do not have to hate each other to be divided, and indeed we can be very cordial about it,” these proposals are so breathtakingly idiotic it is hard to imagine the authors are being serious. Blacks already try to dine out every night on slavery, whites are sick of racial preferences, and a saturation campaign to get whites to love blacks — which will never be funded anyway — would certainly backfire.
This book is a perfect example of the incoherence and dishonesty of American thinking about race. The authors have discovered the obvious: that integration hasn’t happened. They have even managed to be slightly daring and suggest that it may never happen. Then, in a paroxysm of stupidity they propose even wilder, more unrealistic versions of the kind of propaganda they already admit has failed. The tragedy is that this is precisely the way the country has handled race relations for the past 40 years.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Justice Grinds On
On the evening of Feb. 20, 1990, Robert Simon and Anthony Carr — both black — were burgling Carl Parker’s house in Lambert, in Mississippi’s Quitman County. Mr. Parker, along with three other family members — all white — arrived home to find a pickup truck loaded with loot just about to drive off. The surprised thieves held the Parker family at gun point and tied up Mr. Parker’s 12-year-old half-brother Greg and then shot him in the back. They raped and sodomized his nine-year-old half-sister Charlotte Jo before they killed her. They shot his stepmother, Bobbie Jo in the chest, and they also killed Carl Parker himself. They cut off his ring finger to get his wedding band — whether before or after they killed him is not known. Then they dragged the four bodies into Mr. Parker’s house and burned it down over them.
Mr. Simon and Mr. Carr were arrested, tried, and given the death penalty, but the story did not end there. The usual appeals mean that nine years later the two men are still alive — and that the people of Quitman county are still paying. Various trials and appeals have already cost more than $250,000, since the county had to pay for defense lawyers for the two indigent blacks. Continued legal maneuvering is estimated to cost $60,000 a year. This is a lot of money for a poor, rural Mississippi county of only 10,500 residents. The county has taken out loans and raised taxes twice in order to cover the cost of defending the killers.
Scott Parker, Carl Parker’s 34-year-old son, was not with his father that Friday night. He lives and works in Quitman County. “They take money out for my taxes,” he explains. “Part of that money is going to the guys who killed my daddy. That’s not right.” (Allen Breed, Price of Justice Makes Poor County Even Poorer, Detroit News, March 21, 1999, p. 19A.)
Back to the Old Ways
The Zimbabwean Supreme Court has decided that some pre-colonial traditions are better than the white man’s ways. In a unanimous, 5-0 decision, the court found that the “nature of African society” is such that women cannot be considered the legal equals of men. According to unwritten custom, a woman is not really an adult but a “junior male.” This means women do not have the right to inherit property or conduct their own marriage arrangements. In divorce cases they have no legal rights to their children. The Supreme Court justices noted that the Zimbabwe constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of “race, tribe, place of origin, political opinions, color or creed,” but argued that “these provisions do not forbid discrimination based on sex.” (Neely Tucker, Ruling Strips Zimbabwe Women of Most Rights, Orange County Register, April, 14, 1999, p. 11.)
Meanwhile, earlier this spring, civil war in Sierra Leone wrought particularly grizzly carnage. Rebels fighting against the government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah had taken parts of the capital, Freetown, but were pushed back by a West African intervention force composed of troops from the region. As part of its retreat, the Revolutionary United Front and its allies slaughtered and maimed thousands of civilians. The rebels’ favorite tactic was to chop off hands and arms, sometimes offering the victim the choice of “short sleeves” or “long sleeves” — to be cut above or below the elbow. European doctors estimate that approximately a quarter of the victims survived these amputations, which were carried out with axes and machetes on men, women, and children.
Some of the most vicious rebels were only children; the government captured “soldiers” as young as eight years old. As they withdrew from Freetown, the rebels taunted the people they had maimed, urging them to apply to the government for new arms and hands. U.N. officials report that one rebel woman specialized in cutting off the ears of Freetown residents, and wore her trophies around her neck. Other rebels preferred to cut off lips. The conflict has pitted different tribal groups against each other. (Dean Murphy, West African Rebels on Mutilation Campaign, Los Angeles Times, March 14, 1999, p. A14.)
Out of the Mouths of . . .
