|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol 5, No. 11||November 1994|
Tragedy or Farce? The Return of Marion Barry
Blacks vote an ex-con back into office as mayor of Washington.
by Samuel Taylor
In November, the District of Columbia will elect a new mayor. Since Washington is a one-party town, the winner of the general election is almost sure to be the winner of the Democratic primary, Marion Barry — the man whose previous tenure as mayor ended with a six-month jail sentence for smoking crack cocaine. Our nation’s capital, the city that takes its name from our first President, is to be governed by an ex-convict and proven incompetent.
It is a sign of increasing frankness about race that some commentators were willing to state the most obvious reason for Mr. Barry’s success: he got the anti-white vote. The fact that all the candidates in the Democratic primary were black — as were the vast majority of voters — did not keep race out of the campaign. Indeed, all-black elections are often about which candidate is the most authentically black.
The incumbent mayor, Sharon Pratt Kelly, finished a distant third. Widely derided as ineffectual, she had recently reacted to critics by saying, “Well, let them impeach me.” Reports of the $100,000 in city money she spent on a fireplace for her office were still fresh when voters went to the polls.
Mr. Barry’s most serious challenger, John Ray, was also at a disadvantage: He is honest, hard-working, civic-minded, and not very colorful. What finished him off, though, was the impossible burden of endorsements from both theWashington Post and Washington Times, and support from the city’s most prominent white residents and civic groups.
As Ronald Walters, chairman of the political science department at Howard University explained, “people voted against the white power establishment’s attempting to dictate their lives.”
Some voters were more specific. “I voted for Barry to give the powers that be the finger, to let them know that there is a palpable rage even among the middle class,” exulted one 37-year-old black lawyer. Even Mr. Ray’s campaign manager conceded that the mood among black voters was: “Ray is the establishment candidate. He can’t be for you when the Washington Post is for him.”
To put the conventional wisdom in blunter terms, blacks are willing to vote for a known loser mainly because whites cannot abide him. That is to say, they are willing to suffer miserable city government if that is what it takes to watch whites squirm. Is this not what it means for voters to think that Mr. Barry’s greatest appeal is his willingness to “give whites the finger”?
On the other hand, it may be that blacks voted for Mr. Barry because he is the mayor they want, no matter whom the Washington Post endorses. It is the job of political scientists at Howard to come up with theories about what black voters think about the “white power establishment,” but the truth may be simpler. At any given time, more than 40 percent of the black men in Washington between the ages of 18 and 35 are either in prison, on probation, on parole or waiting for trial. A criminal record makes Mr. Barry just one of the boys. He calls his core constituency “the last, the least and the lost.” When they can be persuaded to go to the polls — and Mr. Barry rallied them like the Pied Piper — they may well be a voting majority in the city.
American mass democracy is a process whereby voters do not elect superior people but people who personify their own prejudices and weaknesses. What is true of whites is probably even truer of blacks. Marion Barry might have won the election even if Mr. Ray had been endorsed by Louis Farrakhan rather than by the Post and the Times.
A Long History
Nevertheless, when it comes to sticking a finger in the eye of the white man, Mr. Barry has a long and lurid history. As he takes office, it is well to recall some of his antics.
Mr. Barry grew up in the South and developed an early dislike for whites. When he worked as a waiter he made a practice of spitting in the food he served to whites, just as Jesse Jackson did. He moved to Washington, DC in the 1960s, where he struck the then-fashionable pose of dashiki, dark glasses, and afro-with-comb. He made something of a name for himself as a small-time street agitator, but it was during Lyndon Johnson’s administration that his career really began.
In 1967, he somehow convinced President Johnson’s labor secretary, Barry Wirtz, that with enough federal money he could turn “street dudes” into productive citizens. Thus was born Youth Pride, Inc., which, during the first three years of its existence swallowed an astonishing $9 million in federal grants.
Some of the small businesses that began with Pride money became drug dealerships and fencing operations, but much of the $9 million simply disappeared. In 1969, seventeen Pride employees were indicted for embezzlement and five were convicted. This was just the tip of the iceberg. As the black journalist Rich Adams recalls, Youth Pride had a standard threat for any white official who enquired about money gone AWOL:
‘Don’t ask, honky motherf***er, because if you do, we’re going to go out on the street, and we’re going to start a riot and say that the white man is trying to destroy black economic progress.’ And it scared the living s**t out of those liberals who didn’t want any trouble . . . So what if Marion and [his wife] Mary Treadwell got a couple of hundred thousand dollars? It was worth it to the federal government not to have them stirring s**t in the community.
Barry did it with style,’ continues Mr. Adams; ‘It wasn’t just rob a 7-11. It was rob the whole goddam federal government . . .’
Though she was no longer his wife when she was convicted, Mary Treadwell was eventually caught with the goods, along with four other Youth Pride administrators. Mr. Barry operated in a steady fog of peculation, but he was never indicted.
There was worse than theft. In 1973, while he was still nominal head of Youth Pride, four employees were shot to death in less than one month. Three of the killers were other Pride employees.
During the 1970s, Mr. Barry got his start in politics. He was elected to the DC school board in 1971, despite a complete ignorance of school issues. He sent supporters to tape record opponents’ speeches and then parroted their arguments word-for-word. When asked about this tactic, he replied, “What’s wrong with that? That’s sophistication.”
Mr. Barry was soon on the City Council and first won election as mayor in 1978. From the start, his first concern was holding on to power. As even a former aide confesses, “I could not separate out what he was legitimately interested in for the public good and what he was interested in for his political gain.”
