|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 21, No. 11||November 2010|
Victory in Sweden
Nationalists win against great odds.
On September 19, Swedes went to the polls and plunged their country into agony and chaos by sending a party that favors strict immigration control to the Riksdag for the first time since 1991. With 5.7 percent of the vote, the Sweden Democrats (SD) crossed the 4 percent threshold necessary to win seats, and in so doing ensured that neither the governing center-right coalition nor the Red-Green coalition of the left could muster a majority. With Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s coalition just two seats short of an overall majority, the Sweden Democrats’ 20 new parliamentarians would put him well past the 175 seats necessary for a majority, but like so many “conservatives” he refuses to work with people he calls “right-wing extremists.” The result has been horse-trading and political floundering that was still going on as this issue went to press.
The SD, led by Jimmie Akesson (see sidebar), is an eminently reasonable party, much along the lines of the Danish Peoples Party or the Vlaams Belang, but its success was greeted with the usual yelps of leftist horror. The day after the election, Expressen, one of the two nationwide evening tabloids, wrote, “The banner of tolerance has been hauled down and the forces of darkness have finally taken Swedish democracy hostage. It’s a day of sorrow.” That same day, an estimated 10,000 people marched in Stockholm, waving banners that said, “We are ashamed,” “No racists in Parliament,” and “Refugees welcome!” In Gothenburg, 5,000 people, many of them wearing black, joined a “sorrow march against racism,” and in Malmo 2,000 people protested the SD’s entry into the Riksdag.
Naturally, the SD got the most support in those parts of the country with the largest numbers of immigrants. In Scania, at the country’s southern tip, 10 percent of voters supported the Sweden Democrats, resulting in calls that Scania be handed back to the Danes, from whom the Swedes conquered it in 1658. The Danish People’s Party, whose influence has given Denmark one of the most sensible immigration policies in the European Union, has been a model for the SD.
As I have reported in my previous articles for AR (“Race in Scandinavia,” Dec. 2003; “Race in Scandinavia — an Update,” Dec. 2005; “Report from Sweden,” Nov. 2006) the nationalist or immigration restriction movement in Sweden has faced much tougher conditions than in neighboring Norway and Denmark. In both those countries, “right wing populists” have grown to become major parties. In Sweden, a similar party, New Democracy, gained seats in parliament in 1991, but self-destructed because of feuding among party leaders. The result has been an almost complete absence of sensible discourse on immigration since New Democracy left parliament in 1994.
In the current election, the SD has had a tremendous advantage: the worsening immigration crisis and an overwhelmingly strong case for curtailing immigration. It had two disadvantages: its past, and an establishment that is deeply committed to mass immigration and is willing to use dirty tactics to maintain it.
Why is the party’s past a problem? Unlike the Progress Party in Norway, the Danish People’s Party, and the briefly successful New Democracy party in Sweden, the SD was founded by people who in some cases had ties that could be said to be neo-Nazi. The SD never advocated National Socialism, and in the mid-1990s the party leader at the time, Mikael Jansson, made a thorough purge of neo-Nazi sympathizers, but the media routinely refers to the SD as “having roots in the neo-Nazi movement.” However, what some party members may have thought in the early 1990s seems increasingly irrelevant to rational people, and I suspect that if the party maintains discipline, even this taint will be gone in a decade or so.
Much more important for the SD’s popularity has been the worsening immigration crisis. The disgraceful tactics used against the party may also have called attention to its positions.
There are no official figures on the ethnic or racial composition of Sweden, but there are statistics on the number of immigrants and of people born to foreigners. From 2005 to 2009, the number of people born in Asia, Africa, or Latin America, or whose parents were both born in those places rose from 6.9 to 8.8 percent of the population, and this increase accounted for roughly two thirds of total population growth. These figures leave out many people, however — for example, they do not include a child born to a Somali-born parent and a Sweden-born Somali — so the total number of people with non-European origins is probably well above 10 percent.
During the last few decades violent crime, particularly rape and robbery, has increased dramatically, and this was widely acknowledged until the SD and other nationalist groups started to campaign on the issue. Now the media have started to promote the theory that crime hasn’t increased at all, and that immigrants are certainly no more crime prone than native Swedes. However, upon request, the courts are required to report information on convictions, including the origins of criminals, and any group that takes the time to request information on all convictions can compile its own reports. The SD did exactly this, as did a smaller party called Svenskarnas Parti (the Party of the Swedes, PS).
The PS issued a very detailed study that covered all 2008 rape convictions, and immigrant groups were vastly over-represented compared to Swedes. North Africans were 28 times more likely than Swedes to be convicted of rape, and the figure for sub-Saharan Africans was 16, while that for Middle Easterners and Latin Americans was 11.
Since the PS is a small, fringe group, the media completely ignored its report, but they briefly discussed a similar but less detailed report from the SD. Of course, they coupled their reporting with comments from “experts” which claimed that the SD methodology was “unscientific.” The “experts” also explained — without evidence — that immigrants are treated unfairly and are thus more likely to be convicted by a “racist” system.
When this argument wore thin, another approach was to concede that immigrants are more likely to commit rape, but to explain that this was due to poverty. One wonders why poverty causes rape, but even if it does, this is not an argument against the theory that immigration has increased rapes. Low-skilled immigrants from Iraq, Somalia, and Morocco are going to be poor, so even on that flimsy ground, immigration would increase rape.
Riots and jobs
Immigrant riots, particularly in the Rosengard district of Malmo, have become so common that the press usually doesn’t even report them. It is only when arson and vandalism are especially widespread that the media take notice. Needless to say, it is never immigrants who riot, but “youths.” Everyone sees through this euphemism, however, so the media always remind us that “discrimination” and “poverty” cause the violence. In other words, Swedish society is to blame.
Typical media attitudes were at work during what may have been the worst riots ever to take place in Rosengard. Violence erupted in December 2008 after police shut down a Muslim “community center” that did not pay rent to its landlord. There was so much mayhem that the police had to send in a very large number of officers, and policemen talking in a van en route to Rosengard were recorded, and the tape was leaked to the press. One policeman mentioned a conversation he had with a storekeeper in a nearby county with almost no immigrants about how good it was not to have as many immigrants as Malmo. Later, when police spotted a rioter outside the van, another officer said that he would like to beat that “scum” until he was sterile. These recordings were an excuse for the media to change the subject completely, so that “racist” police became the real problem, not rioting immigrants.
For the last few years, the dominant political issue in Sweden has been the high level of unemployment, but neither the left nor the right has dared to point out that immigrants who work take jobs from Swedes, and that immigrants who do not work add to the unemployment rolls. The SD tried to raise this issue but the media almost completely shut out debate. The only exception of which I am aware was when a caller asked Green Party co-chair Maria Wetterstrand during a television program why the party wanted to import more workers when there are so many unemployed Swedes. Miss Wetterstrand said only that the principle of open borders was very important to Greens — more important, apparently, than jobs for Swedes.
Asylum-seekers are the least productive immigrants. Studies have shown that for at least the first six or seven years, a large majority of them do not work, and many are unemployed for many years. The obvious solution to unemployment is to do as the SD proposes: restrict entry of foreign workers and dramatically reduce the number accepted for asylum. Neither the right nor the left has even hinted at this obvious solution — though with one exception.