The Contra Costa (California) Times recently published a guest editorial expressing the following sound views:
Although the United States is no Yugoslavia, Americans can ill afford to ignore disturbing signs of rising racial and ethnic tensions at home. . . . this country is now experiencing the greatest sustained inflow of immigrants in its history, over 1.2 million per year on the average, plus hundreds of thousands of ‘temporary’ workers.’
Recent newcomers have come from over 100 countries, and are not assimilating.
. . . competition for resources and differences in culture and ethnicity are often the main dividing forces in multiethnic societies, as illustrated by the mass killings in the former Yugoslavia and recent atrocities committed against ethnic Chinese in Indonesia.
. . . immigration is a time-bomb that must be addressed.
A necessary and urgent step is for Washington to lower annual immigration to no more than the traditional level of approximately 200,000 a year.
The name of the author? Yeh Ling-Ling. (Yeh Ling-Ling, What Can Kosovo Teach Us? Contra Costa Times, May 15, 1999.)
Who Is Black?
African-Americans and Haitian immigrants are not getting along in Miami. The latest row concerns how to spend a $118,000 federal grant earmarked for Broward County. The grant was sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus and came with the stipulation that it be used to help “. . . African-Americans living with HIV/AIDS.” Native blacks took the wording to mean it was strictly for them while Haitian leaders claimed they also qualified under the definition.
A nine-member “multicultural committee of the Broward County HIV Health Services Planning Council” was charged with settling the dispute. For two hours the panel heard arguments about who qualified as an African-American. After much yelling the panel voted six to two (with one abstention) that Haitians must be included — though dark-skinned Cubans need not apply. One committee member who voted against including Haitians was Tyrance Kingdom who said, “What you’re seeing here — again — is money being railroaded from the black community. I’m from Mississippi and “African-American’ means “black-American.’”
Mr. Kingdom may have to get used to Haitian dominance in Miami, since their numbers are increasing more rapidly than those of native blacks. In the mean time, the future majority does not think it is being well treated. One immigrant writes: “My experience as a Haitian-American with African-American schoolmates was one filled with racial epithets such as “H.B.O. (Haitian body odor),’ Haitians eat cats, Haitians are boat people, and Haitians have AIDS . . . These African-American kids were taught at home to despise Haitians.” (Marc Mathieu, Immigrant Song, New Times Broward-Palm Beach, January 28-February 3, p.3. Paul Belden, Color Blinded, New Times Broward-Palm Beach, January 28 — February 3, 1999, pp. 5.)
Kill the Messenger
The US Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights has been quietly circulating a warning to universities that it frowns on the use of SAT scores in determining student admissions. The SAT has a “disparate impact” on blacks and Hispanics, which is to say they don’t score as well as whites or Asians. Arthur Coleman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, says, “To the extent that schools are recipients of federal funds and are not aware of potential discrimination issues, we hope this guide [the warning] will inform them.” Use of the SAT has not yet been forbidden and no federal suits have been brought against schools that use it, but unless there is some mobilization against the department’s position, schools could lose their most reliable gauge of student ability. (Alan R. Lang, Blaming the SATs, Wall Street Journal, June 10, 1999.)
Le Pen v. Mégret
In the February issue AR reported on a very damaging split in the French nationalist movement, which pitted the Front National’s Jean-Marie Le Pen against his best known lieutenant, Bruno Mégret. The two men have been battling in court over which faction is the legitimate Front National and therefore entitled to use the party name, occupy its buildings, and receive the nearly $8 million a year the FN gets from the government on the basis of its past vote-winning record. The Mégret group argues that it was formed as the result of a properly constituted party congress, which elected the former number-two man as head of the party. However, in May, a French court ruled that the break-away congress was not called on the basis of enough valid signatures of party members, and that its deliberations therefore were not official Front National acts. The Mégret group is therefore a new party and must have a separate name, premises, and finances. The new party’s name is National Movement, but the two parties together are considerably weaker than the old, united FN. (Frank Mess-mann, Court Rules in Favor of Far-Right Leader Le Pen, Agence France Press, May 11, 1999.)
