|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 17, No. 9||September 2006|
Black Racial Consciousness, Part I
Blacks celebrate what whites must deny.
What do blacks think about race? How do they experience race? How are they expected to think about and experience race? The contrast with whites in this respect could not be greater. For whites, race is not a permissible criterion either for personal decisions or public policy. Whites have no legitimate aspirations as a group, and do not usually think of themselves as a group unless they are called upon to apologize for past and present sins (see “The Racial Revolution,” AR, May 1999).
For most blacks, on the other hand, race is a central part of their identity. Their view of politics, history, government, or culture is intimately bound up in a racial consciousness that sets them apart from other groups. They take it for granted, for example, that the job of a black leader is to work for the benefit of blacks, without much regard for others.
They have, in other words, a deeply-rooted racial consciousness that can even express itself as alienation from the United States itself. For many whites, who have for the last 50 years generally tried very hard to banish race from their decision-making, the depth and power of black racial consciousness is difficult even to imagine, and when they encounter it in its full force they find it deeply disturbing.
As we will see, racial loyalty is so essential to blacks that they despise blacks who do not practice it sufficiently — who are not “black enough.” For whites, America’s primary moral mission is to overcome race, to go beyond group consciousness and embrace all citizens as individuals. Particularly for teachers, clergy, social workers, politicians, and even many corporate executives, to move beyond race is America’s great calling. Not for blacks. For a black to speak or act in ways that are obligatory for whites is to commit racial suicide. It is to court contempt and expulsion.
A Different World
Although they are not direct indicators of black racial consciousness, larger social indices suggest the extent to which blacks and whites live in separate worlds. To start with the seemingly innocuous, census records show that 100 years ago, the 20 most popular given names for blacks and whites were virtually the same. That began to change in the 1960s, when blacks started giving their children distinctly black names like Shaneequa, Latonya, or DeShawn. An investigation of every birth in California since 1961 found that in 1970, the typical black baby girl was given a name that was twice as common among blacks than whites. By 1980, her name was 20 times more common among blacks, and by 2004 more than 40 percent of black girls born in California got a name that was not given to a single one of the 100,000 white girls born that year. The racial gap was not limited to the West Coast. By 2003, there was no overlap among the top 20 black and white names given to girls in New York City. The gap in names for boys was not so great, because neither whites nor blacks are as adventurous with boys’ names, but there has been sharp divergence since the 1960s.
Another cleavage is in television viewing. Ever since 1987, none of the top ten programs blacks watch has been among the top ten that whites watch. Blacks watch programs with black actors about blacks; whites watch white programs.
Blacks do not have the same politics as whites. The Bay Area Center for Voting Research surveyed voting patterns for 237 American cities and found that race is a proxy for a city’s politics: Black voters are liberal and white voters are conservative. As the center’s director explained: “Detroit and Provo epitomize America’s political, economic and racial polarization. As the most conservative city in America, Provo is overwhelmingly white and solidly middle class. This is in stark contrast to Detroit, which is impoverished, black and the most liberal.” He went on to note that, “While most black voters have consistently supported Democrats since the 1960s, it is the white liberals that have slowly withered away over the decades, leaving African Americans as the sole standard bearers for the left.”
These differences lead to clear divisions on concrete political choices. No fewer than 74 percent of blacks believe that it is the government’s responsibility to “assure the availability of jobs,” whereas only 33 percent of whites think this. In 1996, 84 percent of blacks but only 43 percent of whites voted for Bill Clinton.
Many whites find some black opinions startling. Only 13 percent of blacks think O.J. Simpson was “probably guilty” of killing his wife, but 73 percent believe it is true that “the CIA has imported cocaine for distribution in the black community.” Sixty-two percent “believe that HIV and AIDS are being used as part of a plot to deliberately kill African Americans.” When solid majorities of blacks think the government is trying to hook them on cocaine and kill them with AIDS, we have moved well beyond different choices in children’s names and divergent television habits. Blacks and whites often do not see the world in the same way. These differences are clearly bound up somehow in race itself.
Not Black Enough
In 1998, Anthony Williams was elected mayor of Washington, DC. Mr. Williams had attended Harvard and Yale, was clearly interested in running an efficient city government, and had considerable white support. Although he is a black man who has never pretended to be anything else, Mr. Williams left many blacks wondering if he was “black enough.” Perhaps this was unavoidable for any black politician who followed the crack-smoking, skirt-chasing Marion Barry — there was never any doubt as to his bona fides — but a black writer for the Washington Post raised “the question of whether whites, assuming they care one way or the other, even understand the concept of ‘How black is a black person?’” He went on to say that Mayor Williams had quickly fired incompetents, but that “the firings hurt black workers most of all, creating the impression — fairly or unfairly — that he has little or no special concern for people who look like him.” A black politician who is more concerned about efficiency than about jobs for blacks may not be black enough. The writer concluded:
Blackness . . . is a state of common spiritual idealism that serves to unite the group for the purpose of survival. Putting it another way that’s less of a mouthful, there is not one person of color who can separate himself or herself from the rest of the people of color.
Because Mayor Williams was bound to all other blacks “for the purpose of survival,” loosening those bonds cast doubt on his blackness.
At about the same time, another black writer for the Post mourned his loss of that rolling, characteristically black gait known as “the pimp walk.” As a young man he felt authentically black — ”Whether the pimp walk was some celebration of male blackness I don’t know, but I do know that walking so rhythmically, I never felt so good, or so black” — but at some point he started walking normally. This was cause for soul-searching:
“Oh, I attend a mostly black church. I have a black wife. Black kids. And as a journalist, I write mostly about black people. My mama is black. My car is black. I buy black. I vote black. I think black. Still, I can’t help but wonder if I wasn’t once blacker.”
It is not enough to think, buy, and vote black. True blackness may require a certain walk.
Randall Robinson, whose early career was devoted to fighting South African apartheid and who later tried to promote reparations for blacks, reports matter-of-factly, “I am obsessively black . . . race is an overarching aspect of my identity.” Kweisi Mfume, former president of the NAACP, told the group’s 1998 national convention that “Race and skin color . . . still dominate every aspect of American life, at home and abroad.” Ron Daniels, a columnist for the black paper, The St. Louis American, wrote: “Whatever my political or economic pursuits in life, however, I am always guided by the dictum to be ‘of the race and for the race.’ While being open to building working political relationships with others, these relationships must always be with African people.”
Part of authentic blackness requires an explicit rejection of white norms. James Bernard is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has been a consultant to the Rockefeller Foundation. Instead of practicing law, he decided to start a glossy, hip-hop magazine called The Source. His reasons? “Either you identify with white society, and that’s disgustingly empty — not to mention you’ll be rejected and go insane — or you look for something that’s rich and real.”
Like the question of what it means to be not black enough, authentic black culture is beyond the grasp of whites. August Wilson, who died in 2005, was the most successful black playwright in America, winning two Pulitzer prizes and many other awards. Although these awards were from nominally white organizations, he insisted that whites should not direct or act in his plays. Whites were from a different culture.
Needless to say, there are many blacks, both prominent and unknown, who do not take so separatist a cultural stance, but even for them, blackness can become a refuge in trying times. Singer Michael Jackson was once a symbol of racelessness and even sexlessness, but when he went on trial for child sex abuse in 2005, he surrounded himself with bodyguards and advisors from the Nation of Islam. One writer pointed out that “the racially ambivalent wonder” who once sang, “It don’t matter if you’re black or white,” had “now become the supreme black man.”
It is not just individuals who may not be black enough. The same standards apply in larger contexts. Most whites do not realize that many blacks have given up on integration. Blacks are incensed if they are kept out of white institutions or neighborhoods, but many view integration only as a tool for specific purposes and not as an end itself. If they can reach economic or political goals through exclusively black means, that is preferable.
Roy Brooks, who teaches at the University of San Diego Law School, makes this case in Integration or Separation? which was published by Harvard University Press. “There is nothing intrinsically good about racial mixing,” he writes. “Its appeal comes from its social utility.” He continues: “African Americans need to spend less time trying to live next to whites and employ more energy striving to live together.” One reason for this is that “[c]learly the homogeneous community rather than the larger white society is the environment in which the personal self-esteem of African Americans develops positively.” In his view, integration is an endlessly wearying struggle for blacks because they must deal with whites who can never be made to understand black reality: “[M]any African American students believe it is futile to attempt to educate white people, and they do not see the races ever living together in harmony.”