During a television debate between the leaders of the established parties, Lars Ohly, leader of the Left Party, attacked center-right Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, claiming that cuts in unemployment benefits implemented by Mr. Reinfeldt’s government had forced more people to apply for welfare. Mr. Reinfeldt replied, “You talk about increasing welfare dependency. I know why welfare dependency has increased but if you want to discuss immigration, that’s a different subject.”
Mr. Ohly was left speechless at this unexpected reply and there was complete silence in the room for a few seconds, before the moderators quickly changed the subject. The reason Mr. Reinfeldt’s comment left everyone speechless is that, unlike immigrant over-representation in crime, almost everyone acknowledges the very high level of unemployment and welfare dependency among immigrants. However, it is unthinkable to point out the obvious: We would not have this problem if immigrants were not allowed in in the first place. Mr. Reinfeldt has never since tied immigration to welfare; this must have been a temporary slip caused by an inability to come up with other arguments.
During the campaign, the SD was often accused of having “the tax policy of the right, and the spending policy of the left,” meaning that the SD was fiscally irresponsible. It is true that the SD not only wants to maintain the center-right’s tax cuts but cut taxes further, while also increasing social spending as much as the parties of the left. How would it do this? By cutting spending in two areas: foreign aid and immigration.
Sweden today has the highest foreign-aid budget in the world relative to GDP, at 1.1 percent. The SD wants to reduce that number to 0.7 percent of GDP, which would still be a figure much higher than that of the United States and most other rich countries. Saving 0.4 percent of GDP would mean $1.7 billion, a tidy sum for a small country. As for immigration, asylum seekers are especially costly, so a drastic reduction would fund tax cuts as well as generous social benefits and higher pensions.
One absurd scheme the SD wants to abolish is the system of “foot-hold jobs,” according to which the government pays 75 percent of an employer’s cost of hiring an immigrant for the first three years. This is a blatant attempt to hide the extent to which immigrants are dependent on government handouts, and these immigrants are officially counted as “employed.” This is obviously unfair to Swedish job-seekers, who must compete against foreigners whom an employer can hire at one quarter the cost of a native.
For anyone who doesn’t have an ideological commitment to utopian socialism or some suicidal principle of open borders, the real-life consequences for the Swedish people of the current immigration policies are clearly awful. How does the establishment counter the arguments of the SD and other restrictionists?
The answer is that it does not. Instead, it fights dirty and violates the principles of democracy and free speech to keep opponents quiet. Since the SD is a legal party, the government itself cannot crack down on its members. However, extreme left-wing groups that go by names like “Anti-Fascist Action,” “Revolutionary Front” and “Syndicalist Youth Group” have threatened or attacked people who are candidates or employees of the SD — no doubt with the tacit support of the Left Party. In September 2010 alone, two candidates for the SD were victims of aggravated assault, and members of a “youth gang” stabbed a man they believed (falsely, it turned out) worked for the SD. These are cases of actual violence; threats of violence are much more common, and obviously this deters people from supporting the SD or working for it.
At the same time, the constant media drumbeat that SD members are all sinister Nazis means that many people will fear, often correctly, that a declaration of support for the SD will be treated like a declaration of sexual attraction to young children. Furthermore, while Swedish law makes it very difficult to fire someone because of his political views, nothing stops employers from refraining from hiring someone because of his politics.
The establishment and informally allied far-left groups made it virtually impossible for the SD to conduct a normal campaign. Whenever the left heard about an SD meeting, it sent thugs to disrupt it. On September 13, for example, 500 counter-demonstrators stopped an SD rally in its tracks. The next day, the party had to cancel rallies in the cities of Eskilstuna, Karlstad, and Dadeville for fears of physical danger. On the 15th, an election tour in Norrkoping was called off for the same reason.
Muzzling political speech is, of course, illegal. Swedish law allows counter-protests but explicitly forbids activities that prevent anyone from presenting a message at a public gathering. However, when SD rallies actually took place, the police only prevented the far left from physically attacking party members, which they would certainly have otherwise done. The police did not prevent far-left activists from using loud speakers and vuvuzelas to prevent anyone from hearing what the SD had to say.
Thugs have been entirely open about their activities but have suffered no consequences. Dror Feiler is an Israeli who lives in Sweden because of his contempt for Zionism and all other forms of nationalism, including Swedish nationalism. At one point, he was pictured in the third biggest newspaper in Sweden, Dagens Nyheter, with both a vuvuzela and a loud speaker he had been using to drown out SD leader Jimmie Akesson. When a reporter asked if this did not violate Mr. Akesson’s rights, Mr. Feiler replied, “My struggle for democracy is more important than Mr. Akesson’s undisrupted freedom.” The authorities took no notice.
The assaults on SD candidates have also been met with a very lackadaisical police response, with no arrests and no suspects. By contrast, any violence by anyone who could be called a “neo-Nazi” gets a very active response, and almost always leads to an arrest. Some liberals have a positively grotesque view of all this. Hanne Kjoller, an editorial writer for the Dagens Nyheter, thinks attacks and disruptions were good for the party. “Jimmie Akesson becomes a poor underdog and the picture of a party that is holding some dangerous but important truth is enhanced,” she wrote, even suggesting that the Sweden Democrats should send flowers to left-wing thugs, thanking them for the publicity they bring.
Only a few Swedes seem to understand the implications of persecuting the SD. After several rallies had to be canceled, National Police Commissioner Bengt Svenson sharply criticized local police for failing to provide protection. “It is a serious problem when such meetings cannot be held,” he said, “because it is our absolute duty to ensure that constitutionally guaranteed rights be maintained and that all meetings can be held.”
There have been other outrages. For several days before the election and for at least two weeks afterwards, the web sites of the SD and its official newspaper, SD-Kuriren, were knocked out of action by hacker attacks (they were still down when AR went to press). One can criticize the SD for not anticipating this and using better security, but the real story is the outrageous, anti-democratic attitudes of the people behind the attacks, and the failure of the police to track them down.
On one occasion, hackers found out who had been ordering party pamphlets and who had applied for membership during the previous year, and promptly posted names and addresses on the Internet. Publication of private information of this kind is strictly illegal, but the police show little interest when SD members are victims.
During the campaign, the traditional media behaved as expected: so-called news stories were excuses to slander the SD, and the party was almost never given an opportunity to reply — something that is traditional in the Swedish media. Leaders of small but politically correct parties were allowed to write op-ed articles while sympathizers of the SD were shut out.
Despite the fact that most opinion polls suggested that the SD had risen above the 4 percent threshold needed to enter parliament, the SD was excluded from all debates on both the government-run television channel and the largest private channel, TV4. The excuse was that the SD wasn’t represented in the parliament, although in the past, unrepresented parties that consistently polled above 4 percent had access to similar debates. What is more, during the debates, there was a great deal of handwringing over the possibility that the SD might enter parliament, and how the two main blocs of established parties should deal with this possible catastrophe, especially if neither got a majority. As Mr. Akesson pointed out, this meant that the debates largely featured other parties slandering the SD, while the SD had no opportunity to respond.
Much of the time, the SD could not even buy radio or TV time. The party wanted to pay TV4 to run an ad that began with a female voice saying that politics is about getting your priorities straight. Then there were pictures of a Swedish senior citizen in contrast to a few Muslim women, with the message that the SD prefers to spend money on Swedish senior citizens rather than immigrants. TV4 refused the ad, claiming it was “hate speech.” The SD then reported itself to the authorities for violating hate speech laws, and was immediately acquitted. In the end, TV4 did allow a version of the ad but without the pictures of the Swedish senior citizen and the Muslim women. In another ad TV4 refused to run, a Swedish pensioner was outrun in a footrace by burka-clad women.
