|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 19, No. 7||July 2008|
Wikipedia on Race
‘World’s biggest encylopedia’ serves up propaganda.
With almost 2.4 million on-line entries, and more than 1 million volunteer editors, the English-language version of Wikipedia.com is the world’s biggest encyclopedia, and according to the rating service Alexa it is the world’s ninth-most frequently visited Internet site. “The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit” promises to deliver “the sum of all human knowledge.”
The theory is that since anyone and everyone contributes, Wikipedia can become an essentially unlimited storehouse of information. With the help of enough contributors, articles will be accurate and comprehensive — and in some cases, it almost works that way. If you want to know how to tie a monkey’s fist or what goes on at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Wikipedia will tell you.
However, when it comes to controversial questions — race in particular — the everyone-is-an-editor model breaks down. Wikipedia suffers from the same liberal biases as any mainstream publisher, but exercises them even more ruthlessly. This is because many contributors offer factual but subversive information — which forces many Wikipedia administrators to spend their time actively rooting it out.
Wikipedia’s origins go back to 2000, when Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales, then a pornographer, and Larry Sanger, a doctoral student in philosophy at Ohio State University, founded the online encyclopedia “Nupedia.” Nupedia’s articles were to be written and vetted by experts, but the going was slow. Mr. Sanger suggested using “wiki” (“wikiwiki” is Hawaiian for “fast”) software that would let anyone write articles, and came up with the name “Wikipedia.” The encyclopedia was officially launched on January 15, 2001, and immediately took off, soon to become one of the most frequently consulted information sources on the Internet. Mr. Sanger set out on his own in 2002, and now presides over two other online encyclopedias, Digital Universe and Citizendium. Unlike Wikipedia, they are written by experts.
Mr. Wales consolidated his power at Wikipedia and became an Internet celebrity who can charge five-figure fees for speaking engagements. In 2003, he founded the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation to run Wikipedia, which he offered to the foundation as a gift. Last year he claimed Wikipedia was worth $3 billion, so he must have taken a handsome tax write-off. In 2008, the foundation had 14 paid staffers and an operating budget of $4.6 million, most of which went to maintaining 300 servers.
It is the million or so volunteer editors who actually keep Wikipedia going, and it is this cadre of “editors” and more powerful “administrators” who have coalesced into something of a leftist cult. It need not have turned out this way. The heart of the Wiki theory is that anyone with a computer can be an “editor.” Unless an article is locked for some reason — this is rare — you can click on the “edit this page” tab and change the article any way you want. Most editors register and acquire a pseudonymous Wikipedia name, but you don’t have to register to edit an article. All changes are recorded on a “history” page that lets you compare all the past versions of the article. There is also a “discussion” page where people explain why they made changes and sort out disagreements.
“Administrators” are editors with special powers. They can lock down articles if there have been battles over content, and they can ban editors who misbehave. Although it is easy to change Wikipedia names, an offending editor’s unique internet provider address can be permanently blocked. Sometimes punishment is harsh. Wikipedia’s British spokesman David Gerard once banned an American critic, Judd Bagley, along with thousands of his Utah neighbors who were using the same Internet provider.
Wikipedia has rules for editors. They are supposed to adopt a “neutral point of view” (NPOV), “assume good faith” on the part of other editors, be “civil,” refrain from “personal attacks” on each other, not act as if they own certain articles, avoid “legal threats” or “vandalism,” and, whimsically, “ignore all rules:” “Every policy, guideline or any other rule may be ignored if it hinders improving Wikipedia.”
Because so many people tinker with articles there are far more spats and standoffs than at a publication with a real editor. Wikipedia has had to establish a tangle of procedures for “editor assistance,” “third opinion,” “requests for comment,” “mediation cabal,” “mediation committee,” “requests for mediation,” “requests for adminship,” “conflicts of interest,” “requests for arbitration,” et cetera.
Officially, therefore, Wikipedia offers redress to editors who think they have been abused, but administrators generally close ranks and get help from other ideologically sympathetic editors who hope, themselves, to be promoted to administrator. You could therefore spend a lifetime figuring out how arbitration is supposed to work and then find that no one follows the rules. There have been so many clashes, bruised feelings, outcasts, and disgruntled former administrators and employees that Wikipedia critics have started their own sites and blogs, most notably at wikipediareview.com.
The most zealous members of Wikipedia’s ideological enforcement brigade keep lists of articles they want to keep ideologically pure, and get instant electronic updates if anyone changes them. Some enforcers even get feeds whenever a particular editor they suspect of ideological impurity edits an article. Zealous enforcers can instantly go to the article and undo the changes. This is called stalking.
Some critics believe Wikipedia is a personality cult built up around Mr. Wales, but the leftist slant of the encyclopedia does not reflect his own politics. He is said to be an “objectivist,” or admirer of Ayn Rand, who opposed federal help for New Orleans after Katrina and hates gun control. He probably settled for whoever would work for free, and just lets the leftist cabal have its way. Only by dropping editorial standards could Wikipedia get a massive force of volunteer labor.
Real encyclopedias are devoted to the truth. For Wikipedia, however, “the threshold for inclusion … is verifiability, not truth — meaning, in this context, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true.” When it comes to race or politics, the definition of “reliable source” is anything reliably left-wing. Sources can include liberal college newspapers and even what amount to fundraising letters from the Southern Poverty Law Center or the Anti-Defamation League. Wikipedia articles almost never cite the one medium that actually employs fact-checkers: magazines.
While real encyclopedias always publish their editors’ names, Wikipedia’s enforcers are obsessed with keeping their comrades’ identities secret. They claim lives and jobs are in danger from stalkers. In fact, anonymity is the perfect shield for political bias and outright fraud.
In 2005, a new editor calling himself “Essjay” presented himself as a tenured professor of religion with two doctorates. It also helped that he identified himself as a homosexual and an atheist, so he was accepted as an authority on theology. Essjay enjoyed a meteoric career as an editor and administrator with more than 16,000 edits until February 2007, when he was exposed as 24-year-old Ryan Jordan, who had no college degrees, and whose knowledge of Catholicism was limited to what he learned from Catholicism for Dummies. Andrew Orlowski, an information technology journalist, calls Wikipedia an MMORPG — a “massive multiplayer online role-playing game.”
Even people whose identities are known can get phony credentials. Chip Berlet is a life-long lefty who sniffs out “bigots” from his perch at Political Research Associates. In Wikipedia’s eyes that makes him an expert on race, Christianity, “fascism,” “anti-Semitism,” and “right-wingers,” meaning he can control entries, and post political rants.
Although Wikipedia pretends to take a hard line against anything that could be construed as libelous, it is a veritable defamation factory. For over four months in 2005, the article on retired newsman and Robert Kennedy aide John Seigenthaler, Sr. said he “was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John, and his brother Bobby.” When Brian Chase of Nashville was tracked down as the source of this nonsense he said he thought Wikipedia was “some sort of ‘gag’ encyclopedia … I didn’t think anyone would ever take it seriously for more than a few seconds.”
At various times, the entry for Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said he was a convicted pedophile who had spent time in prison, and an SPLC staffer wrote anonymously in the article on Pope Benedict that the pontiff was a pedophile and an oppressor of women. Anonymous edits from the BBC and the New York Times — the changes were tracked to office computers — defamed President George W. Bush, whose article is always in some degree of lockdown.
A certain amount of spite and prank-playing is inevitable in an encyclopedia anyone can edit — it’s surprising there is not more — but the volunteers seem to guard articles about their fellow lefties more carefully than they do articles about conservatives. There also seems to be something of a siege mentality. In 2007, Wikipediareview.com reported that there has been an unofficial policy known as BADSITES that bans links to people or publications that have criticized Wikipedia.
The enforcers at Wikipedia ignore large swaths of entries that are nonpolitical or for which they do not have enough cadres to police. However, biographies, especially of living people, are among the most hotly contested articles. They tend to be either hagiographies or demonographies, depending on the subject’s politics, race, or sexuality. In theory, people are not supposed to edit articles about themselves, but this rule is difficult to enforce. Mr. Wales is said to stick to the letter of the law by having proxies spruce up his entry.
