|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 18, No. 9||September 2007|
Diversity Destroys Trust
Harvard discovers homogeneity.
Robert Putnam of Harvard became an academic celebrity in 2000 with his book, Bowling Alone, which argued that society is in dire straits because so many community attachments are breaking down. Americans are increasingly mobile and isolated, with few group affiliations. Prof. Putnam wants to bring back what he calls “social networks,” because he says they make people happy, contribute to democracy, help rear children, and make the economy run better.
He later analyzed census and survey data to find out what role racial diversity plays in all this — whether it deepens attachment to community or further atomizes people. To his dismay, he found that racial and ethnic diversity destroys trust in neighbors and institutions.
Prof. Putnam did not like these findings, and was in no hurry to publish them, but a reporter for the Financial Times may have forced his hand. In an article that appeared on October 9, 2006, John Lloyd quoted Prof. Putnam as saying that he was studying ways to compensate for the bad effects of diversity and that it “would have been irresponsible to publish without that.”
Prof. Putnam deeply regrets his words. No one likes to admit so openly that he is going to bathe, barber and perfume the findings before he lets the public see them. In an interview several weeks later with the Harvard Crimson, Prof. Putnam implied that Mr. Lloyd quoted him dishonestly, and called it “almost criminal” that the Financial Times had not emphasized his belief that in the mid- to long-run, people learn to like diversity and that society is stronger for it. His unhappiness was compounded by hundreds of e-mail messages from what he called “racists and anti-immigration activists” congratulating him on discovering the obvious.
Professor Putnam has now published his study in the latest issue of Scandinavian Political Studies (Vol. 30, No. 2, 2007, pp. 137-174.) He does his best to give the article a happy ending, but his findings are hard to sugarcoat.
Whom Do You Trust?
This study is a survey of people living in 41 different American communities that run from racially homogeneous rural South Dakota to San Francisco, which is one of the most racially mixed places on earth. The clearest finding was that the more diverse the area, the less people trusted each other. The graph on page three represents this by showing the 41 areas on a plot, with trust of other races on the vertical axis and an index of homogeneity on the horizontal axis.
(Prof. Putnam measured homogeneity with what is called a Herfindahl index, which is the likelihood that two randomly selected people in a given area — in this case a census tract — will be of the same race. A value of 1.00 means there is a 100 percent chance they will be the same, and a value of 0.50 means only a 50 percent chance.)
The study divided people into four groups — white, black, Hispanic, Asian — and asked whether they trusted the other groups. The percentage that said they trusted the other three groups “a lot” is on the vertical axis. Rural South Dakota and Lewiston, Maine, over to the right, were about as pure white as it was possible to be (this was in 2000, before Somalis converged on Lewiston because of its generous welfare) and had some of the highest levels of trust in “other races.” As diversity increases towards the left, trust in other races decreases.
The second graph, on page four, is a similar plot, except that the question was whether respondents trusted their neighbors “a lot.” Prof. Putnam recognizes that people usually have neighbors like themselves, so this question can be seen as an indication of trust not only in neighbors but in people like oneself. As the graph shows, people in virtually all areas are more likely to say they trust their neighbors “a lot” than to say they trust people of other races “a lot,” but again, the more diversity, the less trust.
The third graph, on page five, shows the results of asking whether people trust members of their own race “a lot.” Prof. Putnam points out that if diversity makes people distrust people of other races, it might be expected to increase their trust in people of their own race — and here is the surprise: Diversity reduces trust in everyone, even in people of one’s own race. This is what leads to Prof. Putnam’s widely quoted conclusion that diversity makes people behave like turtles — they pull into their shells. On the basis of other survey data, he lists other unhappy consequences for people who must live with diversity:
- Lower confidence in local government, local leaders and the local news media.
- Lower political efficacy — that is, confidence in their own influence.
- Lower frequency of registering to vote, but more interest and knowledge about politics and more participation in protest marches and social reform groups.
- Less expectation that others will cooperate to solve dilemmas of collective action (e.g., voluntary conservation to ease a water or energy shortage).
- Less likelihood of working on a community project.
- Lower likelihood of giving to charity or volunteering.
- Fewer close friends and confidants.
- Less happiness and lower perceived quality of life.
- More time spent watching television and more agreement that “television is my most important form of entertainment.”
This is a convincing set of reasons to oppose the sort of diversity we are always told to celebrate. Indeed, it confirms what immigration activists and race realists have been saying for decades. These findings alone, and the publicity they have received, are worthy of, well, celebration.
Prof. Putnam admits he did not like the results, and carefully sifted and diced the data to find something other than diversity — poverty, age, crime, population density, education, commuting time, home ownership rates, anything — that seemed to be destroying trust. He did learn some useful things: Young people are less trusting than old people, blacks and Hispanics are less trusting than whites and Asians, people who live in high crime areas are not very trusting, nor are the poor and uneducated. Still, the master variable was diversity. “Diversity per se has a major effect,” he writes.
However, let us return to the three tables, which hint at interesting information Prof. Putnam did not include in his report. The most homogeneous neighborhoods he investigated are overwhelmingly white. There are census tracts that are overwhelmingly Hispanic or black — and therefore homogeneous — but he did not report results for them. This research therefore should more properly be thought of as a study of the effects of diversity on whites. It would be interesting to know its effect on blacks or Hispanics.
If homogeneity is an advantage, blacks who live in the ghetto should benefit from it just as whites do. Compared to blacks who live in mixed neighborhoods, do they trust white people more, do a lot of volunteer work, spend less time watching television, and have more confidence in local government? Probably not.
It may very well be that homogeneity does not affect non-whites the same way it affects whites. It has been known for years that whites in racial isolation have a higher opinion of blacks than do whites who live close to them. During Jesse Jackson’s campaigns for US president in 1984 and 1988, his percentage of the white vote was highest in areas with the fewest blacks. This is probably because whites whose knowledge of blacks comes only from the media have a better opinion of them than whites who have direct contact with them. This alone could explain why people in homogeneous white areas think highly of people of other races.
Would the same be true for blacks and Hispanics? Perhaps not. The media routinely blame whites for racial tension in America, so blacks and Hispanics who have the least contact with them may have the most reason to distrust them. On the other hand, heavily black and Hispanic neighborhoods are not usually nice places. People who live in them may think white people are not so bad after all.
There is another problem with these graphs of trust. For the overwhelmingly white areas, we know that the respondents to the surveys are overwhelmingly white — the results reflect white attitudes. For the other areas, because Prof. Putnam lumps respondents of all races together, we do not know if there are racial differences in attitudes. He says blacks and Hispanics are generally less trusting than whites. This means white expressions of lack of trust probably do not drop as steeply with diversity as these graphs suggest because they show overall responses rather than responses by race. It may be that in the diverse locations, the white response — Prof. Putnam says it is more trusting — is being overwhelmed by untrusting blacks and Hispanics.
There are hints that this might be so. North Minneapolis shows up on these graphs as one of the most diverse places in America, but it is known as the blackest, poorest, most crime-ridden place in Minnesota. This is probably the closest thing the study offers to a genuinely black response, but it is blurred because the ethnic homogeneity index tells us there are many non-black people who live there, too — probably Hispanics.