He proposes what he calls “limited separation.” Blacks must always have the right to live in the white man’s world if they want, but they should have their own schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, churches, and amusements, so that they can live completely apart from whites if that is their choice. Working-class blacks, he explains, will almost certainly choose separation.
Even a few whites echo the black demand for separation. Political scientist Andrew Hacker explains that it stems essentially from white intransigence:
“Calls are increasingly heard for a system that makes the best of separation. Integration has not worked, largely because whites never believed in it, except on the most token levels. It also requires that blacks abandon much of their culture, whether in embracing white mental styles, including diction and demeanor.”
Derrick Bell, who teaches at New York University Law School, argues that the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education was a mistake. He wishes the court had maintained “separate but equal,” but had required that black institutions be made genuinely equal.
Schools with largely black student bodies are beginning to be run on this principle. In Kansas City, 70 percent of the school children are black and only 15 percent are white. Separatists find they have black schools without even having to exclude children of other races, and they have turned some into centers of black consciousness. J. S. Chick Elementary School, for example, has been “African-centered” since 1991, which means every part of the curriculum is based on the history and culture of blacks. Every Monday morning, the entire school participates in harambee, a Swahili word for “coming together.” Students beat drums while others dance and chant. The school considers itself an African village, and parents must sign statements of commitment to its principles. Chick is a magnet school and theoretically open to anyone, but 99 percent of its 300 students are black.
In 1995, a judge overseeing a Kansas City desegregation case approved a similar African-centered theme for the Sanford B. Ladd elementary school, and a middle school has since adopted a similar curriculum. Supporters claim that an explicitly black curriculum improves grades and reduces absenteeism and other problems.
Hales Franciscan School, an all-black Catholic high school, has not adopted an entirely African curriculum but expresses its identity in a different way. Before basketball games, the school sings “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” written by James Weldon Johnson and considered the unofficial black national anthem. “That song was one of the first things I learned as a child,” explained senior Nate Minnoy. “We’re an all-black school, and that song is important to us, to our culture.” Before at least one home game, the school sang the black national anthem but forgot “The Star Spangled Banner.” Hanging in the gymnasium are both the American flag and the red, black and green flag of Marcus Garvey’s back-to-Africa movement.
Oklahoma City’s Millwod public school district has two pledges of allegiance, the familiar one to the American flag, and one to Garvey’s flag. The latter pledge, written by the founder of Kwanzaa, Maulena Ron Karenga, goes like this:
We pledge allegiance to the red, black and green
Our flag, the symbol of our eternal struggle, and to the land we must obtain
One nation of Black people, with one God for us all
Totally united in the struggle for Black Love, Black Freedom, and Black Determination
Gloria Griffin, who is superintendent of the 99-percent black school district, does not think the pledge is separatist. I focus on the words “united in love, freedom, and determination.” she explained.
Schools of this kind are practicing Prof. Brooks’s plan for “limited separation.” In fact, “limited separation” approximates the racial accommodation the majority of blacks have made: they have access to the white world when they need it, but frequently retreat to the comfort of blackness.
It is a cliché to point out that there are hundreds of organizations for blacks but essentially none explicitly for whites. The Congressional Black Caucus is probably the best known black organization, but a recent Internet search on the words “association of black . . .” turned up more than 3,800 pages of results. On just the first three pages were explicitly black associations for the following groups, in the following order:
Accountants, MBAs, Engineers, Nurses, Journalists, Social Workers, Telecommunications Professionals, New York Journalists, Women Historians, Women Lawyers of New Jersey, Professional Fire Fighters, California Lawyers, Dallas-Fort Worth Communicators, Sociologists, Storytellers, School Educators, Scuba Divers, Journalists, Anthropologists, Actuaries, Philadelphia Journalists, Interpreters (of sign language), Yoga Teachers, Foundation Executives, Law Enforcers, Southern Region Accountants, and Psychologists.
There is probably an exclusively black association for every profession, and members can join the white/integrated association for their profession if they want. This is an almost perfect example of Prof. Brooks’s “limited separation:” blacks have the benefits of all-black institutions, integrated institutions, or both, as they wish.
If there were any doubts about what is meant by the word “black” in the names of these organizations, Thomas Murphy, a white man on the Chicago city council removed all ambiguity. To the consternation of black politicians, for two terms during the 1990s Mr. Murphy represented the majority-black 18th ward. Blacks expected to get the seat back when redistricting gave it an 85 percent black “super-majority.” However, in 1999, Mr. Murphy won 57 percent of the vote in a nine-candidate race, and stayed on the city council.
He then asked to join the black caucus, but the black members refused. “I don’t think Alderman Murphy can look out of the same eyes we do as African-Americans,” said Alderman Carrie Austin. Mr. Murphy pointed out that he represents more blacks — 47,000 — than some of the blacks on the caucus who won’t let him in. “The purpose of the caucus is to represent the interests of black residents of the city,” he said. “Apparently they think it’s some other purpose — their own personal interests.”
One black alderwoman Dorothy Tillman, didn’t want Mr. Murphy on the city council at all, much less in the black caucus. “We want that seat to belong to an African-American,” she said. “We want to make sure to take that seat.” (No one questions whether Miss Tillman, a major booster of reparations, is “black enough.” For a 2000 fund-raising event at the up-scale Chicago hotel, the Palmer House, one of her staff asked the management to make sure all the waiters were black. The hotel asked a white, an Arab, and a Hispanic to serve at a different function that night.)
The National Association of Black Social Workers also recently reaffirmed its impregnable blackness. Brian Parnell is a child protective services social worker in Bakersfield, California. He wanted to know why so many black children are in the child welfare system, and thought he might find answers at the National Association of Black Social Workers annual convention, which took place in New Orleans in 2005. Mr. Parnell flew to New Orleans, but was barred at the door because he is white. He managed to get hold of a conference organizer, a black woman, who told him, “You’re white. You can’t attend this conference.” Five black colleagues who arrived with Mr. Parnell attended the conference but he had to fly home.
Excluding whites (and other non-blacks), and building and maintaining black majorities are typical expressions of black consciousness. Many blacks are brazen about it. In 2003, Eddie Jordan became the first black to hold the job of district attorney in New Orleans. After he had been on the job for a week, he fired 43 white non-legal staff — investigators, child-support officers, etc. — and replaced them with blacks. The whites sued, and in 2005, a jury found Mr. Jordan guilty of racial discrimination. Earlier this year a judge ordered the DA’s office to pay the white workers $3.58 million. Mr. Jordan denied any racial motive.
Wholesale firing of whites can be risky. The safer way to build a black environment is not to hire anyone else. In Los Angeles, only eight percent of workforce is black, but in a survey of black-owned companies, 41 percent reported that their employees were “mostly black,” something not likely to happen by chance.
A survey of black-owned businesses in Philadelphia produced even more straightforward results. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being most important, 60 percent classed as a 1 or a 2 the statement that hiring “qualified African-Americans” was a “high priority.” Their total employee base was 81.8 percent black, and not a single business reported having a workforce that was less than 50 percent black.
There are other ways to keep the workforce black. Not long before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005, one city councilman proposed that the city scrap its requirement that police officers live in the city. He thought this would make it easier to find good officers for a notoriously corrupt and inefficient force, but the plan was shouted down by blacks who were afraid it would attract suburban whites. Blacks in New Orleans were so hostile to mixing with whites that when white activists tried to join an anti-racism demonstration, black activists drove them away. Anthony Mitchell, a black Baptist preacher explained the extent of the racial divide: “The people who control public discourse here don’t like to talk about it. It’s not good for business. But this is really two cities.”
Given the difficulties blacks face, one might expect the need for competent police officers — or teachers — to come before racial solidarity, but this is not always so. In 2002, a white woman named Sandy Trammel taught fourth grade at overwhelmingly black West Riviera Elementary School in Riviera Beach, Florida. The school rated an “F” on state tests, and Mrs. Trammel’s class was no different: Only three of her 20 students read at grade level and four could not read at all. During the year, Mrs. Trammel’s students improved so dramatically she won $10,000 for helping West Riviera move from “F” to “C.” The school district made her a “peer assistance teacher” assigned to help other teachers, and the Palm Beach Post featured Mrs. Trammel in a big story in June.