Wikipedia’s articles on race parallel and sometimes even outdo the left-wing propaganda of schools, universities, and the media. They generally take the fashionable view that there is no such thing as race. A typical entry about evolution explains that “a gene-centered view of evolution” shows the “inanity” of thinking in terms of the evolution of “races” (with scare quotes). It warns that the scientific study of race and intelligence “seems to show that genetics could also be used for ideological purposes,” and implies that anyone who acknowledges the reality of race has sympathies for Nazism.
The article on racism is more than 10,000 words long, and is careful to explain that “racial discrimination is treating people differently through a process of social division into categories not necessarily related to race” (emphasis added). Skepticism about the reality of race disappears, however, when it comes to charging whites with discrimination. The same article approvingly cites “sociologist and former American Sociological Association president Joe Feagin [who] argues that the United States can be characterized as a ‘total racist society’ because racism is used to organize every social institution.” We learn further that in Mr. Feagin’s view, “today, as in the past, racial oppression … pervades, permeates, and interconnects all major social groups, networks, and institutions across the society.”
The breathless, almost 10,000-word entry on Martin Luther King, Jr. asserts that Mr. King never had communist associates and was never unfaithful to his wife: “The FBI began wiretapping King in 1961, fearing that Communists were trying to infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement, but when no such evidence emerged, the bureau used the incidental details caught on tape over six years in attempts to force King out of the preeminent leadership position.” “Incidental details” is a delicate reference to womanizing.
As for Communism, the article settles the question by quoting King as saying, “There are as many Communists in this freedom movement as there are Eskimos in Florida.” The article simply ignores the communist convictions of King’s close associates Stanley Levison and Hunter Pitts “Jack” O’Dell, and says nothing about King’s relations with the communist Highlander Folk School and its founder, Myles Horton. Neither the article on King nor the school mentions any connection between the two.
Wikipedia explains that the FBI recordings only sound like adultery: “[M]uch of what was recorded was, as quoted by his attorney, speech-writer and close friend Clarence B. Jones, ‘midnight’ talk or just two close friends joking around about women.” In fact, even sympathetic biographies by historian David Garrow, black studies professor Michael Eric Dyson, historian Taylor Branch, and a memoir by King’s best friend, Ralph David Abernathy, make it clear that King had a prodigious appetite for mistresses and prostitutes. Mr. Branch even quotes one of King’s excited outbursts with a woman not his wife: “I’m f***ing for God!”
The article tries to deceive readers about Mr. Abernathy’s memoire, claiming that “Abernathy says that he only wrote the term ‘womanizing,’ and did not specifically say King had extramarital sex.” The citation links to an interview transcript in which Mr. Abernathy says no such thing. Frequent redefinitions — such as taking the sex out of “womanizing” — inspired television humorist Stephen Colbert to joke that at Wikipedia, “Definitions will greet us as liberators.”
The article ignores King’s support for racial preferences and promotes the now-obligatory view that King was devotedly color-blind. It claims he was committed to non-violence, whereas he admitted he valued violence for its high publicity value. The article buries a brief mention of King’s plagiarism toward the end, well out of chronological order, where few people will find it.
The 5,900-word article about Brown v. Board of Education would have readers believe it was a popular, constitutionally and scientifically grounded decision, and that its few opponents were all practitioners of “scientific racism.” It fails to mention that Kenneth Clark’s social science, which formed the basis of the court’s decision, was fraudulent or that Clark’s testimony was essentially perjury. Needless to say, the article cites no books by conservatives such as Raymond Wolters or Paul Craig Roberts that correct the liberal myth. Nor does the article mention the Harvard Law Review’s (vol. 100:817, 1987) extensive account of Solicitor General Philip Elman’s illegal, back-door collusion with Justice Felix Frankfurter to twist the court toward desegregation.
The article on affirmative action aggressively supports it. The criticisms it offers are tame: beneficiaries get an unfair stigma, for example. Earlier versions used to concede that blacks are admitted to top colleges with much lower SAT scores than whites, but that fact has been censored since 2005. Far from mentioning any of the eye-opening accounts of the consequences of hiring unqualified non-whites, it takes the astonishing position that people who get preferences are better qualified than whites:
“That is, since individuals in such groups are — in the absence of affirmative action — systematically excluded, and since the groups are composed of individuals that are otherwise equal to others, such groups have a higher proportion of qualified candidates precisely because they are normally excluded.”
The article on redlining gives the impression that before the 1968 Fair Housing Act and 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, which forced banks to lend to non-whites with bad credit, it was impossible for blacks or Hispanics to get mortgages. This is, of course, false. Before those laws, millions of blacks grew up in homes their parents bought with mortgages, and since blacks and whites were held to the same credit standards, their default rates were the same. The article does not point out that the changes in the law have driven default rates by blacks and Hispanics far higher than the white rate.
In this connection, the article about Detroit’s 1967 race riot, which is largely a laundry list of excuses for violence, offers the following incongruous sequence:
“After the riot, respondents to a Detroit Free Press poll listed poor housing as the second most important issue leading up to the riot, right behind police brutality.
“Detroit had the highest home ownership rate among black people in the nation …” Presumably, they all paid cash. The article strains to avoid giving the impression the riot had anything to do with race, and the 4,000-word entry is inexplicably entitled “12th Street Riot.”
Not surprisingly, the article on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers no reason but “racism” for opposing this enormous federal intrusion into freedom of association. The nearly 6,000-word article on the Civil Rights Movement is simply bizarre, opening as follows:
“Historically, the civil rights movement was a concentrated period of time around the world of approximately one generation (1960 -1980) wherein there was much worldwide civil unrest and popular rebellion.” The article includes the Communist-inspired German student movement and the Chinese Cultural Revolution in this imaginary worldwide civil rights movement.
The section on America mixes black and Hispanic nationalism with nostalgia for Communism: “Later in the movement’s trajectory, groups like the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords, the Weathermen and the Brown Berets turned to more militant tactics to make a revolution that would overthrow capitalism and establish, in particular, self-determination for resident U.S. minorities …” It is possible to find articles about the American civil rights movement, but they have different names.
Wikipedians routinely portray blacks — even criminals — as heroes or victims, and censor accounts of blacks who misbehave. Entries on prominent black-on-white atrocities leave out race, or if racial identification is unavoidable, the article may explain that race was irrelevant. By contrast, articles on white-on-black atrocities, such as the James Byrd and Emmett Till cases, emphasize racial animus as the primary motive. Anyone who explores the racial character of black-on-white crime or who condemns the media for covering it up is a “racist” or “white supremacist.”
In many media accounts of crime, photographs are the only clue to the races of perpetrator and victim. Wikipedia deliberately withholds this clue. Censors have repeatedly removed all photographs from the article on the Wichita Massacre (see “The Wichita Massacre,” AR, August 2002). The entry on the February 2008 massacre at the Kirkwood, Missouri, city council lacks any photographs of the black assailant or his five dead and two wounded white victims, and ignores race completely.
For over a year, the entry for the Duke rape hoax (the article is titled simply “Duke Rape”) showed pictures of the three falsely charged Duke lacrosse players, while censors hid the name of Crystal Gail Mangum, the black “exotic dancer.” Both before and after the players were cleared, censors deleted entire stories on Miss Mangum. The entry now contains no photographs, though it makes no attempt to conceal race.
As information began to surface on the Knoxville carjacking-kidnapping-rape-torture-murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom (see “The Knoxville Horror,” AR, July 2007), a number of editors initially fought the Wikipedia enforcers’ usual tactic of censorship and cited dozens of mainstream media articles. True to form, a series of censors deleted them, along with photographs and anything else that identified race. Some censors insisted that only “racists” could believe the crime might be racially motivated or that media coverage had been biased. They cited interest in the crime by “racists” as a reason to downplay the story. Wikipedia suddenly demonstrated delicate scruples about the possibility of libel, insisting that Christian and Newsom had “allegedly” been murdered, and that it was impossible to know whether murder the victims had been raped.
