|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 16, No. 11||November 2005|
Adventures of an Academic Pariah
Australian professor sets the country on its ear.
One doesn’t become an academic pariah overnight. In my case, achieving that dubious distinction has been the work of decades. That is not to say that I set out to become a fringe figure. On the contrary, as a typically bumptious boy Marxist, I began my academic career in the mid-1970s with the sure conviction that I was on the cutting edge of intellectual and political progress. It was more or less unwittingly that I found myself out of step with the emergent postmodernist Australian university.
In those heady days, I was present at the creation when the law school at Macquarie University was established to teach law in its “social context.” What that meant exactly was not altogether clear, but there was a group of us that hoped to emulate and modernize the traditional “Oxbridge” style of legal education aimed at the landed gentleman rather than the practicing lawyer. For hundreds of years, English and American lawyers had learned their trade by clerking in law offices rather than as university students. A legal education, we believed, should transmit the highest achievements of Western legal thought from one generation of gentlemen — or, today, citizens — to the next.
As someone who had studied history before going to law school, I made a successful pitch for a curriculum based on a first-year course in the history and philosophy of the Western legal tradition. Almost from its inception, however, the course came under attack from every quarter, most obviously from “black-letter lawyers” preoccupied with the exposition of narrow legal doctrine and distinguishing precedents. More surprisingly to me, as a self-identified radical academic, was criticism from leftist law teachers.
Among progressive academics, the deconstruction of every imaginable “grand narrative” had already become fashionable. Before long, any effort to ground legal education in a solid understanding or, even worse, an appreciation of the Western legal tradition automatically raised suspicion; only a closet reactionary or, more likely, an outright fascist could persist in such an obviously wrong-headed enterprise. Although I did not realize it at the time, the course, History and Philosophy of Law, ran head-on into the fundamental postulates of what was becoming the ruling orthodoxy.
It was an intensive, compulsory course that began with the suggestion that the Greek discovery of the mind was the essential prerequisite to the emergence of a legal order as distinct from the normative customs typical of primitive societies. More blasphemous still was the implication that this represented a great leap forward never achieved elsewhere, even by other great civilizations like China. The course even raised the questions of whether the Western legal tradition owed its existence to Christianity and whether the modern crisis of law and legal education is a consequence of the decline of Christianity.
At first, I was simply puzzled by the hostility. It was not until the 1990s that I began to realize that it was “the rising tide of color” that justified the anti-Western and, soon, explicitly anti-white animus of postmodernist theory. Because the white Australian working class had long since rejected the revolutionary class struggle, non-white immigrants were now the underclass of choice, the battering ram white radicals would use to break down the foundations of Western civilization.
Perhaps part of the difficulty was that History and Philosophy of Law was a difficult and demanding course that students could actually fail. An arcane and grueling rite of initiation, it left survivors with the sense that they had joined an academic Special Forces regiment. This ran counter to the postmodern passion for equality that has so obviously lowered standards in higher education.
Official Pariah Status
My most bruising experience of academic pariah status therefore came in 1998. Until then, I harbored the illusion that a humanistic form of legal education was still possible, that students could be prepared not just to get into the law business but to become responsible citizens. But then Macquarie’s Vice-Chancellor, Di Yerbury, eliminated everything not essential to a standard-issue, vocationally-oriented legal education.
I was among four remaining dissidents who were expelled from the law school, administratively segregated in a legal fiction known as the Department of Public Law within the Division of Humanities. It was the end of our effort to build a curriculum around the Western legal tradition. While the four of us still taught law students, both we and our students bore the stigma of deviance. Severing legal education from its roots in 900 years of Western legal history was one more step in the process that has cut law off, generally, from larger norms of morality and justice.
At first, I was deeply depressed to be relegated to the back of the academic bus. Before long, however, I discovered that being a pariah carries certain privileges. Most importantly, I no longer had to teach large compulsory courses with colleagues whose antipathy to my approach was obvious. On almost any issue of interest to constitutional scholars, from federalism (in favor), to aboriginal reconciliation (refused to concede that the white settlement of Australia was a crime), to mass Third-World immigration (against), I found myself at odds with colleagues who would denounce me publicly as a sexist, a racist or a fascist. It was a relief to be alone at last, able to develop and teach new courses of my own, to students who took them out of interest.
In courses like American Constitutional History and Public Law (which included Australian immigration law and policy from 1901 to the present)I could deal honestly with “the rights revolution” that replaced the old Anglo-American constitution of liberty with the contemporary constitution of control. That revolution can be seen most clearly in questions of race, immigration and multiculturalism. Freedom of association, rights of private property, freedom of thought and expression, all have been sacrificed on the altar of diversity. Within the limits of the narrow orthodoxy of the law school, I had never been able to question the whole apparatus of multiracialism, but tucked away in the Humanities Division, I was “out of sight, out of mind.”
Even so, at first I was wary about breaching ideological barriers, particularly when there were non-white students in my classes. But it soon became apparent that many law students shared my fascination with the subject of race, and were irrepressible so long as I led the way in violating the taboo against frank discussion.
Looking back, I was living in a bubble; shocking the sensibilities of well-brought-up, middle-class law students was such fun that I began to lose touch with political reality. Most of the progressive, feminist, anti-racist, and pro-multicultural attitudes proudly displayed by students are a mile wide and an inch deep. It was easy to challenge the myth of racial equality, first pointing out racial differences in athletic ability, then moving on to differences in susceptibility to diseases, to conclude with the problem of racial differences in cognitive ability — a discussion that invariably put law students doing a joint degree in psychology in the hot seat.
Asking whether aboriginal societies can be described as savage by comparison with Western and other advanced civilizations always produced cries of indignation, but students were often forced to concede that primitive tribes with only rudimentary notions of personal property could hardly claim to have been “dispossessed” of “their” lands. Often, after a particularly exciting class, I would remark that Australia, unlike Canada, the UK or even the USA, was still a free country, in which these tough questions could still be debated in college classrooms. This freedom existed only because nobody in authority within the university knew or even much cared what was going on in the obscure courses taught by an aging academic outcast.
In effect, I was sheltering behind an informal “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Content to let nature take its course, senior university managers simply waited for me to drop off the vine, and, indeed, by the beginning of this year, I had decided to retire.
But several years of fielding every conceivable criticism of racial realism from mainly leftist and generally very bright law students had left me with a burning desire and a strong conviction: First, I wanted to discuss Third World immigration in some public forum; second, I had complete confidence in my ability to articulate and defend the racial interests of white Australians. At the same time, having spent years studying the history of race relations in America, I was increasingly disturbed at the growing African presence in my local community in western Sydney. In short, I was an academic tinder-box waiting to be set alight.
The Adventure Begins
One morning in late June, a spark blew into my front yard. It took the form of a “feel-good” story in the local community newspaper about some Sudanese refugees who had just been naturalized. Complete with the “heartwarming” photo of a three-year-old Sudanese girl born in Australia, the headline announced that her parents were now Aussies just like her! The story was too much for me. Later that morning, walking my dog, I took the opportunity to unload on a Liberal Party city councilman who agreed privately with much of what I had to say, but who would never be willing to raise the subject in public. Still steaming when I got home, I dashed off a letter to the Parramatta Sun, never expecting to see it in print.
As soon as the Sun letters editor discovered I was a law professor, an otherwise commonplace letter opposing African immigration became a big story. The spark was about to be fanned into flames.
One of the most interesting aspects of my media adventure has been the realization that no matter how well primed for ignition my personal tinder-box might have been, it was the media that supplied the oxygen and the fuel. Interest continued for months, thanks mainly to self-righteous, anti-racist activists and their allies in universities and the media. Driven by an overweening sense of their moral superiority, anti-racists could not stop themselves from heaping on more fuel whenever the blaze died down.
The first of many anti-racist zealots to get on my case was the slavishly anti-white editor of the Sun, Charles Boag. He not only printed my letter but made it the springboard for a front-page shock piece headlined “KEEP THEM OUT.” He also wrote a pious editorial defending the latest, African, contributions to our vibrant multicultural society, and pouring scorn on pale-skinned, murderous Anglo-Saxons. When I first saw that issue of the Sun, I was nervous about the reaction it might provoke, but I did take comfort in the thought that I must have made the day for a lot of ordinary Aussies. The predictable howls of outrage were not long in coming.
