|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol 4, No. 9 & 10||September-October 1993|
Who Still Believes in Integration?
The results of our 30-year experiment are clear for all to see.
In 1917 the Soviet Union set out to build a nation on a complete misreading of human nature: that people could be taught to live “from each according to his ability to each according to his need.” For decades the experiment staggered on despite the accumulation of mountains of evidence that human beings cannot be made to overcome self-interest. Long before the fateful experiment ground to a halt 70 years later, almost no one in the Soviet Union any longer believed that “Communism” was possible or even desirable.
Some time during the 1950s and ’60s, the United States embarked on an equally misguided experiment based on an equally mistaken view of human nature: that people could be made to believe that race is irrelevant. Like the Russian Revolution, this change was imposed upon the country by a small band of fanatics. Unlike the Bolsheviks, these fanatics did not advertise their entire revolutionary program — because in all likelihood they did not have one. It was only gradually, as it unfolded through school integration, “civil rights,” open housing, immigration reform, affirmative action, “diversity,” multiculturalism and “political correctness” that the scope of the revolution became clear.
Just like the Soviet experiment, the American multi-racial experiment staggers on despite the growing mountains of evidence that it has failed. What form the eventual collapse will take is impossible to say, but it is increasingly clear that, just as in the late days of the Soviet Union, few people any longer believe the official myths.
The era of multi-racial harmony that Americans looked forward to in the 1960s has not come and will never come. Whatever they are prepared to say in public or even admit in private, Americans now go about their lives with a quiet understanding that race has hardly become irrelevant. Every year it looms larger in their lives and governs more of their decisions; every year the official bromides ring more hollow.
Aspects of the obvious have even penetrated such bastions of obtuseness as Harvard University. Professor Nathan Glazer recently observed that “There’s a sense that we’ve tried everything and nothing works. We’ve gone through periods of expectations . . . But now no one seems to have any potential answers.”
In 1954, when he argued for school desegregation before the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall believed that all American schools would be integrated within 5 years and the nation as a whole would be integrated in ten. Forty years later, whites and blacks alike have largely given up the notion of integration.
When Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed in 1963 that he dreamed of the day when his children would be judged by character rather than race, millions thought that day would come soon. Today, even the New York Times explains that to the old expression, “All politics is local” must be added the addendum, “All local politics is racial.”
Thanks to our foolish immigration policies, racial politics no longer follow a simple black-white logic. With Hispanics, Asians, Caribbean blacks, and Arabs pouring into the country, America is divided by race as never before.
Race is the unacknowledged subtext of virtually every continuing news story in America. Whether the press mentions it or not, everyone knows that race is at the heart of the afflictions destroying our country: crime, poverty, drug addiction, illegitimacy, welfare, and the decline in public civility. No, race has not become irrelevant.
If, in the 1960s, Americans had known that integration, immigration reform, and the welfare state led straight to what we see around us today, we can be sure that none of these mistakes would have been made. The experiment has run its course. The data are in. Multi-racialism has failed.
Dismantling Racial Consciousness
Paradoxically it is whites — who pay the heaviest price for “diversity” and “multi-racialism” — who invented the idea that race could be made not to matter and who still cling to it most desperately. No people had ever abolished racial consciousness, but Americans believed they could.
The bargain whites thought they had struck in the 1960s was that all people would dismantle racial consciousness. America would become a nation of individuals rather than an uneasy assembly of races. Though no one seems to have realized it at the time, the United States had launched a cultural revolution that was as radical and destructive as the one that raged through China.
For the most part, whites kept their end of the bargain. They abolished legal segregation, accepted large-scale non-white immigration, submitted to busing, denounced “racism,” and forced all expressions of white pride and solidarity under ground. They abandoned the view that they had legitimate group interests and left all whites to compete in society as individuals.
Black behavior, which then set the tone for other non-whites, was the reverse. Once whites had disbanded as a self-conscious racial group, blacks found they could exploit and intimidate whites simply by acting together. This was, of course, the purpose of the Congressional Black Caucus, “civil rights” groups, and the thousands of black sub-groups that proliferated through every university, fire department, profession, city, and student body in the country.
One of the oldest truths of warfare is that a few disciplined men acting together can rout a disorganized rabble. Unified non-whites have been spectacularly successful in extracting benefits and concessions from disorganized whites. Be it affirmative action, censorship of data on race and IQ, suppression of crime statistics, bilingual education, the King holiday, ethnic studies departments, or welfare for illegal aliens, unified non-whites have routed a disorganized white rabble. Whites have, of course, been betrayed by many of their “leaders” and media “spokesmen” but this is just another sign of their disorganization and lack of racial coherence.
Current orthodoxies now legislate a host of double standards, the most obvious of which is that non-whites are to make race the center of their personalities while whites are to pretend that they have no race at all. From Kwanzaa to Afro-centrism, from Cinco de Mayo to National Hispanic University, non-whites nourish and strengthen their racial identities while whites must embrace multiculturalism.
Of course, although whites still mouth the platitudes about diversity more loudly and piously than anyone else, their actions betray their real feelings. Few whites want diversity in their own neighborhoods. Virtually every white who can afford to, lives among other whites. In Chicago, it is said that the “white tax” on a house runs from $50,000 to $150,000 dollars. That is how much more the same house is worth if it comes with white neighbors.
Residential segregation is, in fact, one of the clearest signs that people are always conscious of race and that they are naturally inclined to live among their own kind. Our busybody government has been able forcibly to integrate schools and work places. It has forbidden restrictive covenants that used to prevent whites from selling houses to non-whites, and people of all races are free to buy any houses they can afford. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of Americans want neighbors who look like themselves.
Shaker Heights, Ohio and Columbia, Maryland are two cities that have made extraordinary efforts to get blacks and whites to live together. Shaker Heights, a wealthy suburb of Cleveland with a population of 31,000, first attracted a trickle of black doctors and dentists in the late 1950s. As early as 1964, the city forbade the display of “for sale” signs so that neighbors would not know people were selling houses and be stampeded into selling their own. It has since tried to manage its stock of people and housing as carefully and vigilantly as manufacturers handle inventory.
For the last six years, the city has subsidized whites who were willing to move into neighborhoods that were more than 50 percent black and has given blacks low-cost loans to move into neighborhoods that were more than 90 percent white. Once they are in the same neighborhoods, the city’s office of community services keeps an eye on block parties and other gatherings to make sure they are integrated. The Ford Foundation has praised the city for its work.
All Shaker Heights sixth graders get racial sensitivity training, and at the high school everything from places on the hockey team to year book photo layouts is carefully distributed by race. The school has not yet found a way to distribute ability by race; honors classes are still overwhelmingly white and regular courses are overwhelmingly black.
Despite these efforts, only three of Shaker Heights’ nine neighborhoods are integrated. After school, blacks and whites go their separate ways. As the New York Times observes, “left to their own devices, people will resegregate. So the city does not leave them to their own devices.”
Columbia, Maryland has made an even braver attempt to encourage racial mixing. The city was established in 1967 by developer James Rouse to be a model integrated community. Everything from its layout to its school system was supposed to encourage blacks and whites to live together. Home buyers were “lured” with the information that Columbia’s first baby was born to an inter-racial couple and the town promoted itself as “The Next America.”
Columbia is still 20 percent black, but after the first flush of inter-racialism, blacks and whites no longer socialize. Bars and nightclubs attract single-race clienteles and churches that were once integrated are no longer. Last year, when the Columbia Jewish Congregation invited blacks to its Martin Luther King celebration, only one showed up. In previous years, black choirs, preachers, and churchgoers used to attend. A civic group called the Columbia Association used to hold integrated dances for teenagers but whites stopped coming. Now it holds separate dances for blacks and whites.