In September 2003, when Mrs. Trammel showed up for her first peer teaching assignment at another black school, Principal Beverlyann Barton, who is black, turned her away. Too many blacks thought the three-month-old Palm Beach Post story about her gave the impression that Mrs. Trammel was “the great white hope,” who had rescued black children. Principal Barton explained that the article had poisoned the school environment, and that black teachers would not be able to work with her.
There was a similar conflict at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, Ohio, over who would teach black history. When the usual teacher, who was black, had a scheduling conflict, the school contacted a white replacement. When black parents found out, they filed a complaint. As Michael Williams of Cleveland State University’s black studies program explained, a black teacher “has the advantage of the culture” and “can understand the nuances of the culture.” Phyllis Yarber Hogan of the Oberlin Black Alliance for Progress argued that whites cannot teach blacks about slavery, for example: “How do you work through that [the injustice of slavery] when the person teaching it is the same type of person who did the enslaving?”
The United States has a number of “traditionally black” universities that have begun to integrate, just as white universities have, often with even less enthusiasm. Delaware State University was established in 1891 as State College for Colored Students. During the 2001/2002 school year, it settled two discrimination suits for undisclosed sums. Kathleen Carter, a white who chaired the education department, said blacks told her she was usurping their right to govern themselves, and that one colleague called her a “white bitch.”
Another teacher, Jane Buck, reported that a search committee once got 100 applications for a position but did not fill it because none of the candidates was black. When the search was reopened, the lone black applicant got the job.
Most discrimination suits end in a negotiated settlement but when they go to trial, there can be large awards. In 1998, a federal jury awarded $2.2 million to two tenured whites who were forced out of Cheyney University in Pennsylvania for opposing appointments of blacks they thought unqualified.
Whites who violate what blacks consider their exclusive preserves can face cruel pressures. From 1996 to 1998, Marcus Jacoby was the only white on the football team at a black college. Throughout that period he told reporters he was well accepted and was enjoying his experience as a minority. Two years later he decided to tell what it was really like.
Mr. Jacoby had been the star quarterback at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and badly wanted to play in college. Nearby Southern University, a football powerhouse in the African American Southwestern Academic Conference, badly needed a quarterback, so Mr. Jacoby accepted a full scholarship. There had never been a white starting quarterback in the history of the league.
Except for his coaches, Mr. Jacoby was completely isolated. In the locker room and at lunch, his teammates shunned him. The season started badly with two losses. “I heard the entire stadium booing me. Fans were yelling ‘Get the white boy out,’” Mr. Jacoby recalled. Defensive players for the other teams hit him harder because he was white, and after his first game he went to the hospital with a concussion. One black teammate remembered that opponents said, “That’s what you all get for bringing white boys on the field.” An editorial writer in the student paper wondered whether some of Mr. Jacoby’s own teammates had deliberately let opponents through to tackle him. After Southern’s second loss, a fan threatened Mr. Jacoby, and after that he always had a police escort when he played.
Southern went on to win six of the next seven games, and there was less booing. Mr. Jacoby actually began to be friends with one of the players, whom other blacks called “white lover.” After Mr. Jacoby bobbled the final and crucial pass in a championship game, defensive coordinator Mark Orlando, who is white, got a call saying, “If Jacoby ever plays for Southern again, we’ll kill him — and you.” The coach says he got about a threat a week that season. Some time later, Mr. Jacoby and Mr. Orlando noticed nooses hanging from the surrounding trees when they left the locker room.
Amazingly, Mr. Jacoby came back the next year, and led the team to a 11-1 season that made Southern the league champion. He was still a complete outsider, though, and a few weeks into his third season, he could stand it no longer and quit. When reporters asked why, he told them he was “burned out,” though he was burned out with race, not football, as he led reporters to believe. Mr. Jacoby still tries to think of his time at Southern as a valuable sampling of a different culture but concedes that it was “two-and-a-half years of a personal hell.”
Separation and exclusion are evident in politics, as well; blacks support black candidates, if anything, even more monolithically than whites support white candidates. In January 2006, when former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume ran in the Democratic primary to be Senator from Maryland, 27 of his 29 endorsements from Democratic officials were from blacks. His white opponent, Benjamin Cardin got 100 endorsements, 93 of them from whites.
In 2003 in Baltimore, there were five Democratic candidates for mayor, three black and two white. An organization of back ministers sponsored what it billed as a debate for the Democratic candidates, but did not bother to invite the whites. At first the ministers claimed they had invited all the candidates but the whites had not appeared, but Rev. Russell Johnson of the Baptist Ministers’ Conference finally conceded that the forum was “only for black candidates.”
Often, the racial appeal to voters is undisguised. After Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans explained: It’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans — the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans . . . This city will be a majority African American city. It’s the way God wants it to be. You can’t have New Orleans no other way.” Later, when he ran for reelection against a largely-white field, he warned a black audience that his opponents “don’t look like us.”
New Orleans had had black mayors since 1978, and blacks were determined to keep it that way. As Bishop Paul Morton of the St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church explained, the prospect of a white mayor was one that could “take us back so many years.” “There’s a lot of people that are really, really concerned,” he said.
Majority-black Washington, DC, likes to think of itself as a “chocolate city,” too. Natalie Hopkinson, a black staff writer for the Washington Post, wrote that as whites begin to move back into the district, many blacks have begun to wonder: “Is the chocolate city turning vanilla?” She explains how she would answer that question: “Not if I have anything to say about it.”
Her sentiments are widespread. John Street, the black mayor of Philadelphia addressed a large NAACP audience in 2002. The audience roared with approval as he declaimed: “Let me tell you: The brothers and sisters are running the city. Oh yes. The brothers and sisters are running this city. Running it! Don’t let nobody fool you; we are in charge of the City of Brotherly Love. We are in charge! We are in charge!” Whites were not pleased with this boasting, but Mayor Street was undaunted. Four days later, he appointed a black police chief.
In 2004, before the same NAACP audience, Mayor Street brushed off the complaints about his “we are in charge” speech. “We should never be ashamed of supporting African-Americans,” he said. “I will never apologize for [appointing] a black chief of staff, a black police commissioner, a black fire commissioner . . .”
Ever since 1968, the heavily-black Congressional district of central Brooklyn has had a black representative. In 2006, when an impeccably liberal white, David Yassky, decided to run in the district, he was met with angry accusations of “racial carpetbagging.” Blacks called for him to get out of the race and even asked Mr. Yassky’s political mentors like Senator Charles Schumer to pressure him to withdraw. Blacks were even reaching across racial lines and plotting with Hispanics to come up with ways to stop him.
Blacks are sometimes startlingly frank about jimmying the system to help blacks get elected. Trenton, North Carolina, went through a messy annexation of neighboring black areas in the hope of making it easier for blacks to win local elections. Activist Daniel Willis, husband of Trenton’s mayor, came up with an annexation map that neatly lopped off a corner of one town so as to leave out five white households. Otherwise, as he explained, blacks would “have that many more votes to overcome. The less whites [we] have in town, the better [our] chances are to be put on the town board.”
Some of the jimmying has attracted the attention of the Justice Department. In 2006, it charged the black chairman of the Democratic Party of Noxubee County, Mississippi, of “blatant and outrageous violations of the Voting Rights Act” of 1965. The department said he was guilty of just about every trick in the book: recruiting black candidates to run even when he knew they did not meet residency requirements, switching political meeting sites so whites would not know where to go, challenging white voters’ registrations, and rejecting absentee ballots from whites on technicalities while accepting ballots from blacks.
When Bill Clinton was President, he tried to appoint a friend from Yale Law School days, law professor Lani Guinier, to be Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. The appointment failed, in part, because of Miss Guinier’s advocacy of racial solidarity over democratic principles. She favored what was, in effect, electoral apartheid. If blacks were 13 percent of the US population, 13 percent of the seats would be set aside for them.
