|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol 10, No. 9||September 1999|
What We Are Supposed to Know
Do some people prefer to keep us ignorant?
In the July issue we reported that New Century Foundation, which publishes American Renaissance, had released a report called The Color of Crime: Race, Crime, and Violence in America. Public reaction to this report has been such an instructive example of the way Americans deal — or fail to deal — with certain information, that we decided the story would interest our readers. Particularly in the context of how the media are currently handling other awkward facts, there is a pattern of concealment and denial that is dishonest and dangerous.
The figures in the report were based on state and federal crime statistics that, taken together, are unassailable evidence that different racial groups in America commit violent crimes at vastly different rates. Because we knew these findings are so jarring to conventional minds, we included as appendices to the report facsimile pages from some of the government documents from which we took key figures.The report we released in June was, to be sure, not flattering to blacks. It noted, for example, that they are at least 50 times more likely to commit criminal acts of violence against whites than the reverse, and that they are as much more violent than whites as men are more violent than women. It also found that despite federal data-gathering methods that exaggerate the number of “hate” crimes committed by whites, blacks are still twice as likely as whites to commit such crimes. Other equally important findings were summarized in the July issue of AR.
In order to get maximum publicity for The Color of Crime, we held a news conference at the National Press Club to announce the report’s release. We publicized the conference and the report as significant contributions to the current controversy over “racial profiling,” or the police tactic of stopping blacks more often than whites, on the assumption that blacks are more likely to be criminals.
Our efforts were successful. Even before the report was released, many big news organizations were asking for copies. The Associated Press, Time, CBS Evening News, National Public Radio, Knight-Ridder, and the Washington Times wanted advance copies rather than wait for the news conference. A dozen other media organizations, including the Washington Post, picked up the report at the conference itself. C-SPAN thought what we had to say was so important it broadcast the news conference live and then rebroadcast it several times. On the day we released the report we arranged to have it delivered to more than 450 news organizations in the Washington, DC, area.
What happened next? Almost nothing. With one exception, everyone who had wanted the report ahead of time decided to ignore it. The Washington Times stood alone in running a substantial news story, in which it interviewed several prominent criminologists who confirmed the accuracy of our numbers and added that they were simply too inflammatory to be discussed publicly.
Was this why everyone else decided to kill the story — because the facts were too inflammatory? I do not claim to know the motives of people I have never met. News organizations have their own priorities, and no one called to say, “Thanks for sending us this fascinating report, but it’s just too hot to handle.”
However, other things were happening that suggest what decisions were being made in newsrooms. One was the release of a different report on crime by an organization called Violence Free Duluth, in Duluth, Minnesota. As we reported in the July “O Tempora” section, this group studied a year’s worth of gun crimes in detail in an attempt to understand the connection between firearms and violence. They looked into such things as the type of gun used, the role of alcohol and drugs, the relationship between killer and victim, and the age, race, and sex of the criminals. In April, the group released its report, but left one thing out: race of perpetrator.
Frank Jewell, who heads the organization, said that minorities are perhaps just arrested more often than whites, and explained that “we didn’t include it [the race data] because it might be misinterpreted.” Duluth’s deputy police chief Robert Grytdahl agreed with this decision, saying that the race findings might distract whites from the real problem: “It’s a comfortable place for white people to park the (gun crime) problem. It would be a huge distraction, and we wanted to focus on firearms.”
What are these people really saying? By claiming that information about race “might be misinterpreted,” Mr. Jewell is saying that the people of Duluth cannot be trusted with the truth — that they are either evil or stupid or both, and might draw unacceptable conclusions if they knew how much gun violence is committed by non-whites. He, of course, is a superior being and can be trusted with difficult truths.
Mr. Grytdahl is just as contemptible. According to the 1990 census, Duluth was 95 percent white. What if it turned out that virtually all the gun crimes in the city were committed by the other five percent? Is this what Mr. Grytdahl means by “a comfortable place for white people to park the problem,” whereas he wants to “focus on firearms”? Isn’t he saying that if the truth got out someone might conclude that Duluth has a minority problem rather than a gun problem?
His views can be put this way. Let us imagine the dawn of the automobile age, and drivers are getting into lots of accidents — so many, in fact, that some people want to ban cars. A study finds that a large number of accidents are caused by drivers under age eighteen, and that the auto safety problem would be largely solved if young people were kept from behind the wheel. The anti-automobile forces might want to suppress that information. “It’s a comfortable place for older people to park the problem,” they might say. “It would be a huge distraction and we wanted to focus on automobiles.”
To put it bluntly, Mr. Jewell and Mr. Grytdahl wanted a dishonest study. They knew in advance the conclusions they wanted it to reach and deliberately suppressed information that might lead to different conclusions. They are not doing research; they are practicing propaganda. They want to keep the people of Duluth ignorant, because it is easier to tell ignorant people what to think.
Something similar but more subtle took place in the pages of the New York Times on July fourth. In a long, front-page story called “Reason is Sought for Lag by Blacks in School Effort,” reporter Pam Belluck wrote about the persistent racial gap in academic achievement. She wrote that educators are dismayed to find that white students from households with a family income of less than $10,000 a year get higher SAT scores than black students from households that make more than $70,000. After hearing various not-very-convincing explanations from teachers, students, parents and researchers, she concluded, “nobody claims to have clear answers.”
Of course, there are plenty of people who have clear answers, and Miss Belluck knows the names of some of them. I telephoned her to ask why she had not explored the IQ argument, even if only to reject it. She became defensive, saying that her article “reflected everything that was told me.” When I asked if no one had mentioned a “bell curve”-type explanation for low black achievement, she said the purpose of the article was not to promote anyone’s book. She quickly ended the conversation, saying “I’m not here to be interviewed.” Miss Belluck could easily have expanded her story to include the only explanation that makes sense, but she choose not to. Today, if anyone tells you “no one has clear answers” to questions about racial gaps in achievement, he is either stupid or thinks you are stupid. Miss Belluck apparently thinks her readers are stupid.
To return to our report, The Color of Crime, is it possible that editors decided simply to suppress news that doesn’t fit the vision of America they want us to embrace? Is it possible that like Frank Jewell in Duluth they think the truth about race and crime might be “misinterpreted”? Do they perhaps think that the less we know the easier it will be for them to tell us what to think?
The great irony is that we are told over and over that our form of government requires an informed electorate. Ignorant voters are irresponsible voters. And yet would it be going too far to suggest that some people prefer that voters be ignorant — at least about certain things — because if they were knowledgeable they might not vote the way they should? For people like Frank Jewell, who think that the rest of us are incapable of dealing responsibly with the truth, ignorant citizens are better citizens.
Unfortunately for those who decide for us what is worth knowing and what isn’t, there are many new ways to get information. The Internet is one, and it is significant that it is only the left — and never the right — that worries about the political views available on the net. No one sees the Internet as a great propaganda opportunity for people who want big government, gun control, racial egalitarianism, radical feminism, homosexual rights, internationalism, and higher taxes. But if “hate mongers” can use the net to seduce young minds, why not socialists? The fact is, the left doesn’t need the net because the big media are already in its hands. It fears the Internet because it is an uncontrollable alternative to the conventional media that already echo its views.
The people who run National Public Radio (NPR) recently got a slap on the wrist when investigators found that several big public radio stations had swapped donor lists with the Democrats. It is no mystery why they didn’t swap with the Republicans (or with the New Century Foundation); the broadcasting network that is supposed to be “national” and “public,” and that receives support from the taxpayer is pitching the same pop socialism the Democrats do. And these are the same people who insist that the media are not liberal. Are they stupid or do they think we are stupid? That a Republican majority in Congress should continue to fund open leftists is just one more sign of its spinelessness.
But even if NPR is firmly in the hands of the left, radio can be a good, alternative news source. As we reported in the January issue, conservative talk radio can sometimes come close to being an exercise in real free speech. The limits are narrower than on the Internet but much broader than in the New York Times or Washington Post. And, indeed, conservative talk radio cannot get enough of The Color of Crime. Over the years I have spoken on hundreds of radio programs, but no other subject has ever caught the attention of hosts and listeners the way this one has. Never before have I so often been asked to stay on the program longer than scheduled. Never before have hosts asked me to come back on the air a week later because their callers are still talking about race and crime. Never before have I been on one radio station only to have a competing station in the same city invite me on because the subject caused such a stir.
I think I know why people like this subject. Although it is still semi-taboo to discuss crime rates and interracial crime in gruesome, factual detail, it is a subject that directly touches the lives of whites and one in which they can take an interest without being too explicitly “racial.” Slowly-awakening whites who cannot yet talk calmly about race and IQ or the legitimacy of maintaining a white majority can tuck right into the purely factual aspects of crime rates. This reflects a latent racial consciousness that can only develop over time.
Needless to say, some listeners don’t want to hear that blacks commit murder and robbery at ten times the white rate. A surprising number of black callers insist we have a “racist” white government that cooks the statistics. Most white callers fall into one of two camps: those who say I am a “racist” and those who say I am brave. It is, of course, a sorry day in America when one is either brave or racist (somehow no one ever suggests I am both) simply for reporting crime statistics that the Department of Justice has been collecting for decades. There are two variants of the “racist” argument. One is that what I am saying just isn’t true because the figure are false or I am lying. The other is that even if the figures are true, publicizing them will only give comfort to “racists” and feed stereotypes. This is basically the Frank Jewell argument: White people cannot be trusted with the truth, ignorance is better than knowledge, etc. This widespread combination of obscurantism and contempt for whites is the very essence of liberal thinking about race.