In June 2007, administrators locked down the article while they deleted all photographs and references to my own in-depth research on the crime. They took the ultimate revenge against the person who initially wrote about the murders, and banned him permanently from contributing to Wikipedia.
Surprisingly, there is an article on race and crime but one learns nothing about the subject. Countless times, editors have added statistics on black crime rates, interracial crime, and comparisons of racial crime rates, only to see them censored. The most aggressive censor calls himself “Yuchigai,” and insists that anyone who tries to include crime statistics is guilty of “POV (point of view) pushing.” He warns, “Remove unwelcome information. Again, artificially limited subsets (e.g. inter-racial crime) do NOT belong in this section.”
Wikipedia is nervous about having any article at all on this subject, and the jumpier censors have urged that it be removed. Instead, it opens with a statement that all historical discussions of high black crime rates are a form of “scientific racism.” The article then repeats Wikipedia orthodoxy, claiming that “cultural anthropology and neo-Darwinian synthesis … demonstrated that the category of ‘race’ was not scientifically legitimate,” and links recognition of race to “the racial policies of the Third Reich.” In case readers stumble onto statistics elsewhere, the article warns: “Crime statistics should be considered with caution and may not always adequately reflect reality. Correlation between two factors does not imply causation …”
Since statistics are verboten, the more than 2,000-word entry on racial profiling promotes the myth that innocent blacks are constantly targeted by police merely because of skin color. It suggests that if blacks really are arrested and convicted more often than whites it is only because police are so suspicious of them.
A paragraph on the accidental, fatal shooting of Amadou Diallo by New York City police officers explains that “critics feel that the police were suspicious of Diallo simply because he was a black man walking down the street after midnight.” Diallo was not just walking down the street. He was an illegal immigrant standing in the vestibule of his building who panicked when police showed up. He failed to respond to commands, and whipped something out of his pocket police thought was a gun. The officers ignored other blacks in the neighborhood and approached Diallo only because he fit the description of a serial rapist.
The article has links only to tendentious studies on racial profiling such as those from the ACLU. Whenever anyone adds links to studies debunking the myth, left-wing censors remove them.
The first paragraph of the article about Rodney King contains no less than three errors: It calls Mr. King a “taxicab driver,” it claims the Los Angeles police officers who beat him were “restraining” him (making it sound as though he was already under their control), and insists that “there is no part of the tape that shows Mr. King attacking the officers.” It is well known that when George Holliday brought his amateur video to TV station KTLA, a staffer edited out the opening sequence that showed Mr. King charging Officer Laurence Powell. It was the censored version that the world saw over and over.
Wikipedia readers will not learn that Mr. King had led two dozen California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles police officers on a chase reaching speeds of 115 mph or that he resisted arrest because he was violating parole. Readers will not learn that Mr. King’s two black passengers did as police told them and were unharmed. Readers will not learn that the officers first tried the “swarming technique,” in which four men each grab an arm or a leg, but Mr. King tossed them off with “superhuman strength.” They will not learn that Mr. King would not go down even after being hit twice with a 50,000-volt taser. The article gives the impression that officers stopped a black driver, pulled him out of his car, and started beating him.
Curiously, the article on the Los Angeles Riots of 1992 includes much of the information missing from the article on Rodney King. Still, it strives mightily to deny that it was a race riot, and plays down the lethal violence done to whites, calling it “the occasional murder.”
The article blames the riots in part on anger over the light sentence given to a 49-year old Korean convenience-store owner, Soon Ja Du, for fatally shooting a black 15-year-old, Latasha Harlins, on March 16, 1991. It fails to note that the strapping Miss Harlins, who was probably shoplifting, had badly beaten the diminutive Mrs. Du. It also fails to report the constant shoplifting, 30 burglaries, and two armed robberies — one only seven days earlier — the Du family had suffered from blacks, or the nine Koreans who had been murdered by blacks in convenience store robberies during the previous year alone.
The 5,200-word article on the Cincinnati riots of 2001 (see “Cincinnati Burning,” AR June 2001) begins with the following words: “Between February 1995 and April 2001, fifteen black [Cincinnati] males under the age of 40 were killed by police, while no other males from other races were killed by police …” It generally excuses the rioting as an understandable reaction to police brutality.
On October 28, 2006, someone pointed out that 13 of those 15 blacks had either just murdered a police officer or were attacking one. The same editor also added that during the rioting, “white motorists were pulled from their cars and beaten with bricks and baseball bats while shouts of ‘get whitey’ filled the air.” Twenty-four hours later one of the censors removed this carefully sourced material, explaining that he had taken out “sensationalizing statements & removed superfluous info.” The material has never been restored.
Articles about foreign countries are no better. The more than 10,000 words about Zimbabwe offer many details about Robert Mugabe’s “human rights abuses” against blacks, but whites are victims of nothing more serious than “eviction” because of “the controversial land redistribution of 2000.” Likewise, the 11,400-word article about South Africa says nothing about the threats whites face or the authorities’ indifference to their murder and dispossession.
Wikipedia’s treatment of pro-white or race-realist groups is transparent propaganda. The article on white nationalism reminds readers that the very concept of race is “an anthropological archaism,” and suggests only two possible positions on race: multiculturalism or neo-Nazism. It writes admiringly of anti-white groups as “anti-racist organizations,” while treating anyone sympathetic to whites with hostility and skepticism. Any concern for the survival of whites is nothing more than “the repackaging, relabeling, and transformation of white supremacy into something that would appeal to a broader, more educated audience.” Conclusion: “The American Renaissance, Council of Conservative Citizens, the National Alliance and National Vanguard are … widely recognized as white supremacist and racist groups.”
Censors have regularly sought entirely to delete the entry for the pro-white think tank, the National Policy Institute (I should note that I served proudly as the director for one of its projects — see “How Whites Stack Up,” AR, August 2007), claiming the institute is not “notable” and therefore does not deserve an entry. Editor “Closedmouth” deletes all the information that explains why it is a significant organization and then complains that the “article may not meet the notability guidelines for companies and organizations.”
The article about American Renaissance has been constantly vandalized. AR is invariably “racialist” or “a monthly white separatist magazine.” Anyone who dares to call it “race-realist” is promptly censored. It is obvious the censors have never read the magazine, and cite only hostile opinion columns and public-relations mailings from “anti-racists” who have barely read it either. Here is one description of the magazine: “Some issues of AR have featured theological arguments. One argument has been that interracial and inter-cultural marriage is racial suicide and an unequal yoking, and that such unions ‘go against the very community which marriage is designed to establish’.”
For brief periods the article has been descriptive and neutral, including the views of critics, but that is unacceptable. Most of the time, perhaps 90 percent is criticism, with scarcely any attempt to describe AR’s goals or arguments. This note from a censor calling himself Skylab reveals both his ignorance and bias: “Personally, I would rather just never have to read about these hysterical racists. However, I came across this article by accident and felt I should contribute to it.”
At one time the entry for the New Century Foundation was a meaty piece that cited both The Color of Crime and its critics, but it has been cut down to an inflammatory stub, insinuating that NCF is essentially a neo-Nazi organization and that The Color of Crime is semi-literate rubbish. “Possecomitatus” was unintentionally revealing when he explained why he changed references to the report: “The Color of Crime: Removed words that made this sound likeoit [sic] was researched by serious epaopl.” [sic]
The article about Jared Taylor became such a battleground that Wikipedia locked it down for several months. It has since been reopened, but as one well-meaning editor discovered, anything but criticism is unwelcome:
“I tried to insert some actual, substantial quotes from Taylor that might have something to do with this subject and give an actual feel for Taylor’s beliefs and they were promptly deleted with the rationale that they were just ‘a plug for Taylor’s views.’ Uh, excuse me, but is this [a part of the article called “Views”] not supposed to be a section on Taylor’s views?”
Blacks get different treatment. Leonard Jeffries, Kamau Kambon, and Frances Cress Welsing have all called on blacks to kill all whites (Mr. Jeffries expressed this more as a wish), but Wikipedia calls none of these people “racist” or “black supremacist.” Censors say that such terms are against Wikipedia rules that require an NPOV. Someone who calls himself Malik Shabazz has even eliminated the word “controversial” from the article about Mr. Jeffries, calling it “POV,” or biased. Wikipedia seems to accept the dogma that only whites can be “racist.”
