|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 17, No. 6||June 2006|
Blacks and High Steel
What affirmative action did to the trade.
In the late 1960s, I came back from Vietnam, once again to take up my chosen profession as a “connector” in the high steel trade. I was a member of the ironworkers union, the men who build the steel frames for multi-story buildings. I worked on many Manhattan skyscrapers, on jobs that changed the city’s skyline.
I was born in 1943 — I am not a baby boomer — and started my career before the days of affirmation action. I was taught by men who made their mark in the 1930s, and absorbed standards of excellence from them, along with the belief that there was no excuse for sub-par work. I have had a close look at how things have changed. I consider myself an American patriot, and as a white man, I think people should know what lowered standards have done to my profession.
At my first union meeting back from Vietnam, the main question was whether black men should be allowed in the local union. All the older men, including the leadership, were against letting blacks in, while we younger men were for it. As a veteran, I thought it only right for blacks, with whom I served in combat, to get a shot like anyone else. The debates were furious, but on its own, my union would not have admitted blacks. In the early 1970s, a court order ended the debate. Judges ordered all the trades to let blacks take the apprentice tests.
At that time, my union was mainly “father/son,” meaning that if your father or another close relative was a member, you’d get a shot at the work. However, this didn’t guarantee membership in the local. You still had to pass the apprentice test and measure up on the job. Nor did it mean that men who didn’t have family in the business never got a chance. They could take the test, and if they were good they could join the union.
At that time, the apprentice tests were hard. There were three parts — physical, mental and psychological — and failure on any part meant disqualification. The test was given every three years, and if a man failed, he was out of luck. He had to wait for the next test. There was also an age limit of 29. Anyone older than that had to find another line of work.
Although there were no blacks in the union, it was not segregated. It was about 60 percent white, and the rest were American Indians. Indians had to take the test and measure up just like everyone else.
When black men first took the apprentice test, they all failed — every one. You can imagine the laughter of the older members of the local. However, soon after, their laughter was silenced, again by court order. A judge ruled that although the test had been overseen by the state, the results were not satisfactory, and there had to be another way to get blacks into the union. Every trade had plans like this, and ours was called the “trainee program.” It was open only to blacks, but did not have an age limit. Blacks could still take the union apprentice test, but if they failed, as the overwhelming majority did, they got in through the “trainee program.”
There was a reason the union had an apprentice test: it weeded out people who could not do the work. But the test was not perfect, either, and there were men who could pass it but were still not up to the job. Think for a moment what it means to build a steel frame. As the frame goes up, every time a beam is set onto a column, two pieces of steel meet in thin air. It’s windy up there, and frames tend to sway without walls to stiffen them. A “connector” has to be at the top of that column, ready to pin the beam to it — and he may be 30 floors above the street. The work is simple to understand, but that doesn’t make it easy. It is dirty, difficult and dangerous, and it takes a very determined man to do it. There are no gray areas. The reality of the work hits a man like a baseball bat each day. He can either do it or he can’t. Many men never have to be told to leave; they willingly leave the trade, and this includes quite a few who are relatives of members. There are other, less demanding jobs in a “raising gang,” but capable men will generally spend a good part of their career as connectors.
When black men started filtering on to the job, it was clear from the beginning they had no ability to do the work. For the most part, they were so obviously incapable, many left immediately. The usual practice with a man who clearly wasn’t up to the work was to give him two hours pay and fire him, but it was different for blacks even in that respect. They stayed below for the day with the older men in the detail gangs, and were fired only when they came down off the building at the end of the work day. Before long, it became impossible to fire any but the very worst. Courts mandated that a certain percentage of the workforce, especially on government jobs, be made up of black men.
To understand the effect of forcing inadequate men into a profession, it is important to know something about the work. A raising gang has a foreman or pusher, and men with four different specialties. The hooker-on physically puts the steel wire slings, or chokers, around the beams, girders, columns, etc., that are going to be raised by the crane for the connectors to set. He must know all the different capacities of the chokers he’s using, so as not to put a choker on a piece if it is not rated for that weight. He also unofficially runs the gang, because he sets the sequence for the pieces of steel that go up to the connecters. A tagline man then uses ropes with hooks spliced into their ends to guide the beams up to the connectors. If one of the beams he’s guiding snags on a beam that’s already set, he must signal the crane operator (who is not an ironworker) to slack off the load so the tagline man can clear the piece. Then he directs the crane to continue raising the piece. The tagline man is usually the youngest man in the gang and is being groomed to be a connecter. He must be in excellent shape, since he may be asked to go connecting at any time. The signal man communicates with the crane operator. Sometimes he will use hand signals, and at other times there is a “phone system” hooked up to the cab of the crane. The signal man must be alert all the time because the unexpected can always happen. A good signalman can save a man’s life, and a bad one who doesn’t pay attention can cause all sorts of trouble. He is usually the oldest man in the gang, and is considered something of a sage.
At the very top of the building are the connectors. I consider connecting to be an art within the trade, and it is widely recognized as the most dangerous and demanding work. The job takes a special combination of mental and physical abilities, along with great strength and agility. The connector must not only anticipate the flow of the work and the motions of a beam swinging at the end of a cable, he may have to climb straight up a 30-foot column with as much as 50 pounds of equipment in a work belt hanging from his waist. These are bolts and pins of various lengths and diameters with which he sets the steel, along with the other tools he has to use. Connecting takes a certain physical type. A man may be a weight lifter, but if he has given up too much mobility with all that bulk, he is no more use than a man who is overweight. There are always two connectors working together, and they must have complete confidence in each other. Men who work well together may stay together for years. Not everyone can do this work, and a man who makes his mark as a connector is due a certain respect not given to others, even after he moves on to less demanding jobs.
There is a limit to how long a man can connect steel. At some point his body won’t take the beating anymore, and his abilities slip. He still knows what to do, but his reactions aren’t there anymore. Some men connect steel into their sixties, but not many. One I knew was also a walker. He would walk about seven miles from Brooklyn into Manhattan — across the Brooklyn bridge — do a day’s work and walk home.
Anyway, these are the men in the raising gang, and they work under the supervision of a pusher. If he’s a good pusher, he’ll get good men working for him, and he will keep them from job to job. When the gang is working well, the lighter his touch on the gang the better. A good gang will almost function on its own.
The next gang on a job is the bolt-up gang. These are usually men who used to be in a raising gang or who, for some reason, could not function on one. They come along after the raising gang and put in the final bolts to hold the steel. Most of the time the bolt-up gangs do not need strong young men, but there can be exceptions. Sometimes a point (where columns and beams join) may require 100 bolts that must be torqued with a heavy impact gun. The gang will have as many apprentices as it needs to keep the gang supplied with bolts and tools. Needless to say, the worst apprentice is the one who gets the coffee.
Finally, there is the detail gang. These people come along later to weld the larger bolts, clean up mistakes, and take care of any changes that come up during a job. This work is easier and more slow-paced than raising and bolting up steel.
For those who have never worked in a union, perhaps this description is enough to make it clear that the union really was a brotherhood. When you work together for years with people whose abilities you count on not only to do your job but for your physical safety, you develop close attachments. At the same time, the best ironworkers love what they do. There is immense satisfaction in seeing a building go up, in doing a challenging job most men can’t do.
When blacks started coming into the business, I was still young and making a name as a connector. The job requires total focus, so when you’re 40 floors above the street, you don’t have time to think about what some black guy is doing or not doing in a detail gang down below. Although I was aware of what foremen were saying about the overall inability of black men to do the work, I never saw them. They seemed instinctively to know they could not work in a raising gang. I wasn’t fully aware of the overall damage they were doing the industry until I finished my years of connecting, and started pushing.
It’s hard to describe exactly what keeps them from being able to do the more difficult raising-gang work. They are not particularly afraid of heights. Blacks will go out on the iron, way above the street, but only at a very slow, measured pace they can control. They don’t adjust well to fast-paced work.