Much to the horror of the rest of his family, Charles de Gaulle (the famous general’s 50-year-old grandson) campaigned with Mr. Le Pen for elections to the European Parliament. In the May 19th issue of France’s leading but lefty newspaper, Le Monde, no fewer than 57 of the general’s descendants berated their cousin for throwing in his lot with the nationalists. “No, Mr. Charles de Gaulle . . . your name doesn’t belong to you, it doesn’t belong to you to use it to defend ideas and men who for half a century have been the enemies of what Gen. de Gaulle represented,” they wrote. “We, his grandsons, his granddaughter, his great nieces and nephews, unanimously protest against the insult to the life and memory of our grandfather and grand uncle.” Charles had a ready answer: “Jean-Marie Le Pen has the same ideas as the general. That’s the reality.” (Deborah Seward, De Gaulle’s Grandson Appalls Family, AP, May 19, 1999.)
As AR goes to press, it appears that Mr. Le Pen and Mr. de Gaulle are headed for seats in the European Parliament, with the FN winning just under six percent of the vote. Mr. Mégret’s National Movement got just over three percent, shy of the five percent that would have meant representation in Brussels and reimbursement of campaign expenses. The combined total for the two former partners was about nine percent, well below the 15 percent predicted before the split. Mr. Mégret put a brave face on defeat, but the results do not augur well for his struggling new party.
A report from Harvard Law School and the Graduate School of Education says that school resegregation is on the rise. A study of enrollment patterns from 1968 to the mid 1990s finds that although the number of non-white students is rising, more and more of them are going to schools with few whites. During this nearly 30-year period Hispanic enrollments were up 218 percent, and nearly 75 percent of Hispanics now attend schools that are majority non-white. The number of black students has risen 22 percent, and 69 percent attend majority-non-white schools. Over the same period, white enrollments have declined by 16 percent but most whites go to schools that are 80 percent or more white. The study finds that these trends hold true even for whites who live in majority-non-white areas and for non-whites who live in the suburbs. Schools that are mostly black and Hispanic are 11 times more likely than mostly-white schools to be in areas with concentrated poverty. Black students are most heavily segregated in the following states, in the following order: Michigan, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Maryland. (Anjetta McQueen, Report Cites Resegregation Trend, AP, June 12, 1999.)
Whenever a white police officer shoots a black criminal there are shouts of “racism.” Now blacks in Chicago are grumbling about “racism” even when the officers doing the shooting are black. During the June 5-6 weekend a black woman being pursued by police was shot when a black officer thought the cell phone in her hand was a gun. On the same weekend, a black officer accidentally shot a black man who went for the officer’s gun.
On June 9, a Chicago city council meeting erupted into shouting and shoving when protesters accused officials of downplaying the idea that “racism” was somehow to blame. Alderman Dorothy Tillman, who is black, thinks black officers are being taught to mistreat blacks. “We cannot sugarcoat this,” she said. “We cannot say that these were black officers and that’s it.” She has demanded that the city hand over data that would back up her assumption that black police mistreat black citizens just as white police do. The Chicago police superintendent reports that no fewer than five separate investigations into the shootings are under way. (Martha Irvine, Answers Sought in Police Shootings, AP, June 10, 1999.)
Responsible black officers are just as likely as white officers to find “racial profiling” useful. When this fact is discovered it will no doubt be seen as evidence of “self-hatred” or “racist indoctrination” rather than as a necessary and effective measure against black crime.
Keeping the Game Black
The National Minority College Golf Championship has been held annually for the last 13 years, but this year something unusual happened. The winning team, which won with a 28-stroke lead, was all white. Bethune-Cookman College, a “historically black” school in Daytona Beach, provoked outrage and an immediate rule change when its carefully-recruited five-man team walked off with the trophy.
“It was very frustrating to see, I can tell you that,” said Craig Bowen, executive director of the tournament. “Our purpose is to provide a venue for minority student-athletes in a sport that has long been short on minority athletes.”
Bethune-Cookman was not alone in fielding an all-white team. “So did Jackson State and Tennessee State, schools with overwhelmingly black student bodies and traditions,” complained Mr. Bowen. “When you go out and recruit white players, it’s totally counter to what we want to do here.” Jackson State finished second.
Tournament organizers are determined to keep white hands off the trophy. Henceforth, a team may have no more than two whites on it, and the competition will be open to any university with at least three non-whites on its team.
