|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol 7, No. 10||October 1996|
The Ways of Our People, Part II
It is our own unique characteristics that threaten our survival.
by Jared Taylor
The first part of this article described some of the characteristics of white societies that distinguish them from others. Many of these — freedom of speech, rule of law, sportsmanship, republican government, high regard for women, concern for animals and the environment — reflect an unusual awareness of the rights of others. Even in war making, whites traditionally show a concern for the enemy not found in other races.
What does any of this have to do with the defeated state of mind now common among whites? Every one of the institutions and characteristics set out above reflects the particular morality of whites. In recent decades, every one has been perverted into something dangerous and self-destructive. Institutions that once balanced respect for the rights of others with an understanding of inegalitarian reality have been plunged into blind egalitarianism. The history of this century is the history of an almost hysterical assault on distinctions of all kinds.
Distinctions require judgment, and judgment can be painful for those who are judged. Some people are found wanting when a society distinguishes between criminal and non-criminal, competent and incompetent, worthy and unworthy, healthy and perverse, our people and those who are not. White societies have pushed their characteristic consideration for others to impossible limits; they have lost the capacity to judge. Distinctions that are vital for survival are blurred and smoothed over in the name of “sensitivity” and “tolerance.” Recognition of inequality is now a violation of the liberal vision of man (now known, of course, as humankind).
For example, it was in the name of equality that the work of the Founding Fathers was dismantled so as to reduce representative government to something like mob democracy. Most of the restrictions on the franchise have been stripped away. Some kind of qualification is necessary to drive a car or become a barber, but any fool who turns eighteen can vote. Presidents and U.S. Senators are now chosen directly by mass ballot. The Founders were careful to distinguish their republic from a democracy, which they feared; we now have a democracy. Why has their work been undone? Because it recognized that some men are wiser than others — a subversive sentiment in this egalitarian era.
In like manner, because we can no longer judge, law has been perverted to serve the so-called rights of criminals and convicts — now sometimes thought to deserve more consideration than the law-abiding. Campus speech codes violate ancient principles of free speech in the name of equality by fiat. High regard for women has collapsed into preposterous notions of physical and psychological equivalence of the sexes. Concern for the common good that underlay public education has now degenerated into a preoccupation with incompetents, defectives, and other beneficiaries of “special” education. Private, voluntary charity has been overshadowed by ruthless government programs that attempt to erase distinctions by taking from the productive and giving to the unproductive.
What is happening in the armed forces is just as extraordinary. Since distinctions are no longer permitted, blacks, whites, Hispanics, women, and homosexuals are all thought to be interchangeable and therefore equally good soldiers. If veterans disagree, social engineering takes precedence over effective killing. Annual efficiency reports for soldiers include an item, “Supports EO/EEO” [Equal Opportunity/Equal Employment Opportunity]. An X in the “No” block can bring an otherwise honorable military career to an end.
The official view is that a “diverse” army is a better army. This is a demonstrated prescription for battlefield disaster. In the 19th century, under Camillo Cavour, the Italian army was made into a tool for nation-building rather than fighting. Italians from different regions were assigned to mixed units in the hope that they would develop feelings of national unity. The result was discord, desertion, and a miserable combat record. The German army, with its cohesive, homogeneous units recruited from small areas within single provinces had high morale and fought brilliantly.
An army’s job is to kill the enemy. Today, most white armies are test beds for egalitarian foolishness, and soldiers are well on their way to becoming social workers with rifles. As the Italians learned but we have not, ignoring distinctions can be fatal.
One of the strangest losses of an ancient distinction has been the crumbling of adult authority. In the 1960s, all across the white world, college administrators put on fantastic displays of spinelessness as young degenerates took over buildings and issued “non-negotiable” demands. Even today, a “demonstration” or the threat of one can bring a university to its knees. The natural hierarchy of generations is cast aside in the name of equality.
All these changes have been part of an assault on virtually every difference, hierarchy, distinction, and discrimination that men have always taken for granted. What we see in the United States and in other white nations is an attack on distinctions that is almost as far-reaching as the Communist attempt to destroy private enterprise.
The typical white concern for others has run amok. In public discourse and political life, not much is left of the old distinctions between man and woman, hetero- and homosexual, gifted and incompetent, citizen and alien, producer and parasite, gentleman and barbarian. This campaign has succeeded only because of the altruistic inclinations that are probably inherent in whites. Down this path lies the collapse of all values.
Of course, the mandatory equality — even equivalence — of races is one of the most desperately defended illusions of this desperately egalitarian century. The illusion began to shape society first in the United States and then spread its effects to all other white nations. Racial doctrine is now at the very heart of the egalitarian juggernaut that is crushing the white man. The vital ability to make racial distinctions has been swept away, along with the ability to make countless other distinctions.
Anyone who can see through the central lie of racial equivalence is likely to see through the other associated egalitarian lies. That is why whites who still make racial distinctions still make so many others.
What has brought about the destruction of distinctions? Several explanations have been proposed but none seems adequate. Some people think that Christianity, with its emphasis on equality before God and turning the other cheek, has fatally weakened the white man. Today, mainstream Christianity is certainly an important force for capitulation, but this is probably a symptom rather than a cause of the white man’s disease. As Fr. James Thornton pointed out in the August issue, traditional Christianity by no means requires the destruction of distinctions. Furthermore, Europeans have been Christian for more than a thousand years, and Christianity certainly did not undermine Stonewall Jackson’s capacity to draw distinctions — nor that of the Conquistadors and Crusaders.
The faith has been pruned to suit the times. The Bible requires that homosexuals be executed, but many contemporary Christians want to both ordain homosexuals and abolish the death penalty. Christianity has not changed; Christians have changed.
Some people likewise insist that Jews are to blame for the poisoned state of mind common among whites. It is true that disproportionate numbers of Jews have promoted the forces of dispossession: non-white immigration, affirmative action, denial of racial differences, forced integration, and the dismantling of ancient distinctions of all kinds.
However, they have found more than willing accomplices among non-Jews, and to blame Jews for white capitulation is a little like blaming whites for all the failures of blacks. A group that is only three percent of the U.S. population cannot denature a people all by itself. Many of those who have encouraged whites in their suicidal proclivities have been Jews, but those proclivities had to exist before they could be encouraged.