Blacks have similar problems with rigging (the work of putting the right cables on the steel pieces and sending them up). Rigging is an integral part of getting the steel where it is has to go. Ironworkers must know all the different capacities of steel cable, and how to use a particular size cable in a way that increases its capacity. For some reason, this is something blacks do not seem to pick up. The same is true with knotcraft. All men in the trade must know certain knots and how to splice. I don’t know why, but blacks don’t seem to get the hang of it. Their abilities to see things before they happen don’t seem to be well developed, and don’t improve as they gain experience (though as far as the raising gang is concerned, they don’t stay around long enough to get much experience anyway).
Finally, blacks do not read blueprints well. That is why there are so few black pushers even after all these years. It’s hard to cover for a guy who can’t read a blueprint. When I taught blueprint reading in the apprentice school, I was able to get it across to the white and Indian guys but not to blacks. When I was in the service, I tried to teach a black guy to read a map and use a compass. Either I wasn’t a good teacher, or he wasn’t a good student, because after I was finished, he couldn’t do either.
This is not to say that no blacks can do the work. As in so many other situations, there is the rare exception that proves the rule. I have seen only one black man who could do the work the way it’s supposed to be done. He was a good man in every way. Unfortunately, he got killed in 1980 when he fell to his death. Nobody knew what made him fall. It was just one of those things.
When I started pushing, the very first gang I took was a bolt-up gang with two blacks. It was apparent very quickly that they were not up to the job. This was early in the work on a 50-story building in Manhattan, and I could not afford to be stuck with men who could not pull their weight. I got hold of the steward and told him to do something or I was going to fire them. He told me they were going to start a detail gang (easier, less demanding work) in a couple of days, and would take the blacks off my hands. In their place, I got two decent guys.
Some people will tell you blacks are lazy, but I think a better word for it is childlike. If a pusher gives them a task and leaves, they will sit down because they’re not being watched. It doesn’t seem to register with them that when the pusher comes back he will see that the work has not been done — until they see him coming. Then they will invent some silly excuse for why the work is not done. Obviously, it’s risky for a pusher to pair two blacks to work together. The usual thing is to put a black guy with a white or an Indian, but the Indians absolutely hate to work with blacks, and if you insist, they may walk off the job. With a mixed pair, the white or Indian guy has to do all the thinking and most of the work.
I know it runs counter to the common view, but generally speaking, I’m not impressed with the strength or stamina of blacks. I’m sure many people will find this hard to understand, but blacks just give out sooner.
Late in my career, I was pushing a detail gang that was setting some small beams. A black guy said we should take a rest every time we set a piece, but it was light work and I kept the men going. During coffee break he told me I was a slave driver. I told him that if he were the slave and I were the master, I’d have to go out and get a job to support us both because he wasn’t doing enough to make owning him pay. I suppose you could get fired for saying that today.
There are other problems with blacks. They tend to come to work late, and without the proper tools or clothing. When I was a walking boss on a job, I’d be down in the street sometimes watching the connectors unload steel off a truck shortly after seven o’clock in the morning (the start time for work in the trades), and I’d see black guys coming late from all directions. That includes all the trades, not just ironworkers.
Some of the excuses I have heard are incredible: “I lent my alarm clock to a friend and he forgot to call me and wake me up and that’s why I’m late.” Or this one: “I was on time but a cop gave me a ticket on the train for smoking, and he wouldn’t let me off at my stop and I had to wait for a train going back the other way and was finally able to get off.” Then there are the guys who claim to have had deaths in the family, but who forget, and claim multiple deaths for the same person.
Blacks are also likely to have a different kind of baggage. I had a black guy on a job who wasn’t bad. He could do a fair job of bolting up, and seemed to be good at being on time for work and doing what he was supposed to do when he was there. Then, all of a sudden, he sticks up a fast food joint and that’s the end of him. He got five years. What good was he to the brotherhood?
Certain contracts (usually city, state and federal) now stipulate that the work crew has to have certain percentages of minorities. Also, on many public projects, a certain amount of the contract is set aside for minority contractors. This means large outfits have created dummy minority companies so they can get the minority contract, too. I’ve seen only one genuinely black outfit get one of these contracts, and they made a mess of things and were thrown off the job.
The fact that blacks would or could not do the hardest work had an effect no one outside the trade would have anticipated. It meant that instead of starting in a raising gang, they started in detail work or bolting up — work that older men traditionally did. If it was a government job that required a certain number of blacks, you had to put those men to work somewhere. Many times, it meant older men who had been in the trade for years — some nearing retirement age — had to go back and do the work of younger men. You can imagine the snowball effect. By their very presence, blacks upset the rhythm and flow of work.
The courts pushed women into the trade, too, just as they had blacks. Of course, they don’t have the upper body strength to do the work, but in our unfortunate country, that makes no difference. They’re in now, and that’s that. They’ve caused untold problems on the jobs.
The curious thing is that 90 percent of the women who have come into the trade are black, so you have all the other problems I have mentioned plus the fact that they are not strong enough. Once again, we had a group without any ability to do anything but the easiest work.
I had a problem myself with a woman, soon after they started showing up. I was working as a bolt-up pusher and asked for another apprentice. We were adding journeymen, so I needed another hand to service them. The union hall sent me a woman. She proceeded to tell me she was going to get the coffee. I told her I was the one who made those decisions, and she wasn’t going to get the coffee. I had the original apprentice getting coffee, and that was the way it was going to be. I told her to do ordinary apprentice work, and she just left the floor and told the job super I had harassed her. I told him it was a bunch of baloney, and he put her on a detail gang. I wanted her fired, but that wasn’t going to happen. She went on to cause more problems. Last I heard of her, I think she got killed, but not on the job.
I once asked an old timer who had worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard during the war about the work the women did there. He told me they were good welders (welding is easy work). However, men had to put up the scaffolds for them, so they could get to where the welding had to be done. The situation was much the same as what we’re experiencing with women today.
Ours has always been dangerous work. I’ve been hurt, myself. In 1980, a floor I was on collapsed out from under me, and I fell 35 feet onto Houston Street in Manhattan. I broke my arm. I rehabbed myself and was back at work about three and a half months later, much to the chagrin of my lawyer, who wanted me to stay out of work for as long as my case lasted, which was four years. I got some money, but nothing compared to what I could have gotten if I had stayed out all that time. I wasn’t going to sit around for four years.
For the most part, women and blacks don’t get hurt. Mainly, it’s because they won’t do the dangerous work, nor will anyone put them in a critical position where a man’s life could depend on them. There has been a blizzard of new safety regulations that are supposed to remove a lot of the dangers, but there are as many injuries as before, and mostly it is whites who get hurt. Why? Because the ironworkers test has been completely watered down to create the illusion that blacks and women are “passing.” That means inferior white men are passing the test and entering the trade — and doing the critical work — and inferior men always find a way to get hurt.
Breaking Up the Brotherhood
Structural ironworking is wonderful work for a man who can throw himself into it. The challenges and rewards of the job bring out incredible emotions. The bonds you build with men you can trust last a lifetime. This is why union men call each other brothers, and back in the father-to-son days, men were often related to each other, too.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of blacks on high steel is that they have never become part of the brotherhood. They have maintained a de facto segregation that has kept them from fully taking part in the trade, and have established themselves as a separate entity within the local. They have refused every overture of brotherhood from members such as myself, who were their friends from the beginning. They have refused friendship from the Indian brothers, too. Mainly this happened because they were artificially inserted into work for which they were completely unqualified. Now, even after all these years, they are just as outside the flow of the work as the day they started. All this time, no black has ever won elected office in the local.
Many of the blacks have a chip-on-the-shoulder attitude about the job and about whites. In my opinion, they strike a pose to hide the fact that they don’t have what it takes as a group to do the work. I can’t imagine what their day must be like, always walking around wondering if someone doesn’t like them, never able to lose themselves in the work. This work has so much to offer, but it’s up to each man to get out of it what he can.
