|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 3 No.11||November 1992|
Race and Intelligence: The Evidence
Scientific data show that the races differ in intelligence — dogma holds otherwise.
by Jared Taylor
There is probably no greater intellectual crime than to point out that the average intelligence of blacks is significantly lower than that of other races. American society punishes those who publicly state this view almost as vigorously as Islamic republics punish anyone who defames the Prophet.
Indeed, in an increasingly secular America, the dogma of racial equality has become virtually a religion. Like early Christians under the Romans, or Russian dissidents under the Soviets, Americans who question the dogma keep their forbidden opinions to themselves or exchange them only in private.
Despite its strength, one of the most remarkable things about the racial dogma is how new it is. Until only a few decades ago, hardly anyone thought the races were equal. Kipling wrote of “lesser breeds without the law,” and the Encyclopedia Britannica noted matter-of-factly in its 1914 edition that “The Negro is intellectually inferior to the Caucasian.” Until only a generation or two ago, this was the view of virtually all Americans: Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Harry Truman, to cite only Presidents.
Something equally remarkable about the dogma of equality is that there is no evidence to support it. One would search the planet in vain to find a single group of blacks that has managed to build an advanced, civilized society. By whatever standard one chooses, blacks demonstrate at every opportunity that they are not equal to other races. The history of Africa and the status of blacks in the United States are roughly what we would expect if the races have different capacities. But if the races are equally intelligent, disciplined, and hard-working, then nothing about Africa or African-Americans makes sense. Every disparity, every failure, every moment in history must be painstakingly explained.
The egalitarian position is therefore not based on evidence — for there is no evidence for that position — but on excuse-making. It consists purely in excusing blacks from the conclusion to which all the evidence points.
In the United States, what little discussion there is about racial differences revolves around intelligence. Study after study has consistently shown that the average black IQ test score is 15 to 18 points lower than the white average. It appears that the gap starts at about 15 points in childhood and widens to as much as 20 points in adulthood. The gap has remained unchanged for 70 years — ever since IQ tests were first given to large numbers of Americans. Civil rights laws, greater social equality, and affirmative action have not reduced the difference.
As is clear from the diagram on this page, there is considerable overlap between more intelligent blacks and less intelligent whites; some blacks are clearly smarter than some whites. Egalitarians seize on this fact to discount the entire notion of racial differences but this is as absurd as claiming that because some women are taller than some men, the average man is no taller than the average woman.
Despite overlapping intelligence distributions, only 16 percent of blacks have IQs of more than 100, the white average. Whites are six to eight times more likely to have scores in the “gifted” range of 135 and higher, whereas blacks are six to eight times more likely to have scores in the “retarded” range of 70 or lower. At the very highest, genius level IQ scores, blacks are hardly to be found at all.
Not even the most reckless egalitarians can deny the differences in test scores. Instead, they claim that the scores are either meaningless or do not measure intelligence. It is true that intelligence cannot be defined to everyone’s liking, but that does not mean it cannot be measured. IQ correlates almost perfectly with subjective impressions of intelligence. If you were to talk to five strangers for twenty minutes each and then rank them by intelligence, there is an excellent chance that you would give them the same rank order that an IQ test would.
Less subjectively, IQ tests are the best possible way to predict whether a student will get good grades or a white-collar worker will do a good job. If a test can accurately predict how well someone will do at any number of activities that we think of as requiring intelligence, it takes a peculiar stubbornness to insist that the test is not measuring intelligence.
IQ tests therefore measure what we understand to be intelligence. Blacks consistently score lower than whites on IQ tests. Are they therefore less intelligent than whites?
At this point, the egalitarian defense claims that IQ tests are somehow biased against blacks. Common as this charge is, it is nothing more than an ex post facto explanation for results that displease the egalitarians, for no one can look through a well-designed intelligence test and explain what the bias is and where it is to be found.
In fact, many modern IQ tests, such as Raven’s Progressive Matrices, have no verbal or cultural content at all. They test a person’s understanding of shapes and patterns, and are routinely given to people who do not even speak English. Other varieties of IQ test do involve language and inevitably have some cultural content — and these are the very tests on which the black/white gap in scores is narrowest. The more culturally specific an intelligence test is, the narrower the black/white gap becomes. The most abstract, culture-free tests show the largest gap.
The theory of “test bias” is that unfair tests consistently underrate blacks’ abilities. If that were true, blacks who got the same test scores as whites would do better than the whites at the things test scores are supposed to measure: they would get better grades and do their jobs better. This does not happen; blacks do no better than the test scores predict. This raises a larger and different issue. Both the tests and the abilities they are supposed to measure may be biased against blacks. Some egalitarians actually make this argument, but it comes dangerously close to arguing that ability and intelligence themselves are somehow biased against blacks.