The larger point, however, is that thanks to talk radio, the Internet, the Washington Times, and a few alternative publications that have written about The Color of Crime, many people are finding out the facts — and they are well aware that they didn’t read them in the morning paper. Many radio hosts exult in this: “And you didn’t read about this in the Baltimore Sun, did you? That’s right, folks, this is where you hear the news the papers are afraid to print.” Many callers are also openly contemptuous of the racial double standards the major media practice, and point out that if whites were committing a great deal of violence against blacks it would be front-page news. It is plain how little they trust television or newspapers.
Things cannot go on like this forever. The big media continue to close ranks over racial differences, immigration, the joys of “diversity,” gun control, etc., but fewer people believe them. Politicians and commentators continue to mouth the clichés the press feeds them, while more and more people stock up on ammunition and stop voting.
The country is moving in two directions at once. To someone who reads only the Washington Post, America is joyfully getting more liberal and multicultural all the time. President Clinton welcomes the day when whites become a minority. Immigration judges sagely decide that African women are refugees because they face genital mutilation back home. The Postal Service issues a stamp commemorating Malcolm X. New Hampshire does as it is told, and now every state celebrates Martin Luther King’s birthday. Non-whites continue to pour into the country without the slightest sign Congress has noticed or cares.
At the same time, trust in government and voter participation are at all-time lows. Alternative publications that openly mock the mainstream are gaining circulation. Despite the boom-time economy, the country is in the grip of a sense of crisis and foreboding that has no equivalent in living memory. Probably not since the secession crisis of the previous century have a greater proportion of Americans worried so much about the future. And probably never before have so many citizens thought our rulers were such selfish, unscrupulous men promoting policies that are so obviously wrong.
One of the causes of this disaffection is the yawning gap in what Americans know to be true and what they see on the evening news. Politicians and newspaper editors will have to start edging towards the truth or risk losing yet more of their audience. They cannot go on forever ignoring facts that ever-larger numbers of Americans are learning in unconventional ways.
But they could go on for a long time. The Soviet Union dragged on for years after even the diehards ceased to believe the propaganda. What’s more, the Soviet people had an important advantage in that the heavy, censoring hand of the commissar was clear for all to see. Everyone knew that it was the Communist Party that told them what to think, and anyone with a radio could tune into a different way of thinking.
Things are not so simple for us. There is no central censoring agency quite so obvious as the Communist Party, and there are no overseas radio broadcasts with a different point of view. American censorship is the worst, most cowardly kind: self-censorship. Every editor and television commentator knows what we are supposed to think, and dutifully curbs his tongue. At the same time, there is brisk public disagreement about subjects that are not central to the prevailing ideology, which gives the impression of freedom of expression.
AR and its readers are therefore subversives, whether we like it or not. When a social order is based on deception and hypocrisy, an honest man can be nothing else.
The Law is an Ass
The legal tar baby of “civil rights.”
Right Turn: William Bradford Reynolds, the Reagan Administration, and Black Civil Rights, Raymond Wolters, Transaction Publishers, 1996, 499 pp., $49.95
Blacks have been at the center of many of America’s worst domestic crises: the War Between the States and Reconstruction, the race riots of the 1960s, school busing, and affirmative action. The fact of multi-racialism has been an unending challenge, and perhaps it is for this reason that laws governing race relations have been so complex and volatile. Over the last 40 years, as federal judges have expanded their powers to a point some would call judicial dictatorship, race-related laws and Supreme Court cases have multiplied in ways nothing short of fantastic.
In Right Turn, Professor Raymond Wolters of the University of Delaware describes how the Reagan administration tried to restore a semblance of fairness to “civil rights” laws, and he has produced one of the best and most even-handed histories not only of the laws themselves but of their social consequences. In a 1984 book called The Burden of Brown, Prof. Wolters wrote a compelling and utterly undeceived account of the price American schools paid for court-ordered racial integration. He has now expanded his horizons to include equally incisive treatments of voting rights and employment law. This book is written from the perspective of Ronald Reagan’s influential Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights William Bradford Reynolds, and is both a vindication of an administration that was showered with charges of racism, and a thorough grounding in some of the most important and controversial areas of American jurisprudence.
Prof. Wolters writes thematically, and the first area he treats is voting rights. Although the Fifteenth Amendment, ratified in 1870, had given former slaves the vote, many southern states restricted the black vote by requiring literacy tests, disfranchising parents of illegitimate children, and insisting on “good character.” Despite the notoriety of these practices, they cut black voter rolls by only about half: In 1960, 29.1 percent of voting-age blacks in the South were registered voters as opposed to 61.1 percent of the whites.
In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson ordered his staff to write the “god-damndest, toughest voting rights bill” they could, and Congress voted it into law the same year. It forbade all the discriminatory measures common in the South and, more controversially, put the electoral practices of most of the counties in nine southern states under direct federal supervision. In what was called “preclearance,” these jurisdictions had to get permission from either the Department of Justice or the District Court of the District of Columbia before they could make the slightest change to their voting systems. Even small details, such as changing the office hours for voter registration or moving a polling place had to be vetted by federal bureaucrats for possible “racism.” The feds also had the right to monitor polling and vote counting.
The law designated the jurisdictions for preclearance with a formula that was not openly anti-southern but had that effect: It targeted all counties that had used literacy tests and where fewer than 50 percent of adults had voted in the 1964 presidential election. Interfering with state electoral procedures was clearly an assault on federalism, so although the ban on discriminatory voting practices was permanent, the pre-clearance requirement was to be renewed in five years. It has been renewed regularly and is still in effect. Most of the South must still crawl to Washington for permission to move a polling place.
The whole country, however, has been affected by Supreme Court decisions based on the act. Although the law was clearly only about guaranteeing access to the ballot, Chief Justice Earl Warren decided it should guarantee black office-holding, too. The Supreme Court’s mania to turn equal access into equal outcomes made an unrecognizable hash out of virtually all “civil rights” laws, and in this case led to court decisions against at-large voting and in favor of wildly gerrymandered black-majority districts.
At-large voting means that a city, for example, is not broken up into geographic wards with a city councilman representing each ward, but requires all candidates to run “at large” and represent the whole city. If blacks are a minority concentrated in a certain part of town, a black candidate might be able to win in a ward system but lose in an at-large election. At-large systems may therefore have the effect of reducing the number of minority office-holders but most were not designed to do that. They are popular because ward-heeling can lead to divisive, pork-barrel politics whereas at-large candidates have to serve the whole city.
Professor Wolters describes the landmark cases that doomed at-large voting. The crucial court finding was that intent did not matter; if a balloting system had the effect of diluting black votes it was discrimination. In 1982, when it extended the preclearance measures of the Voting Rights Act, Congress itself endorsed the effects test, setting the stage for exotic gerrymandering. Before long, voting districts ceased to have the slightest relationship to organic community boundaries and took on preposterous shapes to create majority-minority constituencies. It was only in the 1990s, after the Reagan administration was out of office but when its appointees had arrived on the Supreme Court, that the justices decided that race could not be the predominant factor in redistricting, but the principal of creating majority-minority districts is now firmly established.
Prof. Wolters notes in passing that such districts generally have to be 65 percent black to be considered safe for black candidates. There are three reasons for this. Blacks are younger than whites, so any given black population therefore has a larger proportion of people too young to vote. Blacks are less likely than whites to register, and even if they register, are less likely to vote. The rule of thumb is to add five percent over and above 50 percent for each of these characteristics.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 quickly turned into an equal results law just like the Voting Rights Act. Prof. Wolters notes that this was in part due to the partisan maneuvering of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Commission on Civil Rights, and the offices of civil rights that sprang up in all government departments. These bureaucracies were supposed to stamp out discrimination but from the very beginning were packed with activists who were prepared to discriminate against whites in order to get jobs for blacks. Never, writes Prof. Wolters, was an enforcement bureaucracy so openly subversive of the law it was supposed to enforce.
The Supreme Court was equally subversive. Although the law clearly forbade preferential hiring or what came to be known as “affirmative action,” Supreme Court rulings quickly made them necessary. Prof. Wolters tells the story of the notorious Griggs v. Duke Power decision, which was handed down just seven years after the Civil Rights Act itself. At issue were the standards the Duke Power Company of North Carolina set for management trainees. Candidates had to be high school graduates and score above a certain level on an intelligence test. These requirements were established well before 1964, at a time when no blacks were admitted into the segregated program, and no one could argue they were a ruse to keep blacks out. What the plaintiffs did argue — and to the court’s satisfaction — was that because fewer blacks than whites graduated from high school and fewer could pass the intelligence test, Duke Power’s requirements had a discriminatory effect on blacks even without discriminatory intent.
This effect became known as “disparate impact,” and any employer using job standards that had such an effect had to prove the standard was necessary for the job. The effect of Griggs was nothing less than to make it illegal for a company to set high standards. Outside of athletics, it is hard to think of any demanding standard that would not have a disparate impact on blacks. Companies that set anything more than minimal standards were therefore practicing discrimination.