Moreover, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway, have only tiny populations of Jews, but are among the most relentlessly egalitarian nations on earth. They have pushed the welfare state the farthest, and as a percentage of GNP, their foreign aid budgets are much larger than that of the United States. They were also early and generous supporters of the black movements in South Africa that fought against the white government. Jews had essentially no influence on these policies.
What was it, though, that precipitated the white man’s sudden cancer of egalitarianism? Representative government, rule of law, and other forms of public morality evolved slowly. Why have racial and other distinctions been struck down only in the last few decades?
The Second World War was certainly a factor. The victors, the Soviet Union and the United States, were the most ideologically egalitarian nations on earth. Whatever else it stood for, the Axis fought for distinctions — national, racial, cultural, biological. Its defeat discredited eugenics and racial consciousness. It even discredited nationalism, and the victorious allies founded the United Nations with the express intent of eliminating nationalism and national conflicts.
Material progress has also played a role in the destruction of distinctions. “Luxury is more ruthless than war,” said the Roman satirist, Juvenal. The affluence of the post-war years made it easier to cover up the disastrous results of social policy. Great wealth, forcibly redistributed to the non-productive, created the illusion of social as well as material progress. Higher standards of living were an excuse to ignore unspeakable degeneracy. Increasing wealth made it possible to believe that the rules of human nature had changed, and that society could be perfected.
What Whites Have Lost
Of all the categories that the last few decades have blurred, the loss of racial distinctions has the direst long-term consequences. A group cannot survive without a sense of identity. It cannot continue unless its members are aware that they are part of a group and are willing to put its interests before those of other groups.
When that group is the white race, group consciousness is treated as an unalloyed evil, but in all other areas of life we take it for granted. A family exists in a meaningful sense only if its members put family interests before the interests of strangers.
A political party would dissolve if its members were not willing to assert the party’s interests against all others. A corporation’s employees must be willing to compete against competitors. Unless the citizens of a nation have a national consciousness a nation dissolves. No group can survive without group consciousness. So long as there are people of other races who are racially conscious, and are willing to assert explicitly racial interests — and clearly there are — whites must rekindle racial consciousness or be pushed aside.
It is obvious that whites have not lost the instinct to identify with groups. They are loyal to colleges, clubs, home towns, employers and families. Not even the forces of liberal one-worldism can prevent great shows of devotion to nation. Whites can even be fanatically loyal to professional sports teams, despite the fact that they have only the most tenuous connections to the players.
Of all the traditional group loyalties, racial consciousness has been most vigorously suppressed, and that only recently. Commodore Josiah Tattnall of the antebellum United States navy provides an instructive example of what was once commonplace.
The Treaties of Tientsin were signed with China in June, 1858. All parties agreed that they would be ratified in Peking the next year. The English, French, and American envoys, escorted by gunboats, sailed up the Pehio River on their way to Peking, but found their passage blocked by barricades supported by gun emplacements on the banks. The British and French decided to force passage, but the Americans were neutral and did not take part in the engagement.
The Chinese gunners turned out to be first rate, and the Europeans, especially the British, took a terrible pounding. At length, Josiah Tattnall, commander of the American fleet, could stand it no longer. Uttering the famous words, “Blood is thicker than water. I’ll be damned if I will stand by and see white men butchered before my eyes,” he went into action against the Chinese. Subsequent reaction in both the United States and England was wide-spread approval.
World War II veteran, Paul Fussel, writes about how American soldiers reacted to German and Japanese prisoners when they encountered them behind the lines. The Germans seemed surprisingly like Americans, and soldiers who spent time with them began to wonder why they had to fight such agreeable people. Americans who encountered Japanese prisoners found them deeply alien — fit candidates for extermination.
Up through the 1950s, every President of the United States had a strong racial consciousness. Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Abraham Lincoln are well known for wanting to separate the races, preferably by resettling blacks outside the United States. Harry Truman confided to his diary: “I am strongly of the opinion that Negroes ought to be in Africa, yellow men in Asia, and white men in Europe and America.” Dwight Eisenhower conceded that blacks might have to be given legal equality but argued that this certainly did not imply social equality.
Even today, whites traveling in Africa or Asia quickly discover a bond with other whites that they may have never before acknowledged. The more primitive the country, the more readily whites fall in with each other, even with complete strangers who do not speak their language.
Back home, where they are the majority, whites have been taught to suppress these instincts. They go even further and affirm the racial solidarity of others while denying their own. Robert Frost once defined a liberal as someone who cannot take his own side in an argument. As a race, whites have lost the capacity to take their own side in any explicitly racial argument. When a non-white makes racial demands whites almost always give in.
The prevailing view is that all non-whites have legitimate racial interests — to be asserted, if need be, at the expense of whites — while whites are simply individuals without racial interests. If anything, whites are supposed to sacrifice their own racial interests voluntarily and promote those of others.
One reason why whites do this so readily is that, as a people, they require a moral basis for what they do. The system of governance built up within white societies is based on the assumption that the interests of others sometimes require that we sacrifice our own. All principles of Western (and any other) morality require this. If it is good and generous to sacrifice individual interests, then why not group interests?
It is this confusion about goodness and sacrifice that gives the fight against “racism” so much moral fervor. Liberal whites speak as whites only to denounce their own race and to praise non-whites — thereby assuming the aura of moral superiority that comes with sacrifice. Other whites, they imply, wallow in racial self-interest but they have risen so far above it they can bellow indignantly against it.
Denunciations of “racism” are therefore ten a penny, but they have the same moral sheen as giving to the poor. Preachers, politicians, soldiers, teachers, judges, and Rotarians all deliver sermons blasting “bigotry.” Great merit can be accumulated this way and — this is why it is so attractive — at no cost. Many of those who whoop the loudest about integration send their own children to private schools. The champions of affirmative action never offer their own jobs to less qualified non-whites, and would probably fight like demons to keep housing projects out of their neighborhoods.
Even the giddiest white liberals normally live, socialize, and marry among themselves. Daily intercourse with Mexicans and Haitians is exhilarating, to be sure, but liberals prefer to leave it to the lower orders. The implied self-sacrifice of anti-white activism is therefore almost always pure hypocrisy. It is perfectly acceptable to thunder mightily against “racism” and not have a single non-white friend, relative, or neighbor.