Money was the medium in which Mr. Barry worked best. At the end of his first year as mayor, he spent $50,000 in city money on a lavish advertising supplement in Time magazine, full of photographs of himself and praise for his administration. He put hundreds of political supporters on the city payroll and once spent $250,000 in tax money to take 50 political hacks on a shopping and sunbathing trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In Mayor Barry’s Washington, nearly one in every five voters worked for city government — about three times the national average. During his 12 years as mayor, he increased the number of city bureaucrats by 27 percent while the district’s population shrank by 30,000.
Mr. Barry’s appointees were notoriously corrupt. Two deputy mayors and 12 other top aides ended up in prison for things like extortion, fraud, and embezzlement. The Department of Human Services, which is supposed to improve life for the district’s poor, was particularly uninhibited. After one department head was caught with his hand in the till and fired, his successor lasted only nine months before he was found to be using city money to pay rent and buy groceries, both for himself and a group of cronies.
City employees were lazy and incompetent. Although Washington had twice as many housing bureaucrats per public-housing resident as Baltimore or Detroit, one fifth of the public housing units were uninhabitable wrecks. There was a seven-year wait for a city-run apartment. In the last three years of Mr. Barry’s tenure, judges cited the district seven times for systematic mistreatment of people in its care: prisoners, mental patients, housing residents.
Emergency services were no better. Calls to 911 often went unanswered and when a caller finally got through, an ambulance might not show up until the next day. Fourteen people are said to have died, waiting for help that never came. In 1989, about the time DC became the murder capital of the nation and its residents were spending more money on crack cocaine than on food and drink, Washington Monthly called the Barry administration “the worst city government in America.”
The mayor was unrepentant. He continued to smoke crack, make city grants to mistresses, and accuse his critics of racism. When even the painfully indulgent Washington Post began to write honestly about Mr. Barry, he called it “a new style of lynching.” He likened himself to Gandhi and Jesus, who were persecuted for the good they did. The more the white press criticized him, the more blacks loved him.
When, in 1990, the FBI used a former mistress as bait to trap Mr. Barry with a crack pipe in his mouth, blacks rallied to their mayor as never before. Black radio stations, newspapers, politicians, “civil rights” leaders, and even preachers lined up behind the view that the arrest was a racist frame-up. Blacks were convinced that whites had ganged up on the unoffending Mr. Barry because he was “too smart, too strong, and too black.” Benjamin Hooks, then head of the NAACP, called the arrest “Nazilike,” and the New York Amsterdam News thundered against a government “vendetta” against “Black public officials throughout the country who have dared to speak out against injustice to minorities . . .”
After what the presiding judge, Thomas Jackson, called one of the strongest prosecutions he had ever seen, a reluctant and mostly-black jury convicted Mr. Barry of only one count of cocaine possession. He began serving a six-month sentence in October, 1991. Even in the pokey, Mr. Barry could not quite stay out of the news. In the semi-public setting of a prisoner visiting area, a lady caller performed upon the former mayor a sex act that is still illegal in several states.
Crime and punishment did not dampen Mr. Barry’s spirits in the slightest. The very year he was released, he won a seat on the DC city council, representing Washington’s most calamitously drug- and crime-ridden ward. His September 13th victory in the Democratic mayoral primary marks what must be one of the most remarkable political come-backs in American history.
The new Mr. Barry still has the same ability to work a crowd, and he has dressed up his act with touches of African kinte cloth on his suits, a third wife, and a new name — Anwar Amal. He appears to have stayed away from crack cocaine. Despite the perilous state of the city’s finances, he has vowed not to fire a single district employee, and has promised that his administration will “create” housing and jobs. He has been so candid about his Christmas-all-year-long platform that the Wall Street Journal calls it “loot the haves on behalf of the have-nots.”
Of course, with businesses and the middle-class streaming out of a high-tax city that does not work, it is the federal purse that must be looted. This year, Congress is expected to stump up $668 million for the city’s $3.4 billion budget; the city that houses America’s largest and most recession-proof employer cannot feed itself. The annual rites of mendicancy are not likely to be pleasant for Mr. Barry, however. Congressmen are fuming at the prospect of having to deal with such a notorious spendthrift.
For whites in general — who had given him only a handful of votes — Mr. Barry had a blunt message in his primary-night victory speech. “To those white people with whatever hang-ups they have, get over it,” he said; “I’m the best person for Washington . . .”
The specter of malevolent whitey hung over the general election as well. An independent city councilman, William Lightfoot, who had promised to run against Mr. Barry explained why he was dropping out of the race: “The white establishment wants to stop Marion Barry, and I will not be a tool of the white establishment.” What the “white establishment” wants — a safe, well-run city — is what blacks should want, but even Mr. Barry’s political opponents defer to him if they think that means they are blowing a raspberry at the white man.
Ouagadougou on the Potomac
For years, Washington DC has been drifting out of the civilized world towards Africa. With a population that is 70 percent black, it is only federal money that keeps if from utter collapse. The return of Marion Barry — complete with pseudo-African name — is just one more push in the direction of Ouagadougou and Kinshasa.
The world has grown accustomed to African kleptocrats who hector the West for money, only to squander it while their people starve. Were the Barry appointees, who cheerfully plundered the Department of Human Services any different? Africa is so full of incompetence, violence, and venality that it takes genocidal massacre or mass starvation to make the news. In Washington, wrecked public housing, routine gang murders, and ambulances that arrive 24 hours late are no longer news either. In choosing Marion Barry to govern them, have the people of Washington not elected just the sort of oaf one would expect to find in the African ruling class?