It is worth noting that both Columbia and Shaker Heights are expensive suburbs. The median house price in Columbia is nearly $200,000 and in Shaker Heights it is $150,000. The whites who buy these houses are yuppies who have had the full university dose of current racial propaganda. The blacks are the fabled “hard-working, middle class blacks” that every white liberal claims to want as neighbors.
Columbia was set up from the start to be a multi-racial paradise and has always attracted racial idealists. In neither town — no doubt because house prices are so high — are blacks threatening to swamp whites. It would be impossible to find more promising opportunities for racial mingling but it is not happening. In both towns, as their elders mournfully note, it is young people who are least likely to integrate.
Finally, it is also worth noting that in both Shaker Heights and Columbia, it is city governments run by dewy-eyed whites that are trying to make integration work. Blacks do not make the same effort. There are, for example, a number of well-to-do, all- or majority-black suburbs in which blacks with enough money to live anywhere choose to live among blacks: Rolling Oaks in Dade County; Brook Glen, Panola Mill, and Wyndham Park outside of Atlanta; the Prince Georges County suburbs of Washington, D.C.
Unlike whites, they do not pretend that they want integration. The black journalist Sam Fulwood writes of the pall that fell over a back yard gathering in a black suburb when a realtor was seen slowly driving a white couple down the street. “I hope they don’t find anything they like,” said one of the blacks; “Otherwise there goes the neighborhood.”
As the black “sports sociologist” Harry Edwards puts it, integration has failed “because nobody wants it. Blacks have always wanted to associate with themselves.” Of course, whites have always wanted the same thing but have been afraid to say so.
A preference for congenial neighbors is universal. In Southern California, which has become a babel of races and languages, Cambodian and Hispanic apartment owners are famous for refusing to rent to any but their compatriots. Korean landlords routinely evict Hispanics so that other Koreans can move in. In 1990-91, the Fair Housing Council of Orange County had 1,178 complaints from people who were denied accommodation because of race. The largest number was from whites who were refused housing by Asians and Hispanics.
Californian blacks who drove whites from their neighborhoods years ago are now angry that Hispanics are doing the same to them. In South-Central Los Angeles, blacks have become a minority and resent people who play Ranchera music all night, keep chickens, and park rusting automobiles in their front yards. As the president of a black home-owners association recently complained to the city council, “[Hispanics are] a different culture, a different breed of people. They don’t have the same values. You can’t get together with them. It’s like mixing oil and water.”
The rougher element does not take its grievances to city government. The Jordon Downs welfare housing project in Watts has traditionally been all black but the Hispanic population has increased to more than 20 percent. Blacks have responded by burning Hispanics out of their apartments. When five people died in a recent arson attack the Hispanic residents officially requested their own, segregated building.
Resentments run the other way as well. The Hawaiian Gardens area of Los Angeles is now two-thirds Hispanic but a small number of blacks have begun to move in. Earlier this year, Hispanic gang members threatened to shoot up the house of a black family if it did not move out, and in March Hispanics fire bombed another house occupied by blacks.
The natural preference of people to separate by race is on full display at universities. Despite years of multicultural education and incessant propaganda from Hollywood and the press, the races rarely mix. College administrators — who probably live in all-white neighborhoods and have no non-white friends themselves — like to write despairing articles about how they sat for days in a dining hall without seeing any people of different races eating together.
There are now eight, national all-black fraternities on college campuses and an all-Hispanic fraternity, Omega Delta Phi, was recently founded. It is routine for blacks to live in African theme dormitories and for Hispanics to live in Casa Latina. The University of Pennsylvania (lately of “water buffalo” fame) pays for a separate year book for blacks. Vassar, Dartmouth, and the University of Illinois have separate graduation ceremonies and activities for non-whites. Memphis State University no longer has a home-coming queen because blacks want a black queen and whites want a white.
The University of California at Berkeley, which has a Chinese chancellor and at which whites are just one more minority, used to boast about its “diversity” the way the town of Columbia boasted about its mixed-race baby. Now, liberal white sociologists cluck worriedly because the races do not mingle.
Cornell University has found that its main residential areas, West Campus and East Campus, have become racially segregated. Freshmen who have never even visited the campus know this and put in requests to live on the appropriate campus. Cornell decided that it would put an end to this by assigning freshman housing at random. The administration had second thoughts when it encountered stiff resistance, mainly from blacks. Once the proposal was put to an undergraduate referendum, it was defeated four to one. When given an anonymous opportunity to express themselves, whites are no more in favor of integration than blacks.
At UCLA, the main walkway through the campus, called Bruin Walk, used to be lined with recruiting tables for sports teams, hobby groups, and political unions. Now it is crowded with ethnic organizations that do not hesitate to distinguish, for example, between American-born Chinese and foreign-born Chinese.
Separation continues after graduation. Race-exclusive alumni associations are increasingly common, with Yale, Colgate, Syracuse, and Baruch Universities among those that have set them up. Ethnic alumni work for ethnic causes.
Of course, among formerly-white colleges it is those that have worked the hardest to recruit and pamper non-whites that have suffered the most criticism. Wesleyan University in central Connecticut has made such a fetish of “diversity” that nearly one third of its 2,600 students are “people of color” and students call it “Diversity U.” One third of its courses are multicultural or otherwise non-traditional. Naturally, the non-white students are dissatisfied and have launched weeks of bitter protest for more money, “role models,” special treatment, and courses about themselves.
In 1988 the trustees of Smith College adopted The Smith Design for Institutional Diversity. It started bidding wars to attract non-white professors and lavished scholarship money on non-white students. The more diverse it became, the more divided and tension-ridden it became. Smith now has a policy that forbids any criticism, no matter how thoughtful, of racial quotas or preferences. Schools that have not mounted racial recruitment drives can still educate students in peace.
One of the reasons colleges like Smith and Wesleyan have trouble recruiting blacks is that the last decade has seen a big increase in enrollments at “historically black” colleges. These 117 institutions now serve about 300,000 students and grant one quarter of the bachelor’s degrees given to blacks. Compared to their fellows at mainly-white colleges, students get better grades and are less likely to flunk out.
White race-mixing zealots are embarrassed by the resistance to integration shown by black colleges. They have nevertheless been forced by their own logic to make at least tentative attempts to merge black schools with neighboring white colleges. Blacks, of course, have not hesitated to defend what whites are eager to give up. When white students were coaxed with scholarships to attend the “historically black” campus of Tennessee State University, some were beaten up and others took to carrying weapons for self-defense. Most white students simply go to class and go home. They do not live in dormitories and do not stay for extracurricular activities.
Unlike administrators of mainly-white schools, who are constantly thinking up new ways to “diversify,” administrators at black colleges let fly with the usual charges of racism and genocide when integration means breaking up voluntary concentrations of blacks. Raymond Richardson, a departmental chairman at Tennessee State University adds a fanciful new twist to the accusation of “racism:”
The people who implement desegregation plans [for black colleges] are the same folks who fought those plans [for white colleges] tooth and nail. They often try to turn desegregation into a worse hell than segregation to make the plaintiffs sorry they ever did it.
There are no signs that anyone is drawing up The TSU Design for Institutional Diversity.
The attempt to integrate public elementary and high schools has been a fiasco. All across the country the attempt followed the same pattern: once the number of non-whites reached a certain level, standards collapsed and whites moved to the suburbs. During the past 25 years, most big-city public schools lost nearly all their white students. In Atlanta their percentage went from 41 percent to 7 percent, in New Orleans from 34 percent to 8 percent, in Detroit from 41 percent to 9 percent, in Los Angeles from 55 percent to 16 percent.
