|American Renaissance magazine
|Vol 3, No. 6
Los Angeles Erupts
Racial hatred, stoked by the media, finally boils over.
By Jared Taylor
Los Angeles is now quiet after the most destructive and murderous riots this country has seen in more than a century. In just three days in early May, rioters burned more than 5,300 buildings and caused the deaths of 58 people. More than 2,300 people were injured — 227 of them critically — and property damage was estimated at more than $750 million. [The toll, LA Times, May 7, 1992, p. A6.]
The destruction was carried out mainly by blacks, who were said to be outraged by the “racist” beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers and by their “racist” acquittal on charges of criminal assault. Among the dead and injured were an unknown number of whites who were savaged by mobs of blacks simply because they were white.
The entire eruption of violence — which included smaller-scale outbreaks in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and many other cities [Violence continues across U.S. — troops called out in Vegas, SF Chronicle, May 2, 1991, p. A9.] — can be traced directly to the reckless way the media handled the Rodney King incident from the start. Now that the trial is over, and the facts in the case are clear, the media’s behavior can be seen in all its astonishing irresponsibility.
Rodney King, ‘Black Motorist’
Rodney King is a convicted felon with a long criminal record. On March 3, 1991, he was out of jail on parole, and driving recklessly and at great speed through residential streets of Los Angeles. It was later determined that he was blind drunk — there was 2½ times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, and there was marijuana in his system — and his driving showed it.
When he was finally forced to a stop, police ordered him out of the car for fear a weapon might be hidden in it. Mr. King refused, and was pulled out. He would not let himself be frisked, spat at the police, made obscene threats to a policewoman, laughed maniacally, and danced about when told to stand still. Mr. King is six feet three inches tall, weighs 250 pounds, and was acting dangerously crazy. [Don Feder, Blacks again are the victims of years of racial demagogy, Orange County Register, May 3, 1992, p. K1. How the defense dissected the tape, Newsweek, May 11, 1992, p. 36.] He refused to lie face-down on the ground so that police could safely handcuff him. The police quite properly decided to force him down.
Their first attempt was with a 50,000-volt electronic stun gun. One shot of this device will knock a person down 80 to 90 percent of the time. The officers hit Mr. King twice with the gun and it had no effect. They began to think that he was on PCP, a drug that can cause psychotic behavior. They later testified that they were afraid Mr. King would attack them and try to wrest a gun away from them. [Linda Deutsch, Jury believed police had right to use plenty of force,Orange County Register, April 30, 1992, p. A4. Sheryl Stolberg, Jurors tell of angry, bitter deliberations, LA Times, May 8, 1992, p. A3.] The best way to take Mr. King down would have been with a choke hold, but the city of Los Angeles banned choke holds in 1982. (A few drug users had died from the hold, but that may have been as much because of drugs as because of the hold.) [Greg Meyer, We must have a way to safely take a suspect down, SJ Mercury News, May 3, 1992, p. 1.]
Since the stun gun had failed, the only way to tackle Mr. King was with night sticks, and the police clubbed him repeatedly. [Murray Rothbard, Rockwell vs. Rodney and the Libertarian world, Rothbard Rockwell Report, July 1991, p. 4. Henry Weinstein, White says jury was the worst possible, LA Times, May 8, 1992, p. A3.] Mr. King refused to stay on the ground, and every time he made a move to get up, he was clubbed again. An amateur video cameraman recorded the beating, which was later broadcast on television.
The video is 81 seconds long, and it shows Mr. King resisting arrest and threatening the police. Virtually all television stations chose to show only the last part, in which Mr. King was on the ground and was being pounded in a way that appeared — and may well have been — excessive. A careful study of the entire tape suggests that the beating stopped when Mr. King did as he was told and kept still. [How the defense dissected the tape, Newsweek, May 11, 1992, p. 36.]
Three of the policemen who clubbed Mr. King were white and one was Hispanic. The media routinely reported that they were all white, and puffed the arrest up into a major racial incident. Television stations showed the tape so often that there must be scarcely anyone in America who has not seen it. As it happens, damage to Mr. King was not great; just a few weeks later, he was feeling chipper enough to solicit a transvestite prostitute, and tried to run over a Los Angeles policeman who interrupted the transaction. [Murray Rothbard, Rockwell vs. Rodney and the Libertarian world, Rothbard Rockwell Report, July 1991, p. 6.]
What would have been different if Mr. King had been white? For one thing, the media would have inquired into why he was beaten. If they had given the story any attention at all, they would have noted a drunk driver’s criminal, threatening behavior.
However, because Mr. King is black, the media had a ready-made explanation for the beating. “Racism” explained it, and the media gave full voice to the war-cry that means they think they have a sure enough white “racists” in their sights. The media scarcely mentioned what Mr. King had done to provoke a beating. They ignored the fact that Mr. King had two companions with him in the car, both of whom were black, both of whom did what the police told them to do, both of whom were unharmed (though one is now claiming they were roughed up). [AP, King passenger claims he was beaten, Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 5, 1992, p. 5A.] And of course, they turned a deaf ear when Mr. King himself said he did not think the police beat him because he was black. [Henry Weinstein, White says jury was the worst possible, LA Times, May 8, 1992, p. A3.] Thus, the media took what was, at worst, an ambiguous incident and blew it into a huge case of white racism.
The policemen were charged with criminal violence and their trial opened a year after the beating. When the jury then found the officers not guilty, it was not necessarily saying that Mr. King’s arrest was an ideal example of police work. Four of the jurors held out to convict the most aggressive officer of assault, and he may be retried on that charge. As for the other three, the jurors decided that what they did was not criminal. [Paul Lieberman, Jurors tell of their fear and disbelief, SF Chronicle, May 1, 1992, p. 1.]
Of course, the media were so committed to a “racist” version of events that they pronounced themselves shocked at the verdict, and promptly called the jury “racist.” In keeping with their own biases, they regularly referred to the jurors as “all-white,” despite the fact that one was Asian and another was Hispanic. The jurors explained that they did not think about race, nor did they believe the police did either. As one said, “Had the man been white, had he been ‘Oriental,’ had he been anything and acted as Rodney King did, he would have been given the same treatment.” [AP, Members: Race no factor in verdict, Orange County Register, May 1, 1992, p. A11.] Of course, the media knew better.
