|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 22, No. 7||July 2011|
Prison life as seen by a guard.
I work in the prison system of Maryland, a high-tax, big-government, politically correct blue state. The state’s thinking about crime and corrections is typically liberal: Everyone knows that it is expensive to keep someone in prison, so why not invest in rehabilitation, and keep inmates from coming back? The theory is that most of the young men in prisons had deprived childhoods in poor, inner-city neighborhoods, so most of them can redeem themselves if we “level the playing field” through education and training and give them a second chance. This approach is supported most strongly by prison system bureaucrats who get a nice paycheck and fat benefits by providing the education and training. No one seems to be willing to point out that this approach doesn’t work.
The theory of rehabilitation means that, at least in Maryland, every prisoner — even those serving life without parole — must have the chance to earn a GED. Since many are barely literate, in some cases that would be close to 12 grades of education. Rehabilitation also means drug abuse treatment, and countless classes in such things as parenting and anger management that are intended to turn people away from crime. Many institutions have production facilities such as metal, wood, and upholstery shops, where criminals get vocational training (and can find raw material for weapons). There is even an office technology program where inmates learn about computers.
This commitment to “rehabilitation” means that although Americans think they see realistic depictions of prison life in television programs, such as Lockup, there is a great deal they never see. Most taxpayers would be surprised to learn that some convicted murderers and rapists have televisions and Sony Play Stations in their cells. They would be surprised to learn that prisoners can subscribe to pornographic magazines.
Federal law requires that inmates get one hour outside their cells every day, but it is only prisoners in administrative or disciplinary segregation who get no more than that (see “Integration at its Worst,” AR, Nov. 2009). In Maryland, everyone else gets two outdoor recreation periods of one or two hours, as well as an indoor rec period. Besides that, there are prison jobs that run from cooking to janitor work to plumbing and electrical repairs. And, of course, inmates get food, shelter, and medical care — all provided at tremendous cost to Maryland’s heavily burdened taxpayers.
“Rehabilitation” does not end at the prison gates. When an inmate is released, taxpayers continue to pay for what is supposed to be a transition back to civilian life. Released cons get new ID cards issued by the Motor Vehicles Administration and duplicate birth certificates and social security cards. There is also a whole range of services to help prisoners with job placement, medical treatment, and housing.
Needless to say, none of this stops inmates from complaining about their treatment. It makes no difference what they get from us; they always want more. The thought that some hard-working stiff has to pay for it does not cross their minds. It’s not enough to have cable television; they insist on certain channels. It’s not enough to have better medical care than many honest citizens on the outside; they want to tell the doctors how to treat them. Gratitude is alien to these people.
Something else that is nearly universal among prisoners is a complete inability to accept any responsibility for their actions. Most of them are, of course, black, and it is interesting, if hardly encouraging, to listen to them talk. They try to sell you a vision of a world in which racist cops rampage through poor neighborhoods, shaking down blacks and arresting or even shooting them without cause. Some try to convince you these things happen every day, as if the police actually had time for racially motivated witch hunts between answering radio calls. If they are in prison it is the fault of the police.
It is this complete lack of responsibility that dooms rehabilitation from the start. Just listen to black inmates who are close to release. Many started selling drugs as teenagers and have never had a real job in their lives. A few black inmates really do want to leave the thug life behind and support themselves, but they are rare. Others complain about the lack of “guaranteed jobs,” and seem to consider this an excuse for not looking for honest work. If they do talk about jobs, they want to know about programs that are there to help them. For many of them, the thought of looking for a job without direct government help is inconceivable.
After four years with the Department of Corrections, I have learned that “therapeutic incarceration,” as I call it, does not work — and it’s not just an impression. It doesn’t seem to matter how much we spend trying to reform prisoners; they’ll be back.
In 2008 the US Department of Justice released the results of a 15-state study of 272,111 released prisoners. No less than 67.5 percent were rearrested within three years. That was 5 percent more than the recidivism rate the DOJ found in a 15-state study conducted in 1994.
The actual recidivism rate is probably even higher. Leonard A. Sipes, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, says the rate reported by the DOJ is too low because the study was based on a review of rap sheets, which are often incomplete. If a police agency doesn’t report an arrest to the state, it won’t appear on the rap sheet — and a certain number of arrests just slip through the cracks. Mr. Sipes estimated that the actual rearrest rate within three years of release was greater than 85 percent.
Crime is a young man’s game. After the age of 50 or so, the chances of a man being arrested are close to zero, so the one almost-always reliable rehabilitation program is old age. While men are in their high-crime years, from late teens to early 30s, job training and anger-management don’t make much difference.
Of course, many offenders are sentenced to life without parole, so they will never be rearrested. In Maryland, those are people who are in for only the most heinous crimes, such as multiple murders and gruesome rape/murders. Typically, an offender who has four prior incarcerations and a new conviction for several counts of armed robbery can still expect to return to the streets someday. And the theory is that he will have been reformed by parenting and anger-management training and is no longer a threat to society.
Wrong. Many inmates have had as many as 20 arrests and four to five prior incarcerations. I’ve seen a criminal history in which the inmate’s first arrest was at age nine. The consequences of this catch-and-release system can be deadly. One convict who got out after less than half of a 10-year sentence for rape went on to rape and murder a seven-year-old boy. The millions and millions of dollars Maryland pours into “rehabilitation” are money down a rathole.
The state — and the nation — also assume that prisoners are constantly abused by guards and need ever-stronger legal remedies. Every liberal who makes it into the Oval Office corrupts the federal judiciary by seeding it with judges who are willing to hear increasingly frivolous inmate lawsuits. Enter “lawsuits against correctional staff” into a search engine and you’ll get plenty of hits.
It is not easy to find statistics on the number of suits inmates file against correctional staff, but we know there are a lot. The federal courts were overwhelmed, and ordered the states to create an Administrative Remedy Procedure (ARP) as a filter. This is the first-level screening of inmate complaints and is decided by an ARP coordinator within the prison. Complaints can be ludicrously trivial, such as the amount of recreation time prisoners get or the selection of television channels. Prisoners may complain about their medical treatment, and frequently file a complaint against the staff for allegedly damaging a radio or television set during a search. The overwhelming majority of complaints are dismissed at this level.
A complaint that survives the ARP process goes on to the Inmate Grievance Office (IGO) stage, where it is heard by an administrative law judge (ALJ). This is a formal, costly procedure; one Maryland prison spends just short of a quarter of a million dollars a year on the IGO process. If the ALJ finds in favor of the prisoner, he can win compensatory damages.
Inmates know how to work the system. Like all predators, street thugs have an instinct for weakness and a knack for exploiting any system. Prisoners know their complaints cannot be summarily dismissed without at least an interview with prison staff, and a few inmates spend most of their free time writing up complaints just to make trouble.