Once a school district becomes overwhelmingly non-white it makes no sense to bus children across town to achieve a chimerical racial balance. Parents start doing what everyone took for granted before integration; they send their children to neighborhood schools. Whites in the suburbs do the same. The only difference is that now blacks and whites live even further away from each other than before, since whites have had to move all the way out of the district to find good schools.
Today, two thirds of all black children go to schools that are predominantly non-white. That number was dropping until about 1972 but has since held steady. Ironically, schools are more integrated in the South than in the North, where cities like Chicago, New York, and Boston have essentially given up on integration. The New York Times acknowledges that school children now learn a fourth R: resegregation.
The integration that continues in the South is mainly the result of court-ordered busing, housing patterns that have traditionally been less drastically segregated than in the North, and the inability of poor Southern whites to pay for private schools. As it does everywhere else, integration has costs. In Selma, Alabama, for example, the school board is reconstituted every year to give blacks and whites alternating majorities. This is simply explicit recognition of what most Americans accept implicitly: despite years of twaddle to the contrary, race matters.
Since blacks accept this obvious truth more candidly than whites, they are increasingly sending their children to all- or mostly-black Afro-centric schools, both public and private. Atlanta’s public schools, for example, now teach an Afro-centric curriculum, complete with the usual silliness about black Egyptian scientists. The city of Detroit has pushed through a similar curriculum over the protests of Hispanic parents who, like poor whites, cannot afford to move to the suburbs or pay for private schools.
For a time, fashionable opinion held that public schools exclusively for black boys would keep them from turning into criminals. Detroit, Milwaukee, and New York City all went forward with such schools until they were found to violate civil rights laws — not because whites were to be excluded but because girls could not attend.
At private black schools, children are taught unabashed racialism. Every morning at the Chad school in Newark, New Jersey, the 500 students recite “A Pledge to African People” rather than the pledge of allegiance. At Shule Mandela Academy in East Palo Alto, California, students pledge to “think black, act black, speak black, buy black, pray black, love black, and live black.” Afro-centric schools routinely replace the Fourth of July with Emancipation Day, and invent African equivalents of Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Ujamaa School, the oldest of Washington, D.C.’s four private Afro-centric schools, holds a family night every Friday. The school’s founder, who has taken the name Baba Zulu, likes to remind the audience that “We are not Afro-Americans. We are African people born in America.” On one recent evening a speaker was introduced with a ten-minute rap performance accompanied by drums. The audience enthusiastically joined in the chorus: “People get ready, there’s a war a-coming. No compromise, the last white dog must die.”
All students at Ujamaa School must take African names, and Mr. Zulu speaks only to black reporters and black photographers. “Everything I do has to be with African people,” he explains.
Not all school children manage to attend the segregated schools that many would prefer. It is mostly poor students who attend integrated public schools and that often means blacks and Hispanics. Friction between these groups is universal but the news is kept strictly local.
Late in 1990, Chicago’s Farragut High School was temporarily shut down, the homecoming dance was canceled, and extracurricular activities were ended for 30 days. The “state of emergency” was called in response to violent confrontations and what police called “total polarization” between blacks, who are 32 percent of the student body, and Hispanics, who are 66 percent.
This year in Dallas, Hispanic parents have been complaining angrily about blacks whom they claim prey on Hispanic children. During the month of February, black-Hispanic brawls erupted in Pinkston and Sunset high schools, and as many as 100 blacks and Hispanics fought each other in a melee at Boude Storey Middle School.
Last year at Huntsville High School near Houston, Hispanic students pulled guns and knives on a group of black students who were threatening them in the parking lot. The Hispanics explained that they are always outnumbered by violent blacks. One Hispanic community leader complained that school officials are afraid to discipline “highly aggressive black kids who are very pushy, very obnoxious and very loud,” because this would bring accusations of racism.
In 1991, the parents of 300 Hispanic children in a South Bronx junior high school successfully sued the school district to have their children transferred out of a mainly-black school. Sixth-grader Rebecca Gonzalez described the situation this way:
“It’s horrible. A lot of kids going to the bathroom are being choked. They are stealing our chains and our money. When we go to the lunch room, they spit and curse us. They say, ‘Get out of our school; you don’t belong here.’” Last year the black and Hispanic students of Norman Thomas High School in New York got into a bloody racial brawl in the lunch room. Police and scores of “rapid mobilization guards” rushed to the school as students of both sexes hammered each other with fists and garbage cans. “The only thing people cared about was skin color,” explained 16-year-old Rudy Feliciano. When students were dismissed to go home the presence of dozens of police did not prevent more brawling in the street at the school’s prime Manhattan location at Park Avenue and 33rd Street.
Across the country in Watts, Hispanic parents refused to send their children to black-dominated schools. They discovered that black administrators have no interest in bilingual programs and that black students rob and terrorize Hispanics. These children, who are growing up with firsthand experience of multi-racialism, are not likely to harbor any illusions about it.
Integration Behind Bars
Fortunately, most Americans — of all races — can avoid any but the most superficial racial integration if they really want to. However, there is a group of Americans who are forced to integrate in ways that are vastly more intimate than anything ordinary Americans would find tolerable. They are prisoners.
Both state and federal prisoners live, sleep, work, and play in overcrowded jails where whites are often a minority. As on the outside, blacks and Hispanics organize themselves along racial lines while most whites are isolated. In many prisons blacks completely dominate whites, whom they often enslave for sexual purposes. In one Florida prison, black convicts were raping whites so often that whites sued the state for failing to prevent it.
A study of the North Carolina prison system found that 77 percent of all inmates are assaulted every year and that 80 percent of all inter-racial assaults are by blacks against whites. Studies invariably show that the white prisoners who survive best in prison are those who join white racialist groups.
Prisoners of all races would prefer segregation. When black prisoners rioted earlier this year at the maximum security prison in Lucasville, Ohio, and killed a number of whites, the press routinely reported that they were rioting for “better conditions.” Barely mentioned was that one of the most emphatically demanded “better conditions” was racial segregation.
It is not likely to be met. So long as our country continues in its belief that racial mixing is somehow a worthy objective in itself, we will continue to impose upon prisoners an integrationist regimen that we would find intolerable.
Perhaps liberals have found it necessary to promote diversity more urgently every year because it has become so obvious that diversity is a curse and an affliction. Everyone has read about how terribly blacks treat the Korean merchants who bring attractive shops into their blasted neighborhoods. Despite government-sponsored efforts to “reach out” to each other, Koreans and blacks continue to feud. Late last year, the Los Angeles Black-Korean Alliance, which was formed to heal wounds between the two groups, disbanded. It found it could do nothing to improve relations and that its own members split along racial lines.
In Chicago, it is Arab immigrants who tend to open stores in black neighborhoods and are hated for their hard work. In 1990, when a white opened a supermarket in a largely black area he won local approval by advertising that “no Arabs will be involved” in the store’s management.
Sometimes diversity is comical. In 1990, when New York City put on a parade “to foster ethnic harmony” the results were the reverse. The boys and girls on the Arab-American float — who were students at the Abu Jihad school in Brooklyn — defied the organizer’s ban on flying the Palestinian national flag by sewing small replicas onto their costumes. This infuriated not just the Jews but the Kurds, who didn’t think of the idea and had duly left their flags at home. The Kurds noisily accused the Turks both of oppressing them back in Turkey and of stealing their drummer.
The worst conflict erupted between the Taiwanese and the mainland Chinese. The two groups, dressed in colorful native costumes, poured into the street and got into a shouting match which would have escalated to fisticuffs if several dozen policemen had not intervened.