As with black criminals, censors keep out unpleasant facts. Readers will not learn that Mr. Jeffries’s students reported him as saying, “If I had my way, I’d wipe them [whites] off the face of the earth.” Dr. Welsing’s article does use the R-word, but only indirectly — “Welsing has been criticized for allegedly [emphasis added] promoting an overtly racist ideology” — but there is no mention of the genocidal core of her thinking. Only Mr. Kambon’s entry sometimes notes his call for blacks to exterminate all whites — and only when the energetic “Yahel Guhan” has not taken it out.
It would be easy to cite more examples, but the point is clear: Wikipedia actively purveys and reinforces the prejudices of our time. I see it as a cross between an Internet message board and today’s authoritarian, multi-cultural university. Or, as co-founder Larry Sanger, himself a liberal, wrote in June 2006, “Wikipedia has gone from a nearly perfect anarchy to an anarchy with gang rule.”
But isn’t conventional myth-making about race exactly what we would expect? Why should Wikipedia be any different from the New York Times or CBS or New York University Press? It should be different because the Internet is far more free-wheeling and undeceived than the New York Times. People who actually know what they are talking about often correct stories in ways that force Wikipedia’s censors to face what really happened. Editors at the Times probably do not often have to make a decision about deliberately removing a relevant, well-researched fact simply because it jars their political sensibilities.
This is not to let the Times entirely off the hook. The truth is there for anyone willing to look for it. However, people with a certain political bent do not look for the truth, so are unaware of it, and are spared the unpleasantness of explicitly censoring it. Unlike what happens at CBS or the Times, truth of an inconvenient kind creeps unbidden into Wikipedia articles, from which it must be forcibly removed. What distinguishes the censors at Wikipedia is that they do this regularly and cheerfully. It is this constant extirpation of verifiable fact that makes Wikipedia far more culpable than “mainstream” organs that do nothing more than pass along to readers their own ignorance and assumptions.
Nicholas Stix is a journalist and researcher, much of whose work focuses on the nexus of race, crime, and education.
European Nationalism on the March
Lessons for Americans.
The speaker strode casually to the podium in front of the silent crowd. In a conversational tone, as if he had done it a thousand times, he said quietly, “Eigen volk …” “Eerst!” thundered back the one thousand strong gathered in Hendrik Conscience Plaza.
It is May Day in Antwerp, Belgium. To this crowd of Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) supporters, it is the heart of the Occupied Republic of Flanders. Along with two other Americans, I am listening to speaker after speaker denounce the tyranny of the Belgian state, of all things. Of course, each fiery sermon against the perfidy of Brussels is given in Dutch, and I rely on the patience of nearby translators. I find myself wondering why a small separatist party dedicated to breaking up an already small European country has become the hope of Western patriots the world over and the driving force beyond a European-wide movement for racial and cultural survival.
Belgium, as each speaker points out, is the bastard child of anachronistic Great Power politics. French-speaking Walloons and Dutch-speaking Flemings were clumsily shoved together under a freshly created monarchy in 1830 to create a neutral buffer-state to the north of post-Napoleonic France. Two world wars have shown that this project did not ensure peace, but Belgium endured and became the centerpiece of another misbegotten scheme, the European Union. Belgium is the headquarters of the continent-wide bureaucracies that are strangling the once proud nations of the Old World. In the new Europe of mass immigration, “hate speech” laws, and a continent-wide currency, Belgium is the original post-national, post-European nation.
And yet, in the heart of the new leftist empire there is fierce resistance. The bureaucrats of Brussels did not count on the stubborn Flemish nation, whose history can be summarized as the refusal to accept decisions others make for it. One of the formative events of Flemish history, the 1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs, was the defeat of an army of mounted French nobility by Flemish peasants and townspeople armed with pikes. Today, the Flemish people’s army is the Vlaams Belang, a party feared by the European political class, repressed by the Belgian government, and condemned by the media, but that continues from triumph to triumph.
The Vlaams Belang fights for the secession of Dutch-speaking Flanders from Beligum to form an independent nation. The party is socially conservative, perhaps the only serious party in Western Europe that campaigns against abortion, homosexual marriage, and drugs. It is pro-capitalist, and opposes the transfer of wealth from the largely lasseiz-faire Flemings to the more socialist, French-speaking Walloons in the south. Most explosively, it condemns immigration as a biological and cultural threat to the Flemish people, and opposes the Islamization of Europe.
That is why the party — then known as the Vlaams Blok — was banned by the government and forced to reorganize under a new name. All other parties in Belgium have imposed a cordon sanitaire, refusing to give it the coalition entrée to power to which its electoral results would ordinarily entitle it. The federal government of Belgium continues to think of ways to cut off the party’s funding, arrest its members, or again ban it outright
The VB is nevertheless the largest party in the Flemish parliament and works actively with other European nationalist movements, especially the National Front in France. It was the youth wing of the party that organized the May Day conference we are attending. It is called the Day of the Right-Wing Youth, and activists from all over Europe have been invited to form a united front against the eradication of their cultures. Though we were not officially invited, we Americans were welcomed warmly. We spent several days studying and learning from a movement that has no parallel in the United States. The European Right has many lessons for those trying to build resistance in America.
The first lesson is professionalism. The May Day rally had no problem with leftists, thanks in large part to VB security, which guarded all entrances. Party activists also made sure everything ran smoothly, monitoring microphones and sound equipment, and arranging transportation. After the last speech, we all took buses to a huge hall where we celebrated with food, drinks, and music. The rally was more carefully planned and better attended than a typical Republican campaign rally.
Despite this, it never felt scripted. Men, women, and young people laughed, drank, and sang historical songs without the kind of political jockeying and maneuvering that characterizes most partisan gatherings. Famous party leaders such as Filip Dewinter and Frank Vanhecke moved through the crowd, listening to the stories of the old and drinking beer with the young, not working the room, but simply spending time with people who clearly knew them and respected them, but were not awed by them.
The atmosphere was that of a Fourth of July party in a small Midwestern town. Everyone was comfortable celebrating a common heritage with friends and comrades. Party members ensure family-friendly events like this while a polished, professional, and savvy organization builds a movement that can capture political power one step at a time by appealing to everyday people.
The hall was filled with a wide assortment of different groups hawking shirts, posters, mugs, and books, which added to a kind of carnival atmosphere. Not for the first time, we cursed the weak dollar, since we wanted to buy everything.
Impressed by the rally (and none the worse for Flemish beer), we staggered into the street and met some college-aged party members. We learned that members of the Nationalistische Studenten Vereniging (or NSV — Nationalist Student Organization) would be having their initiation that night at a local bar. What followed taught us another lesson: the importance of a nationalist subculture that opposes the dominant anti-white mass culture.
We expected to laugh at casual hazing while drunk kids made fools of themselves, but what we saw was far more interesting. In a catacomb-like room under a pub hung a flag with black, white, and red horizontal stripes, emblazoned with the Flemish Lion and the letters “NSV.” About 50 young men and women in caps and sashes over casual clothes solemnly sang the Dutch national anthem, followed by the “Lion of Flanders,” the presumptive Flemish national anthem. Every initiate had a book filled with nationalist symbols and stickers, containing dozens of patriotic songs from Flanders, the Netherlands, and around the world. Each would rise on signal and sing a selection, to the boisterous approval of their seniors. The songs, the customs, and slogans of this fraternity speak of the battles of the past and glories to be won in the future.
As the beer flows, the music gets rowdier; ceremony and hierarchy break down. This is not a political meeting, but a coed political fraternity: college kids rejoicing in their heritage and comradeship, singing the songs of their fathers and grandfathers. They drink staggering amounts, but the atmosphere is joyful, never vulgar or cheap.
The NSV is not an ancient or secret organization. It was started in 1976, in the modern era of fanatical anti-racism and anti-white prejudice, and grew from the ground up. Many modern leaders of the Vlaams Belang started their careers in the Flemish movement as members of the group. The evening we were there, NSV alums — some are now elected officials — sat in the back drinking and singing, like graduates back on campus for homecoming.