Any street cop or anyone who has worked in the corrections system knows who the criminals are. I can leave the “race” field filled in in advance on the forms we use at work. According to Department of Justice statistics blacks are seven to eight times more likely than whites to be incarcerated. About 9 percent of the black population is under some sort of correctional supervision — be it prison, parole, or probation — compared to 2 percent of whites. At the institution where I work, the overwhelming majority of inmates are black.
Everyone knows this, of course, but in this politically correct environment you have to be careful about mentioning it. Some staff talk about race with others they trust, but the hierarchy is well salted with affirmative-action employees, especially in the Baltimore region and at headquarters, so candor can be punished.
Whites prisoners are, of course, heavily outnumbered, as are Mexicans, so they generally stick together. Many blacks and Mexicans are already affiliated with a gang such as the Bloods or MS-13 before they come in, and benefit from gang protection. The most powerful white prison gang in Maryland is called Dead Man Incorporated, and it has been able to offer protection to its members through the dubious strategy of carrying out contract violence for the Black Guerilla Family. BGF is mainly a prison gang but has some street presence as well.
Occasionally, there is racial violence. Over the last several years there have been major disturbances caused by fights between Dead Man Incorporated and the Bloods. However, in my experience, most of the violence is within gangs and therefore within the same race. It is usually punishment for failing to do some job the gang wanted done or for trying to leave a gang.
Black street thugs care a lot about what they call “respect” which, for them, means making others fear them. They are quick to take offense if they are “disrespected,” though most will quickly back down from anyone who is not easily cowed.
There is always the implied threat of violence, even against prison staff. Not long ago, an inmate in a segregation ward got angry when I refused to pass an item from his cell to an inmate in another cell. He started yelling about being “disrespected,” and that I’d better watch out, because he was in for murder. I think he was lying about that; he just wanted to scare me. At the time I was on the evening shift and could not check with an employee who had access to the inmate’s criminal record.
It’s fairly common for a black inmate to accompany a request for something impossible with a thinly veiled threat of violence: “Whus keepin’ me from actin’ up (trying to hurt you) if I don’ get what I want?”
Short of violence, inmates know that if they file a complaint — even for trivial matters — it results in a great deal of bothersome paperwork, and can conceivably lead to disciplinary action against prison staff. Therefore, prisoners sometimes threaten us with written complaints, administrative remedy procedure filings, or just “I’m gonna call my lawya!”
I remember one black street thug who tried to argue with me for a good half hour while I was running “rec hall,” trying to convince me that he was going to get me in trouble with a lieutenant and get me fired. His complaint was so minor I can’t even remember what it was, but I will never forget his threat that he would “have my job.” “Dis is my career,” he screamed, waving his arms and throwing his hands like a rapper to punctuate his threats. “I been locked up since I was fo’teen and dis is what I do!”
Some prisoners are smart enough to realize that a constant gangster attitude doesn’t pay. After several years, inmates with long sentences understand that the institution is home, and that fighting with staff only makes things harder. Many lifers eventually become well behaved and even use flattery to try to get their way.
Sometimes you don’t know if blacks are being menacing or just strange. Recently I was walking a tier and heard an inmate singing “Kill all da white boy hillbilleezz” over and over, like a mantra. I stopped by at his cell door and laughed. “I thought all you brothers could sing,” I said. “I can see I was wrong.” This inmate stopped singing rather than get angry.
The mainstream press almost never writes about this but, yes, blacks frequently masturbate publicly at the sight of women. Why don’t they show more self-restraint? I don’t know, but I think it must have something to do with the callous attitude toward women that is so deeply embedded in the ghetto.
There is rape in prisons, but at least in my experience, it is not as widespread as it is portrayed in the movies. Occasionally inmates will have consensual sex with each other. Some of these thugs would gladly have sex with anything.
Guards and prisoners
The liberal image of a prison is of swarms of armed, uniformed guards who dominate the inmates. The grim reality is that a corrections officer is vastly outnumbered and surrounded by inmates through much of his shift. (There are a few high-security institutions that have a better inmate-to-staff ratio but they are exceptions.) In Maryland, only officers who are posted to tower or perimeter patrol or who transport prisoners carry firearms.
It may seem strange that most prison guards do not carry a weapon, but there is a reason for this. If you are inside the perimeter, a group of prisoners could overpower you and take your weapon. Instead, most guards carry pepper spray, which is actually pretty effective. It produces a nasty burning sensation, makes the eyes and nose run, and — most important — people shut their eyes when they are hit with it. Most aggressors stop in their tracks because they can’t see and because suddenly all they can think about is the pain they are in. However, a few people — those who have been sprayed many times or who are high on PCP or crystal methamphetamine — can shake off the spray and keep on fighting. Pepper-spray symptoms usually wear off in about an hour.
Prison violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by inmates, usually against each other. There are sharp limits on how staff may respond to an attack. An incarcerated thug can throw a mix of urine and feces on an officer or even stab him, but we can do no more than get him under control. No matter what kind of outrage may have been done to us, we must do nothing physical once an inmate is no longer a threat. Anything more can lead to termination, a civil suit before a malevolent federal judge, or even criminal prosecution. An inmate may pay for violence with a few years added to his sentence or may have to spend time in segregation, where he will lose television and basketball privileges. An inmate who already has a lengthy sentence has little to lose.
A Maryland thug named Brandon Morris is a good example of how things go wrong. In 2006, he got himself admitted to a hospital outside of his prison by deliberately stabbing himself. He knew that once he was in a hospital he would be guarded by just one officer. Mr. Morris waited for an opportunity, made a grab for the officer’s weapon, and killed him. Officer Jeff Wroten was white, had five children, and was nearly eligible for retirement. Mr. Morris was a 20-year-old black who was in for armed robbery and assault. The police soon caught Mr. Morris and should have ended his sorry existence in a hail of lead, but that doesn’t happen in this kinder, gentler criminal justice system. Mr. Morris just went back to prison. He was tried for killing Wroten but escaped the death penalty.
Another brutal truth about prison life is corruption. Inmates can get their hands on alcohol, drugs, cell phones, and weapons with surprising ease. You read about drug lords in Colombian or Mexican prisons living in luxury, running their drug empires from prison. It’s not quite that bad here, but surprising things find their way into prisons.
Several state prisons in the Baltimore area are staffed primarily by blacks, many of them women. This often means inmates are supervised by people from their own neighborhoods. Corruption is so rampant that factory-made knives have been found in areas accessible only to employees. Some prison employees have even been gang members.
Corruption in Baltimore was so bad that when the US Drug Enforcement Administration arrested 24 members of the Black Guerilla Family on April 16, 2009, four of them were prison employees. Agents found that the BGF had recruited prison staff to smuggle in drugs and cell phones, and to help extort money from other inmates and their families. At the Metropolitan Transition Center in Baltimore, BGF members smuggled in champagne, vodka, and seafood.
Corrupt female guards sometimes have sex with inmates. They can actually be criminally charged for this, but administrators do not want the bad publicity of a prosecution. Offenders are usually fired quietly and escorted to the gate.