Even when a company used tests of minimal standards it still ran into trouble with the EEOC. What were valid tests for welders or housing inspectors or typists? The bureaucrats insisted on an expensive “validation” procedure for each test, and forbade companies from using the same test at different job sites, arguing that conditions could be different at each site. This foolishness forced companies to abandon tests and hire by quota. Some companies, especially Japanese car manufacturers, simply moved their plants to rural areas where the number of non-whites was curiously small.
Prof. Wolters argues that the abandonment of many employment tests was a serious blow to the economy. Hiring poorly qualified blacks was the least of the problem; employers couldn’t screen whites effectively either. In the 1980s, desperate personnel managers tried to get official permission at least to use one of the government’s own job tests, the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB), which was a Labor Department test used to screen applicants for many kinds of jobs. In 1986 the Reagan administration asked the National Academy of Sciences to validate the test, which it did. However, like all good tests, it had a disparate impact, so the department adopted a Solomonic solution called within-group scoring or “race norming.” Rather than get a raw score, an applicant got a percentile score calculated only within his own race. Thus, a black who was at the 75th percentile for blacks got the same score as a white in 75th percentile for whites, even though the black’s raw score was considerably lower. The Labor Department didn’t tell companies about race norming; it just reported the percentile score.
Race norming was actually the least bad solution to a terrible problem. So long as an employer stuck to the GATB he would not only fill his race quotas, but get the best whites and the best blacks. Race norming gave employers effective job tests without disparate impact, but it came to a stop when the public found out about it and raised a stink. Without race norming the GATB once again had a disparate impact and had to be junked. Judges and congressmen wanted preferences and de facto quotas but they didn’t have the stomach to have things done rationally and in the open.
Eventually, the Supreme Court stripped any remaining fig leaf of respectability from employment law and, in the 1987 case of Johnson v. Transportation Agency ruled that it was alright to discriminate against white men simply to increase hiring from an “under-represented” class, in this case women. There need not have been any prior alleged discrimination to correct; just getting more minorities and women into jobs was reason enough to stiff white men in ways that would have made blacks riot.
The Reagan administration tried mightily to stop the stiffing, and Prof. Wolters describes the admin-istration’s attack on some of the more egregious practices. Many employers, for example, had agreed on the basis of a court order — or just negotiation with angry blacks — that they would hire and promote one black for every white. Others ignored seniority clauses in union agreements and fired experienced whites rather than green blacks when budgets had to be tightened.
William Bradford Reynolds had a clear view of preferential policies. He thought an employer could discriminate against whites only if it had discriminated against non-whites in the past, and he believed remedies should be “strictly tailored” to correct specific wrongs. He was especially opposed to preference programs that traded away the rights of white men who could not possibly be, themselves, guilty of discrimination. He saw people as individuals, not as fungible parts of a racial whole. As he put it, “a person suffering from appendicitis is not relieved of his pain by an appendectomy performed on the patient in the next room, even if the latter is a member of the same race.”
Mr. Bradford’s legal approach to this problem was to point out that if a court ordered a fire department, for example, to discriminate against whites this violated the rights of whites who were turned away because of the discrimination. He argued that no contract or court order should punish people who had had no representation in the negotiations or court case that brought that contract or court order into existence. Prof. Wolters describes in detail the sequence of cases Mr. Reynolds brought to the Supreme Court in an ultimately successful campaign to make the court understand this.
Prof. Wolters notes that in the long run racial preferences have been a bait and switch game. Activists justify them with the horrific statistics floating up out of the black ghettos, but almost all the beneficiaries are middle-class blacks who left the ghetto a generation ago. Not even the most coercive preferences can get prisoners, drug addicts, gangsters or welfare bums into jobs, but they help above-average blacks sail into Harvard and into high-profile “human resources” jobs. Prof. Wolters quotes Thomas Sowell: “What the masses of blacks get from affirmative action is mainly the resentment of the rest of society.”
As the century comes to a close, some of the most abominable affirmative action court decisions have been reversed, but there are no clear principles that establish how far racial preferences can go. As Prof. Wolters points out, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled on specific aspects of individual cases without establishing these principles, and it has frequently reversed itself. The recent tendency, however, has been increasing skepticism of anything short of color-blindness.
In fact, black activists are so afraid of a possible definitive anti-preferences ruling that in late 1997 they paid off a white reverse-discrimination plaintiff rather than see her case go to the Supreme Court for a possible death blow to affirmative action. Jesse Jackson helped raise more than $400,000 to “satisfy” Sharon Taxman, a Piscataway, New Jersey, school teacher who was laid off from her job while an equally-qualified black teacher was kept on. If the two teachers had been the same race someone would have flipped a coin, but Miss Taxman got the ax because she was white. This sort of affirmative action is the mildest (and rarest) kind, but black activists were afraid even this could not survive the current Supreme Court.
Without a definitive ruling, we have a refreshing but no doubt brief resurgence of local variation. Voter initiatives have abolished state-government preferences in California and Washington, and some courts have awarded substantial damages to white plaintiffs. In other areas blatant preferences are still the rule. Congress and state legislatures have, as usual, funked the issue, so America is still waiting for an oracular pronouncement from the high priests of the law.
The last area of “civil rights” law Prof. Wolters analyzes is school desegregation. Once again, activists pushed a racial agenda well beyond the bounds of either law or decency, and Mr. Reynolds did his best to push things back.
This sorry story begins with the infamous Brown v. Board of Education ruling that even the New York Times recognized was not a legal decision but social engineering. Its headline for May 18, 1954 was: “A Sociological Decision: Court Founded Its Segregation Ruling On Hearts and Minds Rather Than Laws.” Needless to say, the justices are supposed to let the law, not their hearts, be their guide, but liberal opinion was overwhelmingly in favor of even extra-legal methods to end segregation. The proper thing would have been for Congress to pass legislation to desegregate schools (though even this would never have passed muster under any reasonable interpretation of the powers delegated to the federal government under the Constitution).
Zealots only cheered the court’s exercise of raw power. Prof. Wolters cites Jennifer Hochschild of Princeton, who thought most whites were too benighted to comprehend the joys of integration and thought “democracy” should “give way to liberalism.” Wise people like her would make rules for the masses, and she even urged that whites not be allowed to patronize private schools if this meant escaping integration. James Liebman of Columbia University Law School thought forced integration of school children was the best way to touch “the malignant hearts and minds of racist white citizens.”
But the initial consequences of Brown were not up to the expectations of the zealots. Desegregation meant only that children could not be kept out of schools because of race; it did not mean they had to be forced into schools because of race. And thus it was that New Kent County, a rural Virginia county with only two schools, did what many other school districts did. It let whites attend the formerly all-black, segregated school if they wanted, and let blacks attend the formerly all-white school if they wanted. A handful of blacks decided to go to the white school and no whites went to the black school. No one was denied access to anything because of race, and desegregation was achieved.
This, said Paul Gewirtz of Yale Law School, was no good. He said the blacks and whites of New Kent County didn’t rush into each others’ arms because they were not really free to choose. They were prisoners of generations of “racism,” and could be freed only if the government pushed them together. In 1968, the Supreme Court decided to provide just that helping hand. The people of New Kent County had to mix, like it or not. Prof. Wolters notes that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated the day after the oral arguments in the New Kent case, and that the justices were deliberating during some of the worst riots in American history. Perhaps once again they consulted their hearts rather than the law, but that was the beginning of busing.
At first, people thought this dread remedy was only for southern schools that had practiced legal segregation, but the court was feeling its oats and soon buses were rumbling all across the country. It made no difference that neighborhood schools were segregated mainly because blacks and whites (and Hispanics) lived in different neighborhoods; the Supreme Court said children would bloody well study together.
Prof. Wolters recounts the many court cases and the tortured interpretations of the law that produced this foolishness, and does not hesitate to describe the costs. First of all, busing was expensive. Second, PTA participation dropped like a stone when parents had to drive across town to a meeting. But most important, whites hated it. They couldn’t vote it down with the ballot so they voted with their feet. Between 1968 and 1976 — in just eight years — no fewer than 78 percent of the white students left the Atlanta school system. Prof. Wolters writes that a good rule of thumb was to expect that ten years of busing would drive half the white students out of any public school.
As whites left, standards dropped, and “progressive” teachers circled like vultures. They got rid of ability grouping, which was just another form of segregation. They fell upon “multiculturalism” with shouts of joy. They pushed “sensitivity” rather than academic rigor, and in some cases went more or less certifiably insane. It was a matter of faith that if white teachers were disciplining black students it was because of cultural insensitivity, and one school administrator explained in courtroom testimony in New Castle, Delaware, that “when one group expresses its frustrations by fighting and another group does not, it’s unfair to make a rule that disciplines only the fighters.” In a Yonkers, New York, court case, on the other hand, there was testimony that teacher-saboteurs were deliberately letting blacks run wild and terrorize whites so as to foment “resistance to desegregation.” All sorts of nuttiness was let loose upon the land.
Prof. Wolters notes that Mr. Reynold’s answer to busing was magnet schools. He was not prepared to let children go back to neighborhood schools, since that would lead to resegregation, and during the Reagan years the number of magnet schools increased four fold to more than 5,000.
