|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 18, No. 7||July 2007|
The Knoxville Horror
The crime and the media blackout.
On Saturday, January 6, 2007 Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23, of Knoxville, Tennessee, went on a date from which they would never return. Outside the home of another couple they were visiting, they were carjacked and kidnapped. Over the next 24 hours they were beaten, gang-raped, tortured and murdered.
There can be little doubt that if Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom had been black and their killers white, everyone in America would know their names. Because they were white and their killers are black, their fate has been shrouded in a thick silence that has given rise to a host of lurid rumors. Their story highlights the strange and twisted nature of race relations in America, which makes it nearly impossible for the authorities or the media to deal honestly with events that violate official assumptions about race. It also represents both a strength and weakness of the Internet: Mischief-makers of various political persuasions spread falsehoods rather than correct them, but they built up a demand for facts that became so great the authorities eventually had to come clean.
The men who kidnapped and killed Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom have not yet gone to trial, so they are theoretically innocent. This account — as accurate as possible under what sometimes amounted to a news blackout — is based on documents filed in federal and state courts, and on sometimes vague and contradictory press reports.
Sometime after midnight, Miss Christian and Mr. Newsom were in the parking lot of Knoxville’s Washington Ridge apartment complex, where they were visiting friends. Letalvis Cobbins, 24, along with his brother Lemaricus Davidson, 25, and George Thomas, 24, kidnapped them at gunpoint, and carjacked Miss Christian’s 2005 Toyota 4-Runner. Mr. Davidson had already been convicted of carjacking and aggravated robbery in Tennessee in 2001, but despite conviction for a death penalty-eligible offense and a bad record as an inmate, had served no more than five years in West Tennessee State Penitentiary. Recently released, he had been a member of the Black Gangster Disciples at least since prison.
The three men tied up their captives and took them in the 4-Runner to a rundown rental house at 2316 Chipman Street in black East Knoxville, where Mr. Cobbins and Mr. Davidson lived. Mr. Cobbins’s 18-year-old girlfriend, Vanessa Coleman, met them there.
All four, including Miss Coleman, then engaged in an orgy of rape and violence. They anally gang-raped Mr. Newsom, and orally, anally, and vaginally gang-raped Channon Christian. They brutally beat both victims and poured cleaning fluid down Miss Christian’s throat. They killed Mr. Newsom, leaving him with “multiple gunshot wounds,” and set his corpse on fire. Knoxville police refuse to say how Miss Christian was murdered, but an assistant U.S. attorney suggests she may have been “choked.”
On January 8, the day after the carjacking-gang-rape-murder, Lemaricus Davidson robbed an employee of a Knoxville Pizza Hut at gunpoint, and tried to rob a customer. Likewise on January 8, Miss Christian’s father, Gary, found her Toyota 4-Runner abandoned near railroad tracks, not far from where a railroad employee found Mr. Newsom’s desecrated corpse that same day. There was a fingerprint from Lemaricus Davidson inside the vehicle, which led to a search of his apartment on January 10. There police found Miss Christian’s corpse in a garbage can in the kitchen.
A fourth man, Eric Boyd, has been charged as an accessory in the carjacking case for having helped Mr. Davidson try to escape justice, but not in the rapes and murders.
Knoxville authorities have promoted the view that the rapists poured cleaning fluid down Miss Christian’s throat to destroy DNA evidence. They and the media have also insisted that the torture/murders were “a crime of opportunity,” a carjacking that somehow got out of hand, and that the criminals had no racial motivation.
This picture appears to be wrong on all counts, and is an insult to the public’s intelligence. The defendants are charged with premeditated murder and, according to court documents, had already decided to kill Miss Christian before they made her swallow cleaning fluid. They also did not bother to “clean” her vagina and anus, which were stuffed with DNA evidence.
The carjacking-gone-wrong theory is not plausible either. Carjacking is armed robbery of a vehicle, in order to possess or sell it, but these assailants had no interest in the 4-Runner. They dumped it after only a few hours.
Nor was there any reason for things to “go wrong;” the victims cooperated, and Lemaricus Davidson was an experienced carjacker. While carjackers sometimes rape their victims, anal gang-rape is very rare, especially of male victims. On the other hand, black jail and prison inmates often target white prisoners for anal gang-rape as a method of racial terrorism (see “Hard Time,” AR, April 2002). And while carjackers sometimes murder their victims, it is hard to imagine black carjackers treating black victims in such a loathsome manner.
Finally, a “hate crime” is one committed “wholly or in part” for reasons of racial animus, and use of racial epithets is considered strong evidence of racial animus. Do the authorities expect us to believe that these black killers raped, tortured, and murdered white victims, without ever using racially insulting language? This reporter believes the carjacking was just a way to kidnap, gang-rape, torture and murder whites, and that the killers used the cleaning fluid for the sole purpose of further torturing Miss Christian.
Until mid-May, this story was strictly local news, but it assumed a certain notoriety on the Internet where, not long after the first newspaper reports, a story with the following headline began circulating:
“White Couple Abducted; Both Man and Woman Were Raped, Beaten, Cut Apart and Killed. Five Blacks Arrested In Case. No Media Frenzy Over ‘Racist’ Attack.”
The report, with photographs of the victims and the suspects, continued as follows:
“The animals pictured below raped Christopher Newsom, cut off his penis, then set him on fire and fatally shot him several times while they forced his girlfriend, Channon Christian, to watch. An even more cruel fate awaited her!
“Channon Christian, was beaten and gang-raped in many ways for four days by all of them, while they took turns urinating on her. Then they cut off her breast and put chemicals in her mouth . . . and then murdered her.”
The earliest version of this story seems to have appeared around February 21 on the web page of New Jersey radio host Hal Turner. Many of the details, including the amputations and urination, have not been in other reports, nor are they mentioned in court documents.
I asked the Knoxville police to confirm or deny Mr. Turner’s claims. Public Information Officer Darrell Debusk was unfailingly polite, but would tell me nothing. Were the victims mutilated? Were they alive or dead when this happened? “That is something that we have not discussed in public, and is information that will come to light during the trial . . . Right now, we’re not discussing the details of the investigation.” Officer Debusk would not even give a cause of death: “Again, that’s evidence in a trial that will be presented during the trial.” (Only later did I learn from court documents that federal authorities had already reported that Mr. Newsom had been shot.)
The claim that “the investigation is ongoing,” was plainly untrue. The suspects had been arrested, indicted, and bound over for trial. Prosecutors bind over defendants only after the police have finished their investigation. When I asked for a copy of the Knoxville police preliminary report, which had been released to local reporters, Officer Debusk was happy to oblige — so long as I dropped by in person at department headquarters in Knoxville. If that wasn’t convenient for someone living in New York State, I could have a local person pick one up for me, or a Tennessee resident could pay for a copy and ask that it be sent to an in-state address. Clearly, Officer Debusk just didn’t want me to see the report.
Other Knoxville officials — at the county medical examiner’s office, sheriff’s department, and criminal court — all referred me back to the Knoxville Police Department. Chief Sterling Owen, IV himself established this stonewalling policy, and the information has been so tightly sealed we cannot even assume the trial transcript will be available to the public.
The refusal by police to release the autopsy reports has left even the mainstream media dueling over how Miss Christian died and what was done to her corpse. The Knoxville News Sentinel claimed Lemaricus Davidson strangled her but left her corpse intact. ABC’s and CBS’s Knoxville affiliates reported she was dismembered, though neither was clear whether this was how she was killed or whether her corpse was cut apart after she was murdered. CNN claimed Miss Christian “asphyxiated” after she was forced into an airtight garbage can.