The “cultural bias” position is further weakened by the fact that newly-arrived Asian immigrants, for whom the United States really is an alien culture, outperform both blacks and whites on IQ tests. The assertion that the same tests that are culturally biased against blacks somehow favor Asians strains credibility.
If blacks are as intelligent as whites, there must be some way to demonstrate this. None has ever been devised. Are we to conclude that the intelligence of blacks remains forever hidden because every method for measuring it is faulty? Believers in test bias cannot explain why it is impossible to design an intelligence test — carefully eliminating all bias — on which blacks score as well as whites. The explanation is that there is no bias to eliminate. “Bias” is an imaginary culprit.
If tests cannot be shown to be biased, the next line of defense for egalitarians is to admit that, yes, IQ tests measure intelligence fairly and that blacks therefore may be less intelligent. They nevertheless insist that the difference is due to environment rather than genetics.
Some radical egalitarians talk as if intelligence were wholly a product of environment, but this is obviously not true. Mentally retarded children usually start life in the same environment as their normal siblings, but there is clearly something wrong with them and not with their surroundings. Intelligence comes in fine gradations all the way from genius to idiot. To admit that idiocy is genetic but to claim that every other level of intelligence is due to environment is like saying that the heights of dwarfs are governed by genes but that the heights of everyone else are governed by environment.
The nature v. nurture debate as it applies to intelligence is therefore about which predominates, and the best evidence comes from twin studies. Identical twins are genetically the same, whereas fraternal twins are no more similar to each other than ordinary siblings. When they are reared in the same household, twins have environments that are as similar as can be, but occasionally twins are separated at birth and reared apart. The crucial finding is that identical twins reared apart have more similar IQs (and personalities) than fraternal twins reared in the same household. Identical genes count for more than an identical environment.
Sir Cyril Burt, Hans Eysenck, R. Travis Osborne, and, most recently, Thomas J. Bouchard, are just a few of the people who have studied the intelligence of twins. They have concluded that intelligence is under considerably greater genetic than environmental control, with heredity accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all differences in intelligence. Thus, if one person has an IQ of 100 and another an IQ of 125, heredity accounts for 15 to 20 of the 25-point difference. Not even the most heroic environmental intervention could close the IQ gap by more than 10 points.
It is sometimes argued that if intelligence is affected even in the slightest by environment, society owes the less intelligent whatever boost a good environment can give them. Obviously, it is the intelligent who would have to provide the less intelligent with an IQ-boosting environment. So far, the evidence suggests that we do not know how to manipulate the environment to produce lasting IQ gains and if we did, the intelligent would demand the same treatment for themselves as for the unintelligent. The gap would presumably stay the same or grow wider.
One superficially plausible egalitarian argument is to claim that the meager circumstances in which blacks live thwart their development; rear blacks in good, middle-class homes, it is claimed, and they will be as smart as whites. In fact, a good number of adopted blacks have been reared in white homes, but their IQs remain closer to those of their natural parents than to their adoptive parents. The meager-circumstances argument likewise founders on the IQ scores of American Indians, Mexican immigrants, and Puerto Ricans. They often live in conditions of greater squalor than blacks, yet outperform them on intelligence tests.
Scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) provide some of the most eye-opening data on the relative unimportance of environment. The SAT is not designed as an intelligence test, but it gives results that virtually mirror intelligence. Black students who grow up in families with incomes of more than $70,000 a year get lower scores than whites who grow up in families with incomes of less than $20,000 a year. It would be hard to find more persuasive evidence that race counts for more than family circumstances.
The conditions in which blacks live are the result, not the cause of low intelligence. If an anthropologist were to imagine a society composed of people with an average IQ of 85 — with one sixth as many gifted people and six times as many retarded people as in white society — would he not come up with something like pre-colonial Africa or the American inner city?
America is increasingly a society in which intelligence determines social status and success in life. Despite endless claims that America is inveterately prejudiced against non-whites, citizens of all races reap the rewards of intelligence. Prof. Linda Gottfredson of the University of Delaware has calculated that there are slightly more black doctors, lawyers, and PhDs than the distribution of black intelligence levels would suggest.
If this is true, it has profound implications. It would mean that blacks have already gotten as far in American society as their natural limitations permit. It would also mean that the number of blacks at high levels cannot be increased unless standards are further lowered and that the lingering handicaps of slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation have completely disappeared. In other words, there is no such thing as “the legacy of slavery.”
Blacks in Other Societies
Surprising as this conclusion may seem, it is born out by the record of blacks in other white societies. For example, blacks are one eighth of the population of the United States and one eighth of the population of London, England. In both cases they commit about half of the reported crime. Canada does not keep official crime statistics by race, but informal estimates are that the two to five percent of the people of Toronto who are black commit 30 to 40 percent of the crime.