The jury heard 29 days of testimony [Richard Serrano, Cops in beating acquitted on 10 of 11 counts, SF Chronicle, April 30, 1992, p. A1.] and deliberated for seven days. [Sheryl Stolberg, Jurors tell of angry, bitter deliberations, LA Times, May 8, 1992, p. A3.] The nation saw a few seconds of video tape. The nation, whipped up by the media, convinced itself it knew more than the jury did. From the President on down, nearly everyone wrung his hands over the horrible injustices of white America. Thus prompted and excused, black neighborhoods from coast to coast rose up to loot, burn, and vent anti-white hatred. Thus prompted and excused, a great many Americans were led to think that the arson and murder of those three days were somehow the moral equivalent of the beating and the verdict.
Although “racism” was trumpeted as the great sin that prompted the riots, the media were remarkably quiet about the many cases of vicious racist violence by blacks against whites. The best-known was an attack on a truck driver, Reginald Denny, who was pulled from his tractor trailer by blacks who beat him mercilessly and smashed his face with a fire extinguisher. Other blacks ran up to stomp the barely breathing Mr. Denny, and dance little jigs of glee. Doctors said the man’s injuries were like those of someone who was in a 60-mile-per-hour car crash without seat belts. The only reason Mr. Denny is well known is that a helicopter TV crew happened to tape the attack. [Rescued truck driver is recovering, SF Chronicle, May 4, 1992, p. A6.] From below, blacks fired on the helicopter with pistols and shotguns. [Ed Pope, L.A. goes back to work, SJ Mercury News, May 5, 1992, p. 1.]
Few people heard about Matt Haines, a 32-year-old white man who, with his nephew, was riding a motorcycle into the black part of Los Angeles after a black friend called to say that her car would not start. The two whites were stopped by a gang of about 15 blacks, who knocked them off the motorcycle and beat them as they lay on the ground. Without provocation, one of the blacks shot Mr. Haines in the head. His nephew was shot three times in the arm, but when the gunman held the pistol to his face the weapon did not fire. Mr. Haines died; his nephew survived. [“We’re on your side,” victim told attackers, SJ Mercury News, May 4, 1992, p. 9A.]
Howard Epstein, who was living in northern California, flew to Los Angeles at the start of the riots to protect his Los Angeles machine shop and its employees. Three black men shot him as he was driving from the airport. After his car crashed to a stop, looters stripped him of valuables and ransacked the car. [Orinda man’s fatal decision: trying to protect his shop, SJ Mercury News, May 4, 1992, p. 9A.]
A gang of blacks smashed the car windows of Jeff Kramer, a white reporter for the Boston Globe. They tried to drag him out onto the street, but his seat belt held him in. One youngster then pulled out a gun and shot him three times. Mr. Kramer had the wit to pretend to be dead, and this probably saved his life. [Tom Mathews, et al., The siege of L.A., Newsweek, May 11, 1992, p. 34.]
How many of the ten whites — nine men and one woman — who died in the riot were murdered by black lynch mobs? How many of the injured were, like the truck driver and the reporter, attacked simply because they were white? We will never know. No one is counting. The media, which make a national incident of a dangerous black who is beaten with night sticks, look the other way when blacks commit unprovoked racial murder. How many dead and beaten whites would it take before the media worried as much about black racism as they do about the “racist” jury that acquitted the police officers? Five hundred? One thousand?
Blacks attacked whites in other cities, though they did not manage to kill any. In Richmond (CA), the white coach of a black girls’ softball team was spotted amid shouts of “There’s a white guy.” He probably would have been beaten to death if his team had not pleaded for his life. In the same city, a white water-meter reader was clubbed unconscious and woke up in the hospital in a body cast. A white from West Oakland, who was coming home from a rally to protest the verdict, was set upon by blacks and had to have his scalp stapled back together. [Yasmin Anwar, Beating victims wrong color, wrong place, Oakland Tribune, May 3, 1992, p. 1.] In San Jose (CA), a 20-year-old black man told a friend he “was gonna shoot a white person to get even for Rodney King.” A few hours later, he walked up to a couple at a telephone booth and shot both the man and woman in the head. [Ann O’Neill, Racial tension seen in attacks, SJ Mercury News, May 6, 1992, p. B1.] In Atlanta, blacks beat white reporters, photographers and passersby. In New York, two drivers were pulled from their trucks in black neighborhoods; one was beaten and the other was stabbed. [Violence continues across U.S. — troops called out in Vegas, SF Chronicle, May 2, 1992, p. A9.]
In Venice (CA), where whites have been moving into a formerly black neighborhood, mobs attacked the homes of whites and of blacks who were known to be part of the Neighborhood Watch against crime. At least one white family’s home was looted and burned, and dozens were vandalized. As one black resident put it, “It bothers us that people come here building condos we can’t afford. I do know this: Before blacks leave, Venice will burn.” [Robin Abcarian, Striking back: What happened in Oakwood was ugly — but no surprise, LA Times, May 5, 1992, p. E1.]
White people, whom the media like to portray as seething with racism and hate, appear not to have lifted a finger against blacks. Despite wanton murder of whites, not a single incident of anti-black violence seems to have been reported. While whites were being attacked all across the country, editorial-writers fretted that the acquittal meant “open season” on black men. It would be hard to think of a more astonishing example of the grotesque slant the media give to news about race.
In Los Angeles, Korean storekeepers were another racial target. Many recent immigrants from Korea come with little money and cannot afford to set up shop anywhere but in the blackest, most dangerous part of town, where they work 16-hour days. [L.A. Chung, Tensions divide blacks, Asians, SF Chronicle, May 4, 1992, p. 1.] Blacks and liberals often complain that no one “invests” in the ghetto, but if anyone has, it is Koreans.
Blacks hate them because they are successful, so looters and arsonists sought out Korean-owned stores for destruction. In Korea Town, which borders on black neighborhoods, 80 percent of the businesses were damaged. [Jeff Pelline, Lasting blow to L.A. neighborhoods, SF Chronicle, May 2, 1992, p. 1.] In all, 1,839 Korean-owned businesses were burned or looted. [Steven Chin, Innocence lost: L.A.’s Koreans fight to be heard, SF Examiner, May 9, 1992, p. 1.] Even the Korean Consulate came under attack. [AP, Korean leaders are alarmed at violence in Los Angeles, Oakland Tribune, May 3, 1992, p. B1.]
The racial hatred that sparked the riot lingered on after calm returned. Black police officers and National Guardsmen were taunted with cries of “What are you doing on their side?” [Mark Platte, A lot of hostility” toward black Guardsman, SJ Mercury News, May 5, 1992, B3. Rick DelVecchio, L.A. cops watch over a nervous peace, SF Chronicle, May 5, 1992, p. A6.] Many of the businesses still standing had survived only because the words “Black Owned,” were painted on them. Fresh graffiti read “F*** whitey,” and “F*** the police.” [Eyewitness report.]