I mentioned the incredible emotions of high steel, but the key to feeling those emotions is the work. If a man won’t throw himself completely into the work, he’ll always be on the outside looking in. He will end caring about the money rather than the work. For him it’s about the money, and only the money. Blacks were thrown into a job they couldn’t handle, but they made choices, too. They chose to stay on the outside, and the loss is theirs.
When affirmative action started, nobody thought it would move beyond the blue-collar jobs. Many white-collar workers thought it was fine for people who work outside to integrate. After all, they thought, what does it take to do that kind of work? Just brawn and no brains. They didn’t understand that their turn would come.
Now, everybody sees what has happened. We as white people, must act together and do what has to be done to end this plague of affirmative action. I don’t know how it will happen, but I believe there has already been a change in thinking in America. People are fed up with all this nonsense and slowly they will first take back the workplace and then their society.
Mr. Dilberger is semi-retired and living on the Jersey Shore.
Indians and High Steel
I worked with American Indians the whole time I was an ironworker. They run the gamut, just like everyone else, from excellent men to men who are not very good at all. However, when I broke into the trade in the early 1960s, they were very good indeed. Most of the big companies like Bethlehem Steel and American Bridge always had Indian gangs working next to white gangs. Of course there was competition, since nobody wanted to be outdone by the other gang, but the competition was mostly friendly. No one ever forgot we were doing something very important and serious, and they were men you could respect.
Of course, if we stopped off at a bar after work, there could be fighting. That’s what young men do when they get tanked up. I must say that the Indian guys would get very wild when they were drunk. I guess there’s something to that idea about Indians and alcohol. For a while, I worked in Minnesota. The town I lived in, Orr, would not let Indians into the town bars because they had had too many bad experiences.
For the most part, the Indian men I worked with were Mohawks from the Kahnawake reservation outside of Montreal, Canada, and the St. Regis reservation in upstate New York. Many of them made the trip up to the reservation every weekend. They left after work on Friday and come back to start work Monday morning. The reservation seemed to be where they were the most comfortable.
Because of the bond established through ironworking, I consider many Indians to be my lifelong friends.
Why some races are smarter than others.
Richard Lynn, Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis, Washington Summit Publishers, 2006, 322 pp. $17.95 (soft cover, available in hard cover for $34.95)
After Dysgenics, Eugenics, and IQ and the Wealth of Nations (all three have been reviewed in AR), what more does the prodigiously productive Richard Lynn have to say about race and IQ? A great deal, as it turns out, in what his publisher may be right in calling his magnum opus. In Race Differences in Intelligence, Prof. Lynn has assembled the most thorough collection of world-wide IQ data available anywhere, and supplemented it with well-argued theories about how racial differences evolved.
This is not a volume for conformists, in the sense that it does not spend much time beating down threadbare orthodoxies: that race does not exist, that IQ tests are biased, that environment and “racism” explain racial differences in achievement, etc. Prof. Lynn quickly summarizes the arguments in these areas, but writes mainly for an audience that already understands that race is real and that races differ in intelligence. His main interest is in assessing IQ differences, determining to what extent the differences are genetic, and sketching out the events of the past 100,000 years that probably caused these differences. It would be hard to imagine a clearer, more capable treatment.
Prof. Lynn divides homo sapiens into ten racial groups based on genetic similarities that follow traditional anthropological classification. He notes that before the vogue for pretending it does not exist — a vogue limited essentially to the United States — there were straightforward definitions of race. As a textbook from 1976 explains: “[R]aces could be called sub-species if we adopted for man a criterion from systematic zoology. The criterion is that two or more groups become sub-species when 75 percent or more of all individuals constituting the groups can be unequivocally classified as belonging to a particular group.” Prof. Lynn points out that one of the book’s authors, Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, now famously insists on writing about “genetic clusters” rather than races.
There are four recognized sub-species or races of chimpanzees, and two races of gorillas. There are as many as 79 different breeds of dog, and Prof. Lynn lists a few striking biological differences in human races. Almost all Amerindians, for example, have type O blood, and virtually no Australian aborigines have type B. Disease rates vary so much by race there is even a journal called Ethnicity and Health devoted to them. Europeans, for example, are 6.6 times more likely than East Asians to carry the gene for the disease phenylketonuria (PKU). Pygmies average about four feet seven inches in height. It is only with respect to their own species that some people refuse to see the obvious.
Much of Race Differences in Intelligence is devoted to descriptions of the sampling and methodology of the hundreds of intelligence studies Prof. Lynn synthesized in order to arrive at representative IQ figures for different races. He explains why he adjusted some results for outdated testing norms and others for skewed samples. This information is useful for specialists, but most readers will be more interested in the summary table reproduced on page eight, and Prof. Lynn’s additional comments on the races.
For example, with regard to Europeans, he finds interesting deviations from the racial average of 100. Balkan peoples, for example, tend to have depressed IQs compared to other Europeans (Croatia 89, Serbia 92.5, Bulgaria 90), and Prof. Lynn attributes this to centuries of admixture with South Asians, mainly Turks, who ruled large parts of the Balkans. Greeks — who have an average IQ of 95 — are genetically closer to Iranians and other Southwest Asians than to Danes or Englishmen. Prof. Lynn also finds that Spain and particularly Portugal have scores lower than the European average. Portugal imported large numbers of Africans slaves from the 15th century onward, and the lower national average is probably due to interbreeding. Ireland (92) and Scotland (97) also have lower averages, which Prof. Lynn attributes to selective emigration: Men of better-than-average intelligence managed to leave during famines and other crises.
Most IQ studies of Africans have been of black Americans, and Prof. Lynn confirms the long-standing average of 85. He notes that this figure appears in the earliest IQ tests given at age three, and cannot be attributed to bad schools. Nor, he writes, is there any evidence of malnutrition among American blacks, so the differences from the white average are overwhelmingly likely to be genetic.
Recent studies in Africa itself give results that point to an average of 67, about the mental age of a European nine- or ten-year-old. Prof. Lynn argues that disease and malnutrition (see table below) depress the African average by some 12 or 13 points, and that 80 is probably the figure the average African would achieve in a First-World environment. Prof. Lynn notes that in the United States, blacks benefit further from an admixture of white genes to the point that the average black has the equivalent of one white grandparent. He concludes from studies of mulattos that every percentage increase in white genes raises average black IQ by approximately 0.2 points, and that this accounts for the five-point advantage American blacks have over the 80-point genotypic intelligence of African blacks.
The Ethiopian “Jews” who emigrated to Israel reportedly have an average IQ of 65, but Prof. Lynn does not explain why the more advanced environment of Israel does not appear to have increased their intelligence. Madagascar has a notably high average IQ of 82, but the explanation is simple: It was settled by Southeast Asians before blacks reached it, and their large genetic contribution pulls up the average.
Africans have long had a reputation as lovers of rhythm. The 14th century Arab writer Ibn Butlan wrote that if an African “were to fall from heaven to earth he would beat time as he goes down.” Musical tests show that American blacks have about a ten point deficit compared to whites in pitch discrimination and memory for melodies, but have a slight advantage in understanding and reproducing rhythms.
One of the most obvious physiological correlates of the black/white intelligence difference is the disparity in brain size. Blacks have, on average, about 100 cc less brain tissue, and brain size has a well-established correlation with intelligence. Within families, the larger-brained children tend to be the smartest, and rats that learn mazes quickly have larger brains than those that learn slowly.
The well-documented cultural poverty of Africa before contact with whites or Arabs is almost certainly due to low average intelligence. No sub-Saharan people had the wheel, a written language, mechanical devices, multi-story buildings, or a calendar. Their words for counting consisted of one, two, few, and many, though some tribes could count to seven by combining twos and ones.
