|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 16, No. 7||July 2005|
How I Saw the Light (Part III)
More personal accounts of what led AR readers to racial consciousness.
The Women Slept Around Without Any Guilt
I developed my racial views from working with black people and teaching them. As a beginning teacher, I realized black students were not used to learning and studying. They ignored homework to the point that I spent less time teaching than trying to get parents to make sure their children handed in their homework. Black parents wanted good grades for their children but would not make them work. They put pressure on principals, superintendents and school board members to attack me as a “racist” if their children did not get the grades they thought they deserved.
Just as instructive as the students were black teachers who went to black colleges, none of whom knew their subjects well. The black women, whether married or single, slept around without any guilt. The black men did the same, and many had two or more families. Clothes, not brains, seemed most important to one teacher who had graduated from Fisk University. Her motto was “dress to impress for success.” Although she did not understand enough math to prepare her students for the American College Test (ACT), she was held in high regard and was considered a “role model.”
Dave from California
I Continually Had the ‘Aha’ Feeling
I used to be a liberal, then a conventional (National Review-Rush Lim-baugh) conservative. I grew up like most Americans observing blacks and noticing their behavior, but I attributed it completely to the environment. About four years ago, I read Michael Levin’s book Why Race Matters and became converted to the AR position. How did I happen to read this book?
I had been a fan of Prof. Levin since I first came across his article, “Why Homosexuality is Abnormal” in The Monist — I believe this was in the late 1980s. As I had always thought homosexuality weird and disgusting, it was nice to find that a very sharp philosopher had actually presented arguments against it. And he did it with such humor and elegance as well. Then, in the early 1990s I found out he had written Feminism and Freedom, which I purchased and devoured. Then in the late 1990s, I found out he had written a book on race and I, of course, had to read it so I purchased it.
Professor Levin’s book is remarkable. I am an amateur philosopher with an M.A. in the field. Prof. Levin literally teaches you how to think better and to apply philosophical concepts to practical issues like race. As I read through chapter after chapter, I continually had the “aha” feeling of finally understanding something that was all too familiar but that my previous conceptual scheme had forced me to misunderstand. Prof. Levin enabled me to see that there was a biological explanation for what I saw.
Jack Judson., Downers Grove, Illinois
I Never Spoke to a Black Until I Was 23
I grew up in idyllic, sylvan, all-white western Pennsylvania. Still, I became racially aware at age 15, in 1976. I think my awareness came from reading healthy material as a child, which countered the onslaught of black-urban television sitcoms. I could not understand why my fellow fifteen-year-olds were attracted to Good Times, What’s Happening, and the blacks who dominate professional sports. My racial awareness can only be attributed to an innate loathing of urban black culture, and its utter alienness.
I had lived in such homogeneous surroundings that I never spoke to a black person until I was 23, and at Penn State. That person was my college adviser, a self-avowed Marxist-Leninist lesbian from Haiti! I explored several groups promoting white racial pride, but was turned off by their low intellectual level.
Today, living in northern Virginia is a daily assault on the senses due to the racial polyglot that is taking over the land of the old Confederacy. To have great pride in one’s German-American and Nordic heritage but to see the decline of a once racially healthy America is like battling metastasizing cancer. Also, I felt a great alienation in shouldering these sentiments without the support of “fellow travelers” until I found ARand the Council of Conservative Citizens.
Paul H., Alexandria, Virginia
Freedom ‘Unleashed the Beast’
In my first year of middle school I learned how awfully evil and oppressive white people were — they slaughtered the Indians; they slaughtered the Mexicans; they slaughtered the Jews; they enslaved and discriminated against blacks; they destroyed non-white cultures through colonialism. Needless to say, I left junior high school saddled with white guilt, a strong dislike for my own people, and great sympathy for the plight of blacks and non-whites. I believed that if blacks and non-whites were less successful in our society, it was because of white racism.
My new-found guilt and resentment of my own race grew stronger with each new media account of “white wickedness” — past and present — against blacks and non-whites. Every time the TV showed a starving black African face, a white policeman “brutalizing” a poor innocent black, or an explicitly graphic account of slavery, Jim Crow or lynching, my guilt and anger toward my own kind grew. It didn’t take long before I became an anti-white activist sincerely promoting non-white interests.
What made me see the light? Unlike liberal integrationists who refused to live among the people they championed, I did — and suffered for it. One day, when I was carrying groceries home from the store, a group of black gang members robbed and beat me half to death. After that, in spite of my conventional views on race, whenever I encountered a group of blacks, I increasingly began to think I might be robbed, killed, or forced to fight. I didn’t feel this way with whites.
My developing racial consciousness was greatly reinforced the second time blacks jumped and robbed me, and after the third time, I was pretty much convinced that “past injustices” and “discrimination” were poor excuses for targeting innocent people.
I began to approach the racial literature with an honest desire to discover whether there was any factual or scientific truth to the white racialist point of view. The first thing I learned was that since the end of segregation and legal discrimination, and the implementation of affirmative action and the promotion of black culture through the media and in schools, black crime, poverty, and failure actually increased. Freedom, social and cultural equality, and race-based preferences seem to have “unleashed the beast.”
What really convinced me finally to change my mind was the scientific evidence of racial difference, in books like The Bell Curve or in studies like Scarr and Weinberg’s Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study. The racial literature also showed me the extreme bias found in the mainstream media, which overplay rare instances of white-on-black crime while virtually ignoring black-on-white crimes, and explained the deliberate distortion of any topic, issue, or fact that doesn’t conform to their egalitarian point of view.
It was the combination of experience with non-whites, the study of scientific literature, and increased skepticism toward conventional media accounts of race that led to me to full racial consciousness.
Jay Jackson, Pleasant Valley State Prison, Coalinga, California
I Realized Blacks Don’t Want Equality
I think living in diverse south Florida made me realize how bad diversity is. I think the incident that led me to white nationalism was the day the O.J. Simpson verdict was announced. I was at my diverse workplace, and we all listened to the trial over the radio. As I heard the verdict I felt afraid. I realized then that blacks don’t want equality but dominance and revenge. Soon afterwards I watched an argument between a white liberal homosexual and a black conservative Jamaican over the verdict. The white homosexual argued that O.J. was guilty while the black conservative thought O.J. Simpson would need counseling to get over the trauma of being wrongfully accused of murder. Race overcame all reasoning.
Frank Pucillo, Davie, Florida
One Third of the Employees Were Black
While working in a large university library in 1979, I came across a book by N. Weyl and S. Possony entitled The Geography of the Intellect. Reading it confirmed many of my suspicions about race issues, especially with regard to black people. A few years later I began working in a large US Postal facility. Perhaps one third of the 500 employees were black. Working in that environment only confirmed my suspicions and reinforced the information in The Geography of Intellect.
For Me, the Answer is Easy
For me, the answer is easy: Wilmot Robertson’s book, The Dispossessed Majority, which I read in 1980. Having read that groundbreaking work, the blindfold was lifted from my eyes, and, for the first time, I began to see the world in racial terms. More importantly, I began to see what was being done to my race.
Like many people, I had accepted the leftist, one-world, all-men-are-brothers concept without question, never suspecting that an anti-white, anti-Christian agenda was shaping my world. Robertson’s book, and later Jared Taylor’s Paved With Good Intentions, showed me how the millions spent on ghetto dwellers were nothing more than a scam, a fraud, and a waste of money. Mr. Robertson opened my eyes to the total media control, which uses films, television, books, newspapers and magazines to spread anti-majority messages. Finally, Wilmot Robertson gave me an immense pride in my race.
One of the Dwindling Canadian Majority, Vancouver, British Columbia
I Was Unable to Reason With Them
For me, the light came slowly. I could not have come from an environment more likely to make me sympathetic to blacks. I am a child of Holocaust survivors, which made me ripe for the rhetoric claiming that blacks fail because of the legacy of slavery and lingering racism. Further, I attended schools with almost no blacks, so there was nothing empirical to contradict the conventional explanation for black failure. Indeed, the president of our high school class was a pleasant, reasonably intelligent African American girl who never played the race card and behaved in a way that would make even AR readers comfortable.