In short, the establishment and its left allies severely compromised the SD’s exposure in the press, on television, on the Internet, and at political rallies. This suppression was so blatant that prominent Danish politicians, not only from the Danish People’s Party but also from the governing center-right parties — who are a lot more sensible than their Swedish counterparts on immigration and free speech — denounced the Swedish government and called for foreign observers to monitor the election. Needless to say, the Swedish government rejected this.
The bullying was too much for Pia Kjaersgaard, leader of the Danish People’s Party. Her party has a policy of not endorsing or aligning itself with foreign nationalists for fear it may be unwittingly associated with extremists, but Mrs. Kjaersgaard made an exception for the SD. After receiving assurances that Mr. Akesson had purged all neo-Nazi and other extremists, she went to Sweden and attended a public SD rally in Hoganas, and expressed solidarity with the SD. Hoganas is a small place with few far-left agitators, so a rally could actually take place. This meant few people attended, but it was an event the media were forced to report.
Swedes love to scoff at elections in Russia and Zimbabwe in which opposition parties are shut out of the media, their web sites attacked, and their meetings broken up. Yet, most established politicians and media pundits had at best feeble objections to the very same thing happening in Sweden.
When Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt was asked to comment on a case of physical assault on an SD candidate, he said that while he didn’t think people should use violence, SD candidates should realize that this is the treatment they should expect when they spread a message of hate and intolerance. When it became clear on election night that the SD would enter parliament, Left Party leader Lars Ohly said this should prompt people to engage in more “extra-parliamentary activities” to “crush racism.” This is the sort of thing we expect from Robert Mugabe.
Even the Swedish electoral system has a Third-World tinge. Sweden still uses individual paper ballots for each party, and in previous elections there have been proven cases of SD ballots “mysteriously” disappearing. It is legally acceptable to write a party’s name on a blank paper ballot but most people do not know this; they assume there is no way to vote for a party that does not offer pre-printed ballots. The paper system also means corrupt election workers could switch SD ballots for ballots from other parties. There is no hard evidence of this ever happening, but the undemocratic methods used to try to stop the SD mean it cannot be ruled out.
All this makes the SD’s achievement in entering parliament all the more remarkable. With just 20 out of 349 seats and in the face of extreme hostility from the other parties, it will not be able to change immigration policy immediately. However, although the other parties now swear they will never let the SD influence their policies, the experience in other European countries shows that this is exactly what will happen — later and very quietly.
At the same time, the crucial fact of parliamentary representation means not only an important psychological boost but eligibility for extensive public funding. The SD will be able to get its message out much more broadly and effectively in future elections. Also, now that members are in the Riksdag their speeches will automatically be included in parliamentary sessions, which are broadcast on television, and the election has removed the last excuse for excluding them from public debates.
Thus, while the number of immigrants will continue to increase for a while, and though the SD continues to face an exhausting battle against an establishment that has proven itself willing to use all legal and many illegal means to fight it, this election represents a key breakthrough in the struggle to preserve the Swedish nation, and to take away power from the ruling class that is committed to destroying it.
The Man Who Shook Sweden
He may look wet behind the ears, but Jimmie Akesson, the 31-year-old leader of the Sweden Democrats, is an experienced politician. He joined the Sweden Democrats at 15, and in 1998, at the age of 19, won a seat on the local council in the municipality of Solvesborg, his hometown — a position he still holds. That same year he became deputy chairman of the youth league of the Sweden Democrats. He was chairman of the league from 2000 to 2005, when he mounted a successful leadership challenge against then party leader Mikael Jansson. As leader, Mr. Akesson further purged the party of its neo-Nazi fringe and began remolding it as a populist party focused on immigration reform and the preservation of the traditional Swedish nation. “Keep Sweden Swedish” became its election slogan. During the recent campaign, when reporters asked about the party’s past, Mr. Akesson replied, “That’s the old Sweden Democrats. Today we are different and voters see that.” That they did — at least 300,000 of them did.
Under his leadership, the Sweden Democrats have gone from, in the words of the British newspaper Independent, “a far right skinhead-style political organization” to a party of “respectable, suit-wearing, middle-class Swedes.” Nowadays, the most that frustrated anti-fascists can say about Mr. Akesson is that he is “plodding and un-charismatic,” and speaks “like the CEO of a small company reporting its annual results.” Graeme Atkinson, the European editor of Searchlight, a hard-left magazine always on the sniff for “fascism,” calls Mr. Akesson “politically non-descript.” The worst dirt anyone can dig up on him is that he once attended a gathering at which “right wingers” sang “racist songs.”
Now, as a member of the Riksdag, his position can only become stronger. In a speech to supporters after the election, Mr. Akesson promised that he will keep fighting: “We were exposed to censorship, we were exposed to a medieval boycott. . . . We were denied advertising in many newspapers, we were in every possible way treated as something other than a political party. But despite all that, we scored a fantastic result. . . . Today, we have written political history.”
Mikael Widmark is the pen name of an economist who lives in northern Sweden.
Race and Baseball
Who is really ‘black’?
In recent years, there has been a fuss about the declining percentage of black players in Major League Baseball. The figure has been dropping for decades, and many players, commentators, and organizations want to push it back up. At the forefront of the struggle is the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES), which issues a yearly “Racial and Gender Report Card.” Founded in 2002 at the University of Central Florida by Dr. Richard Lapchick — son of former Boston Celtics player and NBA coach Joe Lapchick — TIDES also grades the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, and NCAA college sports. It pores over front-office hiring practices as well as the race of players, and helpfully suggests hiring goals.
In 1975, the proportion of American blacks in MLB peaked at 27 percent. That figure dropped to 8.2 percent at the start of 2007, and is 9.1 percent for the 2010 season. Part of the problem, as blacks see it, is that fans can’t tell the difference between dark-skinned Hispanics and “African Americans.” Los Angeles Angels center fielder Torii Hunter made this point just before the 2010 season began. “People see dark faces out there,” he said, “and the perception is that they’re African-American. They’re not us. They’re impostors.” He went on to say of his Dominican-born former teammate Vladimir Guerrero, “Come on, he’s Dominican. He’s not black.”
Clearly, Mr. Hunter and like-minded American blacks want to reserve the term “black” for themselves. However, if you lined up six black MLB players, (for example: LaTroy Hawkins, Brandon Phillips, Delmon Young, Jose Reyes, David Ortiz, and Vladimir Guerrero) no one who didn’t already know would be able to tell you which three were born in the United States. Insofar as the term “black” means having sub-Saharan ancestry, Mr. Hunter is no more “black” than Mr. Guerrero. Black Dominicans are just as African as American blacks. Apparently, Mr. Hunter thought he was witnessing a usurpation of the term “black,” and he didn’t like it.
Even if it is true that American-born blacks are only 9.1 percent of MLB, the number of African faces we see on the field today is probably in the range of the 27 percent figure for which Mr. Hunter appears to be nostalgic. Baseball hasn’t become any less “black;” it’s just become less American. Needless to say, MLB’s critics never worry about the decline in the number of white players, who have seen their percentages drop from 100 percent in 1947 to 61.7 percent in 2010.