Gary Freeman, Bethune-Cookman’s golf coach, smells a double standard. “No one raises any complaints when Duke University, a mostly white school, plays in national tournaments with black players,” he pointed out. “Why are they raising a stink when we play with white players?” Mr. Freeman said that if the new rules prevent him from bringing his best players to next year’s tournament, Bethune-Cookman will not defend its title. “I’m not putting up any quotas on my team,” he says. (John Steinman, B-CC is Blasted for Golf Victory, Orlando Sentinel, June 5, 1999.)
The New South Africa
Reason, the libertarian magazine, continues to publish excellent articles about life in post-apartheid South Africa. The June issue reports that the murder rate of 63 per 100,000 is now nine times that of the United States and that for white farmers — who have been systematically targeted — the rate is a staggering 120. The same article notes that the police absenteeism rate is about 30 percent a day, and that in 1997 14 percent of the national police force were charged with crimes.
The article continues: “To make matters worse, President Nelson Mandela celebrated his 80th birthday last year by releasing 9,000 criminals early. The next day two of them murdered an elderly couple. Another released convict, who had been imprisoned for raping a 50-year-old woman and then hacking her to death, promptly tied up and raped his two nieces, 13 and 14, and went onto rape at least five other children.”
Elsewhere, the article notes the sharp increase in carjackings and observes: “One ANC official denied there had been a real increase in hijackings, claiming that “whites’ were making fraudulent reports to collect insurance payments. Another official blamed the hijackings on what he described as the apartheid government’s policy of giving hijackers immunity from prosecution. He didn’t explain how a government that has been out of power for five years could give immunity to people committing carjackings now.” (Jim Peron, Crime Stoppers, Reason, June, 1999, p. 56.)
Will They Wear Black?
The United Cricket Board of South Africa has decided that the game is too white. During a two-day development conference in May, the board decided that the entire sport — players, umpires, administration — must be 50 percent black in three years. The goal is to achieve a 25 percent representation in the first year, 40 percent the next, and 50 percent in the third year. That is supposed to set in motion trends that will eventually lead to the sport becoming dominated by blacks in proportion to their percentage in the South African population. Beginning immediately, provinces are forbidden to field all-white teams in senior competitions. (Rodney Hartman, Cricket “Must Have 50-50 Racial Split,’ Sunday Times (London), May 30, 1999.)
On April 13, a black man was found bound and gagged in front of Buena Vista Park in San Francisco. The man, whom police have not identified, claimed he had been abducted by four “neo-Nazi types” who held him in a van and carved a swastika on his chest. San Francisco police investigated the incident as a hate crime and even went to Oregon to look for leads and interview potential suspects. Meanwhile, officials from the police crime lab turned up inconsistencies in the man’s story. He eventually confessed that he made up the whole incident, telling police that he scratched the swastika on himself and tied himself up “for personal reasons.” (Ray Delgado, Man Admits Inventing Racist Assault in San Francisco, San Francisco Examiner, May 8, 1999, p. A5.)
Sonia Gandhi is the widow of assassinated Congress Party Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. Last year she became the leader of her husband’s party, which is in opposition to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a Hindu nationalist party. In April she announced a bid to become prime minister as head of a Congress-led government. Mrs. Gandhi is a white woman from Italy who married the former prime minister, and became an Indian citizen in 1983. The BJP has criticized her non-Indian origins, calling her a “foreigner” who is unfit to lead.
Now members of her own party are saying the same thing. Three high-ranking officials of the Congress party — including a former parliamentary speaker and a former candidate for prime minister — want the Indian constitution amend-ed to reserve the posts of president, vice president and prime minister for “natural-born Indian citizens.” In a letter to Mrs. Gandhi, Congress party officials explained, “It is not possible that a country of 980 million . . . can have anyone other than an Indian born of Indian soil, to head its government. It is an issue that effects not just the security, the economic interest and the international image of India, but hits at the core pride of every Indian.” Mrs. Gandhi dropped out of the race a few days later. (Nativists in Own Party Spurn Gandhi’s Prime Minister Bid, Washington Times, May 17, 1999, p. A15. Pamela Constable, Gandhi Drops Out; Party in Turmoil, Washington Post, May 18, 1999, p. A15.)