The very day the Washington Post published its analysis of Mr. Barry’s primary election, it reported that so many of the city’s public schools had been declared fire hazards that the opening of the school year had been delayed. Because it is the seat of government and the home of embassies, the nation will not let Washington sink to the Nigerian depths of Newark, Camden, or Detroit. The voters of Washington have nevertheless chosen a man who, left to himself, would surely make it happen.
Startling News for the Brainwashed: Men and Women are Different
Even liberals are beginning to face the evidence.
Eve’s Rib: The Biological Roots of Sex Differences, Robert Pool, Crown Publishers, 1994, 308 pp., $22.00.
reviewed by Thomas Jackson
Perhaps the defining characteristic of the liberal is his ability to believe so many things that are obviously untrue. In fact, a list of the most common social beliefs for which there is no evidence is a good summary of liberalism: instruction raises intelligence, genetics does not apply to people, all races are equal, poverty causes crime, multi-racialism is good, welfare mothers want to work, all cultures are equal, men and women are essentially the same.
Of all these silly ideas, the silliest may be that men and women behave differently only because a “sexist” society teaches them to. Even a few liberals have given up thinking this.
Robert Pool’s Eve’s Rib is a book about recent research on sex differences, written for people who would rather believe that men and women are the same. Mr. Pool himself would rather believe that, too, and the book is full of apologies and reassurances that throw an edifying light on how painful it is for liberals to give up their illusions. Despite its hand-holding tone, though, the book covers a lot of ground and leaves no doubt that men and women behave differently because they are inherently different.
Besides the obvious bodily differences that not even the wildest liberals and feminists can deny, the physical capabilities of men and women differ in many interesting ways. Women’s eyes adjust to the dark more quickly than men’s and women are better at picking out a faint patch of light in a dim room. Women can detect odors too faint for men to smell, and they are better at telling odors apart. Women have better precise control over their arms and hands, which gives them an advantage in playing musical instruments or doing fine embroidery.
Men and women have different tolerance levels for noise. If they are told to turn up the volume of a tone to the point where it is just a little too loud to be comfortable, the average man will turn it up eight decibels higher — or twice as loud — as the average woman.
Women are consistently better than men at certain kinds of memory tests. They are likely to recall more details of a story that was read to them, and to remember the furnishings of a room or the different objects in a cluttered photograph.
One of the most solidly confirmed sexual differences is in the ability to understand spatial relations. The Vandenberg mental rotations test assesses a person’s ability to imagine what a three-dimensional shape would look like if it were turned one way or another. Five out of six men outperform the average woman.
This male advantage has practical consequences. Men can read maps better than women and are better mechanics, architects, and engineers. Women can shoot at stationary targets as well as men, but have a much harder time hitting a moving target. Women have won national rifle competitions but they are poor skeet shooters.
Spatial ability seems to be related to the ability to do mathematics. Mathematicians are almost invariably men, and this is not because women are kept out of the field. Every year, there is a nation-wide search to find the most mathematically gifted youngsters and give them special training. Some of the participants are girls, who love math, are the best math students in their schools, and are encouraged by parents and teachers. However, they are never as good as the most gifted boys.
As math geniuses get older, they show another typical sex difference. Men tend to be obsessively devoted to math, while women have broader interests and often go into other fields.
Females have a well-established superiority in language. They speak in longer sentences at earlier ages than boys, and make fewer grammatical errors. In elementary and junior high school, they are likely to get better grades. If told to make a list of words beginning with a certain letter, the average woman makes a longer list than the average man — not because she has a larger vocabulary but because she is better at recalling words. Women are also better at unscrambling anagrams.
As Mr. Pool explains, these differences are not spread evenly across the sexes. The male advantage in math is most pronounced at the highest levels of ability, with little difference to be found between groups of male and female mediocrities. The female verbal advantage, on the other hand, is mostly at the low end. Men are three times more likely than women to stutter or be dyslexic. However, the most verbally gifted men are the equals of the most gifted women. For example, the average boy spells worse than 70 percent of girls, but the winner of a spelling bee is just as likely to be a boy as a girl.
Researchers have tested every possible environmental influence they could think of that would explain differences of this kind, but none withstands scrutiny. Men and women are different and, as we shall see, Mr. Pool makes an air-tight case for the view that it is hormones — not “sexism” — that makes them different.
People v. Objects
Research confirms that men are more interested in power, competition, and objects while women are more interested in relationships, cooperation, and people. The difference is already evident in new-borns, with girls maintaining eye-contact with adults longer than boys do. From infancy through old age, females are better at recognizing faces and at reading emotions on faces.
As soon as they can hold a crayon, boys and girls draw different things. In one study, when two- to four-year-olds were asked to draw illustrations for the same story, half of the girls put people in their pictures but fewer than one fifth of the boys did. Boys drew cars, trucks, or fire engines.
When they play, children segregate themselves by sex without any prompting from adults. The small number of boys who like to play with girls, and girls who like to play with boys are far more likely to be homosexual. The games that boys and girls play are different. Boys like games with elaborate rules and clear winners. Girls play relatively simple games cooperatively, and are much less interested in winning.
Differences in play resist strenuous environmental thwarting. No matter how hard they try, feminists cannot get most boys to play with dolls or girls to play with dump trucks. In pacifist households that ban toy guns, boys — but not girls — hold sticks up to their eyes and shout “bang, you’re dead.” Humans are similar to monkeys in that young females imitate their mothers by playing at child-rearing. Girls play with dolls and young female monkeys fondle babies and carry them about.