Large numbers of blacks have been living in Canada and England for only a few decades, yet their crime rates are equivalent to those of blacks who have suffered “400 years of oppression” in the United States. Although data are scarce, Canadian and British blacks also seem to have rates of poverty and illegitimacy that are the equivalents of American blacks.
All other multi-racial societies show the same pattern. In Brazil, for example, slavery was never as widespread as in the United States and race relations are consistently described as better than they are here. Yet the disparity between black and white incomes is greater in Brazil than in the United States. Cuba also has a mixed population and is famous for its aggressive, socialist egalitarianism. Though Cuban officials are embarrassed by this and try to keep it a secret, blacks are invariably at the bottom of society.
The primitive circumstances of pre-colonial Africa are well known, as is the spectacular failure of Africans to build modern nations after independence (see “Why is Africa Poor,” AR, Jan. 1992). Africans suffer from primitive levels of public health, but they may also be held back by an average intelligence even lower than that of black Americans. Most American blacks have at least some white ancestry, which raises their intelligence. Professor Richard Lynn of the University of Ulster in Ireland, probably the most prominent student of national differences in intelligence, reports that average IQs may be as low as 80 in Uganda and Ghana, 75 in Nigeria, and 65 in Zaire. Such low levels of intelligence would rule out any possibility of real development.
The Caribbean nation of Haiti presents an interesting parallel to the failures of black Africans. Its six million inhabitants are all black, the descendants of slaves. Haiti has essentially been governed by blacks ever since the slave insurrection of 1791, in which nearly all whites were killed. Thus, it has a history of independence and black rule that is much longer than that of African nations. Despite such different histories, Haiti is practically indistinguishable from Africa in terms of GNP per capita, infant mortality rates, average educational level, and all the other indices of modernization. Its governments have been the corrupt shambles that is typical of Africa. If Haiti were dragged across the Atlantic Ocean and attached to the coast of Africa, it would seem perfectly at home.
To recapitulate, there is no evidence, either in America or abroad, in the present or in the past, that suggests blacks are as intelligent as other races. All of the evidence points to a significant and durable inequality.
The body of research is now so great that virtually no one who has taken the trouble to look into it remains an egalitarian. There was a time when some reputable scientists, such as Stephen Jay Gould, Leon Kamin, and Richard Lewontin seriously maintained the egalitarian or environmentalist view. They have now fallen silent. Their views are now echoed primarily by people who know nothing about current research data and show no interest in it. They appear to be driven by some motive other than the search for scientific truth.
That a proposition for which there is no evidence can have become dogma is one of the mysteries of our time. Part of the explanation for this is that a great many people seem to believe that even if racial differences can be proven they must be denied and suppressed. As we will show later in this series, it is vital that racial differences be recognized and accepted.
This is the first in a series of three articles on racial differences and their implications for society.
A Head Start Does Not Last
The Head Start programs of the 1960s assumed that if a deprived black child’s early environment were artificially enriched, he could catch up with middle-class whites. Of all the Great Society programs, Head Start is probably the only one that is still talked about as if it worked. It did not. After intense early instruction, ghetto children did manage to improve their scores on achievement and even IQ tests. What is less well known is that these improvements could not be made to last.
One of the most thorough, long-term studies of the Head Start approach was the Milwaukee Project, undertaken in the 1980s at a cost of millions of dollars. A group of infants was selected soon after birth to spend five days a week in “infant stimulation centers.” The leader of the project claimed that the enrichment given these children made the early environments of such famous child prodigies as John Stuart Mill and Francis Galton seem impoverished. The children were kept in the program for six years, and then sent to regular public schools.
The media reported delightedly that, on leaving the program, the children scored 30 points higher on IQ tests than did a control group. It was scarcely reported to the public at all when, three years later, the “enriched” children were found to be performing at the same academic level as the controls, that is to say, at a level commensurate to an IQ of 80.
Professor Arthur Jensen of Berkeley believes that these results actually reflect defects in the tests these children took. He suspects that real, underlying intelligence — what he calls g — cannot be improved by instruction. He thinks that in the Milwaukee Project, children were taught specific ways to take certain IQ tests but he says “g remained unaffected.”
A more recent study of childhood enrichment has produced similar, strictly short-term results. J.S. Fuerst of Loyola University has tracked 684 black children who attended specially-funded programs that were so intensive and far-reaching that Mr. Fuerst calls them “Head Start to the fourth power.” The children stayed in these programs for two to seven years, and had significantly better test scores than a control group. However, ten years later, after the children had returned to regular schools, their performances were practically indistinguishable from those of children who had not gotten the special instruction.
Prof. Jensen points out that intensive education at any age improves achievement, whether or not it has any effect on g. At the same time, it increases the performance gap between smart students and dull students. Everyone learns more in a good school, but the gifted children leave the slow ones even further behind.