When it suits them, the Knoxville police can be very forthcoming with information. On May 22, just-released black career criminal Dwayne Hill, 39, celebrated his third day of freedom with an attempted carjacking in East Knoxville. When police stepped in, he fought them, was tasered, and died. Within 24 hours, the department produced a report showing that Hill “had an illegal substance in his system,” and had died of a condition unrelated to the tasering. When a back man dies at the hands of officers, and there is a chance “the community” might be unhappy, the police are quick with the facts. Whites do not merit the same treatment.
Mischief Within Mischief
Meanwhile, in this deliberate void of information, a different kind of rumor has grown up, notably at the black, anti-white web site, “Svengalimedia.” This site celebrates black-on-white murders, and sponsors an annual “Sexiest & Hardest Ghetto, Black, Male, Felon Bragging Rights Competition” for the most gruesome black-on-white murder. Lemaricus Davidson is this year’s front-runner.
Svengalimedia’s contributors have praised Miss Christian’s rape: “Privileged whites deserve to feel and know our experiences and values firsthand and not just from word of mouth or by books and movies. Their families need and deserve to have terrible memories & experiences with blacks.”
Other contributors have proposed novel theories about the crime. One is that Channon Christian had driven into a black neighborhood “to buy drugs.” Another, which has piggybacked on the sexual mutilation rumors, claims that Miss Christian staged the carjacking and cut off her own breasts. According to this fantasy, Miss Christian wanted to die from black sexual torture, and arranged everything herself. Svengalimedia contributor Waldorf Carathers even hinted at the existence of a “death by sexual torture sex video directed by Channon Christian,” noting that cell phones had been found at the Chipman Street house, and might have been used to record the killing. Many Knoxville blacks take the view — promoted by Svengalimedia — that the two whites were hijacked when they cruised into a black neighborhood to buy drugs.
Some have claimed that the Svengalimedia site is a hoax; in any case, it appears to have shut down recently. However, fantasies as obscene as those it promotes are found in the “respectable” black mainstream. Last November, in the federal carjacking and weapons trial of Dedrick Griham, defense lawyer Emory Anthony, Jr. argued that the victim, a white Birmingham lawyer, had “staged” the carjacking and was a willing participant in her own rape and sodomy. The black defendant claimed that the white victim had gotten in touch with him through a completely imaginary prostitute named “Puddin” or “Pumpkin,” who offered him money to fulfill the white woman’s feverish fantasies. The jury didn’t buy this story, and convicted Mr. Griham, who had 13 previous felony convictions, on all counts. The judge sentenced him to life plus 84 months.
Likewise, it is not uncommon for blacks to be indifferent to, and even show “Svengalian” satisfaction in the face of cruelties done to whites. In 1973 and 1974, the Nation of Islam carried out a series of black-on-white killings in San Francisco known as the Zebra Murders. Self-styled “death angels” killed at least 16 “blue-eyed devils” and injured another eight or ten in what was, again, a spectacular crime wave that was little reported outside its local area. Clark Howard recounts in his classic 1979 work, Zebra: The True Account of the 179 Days of Terror in San Francisco, that in 1974, at the height of the white panic, two teams of San Francisco Examiner reporters and photographers could not find a single black resident who expressed any sympathy for the white victims.
Similarly, during the 2002 Washington, DC-area serial murder spree by the Black Muslim John Muhammad and his teenaged protégé, Lee Malvo, before the pair killed a black man, a black woman psychologist on a Fox News program remarked, with great satisfaction, that whites now knew what blacks put up with all the time.
The Media Go to Plan B
In mid-May, the weight of Internet speculation about the crimes (in addition to a comprehensive report on the AR web site that appeared on May 14) seems to have forced the Knoxville police and the national media to change course. On May 18, the Knox County DA’s office finally broke silence to announce that the rumors of sexual mutilation were “absolutely not true.” There was also a smattering of national coverage when it was reported that the defendants would each be tried separately, beginning in the spring of 2008.
One thing that did not change was the cheerful insistence that the crime had no racial motive, that it had not been downplayed by the media, and that even if the races were reversed the media would not have paid attention. Something else that did not change was the shortage of facts; many important details are still obscure (although Fox News explained that the fuzzy reporting was deliberate because what happened was “too gruesome” to report). The clear purpose has been to dismiss any outraged whites as “white supremacists” and “racists.”
The national media found plenty of “experts” to support the party line. The “reader representative” of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ted Diadiun, said the crime was no worse than thousands of others committed every year. He suggested that angry whites are guilty of racism, while the killers clearly are not. Kelly McBride, “ethics group leader” at the Poynter Institute for Journalism, explained that there could have been no racial motive because “you have to have specific evidence, such as some sort of racial epithet.” Ted Gest, who is president of a national organization of journalists who cover crime, said that although crime that crosses racial lines tends to get more attention, “I can’t say that this one would have had any more coverage if five whites had been accused of doing these things to two blacks, absent a blatant racial motive.” Newsday reporter Ellis Henican suggested on Fox News that anyone who thinks there is any kind of anti-white newsroom racial bias is delusional. “Why do you want to force the racial angle?” he wanted to know.
Only a few commentators saw through this foolishness. As retired conservative columnist John Leo pointed out: “[T]he newsroom culture tends to view black-on-white crimes as responses to black oppression, and therefore not worth reporting. Whereas similar white-on-black crime is oppression itself, and thus crucially important to put before readers and viewers.”
Perhaps the lowest blow was AP reporter Duncan Mansfield’s suggestion that Miss Christian’s father was not taking bereavement in the proper spirit: “Christian’s father, Gary Christian, wore a Confederate flag T-shirt — a symbol of the Old South where slavery was rifre [sic] — to the first hearing for one of the defendants and then pointed at the man as if firing a gun.”
Another event that drew attention to the crime was a “rally against genocide” held in Knoxville on May 26 by Vanguard News Network founder Alex Linder. (The “genocide” Mr. Linder was protesting was not murders of whites by blacks but “genocide” of whites by Jews, as he explained to me in an April 6 interview. He insisted on this, even though I had told him I am a Jew. Surprisingly, the hostile reporters who covered his demonstration never learned the nature of the “genocide.”)
Local authorities responded with 300 law enforcement officers in full riot gear: 200 from the Knoxville Police Department, plus another 100 Knox County sheriff’s deputies, Tennessee Highway Patrolmen, and federal agents. A radical leftwing organization called Mountain Justice Summer organized a counter-demonstration that looked like a transvestites’ ball.
There was plenty of contrast in how the media covered the two demonstrations. The press repeatedly asked Mr. Linder’s supporters where they were from so they could say that the counter-demonstrators had “laughed off white pride groups as ignorant out-of-towners.” Reporters referred vaguely to the flamboyantly eccentric leftists as “environmentalists,” in contrast to the “white supremacists” at the “hate rally.”
Many of the counter-demonstrators were from so far out of town they were not sure what they were protesting. Spokesman Amanda Cagle reflected the prevailing sentiment when she said, “We want to shame the Klan, so they won’t ever want to come back here.” Nor did the counter-demonstrators seem to understand the origins of the controversy. While the “rally against genocide” constantly evoked Miss Christian and Mr. Newsom, the “anti-racists” did not so much as feign sympathy for the victims or their families. Chris Irwin, a lawyer who spoke for the group, sounded almost as if the killers were white and their victims black: “It’s not the 1950s anymore! They [the protesters] are not just a knife at the throat of the African American and immigrant communities, they’re a threat to us all.”