By the time they can be experimentally tested, males and females see the world differently. A machine called a tachistoscope shows a different image to each eye. When the images are shown very briefly, the brain perceives only the image it finds more interesting. Given a choice, males are more likely to see objects, and females are more likely to see people.
A greater interest in people and personal rapport is characteristic of most women. They are more likely to see their relations with others as a supportive network, whereas men measure themselves against each other and always want to know who is on top.
Differences of this kind may be reflected in the ways children learn. In school, boys learn pretty much the same amount of material, no matter whether the teaching style is competitive, cooperative, loose or strict. For girls, teaching style can make a big difference. It seems that boys are more likely to do whatever it is they are going to do, no matter how they are taught or influenced, whereas girls are more subject to the wishes and expectations of others.
Another male trait that starts early and lasts late is aggressiveness. Boys are already more active while they are still in the womb, and are strikingly more active than girls in elementary and junior high school. Boys’ play is more rambunctious than that of girls, just as young male monkeys are rougher than young females.
In all societies, men commit the vast majority of violent crimes. When women kill people, their victims are usually husbands, fathers, or boyfriends who, in some sense “deserved” it. Only men kill strangers and without provocation. Women attempt suicide more often than men, but men are much more likely to succeed at it.
The Role of Hormones
Mr. Pool explains that it is exposure to hormones that probably accounts for every one of the differences between the sexes. It has long been known that fertilized eggs most naturally and easily grow into females. It takes an elaborate conversion process — initiated by the Y (male) chromosome and controlled by the male hormone, testosterone — to make a male out of an essentially female substrate. The central role of testosterone in this process is clear from a study of people known as XY females, who suffer from an unusual but illuminating sexual condition.
Ordinarily, sex is determined at conception by the sperm. A child gets an X chromosome from its mother and either an X or a Y from its father. The father’s Y usually ensures that the child will be a boy — but not always. One out of every 20,000 genetic XY children has defective hormone receptors and is immune to the effects of testosterone. In the womb, these children develop testes, which produce testosterone, but it has no effect. Despite the fact that they are genetically male, they look like girls when they are born. Their underdeveloped testes are usually concealed in their labia, and no one would suspect that their vaginas lead to a dead end; they have no ovaries or uterus.
At puberty, these “girls” develop breasts and a woman’s body, but they do not menstruate. This may cause them to visit a doctor, who then discovers their strange condition. Their testes are usually removed because they are likely to become cancerous. Astonishingly, other than the fact that they cannot have babies, these people are and feel perfectly female. In fact, they tend to have glamorously long legs, large breasts, and clear skin. Many become fashion models. Mr. Pool reports that at least two well-known American movie actresses are XY women, who prefer to keep quiet about their condition.
XY women are often good at sports. Since the advent of genetic testing, they have been disqualified from international competitions, since they are genetically male. Mr. Pool argues that this is a mere technicality, and that they should be allowed to compete. In any case, these women — if that is what they are — are a startling demonstration of the triumph of hormones, not only over environment but even over genetics itself. If he is shielded from the all-important effects of testosterone, even a genetic male will grow up as a woman!
There is another strange condition, known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), which is in some respects the opposite of that of XY women. CAH occurs in one of every 14,000 births and causes ordinary XX girls to be exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb. In extreme cases, their external genitals are masculinized, but usually they are just girls who act like boys. They are aggressive, prefer trucks to dolls, and have better spatial abilities than other girls. They are also more likely to be lesbians. CAH girls, with their obviously masculine traits, are probably the best evidence available that it is nature rather than nurture that distinguishes the sexes. Parents may not even know their daughters have this condition, and rear them as girls. They still act like boys.
Merely having a male twin tends to somewhat masculinize girls. Compared to girls who have a female twin, those with male twins consistently score more like boys and men on tests that distinguish the sexes. Exposure to the boy twin’s testosterone in the womb is enough to change a baby girl for ever.
Of all the strange things that can happen to men and women, perhaps the strangest is to be physically and genetically one sex but feel like the opposite sex. This happens to about one in 12,000 men and about one in 30,000 women. Some get sex-change operations. Mr. Pool writes of one astonishing case in which a husband and wife both got sex changes and continued their marriage with the roles reversed. No one seems to know where the subjective feeling of sexual identity comes from, but hormones undoubtedly have something to do with it.
Hormones also appear to cause homosexuality. For men, not enough testosterone in the womb seems to be the cause, and for women, too much testosterone. Since genes control the level of testosterone in the womb, homosexuality runs in families. Male homosexuality, at any rate, appears to be passed through the mother.
As one might suspect, homosexuals’ spatial abilities are as bad as those of women. In childhood they typically do not like boys’ games and are thought of as sissies. Lesbians frequently start out as tomboys — as do many women who become politicians or corporate executives.
Although most of the work that hormones do is permanent (so long as they continue to be produced normally), there is one interesting exception. A woman’s hormone balance varies greatly according to her menstrual cycle and this affects some of her abilities. When female hormones are at high tide, a woman’s verbal skills improve and her sense of direction deteriorates. She becomes, in effect, more female.
Probing the Brain
Given that the sexes think and behave differently, it is no surprise to find that they have dissimilar brains. Of all the organs, the brain is the most complex and the least understood, so most research has been inconclusive. For example, it has been established that women have larger anterior commissures than men and that homosexuals have larger anterior commissures than women. No one, however, seems to know what the anterior commissure does.