The NSV is not just a social club. It is a political force, which participates in demonstrations, marches, and direct actions. A casual search for “NSV” on YouTube reveals an organization that is far more committed, active, and courageous than any comparable conservative group in America. From ripping apart Belgian flags in front of horrified bureaucrats, to waving Flemish flags in the face of the Belgian king (and being arrested for their trouble), marching, putting up signs, facing down hundreds of screaming lefties, or even just slapping “Rechts Vlaams Studentikoos” (Rightist Flemish Students) stickers all over Antwerp, the NSV has created a cadre of young people with a healthy sense of national identity.
NSV members are fighting for their people, not for an impressive resume or a lame job on Capitol Hill. Nor are they out to shock. Their magazines cover a wide range of Indo-European history, philosophy, theology, and even biology. They are students who can discourse on Julius Evola one minute and go back to heavy metal or soccer the next. They are normal kids doing things that, to American eyes, seem extraordinary.
The NSV is a kind seedbed for the VB, though the two organizations are not formally connected, and some members of the NSV are not members of the VB (some think it is too moderate). A background in street activism and even a stint in a Belgian jail for defending free speech are credits, a ticket towards the top of the party, rather than indiscretions to be denied and apologized for, as they would be in the American conservative establishment. A VB leader once said that “the youth movement is not radical enough … it should be driving the party to the right and keeping it true to its principles.” In America, conservative youth organizations often try to tame strong activists, turning campus radicals into poorly-paid Hill staffers or party hacks who, in turn, explain the latest betrayal to the grassroots.
The drunken kids we saw that night were the same people manning tables, collecting forms, serving food, and doing the grunt work at the Day of the Right Wing Youth. Within a few years, they will be running conferences and winning public office. No youth political organization in America comes close to their dedication, activism, or enthusiasm. No organization even exists in America that can channel young people with good instincts into productive and healthy political and social action. What the NSV represents is an entire subculture capable of continuously generating new recruits.
The VB keenly understands the importance of the subculture. Political movements are built on volunteer politics: Every minute spent for the cause is a minute taken away from work, family, or friends. It is therefore extremely important that political work be combined as much as possible with fun and friendship. As one party member confided to me, “The movement would not be where it is if it were not for drinking.” This was not entirely a joke. The VB understands that well-organized social events accomplish a great deal on their own.
Something else we learned was the importance of a physical base. In the heart of Antwerp is an unimposing little pub called the Leeuw van Vlaanderen (the Lion of Flanders) and known as “the beast.” Inside this Flemish nationalist pub, surrounded by other bars and tourist traps, is an extraordinary collection of posters, stickers, framed pictures, and patriotic music that create an atmosphere that does not exist anywhere in America. At any hour, students, politicians, and patriotic Flemings can be found drinking, reading, or discussing the issues of the day. The Lion of Flanders and other nationalist pubs are places to network and meet new potential activists, to build solidarity and comradeship.
Even on our short trip we made use of “the beast.” A group of leftists was to hold a pro-marijuana rally in the center of the city, and we had heard that the Vlaams Belang Youth was going to counter-demonstrate. Our small group of foreigners had no idea where to meet the protesters or what route the protest would take. But we did know about the Lion of Flanders. Sure enough, we found the VB continent there and were able to offer reinforcements. We had a good time taunting the hippies, who were eventually dragged away and arrested for trying to plant marijuana on public property. It was a small triumph, but we could take part simply because we knew about a central location.
After professionalism and the importance of a subculture, the third lesson of our trip was the need for serious political education. During the conference, we hammered out consensus on subtle political issues such as “subsidiarity” and what constitutes “cultural relativism.” This was a challenge for groups that spoke at least six different languages and various regional dialects. The result was a spirited and extremely erudite, multi-lingual discussion that led to resolutions on larger issues (such as what European identity means) and specific policy (such as opposition to Turkey joining the EU).
Creating an intellectual tradition is just as important as creating an activist tradition. It keeps efforts grounded, priorities clear, and keeps policy statements from falling into clichés or sloppy thinking. Political education also prevents the movement from becoming co-opted or distracted from its original goals in the way the American conservative movement has been co-opted. A typical Vlaams Belang activist is far more educated and historically conscious than a typical Republican activist. Ideological dedication tends to correlate with increased activism.
The last important lesson we learned from the Day of the Right Wing Youth also raised the most questions in my mind: It was the issue of localism. The Vlaams Belang, it should be said, is not an explicit race consciousness movement, and would be uncomfortable to be associated directly with American Renaissance. It defends Europe and Western Civilization and opposes immigration, but it is essentially a Flemish nationalist movement. It is a secessionist party fighting for independence, not a pan-racial movement.
Many of the parties at the conference were also localist and secessionist. There were Brittany separatists, Alsace separatists, and the Lega Nord of Italy. Some have argued that localism may hold the key to saving Europe, and it is true that with the decline of the French National Front, the strongest pro-Western (if not explicitly pro-white) movements in Europe are the Vlaams Belang and the Lega Nord.
Many separatists describe themselves as “identity” activists. As a Breton separatist said, “French is no longer a real identity. National identity is bound to the French state and the French state gives passports and citizenship to anyone who moves into the country, whether they have a connection with the preexisting people and culture or not. Anyone, at this point, can be French, or Belgian, or British, which means that it doesn’t mean anything. With our movement, identity is not nearly so fluid, and it is easier to build a system that will preserve our culture.”
This is a plausible approach to the key problem white activists face, namely, that the traditional institutions many of us defend — our nation states — are now biased in favor of non-whites. Separatism is a blow against these corrupt institutions. At the same time, while organizing as “whites” draws suspicion and criticism, it is far more “acceptable” to organize as Flemish or Basque. Separatist cultures and regional traditions also make it much easier to create the subculture necessary for a strong movement.
Of course, this approach is not without drawbacks. The late Sam Francis once called neo-Confederate movements “infantile.” He said we should organize as whites to reclaim the whole country, not defend small sections of it. Other groups at the conference took the same position. A lone BNP activist argued that breaking up the United Kingdom would make it easier for the EU to take more control. A Spanish activist was adamantly opposed to Basque independence, which other localists supported. He said Spain was the product of several independent kingdoms joining together to achieve Reconquista from the Moors, and that unity, not division, was what the West needed today.
Indeed, there is nothing inherent in separatist movements that guarantees they will be pro-white. Basque separatists are extremely left wing, as is the Scottish National Party. At the same time, the so-called identity movements encourage division among whites. Brittany separatists and National Front activists fight each other rather than work together against common foes. The Hungarian nationalists who attended the conference are working to restore lost territory populated by ethnic Hungarians. They would be weaker if they were also trying to split the country apart. And yet it is undeniable that the Lega Nord and the VB are among the most promising movements on the continent.
Separatism should be understood as a tactic rather than as an ideology. Flemish independence makes sense because the Flemings are clearly a distinct people with their own language, culture, and customs. On a more practical level, they are also economically exploited by the Belgian state, so ordinary people may favor Flemish independence if only for economic reasons.
The Brittany separatists have a case for independence, but Breton identity is not nearly so strong or widespread as Flemish identity. The Breton language has an artificial, hot-house existence while the Flemish dialect of Dutch is the living language of Flanders. Still, Breton identity may prove a useful tactic for winning local elections and getting whites to think about their heritage.
Strong local identification has other benefits. As a Vlaams Belang city councilor said to me, “I know everyone in my community and respond to their concerns. As a result, even non-nationalists will say to me, well, I think Dewinter is a fascist but you are a good guy and I’ll vote for you. The ironic thing is Dewinter is a leftist compared to me!” Western patriots need to build power from the ground up at the smallest level possible and grow gradually. People will respond to movements that serve their local interests, and power will follow.
I left the conference filled with hope. We can win these struggles, and parties like the Vlaams Belang are showing the way. But the hard truth is that it takes slow, painful, grassroots organizing to succeed. To adopt a cliché, white activists must think globally but act locally. We need to build institutions that can appeal to normal people who do not think all the time about politics or race. We need to develop a subculture that produces educated and dedicated activists who will donate their time and talents both out of ideological commitment and because what they are doing is fun.
