|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 14, No. 3||March 2003|
The rapid decline of South African Airways.
The South African government holds out its airline as a shining example of black empowerment, which carries the name and symbolism of the “new” South Africa far and wide. Indeed, for decades, South African Airways (SAA) was famous as one of the best airlines in the world, consistently winning industry awards for service. Its well-maintained aircraft were highly sought after on the used aircraft market, and the bravado of its pilots became legendary as they operated under increasingly difficult political constrictions, even being denied overflight rights over their own continent and flying “round the bulge” of Africa to Europe. Now SAA is no longer an industry leader, and its unraveling record is one of appalling service, serious crime, corruption, and graft — all driven by a reckless policy of racial preferences that has put incompetent people in positions of authority.
When the new CEO Andre Viljoen took charge in 2001, he described the organization as “partially dysfunctional.” While this was mainly an attempt to shift the blame onto his predecessor, the American Coleman Andrews, the reality was that affirmative action had bitten deeply into the company. Mr. Viljoen stated that his first priority was to “drastically improve declining service,” a decline that has prompted repeated calls by big customers like Anglo-American to improve service, and has even seen South Africa’s national carrier lose the South African Rugby Football Union contract to a local airline owned by British Airways.
Pilots and Affirmative Action
SAA has been systematically replacing whites with black employees. This has included lowering the compulsory retirement age for pilots to 50 years, down from the industry standard of 60. This policy has been a major point of contention between SAA and its mainly-white pilots, who recognize it as an attempt to move whites out of the command chain as quickly as possible.
SAA has also deliberately established a policy of not hiring white pilot trainees if there are suitable non-white candidates. Pilots used to be trained in South Africa, but in 1994 — the year the African National Congress (ANC) took power — the company outsourced the training program to British Aerospace’s center in Australia. The theory was to put cadet pilots through their paces far from the seemingly ever-present possibility of “racism,” and produce a string of high-flying blacks.
Unfortunately, almost none of the black cadet pilots made it through the Australian training, and were sent home. This caused great unhappiness in SAA management which, in July 2002, decided to bring pilot training back to South Africa, where blacks might not fail tests in such great numbers. The few black pilots who made it through the course in Australia were appointed to senior posts, but suffered a serious setback in 2000, when seven — that is to say almost all of them — were arrested on charges of bribing their way through the Civil Aviation examination paper that put them at the controls of passenger jets. The pilots each paid approximately 7,000 Rand (US$ 650) to get a copy of the Airline Transport Pilots License examination paper before taking the test. Two non-white members of South Africa’s Civil Aviation Authority were also arrested along with the pilots. Two of the pilots were found guilty but fled the country before sentencing, and the rest were suspended. However when the cases of the remaining five came to court, the files had disappeared and the charges had to be dropped for lack of evidence. The parliamentary opposition tried to launch an investigation into this failure to prosecute, but that came to nothing. Today, many of the pilots are back flying for SAA.
One of the black pilots who vanished, Tanzanian-born Issaya Dominicus Nombo, was arrested in April 2002 by the FBI in New Jersey, after his name turned up on a list of pilots found in a cave used by Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Although there was no evidence Mr. Nombo was linked to the Sept. 11 attacks, he has since been held in America pending extradition. Interestingly, the 44-year-old Mr. Nombo had entered the USA on a student visa for pilot training, granted by the US Consulate in Johannesburg, even though the South African authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest.
By October 2002, the affirmative action program at SAA had ensured that 51 percent of all staff were black, with cabin attendants having the highest black complement at 64 percent. At one point, all cabin crew were fired under cover of a “restructuring” process, and had to reapply for their positions. This was an opportunity to shed another 500 white staff members by not reappointing them.
At the beginning of 2003, there were some 2,400 cabin crew at SAA, and the sudden increase in blacks has had what cynics would suggest were predictable results: Customer complaints have become legendary. One of SAA’s most prominent critics is an American, Vernon Six, from Austin, Texas, who experienced SAA at its worst.
Traveling SAA on his honeymoon, on November 14, 2001, flight #SA211, Mr. Six was subjected to the following:
SAA originally assigned Mr. Six and his bride to seats in different rows. When they asked for reseating at the ticket counter, the agent said, “Stop your complaining . . . after about ten years of marriage you will be begging for seats in different rows.”
The air conditioner that keeps the cabin cool on the ground broke down. When Mr. Six mentioned this to a SAA crew member, he says he was “rudely informed to ‘stop whinging’ as the air conditioner was broken and there was nothing she could do for us.” The toilet flooded the cabin and wet his socks, with what Mr. Six says was sewage. The seat in front of Mr. Six’s wife was completely broken and reclined well past the normal reclining position. She was unable even to eat her meal because the seat reclined completely into her lap.
On his return flight, November 27, 2001, flight #SA220, the toilets stopped working altogether. He says the captain urged everyone to “only use the restrooms in a dire emergency and let a flight attendant know when they needed flushing.” The flight attendants had to use drinking water to flush the toilets, so there was no coffee or tea. The television screen was jumping too much to watch the videos. When Mr. Six reported this to a flight attendant, he was told “I’m sorry, but this is just economy class.”
Mr. Six asked for compensation from SAA. When the company’s black corporate communications manager, Rich Mkondo, refused, Mr. Six set up a website called www.neverflysaa.com, a parody of SAA’s official website. Mr Six has since had over 6.5 million hits, and a regular e-mail list of some 81,000 people, all of them aggrieved customers of SAA. Many have sent in their own complaints to his website. Here is a small selection:
- The seats were in terrible condition; JHB to NY two of the four seats were torn (old tears with no sign of attempted repair) and filthy, NY to JHB (different aircraft) the seats were filthy and the armrest between two of the seats was broken, the top was broken off and you could see into the armrest with all the wiring plainly visible. After making a lot of noise about this they found some duct tape and taped it together, this broken armrest had obviously been broken for some time.
- The flight attendants did not speak fluent English (you’d think this would be a requirement on international flights) most times you had to say things three or four times before they knew what you were talking about (I am South African and English speaking), they were so busy talking to each other every time someone wanted something they had to get up and go to the galley themselves. They were definitely not presentable (neat and tidy in clothing and appearance).
- I tried calling the SAA complaints line after been diverted and transferred from pillar to post I finally lost it and requested the manager — who is never there, left tons of messages — which as you can guess were never returned. So at that stage I vowed never to fly this crap ‘airline’ again.
- I refuse to touch food on SAA. I’ve had food poisoning more than once. Luckily, very mild cases compared to a mate of mine who had to spend a Friday night in hospital after our return from Cape Town, getting his stomach pumped after trying some onboard cuisine.
- I am an ex-employee of SAA and spent 28 years with the airline until I was forced into a severance package . . . [T]he airline mirrors the country and it is on a downhill slide. As one of your correspondents mentioned, pre-1990, the airline was magnificent, but then political pressure forced the employment of incompetent persons, and that says it all. I too, will NOT fly SAA ever again. Having been on the inside and aware of many things regarding flying crew and technical — NO WAY.
- As a South African myself, I too have decided never to fly SAA again. There was once a time I was proud of our national carrier. That is definitely not the case any more. After countless bad experiences flying from London to Cape Town, I now will only fly BA or Virgin.
And so on.
SAA tried to have Mr. Six’s site closed down, arguing that his domain name was so close to the company’s as to be confusing. The case went to arbitration, and Mr. Six won. On his web page he quotes his favorite passage from the arbitrator’s decision: “Respondent [Mr. Six] is correct: no reasonable man or Internet user would confuse flysaa.com and neverflysaa.com. The decisions cited by Complainant [SAA] are nonsensical.”
More ominously, Mr. Six and his wife received telephone death threats at their home — though only people who had access to SAA records would have had the number, since it was in his wife’s maiden name — and someone has tried to put his web page out of business by flooding it with hits. The attacks failed, and his web page continues.
Service complaints have had a drastic effect on SAA passenger loads, and demand for SAA’s privately-run domestic competitors is increasing. Recently the airline cut four flights a week to the US because of declining demand.
In one service lapse that made headlines, SAA twice in the space of two years abandoned the same 10-year old child left in its care as an unaccompanied minor on a domestic flight. According to black SAA spokesman Rich Mkhondo, the ticket officer to whom the child had been entrusted “forgot” about her.
The largely affirmative-action cabin crew commit many crimes. In just one incident, some 92 SAA cabin attendants were suspended on suspicion of bringing cocaine and other drugs into the country. Other crew members have been suspended for bribing roster schedulers to secure certain destinations, as part of drug smuggling operations.
Occasionally crime makes the newspapers. In April 2000, SAA announced it had uncovered “a nest of corruption among staff,” including charges of “male and female prostitution, money laundering, bribery and smuggling” during foreign stopovers.
Similo Sircharles Sali used to be one of SAA’s few black pilots. His career ended in August 2002, when he was arrested with five kilos of cocaine as he was preparing to fly from Cape Town to London. The South African Pilots Association chairman, John Harty, pointed out, “This is the first time in South African airline history that a pilot has been held for allegedly being in possession of drugs.”