Bushmen and Pygmies appear to fall below even the low African average. Until about 1,500 years ago, Bushmen lived in many areas of southern Africa, and Pygmies covered large ranges in central Africa. Both groups were later pushed into undesirable areas by encroaching Bantus: the Bushmen into the Kalahari desert and the Pygmies into the Congo forests. Bushmen are physically unique, with yellowish skin and large buttocks. The men have penises that stick straight forward, and the women have inner labia that may hang several inches below their pudenda.
The average IQ of Bushmen has been tested at about 54, or the mental age of a European eight-year-old. This may seem a shockingly low average, but an eight-year-old can learn the simple hunting and gathering techniques practiced by Bushmen. Interestingly, Bushmen are better than Europeans at estimating the sizes of distant objects, an ability useful for hunting. This is a skill Europeans may have lost during the several thousand years they have lived as settled agriculturalists rather than as hunters.
Pygmies are normal in height until puberty, at which point they fail to grow quickly like people of other races. Prof. Lynn is aware of only one intelligence test of Pygmies, conducted in 1910. Unfortunately, the results were not quantified; the researcher noted only that Pygmies scored worse than Eskimos, Filipinos or Amerindians. Like the Bushmen, they have only primitive counting systems, and never succeeded in making the transition to settled agriculture.
The aborigines of Australia and New Guinea also have very low IQs. Those in Australia migrated about 60,000 years ago from New Guinea, and share many physical traits. The median IQ for both groups is 62.
At the same time, Australian aborigines score 119 — well above the white average of 100 — on a spatial memory test that requires them to study 20 objects for 30 seconds and memorize their locations. This ability is thought to have evolved in the Australian desert, where hunters must remember even the slightest geographic features, and aborigines have excellent reputations as guides and trackers. This ability is still found in aborigines who have lived in cities for several generations, which suggests it is a genetic trait. Aborigines have quite small brains, but with disproportionately large right hemispheres, which is the area that handles spatial memory.
Despite this unusual visual ability, the low intelligence of aborigines prevented significant cultural advance. Until contact with Europeans, they did not have agriculture, pottery or metal, did not store food, and kept no animals. The now-extinct Tasmanians are the only people known to have been unable to make fire. They could use it if they found it, but could not relight fires that burned out. Tasmanians had no tools with handles; their axes were unhafted rocks.
Europeans found the New Guinean aborigines to be at a slightly higher level. They grew yams and bananas, and kept chickens and pigs. However, these were practices they did not develop but learned from neighboring Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders.
Professor Lynn groups the peoples of North Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan into a single race he calls South Asians and North Africans. They have average IQs of around 84, with the exception of Turks, whose IQ of 90 can probably be attributed to hybridization with Europeans. Prof. Lynn reports that this disparate group has an average brain size about eight percent smaller than Europeans. Being reared in Europe increases their IQs somewhat but not to European levels. Gypsies are originally of Indian origin, and a group tested in Slovakia had a predictable average IQ of 84.
Prof. Lynn finds that Israelis have a weighted average IQ of about 95, with figures of 103 for Ashkenazim, 91 for Sephardim, and 86 for Arabs. Jews tended not to breed with the people among whom they lived, but were not completely endogamous. Prof. Lynn attributes intelligence difference between Ashkenazim and Sephardim to admixture from host populations. Ashkenazim in the United States and Britain tend to score in the 107 to 115 range, considerably higher than Israeli Jews. Prof. Lynn suggests that this is because only the more intelligent were able to come west to escape persecution in Russia and Eastern Europe. Emigration has been easier since the creation of Israel, which has been the more recent destination for Ashkenazim.
Prof. Lynn uses the name of Southeast Asians for the people called Malays in classical anthropology: the populations of Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, etc. They have smaller brains than Europeans and have an average IQ of around 87. In the United States, this group scores at about 93, no doubt because of improved environment.
The Pacific Islanders are a heterogeneous group with an average IQ of 85. The exception are the Maoris of New Zealand, whose average of 90 is attributable to miscegenation with Europeans. Native Hawaiians in Hawaii share the racial average of 85.
Aside from certain groups of Ashkenazim, the East Asian populations of China, Japan, and Korea have the highest average IQs in the world. Numerous studies suggest an average of 105, with a consistent superiority of spatial intelligence over verbal intelligence. This group also has slightly larger brains than Europeans, and the loss of brain tissue that accompanies aging sets in later in Asians. Studies of Asians adopted by Europeans have found that the children have higher average IQs than the white populations. Interestingly, Prof. Lynn finds that Asians who immigrated to the United States or Canada several generations ago have lower IQs than those who have arrived recently or who stayed in Asia. He attributes this to the fact that early immigrants came to work on farms and railroads and were probably below-average in intelligence.
American Indians are genetically related to East Asians but with a considerably lower average IQ of 86. Like East Asians, they have a relative advantage in spatial IQ (89.5) over verbal IQ (81). On music tests, they outscore whites on rhythm (104), and do reasonably well on pitch and tune memory (92). Like Australian aborigines, they have good visual memory. Prof. Lynn suspects this may explain why they are often good spellers; they are able to remember the way words look.
In Central and South America, malnutrition lowers the Indian IQ. Iodine deficiency, for example, causes cretinism that can reduce IQs by as much as 13.5 points. Prof. Lynn reports that in the rural highlands of Ecuador, seven percent of the population are cretins and another 21 percent may have sub-clinical cases of cretinism that depress intelligence.
Arctic people have an average IQ of 91 and show the East Asian profile of better spatial than verbal intelligence. In a test in which they are shown a picture and asked to draw it from memory, they outscore Europeans 106 to 100. Good visual memory is an advantage in navigating featureless terrain and, like Indians, seems to make Eskimos good spellers.
The Evolution of Differences
Some of Prof. Lynn’s most interesting observations are his summaries of the millennial forces that produced race differences in intelligence. Prof. Lynn accepts the view that homo sapiens appeared about 200,000 years ago in Africa and left the continent to colonize the globe about 100,000 years later. He notes that one of the important boosts to pre-human intelligence came from the fact that we are social creatures. Monkeys, for example, make alliances and jockey for supremacy, and this requires intelligence. It takes brains as well as brawn for a monkey to reach the top, where he is in a position to mate with many females.
Climate change in Africa that turned forests into savannahs was another factor in raising pre-human intelligence. Grasslands offered much less cover than forests, and proto-homo had to learn how to fight off predators. He also learned to walk upright so as to get a better view, and thus freed his hands for tool-making. About 100,000 years ago man moved out of Africa, but it took him about 70,000 years to colonize the planet. Prof. Lynn argues that it was the demands of colder, non-African environments that forced the pace of evolution in intelligence and gave rise to race differences.
It is clearly much harder to live through sub-arctic winters than near the equator, where temperature hardly varies. Humans had to learn to use needles and thread to make clothes and tents, to keep babies and children warm, and to control fire. Unlike Africans, who could gather food year-round, bands that went north had to have the foresight to store food for the winter. Likewise, meat became a much more important source of food because plants were not available in the winter, and men had to learn how to track and kill large animals. This required cooperation, intelligent speech, tools for killing and butchering, and arithmetic for sharing carcasses. Even in modern times, hunter-gatherers in northern climates depend much more on meat than tropics-dwellers, and need more tools. Early humans dried and stored meat for the winter, but if they did it wrong the meat went bad and they caught food poisoning. This, too, helped winnow out the unintelligent.
Cold weather forced women to be selective about mates. Unlike African women, who could forage for themselves and their children all year, northern women were completely dependent on men. They needed mates who hunted well and had the foresight to store food, so could not settle for dummies. Men had to choose women who could be counted on to keep fires going and children fed and warm. At the same time, prolonged dependence forced northerners to develop durable family ties. Parents who did not stick together through winter after winter were unlikely to have children who survived. In the tropics, a woman could feed a brood without a man’s help.
The consequence, writes Prof. Lynn, is that there is a strong correlation of 0.68 between racial IQ and cold-winter environments. There is an even stronger correlation of 0.92 between IQ and lightness of skin color, which developed in northern latitudes.