Some research indicates that women parcel out mental activities to various parts of the brain while men keep the same activities concentrated in one place. There is also some evidence that the corpus callosum, which passes messages between brain hemispheres, is more developed in women than in men. Some people have theorized that the ability to put more parts of the brain to work on a problem accounts for “women’s intuition.”
The male brain is about five ounces heavier than the female brain, and this is not simply a reflection of greater body size. Even at age two or three, when boys are essentially the same size as girls, they have larger brains. There is a weak correlation between brain size and intelligence. For women, bigger brains are most strongly correlated with verbal IQ, and for men with spatial and mathematical ability.
Mr. Pool concedes that although men and women appear to have the same average intelligence, the variance among men is greater. He writes that no one disputes the well-established fact that there are more male than female idiots, but he calls the male preponderance in the high-IQ ranges “a touchy subject,” and quickly drops it. Likewise, although he explains that individual differences in IQ are largely genetic and that the environmental component seems to be some unknown factor that is neither family environment nor schooling, this is another fact that he treats as if it had no practical consequences. But what about sex differences?
Different But Equal
Here Mr. Pool lapses into incoherence. He concedes that men and women are different, but insists that they are nevertheless precisely, rigorously, mathematically equal. His book is full of earnest reassurances that sex research “may demonstrate that men and women are not the same, but never that they are not equal.” Research “shows that men’s and women’s brains are different, but it does not imply that one is better than the other.”
Mr. Pool tells us over and over that the sexes are not equal — in language, mathematics, spatial ability, motor control, brain size, aggressiveness, relations with people, memory, and a host of other things. And yet his concluding paragraph begins with the assertion that “the lesson of sex difference research is that men and women are different but still equal.” It is amusing how the liberal mind recoils from “separate but equal” but embraces an outright contradiction like “different but equal.”
Throughout the book, Mr. Pool treats the idea of the inherent equivalence of men and women with great reverence — as if it were the wisdom of the ages rather than the temporary insanity of a few decades. He writes of the danger of “misusing” this astonishing new information, and tries to reassure the startled reader by admitting that he, too, thinks the influence of hormones is “spooky.” He makes much of the fact that research on human sex differences is often done by liberal women who grew up in the 1960s — implying that this means we can trust them.
Sometimes he adopts the biased conceptions his entire book discredits. For example, he writes without qualification that girls are better at learning how to read. On the same page, he writes that boys are better at learning mathematics, “at least the way it’s taught in schools today.”
He regretfully concedes that even if “sexism” were completely extirpated, and boys and girls were treated identically, they would not turn out identically. But just what is “sexism,” anyway? Since boys and girls are inherently different, it is natural and proper to treat them differently. And why would anyone want boys and girls to turn out alike? Vive la difference! Why not encourage nature’s differences rather than try to suppress them? Mr. Pool is too tangled up in orthodoxy even to wonder.
It is easy to laugh at this book for its ideological blinders, but they do not change the importance of what it says. Current egalitarian hysteria usually requires that biological truths simply be suppressed.
We should therefore be grateful to Mr. Pool. Although he writes as if biology had few practical consequences, he at least writes about it. Most readers will remember what he says about sex differences long after they have forgotten his apologies for them.
Editor’s note: A much franker and better written book on the same subject was reviewed in the March 1992 issue of AR. Brain Sex, by Anne Moir and David Jessel, is now available in paperback.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Rocks in their Heads
In September, Tiffany’s famous store in New York City was hit by the worst robbery in its history. Six men foiled an elaborate security system and made off with 457 items worth more than $1 million, in a heist that received national publicity. A week later, all six were in custody, after one was seen hocking jewels with the Tiffany signature just a few blocks from the store.
The robbery was planned by a Tiffany’s security supervisor, who recruited his cousins and another security guard to help with the job. All six are black. [Linda Massarella and Angela Allen, Tiffany suspects had rocks in their heads, NY Post, 9/13/94.]
Going, Going, . . .
The San Francisco Chronicle has a regular section called “Bay Area Report,” which includes brief items about local goings on. The complete “Report” for Sept. 26, 1994 consisted of the following four items:
- In the newly-opened Great Mall of the Bay Area, two boys, 17 and 14 years old, were hospitalized after a fistfight escalated into gunfire. They are members of a Filipino gang and were shot by a rival gang.
- The Black Women’s Collective at Mills College held a dance on campus that degenerated into bottle-throwing and gun fire. After 20 police officers broke up the crowd at around 1:30 a.m., carloads of party-goers then “caused trouble” elsewhere.
- A man in his early 40s, race unspecified, was shot to death in a rapid transit system parking lot. Police were looking for a “Hispanic with dark hair.”
- Trinidad Lira, race unspecified, went to sleep on a couch holding a loaded shotgun. The gun “accidentally discharged,” seriously wounding Mr. Lira’s three-year-old son, who was asleep in the same room.
Freed by the Flag
A man from Walterboro, South Carolina, had this say in his local paper after attending an August rally in Myrtle Beach to keep the Confederate battle flag flying over the state house:
As I walked I realized that I wasn’t there for the flag, the Civil War, or my ancestors . . . I suddenly realized that I was there because I was a white Caucasian! . . .
Free at last — free at last — from this white Caucasian guilt trip syndrome that has been distributed by the news media, the NAACP, talk shows and by others seeking power and domination. [Jason James O’leary, Being Caucasian isn’t a source of shame, The Press and Standard (South Carolina), Aug. 12, 1994.]