Public moral preening at no cost is too great a temptation to resist. Columnist Maggie Gallagher no doubt felt exquisitely virtuous when she wrote:
I hate the idea of being white . . . I never think of myself as belonging to the ‘white race.’ Those who do, in my experience, are invariably second-raters, seeking solace for their own failures. I can think of few things more degrading than being proud to be white.
Barbara Ehrenreich repudiates her race more subtly but just as emphatically: “I had hoped that by marrying a man of Eastern European Jewish ancestry I would acquire for my descendants the ethnic genes that my own [British] forebears so sadly lacked.” However, her husband did not practice Judaism, and her children grew up without any kind of racial or ethnic consciousness. She goes on:
A few weeks ago I cleared my throat and asked the children, now mostly grown and fearsomely smart, whether they felt any stirrings of ethnic or religious identity, which might have been, ahem, insufficiently nourished at home.
‘None,’ they said, adding firmly, ‘and the world would be a better place if nobody else did, either.’ My chest swelled with pride, as would my mother’s, to know that the race of ‘none’ marches on.
In the 30 years from 1960 to 1990, the white population of Miami went from 90 percent to 10 percent. David Lawrence, Jr., Publisher of the Miami Herald, seems to think this is wonderful: “This country’s future, previewed in South Florida, is a future of many colors, many faiths, a variety of tongues . . . We can serve as example to America.” He goes on to write, “I’d love to hear our National Anthem sung in either language [Spanish or Haitian Creole].”
The same sentiments no doubt prompted 4,000 people in Helena, Montana to come out and hear Desmond Tutu raise money for the African National Council. This was in 1990, before South Africans had voted to hand their country over to blacks, and the event raised $85,000. Fewer than one quarter of one percent of Montana’s population is black. Today, whenever Nelson Mandela visits a white nation he is treated like a visiting deity.
The virtue of promoting other races is now part of the school curriculum. More American 17-year-olds know who Harriet Tubman was than can identify Joseph Stalin or Winston Churchill.
In 1991, Dubuque, Iowa put on a touching display of virtue. The town is 98 percent white, and people still leave their doors unlocked. The city council thought the place could be greatly improved, so it voted to recruit several hundred black families by offering to subsidize their housing. A few young fellows gained instant notoriety by protesting the plan. The better folk of Dubuque then took to wearing black and white ribbons in their lapels to show support for recruiting blacks.
In 1987, former President, Jimmy Carter, exhibited his elevated moral stature by confessing to a great moral failing. In a speech at Rice Institute he said that when he saw television footage of starving Ethiopian children he could not manage to care as much about them as he did about his own daughter, Amy. He said he was “embarrassed” by this “racist” lack of sufficient sentiment.
There is a prominent place in the annals of virtue for Reginald Denny, the white truck driver who was beaten by blacks and left for dead at the beginning of the Los Angeles riots of 1992. When his assailants went on trial, Mr. Denny made excuses for them, argued for leniency, and hugged the mother of one of the men who had nearly killed him.
Columnist Jon Carroll is prepared to see whites go completely by the boards. Noting that nothing we try seems to put an end to racial friction, he writes: “I think intermarriage may be the only way out . . . Of course, we’d lose a lot of interesting specific cultures that way, but that battle is pretty much over already.”
Morton Kondracke appears to feel the same way: “It would be a lot easier if each of us were related to someone of another color and if, eventually, we were all one color. In America, this can happen.” The whole white race might as well be done away with if multi-racialism doesn’t work out after all.
All these acts and expressions of racial virtue have two things in common: First, they represent a repudiation of white racial consciousness and white group interests. Second, it is impossible to imagine people of any other race doing or saying these things.
This weird self-repudiation grows out of the false assumption that anti-racism is moral and white racial consciousness is immoral. This state of mind is the single greatest threat to our survival. Unless whites understand that survival is moral, they will never take steps to ensure it.
Most whites do not want to mix with other races. They want their children to marry whites. They loathe the thought of becoming a minority. Yet, they have been taught to be ashamed to think these things, and they do nothing to protect their group. They are paralyzed by their own perverted morality.
Ultimately, we must ask the most unpleasant question of all: Is the white race fit to survive? Entirely aside from explicitly racial forms of capitulation, is a people that puts women in “combat” serious about survival? Is a people for which homosexuality is a valid alternative to family life serious about survival? Is a people that forces the competent to subsidize and reward the whelping of incompetents serious about survival? Is a people whose adults are unable to face down their adolescent children serious about survival? Such people — and only whites do these things — have begun to write their own death warrant, even without the threat from growing populations of non-whites.
What makes the current crisis even worse is that whites have never articulated any moral justifications for their own racial interests and survival. Like every other people, they never had to. Josiah Tattnall did not have to explain why he stepped into a fight between Europeans and Chinese. President Lincoln did not have to explain why he thought blacks should be persuaded to leave. Generations of whites never had to explain why they did not want non-whites in their schools or neighborhoods. These things come instinctively to a people with a racial identity.
Now, when arguments are formulated against what everyone always took for granted, there is no stock of tested ideas and refutations on which people can draw to defend their way of life. In their bones they feel that what is happening is wrong, but they do not have the words with which to express those feelings. Without words, without convincing moral foundations, whites cannot act.
It should be no more necessary to explain why whites, as a group, have the right to a future than to explain why it is better to live than to die. In our suicidal era, racially conscious whites are forced to explain themselves, but when instinct and tacit understanding have been battered by decades of argument and pseudo-moral assault, most people have no means of intellectual defense.
Still, there is reason for hope. In time, even egalitarians discover that if racial hypocrisy has no immediate penalty, it has a terrible long-term price. The great multi-racial experiment has failed — failed so obviously that no one is any longer deceived. In private, on talk radio, and even occasionally in the generic media things are being said that were never heard 20 or 30 years ago. The terrible consequences of lost racial consciousness are slowly becoming clear to ever larger numbers of people. Consciousness of race is returning. Affirmative action, busing, inter-racial crime, and the transparently anti-white bias of the media are opening more and more eyes every day. There are more groups and publications than ever that clearly assert the interests of whites.
Racial consciousness is on the march. Its power will only grow, and its fundamental moral legitimacy will ensure that it eventually prevails. The survival of our people and culture hangs in the balance.