Prof. Lynn notes that there have been two major coolings of the earth that pushed humans towards higher intelligence: the first ice age of 70,000 years ago, and the second ice age, or Würm glaciation, of 28,000 to 10,000 years ago. Africans who never left the continent did not experience either ice age, and their IQs did not rise. Likewise, the ancestors of the Australian and New Guinean aborigines left the continent after the first ice age but arrived in their new tropical homes before the second. They, too, failed to benefit from the rigors of cold weather.
Both East Asians and Europeans endured both ice ages, and Prof. Lynn argues that Asians evolved an IQ advantage because winters in Asia were colder. Asia is a larger landmass, and is not warmed by ocean currents. Particularly harsh winters pushed East Asians towards the Arctic body-type of thick trunk, short arms and legs, and a subcutaneous layer of fat that produces a yellowish skin color. Their flat faces keep extremities from freezing, and the epicanthic fold cuts glare from snow and ice. Asians also have little facial hair, an advantage in cold weather when condensation can freeze on beards and lead to frostbite.
Temperature alone, however, does not explain all race differences. Why, for example, do the Eskimos not have the highest IQs? They have even thicker trunks and shorter arms and legs than Asians, which shows they have endured harsher cold than Asians. Prof. Lynn explains that their environment did push their average IQ into the low 90s, but thoerizes that the intelligence breakthroughs found in other races probably required mutations that simply did not take place in small, Arctic bands. Fortunate mutations are much more likely in large populations.
This may also help explain why North American Indians did not develop higher IQs. Prof. Lynn rejects the theory that the Americas were populated only during the last 14,000 years or so, citing evidence that pushes the arrival of humans back to 40,000 BC. They did come from Asia, however, which explains their spatially-skewed IQ profile, Asiatic appearance, and lack of facial hair. However, most of them went south before the Würm glaciation, and avoided the need to adapt to the cold. They are therefore not as short-legged or flat-faced as East Asians, and tend to resemble the Ainu. In Japan, where they were the original inhabitants, the Ainu did not have to adapt to the intense cold of the Asian mainland, and did not develop completely Asian features or the Asian IQ.
Once they arrived in North America, Ainu-like Asiatics found life easer than in the East. America was filled with large game animals that were easy to kill. Herbivores and carnivores usually evolve higher intelligence because of each other, with predators getting smarter to catch their prey, and herbivores getting smarter to escape. Prof. Lynn argues that North American game animals had evolved with few natural predators, and were no match for recently-arrived humans. Even so, the Indians who stayed in the north had to survive the Würm glaciation, and should have been pushed towards higher IQ. Prof. Lynn speculates that like Arctic peoples, their numbers may have been too small to give rise to fortunate mutations.
Likewise, climate does not explain why civilization appeared first among the relatively low-IQ race of South Asians and North Africans rather than Europeans. Prof. Lynn suggests it was because Europe was covered with dense forest, did not have fertile alluvial plains like Egypt or Mesopotamia, and had tough soil not easily plowed like the soil to the south and east. For whatever reason, Europe produced real civilization in Crete and Greece only around 2500 BC, well after the North Africans and South Asians.
China, too, was well ahead of the West until the Renaissance. Why did it not keep its lead? Prof. Lynn speculates that Asians may be more conformist than Europeans, and therefore less likely to strike out in new directions. He also argues that since China was ruled centrally for millennia, it may have encouraged more uniformity of thought than the competing kingdoms of Europe. Whatever the explanation, there are signs European people are losing their confidence and could slip behind again.
As Prof. Lynn has already shown in IQ and the Wealth of Nations, the intelligence of a people is highly correlated with its economic success. In fact, there is much about the world that hardly makes sense without an understanding of racial differences in intelligence. Egalitarians are left with a welter of contradictory, inadequate, ad hoc explanations for world-wide patterns that have persisted for centuries, and that fall into almost perfect alignment when understood in the light of racial differences. How can so many people refuse to acknowledge the obvious? This review can do no better than end with Prof. Lynn’s own conclusion:
“The position of environmentalists that over the course of some 100,000 years peoples separated by geographical barriers in different parts of the world evolved into ten different races with pronounced genetic differences in morphology, blood groups, and the incidence of genetic diseases, and yet have identical genotypes for intelligence, is so improbable that those who advance it must either be totally ignorant of the basic principles of evolutionary biology or else have a political agenda to deny the importance of race. Or both.”
This book, together with many other excellent titles, is available for purchase at the AR on-line store.
The Battle of the Sexes
Prof. Lynn’s conclusions about sex differences in intelligence are more controversial than what he says about race — more so because even among fellow students of race like Arthur Jensen, Philippe Rushton, and Michael Levin he would find limited support. Scientists have long known that men and women differ in IQ profiles; men have an advantage in spatial/mathematical abilities and women in verbal intelligence. The conventional conclusion, however, is that these differences cancel each other out, giving male and female Europeans averages of 100.
Prof. Lynn argues that there are two reasons why this is wrong. First, up until the age of 15 or so, boys and girls do have the same average intelligence, and because most IQ testing is of children it misses differences that arise later. Second, in adult IQ testing, questions are carefully selected to give the same overall averages for men and women, and this can be done only by including a disproportionate number of verbal questions on which women score higher than men.
Prof. Lynn argues that a properly constructed adult IQ test yields a male advantage in average IQ of three to six points. On Raven’s Progressive Matrices, a non-verbal test that is considered the best single measure of general intelligence, the male average exceeds the female average by five points. Even if men and women have the same standard distributions of intelligence, a three to six point difference at the mean yields a considerable male preponderance at the very highest IQ levels, and if the male distribution of IQ is broader — a possibility for which there is some evidence — male dominance at the high end would be greater still.
Prof. Lynn therefore neatly — if controversially — answers a question that has long dogged students of IQ: Men have larger brains than women, even corrected for body size, so if brain size and IQ are correlated, why aren’t men smarter? Others have suspected that female brains are simply more densely packed. Not so, says Prof. Lynn, citing a figure of 22.8 billion neurons for men and 19.3 billion for women. Another theory is that the spatial abilities in which men are known to excel simply take more brain tissue. For Prof. Lynn the answer is simple: men are smarter.
Why should they be smarter? Given sex differences in mate selection, any woman of child-bearing age can find a man to make her pregnant, but men must compete for the attentions of women. This competition would have selected for male intelligence (as well as strength and health), giving men their slight advantage in IQ.
Jared Taylor debates José Gutierrez.
On Friday, April 29th, American Renaissance editor Jared Taylor met with José Angel Gutierrez, professor of political science and co-founder of the La Raza Unida Party, for a spirited debate about immigration. The event, titled Hispanicization: Good or Bad for America?, was hosted by the College Republicans of the University of Texas at Arlington, and brought out a racially mixed crowd of almost 400. Security guards waved metal-detector wands and ordered all entrants to empty their pockets. The security line stretched down a lengthy hall and around a corner. The debate itself was delayed several minutes because of security concerns as the audience packed the auditorium. (Prof. Gutierrez claims there have been plots to kill him, and likes to threaten people with lawsuits if they disagree with him. During the debate he even warned that if any harm ever came to him his estate would sue Mr. Taylor!)
As to the question of whether increasing Hispanicization is good for America, in his opening remarks Mr. Taylor answered with “an unqualified no.” He began with a long list of statistics that summarize the burden of Hispanics on this country. “This dismal recitation gives me no pleasure,” he said “but these are serious times that demand serious reflection.”
- Twenty-three percent of Hispanics in the US are living in poverty.
- Their per capita income is about half that of whites, and their median net worth is about one ninth that of whites.
- Hispanics are twice as likely as whites to be unemployed, and 50 percent more likely to be on welfare.
- Hispanics are three times more likely than whites to commit violent crimes, and three times more likely to be incarcerated.
- Hispanics are 19 times more likely to be members of youth gangs.
- Forty-six percent of Hispanic births are illegitimate, and Hispanics are three times as likely as whites, and twice as likely as blacks to drop out of high school.