Finally, we need to recognize that where we can do the most good is right where we live: We should run for school board, become local party delegates, start a campus newspaper or a school parents’ organization. There are conservative organizations that will train beginning activists in the science of organizing.
I came home fully intending to go back to Flanders, but I also recognize that we can’t look to exciting movements overseas to save us. We are all part of the great white Western racial family, but we need to work where we can do the most good with people whom we know, understand, and love. In this sense, we can understand the double meaning of the Vlaams Belang’s slogan: Eigen Volk Eerst. “Our Own People First.”
Gregory Hood has been active in conservative youth movements in the US.
BNP Candidate Wins Seat on London Assembly
A historic breakthrough for British nationalism.
On May 2, 2008, Richard Barnbrook was elected to the London Assembly — the equivalent of the city council — thus reaching the highest political office the British National Party (BNP) or any other so-called far right party has ever attained in Britain. This victory, which shocked the establishment, came despite hostile media and a huge campaign against the BNP. This breakthrough shows the party is a credible political force and has the potential to serve at all levels of government.
To understand the significance of this victory it helps to know something of the history of London’s governing bodies and of Ken Livingstone, the city’s famously left-wing former mayor. From 1965 until 1986, the highest level of local government in London was the Greater London Council. Mr. Livingstone, an open Trotskyite, arch-multiculturalist, and BNP nemesis, presided over the council from 1981 to 1986, during which time it was a thorn in the side of the Conservative government. He lavished tax money on cheap public transport, but especially on homosexuals, pet ethnic minorities, immigrants, and others who were a solid electoral base for the Labour Party.
In 1986, Margaret Thatcher abolished the Greater London Council, and distributed its powers among the London borough councils, leaving no London-wide authority. Many thought this was the end of “Red” Ken, but they were wrong. He reemerged when the Labour government under Tony Blair came to power in 1997 and established the London-wide Greater London Authority. This is composed of the elected London Assembly, which is headed by a mayor with powers similar to those of the mayor of New York. Members of the assembly oversee the decisions of the mayor and can amend the city budget. Their powers are limited, but the job comes with a salary of £50,582 and is seen as a high-profile steppingstone to Parliament.
All the established political parties compete keenly in the campaign for mayor, but it is also a chance for smaller parties to raise their profiles. Small parties are ostensibly running for mayor but they do not expect to win. Instead, they hope to get enough votes to win one of the 25 seats on the London Assembly. Fourteen assembly seats represent London borough constituencies, with 11 more filled by proportional representation from party lists. Any party that gets at least 5 percent of the total vote is assured of at least one seat.
When the first London Assembly elections were held in 2000, Ken Livingstone emerged, phoenix-like, to become the first modern mayor of London and continue his socialist policies. London Assembly elections were the first in Britain to use proportional representation, however, and there was always fear within the main parties that upstarts such as the BNP could breach the 5 percent barrier and get on the assembly. In 2000, the BNP’s candidate, Michael Newland, won 33,569 votes, but this was only 2.9 percent of the total. In 2004, Julian Leppert fell just short with 4.7 percent. The main parties breathed a collective sigh of relief, but it was inevitable that the failure by both Labour and the Conservatives to tackle immigration and law enforcement would increase support for the BNP.
By 2008, Ken Livingstone had been mayor for eight years. He presided over an unprecedented flow of immigrants into the capital, both legal and illegal, happy in the knowledge that they usually vote Labour. He continued to pour taxpayer money into minority projects while branding any attempt to promote British culture as “racist.” Indeed, the race industry was probably the only one to flourish under Mr. Livingstone’s administration.
His hopes for a third term suffered a setback in February 2008, when Lee Jasper, the mayor’s black advisor for “police and equalities,” resigned amid accusations of financial double-dealing with various black organizations to which he had been funneling public money. This did not stop Mr. Livingstone from continuing to court the ethnic vote, with campaigns such as Operation Black Vote, which used city money to increase black voter turnout.
Mr. Livingstone was wounded, however, and vulnerable to a challenge. The generally moribund Conservative Party ran Boris Johnson, a light-weight whom the media dubbed “Boris the Buffoon” because of his penchant for appearing on TV game shows. His greatest asset was that he was not Ken Livingstone.
The BNP had a real chance of winning an assembly seat. It had an attractive candidate in Mr. Barnbrook, who had already served on the Barking and Dagenham Council in East London. In 2006 his BNP team won an unprecedented 12 council seats and became the number-two party, or official opposition.
Mr. Barnbrook had also gained public attention in connection with the “BNP ballerina,” Simone Clarke. In January 2007, Miss Clarke, a principal dancer with the English National Ballet was “exposed” as a BNP member. A crowd of lefties demonstrated at one of her performances, and Mr. Barnbrook met her backstage with a bouquet of roses and lilies. Later they started dating, and in December 2007 the press discovered they had become engaged.
This kind of attention certainly did not hurt, but a run for the London Assembly is a serious campaign. The BNP handed out almost one million leaflets door to door. A dedicated team of volunteers, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, came from all corners of the country in response to Mr. Barnbrook’s call. The leaflet contrasted a picture of a street party in the 1950s with a recent photo of burqa-clad women with the caption, “The Changing Face of London — Is This What You Really Want?”
The media usually shun the BNP, but the BBC seemed to recognize there was considerable popular support for a party that was running a record 650 candidates for city council seats around the country. It decided to accept a four-minute political broadcast, which can be seen on YouTube at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=fPqdFqEXD3w&feature=email_. BNP broadcasts usually air at dead of night, but this one went out during prime viewing hours at 6:30 p.m. Because the party does not have a large PR budget, it produced the broadcast itself, but it was well received and attracted attention at a critical time.
Needless to say, there was fierce opposition as well. All the main parties, the unions, community leaders, clapped-out celebrities, and even some church leaders, including the Bishop of Durham, tried to persuade people not to vote for the BNP. The press was negative, often hysterically so. The Daily Mirror, for example, ran a supplement of no fewer than eight pages that included “10 reasons not to vote BNP.” The first reason was that “the BNP doesn’t even support the England football team because it has black players.” Other reasons were that the party “is linked to hardline Nazis and racists across Europe and North America,” and that “many of their candidates are convicted thugs and fraudsters.” The Daily Mail quoted Martin Luther King’s vision of a “world of equality for all,” and invited readers to join its campaign for “hope not hate.” All this may have helped the party, since Londoners do not like to be told how to vote.
The city went to the polls on May 1. On the evening of May 2, BNP members arrived at City Hall for the results, and were greeted by a mob of “anti-fascists.” The count was some six hours late because of tabulation problems, but shortly after midnight it was announced that Boris Johnson had been elected mayor.
Each of the candidates gave a short speech. When it was Mr. Barnbrook’s turn, 90 percent of the audience walked out of the chamber and the other candidates ostentatiously ignored him. Mr. Barnbrook remained composed, and promised to have the last laugh. He had not been elected mayor, but said he was confident that when the votes were tallied he would be on the London Assembly. Indeed, when the final results were announced the BNP had won a seat with 130,714 votes or 5.33 percent. A gasp went up from the chamber followed by much elation among BNP supporters. It was official: All that work had been worthwhile!
The BNP total was at the low end of estimates — some polls had predicted as much as 14 percent of the vote — probably because conservatives who might have voted for the BNP were so desperate to see the back of “Red” Ken that they rallied en masse to Boris Johnson.
Even the supposedly conservative press was horrified by the BNP’s success. The Daily Telegraph predicted that Mr. Barnbrook would become a “pariah” because all the other assembly members would shun him. It went on to quote the Conservative leader of the assembly: “The BNP will have problems finding secretaries and getting support from the staff here, and I will totally support people’s right to say they don’t want to serve them. They may have a foot in the door but they won’t get anywhere near the levers of power.”