The idea of magnets was to build schools in black neighborhoods that were so whiz bang they would tempt white children in from the suburbs. Aside from the question of whether it was moral or legal to starve some schools and fatten others just to bribe whites to go to school with blacks, white students refused to behave like iron filings. Once they left the cities they didn’t usually go back.
However, school administrators soon discovered they could ask for all sorts of snazzy improvements in the holy name of integration. As Prof. Wolters writes, “the ingenuity of school officials bordered on venality,” as bureaucrats added gleaming new magnet schools to their empires.
The ultimate test and most humiliating failure of magnets was the well-known case of Kansas City, Missouri. Beginning in 1985, federal judge Russel Clark ordered the city to keep spending money on gold-plated schools until whites came back and black performance improved. What particularly galled the city was that Judge Clark unilaterally raised property and local income taxes to pay for improvements voters would never have approved. Over the years, Judge Clark poured more than one billion dollars into “desegregation,” building brand new schools and equipping them with such things as a planetarium, greenhouses, a temperature-controlled art gallery, a Russian fencing master, and athletic facilities that looked like Olympic villages. One high school even ended up with a model UN General Assembly, complete with wiring for simultaneous interpretation in seven languages. School bureaucrats gloried in their new palaces of learning. But even these astonishing schools at best only slowed the flow of whites to the suburbs; they certainly did not reverse it, and the racial gap in academic achievement remained as great as ever.
Finally in 1995, Judge Clark’s dictatorship came to an end, when the Supreme Court, over the objections of the Clinton administration, ruled that he had overstepped his power in ordering tax increases, and that the racial performance gap was no excuse for more “integration” spending. (Dissenting justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was the only one who thought everything Judge Clark had done was just fine.)
Prof. Wolters concludes that there will probably be no more new cases of forced busing. The justices have finally realized that school segregation results from residential segregation, not wicked white teachers, and that it is crazy to punish schools for something not their fault. Many blacks are also disillusioned with busing. However, Prof. Wolters warns there are still many busing programs run by entrenched fanatics and that they are likely to go on for years. There have been a few well-publicized cases of cities giving up on busing, but this does not revive the schools that busing killed.
Right Turn contains a fascinating appendix about something else that caused a fuss during the Reagan administration: the Bob Jones University case. This case was so widely misreported and misunderstood at the time that it is worth reviewing. Bob Jones University of Greenville, South Carolina, had enjoyed tax-exempt status as an educational institution since its founding in 1927. It taught that God wants the races to be separate, and refused admission to non-whites. In 1970 it lost its tax-exemption when the IRS decided that racial discrimination disqualified an institution for 501 (c) (3) status.
Bob Jones therefore began admitting non-whites in 1971 but forbade inter-racial dating. In 1977 the IRS sued Bob Jones for $489,679 in back taxes. The university convinced a federal district court that its racial policies were based on “genuine religious beliefs,” but an appeals court found for the IRS. Bob Jones appealed, and in 1981 the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.
Mr. Reynolds did not approve of racial discrimination but he thought the IRS had acted improperly in 1970 when it decided discrimination was grounds for lifting tax exemptions. He pointed out that Brown applied only to public schools, and that when Congress passed section 501 (c) (3) of the tax code it said nothing about prohibiting segregation. The IRS was right when it said “public policy” did not now countenance segregation, but Mr. Reynolds pointed out that plenty of tax-exempt institutions went against “public policy:” single-sex colleges, for example, and churches that opposed nuclear weapons. He argued that Congress had the right to revise the tax code against discriminators if it wanted to, but that the IRS’s job was to enforce the code as written. Congress had denied tax exemptions to social clubs that discriminated, so if it wanted to do the same with schools, it clearly knew how. Mr. Reynolds therefore persuaded the Reagan administration to support Bob Jones before the Supreme Court.
It is not hard to imagine the shrieking that resulted. Hardly anyone understood that the issue was not discrimination but whether the IRS had quasi-legislative powers. For liberals, the case was smoking-gun proof of the administration’s naked racism. It only made things worse when the Supreme Court ruled against Bob Jones, eight-to-one. Mr. Reynolds later acknowledged he had been naïve to think the press would report the case accurately rather than bellow about racism.
The reader arrives at the end of this long, carefully-researched book with a sense of dismay at the tremendous amount of legal huffing and puffing as well as the terrible damage to society that has come from abandoning one ancient principle and one simple truth. The ancient principle is that of freedom of association. As a matter of long tradition, except for a few exceptional matters like age of consent or age of majority, government has not poked its nose into private contracts. Free men can hire, fire, patronize, or do business with whomever they want — for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason at all. They need answer to no one. This freedom had long been violated in certain parts of the South, where racial separation was required by law, but the Civil Rights Act of 1964 stripped the entire country of its freedom. What began as an obligation not to discriminate against blacks became an obligation to discriminate against whites. The power to vet private contracts for “discrimination” — against more protected classes all the time — is immense, unprecedented power. 1964 marks one of the great defeats in the unending war to protect our freedoms.
At the same time, the simple truth on which we have turned our backs is that the races are not equal in ability. Some of the harm in giving up freedom of association would have been mitigated if the country had understood from the outset that blacks and whites do not perform at the same level. Widespread insistence that differences in achievement are caused by “racism” rather than differences in ability has led to recrimination, injustice, and incalculable social and economic damage.
The mere fact of multi-racialism causes friction. Neither Japan nor Iceland have ever had to subvert society or the law in the ways Prof. Wolters describes, and if their leaders are wise they will never have to. But to combine multi-racialism with the abandonment of rights and blindness to the obvious is to mix a poisonous brew that could some day prove fatal.
Know Your Neighbors
A computer program that puts the census on your desktop.
CensusCD+Maps (compact disk), Geolytics. For information: (800) 577-6717, $250.00
There is a tremendous amount of information collected about the people living in the United States. Every ten years, the Census Bureau makes a detailed survey, and in between there are many government estimates and private surveys. Much of this information is available on the Internet, but by packing it onto a single compact disk, CensusCD+Maps makes it much easier to find and use.
This CD includes hundreds of different information categories, from estimated annual family expenditure on shoes to average number of vehicles per household to number of Yiddish or Laotian speakers in an area. These information categories are in turn available by different geographic areas like state, county, city, zip code, Congressional district, and even Indian Reservation. Not all of the information is available in every geographical location. For example, crime figures are tabulated only at the county level, so you cannot get finer detail, nor can you get estimates of shoe (or alcohol) purchases on Indian reservations, but most of the information can be sorted according to the most obviously useful categories. The smallest area that can be examined is the census tract, which usually has about 1,100 people or 400 families in it.
Two features of CensusCD+Maps that make it much more useful than Internet or printed data are that it lets you make calculations with the data and draw maps. For example, it is easy to find racial population data for states, counties, or census tracts, but this information is usually given in raw numbers. If you want to know the percentages of particular races you have to divide by the total population. CensusCD+Maps lets you write formulae to compute percentages and compare different areas.
For example, by entering a formula for Fairfax County, Virginia, where AR is located, we find that the population is 7.74 percent black. We can also have CensusCD+Maps draw a map of the 191 separate census tracts in the county and use different colors to indicate different densities of black population. One tract leaps off the page: Census Tract 4222 has an unusually large population of 6,267, and 96.3 percent of its residents are black. Not one of them is in poverty, yet only six are employed, three in “health services” and three in “educational services.” Ninety-four percent are men, of whom 75 percent are single. In a year, these 6,267 people spend a total of less than $1,000 on alcoholic beverages. Census Tract 4222 is, of course, the Lorton Reformatory, which houses the overflow from the Washington, DC jail.
By applying the percent-black formula to counties throughout the country, we discover that Jefferson County, Mississippi, has the highest percentage. Just over 86 percent of its 8,653 residents are black. The median household income is $10,267 and 47 percent of the people are poor. Average rent in the county is $168.00 a month. The counties with the next highest percentages of blacks are Macon County, Alabama (85.9 percent) and Claiborne County, Mississippi (82.24 percent), which adjoins Jefferson County. At 35 percent, Mississippi is the state with the highest percentage of blacks.
A similar exercise with Hispanics shows that New Mexico, appropriately, has the highest proportion at 38 percent, followed by California and Texas with 25 percent each (these figures are from the 1990 census). There are five counties in the United States that are more than 90 percent Hispanic and all are in Texas: Starr County (98 percent), Maverick County (94 percent), Webb County (94 percent), Jim Hogg County (91 percent) and Brooks County (90 percent). In Starr County, which has the highest percentage, 59.6 percent of residents are poor. The median household income is $10,182 and the average house costs $21,700.
CensusCD+Maps can do rather more upscale comparisons as well. We find that Fairfield County, Connecticut, has more households with incomes over $150,000 (8.2 percent) than any other county in the country. In its wealthiest census tract, 52 percent of households have incomes over $150,000 and 76 percent have incomes over $100,000. The average house costs $590,000. Surprisingly, even in this pish posh tract of 3,143 people, 4.9 percent of the households have incomes of less than $15,000.
If we switch to Detroit, Michigan, we find that the average house is worth $28,804 and 43 percent of the households have incomes below $15,000. The average rent in the city is $372 a month. But here, too, there are surprises: Only 29 percent of households get public assistance.