At the same time, the presence of more than 10,000 soldiers on the streets brought a feeling of security to a part of town that, even in normal times, is tense with fear and crackles with gun fire. “The neighborhood is safe now,” said one resident; “Every six months, they [the National Guard] should come back and clean the place out.” [Jim Newton, Under the gun, LA Times, May 6, 1992, p. A7.]
Did anyone predict that there would be riots if the police officers were acquitted? Yes; Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates. Just before the verdict, he set aside $1 million in extra overtime pay in case of an acquittal. The public reaction? He was a racist to think that blacks might riot. [Pamela Kramer, Chief Gates returns to his old form, SJ Mercury News, May 4, 1992, p. 8A.]
Rewards for Destruction
What will be the result of all this? In the short term, an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 people — mostly black — are suddenly out of work, because businesses were destroyed. Perhaps 10,000 of those jobs are gone for good. [Stuart Silverstein, Up to 40,000 out of work after unrest, analysts say, LA Times, May 6, 1992, p. A1.] Whole neighborhoods are without the drug stores, laundromats, gas stations, and grocery stores they depend on.
South-Central Los Angeles had not yet entirely recovered from the Watts riots. Twenty-seven years later, there are still vacant lots where businesses once stood. Banks and major retailers had only just begun to trickle back. [Elliot Smith, Local economy feels the heat, Orange County Register, May 1, 1992, p. C1.]
Peter Ueberroth has been appointed to oversee the reconstruction of South-Central Los Angeles. He has gone cap in hand to federal and state tax payers, but he thinks he can also interest private investors, especially the Japanese. In what must be one of the most stupid things said so far about the riots, he proposed that, “If they [the Japanese] can invest in Pebble Beach, they should be given the chance to invest in South-Central Los Angeles.” [Ed Pope, $1 billion needed to rebuild L.A., Ueberroth says, SJ Mercury News, May 4, 1992, p. 8A.]
President George Bush has duly designated Los Angeles a federal disaster area, so the entire nation will pay for the damage, under a program designed to help victims of natural disasters. [Ed Torriero, Weary residents beginning to rebuild L.A., their lives, San Jose Mercury News, May 3, 1992, p. 1.] Of course, the only disaster that South-Central Los Angeles suffers from is its own population. First indications were that at least $600 million in federal money would be made available to the area. [Ed Pope, L.A. goes back to work, San Jose Mercury News, May 5, 1992, p. 1.] A state legislator has proposed a new sales tax that would raise another $700 million. As state and local money is added, it will be edifying to note when the total outstrips the damage estimates; South-Central Los Angeles is getting its reward for burning itself down.
President Bush has also promised an intensified federal investigation into whether the four police officers broke any federal laws by depriving Mr. King of his civil rights. [Susan Bennett, Bush vows swift action, pleads for end to unrest, Orange County Register, May 1, 1992, p. A5.] If there is a federal trial it will be a barely legal case of double jeopardy, and will hardly be before an impartial jury. How many jurors would be brave enough to return another verdict like the one that prompted the carnage?
More to Come
Los Angeles was not the first city to burn, nor will it be the last. Blacks live in a society in which all evils can be blamed on other people. No matter how barbaric their behavior, they can count on whites to offer excuses and foot the bill. Even Asians can be made to talk the same nonsense. Jai Lee Wong of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission explains why Koreans don’t get along with blacks: “Many don’t understand racism and the history of blacks in this country. They see blacks hanging out drinking on the street corner, children having babies, gangs. But they don’t understand why that exists; that it’s not by choice.” [Charles Hardy, L.A. race tensions: a picture of fear, San Francisco Examiner, May 10, 1992, p. A1.]
Blacks have no choice but to get drunk on street corners, have illegitimate babies, and join criminal gangs. To be sure. So long as the Human Relations Commission thinks this, the only consequence of the Los Angeles riots will be more programs that coddle the criminal and reward the irresponsible. Yet more illegitimate children born to squalor, lawlessness, and welfare will once again burn down whatever their elders manage to rebuild.
Christmas in May
Commentators went to great lengths to make excuses for the rioters, but after three days of arson, murder, and looting, the idea that this was “understandable outrage” over the Rodney King verdict began to wear thin. People do not burn down the corner drug store and then shoot at firemen as a protest against what they think was a miscarriage of justice.
Before long we began to hear the “root causes” of the mayhem: “hopelessness,” “despair,” “powerlessness.” The looters who smiled broadly and waved at the television news cameras certainly did not look as though they were wracked with “despair.” They were having their idea of a grand old time.
One 22-year-old Hispanic told reporters that he didn’t give a hoot about Rodney King. He had simply made the most of a chance to make off with 37 cases of beer, two sides of beef, three cases of soda, two gold chains, an imitation Rolex watch, and a whole goat. That night, he and his friends had a barbecue.
One 15-year-old Hispanic girl took along her cousins, aged four, six, and ten, to loot a shoe store. She found that the only danger was the possibility of fist fights with other looters over the plunder. “Everybody was doing it. It was all free,” she explained.
One man brought home several truck loads of anything he could grab: skate boards and tricycles, cartons of cigarettes, mountains of disposable diapers. He has no children and does not smoke. [Ashley Dunn, Years of 2-cent insults added up to rampage, Los Angeles Times, May 7, 1992, p. A1.]
One of the very first rioters was an 18-year-old black who was watching television with a friend when the verdict was announced. “If it’s ‘innocent’ we’re gonna f*** this place up,” said the friend. When the news came in, the two set out for the first store they could find and ransacked it. They saw a white woman in a Volvo and smashed her windshield, but she drove away before they could lay hands on her. [Brett Pulley, Faces of Los Angeles: rioter with a beeper, student by the pool, Wall Street Journal, May 4, 1992, p. 1.]
Although rioters deliberately smashed and plundered Korean-owned businesses and spared some that said “black owner,” many a black man’s business was torched for the fun of seeing things burn. A building owned by a 10-year-old service organization called 100 Black Men was reduced to ashes. The Aquarian, which had just celebrated its 50th year, making it the oldest continuously operated black book store in the country, went up in flames. So did Broadway Federal Savings, a bank that had been owned and operated by three generations of the same black family. The blaze that gutted the bank also destroyed the office of Maxine Waters, a black congressional representative. The African Refugee Center and the Ethiopian Community Center were also put to the torch, [Edward Boyer, Black-owned businesses pay a heavy price, Los Angeles Times, May 8, 1992, p. A1.] as were two branches of the Los Angeles public library. [Amy Wallace, Mobs spared most of city’s cultural centers during rampage, Los Angeles Times, May 5, 1992, p. B3.]