Jackie Robinson Day
Every April 15, Major League Baseball treats us to Jackie Robinson Day, which has turned into a two- or three-day extravaganza. It started in 2004, with a celebration at Shea Stadium in New York City. In 2005, MLB commissioner Bud Selig declared that every April 15th would be Jackie Robinson Day (Robinson played his first major-league game on April 15, 1947). When he stopped playing, Robinson became the only major leaguer in history to have his number retired across the sport, which means that no player on any team may wear 42 ever again. By 2007, however, many players who had games on April 15 were wearing 42 to honor Robinson. Soon, not just every player but every manager and even the umpires were wearing 42. In 2010, six teams did not play on April 15; they made up for it by wearing number 42 on another day.
Mr. Hunter didn’t like this either: “This is supposed to be an honor, and just a handful of guys wearing the number. Now you’ve got entire teams doing it. I think we’re killing the meaning.” Clearly, his “handful of guys” meant blacks. Mr. Hunter was especially upset that the Houston Astros, with no “black” players on their roster, were wearing the number.
Of course, the whole idea of celebrating Jackie Robinson — in addition to making sure the country never forgets how wicked whites were in the bad old days of segregation — is to eliminate considerations of race, and to choose players on the basis of ability. Groups like TIDES want to go back to a system of quotas and racial discrimination. Jackie Robinson’s widow Rachel wants more American blacks on the field, too.
Some people think there is a conspiracy. In April, Miami New Times writer Luther Campbell wrote a short article supporting Mr. Hunter, claiming that MLB owners and scouts want “to eliminate black Americans and replace them with Dominicans.” Mr. Campbell claimed MLB brass gets by with paying Dominicans less money than American blacks would demand. He went fishing for examples to validate this claim, and came up with the Florida Marlins, a team with a very low payroll and lots of Latin American players on its roster.
Mr. Campbell conveniently left out the New York Mets (or “Los Mets”), the team with the most Hispanic players in Major League Baseball. They have the league’s fifth-highest payroll, and feature such Latin stars as Johan Santana (signed for six years, $137.5 million), Carlos Beltran (seven years, $119 million), Francisco Rodriguez (three years, $37 million), Oliver Perez (three years, $36 million), and Luis Castillo (four years, $25 million). You could argue that these high-priced Mets are overpaid, given their on-field performance, but they are proof that Latin players do not settle for chump change. Another example of a high-priced Hispanic is rookie Aroldis Chapman, a Cuban defector who inked a six-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds for $30 million before he even played a single major league game.
Part of the “problem,” of course, is that black children now play more basketball than baseball. In 1989, former major leaguer John Young started something called Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) to try to change that. MLB started supporting RBI in 1991, and it works in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. There are now seven RBI alumni — six blacks and one Hispanic — in the majors, but Mr. Hunter grouses that the program does not get enough money. He also complains that 60 to 70 percent of black families are headed by women who don’t have the time to take children to practice every day — as if that were somehow RBI’s fault. Pitcher LaTroy Hawkins has another explanation for the thinning number of black players: MLB scouts are unwilling to venture into high-crime, high-poverty areas to hunt for black talent.
So how many blacks does TIDES think there should be in Major League Baseball? It has a simple-minded formula. TIDES believes that (only) 24 percent of the population is non-white, so if 24 percent or more of team members are non-white, the sport gets an A for players (it also grades leagues on managers, front-office help, etc.). TIDES doesn’t care at all about white people; the percentage of non-whites can go far beyond 24 percent, cutting drastically into what is presumably white territory, but that is perfectly acceptable. In 2009, therefore, when the National Basketball Association (NBA) was 77 percent black and 18 percent white, it got an A+. These figures meant that, on average, a black was about 23 times more likely than a white to be a professional basketball player but that’s fine with TIDES. The National Football League, which is 67 percent black and 31 percent white, also got an A+, as did the Women’s National Basketball Association, which is also 67 percent black, but 20 percent white, and 12 percent international.
TIDES might not insist that every single player in the NBA be black, but by its formula the score for diversity would not go down one bit if it were. This is typical “diversity” thinking. A 100-percent-black NBA would have no diversity at all, but TIDES would still give it an A+, maybe even an A++. As is so often the case, “diversity” is just an excuse to push out whitey.
Mr. Watkins is a graduate of University of Pittsburgh who works in Washington, DC.
A Contrarian View of School Reform
Why we lurch from failure to failure.
Robert Weissberg, Bad Students, Not Bad Schools, Transaction Publishers, 2010, 315 pp., $39.95
Robert Weissberg was born in New York City in 1941. His family was satisfied with the education provided at their neighborhood elementary school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, but there were problems at the Booker T. Washington Junior High School, which young Robert attended for a few weeks in 1953. This was a decade before many other New York schools “slipped into near disaster,” but when Robert told his parents stories of “mayhem bereft of any learning,” the Weissbergs became early participants in white flight. They moved to suburban New Jersey, whence Robert went on to Bard College, graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, and professorships in political science at Cornell and the University of Illinois.
In 2004, Prof. Weissberg moved back to his home town after 40 years. When he described his experiences at Booker T. Washington to a recent president of that school’s PTA, he learned that conditions had become even worse. And yet, when he met “many of America’s notable educators” — high-ranking public officials, famous writers, noted professors of education, and philanthropists — he found that most were smart and all were serious, but their opinions were “little more than heartfelt clichés.”
In 1953, when Prof. Weissberg had been a student at Booker T. Washington, the school was almost brand new. There was nothing wrong with the teachers, except that they had to spend too much time trying “to control miscreants.” The problem had been the students. Yet when Prof. Weissberg discussed the state of public education with the leading experts half a century later, not one could see that. Some said schools were struggling because of inadequate funds; others found fault with “directive” teaching that did not allow students to achieve deep understanding by “constructing” their own knowledge. Experts from the left and right joined in saying that schools and teachers should be accountable for the scores their students made on standard tests. “The unpleasant possibility that students themselves hated school and their aversion was beyond remediation was . . . unthinkable,” writes Prof. Weissberg, “and voicing it breached decorum.”
In the 1950s and early 1960s, against the backdrop of the Cold War, most public schools emphasized the importance of educating the brightest students. Grouping students by ability came into vogue, and many high schools added advanced placement courses. But the emphasis shifted after the post-Sputnik panic was replaced by concern about civil rights and race riots. Mainstream educators began to focus not on “helping a few Whiz Kids master quantum mechanics so as to protect us from Soviet rockets” but on “moving the entire school population, but especially those at the very bottom, up a few notches.”
The new emphasis was based on egalitarian assumptions. New York Times columnist Deborah Solomon summarized the underlying premise when she said, “Given the opportunity, most people could do most anything.” In a popular textbook, Mary M. Frasier, a professor of educational psychology, affirmed, “There is no logical reason to expect that the number of minority students [in advanced classes] would not be proportional to their representation in the general population.”
Bad Students, Not Bad Schools is a relentless critique of this “educational romanticism.” Prof. Weissberg insists that responsibility for learning should be shifted to students and their families, where most people have always recognized it belonged. With a combination of erudition and wit that are rare in scholarly analyses, Prof. Weissberg says “what everybody (or nearly everybody) knows to be true but is fearful of expressing in public — America’s educational woes just reflect our current demographic mix of students.”