SAA also suffers from extraordinarily high baggage theft rates, with the company having paid out more than R1 million ($92,800) in the first nine months of 2001 alone for claims on 3,108 stolen bags. Fifteen SAA employees were arrested during that same period, and another 54 were either dismissed or resigned when threatened with criminal charges for baggage theft.
There are other kinds of theft. One black vice president was found to have purchased a car for personal use on his SAA company credit card, while another had his house tiled on the company card. Shortly thereafter, SAA revoked the cards of all vice presidents.
The height of effrontery came, however, when a previous head of the legal department — the Chief Council of SAA — had to ask the company to guarantee a home mortgage. No commercial bank would lend to him because of his miserable credit rating. He had failed to mention his string of financial indiscretions when he was made top lawyer at SAA, and no one in the increasingly affirmative-action personnel department had bothered to ask.
SAA recently had to pull the plug on an Internet venture based in New York after spending over R90 million ($8.35 million) to develop a website that would have let tourists arrange elaborate travel packages at the click of a button. The project had been approved by the board but collapsed when SAA asked the South African Reserve Bank for approval to establish the company in the United States. SAA claimed that the Minister of Public Enterprise, Jeff Radebe, had given the project the all-clear, but Mr. Radebe had either forgotten or had not been informed — either is possible — and reported as much to the Reserve Bank. The project then collapsed in a flurry of accusations and counter-accusations, leaving SAA out of pocket.
The airline’s incompetence extends into many areas. In one famous incident, a non-white South African diplomat, one Jerome Barnes, on his way to his posting at the South African embassy in London, got drunk on the overnight flight from Johannesburg, fondled a flight attendant and called one of the few remaining white pursers a “f***ing white bitch.” SAA, conscious that the vast majority of its South African clientele are whites, promptly announced that the offending diplomat was forever barred from flying SAA, and that his name was entered into SAA’s database of banned persons. Less than a week after the “banning,” a South African journalist breezed through SAA’s security system by buying a ticket in the diplomat’s name. The computers must not have been working that day.
The still largely white pilot contingent — of the 954 SAA pilots, only 28 were black in mid-2002 — has consistently battled management over personnel policies, and has brought the company to the verge of a strike more than once since 2000. The core of the pilots’ dispute with the company is their refusal to accept certain cost-cutting measures that, they say, are negligible compared to the enormous waste of what they call “underperforming management.” Everyone knows the color of “underperforming management,” but no one dares say so for fear of being called racist.
International aviation law requires airlines to make sure their passengers have visas for their destinations, but SAA pays huge fines to the American Immigration and Naturalization Service, because it cannot keep illegal immigrants off its flights. In just one month, December 2001, SAA paid more than R1 million ($93,000) in fines on 26 passengers (and, incredibly enough, one crew member) who were held in New York and Atlanta without visas. Of the 26, 19 were Nigerian, two South African, two British, one was posing as an American, and two were of unknown nationality.
The problem is exacerbated by a code sharing agreement with Nigerian Airways, according to which flights from Johannesburg stop off in Lagos before going on to New York, allowing many Nigerians a route into the US. Nigerian Airways, by the way, has one aircraft, but is banned from flying to Europe or the United States because it does not meet FAA safety regulations.
A particularly spectacular bungle had to do with the acquisition of new aircraft. Coleman Andrews, the American former CEO, ordered 21 new Boeings, but someone failed to transmit the correct specifications on avionics and cabin interiors to the suppliers. The result was a dramatic cost increase and a lengthy delay while the aircraft were refitted.
As if this were not enough, after Mr. Andrews left SAA, the company canceled its order for the Boeings — some had already been delivered — and placed a new order with Airbus in Europe. The Airbuses were reportedly cheaper than the Boeings, but considering the initial bungle on the interiors, the cancellation fees to Boeing, and the pilot and service retraining costs (till then, almost all of SAA’s fleet were Boeings) the cost of this series of misadventures must have been considerably greater than if the airline had stuck with Boeing.
There was another high-profile case of incompetence in 2000 that could have had very serious consequences. Failure to run a computer program resulted in replacement parts for SAA’s fleet of Boeing 737-200s being run for more than twice the specified service periods. Fortunately, the parts held up without serious malfunction.
In 2000, SAA also started offering the overwhelmingly white technical staff retirement packages to withdraw and make way for black technicians. Many whites accepted, particularly after the Australian airline, Qantas, and the Spanish airline, Iberian Air, heard about the offers and set up recruiting offices in Johannesburg. SAA was stripped of many of its most experienced repair and service personnel overnight.
The result has been predictable: SAA has suffered an increasing number of equipment failures. Fortunately none has yet caused a major disaster, but insiders say it is only a matter of time. Failures include navigation or communication equipment breakdowns, which are called “snags,” and are supposed to be fixed before an aircraft is flown. It is now common for SAA planes to fly even long hauls with significant “snag lists,” which have either not been repaired, or have been “repaired” but are still broken.
Engine failures attract the most public attention. In April 2001, a London flight had to be aborted twice in 12 hours because of engine malfunctions on takeoff. The faulty engine was removed, serviced by SAA Technical and put back — only to fail once again as the aircraft was attempting to take off.
In August 2002, two separate flights suffered engine failures on the same day, stranding nearly 600 passengers. According to inside sources, SAA has had more engine failures in the past two years than in the previous ten.
An American in Africa
In 1998, just four years after the ANC victory and the switch to black rule, SAA appointed an energetic American, Coleman Andrews, as CEO, and charged him with putting the airline back on the road to profitability. He came with 20 years experience as a management consultant at Bain and Co. succeeded in getting SAA into the black. However, he left SAA early, under a cloud, accused of making an excessive profit on his salary. In fact, his compensation was in line with airline CEOs worldwide, and under his contract, his forced early retirement required a substantial severance package. Mr. Andrews’s name was smeared by the South African media, but he did turn the airline around.
Mr. Andrews appears to have had the classic experience of a white liberal in South Africa. When he first arrived, he may really have believed Africa was backward only because of “colonialism” or “the environment,” but by the time he left, he may have come to other conclusions.
Mr. Andrews was quoted as follows in a 2001 book about his tenure at SAA (Jetlag: SA Airways in the Andrews Era by Denis Beckett):
When I flew to South Africa in January 1998, for my first round of interviews, I was met by Saki Macozoma [an executive at Transnet, SAA’s government-owned holding company] . . . I’ve been lucky enough to see some pretty exceptional political and business leaders up close, and meeting Saki, I thought, ‘this guy can hold his own on the world stage.’ I was very excited, and thought if this is what South Africa is like, it has places to go. When I was leaving, after a few days’ meeting many people, I wasn’t quite so sure anymore. When Saki saw me off, I said: ‘How many are there like you, executives in your mould?’ I suppose I meant ‘black’ and I think this is what he interpreted. He said ‘we’re thin.’ I wondered if that meant a thousand, a hundred. I still thought, with caliber like that, this place is worth giving a go. Now I know it meant three, or five.
Mr. Andrews eventually came close to the real reason he was shown the door: “Management was under siege. Our IT department was a disaster. To fix it, I had to fire the guy in charge, an affirmative [action] guy (a non-white) who was completely out of his depth. Next I know hell has broken loose. How can I do this? Do I not know he is connected to important people? The end is that he gets severance pay. For screwing up, he gets two years’ salary.”
Andrews adds: “On the board, I had one guy whose only interest was: what proportion of our executives are black? There was constant pressure, it led to some disasters, personal disasters for people who should have been left to grow quietly in the middle ranks.”
Mr. Andrews’s real sin at SAA was that he tried to run the company like a business, whereas the government’s main interest was, and still is, ideological: that the airline be run as an example of “black empowerment.”
The much maligned Mr. Andrews seems to have spotted the problem right at the end but was powerless to do anything about it. He became another victim of the black political agenda, which is dragging what used to be a world-leading airline down to Third-World status, along with the rest of the country.
Mr. Andrews is almost a metaphor for whites as a group. They refuse to understand the significance of race until the damage is so great it cannot be repaired. Mr. Andrews had a majority-white country to return to — at least for now. What he saw in South Africa should be a lesson to him about what his own country will face if its population continues to change.
Arthur Kemp is a Rhodesian-born journalist and author.
The New Science of Man
The struggle between biology and liberalism.
Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, Viking, 2002, 528 pp., $27.95.
In the recent film thriller Red Dragon, actor Ralph Fiennes plays a serial killer whose psychopathic urge to commit murder is the product of his upbringing by an abusive grandmother. Unfortunately for the producers, the film and the book on which it is based were written and produced before the appearance of Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate, one of the targets of which is the notion that social environment causes criminal behavior. The broader target Prof. Pinker’s book seeks to demolish is the closely related idea that human beings have no inherent nature but are merely empty vessels into which the “culture,” the “social environment,” the “class structure,” “history,” or some other abstraction may pour whatever fluids it wills. Prof. Pinker, a world-renowned linguist at M.I.T. and the author of several earlier books arguing similar positions, is well-suited to this work of demolition, and on the whole he succeeds.