These days, when he arrives at City Hall to go to work, Mr. Barnbrook is still greeted by “anti-fascist” protesters, but their numbers are rapidly dwindling. Despite efforts to exclude him, he has been elected to committees and boards that deal with the budget, health and environment, and internal audit. He reports that despite attempts to freeze him out, more than half of the assembly staff is now communicating with him normally, and he has vowed to make an official complaint to the Standards Board if anyone tries to keep him from doing his work. He has assumed his duties as a duly elected representative of the people, and over time the assembly will have to accept him.
The way has now been cleared for further breakthroughs for the party, in particular in the European elections next year. The British may be slow to wake from their multicultural slumber, but as the BNP website explains, “The quiet revolution is getting louder.”
Roberta Woods was a candidate for the BNP in Eltham West in the Greenwich Borough Council elections of May 2006.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Ditching the SAT
Despite what college admissions officers say publicly, the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is basically an IQ test, and blacks and Hispanics do not do as well on it as whites and Asians. Repeated revisions and re-scorings have not changed this fact. Since today’s colleges are more interested in “diversity” than in scholastic aptitude, and the SAT stands in the way, many schools no longer require it. In May, Smith College in Massachusetts and Wake Forest University in North Carolina became the latest to make the SAT optional.
At Wake Forest, admissions director Martha Allman says ditching the SAT is part of the schools’ effort to increase “socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic diversity in the student body.” She also claims research has shown that SAT performance is linked to family income, and that the test does not predict success in college. In fact, SAT scores are excellent predictors of success in college, and they are “linked” to family income because income is generally related to IQ.
Educational consultant Jack McGuire wants even more colleges to make the SAT optional. “I do think it improves a school’s image,” he said. “It shows what’s important to schools, if they’re really interested in increasing diversity.” [Elizabeth Landau, More Colleges Move Toward Optional SATs, CNN, May 30, 2008.]
Doudou Diene is a Senegalese lawyer who works as a “racism” investigator for the United Nations Human Rights Council, and is now in the United States looking for wickedness. As the UN puts it, he will “gather first-hand information on issues related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance” while he visits Washington, New York, Chicago, Omaha, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Mr. Diene has had practice at this. He has been on official sniffing expeditions to Japan, Switzerland and Brazil, and warned in 2006 that racism is “coming out of the closet” all around the world and infecting government policy.
The UN has no authority over US affairs, but that hasn’t stopped it from scolding us for profiling Arabs, Muslims and South Asians, and for mistreating immigrants and foreigners. It also wants the US to abolish the death penalty, claiming non-whites get it more often than they should.
American officials are trying to placate the UN. They have explained that America is “combating hate crimes such as displays of hangman’s nooses and police brutality against minorities” and that 800 “racially motivated incidents” against Arabs, Muslims, Sikhs or South Asians have been investigated since the 2001 terrorist attacks. [Stephanie Nebehay, UN Racism Investigator to Visit US, Reuters, May 16, 2008.]
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu thinks white Americans were wrong to get “very, very upset” over Barack Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright. He says that Rev. Wright “may have said more crudely what, actually, almost every African-American would have wanted to say. I mean that is how they feel in your country, that race … is a very, very real issue. And I think on the whole you keep trying to pretend that it isn’t.”
Mr. Tutu also faults the US for offering blacks the “illusion of equality:” “You say to them, ‘You’re equal, and the sky’s the limit.’ And they keep bumping their heads against this thing that’s stopping them from reaching out to the stars.” He says race will haunt Americans until they talk about it honestly in a “reconciliation forum.”
Mr. Tutu, who lead South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, was in the US to receive the Lincoln Leadership Prize from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Association. Television personality Oprah Winfrey presented it to him. [Storer H. Rowley, Desmond Tutu: Equality for US Blacks an Illusion, Chicago Tribune, May 14, 2008.]
Massachusetts is one of the most liberal states in the country and has a black governor, Deval Patrick, but the state still suffers from a “hostile racial climate,” which is a holdover from the busing debacles of the 1970s. That’s according to a new group called the Commonwealth Compact, which wants to make the Bay State’s workforce more “diverse.” Noting with horror that 94 percent of the board members of the state’s largest corporations are white and 87 percent are men, the Commonwealth Compact wants to shame companies into hiring more non-whites and women.
The plan is to launch a major PR campaign to get companies to sign up for an inquisition — 76, including Wal-Mart, have already done so — under which they tell Commonwealth Compact all about their employees, senior management, and who applies for jobs. They will also pledge to hire more non-whites and women. The Commonwealth Compact says it will report the data only by industry, not by company, so as to avoid finger-pointing — at least for now.
Marc Bendick, a Washington-based diversity consultant, thinks it should rat companies out right away. “Discrimination reported that way [by industry] is a villainy without a villain,” he says. “Until you put pressure on companies through shame or possible litigation to change their behavior, you’re not really going to accomplish anything that’s different from what’s long prevailed under EEOC reporting requirements.” Promises aren’t good enough, he adds. “Companies that make those pledges tend to have a slightly higher representation of underrepresented groups, but it is very marginal. This is not a very effective way to move employment practices forward.” [John C. Drake, Push is Set for Workplace Diversity, Boston Globe, May 19, 2008.]
Charities could get the same pressure. The California lower house recently passed a bill that would make charities with assets of $250 million or more report the composition by race and erotic orientation of their own boards and staffs, the boards and staffs of the charities they support, and explain how much money they give to non-white causes. Supporters of the bill claim they are just asking for information, but the goal, obviously, is to force charities to hire non-whites and fund pressure groups. Critics say the California bill is just the first step, and that similar laws covering all foundations nationwide are already being readied. The bill was to go to the California senate in June. [Heather R. Higgins, The ‘Diversity’ Threat to California Charities, Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2008.]
In the 1950s, whites were 80 percent of the population of Miami. By 2006, that number had fallen to 18.5 percent, and will fall to 14 percent by 2015. Miami is now 60 percent Hispanic, and 58.5 percent of the population speaks Spanish. Half the Spanish speakers do not speak fluent English. Only 27.2 percent of the population speaks English only, even though the city is technically still part of the United States.
It is easy to go through life without speaking a word of English. Melissa Green, a Miami native who works as a florist, says life is difficult because she doesn’t speak Spanish. “It makes it hard for some people to find a job because they don’t speak Spanish, and I don’t think that it is right,” she says. Lauren McCleary, another English-speaking native moved to Vermont. “I don’t like being there anymore,” she says. “It is very, very different … I can’t speak their language.”
Juan Clark, a sociology professor at Miami Dade College, says, “The Anglo population is leaving. One of the reactions is to emigrate toward the north. They resent the fact that [an American] has to learn Spanish …” [Gisela Salomon, In Miami, Spanish is Becoming the Primary Language, AP, May 29, 2008.]
Chickens Roosting in LA
South Los Angeles, once known as South Central, used to be the center of California’s black population. In 1980, it was 71 percent black and 27 percent Hispanic. By 2000, the numbers had reversed: 74 percent Hispanic and 24 percent black. The shift has brought many changes, one of which is a plague of livestock: chickens, goats, geese, ducks, pigs and even ponies. Regulations ban farm animals as health hazards, and roosters because of the noise they make, but the city does not have the manpower to enforce regulations.
“I’ve lived here 50 years,” says retired librarian G. Stone. “All of a sudden there’s an influx of chickens. You’re not supposed to have chickens in the city.” Tony Johnson, another black resident agrees: “Sometimes, I think it’s Mexico.” Jose Luiz doesn’t understand what the fuss is about. “It’s natural to have roosters,” he explains. “I’m Mexican. We are accustomed to hearing them.” [Jessica Garrison, South LA Backyards are Becoming Barnyards, Los Angeles Times, May 25, 2008.]
Italy Moves Right
In April, Italian voters returned conservative billionaire businessman Silvio Berlusconi to power with a center-right government pledged to tackle the problem of illegal immigration. His coalition partners include both the nationalist Northern League (Lega Nord) and the National Alliance. (Gianni Alemanno, the Alliance’s candidate for mayor of Rome, won office promising to expel 20,000 illegals.) The Berlusconi government was quick to keep its word. In May, it passed laws making it easier to expel illegals and making illegal entry punishable by up to four years in prison. Illegals intercepted on the way to Italy can now be held in detention for up to 18 months. The government also promises to crack down on Gypsies, who commit a disproportionate share of crime. The usual people are complaining that Italy is experiencing a “racism wave,” that Prime Minister Berlusconi is creating a “climate of discrimination,” and that the government is “legitimizing racist language.” [Italy Condemned for ‘Racism Wave,’ BBC, May 28, 2008.]