If “despair” and “hopelessness” were what caused the riots, Hispanics must be just as despairing as blacks. Although the full racial breakdown of the 15,000 arrested rioters was not available as this was written, of the 7,066 looters who had been categorized by race, 49 percent were Hispanic, 40 percent were black, and nine percent were white. [George Ramos, Unrest widens rifts in diverse Latino population, Los Angeles Times, May 8, 1992, p. 1A.] Some ten percent of the arrested rioters were illegal immigrants, [Patrick McDonnell, Scores of suspects arrested in riots turned over to INS, Los Angeles Times, May 6, 1992, p. B3.] who must have learned American-style “despair” in very quick order.
Of course, there are “root causes” to the riots. The most obvious is America’s attempt to build a multi-racial nation. This would not have happened in a homogeneous society. Another is something for which our ancestors had a word: depravity. A nation in which depravity goes unchecked and even rewarded should not be surprised to see it multiply.
Killing the Messenger
When science contradicts liberal dogma, the scientists must be punished.
Race, Intelligence, and Bias in Academe, Roger Pearson, Scott-Townsend Publishers, 1991, 304 pp. (soft cover), $15.00.
Reviewed by Jared Taylor
Race, Intelligence, and Bias in Academe, Roger Pearson, Scott-Townsend Publishers, 1991, 304 pp.
The discovery of genetics and the development of the theory of evolution were two of the most potentially far-reaching scientific advances of all time. By the turn of the century, thanks to the work of Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) and Charles Darwin (1808-1882), man for the first time had the knowledge with which to direct his own biological destiny. Rather than leave his further development to the genetic accidents that had governed it for millions of years, he could consciously and deliberately improve his very nature.
Why, after a promising start in the early part of the 20th century, did men stop thinking that the laws of heredity applied to them? Why did they repudiate and even revile the scientific knowledge that had been so carefully gleaned? Why has mankind chosen to risk its future and its very survival by willfully ignoring heredity and biology? These are the questions that Dr. Roger Pearson attempts to answer in his excellent book, Race, Intelligence and Bias in Academe. He traces the rise, fall, and slow resurgence of applied genetics in a book that can be read as a first-rate antidote to Prof. Carl Degler’s In Search of Human Nature.
The Birth of Eugenics
It was Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) who coined the term “eugenics” to describe the conscious improvement of the species by means of genetics. However, as Dr. Pearson points out, he was only putting on a scientific basis something that many people had long understood intuitively. The ancient Greeks, for example, claimed that they chose their wives just as they chose their horses — by the length and quality of their pedigrees. Moreover, Galton’s cousin, Charles Darwin, had already pointed the way towards eugenics in his most famous work, the full title of which is The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of the Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
Galton and his closest colleague, Karl Pearson, were unabashed elitists, who wanted to breed a better kind of Englishman to maintain Britain’s leadership among nations. They were concerned that the best men and women of Britain were being outbred by the lower orders, and they predicted slow national decline if this were to continue. Galton wrote little about racial differences because in his day, it was taken for granted that the races were not equivalent. The climate of the times was not nearly so aggressively egalitarian as today, and Galton was able to launch a British eugenics movement that soon gained considerable support and influence.
Likewise in the United States, men such as Alexander Graham Bell and Luther Burbank were involved in founding the American Eugenics Society in 1923, and it attracted some of the most respected men in the country. Charles Eliot, president of Harvard, and Henry Osborn, the president of the American Museum of Natural History were ardent eugenicists.
One reason eugenics may have been so well received is that nations were more agricultural than they are today. Farmers saw the improvement that selective, increasingly scientific, breeding made in their animals, and could not help seeing parallels in humans. At the same time, eugenics was attractive to self-styled “progressives,” not only because it promised lasting improvement but because the church was opposed to it; evolution had great appeal for the anticlerical. For many people, the promise of eugenics was as much in what it could prevent as in what it could foster, and by 1930, thirty American states had passed laws providing for the sterilization of confirmed criminals, mental defectives, and rapists.
As Dr. Pearson explains, the most powerful attacks on eugenics and even the study of genetics itself eventually came from Marxists, but the first organized opponents were members of dogmatically egalitarian religious groups, most notably the Quakers. In Britain, the First World War was also a great blow to the eugenics movement. The upper classes, the natural recruits to the movement, were true to their warrior heritage and volunteered in disproportionate numbers for the slaughter. Losses among the aristocracy were especially great during the first two years, when the British forces were composed entirely of volunteers. Dr. Pearson argues that the pacifists and stay-at-homes who survived the war were natural cadres for the anti-eugenics movement.
Later, Marxists and religious egalitarians wore down the partisans of eugenics, and some even joined the organizations that were supposed to be carrying on the work of Galton. Under the influence of J.B.S. Haldane, Julian Huxley, Lancelot Hogbin, and Ronald Fisher, the Galton Laboratory for National Eugenics abandoned the aims of its founder, and not long after Lionel Penrose took over the laboratory, the repudiation was complete. The Galton Chair of Eugenics at the University of London was renamed the Galton Chair of Genetics, and the Annals of Eugenics was retitled the Annals of Genetics.
The promising eugenics movement in the United States was likewise throttled in the crib. Dr. Pearson writes that the United States was especially vulnerable to socialist thinking because of its generous immigration policy. When revolutionary movements collapsed in Europe in 1848 and 1871, many exiled radicals found new homes — and academic posts — in the United States. Veterans of repeated attempts to overthrow Tsarist Russia also found refuge in the New World. Thus, the names associated with the overthrow of the American eugenics movement — Boas, Kroeber, Klineberg, Goldenweiser, Sapir, Herskovits — have a different ethnic ring from the names of the men who established the movement.
Why are Marxism and socialism so implacably hostile to the study of genetics? Primarily, it is because they are founded on the notion that plunder and exploitation rather than differences in ability explain differences in wealth. At the heart of socialism is the conviction that all men are not only legally but biologically equal. It is their environment — their class — that accounts for differences in achievement.
The biological facts of heredity are thus anathema to egalitarians. If people are successful because of inborn talents and capacities, the justification for revolution disappears. If men are born with different abilities, it becomes much more difficult to portray the wealthy as undeserving beneficiaries of an exploitative system. Dr. Pearson points out that it is hard to stir up revolutionary ardor among the poor by telling them that hereditary inadequacies keep them poor.
Socialism thrives on two unattractive emotions: envy and guilt. The envy of the have-nots blinds them to the fact that the haves probably got that way because they were talented and hard-working. The guilt of the haves, some of whom may have inherited wealth from talented ancestors, is fueled by have-not theories of biological equivalence. Studies that show how much of a person’s intelligence and even personality are governed by genes rather than environment or class are terrible threats to egalitarianism.