Obviously, the “blank slate” is merely one more metaphor for the “empty vessel,” but whatever the metaphor, it is an idea that denies the meaning and importance, if not the very existence, of race, and the denial of race has been one of the principal uses to which the blank slate doctrine has been applied in the last century. The phrase itself comes from the 17th century English philosopher John Locke, whose treatise on psychology described human nature as a “tabula rasa,” an “empty tablet,” that merely receives sense impressions and is the product of those impressions. Locke was also a major architect of modern liberalism, and the blank slate theory in one form or another underlies much of modern liberal thought. In the 20th century the same idea was embraced not only by Marxists, whose application of it to human beings produced much of the chaos and tyranny associated with modern communism, but also by Western liberals — John Dewey, John B. Watson and the “behaviorist” school of psychology that he founded — and, perhaps most notably, by Franz Boas and the school of anthropology he and his disciples imposed throughout American universities until recently.
It was in the Boasian school of anthropology that the blank slate denial of human nature was most influential, and it reached what was perhaps its reductio ad absurdum (in American academic quarters, at any rate) in the concoctions of Boas’s student, Margaret Mead, about the sex lives of Samoans. Despite their transparent absurdity, both the blank slate theory and its bizarre applications in scholarship and thought have been taken seriously by psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, and most other academics, as well as journalists, creative writers, and even by Hollywood, whence they have come to infect the minds of otherwise sensible people who are not professional intellectuals. Politically, much of what the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the Great Society did or tried to do was justified in terms of blank slate doctrine. In the Soviet Union, not only the forced redistribution of property and the attempt to abolish class and other forms of social hierarchy but also the disastrous dogmas of “Lysenkoism” were applications of blank slate theory.
Prof. Pinker argues that the blank slate concept is closely related to two other ideas with which he takes issue: the idea of the “Noble Savage” (essentially, that human beings are naturally good or peaceful, non-dominating, non-aggressive, and non-acquisitive) and the idea of the “Ghost in the Machine” (essentially, that a non-material mind exists distinct from the material body), a concept he firmly rejects. Margaret Mead’s depiction of cute and harmless little Samoans copulating with no guilt, fear, or jealousy is one of the better-known examples of the former concept, which she managed to combine with the blank slate doctrine she picked up from her mentor Boas.
Prof. Pinker slaughters the noble savage mythology with little trouble. “As the anthropologist Derek Freeman later [after Mead] documented,” he writes, “Samoans may beat or kill their daughters if they are not virgins on their wedding night, a young man who cannot woo a virgin may rape one to extort her into eloping, and the family of a cuckolded husband may attack and kill the adulterer.” As for “peaceful” or “gentle” primitives, anthropologists have found that “the !Kung San [of the Kalahari Desert] have a murder rate higher than that of American inner cities,” while the “gentle Tasaday,” a tribe discovered in the Philippine rain forest that supposedly lived “with no words for conflict, violence, or weapons,” turned out to be an outright fraud concocted by the crooked government of Ferdinand Marcos.
The death rates from primitive warfare may sound low compared to those of modern wars, but many of the intellectuals impressed by them “do not notice that two deaths in a band of fifty people is the equivalent of ten million deaths in a country the size of the United States.” Prof. Pinker cites data that show that the proportion of male deaths caused by war in primitive cultures dwarfs that of the United States and Europe even in the bloodiest of all centuries, the 20th. It is civilized man who reduces the number of war deaths, not primitives.
Prof. Pinker is firm and clear about the “inherent” or “innate” characteristics and behavior of human beings — human nature — that exist before anyone has a chance to scribble on the blank slate. Not only aggression and sexual differences but also intelligence he acknowledges to be in large part genetically grounded, but on the Big Taboo — race — he is vague and even contradictory.
He endorses the environmentalist theories of the origins of civilization of Jared Diamond and Thomas Sowell as opposed to racial ones, and tells us that “My own view . . . is that in the case of the most discussed racial difference — the black-white IQ gap in the United States — the current evidence does not call for a genetic explanation.” Yet, six pages later, he tells us that “there is now ample evidence that intelligence is a stable property of an individual, that it can be linked to features of the brain (including overall size, amount of gray matter in the frontal lobes, speed of neural conduction, and metabolism of cerebral glucose), that it is partly heritable among individuals, and that it predicts some of the variations in life outcomes such as income and social status.” Combined with the different scores of blacks and whites on IQ tests, of course, this implies that the “most discussed racial difference” has a significantly genetic and not an environmentalist explanation.
Not only aggression and sexual differences but also intelligence he acknowledges to be in large part genetically grounded, but on the Big Taboo — race — he is vague and even contradictory.
Prof. Pinker also tries to evade the implications of racial differences by emphasizing the universal meaning of human nature.
“Discarding the Blank Slate has thrown far more light on the psychological unity of humankind than on any differences,” and, further:
People are qualitatively the same but may differ quantitatively. The quantitative differences are small in biological terms, and they are found to a far greater extent among the individual members of an ethnic group or race than between ethnic groups or races. These are reassuring findings. Any racist ideology that holds that the members of an ethnic group are all alike, or that one ethnic group differs fundamentally from another, is based on false assumptions about our biology.
That’s all swell, except that (a) the members of an ethnic group are all alike, in that they are closer genetically to each other than to members of other groups and (b) no one seriously claims that every black is intellectually inferior to every white, let alone that blacks and whites “differ fundamentally.” The point is that modern psychology (and increasingly, biology) shows that blacks on average have significantly lower intelligence than whites. If the norms of a society are to be determined by what is true on average of its members (as social norms almost always are), then the racial differences in IQ are socially significant. How the society will define and institutionalize that significance is another matter, and not one necessarily determined by science.
What is perhaps more important about Prof. Pinker’s book than what he says or contrives not to say about race, however, is how he tries to wiggle out of the implications of discarding the blank slate/noble savage ideology. That ideology has implied that human beings are malleable and that human society can be reconstructed along utopian lines; its proponents, Prof. Pinker writes accurately, “saw the malleability of humans and the autonomy of culture as doctrines that might bring about the age-old dream of perfecting mankind. We are not stuck with what we don’t like about our current predicament, they argued. Nothing prevents us from changing it except a lack of will and the benighted belief that we are permanently consigned to it by biology.”
But if the blank slate concept is not true, it follows that not only the political agenda that sought a perfected mankind and society but also the very ethic that championed such perfection as the morally obligatory ideal is without foundation. If a classless, pacific, racially and sexually equal and non-discriminatory, and far less acquisitive society is not possible, then the moral ideal that demands that we try to create and realize that society becomes at least meaningless and at worst dangerous — for the simple reason that trying to reach such a goal merely undermines or destroys the existing society with its traditions, institutions, moral values, and disciplines, and enhances political power to the level of outright tyranny.
Prof. Pinker does glimpse at least part of this truth in pointing out the political horrors to which unrestrained blank slate-ism has actually led. “The Nazi Holocaust was a singular event that changed attitudes toward countless political and scientific topics,” he writes, “but it was not the only ideologically inspired holocaust in the twentieth century . . . the mass killings in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia and other totalitarian states carried out in the name of Marxism” were also justified by their perpetrators precisely in terms of the blank slate doctrine that Marx and his disciples endorsed. “A blank sheet of paper has no blotches,” Mao Tse tung wrote, “and so the newest and most beautiful words can be written on it, the newest and most beautiful pictures can be painted on it.” Prof. Pinker offers as an earlier example of blank slate-ism run mad the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror against “aristocracy” and inequality. He might also have mentioned the almost equally ruthless crusade that modern liberalism has waged against racial, social, and economic institutions that barred its path to human perfection. Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray in The Bell Curve and Philippe Rushton in Race, Evolution, and Behavior made much the same points about the bloody legacy of egalitarianism.
But what Prof. Pinker does not get or at least what he tries to avoid is the conclusion that rejecting blank slate/noble savage theory leads to the rejection of the liberal-radical-progressivist moral ideals and ethic that the theory created and legitimized. Much of his book is devoted to trying to show that liberal morality and the liberal ethic can survive and indeed are not seriously harmed or challenged by the rejection of the blank slate. Thus, with respect to what we now know about “human differences” and the inherent inequality of human beings, he writes:
The problem is not with the possibility that people might differ from one another, which is a factual question that could turn out one way or the other. The problem is with the line of reasoning that says that if people do turn out to be different, then discrimination, oppression, or genocide would be OK after all. Fundamental values (such as equality and human rights) should not be held hostage to some factual conjecture about blank slates that might be refuted tomorrow.
Read closely, the last sentence is rather amazing, because what it claims is that no matter what science concludes about human nature, the liberal ethic of equality and human rights will remain valid — that they are, in a word, sacred, beyond dispute, and beyond the limits of scientific falsification. Indeed, much of Prof. Pinker’s book can be read as a far-reaching attempt to salvage the liberal ethic of equality and human rights as they are currently understood against efforts by the “right” — meaning, presumably, “racists,” “sexists,” and other supposed advocates of “discrimination, oppression, and genocide” — to use the new science of man to challenge that ethic and the political agenda based on it.