Police arrested Mr. Linder even before the rally began. They had designated areas for demonstrators and counter-demonstrators, with a neutral zone in between that was to be left empty. Mr. Linder walked into the neutral zone, and quickly found himself facing a host of imaginative charges: disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, vandalism, and assault on a police officer.
Journalists used the demonstrations as a pretext to go after the parents again, pressuring them to denounce the Linder rally or be tarred as racists. The media browbeat Miss Christian’s father into saying the murders were “not racist” but Mr. Newsom refused to give them that satisfaction.
A different white group called “Against Black Crimes” has tentatively scheduled a rally for June 16, despite opposition from the Knox County Commission. Ken Gregg, who has been associated with a group called the White Patriot Party, filed the application for a permit to demonstrate. The Knoxville murders are finally getting some attention.
What do these crimes — horrible enough without the rumored sexual mutilations — tell us about race and crime in America? First, despite what the tame “experts” have said, if the races were reversed, there would be a media extravaganza on the scale of Rodney King or James Byrd. Second, the police would have laid all their cards on the table, and the press would have reported every lurid detail.
But because this was a particularly repulsive black-on-white crime, the authorities and national press conspired to keep things quiet. In the absence of details, some racially conscious whites were prepared to believe revolting rumors, but only because they knew details of the underreported horrors of past black-on-white crimes: The Wichita Massacre was replete with sexual torture (see AR, “The Wichita Massacre,” August 2002); blacks cut off a living man’s penis during the Zebra murders; and the 1980s’ Yahweh ben Yahweh cult killers in Miami were ordered to bring back a head, finger, or ear to prove they had dispatched a white person.
At the same time, the media stir up anti-white hatred and promote the fantasy that white women lust for black fulfillment. This only feeds the degeneracy that ends up in places like Svengalimedia — and federal courtrooms.
This is also a case in which the Internet, which reflects the interests of real Americans far better than does the mainstream press, finally forced the media to take up a story they would have preferred to ignore. Some of the blogging was irresponsible, but the cumulative effect was to build up such a demand for information that official silence could no longer be seen as anything but deliberate withholding of information. Now it will be impossible to do what the authorities would no doubt have preferred, and report the forthcoming trials as if they were minor, local news.
There are still many journalists and government officials who promote the pious and pathetic myth that only whites can commit “racist” crimes, and who will continue to suppress inconvenient facts. As more and more whites wake up to racial reality, however, it will become much more difficult to trample on the public’s right to know.
Nicholas Stix was Project Director for the National Policy Institute’s report, The State of White America — 2007, which will be reviewed in a forthcoming issue.
Who Was the ‘Father of Racism’?
Arthur de Gobineau on racial differences.
Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (1816 – 1882), to use his full name and title, has been called the “father of racism,” usually by people who think he was the intellectual precursor to the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis. For a host of reasons, this is a silly way to think of him, but he does deserve study — both because of his influence as a thinker and for the inherent interest of what he wrote. As Gobineau recognized, many people had written about race before he did — “The idea of an original, clear-cut and permanent inequality among the different races is one of the oldest and most widely held opinions in the world.” — but he was the first to study race seriously as an important force in world history.
Gobineau was a French diplomat, journalist, novelist, Orientalist, and poet as well as a race theorist. He was a confirmed elitist, and was deeply annoyed that his birthday was Bastille Day, the commemoration of what he thought was one of the most shameful movements in French history.
Although anti-racists today try to pigeonhole Gobineau as a “racist” and nothing more, he was a man of considerable parts. He was, for example, a friend of Alexis de Tocqueville, who invited him to collaborate on a history of moral attitudes. They never completed the project, but some 80 letters remain from their correspondence. In fact, Tocqueville had a large role in Gobineau’s career. In 1849, Tocqueville became foreign minister of France, and invited Gobineau to become his private secretary. Tocqueville did not last long at the ministry, but his friend spent the next 30 years as a diplomat, deepening his understanding of the role of race. He had two postings in Iran, and held near-ambassador ranks in Athens, Rio de Janeiro and Stockholm. He was reported to be a man of great charm and an effective diplomat.
Gobineau published his major work, Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, in four volumes, from 1853 to 1855. It did not attract much notice, and only began to influence European thinking 20 years later, after Gobineau became friends with Richard Wagner. The two men died within a few months of each other, and the Wagner/Bayreuth movement promoted Gobineau along with Wagner. The Nazis later adopted Gobineau as one of their own — thereby considerably damaging his reputation — but as we will see, it was only with considerable distortion that Gobineau could be claimed as an early National Socialist.
Gobineau begins his famous essay by explaining how he discovered the importance of race. He wanted to know why civilizations die, and found all previous explanations inadequate. Bad governments, he decided, do not kill off civilizations because bad government is everywhere: “Thank heaven they [the people] have the power of soon becoming accustomed to their sufferings.” Decadence and effeminacy are not the cause because some nations “have lived and grown fat on it.” Nor does loss of faith in a society’s gods explain collapse because some civilizations have died during times of religious fanaticism.
These studies led to what is Gobineau’s most quoted insight:
“I was gradually penetrated by the conviction that the racial question overshadows all other problems of history, that it holds the key to them all . . . Everyone must have had some inkling of this colossal truth, for everyone must have seen how certain agglomerations of men have descended on some country, and utterly transformed its way of life . . .” The rest of the essay is an extensive elaboration on this insight.
How Races Differ
Gobineau divided all men into three races: black, white, and yellow. Although he put whites at the top, his orderings have a strange resemblance to Philippe Rushton’s well-known findings that blacks and Asians are at the extremes on many traits, with whites somewhere in between.
Blacks, wrote Gobineau, are dull-witted and have strong, crude feelings. They do not care what they eat, since they consider all food good. The “prognathous Negro” (a phrase Gobineau liked — “prognathous” means having a jaw that juts forward) is at the same time capricious in his feelings, and “kills willingly, for the sake of killing.” Blacks are incapable of civilization: “Ages have passed without their doing anything to improve their conditions.”
Gobineau describes the yellow race as “the exact opposite” of the black:
[H]e commits none of the strange excesses common among Negroes. His desires are feeble, his will-power rather obstinate than violent; his longing for material pleasures, though constant, is kept within bounds. A rare glutton by nature, he shows far more discrimination in his choice of food.
The Asian has a respect for order but “he does not dream or theorize; he invents little, but can appreciate and take over what is useful to him.” Gobineau says the yellow races are the perfect middle class; one could not have better, more useful masses. However, he writes, “no civilized society could be created by them; they could not supply its nerve force, or set in motion the springs of beauty and action.”
It is whites who build civilizations because of their “love of liberty” and their restless will to create and govern. They have an “extraordinary attachment to life. They know how to use it and so, it would seem, set a greater price on it . . .” Gobineau believed whites are more sparing of the lives of others. “When they are cruel, they are conscious of their cruelty; it is very doubtful whether such a consciousness exists in the Negro.”
Gobineau believed that whites are uniquely preoccupied with honor, and are the only race that shows true physical beauty. They are also the source of all civilization: “[E]verything great, noble and fruitful in the works of man on this earth . . . belongs to one family alone, the different branches of which have reigned in all the civilized countries of the universe.” Gobineau claimed that even Chinese civilization arose when whites migrated east from India. For him, the category that cannot rise above the primitive stage “includes the vast majority of the pure-blooded yellow and black races.”