The organized left, in tandem with various ethnic lobby groups, was determined to make an example of me even if it meant stoking up the controversy. The Sun was bombarded with letters and phone calls denouncing my “racist” views. Whether people wrote or called to support me and were ignored, I do not know; it wasn’t until the story moved beyond the local arena that support began to build. A long story in the Green Left Weekly (a redundantly titled, rabidly pro-immigration paper) alerted leftists throughout Sydney, indeed, across the nation, to the presence of a dangerous racist in their midst and, before long, Macquarie University was flooded with demands for my resignation or dismissal.
At that early stage, the university merely distanced itself from my remarks, affirming my right to speak, so long as I made it clear I was speaking only for myself. I spent hours trying to reason with some leftist critics via e-mail, explaining the basis for my views, often giving them copies of the references I was using to support my suggestions, for example, that black Africans are more violent than whites or East Asians. I soon learned that was a waste of time. Anti-racists have too much invested in maintaining their monopoly on moral rectitude ever to allow themselves to be swayed by argument or evidence.
At the university, the departments of Cultural and Media Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology held a forum on “Racism Within,” put on with support, free publicity, and a large venue provided by the Vice-Chancellor’s office. The three or four hundred, mostly white, predominantly female, and exceedingly self-righteous students, academics, and assorted ethnics who gathered to denounce me were not interested in debate; they wanted retribution and a full public confession.
A panel of seven academics took turns describing the threat my hateful comments posed to pluralism and our common humanity. There was general (but not unanimous) agreement that I had forfeited the right to teach, and that my comments amounted to a form of racial vilification that should be the subject of complaints to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. (I have since received four such complaints to which I will shortly be required to make formal responses.)
Members of the audience lined up to pile on me, some denouncing me as a “racist scumbag” (to nods of approval from the meeting chairman) while others, particularly the very nattily dressed Africans present, demanded that I be thrown out of the university. One African speaker made the remarkably explicit observation that “the end of [my] freedom” would be “the beginning” of theirs.
The organizers let me attend the forum but only as an ordinary member of the audience with no place on the panel. When, after two hours of denunciation, I was finally allowed two minutes, I was immediately howled down and quickly surrounded by angry Africans who were so menacing that security officers hustled me out the back door. The general reaction at the forum to my treatment seemed to be one of great satisfaction. Later, however, at least one member of the non-academic staff told me that the whole proceeding had been a disgrace to the university’s good name. Several of my students who attended said the same thing.
Over the next few weeks, letters to the Sun ran strongly against me. There are certainly many white Australians in the Parramatta area who agree with me, but the egalitarians have been doing their job well: The White Australia Policy is the subject of a very powerful and effective taboo. Although western Sydney was a hotbed of support for Pauline Hanson only a few years ago, the few letter-writers who took my side all declined to provide their names.
That was scant satisfaction to the multiracialist mullahs and their followers; one heretic was far too many. For the cosmopolitan, educated classes, I am like an unsightly scab; they want me to disappear, but they cannot stop picking open the wound to their moral vanity.
In what I suppose was an effort to ramp up public pressure on the university to discipline me, a Green Party city councilor (representing a suburb notably free of Sudanese refugees) with whom I had engaged in a long e-mail exchange, gave copies of our correspondence to Tim Dick of the Sydney Morning Herald. That led to an interview with Mr. Dick during which I raised questions not just about African immigration but also about the very different problems posed by immigrants from East Asia and India. Tucked into the inside pages of the upmarket Herald on Saturday, this story was probably of interest only to a few people, but it did alert the producers of two popular current affairs programs to the story; their decision to pick it up rekindled the embers just as they were crumbling to ashes in Parramatta.
Channel 7 was first off the mark, sending a crew to my home for a long interview the day after the Herald story appeared. The journalist, Sophie Hull, was very friendly, and frank about the TV business. She told me that if she prepared a “fair and balanced” story, her editor would order her to do it over again. She also seemed genuinely interested in what I was saying, though like my students, was shocked to hear a law professor openly defend the White Australia Policy. After we finished, she was kind enough to warn me that I might not realize what I had just done to myself. She appeared genuinely concerned that I might have unleashed a media storm with incalculable consequences to myself and my family.
As it happened, her producers did not seem to recognize the value of the story they had in the can; they sat on it the next night while their competitors, the Channel 9 program A Current Affair ran a studio interview with their host, Ray Martin, a well-known media liberal. When I arrived for the interview Mr. Martin’s young assistant was eager to discuss my views, and told me her co-workers all seemed to agree with me. This was not an uncommon reaction among the worker bees in the TV industry, almost all of whom are Anglo-Australians. A couple of sound men and camera operators made similar remarks.
For his part, Mr. Martin was relentlessly hostile, particularly to the suggestion that sub-Saharan Africans have average IQs of around 70. He refused to believe this, but off-camera I made him read the relevant passage from Vincent Sarich and Frank Miele’s book on racial differences that I had brought as a prop. After almost 15 minutes of non-stop hectoring from Mr Martin, this was a satisfying moment. He had to acknowledge in front of his staff that I had made a solid point that could not be dismissed simply as “Adolf Hitler stuff.” Of course, that was the phrase he used on-camera, a smear that remained intact and unanswered in the edited, on-air version of the interview.
Despite his contempt for my “racist rubbish,” Ray Martin did more than anyone to give the story legs on the national stage. It turned out that my interview had produced a massive viewer response, including a phone poll in which 85 percent of an unprecedented 36,000 callers agreed with me that non-white immigration was bad for Australia. Commercial ratings pressures — combined, I imagine, with a desire to see me get my comeuppance — drove Mr. Martin to do another program with me the very next day, this time a walkabout in the Parramatta pedestrian mall. We ambled through the mall, followed by the camera and sound men, while Mr Martin asked me to explain what I found so displeasing or threatening in the polyglot mass of humanity flowing by.
Mr. Martin thought all his Christmases had come at once when we happened on a group of about ten young, mostly white women sunning themselves. He immediately began a vox pop interview, asking how many agreed with the racist professor that all these nice, non-white people in the mall should never have been let into the country. Naturally enough, he got what he wanted from most of them, although one or two had reservations about immigrants who refuse to assimilate.
I did not know it until we met them, but the producers had arranged a meeting with a group of about a dozen Sudanese. Most of them were popping out of their skins with rage, falling over each other to insult and berate me. Mr. Martin did his best to ratchet up their hostility by asking how they felt about being told they were “stupid” and “violent” and should have been kept out. The Sudanese, most of whom were well-dressed and, as they made sure to let me know, university graduates, reacted on cue, and sprayed me with invective and insults for well on an hour, until even Mr. Martin had had enough.
Once Channel 7 realized Ray Martin was doing yet another program with me, they aired their interview that same evening, splicing it together with their own walkabout. This time, I was whisked down to Chinatown to meet Thang Ngo, a local councilor from Cabramatta, a western Sydney suburb that has been transformed into a Vietnamese colony. Mr. Ngo, predictably enough, was much calmer than the Sudanese, merely expressing his disappointment that an educated person would use his position to sow hatred and division.
When I suggested white Australians had good reason to be concerned at the loss of their homeland, Mr. Ngo replied that Australia really belonged to the Aborigines and that the Vietnamese had as much right to be here as Anglo-Australians. I, of course, pointed out that the real lesson of the Aboriginal experience is that a people facing the loss of their homeland should repel the invaders before it was too late. Little of these exchanges made it on the air.
Nevertheless, my appearances on two national current affairs programs the same evening must have been a horror for leftist heresy hunters. Once again, they couldn’t leave well enough alone. Hardly had the programs gone off the air before anti-racists were on the phone to producers, saying I had links to a “neo-Nazi” group known as the Patriotic Youth League. Yet more fuel was thrown upon the fire, as camera crews and print journalists raced to follow up the allegations. No matter how unfair and unbalanced the coverage, at least the gist of my message was getting through — and they were spelling my name properly.
The same pattern has repeated itself for months now. Just as the story seems about to die a natural death, another leftist or ethnic lobby decides to launch a fresh and sometimes even more colorful assault on the “racist” professor. One such experience was a two-hour radio call-in program broadcasting to Sydney’s Africans from the aptly named Radio Skid Row. Organized just as the neo-Nazi angle was running out of puff, a Channel 7 camera crew was present to film the event.