But it just doesn’t work, which is why the slowly vanishing champions of the blank slate get so furious whenever someone like Arthur Jensen or Edward O. Wilson or Philippe Rushton or Herrnstein and Murray, et al. challenges their ideology. They know that if human nature is not perfectible, then not only is there no point in trying to perfect it but also there is every good reason not to try — just as there is every good reason for not trying to make an automobile function like a submarine or an airplane. They will claim that rejecting the blank slate will lead to “genocide” and “oppression,” and while it doesn’t, it certainly leads to the rejection of the universalism, egalitarianism, radicalism, and obsession with “rights,” and of the tyranny and genocide these have helped cause and justify.
If human beings are not blank slates and noble savages of liberal myth, then they are born with certain inherent traits that social reform and political power cannot alter, and at least a prudential ethic can be grounded on these ineradicable traits of human nature. Prof. Pinker is willing to admit that the more extreme versions of utopianism are not possible, but his catalogue of what he affirms as some of the most indelible and unmistakable traits of human nature suggests an entirely different ethic from that of Rousseau, Marx, and Boas. These traits, which he describes on p. 294, include:
The primacy of family ties in all human societies, which results in nepotism and inheritance.
The limited scope of communal sharing in human groups, which means people will loaf and will not contribute to public goods if reciprocity is not required.
The universality of dominance and violence across human societies and the genetic and neurological mechanisms that underlie it.
The universality of ethnocentrism and other forms of group-against-group hostility, and the ease with which such hostility can be aroused.
The partial heritability of intelligence, conscientiousness, and antisocial tendencies, implying that inequality will arise even in perfectly fair economic systems; that we therefore face an inherent trade-off between equality and freedom.
The prevalence of defense mechanisms, self-serving biases, and cognitive dissonance, by which people deceive themselves about their own autonomy, wisdom, and integrity.
A preference for kin and friends.
A susceptibility to a taboo mentality.
A tendency to confuse morality with conformity, rank, cleanliness, or beauty.
Given that such traits are inherent in human nature and manifest in human behavior, nothing short of massive genetic engineering could create a species capable of realizing liberal ideals. Liberalism (whether the classical version of the 19th century or the modern, social-democratic variety) is characterized by such beliefs as the doctrine of progress (the idea that human nature changes or can change for the better over time), the capacity of human beings to mold their own nature and their societies to their preferences, the equality of human beings and the desirability of a more egalitarian society in power and property, the possibility and desirability of world peace and the end of war, the wickedness of any sexual or ethnic discrimination, the rationality and benevolence of basic human instincts, the illegitimacy of any social or political institutions not based on consent, the primacy of the individual and individual freedom over social obligation, and the universality of natural “rights” that belong to all human beings at all times. What we now know of the biological traits of human nature tells us that all these beliefs are false and that the morality that such traits suggest is not a liberal one.
Yet it is by no means clear what kind of morality or ethic Prof. Pinker, given his stated views, is capable of coming up with anyway. “The moral sense is a gadget,” he writes, “an assembly of neural circuits cobbled together from older parts of the primate brain and shaped by natural selection to do a job,” and moral convictions “issue instead from the neurobiological and evolutionary design of the organs we call moral emotions.” Since Prof. Pinker has already stated that what is moral (an “ought”) cannot validly be derived from what is natural (an “is”), his naturalistic explanation of the moral sense denies it any genuine authority. Why should we pay any more attention to the promptings of “neural circuits cobbled together from older parts of the primate brain” than to the unpleasant feelings of indigestion or headaches? If by surgery or genetic engineering we could eliminate the moral sense or alter it to suit our preferences — humanitarian or genocidal as the case may be — why shouldn’t we? Prof. Pinker’s naturalism as far as I can see offers no answer or grounds for an answer.
In fact, there seems to be no particular reason to think that the new scientific understanding of human nature leads to any new morality or ethic at all, but rather that it largely substantiates what virtually all cultures regard as “traditional morality” — a morality that assumes the legitimacy of traditional social, family, sex, and race relationships, a morality that evolved naturally because it was grounded in the nature of human beings and was conducive to their survival. The destruction of blank slate foolishness by science, if not by simple common sense, does not so much destroy all morality and ethics as open the door to restoring the old morality. The only “morality” the new science destroys is the false and vicious one concocted by those whose minds are enslaved by blank slate doctrine.
Prof. Pinker has written an outstanding account of why that doctrine leads to false and vicious consequences, but he remains too wedded to the mythological morality spawned by the very blank slate dogmas he refutes to be able to see that the new ethic that should emerge from the new science of man is very much like the old ethic by which a healthier Western man actually lived before the blank slate myth and its proponents seized power and began pouring their poison into our heads.
Samuel Francis is a syndicated columnist and frequent contributor to American Renaissance.
Missy McLauchlin, RIP
Some victims are more equal than others.
Last December marked the tenth anniversary of a vicious but virtually unknown racially-motivated murder. On the night of December 29/30, 1992, Melissa “Missy” McLauchlin was abducted, raped, tortured, and murdered just outside Charleston, South Carolina, simply because of who she was. This killing is not celebrated like the James Byrd and Matthew Shepard murders. “Anti-racist” groups do not include her name in fundraising letters. There is no hate crime legislation named in her memory. There were no MTV or PBS documentaries made about the attack, and ministers did not arrange protests or candlelight vigils. Missy McLauchlin is not a name that comes up in “sensitivity” courses or in lessons on bigotry and intolerance. Indeed, her murder was not even classified as a hate crime by the police. Though the case received much local attention in Charleston ten years ago, even there her name has faded from memory, leaving only family members and a fiancé to grieve. It is because Missy McLauchlin was killed for being white.
Police reports paint a clear picture of what happened. Missy McLauchlin, 25, was a native of Wixom, Michigan, living with her fiancé’s family in North Charleston, South Carolina. On the night she died she had an argument with her fiancé, John Owen, at a nightclub. She stormed out of the club and began to walk home. Police spotted her, obviously drunk, and gave her a ride home, but she quickly set out on foot for another club. Three black men, Matthew Mack, Matthew Williams, and Joseph Gardner pulled up alongside in a car and started a conversation. They offered her drugs if she would come back to their trailer and have sex with them. Miss McLauchlin, who had a history of drug problems, foolishly accepted their offer.
The men had spent most of the day drinking and watching pornographic videos of black men having sex with white women. At one point Mr. Mack exploded in anger at his white girlfriend, saying he wanted to “stab her,” but that “it ain’t got to be her, any white” would do. Mr. Williams said he wanted to have sex with a white woman. Two hours later, the group watched a television news account of the biggest stories of 1992. When the videotaped beating and arrest of Rodney King came on the air, the third man, Mr. Gardner, spoke of “four hundred years of oppression,” and made a “New Year’s resolution” to “kill a white bitch.”
It was in this state of mind that the four returned to the trailer where the three blacks lived. The men offered Miss McLaughlin no drugs, but she willingly had sex with them — at first. She began to resist, especially when the men wanted to sodomize her, and soon the men were raping her.
They put out the word within the trailer park that they had “captured a white woman,” and three other blacks arrived and raped her. Two black women, girlfriends of some of the rapists, were present in another room of the trailer, but did nothing to stop the attack.
After they had enough, the men decided to get rid of the evidence — including Miss McLauchlin. They soaked her in bleach and hydrogen peroxide, and scrubbed her under the shower with a nylon brush, in the hope of ridding her skin of sperm or other evidence that could be linked to them. They forced her to scrub out her vagina with the same chemicals. They also talked openly of killing her.
The men handcuffed her, blindfolded her, and put a heavy coat over her head. They then took her to a car, and forced her down onto the floorboards in the back. After they had driven for some time, she managed to get out of the handcuffs and began to struggle. Joseph Gardner, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, reached over the seat, held back her head, and shot her twice in the face. The driver pulled over 14 miles outside Charleston, where Mr. Garnder shot her three more times in the face and once in the arm. The men dumped her on the side of the road, drove back to Charleston, and went nightclubbing. A passing driver found Miss McLauchlin, miraculously alive, but she died before the ambulance arrived.
It took police four days to identify the body, and a day later they located the trailer where Miss McLaughlin was raped. By January 9, 1993, police had arrested seven people including two of the ringleaders — Matthew Mack and Matthew Williams — and two women, Edna Williams and Indira Simmons, who were charged with being accessories to murder and sexual assault. Three of the rapists were sailors stationed at nearby Charleston Naval Base. The only suspect not in custody was the triggerman, Joseph Gardner, who had carried out his New Year’s resolution. Mr. Gardner, who was AWOL from the Navy, eluded police for nearly two years, and might never have been caught had the FBI not put him on the “ten most wanted” list. He was living in Philadelphia when someone saw his picture in the post office and tipped off the police. He was arrested on October 20, 1994, and is now on death row.
Police suspected a racial motivation from the start, since they found a “crudely written racial diatribe” in the trailer, complete with racial epithets about white oppression, which claimed blacks were “justified in seeking revenge.” However, and as is common with black-on-white violence, police and the media tried to hide the racial angle. “I think we have to be responsible to the community and the people we protect,” explained North Charleston police captain Charles Caldwell. “I didn’t want to believe this was a racial crime. And we tried to look for other motivations.”