Unfortunately, in American schools today, there is more emphasis on closing the performance gap between black and white, stupid and smart, than in raising the level for everyone. The best way to close the gap is therefore to teach as little as possible, since this leaves all groups equally ignorant. Probably no teacher sets out deliberately to lower standards. However, this is the only known way to narrow the academic gap between blacks and whites; what are commonly called “dumbed down” curricula are the result.
For several decades, American educators have been wringing their hands over declining schools. Sacrificing quality in the name of equality is probably one of the causes. A head start for some is being replaced by a handicap for all.
A Remarkable New Paper on Race and Crime
Few people in America write more fearlessly and incisively about race than Professor Michael Levin of the City College of New York. His recent paper, “Responses to Race Differences in Crime,” published in the Journal of Social Philosophy, is a rigorous analysis of a question that most academics would not even think to raise: Should society draw conclusions about individuals based on race? Prof. Levin is writing specifically about crime, but his reasoning could be applied to education, employment, or any other area in which average behavior differs consistently by race.
Prof. Levin begins with the cold statistical facts: Blacks account for two-thirds of all arrests for robbery, and a young black is five times more likely than a young white to be a felon. Are individual whites therefore justified in avoiding young blacks and are police officers justified in keeping them under close scrutiny? The common sense answer is “of course,” but common sense is rare when the subject is race. Prof. Levin systematically refutes every standard (and some non-standard) objections to different treatment based on race.
Prof. Levin teaches philosophy at City College, and his arguments are subtle, thorough, and logical. For example, he launches a brilliant attack on the idea that categorization by race “stereotypes” blacks and causes yet more black deviance. Then he applies this argument to the kind of real-life decision real-life people must make. Imagine, he says, that you have just been mugged on the street by a black man. A policeman arrives just too late to prevent the attack and says this:
I saw the black approach you and suspected he might attack, but I didn’t intercede even to the minimal extent of showing myself to discourage him because my belief that he might attack was race-based. I would have felt no impulse to intercede had your attacker been white. But I shouldn’t act on thoughts I shouldn’t think, and I shouldn’t think that way. I shouldn’t think that way because your attacker’s turn to crime was the result of his great-grandfather’s enslavement, his father’s inferior education and his own constricted opportunities, circumstances based on racial thinking. Doing anything because of his race is just the sort of thinking that caused him to attack you.
Ridiculous as such a speech sounds, it is exactly the way Americans are supposed to think and behave. Obviously, many Americans do not; they would be fools to do so. But having argued that the police officer should take race into consideration, Prof. Levin does not shrink from tackling the next question: What other decisions should we base on race? “Suppose the presence of more than a threshold number of black children in a classroom impedes the intellectual development of white children,” he writes; “Here would be a utilitarian argument for school segregation . . .”
After pointing out that blacks rape a vastly disproportionate number of white women, Prof. Levin goes on to say:
If separating black men from white women would sharply decrease the incidence of rape among white women without raising its incidence among black women correspondingly, the personal preference for white women to avoid rape would be utilitarian grounds for such separation.
Hats off to Prof. Levin. Not only is his theoretical analysis impressive, he is willing to step out of the ivory tower and apply it to real American problems.
Black Failure, White Folly
A powerful new book about race relations that attacks liberal myths head-on.
Paved With Good Intentions, Jared Taylor, Carroll & Graf, 1992, 403 pp., $22.95
reviewed by Robert Tyler
Paved With Good Intentions, by Jared Taylor, is the most relentless, devastating assault on conventional thinking about American race relations available anywhere. In one meticulously researched chapter after another, it blows to bits all the orthodoxies that govern what is publicly said about black/white relations. It is a triumph of clear thinking over cant, and if it is not killed with silence by horrified editors and reviewers, it could force our country to face some of the ugly realities we seem determined to ignore.
The thesis of this book is that American race relations have been poisoned by rigid thinking that makes progress impossible. Unwritten law requires that all racial problems be analyzed in the following terms: (1) Blacks are failing. (2) White racism — and nothing else — makes them fail. (3) Therefore solutions must be the exclusive responsibility of whites.
Mr. Taylor agrees with the first of these propositions. He has assembled what may well be the most comprehensive account anywhere of just how miserably American blacks are failing. His book is a virtual encyclopedia of failure: crime rates, illegitimacy rates, incarceration rates, poverty rates, drop out rates, AIDS infection rates, syphilis infection rates — all are woven into the narrative with a cumulative effect that would be brutal were it not so rigorously factual.