The host, Kwame Koramoah, a lawyer from Ghana, along with his listeners, happily harangued and insulted me, accusing me of everything from trying to stir up hate and terrorism to falsifying my credentials. The high point came when I suggested there might be a link between high testosterone levels and poor impulse control in blacks. Mr Koramoah started bouncing in his chair, shouting in glee that I must be jealous, asking repeatedly how many times I had had sex that morning. Unfortunately, Exhibit A in my defense wound up on the cutting room floor, perhaps because the Channel 7 crew broke up into fits of laughter.
An anti-racist strategy that generates such publicity for my views seems self-defeating, but it cannot be dismissed as a failure. After all, the racial inquisitors have made me unemployable as an academic in Australia. Macquarie’s vice-chancellor banned me from teaching on the specious grounds that the safety of students and staff could not be assured because of threats to disrupt my classes. A month and a half later, the vice-chancellor of Deakin University pulled an article by me, “Rethinking the White Australia Policy,” which I had been invited to submit to the university’s law review, and had passed peer review. My status as an academic pariah is now official and permanent.
My adventures with the media have been fun while they lasted, but few academics are likely to want to repeat my experience. In that sense, the left has probably been successful in dampening down dissent. On the other hand, outside academe, I have received a great deal of support from ordinary Australians across the country. Clearly, many people have drawn hope and comfort from the fact that someone in my position has been willing to challenge the official state religion of multiracialism. Even a few academics have let me know that, while they sympathize privately with my views, they cannot support me publicly.
That support has been of tremendous importance to me; one draws strength from the positive messages in one’s daily mail, coming from all over the world. It would be discouraging to be the target of a relentlessly hostile e-mail campaign. At the same time, as a constitutional scholar with a long-standing interest in the civic republican tradition, the lessons to be drawn from my experience are clear: In order for most people to muster the courage to act and to withstand recrimination, they must enjoy a certain measure of financial and psychological independence.
In my own case, unemployment holds no terrors; my pension is secure and I have had years of practice in pariahdom. I have a place to stand and the will to fight. It is possible for me to act in ways not open to young scholars still struggling to establish themselves, and who must learn to behave as those in authority over them expect.
The other lesson, taught long ago by classical republican thinkers, is that there is something miraculous about action. Departing from the regular, predictable patterns of everyday behavior, anyone who acts in a spontaneous, unpredictable manner in defense of our people may create an unexpected new beginning. Even something as ordinary as a letter to the editor of a throw-away suburban paper can have remarkable and improbable consequences.
People contemplating action may be deterred by the prospect of becoming an outcast. But, for white people today, becoming a pariah may be the essential precondition to rediscovering our social and historical roots. One usually thinks of the pariah as someone who has renounced solidarity with his own people in order to think for himself. But renunciation of solidarity with one’s own race has become the normal condition for white people.
In fact, the entire white race has been transformed into a pariah people. Whites who see themselves as self-sufficient and emancipated from racial identity are utterly conformist in their subservience to orthodoxy. Only those whites who can flout convention and think for themselves will ever experience genuine solidarity with their despised and demonized people.
Only as outcasts from a society in which the abnormal has become normal can we rediscover our true identities as members of a particular people with its own history and traditions. According to Hannah Arendt, it is a fundamental truth of the human condition that an individual of any nation or race can enter the “world history of humanity only by remaining and clinging stubbornly to what he is.” Miss Arendt was, of course, a consummate insider, belonging to the sophisticated and proudly subversive New York intellectual crowd. Even so, she refused to condemn “racist” pariahs.
She provoked outrage among her liberal friends when, in 1959, she defended the right of white Southerners to segregated schools. In an exemplary display of intellectual independence, she insisted that, to force white “parents to send their children to an integrated school against their will means to deprive them of rights which clearly belong to them in all free societies — the private right over their children and the social right to free association.”
Miss Arendt made more than a few enemies in her defense of white communities clinging to an ancestral way of life. Perhaps as a consequence of that experience, she despised the “normal,” well-adjusted and utterly deracinated white liberal passing as a cosmopolitan and enlightened “citizen of the world.” Such a person, she exclaimed, is actually “no less a monster than a hermaphrodite.”
I’d rather be a pariah.
Andrew Fraser, born and reared in Canada, has been a law teacher in Sydney, Australia for almost 30 years. He will be speaking at the next AR conference in February 2006.
Free speech for leftists, but not race realists.
The controversy over Prof. Drew Fraser of Macquarie University in Sydney, is another clear example of the double standard liberals resort to whenever their preconceptions are threatened. Official reactions to his and other recent free speech cases highlight a new justification the defenders of orthodoxy have invented for quashing dissent.
In 2002, Vanderbilt University tried to change the name of Confederate Memorial Hall and remove a plaque that honored the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) for contributing to building costs. The UDC was understandably opposed to this, and sued. Jonathan Farley, a black professor of mathematics, responded with a column for a Nashville newspaper claiming that the “UDC honors traitors.” He wrote that “every Confederate soldier, by the mores of his age and ours, deserved not a hallowed resting place at the end of his days but a reservation at the end of the gallows,” and went on to suggest that America’s racial problems are rooted in the fact that “the Confederacy was not thoroughly destroyed, its leaders and soldiers executed and their lands given to the landless freed slaves.”
Despite the administration’s best efforts, Vanderbilt is still a recognizably Southern school whose alumni were no doubt unhappy that a professor wrote that he wished their ancestors had been hanged. As a result, while at many colleges Prof. Farley’s column would have gone unremarked, Vanderbilt had to do some damage control. Black student groups supported the professor, but the college tried to distance itself from him.
The vice-chancellor for public affairs, Michael Schoenfeld, said Prof. Farley’s comments were “contrary to Vanderbilt’s efforts to create a civil and respectful academic community and are rightly offensive to, and rejected by, most people.” Nonetheless, he emphasized that, “the long-standing tenets of academic freedom, which Vanderbilt supports with equal vigor, give our faculty members the right to make public statements and the responsibility to defend them in the marketplace of ideas.” Similarly, when then-student body president Samar Ali called the remarks “hate speech” and “racist and dangerous,” she also emphasized that “he should not be fired for expressing his views.”
Approximately 1.2 million Confederate soldiers survived the war, and so what Prof. Farley called for was nothing less than the extermination of virtually the entire white male population of the South, along with a land distribution program that makes Robert Mugabe look timid. Even Joseph Stalin killed only Polish army officers at Katyn. In his column, Prof. Farley went on to compare Confederate apologists to “Holocaust revisionists,” while at the same time advocating a holocaust of his own. Prof. Farley is a professor of mathematics, so politics and history are not in his areas of expertise — although his faculty web page pictured him next to an image of Che Guevara. During the whole controversy, the university that was once home to the Nashville Agrarians felt no need to apologize to the Confederate descendants whose ancestors the professor thought should have been executed. It consistently defended his right to speak his mind, and never questioned whether a mathematics professor should write about history.
Keeping Prof. Farley in mind, let us reconsider the hoopla over Andrew Fraser, a professor of public law at Macquarie University in Australia. After seeing a typical puff piece about immigration in his local paper, he wrote a letter to the editor explaining that more African immigration would turn Australia into a “colony of the Third World” and bring ethnic conflict. He also pointed out that “experience practically everywhere in the world tells us that an expanding black population is a sure-fire recipe for increases in crime, violence and a wide range of other social problems.” Prof. Fraser did not back down, and attributed these problems to the low average IQ and high testosterone of Africans.
Rather than stand by his right to academic freedom or at least try to refute what he said, the university suspended him. He was locked out of his classroom and forced to meet with supporters elsewhere. Vice-Chancellor Di Yerbury explained that Prof. Fraser had free speech rights but that he had no right to attach his university affiliation to opinions on subjects outside his specialty. She went on to apologize to a number of African groups for his “repugnant” views.