Ironically, Karl Marx himself did not believe in biological equality. He was convinced that some people, like some races, were superior to others. He did think, though, that the superior exploited the inferior.
It was the theories of the Soviet scientist Trofim Lysenko that set communism permanently against eugenics or even conventional genetics. Lysenko taught that environmentally acquired characteristics could be passed on genetically to offspring. As Dr. Pearson explains, “his theory made it possible for Marxists to argue that with the overthrow of class-based society, all men and women would enjoy a similar social and economic environment, and then all would become genetically equal in just a few generations.”
This sort of foolishness led to crop experiments that produced agricultural disasters for the Soviet Union, and Lysenko was eventually disgraced. Nevertheless, his message — that environment can prevail over biology — still drives virtually every social program in the entire Western world.
Although biological explanations for human differences were well in eclipse by the mid-1930s, Nazism and the terrible blood-letting of the Second World War were the death knell for eugenics. The militant egalitarians began their entrenchment in the universities, and the very word “eugenics” has now been almost written out of the scientific vocabulary.
The Attack on Science
The latter part of Dr. Pearson’s book recounts the viciousness with which egalitarians have tried to suppress renewed interest in genetics. Leftists and minority activists have made a mockery of academic freedom, and largely succeeded in silencing their opponents or portraying them as evil men. The left-leaning media have been willing accomplices in the suppression of science.
Some of the men written about in this portion of the book — Arthur Jensen, William Shockley, Hans Eysenck, Richard Herrnstein — are veterans of countless ambushes by those who would stamp out free speech. Others — Philippe Rushton, Michael Levin, Linda Gottfredson, Thomas Bouchard — are less prominent or more recent participants in the struggle. All have braved the obloquy of a society that prefers egalitarian illusions over biological facts. Dr. Pearson, who has been on close terms with many of these academics, tells their stories well, but a few of the highlights bear retelling.
Professor Arthur Jensen of the University of California at Berkeley was one of the first scholars to wake applied genetics from their long slumber. In 1969, he wrote an article in the Harvard Educational Review, in which he argued that efforts to improve the educational performance of blacks might be thwarted by the fact that blacks, on average, have lower IQs than whites. Prof. Jensen quickly became the number one enemy of leftist groups. He received so many death threats that at one time the Berkeley police advised him to move out of his house. Posters that said “Kill Jensen” appeared. Perhaps the most astounding demonstration of hatred for hereditarian views was a physical assault on a professor of genetics who was preparing to attack Prof. Jensen’s positions. Even an attempt to rebut the wicked man might have given his views an airing.
Prof. Jensen was soon joined in notoriety by Hans Eysenck, a German immigrant to England. When he left Germany in the 1930s, Prof. Eysenck was a convinced anti-Nazi, who had no compunction about teaching his students that environment rather than biology accounts for differences in achievement. It was Audrey Shuey’s classic 1966 work, The Testing of Negro Intelligence, that convinced him he was wrong. In 1971, he published his own book Race, Intelligence, and Education, which made him as great a villain in Britain as Jensen was in America. When his book was released in the United States, the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) threatened to bomb any distributors and bookstores that handled it.
In England, Prof. Eysenck’s lectures were disrupted, he was physically attacked, and his views prompted some of the most outlandish handbills ever to grace an academic debate. One marvel urged students to: “Denounce fascist Eysenck, intellectual prostitute promoting unscientific and anti-people ideas in the service of imperialism!” On another occasion, opponents put up signs reading “Uphold genuine academic freedom: Fascist Eysenck has no right to speak.” His children were treated so badly in school by leftist teachers that he changed his family name to Evans to protect them. Years later, he resumed his real name, but some of his children were so badly scarred by the old name that they stuck to Evans.
Dr. Pearson also recounts the experiences of William Shockley, co-inventor of the transistor, who devoted the latter half of his career to publicizing the importance of genetics. Prof. Shockley was a man of action as well as ideas. He advocated what came to be known as the “Bonus 1000 Proposal,” under which the government would pay $1000 for every IQ point below 100 to anyone who agreed to voluntary sterilization.
Once his interests had turned to genetics, not even Prof. Shockley’s reputation as a top scientist could protect him from constant harassment and calumny. Even after his death, one opponent wrote in Science magazine that Prof. Shockley’s views on genetics must have been due to a head injury suffered after he had done his brilliant work in electronics.
Attempts to speak freely about race or the importance of heredity continue to be met with the same ferocity. Besides the usual disruptions, insults, and calls for his dismissal, in 1989, Prof. Philippe Rushton of the University of Western Ontario was subjected to the humiliation of a criminal investigation under Canada’s law on “Pornography and Hate Literature.” At a press conference to report the end of the investigation, the Attorney General of Ontario Province announced that Prof. Rushton was “loony but not criminal.”
Seeds of Self-Destruction
Despite the decline of Marxism, the militant egalitarianism it engendered shows no sign of weakening. For decades, the struggle merely to give biology a hearing has had to fight attacks that have two purposes. One is physically to silence any contrary idea. The other is to make an example of dissidents so that others will not speak out. Both purposes have largely been achieved. Top-flight scientists have been repeatedly denied forums for their views, and other researchers who privately agree with them are afraid to say so in public.
Of course, what the early eugenicists predicted is coming to pass. Dysgenic trends in reproduction have been hastened by welfare programs that reward reckless procreation. The steady push of non-whites into Europe and North America is replacing a race that has achieved much with races that have achieved less.
Since biology and genetics have been banished from the debate on social problems, governments continue to pour untold resources into improving the environment for people whose heredity sets insuperable barriers to success. No one dares grapple with the fact that illegitimate, welfare-bred children with IQs of 80 simply cannot be trained for useful work in an advanced society. In the past, such people might have been taught to swing a shovel or carry a hod, but today they do not accept that kind of work even when it is available. America is rearing a constantly growing army of largely non-white criminals, degenerates, and incompetents, who will prey on the competent and the children of the competent for years to come.
The LA riots were just another milestone on America’s relentless march towards genetic dystopia. When the dullard children of the dole burn down their own neighborhoods and murder passing whites, no one dares talk of their inherent limitations. Instead, once again, America wrings its hands over the terrible environment these people live in — though it is an environment they have created for themselves.
A society that pays these dullards to have yet more dullard children is courting destruction. Dr. Pearson wonders “whether we may ever hope to reshape our laws and social practices into a logical system more in harmony with the laws that govern evolution and even human nature itself.”
He goes on to say: “Only one thing is sure: A society which sets itself against the immutable laws of biology, causality, and evolution will be an unsuccessful society. An unrealistic and inappropriate culture . . . will eventually destroy the society that supports it . . .”
|IN THE NEWS
O Tempora, O Mores!