Other blacks have recommended cumulative voting, in which each voter gets as many votes as there are candidates. If there were only one black candidate in the field, blacks could give all their votes to him while whites split their votes among white candidates. Black racial solidarity would thus ensure the proportional representation Miss Guinier wanted.
Black voters are vigilant for opportunities to elect blacks, much to the disappointment of some white liberals. Chris Bell, a white Democratic congressman from Texas, was redistricted into a largely black area and promptly crushed in the 2004 primary by the former head of the Houston chapter of the NAACP. He felt betrayed: “I’m not going to stand here and pretend that it’s not somewhat heartbreaking when you’ve spent your entire career in public service fighting for diversity, championing diversity, to suddenly be placed in a situation where many people do not want to look past the color of your skin.”
A “champion of diversity” might have been expected to stand aside for a person of color more gracefully. At the same time, someone who understood blacks better might not have been so surprised. As Bishop Paul Morton observed about the 2006 mayoral race in New Orleans: “African-Americans are usually very loyal to African-American candidates. I’ve talked to some people who say, ‘I don’t care how bad the black is, he’s better than any white.’”
Once they get a black in office, however, blacks seem to lose interest in political races. As a black congressman once explained, “You can almost get away with raping babies and be forgiven. You don’t have any vigilance about your performance.”
The preference for any black candidate, without regard to ability or qualifications, is similar to the virtually monolithic support among blacks for affirmative action, or racial preferences in hiring and college admissions. Preferences for one group are possible only by discriminating against other groups, but for many blacks this doesn’t matter. When a white man explained to Willie Brown, then mayor of San Francisco, that racial preferences for blacks could hurt whites, he replied, “I don’t care about your idiot kids.”
The depth of black feeling was evident in maneuvers to keep the state of Michigan from putting a voter initiative on the ballot that would ban racial preferences. Once a court recognized that the requisite number of signatures had been secured for the initiative, it should have been a routine matter for the four members of the state Board of Canvassers to vote it onto the ballot. However, a rowdy crowd of 250 black high school students invaded board premises the day of the vote. As the members tried to deliberate, students stood on chairs, stomped their feet, and shouted, “They say Jim Crow; we say hell no.” Others surged toward the board members, knocking over a table.
The crowd was particularly vocal toward the one black man on the board — ”Be a black man about this, please,” as one of the rowdies put it — and he voted against the initiative. Another Democrat refused to vote, so the initiative did not get on the ballot that day. It was, as Chris Thomas, director of elections for the Michigan Secretary of State put it, “a victory of mob rule.” The Board of Canvassers later managed to get the initiative on the ballot, but it was noteworthy that demonstrators resorted to intimidation to keep preferences intact, and equated their removal with Jim Crow. As we will see, for almost all blacks, preferences are untouchable. Whites who oppose them are “racists,” and blacks who oppose them are “traitors.”
The NAACP’s program of grading companies on the number of blacks they hire, their level of charity to black organizations, and the number of black-owned companies they hire as suppliers is only a milder version of the same sentiment. The NAACP does not care whether a company hires or promotes fairly or how well it treats any other minority group. It’s only question is “what’s in it for blacks?” Companies that do not disclose the information the NAACP demands get an “F” or failing grade. At the 2006 national convention, NAACP president Bruce Gordon blasted the Target chain of retailers: “They didn’t even care to respond to our survey,” he said. “Stay out of their stores.”
Sometimes black self-absorption is almost comical. Under the headline, “Global Warming Could Spell Disaster for Blacks,” the Internet arm of Black Entertainment Television warned that “unless the United States gets real about the threat of global warming, African Americans and other people of color can expect a repeat of disasters like Katrina.” The article went on: “Citing Katrina as a case-in-point, some environmentalists say global warming impacts minorities and the disadvantaged harder than other groups. If global warming gets worse, many African-American communities will be more vulnerable to breathing ailments, insect-carried diseases and heat-related illness and death.”
(Katrina was not “a case in point.” Despite repeated claims that blacks were dying in disproportionate numbers, several months after the Hurricane, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals reported that it was whites who had died at the highest rates. They had been 28 percent of the city’s population but accounted for 36.6 percent of the deaths. The figures for blacks were 67 and 59.1 percent.)
Katrina did give rise to another curious sort of black consciousness. Red Cross shelters in nearby states opened their doors to refugees, many of them black. Shelters in Nashville and Franklin had mostly white volunteer staff, and some blacks found this objectionable. As Joyce Searcy of the Bethlehem Centers in Nashville explained, “When you’re different and you’re the lone person, you do feel different. When you’re in crisis you like to have some familiarity there.” She called for the Red Cross to establish black-run shelters in black neighborhoods. The Red Cross acknowledged that most of its volunteers are white, but pointed out that volunteer training was open to anyone.
Yet another version of racial solidarity appeared when Community Bank of Lawndale, which serves a mostly-black West Side Chicago neighborhood, changed hands. After the bank’s black owners sold it to Asian-American-owned International Bank, customers and former shareholders demanded that regulators return it to black ownership. As Rev. Marvin Hunter, leader of the protest explained somewhat incoherently, “this is not a race issue. This is an economic issue. We don’t believe other people can look out for the interests of black people.”
American blacks are hardly alone in wanting black institutions. In October 2002, the government of Barbados hosted the “African and African Descendants’ World Conference Against Racism.” On the opening day, the 200 delegates voted to expel all non-blacks. As Garadina Gamba of the British delegation explained, “This is an African family occasion and therefore they [whites] should not be allowed to sit down and talk with us.” The dozen or so whites and Asians, mostly interpreters and members of non-governmental organizations, meekly left the “conference against racism.”
The constitution of Liberia, founded by former black slaves from the United States, contains a bald declaration of racial exclusiveness. Drafted in 1983, Chapter IV, Article 27b states “In order to preserve, foster and maintain the positive Liberian culture, values and character, only persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent shall qualify by birth or naturalization to be citizens of Liberia.” The constitution also restricts land ownership to citizens.
In post-apartheid South Africa, blacks have largely erased whites from the history of the struggle for majority rule. As British journalist Peter Hitchens reports:
When I visited Helen Suzman, once the lone anti-apartheid MP in the former white-dominated Parliament, she complained about the way she and her fellow liberals have been airbrushed from official history, barely featuring in the grandiose but disappointing Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, which is mainly about the courage of the ANC. I was astonished when she told me she had been treated better by the repressive crocodiles of the old white National Party than today’s liberal opposition are treated by the ANC.
Blacks who support all-black institutions that exclude whites are, needless to say, the first to insist on “inclusion” if blacks are not adequately represented in majority-white settings. Even if blacks are not actually kept out of something, their mere absence may merit contempt. Black columnist for the New York Daily News E.R. Shipp wrote about the 2006 Winter Olympics:
“These Winter Olympics, oh, how white they are! And I’m not talking about the snow . . . [T]hese Olympics are so white that the presumption is that certain white athletes are entitled to gold medals. Now, maybe that’s also American arrogance. To me, it’s a bad case of whiteness.”
Black television anchorman Bryant Gumbel took the same view: “Finally, tonight, the Winter Games. Count me among those who don’t like them and won’t watch them . . . [T]ry not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.” Presumably only blacks can be great athletes, and any competition not dominated by them is trivial.
This article will continue next month.
Race, Ethnicity and the World Cup
Soccer is an appeal to the blood.
I have just experienced one of the greatest events in sports history, and one of the happiest days of my life. Italy has won the soccer WorldCup, and Italians everywhere are euphoric.
American Renaissance does not normally write about sports, but the World Cup is about much more than sports. It is about race, ethnicity and nationality — but the sporting aspect is hugely important, too.
Although I am usually good at explaining things, I’ve always found it hard to explain the joy and exultation of a sports victory to people who are not sports fans. Italy’s World Cup victory really was one of the happiest days of my life — that is how important the game was for me.
Non-sports fans are undoubtedly chuckling at the idea that a soccer game can bring out such sentiments. Again, they are difficult to explain because they come from the heart, and only other sports fans can understand them. The rest of you will have to simply take my word for it.