As they are now run, prisons are hideously expensive. When I first entered the profession, I was taught that the average annual cost of keeping an adult locked up is $40,000. The US prison population jumped from 319,598 in 1980 to 1,518,559 in 2006. The number of people under some kind of correctional supervision including prison, pretrial detention, and parole or probation grew from 1,842,100 in 1980 to a staggering 7,308,200 in 2008. All this costs money.
State expenditures on criminal justice rose from $10.6 billion in 1980 to $69.0 billion in 2006. Local governments pay even more, with criminal justice spending surging from $20.9 billion in 1980 to $109.2 billion in 2006. As the US population becomes increasingly non-white, the number of prisoners — and their costs to the taxpayer — will only grow.
A huge part of the money goes toward new prison construction — sometimes under court order — because of overcrowding. But a lot of the spending is for America’s army of police, corrections officers, and parole/probation officers. As the convict population grows, states are struggling to hire enough security staff to keep up.
The staff often feel badly outnumbered. It is not easy to find comprehensive data on the ratio of staff to inmates, as there is a lot of variation among the states and among different prisons within states. However, in 2008, the American Correctional Association calculated that Illinois had about 7,700 security staff to supervise more than 43,000 inmates. Simple division gives you a ratio of six to one, but don’t forget: Staff work shifts and take days off, while inmates need supervision 24 hours a day and never take a day off.
Illinois ranked 32 out of 44 states studied, meaning that 31 states had higher staff to inmate ratios, but 12 had worse ratios. Not surprisingly, the unions that represent corrections officers howl about this sort of thing because high inmate-to staff ratios can be dangerous.
This issue gets headlines only after a major incident, such as the June 2008 fatal stabbing of Jose Rivera, a guard at US Penitentiary Atwater in California, or the deaths of two Maryland guards who were killed in separate incidents in 2006. While the public eye is turned away, prison officials quietly give inmates more favors and benefits in a painfully obvious effort to purchase peace. Over the years, administrators have given inmates video games, television, basketball tournaments, and longer recreation periods in thinly veiled efforts to avoid riots and violence.
If rehabilitation is a lost cause — as I believe it is — what would keep inmates from returning to prison again and again, until they finally get a life sentence? The common sense that the so-called experts and professionals lack would tell us that incarceration should be unpleasant. Once you have been in you should never want to go back. However, the brutal American prison in which redneck guards beat inmates with rifle butts exists only in Hollywood.
The welfare system feeds the problem by encouraging thugs and their various girlfriends to produce yet more thugs. It is the norm for inmates to have a couple of illegitimate children. A black inmate who has had six children with five different women is not unusual. Also, most inner-city people have had a haphazard upbringing by a grandparent or older sibling because one or both parents were in jail or on drugs. A prison course in office technology is not going to change these people.
Despite what the “experts” tell you, therapeutic incarceration is a failure. The welfare system ensures that the criminal class will grow, and the police cannot prevent street crime. If you’re a high-level bureaucrat or wealthy businessman — the kind of people who perpetuate this rotten system — you can live in a gated community or out in the distant suburbs. The only price you pay is a longer commute.
The rest of us have to rely on the Second Amendment.
Tales from the Hood
Ying Ma, Chinese Girl in the Ghetto, CreateSpace, 2011, 174 pp., $9.99
A Chinese woman tells what it was like.
Asian immigrant success stories often follow a familiar script. The immigrant leaves his country, lives in a close-knit family, struggles hard at a low-paying job, learns English, and moves into the middle class.
Ying Ma’s story would not be much different if it did not go into detail about an aspect of the immigrant experience that most authors leave out: what it’s like to live among blacks before finally making it into the middle class.
Miss Ma’s book starts in the 1970s, when she was a little girl living in communist China. She shared a two-room apartment with her parents, a brother, and grandparents. Her family was actually well-off compared to others, and Miss Ma excelled in school. She had relatives who sometimes visited from Hong Kong and gave her things like nail polish — unavailable in China — that gave her visions of a better life in the West. When, in the mid-1980s, she learned that her family was being allowed to emigrate to the United States she was excited: “America was going to be great; I could not wait!”
Her excitement soon gave way to racial reality. Miss Ma thought America was full of white people but when her family settled in inner-city Oakland she was surrounded by blacks. Asian and Hispanic immigrants were beginning to move in, and though her grade school was mostly black, there was a handful of Chinese students who interpreted for her while she learned English. In only her second or third week of school, a group of black boys stole her mechanical pencil — a going-away gift from her Chinese classmates — and laughed at her when she tried to get it back.
Because her parents worked at below-minimum-wage menial jobs, by the time Miss Ma was in the fifth grade she was doing most of the cooking and cleaning. She also had to interpret for her parents on visits to doctors and government agencies. Even so, she quickly outpaced her classmates. At one point, a black teacher lectured his students about the need to study harder when Miss Ma — still not fluent in English — correctly answered a grammar question that stumped the blacks.
In junior high school, things got much worse. Miss Ma writes:
Numerous black students regularly screamed racial epithets at their Asian counterparts. “Ching Chong,” “Chinaman,” and “Chow Mein” became our names. Sometimes, our tormentors imitated the way in which we spoke our native tongues. On other occasions, they physically assaulted us or threatened to do so.
Along with other Asian students, I did my best to avoid physical confrontation — those who openly and regularly uttered racial epithets always appeared ready to back up their threats with violence. When black students made fun of the “Chinamen” among us, I did nothing. When they screamed at the middle-aged Cantonese cafeteria aide and called her a “stupid Chinaman,” I, along with all the other Asian students present, pretended we did not hear anything.
Asians could get the same treatment any time:
On the streets of Oakland, black teenagers regularly hurled racial insults at adult Asian immigrants who spoke limited English. One common tactic was to creep up behind an elderly Asian person and frighten him or her with sing-song nonsense, such as “Yee-ya, ching-chong, ay-yahhhh!” Meanwhile, numerous black adults discriminated against Asian immigrants at the grocery store, on the bus, at the hospital, the unemployment office and everywhere else. Each time I witnessed such behavior I gritted my teeth, felt a burning rage and watched the racism take place in silence.
Whenever Miss Ma ate a snack at school, blacks would demand part of it:
I could not understand why Tyesha felt entitled to my food. . . . I was just as poor, if not poorer, than the rest of my classmates. Our collective poverty was evidenced by the fact that we, along with nearly everyone at my school, took advantage of government-subsidized lunches. . . . Still I did not walk around demanding food from others.
Miss Ma learned to wolf down her snacks before anyone saw her or just eat them at home.
In high school, Miss Ma used an uncle’s address to transfer to a school in a mostly white neighborhood. Still, there were blacks on the bus who continued their abuse and said things to Asian girls “that would make Howard Stern blush.”
Miss Ma studied hard, helped her parents, took a job at a movie theater, and even played on her school tennis team. She went to Cornell and eventually earned a law degree from Stanford.