Prof. Weissberg posits a formula in which academic achievement (A) depends on a combination of intelligence (I), motivation (M), resources (R), pedagogy (P) and teaching (T). He recognizes that even smart, motivated students do not learn algebra on their own, so teaching and resources (T and R) are necessary. Yet while acknowledging the importance of resources, pedagogy, and teaching, he maintains that intelligence and motivation matter most.
He writes the formula for academic achievement (A) as follows:
A = 8I × 4M × R × P × T
This is almost like a cooking recipe, with eight portions of intelligence, four portions of motivation, but only one portion of resources, pedagogy, and teaching. Unlike cooking recipes, however, Prof. Weissberg’s formula is not additive but multiplicative. This means that if any term is “0,” the final result is “0,” and if any element is very small, the result will also be small.
The formula stresses “human capital.” Intellectual ability (I) has a huge impact, followed by motivation. Resources, pedagogy, and teaching are essential but less important than intelligence and motivation. The basic problem is that most reformers focus on resources, pedagogy, and teaching. They propose major investments in buildings, new curricula, and better teachers, but they neglect the most important elements: brains and motivation.
To support his formula, Prof. Weissberg cites a number of “natural experiments.” He notes that the United States has recently experienced massive immigration, and most newcomers have settled in low-income neighborhoods with troubled public schools. But he also notes that “student performance in these oft-dreary, run-down sometimes violence-plagued settings varies widely, and these dissimilarities are often so spectacular that the ‘bad school did it’ crime theory utterly collapses.” Hispanics from Mexico and Puerto Rico have done poorly in these schools, but the children of the Vietnamese boat people have excelled. Chinese, Korean, and Russian immigrants have also done well in inner-city schools.
Most school reformers have ignored this. They refuse to concede that “if new students arrive at a ‘bad school’ and excel it is implausible to insist that the school itself inherently destroys learning.” Instead of acknowledging the importance of the students’ intelligence and motivation, the reformers insist that “bad schools are to be cured by more resources, more resources, and yet more resources.”
Integration was another “natural experiment.” Integration was usually a short-lived transitional period between the time when large numbers of blacks moved into a school and the last whites moved out. James S. Coleman, the leading authority on this subject, found that after a tipping point had been reached, an increase of 5 percent in the average white child’s black classmates caused an additional 10 percent of white families to leave. Nevertheless, there were exceptional instances in which racially balanced integration persisted for a generation or more.
When that happened, black students enjoyed “every advantage imaginable in a ‘good school,’ including learning side-by-side with smart white students.” But this did not change academic outcomes. In 2003, after the relation between racial mix and educational achievement had been studied by an army of social scientists, Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom reported that there still was “no scholarly consensus that a school’s racial mix has a clear effect on how much children learn.” The racial gap in achievement persists whatever the racial mix of students.
Prof. Weissberg goes further and contends that integration depressed the achievement of white students. Although test scores and other statistics are not conclusive on this point, there are numerous descriptive accounts of the decline of education in the wake of integration. San Diego, for example, had seven elementary schools, five of which were failing. When students from the five were allowed to transfer to the remaining two, “the influx of refugees . . . outraged parents who paid a housing premium to enroll their offspring in the nearby superior school.” The high-quality schools were “suddenly plagued by physical violence and ‘purple language’ thanks to these new arrivals.” This should not have been a surprise, says Prof. Weissberg. To expect otherwise would have been the equivalent of transferring the sick to a healthy setting and expecting the ill to catch ‘health.’”
In their efforts to “make integration work,” racially balanced schools relaxed standards of decorum, moved away from grouping students by ability, and put more emphasis on remedial education and multiculturalism. Yet more white families fled to private schools and distant suburbs. This is all part of Prof. Weissberg’s chapter on what he calls “the war on academic excellence.” He writes that “the foolishness of the ‘war’ against America’s most talented is almost beyond belief, a relentless pursuit of an egalitarian fantasy at the expense of genuine educational accomplishment.”
School spending provided yet more natural experiments. For several decades the expenditure in most predominantly black inner-city school districts has exceeded the average for their state, and in some areas — Kansas City, Hartford, and the “Abbott districts” in New Jersey, for example — inner-cities schools have swallowed up as much or more money than the states’ wealthiest districts, but with no substantial progress in closing the achievement gap. According to Prof. Weissberg, “beliefs about the power of material resources, versus human capital (i.e., the students themselves) are . . . comparable to insisting that inept basketball teams could become champions if only given better practice facilities or nicer uniforms.”
As Prof. Weissberg explains, race differences in intelligence are the great taboo: “Lying is endemic; explanations of why African-Americans do so poorly can be near mystical.” He adds that “hard-nosed realists” are “shunned or forced into silence,” while “those skilled in manipulating statistics or flattering those desperate to hear good news . . . rise to the top.” He personally thinks that the academic superiority of Caucasians and Asians “is likely to be at least partly genetic,” though he notes that science has not yet defined the boundaries between genetic and environmental effects, and believes further that motivation also matters a great deal.
Because cultural values influence motivation, Prof. Weissberg does not reject the possibility that reform might eventually persuade more students to take school work seriously. However, unlike the schools of yesteryear, which used competition and a variety of punishments to motivate students, the current fashion is to establish a “kinder, gentler educational atmosphere” that encourages achievement by nurturing self-esteem. Prof. Weissberg disdains this “culturally sensitive” approach, which he contrasts with the “old-fashioned methods” that many athletic coaches still use “to instigate high performance from boys, especially black boys.”
Prof. Weissberg also laments that high school students of every ethnicity are influenced by what he calls a “rampant cultural anti-intellectualism.” This is manifest above all in peer pressure that values popularity with the opposite sex and rewards boys who are athletes and girls who are stylish. Prof. Weissberg suggests, however, that in many cases this is a realistic adaptation to reality. Half the white and Asian students in the United States (as well as 85 percent of blacks and 75 percent of the Hispanics) have IQs below 100, so a great many teenagers are not capable of college work, or even of doing what once was required to pass high-school algebra. Students with low IQs eschew study, tutors, and libraries, in large part, to escape the travail of having to deal with material that is beyond their comprehension.
Despite his pessimism, Prof. Weissberg does not despair. If improved academic performance is truly necessary for the United States, a ready solution is at hand: “Just make immigration policy skill driven.” Prof. Weissberg also argues that “most of America’s educational woes would vanish if . . . indifferent, troublesome students” were encouraged to drop out of school “when they had absorbed as much as they were going to learn.” He points out that “dropping out” is nothing new. In the past, many dullards were let go because “nineteenth-century schools were under no pressure to retain malingerers.”
Prof. Weissberg also takes aim at the conventional wisdom that America’s “modern techno-society need[s] ever more well-trained people to survive.” He notes that, “If anything, modern society does not require armies of highly-skilled workers.” “A handful of very smart people may be able to compensate for thousands of dummies, and educating these smart people may be a far better strategy than imploring the latter to shape up.” Prof. Weissberg believes that the money spent on school reform “could be better invested in, say, rebuilding America’s deteriorating infrastructure or some other venture promoting economic growth (and the construction workers could be those unable to get a high school diploma).”
Bad Students, Not Bad Schools conveys much sympathy for weak students and harried teachers. Most students can be taught to read and compute at an elementary level, but Prof. Weissberg believes that “those unable to do college-level math or read complicated material cannot be upgraded by extra attention.” He writes that to require those with low intelligence to “devote untold painful hours to mastering algebra,” is just as foolish as insisting that tone-deaf students learn to sing a cappella.