Most users of CensusCD+Maps are probably trying to sell you something. The program can quickly snap out an estimate of how much money people who live within a 20-mile radius of any street corner spend every year on such things as “apparel for children under 2,” which is handy to know if you are thinking of setting up shop. But for individuals — especially for anyone about to move or buy property — it is full of useful information that realtors are forbidden by law to tell you. The program is not always easy to use, and the instruction manual is sometimes obscure, but anyone who can afford the cost of this disk gets an enormous amount of data that can be sorted and manipulated in virtually unlimited ways.
‘Even if it Proved Him Wrong’
A welcome tribute to Arthur Jensen.
In a small and belated way, Prof. Arthur Jensen is getting some of the recognition he deserves. A recent special issue of the magazine Intelligence was devoted to him, with the title, “A King Among Men: Arthur Jensen.”
More than anyone else, Prof. Jensen rescued the study of intelligence and individual differences from radical environmentalism. Beginning with his famous 1969 article in Harvard Educational Review and culminating — at least so far — in his 1998 magnum opus The g Factor he has continued to study what are probably the most unpopular and maligned subjects in psychology: the heritability of intelligence, its biological bases, and the evidence for racial differences. Despite the bitterest criticism, he has made profound and lasting contributions to the study of the mind. Anyone with a comparable record of achievement in any less controversial field would be showered with honors and awards. This special issue of Intelligence is a modest tribute to a great scientist.
There are 13 short articles in the issue, including one by Prof. Jensen himself, in which he describes the early influences on his thinking and the major milestones in his career. We learn that during his undergraduate study of psychology — at a time when it was widely believed to be almost entirely unrelated to genetics — some of his most rewarding reading was extracurricular study of books by M.K. Gandhi, Bertrand Russel, G.B. Shaw, Havelock Ellis, H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, and Alfred Korzybski.
Prof. Jensen’s first serious encounter with the genetics of mental traits was in 1966 when he was preparing to write a book about childhood learning disorders. He thought he would include a chapter on the inheritance of intelligence, if only to show that this explanation for individual differences was outmoded and discredited. To his surprise, the more he looked into the subject the more he realized that heredity explained a great deal. It was this line of study that led to his 123-page Harvard Educational Review article and set the course of his subsequent career.
Prof. Jensen is generous in his acknowledgment of the influence of Hans J. Eysenck of the University of London, noting that it was not so much the specific content of Prof. Eysenck’s research but “his general approach to psychology as a natural science that provided my first real sense of finally having discovered my true vocation.”
The other articles are of varying interest — some go into considerable detail about certain aspects of Prof. Jensen’s work — but in different ways they all recognize his contributions to science. Linda Gottfredson of the University of Delaware writes, “I can think of no equal to Jensen in formulating new questions, clever tools, and testable hypotheses to resolve old debates about intelligence and mental tests.” She also admires the restraint and good manners with which he has always handled his critics: “At most he has seemed puzzled or disappointed by their frequent dishonesty and by the reticence of unnamed closet supporters.”
J. Philippe Rushton of the university of Western Ontario writes of first becoming acquainted with Prof. Jensen 18 years ago. “I came away profoundly influenced,” he writes, “and determined to read the relevant literature.” Prof. Rushton has, of course, gone on to do important work that has often been noted in American Renaissance.
Thomas J. Bouchard, whose twin research at the University of Minnesota has attracted world-wide attention, also has great respect for Prof. Jensen: “[His] writings are virtual tutorials on how to write science and how to deal with controversy.” Like Prof. Gottfredson, he admires coolness under fire: “I continue to be astounded at the lack of anger and hostility in his replies and the astuteness with which he dissects the arguments of his critics.”
The tribute from Sandra Scarr, professor emerita of the University of Virginia, is especially noteworthy, given that she is best known for long-term research that was meant to prove Prof. Jensen wrong. She studied the progress of black children adopted into middle-class white homes, in the hope of demonstrating that in enriched environments blacks would grow up as intelligent as whites. She concedes now that she let her feelings sway her science:
My colleagues and I reported the data accurately and as fully as possible, and then tried to make the results palatable to environmentally committed colleagues. In retrospect, this was a mistake. The results of the transracial adoption study can be used to support either a genetic difference hypothesis or an environmental difference one . . . We should have been agnostic on the conclusions; Art [Jensen] would have been.
Prof. Scarr has no patience for Prof. Jensen’s most notorious critics, whom she calls “politically driven liars.” “[Marcus Feldman, Steven Jay Gould, and Leon Kamin] seem to speak his language, albeit with forked tongues. I find them despicable, because they have the knowledge and intellect to know that they deliberately corrupt science. To deny falsely the scientific evidence that nearly all measurable traits are moderately to highly heritable is to deny parents and policy makers essential knowledge to run their own lives and the society as a whole.” She concludes: “I believe that [Prof. Jensen’s] most important contribution is intellectual honesty and integrity to a psychological science that is threatened with Politically Correct corruption.”
Some of the contributors strike false notes in a volume that is supposed to be a tribute. Robert Sternberg of Yale concedes that by the standards of “creativity, basis in theory, empirical rigor, and impact . . . most of Jensen’s work fares well.” He complains, though, that Prof. Jensen’s work in behavior genetics and racial differences is “not only wrong but wrong-headed” — suggesting that these are areas that should not even be looked into! Alan Kaufman, also of Yale, distances himself from Prof. Jensen’s conclusions on race in the very first paragraph of his article, but concedes that “the man is brilliant” and concludes rather more generously than Prof. Sternberg that “Jensen is the quintessential scientist.”
For Prof. Jensen to have won even the grudging admiration of his profession is a tribute not only to the quality of his science but to his unimpeachable integrity. Douglas Detterman of Case Western Reserve University is the editor of Intelligence and introduces the articles in this volume. He puts his finger on what may be the quality that most sets Prof. Jensen apart even from other brilliant scientists:
When I first met him personally, I wondered what his biases and prejudices really were and tried to identify them for many years. My effort was wasted. I finally came to the conclusion that he just doesn’t have any. I think this may be a point that is impossible for his critics to understand. On the other hand, it is the very reason he has stood up so well against his critics. He has invested himself in pursuit of the truth, not any particular set of ideas. With praise for which very few would qualify, Prof. Detterman writes: ‘He would gladly know the truth even if it proved him wrong.’
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
The Stupidity of Power
A recent cover story in the Washington Post details the expulsion of Serbs from Kosovo. Albanians have murdered at least 200 Serbs since the NATO occupation began, and driven three quarters of the rest out of the province. For their safety, Serbs must leave the country in convoy, escorted by NATO troops. The few Serbs who remain say they dare not appear in public. Many are afraid to shop in stores, and depend on food deliveries from NATO troops and humanitarian organizations. Formerly Serb-owned businesses are now run by Albanians who only smile when asked how they came into possession. More Serbs are leaving all the time, and no one will be surprised if they all go. “It looks like it’s over for the Serbs,” says an American officer. To which the Post adds: “The ideal of a multi-ethnic Kosovo — a place in which Serbs, ethnic Albanians and Gypsies can live together, an ideal NATO went to war to achieve — is on the verge of collapse.” (Peter Finn, NATO Losing Kosovo Battle, Washington Post, Aug. 4, 1999, p. A1.)
If NATO went to war to build a peaceful, multi-ethnic Kosovo, this was one of the most fantastically stupid wars in history. Only the most crazed liberal could have imagined such an outcome. Only politicians and generals who have learned nothing from history and who think they can rewrite human nature could have failed to foresee the expulsion of Serbs and the establishment of an Albanian ethnostate. And this, of course, is happening despite the presence of NATO occupiers specifically charged with preventing it.
This is a huge, unearned victory for the Kosovo Liberation Army and for the Albanian nationalists. And unless Serbia invades Kosovo some day, it is also a victory for peace and stability, since ethnostates are more stable than ethnic mixes. The immediate losers are the Serbs, of course, but the real, long-term losers are the people of the NATO countries. It is they who must live under rulers who love multi-ethnicity so much they are prepared to kill for it, and who are so blind they cannot understand that once the killing starts multi-ethnicity is the first casualty. There are clear, obvious lessons here for any country trying to force unlike peoples to live together, and we can be certain our rulers will not learn them.
California Voters Scorned
In 1994, California passed a voter initiative called Proposition 187 by a 60 to 40 percent margin. It would have barred illegal aliens from receiving welfare, free medical care, and instruction in public schools. It would have required teachers to turn in students they suspected were illegal and police to question people they arrest about their immigration status.
The American Civil Liberties Union and “civil rights” groups like the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund sued to stop implementation of 187. They got what they wanted when U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer ruled in 1995 that the initiative conflicted with federal authority on immigration law. Former governor Pete Wilson, a Republican, was a supporter of Prop 187 and was planning to appeal the decision, but was forced out of office in 1998 by term limits. His successor, Democrat Gray Davis, opposed 187 and recently vowed, “I personally will never be a party to an effort to kick kids out of school.”