Often, the very word “diversity” means little more than the furthering of non-white interests. When the Kappa Alpha fraternity at Auburn University finally yielded to pressure and gave up its 77-year-old tradition of wearing Confederate uniforms in an Old South parade, a former president of Auburn’s Black Student Union observed, “Maybe they’ve realized the need for tolerance and diversity.”
The racial divide can, indeed, have its comical side. A reporter who managed to sneak into a conference of the National Women’s Study Association heard a black panelist talk about the anguish of joining a lesbian “support” group. It first splintered into two factions, black and white. There was then more vitriol within the black group. “Those of us in the group who had white lovers were immediately targeted . . . It turned into a horrible mess . . . I ended up leaving that group for self-protection.”
On a more serious note, besides the determined way in which the races manage to live, study, and socialize apart, differences in their publicly-expressed views are often irreconcilable. When the New York Times asked blacks and whites whether they thought the government was funneling drugs into slums in order to harm black people, 60 percent of blacks thought it was either true (25 percent) or thought it might be true (35 percent). Only four percent of whites thought it was true and only 12 percent that it might be true. Likewise 30 percent of blacks thought it true or possibly true that AIDS was invented by the government to infect blacks, whereas only five percent of whites thought this. Similar disparities show up in response to questions about whether the press treats blacks fairly or whether the government singles out black officials for criminal investigations.
Differences in attitudes show through in other areas. Although in 1988 and 1989 only nine percent of the students at the University of Virginia were black, they accounted for 27 percent of the investigations for violations of the student honor code. Furthermore, 75 percent of the blacks who were investigated were found guilty, as opposed to 30 percent of the whites. The popular Afro-centric view was that not only were the investigations hopelessly racist but that the honor code itself imposed meaningless “white” standards on blacks.
Some blacks think that the police are a meaningless white standard. Especially since the well-publicized beating of Rodney King, black officers have endured much derision on account of their uniforms. Atlanta has a black mayor, a black police chief, and 53 percent of its policemen are black. Even so, officers may be greeted with shouts of “Sellout,” and “You’re black before you’re blue.”
Other attitudes throw light on the gulf between the races. It is well known that black students who do well in school are taunted by their fellows for “acting white.” There is a whole range of other activities that blacks look down on as unbecoming to blacks: going to museums, doing volunteer work, giving blood, listening to classical music, recycling cans and newspapers, camping, being on time, and speaking unaccented English.
These disparities are commonly dismissed as cultural differences, but there is more to it than that. Black Americans have lived in a European culture for centuries but most still cannot speak standard English. North Asians, who actually do come from different cultures, take readily to “white” behavior.
Television viewing patterns also differ markedly by race. There is no overlap between the top ten shows watched by blacks and those watched by whites. Not surprisingly, with only two exceptions — “Blossom” and “Married . . . With Children,” which were numbers six and eight — the top ten black programs have majority-black casts. It is now common for black film makers like Spike Lee or playwrights like August Wilson to insist that only blacks can produce dramas about other blacks.
When blacks express foreign policy interests they are unambiguously racial. They have taken to holding “African-African American Summits” in such places as Nigeria and the Ivory Coast, where they vow to force the American government to forgive African debt, pay reparations for slavery, and help overthrow white rule in South Africa. Leon Sullivan is best known for telling American companies the conditions under which they were permitted to do business in South Africa. At the 1991 conference he demanded that all American blacks be given the option of holding dual citizenship in the United States and in the African nation of their choice.
All across the country, black Christmas shoppers are asking for black Santa Clauses to whom they can take their children. A black man who was “tired of playing with jacks, queens, and kings that don’t look like us,” has started selling decks with black face cards. Black-owned publishers now have full collections of children’s books with black characters, and Romance in Black publishes bodice rippers in which the heroines have anything but milky white shoulders and blue eyes. The city of San Francisco has an entire softball league reserved for — heaven help us — Samoans.
Occasionally, in its ham-handed way, even the American government recognizes that races are not equivalent and interchangeable. Although it insists on school and residential integration on the assumption that race is the merest detail, the Voting Rights Act now requires the creation of majority non-white voting districts. Many of these have been carved out by drawing convoluted and improbable boundaries but they ensure that non-whites can elect representatives of their own races.
But if the electorate is expected, even encouraged, to vote by race, why is it forbidden to hire by race or to divide neighborhoods by race? This unanswerable question is just another sign of the incoherence and foolishness of what the United States has undertaken.
Laws of Human Nature
Nothing is more natural, normal, and healthy than to seek the company of people like oneself. Whites have been browbeaten into thinking that when they do this it is “hatred” but that for non-whites it is healthy ethnic pride. More and more whites are rediscovering what their ancestors took for granted: a natural preference for and loyalty to their own race. This is just as proper and just as inevitable as loving one’s own children more than one loves the neighbors’ children. Nor does the love for one’s own children imply ill will towards anyone else’s — though this is precisely what dogma requires whites to believe about race.
Once a nation has put enough blather and pig-headedness into a policy it may be impossible to correct it no matter how catastrophic its results. The Soviet Union persisted in the idiocies of Communism long after any objective assessment would have shown that it was a fraud. Cuba is still doing it. And yet the ever more ridiculous figure of Fidel Castro pretending that Marxism will pave the way to the workers’ paradise is no more ridiculous than American politicians gibbering about the joys of diversity. Only by the most monumental efforts of self-deception can these people possibly believe what they are saying.
Surely, it does not take unusual powers of observation to notice that even after 30 years of whooping up the idea of racial harmony blacks and whites are hardly about to live together in loving peacefulness. Will another 30 years of whooping change anything? Surely, it does not take a genius to notice that Hispanics and Asians have their own racial loyalties that are, if anything, only getting stronger. A nation cannot be built out of groups that do not hold interests in common.
Can it never have occurred to people like Senator Ted Kennedy or President Bill Clinton that if a racial program makes so little progress despite so much effort it might mean that it should never have been launched in the first place? Have they never noticed that they, like the Communists, are trying to force Americans into a conception of man that is at odds with human nature?
A glance at a newspaper is enough to show that people are blowing each other to bits all around the world because of differences that are less important than race. There has never been a nation in the history of the world in which disparate peoples have lived side by side in frictionless bliss. Language, religion, race, and tribe are the age-old fault lines that divide people irreconcilably. The idea that the United States can somehow make a nation by deliberately accentuating every reason people have always had for murdering each other is so childish that only very intelligent people could have thought of it.
The only reason that integration and multi-racialism have not already thrown the nation into civil war is that whites have capitulated in the face of every challenge. No doubt to their astonishment, non-whites get virtually everything they ask for. There is practically no act of intimidation, bullying, bluster or even outright violence that is not rewarded. Capitulation does not bring peace; it only brings yet more unreasonable demands. If whites ever started to fight for their racial interests as diligently as other races fight for theirs, America could become ungovernable.
Besides the inherent instability that multi-racialism brings, there is another even more important reason for whites to look upon the current experiment with horror: it is being conducted at our expense. To note that different races do not get along well is one thing. To note that the current “celebration of diversity” is displacing whites and could reduce them to a minority is something else entirely.
Europeans came to America to tame the wilderness, and they built a successful nation with a strong cultural core. Foreigners, whose own nations had failed, were naturally attracted to our country. We foolishly let them in.
Now, whites are being asked to rejoice at the prospect of lowering their standard of living and sacrificing their cultural cohesion in the name of a racial experiment they never chose and for which they never voted. Massive non-white immigration, affirmative action, welfare programs that encourage high non-white birth rates, the constant denigration of European civilization — these are all practiced in the name of a mythical racial equality and are nothing less than cultural, racial, and national suicide.