Then I went to college. As a first-generation American from a poor immigrant family, I went to one of the so-called “Harvards for the masses.” That changed soon after I was admitted: The college started a new program that would admit blacks with a C average (whites and Asians had to average A minus). I was sitting in the college cafeteria one day when suddenly, its floor-to-ceiling window was broken by rock-throwing, rampaging blacks. They were angry that the college that had already lowered standards to admit them and given them free tuition did not also pay for textbooks! One cannot generalize from 30 angry blacks to an entire population, but that incident made me start to wonder whether blacks’ failures were all because of white people.
The next key moment was when — good liberal that I was — I took a position as the leader of a drug rap group in a largely black junior high school. My family had always taught me, “Treat people with respect, and they will respond in kind.” Not those students. They treated politeness as a sign of weakness. They frequently ran around the room, fighting with each other. I was unable to reason with them.
My next enlightening experience came when I was a student in the Ph.D. program in educational psychology at one of the nation’s top universities. There, I was introduced to the predictive validity of IQ. I also learned that the IQs of identical twins raised apart were much more similar than the IQs of fraternal twins raised together, and that abundant studies showed that blacks — worldwide — had much lower IQs than whites or Asians. This did not prove that the black-white difference is genetic, but it certainly suggested it. The next key moment was reading Paved With Good Intentions, a book replete with documentation of the ills African Americans perpetrate on America.
As affirmative action morphed from equal opportunity to reverse discrimination, my concern about the impact of blacks on society grew, both from an intellectual and personal perspective. After completing my Ph.D. (at the top of my class), I applied for dozens of professorships but could not get a job. I got an inkling as to why at the end of what seemed like a perfect interview. The committee members nodded in agreement at nearly everything I said, often smiling. Afterwards, all the committee members except the department chair left, and he asked me to stay behind. I dared hope he would offer me the job. Instead, he said, “I’ll deny saying it, but I want to save you the wondering. You are, by far, the best candidate for the job, but you don’t stand a ghost of chance of getting it. The dean has informed us that the next seven hires will be women or minorities.”
I was forced to go back to teaching inner-city kids. Again, I found most of the blacks remarkably unintelligent, often violent, and often impossible to reason with. After three years, I landed a temporary one-year position as lecturer at a university. My office mate was a Hispanic woman — a truly unintelligent, abysmal teacher. At the end of the year, she was offered a tenure-track job and I was released despite outstanding student evaluations and even a student protest over the decision not to rehire me. I’ve since seen reverse discrimination become ever more extreme, along with the unfair denigration of white males in textbooks, college classes, sitcoms, news shows, etc., etc.
I believe this trend cannot be reversed. The demographic trends; the liberals in control of schools, colleges, and media; and the liberalization of voter registration (motor voter, voting over a week-long period) will mean America becomes dominated by anti-meritocracy and anti-white forces. The few people brave enough to speak out are censored or dubbed as Nazis. The price that people like Phil Rushton (his book, Race, Evolution, and Behavior was also influential in changing my views) Michael Levin, and of course, Arthur Jensen, have paid is unconscionable.
I make my living in the politically correct world and therefore cannot give my name lest I risk losing my livelihood.
San Francisco, California
The Race-IQ Non-Controversy
The press closes its eyes to the evidence.
J. Philippe Rushton and Arthur R. Jensen, “Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability,” Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 11, No. 2, June 2005.
In 1969, Arthur Jensen resurrected the scientific study of racial differences in IQ, which had fallen into disrepute after the Second World War. His 120-page article in Harvard Educational Review created a controversy that shook the country. It was the beginning of Prof. Jensen’s career as perhaps the most feared and hated — but deeply respected — scientist of our time. Since then, there has been tremendous progress in the study of race and intelligence, and Prof. Jensen has been joined by a score of other scholars willing to endure persecution for studying a subject their colleagues have declared beyond the pale.
The latest issue of Psychology, Public Policy, and Law is devoted to a review of the last 30 years’ findings in this field. The main article, written by Arthur Jensen and Philippe Rushton, is a 60-page survey concluding unambiguously that environment alone cannot account for persistent black-white differences in intelligence. Genes, they argue, must contribute at least 50 percent of the one-standard-deviation gap in IQ test scores that has remained largely unchanged since the early 20th century.
This main article is followed by three critiques, one supporting article, and a final summation by Profs. Rushton and Jensen. These are not papers that present new findings, but in combination they are the most concise, up-to-date summary of the state of the debate now available. As is so often the case in the scientific treatment of politically sensitive subjects, the weight of the evidence is not what most Americans would expect. With only a few exceptions, the arguments of those who support the conventional view are almost laughably weak.
Profs. Rushton and Jensen review a great deal of research in a concise way that makes few concessions to non-scientists. They begin by pointing out that barring something extraordinary, the same combination of genetic and environmental factors that explain individual differences in IQ should explain racial differences too. There would have to be some race-specific and very powerful environmental force at work in order for the well-understood genetic contribution to individual differences in IQ to play no role at all in racial differences.
Needless to say, that force is alleged to be “racism,” past, present, blatant, and subtle. Genes therefore contribute to individual IQ differences among blacks, but “racism” is so powerful it shoves the entire bell curve of black IQ distribution 15 points to the left. For those who promote the “culture-only” theory — that genes play no role in race differences in intelligence — blacks and whites are, essentially, groups of identical twins separated at birth, but blacks are subject to unique and debilitating environmental forces that hold them down.
There is little argument that genes contribute a great deal to individual IQ differences within races. Family environment can push a child’s IQ up or down, but adolescents increasingly seek out environments that match their own inclinations, with the result that in adults, the genetic contribution to IQ is overwhelming.
When full siblings are reared together, their IQs are most similar when they are children, while they are still within a family environment over which they have no control. This similarity drops to a correlation of .49 in adulthood, almost exactly the figure one would expect for people who have half their genes in common. For full siblings reared apart, the correlation in IQ is only .24 in childhood — the family environments are different — but the similarity increases as they choose their own environments, to the point that the correlation likewise becomes.49 as adults.
When unrelated children are adopted into the same home, their shared home environment gives them a correlation in IQ of .25, but this correlation drops to .01 in adulthood — the figure of essentially zero one would expect for two people picked at random from a population. The lesson is clear: By the time we are adults, whatever boost or handicap we may have had as children from our families has washed away, and our intelligence reflects our genes far more than it does our environments.
Of course, even children reared in the same family do not have exactly the same environment. Accidents, disease, chance friendships, as well as genetic predispositions that push a child one way rather than another can make the same household seem a very different place even for twins. By statistically separating out the effects of shared environment (common family characteristics like social class, geographic location, type of housing) from unshared environment (experiences unique to each child), social scientists get the results shown on the graph on this page. The shared, household environment has a strong effect on children while they are still at home, but not after they leave. By the time they are adults, genes and only unique childhood experiences contribute to differences in IQ. These results hold for people of all races.
This pattern is difficult to explain if environment alone explains racial differences in IQ. If environment, at least as it relates to race, is so powerful, one would expect its effect on individuals to increase over time, not decrease as it actually does. Furthermore, as Profs. Rushton and Jensen point out, the one-standard-deviation difference in black-white IQs appears as early as age three, on the Sanford Binet IV test for children, even for black and white children whose mothers have the same level of education. If blacks suffer from some pernicious environmental effect, it must enter their homes soon after they are born, and do its work before most black children could have had any meaningful contact with “racism.”
At the same time, culture-only theorists usually point to white advantages in the shared family environment (parents’ income, good neighborhoods) as important reasons for high white IQs. Within races, however, these advantages essentially count for nothing in the long run; why should they produce enduring differences between the races?
The culture-only theory fails to predict virtually all of the research results of the last several decades. Ability, aptitude, and IQ tests differ greatly in whether their content is “cultural” and can be learned, or consists of unusual challenges virtually no one has practiced or could anticipate. Profs. Rushton and Jensen note that the forward and backward digit tests are a good example of this difference. In the first, a tester recites longer and longer strings of numbers, and the subject repeats them back as best he can. It is essentially a memory test. In the reverse digit test, the subject listens to strings of numbers but must repeat them back in reverse order — a much harder task. There is a small white advantage on the forward digit test but a large white advantage on the reverse digit test. Repeating numbers in order is part of our “culture” but reversing them mentally is not. If whites have a “cultural” advantage over blacks, why is the ability gap so much greater in the reverse test, for which nothing in the environment of whites specially prepares them?