However, we find some intriguing results Prof. Putnam ignores. The people of virtually every other location trust their neighbors considerably more than they trust people of other races. Not the people of North Minneapolis. A comparison of the first two graphs shows that slightly fewer trust their neighbors “a lot” than trust people of other races. And, in fact, a comparison with the third chart shows they trust people of their own race least of all! Surely, these interesting data deserve disaggregation. Do people of all races in North Minneapolis trust their own race least of all? Only blacks? Only Hispanics? Blacks who live in high-crime ghettos may have good reason to distrust blacks more than whites.
Boston gives queer results, too. People trust their neighbors only slightly more than they trust people of other races and, again, appear to trust people of their own race least of all. This sort of thing cries out for explanation but Prof. Putnam offers none.
Something else that stands out on the first chart is that every single one of the Southern study areas — Charlotte, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Birmingham, East Tennessee — is below the trend line. This means that without regard to diversity or homogeneity, people living in the South are less likely than people of other regions to trust people of other races. This is probably because the most common racial division in the South is still black/white, and suggests that this is the color line that still causes the most distrust.
There is sure to be other interesting information in this study that did not make it into print. Whom do blacks distrust more: whites or Hispanics? Whom do Asians distrust? Does increased diversity increase distrust of all other races or just some? The data probably could have been given a more fine-grained analysis, but Prof. Putnam does not provide it.
A Dizzying Spin
Now that Prof. Putnam has found that diversity makes people watch more TV, distrust local government, stop voting, suspect the local media, give less to charity, and makes them just plain unhappy, how does he defend it? He spins his story two different ways, first by arguing that people eventually learn to like it. His proof? That WASP-run, WASP-founded America managed to absorb the European ethnics who swarmed in at the turn of the 20th century. This lesson in happy history ignores blacks and Indians, who have been here a lot longer than the white ethnics but are still not absorbed. Prof. Putnam does mention in passing “the possibly more visible distinctiveness of contemporary migrants,” but doesn’t seem to think this will make any difference.
He also ignores the fact that European ethnics were absorbed because they learned English and became largely indistinguishable from WASPS by such measures as income, education, crime rates, etc. It was a one-way street: They became Americans. People didn’t learn to like diversity; the newcomers became more like the old-timers, and the diversity went away.
Prof. Putnam’s second assertion is that diversity is inherently good. Once we have overcome our dislike for it, as we surely will, Prof. Putnam’s big argument in its favor is that it stimulates creativity. He tells us immigrants have been four times more likely than the American-born to win the following honors: Nobel Prizes, Academy Awards for film directing, Kennedy Center awards in the performing arts, and membership in the National Academy of Science.
Assuming this is true, it is one of the silliest arguments for “diversity” anyone ever tried. We keep hearing “diversity” is good for us. If Prof. Putnam were somehow able to show that immigration so stimulated native-born Americans that they won Nobel Prizes at four times the rate they would have without immigration he would be on to something. His figures show only that we have had some smart immigrants. Did they become smarter or more creative because they met WASPS? Very unlikely — though they probably had better opportunities. Virtually all these paragons were certainly white, many were probably Jews, and most would undoubtedly have had distinguished records wherever they lived. The idea that “diversity” had something to do with what they achieved is nonsense.
There is another way to show the absurdity of Prof. Putnam’s argument. Let us imagine the United States had never had mass immigration, never pretended diversity was a strength, but had let in only white people with IQs over 140. Immigrants might then be 100 or even 1,000 times more likely than natives to win Nobel prizes. Would Prof. Putnam call that an even stronger argument for “diversity?”
Finally, Prof. Putnam implies that Mexicans will be joining the National Academy of Sciences at four times the white rate. Not likely. They are in prison at four times the white rate.
The whistling-past-the-graveyard tone to this study is even more noticeable because Prof. Putnam cites many other studies that confirm his basic (and obvious) finding: Diversity decreases trust. He reports that people in “diverse” workgroups — not only of race but also age and professional background — are less loyal to the group, more likely to resign, and generally less satisfied than people who work with people like themselves. Prof. Putnam even cites a study that found carpooling is less common in mixed neighborhoods. Carpooling means counting on your neighbors to get you to work, and people tend not to trust neighbors who don’t look like them.
Prof. Putnam cites half a dozen studies from places as varied as Australia, Sweden, and Canada showing that ethnic diversity lowers levels of trust and, in some cases, lowers investment in public goods. It is well known, for example, that welfare systems are usually more generous in homogeneous countries because people are more willing to pay taxes to support beneficiaries who look like they might be cousins.
It is the same everywhere. In Peru, there are what are called micro-credit cooperatives that make small loans to members. Apparently, when there is diversity among co-op members, default rates are higher. Likewise, in Kenyan school districts, fundraising is easier in more tribally and ethnically homogenous areas.
Prof. Putnam even offers an interesting historical example. In the Union Army during the Civil War, casualty rates were high and the chances of being caught for desertion were low. Aside from patriotism, it was loyalty to their messmates that kept soldiers in the fight. Not surprisingly, desertion rates were higher in units with the greatest diversity, not just of ethnicity but even of age, hometown, occupation, etc.
The preference for one’s own kind is deeply rooted in human — even animal — nature. There is nothing surprising about Prof. Putnam’s findings or the other research he cites. What is surprising is his desperate faith in the eventual benefits of something that clearly does not work anywhere.
Prof. Putnam concludes his study with the usual bromides: “[W]e need more opportunities for meaningful interaction across ethnic lines.” “[L]ocally based programs to reach out to new immigrant communities are a powerful tool for mutual learning.” Note the words “interaction” and “mutual learning.” The purpose of all this is not to turn immigrants into Americans the way we used to: “[M]y hunch is that at the end we shall see that the challenge is best met not by making ‘them’ like ‘us,’ but rather by creating a new, more capacious sense of ‘we,’ . . .” All of us, in other words, should become a little bit Haitian, a little bit Chinese, and quite substantially black and Mexican. We should probably get into practice right now for becoming a little bit Iraqi, in preparation for the “allies” who will surely follow our troops home.
In his final sentence Prof. Putnam tells us that even the motto on the Great Seal of the United States, e pluribus unum (out of many, one), is a celebration of diversity. Either Harvard is not what it used to be or Prof Putnam is trying to pull a fast one on the readers of Scandinavian Political Studies. The motto, of course, refers to the 13 colonies uniting as one nation, not to ethnic mixing.
Equality Essentials and Jane Elliott
Britain imitates the worst of America.
Over the last several decades I have studied a great deal of official literature that tries to make the case for imposing “equal opportunity” on unsuspecting whites. I have become more or less inured to pitifully low intellectual levels, glaring double standards, and sentimental pleading. Equality Essentials, a 44-page manual setting out equality policy of the Kirklees Council, is a classic of the genre. Kirklees is a borough in the north of England with a population of nearly 400,000. Three members of the British National Party sit on its 69-member borough council, which may have prompted the council to publish this desperate appeal to “equality.”
The manual, which is to be used by local government to help stamp out “racism,” is full of words like “diversity,” “tolerance,” “fairness,” “respect” and “discrimination,” but uses them in ways that bear no resemblance to their traditional meanings. Its not-so-hidden agenda is to denigrate and insult whites — especially white men. When a race awareness instructor tells a mixed audience about the need for “diversity” and “fairness,” the white men know they are being taunted and humiliated.