In April he dropped the appeal and instead submitted the question for mediation with the groups that originally challenged the initiative in court. This procedure called for lawyers representing the state of California and the opponents of 187 to work out a deal on implementation. A conservative group that supported Prop 187 called the Pacific Legal Foundation asked to be included in the talks but was refused. A liberal Democratic administration that was against the measure “negotiated” with groups that had taken it to court. On July 29 Gov. Davis announced the result of this sham. The “contending” parties decided to implement only one small provision of Prop 187 that established state penalties for the manufacture and use of false documents (this had been legal before that?). Otherwise, they flouted the will of the people.
According to immigration reform activist Glenn Spencer, “Davis sold his soul for the Hispanic vote and now he’s paying off. If he hadn’t done this they would have lynched him . . . The governor and the rest of these people are afraid to send this to the Supreme Court.” Immigration reform groups are circulating a petition to recall Gov. Davis (www.recalldavis.org) but the agreement means that Proposition 187 is dead. (Patrick McDonnell, Davis Won’t Appeal Prop. 187 Ruling, Ending Court Battles, Los Angeles Times, July 29, 1999. Patrick McDonnell, Prop 187 Talks Offered Davis Few Choices, Los Angeles Times, July 30, 1999.)
Cheap at Twice the Price
A privately-funded organization called CRACK (Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity) offers drug-addicted mothers $200 to stop having children. They can have their tubes tied or use long-term birth control like Nor-plant, Depo Provera, or an IUD. Since indigent women get free medical care, CRACK doesn’t have to pay for the contraceptives or surgery; it just encourages the women. CRACK started in California and, so far, has paid 57 drug addicts $200 each to have no more children. Between them, they had already had 262.
The founder of CRACK is a white woman named Barbara Harris. She adopted four children from the same crack-smoking mother before she tried to get the California legislature to make it a crime to give birth to a drug-addicted baby. She says that between 1992 and 1996 12,338 addicted babies were born in Los Angeles alone, but she can’t get law makers to do anything about it.
The usual people are screaming the usual things. To charges of racism, Mrs. Harris notes that she is married to a black man and that almost half her clients have been white. To the charge that drug addicts can’t make rational choices when offered $200, she asks what sort of mothers they are likely to make. She offers the same amount to addicted men willing to get a vasectomy but has so far had no takers.
CRACK recently expanded into Chicago and has attracted attention in Minneapolis and Dallas. It gets the word out by putting up billboards in likely parts of town. Among its private donors is radio agony auntie, Laura Schlesinger, who gave the group $5,000. (William Claiborne, Chicago’s $200 Question, Washington Post, July 28, 1999, p. A3.)
‘Somebody to Hate’
The Southeastern Legal Foundation is a public interest law firm that takes anti-white discriminators to court. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, it has eliminated racial preference programs in Jacksonville, Florida, and in the two Georgia counties in the Atlanta area. It has stopped the school board in Nashville, Tennessee, from using race as a factor in admissions to magnet schools, and ended DeKalb County, Georgia’s, school busing program. Now it has taken aim at Atlanta’s minority set-aside program. This is supposed to reserve 35 percent of the city’s contracting work for minority-owned companies, but under a succession of black mayors it has become a patronage system for black fat cats.
Atlanta’s mayor, William Campbell, rages at the prospect of giving up set-asides. “We will fight to the death,” he says, explaining that “there will be no judge browbeating us into submission.” (It would be interesting to watch the mayor of Atlanta defy a federal court order.) And he has a low opinion of the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF): “Just because these right-wing hate groups dress themselves in suits instead of robes doesn’t mean it’s not still racism.” He has called for boycotts of the companies headed by men who serve on the board of the SLF, and two — poltroons — have obligingly resigned. The mayor has encouraged blacks to picket the homes of board members “so when they’re having their wonderful debutante balls, the participants will not be able to get by.”
A black state representative has called the SLF’s actions “hatemongering,” but has an interesting understanding of the word: “We have finally hit upon somebody to hate,” he explains. “Matt Glavin [SLF president] is someone that I hate.” (Carlos Campos, “Racist Tag Used in Fight Over Contracts,” Atlanta Journal and Constitution, July 22, 1999, p. 1A.)
Even the slavishly liberal Atlanta Journal and Constitution thinks blacks have gone too far. A recent editorial reviewed some of the nasty things the mayor and his friends have been saying and asks, “Where, now, is President Clinton to denounce hate speech?” The editorial ends with a jab at Mayor William Campbell: “His world is divided into threes. There are those who agree with him. That’s one. There are whites who are racist. That’s two. And there are blacks who are Uncle Toms. That’s three.” (Jim Wooten, “Mayor’s Words Incite Racial Divide,” Atlanta J&C, July 23, 1999.)
Carry Me Back . . .
Ifeoma Udogwu, originally of Nigeria, worked as a child abuse investigator for New York City from 1989 to 1998, and was promoted last year to Child Evaluation Specialist. She did not, however, run an exemplary home. In 1989 she and her husband, Prosper Udogwu, walked into the American embassy in Nigeria with a 14-year-old girl whom they claimed was their daughter and got a visa for her. They told the girl, a family acquaintance, that they would take her to America where she could study to be a seamstress.
Instead, after they got her into the country, they took away her passport and made her a slave in their home in Jamestown, New York. They made her do the housework for no pay, beat her when she disobeyed, and told her that if she got cheeky they would strip her naked and send her back to Africa. They even showed her some clothes and said that was all that was left of the last girl they had had to send back. (There was some truth to that. In the 1980s, they brought a 10-year-old Nigerian girl to work in their house. They sent her back to Nigeria — clothed, presumably — after Mr. Udogwu’s brother raped her and she set fire to the house.)
The Udogwus kept their slave for nine years, at one time forcing her to work the night shift at McDonald’s and confiscating her paycheck. Last August when the girl, then 22 years old, demanded her freedom the Udogwus beat her so savagely the screaming roused the neighbors, who called the police. A friend of the family pressured her into not filing charges and she went to live with a friend. Four months ago, an unidentified source tipped off the FBI, which started an investigation. Mrs. Udogwu has now lost her job at the Administration of Child Services and the couple faces charges of immigration fraud and involuntary servitude. (David Rohde, Couple Charged With Holding Girl in Servitude, New York Times, July 15, 1999.)
Change of Heart
In 1996, a black former football star by the name of Daniel Colwell was depressed and suicidal. As he later testified, he didn’t have the courage to kill himself so he decided to have the government do it for him. He shot a white couple to death in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Americus, Georgia, and turned himself in for the death penalty. During the trial he taunted jurors, telling them he would come back and torture them if they did not give him the death penalty. They obliged.
Now, three years later, Mr. Colwell has decided he would rather live, and wants a new trial. As he explained in a death-row letter to his lawyer, “I very much want to go to a state mental hospital to get help to save my life. I am very sorry for killing those people. I don’t want to continue to be a murderer.” He drew a smiling face next to his signature. (AP, Ga. Killer Says He Wants to Live, July 15, 1999.)
Something called the Children’s Rights Council has ranked the fifty states in terms of which are best and worst for children. They studied such things as rates for immunization, abuse and neglect, poverty, teen-age pregnancy, divorce, and high-school graduation. Mostly, they needn’t have bothered. They could have gotten much the same results just by looking up racial demographics. Their top ten states (we have added the percentage of the population that is white) were are follows:
Maine (98%), Massachusetts (90%) Connecticut (88%), Vermont (98%), New Hampshire (98%), North Dakota (94%), Maryland (69%), Kansas (92%), Wisconsin (92%), Iowa (97%). The only real surprise is Maryland, which got into the top ten with a white percentage below the national average of 74.
The bottom ten states (starting at the bottom) were as follows: District of Columbia, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, California, Oklahoma, Nevada, Arkansas, and Mississippi. All but one have something important in common: they have the highest percentages of either blacks or Hispanics. DC, Mississippi, and Louisiana (in that order) have the highest percentages of blacks. New Mexico, California, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada (in that order) have the highest percentages of Hispanics. At nine percent, New Mexico has the second highest percentage of Indians (9%) after Alaska (16%), which helped drag it down to third from the bottom. The only real curiosity here is Oklahoma, which is just seven percent black and four percent Hispanic — but it is eight percent Indian.
Needless to say, neither the report nor the news stories to which it gave rise seem to have noticed any of this. (Jennifer Markley, Arizona Ranks Low as Place to Raise Kids, Tribune (Phoenix), July 28, 1999, p. A1.)
According to a study by the United Nations Population Fund, Haiti is a demographic calamity and could eventually lose the capacity to sustain human life. Some of its findings:
- At the turn of the century, the country still had 50 percent of its original forest, but today it has only 1.5 percent. Twenty-five of it’s 30 watersheds are denuded.
- Population density is 740 people per square mile, second in the hemisphere only to Barbados.
- At least 70 percent of the people depend on firewood for fuel, which means they cut 15-20 million trees every year, resulting in the erosion of 15,000 acres of farmland.
- Average annual per capita income is $250 — lowest in the hemisphere.
- Sixty percent of the population is sexually active by age 12.
- The average number of births per woman is 4.8 — highest in the hemisphere and double the rate for Latin America.
- Forty-three percent of the population is under age 15.
- Population could double from eight million to 16 million in fewer than 30 years.