Free to be Themselves
The end of white rule in South Africa seems to have brought a new kind of violent protest: witch burning. Since the April election, hundreds, perhaps thousands of accused witches have been hunted down and killed, most often by necklacing.
In one case, a man was forced by a mob to burn his own wife to death in front of his two children. Two days later, the mob came back and burned him. They then stoned and tortured his daughter before burning her, then caught the son and killed him, too.
South Africa has always had witches and witchcraft, but the traditional remedy was to hire a nyanga, or good witch, to counter a bad witch. Suspected witches might be banished from a village, but lynchings were rare. Now, executions have taken on the trappings of the “liberation” movement. The killing is often preceded by a chanted toyi-toyi, the anti-Apartheid war dance, and burning with gasoline-filled tires was a torture designed for political enemies. Also, the leaders of today’s lynch mobs are not village elders but young “comrades” who cut their teeth on “revolution.”
Chief Agnes Moloto who runs a major chieftanship in Northern Sotho blames the killings on “the sheer ungovernability of the young.” She has braved the fury of her subjects by establishing a sanctuary for accused witches, where 20 families have already been resettled. [Bill Keller, Apartheid’s Grisly aftermath: ‘witch burning,’ NYT, 9/18/94.]
Pearls Before Swine
To celebrate the first soccer World Cup to be held in the United States, the Norwegian government decided to build an all-weather soccer field in a poor American neighborhood. They chose Red Hook Park in Brooklyn because Brooklyn was once a destination for Norwegian immigrants and is now certifiably poor and non-white. The Norwegians were so proud of their gift that they broadcast the June 13th dedication ceremony live on national television.
Just ten days later, vandals destroyed the field by setting fire to the artificial surface and the elegant fence that surrounded the field. This, too, became big news in Norway. A reporter for Norwegian television asked the Norwegian Consul General in New York if it had been stupid to put the field by a bunch of housing projects.
“Absolutely not,” he replied; “It was the right idea and we tried it . . . We sent the right message.” The Norwegians are looking for another site and insist that it must be in an equally “underprivileged” neighborhood.
Henry Stern, the New York City Parks Commissioner said he was not at all surprised that the field had been destroyed. “I told them it was pretty foolish to put it there,” he said; “This isn’t Kansas. And Red Hook isn’t Norway. But they wanted to demonstrate their commitment to inner-city youth.” [Jose Sexton, In Red Hood, no field, no dreams, NYT, 9/24/94, p. 21.]
This is a sad parable for race relations, not just in the United States but around the world. Whites who know nothing of non-whites except what they read in newspapers always think they know better than whites who know non-whites first-hand.
Healing the Sick
The FBI has discovered a clinic in the Little Havana section of Miami that was doing such a roaring business in fraudulent medicine that it was recruiting patients at $300 to $400 a head. Techno/Health Services ran expensive, unnecessary tests on thousands of “patients” and billed the government. In January alone, the company paid $142,725 to people with Medicare or Medicaid cards who were willing to be “treated.”
The clinic was so popular that lines began to form at the door as early as four a.m. During the day, there were so many over-eager “patients” milling around that the clinic hired security guards to patrol in golf carts. Doughnut and hot-dog vendors did a brisk business.
The clinic had an almost exclusively Spanish-speaking clientele, though one of the owners had a Japanese name, Akiyoshi Yamada. Mr. Yamada kept in the background, while his wife, Martha Arias, helped run the clinic. [Tom Dubocq, Despite allegations of fraud, Little Havana clinic thrives, Miami Herald, 9/22/94, p. 1A.]
Lessons From Ethiopia
President Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia has decided that the only way for the country to ease ethnic tension is to divide it into regions in which each of the eight main tribal groups can be a majority and run its own affairs. Most remarkable, according to a new, draft constitution, each region would have the right to secede.
“We have grabbed the bull by the horns,” says one Ethiopian cabinet minister; “Instead of pretending that ethnicity doesn’t exist, we are prepared to face it.” [Economist, Sept. 10, 1994. p. 48.] Wise words, indeed.
Lessons from Cuba
Even in Cuba — workers’ paradise and classless society — the underclass is overwhelmingly black. Despite every ruthlessly egalitarian effort to change things, black success has mostly been limited to sports and music.
On August 5th, thousands of residents of Havana marched in what became the first, major anti-Castro rally since the old boy took power. Afterwards, certain groups of demonstrators then went rioting and looting. The Economistreports that both government officials and private individuals have the same explanation for the riot. After some pro forma bombast about political conditions, they lower their voices and says what they really think: “The blacks are getting out of control.” [Cuba lives, in a fashion, Economist, 9/3/94, p. 43.]
A 21-year-old black man has finally been convicted of killing a white Senate aide two years ago. The first trial of Edward Evans, who had told friends he wanted to “kill a white man,” ended with a hung jury, when a woman refused to vote for conviction because she said the justice system is unfair to blacks. In September, a new jury took only three and a half hours to find Mr. Evans guilty, [Greg Seigle, DC man convicted in Hill aide’s murder, Wash Times, 9/7/94, p. A1.] in a case that should have received wide publicity but, of course, did not.
Those Pesky White Values
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that a white couple should not be allowed to adopt three Chippewa Indian sisters. According to federal law, Indian children cannot go to white homes unless there is “good cause,” and the court ruled unanimously that a child’s need for a stable home and other such “white values” were not sufficiently good. Indians were reported to be ecstatic over the ruling. [Minnesota blocks 3 Chippewas’ adoption, Chi Trib, 9/4/94.]