Moreover, scientists have shown that ability on the more demanding test is more heritable than on the easier test, which is to say that environment has little effect on how well someone does. Performance on the reverse digit test is largely a matter of native ability and is not improved by fancy environments. This is consistent with findings in intelligence testing across the board: The most heritable abilities, as well as those that most directly test for intelligence (or g — the general factor for intelligence) are the ones for which the black-white gap is greatest. This is exactly the reverse of what we would expect if white performance were due to better environments rather than genes.
Something else for which the culture-only theory has no explanation is the fact that the children of high-income blacks have lower IQ scores than the children of low-income whites. Surely, if IQ improves with good surroundings, rich blacks should be able to give their children better, more IQ-boosting conditions than poor whites give theirs.
In families of all races, rich people tend to have smarter children than poor people, but the environments they provide account for only a small part of this. By and large, the wealthy are wealthy because they are smart and know how to make money, and their children are smart because they got their genes from smart parents, not because they live in big houses and take harp lessons.
In general, when blacks and whites are matched for social and economic status, the IQ gap decreases, but only by about a third. The black-white gap for children of the wealthiest parents is considerably greater than the gap for the children of poorer parents.
Regression towards the mean — a strictly genetic phenomenon — best explains what is happening. Nature has a tendency to temper extremes. Very tall people tend to have tall children but not as tall as themselves. Very short people are likely to have children not quite so short as themselves, and this tendency to retreat from extremes is called regression towards the mean. It applies to intelligence too, and means that the children of very smart or very stupid parents tend to drift back towards the average for the population. Study after study has shown that black and white children seem to be regressing towards different means: averages of 100 for whites and 85 for blacks.
This tendency is apparent among siblings, and is actually a better test of regression than parent-child comparisons, because parents and children may have had very different environments. A very smart or very stupid child is something of a genetic freak in any race, but very smart children are less freakish among whites and very stupid children are less freakish among blacks. Prof. Jensen demonstrated this with a sample of black and white children, all with high IQs of 120. The siblings of the smart white children had IQs that averaged about 110 while the siblings of the smart black children averaged about 100. An IQ of 120 is abnormal in either race, but is a more dramatic departure from the norm for blacks than it is for whites — as the IQs of the siblings demonstrated.
The effect was the same with very low IQs. For whites and blacks matched for IQs of 70, black siblings had average IQs around 78 while white siblings had average IQs around 85. From both extremes, whites are regressing to a higher average IQ than blacks, a finding the culture-only theory cannot explain.
Intelligence is correlated with a number of clearly biological factors, the most obvious of which is brain size. On average, East Asians have 17 cm3 more brain than whites, who have 97 cm3 more brain than blacks. Brain size has about a .4 correlation with intelligence, so these differences alone would explain five points of the 15-point average IQ gap between blacks and whites. Interestingly, when blacks and whites are matched for intelligence, they have the same sized brains, but simply matching for brain size does not produce a match in IQ. Brain size seems to be only one part of the biological puzzle.
Another purely physical indicator of intelligence is the amount of glucose someone’s brain metabolizes when he is trying to solve a problem. Glucose, or sugar, is the main fuel for the brain, and intelligent people require less of it than dim people; their brains use fuel more efficiently. Tests of impulses along individual nerves also show that smart people have faster-acting nerves than less smart people. Intelligence is also associated with levels of acidity in the brain as well as an electrical characteristic known as average evoked potential. Some of these biological factors have been studied only in whites — and correlate with individual differences in intelligence — but the studies that considered race have found the group differences one would expect.
Arthur Jensen has been a pioneer in what are called reaction-time tests. These require a subject to perform very simple tasks that everyone can usually get right 100 percent of the time: push a certain button when a particular light goes on, for example. Intelligence is correlated with speed and consistency of reaction time, and there are racial differences in results. It would be hard to argue that the “culture” of whites somehow better prepares them than blacks for doing this.
Tests have generally shown that American mulattos, who have a significant percentage of white genes, have higher IQs than blacks with little or no white ancestry. The same is true in South Africa, where mixed-race “coloreds” consistently score at an intermediate level between whites and pure-bred blacks. The best evidence suggests that for African blacks with no white ancestry, the average IQ is about 70. This extremely low figure is consistent with the low level of development that characterizes black-run countries.
IQs in this range are found even in the United States, in those parts of the rural South where blacks have very little white admixture. Profs. Rushton and Jensen cite the remarkable case of a school district in Georgia, in which the average black IQ was 70. The whites in the district had an average of 101, so there was not something odd about the district itself that pulled down IQ scores.
The same kinds of evidence that show a genetic component in the black-white IQ gap show a genetic component in the smaller white-North Asian gap. Asian children adopted by whites are often more intelligent than the white average. One study designed to evaluate the effects of early malnutrition tested a large number of Asian adopted children who had suffered various degrees of deprivation. As expected, IQ scores were higher among the Asians who had suffered the least, but even the worst-nourished Asians were above the white average, and the best-nourished Asians were far above average. In this connection, Profs. Rushton and Jensen ask why alleged white “racism” holds down black IQs whereas Asians (and Jews), who have had histories of mistreatment, have higher IQs than gentile whites.
Prof. Rushton has done important work in tabulating the many and varied ways in which the major races differ from each other. The table on the following page summarizes differences that all point to a particular pattern: At one extreme, Asians give birth to larger-brained, slower-maturing children who receive a great deal of care from their parents. Blacks are more careless about producing their smaller-brained, rapidly maturing children, and whites are intermediate between the two. Differences in average intelligence are just one part of what can be seen as different approaches the races have followed for successful reproduction.
A more casual approach to child-rearing may explain why blacks seldom do the one thing generally known to raise a child’s intelligence: breast feed him. Black mothers are three times more likely than white mothers to give their children formula. This would be a classic example of an environmental disadvantage for black children, but one that reflects the genetic predispositions of their parents rather than white malevolence.
Profs. Rushton and Jensen conclude that it is a great disservice to society to promote the view that whites are responsible for the failures of blacks if, in fact, the causes are genetic. Moreover, it is futile to expect equal results from populations that are not themselves equal: “Ultimately, the public must accept the pragmatic reality that some groups will be overrepresented and other groups underrepresented in various socially valued outcomes.” Race relations cannot be improved if the fundamental assumptions about them are false.
Robert Sternberg, a prominent Yale psychologist who has spent much of his career combating race-related research, wrote the first critical response to Profs. Rushton and Jensen. It is an embarrassment. First, he blames the authors for even choosing to study “so-called races,” and seems to be saying that such research can only reflect prejudice and self-delusion.
He notes that the authors say low IQ is associated with unhappy results like going on welfare and divorce. Not so, says Prof. Sternberg. In Mexico there is no welfare, so IQ cannot be associated with that, and in some countries divorce is forbidden, so IQ has nothing to do with that either. In like manner, if racial discrimination were eliminated in America, everything we know about race and IQ would turn out to be wrong. In yet another off-the-mark argument, he says high IQ isn’t such a great thing after all, because only smart people can build chemical weapons or get away with terrorist acts. These are some of Prof. Sternberg’s central arguments, not uncharacteristic lapses from otherwise rigorous thinking.
Richard Nisbett of the University of Michigan does considerably better. He points to evidence that the black-white IQ gap is decreasing (with data no more recent that 1998) and predicts that at this rate black children will read as well as whites in 25 years and equal them in science in 75 years. He also points to a 1994 study that claimed significant improvement in black IQ that lasted through age 12, but concedes that it involved no less than eight hours a day of intensive pre-school instruction. He argues that enrichment programs can boost intelligence (and presumably make up for bad black environments) even up to the college level.
Prof. Nisbett also cites several studies of mulattos that did not show that white ancestry increased IQ. Also, according to a 1974 study, children of white mothers and black fathers had IQs nine points higher than the children of black mothers and white fathers. Presumably the mulattos lived with their mothers, and there was a benefit to living with a white woman. He also cites a 1984 study that suggests black orphans end up smarter if they are adopted by whites than if they are adopted by blacks. Among other things, white adoptive mothers reportedly encouraged intellectual development and were more forgiving of mistakes. Prof. Nisbett writes that this sort of evidence is so powerful that all of Profs. Rushton’s and Jensen’s other arguments can be ignored.