One thing that cannot be disputed, however, is that the World Cup is by far the most important sporting event in the world. It is bigger than the World Series; bigger than the Super Bowl. More than one billion people worldwide are estimated to have watched the World Cup final between Italy and France, and it is the only sports championship that is a true “world” championship.
One hundred ninety-four countries (virtually every nation on Earth) spent more than two years trying to qualify for the World Cup tournament, through a series of games and other eliminations. While there are traditional soccer powerhouses (Germany, Brazil, Argentina) that never have trouble qualifying, there are countries that rarely qualify, or may go for decades without qualifying. The World Cup, played once every four years, is so important that in some countries it is considered an enormous source of national pride just to qualify, even if the team fails to win a single game. Ghana qualified for the first time in 2006, and won two games before being eliminated by Brazil. Ghanaians considered this an enormous achievement and source of pride.
After the rigors of eliminations, 32 teams qualify for the World Cup. The teams are then divided into eight groups of four for “group stage” games. The teams are ranked, or “seeded,” much like tennis players, and the World Cup organizers are careful not to put the highest-ranked teams in the same group. This way the best teams do not play each other right away. Italy, for example, would never be grouped with Brazil or Germany.
In the “group stage,” each team plays one game against each of the other teams in its group. The top two teams from each group of four advance to the “knockout rounds.” These are known as the “round of 16,” the quarterfinals, the semifinals, and, of course, the final championship game. The tournament lasts a month and is very tension-filled and grueling, for players and fans alike. The whole world (except, perhaps, for the United States) basically shuts down for a month to watch the World Cup.
Italy’s World Cup victory brought out celebrating Italians all over the world. From Rome, to Italian neighborhoods in Australia and Germany, to Chicago, Manhattan’s famed Little Italy, to Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst, to my own neighborhood in Ridgewood, Queens, joyous Italians wearing the team uniform (and often with faces painted red, white and green) took to the streets, cheering, waving flags, forming motorcades and, whooping it up over the magnificent Azzurri win. Azzurri means “blue,” the color of the team’s uniform, and is the team’s nickname. Unless you were on another planet, you knew that Italy won the World Cup and that there were celebrations wherever there are Italians.
The joy of victory is great only because the agony of defeat is devastating. When I talked to Italians in Ridgewood the morning of the game, and to Italians in Manhattan’s Little Italy in the days leading up to the game, there was a sentiment I constantly encountered — and shared. It was a feeling of extreme nervousness and anticipation. We were confident Italy would win, but there was nervous apprehension just the same. France had a formidable team and everyone knew it.
Victory was not guaranteed. The specter of defeat and despair loomed, and that’s what made the celebratory euphoria all the more real and heartfelt. I had trouble sleeping for several nights before the game.
When victory came, the outburst of Italian joy and pride was not in response to some contrived “Italian Pride” day or a Columbus Day event. It was all the more intense because the outcome was in agonizing doubt.
Nevertheless, the celebrations by Italian-Americans all over the country did raise a legitimate and sensitive issue. Several years ago, Pat Buchanan drew attention to a soccer game in California between the American team and the Mexican national team. The Los Angeles stadium was packed with “Americans” waving the Mexican flag and cheering the Mexican team. Mr. Buchanan’s point was that whatever their citizenship papers might say, these people were Mexicans with no loyalty to the United States.
What does this say about Italian-Americans? Whom would I root for in a championship game between the United States and Italy? The short answer is that I would root for the United States. I think I can speak safely for other Italian-Americans, since I have known and lived among them all my life. But the issue would not come up. The United States is not a soccer country, and Americans never field a formidable team, so there could be no conflict of loyalties.
Throughout the entire month-long World Cup tournament, the behavior of Italian-Americans was very interesting. In Manhattan’s Little Italy, right in the heart of the famous stretch of Mulberry Street, an equal number of American and Italian flags adorned the sidewalks and shops. A huge overhead banner stretching from one side of the street to the other read on one side Forza Italia! On the other side it read “USA All the Way.”
In Ridgewood, it was common to see cars, homes and stores flying flags of both countries, especially since the World Cup finished during the week of the Fourth of July. Ridgewood’s main street, Fresh Pond Road, was the epicenter of Italian celebration. There are Italian cafes, shops and fruit stores, and the central café kept a huge American flag beside the Italian flag.
My point is that Italian-Americans, and even Italians born in Italy who now live in the United States, consider themselves Americans first. Even at the height of what was an exclusively Italian celebration, Italians spontaneously saw fit to include their American identity. From my own experience in New York City — the belly of the multicultural beast — it is clear that loyalty to one’s ancestral home over the United States is something non-white, non-European.
Ridgewood is, historically, a German neighborhood. When I was in grammar school, half the students were German. Sadly, virtually all of the Germans have moved out, but there is still a handful of old-timers. On the day Italy defeated Ukraine in the quarterfinals, Germany had defeated Argentina a few hours earlier, setting up a classic, Italy-Germany semifinal match. As Italian motorcades honked and shouted their ways down Fresh Pond Road, an occasional car would drive by with a German flag. The Italians would jeer good-naturedly, and some ran up to the car to shake hands, wishing the Germans a good match. “At least we’ll keep the cup in Europe,” was the attitude.
The point about soccer is that, perhaps more than any other sport, it is about blood. When national teams meet, it is almost the emotional equivalent of war. Victory — and defeat — reflect glory or humiliation upon the entire nation, and somewhere in the intensity of the emotions is an echo of the fear of national obliteration through war and of the primal elation of conquest. In 1969, a World Cup qualifying match between El Salvador and Honduras turned ugly and triggered a real shooting war. There were illegal-immigration problems and economic friction as well, but the war is known as the “Football War.”
Boxing used to be a sport that appealed to the blood, just as soccer does. Blacks have dominated boxing for so long it is hard to remember its heyday in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s, when whites were a significant part of all the weight classes. In 1982, after years of black domination, a Long Island Irishman named Gerry Cooney was knocking out opponents left and right. He finally got his title match against heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. Naturally, whites rooted for Gerry Cooney. Sportswriter Jerry Izenberg wrote a weepy column about why Americans should be ashamed of themselves for rooting according to race. He concluded his column with the sentence, “Grow up, America.”
Legendary sportswriter Dick Young then chided Mr. Izenberg as an immature liberal, explaining that ethnicity had always been the essence of boxing. When whites were contenders, the Irish always rooted for Irish fighters, the Italians for Rocky Marciano, Jews rooted for Jews, etc. Although I am a New York Mets fan, my mother became a Yankees fan back in the ‘40s because the team had players with names like DiMaggio, Rizzuto, Lazzeri and Berra.
But the Italy-France World Cup final in 2006 was not a true battle between Italians and Frenchmen. On the Italian side, all 23 players were ethnic Italians with names like Alessandro Del Piero, Fabio Grosso, Marco Materazzi and Luca Toni, but the French team had virtually no real Frenchmen at all. Anyone expecting to see players named Lafleur, Picard and Hebert would have been shocked. The team’s starting eleven had two ethnic Frenchmen. The rest were mostly black Africans — some with French names — while the team’s captain and best player, Zinedine Zidane, was an Algerian Muslim.
In Manhattan, I spoke to a restaurant owner standing outside his French restaurant, adorned with a huge French flag. “Of course France will win the game,” he told me. “I only wish there was a Frenchman on the team.”
Although I never raised the issue with the Italian fans I spent so much time with during the month-long tournament, I doubt the passions would have been so great if the Italian team had been full of black Africans instead of true Italians.
Ridgewood is not exclusively Italian (although it seemed that way during the World Cup). We have a large population of Poles, Croatians, Serbs and Albanians. All of these groups would have done as we did if their teams performed as the Azzurri did. The point is that, as always, people’s natural inclinations and affections are toward their race, blood, and ethnicity.
It was a joy to have participated in such a celebration and to see my own ethnic European group glorying in its team’s victory while never shedding loyalty to and love for the United States. I haven’t spoken so much Italian since high school. If a non-European country had won the World Cup, I’m sure the celebrations would have had a very different flavor.
As I noted above, sports bring out strong emotions. When nations meet on the athletic field, what may appear to be only a game brings out emotions that reveal our deepest attachments. The call of blood is strong. Whites have been taught they must ignore it, but every other group celebrates it. That is what makes the World Cup so much more than a sporting event.