Writer G. J. Krupey wrote what is perhaps the only detailed account of the Missy McLauchlin murder. It appeared in the now-defunct publication Heterodoxy, and later in a collection edited by David Horowitz called The Race Card. Of Captain Caldwell’s remarks, he writes:
It seems unlikely that such cautious sifting of theories would be tolerated in a case involving, say, the burning of a black man by two white youths, to cite an actual case that happened in the same week as McLauchlin’s murder only a few hundred miles south in Tallahassee. Nationwide, the press showcased that murder as a typical hate crime: one perpetrated by vicious white racists against an innocent black. President Clinton mentioned the Tallahassee burning in his State of the Union address as an example of the sort of violent racism that still needs to be expunged from the American character. Neither the national press nor the president mentioned Melissa McLauchlin.
Local black leaders did not ignore the crime. They went on a full attack against the police and the white community, with state senator Robert Ford leading the effort with help from the NAACP. Not only did Senator Ford claim the killing was not motivated by race, he said the police should be investigated for inventing a racist plot in the McLauchlin case. He chided “decent white people” for remaining silent against white racism and claimed the police would not have looked so hard for the killers if the victim had been a black woman.
Letters to the editor of Charleston’s biggest newspaper, the Post and Courier, voiced complaints from whites who were angry about the crime and the obvious double standard. Letter after letter noted that if the races had been reversed the murder would have been national news, complete with protests, vigils and civil rights marches. One reader wondered why there was so little interest from the federal government: “Where are the U.S. Justice Department and the Attorney General’s office to look into violations of her civil rights? When this tragic event is compared to some of the petty events in which there have been questions of civil rights and racial prejudice in the Charleston area in the past six months, there is no comparison in their harshness.”
Inevitably, there were whites who denied the obvious. A 31-year-old former teacher urged whites to “get a grip,” and reminded them of the “many contributions” blacks have made to Charleston. She wrote that all the serial killers she had ever heard of were white, and that most murder victims are killed by people of the same race. Still another white woman claimed the killings were as much about anti-female bias as anti-white bias. According to her, “sensationalizing the rape/murder as 100 percent racially motivated adds to the already serious racial tensions and downplays the importance of rape as a crime of hate against women.”
On February 17, 1993, Miss McLauchlin’s parents appeared on the nationally syndicated Montel Williams show to talk about the crime, but no other program was interested. Of course, Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, and virtually every other paper took a pass on the story.
What happened to Missy McLauchlin illustrates two of the most prevalent but least discussed realities of race in America. First is the tremendous amount of black-on-white violence. The New Century Foundation’s 1999 report, The Color of Crime, points out that of the approximately 1.7 million interracial crimes of violence involving blacks and whites each year, 1.5 million are committed by blacks against whites. This means 90 percent of interracial violence is black-on-white. Given the differences in the sizes of the black and white populations, it means that any given black is nearly 60 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa.
Second is the jarring double standard that requires anti-black crimes be reported and deplored coast to coast while anti-white crimes are ignored. Every institution in America conforms to the double standard, which is why James Byrd, Emmett Till and Medgar Evers are known throughout the nation — and around the world.
Fortunately, a few things have begun to change in the last decade. Jared Taylor’s Paved With Good Intentions (1992) was published around the same time as the McLauchlin murder. This underground bestseller put into words what many people silently understood, namely, that it is whites, and not blacks, who are most victimized by racial violence.
Since that time, the Internet, talk radio and alternative media have ensured that there is no longer complete silence about anti-white hate crimes. The mainstream news media continues its blackout, but popular columnists like Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Paul Craig Roberts, and John Derbyshire have each publicized such attacks and the hypocrisy that surrounds them. The Washington Times recently printed almost daily coverage of the “Wichita Massacre” trials in which two black men in Kansas slaughtered five whites.
Of course, there is still a long way to go before the hate crime double standard crumbles. In December, the New York Times ran a lengthy article on Emmett Till, who was killed by whites 47 years ago. No reporter from the Times would even recognize the name Missy McLauchlin, let alone think to commemorate the 10th anniversary of her death. Until anti-white murders and attacks are considered news fit to print, it is up to pro-white groups and publications to report these crimes and remember the victims.
Unlike the murder of Missy McLauchlin, some racial attacks never fade from the headlines. Perhaps the best known example of racial violence in the history of the United States is the killing of Emmett Till. Despite the fact that the murder happened over 47 years ago it is still front-page news today. In December, the New York Times sent reporter Rick Bragg to Mississippi to write an article on the killing. ABC News did a story after the passing of Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, on January 6. Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival screened a documentary, “The Murder of Emmett Till,” which was featured on PBS in January. An upcoming documentary, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, is scheduled for television next month. No fewer than three books on the killing are scheduled for release this year: Death of Innocence, (Random House), The Lynching of Emmett Till: A Documentary Narrative (University of Virginia Press), and Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case (Phyllis Fogelman Books). Nationally syndicated columnist Bill Maxwell wrote a column in January that accurately described what the killing of Emmett Till has come to represent: “[T]he entire nation was reminded all over again that Americans, especially Southern white men, were capable of unspeakable crimes in the name of race.”
The double standard lives on.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Our Mexican Future
South Gate, California, is a town of 98,000 about 12 miles southeast of Los Angeles. It is 92 percent Hispanic, and its politics have taken a distinctly Mexican turn. Until January 28, city treasurer Albert Robles was the real power in town, and he and his pals seemed intent on lining their pockets and doing favors for friends. Mr. Robles is a colorful figure who, last year, stood trial for telling a California state senator he would rape her and kill her husband, and also for threatening to blow the brains out of a state assemblyman. His lawyer argued that threats were just politics as usual in South Gate, and Mr. Robles got off with a hung jury. His cronies on the city council approved more than $1 million in city money for his defense, but he now faces new assault and weapons charges.
During Mr. Robles’s tenure, the city council voted itself a 2,000 percent raise, and stripped the elected city clerk of most of her duties when she refused to act as a rubber stamp. The council also hired a convicted embezzler as a litigation specialist, as well as a police officer who was once fired for tipping off drug dealers about raids. The FBI is looking into a shady deal whereby the city council tried to channel $4 million in federal money to a Robles crony, ostensibly to build a recycling plant. The Robles crew has managed to work its way through an $8 million city reserve fund, and the treasury is now empty.
The city’s two police unions, which call the current council a bunch of “kleptocrats,” arranged for a recall vote, which appeared likely to win. The four recall targets, Mayor Xochilt Ruvalcaba, Mr. Robles, a councilwoman, and the vice mayor, resorted to classic Mexican politics: giveaways. They announced free garbage pickup for a month, and anyone who registered to vote was entered in a city-sponsored raffle for a television set. Shortly before the vote, they approved $90-a-month rent subsidies to more than 400 low-income families for a year. In the biggest pre-election giveaway, the city raffled off a three-bedroom house. The drawing was a gala affair on city hall grounds, complete with rainbow-colored lights, thumping ranchera music, and crowds of eager residents. After announcing the winner, Mayor Ruvalcaba told the crowd, both in English and Spanish, “If God permits me, gives me life and I’m reelected, we’ll do this again.” She later claimed the raffle had nothing to do with buying votes; she meant to call attention to the high cost of housing in California.
No one was fooled. Julia Barraza said it was just like campaign season back home in Mexico, when politicians would roll up on flat-bed trucks, handing out blankets, food, and sombreros. “Igualito, igualito, (it’s the same)” she says; “It’s like I never left Mexico.” Councilman Henry Gonzalez, who has opposed Mr. Robles and who was not a recall target, says, “They’re trying to manipulate people by using old gimmicks from Mexico.”
The 37-year-old Mr. Robles modeled the city administration on the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which stayed in power in Mexico for decades. He and his friends seemed so likely to fight the recall with another favorite Mexican tactic — voter intimidation — that the state stepped in. “Election fraud investigators will be working . . . to ensure that the election is coordinated with integrity and the outcome reflects the wishes of the people of South Gate,” explained California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. He agreed this was an “extreme” measure, but explained that “the average voter in South Gate has felt somewhat intimidated.”
The recall won by a crushing 88 percent, but the lame-duck city council called a final meeting on Feb. 3 anyway to dish out last-minute pork. Despite a standing-room-only crowd of jeering citizens, they promoted 12 friends in city government, and tried to approve a $1 million low-interest federal loan to a Robles pal, even though a Superior Court judge had ordered the council not to award the money.
The highlight of the meeting was a shoving match between councilman Gonzalez and Mayor Ruvalcaba over a piece of paper, which ended when Mayor Ruvalcaba hit the councilman in the head with her purse, and then threw a solid right to the face. “Arrest the mayor, arrest the mayor,” chanted the crowd, as Miss Ruvalcaba raced into a back room. Several uniformed South Gate police officers jumped over the wooden railing separating spectators from councilmen, caught her, and cited her for misdemeanor battery. She now claims that in the middle of the shoving match, Mr. Gonzales made a grab for her breast, and she had to defend herself. She and the three other losers will not leave office quietly; they are on the ballot for new elections on March 4.