There were reactions in foreign countries to the verdict heard ‘round the world. In Australia, someone laced a jar of Heinz baby food with cyanide, sent it to the police, and claimed that five more jars of poisoned baby food were on store shelves, waiting to do vengeance for the verdict. The American food company duly removed millions of jars of baby food from stores. [Reuters, Poison threat linked to verdict surfaces in Australia, Los Angeles Times, May 5, 1992, p. A18.]
In Toronto, Canada, blacks held an “anti-racism” demonstration to protest the verdict, and got into scuffles with whites who were holding signs that read, “L.A. burns, Toronto next?” and “We denounce racist murder of whites.” (Where were such signs in America?) The Canadian blacks then demonstrated sympathy for their American brothers by going on a smash-and-grab spree through downtown Toronto, where they attacked hundreds of stores. [AP, Anti-racism rioting jars Toronto, Las Vegas Review Journal, May 5, 1992, p. 5A.]
Homes for Illegals
The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1990 provides for virtually instant legal status for the abandoned or abused children of illegal aliens. The INS must find foster care for them rather than send them out of the country along with their parents.
The city of San Francisco has gone one better, and is giving taxpayer-supported foster care to teen-aged illegal aliens who have broken into the country without their parents. Foster care costs about $3,000 a month per alien. As Ishmael Torres, who helps look after illegals explains, “If we don’t help them, then in the long run we’re not helping ourselves. They’ll start selling crack, breaking into cars.” It seems not to have occurred to Mr. Torres that anyone old enough to make the trip up from Mexico is old enough to make the trip back. When word gets back home that there is free foster care in San Francisco, Mr. Torres will soon have his hands full.
Because San Francisco is a “sanctuary” city, its employees are officially banned from cooperating with immigration authorities — even if they know that someone is an illegal alien, the city forbids them to report them to the INS. [Suzanne Espinosa Caring for undocumented kids, San Francisco Chronicle, April 30, 1992, p. A1.]
Black to White
Despite years of being told that black is beautiful, black Americans still spend $44 million a year on skin lighteners. Michael Jackson is one of the better known blacks who have gone light over the years. The skin creams all contain the chemical hydroquinone, which suppresses the body’s natural production of melanin. Blacks who use a lot of hydroquinone have to be careful when they go out in the sun, because they have lost their natural protection.
Blacks who adopt children also show a marked preference for lighter skin. Mixed-race babies are always easier to place than those with dark skin, even when the adoptive parents themselves are dark. [Robin Abcarian, Looking “white” comes with a price, Atlanta Journal/Constitution, April 23, 1992, p. A19.]
A Texas couple recently got a first-hand taste of the way things work South of the Border. They were passengers on a cruise ship that had stopped at the Mexican island of Cozumel. They decided to rent a van to drive around the island, and were bumped by a man on a motorcycle. The van got a small dent and the tail light of the motorcycle was broken; no one was hurt. The accident was clearly caused by the motorcyclist and the Americans assumed the car insurance would pay for repairs.
They were wrong. When police arrived, they demanded $7,000 for repairs, and medical care for the uninjured motorcyclist. When the poor Gringos refused to pay, the police took their passports and put them in jail. They were contacted by the island’s only lawyer who promised to get them out of jail for $1,000. They paid up. However, by then, their cruise ship had left without them, and though the police let them out of their cells they would not let them go to a hotel. The couple spent another night sleeping on garment bags on a concrete floor in the police station. The couple were finally released when they paid $4,500 to the rental car company and $4,200 to someone who claimed to be the motorcyclist’s future father-in-law.
Once they returned to the United States, the couple demanded an explanation from the Mexican government, saying they thought they must have been targeted in advance for an extortion scheme. Mexican officials blandly explained that automobile repair costs are high in Mexico and that the Gringos were driving drunk. [Stefanie Asin, Officials say Cozumel crash handled fairly, Houston Chronicle, April 29, 1992.]
The Americans suspect that their next vacation will be to Hawaii or to the Florida Keys. As one put it, “I wouldn’t go to Mexico if their government came to my house and offered me a million dollars.” [Catherine Chriss, Dented fender turns mind-bender for local couple, Houston Chronicle, April 14, 1992, p. 12A.]
They may have no choice. Latin America is coming to them (see next item).
Tuberculosis used to be a disease that could always be cured with proper treatment, and health authorities were looking forward to its complete eradication from the United States. They have now put off plans for the celebration, and officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control say that tuberculosis is now “out of control.” What happened? AIDS and immigration.
TB is common among AIDS carriers because their resistance is low, and immigrants have been bringing it with them when they come from disease-ridden areas. Derelicts and drifters, who do not lead salubrious lives, have also been catching TB in large numbers. They do not usually appear for treatment until they are thoroughly sick and extremely infectious.
The disease could be contained if these were the only problems, but they are not. A complete cure for TB requires six months of drug treatment. The effects of the treatment are dramatic in the first month or so, and many patients think they are cured. If they are stupid, ill-disciplined, without a home, or do not understand English, they are likely to quit taking their medicine, and get sick all over again. During this kind of aborted treatment, the bacillus has been known to mutate into a strain that is resistant to normal treatment. There have been 17 outbreaks of drug-resistant TB in the United States since 1976, with 13 reported in 1990 and 1991.
The U.S. Public Health Service is now calling for what it calls “directly observed therapy.” This means getting hold of people who are likely to stop taking their medicine, and making sure that they get a full cure. The feds are urging the states to pass quarantine and compulsory treatment laws. “Civil libertarians” complain that such laws would be coercive. Indeed, they would be; that is the only way they would work.
How about stopping immigration from third-world countries with populations infected with drug-resistant TB? Well, no. The Centers for Disease control is going to try to teach them “directly observed therapy,” too. [Lawrence K. Altman, U.S. announces plan to fight drug-resistant tuberculosis, San Francisco Chronicle, May 1, 1992, p. A10.]
In just the last ten years, the number of white students at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) has gone from 70 percent to 44 percent. In this year’s entering class of freshmen, Asians outnumber whites by 37 percent to 34 percent. Whites now say that UCLA stands for “United Caucasians Living Among Asians.” As they have on all campuses that have become “racially diverse,” students of different races clump together. Bruin Walk, the main thoroughfare on campus used to be lined with recruiting tables for sports and political groups. Now it is dominated by ethnic organizations — black sororities, Vietnamese student groups, Chicano alliances, American-born Chinese, etc. There is no sign of united Caucasians. [Larry Gordon, Universities learn hard lessons as “new diversity” takes hold, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 4, 1992, p. A18.]