Equality of opportunity in hiring is one of the main themes of Equality Essentials, and it becomes clear that what it is really talking about is equality of results. But “equality of opportunity” is an impossible goal. There is no chance that five candidates for the same job will have had the same opportunities all their lives. They will differ in abilities, IQ, work habits, and much more besides. What “diversity” really means is that some candidates will be much better qualified than others. They will have made superior opportunities for themselves, and exploited fortuitous opportunities through superior intelligence and discipline.
When it comes to making hiring choices, the goal of “valuing diversity” is at best a hindrance, and at worst the imposition of ideological factors on what should be a process based on ability. In its confused way, Equality Essentials almost admits this: “There are any number of differences in experience, knowledge and outlook, which distinguish the candidates (valuing diversity). These are the deciding factor in who gets the job, equality of opportunity makes the process fair.”
A major influence on Equality Essentials is Jane Elliot, an American race guru who travels the globe berating her fellow whites about their racism (see more about her below). Typically, her exercises involve ritual humiliation of whites in front of black audiences. She insists that these exercises are necessary “because we are still conditioning people in this country and, indeed, all over the globe to the myth of white superiority.” Who are “we”? One thing Hollywood and the BBC do not do is promote white superiority.
One wonders whether Mrs. Elliott herself believes what she says or whether she is just advancing her business within the racial-industrial complex. Much money is to be made from baiting and taunting whites, and unfortunately too many are willing to play the racist villain. Very few will defend themselves when attacked. For the attack dogs, Mrs. Elliott’s exercises are an irresistible opportunity to humiliate whites in what purports to be an educational forum but is really a Maoist struggle session. Degrading white men and then claiming you have kissed them on the cheek — and better still, getting them to say they have been kissed on the cheek — is great joy for envious losers.
As Equality Essentials explains, Mrs. Elliott has no doubt about the need for racial preferences for non-whites, and explains how she crushes anyone who disagrees:
So I say, ‘Fine. OK. Will every white person in this room who would like to spend the rest of his or her life being treated, discussed, and looked upon as we treat, discuss, and look upon people of color, generally speaking, in this society, please stand?’ And I watch. And wait. And the only sounds in the room are those made by people of color as they turn in their seats to see how many white folks are standing. Not one white person stands. And I just let them sit there. Then I say, ‘Do you know what you just admitted? You just admitted that you know that’s happening, you know that it’s ugly, and you know that you don’t want it for you. So why are you so willing to accept it for others? The ultimate obscenity is that you deny that it’s happening.’
Let me accept Miss Elliot’s challenge and stand up, as it were. Blacks in the US and in other parts of the West are a protected group. There is now a well organized media and government effort devoted to glorifying them and their purported achievements. Blacks are admitted to some of the best universities in the US with lower SAT scores than whites, merely because they are bearers of the great gift known as “diversity.” Blacks with a modicum of talent get bonuses and stipends not available to whites. Employers, desperate to improve their “diversity profile,” offer perks and fast-track promotions that are, again, for blacks only. There is also the added benefit, so sweet to mediocrities, of seeing better qualified white rivals passed over for promotion. And any black who, by some accident, is found guilty of malfeasance or incompetence can invoke the legacy of slavery or institutional racism as mitigating circumstances.
Likewise, the slightest hint of a racist crime against blacks will send the print and broadcast media into a frenzy while the plight of white victims is of little interest. When Kriss Donald, a young Glaswegian, was abducted in 2004 and subjected to prolonged torture before being murdered by a Muslim gang, most editors ignored the story. The racial motive was only grudgingly admitted or passed over in silence. There were no ringing condemnations from politicians of the savages who tortured and murdered this young lad; no candle light vigils or nationally broadcast church services, either. This cowardly silence shows that for most editors racist crime is white crime — or that they are too frightened to publish anything to the contrary.
There are several reasons why whites do not stand up in response to Mrs. Elliott’s question. First, they are intimidated. Mrs. Elliott’s race-awareness sessions portray whites as evil and depraved. For many whites, to stand up and contradict her would feel like admitting they are evil and depraved. Second, an honest white person would not want to work and prosper as an affirmative-action beneficiary. It is no less than the legal persecution of whites for black failure and incompetence, and whites do not like persecution even if it would benefit them. Most of the whites who attend these sessions are well meaning and decent. They could not conceive of living on the backs of others, and they assume blacks think the same. It is this assumption that disarms them intellectually and morally when Mrs. Elliott baits them.
Third, most of these reeducation sessions are put on by companies for their employees. It would be a bad career move to stand up and give Mrs. Elliott what she deserves. Whites feel very bitter about affirmative action — rightly so — but because of the deliberate atmosphere of psychological coercion at these sessions, very few whites dissent. Miss Elliott and, one assumes, all the blacks in the audience go home glowing with the conviction that they have won a moral argument by fair means. They have done no such thing.
Equality Essentials makes much of the Race Relations Act’s requirement that public bodies eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and good relations between the races. Blacks who take part in Mrs. Elliot’s sessions should ask themselves how organized taunting of whites can possibly serve these goals. As for the whites, I suspect many come away with a lasting resentment towards blacks.
More on Jane Elliott
Jane Elliott was born in 1933 in Riceville, Iowa (population under 1,000), where she worked as a school teacher. After Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968, she thought up a way to help her all-white third-grade class understand “racism.” In an exercise that has made her famous, she divided the class by eye-color, and decreed that the brown-eyed children were superior to the blue-eyed ones. She gave the superior group permission to lord it over the inferior group for a day. They reportedly took to “white supremacy” with little prompting. She reversed roles the next day, and let the “blueys” be the master race for a day. This reportedly opened their young eyes to the power (and folly) of discrimination on the basis of physical traits.
This got her in the news and on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, but the people of Riceville didn’t like her meddling with the minds of their children. According to an account in Smithsonian magazine, they “all but ran her out of town.” Naturally, she became the darling of the anti-racism industry, and has since run her “exercises” for dozens of big companies and government agencies, been on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” five times, and spoken at more than 350 colleges and universities. Still going strong in her 70s, Mrs. Elliott has taken her road show as far as England and Australia. Mrs. Elliott has a web page, janeelliott.com, where she solicits customers and sells her 35- and 52-minute videos for $295 each. She charges $5,000 for a one-day seminar. The anti-racism business has been very good to Jane Elliott.
Her jaunty claim to be able to crush anyone who thinks blacks and other non-whites don’t deserve special treatment is similar to another tactic that may or may not have been invented by her: Ask a white person how much he would have to be paid to spend the rest of his life as a black person. If the idea is that the white has been “passing” all his life, and that becoming “black” doesn’t require any change in appearance — just a change in official status — whites will become black for, say, $10,000. If they have to be turned into real black people to get the money, then the amount goes up to $500,000 or $1,000,000. Anti-racists brandish this figure as an indication of just how much whites despise blacks, and how awful it is to be black in America.