Where Will it End?
The “Justice” Department has pushed persecution of whites into new territory. Chevy Chase Federal Savings Bank has agreed to spend $11 million to make up for the fact that it had not opened any branches in census tracts that are majority black. If banks take deposits in black areas but do not make “enough” loans to blacks, they are frequently accused of discrimination, but never before has a bank been punished for choosing its area of operations.
Chevy Chase Federal will have to set aside $7 million to cover the cost of a special loan program. Residents in black areas will get mortgages at discounted interest rates and will receive an outright grant equal to two percent of the down payment. The bank will also spend $4 million opening branches in places it did not want to do business, hiring blacks, and training whites to think about race rather than profits. [Holly Bass, Chevy Chase Federal reaches $11 million pact, WSJ, 8/23/94.]
The New York Times, which praised the Justice Department, noted that the areas in which Chevy Chase Federal had not set up branches have plenty of other banks operating in them and that blacks had not been harmed. It nevertheless concluded that this was irrelevant because “the law does not permit discrimination even if it causes no harm.” [Justice cracks down on redlining, (editorial) NYT, 8/26/94.] The spineless bankers settled the case rather than fight it in court.
The Pleasures of Power
Back under the bad old white regime, then-President F.W. de Klerk of South Africa had an annual compensation package worth $99,260. Now that the shackles of white exploitation have been thrown off, President Mandela has set his salary at a different level: $191,660 a year. [(Wire reports) Mandela is criticized for high salaries, Post Courier (what city?), 8/21/94.]
Blacks charge a high tariff to serve their people. The president of Moorhouse College was apparently not satisfied with his 1994 salary of $206,000 and seems to have boosted his benefits to $428,000. In September, he resigned on the eve of an auditor’s report on his compensation. [Chicago Tribune, Moorhouse College Chief out amid probe, 9/25/94, p. 16.]
Representative Mel Reynolds of Chicago has been charged with financial improprieties and with having had sex with an underage campaign worker. He claims that the Chicago police were “racist” to investigate him. It now appears that the official spokesman for the police department, William Davis, was feeding Mr. Reynolds inside information about the investigation as it was being conducted. Mr. Davis is said to be “proud of his African-American heritage.” He has been fired. [John Fountain & John Kall, Police spokesman is fired over probe of Rep. Reynolds, Chi Trib, 10/5/94, p. 7.]
Simpson the Scholar
Before he was arrested on suspicion of murder, O.J. Simpson wrote a “To Whom It May Concern” letter that was read publicly by his friend, Robert Kardashian. Excerpts were printed in many newspapers, but they invariably cleaned up the grammar and spelling. Here is a paragraph as Mr. Simpson wrote it:
I loved her — Always have. If we had a promblem its because I loved her so much. Recitly we came to the understanding that for now were weren’t right for each other at least for now. Dispite our love we were diffearnt and thats why we murtually agreesd to go our spaerate ways. It was tough spitting for a a second time.
Mr. Simpson is a graduate of the University of Southern California. [Dick Helmintoller, Sports Glimpses, The Progress News (Emlenton, PA) Aug. 16, 1994.]
Young Hate Criminal
An 11-year-old black boy has been arrested in Chicago for killing an 84-year-old white woman. The boy claims he hated Anna Gilvis, his next-door neighbor, because she frequently called him “nigger.” One day he sneaked into Mrs. Gilvis’ home but she beat him with a cane and ordered him to leave. He wrestled the cane away from her and beat her with it as she crawled into the bathroom. He bound her with twine from plants in the living room but since she would not stop screaming he cut her throat with a kitchen knife.
At the time of the killing, the boy was ten years old. Chicago has had only one other ten-year-old murderer. He kicked a toddler to death. In the last three years Chicago has had 26 murder suspects age 13 and under whereas in the seven years before that it had only four. No racial breakdown of these suspects is available. [Scott Fornek, Cop: boy killed out of hate, Chi Sun Times, 9/7/94, p. 3.]
The Black Student Organization of Columbia University is promoting what it calls Operation 100, which is part of a program to increase the number of blacks on campus. Blacks have been putting up posters all around campus with this illustration. Whatever one may say about blacks, one cannot accuse them of being coy about their objectives.
English Withers Away
Every secondary school teacher in the Los Angeles school district has been ordered to be trained in teaching students who cannot speak much English. Schools were to be closed for four days for this purpose. (What are they supposed to learn in four days? Pidgin English?) Every teacher must be able to handle students who do not speak English, because such students are likely to show up in every class. This, of course, only enriches the learning experience for native-born Americans.
Army boot camp, it is said, has turned many a snotty-nosed youngster into a man. Shouldn’t it do the same for criminals? On the basis of this sophisticated analysis, more than 50 boot camp/prisons have sprung up around the country. The idea is to treat prisoners as if they were at Parris Island — call them “maggots,” make them do push ups, teach them to jog in step, make them say “Yes, sir!” — and hope that this will wean them away from crime. Boot campers are usually first- or second-offenders and the programs last 90 to 180 days. Sessions are usually followed by education and job training. All this is considerably more expensive than just plain jail.
Boot camps have now been around since 1983 and the data on their effectiveness is coming in. Nation-wide, about one third of boot campers drop out of the programs. Those who finish are about as likely to end up back in jail as people who go to ordinary prisons. [Gary Marx, Hard Time, Chic Trib, 10/2/94, Section 5, p. 1.]