In the article that follows, Linda Gottfredson of the University of Delaware points out some of the flaws in the rather old adoption and miscegenation studies on which Prof. Nisbett relies, but agrees with him that this line of investigation is a potentially valuable source of convincing data on the genetic contribution to the black-white gap. The trouble, she points out, is that no one is likely ever to do the large-scale, methodologically sound studies needed to lay the question to rest, because the subject frightens people. She also brings Prof. Nisbett up to date by citing more recent findings on the black-white intelligence gap that suggest it did appear to narrow for some time, but has started widening again.
Prof. Gottfredson also notes that culture-only theorists have repeatedly taken up one position, only to abandon it for a different but weaker one when their original claims were shown to be wrong. Several decades ago, it was fashionable to claim tests were biased against blacks. Now that testing advocates have thoroughly discredited that view, opponents now almost universally assert the much vaguer view that blacks suffer from ill-defined but powerful IQ-depressing conditions of some kind.
Ultimately, she writes, intellectuals seem to agree with Nathan Glazer, who wrote in 1994 about the controversy over The Bell Curve: “I ask myself whether the untruth is not better for American society than the truth.”
The final commentary on the main article is by Lisa Suzuki and Joshua Aronson of New York University. They make the very lightweight argument that genes and culture are so interwoven it is impossible to distinguish their effects. They even argue that brain size, glucose requirements, and nerve conduction speed are partially or even completely determined by environment. One wonders just what it is about the environment of less intelligent people that slows down their nerves and shrinks their brains.
Profs. Suzuki and Aronson are also big fans of “stereotype threat” theory. This is the argument that blacks don’t do well on tests because they know they have a reputation for being dim, and the pressure to disprove this “stereotype” so unnerves them they muff the tests. This theory has a very spotty replication record, and is fatally undermined by the fact that black children do badly on tests long before they are old enough to know anything about “stereotypes.” Likewise, blacks do no better on tests for which there are no consequences and no pressure than they do on tests they know could make a big difference in their lives. Also, if “stereotype threat” keeps test scores down, what is it that depresses to an equal degree the school and job performance the tests are supposed to predict? Yet more stereotype threat? Finally, as Profs. Rushton and Jensen ask, how is stereotype threat supposed to work in black countries where everyone with power or prestige is black? This is the kind of quackery people flock to when they are desperate.
This issue of Psychology, Public Policy, and Law (PPPL) is, in short, a crushing defeat for the conventional — perhaps we should say obligatory — view of why blacks do not do as well as whites. And that, no doubt, is why it has been met with almost complete media silence. The official publication of the American Psychological Association has now put before the public a peer-reviewed compilation of arguments that blow to bits one of the country’s most cherished illusions. The articles that are supposed to defend orthodoxy are so weak, and ignore so much of what Profs. Rushton and Jensen wrote, that only the most frothing believers in culture-only theory could think the result was anything but a humiliation.
This issue of PPPL should have touched off a frenzy of press coverage. Imagine what would happen if a sober, top-tier, peer-reviewed journal published overwhelmingly compelling evidence that exercise causes cancer, say, or that nuclear waste makes good lawn fertilizer. When a prestigious journal presents scientific findings that overturn the conventional view on important questions, the press is supposed to pay attention. And, indeed, Profs. Rushton and Jensen issued press releases and distributed hundreds of copies of the journal in the expectation that the press would pay attention. But this is, after all, the 21st century, and the subject is race differences. What would be top news were it about any other subject goes unremarked.
Some day, genetic researchers will isolate the genes that contribute to human intelligence. If they are brave enough to look, they will find that these genes are not distributed equally among all population groups. Maybe a top-rank journal will even publish these findings. Will anyone pay attention?
Race and the Fertility Paradox
Who should and shouldn’t be having children?
It is well known that for a population to reproduce itself from one generation to the next, each woman must have, on average, 2.1 children, or 2,100 children per 1000 women. For this to happen, two things are necessary: women must not only be healthy and fertile, they must also be “willing” to have children. Societies differ greatly in both of these respects. At one extreme are the very healthy peoples of Europe and North Asia who are biologically capable of having very large families, but who are failing even to reproduce themselves. At the other are Sub-Saharan African populations that carry a range of diseases — some of which directly affect reproductive health — but who still manage to have many children.
Societies with the best medical facilities and the lowest mother and infant mortality have the fewest births. That is to say, the safest, healthiest places for mothers have the fewest children. Why is this?
One factor is division of labor by sex. Societies with traditional sex roles — women raise children and run the house; men are breadwinners — have many children. When both sexes work, women tend to have just one child. As a society moves from peasant farming towards manufacturing and services, it needs more paid labor, which means more people need schooling. Women get more education, enter the work force, and even participate in politics. Birth rates then plunge, but not even the best demographers thought they would plummet past replacement levels.
Hong Kong (0.91) and Singapore (1.04) have two of the lowest birth rates on earth; neither has even half of the required 2.1 children. The two lowest in Europe, Lithuania (1.17) and the Czech Republic (1.18) are just over half. Even with very low death rates, any society operating below replacement value will shrink. By contrast, the two highest fertility rates in the world are in some of the poorest countries in Africa: Somalia (6.91) and Niger (6.93).
European women, with an average lifetime fertility of 1.55 children each, are about 500 children per 1,000 women short of replacing themselves, which means severe shrinkage is just over the horizon. People are only now beginning to discuss this shrinkage, but there is no agreement on how to stop the West from evaporating.
Women in the 36 countries in black Africa average more than five children each, or more than twice the number needed for replacement. Even with very short life expectancies, these populations will grow. In the swathe of 25 Moslem countries that begins at Mauritania and sweeps east to Pakistan, women average 4.08 children, which means Moslems are in latent demographic competition with blacks. Differences in reproductive health — the prevalence of diseases that directly affect a woman’s fertility — may affect the outcome of this competition.
HIV-infection rates for women are a good indicator of reproductive health. The World Health Organization and UNAIDS have spent a lot of money tracking these numbers all around the world, and their figures are probably good estimates. Men can infect each other by homosexual contact, but women do not infect each other. Very few women take intravenous drugs, so virtually the only way they get the disease is from sex with men. Therefore, if a woman has the virus, it suggests many sex partners for herself, the man, or both. Large numbers of sex partners mean a high likelihood of other sexually transmitted diseases.
Unlike HIV/AIDS, other STDs tend not to be lethal, but they quickly raise sterility rates, and can affect the health and even mortality of babies. The number of women who are HIV-positive is a useful predictor of other STDs, and therefore a good barometer of reproductive health.
The world average female HIV infection rate is 1.4 percent, but there is great variation from country to country. At one extreme are Zimbabwe (14.3 percent) and Botswana (21.5 percent) and at the other are Japan (0.02 percent), Mongolia (0.04 percent), and Turkey (0.01 percent). To make the most extreme comparison, Botswanan women are 2,150 times more likely than Turkish women to be infected. They are probably that much more likely also to have other STDs that affect fertility.
A regional comparison shows that the infection rate for European women is less than 0.1 percent, that for Moslems is less than 0.3 percent, and the average rate for black Africa is 5.5 percent. The European and Moslem rates are not statistically different from each other, but both are significantly lower than the African rate. (It is surprising that Muslim societies, which are famous for sequestering women, should have essentially the same female infection rates as Europe. To the extent that infection rates really do measure the number of sex partners, Muslims must have many more partners than we are led to believe.)
There are likewise big regional differences in infant mortality: 94.7 per 1,000 live births in Sub-Saharan Africa, 52.9 in the Moslem swathe, and 10.2 in Europe. Much of this is explained by differences in medical standards, but part is explained by the health of the mothers. If all the mothers who had their babies in Africa had them in Europe, their infant mortality rate would drop, but not to the European level.
Clearly, race is part of the equation, but it is not always easy to separate it from geography, economy, or social organization. Rates for blacks outside of Africa can be used to control for these factors. There are four Caribbean islands that are more than 80 percent black: Haiti, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Barbados. The average HIV-infection rate for women is 1.43 percent. This is more than four times the world average when Sub-Saharan Africa is removed.