It is true that probably very few whites want to be black — but how many blacks want to be white? If being black is so awful that whites must be richly compensated to endure it, shouldn’t blacks be willing to sacrifice terribly in order to become white? I am sure Jane Elliott has never asked the blacks in her reeducation sessions whether they would give up everything they own and go deep into debt to become white. Shouldn’t they be willing to do that if being black is the constant horror they say it is? No black is likely to stand up — certainly not in front of other blacks — and say he would pay $500,000 to be white.
In any case, blacks can escape white oppression any time they like; they can emigrate to Africa or Jamaica. Somehow, despite the horrors they reportedly suffer here, there is no rush for the door.
Women and homosexuals are supposed to face constant torment. Would they, too, be willing to go into debt to be turned into heterosexual men? If not, their claims of oppression ring false. Most people don’t want to stop being what they are, even if they can claim that it is a terrible disadvantage.
The $500,000 to $1,000,000 whites are said to demand in order to be turned black is supposed to put a price tag on oppression. Nonsense. Whites are not afraid society will oppress them if they became black. They just don’t want to be black. They don’t want to spend the rest of their lives listening to black music, talking like a black, looking African, and being around other blacks. That is simply not appealing to white people. They’re not worried the police would beat them or that whites would snub them.
Most blacks probably feel the same way about being white. They think whites are rigid, repressed, and joyless. They don’t want to spend their free time going to museums, or to parties where nobody dances.
This, then, is the proper response if you, dear reader, ever find yourself in a reeducation session, and someone quotes you the terrible costs of being black (or Hispanic or homosexual, etc.): “Yes, it must be terrible to be black. I assume you would therefore be willing to give everything you have and go into debt to become white. How much debt would you be willing to take on? Five hundred thousand dollars? One million?” When a black replies contemptuously, “You couldn’t pay me to be white,” he has made your point for you. You need only add: “If there is no advantage to being white, then there must be no disadvantage in being black.”
The next time you are up for promotion, however, you may not get high marks in the “celebrates diversity” section of your performance evaluation.
Is Europe Doomed?
A book of acute observations and bad conclusions.
Walter Laqueur, The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent, St. Martin’s Press, 2007, 243 pp., $29.95.
Walter Laqueur has written a very useful description of the challenges Europe faces in the 21st century. He is entirely right to point out that far-below-replacement fertility, combined with growing numbers of inassimilable immigrants add up to demographic catastrophe. He is also right to note that European welfare and social programs are headed for bankruptcy, and that rigid labor markets hobble economies. He writes that without firm measures, Europe will lose its civilization and be reduced to insignificance. Unfortunately, Mr. Laqueur follows these important insights with loony prescriptions. Few books draw so many bad conclusions from so many acute observations.
The Baby Bust
Many people have worried for a long time about the post-baby boom crash in European birthrates. For a population merely to replace itself, each woman must have an average of 2.2 children, but in most European countries the average lifetime fertility for white women is under 1.5. Mr. Laqueur notes that at this rate, the 15 members of the old European Union (before the East European additions in 2004) will have lost 60 million people by 2050. If projections include all of Europe, including Russia, the loss is expected to be 130 million. If there were no change in birthrates through the year 2300, most European countries would shrink to about five percent of their current size, and Russia and Italy to one percent. Already, says Mr. Laqueur, the Russian Far East is rapidly depopulating and thousands of villages have disappeared. He writes that in the Eastern part of Germany, 2,000 schools have shut in the wake of population decline and migration to the more prosperous West.
At the same time, non-Europeans have flooded in by different routes: “guest work,” asylum-seeking, and illegal immigration. How many? Mr. Laqueur doesn’t say. Whether out of conviction or prudence, he counts only Muslims; he thinks other non-whites will make fine Europeans. For many countries, the majority of non-whites are Muslims, so this face-saving distinction does not matter a great deal. However, Mr. Laqueur’s unwillingness to consider race helps explain his cross-eyed conclusions, and why he seems not to understand that the United States and Europe face the same crisis.
In any case, Mr. Laqueur’s count of Muslims is as follows:
France: 5.5 million (eight percent of the total population).
Germany: 3.6 million (five percent).
Britain: 1.6 million (three percent).
Holland: 1.0 million (six percent).
Sweden: 0.4 million (five percent).
Spain: 1.0 million (2.5 percent).
Belgium: 0.5 million (five percent).
Greece: 0.5 million (five percent).
Austria: 0.4 million (five percent).
These are low numbers compared to the United States, where non-whites account for more than a third of the population. Even France, with the worst immigrant problem, is only eight percent Muslim (France does not keep official statistics by race or religion, so this figure is only an estimate, but almost all of its non-whites are Muslims). Probably the country for which non-whites are most undercounted by considering only Muslims is Britain, where non-whites are an estimated ten percent of the population. In Holland, about nine percent are non-white.
Even these relatively small numbers have caused huge problems — and, as Mr. Laqueur points out, the same problems — throughout Europe. Muslims concentrate in big cities, go on welfare, fail to assimilate, drop out, scorn work, commit crimes, and routinely blame the host country for all this. There are now Muslim parts of European cities where Turkish or Arabic is the only language one hears, and where Mecca Cola has replaced Coca Cola. Muslim preachers tell their flocks Islam is vastly superior to the values of Europe, and that assimilation is apostasy. These alien areas continue to expand.
Mr. Laqueur notes that for the older generation, the mosque is more than a religious center. It is a social and political club, day-care and kindergarten, that offers a network so complete they can ignore the greater society. Preachers are losing power over the second and third generations, however, many of whom grow up in street gangs. Families still manage to control most girls, but boys rear themselves. Of all the institutions in a Muslim child’s life, public schools have the least influence.
All over Europe, Muslims quickly learned to milk the welfare system. Mr. Laqueur writes that at first they were loathe to live on non-Islamic charity, but preachers soon explained that the faithful deserve whatever they can squeeze out of the infidel. Leftist social workers scampered around to tell them they were deserving victims of neo-imperialism.
In the densest, meanest Muslim areas, young men beat up whites who wander in. The working-class Europeans who used to live there left long ago, and not even the police come by without overwhelming force. Rape is a rite of passage, especially in France and to a lesser degree in Britain and Scandinavia. Europeans have not yet toughened up their juvenile codes as Americans have, so underage criminals have little fear of police. Crime rates in Europe now rival those of the United States. Mr. Laqueur notes that many immigrant gangs fight each other: Asians vs. blacks in Britain, Turks vs. blacks in Brussels. (Note to Mr. Laqueur: British and Belgian blacks are not Muslims and are, if anything, a worse problem).
The constant backdrop to this record of failure is the pose of snarling victimhood. Europeans have behaved just like Americans: excusing deviance, offering endless uplift programs, assuring whole generations that it is society’s fault they are shiftless thugs. Mr. Laqueur writes that perhaps the newcomers’ favorite complaint is that they are “excluded,” but they maintain a hostile, deliberate separation.
Mr. Laqueur offers well-informed summaries of Muslim immigration to each of the major European countries. In France, for example, the influx was a hangover from empire, and the vast majority of Muslims are Algerian or Moroccan. The French reject all forms of “multiculturalism,” and insist that newcomers learn French, become French, and abide by strictly non-religious norms of public life that date back to the Revolution. There is a small middle class that has assimilated and become essentially French, but for the rest, as Mr. Laqueur puts it, “an antisociety grew up infused with a burning hatred of the other France.” Hatred is the right word. Nique la France (F*** France) is a favorite graffito. When the French national soccer team plays Morocco or Algeria, immigrants boo “The Marseillaise,” and cheer the Arabs.