New York City is another magnet for foreigners, many of whom decide to drive taxis. In 1991, 89 percent of the applicants for hackney licenses were immigrants. Though anyone who has ridden a New York taxi might doubt it, 43 percent claimed to speak English at home. The leading nations of origin of aspiring cab drivers were the following: Pakistan (21.3 percent), USA (10.5 percent), Bangladesh (10.2), India (10.0), Soviet Union (6.8), Egypt (4.8), and Haiti (4.1).
In a story about foreign drivers, the only passenger the Associated Press chose to quote was a certain Inga Kloss, who says, “Many of them often know nothing about the city but usually they are very nice and seem to be helpful and pleasant. It’s one more thing to enjoy about living in New York City.” [You speak English? OK, then step on it! Houston Chronicle, April 23, 1992.]
‘The Gift of Pride’
Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, is a play being billed as a “tribute to black matriarchy.” Its all-woman cast of 10 recounts the coming of age of a black girl growing up in Georgia, and in one respect, the story is entirely true to life: no men appear.
The play has the expected political slant. In one scene, a woman tells the girl about a black maid who got revenge on a “racist” white governor by feeding him ground glass. The girl beams with happiness, for she has been given what the play calls the “gift of pride.” Etc. [Steven Winn, Peninsula’s tribute to black matriarchy, San Francisco Chronicle, May 1, 1992, p. D9.]
Sun Sets in the East
Immigration to Miami and surrounding Dade County is changing southern Florida in dramatic ways. Forty-five percent of the county’s residents are now foreign-born, [Lizette Alvarez, A decade of upheaval and transformation, Miami Herald, April 3, 1992, p. A22.] and the languages the county speaks reflect these changes. In 1980, a majority of county residents still spoke English at home, but in 1990, only 43 percent did.
Today, of the county’s 1,798,000 people, just over 50 percent speak Spanish. The next most popular language after English is Haitian Creole, which is spoken by 3.8 percent. Only 24.4 percent of the population is white. One wonders how many other counties in the nation have majorities that prefer to speak a foreign language. [David Hancock, Census: Dade speaks in many tongues, Miami Herald, April 10, 1992, p. 1B.]
Although we are told over and over that immigration is an economic stimulus, incomes in Dade County did not budge over the past decade, while the average income in the state of Florida increased by 12 percent. Within Miami, which attracted most of the immigrants, the average income dropped by 12 percent over the decade. Half of Miami’s children under the age of five now live in poverty.
In Miami proper, only ten percent of the population is white, whereas it was 90 percent white 30 years ago. No doubt it is pure coincidence, but Miami has the highest crime rate in the nation.
Immigration to southern Florida is affecting the entire state. In 1980, one in 33 Floridians had a hard time understanding English; now, one in 13 do. In 1980, five percent of all homes did not have telephones; now ten percent do without. [Dexter Filkins, Dade incomes stagnant in ’80s, census says, Miami Herald, April 3, 1992, p. 23 A.] The third-world is no longer at our doorstep; it is well over the threshold.
Report From the Front Lines
On April 13, the Houston Chronicle published a letter from a school teacher explaining why certain schools in the city had scuffed up facilities and poor teachers:
As a teacher who has served in predominantly black, Hispanic, and white schools, I have seen that student vandalism is rampant in many black-dominated schools.
. . . Furthermore, while it is true (in general) that inner-city schools get the younger, inexperienced and less-educated teachers, it is not because “pay is low.” It is instead because those of us who are not saints (and most teachers are simply dedicated human beings) quickly get sick, tired and disgusted with trying to teach in an environment where we are reviled for attempting to do our jobs, given the thankless task of attempting to help those who will not raise one finger to accept that help, and even physically assaulted. That is why we bail out as soon as we can.
On average, blacks watch 60 percent more television than whites, so their tastes have been disproportionately reflected in what the networks decide to put on the air. However, recent survey data suggest that this influence may come to an end, since blacks and whites are increasingly not even watching the same programs. Rather than adjust majority-oriented television to suit black tastes, broadcasters are bowing to the inevitable, and making separate programs for blacks.
For the first time since studies have begun, the top ten shows watched by blacks and the top ten watched by whites had no overlap at all. These are the black favorites: A Different World, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Cosby Show, In Living Color, Roc, Blossom, Family Matters, Married . . . With Children, Royal Family, In the Heat of the Night. Except for Blossom and Married . . . With Children every one of these programs has a mostly-black cast. So much for integration.
The top ten programs watched by whites are: 60 Minutes, Roseanne, Murphy Brown, Cheers, Designing Women, Home Improvement, Full House, Coach, Monday Night Football, Major Dad. [Black and white in color, U.S. News & World Report, April 20, 1992, p. 15.]
The Color of Cola
Bottlers have also noticed that non-whites drink more soda pop than whites. Hispanics come in first, at an equivalent of 576 12-ounce cans per person per year. Blacks are second at 551, and whites are third at 506. Since the heavy-drinking groups are expected to grow in numbers faster than whites, Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola are gearing more of their publicity toward blacks and Hispanics.
They hold ethnic festivals and contests, and underwrite concert tours by non-white performers. Last summer, Pepsi-Cola sponsored a rap music contest, with, as its grand prize, a demo recording contract, a spot on a Pepsi commercial, and $25,000 in cash. [Marc Rice, Companies target burgeoning minority markets, SF Sunday Examiner and Chronicle, Feb. 9, 1992, p. E5.]
In San Francisco, 19 percent of school students are black. Half of all students suspended in 1991 were black, as were 41 percent of the students in slow-learners classes. The average grade for black students in high school and junior high was D+.
What to do? A group of black parents says that the schools have obviously “failed” black students, and demands the currently fashionable “solution”: all-black schools that emphasizes African culture and history. The city is under a court order to keep any school from letting the number of students of any race go above 45 percent [Gregory Lewis, Magnet school for black kids urged in S.F. SF Examiner, April 12, 1992, p. B1.], but officials are looking into ways to see if the rules cannot be bent for blacks.
Not Worth the Trip
Although INS officials are still catching 1,500 illegal immigrants a day at the Tijuana crossing alone, some Mexicans have reportedly decided that El Norte is no longer worth the trip. The main reason is recession and decline in the United States. Ten years ago, the wage disparity between the two countries was 12:1 but it is now down to 8:1. Recession and drought in California have lowered demand for labor in agriculture and the construction industry, two favorites for illegals. Furthermore, while the American GNP dropped 0.7 percent last year, the Mexican GNP grew by 5 percent.