‘Racism’ in the Ranks
Army brass can be just as hysterical as anyone else.
by J.F.A. Davidson
On December 7th, 1995, two white 82nd Airborne Division soldiers killed two black civilians in Fayetteville, North Carolina. When police searched the off-post quarters of one of the soldiers, James Burmeister, they found Nazi memorabilia, “racist” literature, and paraphernalia consistent with the trappings of the tribalist thugs who call themselves “skinheads.” Mr. Burmeister’s associates, Malcolm Wright and Randy Meadows, were also arrested and indicted.
The press and their cattle prod, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, went berserk. Headlines shrieked about “white supremacists” in the Army while television panicked about “extremists” in uniform. It was a great story. It was also a calculated lie. Here is what really happened.
On the evening of December 7th, soldiers Burmeister, Wright, and Meadows went “downtown.” On the way they stopped at a residence in a criminal-infested Fayetteville neighborhood, where they met Michael James and his girl friend, Jackie Burden — both black. The purpose of the meeting was to buy marijuana, which Mr. James was happy to supply. At the time of the sale, he was on parole for drug trafficking. According to police sources, Mr. James was to have his parole revoked for failing three successive urinalysis tests during the previous month. Miss Burden was wanted on a felony warrant.
Mr. Burmeister and his friends left to enjoy their purchase, only to find that Mr. James had pulled the oregano switch on them. Not a little upset by African business practices, they went to a local establishment to drink liquid courage and fine-tune their outrage. They later went cruising, according to press accounts, looking for blacks. However, they were looking for two specific blacks: Michael James and Jackie Burden.
To hear the press tell it, Mr. James and Miss Burden had decided to turn their lives of crime around; they might have been getting ready to set off down the street, hand in hand, to read the Bible together. According to police sources, they were planning to skip town to avoid impending arrest. In either case, they never made it.
Just past midnight, Mr. Burmeister and associates spotted Mr. James and Miss Burden. Messrs. Burmeister and Wright stepped out of the car to confront Mr. James and demand restitution. Strong words were exchanged.
At this point events are confused by conflicting testimony. What is not disputed is that Mr. James was found by investigators with a knife close to hand, with one graze and two fatal bullet wounds to the head. Miss Burden, fumbling for her own concealed knife while retreating, was slow and sloppy, and stopped the next three bullets.
Messrs. Burmeister and Wright decamped, leaving Mr. Meadows in his car and in the lurch. The Fayetteville police arrived to find Mr. Meadows looking for his associates, asked him a few embarrassing questions, and the rest has been widely reported. The unpleasantness of December 7th, 1995 was, therefore, a dope deal between knuckleheads and career criminals that went bad.
It would have stayed that way if Fayetteville Chief of Police, Roy Hansen, had not let his ego get the better of him but, as a political appointee, he couldn’t help himself. Suddenly thrust into the national limelight, Chief Hansen played up the race angle. The press said it was a racial killing and agreeing with the press made Chief Hansen look smart.
Meanwhile, cops who worked the neighborhood were quietly pointing out some contradictory facts. One was that the neighborhood was predominantly black. If the soldiers had been looking for random blacks why did they wait until they found Mr. James and Miss Burden? Also, according to one Fayetteville cop, if these had been random racial killings, the neighborhood would have exploded in a riot. It didn’t. On the contrary, according to another Fayetteville cop, the general consensus in the neighborhood was: “Good riddance to all of them — two dopers are dead, three of their customers are in custody, so screw them all.” Policemen who noted these facts were told to sit down and shut up.
The saturation press “coverage” was a marked contrast to the treatment of numerous local cases of black violence against whites. For example, the beating death of a white soldier at the hands of five black soldiers two months before the December shootings was reported once — grudgingly — on the back pages of the Fayettevile Observer-Times.
This time, there was a month of hysteria about “extremists” in the Army, and plenty of vacuous speeches by U.S. Representative Eva Clayton, (D-NC, 1st gerrymandered tribal homeland). There were urgent messages from Army Secretary Togo West and much regret that the First Amendment prevented soldiers from being adequately controlled. There was mandatory “Extremist Organization Awareness Training,” followed by strip searches for “bad” tattoos. The Army set up a traveling inquisition to root out “extremists.”
Practically none was found, but the NAACP smelled fresh blood and moved in for the kill. In a final, shameless act of appeasement, LTG Jack Keane, Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, installed the NAACP as the official Fort Bragg race geheime Staatspolizei, complete with liaison officer. Now, any incident involving a minority is, by default, a “racist” incident and black tribalists-collectivists can demand “cooperation” from the Army brass.
What seemed like the perfect incident was not long in coming. On the morning of July 16th, 1996, soldiers of Group Support Company, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) stumbled out of bed to find that the doors of seven barracks rooms had been spray painted with red swastikas. Five of the rooms were occupied by black soldiers and two, then empty, had been previously occupied by blacks. During the 6:30 a.m. Physical Training formation, soldiers were inspected for telltale traces of red spray paint. Brigadier General Kenneth R. Bowra, CG, United States Army Special Forces Command (Abn), rushed to the scene and vowed to the assembled soldiers that the culprit would be found and urged the soldiers to cooperate in the manhunt.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division arrived with spinning witch compasses. The media intoned their mantra about “racism in the ranks” and even the Commander in Chief worried piously and publicly about the seven red swastikas.
Just when the howls of indignation reached a feverish peak, army investigators in Washington leaked the fact that the primary suspect was a black soldier who apparently wished to distract attention from the fact that he was being discharged as unfit for duty. The media immediately fell silent.
On August 8th, shortly after word got out about the suspect, U.S. Representative Eva Clayton (D-NC, 1st gerrymandered homeland), arrived at Fort Bragg to praise the creation of a military committee to “bridge the gap” between Fort Bragg and the ultra-leftist Fayetteville Human Rights Commission. After weeks of foot stomping and indignation about “the incident,” she, too, had fallen strangely silent about it.
Not so, the Commander in Chief. In his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, he once more trotted out the saga of the seven swastikas. The news about the race of the probable perpetrator was so lightly distributed, he and his speechwriters must have missed it.
Back in North Carolina, justice grinds on for Mr. Burmeister and friends. The charges are 1st degree murder and conspiracy. Mr. Burmeister’s lawyer has denounced the Fayetteville police department for creating adverse publicity and has petitioned that the trial be moved to Winston-Salem, where there has not been quite so much bawling about “racism.” Meanwhile, the press continues to say that the killings were racially motivated.
J.F.A. Davidson is on active duty with the U.S. Army Special Forces. He is editor of The Resister, which was reviewed in the previous issue.