No Free Speech for Honkies
A New York-based law firm, White & Case, has paid a former black employee $505,000 plus legal fees because a white employee is alleged to have made racial remarks. Donald Ries, a former associate (not even a partner) at the firm, denies ever having said the only reason Andargachew Zelleke got into Harvard was because of affirmative action or that Mr. Zelleke “is so stupid because he’s half-black.”
But what if he did? White & Case apparently were afraid that if the case went to court, the firm would be found to have “discriminated” against Mr. Zelleke, so they bought him off for half a million dollars. Mr. Ries has been fired. There is no free speech for whites.
Protecting the Tourists
Miami is taking measures to encourage tourists to keep coming to its crime-plagued beaches. Avis, the rental car company, is equipping some of its cars with panic buttons that instantly summon the police to the car’s satellite-pinpointed location. The cars also have four-inch computer screens that display maps, so that tourists will not get lost and wander out of the safe zones.
The maps can be set to direct a driver to any of hundreds of popular destinations or to the corner nearest any street address. A satellite system tracks the car’s progress so the map always displays the current location. A computer voice tells the driver when to turn. [Anthony Faiola, Rental cars go high-tech against crime, Miami Herald, 9/15/94, p. 1A.] Presumably, the computer is programmed to keep tourists out of the dodgy parts of town.
Lessons from the Abos
Australian authorities, frustrated with rising crime among Aborigines, have started turning criminals over to traditional tribal justice. In one small town near Darwin, six young Abos were tied up on Main Street, while elders whipped them with rubber hoses. The elders did a thorough job; one of the criminals could not walk for three days. There has since been a sharp drop in crime, partly because of the penalty for recidivism: Women wield the hose for second-time offenders, and it is particularly shameful for an Abo to be whipped by a woman. Other traditional punishments that are coming back into vogue are exile and non-lethal spearing. [Aborigines deal out rough justice in bush, AP, World (newspaper, don’t know city), Aug. 8, 1994.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — For the first time that I can remember, AR has published a cover story that was actually good news! The October article on the Chicago police sergeant test gives me hope that merit and fairness are slowly beginning to prevail after decades of white weakness.
In an earlier issue, you reported that Mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New York City had abolished virtually all affirmative action programs — and the sky did not fall! Surely, after having hit bottom, the self-confidence of at least a few whites is beginning to rebound. Perhaps I am grasping at straws, but could these be some of the early signs of the change we have all been waiting for?
Carl Hansen, San Diego, California
Sir — I hesitated to read your story about the police examination in Chicago because I thought it would bore me. I was wrong; it entertained and edified. However, Miss Evans used language of a kind that I seldom see in AR and that I do not think appropriate. She wrote about the “braying” of blacks and Hispanics and described their leaders as “frauds and scoundrels, snout to tail.”
The people of whom Miss Evans wrote no doubt behaved like asses, but we cannot afford to say so. I rather like “snout to tail” but Miss Evans should reserve that formulation for misguided whites. Yes, I know, the other side always writes about us in the most intemperate language, and it is refreshing to see a few barbs going the other way. However, unlike the other side, we do not have the automatic support of everyone with a college education or, Samuel Francis excepted, everyone who writes a newspaper column. If we must write clever insults, let us aim them at Senator Kennedy and Roberta Achtenberg.
I know that sometimes the temptation to loose a wild, self-indulgent salvo at Joycelyn Elders must be very great, but it is only with restrained language that we will ever change anyone’s mind.
Tom McNealy, Rochester, New York
Sir — You note in the October O Tempora section that only 18 percent of Americans trust Washington to do what is right all or most of the time. In a similar poll by Time-CNN, only seven percent of respondents say they have a great deal of confidence that President Clinton and the Congress can deal with the country’s problems. Seventy-three percent said they had only a little confidence and 18 percent said they had none at all.
I also recall seeing another poll that shows more than half of whites think that the push for racial equality has gone too far, and that more than half of all Americans think that government should not feed the poor if this can be done only by increasing the national debt. Both those figures were said to be at record highs. Stories of this kind are always given headlines like “Nation’s Mood Turning Ugly,” which only reveal the biases of the press. I find these results encouraging.
Cullen Thompson, Florence, Alabama
Sir — I wanted to share a small triumph with your readers. Shortly after the American Renaissance conference, I decided to write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper, The Dayton Daily News about Wright State University’s racially biased programs. I didn’t pull any punches and was quite surprised that it was published.
I was also surprised at the positive effect of the letter. I received a few phone calls from people resourceful enough to find my telephone number. More than a few people who knew acquaintances of mine asked that they extend congratulations to me. My father, who recently had to endure a “diversity training” workshop given by his employer, had people from his work commenting appreciatively on my letter.
Gary Brock, Huber Heights, Ohio
The letter that appeared in the newspaper had the headline “Weight State’s so-called ‘diversity’ is anti-white,” and concluded with this paragraph:
‘Diversity,’ the pursuit of the cultural dispossession of whites and the anti-white biases involved in such a dispossession, is supposed to be celebrated by white people? Are we really such fools?
Many whites are delighted finally to see these thoughts boldly and publicly expressed. Congratulations to Mr. Brock. — Editor
Sir — I understand that 75 percent of the immigrants to the United States go to either California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois or New Jersey. Clearly, this concentration is intolerable. It seems to me that each state should have the right to decide whether to accept immigrants or not — whether from overseas or from another state. I think this right is preserved for the states by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
William Pollard, Ft. Smith, Arkansas