No one is asking Mexico or Haiti or Nigeria to “celebrate diversity” by reducing their majority populations to minorities. No one even pretends that if the United States were sending its poorest, least educated citizens into Mexico by the million — where they were asking for affirmative action and ballot papers in English — that Mexicans could be tricked into thinking this was “cultural enrichment.”
What we are permitting to happen to this country is therefore a double calamity. It is a tragedy for any once-great nation to subside into the divisive ruin that racial diversity ensures. For the whites who built the nation there is the added, unspeakable horror of dispossession and eventual marginalization.
There are still millions of white people in this country. Many of them are asleep but many are beginning to awake. There is rising anger over immigration and over the preposterous demands and accusations that now go by the name of “civil rights.” Whites are patient and long-suffering to a fault, but there are limits to what even they will tolerate. They will not forever let their government conduct foolish experiments that can only fail. When the white man decides to act, he is a marvelous thing to behold and nothing can stand in his way.
Forgotten Black Voices
American slaves had surprisingly positive things to say about slavery.
In the June and July cover story in AR on black claims for reparations because of slavery, there was a discussion about slaves and the conditions in which they lived. Your readers may be interested to know that during the Depression someone had the idea of sending people to the South to interview the last remaining blacks who had been slaves — all then in their 80s and 90s. Someone named George P. Rawick has compiled these narratives into a 19-volume collection called The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography, which is published by Greenwood Press.
Several books have been based on these interviews, and a few years ago I read one called Before Freedom: 48 Oral Histories of Former North and South Carolina Slaves. It was edited by Belinda Hurmence, and published by Mentor (Penguin) in 1990. I recall that of these 48 interviews only two could be called hostile to former masters, slavery, or whites. Some were more or less neutral, but certainly the largest number expressed a positive attitude toward former owners and to slavery. Here are some excerpts:
Patsy Mitchner, age 84 when interviewed on July 2, 1937:
Before two years had passed after the surrender, there was two out of every three slaves who wished they was back with their marsters. The marsters’ kindness to the nigger after the war is the cause of the nigger having things today. There was a lot of love between marster and slave, and there is few of us that don’t love the white folks today . . .
Slavery was better for us than things is now, in some cases. Niggers then didn’t have no responsibility; just work, obey, and eat.
Betty Cofer, age 81:
The rest of the family was all fine folks and good to me, but I loved Miss Ella better’n anyone or anything else in the world. She was the best friend I ever had. If I ever wanted for anything, I just asked her and she give it to me or got it for me somehow . . . I done lived to see three generations of my white folks come and go and they’re the finest folks on earth.
Adeline Johnson, age 93:
That was a happy time, with happy days . . . I’ll be satisfied to see my Savior that my old marster worshiped and my husband preach about. I wants to be in heaven with all my white folks, just to wait on them and love them, and serve them, sorta like I did in slavery time. That will be enough heaven for Adeline.
Mary Anderson, age 86:
I think slavery was a mighty good thing for Mother, Father, me and the other members of the family, and I cannot say anything but good for my old marster and missus, but I can only speak for those whose conditions I have known during slavery and since. For myself and them, I will say again, slavery was a mighty good thing.
Simuel Riddick, age 95:
My white folks were fine people . . . I haven’t anything to say against slavery. My old folks put my clothes on me when I was a boy. They gave me shoes and stockings and put them on me when I was a little boy. I loved them, and I can’t go against them in anything. There were things I did not like about slavery on some plantations, whupping and selling parents and children from each other, but I haven’t much to say. I was treated good.
Sylvia Cannon, age 85:
Things sure better long time ago then they be now. I know it. Colored people never had no debt to pay in slavery time. Never hear tell about no colored people been put in jail before freedom. Had more to eat and more to wear then, and had good clothes all the time ‘cause white folks furnish everything, everything. Had plenty peas, rice, hog meat, rabbit, fish, and such as that.
As I reflect on these interviews, they remind me of what I find now among non-Westernized Africans. They like and respect whites because, generally speaking, whites treat them better than their fellow blacks do.
In the introduction to this collection, the editor is at pains to explain all of these favorable statements about whites and slavery. The best she can do is to point out that these interviews were taken in the midst of the Depression and people must have looked back nostalgically to the past when blacks had food, clothing, housing, etc.
Even if this could explain the fond memories of the condition of slavery, it does not explain fond memories of white owners. What is especially surprising is that after sifting through thousands of interviews, and with the clearly expressed liberal bias of the editor, there is still such a preponderance of positive expressions about whites and slavery. One is bound to conclude that this was at least a very common reaction if not perhaps even typical.
Dr. Braun has lived in Africa since 1976. His book is reviewed in this issue.
Light on the Dark Continent
Eye-opening observations of an American who has lived in Africa for nearly 20 years.
Racism, Guilt and Self-Deceit, Gedahlia Braun, (Self-Published), 1993, 158 single-spaced manuscript pages, $20.00 post paid
reviewed by Jared Taylor
“Almost no one, black or white, left or right, ever says anything but rubbish about race.” So writes Gedahlia Braun in a remarkable book that is anything but rubbish. Racism, Guilt and Self-Deceit is one of those rare books so full of insight and good sense that they are a pleasure to write about. Since the subject is race, this book has not found a commercial publisher, but it can be ordered directly from the author.
Dr. Braun has lived in Africa with only brief interruptions since 1976 and in South Africa since 1988. This book, in the form of a chronological journal, describes how contact with the dark continent quickly dispelled his liberal views and led to startling but plausible conclusions that most Americans — even readers of AR — are likely to find surprising.
Dr. Braun draws on his years of intimacy with Africans to support two main conclusions. The first is that virtually all Africans take it for granted that whites are smarter than blacks. They haven’t the slightest illusion that they could have invented computers or built airplanes, and they recognize that blacks and whites differ in moral and psychological characteristics as well.
What is more, Africans are not the least offended by these realizations. Unlike whites, they do not see any inherent immorality in acknowledging racial differences. Some clever, westernized Africans have discovered — just as American blacks have — that whites are terrified at the thought of racial differences, and have learned to manipulate this terror to their own advantage. But they, too, Dr. Braun finds, can almost always be persuaded to acknowledge the inherent limitations of Africans.
Dr. Braun’s second thesis follows from the first: The vast majority of South African blacks do not want black rule. They know from their own experiences with black policemen and black bureaucrats that when Africans are in positions of power they are corrupt, despotic, and oppressive. Many blacks mouth the slogans of “liberation” but have unrealistic, often ludicrous notions of what “liberation” is likely to mean. Some, when pressed, will even admit that although they know black rule would be a catastrophe for South Africa they pretend to support it because they know that is what whites expect them to do.
Ultimately, as Dr. Braun recognizes, his observations illuminate the terrible flaws in the white man. Without constant urging from liberal whites, virtually all Africans would be content to put their fate in the hands of a race that they recognize as smarter and more fair-minded than their own. Dr. Braun puts it this way:
(1) Blacks cannot manage a modern industrial democratic society; (2) blacks know this and would never think of denying it were it not for white liberals insisting otherwise; (3) except for those black elites who hope to take power, black rule is in no one’s interest, especially not blacks; (4) blacks know this better than anyone and are terrified of black rule.
On what does Dr. Braun base these heretical conclusions? After several years in Africa, he began to realize that many blacks do not think the way white liberals keep telling us they do. He then systematically started asking Africans — even virtual strangers — what they thought about racial differences and whether they were in favor of black rule.
Unlike most whites, who would be ashamed to ask such questions, Dr. Braun is utterly uninhibited. He discovered that most blacks are eager to talk frankly; most have never had an honest conversation with a white about race and are charmed to find one who is not blinded by the usual cliches. Just as interestingly, he quickly learned that even whites who have lived all their lives in Africa — including journalists and other liberals who claim to speak for Africans — have never had an honest conversation with a black about race.