As for the second proposition, Mr. Taylor marshals a persuasive body of evidence to disprove it. His main technique is to cite research on selected groups of blacks and whites that are largely indistinguishable except by race. Apparently, dozens of studies have shown that American society treats blacks and whites similarly — so long as the blacks and whites really are similar. Thus, blacks with PhDs from top universities make as much as or more money than whites with equivalent PhDs. Whites with two felony convictions are just as likely as blacks to get long jail sentences on the third conviction. I was surprised to learn that so much work of this kind has been done; obviously the press does not publicize it.
Chorus of Accusations
Mr. Taylor points out that despite this eye-opening evidence, the notion that whites are responsible for every black misfortune is so ingrained that whenever any black/white disparity comes to light, a chorus of voices rises to accuse whites of racism. For example, when it was found that blacks are less likely than whites to get kidney transplants, newspapers across the country wrung their hands over “hospital racism.” Mr. Taylor patiently points out that the overwhelming majority of people willing to give up their organs after death are white and many blacks cannot accept white organs. Usually the best donor is a close relative, but healthy relatives of blacks are only one sixth as likely to donate a kidney as are white relatives.
If anything, “racism” runs the other way. Many blacks refuse to give up their organs for fear they might be given to whites. Whites show no such hesitation. Even at Howard University hospital, 80 percent of the organs are donated by whites. This is just one of many cases in which Mr. Taylor takes what is called white racism, turns it on its head, and shows that racial hatred actually runs the other way.
“Hate crimes” are another example. Whenever a white attacks a black for racial reasons, the media don their ritual sack cloth, and describe the crime as proof that white society is seething with hatred for blacks. In fact, as Mr. Taylor reports in grim detail, blacks are many times more likely to make blatantly racial attacks on whites than the reverse, but the media avert their eyes.
Constant talk of white racism has dangerous consequences. Although the conventional view is that America “teaches blacks to hate themselves,” constant harping on white wickedness teaches them to hate whites. Liberals seem to think that blacks will love them if they keep telling blacks how awful white people are. They are then astonished at black venom, and must cast about for yet more excuses for it.
This book is packed with information and ideas that are almost never printed. Mr. Taylor explains the faulty logic and bad law that have turned civil rights into government-mandated discrimination against whites. He analyzes the anti-white slant that runs through government and major news organizations and chronicles the rising tide of white resentment. There is an analysis of Asian successes in American society that makes black complaints about “racism” ring especially hollow. Indeed, while claiming to face discrimination at every turn, blacks are vicious in their persecution of Asians.
A chapter on double standards shows how blacks glory in racial solidarity but whites are made to feel ashamed of being white. In fact, whites are taught to dismantle any consciousness of their own race and to work for the benefit of other races. As a result, many blacks, and even a dismaying number of whites, follow a simple principle: If it’s good for blacks or bad for whites, it’s good — otherwise it’s bad.
The latter part of the book is a gruesome picture of the black underclass. Readers had better have strong stomachs. They will learn about crack mothers who barter off their toddlers to perverts who use them as sex toys, about public schools where the curtains stay closed so children will not look out the windows and see addicts copulating, about libraries in which prostitutes ply their trade, about day care centers where three-year-olds are taught to hit the floor when shots ring out.
The introduction to this book promises “solutions,” but by the time I got to them, I had been dragged through so much squalor and sordidness that I half-expected a sober discussion of neutron bombs. Actually, Mr. Taylor’s solutions are much better.
Yet more unheralded studies and common sense, too — suggest that just about everything that is wrong with the underclass stems from the collapse of the ancient strictures that kept people from having children they could not support. Mr. Taylor argues relentlessly that a black illegitimacy rate of 70 percent is not only at the heart of the underclass’ collapse but that welfare makes things worse:
Sex is fun. Babies are cute. Women want to be mothers. This is perfectly natural, and when there is no middle-class morality — or wolf at the door — to stand in nature’s way, babies are the inevitable result. Welfare payments are the comfortable safety net into which the single mother lands when she walks off the edge of middle-class morality.
Mr. Taylor is not, however, another Dan Quayle, calling pathetically for “family values.” Much as he approves of traditional ethics, he has no illusions that exhortation will bring them back. After an elegant, libertarian attack on the very principles of welfare — he calls it “obligatory charity” — Mr. Taylor calls for its complete abolition.
Short of that, since he knows that America will stop short of that, he urges that all welfare recipients be given Norplant, a recently developed implantable contraceptive that prevents pregnancy for up to five years. He even recommends that some ghetto high schools start implant programs. He would rather end “obligatory charity” than start “obligatory contraception,” but he makes only a moral case for the former, and a practical case for the latter. There have already been a few calls for Norplant for welfare mothers, and this book could give the idea a big boost.