Mr. Laqueur notes that the number of mosques has grown from 260 in the mid-1980s to more than 2,000, though most are small. At the same time, younger immigrants are much less observant than their parents. Only 20 percent of French Muslims go to mosque on Friday, and only 33 percent pray every day. Teenagers complain that the religion of their elders is too demanding, and Mr. Laqueur suspects many will cease to be Muslims in all but name. He notes correctly that the rioters of 2005 (see “France at the Crossroads,” AR, Jan. 2006) showed no real religious motivation and ignored the clerics who told them to stop burning cars.
Religious or not, immigrants are an extraordinary source of crime. As we saw, Mr. Laqueur cites a Muslim population of eight percent, but he also cites an estimate that they are 70 percent of the prison population. If this is true, they are a staggering 28 times more likely to be in prison than non-Muslims.
France now has more no-go zones than any other European country, and Mr. Laqueur suggests that as these expand, their inhabitants will demand local autonomy. He notes that although racial or religious preferences run counter to France’s assimilationist tradition, he predicts they will be tried, but suspects they will do little good. For the immigrant problem as a whole “there are no obvious solutions.”
Germany acquired most of its Muslims as Turkish “guest workers,” who came in the boom times of the 1960s and refused to go home. Immigration policy was lax, and many brought families, sometimes illegally. Mr. Laqueur emphasizes that the Turks in Germany are not representative: Most immigrants were poor, illiterate, and far more religiously conservative than most Turks.
Mr. Laqueur says the Germans have made extraordinary efforts to help Turks fit in: “In no other country have immigrants been the subject of so many initiatives by so many well-intentioned institutions to promote their integration.” “Social workers and planners have submitted over the years hundreds and thousands of proposals for the improvement of the situation of the immigrants.” “Never before in the history of migration has there been so much concern and planning.” He notes that part of this effort was fueled by the fear of being thought “racist.”
Nothing has worked. Unlike most immigrants to France or Britain, Muslims arrived not speaking a word of the local language, and built up a parallel society even more hermetically sealed than that of French Muslims. One of the concessions to Turks was for the state to pay for religious instruction for Turkish children, but this only increased their isolation.
Mr. Laqueur writes that the Turkish government supports Turkish-German organizations that oppose assimilation and promote loyalty to Turkey. He adds that there are three Turkish-language television stations in Germany, and virtually every apartment has a satellite dish for broadcasts from the motherland. Young men police the neighborhood, kicking German children out of playgrounds and telling adults they are not welcome. For years, the churches tried “dialogue” with Muslim leaders, but were repeatedly rebuffed.
Mr. Laqueur tells us that unlike French Muslims, who clear out of the immigrant slums if they make it into the middle class, the ties of the mother culture are so strong that successful Turks usually stay in the ghetto. This keeps neighborhoods from descending into the squalor common in France, but Mr. Laqueur tells us that 85 percent of Turks are still in the underclass, and that one third of all non-German children have a brush with the law before age 18. Only three percent of Muslims make it to university, and though girls do better in school than boys, their families commonly forbid higher education. Because of the conservatism of the immigrants, Mr. Laqueur says Turkish women in Germany face more oppression and restrictions than women in Turkey.
In Britain, only about 30 percent of the non-whites are Muslim, but Mr. Laqueur concentrates on them. They are mostly from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and like the Turks who live in Germany, are mostly of peasant stock. They live in even more isolation than other non-white immigrants, importing wives from home, and openly proclaiming their religion as a bar to assimilation. Forty percent reportedly favor introducing Koranic law in parts of the country, and 13 percent approve of Al Qaeda-style terrorism.
As they do whenever they reach a certain concentration, Muslims stake out exclusive territory, most prominantly in the Midlands areas of Bradford, Oldham and Burnley, where there were substantial race riots in 2001 (see “Report From Britain,” AR, Sept. 2001). White women dare not go out alone at night or even in the day when tensions are high. Decades ago, reports of “racist” attacks in Britain were mostly of non-whites complaining of assault by whites; now the situation is reversed.
One terrible mistake the British made was to let in so many Muslim extremists who were fugitives in their own lands. Men who faced execution for plotting Islamic overthrow of Arab governments found asylum and generous handouts in what came to be known as Londonistan. The French have been firm about booting out clerics who preach revolution and mayhem, and many of them ended up as guests of the British people as well. One theory has been that it is better to keep an eye on these people rather than drive them underground, but Britain has had more recent Muslim violence and threats of violence than any other European country.
By ignoring blacks, Mr. Laqueur tries to make the British immigration crisis a Muslim crisis, but he lets a few facts slip through, noting that according to one London police chief, 80 percent of the crime in the London subway is committed by immigrants from Africa — these would be blacks, not Algerians or Moroccans. The first British race violence goes back to the 1958 Notting Hill riots — strictly a black affair — and Brixton, Handsworth, Broadwater Farm, and Toxteth are all names associated with black violence. The arrival of Muslims only added diversity to a decades-old tradition.
Although Mr. Laqueur rightly emphasizes the double calamity of population decline and the Third-World onslaught, he sees two other causes of inevitable European decline: over-generous welfare states and inflexible hiring rules, and the inability to establish a United States of Europe. There is no doubt that welfare is less a burden when populations are growing and economies booming. It is true that Europeans have become accustomed to a safety net so comfortable some call it a safety hammock. Workers also refuse to give up short hours and lavish benefits, and have made it impossible to fire incompetents. Taxes are already so high that increasing them will only chase away productive citizens.
Reforms are not impossible, though, as Margaret Thatcher showed in Britain, and even the Dutch and Scandinavians have managed to rein in the nanny state. Everyone knows what must be done; the question is whether politicians have the will to do it.
As for European unity, it is true that Europe might have more influence in the world if it had common military and foreign policies, but Mr. Laqueur is right to note that ordinary Europeans do not want to give up sovereignty or increase arms budgets just to match the United States in military swagger. Why should they? American adventuring only stirs up hatred. If the Europeans want to be useful in the Middle East, for example, a fleet of nuclear submarines will not help.
Are There Solutions?
So, what is to be done about these pesky Muslims? Several times in the book, Mr. Laqueur says that the key is “education.” Done right, it will give Muslims a better attitude toward Europe and prepare them for work. This is, of course, the same refrain we have heard for 50 years in the US about blacks and now, Hispanics. Mr. Laqueur concedes that an entire generation has already grown up beyond the reach of Western Civilization, but the very young might be salvaged.
What makes him think this? He has already told us Germany has exerted itself more than any nation in history in the hopes of assimilating Turks. They and the Dutch have been models of multiculturalist concession while the French have insisted that Muslims be Frenchmen. Both approaches failed. Why should “education” suddenly work with the next generation when it failed everywhere with the last?
Mr. Laqueur tells us that as pop culture weakens the hold of Islam, young immigrants will become more like Europeans — as if rap “music,” drugs and promiscuity will pave the way to Western enlightenment. If he thinks this is a solution, it is because he fails to realize the problem is not Islam but race.