For the most part, blacks fear majority rule because they know they are much more likely to be cheated, robbed or brutalized by other blacks than by whites. Many Africans believe, in so many words, that “Whites respect one another but we don’t.” One woman put it this way: “The white man knows the difference between right and wrong and will usually do the right thing. The black man also knows the difference but will usually do the wrong thing.” It is their own experiences that confirm many blacks in their preference that their country be governed by whites.
Educated, highly politicized blacks sometimes have a slightly different political view. When pressed, they agree that black rule is likely to produce the chaos and mismanagement common in the rest of Africa. They recognize that a black government would permit democratic elections only once, and then institute tyranny. Somehow, though, this disaster is worth striving for because, as Dr. Braun explains, they think “it is all right for blacks to oppress other blacks yet absolutely wrong for whites to treat them well — but without suffrage.” That they should happily anticipate black rule is, in Dr. Braun’s view, “a profound tribute to the capacity of human beings to deceive themselves.”
Perhaps most common, though, is a fatalistic acceptance of the inevitability of political change and ensuing chaos. As one middle-class colored [mixed-race] man said to Dr. Braun about majority rule: “When that day comes I will kill myself.”
How the vast majority of uneducated South Africans view the future must be understood in light of how poorly they understand how the world works. Dr. Braun reminds us that belief in magic is deeply rooted among Africans. For example, he reports that when a European magician came to Ibadan, Nigeria and “sawed a woman in half,” the audience assumed he had actually cut her in two. After all, if African witch doctors can fly through the air and turn people into alligators, the least a white man can do is cut people up and put them back together.
Likewise, when Zambia had one of its yes-no “elections” in 1988, the Secretary of State for Defense and Security warned that people had better vote “yes” because the government would find out if anyone voted “no.” How would it find out? Through magic.
Dr. Braun reports that many Africans see Western technology and high standards of living as a kind of magic. Many think that a college diploma is not an indication of a certain level of knowledge but a talisman that can make a big house and a Mercedes appear. Even the blacks who run African schools have superstitious beliefs in the forms of education; if white schools have a study period at 2:00 p.m., black schools must have one at the same time even if it is inconvenient. Many blacks think that whites get their money simply by going to banks, the benefits of which they have selfishly denied to Africans.
In this context, it is no surprise that many black South Africans think that black rule will somehow divert the magic of wealth and prosperity from whites to blacks. The African National Congress encourages this view. For example, its members have told blacks who work for whites as maids and houseboys that if they contribute money to the ANC for a certain number of years the house they work in will become theirs. Many black servants have therefore astonished their employers — and been dismissed — by suddenly claiming to own the house.
Dr. Braun quotes extensively from a brilliant article that likens the African attitude towards economic development to the cargo cults of the Pacific islanders. Some of these islands had been largely ignored by the modern world until the Second World War, during which the Allies used them as staging areas. To the wonderment of the natives, the guardian spirits sent giant metal birds down from the sky, in response to various ceremonies such as the building of long flat clearings in the jungle. Out of the bellies of the giant metal birds came marvelous things like flash lights and round metal boxes full of food.
When the war was over and the Allies left, the islanders decided to cultivate the guardian spirits themselves. They built their own flat clearings in the jungle, and set upon them giant birds made of boxes and coconut trees so as to coax their great metal cousins down from the sky. They marched in formation around the flat clearings and waved strips of cloth stuck on sticks. Somehow it did not work; the giant birds never came back.
As Dr. Braun quotes from the article, in Africa the equivalent of the cargo cults “is a mysterious process called development; the industrial countries of the North are the gods and spirit agents; the magico-religious rites are those of development planning, infrastructure building and foreign investment . . .
. . . men of business make much of company letterheads, business suits, briefcases, elaborate business cards, and of boardroom titles. When the first spurt of national infrastructure building failed to produce the desired cargo of development, additional rituals were invented. A ritual of North-South dialogue was started to persuade the guardian spirits of development to bring aid, to transfer technology, and to grant better terms of trade. When this ritual also failed, Third World spokesmen resorted to blaming the West for holding up Third World development.
Just as the cargo cultists believed that by manipulating some of the forms of 20th century commerce they could reap 20th century rewards, Africans believe that a paved highway here and a cement factory there will bring the magical cargo of development. It is in this fashion that many South Africans expect black rule to bring prosperity. Often, it is only when Dr. Braun explains that black rule means that hospitals, libraries, police stations, and government offices will be run by blacks — and consequently go to ruin — that some Africans first begin to understand the real implications of what they think they support.
Those who take for granted the idea that black South Africans want majority rule often point to the fact that when the ANC “comrades” call for a strike, the vast majority of blacks do as they are told. As Dr. Braun explains, this is because the “comrades” rule black townships through terror and no one dares disobey. People who go to work during a strike may be “necklaced” or have their houses burnt down. “Comrades” may cut off their ears “because you didn’t listen to us.” Women may be stripped naked in the streets. The Western press occasionally mentions ANC exuberance of this kind, but never recognizes that it produces an artificial appearance of unanimity.
As Dr. Braun points out, it is folly to expect democracy to develop in the townships: “The idea of free and fair elections in such a context is nonsense.”
Racism, Guilt, and Self-Deceit is one of the few contemporary books to make a rational case for apartheid, the South African system of separateness. As Dr. Braun makes clear, the question that both the United States and South Africa must answer is how to establish a fair and workable system for populations with vastly differing abilities.
The problem is much more urgent for South Africa than for the United States for two reasons: Whites are an 18 percent minority and will be swamped by majority rule. Also, though Dr. Braun does not mention this, because of miscegenation with whites, the average IQ of American blacks is 10 to 15 points higher than that of African blacks. Therefore, when white South Africans voted last year to hand over power to blacks, they agreed to submit to the will of a majority people with an average mental age of twelve.
Influx Control and Pass Laws, which were at the heart of apartheid, were recognition that European civilization could not survive without them. Dr. Braun argues that there is nothing surprising or immoral about white resistance to racial integration. It is true that the first blacks to move into an all-white neighborhood or to attend an all-white school are usually intelligent and well-behaved. However, as the population of a school or neighborhood becomes blacker it inevitably deteriorates and everyone — black and white — knows this.
Naturally, blacks want to go to white schools and live among whites because all people benefit from improved surroundings. However, they also know that if blacks keep pushing into what were formerly white enclaves they will cease to be either white or desirable. Ironically, it is whites who, because they are unwilling to accept racial differences, pretend that integration need not destroy whatever has been integrated.
One of the other important effects of apartheid was to keep blacks from congregating in cities. Dr. Braun speculates that the whites of previous generations understood instinctively that large numbers of detribalized, urban blacks would subside into barbaric squalor. The filth, crime and chaos in the townships — as well as in other African cities — proves how right they were.
Today’s whites, on the other hand, have accepted the same preposterous racial orthodoxies that rule America. The press now gamely argues that unfortunate black behavior is a result of apartheid whereas Dr. Braun explains that the policy of separateness was necessary because of black behavior. He does not, however, have any illusions about separateness:
There is no point in pretending that separateness will be equal. It can only be equal if the groups are equal. But if they were equal there would be much less reason for separateness in the first place.
Another consequence of the wrong-headed view that apartheid causes Africans to behave like Africans has been an astoundingly stupid wages policy:
It was assumed, a priori and courtesy of Western Liberal Ideology, that blacks were unproductive because they were underpaid. In reality, just the opposite was true [blacks were paid low wages because they were unproductive], and rather than increasing productivity, paying them more decreased it, by showing the shrewd black man just how foolish the white man really is.