Prof. Weissberg has little patience, however, for school reformers, who he thinks are just feathering the nest for their own profession. Instead of fostering blue collar jobs in which people of middling intelligence could earn decent wages, reformers squander billions in education-related “make work” for white-collar professionals. After adjusting for inflation, spending per pupil has increased ten times since 1940, and salaries for teachers are just the tip of the iceberg. “Today’s schools overflow with specialized staff catering to the complicated psycho-social needs of pupils who were, allegedly, ignored a generation back.” Prof. Weissberg writes that education has become a stealth anti-poverty program; it is “the New Great Society.”
Prof. Weissberg is especially critical of social scientists. He describes how standardized testing has been manipulated by ruses such as lowering the score required to “pass,” or increasing the number of students who are classified as “disabled” and therefore exempt from testing. He shows how scholars “manufacture reality via including and excluding variables and choosing what to correlate with what.” He says the desire for “good news” about the racial achievement gap has created “a thriving market for mendacity.” Philanthropists “want to hear upbeat news and will happily hire experts who supply it.”
Bad Students, Not Bad Schools is a well-informed and brilliantly perceptive commentary on the recent history of failed educational reforms. It explains why America’s public schools have lurched “from one guaranteed failed reform to the next, squandering hundreds of billions while progress is, we are assured by optimistic politicians, just over the horizon.”
Raymond Wolters is the Thomas Muncy Keith Professor of History at the University of Delaware.
The Galton Report
IQ Differences in the American States.
As has been widely reported, the demographic changes set in motion by the immigration reform of 1965 are reducing whites to a minority in the United States. The proportion of whites is not, however, changing at the same rate in all regions, which means that while some states — California, Texas, Hawaii, New Mexico — already have non-white majorities, some states are still overwhelmingly white.
This means that the average IQs of the American states are diverging, depending on the mix of whites, blacks, and Hispanics (aside from Hawaii, no state has enough Asians for them to have much effect on the average). Because blacks (IQ 85) and Hispanics (IQ 89) have lower IQs than whites (IQ 100), state IQs will inevitably reflect the percentages of blacks and Hispanics, and the higher the percentages of these, the lower the IQs.
We are indebted to Professor Mike McDaniel of Virginia Commonwealth University for demonstrating this. He has calculated state IQs from the standardized performances of children in grades four and eight in reading and math, which are acceptable as measures of state IQs.
He finds that, as expected, IQs are highest in the New England states, which have the highest percentages of whites. The highest-IQ states are Massachusetts (104.3), New Hampshire (104.2), and Vermont (103.8). Almost as high are Connecticut (103.1) and Maine (103.4). The largely white states of the midwest score only fractionally lower: Minnesota (103.7), Montana (103.4), Iowa (103.2) and Wisconsin (102.9). IQs are low in the southeastern states, with their large black populations, and are lowest in Mississippi (94.2), Louisiana (95.3), and Alabama (95.7). IQs are not much higher in southwestern states with large Hispanic populations, such as Arizona (97.4), Nevada (96.5), New Mexico (95.7), and California (95.5). Another low-IQ state is Hawaii (95.6), where IQ is pulled down by native Hawaiians (IQ 87), Portuguese with significant African ancestry (IQ 90), and mixed-race people, such as European-Hawaiians (IQ 93) and Chinese-Hawaiians (IQ 91). Professor McDaniel calculates that state IQs are correlated at -0.51 with the percentage of blacks and -0.34 with the percentage of Hispanics.
Not surprisingly, these differences in state IQs are associated with differences in average earnings. Professor McDaniel reports that average state IQs are positively correlated with gross state product per capita at a correlation of 0.28. Rates of violent crime are higher in low-IQ states (correlation of 0.58), and health is worse (0.75). High IQ people look after their health more effectively by, for example, eating sensibly and going to the doctor if they have a worrying symptom. Low birth weights are more frequent in low IQ states (0.71), but the reason for this is not understood. It may simply be a function of the larger number of blacks, who are well known to have babies with lower average birth weights than whites, though the reason for this is not understood, either.
Professor McDaniel’s work has been followed up by Professor Jared Bartels of the University of Central Missouri and his colleagues. They report correlations between state IQs and various categories of crime. They find that state IQs are more highly correlated with violent crime (0.58) than with non-violent crime, including motor-vehicle theft and other theft (0.29). This is probably because it takes a higher IQ to commit theft than to commit violent crime, and also because blacks and Hispanics are apparently more prone to violence than whites.
Professors Charlie Reeve and Debra Basalik of the University of North Carolina have compared state IQs to several different health measures. For example, more mothers in states with high IQs breastfeed their babies (0.33), ensure that their infants are immunized (0.20), take better care of their teeth (0.51), get more exercise (0.51), and refrain from smoking (0.29). At the same time, high-IQ states have lower infant mortality (0.54), lower rates of HIV infection and AIDS (0.39), lower overall mortality (0.46), lower rates of heart disease (0.56), and lower rates of adult obesity (0.36) and child obesity (0.46).
Professors Reeve and Basalik show that state IQ and racial composition together explain a lot of these differences. For instance, they write that black “soul food” is typically high calorie, high fat, and not healthful. They note that African Americans are approximately half as likely as whites to meet fruit and vegetable consumption guidelines, and that studies have found that black women “fear that eating a healthier diet would mean abandoning their cultural identity.” This probably contributes to the high rates of obesity in black women. Profs. Reeve and Basalik cite other studies that have found that intelligence is related to higher levels of physical activity, greater likelihood of taking vitamins, more consumption of fruit and vegetables, and not smoking. They conclude “more intelligent individuals are better able to handle the job of self-provided health care.” They also find that teenagers in low-IQ states have more babies (0.77), most of them unplanned.
All this is bad news for America, particularly for the southern states with large and growing black and Hispanic populations. As their numbers continue to increase as a result of higher fertility and immigration, we have to anticipate that IQs will decline, and consequently living standards will fall, crime will increase, health will deteriorate, and teenage pregnancies will rise. If current trends are allowed to continue and whites become a minority in about 35 years’ time, the United States could become just another Latin-American style country with a majority non-white population.
Bartels, J.M., Ryan, J.J., Urban, L.S. & Glass, L.A. (2010). Correlations between state IQ and FBI crime statistics. Personality and Individual Differences, 48. 579-583.
McDaniel, M.A. (2006). Estimating state IQ: Measurement challenges and preliminary correlates. Intelligence, 34, 607-619.
Reeve, C. & Basalik, D. (2010). Average state IQ, state wealth, and racial composition as predictors of state health statistics: Intelligence, 38, 282-289.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Sinking the Coast Guard
Unlike other service academies, which require congressional appointment, the US Coast Guard Academy (CGA) in New London, Connecticut, claims to admit students based on academic merit. The federal law governing the academy says admissions will be made “without regard to the sex, race, color or religious beliefs of an applicant.” Similar language usually does not stop blatant race preferences, but the academy claims to admit strictly on merit. Evidence suggests otherwise.
The CGA has a director of diversity affairs, and a freshman class that is 24 percent non-white. What is more, non-whites drop out and are dismissed at considerably higher rates than whites, so the academy expects that the class of 2014 will be only about 15 percent non-white by the time it graduates. (How come so many non-whites drop out if the academy admits strictly on merit?)