Jorge Bustamonte, the president of Mexico’s College of the Northern Border, has been studying illegal immigration for years. “For the first time since we began our research,” he says, “We’re hearing people say, ‘This is not worth it.’” However, some illegals are looking further afield. “I hear there’s work in North Carolina,” says one. [Joel Simon, Jumping border just not worth it, SF Examiner, c. April/May, 1992.]
There is a new twist to the old game of finding some difference between blacks and whites and then blaming it on “racism”: scream “racism” even when there is no difference at all.
“Environmental racism” is the name of a recently-invented anti-white accusation. This is said to be the deliberate siting of potentially polluting factories or waste dumps in non-white neighborhoods. A National People of Color Leadership Summit on the Environment, was held in Washington, D.C. in late 1991, to debate what to do about the problem. [Keith Schneider, Minorities join to fight polluting of neighborhoods, New York Times, Oct. 25, 1991.] By 1992 there were at least ten minority-based environmental groups charging officials with such things as “radioactive colonialism” and “garbage imperialism.” Jesse Jackson likes to talk about “toxic racism.”
It would be no surprise if activists actually could show that non-whites are more likely to be exposed to environmental hazards than are whites. They are poorer than whites, and cities do not build incinerators on prime real estate. In fact, not even a Rube Goldberg case can be made for “radioactive colonialism.” The United Church of Christ has actually studied how hazardous waste landfills are sited. In 1987, it found that 78 percent were in areas that had more white than non-white residents. Fifty-seven percent of blacks (and Hispanics) live near toxic waste sites, but 54 percent of whites do, too. Only 46 percent of Asians live near one [Matthew Rees, Black and green, New Republic, March 2, 1991, p. 15.], but no one has yet argued that waste disposal is somehow arranged for their benefit.
Twenty-seven of the communities that have the nation’s biggest hazardous-waste landfills have majority-white populations. The biggest garbage dump in the country is on Staten Island, which is 85 percent white. Love Canal (NY) and Times Beach (MO), towns that were so badly poisoned that they had to be evacuated were both overwhelmingly white. [Michael Stachell, A whiff of discrimination? U.S. News & World Report, May 4, 1992, p. 34.]
What will the race-baiters think of next?
Mississippi and Georgia use the Confederate battle flag as part of the design of their state flags. Naturally, the flags are denounced as racist, and the usual crowd is trying to have them changed. Georgia’s flag is under particular attack, on the pretext that it will be an embarrassment to the city when it hosts the Olympics in 1996. The last time a big anti-flag campaign was mounted was before the 1988 Democratic convention, on the pretext that the flag would offend convention delegates. Olympic athletes are probably even less likely to be upset by the flag than the delegates were.
Two states, South Carolina and Alabama, still fly the battle flag above their state houses. In South Carolina, the flags are also displayed in both houses of the state legislature. [AP, Battle brewing on altering state flag, Columbus (Georgia) Ledger-Enquirer, April 25, 1992, p. A1.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS
Sir — The April issue of AR, (The Late Great City of New York) mentioned the increasing peril from tuberculosis. TB is one of those ailments that can be detected early by tests that were known ‘way back when I was in grade school. Like typhoid, TB should be a disease that is read about, rather than seen. And there are worse ailments.
Last October, I visited a “day-use” area along the Tujunga River, north of Los Angeles. I was astonished to find most of the facility closed because of bubonic plague! Incredulous, I asked one of the Park Service people whether the signs were someone’s dark joke. He assured me that plague had indeed been introduced into the LA area and had gotten into the rodent population in the San Gabriels. No joke, sir.
I presume it wasn’t introduced by visiting Pennsylvanians. This is yet another benefit of the diversity we will enjoy with the influx of people “not like us.”
Loring Emery, Hamburg, Penn.
Sir — I am an African-American soldier stationed less than 5 miles from the DMZ in South Korea. I agree with some of your views and those expressed by your writers. I blame many of the problems black people have on our inability to put the fault where it needs to be. In an all-black world, I would have slam-dunked Mayor Barry, because he was wrong. “We the people” will mean something some day.
Jeff X, Korea
Sir — I enjoyed your article in the May issue on the hunt for “bias” in standardized tests. Let me offer another example of the lengths to which this can be taken. New York City decided that one reason minorities were not passing the Fire Department test in sufficient numbers was “test anxiety,” specifically, the knowledge that if they didn’t choose the right answer on a multiple choice question, it would be marked wrong! The Fire Department therefore paid someone $400,000 (yes, $400,000) to come up with a test on which applicants get three tries, in order of preference, at each question. For picking the right answer as their first choice, applicants get a full point; if it was their second choice, they get half a point; and if it was the third choice, they get a quarter point. Less “test anxiety” was supposed to mean more passing grades for minorities.
All the new test does, of course, is narrow the difference in scores between people who know the answers and people who are just guessing. I suppose that is one way to narrow the difference in scores between whites and blacks. Another way to reduce the racial gap was tried by our Sanitation Department. They made the test so easy that 23,078 out of 24,000 applicants got perfect scores. That way, the department could claim that all the blacks it hired had scored 100 on the test.
Arthur Herbert, Patterson, NJ.
Sir — I am a 29-year-old white man. The rioting in Los Angeles was the last straw for me. Nobody on television or radio or in the newspapers speaks for me. Why isn’t the media outraged at the purely “racial” attacks on white people during the riots?! Do you know of any organization I could join that supports the rights of white people?
Bryan D., La Mesa, Cal.
Despite the outrages committed against whites every day — many by our own government — there are scarcely any “white rights” organizations that we can recommend. Several groups, though not specifically race-oriented, are clearly on the right track. One is the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Box 14131, Washington, DC 20044, and another is The American Immigration Control Foundation, Box 525, Monterey, VA 24465. Both take strong, sensible positions against further immigration.
Another group that is on the right side of racial issues is the Council of Conservative Citizens, Box 9683, St. Louis, MO 63122 It is opposed to affirmative action set-asides, and school busing. and supports local chapters around the country. — Ed.
Sir — I am writing to urge you to pull out all the stops and support H. Ross Perot for president. The best thing about Mr. Perot is his insistence on the “electronic town hall.” This would allow citizens to take over from Congress much of the complicated job of deciding what is best for themselves.
Here are some possible topics of discussion for the “electronic town hall: “Should we close the borders? Should we let crack babies die? Should we lower taxes? Should we abolish affirmative action? Should we give money to Israel?
We must do something to save our nation from the ills that you chronicle. The “electronic town hall” is the only technique I know of that could circumvent the public opinion artists. We are running out of time.
Harry Dace, Friendswood, Tex.
Sir — I found your review of Gringo Justice (May, 1992) very enlightening. I did not realize that Hispanics have started playing the same games as blacks.
Claude Barker, Great Falls, Mont.