The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, tracks American AIDS-infection rates by race and sex. It reports that Black women are 25 times more likely than whites and 31 times more likely than Asians to be infected. Similar differences are likely to be found in multiracial societies like Canada, Britain or France. Race therefore seems to have an independent effect on AIDS rates.
We have witnessed a substantial racial shift in reproduction. In white (and some Asian) countries, women work in what have become wealthy, industrial societies. Women are reproductively healthy and have excellent medical care, but are unwilling to have enough babies to keep their societies going. African women have the worst reproductive health and miserable hospitals, but have the most babies. Moslem countries are somewhere in between. In the long-run, Moslem countries — where high rates of child-bearing are combined with what appears to be quite good reproductive health — would seem to have the reproductive advantage.
Wade C. Mackey received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Virginia and currently teaches behavioral sciences at Cy-Fair College, in Texas.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
A Volatile Mix
Many Gypsies and Algerians live in Perpignan, a French town near the Spanish border. They do not get along. Algerians say Gypsies carry illegal weapons and steal, and that the police do nothing about it. They also claim town politicians discriminate against Arabs in order to get the Gypsy vote.
On May 22, Mohamed Bey Bachir, a 28-year-old Algerian, caught a 14-year-old Gypsy, known only as “Ketchup-Mayonnaise,” stealing his car radio. After an angry exchange, Ketchup-Mayonnaise threw a rock, which broke a tail-light on the car. Mr. Bachir drove away, but came back armed with a box-cutter. Ketchup-Mayonnaise called his cousins, and a gang of 10 to 20 met the Algerian with clubs, metal pipes, and golf clubs. Mr. Bachir slashed one of the Gypsies across the cheek with his box-cutter and fled, with Gypsies in pursuit. He hid in a cafe owned by an Algerian, but no one helped him because everyone was afraid of club-wielding Gypsies. They found Mr. Bachir in the cafe and beat him to death. Witnesses claim to have seen nothing, but police have managed to arrest six attackers. Ketchup-Mayonnaise, who has a record of 19 previous arrests for theft going back to age eight, was picked up only for attempted theft.
On May 29, someone shot and killed an Algerian named Driss Ghaib who was standing on his doorstep, and escaped in a waiting car. Algerians immediately blamed Gypsies. Police are saying nothing about the killer or his motive.
After this second murder, 100 to 200 Algerians marched into the Gypsy neighborhood with steel bars, baseball bats, Molotov cocktails, and even swords. They burned 50 cars and damaged more than 100 shops. Shots were fired, and eight people were injured in the violence. Police arrested 34 rioters. The day after the riots, schools were closed, and so many Gypsies had left town that the streets in the Gypsy quarter were deserted. One thousand police officers patrolled the streets. Algerians vowed to start carrying weapons like the Gypsies, and predicted that the worst was yet to come. [Karim Kettani, “Maintenant, On Va Faire Comme Les Gitans, On Va S’armer,” Libération (Paris), May 31, 2005. Gilbert Laval, Un Équilibre Fragile Entre Deux Populations Fragiles, Libération (Paris), May 31, 2005. Tensions Entre Maghrébins et Gitans Après le Meurtre de Perpignan, Le Monde (Paris), May 26, 2005.]
The Curious Kyrgyz
Wife-abduction is an ancient Kyrgyz custom still practiced today. More than half of Kyrgyz marriages begin with abduction. Sometimes this is just an elopement, but often a man takes his wife violently. According to recent surveys, more than a third of Kyrgyz brides are carried off against their will. The practice has been illegal ever since the Soviets took over, but the law is rarely enforced, and most Kyrgyz do not know wife-snatching is illegal. The occasional prosecutions are usually for assault or rape, not kidnapping. The danger for Kyrgyz women begins in their teens, and some university students wear wedding rings or head scarves to make men think they are married.
One reason for abduction is that it is cheaper than paying the standard bride price, which can be as much as $800 plus a cow, but Kyrgyz men also think making off with a woman is proof of masculinity. Usually a group of male relatives makes the snatch, with the bridegroom well lubricated with alcohol. Many women protest furiously but 80 percent eventually accept their fate; often their own parents urge them to go along.
Ainur Tairova has been abducted twice, first by a man whom she spoke to for 20 minutes in the tobacco shop where she worked. He asked her for a date, but she turned him down. The next day, as she waited for a bus with two friends, a car pulled up and the men inside offered the girls a ride. One of Miss Tairova’s friends was in on the plot, and urged her to accept. When the car stopped to pick up the man she had met in the shop, she began to scream and choke the driver. Desperate to escape, she told the men she was not a virgin. It was a lie, but the men let her go.
Eventually, Miss Tairova met a suitor whom she liked. She told him she did not want to be abducted, and he promised not to. After several months, he proposed, but she asked for more time. Soon after, she fell for the same trick: Some men offered to drive her to a restaurant, but took her to the house of her suitor’s family. The men had to drag her kicking and screaming into the house. Her parents, however, told her to marry the man. She eventually accepted, and is now happily married. Her husband says he abducted her only because he was afraid someone else would do it first. [Craig S. Smith, Abduction, Often Violent, a Kyrgyz Wedding Rite, New York Times, April 30, 2005.]
When the Border Patrol catches a Mexican illegal crossing the border, he can be back in Mexico in hours. Things are different for non-Mexican border-crossers. International law prevents the Border Patrol from returning them to Mexico; the US has to buy them tickets to their home countries. It takes weeks or even months to arrange travel.
What to do with them in the meantime? Sixteen years ago, when a flood of Central Americans came across trying to escape civil wars, the Border Patrol set up detention centers where they could hold them until they were deported. Today’s Border Patrol lives in such fear of immigration activists it will not set up detention centers for fear of complaints about mistreatment.
Agents therefore usually give non-Mexican border-jumpers notices to appear in court, and release them. The notices mean safe passage through other Border Patrol checkpoints, so illegals call them “permisos,” or “permission slips.” Only two percent then show up for court hearings.
It is to the advantage of a non-Mexican illegal to be caught by the Border Patrol. Besides his permiso, he gets free food and board for the night, and often a ride to the bus station the next morning. Non-Mexican illegals have figured out that the Border Patrol is a welcome wagon; it is common to see them flagging down agents.
Naturally, the number of non-Mexican border-crossers has soared. In 1995, the Border Patrol arrested only 15,000 of them, but in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, they have arrested 85,000 (see chart). [Jerry Kammer, Loophole to America, San Diego Union-Tribune, June 4, 2005.]
Judge Felix Recio of Brownsville, Texas, has had enough of this. Recently he kept a group of Honduran immigrants in the local jail until space opened up at an immigration facility. “I want you to tell all your friends in Honduras,” he told them, “that if they come through Brownsville, Texas, they will not be paroled into the system, and they will be put in jail and deported.” [World NetDaily.com, Illegals Shocked as Judge Actually Puts Them in Jail, June 6, 2005.]
National Security Quotas
Not even intelligence agencies are exempt from affirmative action. According to Body of Secrets, James Bamford’s 2001 bestseller about the ultra-secret National Security Agency (NSA), hiring and promoting non-whites and women is “among the most sensitive issues facing NSA in the post-Cold War period.”
Although women made up 43.4 percent of the federal workforce in 1993, at NSA they were only 36 percent. Non-whites were 27.7 percent of the federal workforce, but just 11 percent at NSA. In its defense, then-NSA director Adm. John M. McConnell pointed out that the agency’s work was highly technical, involving mathematics, engineering, computer science and linguistics — ”skill areas … in which minorities have been traditionally underrepresented.” NSA also had a policy of hiring only the “best and brightest,” which made it hard to recruit non-whites. Adm. McConnell nevertheless directed that one third of new hires be non-white, and the agency actually exceeded that quota by several percent from 1992 to 1996.
Once they were hired, non-whites got other preferences. Non-white women got three chances to advance while white men got one. Whites were angry, and called the new Office of Discrimination Complaints and Counseling “a party organization for blacks.” Many thought promoting inexperienced non-whites to important jobs was a threat to national security. One white, William J. Sonntag, sued the agency, claiming he “was denied consideration for a management position on the sole basis that white males were not being considered for three such jobs in my office.” The government settled with him. Most other whites kept their mouths shut, since the agency retaliated against anyone who complained. It used information gathered in supposedly confidential employee counseling sessions to revoke security clearances — and “losing a security clearance at NSA means losing a job.” [James Bamford, Body of Secrets, Anchor Books, 2002.]