Fifteen percent is not nearly enough for diversity worshippers, so Congress struck out the non-discrimination language when it passed the Coast Guard reauthorization act. Now the academy can festoon the freshman class with as many non-whites as it wants, and will no doubt see even more of them wash out before graduation.
Congressman Joe Courtney, a Connecticut Democrat who sits on the academy’s Board of Visitors and who is an unintentional comedian, says the change will give the CGA “maximum legal flexibility to achieve the goal of diversity, and does it in a way that doesn’t create quotas.” Black Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings says, “This legislative change ensures that the federal protections enshrined in the Civil Rights Act prohibiting discrimination by entities receiving federal funding apply uniformly at all federal service academies, including the Coast Guard Academy.” As usual, the only way to ensure blacks do not suffer discrimination is to strike out language prohibiting discrimination against them so that the academy can officially and blatantly discriminate in their favor. The reauthorization act is currently awaiting President Obama’s signature.
Antonio Farias, the academy’s director of diversity affairs, says, “We have to get out there and recruit.” He notes that “having the [non-discrimination provisions] gone doesn’t mean more qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds will apply. What it means is it gives us latitude in how we shape classes so we’re on par with the Harvards, MITs and other highly selective colleges that are not under a race-blind arrangement, and gender blind and religious blind. We have had all these blinders on.” [Jennifer McDermott, New Law Could Give CGA Leeway to Better Promote Campus Diversity, The Day (New London), Oct. 1, 2010.]
Presumably, the academy could now admit a class composed of nothing but black Muslim girls if it wanted.
Purveyors of “diversity” are fretting that the next slate of Academy Awards, to be handed out in February, may not have enough black nominees. The most likely contenders for best picture are either about white people or have all-white casts and production staff. The same is true of the most likely recipients of the acting awards.
This is a contrast to last year’s awards, which were heavily black. “Precious,” about an overweight black girl, got 6 nominations, and won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay. A black woman was best supporting actress, and a white woman, Sandra Bullock, was best actress for a film in which she adopted a hulking black teenaged football player.
Despite the success of such films last year, black director John Singleton, whose 1991 “Boyz N the Hood” received two Oscar nominations, says Hollywood just isn’t receptive to his kind of movie. “It’s more difficult than ever to get a picture made with any serious subject — let alone an ethnic-themed one. African-American-themed projects are now being relegated to specialty pictures — as they were in the ’80s before Spike Lee.”
The people who run the Oscars are worried. “For the Academy to continue going forward, it has to be relevant and it has to be inclusive of everybody,” says Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “My hope is that we get more ethnicity in the academy.” Experts say it only makes sense for Hollywood to make films that appeal to non-whites, noting that Hispanics are 15 percent of the US population, but buy 21 percent of the movie tickets, and blacks, 12 percent, buy another 11 percent. [Gregg Kilday and Matthew Belloni, Whitest Oscars in 10 years? Hollywood Reporter, Sept. 30, 2010.]
A group of blacks in New York State think the Democrats take them for granted, and have started their own party and are running a candidate for governor. The Freedom Party needed only 15,000 petitioners to get on the ballot, but got more than 45,000. It is running Charles Barron, the Brooklyn city council member who once invited Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to City Hall, hugged him, and held his hand aloft like a victorious boxer. At a rally for reparations for slavery, Mr. Barron once said he sometimes wants to go up to a white person, tell him, “You can’t understand this, it’s a black thing,” and then “slap him just for my mental health.” [Joyce Purnick, Mugabe’s Visit Has Council Speechless, New York Times, Sept. 16, 2002. Council Extends Welcome Mat — And Also Steps on a Few Toes, Washington Post, Sept. 15, 2002.]
Eva Doyle, a retired school teacher from Buffalo, is the candidate for lieutenant governor. She says the Freedom Party intends to put the political establishment on notice that it shouldn’t count on the black vote. “If I listen to both candidates [Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino], I’m not hearing them address any issues pertaining to the working class, poor people or urban communities,” she says. Betty Jean Grant, who sits on the Erie County council, supports the Freedom Party. “We need a party that takes notice of and addresses our issues,” she says.
The Freedom Party has an uphill fight. Most blacks have never heard of it, and the black Democratic establishment is not supporting it. “It will not have a major effect because people will realize it’s a really important election out there and will vote for one of the two top candidates,” says black assemblyman Herman D. Farrell of Manhattan, former chairman of the state Democratic Party. The Cuomo campaign, which would be hurt if the Freedom Party wins many black voters, dismisses it as “extremist.” Nevertheless, after encountering a number of Freedom Party protestors, Mr. Cuomo made a trip to Harlem to see embattled Congressman Charlie Rangel in an attempt to shore up his black credentials. [Robert J. McCarty and Deidre Williams, New Party Enters Governor’s Race, Buffalo News, Sept. 28, 2010.]
Time to Celebrate
The federal government officially recognizes the 30-day period between September 15 and October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month. The feds began celebrating “Hispanic heritage” in 1968, when President Lyndon Johnson declared “Hispanic Heritage Week.” Professional Hispanics felt shortchanged, so President Ronald Reagan expanded the week to a month in 1988. National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 because that is independence day in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and close enough to independence day in Mexico (Sept. 16) and Chile (Sept. 18). National Hispanic Heritage Month also includes Columbus Day (Oct. 12) — or rather, the anti-Columbus Day “celebration” known as Dia de la Raza, or Day of the Race. Since the 1960s, Hispanic pressure groups have staged rallies on Oct. 12 to denounce Christopher Columbus and Western “genocide.” [About National Hispanic Heritage Month, hispanicheritagemonth.gov.]
On September 9, the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia issued a ruling prohibiting the town of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, from enforcing its law denying business permits to companies that hire illegal aliens and fining landlords who rent to them. Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta gained national attention when he introduced the law in 2006, after two illegals killed a local resident. Mr. Barletta says illegal immigrants were bringing in drugs, gangs and crime, and overwhelming police, hospitals and schools. Following Hazleton’s lead, a number of cities across the country adopted similar laws, and most have suffered a similar fate at the hands of judges.
The ruling claims the Hazleton law usurps the federal government’s exclusive power to regulate immigration. “It is . . . not our job to sit in judgment of whether state and local frustration about federal immigration policy is warranted,” Chief Judge Theodore McKee wrote in the decision. “We are, however, required to intervene when states and localities directly undermine the federal objectives embodied in statutes enacted by Congress.”
Mayor Barletta, who is running for Congress, vows to take the case to the Supreme Court. “Hazleton was the first, and became the symbol of hope for many around the country,” he says. “Since I proposed this law more than four years ago, we have seen the growing frustration all across the country. This frustration is not going away and it will not go away until the federal government finally secures our borders and cracks down on illegal immigration.”
The ACLU, which brought the lawsuit against Hazleton, is happy. “This is a major defeat for the misguided, divisive and expensive anti-immigrant strategy that Hazleton has tried to export to the rest of the country,” says ACLU lawyer Omar Jadwat. [Michael Rubinkam, Pa. Mayor to Take Immigration Law to Supreme Court, AP, Sept. 9, 2010.]
Texas tipped into the majority non-white column a few years ago, and the white percentage continues to fall. The Office of the State Demographer estimates that whites (or Anglos, as they are now called) make up just 45.1 percent of the population. Hispanics are 38.8 percent, followed by blacks at 11.5 percent. Asians, American Indians and everyone else make up 4.6 percent. By 2020, the state’s ethnic/race distribution is expected to be 37.6 percent white, 45.2 percent Hispanic, 11.2 percent black, and 6 percent other.