- Thirty-five percent do not have medical insurance, and the cost of free treatment for illegals has bankrupted dozens of hospitals.
- According to one think-tank study, each adult immigrant from Mexico will consume $55,000 more in social and government services than he will pay in taxes over his lifetime.
Mr. Taylor argued that this is not a population to which we should be adding. “We claim to be fighting poverty but we import poor people,” he said. “We claim to be fighting crime but we import people with high crime rates. We claim to be fighting school failure but we import dropouts.”
He added that another reason we must stop the tsunami of Hispanic immigrants, especially Mexicans, is because Mexico is the only country in the world that claims US territory. Most Mexicans believe our southern border is illegitimate, and that the Southwest United States belongs to them. High school and college chapters of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán), an irredentist student union, are found throughout the Southwest, and assert that “gringos” have no claim to the area and should be expelled. It is foolish and dangerous, Mr. Taylor argued, to admit millions of people who do not consider our borders legitimate, and who even want to chase us out of our own territory.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Gutierrez was smiling and jocular with the many Hispanics in the audience, who laughed and applauded in response. He changed his tone, however, when addressing his opponent, punctuating his charges with a finger aimed at Mr. Taylor.
He claimed the negative traits listed by Mr. Taylor were not an indictment of Hispanics but of the oppressive American government, and that immigrants must deal with “the racist in the suit, like Mr. Taylor.” He said Hispanics are not in control in America and therefore cannot be faulted for their failures.
He offered a brief history lesson. The US Southwest and Central America, he claimed, were all peace and harmony until “the illegal aliens came from Kentucky, from Tennessee, from Georgia … who came … predominantly to pillage, to plunder and steal … And yes, Texas was stolen. In 1846, the rest of the Southwest was stolen.” “This is not a white country,” he said. “This is not going to be a white country. And we will paint this White House brown.”
Mr. Taylor pointed out that the professor had failed to list a single reason why Hispanicization is good for America, which was presumably the subject of the debate. Despite Prof. Gutierrez’s depiction of America as oppressive and racist, Mr. Taylor noted that millions still come; not because they will be oppressed in a nation they do not control but because life is vastly better here than in the nations they do control. As for the Southwest being stolen, Mr. Taylor reminded the audience that Mariano Paredes, dictator at the time of the Mexican-American War, was itching for a fight, hoping to win back not only Texas but to conquer Louisiana and Mississippi.
Prof. Gutierrez assailed Mr. Taylor for questioning the loyalty of Mexican-Americans, noting that no one with a Spanish surname has ever been charged, indicted or convicted of treason. Although Mr. Taylor did not say so, the Constitutional standard for treason is so high that no one has been convicted of it since 1952. Mr. Gutierrez also claimed Hispanics have shown their loyalty by winning 39 of 3,427 Congressional Medals of Honor.
Mr. Taylor responded to Prof. Gutierrez’s claims of Hispanic loyalty by citing a recent poll that showed only eight percent of Mexican-American citizens consider themselves American, first and foremost, while over three-quarters think of themselves first as Mexican or Hispanic/Latino.
In response to questions from the audience, Mr. Taylor discussed border security, the need for a wall on the southern border, the fact that miscegenation does not promote diversity but destroys it, and why our immigration policies should not be a global charity but should promote the folkways and ethnic identity of the nation.
Prof. Gutierrez tried to evoke sympathy for poor, struggling immigrants. He recalled with horror President Eisenhower’s expulsion of Mexicans in the mid-1950s, and spoke hopefully of poor Latinos on the streets of El Paso who may grow up to be the next Picasso or American President. He claimed that the purpose of the Statue of Liberty was to welcome immigrants. (Mr. Taylor pointed out it was a gift from France, named “Liberty Enlightening the World,” and was offered on America’s centennial. He noted that the lines about “huddled masses” and “wretched refuse” were added decades later.)
Prof. Gutierrez fell back again and again on charges of racism. He waved AR articles at the audience in an accusing manner, read a few excerpts and half-jokingly said that one of the policemen on security duty should arrest Mr. Taylor for having written them. He claimed that his own response to “racism” was to say, “Forgive them, they don’t know what they do. They’re paranoid but they’re just sick people.”
Mr. Taylor pointed out that name-calling was the most graceless way someone could admit he had lost the argument. “Call me more and worse names,” he added. Mr. Taylor also wondered how Mr. Gutierrez squared his current pose of benevolent brotherhood with the claim, some years ago, that “We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him.”
At the beginning of the debate, I must say I was worried by the mood of the audience, when Prof. Gutierrez was introduced to cheers and Mr. Taylor to silence. Several audience members behind me whispered darkly about the “white supremacist” on stage. However, I have never seen such a turnaround in a crowd, and Mr. Taylor’s closing remarks were greeted with wild applause. Prof. Gutierrez must have sensed the shift too, since he quickly left the auditorium, leaving Mr. Taylor to descend to the audience and greet a host of questioners and well-wishers.
My only complaint about the debate was that the audience was not ten times larger.
Mr. Wilson is a former assistant editor of American Renaissance.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
The Brussels Court of Appeal has convicted Daniel Féret, founder and leader of the National Front party and a member of parliament, of violating Belgium’s law against propagating racism and xenophobia. His crime was to have published pamphlets critical of African and Muslim immigrants. Mr. Féret was sentenced to 250 hours of public service helping immigrants, and was banned from standing for election for the next ten years. If he refuses the public service, he will get ten months jail time.
The court ruled that the pamphlets were illegal because they suggested all immigrants were criminals, caricatured Africans as savages, and suggested all Muslims were terrorists. They were therefore “grave attacks against democratic values” that “encouraged hate against foreigners.” The court conceded, however, that the pamphlets contained no incitement to violence. The prosecution demanded that the entire National Front be dissolved, but the court refused. [Dix Ans d’Inéligibilité pour le Leader du FN, L’Express (Paris), April 18, 2006.]
Mr. Féret has said he will seek political asylum in Russia, which he calls “a democratic country in which freedom of expression still has meaning.” Russia, however, does not accept political refugees from stable democracies like Belgium where people have the right to a fair trial. Mr. Féret says he will appeal the verdict, possibly to the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg. [Peu de Chances pour l’Asile de Daniel Féret en Russie, La Libre Belgique (Brussels), April 26, 2006.]
In 2004, Mr. Féret’s National Front got 5.6 percent of the vote in French-speaking Wallonia, its best result ever. The judgment against Mr. Féret has boosted the party’s support — it got 9.4 percent in a recent opinion poll. [Far-Right Boss to Help Immigrants, BBC News, April 18, 2006.]
‘We Are All Equal’
For most professional athletes, boorishness trumps sportsmanship, but it is unusual for an athlete to be charged with a crime for what he does on the field. Antonio Carlos, a Brazilian soccer player, is facing one to three years in prison for calling a black opponent a “monkey” during a game. “Racism” is a crime in Brazil, and there is no bail. Last year an Argentine player spent 40 hours in jail after Brazilian police arrested him for shouting abuse at a black player — though the case was later dismissed.
Prosecutors says Mr. Carlos can avoid trial if he pays for 10,000 handbills that say, “We are all equal” and “Say no to racism.” He would also have to help hand them out before sporting events at his team’s home stadium in Caxias do Sul, 465 miles south of Sao Paulo.
FIFA, the international soccer organization, adopted strict anti-“racism” regulations in March. Teams whose fans shout racial abuse at players could be disqualified from competitions and banished for up to two years from international matches. [Tales Azzoni, Brazilian Player Charged with Racism, AP, April 13, 2006.]