In the meantime, even the Los Angeles Times wants to know: “Have Third World politics come to South Gate?” The paper notes that threat-maker Robles and punch-thrower Ruvalcaba are not fresh over the border. They both grew up in America, graduated from UCLA, and took the traditional route into politics by working for established politicians. Their Third World antics appear to be an expression of something other than environment. [Richard Marosi, The Freebies Pile Up as South Gate Goes to Polls, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 25, 2003. Richard Marosi, State to Monitor Recall Election, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 28, 2003. Richard Marosi and Megan Garvey, South Gate Mayor Slugs Councilman, Los Angeles Times, Feb. 4, 2003. Mayor Punches Councilman At Her Last Meeting, AP, Feb. 4, 2003.]
Third World politics is coming not just to South Gate but to the entire state. Some time in the late 1990s, whites ceased to be a majority, and in 2001 Hispanics accounted for an outright majority of births in California. Combined with the ones who immigrate legally and illegally, it will be only a matter of time before Hispanics are the undisputed majority. “The long-anticipated Latino majority has arrived,” says David Hayes-Bautista, director of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture. “In 2003, it is learning how to walk and will shortly learn to talk.” Somehow, it is not difficult to imagine what it will say. “They will be defining the American dream,” says Mr. Hayes-Bautista; “It’s in their hands, basically.” [Study: Majority of State’s Newborns are Hispanic, Los Angeles Times, Feb. 5, 2003.]
In early January, black congressmen Charles Rangel (D-NY) and John Conyers (D-MI) introduced a bill to reinstate the draft, claiming the all-volunteer force does not have enough whites. Mr. Rangel says non-whites will bear the burden of a war with Iraq, as he says blacks did in Vietnam.
Reps. Rangel and Conyers are wrong. A report by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness says that while it is true blacks are overrepresented in the military (21 percent of enlisted ranks vs. 12 percent of the overall population), most are concentrated in administration and support. Blacks fill 36 percent of these positions, but only 15 percent of ground combat arms: infantry, armor and artillery. Only 10.6 percent of infantrymen are black. Blacks are especially rare in the elite units that see the most fighting. Only 4.5 percent of Green Berets are black, and just 2.5 percent of Navy and two percent of Air Force pilots are black.
“If anybody should be complaining about battlefield deaths, it is poor rural whites,” says Prof. Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University. During the 1991 Gulf War, whites accounted for 71 percent of the 550,000 soldiers deployed, and 76 percent of deaths. Blacks were 23 percent of US forces but only 17 percent of the dead. Hispanics accounted for four percent of the force and four percent of the deaths.
Despite myths to the contrary, blacks did not shoulder a disproportionate burden in Vietnam. According to the VFW, 88.4 percent of the men who served in Vietnam were white, and they suffered 86.8 percent of combat deaths. Blacks accounted for 12.1 percent of deaths, a figure almost exactly the same as their percentage of the population. [Bill Gertz, Defense Disputes Racial Imparity, Washington Times, Jan. 14, 2003. Dave Moniz and Tom Squitieri, Front-Line Troops Disproportionately White, Not Black, USA Today, Jan. 21, 2003.]
The black and white military populations are more similar to each other than the civilian populations, which may help explain claims for successful racial integration. The military gets richer-than-average blacks and poorer-than-average whites. The average white recruit comes from a household that earns $33,400 a year, which is 25 percent less than the white average of $44,400. Black soldiers come from households with incomes above the black average: $32,000 vs. $27,900. Black soldiers are also more likely than black civilians to come from two-parent families.
In the military, racial gaps in education levels and mental abilities are considerably narrower than in the country as a whole. Ninety-nine percent of blacks are high school graduates, as are 97 percent of the whites. In the national population, 61 percent of whites and 14 percent of blacks score above the 50th percentile on the armed forces mental aptitude test. In the military, the figures are 83 percent and 59 percent, which means blacks in uniform are considerably more capable than civilian blacks. [Steve Sailer, The Real Story About Minorities in the Military, UPI, Jan. 17, 2003.]
BNP Marches On
The British National Party (BNP) chalked up another election victory on Jan. 23, winning a town council by-election seat in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. BNP candidate Adrian Marsden won 679 votes, the Liberal Democrat candidate came in second with 651 votes, and the candidate of Tony Blair’s Labour Party finished third. Coupled with its victories in Blackburn, Lancashire, last November, the BNP now holds five council seats, all in northwest England. There was, of course, the usual hand-wringing, but the presence of the BNP candidate appears to have been a boost for democracy, with voter turnout rising to 37.2 percent from last May’s 24 percent. This was a ward record, and is especially significant because many voters ignore by-elections.
The BNP’s victory is due in part to increasing anger in Britain over non-white asylum-seekers, whom the government refuses to turf out. Events of just the last few weeks have infuriated Britons. Illegals from Algeria who were cooking up poison gas stabbed a policeman to death, and a raid on a mosque turned up hundreds of false passports, stolen credit cards, and a small arsenal of weapons. Britons also learned they are playing host to several former Taliban fighters from Afghanistan who claim the current Western-backed government is persecuting them. A doctor recently told an 88-year-old widow he could no longer look after her because the authorities were sending him so many sick asylum seekers. The government has run out of housing for them, too, and secretly bought the only hotel in a small town in Kent. Dozens of couples had to cancel their wedding plans, and the locals swore they would burn the place down rather than see it full of foreigners. About one in 20 Londoners, or 400,000 people, are asylum-seekers, and that doesn’t even include ordinary illegals. The Sun, in a recent series on asylum, told its four million readers to “read this and get angry.”
David Blunkett, Britain’s Home Secretary, as much as admits the patience of Britons has run out. On the very day of the BNP victory, he warned that society is “like a coiled spring,” that hostility could result in “the disintegration of community relations and social cohesion,” and that Britain could even “tip into a situation we could not control.” He is actually suggesting the country could descend into anarchy but this, of course, did not stop him from calling the BNP victory “very worrying indeed,” or from complaining that terrorism is causing people to scapegoat immigrants. Beverley Bernard, of the Commission for Racial Equality, says, “Political victory for the racists is a terrible price to pay for the present hysteria surrounding refugees and immigration.”
The BNP points out that it is the only party that proposes to put an end to the problem by refusing to admit any more asylum seekers and sending the current ones back. “People are fed up of not being asked what they want . . . This [election] result is a response to the way they have been treated,” says Richard Mulhall, Mr. Marsden’s campaign manager. [Anthony Browne, Britain On The Brink, London Times, January 28, 2003, Michael McDonough, Far Right BNP Wins Fifth Council Seat, AP, Jan. 24, 2003. BNP Take First Yorks Seat, Yorkshire Post, Jan. 24, 2003.]
Taki in the Dock
Taki Theodoracopulos, known simply as “Taki,” is a columnist who writes for The Spectator in England, and is co-editor with Patrick Buchanan of The American Conservative. Taki is in trouble with British authorities for a possible violation of the Pubic Order Act, which forbids “incitement of racial hatred.” In a Jan. 11 Spectator article called “Thoughts on Thuggery,” he praised Enoch Powell and wrote about the recent shooting of two black girls: “Only a moron would not surmise that what politically-correct newspapers refer to as ‘disaffected young people’ are black thugs, sons of black thugs and grandsons of black thugs . . . West Indians were allowed to immigrate after the war, multiply like flies, and then the great state apparatus took over the care of their multiplications. The ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech by Enoch was prophetic as well as true, and look what the bullshitters of the time did to the great man.”
Peter Herbert, a lawyer and member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, filed a complaint with Scotland Yard, and if Taki is found to have incited racial hatred he could spend two years in jail. Spectator editor Boris Johnson, a Conservative Member of Parliament, says the article was “a terrible thing” that “should never have gone in” the magazine.
Taki is known not to mince words:
On New York’s Puerto Ricans: “A bunch of semi-savages . . . fat, squat, ugly, dusky, dirty and unbelievably loud. They turned Manhattan into Palermo faster than you can say ‘spic.’”
On Africa: “Democracy is as likely to come to bongo-bongo land as I am to send a Concorde ticket to my children.”
On Mrs. Tony Blair: “Not that I’m calling Cherie Blair a whore. She couldn’t be one even if she wanted to; not good-looking enough.”
On himself: “I’m a family man, a provider, I pay my taxes, I’m white (although always sun-tanned) . . . I inherited from my old man . . . I employ people, I own a yacht . . . you name it, I’m guilty of it.”
On Bill Clinton and Tony Blair: “[They] are, of course, the masters of the direct lie, able to look straight into the camera and tell incredible whoppers that would make Mother Teresa blush.” [Sholto Byrnes, A Racist Rant Too Far? Police Investigate Taki the Playboy Pundit, Independent (London), Feb. 1, 2003.]
‘To Defend My People’
Former Italian Senator Enzo Erminio Boso is tired of Third-World immigrants “behaving like animals” on Italian trains, where “they sleep on the seats, taking off their shoes and boots, meaning that other passengers can’t sit there.” Mr. Boso is a senior member of Italy’s Northern League party, which is a coalition partner in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government, and says that if immigrants can’t learn to ride trains properly they should be put in separate cars. Mr. Boso is undaunted by the inevitable charges of racism, which he says are “hypocritical.” “There is back-to-front racism going on, lead by the left in Italy, by the unions and by the Church, which says that immigrants are always right,” he says. “People are afraid about being called a racist, but I’m not. If I have to defend my people, my culture, my traditions, my roots and they call me a racist, then I’ll say ‘you’re right.’” [Italian Politicians Suggest Segregation on Train, Reuters, Jan. 17, 2003.]