These demographic changes are now being reflected at the state’s premier public educational institution, the University of Texas at Austin. The University of Texas is one of the largest universities in the world, enrolling more than 50,000 students. This year’s freshman class numbers 7,275, and is the first without a white majority. Whites are just 47.6 percent of the class of 2014, followed by Hispanics at 23.1 percent, Asians at 17.3 percent, and blacks at 5.1 percent. Last year, whites were 51.1 percent of the freshman class.
When graduate and professional students are included, whites are still a majority at the University of Texas — but just barely, at 52.1 percent. [Class of First-Time Freshmen Not a White Majority This Fall Semester at the University of Texas at Austin, utexas.edu, Sept. 14, 2010.]
Due to quirks of colonization and conquest, Haiti and the Dominican Republic have ended up sharing the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, but do not have much else in common. Dominicans like to think of themselves as mestizos, and look down on Haitians because they are black. Many Haitians cross into the Dominican Republic illegally each year, looking for work in construction and agriculture. Dominicans resent this, and the tension has often led to violence.
In 2005, Dominicans were convinced a Haitian murdered a Dominican woman, and sought revenge by burning Haitian squatter camps. The government then deported the 3,000 burned-out Haitians. In 2009, Dominican vigilantes beheaded a Haitian who had murdered a Dominican man. Haitians rioted outside of the Dominican embassy in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
Authorities fear another round of clashes may be at hand. On September 25, a group of Haitians working illegally on a residential construction project near the beach resort of Bavaro-Punta Cana confronted their foreman over unpaid wages. The foreman drew a pistol and killed 32-year-old Issac Louis. The Haitians retaliated the next day, attacking supervisors with rocks and wooden poles, beating one Dominican to death and seriously wounding another. [Ezequiel Abiu Lopez, Dominican, Haitian Killed in Race-fueled Dispute, AP, Sept. 26, 2010.]
Since 2009, the French government has been raiding illegal “Roma” squatter camps, rounding up the Gypsies, and deporting them back to Romania and Bulgaria — much to the consternation of European Union bureaucrats in Brussels. The EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Luxembourg politician Viviane Reding is in a fearful dither. “This is a situation I had thought Europe would not have to witness again after the Second World War,” she huffs, adding, “This is not a minor offence. After 11 years of experience in the commission, I even go further: this is a disgrace.” She says the EU will take legal action against France for violating the EU’s right to “freedom of movement.”
French President Nicholas Sarkozy personally ordered the crackdown in 2009. France deported 9,875 Gypsies that year, and 8,000 so far this year, including 1,000 since August, and 69 the day after the EU threatened legal action.
President Sarkozy calls Commissioner Reding’s comparisons to Nazi atrocities “disgusting,” adding, “I am head of the French state. I cannot let my nation be insulted.” Calling the camps havens for crime and squalor, Mr. Sarkozy vowed to get rid of them all. “We will continue to dismantle the illegal camps, whoever is there,” he says. [Raf Casert, France Defies EU Criticism on Gypsy Expulsions, AP, Sept. 16, 2010. EU Threaten France Over Roma Crackdown, Sky News, Sept. 15, 2010.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — As a professional Classical scholar, I must congratulate Jon Harrison Sims for the erudition and factual accuracy of his article “What Race Were the Greeks and Romans?” in the October issue. However, the article’s title and much of its content seem to indicate that Mr. Sims thinks that Mediterranean Europeans are not as completely white as Nordics. That would mean that many of AR’s readers and supporters are not completely white; including, probably, me and my wife and children (who are Jewish). In fact, I have frequently been troubled by AR’s definition (or, more precisely, lack of definition) of white. For example, the January 2002 issue of AR had an article entitled “Who Is White?” It objected to the US census labeling Middle Easterners as white. On the first page, it illustrated the absurdity of this classification with pictures of Anwar Sadat and Yasser Arafat. Sadat certainly was non-white (although the Egyptian government protested when black actor Louis Gossett, Jr. played him in the miniseries Sadat). However, in the picture of Arafat in AR, as in every other picture I have ever seen of him, he is indistinguishable in appearance from Europeans. Indeed, I have met Palestinian Arabs with blond hair and blue eyes. So, once and for all, what is AR’s definition of white?
Another point: Mr. Sims concedes that the ancient Athenians were “predominantly Mediterranean.” However, it was the Athenians of the fifth and fourth century BC who laid the foundation of all subsequent European drama, philosophy, and history writing. They did this despite the fact that the Athenian population peaked at only 60,000 adult, male citizens in 431 BC; its population was then decimated by the terrible plague of 430-26 BC and the Peloponnesian War (431 BC- 421 BC and 415 BC- 404 BC). In order to explain the ancient Athenians’ dazzling brilliance, Francis Galton hypothesized that their average intelligence must have been “two grades above the mean for a modern European.” On the scale that Galton used, that would have been an average IQ of 120.
Professor (retired) Steven Farron, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sir — For years I have looked forward to my monthly issue of American Renaissance with great anticipation, and have never been disappointed when it arrives. The October 2010 issue takes the cake, however. Jon Harrison Sims’s article, “What Race Were the Greeks and Romans?” far surpasses Prof. J. P. Mallory’s book, In Search of the Indo-European, leaving little doubt about the origins of ancient Western civilization.
Indeed, today’s politically correct classical historians must remain silent lest they open Pandora’s Box. The Greeks and Romans displaced the Minoans and Etruscans, and were later themselves displaced. Europe and America are facing the same displacement pattern hundreds of years later; only this time, there is no one from the north to pick up the slack.
Sam Thiessen, Parker, Colo.
Sir — The “O Tempora” item entitled “Road to Recovery?” in the August issue about how the population of white countries is declining while that of the Third World continues to rise brings to mind Aesop’s fable, “The Lioness and the Vixen:”
A lioness and a vixen were talking together about their young, as mothers will, and saying how healthy and well-grown they were, and what beautiful coats they had, and how they were the image of their parents. “My litter of cubs is a joy to see,” said the fox; and then she added, rather maliciously, “But I notice you never have more than one.” “No,” said the lioness placidly, “but that one is a lion.”
Walter Sieruk, Harrisburg, Pa.
Sir — Thank you for your review in the October issue of the Social Contract’s special issue on the Southern Poverty Law Center. Although most of the liberal media continue to quote the SPLC as if they knew what they are talking about, I have been seeing increasingly skeptical treatment of it, especially on the center’s own website. I would say that at least one third of comments run from doubting to outright hostile. Fewer and fewer Americans are swallowing their fairy tales.
The best way for AR to fight the SPLC is to keep telling the truth.
Sarah Wentworth, Richmond, Va.
Sir — In your October “O Tempora” section, you note that although blacks are only 13 percent of the population, they account for 35 percent of the barbers. What accounts for that? I would assume that most of the customers of black barbers are black and most of the customers of white barbers are white. If so, either blacks get their hair cut a lot more often than whites or the average black barber has a lot fewer customers than the average white barber (which would explain why there are so many per capita). Neither possibility seems very likely. It is often said that blacks go to barbershops to socialize, but that would not explain why there are so many black barbers.
Jonathan Sanders, Cleveland, Oh.