Population pressure would be even worse without emigration. Two million Haitians live in the United States, Canada and the Dominican Republic. Only the U.S. Coast Guard prevents hundreds of thousands of Haitian boat people from washing up on Florida’s shores. (Don Bohning, Haiti Struggles for Space, Miami Herald, June 21, 1999, p. 1A.)
Prepare for Brownout
It appears that television programs are too white, and “civil rights” groups are vowing to change that. Something called the National Hispanic Media Coalition has promised a “national brownout,” or boycott of programs, if ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox don’t cast more Hispanic actors. The NAACP says it is looking into “possible legal and regulatory action” to make programs less white, and the National Council of La Raza is mulling the same options. (Michael Fletcher, Latinos Plan Boycott of Network TV, Washington Post, July 28, 1999, p. C1.)
The London Metropolitan Police are in the midst of a £2 million anti-racism campaign. One of its goals is to get the police to talk about “visibly minority ethnic groups” rather than “blacks” or “Asians.” A spokesman for the police admits that the term may confuse the public but adds, “It is meant to avoid causing offense.” No one seems to recall a black or Asian asking to be referred to as “a member of a visibly minority ethnic group.” (Rajeev Syal, “Why ‘Visibly Ethnic’ is the New Black, Telegraph (London), June 6, 1999.)
War and Disease
The African country of Angola is suffering through what appears to be an interminable civil war. Thousands of refugees have fled their villages only to settle in vast squatter camps, with uncollected garbage, open sewers, and contaminated water. As a result, the country is in the grip of diseases many countries have conquered, such as polio, cholera, and leprosy. However, the fighting has spared Angolans one scourge that is common in its more peaceful neighbors: AIDS. As a UN health official living in the capital Luanda explains, Angola is more or less in quarantine:
The war has fractured Angola and isolated us. Because of the war, the sanitation of food and water has suffered, and that has made Angola an undesirable place for tourists or business people or people looking for work. And few Angolans can afford to leave. So while young, sexually active people go in and out of South Africa every day, that doesn’t happen very much here.
The AIDS infection rate in Angola is estimated at 3.8 percent compared to 22 percent in South Africa and 25 percent in Zimbabwe. (Jon Jeter, Civil War Inoculates Angola From AIDS Epidemic, Washington Post, July 17, 1999, p. A26.)
Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of Britain from 1979 to 1990, appears to be moving our way. In a recent article denouncing attempts to build utopias she wrote:
The U.S. is moving toward a system in which the government presides over a number of different social groups, some of which have their own language and type of education. The approach undermines social unity and allows construction of a multicultural society, which is the very opposite of America’s previous practice. The government aims to supervise these different groups and keep the peace by redistributing income from one to another.
Thus the utopia of multiculturalism involves a bureaucratic class presiding over a nation divided into a variety of ethnic nationalities. That, of course, looks awfully like the old Soviet Union. Such a system cannot work, and its failure is likely to inflict great damage on the people, their traditions, and their liberties. (Margaret Thatcher, “Resisting the Utopian Impulse,” American Outlook (Hudson Institute), Spring, 1999.)
Quaint Tropical Customs
The former mayor of the Puerto Rican town of Toa Alta has been sentenced for corruption in connection with the cleanup after Hurricane Georges struck the island last September. He demanded $2.5 million from the Mississippi-based JESCO Construction company in exchange for a contract to collect debris. The American company alerted the FBI, which secretly recorded the mayor offering to inflate estimates of the damage so the company would be paid more by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The kickback was supposed to have come from padding the bill. The U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico has sentenced the former mayor, Angel Rodriguez, to nearly five years in jail and fined him $10,000. (Puerto Rican Ex-Mayor Sentenced, AP, July 6, 1999.)
A reader of a Berkeley, California, newspaper called the East Bay Express recently wrote a letter to the editor about an article by a Mr. Chris Thompson on the racial performance gap in Berkeley’s schools:
In their heart of hearts, everyone knows the primary reason why blacks do poorly and whites do well in school. The forbidden thought that neither Chris nor anyone in the article ever says is this: On average, black kids are not as intelligent as white or Asian kids. There. I said it. This great bogeyman of a truth lurks hidden in plain sight behind every quote in Thompson’s article, and practically every other article I’ve read on the subject.
I’m a long time liberal and Berkeley High graduate myself, and I resisted acknowledging this socially distasteful fact for a long time. But the mountain of evidence eventually became too large to ignore . . .
. . . [W]e should stop fretting that black students can’t match white students academically, because it will never happen.
The letter is signed Diego Palambayo — a real name or a pseudonym with which to tempt the editors? (Diego Palambayo, Color Coded, East Bay Express, June 18, 1999, p. 6.)
Not on the Net
Not all groups are equally likely to use computers. Asian families are most likely to own computers (55%) followed by white (47%), Hispanics (25.5%), and blacks (23%). Asian households, at 36 percent are most likely to have an Internet account. Money has a lot to do with computer ownership, and for families with incomes over $75,000 there is almost no black-white gap. But money doesn’t explain everything. Thirty-three percent of white families with incomes of $15,000 to $35,000 own computers, whereas the corresponding figure for blacks is only 19 percent. The gap has increased nearly 62 percent since 1994 despite falling computer prices. A child in a “low-income” white family is three times more likely to have Internet access at home than is a child in a comparable black family, and four times more likely than a Hispanic child.
Trevor Farrington, who directs a web site for blacks, says blacks have not yet understood the value of the net. They think it’s too technical, (but) it’s as easy to use as TV and it’s better. Once they understand that, it should grow.” (AP, ‘Racial Ravine’ Divides Net Users, July 8, 1999.)
Twenty-two percent of white women and 37 percent of black women are obese. Black men are fatter than white men. Why? An NIH study suggests it may be because blacks have slower metabolisms. In a controlled, laboratory setting, scientists recorded the sleeping metabolic activity, the 24-hour fat-oxidation rate, and physical energy expenditure of groups of blacks and whites. For both sexes, the metabolic rate for blacks was slower, especially during sleep. Given the same diet, people with slow metabolisms gain weight more easily. The findings are reported in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (E.J. Mundell, Metabolic Rate Linked to Obesity in Black Women, Reuters, July 16, 1999.)
The Catholic archdiocese of St. Louis has commissioned and erected a 14-foot high, 1,100-pound stainless steel “diversity” sculpture next to the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. Called “Angel of Harmony,” it is a smiling black angel with arms stretched out to protect a Hispanic boy playing a flute, a black boy beating a drum, and an Asian girl ringing a bell. “All of our churches are covered with beautiful images of God, Jesus and Mary with European features,” says Bishop Edward Braxton. “If we’re going to look at ourselves as Catholics in diversity, it’s important that we see images that are diverse in backgrounds.” (Church Hopes Sculptor’s Work Inspires Diversity, Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 25, 1999, p. A16.)
Bet on the Taliban
Allan Carlson, of the Rockford Institute recently wrote:
There is an iron law in history: The future belongs to the fertile. Just as the clan-centered, child-rich barbarian tribes . . . swept away the sensuous and sterile Western Roman Empire, so shall new barbarians arise. Barring religious renewal . . . the fate of the European Community is already written: The heirs to the continent will be . . . the Muslims, the Asians, the Africans — who have been brought in to clean up after their hosts. With fertility levels three to four times that of their neighbors . . . what remains of the splendor and wealth of Europe will probably be theirs by the mid-21st century. In other words, forget the ‘new politics’ of the Tony Blairs; bet on the Taliban. (Allan Carlson, An Elegy for the Free Sexual World, Family in America, July 1999.)
Unity Only in Name
Unity is a 6,000-member organization of minority journalists. Associations of black, Hispanic, Indian, and Asian journalists formed the alliance in 1988 to promote non-white hiring and more coverage of non-whites.
The group is fracturing along racial lines. This year’s conference was held in Seattle, Washington, where voters recently decided to end most state- and local-government affirmative action. Sidmel Estes-Sumpter, former president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), did not attend the meeting because organizers refused to have it some place else. She blames, “the other races” for keeping the conference in Seattle. “I think it is an insult to NABJ and an insult to black folks for us to go to Washington,” she says. The black group is the oldest and largest of the four member associations, and the other three are wary of being dominated.
Previous Unity conferences have divided over the racial symbolism of the city chosen for the conference, the races of the vendors, and the racial balance of convention speakers. American Indians threatened to boycott a Unity conference in Atlanta because the baseball team is called the Braves and because the Georgia state government helped ship the Cherokees west in 1830. Some agreed to come only after a ceremony was arranged to honor those who died on the “trail of tears” and a panel was set up to discuss offensive names for sports teams.
According to black USA Today columnist DeWayne Wickham, “What began as a survival mechanism has become an alliance of four organizations that have relatively little in common.” (Michael Fletcher, Unity’s Patchwork Network, Washington Post, July 7, 1999, p. C1.)
Importing More Problems
How could the number of Americans without health insurance increase from 36 million in 1990 to 43 million in 1997 despite a good economy? According to the National Coalition on Health Care there is a simple answer: immigration. The Census Bureau reports that in 1997, 34.3 percent of foreign-born residents had no medical insurance compared to 14.2 percent of natives. Places with a lot of immigration have a lot of people without insurance. Los Angeles has a 31 percent uninsured rate and a quarter of New Yorkers lack insurance. Almost 40 percent of El Paso, Texas, residents have no coverage. More than 20 percent of the people of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have no insurance. Many argue that immigrants don’t earn enough to afford medical insurance, but the average Mexican immigrant sends $300 back to Mexico each month — more than enough to pay premiums.