As was common in his time, Gobineau saw sharp differences even among national groups of the same race; he believed that the Napoleonic wars showed that the French are physically tougher than Germans and other Europeans. Seventy years later, however, the Nazis were pleased to find that Gobineau often referred to the civilizing people as “Germanic” or “Aryan.”
Although he wrote in terms that today sound harsh, Gobineau was not dismissive of any race, noting that some individual blacks are more intelligent than European peasants or even average townspeople. He even criticized anthropologists for criticizing blacks unfairly. However, in the essay, he cared only about a race’s ability to build a civilization. Individuals could be exceptions to the general rules that applied to races, but it was races, not individuals, who built and destroyed civilizations.
Gobineau could be sarcastic about anyone who doubted race differences:
“So the brain of the Huron Indian contains in an undeveloped form an intellect which is absolutely the same as that of the Englishman or the Frenchman! Why then, in the course of the ages, has he not invented printing or steam power? . . . [How can one explain] why his bards and sorcerers have, in some inexplicable way, neglected to become Homers and Galens.”
At least in his writing, Gobineau seems to have been an orthodox churchman. He wrote about “the hand of God” that directs human affairs, and argued that all races have the capacity to accept Christianity. This changes nothing, however, because when Eskimos, for example, convert to Christianity they are still left “eating whale-blubber.”
Gobineau wrote before Darwin, and he found it hard to reconcile racial differences with the Biblical creation. If men had been on earth for only a few thousand years and all were descended from Adam, how did they separate into such clearly distinct races? He considered the possibility that Adam was the ancestor only of whites, but finally concluded that unless we are to doubt the Biblical account, the origins of races must remain a mystery.
Somewhat paradoxically, he believed that the races existing today were the result of ancient mixtures, some of which had actually been improvements. He thought, for example, that today’s whites, whether European or Middle Eastern, were considerably different from the original white race of “Aryans” or “Germanics.” He even wrote: “Viewed abstractly, the white race has disappeared from the face of the earth.”
Although some past racial mixtures had been beneficial, he looked with horror on further mixture, which, he was convinced, would destroy whites and denature other races. He feared that miscegenation would eventually go so far that all people would resemble each other, and that “their general level will be revoltingly low.”
Sometimes he seemed to despair of human beings, wondering whether social insects like ants or bees are not happier. They live entirely by instinct, but all their instincts are good and useful to them.
Conquest and Decline
Gobineau applied his theory of racial differences to the problem with which he began the book: Why do civilizations rise and fall? Racial differences have ordained forever that only a few groups have the capacity to lift themselves from the primitive tribal stage. These dynamic Aryan groups then conquer and dominate their neighbors. This, however, is their downfall, because empire-building brings the conquering races into contact with people who do not have the same abilities, and mixture leads to degeneracy: “From the very day when the conquest is accomplished and the fusion begins, there appears a noticeable change of quality in the blood of the masters.” Gobineau even had a theory of immigration: Civilizing races build cities that attract inferiors from distant realms who then drag down that civilization.
As he often did, however, Gobineau made room for inconsistencies; some mixing can be good. He wrote that when races are pure, they stick to their original, governing principles until expansion leads to mixing. “Such change,” however, “will sometimes mean real progress, especially in the dawn of a civilization, when the governing principle is usually rigid and absolute, owing to the exclusive predominance of some single race. Later, the tinkering will become incessant . . .”
Gobineau thought civilization cannot be transmitted to people who cannot create it. This, he explains, is why European culture could come to the New World only in the form of massive migrations of Europeans that left the natives untouched. Gobineau believed that the Indians of Spanish America were better off than those of North America because the Spaniards left them to live as they always had. He sharply criticized Americans for meddling with both blacks and Indians. Enslavement and displacement were cruel, and any attempt to civilize non-whites would only confuse and distress them.
Gobineau thought that some portion of civilization could be transmitted between closely-related groups but that “the civilizations that proceed from two completely foreign races can only touch on the surface. They never coalesce . . .”
Gobineau is perhaps at his most eloquent when he describes how civilizations decay:
“[W]hile the blood of the civilizing race is gradually drained away by being parceled out among the peoples that are conquered or annexed, the impulse originally given to these peoples still persists. The institutions which the dead master had invented, the laws he had prescribed, the customs he had initiated — all these live after him. No doubt the customs, laws and institutions have quite forgotten the spirit that informed their youth; they survived in dishonoured old age, every day more sapless and rotten. But so long as even their shadows remain, the building stands, the body seems to have a soul, the pale ghost walks.”
“Societies perish because they are degenerate,” he wrote: “[T]he people has no longer the same intrinsic value as it had before, because it has no longer the same blood in its veins, continual adulterations having gradually affected the quality of the blood.” By this time, “the degenerate man, properly so called, is a different being, from the racial point of view, from the heroes of the great ages . . . He is only a very distant kinsman of those he still calls his ancestors.”
In this context, Gobineau touched on the inevitable decline of the United States. He approved of the original British stock of the founders, but disliked what came later. Like the American Nordicists, he believed that “Irish, cross-bred Germans and French, and Italians of even more doubtful stock . . . will inevitably give birth to further ethnic chaos.” When this mix was combined with blacks, Indians, and whatever other flotsam might drift into America, “it is quite unimaginable that anything could result from such a horrible confusion but an incoherent juxtaposition of the most decadent kinds of people . . .” Civilization was therefore doomed in the United States even before the Civil War!
Gobineau is remarkable in his utter pessimism. He offered no political program, believing that degeneracy was inevitable. Well before Spengler, he saw civilizations almost as organic creatures, with fixed life and death cycles. No individual, not even an entire nation, could change the destiny of its race. He predicted that all people would sink to the lowest level and be “like the buffalo grazing,” with no idea of their own degeneracy: “Perhaps they will think themselves the wisest and cleverest beings that ever existed.” In what could be considered his epitaph for the species, he wrote: “What is truly sad is not death itself but the certainty of our meeting it as degraded beings.”
Besides its great, central theme of civilizational decay, the essay offers many other related observations. For example, because individuals differ as much in their abilities as races, Gobineau believed European civilization was a veneer. “The lower strata of the French people . . . form an abyss over which civilization is suspended,” he wrote. No other European country was any better, because so many whites were complete strangers to their own culture.
Gobineau thought Asians were different. They might not be an inventive race, but even the lower orders were immersed in and understood their civilization:
“If in China everyone or nearly everyone, has reached a certain level of knowledge, the same is the case among the Hindus. Each man, according to his caste, shares in a spirit that has lasted for ages, and knows exactly what he ought to learn, think and believe . . . Everyone has similar convictions on the important matters of life.”
Gobineau’s admiration for the caste system and contempt for “the lower strata of the French people” were consistent with his uncompromising elitism. He believed that no society could be stable or harmonious without hierarchy. Socialism was, for him, the most revolting denial of human differences.
The “Father of Racism”?
It is not difficult to see how uncongenial Gobineau would have been to National Socialism. To the extent that it was socialist, he would have despised it. He would also have been baffled by its optimism, its assumption that a political movement could save a nation or race. He would have warned against any form of conquest or expansion as leading inevitably to mixture and decline.
Finally, he would have disagreed on the subject of Jews. He cited them as the best refutation of the view that geography or climate influence achievement, pointing out that Jews have succeeded everywhere they have gone. He saw their dispersal from the land of Israel as a tragedy for them but a gain for others: “I repeat, it was a people capable in all that it undertook, a free people, a strong people, an intelligent people. When, with their arms still in their hands, they lost bravely the position of an independent nation, they furnished the world almost as many learned men as merchants.”
Popular Nazi portrayals of Gobineau were necessarily selective.