Any employer knows that nothing is more stupid than to raise a poor worker’s wages in the hope that he will therefore become more productive. Higher wages are a reward for better work, but as Dr. Braun observes, “only when our behavior is ruled by pandering white guilt do we ignore such obvious truths.”
Another idea that has been accepted among liberal whites is that South Africa’s wealth was created by the hard work of blacks and that whites have profited from it illegitimately. This is similar to saying that America is rich because of black slavery, and Dr. Braun is amazed that anyone can swallow such nonsense:
To argue that it was black labor that ‘really’ created this wealth is like saying that the riveters are the ones who ‘really’ built the space shuttle! If blacks ‘really’ created the wealth of South Africa, why don’t they create it anywhere else? Whites can create wealth without black labor, but blacks on their own create no such wealth.
Dr. Braun has concluded that blacks and whites differ as much morally as they do mentally, and that these differences made economic development impossible. He wonders whether one of the reasons large-scale cooperative enterprise is nearly impossible throughout Africa is that blacks do not trust each other and cannot be counted on to work together for the benefit of all. He advances the provocative view that Africans may not have an internalized moral sense but depend instead on tribal authority to set rules of conduct:
Hence, when they were detribalized (by colonialism, etc.), these external constraints disappeared; and since there never were any internal constraints, we witness rampant lack of self-control amongst detribalized blacks (crime, drugs, promiscuity, etc.). Where there has been some substitute for tribal control — as in white-dominated South Africa or the segregated American South — this behaviour was kept within tolerable limits. But when such controls vanish (as in present-day South Africa and in large U.S. cities), you get this phenomenon of widespread unrestrained violence.
Dr. Braun has found that like American whites, most South African whites are incapable of talking sensibly about race. Like American whites, they now even take a perverse joy in applauding their own dispossession. He describes the tempestuous enthusiasm of white audiences for the anti-white South African movie “Cry Freedom,” and writes, “the positive joy with which they cheer their own demise is quite amazing, isn’t it?” He speculates that this joy stems from “a fatal flaw in the white race: the capacity for self-flagellating, exaggerated and unwarranted guilt and the self-hatred that seems to underlie it.”
This self-hatred is at the heart of the white man’s increasing insistence that he is a miserable racist who is to blame for the black man’s failures:
Once blacks learn that whites think blacks have reason to hate them, many will be happy to oblige, instinctively realizing their psychological advantage as the injured party . . . All in all a tremendous con game, in which the white man is both instigator and willing victim.
An Affection for Africans
From this review of Racism, Guilt and Self-Deceit one might conclude that its author dislikes Africans. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dr. Braun obviously likes them very much, and it is because he likes them and has spent so much time with them that he has learned what so many of them really think.
Along the way, he learned a great deal about Africa and Dr. Braun leavens his political observations with fascinating asides. For example, in Nairobi, two African friends were astonished to learn that he had a dictionary of the English language. After he got over his astonishment at their astonishment, he realized that same-language dictionaries are needed only for written languages. Kikuyu, the language his friends spoke, has no literature and therefore needs no dictionaries. It exists only in the minds of the people who speak it, and all Kikuyu speakers know all the words in the language.
An unwritten language is likely to be very limited. Dr. Braun learned from students in Nigeria that their native language cannot express degrees. It is impossible, for example, to say that the coconut is half-way up the tree or that it is near the top; it is possible only to say that it is “up.”
Dr. Braun writes with particular admiration for African women, who have children, suckle them, and carry them about on their backs with a nonchalance that could not be in greater contrast to the self-absorbed fuss white women make over birth and breast feeding. He has “gone native” in a manner possible only for a bachelor, and makes a number of piquant observations from this unusual vantage point.
In short, this is a most unusual and illuminating book. It is unnecessarily repetitive in making some of its more important points, but this is a small price to pay for such a refreshingly candid and level-headed report from a continent most of us will never visit. In a better world, a book like this would be distributed by a major publishing house. In the mean time, it is our pleasure to introduce Racism, Guilt, and Self-Deceit to the readers of AR.
Plundering the Planet
Why population control will take more than voluntary contraception.
Living Within Limits, Garrett Hardin, Oxford University Press, 1993, 339 pp., $25.00
reviewed by Thomas Jackson
Living Within Limits has a simple message: There are too many of us and too many more are born every year. If we do nothing to control population growth, disease and famine will control it for us.
Professor Hardin covers well-trodden ground to make his case, but he does it elegantly and well-nigh irrefutably — though not optimistically. Corrective action depends not only on a human characteristic always in short supply — foresight — but also on rejection of the socialist sentimentality that dominates public policy and discourse. Prof. Hardin will have a hard enough time just calling attention to the problem; we can forgive him for being coy about solutions.
Otherwise, his book is a charming introduction to what people like Condorcet, Malthus, William Goodwin, John Stuart Mill, Benjamin Franklin, and Aristotle had to say about population, and why so much more nonsense than wisdom is said on the subject today.
Too Many People
There are now well over five billion people on the planet and our numbers are growing by more than a quarter of a million every day. The growth in world population has been recent and explosive; something like the graph on this page. For example, the increase during a single generation in the last half of the 20th century was greater than the entire world population at the time the Second World War began.
Past population forecasts for the planet have been hilarious underestimates. Even forecasts for the United States, a nation about which we have good data, have been wildly off. In 1933, a Presidential research committee concluded that the US population would stabilize below 150 million. It is already 255 million and growing by 1.75 million every year. In 1946, the Bureau of the Census thought that by 1990 the U.S. population would be 165 million. We passed that number in 1960, just 14 years after the forecast.
The world is, of course, already overpopulated. As Prof. Hardin explains, the reason that hurricanes kill 500,000 at a clip in Bangladesh is that people have no choice but to live on flood plains. They drown during storms, but they have actually died of overpopulation. Likewise, drought is said to be killing Africans, but if there were fewer of them they could survive lean harvests.
The United States is overpopulated. Campers must make reservations in national parks, and streets that were uncrowded 20 years ago are jammed with cars. If our population had not increased since 1950, we would not have to import a single barrel of oil. Yet government and media scarcely breathe a word about population. They act as if space and resources can expand infinitely to accommodate ever more people.
Many in the media would have us believe that there is no world population problem because the growth rate has fallen from two percent in the early 1960s to 1.7 percent in the late 1980s. As Prof. Hardin points out, for the past one million years, humans have been increasing at about 0.0015 percent per year. That means that the current rate has dropped from 133 times normal to 113 times normal. Furthermore, growth in the base population has canceled out the decline in the rate, so that the number by which we increase every year — about 100 million — has never been higher.
At our current growth rate of 1.7 percent, people would be standing shoulder to shoulder on every bit of land on the planet in 686 years. Obviously, that will never happen. The average American needs the equivalent of at least 9 acres of productive land when all the crop land, pasture land and forest required for his upkeep are added together. The rate of human increase will therefore drop. Prof. Hardin hopes that it will fall because of wise human intervention rather than because of catastrophe.
We have all the oil and coal we need for the time being, but Prof. Hardin argues that the era of plenty cannot last. Fossil fuels are not replaced, and we burn more of them every year. No matter how cleverly one juggles reserves and resources, it will eventually take more energy to extract coal and oil than can be had from burning them. It is not a question of if but when.
Many people believe that nuclear generation will supply power to an ever-expanding population, but Prof. Hardin disagrees. We have already lost the foolish idealism of 1954, when the head of the Atomic Energy Commission promised nuclear-powered electricity “too cheap to meter.” The real problem is the poisonous wastes given off by nuclear power. They will be dangerous for 100,000 years, and their safe maintenance requires what even proponents of nuclear power have called “a 100,000-year priesthood” of reliable men who will tend the poisons. As Prof. Hardin points out, no nation has been stable for even 1,000 years and we can hardly expect a brotherhood of scientists to last 100 times as long.