Orders in the Court
Last December, Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Korda of Broward County, Florida, dressed down a Hispanic woman for speaking Spanish rather than English in his courtroom. Last June, Judge Leonard Feiner of the same court complained about county cleaning crews: “They may live in hovels, where they live, but they don’t have to leave places where they work looking like a dump.” Both men apologized, but critics say these are examples of judicial bias against non-whites. Black and Hispanic lawyers complained to Chief Judge Dale Ross, who announced on April 26 that Broward County judges would henceforth submit to diversity and sensitivity training. [Tonya Alanez, Judges to Receive Diversity Training, South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale), April 26, 2006.]
According to a poll by Investor’s Business Daily, 73 percent of Hispanics say they are most likely to vote for a party that offers amnesty for illegal immigrants, and 64 percent for a party that supports a guest-worker program. By comparison, according to a Zogby poll, only 32 percent of Americans as a whole support amnesty. The Investor’s Business Daily poll found 70 percent of Hispanics say their vote will hinge on immigration, and support for amnesty is uniform across all subgroups. Eighty-two percent of Hispanic Democrats say they support amnesty, 78 percent of independents, and 61 percent of Republicans. Rich and poor Hispanics support amnesty by large majorities, as do recent arrivals and long-term US residents. Immigration remains a dominant concern even among Hispanics who consider themselves mostly American, rather than mostly Hispanic, and who speak English at home. [Pols Probably Won’t Fix U.S. Immigration Problems, Zogby International, April 11, 2006.]
Forty-three percent of Hispanics call themselves independent, 31 percent Democrat, and nine percent Republican. Support for Democrats is clearly tied to immigration: Four times as many Hispanics think Democrats will deal more favorably with immigration than Republicans. The longer Hispanics stay in the US, the more likely they are to identify with one of the major parties, but Democrats continue to outnumber Republicans. Of Hispanics who have been here 21 years or more, 43 percent call themselves Democrats, 33 percent independents, and 13 percent Republicans. Only among the 12 percent of Hispanics who make more than $50,000 a year do Republicans outnumber Democrats.
The IBD poll also found that 58 percent of Hispanics spoke only Spanish or mostly Spanish at home. Only 19 percent of Hispanics spoke mostly or only English at home. Even among Hispanics who have been in the country 21 years or more, 37 percent speak only or mostly Spanish at home. [Hispanics Say They’ll Vote Based on How Immigration is Handled, Investor’s Business Daily, April 18, 2006.]
Sic Semper Tyrannis
Last summer in Herndon, Virginia, a controversy erupted over a plan to build a day-labor center for illegal aliens. Despite the opposition of most of the town’s residents, the city council — after several contentious town hall meetings — voted five-to-two to approve construction, paid for in part with $175,000 in county money. The debate attracted several weeks of media attention, as well as the Minutemen civilian border protection group (see “Ignoring the People, AR, Oct. 2005).
Tuesday, May 2, was a day of reckoning for politicians who ignored the will of the people. In the first election since the labor center vote, and in what may turn out to be a harbinger of this fall’s congressional elections, the citizens of Herndon turfed out Mayor Michael O’Reilly and two city council members who had voted for the center. In their places, they elected five new council members and a new mayor, Steve J. DeBenedittis, all of whom oppose the center. Only one council member who voted for the center survived, and he got the fewest number of votes among the winning candidates. Voters also rejected center-supporter and Salvadoran immigrant Jorge Rochac, who wanted to become the council’s first Hispanic. Outgoing Mayor O’Reilly has learned nothing: “There may be a lot more resentment and hatred out there than I anticipated,” he says.
The labor center will not close immediately, since its operating permit is good for another year. The new, anti-center council will consider various proposals, including restricting it to legal workers and moving it out of a residential area. [Bill Turque and Nikita Stewart, Labor Site Backlash Felt at Polls in Herndon, Washington Post, May 3, 2006.]
American Renaissance was connected to the controversy in Herndon — only coincidentally — because the last three AR conferences have been at the Hyatt Dulles Hotel in Herndon, and press accounts of the conference persisted in linking AR to the Minutemen (see “Among the Living Again,” AR, April 2006). Something called the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee (VMPAC), which distributed election flyers in Herndon calling on Muslims to vote for the pro-labor center slate, took note of AR, too.
It complained that the controversy over the center “brought many outsiders to Herndon who represent a very dangerous anti-immigration movement in America today.” It went on to warn: “An indication of that was the White Supremacist convention at the Herndon Hyatt in February of this year. Please have a look at their website to see the kind of danger they present to all Americans.” [Mukit Hossain, Important Election Memo, Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, Potomac Falls, Va.]
States Step Up
Inaction by the federal government on illegal immigration is prompting state action: Over the past year, lawmakers have introduced a record 463 bills dealing with immigration. Many would deny drivers licenses to illegals or require police to check the status of people they stop, and report illegals to the feds. In about half the states there have been bills introduced to punish employers of illegal aliens. Some of the bills, however, make things easier for aliens. Utah has introduced a driving certificate for illegals, and Nebraska became the tenth state to vote in-state tuition for illegals — over the governor’s veto.
On April 17, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue set a fine example by signing a law that denies illegals most state benefits. It also requires that contractors doing state business verify the status of new employees, limits the types of services private companies can offer illegals, imposes prison sentences on human smugglers, and requires police to notify immigration officials when they arrest a criminal who is illegal. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that our famous Georgia hospitality is not abused, that our taxpayers are not taken advantage of and that our citizens are protected,” says Gov. Perdue. The bill passed overwhelmingly in both houses, despite opposition from Hispanics. [Karen Jacobs, Georgia Governor Signs Sweeping Immigration Law, Reuters, April 17, 2006.]
Supporters of illegal aliens say state involvement in federal issues will create a confused systems of contradictory laws that will make things worse, but many state legislators believe it is their duty to step into the void. “We had high hopes that Congress would do something this year, but Washington is ducking its responsibility,” says Rep. Russell K. Pearce of Arizona. “Our constituents are outraged about that. So they are demanding — and I mean demanding — that we do the job instead.” Rep. Pearce is a strong supporter of a proposal requiring Arizona policemen to check immigration status. “Deportation should start with the traffic stop,” he says. [T. R. Reid, Hill Impasse Spurs States to Tackle Illegal Immigration, Washington Post, May 3, 2006.]
American food stamps have long been used to pay for drugs. When the stamps were issued in paper form, they became a kind of black-market currency among addicts and dealers. To stop this, states have begun putting food stamp benefits — which are supposed to be used only for food — on debit cards. However, food stamp recipients, in collusion with merchants, have figured out a way to get cash from the cards. A shopkeeper charges a certain amount of money to a food stamp card and swipes it through the government computer. He then refunds cash to the card owner, minus a commission — typically 30 percent. The cardholders then uses the cash to buy anything he likes, often drugs. Prosecutors have charged 22 shopkeepers in Chicago with this fraud. According to a former Chicago policeman, the fraud “is rampant in the black community.”
Most of the food stanp recipients are black, and most of the crocked shopkeepers are Arab. A Chicago Sun-Times story mentions nine shopkeepers who have been charged with the fraud, and all of them have Arab names. One is Amar Abu Siessi, who has made millions from the scam. Investigators were tipped off when they saw that Mr. Siessi’s corner grocery store was doing hundreds of dollars worth of sales in a minute. Between May and October 2000, the store redeemed $383,000 in food stamp card benefits. Mr. Siessi also bribed an inspector employed by the USDA to grant approval to accept food stamp cards.
Federal officials think Arab shopkeepers may be funding terrorist groups with the money they make. They often send the proceeds to overseas bank accounts. One grocer charged in the fraud is also under charges of aiding terrorists. [Frank Main and Natasha Korecki, The Welfare-Fraud Link, Chicago Sun-Times, April 9, 2006.]
No Differences Allowed
Twenty years ago, Montgomery County, Md., set up a number of “magnet programs” for gifted students in order to stop “white flight” from public schools. Students must pass a test to get into the program, but black parents say not enough blacks pass. Only six percent of the black students who applied to one program got in while 25 percent of white students did. The school board pointed out that it had worked with the NAACP to make black families aware of the magnet programs, and had offered free workshops on how to get in. However, it realized this was not enough. Now, students who fail the test may still get into the program if their teachers recommend them. [Nancy Trejos, Parents Protest Magnet Makeup, Washington Post, March 8, 2005. Lori Aratani, ‘Gifted’ Label Takes a Vacation in Diversity Quest, Washington Post, Feb. 22, 2006.]