There was a similar incident at the University of New Orleans (UNO) in 1996. Edward Miller, a professor of economics who had written extensively on racial differences in intelligence, wrote a letter to The Gambit, a New Orleans newspaper, stating that racial differences were real and biologically based. The student newspaper, The Driftwood,editorialized that “Miller is neither anthropologist nor psychologist and his work in those fields is entirely unrelated to his professional training (which is economics) and seemed to command little respect from any of the academic circles where we inquired.” The editors cited policy: “The private use of official University insignia, stationery, envelopes, etc., by members of the UNO faculty or staff is prohibited for the following uses: . . . The expression of personal opinion or endorsement in letters to the news media, elected officials, etc., except in areas of one’s professional competence.”
It has since come to light that the civil sheriff (a law enforcement officer for civil matters) of the parish of Orleans threatened to restrict funding to the school if it did not silence Prof. Miller. A black Catholic girls school threatened not to let UNO recruit on its campus. The administration strongly denounced Prof. Miller, questioned his ability to teach blacks, and tried to sanction him by claiming he was writing outside his field. It turned out that Prof. Miller did not use any university materials when he wrote to the newspaper, so that ploy failed.
Both Profs. Fraser and Miller certainly know what they were writing about. Although he is an economist, Professor Miller had written over a dozen articles on intelligence for psychological journals, including several in Personality and Individual Differences, which is one of the most respected journals in the field. Prof. Fraser teaches a course on immigration law, so discussing the impacts of immigration is clearly within his area of expertise. Neither professor was advocating legally discriminating against anyone, much less promoting mass executions as Prof. Farley was.
There are other examples. Ward Churchill, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, called the people who died in the World Trade Center “little Eichmanns” who deserved their fate. While many people outside the university called for his head, no one claimed his article had nothing to do with ethnic studies, whatever that is, and the university stood by him. Noam Chomsky, one of the most famous left-wing professors in the country, often says outrageous things about capitalism, American foreign policy, and the mass media. While he invites some controversy, no one suggests he shouldn’t be allowed to speak on those subjects even though he’s a linguist, not a historian or political scientist.
The hypocrisy was made crystal clear when over 100 Australian academics signed an open letter that gave various legal and ethical reasons why Prof. Fraser’s free speech should have been abridged. One reason was that:
“It is dishonest to suggest that free speech is equally available to all. Some of us are entrusted with the ability to speak authoritatively, and to be listened to, because of the roles we occupy in society. This is why it is imperative for other academics to denounce Fraser’s continuing capitalisation on his academic title and institutional affiliation. Fraser has no academic research history in the field of race and ethnicity studies.”
The majority of these academics were not professors of law or philosophy. Were they not also making a statement outside their fields of expertise?
What is significant here is not that there is a double standard applied to racial realists. That has been obvious for years. What is striking about the cases of Prof. Fraser and Prof. Miller is that the charge of “speaking outside of one’s discipline” is now used to trample on the academic freedom of those who question multicultural orthodoxy.
Alexander Hart is a pen name for a journalist who has written for a variety of conservative publications.
The Cult of ‘Transforming Whiteness’
It doesn’t get any worse than this.
Virginia Lea and Judy Helfand, Identifying Race and Transforming Whiteness in the Classroom, Peter Lang Publishing, 2004, 290 pp., $32.95 (softcover)
Most Americans believe there is nothing worse than being “racist,” but think they are in the clear if they are not doing anything to hurt non-whites. There is, however, a school of “antiracists” that preaches a much harsher doctrine: Unless whites are constantly fighting “racism” (and “sexism” and “classism” and perhaps capitalism, too) they are perpetuating “racism” and “white supremacy.” According to this doctrine, the mere fact of being white means participation in an infinite number of “privileges,” which are derived from an infinite number of acts of oppression, past and present.
This stuff is not easy to understand. The devotees themselves admit it is slippery, and concede that even the best among them are constantly backsliding into racism, classism and sexism. As they like to put it, becoming a truly antiracist white is “a lifelong journey” that requires continuous psychological “work.” It is so tricky no one ever gets it entirely right.
This book is a collection of submissions by 12 authors — all but two of them women — edited by two other women. They are all “antiracist activists” and teachers of some sort. For the most part, they are trying to rid college students of “racism,” but some are toiling over elementary school children.
It’s not always easy to figure out what is going on these ladies’ minds, but the basic ideas appear to be as follows: Whites don’t think much about race and believe race isn’t an important part of their lives, but they are wrong. Their entire lives are immersed in race; they just don’t know it. “White supremacy” is so deeply rooted in their minds they don’t recognize it (all non-whites see it clearly, however). “Racism” is so deeply rooted in American society that endless unfair benefits flow to whites like a great river, but they don’t realize that either.
The life’s work of the contributors to this book is to make whites understand this — that is what is meant by “identifying race” in the title of the book. Once whites have experienced the satori of seeing how white, privileged, and oppressive they are, they can begin the endless slog of “unlearning” racism. That is what is meant by “transforming whiteness.”
What are the privileges whites enjoy and how are non-whites oppressed? Oddly, this book never even attempts to answer these questions. Since most whites are blind to this gigantic web of privilege and oppression, we might expect instruction on this point but we get none.
As we will see, the cult glories in emotion, and spurns logic or evidence, so its basic teachings are pure assertion. Pedro Noguera, a Hispanic professor at New York University explains in the foreword, without elaboration, that we live in “a world where racial hierarchies are entrenched and unquestioned, where racial justice remains elusive, and where racism and bigotry are pervasive. . . .” Non-whites, another contributor explains, grow up “in an environment in which one faces the violence of racism on a daily basis.”
The editors, Judy Helfand and Virginia Lea, assure us that “at all levels — social, economic, political, and cultural — they [educational institutions] sustain racism and white supremacy,” but offer no evidence or examples. Likewise, we are repeatedly warned about “the linkage between white supremacist beliefs and values with global capitalism,” but the “linkage” is unexplained.
Very occasionally, the editors give examples of “racism.” Miss Helfand, who teaches at Santa Rosa Junior College in California, says she “discovered anti-Semitism” in the third grade, and “knew it was possible that some day I could be dragged away by the American equivalent of Nazis.” However, these anecdotes are not offered as evidence for “entrenched” racism, but as glimpses of the antiracist “journeys” the contributors have taken.
These women have a lot in common besides the basics of the doctrine. First, they love to write about themselves. Practically every chapter is full of scenes from the “journey.” They also like to wail over their failings. Laurie Lippin, who teaches at the college level (we don’t know where, because she’s missing from the list of contributors) unbosoms her “feelings of unattractiveness and inferiority,” and confesses that she had her nose shortened when she was a college student. She admits she is inadequate as an antiracist because she cannot get “racism” out of her unconscious.
Leny Strobel, a Filipino woman, says, “Even as a consciously decolonized person, there is still a part of me that is afraid to displease and offend white folks.” She once wrote in her diary, “All my life I’ve lived feeling inferior to white people,” and concludes that “we are all wounded soldiers in the same war in need of healing and reconciliation.” Sherry Marx, who teaches at Utah State University, confesses that she still falls into bad old racist habits, and “I am ashamed and embarrassed when people of color and whites more astute than myself point them out.” Kelly Maxwell, who teaches at the University of Michigan, tells her students she is an inadequate antiracist: “I am explicit with them that I am going to make mistakes and when I do, I am committed to working through them.”
Presumably it is because whites can never completely conquer their whiteness, that they must always be learning from their students, especially students “of color.” Eileen O’Brien, who teaches at William and Mary and who has a non-white “partner” and hybrid daughter, says “it is also important to remember that the teacher has as much to learn and unlearn as the students — perhaps more.” P.J. Hallem who teaches sixth grade, says classes should be “characterized by cooperation and mutuality in the roles of teacher and learner,” and that “in this method, all teach and all learn [even in the sixth grade].”
This theory of “co-learning,” as it is called, is related to the doctrine that there is no objective truth anyway, and that feeling is more important than knowledge. We are all gropers groping in the dark. Prof. Lippin explains that “the truth” is a “white culture way of looking at things.” Prof. O’Brien is fighting “the racist, sexist, classist norm of keeping emotions out of the classroom.” She says “white cultural norms value intellect over emotion,” and white cultural norms are, of course, very bad. The editors explain we must combat the idea of “knowledge that may be known through reason.” They add: “[B]ecause these knowledge forms are seen as ‘truths,’ their proponents believe they may legitimately colonize the classroom. This imposition may be seen as the practice of whiteness.”