In 1993, two Indians, Adrian Rusch-Guthrie and Simon Roberts, robbed a pizza deliveryman in Everett, Washington. The 17-year-old cousins beat the man with an aluminum baseball bat, causing permanent damage to his hearing and vision. Both pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery, but instead of going to jail they were turned over to a Tlingit Indian tribal court, which in late 1994 banished them for two years to separate campsites on a remote island off the coast of Alaska. The banishment was an experiment to see if tribal justice was more effective rehabilitation for Indians than prison.
Unfortunately, the experiment did not run its course. Mr. Rusch-Guthrie made unauthorized sorties to town, and received visits from relatives and reporters, so a judge sent both men to state prison in Washington. Mr. Rusch-Guthrie went on to a life of crime but Mr. Roberts has since kept his nose clean. [Tony Carroll, Banished Man is Arrested for Assault, Juneau Empire, April 6, 2005. Jim Haley, Banishment Experiment Fails, Herald (Everett, Wash.), April 7, 2005, p. B1.]
Black Bike Weekend
Each year in late spring, hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts descend on Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for two separate rallies. The first is a Harley-Davidson rally that draws approximately 300,000 mostly white visitors over nine days. The second is the Atlantic Beach Bikefest, known locally as black bike weekend, which brings in more than 250,000 largely black visitors over just three days.
For years, blacks have complained that while the city puts out the red carpet for white bikers, it rolls it up for them. The NAACP has a lawsuit in federal court accusing Myrtle Beach and local businesses of changing traffic patterns, fielding more police, cutting back on business hours, and raising prices during black bike weekend. This year it will set up a hotline so blacks can complain, and plans to send monitors.
The city says the two events are different. The Harley-Davidson rally attracts an older, restrained crowd, and plans events as far as 60 miles from Myrtle Beach. The blacks are concentrated downtown over Memorial Day weekend and are a young, rowdy crowd that leaves a lot of litter. Mark Kruea, a city spokesman, says most of the black bikers spend the weekend cruising up and down the city’s main street. “If we didn’t have a traffic management plan, traffic would not move on Ocean Boulevard,” he says. Crime levels explain the extra police presence. In 2004, police arrested 317 people during the first weekend of the Harley rally, and 673 during the black weekend.
Locals treat the two events differently, too. Most just stay home during black biker weekend. [Heather Vogell, Are Separate Rallies for Bikers Unequal?, Charlotte Observer, May 26, 2005, p. 1A.]
Searching the Woodpile
In 1810, nearly a third of Buenos Aires’s population was black, but by 1887 the number was just 1.8 percent. For years, most Argentines thought the blacks had either died in a yellow fever epidemic in 1871 or had been killed during a war with Paraguay in the 1860s. New research suggests many were absorbed into the white majority.
“Argentina was interested in presenting itself as a white country,” says George Reid Andrews, a professor of Latin American history at the University of Pittsburgh. “Its ideologues and writers put a great emphasis on the yellow fever epidemic and the war, and it was feasible to pretend that the black population had simply disappeared as immigration exploded.” Early political leaders like Juan Bautista Alberdi strongly believed in “the reviving spirit of European civilization” and promoted the image of Argentina as a European country transplanted to South America.
Researchers are using two methods to try to find out what happened. One is DNA analysis, and the other is to go door-to door and ask people if they have African ancestors. The DNA study is easier and more accurate; according to preliminary results, as many as 10 percent of Buenos Aires residents have African ancestry. Getting information door-to-door is much harder. People who are obviously black are the most reluctant to talk about their forebears. “Without a doubt, racial prejudice is great in this society, and people want to believe they are white,” says Miriam Gomes, a professor at the University of Buenos Aires who is part black. “Here, if someone has one drop of white blood, they call themselves white.” [Monte Reel, Argentinian Population’s Genes Hint at Diverse Past, Herald (Miami), May 8, 2005, p. 23A.]
Hispandering in NYC
New York’s Republican mayor Michael Bloomberg is expecting a tough race this fall against his likely opponent, Democrat Fernando Ferrer. Although he got 47 percent of the Spanish-speaking vote in 2001, Mr. Bloomberg fears Mexicans and Puerto Ricans will pull the lever for a fellow Hispanic. He has been trying to fluff up his image by learning Spanish, and works with a tutor almost every day. On May 17, he displayed his new skill in campaign ads. The 30- and 60-second spots, entirely in Spanish, tout his record on crime, education and the economy. The mayor speaks four sentences. These ads came out even before the mayor ran spots in English. “We don’t believe any city or statewide candidate has done Spanish ads first,” boasts campaign spokesman Stu Loeser.
The results remain to be seen. “The courageous mayor’s enunciation is so poor that at the end of the ad, when he’s making his final appeal for voter support, he sounds like he’s asking for mas pollo (an extra helping of chicken) instead of su apoyo (your help),” writes a Hispanic journalist. Still, she gives the “gringo” credit for trying. [David Seifman, Bloomberg’s On a Roll en Español, New York Post, May 18, 2005, p. 2. Sandra Guzman, Gringo Gets Laughs and an ‘A’ for Effort, New York Post, May18, 2005, p. 2.]
Bad for the Heart
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, not just for men but for women as well, and the female death rate varies by race. According to the CDC, black women die from heart disease at a rate 1.4 times higher than white women, 2.1 times higher than Hispanics and Indians, and 2.6 times higher than Asian women. The CDC says that between 1991 and 1995, 22 percent of black women who died of heart disease did so “prematurely,” meaning they died before age 65.
A new study blames this on discrimination. Tene Lewis, a health psychologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, spent four years monitoring 181 black women in Chicago and Pittsburgh. Each year she had them fill out questionnaires on whether they thought they were being ignored or treated disrespectfully. “The women reported discrimination in the form of having poorer service in stores or restaurants, being treated as if they were less smart, or being treated as dishonest,” Dr. Lewis says.
After four years, 60 percent of the women had at least some calcification in the walls of coronary arteries, an early sign of possible heart disease. The researchers then compared the results to the questionnaires, and concluded that black women who faced constant discrimination were 2.8 times more likely to have calcification than women who did not. After controlling for weight and high blood pressure, the rate was still 2.5 times higher. “The more discrimination African-American women experience, the more calcium buildup they have,” says Dr. Lewis. She seems to think it is hopeless to try to change whites. Instead she says society needs to help black women “cope more effectively” with discrimination. [Miranda Hitti, Discrimination May Hurt Heart, FOXNews.com, May 3, 2005.]
Over the last decade, the percentage of whites in the Guilford County, North Carolina, schools has dropped from 57 percent to 45 percent, and Superintendent Terry Grier thinks the district needs “a better understanding of that diversity.” He spent at least $45,000 this year on anti-racist “workshops” run by something called Crossroads Ministry, from Chicago — money many parents and teachers think ill-spent. At least one parent objected when she learned that Crossroads was co-founded by Rev. Joe Barndt, who believes whites are inherently racist.
Crossroads says it encourages people to look at history from the point of view of non-whites in order to uncover “institutional racism.” “We explain that the history and structure of institutes [sic] creates advantages for white society and disadvantages for communities of color,” explains executive co-director Chuck Ruehle, who is white. He says the training is not about how individuals act, but how society is structured. History books written from the white perspective, for example, talk about Christopher Columbus discovering America, whereas Indians would say he was an invader.
Vicki Alston, who runs a similar anti-racism program called Racial Healing, Inc., defends the training, which, she explains, differs from diversity training. Diversity training is about getting along with people of different backgrounds. Anti-racism training “is the tough part. You get in there and you have to get inside yourself and do the analysis and start dealing with the real issues of our society.”
Three hundred teachers have had to take Crossroads training, and many whites resent the assumption that they needed it. They say it is more opinion than fact, a waste of valuable class time, and does nothing to make them better teachers. University of Alabama history professor David Beito was forced to take similar training five years ago. “There’s a lot of emphasis on guilt,” he says. “This is fringe stuff, and they’re trying to force it down people’s throats.”