In 1998 a Duluth, Minnesota, group called Violence Free Duluth, decided to study a year’s worth of city gun crimes. Among the factors they were to consider were the type of gun used, the role of alcohol and drugs, relationship between offender and victim, and the age, race and sex of the criminals. In April, the group released its study of the 93 gun crimes reported in 1997 but they left one thing out: race of offenders. Frank Jewell, coordinator of the group, said this was because “there’s a real concern among people of color that if the data shows a high number (of minority offenders), they’re doing more of it. But many people would say they’re simply arrested more. We didn’t include it because we thought it might be misinterpreted.” Mr. Jewell declined to divulge what the race data showed.
Even the police — at least officially — approve of suppressing the facts. Deputy Police Chief Robert Grytdahl says the truth might make whites smug: “It’s a comfortable place for white people to park the (gun crime) problem. It would be a huge distraction, and we wanted to focus on firearms.” (Larry Oakes, Duluth Gun, Crime Study Withholds Race Data, Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 30, 1999.)
The achievement gap between black and white students grew in 17 states and narrowed in seven between 1992 and 1998 according to an Education Trust report based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading scores. The gap between whites and Hispanics grew in eight states and narrowed in four.
Nationwide, the percentage of white fourth graders reading above “proficient achievement” level on the NAEP rose from 35 percent in 1992 to 39 percent in 1998. The black rate rose from eight to ten percent and Hispanics dropped from 16 to 13 percent. (Some States’ Racial Test Score Gaps Continue to Widen, Montgomery Advertiser, March 6, 1999.)
New Century Foundation (NCF), which publishes American Renaissance, has issued an academic report on race, crime, and violence called The Color of Crime. It contains some of the same information as the cover story of this issue, but is much more rigorous in its treatment of the data. It is directed toward a skeptical, academic or journalistic audience, and includes citations of sources, explications of methods, and even several facsimile pages from key government data sources. The 16-page report, which has been widely distributed to the press, is available on the NCF website. On June 2, Jared Taylor held a news conference at the National Press Club to announce release of the report. The conference was broadcast live by C-SPAN, and resulted in tremendous public interest. NCF has been flooded with calls and letters, many from police departments and officer organizations. The complete conference can be seen on the C-SPAN website.
Here They Come
An estimated 12,000 Africans are expected to immigrate to the United States in 1999. This is the largest number ever admitted in a single year, and is four times the number that came in 1990. Most are Somalis, Ethiopians, and Liberians, and come as “refugees.” The increase has been the result of political pressure on Congress from refugee aid organizations. Many of the refugees come to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and are expected to start chain-migration applications for relatives in Africa. As the numbers increase in the Twin Cities, other Africans in the United States can be expected to move there, too. The area now offers excellent opportunities for teachers, social workers, and hospital attendants who speak Amharic or Somali. (Kimberly Taylor, Largest Number of Africans are Coming to the U.S., Star Tribune (Minneapolis/St. Paul), June 6, 1991.)
When it comes to choosing names for their children Brazilians have — well — made a name for themselves. Just about anything goes. Xerox, Welfare, D’Artagnan, Saddam Hussein, Tchaikovsky, Waterloo, Skylab — such are some of the surprises to be found in the telephone book. American-sounding names that end in on — which has a particularly hearty ring in Brazilian ears — are especially favored by slum-dwellers: Anderson, Robson, Washington, and Edson (a corruption of Edison). Many Brazilians just like the way a name looks or sounds. Portuguese does not use the letters K, W, or Y, so some parents use them deliberately. Diana, which was popular because of the late princess, becomes Tayane. Caroline becomes Kerolyne, and Malcolm becomes Myacon.
There is a law on the books that forbids names that would expose children to ridicule but it is rarely enforced. One bureaucrat, however, refused to let a mother name her boy Rambo, and even rejected her second choice: Sylvester Stallone. Sometimes parents choose names with the best of intentions. One man named Waterloo explains that his father thought the family was going to move to England and wanted his son to have a name that would fit right in.
The upper classes stick to more traditional names, but the rest of the country has had iconoclastic tendencies for a long time: During the Second World War, Adolph Hitler was a popular name. (Sebastian Rotella, What’s in a Name? At Time, Fun, LA Times, May 17, 1999, p. A1.)
The Kenyan government has set a deadline of April 2000 for a report on preparations for the year 2000 computer problem. (No Need to Rush, Houston Chronicle, April 25, 1999, p. 2A.)