None of the authors explains how disdain for “the truth” can be reconciled with fanatical certainty about “entrenched racism.” Presumably, these ladies learn about racism through their emotions rather than their intellects.
Recruiting for the Cult
It becomes clear from reading these selections that full-throttle anti-racism is essentially a religion. This does not keep it from being taught in college courses. Sherry Marx writes about recruiting for the cult at Utah State University. One of her students was a 20-year-old white girl named Elizabeth, who was tutoring non-white children. Prof. Marx describes the moment when Elizabeth “glimpsed the hulking, colossal entity that is white racism and she began to take some personal responsibility for it.” The girl started sobbing because “even though she did not want to be racist, at this moment she realized she might be.”
Professor Marx says tears are common because “coming to terms with racism necessarily provokes feelings of ‘trauma,’ ‘unsettlement,’ and ‘bafflement.’” It “provokes ‘feelings of guilt, depression, helplessness and anxiety’ that exacerbate the negativity associated with white identity.” At one point Elizabeth wanted to stop thinking about white privilege because it was so awful, but in the end, “she strengthened her resolve to press on in her journey of racial development.” She even decided not to marry her fiancé until he “changed his actively racist views about people of color” (no word if he ever did). Prof. Marx writes that plenty of other girls “were shocked and disappointed with themselves” to learn they were really racist, and “vowed to change.”
Grace Mathieson is a white woman who teaches fifth grade “from an antiracist perspective.” She says she uses “black feminist perspectives” “to transform Eurocentric curriculum and pedagogical practices.” She notes that it is wrong for whites to think that being white is “normal:” “What we fail to understand . . . is just how oppressive this is for those who fall outside the parameters of whiteness.” Every classroom lesson is an opportunity for “doing antiracism work,” that will recruit her charges to the struggle against racism.
Kelly Maxwell is a lesbian “on a path toward an antiracist life.” “My awakening will never be complete,” she confesses, but in the meantime, she asks herself every day: “Am I truly living my life in an antiracist way?” She is constantly on guard not to “reinforce viewpoints that are intolerant and insensitive.” If she fails it is because “my whiteness got in the way.” Her job is to make white students face the awful burden of whiteness, and “once the blinders come off, it is a difficult journey. It can be very painful.” She should know; she flagellates herself every day. “Sometimes I want to take a day off [from “antiracist work”]. I am busy and other issues are pressing. Yet, my friends and colleagues of color do not have the luxury of taking the day off from the impact of white privilege on their lives.”
In her courses, she likes to let the students jabber and emote, because order and reason would be racist, classist, etc. She says it helps non-whites to “hear from me and probably more significantly, from their white student colleagues, the commitment to unlearn racism.” Contrite whites are good for them: “I observe students of color who gain a measure of hope that there really are white folk trying to live an antiracist existence (certainly without perfection). . . .” She explains to white students that they themselves are not to blame for inventing racism but that they are constantly benefiting from it and must struggle against it. She reports that after her course, whites often resolve to object if their friends tell racist jokes, but, alas, “fundamental lifestyle change has not entered their minds.” That takes years but she has only a semester.
Gary Lemons, one of two men in the book, is a black who teaches Womanist Thought (radical black feminism) at Eugene Lang College, an expensive private school in New York state. He gets his mostly white and mostly female students to talk “about how painful the process of understanding racial privilege as a white woman can be.” He was happy when a student told him the course “encouraged me to continue down my own personal path of struggle.” Prof. Lemons assures us that for white women, a stiff dose of black feminism can be a “transformative personal, social, political, and spiritual project.” However, he wishes white students were lively like blacks. He says his classes bear out the view of “whiteness as inherently cold, lifeless, uninspired — soulless.” Whites are even more inhibited if there are non-whites in the class.
P.J. Hallem, a white woman, also likes lively blacks. She teaches a sixth grade mix of whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics, and decided to let the children lead the class. This meant blacks did most of the talking. The others, especially the Asians, didn’t like that, and thought she should take charge and teach. She didn’t care. “For my part,” she says, “I was delighted that African American students were so involved. As a white teacher, I was amazed at how much energy was tapped when students engaged in a discourse style that was comfortable to them.” The blacks explained that “they were used to just saying out loud what popped into their heads because that is what they did at home and at church. The African American students in our class called this ‘shouting out,’ and they wanted to use it more in school.” For some reason, the Asians didn’t care for this.
As part of her antiracist curriculum, Miss Hallem stopped correcting black English, and even got whites and Asians to learn ghetto slang. She says she did this even though some black parents asked her to make sure their children learned proper English. Teaching the other children to talk like blacks “was a new perspective that was especially empowering for African American students.” She likes black ghetto slang because it “is so exciting and, well, ‘hip.’” Still, she must constantly examine herself and “become more aware of [and avoid] the hegemonic practices of white teachers.”
Eileen O’Brien, the one with the mixed-race daughter, agrees that “Standard English is, even for many of us born in the United States, a language of conquest and domination.” She says we all have to study “our own oral histories, herstories, and ourstories.” In her college class called “Gender, Race, and Class,” she deliberately eggs on the non-whites against the whites, because if a teacher can stir up anger, the “rewards are tremendous.” She says whites — girls in particular — don’t like being attacked. “In their perception, a black student has stepped out of bounds of appropriate classroom conduct by intimidating white students.” However, this is good medicine for whites because “it is a privilege of whiteness to not have to take another racial group’s perspective into account.”
She notes that when the yelling starts, there are always some students who think the class is “a disaster.” But she presses on: “[I]t is always a point of growth for me to remember that once this discomfort occurs, it means I am doing my job because we are finally getting deeply to the heart of the issues.” Sometimes things go wrong. One of her white students wrote: “I think the hardest thing about this class is to know that I am hated by people because of the color of my skin.” The same girl added, “I am now horribly cynical about the African-American race” but was reportedly angry at herself for thinking this. In any case, the yelling itself is a blow for freedom: “Facing the racist, sexist, classist norm of keeping emotions out of the classroom is all the more relevant for those of us teaching in classrooms where topics like racism, sexism, and classism are the focus of the course content.”
Some teachers defy the white man simply by going non-Western. Rosemary Christensen, who teaches American Indian studies at the University of Wisconsin, teaches as the Indians did: “elder knowledge passed through oral tradition.” She has one group of students learn something, and then teach it to other students as if it were an “oral tradition.” If some students are not good at speaking they can teach by acting in skits. Prof. Christensen gives group grades.
Carlos Aceves, the other man in the collection, went looking for “the root cause of Chicano failure in public schools.” He found it, too: “[W]hile the people live an indigenous identity, those who hold political and economic power attempt to impose a European image.” But the indigenous identity needed boosting. Just as blacks are supposed to learn better if they marinate in African history, Chicano grade school students should explore their pre-Columbian roots. Mr. Aceves teaches them the Nahuatl Language and the Aztec calendar. The children sit in a “Tlahtokan or Speaking Circle,” and may speak only when the “talking stick” comes around the circle. Mr. Aceves makes sure “they understand how Quetzalcoatl discovered corn by becoming an ant, founded the Toltec Civilization, became the Morning Star, and lives in us today as a symbol of our rational thinking.” This is part of his plan to make up for “the ‘white man’s’ inability to accept mystery.” Mr. Aceves presents no data on whether this narrows the achievement gap.
Pauline Bullen is a black woman who teaches at a high school in Toronto, Canada, but in this book she does nothing but mouth clichés. “[R]acism and inequality are ‘entrenched realities’ within Toronto’s educational system,” and non-whites “need to learn the ways of the oppressor in order to live among them and survive in the capitalist, race stratified society.”
Let us conclude with Laurie Lippin. She tells us she is a Jewish lesbian who is “involved in a lifelong journey of self-actualization, of expanding my own consciousness. . . .” Although “the university is one of the last white, male, imperialistic aristocracies,” she teaches in one. She says it is a revolutionary act to say “I’m white:” To do so is “to name the invisible color, the water we swim in, is an act of bold exposure. . . . [W]hen you speak about yourself as a white, middle-class person, a dominant category whose influence is the underlying fabric of our North American reality, you invoke a questioning of the unquestioned.”