Superintendent Grier wants to spend another $500,000 on anti-racism training next year. [Jennifer Fernandez, Confronting Racism Through Workshops, News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.), May 22, 2005.]
Not Hate, ‘Ethnic Pride’
May 18 is Haitian Flag Day, a day of protest organized by black college students, Haitian lawyers, and “human rights activists” to denounce foreign (mainly US) involvement in Haiti. Haitians all over the world are supposed to show solidarity by flying the flag. Irvington, New Jersey, is home to 5,000 Haitians, and several Haitian students took flags to Irvington High School. When school let out, American blacks reportedly insulted or desecrated a Haitian flag. Shortly afterwards, a gang of Haitians shot two black students and stabbed two more, in what police are calling an “ethnic pride dispute.” [Jonathan Casiano, Ethnic Dispute Leaves Four Students Injured, Star-Ledger (Newark), May 19, 2005, p. 19.]
No Whites Allowed
Brian Parnell is a social worker with the Kern County Child Protective Services unit in Bakersfield, California. He wants to know why so many black children are in the child welfare system, and thought he could find answers at the National Association of Black Social Workers annual convention, which took place in New Orleans in April. Mr. Parnell flew to New Orleans, but could not attend the convention. “I approached the registration table and was greeted by a very friendly fellow who looked me in the eye and said, ‘Are you black?’” says Mr. Parnell, who is white. “I told him that I’m not and he told me that the conference was only for people who were black.” Mr. Parnell then asked to speak to a conference organizer, a black woman, who told him, “You’re white. You can’t attend this conference.” Nothing in the association’s material said it was open only to blacks.
Mr. Parnell went home and filed a civil rights complaint with the federal government. He is also thinking about suing the association for discrimination. His bosses are considering legal action to recover the cost of his airfare and other expenses, and have vowed never to send another employee to one of its events. (Mr. Parnell went to New Orleans with five black colleagues, all of whom were admitted.)
The National Association of Black Social Workers is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization. Restricting membership to blacks is a violation of IRS rules. Bakersfield lawyer Richard Papst says that if Mr. Parnell or Kern County sue, the association could lose its exemption. An IRS spokesman says that if it had known the association was only for blacks, it would never have made it tax exempt. [Gretchen Wenner, White Worker Barred Over Race, Bakersfield Californian, May 24, 2005, p. B1. Man Claims Racism at Conference, KGET.com, May 30, 2005.]
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the country’s largest accrediting agency for teacher training programs, requires schools of education to evaluate students on their “commitment to social justice” and “skills related to diversity.” This means education programs sometimes judge teaching students on their politics. The Brooklyn College School of Education is an example. Its mission statement says, “We educate teacher candidates and other school personnel about issues of social injustice such as institutionalized racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism.”
Some students at the school claim this means professors censor students’ views and even prevent them from becoming teachers. In a class on “language literacy,” Prof. Priya Parmar reportedly taught that English was the language of the oppressor, and that teachers should therefore let blacks use “Ebonics” in their schoolwork. In class discussion, Prof. Parmar refused to let students defend standard English. Prof. Parmar also showed the left-wing documentary Fahrenheit 911 in class before the 2004 presidential elections because she wanted her students to see it before they voted. “Basically she’s a socialist, she’s racist against white people,” says one student. “If you want to pass the class, you better keep your mouth shut.” [Jacob Gershma, ‘Disposition’ Emerges as Issue at Brooklyn College, New York Sun, May 31, 2005.]
The school newspaper of South Hills High School in Fort Worth, Texas, recently published a story on what students think about having a Hispanic majority at their school. One student’s view was that “Hispanics have a high dropout rate and it is making the school look bad.” Another said, “Too many.” Another just answered, “H.T.B. (Head to the border),” which appears to be a local insult to Mexicans. The journalism teacher responsible for the newspaper, Amy Nelson, tried to black out H.T.B., but a few uncensored copies got through. Miss Nelson put an apology in the next issue, but is on administrative leave pending an investigation. [Amie Streater, Journalism Teacher is Put on Leave, Star-Telegram (Fort Worth), May 24, 2005.]
Blacks and AIDS
According to a recent study by the Rand Corporation and Oregon State University, nearly half of US blacks believe the HIV virus is man-made, more than a quarter think it was cooked up in a government laboratory, and 15 percent are convinced it is part of a genocidal plot to kill blacks. Forty-four percent believe anyone taking new anti-AIDS medications is a government guinea pig. While many whites think the government did not do enough at first to fight AIDS, almost none believes the government deliberately loosed it on the population.
What accounts for the difference? America’s racist past. As the Philadelphia Inquirer explains in an editorial, “there is ample evidence throughout U.S. history for African Americans to be suspicious of government-funded medical research. The most notorious example was the Tuskegee experiment, conducted by the federal government from 1932 to 1972 in Alabama. Scientists told nearly 400 black men they were being treated for syphilis, but secretly withheld the treatment so they could study the progression of the disease. Up to 100 of those men died from it.” [Ease Suspicious Minds (editorial), Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 30, 2005, p. D6.]
The Inquirer is pushing nonsense. According to an investigation published by Prof. Richard Shweder of the University of Chicago last year (see “The Truth About Tuskegee,” AR, March 2004), virtually every popular assumption about Tuskegee is false. The study had the support of black medical authorities to the end, and almost certainly caused no harm to the men who participated in it. The experiment was intended to study the effects of latent stage syphilis, when the disease is no longer contagious and shows no symptoms. By the time they reach the latent stage, most patients will suffer no more effects, even if untreated. It is simply untrue to imply that a quarter of the participants died because they were not treated. Ninety men were still part of the program at the time of the last examination in 1963, and penicillin developed after the experiment began in 1932, would probably have done them no good. By the time the experiment ended, Prof. Shweder suggests the men who were still part of it may well have had life expectancies as high as other black men of the same age who had never had syphilis.
Although they can’t blame the Tuskegee experiment, many South African blacks, including President Thabo Mbeki, believe AIDS is the fault of the white man and not a consequence of black behavior. AIDS is taking a severe toll on South Africa’s working-age population, and many experts believe it threatens the country’s future. One in nine South Africans is thought to have AIDS, and the death toll went from 318,287 in 1997 to 499,268 in 2002, an increase of 57 percent. Among people over age 15, the increase was 62 percent. An estimated one fourth of South African soldiers are infected, and the disease is particularly common among miners. [Andrew Quinn, South Africa’s Death Toll Rises 57 Percent in AIDS Crisis, Reuters, Feb. 19, 2005.]
Dodge City, UK
Almost no one in Britain can own a gun legally, but the country is suffering record levels of gun violence. There were 10,590 firearms offenses in Britain between June 2004 and May 2005, a ten percent increase over the previous year. Seventy people were shot to death and another 430 seriously wounded. More than a third of the gun crimes — 3,653 — were committed in London. April 2005 saw a record number of 49 shootings and 3 killings in London, compared to just 12 in April 2004. Thirty-five of the 49 shootings and two of the three killings were black-on-black. The 14 other shootings may have involved blacks as perpetrators or victims. Police killed one armed black drug dealer. Officers say the rise in gun violence is due to black teenagers shooting each other over trivial disputes, and to wars between rival black drug gangs. [Jason Bennetto, Shootings at Record Levels as Teenagers Turn to Guns, Independent (London), May 11, 2005.]
According to a recent poll, nearly half of the country’s non-whites and immigrants prefer to get news and entertainment from the so-called ethnic media. The survey found that more than half of Hispanic adults, a quarter of Asians and Indians, and 60 percent of blacks and Arabs use some form of ethnic media, which now reaches one quarter of the American adult population. Many people like foreign-language news because they don’t speak English, or they think ethnic media report more news from their homelands and cover things they care about. Hispanics like Mexican soap operas called telenovelas, and music videos that are not quite like anything on American television.
Felix Gutierrez, a professor of journalism at USC thinks ethnic media will continue to grow at the expense of the mainstream. “People pay attention to media that pay attention to them,” he says. “That’s the bottom line.” [Jeremiah Marquez, Poll: Minority Groups Favor Ethnic Media, AP, June 7, 2005.]