What drew Nazis to the essay was no doubt the same things that make the anti-racists so afraid of him. It was not that he laughed at egalitarianism and ranked the races in strict hierarchy. As Gobineau himself noted, people have always done that. As if in confirmation, a professor at the University of Tel Aviv named Benjamin Isaac even published a 560-page book in 2004 called The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity. Hume and Kant wrote scathingly about blacks well before Gobineau. Practically all the American founders were white supremacists, and men like Josiah Nott and Hinton Rowan Helper wrote detailed accounts of black/white racial differences.
Gobineau differed from these men in his careful attempt to trace how race unfolds in history. He got many things wrong — some comically so by today’s standards — but his clear understanding of inherent racial differences and their importance in all human outcomes makes him not the father of racism but the founder of race realism.
Why Men Fight
Men of the West who stood and fought.
300, directed by Zack Snyder, starring Gerard Butler and Lena Headey, Warner Brothers, 2007.
In 480 BC, King Xerxes of Persia, absolute ruler of the greatest empire in the world, led an army of hundreds of thousands of infantry, tens of thousands of cavalry, and over 1,000 warships, against the independent city-states of southern Greece.
In the East, his empire stretched from the Arabian Sea to the Aral Sea, and from eastern India to the Persian heartland. In the west, it looked like an enormous claw clutching the eastern Mediterranean: Egypt and Libya to the South and Thrace to the North were Persian satrapies. The Greeks of the eastern and northern Aegean had already fallen to Persia. After Xerxes’ army crossed into Europe, the other Greeks began to waver. Thessaly sent tokens of submission; Thebes and Argos followed. Only Sparta and Athens, and their allied cities, remained defiant.
The narrow pass of Thermopylae, bordered by mountains and the sea, guarded the entrance into southern Greece. It was known as “the Gates,” and it was here that the Greek high command chose to make a stand. King Leonidas of Sparta marched to the pass with 300 of his best warriors, along with 2,800 Peloponnesian and 1,100 Boeotian allies.
Xerxes could not believe that this small force dared oppose him. He actually waited four days, expecting them to flee. When they did not, he became enraged, and ordered his Median troops to arrest them and make them answer for their insolence. The Greeks, fighting in close-order phalanx, slaughtered the Medes. The next day, he sent in his elite Persian infantry, “the Immortals.” The Greeks, fighting in shifts to keep up their strength, killed thousands. On the third day, it was the same. An army of 300,000 had been stopped in its tracks by less than 5,000 men.
That night a traitor, Ephialtes the Malian, showed the Persians a goat path through the mountains to the rear of the Greek position, and by morning, the Hellenes were surrounded. Leonidas dismissed his allies, but he and his men, along with 700 Thespians from Boeotia who refused to abandon their Spartan allies, chose to stay and fight to the death. Leonidas held his ground in obedience to Spartan law, which forbade retreat, but also out of piety toward the Pythian oracle at Delphi, who had foretold that either Lacedaemon (the area around Sparta) would be sacked, or a Spartan king would fall. He thought it far better to die in battle than let the Persians ravage his homeland.
There have been only two films made of this battle: Rudolph Mate’s The 300 Spartans in 1961, and now Zack Snyder’s 300. Mr. Snyder’s is not only better, it could be the best film ever made about ancient Greece.
Some might doubt this judgment. Mate filmed on location in Greece, and he added very little to the historical facts as we know them. Mr. Snyder filmed everything in a warehouse in Montreal, designing his landscapes on a computer, and he altered and embellished history in unnecessary ways. He portrays the ephors, an elected Spartan magistracy, as a lecherous and leprous cabal. The Spartan Senate is under the influence of a conniving politician, which would have been inconceivable in Sparta. Mr. Snyder also adds battle elephants, a rhinoceros and a raging giant to Xerxes’ army.
Yet experts say the dialogue is authentic and powerful. Barry Strauss, a classical scholar, whose recent book Salamis is about the Athenian naval victory that followed soon after Thermopylae, says the Spartans in the film speak like Spartans. Many film critics have ridiculed the language, but this tells us more about them than about the excellent screenplay, which is adapted from Frank Miller’s novel, 300.
The film is one of the most beautiful ever made. Every frame is like a painting. The fierce Spartan warriors stand in sartorial splendor. They wear dark red cloaks across their shoulders, bronze Corinthian helmets, bronze-tipped black spears, and bronze shields emblazoned with the Greek L (L) for Lacedaemon, their homeland. Mr. Snyder’s computer-generated mystic landscapes are bathed in brown and gold. The effect is otherworldly, and what is lost in realism is gained by conveying a sense of antiquity; this truly seems to be the ancient world.
The battle scenes are spectacular, and not at all repulsive or gory. The director used computer graphics to portray the brutal reality of ancient combat — essentially hand-to-hand dismemberment — without sickening the audience with carnage. We also see why the Spartans were considered invincible. Their training, athleticism, and tactical prowess, combined with Greek armor, made them the best warriors in the world for centuries.
There are many memorable scenes. In one, as the Spartans march off in their red cloaks, Leonidas lingers to say goodbye to his wife, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey). She does not weep like a Hollywood heroine; instead, she tells her husband to return either with his shield or on it — that is, either victorious or dead. She bolsters his courage rather than distract him with tears.
Ignorance of History
The establishment media have treated the film with contempt and derision that are neither surprising nor hard to explain. The reviewers are ignorant of history and hostile to Western culture, especially when it is portrayed heroically.
The New York Times’ A.O. Scott described the film as “violent as [Mel Gibson’s] Acocalypto and twice as stupid.” He complained that Xerxes is caricatured as a “self-proclaimed deity who wants, as all good movie villains do, to rule the world.” Mr. Scott is so ill-educated that he does not know that is exactly what Xerxes wanted. According to Herodotus, he had his eye on Italy and hoped eventually to conquer the whole Mediterranean. His Carthaginian allies had launched a simultaneous operation against the Greek cities in eastern Sicily.
The Washington Post’s Stephen Hunter called the film an “overblown visual document with an IQ in the lower 20s.” He complained that Mr. Snyder “doesn’t even bother to mention the strategic context” of the battle or “to follow the story to its end at Salamis.” That’s because the movie is about the Spartans, not the Athenians; and Mr. Synder does follow the story to its end, at Plataea, where a combined Hellenic force, led by the Spartans, crushed the Persian army and ended the war. Mr. Hunter appears to know nothing about Hoplite warfare either. He complained that one scene, when the Spartans break the initial Median charge, shows “war as Ohio State football.” This is actually one of the most realistic battle scenes in the film.
Some reviewers have denounced the film as racially incorrect. The St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Joe Williams sneered that “it is surely no accident that the ‘Asian hordes’ are depicted as dark-skinned degenerates.” Mr. Scott of the New York Times complained that “unlike their mostly black and brown foes, the Spartans . . . are white.” The most bizarre reaction came from two Iranian-American leaders, interviewed on National Public Radio, who called the movie “all lies” and insisted that it was the Persians who were blonde and blue-eyed and the Greeks who were dusky.
Xerxes did have some white troops — Thracians and eastern Greeks — but he did not trust them and none took part in the battle. Most of his troops were brown-skinned Asians, although there were some blacks from Ethiopia. Friezes from the Persian palace at Persepolis clearly show Xerxes with Near Eastern features, while ancient Greek statues leave no doubt that the Greek aristocracy was largely Nordic. Casting a tall Scotsman (Gerard Butler) as Leonidas is exactly right.