These young men (and many women) hate Europe because in their bones they know it is superior to anything their people ever achieved. They pretend to glory in their own traditions — just like American blacks celebrate obscure and even imaginary achievements — because those traditions amount to very little compared to the West. They hate Europe because they have no biological ties to it, and they will hate it long after they have shucked Islam.
Mr. Laqueur almost concedes as much. Despite his paean to education, he wonders whether immigrant children shouldn’t have separate schools, and whether Muslims in Italy should have to study the Renaissance and those in Holland be made learn about Van Gogh. This is to admit that in some essential way Third-World immigrants cannot be expected to become Europeans. And though he never mentions this, of course, there is no hope that biologically distinct aliens with average IQs in the 80s or low 90s will ever fit into societies with average IQs of 100.
Mr. Laqueur himself calls his most carefully considered solutions “appeasement.” He wonders whether we should not start “expressing not only understanding but also respect and even admiration toward a civilization and way of life basically alien to [our] . . . own values.” He suggests that people living in Dutch and German cities should “acquire a working knowledge of Turkish or Arabic.” “A certain amount of self-censorship is already practiced by Western politicians and media [so as not to offend Muslims],” he notes, “and there may be more of it in the future.” He wonders hopefully if letting Turkey into the EU would make it “a bridge toward the Muslim world.” “[I]f a religion has 1.2 billion adherents, it is not advisable to talk openly and candidly abut its negative aspects.” (Does Christianity get the same consideration?)
Mr. Laqueur continues: “[F]or appeasement to be successful it may have to go considerably further, praising the beauty of Islam and the justice of the sharia, stressing that there is very much that the West (having lost its spiritual moorings) can learn from Muslim spirituality, also accepting the complaints that Muslims have been victims all along and that their grievances are justified and that the West has to make amends.”
But then he adds: “Whether a policy of massive appeasement will succeed is uncertain.” What is certain is that “massive appeasement” would be suicide, and it is surprising that someone who has described the consequences of Muslim immigration so convincingly would even consider it.
Mr. Laqueur writes as if only a few far-sighted observers — like him — even recognize the threat to Europe: “Future historians may well be at a loss to understand why the sorry state of affairs was realized only late in the day.” Enoch Powell saw the crisis coming in 1968. Jean Raspail wrote The Camp of the Saints in 1973. Jean-Marie Le Pen founded the National Front in 1972. Every European country has a political party that has been in a lather for decades about the problems Mr. Laqueur seems only now to have discovered.
“It is difficult even in retrospect to establish what the authorities in those countries were thinking,” he writes loftily of Europeans who let in large numbers of Third-World immigrants. With all due respect, they were probably thinking exactly what Mr. Laqueur would have insisted they think. Would he have supported a zero-immigration policy, or one that limited newcomers to whites or Christians? Is he prepared to say that the White Australia Policy that kept out most of today’s Down Under trouble-makers was right after all?
Europe can, of course, be saved, and will be saved if enough people see what Mr. Laqueur sees but draw the correct conclusions. As The Last Days of Europe makes clear, Third World immigration has been a catastrophe. Mr. Laqueur argues that Europe may not even survive. There is therefore no mystery about what to do. Europe must stop Third World immigration, deport all illegal immigrants, and persuade legal immigrants to go home.
Europe’s leaders must have the courage to admit they made a terrible mistake that threatens their civilization. Every effort now directed toward assimilation should be directed toward repatriation. Mr. Laqueur tells us the Germans spend more than 100 million Euros a year on “integration.” This money is completely wasted — as he explains, Turks don’t want to integrate — and should be spent on repatriation. Both France and Germany have, from time to time, paid Turks and Arabs to leave, but these policies were never systematic or sustained.
Would a policy that recognizes immigrants as a threat and a burden provoke more hatred than one that pretends they are an invaluable source of diversity? No. Immigrants know very well what the average Frenchman or German thinks of them, and low-bred people despise weakness. There would be fewer brown-skinned thugs and truants if Europeans had backbone.
A small number of Third Worlders identify completely with the West. By all means let them stay, but the rest should be encouraged to leave. At the same time, Europeans should introduce natalist incentives, but only for natives. Only firm policies will defeat forces Mr. Laqueur recognizes to be a mortal threat.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely Europeans will do these things any time soon. With characteristic skill, Mr. Laqueur catches something of the prevailing mood when he describes the leftist view of immigration:
“Others might not have cared, believing that their countries (and Europe in general) had no particular contribution to make anymore, that they had more or less fulfilled their historical mission (if there ever had been one), and that maintaining their social and cultural identity was not a matter of paramount importance in the modern world. With the nations suffering from exhaustion, perhaps the time had come to hand over the torch of civilization to other peoples, religions, and ethnic groups.”
A nation can endure a lunatic fringe that wants to commit love suicide with aliens. When that fringe becomes the mainstream, oblivion is only a matter of time.
Europe and America
Mr. Laqueur realizes there are parallels to America in the grim picture he paints of European immigration, but he assures us they are false or incomplete. He concedes that Mexicans behave a little like the Muslims flooding Europe, but “at least they . . . [do] not want to impose a new and foreign religious law upon the country.” No need to worry, therefore, about a new language, a new underclass, new claims of discrimination, and open irredentism.
When Mr. Laqueur writes about immigrants reflexively blaming the host society for their own failures, he notes “interesting similarities to young black males in the United States.” Yes, they are interesting, and so is the determination of whites on both continents to encourage the poor dears to blame society. Mr. Laqueur carefully refrains from drawing conclusions about race relations in America.
But Mr. Laqueur clinches his case for American exceptionalism with the oldest, most threadbare argument of all: “[T]he United States is a country of immigrants, accustomed to coexistence of various ethnic groups.” Whew, we were worried for a moment. America faces the same threats but what could destroy Europe will only make us stronger.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Investigate Cult, Get Fired
Brett Hart, a white man, is the former chief jailer in Clarke County, Georgia. His boss, Sheriff Ira Edwards, is black. Sheriff Edwards used to give Mr. Hart favorable job performance reviews, and a 2004 Georgia Sheriff’s Association report praised the Clarke County jail as “one of the best-managed jails in the state.”
All that changed when Mr. Hart began investigating black deputies who were involved in a cult called the “United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors.” Even the Southern Poverty Law Center calls it a “black supremacist cult.” Mr. Hart says Clark County deputies were distributing Nuwaubian cult literature, recruiting prisoners into the cult, and writing to Nuwaubian cult leader Dwight “Malachi” York, who is serving a 135-year sentence. The law forbids deputies to do these things. Mr. Hart also found that in exchange for financial contributions to his election campaign, Sheriff Edwards had hired at least six known Nuwaubians as deputies or as other public employees.
Mr. Hart drew up a report on these activities but Sheriff Edwards and other county officials deleted some 40 pages from it, and ordered Mr. Hart to destroy all remaining copies. Sheriff Edwards then fired Mr. Hart, who has filed a civil rights lawsuit against his former boss. [Joe Johnson, Fired Jailer Sues Sheriff: Probe of Cult Influence at Issue, Athens Banner-Herald, June 22, 2007.]