Suing The Bell Curve
A black student at East Tennessee State University has sued the school, claiming racial discrimination, embarrassment, and humiliation. Mack Scott says one of his professors, Paul Kamolnick used The Bell Curve as a textbook even though, he claims, it has been denounced as “racist” by scholars and civil rights leaders. According to the brief in the case, which Mr. Scott filed himself, “Scott objected to the use of the text and expressed that he was offended by such pronouncements to which Kamolnick arrogantly and hostilely dismissed [sic].” He says that on the first day of class, Prof. Kamolnick said blacks have “a genetic defect,” which makes them less intelligent than people of other races. He wants $1 million in compensatory and $2 million in punitive damages.
Edward Kelly, legal assistant to ETSU’s president, laughs at Mr. Scott’s suit: “There’s a history of meritless lawsuits that have been brought by Scott, and we have every confidence in Professor Kamolnick. He’s a very well-respected member of the college community, and we will aggressively defend this matter.” [Matthew Lane, ETSU Says Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Without Merit, Kingsport Times-News (Tenn.), Dec. 24, 2002.]
Gary Stone of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England, was surprised when his four-year old daughter came home from school singing “Baa, baa, white sheep.” He thinks the school, Paston Ridings Primary School, has taken political correctness too far, but head teacher Terry Snitch denies sanitizing nursery rhymes. He says the school teaches alternative versions of traditional rhymes to “encourage creativity and imagination.” [School Teaches Pupils ‘Baa, Baa White Sheep,’ Ananova.com, Nov. 11, 2002.]
In 2001, the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, paid $492,000 at auction to buy an old, rusted, junker of a city bus. It was alleged to be the very bus on which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on Dec. 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama. After five months of restoration, the bus went on display in a Jan. 31 ceremony. Curator Bill Pretzer says, “When you realize that a simple, mundane city bus could be a place of such importance, there’s an immense wave of emotion.” [Sarah Freeman, Museum Restores Rosa Parks Bus, AP, Jan. 31, 2003.]
Police in Maui, Hawaii, are looking for a gang of four or five native Hawaiians who attacked whites on two separate occasions on Dec. 4, 2002. They found their first victim on Hookipa Beach, and sent him to the hospital with broken bones in the face. Later that night, just a few miles away, they found a white couple parked in a car in a sugar cane field. While some of the gang held the woman — who was unharmed — others kicked, punched and used a radio to beat the man, giving him multiple fractures, a collapsed lung, and a torn bowel. The men told the victim it was their beach, and they were taking it back. Maui Assistant Police Chief Gary Yarbuta says the attacks may have been “racial” or “territorial or both.” [Gary T. Kubota, Maui Probes Possible Hate Crimes, Star-Bulletin (Honolulu), Jan. 17, 2003.]
Whites, known as “haoles,” make up 23 percent of Hawaii’s population.
According to INS figures released on Jan. 31, more than 7 million illegal aliens were living in the United States in January 2000. This is almost as many people as the entire population of Virginia. During the 1990s, the number of illegals increased by 350,000 every year. Nearly 70 percent — 4.8 million — are Mexicans. Other countries that have sent more than 100,000 illegals include El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, China and Ecuador. The largest population of illegals — 2.2 million or 32 percent of the total — lives in California, down from 42 percent in 1990. This is a decrease only in proportions, not in numbers, and reflects huge increases elsewhere. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of illegals living in Georgia jumped from 34,000 to 228,000; North Carolina saw an increase from 26,000 to 206,000. Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies, says the INS numbers are proof “that America has lost control of its borders.” [Suzanne Gamboa, INS: 7 Million Illegal Immigrants in US, AP, Jan. 31, 2003.]
Back in 1997, a Ghanian woman calling herself Adelaide Abankwah arrived illegally at New York’s JFK International Airport, demanding political asylum. She claimed that back home she was the prospective “queen mother” of her tribe, and faced genital mutilation as punishment for having lost her virginity. The press picked up her story, and soon actress Julia Roberts and then-first lady Hillary Clinton were fawning over her. A federal appeals court duly granted Miss Abankwah asylum in 1999, but the INS smelled a rat and continued to investigate. Her story was a lie. Miss Abankwah’s real name is Regina Norman Danson, and while she is from Ghana, she was a hotel worker and not tribal royalty. She faced no persecution at home.
On Jan. 15, a federal district court in New York convicted Miss Danson of perjury and passport fraud. “This defendant’s lies duped the media, the courts and public servants and, in the process hurt the cause of all real victims of genital mutilation,” say US Attorney James B. Comey. Miss Danson faces 10 years in prison for passport fraud, and up to five years for each of eight counts of perjury and making false statements. Her lawyer will appeal. [Mary Beth Sheridan, Ghanian Woman Convicted of Fabricating Tale, Washington Post, Jan. 17, 2003.]
A poll of a representative sample of 2,400 South Africans has found that 60 percent say the country was better run under white rule. Only one in three said the current government was more trustworthy than the apartheid regime and the figure for blacks was 38 percent. Only one in ten respondents said they thought the government was interested in their needs or concerns. Robert Mattes of Afrobarometer, which conducted the poll, tried to explain the findings:
“They are not looking to go back to apartheid, but as time passes you tend to forget the negative things and emphasize the things that you had then and don’t have now, such as law and order and jobs. Apartheid was a harsh, repressive, but seemingly efficient government which made the trains run on time.” [Rory Carroll, Nostalgia Grows for Apartheid System, The Guardian (London), Dec. 12, 2002.]
Valley of the Dolls
Joan Gioacchini, a black woman with a mulatto baby, says there are not enough dolls designed for her daughter. “There is definitely nothing out there if you aren’t dark-skinned or Caucasian. It would be nice to have dolls that reflect the world, dolls that come in different shades and nationalities, and an even bigger variety of white dolls that don’t only have blond hair and blue eyes.”
More and more companies are producing dolls that appeal to the miscegenist market. MGA Entertainment markets a line called Bratz, which features five dolls with a variety of ethnic features. Mattel, home of Barbie, puts out a line called friends of Barbie, one of whom is a mixed-race doll named Kayla. Mattel spokesman Julia Jensen says her company doesn’t “do” any dolls that are “exclusively Caucasian.” “It’s always been important to the Barbie brands to keep that different mix of dolls and ethnicities.” Pleasant Company features two doll lines: Bitty Baby, which comes in five skin tones with a variety of hair textures and eye colors, and American Girl Today, with 21 dolls in various skin, hair and eye colors. American Girl Today dolls also claim to reflect “diverse lifestyles.”
My Twinn Doll Co. in Colorado offers custom dolls made from photographs of children. One mother paid $169 to buy her daughter a My Twinn doll. “As a child of color in America,” she says, “it is hard to build positive self-image. And having a doll that resembles who they are encourages positive self-identity.” Psychologist Susan Wilson says little girls need dolls that look like them in order to be well-adjusted, because dolls are models of beauty. “If the only model you have to look at has blond hair and blue eyes, it causes problems evolving a positive self-esteem,” she explains. [Jenee Osterheldt, Doll Choices Limited for Girls of Color, Knight-Ridder News Service, Dec. 24, 2002.]
On Jan. 15, a United Nations investigation of atrocities in northeastern Congo confirmed that rebels have been methodically raping, torturing and killing since last October. They even have a name for their terror campaign: Operation Clean the Slate. “The operation was presented to the people almost like a vaccination campaign,” explains UN spokesman Patricia Tome, “envisioning the looting of each home and the rape of each woman.” Miss Tome says cannibalism is another terror tactic. “They cut out the hearts and other organs of their victims and forced families to eat them . . . One little girl was executed, cut into little pieces and then eaten.” Many of the victims are Pygmies.
One of the rebel groups that committed atrocities is Jean-Pierre Bemba’s Congolese Liberation Movement (CLM). Under a power-sharing agreement signed last December to end the civil war that has raged since 1998, the CLM is to have a leading role in government. Mr. Bemba, who hopes to become vice-president, says he has arrested those responsible for the atrocities. [UN Confirms Congo Atrocities, AP, Jan. 15, 2003. Mark Dummett, Congo Rebels Guilty of Cannibalism, Mass Rape — UN, Reuters, Jan. 15, 2003.]
A Middle-Eastern immigrant, whose name has not been made public, is the subject of some unusual judicial reasoning in Norway. The man worked as a taxi driver, and heard other drivers boasting about the “easy sex” they got from women passengers. He picked up a Norwegian woman who suffers from Williams Syndrome, a rare disorder similar to Downs Syndrome, and decided it was his turn. People with Williams Syndrome are unusually friendly, but they do not look normal. The Middle Easterner, who assaulted her sexually, says he noticed nothing odd about her appearance. A court gave him 60 days in jail, but an appeals judge threw out the sentence, noting that he had not lived in Norway long enough to learn the language properly or recognize the woman’s condition. Given his age and cultural background he could not be held to normal Norwegian standards. The man is 22 years old, and has lived in Norway since age 10. [Sex Offense Excused by Inexperience, Aftenposten (Norway), Jan. 21, 2003.]