While Chinese Girl in the Ghetto is about the life and struggles of an Asian immigrant, it says more about blacks. Every institution in America tells us that blacks are held back by inferior schools, bad teachers, poor housing, crime-ridden streets, lack of role models, bigoted cops, stingy government programs and — of course — white racism. Yet an Asian girl from a poor family who knew not a word of English was dumped into the same environment and ended up in the Ivy League a decade later. Her parents worked in restaurants and sweatshops but still saved up enough money to buy a house five years after they arrived.
Miss Ma criticizes other races as well. She was frustrated by her fellow Asians’ passivity and lack of unity in the face of black aggression. She did not develop close friendships with other Asian girls and found that many were jealous of her success in school and more interested in movie stars and boy bands.
Hispanics were not nearly as abusive as blacks but some did join in the anti-Asian bullying. The one time Miss Ma fought back physically was when she finally had enough of a Mexican girl who was taunting her.
Whites are barely a footnote in this book. A few were in her AP classes, and though they did not abuse her, Miss Ma thought they were privileged and superficial. One day, after her usual dose of harassment from blacks, she found a distraught white girl in the bathroom. The girl was having a bad-hair day.
After the graduation ceremony from Stanford Law School, Miss Ma’s classmates were partying or having celebratory lunches. Miss Ma was helping her parents understand and complete closing papers on a new house in a better neighborhood. It is hard not to admire her.
Opportunity and freedom?
Miss Ma started out to write a book on American opportunity and freedom, but a series of black-on-Asian killings in 2010 made her change focus. “As news about the sadistic attacks hit the Internet and airwaves, I quickly lost interest in inserting commentary about freedom into my draft chapters,” she wrote.
She has also discovered the double standard:
Had white teenagers inflicted similarly horrific violence on Asian residents across America in a series of incidents over a four month period, the country — or at least the cities where the crimes took place — would have rushed to engage in serious soul-searching about white attitudes toward Asians. Where black-on-Asian violence was concerned however, America’s fear of confronting painful truths beyond the bounds of political correctness became all too clear.
Miss Ma’s decision to talk about race makes Chinese Girl in the Ghetto unique, but it may have had a cost: the book is self-published. Miss Ma is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has written for the Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Policy Review and National Review Online. Why aren’t neoconservative and even a few liberal publishers jumping at the chance to publish a work extolling the opportunities and wonders of the United States from a young Asian immigrant?
Miss Ma hinted at the reason why when she told FrontPage Magazine:
Given everybody’s obsession with China these days, my book probably would sell much better had I written about China alone and skipped any references to the unpleasant reality in the ghetto. . . . I will leave it up to my readers — and the market — to decide whether that was wise.
Racial taboos paralyze even non-white organizations. There are several Asian “civil rights” groups, but they are afraid to criticize blacks. Let an 18-year-old white woman at UCLA, Alexandra Wallace, make silly remarks about Asians on YouTube and they are as brave as samurai. Miss Wallace was eventually hounded out of the university. Yet these same race activists have nothing to say about the repeated assaults, robberies, and even murders that blacks routinely commit against Asians. Miss Ma is the rare Asian brave enough to speak up for her people.
Of course, any reader of American Renaissance can offer Miss Ma an endless supply of similarly unheralded black-on-white attacks. During the few days I was reading her book a white transvestite was beaten by a gang of black girls in Baltimore (this did get some publicity), an autistic white man was beaten by a black on a bus in San Bernardino, and a gang of blacks robbed and assaulted white passengers on a train in Atlanta. There could well have been similar attacks that were either not reported or were so briefly noted that I never heard of them. Needless to say, the subject of black racism remains officially off limits.
Still, people who would never dream of reading American Renaissance may be open to a message of racial reality if it comes from a young Asian woman. Whites are being bit by the same dog as Asians. If her book can alert more people to black pathology it may help chip away at the taboos against discussing them.
Peter Bradley writes from Washington, D.C.
Quarterbacks, Intelligence and Race
IQ matters in football, too.
About 75 percent of the players in the National Football League (NFL) are black but most of the quarterbacks are white. Why is this?
It is probably because it takes more intelligence to be a successful quarterback in professional football than to play other positions, and the average intelligence of blacks is lower than that of whites. Hence, of those who have the necessary physical skills, far fewer blacks than whites have the intelligence to be a top-flight quarterback. One way to test this theory is to see if there is a correlation between the intelligence of a quarterback and his performance, and to see if there are racial differences in these measures.
The owners and managers of NFL teams recognize the importance of intelligence, and they usually have players take an intelligence test before they are hired. Most teams use the Wonderlic Test, which takes only 12 minutes and consists of a set of 50 questions. It has been designed so that a score of 20 corresponds to an IQ of 100. More generally, a Wonderlic score of W corresponds to an IQ of (2W + 60). The Wonderlic test is not as precise as a full IQ test but it is much shorter and easier to administer. The Wonderlic organization does not release player’s scores, but most of them are eventually leaked to the press by players, agents, or management, and can be found on the internet.
Most people can improve their scores slightly with practice. These days, all serious quarterback prospects have agents, who urge their clients to practice. With hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake — perhaps millions — one would have to be stupid not to practice.
If the Wonderlic score is a good measure of intelligence, how do we measure the performance of NFL quarterbacks? This is obviously subjective, but the most widely used measure is the Quarterback Rating adopted by the NFL in 1971. It uses a complex formula that takes into account four aspects of a quarterback’s performance: the percentage of completed passes, the average number of yards gained per passing attempt. the percentage of passes that result in touchdowns, and the percentage that are intercepted. The league keeps careful records of each of those figures, and the Quarterback Rating of every active player for any season can be easily found on the Internet.
Of course, the performance of a quarterback varies from year to year, so his Quarterback Rating averaged over his entire career is a better estimate of his performance than his rating for a single year. Lifetime Quarterback Ratings of active players are all online.
Over the last 40 years there have been changes in the rules that favor the offense and quarterbacks in particular. As a result, Quarterback Ratings have gradually risen, so it is not fair to compare Lifetime Quarterback Ratings of current players with those who were active 20 or 30 years ago, but it is possible to make fair comparisons of quarterbacks who are contemporaries.
|Top 11 Quarterbacks|
|Average of top 11||92.6||30|
|Top Black Quarterbacks|
|Average of top blacks||82.0||18.6|
I have examined the records of active quarterbacks who have been playing in the NFL for at least three seasons and made a list of the 10 highest Lifetime Quarterback Ratings (see table, above). As there was a tie for tenth place, there are 11 quarterbacks on the list. The table also includes the Wonderlic test score for each player. All eleven of those players are white.
I also made a list of the seven best active black quarterbacks who have played three or more seasons. Three of them (Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, and Vince Young) have been much ballyhooed in the press because of some spectacular plays. The others are less spectacular but are consistent performers with good Quarterback Ratings. All seven are included in Table 1. The data for each of the 18 players are also shown in a scatter diagram (see figure, next page).