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — I have some comments on your summary of Prof. Philippe Rushton’s genetic similarity theory. First, one must remember there can be warfare within the tribe — including European tribes. The reason: Homogeneity does not exclude the desire by some to seek “glory,” wealth, or revenge against their kinsmen. Just look at the ferocious warfare of the Scottish-English border land.
Second, secular ideologies (including liberalism) seek to change nature to man’s desires. Nature is not necessarily something to be followed as in religious societies, but something to be altered. This includes human nature, because man is thought merely to be an animal that lives, breeds, and dies. These ideologies may even deny there is such a thing as human nature.
Third, as Alexis de Tocqueville noted, liberal and democratic societies consider our daily lives preeminent and think little of ancestors or any good greater than our own self-interest now. Race and ancestry is now irrelevant to those who hold these views. We live in a society which has inverted all meaning.
I’m not saying there is no merit in Prof. Rushton’s looking at the importance of kinship and “kin-ness” in pre-liberal or non-liberal societies. What I am saying is that these feelings can to a certain extent be abolished through liberal politics, economy, and culture. Liberalism is at war with nature and ultimately with God.
Edward Dorsey, Springfield, Va.
Sir — I have one objection to the Genetic Similarity Theory put forward in your last issue: the growing number of Asian-white couples I see. A recent study showed that Japanese-American women are as likely to marry a white man as an Asian. How would Prof. Rushton explain this?
Larry McBride, San Francisco, Cal.
Sir — In the most recent American Renaissance, you published a letter from a gentleman in North Carolina who asserts that “unattractive white women,” and “weak-willed white men,” practice miscegenation. It got me thinking that for all the writing AR does on issues of racial preference, it is nonetheless my impression that there is a countervailing attraction for partners from different backgrounds (be they racial, religious, political or geographic) which also exists, perhaps not among animals, but among humans.
Name Withheld, Berkeley, Cal.
Sir — In his review of The Reagan Presidency and the Politics of Race, Robert Detlefsen correctly takes author Nicholas Laham to task for equating opposition to affirmative action with racism. Still, I think it needs to be pointed out that the Reagan presidency was a disaster for anyone who shares even some of the views of AR. Under his watch millions of illegal immigrants were given a blanket amnesty. Though our border with Mexico became a sieve, he never used the military to stop the flow. Instead, he sent troops to Grenada and Lebanon. And why didn’t Mr. Reagan speak up for Pat Buchanan, Ed Meese and William Bradford Reynolds when they were trying to end affirmative action against the opposition of George Schultz and Bob Dole? And he might have said a word or two against multiculturalism and political correctness when those movements first started gaining steam.
The fact that Mr. Laham feels the need to apologize for the tiny steps Mr. Reagan took against racial quotas shows how thoroughly the left dominates our politics and culture.
J. Tanneyhill, Columbia, S.C.
Sir — While showing some depth, Robert Detlefsen’s effort to shed light on our comic race syndrome ends up much like pro-wrestling — lots of action but basically unreal. Mr. Detlefsen’s essay promotes the familiar abstraction of “colorblind justice,” while AR labors to keep us very much color aware.
The problem is that while people make a fuss over “affirmative action,” “racial preferences,” “segregation” “civil rights,” and the like, no one defines them. “Racial preferences,” for instance, are now something bad, even though they are entirely natural. “Civil rights” are presumably good even though, as the Founders and Socrates realized, “rights” are extremely elusive. “Discrimination” — a requisite for civility and wisdom — is now scorned as a sin. As if to highlight our confusion, we even ban “sex discrimination!”
I suggest that everyone sit down and read the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There’s a lot of sociological silliness in those pages — all too typical of 20th-century Anglo-American government (e.g. Disabilities Act, Minimum Wage, Social Security, Welfare, etc.). Until we understand that it is impossible to end race- and ethnicity-consciousness by passing laws we will never get anywhere.
There were other, better ways of ending Jim Crow. In the end, the biggest prob-lems facing America were not a lack of energy or compassion, but of manliness, scholarly truth and intelligence. Until these are recovered, we’ll never know what “civil rights, properly understood,” are even as their well-meaning miasma erodes our system of freedoms.
W. Edward Chynoweth, Sanger, Cal.