Mr. Borzellieri, a frequent AR contributor and conference speaker, is author of The Unspoken Truth: Race, Culture and Other Taboos and Don’t Take it Personally: Race, Immigration, Crime and Other Heresies.
In the Gulag of the Mind
The evil roots of today’s orthodoxy.
Frank Ellis, Marxism, Multiculturalism, and Free Speech, Council for Social and Economic Studies, 2005, $16.00 (softcover), 107 pp.
Frank Ellis is a rare gift to the cause of race realism: a man who combines an undeceived understanding of the crisis we face with a thorough mastery of a relevant academic discipline. His field, the Soviet Union and Marxist-Leninist ideology, affords him the perfect vantage point from which to trace the ideological roots of the suicidal orthodoxy that paralyzes whites everywhere.
Prof. Ellis was recently suspended from teaching duties at the University of Leeds in England because of statements about racial differences, and the chilling effect on free speech of Britain’s multicultural orthodoxy (see “More Racial Hysteria in Britain,” AR, May 2006). Hounded by fanatics who insisted he be fired, he found himself reliving today’s version of the communist purges he once believed had been consigned to history. This collection of essays, all of which first appeared in the Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, is an excellent introduction to his thinking.
In one essay, Prof. Ellis explains the origins of political correctness, noting that it long predates the 1990s, when it became known in the West. He traces the concept back to Lenin himself, who used it and similar terms in the 1920s. Like most revolutionaries, Lenin was obsessed with the need for a single, pure party line that applied to all situations and settled all questions. His positions, decked out in the garb of scientific socialism, were to be impregnable. As early as 1918, he wrote about “the renegade Kautsky,” a phrase that reveals his rigid mentality and unwillingness to accept dissent.
The party line need not be objectively true. Like today’s fanatics, Lenin was more interested in victory than in truth. Politics shaped reality, not vice versa, and a lie in the name of socialism was just another blow in the battle for power. Socialist-realist art, for example, showed life as it should be rather than as it is, with handsome, well-fed workers and peasants marching into a communist sunrise. Prof. Ellis notes that we see the same thing in today’s movies and textbooks, filled as they are with black computer geniuses and female petroleum engineers.
For the true believer, censorship is a worthy tool for defending the truth. Once it has been sanctioned by the party, socialist truth — like anti-racist truth — must be protected against even the mildest reappraisal. What the party sanctions is so obviously and necessarily correct that in the latter days of the Soviet Union, communists treated political deviants as mental patients. Who but the unhinged could fail to accept the party line? The Soviets’ spiritual heirs do the same thing today: “racism,” “xenophobia,” “sexism,” and all the other invented conditions said to afflict the white man treat dissent as if it were disease.
The Chinese went even further after the Sino-Soviet split left them as the sole guardians of true Marxism. They harangued mental patients with doses of Mao Tse-Tung thought, convinced that enough of The Great Helmsman’s wisdom would cure all kinds of “incorrect” thought.
And what of those who cannot be cured? A document from the Cultural Revolution (now known in China more realistically as “the ten-year calamity”) asserts that “Not to have a correct political orientation is like not having a soul.” This easily justifies the next step. As Prof. Ellis explains, “the theoretical struggle now gives way to physical extermination of class enemies.” Apostles of equality and brotherhood piled up mountains of victims because, as Alexander Solzhenitsyn explained in The Gulag Archipelago, they had a vision that brooked no dissent:
“The imagination and the spiritual strength of Shakespeare’s evildoers stopped short at a dozen corpses. Because they had no ideology. Ideology — that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination.”
Although today’s left does not have Stalin’s means, it has Stalin’s mentality: the blindness of fanaticism, the conviction that disagreement is a moral flaw, devotion to the “truth that ought to be” rather than to reality, and lust for total power. And just as the pioneers of brotherhood-or-else had demon figures — capitalists, imperialists, class enemies — their followers today have a demon: the white heterosexual who is never a “man” but always a “male.” Communism’s demons exploited the proletariat; today’s demons exploit women, homosexuals, and dark-skinned people.
Prof. Ellis closes his essay on political correctness by noting that it has become common to decry Communist excesses, but no one dares hint at today’s ugly parallels.
In another essay, Prof. Ellis analyzes those parallels from a different perspective. He notes that the old left wanted to seize the means of production but the current left has seized the means of expression. The resulting assault on free speech is one of the most serious threats we face.
After it lost the battle over capitalist exploitation, the left shifted blame for all of mankind’s travails to the alleged sins of the white man, especially “racism.” Because “racism” is everywhere, the entire structure of Western society must be revamped. Like their communist prototypes, the anti-racists stamp out dissent and force their ideology into every corner of life, but cannot change reality. As Prof. Ellis points out:
“People do not become favourably disposed to one another because of hate crime legislation. Public displays of tolerance are not enough to hold a multicultural society together . . . The more governments coerce public opinion, the bigger will be the divide between the private and public spheres.”
The West does not today enforce totalitarianism through mass execution but through softer methods of control: shaming, ostracism, name-calling and, ultimately, loss of livelihood. This campaign has been so pervasive that orthodoxy needs no official censorship apparatus — every man is his own commissar, careful never to say the wrong thing.
“But what happens when a whole society cannot express itself for fear of incurring accusations of racism and hate crime?” asks Prof. Ellis. “Does this really promote better race relations, understanding and good will? On the contrary, it promotes mutual suspicion and resentment . . .”
Prof. Ellis offers a striking example: “Fifty years of compelling people to act and to believe that Yugoslavia was a model of multiethnic harmony was blown to pieces in the 1990s when resentments and festering hatreds suppressed by the communists erupted in an orgy of genocide.” Could today’s obligatory but artificial assertions of racial comity produce the same result?
Because anti-racism denies science and human nature — just as communism did — it can prevail only by suppressing truth. It can do this only by ripping out and destroying what Prof. Ellis says may be the very heart of the West: “So important has free speech been in the intellectual and moral evolution of the West that one is tempted to assert that the West is inconceivable and unsustainable without it.”
He points out that “There is no Islamist, fascist, Marxist-Leninist, Nazi, feminist, heterophobic or multiculturalist discourse on free speech, just a series of bitter, ideological tirades all of which reflect the real fear that none of these illiberal ‘perspectives’ can withstand full, open and critical examination.”
Most of today’s lefties deny they want to suppress speech. They are not open like the scruffier element, whose motto is “no free speech for fascists.” But while they profess their theoretical love for free inquiry, they promote every aspect of the soft totalitarianism that silences dissent.
In a particularly chilling essay, Prof. Ellis describes the systematic way Europeans have gone about fighting “racism:” Unlike Americans who claim to support free speech but make it impossible, Europeans have frankly outlawed it.
From the outset, The European Union’s International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights specified that free speech had to be curbed to “respect the rights or reputations of others,” and protect “public health and morals.” Something called a Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on Combating Racism and Xenophobia, which became effective on March 26, 2002, takes it for granted that “racism and xenophobia” are so frightful they fall automatically into the category of speech that can be criminalized. They are defined as follows: “the belief in race, colour, descent, religion or belief, national or ethnic origin as a factor determining aversion to individuals or groups.” Whatever that definition actually means, as Prof. Ellis points out, the European Union has forbidden a belief. Actions based on this forbidden belief are called “propaganda” offenses. “Propaganda offenses,” as Prof. Ellis points out, are exactly the sort of purely political crimes Stalinists and Maoists invented to silence their enemies. Moreover, the “framework decision” covers all media: “The [European] Commission’s approach on this issue is to ensure that racist and xenophobic content on the Internet is criminalized in all Member States.”
Another reason the EU must criminalize speech is that it has embraced another communist goal that cannot withstand scrutiny: equal outcomes. For the reds, it was equality of classes, now it is equality of races. “We are, it seems, slow to learn,” notes Prof. Ellis.
There is yet another EU directive for “implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin” that went into effect on July 19, 2000. It begins, without evidence, with the assertion that “European societies are multicultural and multi-ethnic, and their diversity is a positive and enriching factor.” It goes on to order the abolition of anything that conflicts with the “principle of equal treatment,” and requires member states to stamp out deviation with punishments that are “effective, proportionate and dissuasive.”