Even a cursory glance at the scatter diagram makes it clear that there is a relationship between a quarterback’s intelligence as measured by his score on the Wonderlic test and his performance as measured by his Lifetime Quarterback Rating. A more precise measure of that relationship — or between any two sets of numerical data involving the same individuals — is provided by the linear correlation coefficient between them, usually abbreviated r.
Statisticians define r by a formula according to which the value of r can never be greater than 1.00, nor less than -1.00. A positive value of r means that as the value of one quantity increases the value of the other quantity tends to increase also; a negative value means that as one quantity increases the other tends to decrease. A value of + 1.00 or of – 1.00 (perfect correlation) means that the data points on a scatter diagram lie in a perfectly straight line, so that knowledge of one quantity enables a perfect prediction of the exact value of the other quantity. If the value of one quantity has no effect at all on the other quantity, then r = 0.00, and the two sets of data are uncorrelated.
For the sixteen players, a correlation calculation shows that Wonderlic scores and Quarterback Ratings are positively correlated, with r = 0.75. This is a very high correlation, and suggests that a quarterback’s intelligence substantially affects his performance.
This is not surprising, since quarterbacking is perhaps the most cerebral position in football, or perhaps in any sport. A quarterback has to be familiar with more than 100 different plays (including blocking assignments and the routes of pass receivers). He must be able to see which possible receivers are too closely guarded by defensive players, and which ones can be thrown to safely. He must be able to recognize different defenses, and to adjust accordingly. When defensive players rush in on him, a quarterback must be able to decide whether to try a risky pass (which might be intercepted), or to throw the ball away (where it cannot be intercepted), or to simply accept being tackled for a loss while avoiding a costly fumble. He may have only seconds or fractions of seconds to make these decisions. Experience helps, but natural intelligence is important.
Of course, high intelligence alone will not make a good quarterback. Size, strength, and speed are necessary. No one thinks that if only he had practiced enough, Albert Einstein could have become a good NFL quarterback.
Could the relatively unimpressive performance of black quarterbacks therefore be due to inferior physical ability? That is theoretically possible. Although Asians have somewhat higher IQs than whites, there are no Asian quarterbacks in the NFL, probably because they are smaller than whites. In fact, however, black quarterbacks are not inferior to whites in size, strength, or speed. Most of them are physically very impressive.
For example, Donovan McNabb, who was the second player selected in the 1999 draft, is 6’2” tall, very strong, and hard to tackle. Vince Young is 6’5” tall, with a superb athletic build, and was the third player and the first quarterback chosen in the 2006 draft. Michael Vick, who was the first player selected in the 2001 draft, is probably the fastest quarterback ever to play in the NFL, and has repeatedly made dazzling plays. Many of the white quarterbacks in the NFL are also superb physical specimens, but on average the black quarterbacks are at least their equal, and perhaps superior. Nor is there any evidence that black quarterbacks do not perform as well as whites because of a lack of physical courage.
The real differences seems to be in intelligence. The average Wonderlic score of the leading black quarterbacks is only 18.6, which is equivalent to an IQ of just over 97, whereas the average Wonderlic score of the leading white quarterbacks is 30.2, which is equivalent to an IQ of slightly over 120. This means that the top white quarterbacks have, on average, IQs that are 23 points higher than the top black quarterbacks. Indeed, with the exception of Ben Roethlisberger, whose Wonderlic score of 25 is equaled by that of black quarterback Byron Leftwich, every one of the white quarterbacks on the list has a higher IQ than any of the black quarterbacks.
In sports, as in life, IQ counts for a lot.
Professor Hart is the author of Understanding Human History.
The Galton Report
Brain Size Counts — Even Among Birds.
There is no doubt that when species are compared, a large brain confers greater intelligence than a small brain. Fish and reptiles have small brains and are not very bright. Cats and dogs have larger brains and are much brighter. Monkeys and apes have still larger brains and are brighter still. Humans have the largest brains — about three times larger than apes’ brains — and we are brightest of all, which is why we control the world.
Brain size is generally in proportion to body size. Elephants and sperm whales have larger brains than we do, but we are still smarter. Within broad limits, what matters for intelligence is the ratio of brain size to body size, or what is called the encephalization index. The table to the left gives the encephalization indices (EI) for various mammals. As a rule, the higher the EI, the greater the intelligence.
|Human||7.4 – 7.8|
|Orca||2.57 – 3.3|
|Chimpanzee||2.2 – 2.5|
|Elephant||1.13 – 2.36|
It is a vexed question whether the association between brain size and intelligence holds for humans, and many anthropologists and psychologists have denied the association. For example, Professor Maciej Henneberg, professor of Anthropological and Comparative Anatomy at the University of Adelaide, has written that “there is ever more evidence accumulating against a direct relationship between cranial capacity and intellectual capacity.” Professor Diane Halpern, a past president of the American Psychological Association and currently Professor of Psychology at Claremont McKenna College, has written that “there is no evidence that larger brains are, in any way, better than smaller brains.”
Why are Professors Maciej Henneberg, Diane Halpern and many others so adamant about this? Could it be that if an association between brain size and intelligence is admitted, then it follows that races with larger brains are likely to be the more intelligent than those with smaller brains? This is a question many anthropologists and psychologists prefer to avoid.
The definitive study of race differences in brain size was carried out on approximately 20,000 crania by Professor Kenneth Beals and his colleagues at Oregon State University. Their results for endocranial volume, measured in cubic centimeters for the major races were as follows: North East Asians (Chinese, Japanese and Koreans): 1,416 cm; Europeans: 1,369cm; Native American Indians: 1,366cm; Southeast Asians: 1,332cm; Pacific Islanders: 1,317cm; South Asians: 1,293cm; Sub-Saharan Africans: 1,282cm; Bushmen: 1,270cm; Australian Aborigines: 1,225cm. These brain size differences correspond with intelligence differences derived from IQ tests given by Prof. Richard Lynn, who finds IQs of 105 for North East Asians,100 for Europeans, and so on downwards to 62 for Australian Aborigines and 54 for the Bushmen of the Kalahari desert.
Profs. Kenneth Beals and his colleagues were evidently somewhat embarrassed to find that North East Asians and Europeans had larger brains than the other races. Could this mean that they are more intelligent? The Oregon professors went out of their way to deny this. Of the possibility of a relationship between brain size and intellectual capacity they wrote: “No convincing case for such associations has ever been presented.”
Contrary to these assertions, the positive association between brain size and intelligence in humans has been shown in numerous studies beginning in the ﬁrst decade of the 20th century. Professor Philip A. Vernon of the University of Western Ontario and his colleagues have summarized studies of the correlation between intelligence and head size, and the correlation between intelligence and the size of the brain itself. Every one of 54 studies that measured head size showed a positive relationship, with an overall correlation of 0.18. Research using CT (computerized axial tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) gives a more accurate measure of brain size, and the 11 studies that used these methods found an overall correlation with intelligence of 0.40. Prof. Vernon and his colleagues conclude that brain size must be a determinant of intelligence because larger brains have more neurons and this gives them greater processing capacity.