Webmaster note: Some of the facts in this article appear to have been incorrect. Please see the correction here.
The Bernhard Goetz Affair
More proof of why multi-racialism does not work.
In April 1996, in a civil courthouse in the Bronx, the unjust saga of Bernhard Goetz finally came to a close. New York’s subway gunman, having endured twelve years that included a criminal trial, eight months in prison, worldwide publicity, and civil lawsuits, was told by a jury of non-whites to pay $43 million to Darrell Cabey, one of the four black hoodlums who tried to rob him.
By now the script and cast are well-known. On December 22, 1984, Bernhard Goetz, a white electronics expert, boarded a New York City subway train. Mr. Goetz was soon surrounded by four black criminals — all with long records of violence — who demanded money. Mr. Goetz, who three years before, had been brutally beaten by a street criminal, decided he would not be a victim again.
Goetz had applied for a pistol carry license. Even after appeals and thousands of dollars in lawyers’ fees, he was turned down by New York’s prohibitionist gun control authorities. He decided to carry an unlicensed weapon. He had gone armed for three years without incident and now realized that his pistol could save his life. Indeed, based on the records of these four thugs, robbery was the most innocent of their intentions.
His assailants moved in on Mr. Goetz, trapping him. He opened fire with a five-shot, .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, hitting all of them. The only noise louder than the shots was the sound of cheering New Yorkers. When police boarded the train looking for the gunman, passengers helped Mr. Goetz get away by sending the officers in the wrong direction. (The story has been widely circulated that Mr. Goetz chased down one of the wounded assailants and shot him again, saying, “You don’t look too bad.” This has been proven to be false.)
When Mr. Goetz surrendered two weeks later, he was the object of an overwhelming show of affection from average citizens and an equally overwhelming attack by the political establishment.
New York Governor Mario Cuomo said Goetz’ actions were “dangerous and wrong.” “We will not tolerate vigilantism,” proclaimed then-Mayor Ed Koch, adding that Mr. Goetz’ actions arose from “the same animal baseness that gave rise to the Holocaust.” While Mr. Goetz was still on the run, Mayor Koch ordered 1,300 policemen onto the manhunt. Real criminals need not have worried about such an effort.
In January 1985, a grand jury refused to indict Mr. Goetz on anything but minor gun charges. In an unprecedented maneuver, and clearly in response to pressure from the likes of black activist Al Sharpton, District Attorney Robert Morgenthau went into a fury and convened a second grand jury. He claimed to have “two secret champagne witnesses” — particularly credible and effective — who turned out to be two of the hoodlums who had attacked Mr. Goetz. Their bogus testimony was used to bring in an indictment for attempted murder and assault.
Mr. Goetz’ detractors convicted him in the press, constantly intoning, “He would not have shot them if they had been white,” or “He could have just shown the gun.” The most curious argument against the shooting was that Mr. Goetz could not have known that the four had criminal records. Of course, it was precisely because Mr. Goetz had never met them that he was afraid of them, and if he had known about their records he would have had even more reason to shoot. With the exception of Darrell Cabey, who was disabled in the shooting, all of the assailants went on to commit more crimes.
Ironically, while the issue of race hovered over the case outside the courtroom, it was never raised during the eight-week criminal trial. Mr. Morgenthau’s office argued only that Mr. Goetz acted recklessly and was a menace to society.
On the witness stand, Troy Canty, the one who made the demand for money, gave his third different public version of the events, and his obviously coached testimony was widely regarded as not credible. James Ramseur, in prison for the brutal rooftop rape of an 18-year-old pregnant black woman (a crime committed just two and a half months after the shooting), was so menacing in the courtroom that jurors silently planned escape routes in case he went berserk. He finally refused to answer questions, screamed obscenities at the judge, and was removed.
Barry Allen, also brought to court from prison, pleaded the Fifth Amendment 21 times. It may have been the first time that a complainant in an attempted murder trial felt his testimony would be self-incriminating. The crippled Mr. Cabey did not testify. The trial ended with a resounding victory for Mr. Goetz, who was found not guilty on all but the most minor weapons possession charge. In keeping with the political pressures of the day, the judge sentenced Mr. Goetz to a year in prison on a charge for which jail time is almost never given. Muggers were delighted. Mr. Goetz served eight months and the case faded from the headlines.
In normal times, it would be preposterous for the “victims” in a case like this even to dream of a monetary award, but, alas, these are not normal times. As Darrell Cabey’s civil trial drew closer race became more of an issue — not merely in terms of publicity but in legal strategy.
In the wake of the O.J. Simpson trial, it has become clear how juries work in a multi-racial society. Actually, as far back as the late 1970s, the now-deceased Bronx District Attorney Mario Merola, who prosecuted one of Mr. Goetz’ assailants, admitted that it was becoming very difficult to get juries in the largely black county to convict blacks of violent crimes, and virtually impossible if the victims were white.
Mr. Cabey’s lawyer, Ronald Kuby, disciple of the late William Kunstler, was not shy about what he intended to do in the courtroom. “The Manhattan jury in the criminal trial was white,” he said. “Now we’re in the Bronx and we know what we have to do.”
Shortly before the trial, in a strange display of bad judgment, Mr. Goetz admitted on a national television talk show that when he was a young man he had gotten high on angel dust and made racial slurs. This admission forced his own lawyer to call Mr. Goetz a racist, but he implored the jury to award no damages since, in spite of this terrible quality, Goetz was still justified in the shooting.
There is no real dispute about why the all non-white jury awarded $43 million to a violent predator, Darrell Cabey. Mr. Goetz has been forced to transfer roughly 90 percent of his meager assets and will have to hand over a portion of his paycheck for the rest of his life. A case that should have vindicated the right of self-defense and the American justice system will instead be recorded as yet another proof of why a multi-racial society cannot work.
Frank Borzellieri is an elected member of School Board 24 in New York City. He helped raise money for Mr. Goetz’ legal defense and covered the criminal trial as a journalist. He has written frequently about the case and has often taken the pro-Goetz point of view on television and radio programs.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Last Gasp of Lunacy?