Last year, Lincoln Middle School in Vista, California, had the last gifted program in the city after three other middle schools ended theirs. Hispanic parents were angry that the Lincoln program was disproportionately white. “All students should be treated equally,” said Hispanic parents in a letter to the school board. “We believe that school should not create differences between students who know more and students who know less.” They argued that getting rid of the program would reduce “discrimination.”
Parents of gifted students demonstrated in front of the school carrying signs reading “Don’t punish the bright ones,” but to no avail. On May 25, trustees for the school district voted 4-1 to end the program. Parents transferred 192 of the 231 gifted students to middle schools that are less heavily Hispanic. School district trustee David Hubbard, who voted to end the program at Lincoln, said he would take his son out of Lincoln, too. [Adam Klawonn, GATE-Closing Plan Stirs Parental Debate at Lincoln Middle School, San Diego Union-Tribune, May 19, 2005. Adam Klawonn, GATE Program Eliminated at Lincoln, San Diego Union-Tribune, May 25, 2005.]
Two-time AR conference speaker Nick Griffin’s British National Party (BNP) achieved significant success in local British elections on May 4, winning 31 council seats and bringing its total to 46 — more than double the 20 it had previously held. (Council elections are similar to municipal elections in the US.) The nationalist party’s biggest gains came in the east London wards of Barking and Dagenham, where it won 11 of the 13 seats it contested, but it also scored victories in eastern England and the Midlands.
The BNP earned most of its gains in areas hard-hit by immigration and ethnic tension. “A lot of British people have a very negative view of our country’s multicultural diversity experiment,” says Chairman Griffin. “People are wanting to kick the Labour Party really hard and we’re the politically incorrect way to do it. When you look at some of our results elsewhere in the country where we’ve hammered the Conservatives as well, this is a revolt against the entire liberal political elite by the hardworking people of Britain who resent being taxed to have our country transformed.”
Russell Green, who won a council seat in Sandwell, adds, “After tonight’s results we can all see that the BNP is on its way. It is plain to see that the vast majority of us are sick and tired of the dishonest and self-interested politicians that are ruining our communities and our country.”
The BNP holds only 0.2 percent of Britain’s 22,000 council seats, but the political establishment fears it. Before the election, Labour cabinet member Margaret Beckett said of its members, “They are deceitful. They are very unpleasant, nasty people who try to exploit problems and try to turn people against each other. They are very dangerous.” Conservative Party leader David Cameron accused the BNP of “thriving on hatred,” saying, “I hope nobody votes for the BNP. I would rather people voted for any other party.” [BNP Doubles Number of Councillors, BBC News, May 5, 2006. BNP: We’re On Our Way, Independent (London), May 5, 2006. British National Party Has Best Showing Ever in Local Elections, Bloomberg, May 5, 2006. George Jones, Cameron Calls on Voters to Back Anyone But the BNP, Telegraph (London), April 24, 2006.]
Another nationalist group, the England First Party, is led by Mark Cotterill, who was once active in the Council of Conservative Citizens in the United States. England First scored its first electoral success, with both its candidates winning: Mr. Cotterill, who edits the English publication Heritage and Destiny, and former soldier Michael Johnson. Mr. Cotterill handily won his seat in Blackburn, Lancashire, while Mr. Johnson achieved a narrow win in Lower Darwen, Lancashire. England First’s mottos are “It’s our England, let’s win it back” and “Fighting anti-white racism.” [England First website, www.efp.org.uk/index.html.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — I just received the May AR and read your statement on the recent unpleasantness at the conference. A few thoughts:
1) I do not think it is fair to compare the debates in racialist circles on abortion, foreign policy, economic policy and homosexuality to those on Jews or Christianity. The latter two are, according to those who see them as important, directly related to white racial interests.
2) I also do not see the argument that even if the Jews were a cause of the problem, it is a matter of merely historical concern. This would be true only if they are no longer a contributing cause.
3) The key issue is whether Jewish influence is cause or symptom. Whites unquestionably got sick, but did Jews make them sick or merely make an already sick people a bit sicker? This is the crucial question. If the fault lies with the Jews, stopping them is crucial. If whites made themselves sick, then the cure lies within, and when achieved will defeat any negative Jewish influences.
4) AR seems to have implicitly adopted the former view.
5) I sometimes suspect that the root of the matter is that because AR’s editor is such a decent fellow, and has come to know and, correctly, respect some of those Jews who honestly see themselves as part of the white race and the movement that seeks to defend it, that he subconsciously shies away from discussing the larger issue.
A Jewish Friend of AR
Sir — In the previous issue you describe a confrontation between David Duke and a detractor at the AR conference. I was not ten feet away when it happened. Mr. Duke reacted calmly and with impeccable manners despite being called a “f***ing Nazi.” You should have apologized to him immediately but you did not. I personally did not hear anyone tell a Jew, or any other conferee that he was not welcome. I would wager that you did not either, and that you are taking someone’s word for this. Why are you going out of your way to defend Jews?
Jack Ingram, Lynchburg, Va.
Sir — I was greatly interested by your observations on Jews and American Renaissance. The question of Jewish influence on American race relations is interesting and sometimes troubling. One of the most useful studies of the role of Jews is Stuart Svonkin’s Jews Against Prejudice. Mr. Svonkin describes how, in the years after World War II, Jewish intellectuals and organizations tried to fight anti-Semitism by targeting “prejudice” of all kinds. By allying themselves with Catholics, blacks, immigrants and other possible targets of discrimination, Jewish leaders were able to identify their fight against anti-Semitism with the broader humanitarian sensibilities of the great heyday of American liberalism from the 1940s through the ’70s.
Jews played an important role in the civil-rights revolution 1955-65, and one still finds many Jews among the leading advocates of liberal egalitarianism. However, since the mid-1960s, relations between blacks and Jews have become strained. Anti-Semitism is now increasingly common among black radicals, and many Jews now oppose the civil rights establishment and its agenda. This situation presents an opportunity in the 21st century that would be squandered if prejudice against Jews — or far-fetched conspiracy theories — were to distract us from the larger and more urgent issues whites now face.
Let us not waste our energy in divisive struggles that will do nothing to secure a hopeful future for our posterity, and will only hamper the promising efforts now underway. Let all who perceive the real dangers — and many Jews do — lend their efforts to this struggle.
Name Withheld, Tacoma Park, Maryland
Sir — In my circle there are several theories about what you are up to with Jews. One is that you are taking money from Jews who are paying you not to discuss the Jewish problem. Sorry to sound disrespectful, but there is no reason to think that what AR might say about Jews would be so effective and persuasive that anyone would need to pay you to keep quiet. The second is that you have the low opinion of Jews common among race-realists, but want their support for some reason. This makes no sense either, because the ADL thinks you are a “hate group” and always will. The third theory is that you actually believe what you say. That would probably make you unique in the annals of white nationalism, but once the even less likely possibilities are rejected, it is all that remains.
Steven Hollister, Tacoma, Wash.
Sir — I hesitate to mock the dead, but I must add a sour note to your March book review’s treatment of Ernest van den Haag as one of the heroes of early resistance to integration. His later career was not admirable. He went neo-con along with the rest of the Buckley crowd, and spent his later years covering up the useful things he did in the old days. He is almost the perfect symbol of why we go from defeat to defeat. People who know the facts — and once you know them you never stop knowing them — quietly move on to more respectable pursuits when the fight gets too warm. The Spartan mother told her son to come back from battle “with your shield or on it.” Ernest did a few good things, and let us not take them from him, but he ditched his rifle in the middle of a fight.
Martin Collet, Ithaca, N. Y.
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