In 1990, the Irish Supreme Court ruled that any child born to immigrants in Ireland had the right to “care, company and parentage.” This meant illegal aliens who had babies in Ireland could not be deported, and pregnant illegals were soon pouring in, many from Nigeria. Last year alone, the government granted residency to 4,000 mothers, who were often joined by relatives. More than 10,462 similar families are waiting for the paperwork to go through. On Jan. 23, in an unusual act of sanity, the court reversed itself, ruling 5-2 that the birth of a child “doesn’t fundamentally transform the rights of the parent,” who can now be deported along with her child. Deputy Prime Minister Mary Harney says this “will prevent others from coming to Ireland to abuse our asylum process on the basis that they are pregnant.”
The ruling means that the 10,462 families could be deported, and the usual people are howling: “It would be quite wrong if today’s decision of the Supreme Court were to be used by the government as an excuse to initiate any campaign of mass deportations,” says Joe Costello of the Labor Party. [Shawn Pogatchnik, Ireland Can Deport Immigrant Parents, AP, Jan. 23, 2003.]
Three black social workers are pushing to have “post traumatic slavery disorder” (PTSD) listed as an official medical diagnosis. They say blacks are still suffering from slavery, and this explains crime, illegitimacy, drug-taking, and school failure. Sekou Mim, Omar Reid, and Larry Higginbottom explain that blacks don’t care whether they do well in school, because slaves were sometimes punished if they learned how to read. The three also say black men have children with many different women because slavery broke up the black family.
“Black people as a whole are suffering from PTSD,” says Mr. Mims. Mr. Reid runs support groups for black men who are filled with anger and anxiety despite the fact that there are no obvious white oppressors in their lives. The problem, he explains, is PTSD. The men are reportedly writing a book to explain their theories.
A few blacks recognize excuse-making when they see it. “Some people are just looking for reasons to fail,” says Ward Connerly, who campaigned against racial preferences in California. “There is great harm done with something like this. We don’t want young black kids to grow up thinking they are weak and can’t look after themselves.” [Marcella Bombardieri, Theory Links Slavery, Stress Disorder, Boston Globe, Nov. 12, 2002, p. B1.]
What theories of this kind never manage to explain is why the black failures said to be due to slavery are now so much worse than they were during the first 80 to 100 years after the end of slavery.
On the evening of Dec. 19, a 42-year-old Cuban woman was walking with her boyfriend near the National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, New York, when Mexican bums spotted them. “Let’s rob them,” said Carlos Rodriguez, and he and three pals went to work. They beat the man unconscious and robbed him, and then dragged the woman across railroad tracks into the woods to a shantytown. There they beat and gang-raped her for two hours, while she begged them to stop, crying “I have children, I have children!”
While this was going on her boyfriend regained consciousness and called the police. Seventy-five officers arrived with search dogs, rescued the woman, and arrested four Mexicans between the ages of 18 and 22. All are bums, and their leader, Mr. Hernandez, is a member of the Los Angeles gang, Knights of Destruction. They showed no remorse in their video-taped confessions, and could face 25 years in prison for rape, robbery, sodomy, kidnapping, and assault. The woman, who had cuts and bruises from head to foot, said the men spoke openly of disposing of the evidence by killing her and dumping her body in the woods where it could not be found. [Murray Weiss, Georgett Roberts, Philip Messing and Adam Miller, ‘Gang Rape’ Pack Bares Evil Scheme, New York Post, Dec. 22, 2002. William J. Gorta and Philip Messing, Fifth Man Arrested in Vicious Park Rape, New York Post, Dec. 23, 2002.]
The rapid influx of Somali refugees into Lewiston, Maine, has slowed since Mayor Larry Raymond publicized his Oct. 1 letter asking them to stay away. The Somalis, who started coming after they combed the country for the area with the least crime and most generous welfare benefits, now say they no longer feel safe or even welcome in this overwhelmingly white city of 36,000.
“There’s not many people coming because they have seen the TV, and they think it’s not safe to come here,” complains Asha, a 23-year-old Somali woman who says she fears reprisals if she uses her full name. Asha says whites regularly curse and insult her. Other Somalis report feeling “besieged” and fear violent attacks, despite a large pro-Somali “diversity” rally held Jan. 11.
“There’s a lot of people who are really scared,” says Roda Abdi, another Somali. She blames the chill squarely on the mayor’s letter. “Everything was going really smoothly, and then the letter came out. There was really no problem before that.”
There may be no problems now; Somalis may have other reasons for not coming. Many people don’t like to move after the school year starts. Also, the city’s subsidized housing is full. Another reason may be the cold: Somalis don’t like winter in Maine. Warm weather will show whether Somalis are afraid of white Lewistonians or white snow. [Kevin Wack, Fewer Somalis Migrate to Lewiston in Letter’s Aftermath, Lewiston Sun-Journal, Feb. 3, 2003.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — In the February issue, Mr. Taylor brings up some valid points in his critique of my review of Dr. Salter’s work. He is certainly correct to say that subjectivity about the preservation of one’s ethny and race is normal and that only by embracing a subjective love and concern for their race will whites survive. I agree wholeheartedly with that; nevertheless, I still believe Dr. Salter’s more objective scientific analysis is of great value, for three basic reasons.
First, I suspect there is a certain thoughtful minority of our people whose natural subjective racial instincts have been suppressed by establishment propaganda, including pseudo-scientific “objective” arguments about how “race does not exist,” and that “we are all genetically identical,” and that therefore nothing is lost if whites disappear. Many are fooled by this. If Dr. Salter’s objective arguments can help cure some of these people of their delusions, then perhaps their natural subjective feelings on race can be unleashed and focused productively.
Second, Dr. Salter’s work can help focus “movement” thinking. I do not mean “preaching to the converted” for, as Mr. Taylor suggests, racial activists do not need objective arguments for western preservation — they are already strongly, subjectively committed to it. However, a clear, objective analysis of the basic ethnic genetic interests underlying racial activism can help the development of more sound movement ideologies and activist strategies, and help solve the problem of how to better balance narrower (ethnic or “subracial”) concerns with broader racial interests. Such concerns are the core of my current work in the field of ethnoracial activism.
Third, while an objective analysis may not convince anyone on either side of the race issue, there is still much to be said for having objective evidence on your side. The western tradition of rational thought, empiricism, and logic is important, particularly for those of us who wish to preserve the western biocultural heritage. Thus, that our activist beliefs, however subjective they may seem to us, have a firm basis in science links us and our endeavor to the foundations of western thought. Objectivity and subjectivity can complement each other, and steel us for the struggles ahead.
Sir — “In nature there are no objective reasons that justify the survival of anything.” So you conclude in your comments on Michael Rienzi’s article on “Ethnic Genetic Interests.” You and he write as if matter, including the races, had no creator. Nothing, therefore, has any ultimate value, nor intrinsically superior claims. The value a man puts on his own people is arbitrary and ultimately unjustifiable except, perhaps, as an expression of self-love.
Secular white preservationists often blame Christianity for the crisis we face, since it is a religion that teaches the universal brotherhood of man. What they forget is that God is the creator of all things, including the races. So while it transcends tribe and race, Christianity affirms their value as God’s creations. The Christian can therefore accept and cherish race and tribe, and appreciate their distinctions. This appreciation of God’s creatures enhances the subjective value of racial differences that we experience.
Edward Dorsey, Alexandria, Va.
Sir — I would like to comment on Jared Taylor’s review of Joanne Mariner’s No Escape: Male Rape in US Prisons (AR, April 2002). I have been incarcerated well over ten years, and have been in many California prisons. We have strict racial loyalty and do not allow whites to be raped — willing or not — nor do we allow interracial gambling or borrowing. Furthermore, if a white is weak and refuses to defend himself against a black or other non-white, we will still fight for him (unlike the Virginia inmate whose letter was published in the Jan. issue), and then deal with the weak-hearted white by either teaching him to fight or sending him to protective custody.
We have a total “hands-off” policy. If a black tries to assault a white (or vice-versa), it is considered an act of war; every white on hand will attack any black on sight — no exceptions — even if the white person was at fault. We do this regardless of our inferior numbers. Any whites who do not fight will be dealt with. As for “whiggers,” we beat them out of the mainline and into protective custody, leaving them no chance to disgrace us. Under no circumstances do whites in the California prison system allow blacks to victimize us and get away with it.
Blacks fear and respect us and go to great lengths to avoid any problems with us because we fight as a race. We have a saying that blacks fear three things: dogs, their own blood, and “crazy white boys.” An attack on one of us is an attack on us all. This is true racial loyalty.
Jay Jackson, Pleasant Valley State Prison, Coalinga, Calif.
Sir — I read your essay on Trent Lott in the latest AR. You might note for future reference that not only does the senator have a middle school named after him. At my humble cottage in West Virginia there is the “Trent Lott Diggy Box” where my Border Collie and mostly-retriever can hunt for little treasures I bury for them (when the ground is not frozen solid). At least they are honest about begging for treats.
Howard Fezell, Charles Town, W.V.
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