In July, in an extraordinary decision, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that racially segregated schools violate the state constitution even if they are in different school districts and are the result of voluntary housing patterns. The simple fact of racial “isolation,” from whatever cause, violates the state constitution’s guarantee of equal opportunity in education. The ruling essentially destroys the independence of suburban school districts and requires mixing of students over large areas. Not since 1975, when the California Supreme Court ordered busing in Los Angeles to remedy naturally-occurring racial separation, has a state court written such a ruling. Integration fanatics are scrutinizing other state constitutions for potentially useful language.
Attention has been focused on Hartford’s schools, which are 94 percent black and Hispanic. State assistance ensures that the city gets more money, per student, than virtually any other school system in the state, but its students perform dead last on standardized tests. The court pointed to this poor performance as proof that “extreme racial and ethnic isolation,” all by itself, prevents non-whites from learning. The case dates back to the early 1980s, when activists started looking for ways to get whites back into the increasingly bleak Hartford schools they were abandoning.
The ruling has sown dismay among suburbanites, but it does not offer any guidelines about how to accomplish integration, nor does it set deadlines. The state governor, John Rowland, promises that all measures will be voluntary, and will probably include “magnet schools,” a technique that has failed miserably elsewhere.
There is quiet but wide-spread hope that nothing will come of the ruling. It was a 5-4 decision with a bitter dissent, and the Chief Justice, who wrote the ruling, will step down soon. The governor, who opposed the ruling, is likely to replace him with someone more sensible. There is also a possibility that the Connecticut decision will be overturned on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
For the time being, the state has appointed a commission to look into integration. Blacks and Hispanics are, of course, complaining that they are insufficiently represented on the panel, since four out of its 20 members are black and two are Hispanic. (George Judson, Hartford Court Bars Imbalance in the Schools, New York Times, July 10, 1996, p. A1. Litigants Challenge Makeup of Panel on Hartford Schools, New York Times, Aug. 10, 1996, p. 28. George Judson, Civil Rights Lawyers Hope to Use Hartford Schools Case as a Model, New York Times, Aug. 15, 1996, p. B1.)
This could yet prove to be the last, lunatic gasp. Now that they are getting more school money than whites, fewer blacks care who their children sit next to Kansas City, Missouri, which indulged in a multi-billion dollar court-ordered magnet school spree in the 1980s and 1990s, has just about given up trying to get whites to come back. The new black school board president, Edward Newsome, has made it clear that the system’s chief mission is now to help blacks. In a recent address to the Opening of Schools Convocation, he warned that anyone who didn’t care for this new emphasis “may want to think twice about whether this is the job for you, because people will be held accountable.” (Philip O’Connor, Stance on Racial Balance Shifting in KC’s Schools, Kansas City Star, Aug. 24, 1996, p. A1.)
The fantastic expense and dislocation of school integration since Brown v. Board of Education has only proven that two things never change no matter what we try: Blacks and Hispanics cannot do as well in school as whites, and whites refuse to go to school with large numbers of them.
In 1989, the Piscataway, New Jersey, school system decided to save money by laying off some teachers. Until then, its practice had been to fire personnel with the least seniority, and if there were two teachers with equally low seniority, to pick a name from a hat. This time, there was a choice between two people of equal rank, a black and a white. Rather than cast lots, administrators fired the white and kept the black for “diversity.” In August, the third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that this was racial discrimination, and ordered that the white teacher be paid $144,000 in back pay.
Under the administration of George Bush, the U.S. Department of Justice argued for the fired teacher. In August, 1994, under President Clinton, the government switched sides and supported the school board’s exercise in “diversity.” The change was ordered by Deval Patrick, a black who was appointed head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division (this is the job for which Lani Guinier was proposed). Janet Reno also approved the government’s flip-flop. The school district has not yet decided whether it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Brian Blomquest, Diversity No Basis for Layoff, Washington Times, Aug. 10, 1996, p. A1.)
Developing countries need power plants to generate electricity, but they frequently default on payments for the facilities that cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Until now, manufacturers could not take direct action against deadbeats, but American engineering companies have found a solution. They now build power plants on huge barges, tow them to a foreign coast, and operate them in harbors. If the country defaults, they can clip the power lines, repossess the plant, and tow it home. (William Bulkeley, Building Power Plants That Can Float, Wall Street Journal, May 22, 1996, p. B1.)
The people who prate about diversity are, of course, politically monolithic. The conservative Cornell Review recently found out the political affiliations of the faculty in humanities and social sciences at Cornell University. In all, there were 171 Democrats and seven Republicans, or four percent. In the history, sociology, and women’s studies departments, there were no Republicans at all. There was one each in psychology, government, and anthropology.
Cornell is not unique. A similar study found almost exactly the same situation at Stanford University, and the dean of the law school at the State University of New York at Buffalo once said, “As far as I know, there is not one conservative on the law school faculty.”
A recent Roper poll of reporters who cover Congress and of Washington bureau chiefs found that only four percent were registered Republicans. Eighty-nine percent had voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, and only seven percent for George Bush. (Francis Mancini, Where Are the Conservatives in Academia, the Media? The Herald (Miami), June 3, 1996.)
American Diversity Growth Trust is a stock mutual fund that concentrates on publicly-traded companies owned by blacks. There are 11 such companies, up from just one four years ago. Since the number is so small, the fund also buys the stock of companies that have a “strong urban consumer-market presence” or are “recognized for their commitment to diversity.” (Matt Roush, Investment Trust Targets Stocks of Black-owned Firms; 2 in Detroit, Crain’s Detroit Business, April 22, 1996, p. 28.)
So Much for Principle
Gary Lauck is an American from Lincoln, Nebraska, now in jail in Hamburg, Germany. Mr. Lauck publishes Nazi and neo-Nazi material, some of which he sends to Germany. Printing and distributing this material is legal in the United States but forbidden in Germany.
Mr. Lauck was arrested during a trip to Denmark and sent to Germany, where he was held for 15 months before trial. In August, he was sentenced to four years in prison for “disseminating the symbols of anti-constitutional organizations.” His defense lawyer argued, unsuccessfully, that his extradition from Denmark was illegal, and that a German court did not have the right to try a foreigner for activities overseas that were legal. (Reuter, Hamburg (Germany), “Defiant U.S. neo-Nazi Jailed by German Court,” Aug. 22, 1996.)
This case has received practically no attention in the United States, and the American Government has issued no protests. It is not difficult to imagine the outcry if an American woman were extradited from Jordan to Saudi Arabia and sentenced to jail for mailing feminist tracts to the Saudis.