Some see the film as military propaganda. David Denby of the New Yorker called it a “porno-military curiosity, a muscle-magazine fantasy crossed with a video game and an Army recruiting film.” Alas, some Americans may see it that way, but the insightful will see in the multi-cultural Persian empire the prototype of their own, and in the Greeks a symbol of the unity and vigor we have left behind.
In 1836, at a former Spanish mission converted into a makeshift fort, 188 Americans held off a Mexican army of 3,000 for ten days before being slaughtered. There is no doubt that their commander Col. William B. Travis, South Carolina born and classically educated, knew of the example set over 2,300 years earlier by King Leonidas. Like the Greeks, Americans were determined to fight the invader.
Only a hundred years later, Americans had changed. They built a memorial to those who fought in the First World War and wrote on it of a messianic ambition: “they strove that war might cease; for liberty and world peace, they were willing to die.”
The Greeks were never so foolish as to believe that war might cease, or that it was worth dying for such chimeras as world peace or democracy. Nor were they so foolish as to extend citizenship to non-Greeks, to resettle Persian prisoners in their cities (as the Americans did Iraqis after the first Gulf War), or to extol diversity.
If the Greeks had been as multi-cultural as 21st century America, they would have succumbed to the Persians without a fight, for they would have seen no reason to resist such a benevolent and diverse imperium. The Athenian dramatist Aeschylus, who himself fought in the Persian wars, writes that his countrymen sailed into the epic sea battle off Salamis with the cry: “O Greek sons, advance! Free your father’s land! Now the contest’s drawn: All is at stake!” Those are the sentiments with which real nations march into battle.
Jon Harrison Sims is an historian and a native of Kentucky.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Finally Out of the Closet
On May 24, the Alabama legislature followed the lead of Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina and apologized for slavery. The House took an unrecorded voice vote, but the Senate split perfectly along party lines, with 20 Democrats voting to grovel and eight Republicans voting not to. Republican governor Bob Riley signed the bill on May 31.
The language of the apology is about as purple as anything ever to emerge from an American state house. Here we learn why Alabama must apologize:
[T]he perpetual pain, distrust, and bitterness of many African-Americans could be assuaged and the principles espoused by the Founding Fathers would be affirmed, and great strides toward unifying all Alabamians and inspiring the nation to acquiesce might be accomplished, if on the eve of the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in the New World, the state acknowledged and atoned for its pivotal role in the slavery of Africans.
Needless to say, blacks continue to suffer horribly:
[T]he vestiges of slavery are ever before African-American citizens, from the overt racism of hate groups to the subtle racism encountered when requesting health care, transacting business, buying a home, seeking quality public education and college admission, and enduring pretextual traffic stops and other indignities . . .
The psychological wounds go deep:
[E]ven in the decades after the Civil Rights Movement, African-Americans have found the struggle to overcome the bitter legacy of slavery long and arduous, and for many African-Americans the scars left behind are unbearable, haunting their psyches and clouding their vision of the future . . .
But there is something each of us can do:
[W]e encourage the remembrance and teaching about the history of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and modern day slavery, to ensure that these tragedies will neither be forgotten nor repeated.
This is gratifying for blacks who seem to think everyone had forgotten all about slavery until the resolution came along. Mary Moore, who sponsored the bill in the House, said, “The issue of slavery and its impact on the country had been kept in the closet until a few Southern states said, ‘We want to take it out of the closet.’”
Hank Sanders, a black senator from Selma who sponsored the Senate resolution, is happy, too. “An apology goes a long way,” he says. “Some of us can’t begin to heal until we have an apology. Some of us can’t move into reconciliation until we have an apology.”
Some people fear that instead of rapid healing and joyous reconciliation, there will be demands for reparations. “What I am is somebody who hates to see lawyers take advantage of the General Fund of the state of Alabama and suck it like a leech,” says Sen. Charles Bishop, who voted against the resolution.
Just to be on the safe side, at the end of what must be one of the most abjectly self-abasing resolutions ever passed by a state house, there is a line of fine print: “That it is the intent of the Legislature that this resolution shall not be used in, or be the basis of, any type of litigation.” [Phillip Rawls, Alabama Governor Signs Resolution Apologizing for Slavery, AP, May 31, 2007. Phillip Rawls, Alabama House, Senate, OK Slavery Apologies, AP, April 25, 2007.]
The Bush Amnesty Bill
As we go to press, the United States Senate is mulling over S. 1348, the “Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007,” otherwise known as comprehensive immigration reform. Crafted in secret by a cabal of White House officials and a dozen senators, including Edward Kennedy, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and John Kyl, the bill would grant immediate “provisional legal status” — in effect, amnesty — to at least 12 million illegal aliens, mainly Mexicans. Because no one really knows how many illegals there are, the number could be much higher. When Congress granted amnesty in 1986, it expected one million applicants. At last count the number of people “regularized” was more than three times that number.
The current bill is supposed to be a compromise between amnesty and tough immigration enforcement. Amnesty for all illegals in the United States since before January 1, 2007 and a “guest worker” program for up to 400,000 foreigners a year is supposed to be balanced by tighter border security and an end to “family reunification.” Since 1965, legal immigration has been easiest for relatives of citizen and permanent residents. The new rules would adopt a Canadian-style points system that favors people with qualifications — but only after a delay of eight years that would let in untold numbers of unskilled “family” members.
There are so many things wrong with this bill it is hard to know where to begin, and AR will offer a detailed analysis in an upcoming issue. Besides the obviously offensive moral capitulation of amnesty, the bill will be expensive — Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation puts the lifetime costs of amnesty at more than $2 trillion, a figure based on the estimate that each low-skilled immigrant household costs taxpayers $19,588 per year.
Illegals do have to go through a bureaucratic shuffle to get their so-called “Z visa,” and there is supposed to be a background check to weed out criminals, but these procedures will be full of loopholes. The bill does not eliminate birth-right citizenship, which means that any tourist or illegal who gives birth on US soil becomes the mother of a citizen. The bill does nothing to encourage assimilation, and offers no reason to think there will not be another illegal immigrant crisis 20 years from now.
The additional enforcement measures are toothless, and the bill mandates completion of only about half of the 700-mile border fence Congress already approved. In any case, debate about new “laws” is pure fantasy. The United States cannot enforce the laws it already has; there is nothing to suggest that a single provision of the Senate bill will be enforced. To the extent that illegals understand the bill, the general reaction seems to be “Why bother?” Many will ignore the amnesty procedure, and stay right where they are, with less fear than ever of being deported.
S. 1348 is a huge step towards the destruction of America. Whites are already expected to be a minority before mid-century, and we will see that day arrive much sooner if this bill becomes law. Fortunately, the House of Representatives, which has slightly more sense, will not pass this wretched law in its current state. [John Fonte, Comprehensively Bad, National Review, May 23, 2007. Robert Rector and Christine Kim, The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Immigrants to the U.S. Taxpayer, Heritage Foundation, May 22, 2007.]
Already a Third
According to the Census Bureau, the US population officially topped the 300 million mark on Oct. 17, 2006. Of these 300 million, 100.7 million — slightly more than a third — are non-white. “To put this into perspective,” says Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon, “there are more minorities in this country today than there were people in the United States in 1910 [when the population was 92.2 million]. In fact, the minority population in the US is larger than the total population of all but 11 countries.”
Twenty-one percent of the nation’s non-whites — 20.7 million — live in California, and another 12 percent — 12.2 million — live in Texas. Hispanics are the single largest minority group, at 44.3 million or 14.8 percent of the total. Hispanics made up nearly half of the total population growth of 2.9 million between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006. Hispanics are young, with a median age of 27.4 compared to 36.4 for the population as a whole. About a third of Hispanics are under 18, compared with one quarter of the total.