At one stroke, the directive sets out legal contradictions American courts took decades to establish. After much bombast about “equal treatment,” the directive assures worried anti-racists that “the principle of equal treatment shall not prevent any Member State from maintaining or adopting specific measures to prevent or compensate for disadvantages linked to racial or ethnic origin.”
Although the directive never uses the phrase “equal outcomes” and its drafters would probably recoil from it in public, this is clearly the intent. One of the directive’s favorite targets is something it calls “indirect discrimination,” or policies that are race-neutral but produce unequal outcomes. Requiring that police officers have an honorable discharge from the military, for example, is “indirect discrimination” because blacks are more likely than whites to be dishonorably discharged. This sort of thing is to be rooted out, and the directive makes it very clear that “indirect discrimination” requires no discriminatory intent; it can “be established by any [emphasis added] means including on the basis of statistical evidence.” Any means? This is a potentially fatal departure from European standards of determining guilt and innocence that took centuries to develop, but will force companies to hire and promote non-whites. By definition, there can be no racial differences in ability, so unequal outcomes can be the result only of direct or indirect discrimination, which can be shown, by any means, to have been the casue.
The directive further promotes equal outcomes by shamelessly biasing the courts. When a non-white goes to court claiming unequal treatment, the burden of proof is to be on the defendant. A white person or institution must demonstrate innocence rather than be proven guilty, a harrowing reversal of the ancient rule of “innocent until proven guilty.” The directive stacks the deck even further by urging (but not requiring) member states to introduce “rules of evidence which are more favourable to plaintiffs.” In other words, disallow hearsay or potentially prejudicial evidence that favors the white defendant but permit it for the non-white plaintiff. Here, the Europeans have managed to steal a march on the Americans.
The people who drafted the directive must have worried about how much it prattles on about race. Slaves of fashion to the end, they added: “The European Union rejects theories which attempt to determine the existence of separate human races. The use of the term ‘racial origin’ in the Directive does not imply an acceptance of such theories.” In the midst of what purports to be a criminal law, the European Union endorses quack science — and yet drafts the law on the basis of the very categories quack science tries to deny.
Prof. Ellis is right: Whoever tries to build a society on lies must suppress, distort, censor and ultimately criminalize the truth. This book puts today’s rigid orthodoxies in a rich historic perspective, and shows where yesterday’s orthodoxies led. In spirit, the crowds baying for Prof. Ellis’ dismissal are no different from those who ran the gulag. That they cannot see this shows only how thoroughly they have blinded themselves and how little they have learned from history.
Letter from Frank Ellis
“What sort of an education can you get from a professor who is scared stiff of losing his job?” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn, First Circle
Once I had left the University of Leeds for good, I intended to write a detailed account of the events that led to my suspension, but other priorities have asserted themselves. Once they are resolved I shall seek a publisher and write my account of what happened. I can promise AR readers that they will find it very interesting. For the moment, I can offer this brief summary.
At 14:00 hrs. on Thursday, March 23, 2006, I was suspended by the University of Leeds. I was suspended because I had attacked, among other things, the cult of multiculturalism. I was not attacked, and demands were not made that I be dismissed because I was wrong. No, I was closer to the truth than my attackers — they knew it — and that is why they sought my removal. I stand by everything I have said and written, with one exception: In the uncensored version of the article I sent to the Leeds Student for publication, I referred to the average IQ of 70 in sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, as Richard Lynn’s analysis of the most recent data shows, the average IQ is actually 67 (see “Northwest Passage,” AR, June 2006).
Unable to reply to my criticism of multiculturalism, the university resorted to bureaucratic and administrative countermeasures. My suspension was intended as a grand gesture that would propitiate mobs on- and off-campus as well as, of course, the fanatics at the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE). Nevertheless, having suspended me, the university then realized it faced formidable legal, intellectual and moral challenges in trying to eliminate a dissident who was not prepared to go quietly. A very large number of academics and scientists, as well as representatives from several non-governmental organizations would have appeared as witnesses for the defense if there had been a hearing.
As it happens, back in February 2005, the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, in which I taught, was in dire financial straits, and asked for five volunteers to take early retirement. By this time, disillusioned with the relentless bureaucratization of university life, and tired of spoon-feeding too many lazy students, I volunteered. To my astonishment my application was denied. The school wanted to keep me because of my high research profile, which it found useful. One year later the university was pleased to revisit this option, and I have now taken the early retirement I was denied a year ago.
In suspending me and trying to make a case against me the university has done serious damage to academic freedom and free speech in this country. Who now in a British university, having seen what happened to me, will attack feminism, multiculturalism or racial issues? There will be some, possible many in British universities, who will rejoice in what Leeds did. These are the people who would have burned Galileo at the stake. In the nineteenth century, they would have cast Darwin into jail or stoned him. In Nazi Germany, they would have squealed with joy as the books burned on May 10, 1933. During Stalin’s purges and Mao’s Cultural Revolution, they would have approved the most savage measures against any form of dissent, real or imagined. Such are the people who control British universities today.
Modern liberalism is truly depraved. Even now I am staggered by its boundless capacity for hypocrisy and lying — perhaps after all this I should not be, but I am. I know members of the Leeds faculty who share my objections to the cult of multiculturalism, but they remained silent. When I visited the university none could look me in the eye. I shall not name and shame them but they know who they are; they have disgraced themselves.
You do not really know people until there is a crisis. One of the most depressing things in this world is to discover that people, who you thought had some reserves of moral courage (physical courage is not the same thing), actually have the soul of a terrified apparatchik. I feel no anger towards these people; more disgust I would say. Another lesson — a very obvious one — is that universities in Britain are emphatically not devoted to academic freedom.
Outside the university, however, all is not doom and gloom. More and more white people are standing up and saying enough is enough. I suspect many liberals realize that the game is up for the cult of multiculturalism. It is the awareness of this looming defeat that makes them all the more vicious, though the time when these people could automatically silence an opponent with screams of “racism” and “fascism” is gone.
As a Slavist, I take great encouragement from Solzhenitsyn who saw Communism could not endure forever: “And I sat there and I thought: if the first tiny droplet of truth has exploded like a psychological bomb, what then will happen in our country when whole waterfalls of Truth burst forth? And they will burst forth. It has to happen.” (Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 1, p. 298).
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
During the 2005 British general election, Debbie Jones, an employee of HSBC bank, told a co-worker that she would be voting for Robert Kilroy-Silk because he promised “to get rid of the foreigners.” She also allegedly said she was “against immigration” and “hates foreigners.” Another co-worker, Ruby Schembri, an immigrant from Malta, overheard her and sued the bank for race discrimination. “I found Debbie’s racist comment to be offensive and very hurtful,” Mrs. Schembri told a government employment commission. “I left the room . . . [and] began to cry.” In July, the employment commission found the remarks could indeed be considered “racist” — even though the “victim” was white — and ordered HSBC to pay Mrs. Schembri compensation. The bank had already sent Miss Jones to racial sensitivity classes.
The case sets a precedent: Before the ruling, only remarks made directly to the “victim” were illegal. Now, anything a “victim” overhears could be illegal. Will eavesdroppers get the same protection? Civil rights lawyer Lawrence Davies applauds the judgment, saying, “The intention or aim of the maker is irrelevant, it is sufficient that it caused offense.” [Robert Verhaik, HSBC Found Guilty of Racism Over Kilroy-Silk Backer, Independent (London), July 14, 2006.]
Back in 1899, British colonialists in what was then Rhodesia passed the Witchcraft Suppression Act, which declared that witchcraft was nonsense, and made it a crime to accuse someone of witchcraft. More than a century later, most people in what is now Zimbabwe still believe in witchcraft, and are increasingly calling on it to solve the country’s problems. The government of dictator Robert Mugabe has scrapped the Witchcraft Suppression Act, so it is now possible to sue someone for casting a spell. If someone can prove in court that an enemy bewitched him, he can collect damages.