James R. Edwards of the Hudson Institute says, “If we’re serious about curbing the problem of the uninsured, we must admit only individuals with the skills, education and capacity to make it in America’s skills-based economy . . . Otherwise, we should stop decrying the social ills of the uninsured, high dropout rates, unemployment and poverty among the foreign born.” (James R. Edwards, Uninsured Immigrants a Drag, Investors Business Daily, July 29, 1999, p. 22.)
The Mail & Guardian, one of South Africa’s leading newspapers, is a strong supporter of Nelson Mandela and the ANC. This is excerpted from the lead editorial in the June 11/17 issue:
A caller to a local radio station (has) suggested that the franchise be taken away from White people for a period so that the Black majority can get on with the business of political contestation free from the bogey of race. Her reasoning is that after ten years, once the playing fields have been leveled, Whites can have the vote back and spread their support among the Black parties that emerge. The caller was greeted with laughter and derision but . . . one wonders whether there is not a germ of a good idea in the suggestion . . .
. . . We have always believed, along with Nelson Mandela, in the ideal of a non-racial South Africa, but like a patient who needs to detoxify before he can be cured, we must beware of and acknowledge our diseased racial past in order to finally purge it from the political bloodstream. (Disenfranchising Whites?, Aida Parker Newsletter, June 1999, p. 8.)
In its typically idiotic way, the Immigration and Naturalization Service sends boat people back to Cuba if they are caught on the water but lets them stay if they make it to shore. This “wet foot, dry foot” policy leads to much distasteful drama when the Coast Guard catches boaters within sight of land. Recently a Cuban poured gasoline over his boat and its occupants and threatened to light it if the Coast Guard did not let him keep going. On another occasion, a woman said she would drown her baby if the Coast Guard wouldn’t let her through. Another man said he would throw himself onto a spinning propeller. Sometimes, even far from land, Cubans jump into the water, saying they would rather drown than be sent back. Coast Guard officers have to jump in and save them.
But even more distasteful is the behavior of Miami’s Cubans. On June 29, six Cubans on a small boat tried to come ashore just north of Miami Beach. Their fight with the Coast Guard was broadcast live by a news helicopter that hovered overhead. Miami television stations interrupted soap operas to show the Coast Guard blasting the boat with a water cannon and shooting pepper spray at a man who tried to swim to shore. Hundreds gathered on the beach and cheered as two of the men made it to the sand.
Later, as demonstrators blocked traffic and shouted “assassins,” the Coast Guard relented and brought the other four to land and let them apply for political asylum. On July fourth, Mayor Joe Carollo of Miami joined them for a seafood dinner. A few days later, an artist made a sculpture of a man diving onto the sand as two policemen close in, and set it up on the beach to mark the heroic event. (Rick Bragg, Cuba’s New Refugees: Rafts Are Out, Hiring Smugglers is In, New York Times, July 21, 1999, p. A1.)
Culture Takes a Beating
Third-World immigrants to the United States often find themselves accused of child abuse or wife beating for practices that are unexceptionable back home. In most Hispanic countries it is customary to leave bruises, cuts, or welts on a refractory child and to beat wives who are not sufficiently obedient.
Social workers find that Hispanic immigrants to the United States fall into a pattern of behavior. First the men come by themselves. After work and on weekends they drink. Once they have saved some money they bring their families to America, but they keep on drinking. When they are drunk they hit their wives and children, especially as the family becomes “Americanized” and challenges the father’s authority.
The man thinks he has done nothing wrong and is astonished when the social service department steps in — sometimes to comical effect. A Guatemalan family living in Boynton Beach, Florida, discovered the American system when the father smashed one of his three children in the face and left a large, swollen bruise. The authorities followed their usual procedures and devised a case plan: a domestic violence course and random drug testing for the father; parenting classes and psychological tests for both father and mother; counseling for better living arrangements for the family, all of whom sleep in the same ten-by-ten bedroom. The entire program is likely to be lost on both of them. The father speaks no English, and the authorities have only the spottiest funds for Spanish interpreters. The mother does not even speak Spanish. She speaks only a Mayan dialect for which there are no interpreters. (Mary McLachlin and William Cooper Jr., Immigrants Stunned by Culture Shock, Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, July 18, 1999.)
In Black and White
An estimated 11,100,000 black slaves were brought to the Americas. Their destinations were:
|British West Indies||2,000,000|
|French West Indies||1,600,000|
|Dutch West Indies||500,000|
|North America & U.S.||500,000|
Many people talk casually about “millions” of slaves being brought to America as part of an “African Holocaust.” In fact, fewer than five percent of the Africans who made the “middle passage” came to what is now the United States and were better cared for than in any other part of the New World. (Hugh Thomas, The Slave Trade, Oxford University Press, 1997.)
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — I appreciate your long and generally accurate review of my book, The Watchdogs, in the August 1999 issue. There are two points of correction I would like to make, however.
Nowhere in the book do I claim that Leonard Zeskind is “one of the biggest names in American Marxist circles,” as your review implies. During his Marxist-Leninist period he generally avoided public scrutiny. When confronted with his past he admitted his political indiscretions and claimed he is no longer an extremist, as does David Duke. Unlike Mr. Duke, however, nobody presses the matter with Mr. Zeskind nor is it thought to reflect on his present judgment. The anti-fascist and anti-racist circles in which Mr. Zeskind currently moves are rife with former and present Marxist radicals, which may or may not be a basis for skepticism about his claims.
It is probably incorrect to consider the Anti-Klan Network an offshoot of the Communist Workers Party, although some members of the CWP have been active in it. It was originally a coalition of tendencies ranging from traditional civil rights advocates to militant Marxist-Leninists. One of its early officers was Lyn Wells, formerly an officer of the Communist Party. Over the years it was considered strategically necessary to phase out its openly extreme elements and don the apparel of an anti-racist human rights group under the rubric of the Center for Democratic Renewal.
The watchdog groups are vulnerable to criticism even from a liberal view-point but nobody in the mainstream press makes more than a superficial attempt at it. The reason, I believe, is simply fear. One major newspaper reporter confided that “it just isn’t done. It instantly raises the suspicion of racism or anti-Semitism and nobody wants to deal with that.”
When preparing the early edition of the book you reviewed, I found myself overwhelmed with material, and future editions will be longer and will include an account of the watchdog assault on the Internet.
As for the typos, they were deliberate. Some people enjoy searching for small things so I accommodated them with a nice selection. Anyone who finds them all will get a free copy of the next edition.
Laird Wilcox, Olathe, Kan.
Sir — The fact that “anti-racist” organizations exist and operate as they do is a depressing commentary on the current intellectual climate. These groups can raise money to do nothing more than ferret out and expose Americans who think forbidden thoughts. They are a kind of private-sector Big Brother, itching to unmask anyone who agrees with Jefferson or Lincoln. You need not commit a crime or show the slightest sign you might; they are in the business of forbidding certain thoughts and punishing anyone who thinks them. And the pity of it is that the other side has actually managed to promote the idea that it would be immoral for us to take even the most minimal measures to ensure our survival. Many thanks to Laird Wilcox for investigating these busybodies.
Evan Anderson, Roanoke, Va.
Sir — African Americans now demand that all whites apologize for their fore-fathers having been held in slavery in America. Of course, the majority of white Americans never owned slaves or had anything to do with slavery. I think the average white person is like me. We are fed up with the racial B.S. and we are ready to pay reparations. We want to pay them in the form of an airplane ticket back to Africa.
Virgil Beman, Sioux City, Iowa
Sir — I always enjoy Gedhalia Braun’s reports from South Africa, but I can’t help wondering why he stays in a country that is sinking into barbarism.
Name Withheld, Shreveport, La.
Sir — I wonder if anyone has done a study comparing crime rates in pre-apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. I would suspect blacks are killing, raping and robbing whites at much higher rates than under white rule. Just how much responsibility do people like Jimmy Carter and Andrew Young have for the fall of the apartheid government and the resulting violence to whites? Are they even aware of it?
Carl Nickell, Frenchburg, Ky.
Sir — Because there are so many forms of racial preference, I suppose the principle for something like the “black tax credit” has been firmly established. Still, I couldn’t help chuckling over your “O Tempora” item about the suckers who keep falling for the idea. The sad part is the number of blacks who are prepared to lead their “brothers” on a merry chase for a credit that doesn’t exist. The elusive “Miss Ruby” in your story was obviously a crook, as was the Liberian who charged people up to $1,000 to file for the phony credit.
I don’t think it is my imagination: Blacks always seem to be conning other blacks. If it’s not some NAACP bigwig with his hand in the till, it’s the managers of some other black uplift group stealing the money that was supposed to gild the ghetto. In the February issue, Michael Levin speculated on possible moral differences between blacks and people of other races. I’m not so sure. But blacks do seem to have an uncanny willingness to help themselves, even if it hurts their own people. Anyone with so few scruples about hurting other blacks won’t think twice about beating the “system” or robbing “whitey.”
Susan Michaels, Florence, Ala.