Every Myth But One
In my view, this book suffers from one defect that may be unavoidable. Despite its boldness in all other respects, this book is bashful about racial differences. At one point, in a discussion of why whites so readily submit to accusations of racism they know to be false, Mr. Taylor says this:
If whites are not holding blacks down, it might mean that they [blacks] have risen as far as their inherent limitations permit. The possibility of black inferiority is the unacknowledged goblin that lurks in the background of every attempt to explain black failure. Part of the shrillness with which white racism is denounced stems from the belief that any letup in the struggle against it might leave room for a theory that is too dangerous to be contemplated.
This is either too much or too little. I detect the odor of compromise, either with the publisher or with Mr. Taylor’s own amply demonstrated willingness to put all things under his microscope, even ideas “too dangerous to be contemplated.”
This said, it is nothing short of astonishing that something like Paved With Good Intentions — complete with 1,339 footnotes — has been written. It is even more astonishing that this book is being brought out by a mainstream publishing house. There will be as much fascination in following the commercial and critical fortunes of this book as in reading it.
Robert Tyler is the pen name of a lecturer in political science at a major mid-Western university.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
The Riots Rumble On
Jack Kemp, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, thinks that “enterprise zones” will rejuvenate rotting neighborhoods. Enterprise zones are a form of affirmative action, in which employers get huge tax incentives to open businesses in black ghettos.
One of the most interesting test case enterprise zones happens to be South-Central Los Angeles. It was one of the most heavily subsidized business hand-out programs in the country, and it was supposed to lift underclass blacks out of poverty. In fact, it did give a boost to minorities but they were the wrong minority: Koreans. They were recent immigrants who would probably have opened businesses somewhere else in Los Angeles, but who could not resist the lure of tax credits, rent subsidies, and 15-year carry-forwards. As we know, 800 of those new Korean businesses were burned by rioters.
Secretary Kemp likes to say that lavishing advantages on black neighborhoods will foster entrepreneurs and give residents “a stake in their communities.” Secretary Kemp seems not to have noticed that they already have a stake in their communities. They live there. If that doesn’t make them behave it is hard to imagine what will.
Last August, a 23-year-old black university student was shot in an altercation with a white policeman. Several hundred blacks then went on a rampage, smashing shop windows, looting, and overturning cars. Riot police joined the municipal force in restoring order, and patrolled the campus for several days.
Any reader who can guess the unlikely locale where this took place deserves a prize. It was Moscow. The students were at Patrice Lumumba University, named after the Congolese independence leader and established at the height of the Cold War to teach Marxism to Africans. The students were no doubt engaged in revolutionary struggle.
¿Dónde Está Los Estados Unidos?
Professor David Hayes-Bautista of UCLA is a third-generation Mexican-American but he still sends his daughter to Mexico for tennis lessons. He is the head of the Chicano Studies Research Center at the university, and concludes that Mexican immigration is unlike immigration from any other nation because the proximity of the mother country keeps ethnic identification strong. “We could come back in 100 years and the Latinos will not have assimilated in the classical sense,” he says.
Perhaps Prof. Hayes-Bautista’s children would like to enter the Mexico In My Life contest sponsored by the Mexican consulate at Houston and by the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans. The contest is open to children under 18, and submissions can be in the form of a drawing or an essay.
Perhaps the professor’s grand children will attend J.R. Harris Elementary School, likewise in Houston. There, the heavily Hispanic student body already celebrates Fiestas Patrias, Mexican independence from Spain, with an impressive display of Mexican flags — one per student.
¿Dónde Está Los Estados Unidos? (II)
Carlos Salamanca is a member of the school board in district 15 of Brooklyn (NY). He is an immigrant from Colombia, so he speaks Spanish. He does not, however, speak English, so the school board must provide him with an interpreter when he attends meetings.
Jack Spatola, principal of Public School 172 says, “He [Mr. Salamanca] has become a symbol of what can be accomplished.” As he explains, “We also have very much need, especially for our youths, to have role models.” Perhaps Mr. Spatola could do with an interpreter, too.
Mr. Salamanca was appointed to his position to fill a vacancy, but is considering running for the office when his term is up. He is not an American citizen, but that makes no difference. He is eligible to serve, and the many non-citizens whose children attend school in Brooklyn are eligible to vote for him.
Macho in Miami
Miami, which was 90 percent white in 1960 but is now 10 percent white, has the highest crime rate in the country. One of the contributors to crime appears to be Hispanic machismo. On September 19th, a man driving a Chevrolet Malibu with three lady passengers was stopped at a light. A Mercury Cougar pulled up along side with 16-year-old Christopher Calderon in the passenger seat. Mr. Calderon “looked” at the women in the blue Malibu. The driver of the Malibu, described as a dark-skinned Hispanic, did not care for this. He drew a gun, fired several shots at Mr. Calderon, killing him, and drove away.