Blacks have passed the 40 million mark for the first time, and Asians are closing in on 15 million. There are now a reported 198.7 million non-Hispanic whites in the United States, but this figure includes many — Arabs, Persians, etc. — whom only the Census Bureau thinks are white (see “Who Is White,” AR, Jan. 2002).
Non-whites are already majorities in four states — Hawaii at 75 percent; New Mexico and California, 57 percent each; Texas, 52 percent — and the District of Columbia, 68 percent. [Minority Population Tops 100 Million, Infozine.com, May 20, 2007.]
Soon to be Half
In 1965, before the disastrous Immigration and Nationality Act of that year (see “Fade to Brown,” AR, April 2003) whites were 88 percent of the US population, and those whites were proper Europeans. By 1990, the white population had fallen to 76 percent, and it now stands at just 66.4 percent. From 2005 to 2006, whites increased by just 0.26 percent, while non-whites grew by 2.42 percent. At these rates, non-whites will become a majority in 2038.
Whites are being squeezed by both immigration and differential birth rates. The white fertility rate of 1.847 is 12 percent below the replacement level of 2.1 births per woman. Blacks have a fertility rate of 2.02 while the figure for Hispanics is 2.82. Births to white women have already started to decline in absolute terms: There were 28,000 fewer white babies in 2006 than 2005. In 2006, only 54.1 percent of all births were to white women. If current trends continue, in 2011 — just four years from now — more than half of the children born in the US will be non-white, and by 2021, 60 percent will be non-white. [Edwin S. Rubenstein, The Next Big Headline: Most Births Minority in 2011, VDare.com, May 24, 2007.]
Blacks have been a majority in Atlanta since the 1970s but that may be about to change. As more blacks move to the suburbs, lured by cheaper housing and better schools, their share of the population has fallen to less than 60 percent, and may soon drop below half. Mayor Shirley Franklin worries blacks will lose political power. “It’s not spoken about much, but there are concerns that we will lose, as African-Americans, our political base . . . We are more diverse, but less black and white than we were 30 years ago.” Mayor Franklin doesn’t seem happy about the more “diverse” Atlanta. “African-Americans of the city of Atlanta have been among the most progressive on issues of inclusion of anyone,” she says. “[W]e are concerned that the loss of political power might undermine the progression of these social policies.”
Mayor Adrian Fenty of Washington is also worried his city may lose its black majority. He wants more cheap government housing, and worries that without it, only the rich will be able to live in Washington. [David Ho, Black Atlantans May Lose Power, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 2, 2007.]
In the UK, Too
Britain, like America, has illegal immigrants, though only an estimated 500,000 compared to our 12 to 20 million. As in America, some people are pushing amnesty. They say that once Britain introduces national ID cards, it will be easy to spot illegals, but at a cost of £11,000 each, deportation is too expensive. Candidates for the post of deputy to incoming PM Gordon Brown all favor amnesty, despite the fact that the Home Office rejected it last year. Their arguments are familiar: illegals are hard-working, and amnesty is the “right” thing to do. But unlike in the United States, some senior officials oppose amnesty. Labour Party chairman Hazel Blears and International Development Secretary Hilary Benn point out that it would only encourage more illegal immigration.
Amnesty-peddlers are looking over their shoulders at the increasingly-popular British National Party (BNP). Jon Cruddas, a Labour MP who hopes to become Mr. Brown’s number two, says the BNP will win some support with its argument that it is pointless to have a national ID card if people who don’t have one can stay anyway. He believes, however, that this would be only a temporary advantage, because amnestied illegals will swell the ranks of those who will never vote for a nationalist party. [Brendan Carlin, Candidates Pressure Brown Over Immigrants, Telegraph (London), June 2, 2007.]
Doctors and Diversity
Thirty years ago, America’s 125 medical schools started preferences for women, and now only half of new doctors are men. Medical schools have also been recruiting non-whites, and the percentage of white medical school graduates has dropped from 85 percent in 1980 to 64 percent in 2004. Asians have gone from three percent to 20 percent in the same period, with Indians and Chinese the two biggest Asian ethnic groups. Many of the current crop of students are first- and second-generation immigrants. “We are seeing more and more kids of foreign-born parents, especially in the last eight to 10 years,” says Dr. Milford M. Foxwell, dean of admissions at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where one fifth of the students are Asian.
Many black medical students are African. Lauree Thomas, who is associate dean for admissions at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, says 20 to 30 percent of her school’s applicants are first- or second-generation Nigerians, and estimates that half of all black applicants have recent ties to Africa. Many American blacks resent this. Dr. Albert Morris, Jr., president of the mostly-black National Medical Association says, “[W]e want to make sure that those of us who have helped open the doors [of medical school to blacks] get to share in the bounty.”
Non-white doctors have a political axe to grind. According to a 2004 study, they are more likely than whites to think American doctors often “treat people unfairly based on race, ethnicity, insurance status, income or ability to speak English.” [David Brown, At Med Schools, a New Degree of Diversity, Washington Post, June 1, 2007.]
“Japan has no official immigration policy like those of the US or Australia,” explains Hidenori Sakanaka, head of the Japan Immigration Policy Institute. “The policy has been to keep people out if they intend to stay permanently.” That policy has been effective. Only 1.6 percent of Japan’s 128 million people are foreigners, and half of them were born in Japan.
Unfortunately, Japan may be about to abandon its sensible policy. The Japanese population started declining in 2005, and the government fears a decline of as much as 25 percent by 2050. In May, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced it would double the number of foreign students. Deputy foreign minister Mitoji Yabunaka sounded almost like Ben Wattenberg when he announced that Japan will let in more workers, too. “We’re ready to make Japan as open as possible,” he says. “Clearly there’s the need for more immigration. We’re faced with all sorts of demographic questions.”
However, even Mr. Yabunaka understands the need for caution. “I don’t know if it’s what you’d call cultural resistance, but since this is new, there are a lot of things that have to be pondered and discussed,” he explained. “Naturally people are concerned about safety.” [Jason Clenfield, Japan Will Allow More Immigration, Official Says, Bloomberg News, May 23, 2007.]
According to a new study, parents of mixed-race children put more time and effort into child-rearing than do parents who are of the same race. The study finds that biracial children are more likely to have a home computer, go to private school, participate in activities outside school, and go to zoos and libraries. This difference is reportedly most pronounced when one parent is white and the other is Asian — the children get more attention than when parents are both white or both Asian.
Study co-author Brian Powell of Indiana University thinks this is because interracial couples are trying to help their children overcome prejudice. “They face challenges in being a couple,” he says. “They’re aware of the challenges their children will be facing. In turn, they try to compensate for this.”
The study found that the rule of greater child-rearing effort does not hold true for black men who have children with white women. These couples put even less effort into child-rearing than black parents do. The authors speculate that black father/white mother couples get less support from extended families (though, by the theory that is supposed to explain the behavior of white/Asian couples, it would be reason to devote even greater efforts to rearing mulattos). Overall, the study found that non-white man/white women couples face the greatest “social challenges.” The research does not appear to have looked into whether white women who have children with black men show unusual sociological characteristics. [Robin Lloyd, Interracial Couples Invest More in Kids, LiveScience.com, April 23, 2007.]