- State Farm insurance and Allstate, two of the biggest home insurers, have been browbeaten into lowering underwriting standards in poor neighborhoods. Until recently, they did not insure houses that cost less than $40,000 or that were more than 40 years old, but the U.S. Department of Justice took the view that this was “racism.” (Leslie Scism, Allstate to Ease Standards on Selling Homeowners’ Policies in Poor Areas, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 14, 1996, p. A3.)
- In Prince George’s County, Maryland, the police department has decided to “broaden the pool of potential officers” by disregarding previous arrests for drug use. According to the new policy, an applicant may have used marijuana up to 20 times in the previous three years, and arrests for cocaine, crack, barbiturates or amphetamines will no longer automatically disqualify a candidate. Officers currently serving on the force are reported to be furious. (Gary Scheels, PG Police Loosen Drug Rule to Recruit, Washington Times, Aug. 9, 1996, p. C3.)
Not a Dime’s Worth of Difference
Republican vice presidential nominee, Jack Kemp is wooing the black vote. In August, he campaigned in South Central Los Angeles, where blacks rioted in 1992. Although he recently announced he no longer supports racial preferences, he said that he and Bob Dole will create “a new civil rights agenda for America” and they will do it “with all the fiber in our beings.”
He said he favors a new kind of affirmative action that will deliver good things to blacks, but did not explain how it would differ from the old kind. Displaying a peculiar understanding of Abraham Lincoln’s views, he went on to say, “Our party of Mr. Lincoln will not be whole again until blacks and African-Americans come home to this party.” He also noted that “there is only one race, the human race. We are all brothers and sisters.” (Reuters, Los Angeles, “Kemp Campaigns for Black Vote in Riot Area,” Aug. 28, 1996.)
Meanwhile, his running mate, Bob Dole, has repudiated one of the planks of the Republican platform. He recently told a convention of black journalists that he opposes a Constitutional amendment that would deny automatic citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil. (Frank Bruni, Dole Rejects GOP Plank on Immigration, New York Times, Aug. 24, 1996.)
One of the silliest ways to “fight poverty” — and one that has been repeatedly endorsed by Jack Kemp — is to give companies big tax breaks to set up in bad parts of town. The theory is that this brings jobs to the poor, but it often does not work way.
The Red Hook area of Brooklyn has been a perfect test bed for this theory. It has a booming waterfront area with many jobs for people without much education. There is plenty of public housing nearby, staffed with the usual uplift experts who try to help lowlifes get jobs. Red Hook itself is not an easy place to get to, so is an awkward commute for outsiders. People should be pouring out of the projects into the jobs but, of course, they are not.
The owner of a furniture business tried at first to hire locals. One took a swing at him with a board, another showed up drunk, and several lied about their experience. Now he hires outsiders. Another man, whose business is unloading cargo from ships, was asked whether he would hire locals as security guards. “What? The bums hanging around outside?” he asked. “You want me to hire the guys who are trying to rob me?” (Malcolm Caldwell, Hiring Practices Undercut Inner-City Poverty Efforts, Washington Post, March 10, 1996, p. A1.)
Neither Democrats nor Republicans can fathom the obvious — that people are poor because they are unemployable, not because they do not live across the street from a job.
Lenora Fulani is a black woman communist who has run for President on the New Alliance ticket in 1988 and 1992. She preaches “minority rights” and redistribution of wealth, and has raised millions of dollars for her campaigns. In the 1988 election, she managed to get her name on the ballot in all 50 states. This year, she has thrown her not inconsiderable support behind, of all people, Ross Perot.
Miss Fulani seems to have lost some of her zeal for Marxism and now thinks that simply offering voters an alternative to the Republicans and Democrats is a worthy goal. About Perot supporters, she says: “I don’t know what a lot of their opinions are. I don’t even care what a lot of their opinions are.” The Perot people don’t seem to care much who their allies are, either. “We welcome anyone with a positive attitude and a desire to create a new political party,” says Russell Verney, national coordinator of Mr. Perot’s Reform Party. (Frank Bruni, Perot and Populist Group See Benefits in an Alliance, New York Times, Aug. 21, 1996, p. A1.)
In the meantime, Louis Farrakhan has taken a sudden interest in democracy. He has announced that, for the first time in 12 years, he has registered to vote, and is urging the flock to do likewise. He explains that by means of electoral politics, “I intend, by the power of Almighty God, to turn America upside down and inside out.” (Michael Meyers, Rhetorical Bombs are Bursting in Air, N. Y. Post, July 10, 1996.)
Everywhere the Same
Australia is trying to reduce its budget deficit, and the government has proposed an austerity plan that includes cuts of the equivalent of US$312 million in spending for aborigines over the next four years. In August, aborigines demonstrated in several cities to denounce the “racist” budget. In Canberra, 150 rowdies attacked police with bricks and bottles, sending one officer to the hospital. They then went on to burn an Australian flag, while one man harangued the crowd: “Everyone, if you want to come and stamp on the white law, and the white flag, stamp on the ashes like they stamped on ours.” (Terry Friel, Aborigines Burn Flag in Canberra Budget Protests, Reuter (Canberra), Aug. 20, 1996.)
A Hindu temple, complete with a 50-foot high entrance tower, has opened in Ashland, Massachusetts. In August, a four-day dedication ceremony culminated in the “opening of the eyes” of the goddess Lakshmi, to whom the temple is dedicated. A cow was brought before the idol, because this is the first thing Lakshmi likes to see when she opens her eyes.
The temple’s chief administrator, Kris Vaithinathan, voiced his satisfaction as he gazed up at the cream-colored temple with its seven copper domes: “If you really look at it and didn’t know you were in Ashland, you would think you were somewhere in India . . . We all feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment.”
One of the visitors called the temple “a way to ensure that we protect our religious and cultural roots.” “Especially,” he added, “as our kids are born and grow up in America, we want to teach them what it means to be Hindu so that they pass it on to their children.”
Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth. After Jews, Indians have the second highest average income of any American ethnic group. (Diego Ribadeneira, “A Hindu Haven in Ashland: Sacred Ceremony Marks Temple’s Official Opening, Boston Globe, Aug. 19, 1996, p. B1.)