She appears to have spent her entire life “unlearning racism.” At one point in her “journey” she spent three years in a White Women’s Group, “using each other instead of people of color to challenge our white supremacist thinking.” It didn’t work: “The scars of doing personal work on racist conditioning included our painful recognition that while we professed equality and egalitarian values we still spewed the messages we had been taught that sat waiting in our unconscious.”
Despite her failings, Professor Lippin runs “understanding whiteness” seminars. “In the early years I probably erred on the part of supporting the students of color,” she writes, “but managed to keep my white students positively engaged without their getting stuck in the feeling that a racist society was their fault.” She “offers the students an opportunity to read poems and short personal stories by radical women of color.”
The non-whites gang up on the whites but that’s fine: “[W]hen white students complain that they feel ‘targeted’ in the classroom, a student of color might respond, pointing out that it was but a small taste of how it has felt to them to be targeted every day of their lives.” Whites need to learn that “participating in understanding whiteness and unraveling racism is a journey — an arduous, difficult journey with many obstacles, especially for white people.” One must never lose sight of the goal: “confronting the pain of white privilege and white oppression, and bringing white students to a new and responsible awareness.” “As teachers,” she concludes, “we have an opportunity to be at the forefront of a new world.”
Prof. Lippin’s job, in other words, is to make white people miserable — miserable for the rest of their lives. Their sole consolation is that they have “a new and responsible awareness.” Prof. Lippin is as silent as the rest of her fellow cultists about what exactly whites are supposed to do, once they have this “new and responsible awareness.” Presumably they are supposed to avoid using bad words and to decline invitations to lynching parties, but everyone does that. Should they give money to non-whites? Buy only from minority-owned companies? Pick up the garbage in black neighborhoods? Resign their jobs and insist that they be replaced by Mexicans? Be sure to marry non-whites?
These women say they are pushing “fundamental lifestyle change.” Kelly Maxwell doesn’t dare take even one day off from the job of “unlearning racism.” But what in heaven’s name is she actually doing? Like all these women, she is mute on this point. From even the most sympathetic reading, all one can gather from this book is that they spend endless “painful” hours searching their souls, agonizing over “racism” that won’t go away, and moaning about their inadequacies to other white women. This is a cult for white people who are obsessed with being white. It doesn’t do a lick of good for their precious “people of color.” Even by their own twisted standards it is hard to see it as anything but a self-absorbed, dead-end cult for losers.
The cult seems to attract only women. One author complains about men who just can’t understand “white privilege,” and who think they deserve what they have because they worked for it. A cult based on pure emotion, that offers only a lifetime of agonizing introspection will attract only the unbalanced.
The Logic of ‘Whiteness’
If these ladies did not despise logic they would see that there is an obvious way out of the racial imbroglio. They concede that most whites are not actively oppressing non-whites, and that many whites even want to help. Still, non-whites must constantly battle “entrenched racism,” while even the most advanced and virtuous whites (the contributors to this book) perpetuate “white supremacy” in spite of themselves.
Surely, the only humane solution is to set all non-whites free from their agony by sending them home, away from the incorrigible white man. In fact, it’s a wonder they stick around at all. At the very least, the contributors to this book should be down at the border, warning illegals away from a country that can offer them only “entrenched racism.”
As for whites, college courses on “understanding whiteness” are pointless. Whites cannot mix with other races without oppressing them, so must be treated like alcoholics and forced to make a clean break with the cause of their disorder. Like alcoholics, they can never be cured, but if they are forced to spend their entire lives without ever seeing or even thinking about non-whites, the damage they do will be minimized. A clean break with non-whites will deprive them of the benefits of multiculturalism, but it is the only way to strip them of the white privileges to which they are addicted. It is surely the punishment they deserve.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Norway Makes Progress
Norway’s anti-immigration Progress Party (see, “Race in Scandinavia,” AR, Dec. 2003), won 22 percent of the vote in September’s national elections. This amounts to 38 of 169 seats in parliament, up from 26 seats, making Progress the second largest party in the country and the largest on the right. Party leader Carl Hagen will become vice-president of Norway’s parliament. The left also did well in the election: a “Red-Green” alliance made up of socialist and environmental parties ousted the previous center-right coalition.
Progress campaigned primarily on the threat of non-white immigration. Its main goals are to cut non-Western immigration and deport criminal immigrants. One of its campaign slogans was, “Dangerous Africans walk the streets.” On the cover of its campaign brochure was a picture of a man wearing a hood and pointing a gun at the reader; the caption read, “‘The criminal is of foreign origin!’ (Press quote we often read.)” This sparked the usual outrage. One of the leaders of the Liberal Party said the brochure was “absolutely appalling.” “This is a low,” he continued, “and places the [Progress Party] on the outermost right-wing of European politics.” [Norway’s Far Right Surprises in Polls, Reuters, Sept. 13, 2005. Jagland Will Lead Parliament, Aftenposten (Oslo), Sept. 22, 2005. Progress Party Brochure Sparks Racism Charges, Aftenposten, Aug. 16, 2005.]
The Progress Party, which is also Christian and libertarian, enjoys much support among the young. A poll of high-school students found 40 percent agreed with the statement that immigrants “pose a serious threat to Norway’s distinctive national character.” This nearly doubles figures from 1999. Teenagers were much more skeptical about immigrants than adults, only 28 percent of whom agreed with the poll statement. Boys were more nationalist than girls: 50 percent of boys and 33 percent of girls thought the national character was threatened. Norwegian sociology professor Knud Knudsen thinks the upsurge in ill-will towards immigrants since 1999 is due to the terror attacks in New York, Madrid, and London. [Norwegian Teens Xenophobic? News24.com (South Africa), Sept. 26, 2005.]
Coming Your Way
According to a new study by the Pew Hispanic Center, more immigrants enter the country illegally than legally. In 2001, there were more than 578,000 legal immigrants. Tighter post-September 11 screening and a slowing economy reduced that figure to 455,000 in 2003. During the same period, however, the number of illegals increased from an estimated 549,000 to 562,000. Of course, it is impossible to know the real numbers, which could be much higher.
The study confirms that the US is in the midst of an unprecedented demographic revolution that began in the 1980s and took off in earnest during the 1990s, with an average of more than 1.5 million foreigners — legal and illegal — settling in the country each year. More than 34 million immigrants now live in the US, and make up 12 percent of the population. That number has tripled since 1970, when the foreign-born population was just 9.6 million. Approximately one third of current immigrants are from Mexico.
Many parts of the US were not affected by the wave of immigrants during the 1990s, as most foreigners settled in the traditional immigration states like California, New York and Texas. That is changing, as today’s immigrants are far more likely to move to the “new settlement states” of Georgia, North Carolina, Iowa, Utah and Delaware. [Stephen Ohlemacher, Report: Illegal Immigration Has Increased, AP, Sept. 27, 2005. D’Vera Cohn, New Illegal Immigrants to US Surpass Legal Immigrants, Washington Post, Sept. 27, 2005.]
When the ANC took power in South Africa in 1994, 87 percent of the country’s farm land was owned by whites. More than a decade later, whites still own 80 percent, and many blacks are frustrated at the slow pace of “land reform,” under which 30 percent of white-owned land is supposed to be turned over to blacks by 2014. In August, the government’s Commission on Restitution of Land Rights decided to “fast track” land redistribution, breaking an earlier promise that all transfers would be voluntary, willing buyer-willing seller transactions. The government accused the white farmers of acting in bad faith by asking too much for their farms, and said they would force whites to sell.
In September, the government served its first expropriation notice. Hannes Visser owns a 1,250-acre farm in North West province, which the government says was wrongfully acquired by his father in an apartheid-era forced sale in 1968. It has offered Mr. Visser $275,000 but he says the farm is worth twice that amount, and has vowed to fight expropriation in court. Regional land commissioner Blessing Mphela says expropriation is a last resort, but is necessary to speed up the pace of land reform and to prevent black frustration leading to chaos.
Many white farmers are worried. Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe remains very popular among South African blacks who support his seizure of white-owned farms. Some South African officials, like Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, are looking across the border for inspiration. “There needs to be a bit of ‘oomph,’” she says. “That’s why we may need the skills of Zimbabwe to help us.” [Basildon Peta, South Africa Reveals Plan to Seize White Farmers’ Land, The Independent (London), Aug. 3, 2005. S. African White Farm to be Seized, BBC, Sept. 23, 2005. S. Africa to Seize White Owned Farm, The Australian (Sydney), Sept. 24, 2005.]