Washington Goes Brown
Franklin County, in south-central Washington, is the fastest-growing county in the Pacific Northwest and was the first to have a majority Hispanic population (it is also the 31st fastest-growing county in the nation). Fifty-seven percent of county residents are Hispanic, up from 47 percent in 2000. Neighboring Adams County is 52 percent Hispanic.
Pasco, the seat of Franklin County, had 15,000 residents in 1978. Thanks to the Hispanic influx, it now has more than 50,000. In 1982, there were 5,000 students in the school system; by 2006 there were 13,000. The city has built five schools to accommodate them, and plans to build more. Sixty-five percent of students in Pasco come from homes where English isn’t spoken at all or is not the primary language. The high school makes morning announcements in both English and Spanish.
Pasco is having trouble paying for its expanding school system. Many Hispanics are farm workers living in cheap houses, so the city doesn’t have much property tax revenue. It desperately needs taxable industries, but school superintendent Saundra Hill isn’t worried. “I look at our diversity as a strength, and I think that approach has really helped us tackle some difficult issues and be successful with them,” she explains.
Hispanics are the fastest-growing non-white population in the state of Washington. Between 2000 and 2006, their numbers increased by 28 percent. [Shannon Dininny, Washington’s Franklin County First Hispanic-majority County in NW, AP, July 28, 2007.]
Nashville, Tennessee, has more Kurds — 10,000 from Iraq, Turkey, and Iran — than any other city in the country. Unlike Hispanics, Kurds have largely stayed away from crime — until recently. Now a gang calling itself “Kurdish Pride” has taken to assault, rape, and home invasion. It has borrowed heavily from California gang patterns, using rap slang, hand signs, and an official color — theirs is yellow. They scrawl “KP” on buildings to mark their territory. Members say they established Kurdish Pride after the Sept. 11 attacks in response to threats and harassment of “their community,” but Nashville police know of no violence against Kurds.
Kurdish Pride targets Hispanics. Police say that since January, members have invaded 10 homes of Hispanics. During one invasion, gang members raped a pregnant woman. Police caught one suspect, but 17-year-old Zana Noroly hanged himself in jail before trial. In June, police arrested four Kurdish Pride members on suspicion of trying to murder a park police officer who interrupted a drug deal.
Unlike most gang members, these young criminals tend to come from stable middle-class families. The Kurdish community hopes that summer mosque school and a youth soccer league will prevent others from joining Kurdish Pride. “They need to realize what they do is harming themselves and to a larger extent the Kurdish community,” says Kirmanj Gundi, a professor of educational administration at Tennessee State University. [Kristin M. Hall, Kurdish Gangs Emerge in Nashville, AP, July 31, 2007.]
Transparency International is a non-governmental organization that ranks the world’s countries from least to most corrupt. The ten most corrupt countries are, in descending order: Equatorial Guinea, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Guinea, Iraq, Myanmar, and Haiti. The least corrupt nations, from the top, are Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands. The United States ranks 22nd out of 163 countries. [Corruption Index Places Africa at List’s Bottom, eindiana.com, July 28, 2007.]
Cynthia McKinney, the black former Georgia congresswoman best known for hitting a Capitol Hill policeman who didn’t recognize her, is suing the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and black columnist Cynthia Tucker for libel. During Miss McKinney’s unsuccessful primary fight last summer against Hank Johnson, Miss Tucker described her as “ineffectual” and a “hothead.” She also mentioned anti-Semitic remarks made by Miss McKinney’s father (former Georgia state rep. Billy McKinney) in 1997, and brought up the 2006 incident with the Capitol Hill cop.
Miss McKinney doesn’t say anything in the column was demonstrably false — except for a small detail about cop incident — but she claims to have suffered “physical and emotional stress” and “permanent impairment to her ability to continue her livelihood” as a member of Congress. She wants more than $10 million in actual damages, plus punitive damages.
This is not the first time Miss McKinney has sued after losing an election. In 2002, she sued her opponent Denise Majette, the Georgia Secretary of State, election officials in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties, and the Georgia Republican Party. A Georgia court dismissed the case, and the state Supreme Court denied appeal. [Greg Land, Experts: McKinney Libel Claims Face a Tough Road, DailyReportOnline.com, July 31, 2007.]
Gangs in the Military
On July 3, 2005, Army Sgt. Juwan Johnson, an Iraq war veteran then stationed in Germany, died of injuries from a “jump-in” — a gang initiation rite in which members take turns beating up the new guy. Sgt. Johnson had hoped to become a member of the black, Chicago-based gang, the Gangster Disciples.
Sgt. Johnson’s death underscores the growing problem of gangs in the US military. The Army Criminal Investigation Command says there were 61 gang investigations and incidents last year, up from nine in 2004. There have been reports of Marines dressed in gang clothing at the Paris Island boot camp, 82nd Airborne paratroopers flashing gang signs near Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, and Ft. Hood infantrymen showing off gang tattoos. Gang graffiti have been found in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a recent report, the FBI called gangs “a threat to law enforcement and national security.”
The problem is worse because of the manpower shortage brought on by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. To fill the ranks, military recruiters have been issuing a lot of “moral waivers,” which let certain felons enlist. Since 2003, 125,000 recruits with criminal records have joined up.
Colonel Gene Smith of the Army’s Office of the Provost Marshal says reports of gang activity in the military are overblown. “We must remember that there are a million people in the army community,” he says. “And these small numbers are not reflective of a tremendous, pervasive, rampant problem. We represent America — our demographics are the same — so the same problems that America contends with we often times contend with.”
Military regulations allow gang members to join up, but disqualify members of so-called “hate” groups. [Gangs Spreading in the Military, CBS News, July 29, 2007.]
Earl Brown runs a used-furniture store in Monroe, North Carolina. When he set up shop in 2001, there were no Hispanic businesses in his part of town. Since then, poultry plants and the construction boom lured thousands of Hispanics to Monroe. A decade ago, 11 percent of the schoolchildren were Hispanic; now 50 percent are.
“The dynamics of this area has changed so much,” he says. “Every time a house has been empty, it’s gone Latino.” There are now Hispanic-owned stores on his street, with signs in Spanish. When people he suspects were Hispanic broke windows in his store last fall, Mr. Brown put up a sign. One version read, “Honk if you hate Spanish.” Another, “Honk if you loathe Mexico & its flag.” “I was tired of running a store and not understanding a single word my customers said,” he says.
Hispanic neighbors were upset. Matilde Gomez, who owns Tienda Mexicana Juquilita across the street, thinks his signs are racist. “I can’t put a sign out that says, ‘I don’t like black people,’” she says. The local paper sniffed, “When you peddle hate — and make no mistake that was exactly what he was doing when he was seeking support for his loathing of Mexico and its flag — you should expect to be repaid in kind.”
Mr. Brown says he got a lot of support from US citizens and legal residents. “In a way, it kind of voiced the opinion of a lot of middle-class white Americans — and blacks. I think a lot of people are downright frustrated because there’s nothing they can do about it.”
On March 31, he argued with a Hispanic customer who warned him something would happen if he didn’t take down his sign. Two weeks later vandals smashed his windows. Police are investigating the attack as a hate crime, but have made no arrests. Mr. Brown now carries a pistol and keeps the door to his store locked. A sign — in English — asks customers to knock. He still gets Hispanic customers, though the number has fallen from 25 percent of his business to 15 percent.