A recent study has shown that it is not only in humans that a larger brain size helps solve new and difficult problems. Dr. Alexei Maklakov and his colleagues at the University of Uppsala found that this is also the case for birds. In a study of common species of passerine (perching) birds in and around 12 representative cities in France and Switzerland, they report that birds with large brains, such as crows, rooks, magpies, starlings and some breeds of sparrows and finch, have colonized towns and cities, while birds with small brains, such as larks, dippers, buntings and warblers, have not been able to do this and are found exclusively in the country.
They suggest that birds with larger brains are better able to adapt to the novel environments of towns and cities. For example, blue tits learn to peck through the tops of milk bottles left on doorsteps, and Japanese crows learn to drop nuts on roads and wait for an automobile to run over them and crack them open. When the road is clear they retrieve the nutmeats.
In a related study, Dr. Suzanne Shultz and her colleagues at the University of Oxford have found that in Britain, where the habitat for birds has been reduced in recent decades as a result of increasingly intensive farming, the numbers of birds has declined. The decline has been greatest among birds with smaller brains, apparently because they have been less successful in adapting to the changed environment. Larger brained birds have been able to migrate into towns and cities and thrive there.
The same relationship holds true for domesticated as opposed to wild species of mammals. Dogs have a lower encephalization index than wolves, and the same is true for domesticated pigs, horses, llamas, ferrets, etc. compared to wild variants. This is clearly a genetic trait because wild animals kept in captivity for several generations do not decrease in brain size, nor do domestic animals that go feral increase in brain size in just a few generations. Experiments have shown that wild animals are considerably smarter than their domestic kin; they have to be, since they do not depend on humans and have to fend for themselves. Many also have complex group behavior in the wild that is lost or diminished in captivity.
The amount of brain loss that results from domestication varies by species, but those that originally had high encephalization indices lose the most. Tame laboratory mice do not suffer any brain loss at all compared to their wild cousins. Tame guinea pigs have 5 to 7 percent less brain mass than wild guinea pigs, and lab rats have lost only about 9 percent through domestication.
The more intelligent wild animals give up more brain mass when they are domesticated: Llamas and alpacas — 19 percent; cats — 23 percent; dogs — 29 to 34 percent, depending on the breed; sheep — 30 percent; pigs — 34 percent. The decline in intelligence for a species is roughly in proportion to the percentage of brain mass that has been lost.
The message of all these studies is clear: A larger brain helps a species solve new problems. It can make the difference between survival and extinction when environments change. Brain size counts — even for birds.
Roth, G. and Dicke, U. Evolution of the brain and intelligence. TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences 9 (5): 250.
Beals, K. L., Smith, C. L. and Dodd, S. M. Brain size, cranial morphology, climate and time machines. Current Anthropology, 1984. 25, 301–330.
Henneberg, M. Comment on Beals Dodd and Smith. Current Anthropology, 1984. 25, 321–322.
Lynn, R. Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis. Augusta, GA: Washington Summit Publishers, 2006.
Maklakov, A. A., Immler, S. Gonzalez-Voyer, A. Rönn, J. & Kolm, N. Brains Sex and the city: big-brained passerine birds succeed in urban environments. Biology Letters, 2011, published online 27 April
Shultz, S., Bradbury, R. B., Evans, K. L., Gregory, R.D. & Blackburn, T. M. Brain size and resource specialization predict long-term population trends in British birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B, 2005, 272, 2305–2311.
Vernon, P.A., Wickett, J.C., Bazana, P.G. and Stelmack, R.M. The neuropsychology and neurophysiology of human intelligence. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed) Handbook of Intelligence. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
“Birth tourism” is the practice of coming to the United States for the express purpose of having a baby on American soil. According to the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment, the baby becomes an automatic US citizen.
Thousands of poor, illegal immigrants give birth to “Americans” every year, but many of them are living here and hope to stay. “Birth tourists” tend to be middle-class or wealthy foreigners who don’t plan to live here as illegals. They come legally on tourist visas when they are pregnant and give birth here because they want their children to have the option of US citizenship. It doesn’t hurt that when the children turn 21 they can petition to bring their non-citizen parents to live in the United States. It is citizenship insurance for the whole family.
There is nothing strictly illegal about any of this, and there are businesses in China, Korea, Mexico, and even Turkey that advertise package tours for women who want to have their children in the US. No one knows how common the practice is, but there are signs it is becoming institutionalized.
This spring, police and building inspectors in San Gabriel, California, responded to complaints about noise, and large numbers of pregnant women going in and out of a small row of townhouses. They found that dividing walls had been knocked down to convert the row houses into a kind of specialized hotel for pregnant women and mothers with newborns. There were about 10 women living there — all from China.
The mothers had paid tens of thousands of dollars each for a birth tourism package, and were living in clean, pleasant rooms staffed by women who acted as nurses. The building inspectors found baby food, rows of bassinets, supplies of prenatal vitamins, and piles of photos of happy mothers holding their babies. The inspectors told the mothers they had to move out — it was a housing code violation to have so many people there — and sent them to hotels. The owner of the row houses, David Chang, did not make himself available for press interviews but was reportedly fined $800 for housing code infractions.
No one has any idea how many facilities like this one are quietly in business around the country. [Jennifer Medina, Arriving as Pregnant Tourists, Leaving With American Babies, New York Times, March 28, 2011.]
The Great Re-Migration
From 1790 to until 1910, 90 percent of American blacks lived in the South. That started to change during World War I as blacks began moving to northern industrial cities such as New York, Detroit, and Chicago to work in factories. That trickle became the 60-year Great Migration, and by the time it ended in the 1970s, the percentage of blacks in the South had fallen to a low of 53 percent. Now the flow is in the other direction, and the 2010 census finds that today’s figure is 57 percent.
Between 2000 and 2010, the number of blacks in the US as a whole increased by 1.7 million, and 75 percent of that increase was in the South, especially in such cities as Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Charlotte. Some northern cities such as New York and Chicago are seeing their first declines. Illinois saw the first ever drop in its black population, losing 1.3 percent between 2000 and 2010.
Atlanta has long been a desirable destination for blacks, and with 1.7 million, it is now the American city with the second-largest black population, moving ahead of Chicago but still behind New York. Georgia is now home to more blacks than any other state, just ahead of New York. Next are Texas, Florida, and California. Georgia will soon have a non-white majority.
Shelton Haynes, a recent transplant from Harlem, explains the appeal of Atlanta: “We have a great support network of family and friends here, and there is good community involvement, with our kids involved in swimming, tennis, and basketball. In Atlanta, I also see a lot of African-Americans do very well in a variety of professions.” [Hope Yen, In a Reversal, More Blacks Moving Back to South, AP, Feb. 16, 2011.]
Racial Profiling in Missouri
Ever since 2000, the state of Missouri has had a racial profiling law that requires police officers to record the race (and sex) of any driver they pull over. Officers also list the reasons for the stop, and whether (a) there was a search, (b) contraband was found, (c) a warning was issued or an arrest was made. These data are compared to the racial proportions of the population. Every other year officers get “sensitivity training” on the evils of racial profiling, and if any officer is found to be stopping a disproportionate number of minorities, he gets “appropriate counseling and training.” In other words Missouri has policing by quota. [Missouri Revised Statutes — Section 590.650.]