Saving the Tribe
The Kalinagos of Dominica are the last remaining pre-Colombian Indian tribe in the eastern Caribbean. Of the 4,000 who live on the tribe’s 3,800-acre reservation, only 1,000 are full-blooded Kalinagos. The rest are mixed, usually with a Kalinago father and a non-Kalinago mother. Kalinago women who marry outsiders usually leave the reservation. As a measure to save the tribe, Chief Charles Williams wants the Dominican government to pass a law requiring Kalinagos to marry other Kalinagos. He also wants non-Kalinagos barred from living on the reservation. Dominican legislators have so far refused. Such a law would “legislate who a person can marry, and this cannot be so,” says Sen. Claduous Stanford. [Intermarriage Bans to Save Tribe Met with Opposition, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, May 12, 2008, p. 23A.]
Watson Grovels On
Last fall, DNA co-discoverer James Watson got into trouble when he told a British newspaper that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours — whereas all the testing says not really.” People who know nothing about race and IQ denounced Dr. Watson. Speeches and a book tour were cancelled and the science laboratory James Watson made famous forced him out. He did himself no credit (and no good) by issuing an apology in which he said there is no scientific support for racial differences in IQ.
Dr. Watson continues to go astray. In early June, he gave an interview to The Root, an online black culture magazine owned by the Washington Post. Root editor (and Harvard University professor) Henry Louis Gates, Jr. asked Dr. Watson if he was still gloomy about Africa’s future. His reply: “Not if we educate them. I think we’ve got to focus on education.” He also says he doesn’t believe there is a link between race and IQ: “You can’t tell me that Ethiopians are stupid. Jesus. So they test very low on IQ, but I know enough of them — they’re bright.” [Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Color, Controversy and DNA, TheRoot.com, June 2, 2008.]
Allah Behind Bars
Muslims make up just 12 percent of the French population, but between 60 and 70 percent of all prison inmates. In Britain, they make up three percent of the population and 11 percent of prison inmates. Muslims are 5.5 percent of the population in Holland, but 20 percent of adult prisoners and 26 percent of all juveniles in lock up. Belgium is just two percent Muslim, but Muslims are 16 percent of the prison population.
Why are so many Muslims in prison? Sebastian Roche, research director for the French National Center for Scientific Research, blames it on “discrimination.” He says French society isolates Muslims in ghettos, robbing them of hope for “social advancement.” Jeanne Sautière, director of integration and religious groups for the French prison system, has a slightly better explanation: “Many immigrants arrive in France in difficult financial situations, which make delinquency more frequent,” she says, adding the obligatory disclaimer: “The most important thing is to say there is no correlation between Islam and delinquency.” [Molly Moore, In France, Prisons Filled with Muslims, Washington Post, April 29, 2008.]
White Man Fights Back
Grant Warren is a 54-year-old white farmer in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Thieves have broken into his house four times in the last four months alone, so he always keeps a loaded weapon handy.
At 10 pm on the evening of April 30, Mr. Warren and his wife Muffy were packing for a trip when their dog started barking. Mr. Warren went out to investigate, but saw nothing. Two hours later, he and his wife were watching television in their bedroom, when two blacks fired shots through the window and burst inside. “I rolled over to get my weapon and fell on the floor,” he recalls. “Both men jumped on me. One held me down while the other stabbed me.”
Mr. Warren managed to get his hand free and shot one of the men, who ran away. He then shot the other two or three times. The fatally-wounded man bit Mr. Warren on the arm. “My wife hit him on the head with the bedside lamp. I then hit him on the head with my gun.” When the man finally lost consciousness the Warrens called police. Officers found a hole in the electric fence guarding the property. [Sharika Regchand, Fight-back Farmer Kills Midnight Attacker, Natal Mercury (Durban), May 2, 2008.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — Roger Devlin makes some interesting points in his “Reafricanization of the West” in the June issue, but his argument is undermined by his misogyny. He seems to think that the only thing women can offer race realism is their wombs. This kind of retrograde thinking is unhelpful, even boorish. Women will not support a movement that sees them only as breeding stock.
Janet Fielding, Boston, Mass.
Sir — I share Dr. Devlin’s concern that whites are not reproducing, but can he think of a way to induce the women of the West to sacrifice their freedom, their careers, and their incomes in order to keep the white race from going extinct? He writes as if the decrease in fertility and marriage rates is the fault of snarling, “liberated” women with whom no sane man would wish to live, and that white men must seek solace in the company of dusky but feminine peasant women from South America. Perhaps he got it exactly the wrong way around. Is there any chance that white men are so vapid and self-absorbed that no intelligent white woman will give them the time of day? What, exactly, can F. Roger Devlin, PhD, offer a woman that would make her want to be the mother of his children?
Elizabeth Garnett, Limerick, Ireland
Sir — Roger Devlin is right that women are attracted to high-status men, but I think he is wrong to say “affirmative action” raises the status of black men. Racial preferences do not increase social standing any more than welfare does. Racial preferences put black men in places they shouldn’t be and thereby expose them to more white women, but that is all.
A better explanation for why white women take up with blacks is the media portrayal of them as hyper-masculine. Television and movies glamorize black pathology and portray white men as wimps and bumblers. White men with any testosterone are depicted as brutes who treat women badly. Barack Obama has benefitted greatly from this kind of media fetishizing.
Tom Rittenhauer, Cincinnati, Ohio
Sir — I would like to make two points about Thomas Jackson’s review of Abraham’s Children by Jon Entine (see “Who Are the Jews, AR, May 2008). First, it is a bit simplistic to accept the “Middle Eastern fathers” and “European mothers” narrative of Ashkenazi origins, since the work of Behar and colleagues suggests that at least 40 percent of Jewish maternal lineages likely have their origins in the Middle or Near East.
Second, Mr. Jackson’s enthusiasm for Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA studies as methods to determine ancestry, possibly influenced by Mr. Entine’s focus on those types of studies, is somewhat misguided. It is true that they do not recombine, but they are essentially acting as single loci in population genetics studies, and you cannot determine ancestry by single locus or “single site” markers. Autosomal DNA analyses are needed, and the most recent show that the Ashkenazim can be clustered separately from both northern and southern Europeans. Much more work on this subject is needed, which means that Mr. Entine’s conclusions are very premature.
Ted Sallis, Tampa, Florida
Sir — Ed Zeman’s letter in the June issue suggests that the Confederacy could not have lasted six months if the slaves had not supported the Southern cause. The truth is more complex. It is certain that slaves provided valuable labor to the Confederate cause and that many were loyal to the cause because of personal ties to their masters. It is also indisputable that there were no serious slave uprisings during the war, but the actual enthusiasm of slaves for the Confederacy is open to question.
When the Union Army arrived in the South, slavery tended to dissolve, and many slaves turned against their masters. Escaped Union prisoners reported that slaves never betrayed them to Confederate authorities. Many slaves provided intelligence to Federal forces and many joined the enemy army. Of the 180,000 colored troops in Federal service, the vast majority were either former or escaped slaves.
The focus of my remarks at the AR conference was the current neo-Confederate myth that the war had nothing to do with slavery or race, and that tens of thousands of blacks enlisted to fight for the South. Other than a few companies, no Negro troops were ever raised by the Confederacy. Many body servants, cooks, and wagon drivers were used by the Confederate army but they were in combat only on the rarest of occasions. As a practical matter, the Negro Confederate Soldier is a myth.
Martin K. O’Toole, Marietta, Ga.
Sir — Why the fuss in your June ‘O Tempora’ section about graffiti that say “Jump White People”? They meant to write a word of encouragement to white people who want to play better basketball, but just forgot the comma after the first word.
Mark Hurd, Brooklyn, N.Y.
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