Aussies Have Had Enough
For years, the official view in Australian schools has been that the founding of their country and the European influence on Aborigines were one long record of horror. Common sense has been making a comeback, however, and in 1993, historian Geoffrey Blainey started calling the official line the “black armband view of history.” John Howard even picked up the phrase in his successful 1996 campaign for prime minister. Mr. Howard’s government is now writing a new curriculum for Australian history.
It can’t come soon enough for whites who refuse to feel guilty. Louise Zarmati of the New South Wales History Teachers Association told an Australian Senate panel in May that her students are “not prepared to wear the guilt.” As she explained further: “I think it sparks a lot of racism; it certainly did in my classroom. It makes it an unpleasant learning experience. They don’t really enjoy it and feel forced to do it; they don’t like the politics all that much.” [Justine Ferrari, Students Resent ‘Guilt’ of History, News.com.au, May 18, 2007.]
After defendants in race discrimination lawsuits won big settlements from major companies like Coca-Cola and Texaco, most US corporations spent millions on diversity training programs. They hoped this would boost the number of women and non-white managers, and also protect them from lawsuits, but according to a new study, the money was wasted. Not only does diversity training not increase the number of non-whites, it does not stop lawsuits. “I don’t know of a single case where courts gave credit for diversity training,” says study co-author Frank Dobbin of Harvard. “Are these efforts worth it? In the case of diversity training, the answer is no.” The authors have several theories why diversity training doesn’t work: it may create a backlash, it may actually provoke bias, or prejudices may be so deep they cannot be extirpated in a few training sessions.
Does this mean the end of the diversity fetish? No. The study says the best way for a company to “increase diversity” is to appoint a person or a committee whose sole responsibility is to boost the number of non-whites and women — and then demand results. This is how GE, for example, raised the percentage of its senior executives who are non-white, women, or foreigners from 29 percent in 2000 to 40 percent by 2005. [Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, Employee Diversity Training Doesn’t Work, Time, April 26, 2007.]
Playing the Race Card
Black Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama apparently thinks New Orleans blacks may be justified in rioting, just as Los Angeles blacks did in 1992 over the Rodney King verdict (see “Los Angeles Erupts,” AR, June 1992). Speaking before an audience of nearly 8,000 at historically black Hampton University in Virginia on June 5, Sen. Obama compared the riots that left 55 dead to the black anger over how President Bush handled Hurricane Katrina.
He said the fury of Los Angeles is boiling away all the time. “Those ‘quiet riots’ that take place every day are born from the same place as the fires and the destruction and the police decked out in riot gear and the deaths,” he said to a standing ovation. “Despair takes hold and young people all across this country look at the way the world is and believe that things are never going to get any better,” he added. [Bob Lewis, Obama Warns of ‘Quiet Riot’ Among Blacks, AP, June 5, 2007.]
Teaching for Tomorrow
British students used to have to study a European language like French or German between the ages of 11 and 14, but they can now study Urdu, Arabic or Mandarin Chinese instead. Sir Cyril Taylor, head of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, thinks Chinese is “the language of tomorrow” and should replace European languages. Mandarin is already compulsory at Brighton College, which takes children from ages three to 18. [Richard Garner, Schools Import China’s Teachers for Lessons in ‘Language of Tomorrow,’ Independent (London), May 24, 2007.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — No matter how your correspondent spins the story, it is a disaster for the National Front that Jean Marie Le Pen won 1,000,000 fewer votes in 2007 than in 2002. It is especially humiliating because the “Ramadan Riots” of 2005 and the Gard du Nord riots just before the election highlighted in the most dramatic way the truth of what Mr. Le Pen has been saying for 20 years. If France had a single-round system like Britain or the United States, you could argue voters did not want to waste their votes on the National Front, thereby throwing the election to Miss Royal, the Socialist. However, the very point of the French system is to let people vote for candidates who represent their real views in the first round and then, if need be, choose the lesser of two evils in the second.
Mr. Legrand suggests that the National Front candidate was riding so high there was a chance he would beat Mr. Sarkozy in the first round and thus face certain defeat against Miss Royal in the second round. According to this theory, many voters who really would have preferred Mr. Le Pen voted for Mr. Sarkozy only because he had a better chance of beating Miss Royal in the second round. Nonsense. Mr. Le Pen never had a realistic chance of outpolling Mr. Sarkozy. Conservative Frenchmen voted for Mr. Sarkozy over Mr. Le Pen because they preferred him. That is the hard truth the National Front must digest. It is up to front leaders to decide why: whether it was because voters think Mr. Le Pen is too old, because they think his squishy daughter Marine hijacked the party, or whether they just have more faith in a “mainstream” politician to keep immigrants out.
The front’s approach to the June legislative elections — and how well it does — will show how well party leaders have diagnosed what can only be described as a spectacular failure.
Alan Flynn, New York City
Sir — It is disappointing that Jean-Marie Le Pen performed so poorly in the French presidential election, but is it really a surprise? A campaign featuring a black immigrant in pink underwear — what was the National Front thinking? French nationalists want these people gone. They don’t want to use them as props to show how tolerant they are. Pandering to racial minorities is best left to the mainstream parties — they’re much better at it.
The French were clearly not in a mood to elect a soft leader. Nicholas Sarkozy came across as tough, decisive and uncompromising, and he did not pander to the media elite or to non-white immigrants who clearly despise him. Indeed, he was more like Le Pen than was Le Pen. If the decision to soften “The Boulder” was made by Marine Le Pen, I hope the party sends her on a long vacation.
Milo Carter, Thibodaux, La.
Sir — Thank you for your excellent coverage of the French presidential elections. Your correspondent made the reader feel as if he were at “The Boulder’s” side. I was struck, however, by the frosty way official France still treats a man who has so much national appeal. Elected officials refuse to shake his hand, voters dare not admit they support him, he keeps out of sight for fear of jeers and catcalls. Clearly, the French suffer from the white man’s disease as severely as Canadians or Americans. It makes no difference that up to a quarter of Frenchmen have said they agree with his positions — anyone who wants to keep France French is a pariah.
Pierre Chabron, Quebec, Canada
Sir — The review of IQ and Global Inequality in the June issue was sobering, given that our country becomes more Mexican every day. By the end of the century, the single largest ethnic group in this country will be from a region with an average IQ of 85. We know what that means, but does Congress?
Eric Miller, Ames, Iowa.
Sir — Richard Lynn has written a conceptual blockbuster (IQ and Global Inequality) that consigns everything else ever written on Third-World aid and development to the rubbish bin. I deliberately wrote “conceptual” blockbuster. Sales and influence will be minimal.
This is what is so tragic about our rush to destruction. Professor Lynn, Tatu Vanhanen, Phil Rushton, Charles Murray, Michael Levin, Sam Francis, and a host of others have clearly described the consequences of refusing to take race seriously. Even Patrick Buchanan, in his best and latest book, State of Emergency, has faced the Gorgon. None so blind as will not see.
Paula Henderson, Jefferson City, Mo.
Sir — My favorite page in your June issue was page 14 — the photographs of the 41 National Football League players who have been arrested since 2006, along with your quip of a caption: “Find the two whites.” It makes it pretty clear who the troublemakers are!
Karl Frederick, Baton Rouge, La.
Sir — So now it’s Burundians coming to America for a better life. Here’s an idea. Let’s send the Burundians, and the Somalis, and the Hmong, and the Iraqis and whatever other human flotsam the government wants to bring in and resettle them in Hyannisport or Kennebunkport or Potomac or McLean or wherever else our leaders live far away from the rest of us — and the consequences of their actions.
John Brunner, Dayton, Ohio
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