Meanwhile, Southern Florida is hampered by an unexpected problem in its attempt to restore electricity to the areas blacked out by Hurricane Andrew. Many miles of power lines were knocked down and could simply have been restrung — if thieves had not stolen them. Copper wire is showing up by the truck load at junk yards and metal recyclers all over Southern Florida. Police have made a few arrests.
Macho in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, Hispanics are demonstrating a different kind of machismo. First of all, they are joining gangs and killing each other in even greater numbers than are Los Angeles blacks. In 1991, 179 blacks died in gang violence but 340 Hispanics — nearly twice as many — also did. Generally, gang murder does not cross racial lines; blacks kill blacks and Hispanics kill Hispanics.
There is an interesting difference, however, in the mentality of black and Hispanic gangs. Black gangs, especially the Bloods and the Crips, trace their roots to the anti-white, chip-on-the-shoulder mentality of the 1960s, and claim to be victims of “racism.” Hispanics do not. As a member of a Los Angeles gang called Barrio Mojados proudly explains:
You won’t see my people out there protesting, saying: ‘They did this to us or that to us because we’re Mexicans. We don’t cry.’
Prairie View A&M University is a small college located in rural Texas. From its size and setting, one would hardly expect lawlessness to be a problem, but its rate of violent crimes by students is nearly 30 times higher than those of the state’s large urban campuses such as the University of Texas and Texas A&M. These lop-sided figures came to light because of a Texas law passed last year requiring colleges to provide crime data to employees and students. Prairie View is historically black.
Who Hates Whom?
Barbara Byrd of Marietta (GA) is a white woman married to a black man. She was interviewed recently by a local newspaper about interracial marriage, and gained some local prominence as a result. Afterwards, she wrote this about her experience:
As a member of a local support group for interracial families, my phone was inundated with calls from people seeking information. A disheartening number of those calls were negative, hostile, and even intimidating. I was prepared to field the usual white racist calls. None came.
What did come were numerous complaints from black women about ‘race mixing.’
These hate callers accused those involved in cross marriage of damaging the black family structure, of ignoring the needs of the black child, and of breaking some higher law.
Who Hates Whom? (II)
Santa Clara County (CA) has a Hate Crimes Coordinator, Anastasia Steinberg, who has held the position since early 1991. In her public statements she has frequently claimed that the profile of the average hate criminal is “a white male between 19 and 26.”
An organization called the European American Study Group (2341 Darnell Court, San Jose, CA 95133) has just released police statistics that show Miss Steinberg is wrong. The group found that in 1991 the ethnic breakdown of San Jose hate crime victims and suspects was as follows:
|No. of Victims||No. of Suspects|
Clearly, of all groups, whites were more likely to be victims than perpetrators of hate crimes, and were only 24 percent of all suspects. There were also nearly twice as many Hispanic as white suspects. It seems curious that an official whose job it is to fight racial bias should publicize a criminal “profile” that appears to reflect nothing more than . . . racial bias.
Can the Teachers Teach?
California is trying to reverse the decline in school performance by testing its teachers. As in all states that give tests, teachers of different races pass at different rates: Eighty percent of whites pass, but only 35 percent of blacks and 51 percent of Hispanics do. Public Advocates, a San Francisco law firm, has filed a suit on behalf of non-whites that would do away with the test. They claim that it is “culturally biased” and is a “surrogate IQ test.” Even if the tests were culturally biased, they reflect the culture in which we live and learn.
Germany for the Germans
A poll released in September shows that more than half of all Germans say that the anti-immigration slogan “Germany for the Germans” is largely justified. One quarter of all Germans agree with the slogan “Foreigners Out.” What might Americans think about the slogan “America for the Americans”?
The crack epidemic seems to have reached its peak. The proportion of the population using crack appears to have stabilized, and the most violent and crazed users are now dead. Drug use, however, tends to come in cycles, with a fashion for sedatives following a fashion for stimulants.
Heroin is thus making a comeback and the estimated number of heroin users, 500,000 to one million, is on the rise again. In Baltimore, emergency room visits for heroin overdoses are up 130 percent over the previous year, and in Atlanta they are up 118 percent. In Detroit, the last half of 1991 saw a 55 percent rise over the same period in 1990.
Many addicts now use both crack and heroin. They smoke crack for excitement and inject heroin to calm down. Since heroin users often share needles, the return of heroin will raise the number of AIDS cases.
Texas Train Wreck
During her first 17 months in office, Texas Governor Ann Richards’ one thousand or so political appointments have been an almost perfect reflection of the racial mix in her state. Her appointments (with population percentages in parentheses) have been: 62.9 (60.3) percent white, 20.8 (25.9) percent Hispanic, 14.5 (11.9) percent black and 1.8 (1.9) percent other.
Gov. Richards does not even pretend that her appointments are based on pure ability. Before she was even inaugurated, she announced that she had deliberately chosen a Hispanic woman, Lena Guerrero, to head the Texas Railroad Commission. “I want the appointment of Lena to send a message,” she explained.