Claude Mararike, a sociologist at the University of Zimbabwe, is pleased. “We as Africans recognize the existence of witches and witchcraft,” he says. Prof. Mararike also approves of bringing witchcraft cases to court: “We are trying to remove the Eurocentric way of looking at issues.” The professor says magic or muti can do good things, too. It can stop theft, acting as an “electric fence” around a house. With the right mumbo jumbo, someone can get into a reed basket and fly from place to place. Prof. Mararike says Zimbabwe needs “to develop the science, patent and market it.” [Percy Zvomuya, Black Magic Gets Bob’s Nod, Mail & Guardian Online (Johannesburg), July 7, 2006.]
The anti-white, Indian populist government of Bolivian president Evo Morales is determined to get rid of the country’s remaining vestiges of European influence and recreate the supposed Eden that existed prior to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. Mr. Morales, who says he rejects Western concepts imported “in English” in favor of the ancient tribal wisdom, has assembled an eclectic team to implement his vision. The justice minister is a former maid who never studied law. His vice president is a former Marxist guerilla. Two cabinet members, education minister Felix Patzi and foreign minister David Choquehuanca, are Aymara Indian nationalists and “intellectuals.”
Education Minister Patzi says the government should encourage the indigenous population to procreate so as to reverse the negative effects of colonialism, and calls family planning an “elitist conspiracy” to hold down the Indian population. He says the country must decide whether to be “pre-capitalist or communal,” but whichever it chooses, there won’t be much of an economy: “Competitiveness? I ask myself why. Why study business in a country with no businesses.”
Foreign Minister Choquehuanca also has interesting ideas. He thinks it is possible for a person to be in two different places at once, one physically and the other spiritually. He hasn’t read a book in years because he doesn’t want to “cloud his mind” with Western concepts. “We have been in the hands of people who have read books, and look what a mess the Earth is in,” he says. He suggests Bolivians would do better to “read the wrinkles in our grandfathers’ brows . . . to recover the wisdom that our grandfathers still have.”
In order to receive a diplomatic posting in Mr. Choquehuanca’s ministry, applicants must speak one of three indigenous languages, Quecha, Aymara or Guarani — languages not often spoken in the world’s foreign ministries. [Jose de Cordoba and David Luhnow, A Dash of Mysticism: Governing Bolivia the Aymara Way, Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2006.]
Finnish criminal courts recently convicted eight Somali refugees of violent crimes, including rape, robbery and assault, and the Directorate of Immigration quite sensibly ordered them deported. Unfortunately the men are from part of Somalia that the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) still considers “unstable,” which means deporting them would violate UNHCR treaty regulations that require the original country officially to take its citizens back. If there is no government back home, they cannot be kicked out since no other country will take them. Finland tried to deport a violent criminal refugee back to the Congo last year, but the UNHCR wouldn’t allow it for the same reason.
Finnish law professor Martin Scheinin doesn’t believe refugees should ever be deported if they arrived as children. “If a person has been in Finland since childhood, then any criminal acts as an adult cannot point to an inherent criminal nature. Instead, something is wrong here in Finland,” he says. [Refugee Deportation Order May be Overturned, www.yle.fi (Finland), Aug. 2, 2006.]
‘Africa as Home’
American blacks are the richest group of blacks in the world, and Africans want to share some of that wealth. Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, for example, tells American blacks “to see Africa as your home.” One plan is to offer African citizenship to American blacks. “Just as the people of different races in America have a place they call home, I believe we should have a place we call our ancestral home,” says Hope Masters, daughter of black activist Leon Sullivan. Anthony Archer, a lawyer who heads a committee studying the proposal, says, “Dual citizenship will start the process of mutual and spiritual reconciliation of differences between the two continents that came as a result of slavery. If we can feel like we really belong, we’ll feel more joyful about participating.”
One stumbling block is that most blacks have no idea what country their ancestors came from, although most were from West Africa. One solution would be to offer continent-wide African citizenship through the African Union. Another would be to allow American blacks to choose a country and apply for citizenship. Just what rights dual citizenship would confer has yet to be determined, but organizers hope to have a concrete proposal before a meeting between Africans and American blacks in 2008. [Dulue Mbachu, Africans Mull Citizenship for Slave Kin, AP, July 20, 2006.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — I am optimistic that Jews are, indeed, “getting over their liberal hangover,” as Thomas Jackson urges them to do in his August review of a recent book on black-Jewish relations. Only the nuttiest Jews still have the idea that they and blacks are, somehow, natural allies in the struggle for — well — the struggle for anything. As even the nutty author Cheryl Greenberg conceded, by the 1960s, Jewish businessmen in Harlem or Southside Chicago just wanted to get out. Today, Jews avoid blacks as deliberately and as successfully as any white group. Gentiles need not fear some kind of resurgent black-Jewish alliance.
Unfortunately, many Jews still think it is in their interests to encourage Third-World immigration. They are having a harder time getting over this part of the “liberal hangover,” but they are making progress. Jews don’t like it either when the schools fill up with Spanish-speakers, and when you have to “press one for English.”
Race realists blame the Jews for many of our problems, and they are not entirely wrong to do so, but please be patient. Late-arriving allies are much better than enemies, and more Jews are tilting towards a broader racial-civilizational loyalty than you may think. They will have a strong Jewish identity for a generation or two yet, but it is one that is increasingly compatible with sentiments that make them — potentially — strong defenders of the West.
This is a crucial juncture in our history. Jews have thrown their weight on the wrong side of too many questions for too long. It would be a tragedy if Gentile patriots scared them off just when they were about to mend their ways.
Samuel Dine, Upstate New York
Sir — While I agree with the basic point Mr. McClaren was making in his August article on Costa Rica — that the whiter a Latin American nation is, the better it is run — some points need to be made about the racial composition of that nation. Mr. McClaren writes that Costa Rica is 94 percent white, albeit with some “lighter mestizos.” Bernal Morera et. al. (“Gene Admixture in the Costa Rican Population,” Annals of Human Genetics, 67, 71-80, 2003) have presented data showing that the Costa Rican gene pool is quite mixed: 61 percent European, 30 percent American Indian, and nine percent African.
Of course, this admixture is not evenly distributed among the entire population, so there will be some Costa Ricans who are of direct Spanish descent, or nearly so. However, since only six percent of the population is officially designated as non-white, the fact that the Costa Rican gene pool is approximately two-fifths non-white means that many, possibly a majority, of Costa Ricans have significant non-Spanish (Afro-Amerindian) ancestry. Data from Chile suggest that much of that nation’s “white” population is likewise mestizo. Thus, while, overall, Costa Rica and Chile are racially distinct from Guatemala, they are distinct from Spain as well. We should be as precise as possible when racially comparing nations and peoples.
Sir — The review of Prof. Raymond Wolter’s book on W.E.B. Du Bois in the July issue is called “The Man Who Invented White Guilt,” but with all due respect, no black, alone or with other blacks, could have invented “white guilt” as we know it. Who, if we are to choose one person, could have had the power to unleash such a worldwide calamity?
Reason, logic and historical reflection suggest that only Adolf Hitler had that power. Surely, that was not his intention, as Hitler believed that the races differed and offered a twisted, tragic, pagan kind of white supremacy, but that was the result of the monumental evil he released on the world. It is for that reason that American Renaissance should disavow any support from self-avowed Nazis and their followers.
Edmund Levine, Philadelphia, Penn.
Sir — I must question what I believe to be the flawed opinions of Clairese Lippincott in her letter in the July 2006 issue.
The world’s resources are being stretched, almost to breaking point, because of gross overpopulation and resulting overexploitation. Evidence of this is all around us. Rather than encouraging whites to have more babies, it would be better to encourage Third-World peoples (including those in America) to have fewer babies. With fewer babies, they would be better able to feed and educate them, and they themselves could enjoy better lives. Instead, they carry on breeding with no thought of consequences.
Of course, this brings other problems such as future pension and medical funding, but white ingenuity could solve these problems without resorting to immigration.
Terrence Jackson, Spain
Sir — I got a bitter laugh out of your August O Tempora item about Bruce Lahn of the University of Chicago deciding to stop studying the genetics of intelligence because the racial implications are too controversial. He says he now thinks some knowledge may not be worth having.
Isn’t this admission virtually the definition of intellectual cowardice? We are undoubtedly living in degraded times when a college professor admits that his findings are true but must be suppressed because they might be misused or give offense.
Sarah Wentworth, Richmond, Va.