Princeton’s Failing School
Princeton High School is in Princeton, NJ, the home of the university. As one would expect, the Ivy League town makes sure the school is well-funded and offers an excellent education. The average SAT score is 1237, the third-highest in the state. Ninety-four percent of graduates go to college, many to elite schools. The school offers 29 Advanced Placement courses, and 98 percent of students exceed the math and English standards required by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
However, for the past two years, the school has not met NCLB standards because of the scores of the small minority of black and Hispanic students. Since NCLB requires that the scores of each race be reported separately and that all races meet standards, the whole school can get a failing grade if students of only one race do poorly. In spite of the excellent overall performance, 37 percent of black 11th-graders failed the English standards, and 55 percent of blacks and 40 percent of Hispanics failed the math standards.
The Princeton school district superintendent says, “If the gap can’t be narrowed in Princeton, then where can it be narrowed? There can’t be a question here of resources, or of community support, or of quality of staff.” [Samuel G. Freedman, The Achievement Gap in Elite Schools, New York Times, Sept. 28, 2005.]
Meanwhile, the Bush administration continues to tout the successes of NCLB. In July, the Dept. of Education put out a press release saying, “The results from the newest Report Card are in and the news is outstanding.” The release trumpeted rising test scores and declining gaps between whites and non-whites. However, this enthusiasm was based solely on the performance of nine- and 13-year-olds on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) tests, which the Dept. of Education uses to measure school performance. In some cases, but not in all, there has been a slight closing of achievement gaps in math and reading for these age groups since 1990.
The real test of NCLB’s effectiveness is the scores of 17-year-olds, since these reflect the final outcome of American education. As the charts show, the scores of whites and Hispanics on the NAEP reading test have declined since 1999, substantially in the case of Hispanics; the scores of blacks have remained the same. In reading, the scores of all groups are towards the bottom of their 20 year range. Also, the gaps between the scores of whites on the one hand, and blacks and Hispanics on the other, are wider than they were in 1988. The pattern is the same in math. [Dept. of Education, Spellings Hails New National Report Card Results, July 14, 2005. National Center for Educational Statistics, The Nation’s Report Card: 2004 Long-Term Trend Assessments, June 15, 2005, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/ltt/results2004/.]
Despite its large and growing non-white population, France does not officially recognize ethnic minorities. It clings to the fiction that non-whites shed their cultures and become good Frenchmen — part of “the Indivisible Republic” — and are indistinguishable from natives. The French therefore oppose American-style racial preferences, which they call discrimination positive.
However, as more non-whites fail to get ahead, some French leaders, like Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, have begun to question the policy of race neutrality. Mr. Sarkozy favors preferences, particularly in higher education. One elite French university, the Paris Institute of Political Studies — commonly known as Sciences Po — already has a preference program.
The French system is based solely on merit, and students must pass grueling exams to get into elite schools. Non-whites do poorly on these exams, much to the chagrin of Sciences Po chancellor Richard Descoings, who thinks the school does not reflect France’s increasing diversity. Five years ago, Sciences Po started a parallel admissions policy to admit more “socioeconomically disadvantaged” students. The program recruits from 23 high schools in poor neighborhoods where immigrants live. Instead of taking the entrance exam, students write a senior-year report and present it to a panel of teachers. If they are accepted, and also pass the national high school graduation test, they are then interviewed by a panel of Sciences Po professors for admission. Fewer than 60 out of a total of 6,000 students have gotten in this way, but that is enough to make some Sciences Po students worry their diploma is being devalued.
Racial preferences are unpopular in France, and both President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin oppose them. Even Sciences Po feels compelled to deny that the program is based on race. It insists it considers only socioeconomic factors, pointing out that its 23 high schools are in special government-designated zones that lack “educational and economic resources.” It is merely a coincidence that Africans and Arabs live in these zones. [Tami Abdollah, French Test Affirmative Action, Wall Street Journal, July 27, 2005.]
According to a poll by Rasmussen Reports, 54 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the Minutemen, the group of citizens dedicated to patrolling the borders; only 22 percent have a negative view. Forty-eight percent believe the federal government should be encouraging citizens to guard the border, versus 33 percent who disagree. Middle-income Americans are more likely to support the Minutemen than high- or low-income Americans. Sixty percent of whites support the group, but only 35 percent of non-whites.
Thirty-eight percent of Americans say immigration will be a very important issue to them in the next presidential election, and 31 percent say it will be somewhat important. Seventy-three percent of Republicans rank the issue as important, as do 64 percent of Democrats. [Most Say Volunteer Patrols Reduce Immigration, Rasmussen Reports, Sept. 22, 2005.]
Another Rasmussen poll found 76 percent of voters thought it was too easy for people to enter the US; only 11 percent thought it was too hard. Sixty-three percent believe current immigration laws are a threat to national security, and 62 percent say they are a threat to the economy. [Immigration Seen as a National Security Threat, Rasmussen Reports, Sept. 20, 2005.]
Republican members of Congress report that their constituents care more about immigration than any other issue. A poll conducted in July by the National Journal found that 17 of 37 Republicans in the House and Senate who responded said immigration was most on the minds of their constituents. Only ten said the economy was the most important issue.
By contrast, only two of 35 Democratic members of Congress reported that immigration was the top issue for constituents. Rep. Tom Tancredo, leader of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, explained how Democrats think: “Immigration is a problem issue for the Democrats — no one wants to say they embrace breaking the law and sacrificing national security. It makes sense that their leadership is dancing around this issue.” [Stephen Dinan, Immigration Worries Republicans, Washington Times, July 16, 2005.]
Paid for Failing
A federal judge has ruled that a literacy test the Delaware State Police used between 1992 and 1998 discriminated against blacks. The state must pay $1.4 million to 104 black candidates who failed the test, and give them another chance to join the force. The state required a score of at least 70 percent, and blacks failed more often than whites. US District Judge John A. Kent said the test was a “blunt instrument” that could not distinguish qualified candidates. He decided on his own authority that anyone who scored 66 percent was literate enough to be a policeman. Since 104 black candidates scored between 66 and 70, the state police have to pay damages and let them reapply. The judge did not give the same deal to non-blacks who failed the test. One of the plaintiffs said the test made him “think outside his culture,” but could not give specifics. The US Justice Department took the case for the black candidates.
Some current Delaware police officers are furious. One wrote the judge: “It’s an insult [to us] to take someone off the street who accomplished nothing for his state, except to fail a test, and treat him like an 11-year veteran or hero.” The Police Superintendent, however, spoke of the need for “an inclusive organization” and “a diverse and talented work force.” [Charlotte Hale, In Deal, State Police to Pay $1.4 Million, News Journal (Wilmington), Aug. 3, 2005. Sean O’Sullivan, Judge OKs Suit Payout Over State Police Test, News Journal, Sept. 23, 2005.]
FedEx is facing a similar lawsuit. On Sept. 29, US District Judge Susan Illston granted class certification to 10,000 black and Hispanic hourly workers and 1,000 black managers who claim discrimination. They say FedEx pays non-white workers less than whites, denies them promotions, and disciplines them more harshly. James M. Finberg, their lawyer, says the racial makeup of FedEx’s workforce proves discrimination: non-whites are 56 percent of workers who load and unload freight, but only 29 percent of low-level management positions, and 23 percent of senior management positions. The source of this discrimination is the “basic skills” test FedEx gives employees to determine who should be promoted. Mr. Finberg says, “FedEx knows that blacks and Hispanics fail at a much higher rate, but yet has not changed the test.”
FedEx is sticking to its guns for now. A spokesman says promotions are based on “objective” factors like time in service, scores on the test, and performance evaluations. He also says that in many job categories, non-whites get better evaluations and higher pay than whites. [FedEx Discrimination Suit Moves Ahead, AP, Sept. 29, 2005. Thousands Certified in FedEx Bias Suit, Law.com, Sept. 203, 2005.]