This isn’t crazy enough for a group called Citizens Against Racial Profiling. It recently got the necessary 90,000 signatures to put an initiative on the 2012 ballot that would require officers to fill out the same kind of race data and details for pedestrian stops as for vehicle stops. Departments would also have to set up grievance procedures for complaints about alleged racial profiling and to respond to every complaint within 90 days. Departments would be required to publicize these rules so that every drug seller and gangbanger will know exactly how to smother a police force with paperwork. Any department that doesn’t do these things could have state funds withheld until it knuckles under.
The initiative would also require race data on every driver stopped during sobriety checks. Current law makes an exception for sobriety checks because police routinely stop all drivers. [Drew Koch, Racial Profiling Initiative Making Way to 2012 Ballot, The Maneater (University of Missouri student newspaper), June 1, 2011.]
If the initiative passes, the result will be fewer arrests and more crime. Blacks and Hispanics commit proportionately more crime than whites, and Asians commit less. Requiring the police to stop suspects by quota means they will have to spend time pointlessly stopping whites and Asians just to get the numbers up. Blacks and Hispanics they would otherwise have stopped — and perhaps arrested — will be free to go about their business.
‘Granny Made Me Do It’
On May 13, 2009 Lorraine Mbulawa Braunston Firth, Leicester, stabbed her mother five times — once in the face — as she slept. Her mother managed to grab the knife and survived the attack. When the police arrived, Miss Mbulawa was sitting on the stairs in a trance-like state, crying and shaking, while her badly bleeding mother tried to comfort her. Miss Mbulawa told police that she intended to kill herself after killing her mother.
During her trial in January, Miss Mbulawa’s defense was that she was possessed by the spirit of her dead grandmother, who told her her mother had killed her father in Zimbabwe before she moved to Britain in 2002. The spirit reportedly ordered Miss Mbulawa to avenge the death by killing her mother.
When her mother took the stand, she said she did not blame her daughter because the poor girl was in the thrall of the spirits and therefore not responsible for what she did. The mother argued that if this had happened in Zimbabwe, there would have been no arrest; Miss Mbulawa would have been exorcised by a medicine man.
One psychiatrist testified that Miss Mbulawa was still a threat because she believed the spirits could possess her again and she had no control over them. Another psychiatrist concluded that the stuff about spirits was just an excuse, that Miss Mbulawa was of sound mind, and was entirely aware of what she was doing. In February, a British jury acquitted Miss Mbulawa of attempted murder but convicted her of unlawful wounding.
At a sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court on May 15th, Judge Brian Keith said he believed the defendant’s claim that she believed in witchcraft, and agreed that she should not be held responsible. He dressed down the jury for treating Miss Mbulawa “as if she knew what she was doing at the time of the attack.”
Judge Keith then sentenced Miss Mbulawa to one year of detention in a young offenders’ institute — suspended for 18 months — and 120 hours of community service. He also ordered 18 months of supervision that is supposed to help her resist any spirits that tell her to commit crimes in the future. Miss Mbulawa’s lawyer intends to appeal the conviction. [Chris Brooke, Freed, Girl who Knifed her Mother “After Being Possessed by Evil Spirits,” Daily Mail (London), May 25, 2011. ‘Possessed’ Teen Who Stabbed Mum 5 Times Walks Free, New Zimbabwe, May 24, 2011]
First Black Lord is Jailed
In 1996 at age 42, John David Beckett Taylor, son of Jamaican immigrants, lawyer, father of two, and ex-husband of a white woman, was made Baron Taylor of Warwick. He thus became one of the youngest life peers and the only black member of the 1,205-member House of Lords. There was much joy at the diversity he brought to a dangerously homogeneous institution. Lords do not get a salary but are reimbursed for travel expenses for official business.
Although Baron Taylor lives in London, in 2006 and 2007 he pretended he was living in Oxford, and claimed transportation and hotel expenses in connection with his service in Parliament. He was interviewed by the police in March 2010 and charged with false accounting in July 2010.
At trial he said he was told by fellow lords that he would be “crazy” not to claim to be living outside of London and to charge for travel and accommodation. He also said this was a widespread practice in the House of Lords. His defense counsel insisted that the expenses system was “unclear, ill-defined and, most crucially, treated by many as a remuneration in lieu of salary.”
Baron Taylor was found guilty in January 2011 of dishonestly claiming £11,277 in allowances, and sentenced to one year in prison. The sentencing judge told him he had ruined his life “not by one stupid action but by a protracted course of dishonesty” [Caroline Gammell, Lord Taylor Jailed for 12 Months Over Expenses Fraud, Telegraph (London), May 31, 2011. Caroline Gammell, and Martin Beckford, Lord Taylor of Warwick: Profile of the First Black Tory Peer, Telegraph, Jan. 25, 2011.]
Jury was Racist
Johnson Aziga, an Ugandan immigrant to Canada, was arrested in 2003 after repeatedly ignoring public health orders to tell sex partners he was HIV positive. He admitted to having unprotected sex with 11 women without telling them. Seven of them were infected with HIV, and two died of AIDS-related cancers.
After his arrest, Mr. Aziga wrote his last girlfriend to explain to her why he never told her he was HIV positive and denied it when she got sick. He said his ex-wife had turned him into the “mean, arrogant, insensitive, carefree, morally dead and socially dead monster of a machine that I am today.”
At trial, Mr. Aziga testified that after he contracted HIV in 1996 he began drinking heavily and picking up vulnerable women in bars. He said he was afraid to tell them he was infected for fear he would lose companionship at a time when he was at his “loneliest.”
Canadian courts have ruled that sex is not truly consensual if one partner conceals the fact of HIV infection. Intercourse under these circumstances is therefore held to be sexual assault, and if someone dies as a result — as was the case with two of Mr. Aziga’s partners — the offense automatically carries a charge of first-degree murder.
Mr. Aziga was prepared to plead guilty to 11 sexual assault charges; he admitted that he did not tell the women he was infected. However, he claimed he might not have been the source of their HIV infections. “That’s science — chance and probability,” he said. “I might have exposed her to HIV [but] I can’t say I infected her.”
In April 2009, Mr. Aziga was convicted of 10 counts of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of first-degree murder, making him the first person in Canada to be convicted of murder through HIV transmission. His defense lawyer claims Mr. Aziga would pose no risk to society if he were released from jail, but the prosecution wants him designated a dangerous offender, which would mean he could be jailed indefinitely.
During his sentence hearing, Mr. Aziga admitted that he had received a fair trial but claimed that the jury convicted him of first-degree murder — and not just sexual assault — because there were no blacks on the jury, and that the jurors were racist. He will be sentenced after final arguments scheduled for late June. [Allison Jones, HIV Killer Says he was Convicted of Murder Because the Jury was Racist, Canadian Press, May 28, 2011.]