Mr. Brown plans to close his store and leave Monroe. He says the controversy has nothing to do with his decision, but the vandalism “convinced me to get out of town quicker than I had planned.” He says he will continue selling furniture, but only on eBay. [Julia Oliver, Store Owner Uses Sign to Criticize Latino Influx, Charlotte Observer, May 22, 2007.]
Diversity at Yale
Yale University, established in 1701 to train young men for the ministry, is the third oldest university in the United States and the first to grant the Ph.D. degree. Like other Ivy League schools, Yale was once synonymous with the WASP elite. No longer. The incoming freshman class is the most “diverse” in the Yale’s history, with 40 percent from ethnic or religious “minority groups.” [Yale Says New Class Most Diverse Ever, AP, August 1, 2007.]
Mayor Stands His Ground
Pat McCrory is the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. During this year’s Fourth of July festivities in uptown Charlotte, there were 169 arrests for various forms of public misbehavior. Mayor McCrory wrote a letter to the city manager, in which he mentioned that “too many of our youth, primarily African American, are imitating and/or participating in a gangster type of dress, attitude, behavior and action.”
Ken White, president of the Charlotte branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, demanded an apology, claiming the mayor used “insensitive” words that “characterized all young black people as troublemakers and gang members.” Pat McCrory refused to apologize. Why not? “Because my comments were accurate. Period.” [Melissa Manware, NAACP Asks McCrory to Apologize, Charlotte Observer, July 12, 2007.]
Police in Jackson, Mississippi, feared they had a “hate crime” on their hands on July 4 when someone burned a cross at the Freedom Corner Monument, which is dedicated to Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers. Police and firemen at the scene discovered racial slurs scrawled in a notebook, and this led them to the suspect, 52-year-old Bill Sanders, Jr. They were surprised to find that Mr. Sanders is black. “We’re not sure right now of his motive,” says Jackson Fire Chief Vernon Hughes. “The only thing we know right now is he was looking for some sort of attention.” [Carole Cole, Jackson Cross Burning Update, WJTV.com, July 5, 2007. Arrest Made For Cross Burning, AP, July 6, 2007.]
In-state Tuition for Illegals
A new Colorado law requires Colorado state colleges and universities to charge out-of-state tuition rates to illegal aliens. Across the state line in New Mexico, however, a 2005 law prohibits educational institutions from “discriminating” against illegals, and the University of New Mexico (UNM) is even trying to “qualify” at least seven illegal alien graduates from Colorado high schools for in-state tuition. All seven would be spirited across yet another border to receive American largesse.
New Mexico and Colorado have an agreement according to which up to 100 high school graduates from each state can get in-state tuition rates in the other state. New Mexico appears to be using some of these 100 slots for the Colorado illegals, even though the agreement requires that everyone in the program be in the country legally.
This doesn’t bother Isabel Thacker, who is a counselor at Poudre High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, from which some of the New Mexico-bound illegals graduated. “The neat thing . . . is that we have been able to open the door of opportunity for these [illegal] students,” she says. Now that this gimmick has been exposed, it remains to be seen whether the taxpayers of New Mexico will think it is a “neat thing.” [Immigrants to Get In-state Tuition, Albuquerque Journal, July 17, 2007.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — I read Jared Taylor’s August story about Japan with a mounting sense of envy. The Japanese have got it right and we have got it wrong. I could easily lose myself in the marvelous by-ways of an imaginary America that had never passed the 1965 immigration “reform” and never lost its sense of racial identity and pride. How different America — and the world — would be!
Of course, it is now much more difficult to get back on track. To admit that Japan is right and we are wrong is to admit that the last 50 years of American history have been a horrible mistake. The longer we do nothing, the harder it will be even to slow the decline, much less reverse course.
Clearly, Japan’s great challenge is its low birthrate. As Mr. Taylor pointed out, if present trends continue, the Japanese will go extinct. We can only assume that some day the Japanese will start having more children again. In the meantime, they have chosen wisely from the alternatives all advanced societies face: certain dispossession now or possible oblivion in the distant future. Their prospects are certainly better than ours.
Joshua Celler, Hempstead, N. Y.
Sir — That Daihatsu Copen looks very slick, but what are its chances in a head-on collision with a Silverado? There is a kind of “after you, Alphonse” aspect to the move to tiny cars. If all my neighbors drive SUVs I won’t feel safe in what amounts to an overgrown go-cart, even if it does get 60 miles per gallon.
Edward Niederkorn, Burlington, Vt.
Sir — Nicholas Stix’s July article on “the Knoxville Horror” highlights the arrogance and elitism that are helping to poison American race relations.
Police officials and news organizations evidently believe ordinary Americans can’t cope with the facts about interracial crime. Therefore, they withhold facts and distort the news, apparently for fear that the truth will foment racial hatred.
However, ordinary people are not as stupid as the elites think. They inevitably discover the truths the media and officials try to hide. They learn of the elite contempt toward them, and this feeds paranoia: “It’s us against them, and the powers-that-be are on the other side.”
This is unnecessary. If the police and media would just report the facts and answer questions they would learn that ordinary Americans can handle the truth in a just and civil manner. Trust generates trust in return. Dishonesty only breeds suspicion and fear.
Samuel Preston, Lansing, Mich.
Sir — Mr. Legrand’s August article about the French National Front describes the recrimination within the party after its electoral defeats, but there really may be no one to blame. Newcomer Marine Le Pen steered the party onto the rocks during the presidential elections; old-timer Bruno Gollnisch did no better one month later in the legislative elections.
The culprit — if one can really call him that — is the new French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Deserved or not, he has much greater prestige than Mr. Le Pen, and experience in several French governments. At the same time, he has taken just enough of Mr. Le Pen’s platform to make him genuinely attractive to front voters.
Mr. Sarkozy would not have been elected on the positions he took had it not been for the front’s hard, decades-long slog through accusations of “fascism” and “racism.” Mr. Sarkozy has reaped the harvest Mr. Le Pen has sown. This is no doubt enormously frustrating to front leaders and activists, but our criterion should not be who is in office but what is best for France. That was the standard the voters used, including many who once voted for Mr. Le Pen. Mr. Sarkozy may be a Johnny-come-lately but he may actually have what it takes to keep France from going Muslim. If Mr. Le Pen can’t be elected, his policy prescriptions aren’t worth anything.
Mr. Le Pen was a bad loser in the presidential elections. Instead of telling his supporters to vote for the candidate who was clearly closer to his views, he told them to abstain. If they had all done that and Ségolène Royal had been elected, would that have been good for France? Mr. Le Pen was thinking like a narrow-minded politician rather than a statesman. He — and France — are the worse for it.
Let’s play a game of “what if.” What if Forbes or Time or some other high-profile magazine suddenly changed editorial policy to the point that it covered 80 percent of the ground covered by AR, but did it better and more effectively? Would Jared Taylor tell his readers not to buy the magazine because it saw the light too late? Would he say it was somehow an enemy of the white race because of the 20 percent it didn’t manage to say?
I would like to hope Mr. Taylor is a better man than Mr. Le Pen.
Carol Hurley, Staunton, Va.