In an even more novel case, blacks are suing the Pinellas County School District in the St. Petersburg, Fla. area, blaming the district for their low achievement and high discipline rates. The suit cites the Florida constitution’s requirement that local authorities give all students a “high quality” education, and claims racial differences in outcome are clear evidence blacks are not getting the “high quality” schooling to which they are entitled.
Guy Burns, the Tampa lawyer who represents the blacks, says he is not sure what form an appropriate remedy would take, but that it is up to the school district to find one. The district says it has taken every practical measure to help blacks, and that the performance gap is due to factors schools cannot control.
In its defense, the district is likely to rely on the usual sociological explanations for low black achievement: black families are poor, blacks watch more television, some blacks distrust white-run schools, etc. The district is considering taking testimony from students that would highlight the varying home and personal circumstances of different students, and show that they are what cause differences in achievement. So far, the district does not seem to be prepared to use racial differences in IQ to deflect the charge that it is, somehow, short-changing black students.
A three-judge appeals court panel just reconfirmed class-action status for the case, which means that all 20,000 black students in the district are parties. The Pinellas County School District is the 22nd largest in the nation, and results in the case could set an important precedent for the state and the rest of the country. [Thomas C. Tobin, Judges Bolster Students’ Lawsuit, St. Petersburg Times, Sept. 29, 2005.]
Thin White Line
In 2003, two black congressmen, Charles Rangel of New York and John Conyers of Michigan, introduced a bill in the House to reinstitute the draft so as to remove, as Rep. Conyers put it, “the long-held stigma that people of color and persons from low-income backgrounds are disproportionately killed and injured while serving.” Although the bill went nowhere, Rep. Rangel pressured the Pentagon for demographic data on fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan. In late September, the Defense Department produced a racial breakdown of the 1,841 Americans killed through May 28, 2005.
Whites, who make up 67 percent of the armed forces, accounted for 71 percent of the fatalities. Blacks, 17 percent of military personnel, made up just nine percent. Hispanics were nine percent of the overall force and suffered ten percent of the fatalities, while the fatality rate for Asians, Pacific Islanders and Indians exactly matched their proportion in the military: four percent. Whites, therefore, are slightly overrepresented in fatalities while blacks are considerably underrepresented.
What accounts for the difference? Blacks tend to avoid combat specialties. “Blacks are underrepresented in infantry and armor,” explains Larry Wortzel, a retired Army colonel and now a defense analyst with the Heritage Foundation. “They’re clustered in support services, like ordnance and field supply, medical support, places where you’re not in direct combat.”
Whites accounted for even more casualties in past wars. In Korea, 80 percent of fatalities were white, in Vietnam, 86 percent, and during the Persian Gulf War, it was 76 percent. [Tony Perry, Most War Casualties White, Report Says, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 25, 2005. Darryl Fears, 2 Key Members of Black Caucus Support Military Draft, Washington Post, Jan. 3, 2003.]
The Enemy Within
In August, four Hispanic US elected officials went to Mexico City to take part in a press conference, held at the offices of the Mexican Secretary of State, denouncing efforts by civilian groups to enforce US immigration laws. The four, San Bernadino County, California, Supervisor Josie Gonzales, Lynwood, California, Mayor Ramon Rodriguez, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Camon, and Delaware State Representative Joseph E. Miro, issued a statement calling on President Bush to “openly declare that he is against the Minuteman Project, and more aggressively criminalize their activities, which are motivated by anti-immigration sentiments that are racist and paranoic.” They claim the Minutemen — whom they liken to the KKK and white supremacist militias — are responsible for a series of hate crimes and murders along the US/Mexico border, and want the government to punish “border vigilantism” under federal hate crime laws.
The Bush Administration is receptive. Earlier this year, US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose parents were born in Mexico, told an audience in heavily-Hispanic East Los Angeles that the Justice Department is closely monitoring the Minutemen and other civilian border enforcement groups, and would not hesitate to enforce federal hate crime laws against them. [Hector Carreon, USA Officials Seek to Declare ‘Border Vigilantism’ a Federal Hate Crime, La Voz de Aztlan, Aug. 15, 2005.]
The AR Family Welcomes a New Member
Assistant Editor Stephen Webster and his wife Alicia are pleased to announce the birth of their first child, daughter Samantha Rose, on Sept. 2.
The Websters met at the 2004 AR conference, and encourage all readers to come to the next one in February. You never know what might happen.
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — In the September issue, Raymond McClaren writes that the king of Spain has extraordinary powers and could use them to protect the racial integrity of his country (“He Has the Power: Does He Have the Will?”). I disagree. He is, to be sure, commander-in-chief of the military, but I do not consider this an advantage. The king is personally a liberal, who prefers the Socialists to other parties, and high-ranking officers express reservations about his politics. In his most recent Christmas message, he actually spoke about immigration in a very favorable, leftist way. I do not think he would ever take any action liberals could call “racist.” There is one respect, however, in which he is a reasonably good example for Spain: He has three children.
A Spanish subscriber
Sir — I recently became aware of AR and find your website an excellent source of information. The same disturbing anti-white trends afflicting the USA and Canada are very similar to what is happening here in Australia. Our children are being brainwashed in school by teachers who celebrate “Third World diversity,” of the kind we experience in Sydney. The mainstream media are also celebrating “the changing face of Australia.” This change is predominantly Asian.
At the same time, Muslims and Pacific Islanders figure prominently in crimes committed against whites. “Men of Middle Eastern appearance” is the usual description of suspects in robberies, road rage incidents, and rapes of white women. Asian gangs usually rob and extort from fellow Asians, and police investigators regularly run into the Asian “wall of silence.”
The white birthrate is low, but Asians, Muslims and Pacific Islanders are taking up the slack. As in the US, whites are likely to be a minority by 2050. In Sydney it feels as though we are already a minority. The city still has its picture-postcard tourist image, but the increasingly non-white nature of large parts of Sydney is truly alarming.
Our only hope of survival is to start forging ties with those who feel as we do in all of the once-white nations. To borrow a phrase from your Revolution, if we do not all hang together, we will certainly hang separately.
A patriotic Australian and friend of North America,
Sir — I am an Asian American. My parents are both Indian. I had the misfortune of being born in Canada and living there the first seven years of my life before moving to the US. I am a conservative, and have a few ideas to make the US strong once again: a moratorium on immigration for the next 20 years; never allowing the US to have more than 10 percent immigrants at any time; making English the official national language; having the Bible taught in public school; and sentencing any illegal alien caught within the country to capital punishment. As long as I can dream about a perfect America, it should be a white, strong, Christian, anti-gay, pro-gun, constitutional republic.
At some point we, as a nation, will do away with Martin Luther King Day, which honors a man who had communist affiliations, and who fostered black dependence on government — not what Gandhi taught, even though King claimed to have the same philosophy. If government will not respond to the minority crisis in America, as an Asian American, I say maybe it’s time for race-realist organizations to start accepting donations from minorities. I would be the first donor in line.
Sir — Mr. Taylor’s otherwise fine October article on New Orleans concludes too harshly, arguing that without the white man, blacks always revert to savagery. They often do, but you don’t always get Haiti and Rwanda. Take out a map of Africa. Some of the places you never hear about are rubbing along reasonably well. The Zambians have figured out how to get the copper out of the ground, Senegal hasn’t produced a major horror story in decades, and people actually refer to Botswana as a democracy. None of these places is heaven on earth, but there are a few Africans who can run their own affairs without making spectacles of themselves.
And, by the way, times may be tough and you need all the revenue you can get, but do you really have to advertise a book that claims to offer “the proof of the connection between Zionism, Communism and Illumonism, and how the Illuminati plan to rule the world?” What’s next? Ads for UFO conferences?
Carl Hovis, New Iberia, La.
Sir — Who would have thought that one of the first San Francisco crime gangs was a bunch of Australians called the Sydney Ducks? (It still, somehow, doesn’t sound as menacing the Gangster Disciples or the Bloods.) Oh, what I would give to return to the days when the big crime problem was Australians!
What particularly interested me in Roger McGrath’s October review, however, was his account of how the early San Francisco justice system treated non-whites. Blacks appear to have had relatively lenient treatment, and Asians and Hispanics went to jail or the gibbet only in proportion to their crime rates. Despite what we are constantly told, even 100 years ago, the white man appears to have been a pretty fair-minded fellow.
Thomas Chandler, Portland, Ore.
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