Miss Guerrero seems to be sending a message of her own. It was recently discovered that she lied about her qualifications for the job by inventing a bachelors degree she was never awarded. She then claimed that she had been only four credit hours short of a degree, but when her college transcript was made public it showed that she was 19 hours short.
When she was a student, Miss Guerrero failed several courses, including one called Mexican Americans in the Southwest. She failed some courses twice, and had a C-plus average. This did not prevent her from claiming a fictional membership in the academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa. Miss Guerrero refuses to step down from the Railroad Commission and her friend in the governor’s mansion is, so far, disinclined to give her a push.
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — I would like to make some remarks about Prof. Jensen’s comments on Asians, [In his interview in Sept. 1992, Prof. Jensen suggests that even if the United States declines to the point where it can no longer maintain Western culture, Asians can be counted on to preserve it.]
One of my hobbies is rosemaling (Norwegian folk painting). This is a craft, not high art, but it does take a lot of study and practice. It is done mostly by ex-Midwesterners of Scandinavian descent. In the past few years Japanese women have become interested in it. They are not Japanese-Americans; they are from Japan and their husbands are here on business.
The Midwesterners who take classes in rosemaling are down to earth and friendly, and bring a feeling of camaraderie to the group. The presence of the Japanese ruins this atmosphere. Being friendly people (and generally being liberals who think “everyone is alike”), the Midwesterners try to get the Japanese to “be part of things.” It doesn’t work. Alternatively, the Japanese students are ignored. Either way, the spirit of the class is totally changed.
The Japanese students inevitably choose the least free, most regimented style of rosemaling. It is also the style most taught “by rote.” Even within this style, it is easy to pick out their work. It is too perfect, and lacks the grace, flow, and creativity that made rosemaling so outstanding in 18th and 19th century Norway.
Sure, the Japanese students are not going to say, hit someone over the head with a chair. But do not kid yourself about their being any less alien than blacks or Hispanics.
Asians cannot be expected to preserve Western culture. Even if they could, why should they? They have their own culture, after all. Of course Asian musicians can play Beethoven, but to what extent this would resemble rosemaling, I cannot say.
I’m more a fan of Eddie Cochran and of Verdi anyway. I want the preservation not only of Western high culture, but also of the various Western folk arts, and of the tone of everyday American life. When you count on another people to preserve your culture, you can already count it lost.
The preservation of civilization and civility, per se, means little to me. I want the preservation of my civilization, my culture, and my people.
Evelyn Hill, Santa Clara (CA)
Sir — I was interested to read in the October issue about the depth of Winston Churchill’s eugenicist convictions. It is a great inconvenience to today’s liberals to be reminded of some of the things their icons actually thought.
The chagrin over Churchill is similar to the distress among feminists at the rediscovery of the true motivations of one of their early heroines, Marie Stopes (1880-1958). Dr. Stopes is held in esteem because she was a great advocate of women’s legal rights and of birth control. Her luster is fading as it becomes better known that she saw birth control as a way to limit the reproduction of the unfit. Like Churchill, she was a ardent eugenicist who saw that human beings, who are always trying to improve livestock through selective breeding, are subject to the same genetic laws.
Also like Churchill, Dr. Stopes made no secret of her views; in fact eugenics was central to them. If any proof of this was necessary, it can be found in the organization of which she was president: the Society of Birth Control and Racial Progress.
Michael Cuneo, Grand Rapids (MI)
Sir — You mention that rapper Willie D. considers Rodney King a traitor for having made a plea for harmony during the riots. This is no surprise. When he was asked about a “rap” song in which he recommended the murder of judges, congressmen, and “so-called black leaders,” he said this:
The way to get control back is not by protesting. It’s not by picketing. It’s by violence. Ain’t no other way. But I’m not advocating anything here. I’m just stating my opinion. It just so happens that a lot of other people who listen to the song, they say, ‘Hell yeah, that’s my opinion too.’ If somebody decides to go out and do something that I mention in my song, it’s not because I say to go out and do it, it’s because they want to.
If a Willie D. fan shoots a congressman, will Willie D. be prosecuted — just as Tom Metzgar was prosecuted when skinheads beat an Ethiopian man to death?
Tom Bronkowski, Fayetteville (AR)
Sir — Other readers have written [September and October 1992] about the encounter between Margaret Thatcher and Leonid Brezhnev, in which Brezhnev reportedly made a white-solidarity appeal to Mrs. Thatcher. According to the recent book, De Gaulle: the Ruler, by Jean Lacouture, Khrushchev reportedly to De Gaulle’s hands and said, “We’re both whites, you and me.”
Paula Miles, New Brittain, (CT)