Some of the US military’s most important training bases are in the desert along the Mexican border, which means illegal aliens wander onto firing ranges. Colonel James J. Cooney, commanding officer of the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona, an important combat training center for pilots, says he’s had to close the range more than 500 times since last July. Col. Cooney’s men intercepted 1,500 illegals last year and 1,100 during the first three months of 2005. “We’re getting overrun here,” he explains.
Closing the range to chase illegals has meant a loss of 1,100 hours of training hours. “Any moment we take away from a Marine’s experience base could cost him his life in combat” fumes Col. Cooney. “We just don’t want them here, because we’re firing lasers, we’re shooting machine guns, we’re shooting 20-millimeter cannons, and we’re dropping practice bombs.” Although no illegals have been killed, Col. Cooney fears that that a death would bring training to a halt.
The Army and Air Force have the same problem. A spokesman for the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground — one of the largest military bases in the world and a major weapons-testing base — says smugglers drive illegals up the highway and dump them off, and then “these illegal immigrants stumble right onto our testing range.” An Air Force spokesman says it had to suspend bomb-drop training on a range near Gila Bend 55 times last year because of illegals, for a loss of 122 combat training hours. [Illegals Blocking Marine Training, NewsMax. com, April 14, 2005.]
El Gran Norte Blanco
Canada’s immigration policy is both better and worse than ours. It puts some emphasis on attracting people with skills, but doesn’t care where they come from. On April 19, the government announced a $58 million plan to smooth citizenship applications from people with skills, but also to triple the number of approvals for parents and grandparents of immigrants already in the country. It would also make it easier for foreign college students to become citizens. “Our population is shrinking and getting older,” says David Rosenblatt, a Canadian immigration lawyer. “Canada, in order to survive and grow, needs to get more skilled workers.”
Canadian recruiters now advertise in Mexico, hoping to lure immigrants frustrated by US laws. One company recently ran an ad in a Mexico City newspaper that said “Live in Canada!” and a Canadian immigration law firm promoted Canada on television. The Canadian embassy’s switchboard was jammed. Canadian companies are even wooing illegal Mexicans in the United States. One posted a sign near a place where illegals look for work in Mesa, Arizona, that read, “Come to Canada to work — legally!”
The number of Mexicans legally in Canada increased by 68 percent from 1998 to 2003, from 13,261 to 22,344, but the number there illegally could be many times higher. Unlike the United States, Canada does not require visas — Mexicans just show a passport. The number of Mexican refugees seeking asylum jumped 89 percent between 2000 and 2003, as the US started tightening its rules. Mexico is now the third largest source of refugee claimants in Canada, behind only Pakistan and Colombia.
Many Mexicans are eager to come — some, like Marcos Ramirez Posadas, because they don’t like the US or the way it treats Mexicans. “Canada has its arms open to immigrants, and the United States has its arms closed. It’s as simple as that,” he says. “There are a lot of historical problems between our countries,” he adds. “Canadians are much nicer; they appreciate other countries. I find [Americans] very egotistical.” [Chris Hawley, Canada is Wooing Mexican Immigrants, Arizona Republic (Phoenix), May 3, 2005.]
Strike Up the Band
The Marburg virus is a deadly hemorrhagic fever that spreads through contact with body fluids. There is no cure. The latest outbreak, in northern Angola, has killed at least 194 people, and international medical workers are trying to keep it from spreading. The natives don’t trust Western medicine, and aren’t cooperating. The World Health Organization (WHO) and Doctors Without Borders have warned them not to touch the bodies of victims, but many natives insist on burial rituals that involve hugging the corpse. When WHO workers tried to put a corpse in a body bag for immediate burial, natives drove them away in a hail of stones. Doctors Without Borders has asked a band from Uige, a city in the heart of the affected area, to write a song about the disease with words to explain to locals how to avoid infection. [Casimore Siona, Angola Recruits Musicians to Fight Off Deadly Virus, The Independent (London), April 13, 2005.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — In the dispute between Prof. Steven Farron and Carl Lundgren about whether Turks are white, I side with the latter. In his initial letter in the March issue, Prof. Farron makes the surprising statement that “no one has ever doubted that [the Turks] are white.” Let us be sure of whom we are speaking. By “whites” I mean the western branch of the Indo-Europeans, or somewhat loosely, Europeans; by Turks I mean the people who now live mostly in Turkey and once ruled the Ottoman Empire.
The Turks’ homeland is the Altai region of Mongolia. Their language belongs to the Altaic family, which consists of Turkic, Mongolian, Tungusic and Korean subfamilies, none of which has any connection to an Indo-European language.
Turks first appear in history around 550 AD, when, as the rising power in Mongolia, they displaced the Juan-Juan tribe, whose survivors eventually terrorized Europe as the Avars. The original Turks seem to have been iron-workers, and included individual tribes like the Pechenegs, Cumans, and Khazars. A loose confederacy of these and similar tribes created the first Turkic empire, which stretched from the Tamir River to the Oxus.
From Altai to Anatolia is a long, long journey. During their wanderings, and before they carved out for themselves their last and most famous empire (the Ottoman), the Turks set up a number of imperial states. Their history is wonderfully colorful and bloody, but it does not include a magical metamorphosis that turned them white.
In his second letter in the June issue, Prof. Farron seeks to bolster his case by invoking L. Cavalli-Sforza, et al. He mentions several maps in The History and Geography of Human Genes, which record the frequency distributions of various genetic components among human populations. In some maps Turkey appears to be part of Europe.
Frankly, maps of this kind can be made for any collection of ethnic groups. Since we are all human, it follows that with a suitable choice of genetic markers, we will occasionally find frequency distributions that produce delightfully odd results. Prof. Farron himself already noted one — the exclusion of the British Isles and Denmark from Europe in one of the maps he cited.
Much to the malicious amusement of racial egalitarians, the distribution of some genetically-controlled traits such as fingerprint patterns and lactose intolerance leads to the conclusion that Japanese Ainu, Swedes and African Xhosas all belong to the same racial group. Of course, using that reasoning we can prove humans evolved from goats, or the other way around. How? Because Malta fever normally affects only humans and goats, thereby proving their close kinship.
Even Prof. Farron doesn’t seem entirely convinced of the strength of this argument, because he tells us finally that “even more important is their [Cavalli-Sforza, et al.] map, which shows the geographical distribution of skin color,” which lumps together Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, the Balkans, Ukraine, Turkey and eastern Russia as having the second-lightest skin hue.
Not to quibble, but: (A) admittedly, the people of eastern Russia, Spain, Portugal, etc., endured infusians of alien blood to a far greater degree than other Europeans. That is what accounts for their darker skin. In Greece and the Balkans, that alien blood would primarily have come from Turkish conquerors. (B) As for Ukrainians, they are just as white as, say, Bavarians, and probably have more blondes per capita than Bavaria or France.
Prof. Farron is surely right in emphasizing the importance of culture, but cultures are not random accidents. Every major culture is a major race writ large.
Sidney Krupicka, Paris, Tenn.
Sir — I have just finished reading Bruno Gheerbrant’s “Black Démolition” in the June issue. It occurs to me that Brussels would be the perfect place to send Secretary General Kofi Annan, his son Kojo, and the rest of the United Nations. What a blessing it would be to rid the USA of them!
George Bolton, Carlsbad, Calif.
Sir — Pauline Tate’s review of The Grey Book in the May issue considers the League of the South’s secession plan. It is a good idea, but the League should reconsider its choice of states for a new Confederation of Southern States (CSS).
Texas and Florida must be excluded. Texas, like California, is already a majority-non-white state, and Florida will soon become one. If Florida is included, it must be broken up, with only northern and central Florida admitted to the CSS. South Florida is already too Latinized.
West Virginia should be returned to Virginia, but the toney liberal suburbs outside Washington, DC, should follow the district into the Northern Neo-con Empire. North and South Carolina should be merged into a single state. The CSS should also include Kentucky.
This more practical Confederation of Southern States would consist of Virginia, Carolina, Georgia, most of Florida (Jacksonia?), Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. I believe this would make for a more unified and cohesive nation. Should the time come, this is one Yankee who will gladly fight with the rebels.
Kenneth Reynolds, Bronx, N.Y.
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