There have been a number of recent articles extolling the rise in interracial marriages. However, many of these marriages do not involve whites, who rarely marry outside their race. Rates of out-marriage are as follows: American Indian men — 59 percent, American Indian women — 60 percent, Asian men — 12 percent, Asian women — 25 percent, black men — 6 percent, black women — 2 percent, white men — 1.6 percent, white women 1.4 percent. (Linda Mathews, More than Identity Rides on a New Racial Category, New York Times, July 6, 1996, p. A1.)
Until the 1967 Supreme Court Case of Loving v. Virginia struck them down, 19 states still had laws barring interracial marriage.
Birds of a Feather
Thirty percent of blacks now live in the suburbs, up from just 16 percent in 1970. However, their children think the suburbs are boring and too white, and cannot resist the lure of the city. Although they may have had white friends when they were small, by the time they are teenagers, many blacks look for companionship in the ghetto. “When I go into the city there is a different way of talking among blacks, a different way of dressing,” says one 13-year-old suburbanite. “I want to educate myself about that.”
Their parents have worked hard to give their children every advantage. Some cannot understand a desire to return to what they left behind, but others see why their children want to associate with other blacks. “We came out here for economic reasons, and because we knew the school system would be better,” says one mother. “But we may have done more damage than good.” (Jonathan Kaufman, The Inner City Is a Magnet for Suburban Black Teens, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 28, 1996, p. B1.)
The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (Nacme) is a private, non-profit group that tries to help blacks and Hispanics get into science-related jobs (whites and Asians can take care of themselves). Over the years, Nacme has given $50 million in scholarships to non-whites. Most of the money comes from some 200 corporations, several of which — Exxon, General Electric, and DuPont — give $200,000 or more every year. In 1995, Nacme took in a record haul of $4.7 million, and contributions are running at the same rate this year. (Joseph Boyce, A Focus on Education Expands Opportunities for Minority Engineers, Wall Street Journal, July 8, 1996, p. 1.)
Straight From the Heart
The California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) is a ballot measure that would prohibit state-sponsored racial preferences. It is expected to pass in November, but non-whites are clinging desperately to their privileges. Willie Brown, the black mayor of San Francisco, says that a vote for CCRI “won’t be on the basis of anything except pure, unadulterated exploitation of racism.” In an exchange with one of the measure’s white supporters, he explained why he likes affirmative action: “I don’t care about your idiot kids.” (Joel Kotkin, Here Comes the Mad Dog Democrats, Wall Street Journal, July 10, 1996, p. A16.)
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|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — I must emphatically disagree with several key points made by Fr. Thornton. He writes, “all that we admire as monuments of European high culture . . . comes from Christian civilization.” However, Christians developed these things not because of their religion, but because of their genes. It is unfair for Christianity to take credit for this biological phenomenon. Also, it is easy to claim Shakespeare and Beethoven as Christians, but they had no real chance of being anything else, after the native beliefs of Europeans had been eradicated by mass murder, torture, and legal proscription.
Fr. Thornton also ignores the contributions of pre-Christian, northern European culture. Trial by jury, limitations on the powers of rulers, the right to bear arms, rights of women, parliament, Anglo-Saxon Common Law, even the word “law” — all come from pre-Christian Germanic peoples. In fact, most of these institutions suffered a severe decline under the alien faith.
Fr. Thornton writes that “for 2,000 years the soul of European man has been Christian.” This is not true. The continental Germanic and Celtic tribes resisted Christianity for centuries. Norway still had its indigenous religion a thousand years after the death of the Galilean. Sweden and the Baltic countries held out still longer. Even if we accept the 2,000 year figure, Caucasoids have been around for at least 40,000 years, so we have been Christian for at most five percent of our existence as a race. Just as we do not need to look to the Mediterranean for the hallmarks of European material culture, we need not look to it for the origins of our spirituality.
Ex oriente lux is dead. There is an alternative to Christianity, which arose from the bosom of our own race, not out of Western Asia. The old Germanic religion has been revived, not as a romantic anachronism, but as a faith fully comprehensible to modern man.
Stephen McNallen, Nevada City, Cal.
Sir — Anything Christianity has achieved was achieved by the white race. The “soul of European man” is not Christian, nor was the United States built on Christian principles. If we had obeyed Christian injunctions to “turn the other cheek,” and “love your enemies,” the Indians would have slaughtered us.
Christianity destroyed Rome and brought on the Dark Ages. It was not until the Renaissance (a revival of Greek and Roman teaching) that the white race pulled itself out of chaos, only to start a fratricidal, “Christian” conflict called the Reformation.
AR disapproves of whites adopting alien practices, but was not Christianity an alien moral code? The two fatal characteristics of whites are our guilt complex and our fairness neurosis. Christianity exploits these self-destructive characteristics.
Has Christianity really been good for the white race? It has no solutions to our current racial crisis. Our natural instincts tell us what is right for our people and what our obligations are. However, I would be the last person to discourage Christians from believing if that is what they wish. Free speech is another Caucasian trait, and I’m glad AR celebrates it.
Ryan White, Sacramento, Cal.
Sir — How refreshing for an intelligent, secular magazine to extol Christianity’s positive impact on Western Civilization! Let me add a few points to Fr. Thornton’s excellent article.
(1) Christianity teaches that the material world is neither evil, as did the Greeks, nor an illusion, as do many Eastern illusions. It is orderly and good and can therefore be investigated. Men like Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler needed Christianity’s world view to father modern science. Non-Christian and especially third world peoples generally have a hard time applying science even after its discovery by others.
(2) The Gospel can turn drunkards and thieves into productive citizens, and liars (including politicians) into truthtellers. Transforming enough individuals will transform the culture.
(3) St. Paul taught that all racial and ethnic groups have appointed boundaries and periods of rise and fall (Acts 17:26). The Bible supports AR’s view — no, AR supports the Bible’s view. The white race, having lost its identity, risks forfeiting its privileges to other groups. Are we near the end of what Paul called our “times before appointed?”
John Taylor, Ray, Mich.
The reason for this no-prisoners policy was seldom articulated by its practitioners. In many cases it was simply tradition, a practice so common and universal that it needed no explanation. For example during the Zulu War, a British officer asked the Zulu prisoners why he should not kill them, as Zulus always killed British that fell into their hands. One prisoner answered, ‘There is a very good reason that you should not kill us. We kill you because it is the custom of the black man, but it isn’t the white man’s custom.’ Impressed by this appeal to the power of custom, the officer spared the Zulu prisoners.
Steven Schwamenfeld, Dundee, N.Y.