Denmark Saves Billions
Over the last nine years, sensible laws have cut non-Western immigration to Denmark by more than two thirds. A report by Denmark’s Integration Ministry has found that the third that got in cost the country €2.3 billion, or the equivalent of $3.4 billion, in handouts and housing benefits. During the same period, immigrants from Western countries contributed a positive €295 million to the treasury. The report, commissioned by the nationalist Danish People’s Party (DPP), notes that without the restrictionist laws, non-Western immigrants would have cost the country another €6.7 billion, or the equivalent of $10 billion.
Denmark already has the most sensible immigration laws in Europe, and many Danes want them to be better still. As Integration Minister Søren Pind explains, “Now that we can see that it does matter who comes into the country, I have no scruples in further restricting those who one can suspect will be a burden on Denmark.”
The report has prompted the usual wailing. Marianne Jelved, a spokesman for the Social Liberal Party, says: “We cannot classify people depending on their value to the economy. That is degrading in a democracy that has a basic value of equality.”
The DPP, on the other hand, wants no non-Western immigration at all. “A Somali who is no good for anything, that is simply not acceptable,” says party leader Pia Kjærsgaard. Somalis are getting the message. Many are upping stakes and moving, but not back to Somalia, of course. Soft-touch Britain is their favorite destination. [Anna Reimann, Strict Immigration Laws ‘Save Denmark Billions,’ Spiegel (Germany), April 29, 2011.]
Going — For a Price
Illegal immigrants are pouring into Britain, and many of them apply for asylum. Most asylum claims are phony and are rejected, whereupon her majesty’s government politely asks foreigners to leave. What if they refuse? There are so many appeals and scams and dodges available to illegals that the National Audit Office figures it costs about £11,000 ($17,600) to deport someone who really digs in his heels.
Britain has therefore invented Assisted Voluntary Return as a cost-saving measure. It is a bribe to any illegal who agrees to go quietly, and amounts to about £2,000 in “in kind” support back in the home country. One Iranian got help setting up an ostrich farm, and an Albanian used the swag to start a vineyard. Since 2006, the British government has splashed out about £1.2 million a month on Assisted Voluntary Returns, for a total of about £74 million.
Illegals who are turfed out often have to be put on charter flights. This is because they are likely to make a stink when they are put on a scheduled flight, and this bothers the paying customers. Last year, Britain deported 1,200 failed asylum seekers and some 480 foreign criminals on charter flights for an average cost of £4,880 head. With that much money — about $7,800 — you can buy a first-class ticket to just about anywhere in the world. [Tom Whitehead, Public Fund More Than £1 Million to ‘Bribe’ Illegal Immigrants to go Home, Telegraph, May 29, 2011.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — After reading the June 2011 article “Who’s White; Who’s Not” I would like to draw your attention to an article in National Geographic about genetic testing done on men from the Levant (“Who Were the Phoenicians?” Oct. 2004). The results showed that many of them were of European descent. I would assume the rationale the US government uses to justify calling people from the Middle East “white” is that many of them really are white. Farsi-speaking Iranians are certainly white.
Frank Pucillo, Davie, Florida
Sir — In her letter to AR of June 2011, Sarah Wentworth praised my book, The Affirmative Action Hoax but pointed out that I do not answer one question: “Whom are the practitioners of race preferences most trying to deceive: themselves or others?”
I was born in 1943 and have been trying to understand the mentality behind anti-white discrimination by whites since the middle 1960s. My bewilderment increased when President Nixon and Republicans in the House of Representatives defeated the one attempt to end anti-white discrimination, which most House Democrats supported, and then increased anti-white discrimination despite Democratic opposition (see pages 271-2, 277-8 of my book).
All I can say is that I think that the mentality of the practitioners of affirmative action is related to the mentality of most of its critics, who claim (incorrectly, as I show in my book) that its victims are blacks, Hispanics, and Asians, because they do not want to defend its real victims: whites. However, I do not understand their mentality either.
So, I’m sorry Miss Wentworth; your question is obvious and important, but I do not know the answer.
Steven Farron, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sir — I can back up Kyle Bristow’s June article on blacks and whites seeing Osama bin Laden’s death differently. On 9/11, I was working in lower Manhattan on Church Street, only one block away from the World Trade Center. As I made my way north with throngs of people, I heard a black woman scream, “How can they do that? Our people is up in there, too. This is the white man’s business!” One or two other blacks yelled similar things. Her complaint was that whatever beef Arabs or Muslims had with America, it was with the whites in Washington, DC, not black maintenance men or black secretaries working for financial institutions in the towers.
There is something to this view, of course, but it is hardly evidence that “9/11 brought us all together.”
John Ingram, Harrisburg, Penn.
Sir — In Nicholas Stix’s otherwise very good June review of Jared Taylor’s White Identity I was surprised by his treatment of Mr. Taylor’s Chapter 4, the summary of scientific findings on racial awareness. Mr. Stix wrote that he found the chapter unpersuasive because he is not “a Darwinian.”
What does Darwinism have to do with it? Mr. Taylor reports, for example, that babies only a few months old prefer to look at faces of their own race, and that adults show biological signs of stress when they must deal with people of other races. These findings tell us something significant about race, whether you are a Darwinian or a creationist or a Buddhist nudist.
What this means is that there are people in laboratories all over the country discovering that race directly affects human judgment and interaction, and does so even when people try very hard to ignore race. Mr. Taylor also cites a strong correlation between a society’s “diversity” and its level of conflict.
The mountain of examples Mr. Taylor assembles to refute the view that “diversity” is a strength is convincing. However, I found the theoretical/biological framework for preferring homogeneity even more convincing. Science tells us it is human nature to prefer one’s own kind. The media are very quiet about this, of course, but it means that any attempt to build a multi-racial society is an attempt to remake human nature and therefore is likely to fail. That chapter all by itself destroys the premises of the last 50 years of American folly.
Steven J. Andrews, Tulsa, Ok.
Sir — I am more optimistic than Hippocrates about the fate of Europe. In his June “Galton Report” he predicts that non-whites will become the majority of most of Western Europe within this century.
However, Europeans are waking up. Openly restrictionist parties are on the rise almost everywhere, and the mainstream parties must adopt some of their positions if they are not entirely to lose favor. In the face of the recent onslaught of Tunisians and Libyans, European countries are unilaterally abrogating the Schengen agreement that abolished borders within the European Union. Poll-takers tell us Marine Le Pen should make it into the second round of the French presidential elections, and that the Austrian Freedom Party would come in first if legislative elections were held tomorrow.
Remember: Europeans cannot be hocused with that we-are-a-nation-of-immigrants rubbish that works on Americans. We cannot be browbeaten with reminders of how we treated the natives or enslaved blacks, and many European countries don’t have an imperialist past to apologize for. The multi-culti edifice is weak in Europe; it could crumble overnight.
Astrid Carlsen, Denmark
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