The idea of colonizing space with our excess population appeals only to the ignorant. To begin with, we would have to fire off 250,000 people into space every day just to take care of excess production. And even at a speed of 22 million mph — a full three percent of the speed of light and the outside limit for space travel — it would take 140 years to reach the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. No one knows if Alpha Centauri even has planets, much less whether they are habitable.
Assuming that a new home could be found, the people who went on the 140-year journey would have to live within very strict limits of food and energy supply. They would have no choice but to limit ruthlessly the number of births they could have on the way. But this, of course, is the very problem we have been unable to solve on earth. If only those who were willing to control population were shot off into space, the ones left behind would be the indiscriminate breeders who caused the problem in the first place.
Clearly, humans must stop proliferating. If they do not stop naturally or are not made to stop, we will return to the days when hunger and pestilence kept populations from outgrowing resources.
One of Professor Hardin’s central themes, therefore, is carrying capacity. There is a limit to the number of mouths that can suckle at nature’s teat. If, as Prof. Hardin argues, inexpensive fossil fuels cannot be replaced by something equally inexpensive, the earth’s carrying capacity is much lower than the five billion people it now supports. He argues that it is no coincidence that the population curve has climbed in parallel with that of the consumption of coal and oil. When the consumption curve turns down so will the population curve — suddenly and disagreeably. In Prof. Hardin’s view, it is foolish to refuse to face this possibility.
Why are most people so determined to ignore the implications of an exploding population? One important reason is that pessimists have been proven wrong in the past. Thomas Malthus predicted in his 1798 Essay on Population that population would quickly outstrip food supply and poverty would descend on all. In fact, during the next two hundred years, standards of living increased along with population. What happened, of course, was that new and cleverer ways were found to exploit nature.
The current mistake is to assume that discovery and improvement can continue without limits. Better ways to extract and refine petroleum do not make more of it, they only make it last longer. They defer the day of reckoning but not forever. There will continue to be improvements and it may be many decades before Prof. Hardin is proven right, but he makes a convincing case that that time will someday come.
Another reason people do not like to talk about population is that optimism is always more attractive than pessimism and it is not for nothing that Malthus was said to have invented the dismal science. Adlai Stevenson once remarked that given a choice between agreeable fantasy and disagreeable fact, Americans will go for the fantasy every time. This is why people were still trying to get patents on perpetual motion machines as late as the 1980s, and why all candidates for President sound like Pollyanna. Even politicians in blighted Burkina Faso say they expect their population to increase from 6.5 million to 30 million and to have a North American standard of living.
Another reason people prefer not to think about overpopulation is that there is always money to be made in increasing supply but not in decreasing demand. “Growth” swells profits, even if it means fewer forests, crowded highways, and millions of hungry Africans saved from one famine only to make the next one worse. Reduction of demand requires prudence, temperance, and self-restraint, none of which is popular or profitable.
Finally, as Prof. Hardin notes, in a multi-racial nation any talk of reducing birthrates prompts immediate cries of “genocide.” No matter what kind of population control policies were implemented, non-whites would oppose them.
Since we refuse to think about population or about the earth’s carrying capacity, wide-spread propaganda about reproductive rights, human equality and the sanctity of all life is driving us even faster down the road to perdition. The ghost of Karl Marx still hovers over much of what is said about wealth, poverty, and economic distribution. As Prof. Hardin points out, “the formula ‘to each according to his needs’ sounds lovely, but it rewards limitless greed . . .” If people really are permitted to work as little as they like and take as much as they want, society is sure to collapse. Even with a system of regular wages, Communist countries were full of drones and shirkers, but not even the end of the Soviet Union has dimmed dreams of universal bounty and equality.
Broad acceptance of the suicidal idea that it is perfectly all right to couple public cost to private gain is behind such things as socialized medicine, the welfare state, and foreign aid. They are all based on the implicit assumption that supply can expand indefinitely to meet demand. However, by feeding people in countries that have shown themselves unable to feed themselves, and by rewarding teen-age mothers who have illegitimate children they cannot support, practitioners of what Prof. Hardin calls “conspicuous compassion” have stood the ancient laws of nature and individual responsibility on their heads. As he points out, it was not so long ago that people understood there was a price to be paid for recklessness: “Few people felt that there was any community obligation to save brats whelped by the feckless.”
Welfare, of course, only encourages feckless whelping. It would be foolhardy to point out that this is a disproportionately non-white failing, and Prof. Hardin is brave but not foolhardy. Living Within Limits is therefore tentative about solutions, but all its suggestions are sound.
Prof. Hardin discusses the evils of immigration, whereby rich countries suffer because poor countries cannot control their populations. He is also adamantly opposed to the debilitating “diversity” that immigration inflicts on the United States. True diversity requires separation rather than amalgamation. Population control is a national, not a global problem, and each nation must take responsibility for its own policies.
Optimists believe that voluntary contraception will eventually end reckless procreation but Prof. Hardin explains that contraception is self-limiting. Even when it is available to all, only people with foresight and self-restraint practice it. Whether the effect is genetic or environmental, women from large families go on to have large families of their own. Therefore, voluntary contraception only reduces the number of people who are wise enough to control reproduction, and as their numbers dwindle, they are replaced by intemperate breeders. “Like it or not,” writes Prof. Hardin, “the issue of coercion must be faced” — but he does not face it.
Something else he only hints at is the dysgenic effect of voluntary population control. As Prof. Arthur Jensen has pointed out, a certain level of intelligence is required for any means of reproductive control, and stupid people are incapable of it. Without coercion, Prof. Hardin’s message will be heard and acted on — voluntarily — by those who are already having too few babies to replace themselves.
Today, the people who worry most about “saving the planet” are intelligent white people. Most of them are socialist dreamers who never think about population, but eventually they will heed Prof. Hardin’s message. Although they will go to any extreme to save Spotted Owls or Snail Darters, they are blind to the necessity of preserving human diversity. They are perfectly prepared to let Europeans be displaced by North Africans, and white Americans by blacks and Hispanics. Thus, in the absence of coercion, it will be whites who gamely curtail their reproduction only to be replaced by Africans and Hispanics, who are the ones reproducing at rates that threaten the planet.
Although Prof. Hardin says nothing about this, population control is not just a matter of numbers but of quality. To quote Lenin — of all people — “better fewer but better.” In a world of strictly voluntary population control, whites will do away with themselves for two reasons: First, they are the only people who have lost their sense of racial solidarity and are therefore the only people willing — even eager — to lose ground to other races. Second, it is only they who show real concern about the planet and its resources. Whites will do their ecological duty even if it means their replacement by others. Of course, their sacrifice will have been in vain, since the peoples who supplant them will not scruple to plunder the planet.
Indeed, the issue of coercion must be faced, and the sooner the better.
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
Boyz Will Be Boyz
Cerveny Middle School in Detroit is trying to keep its seventh- and eighth-graders out of gangs. Recently, it invited three police officers from the city gang squad to give a talk to 60 youngsters whom teachers thought most likely to go astray.
The students, all boys and all black, started shouting obscenities at the police. One got up and urinated against a wall and then bared his buttocks at a female teacher. Others decided they had heard enough and tried to leave the room. The officers concluded their lecture by arresting 34 of the boys.
Why their view was sought is unclear, but the Detroit chapter of the ACLU criticized the police for directing their talk only to boys thought most likely to join gangs. It also disapproved of the arrests: “Since when do the police enforce discipline within the schools?” asked a spokesman. [L.A. Johnson, Cops book boys after melee stops lecture, Detroit Free Press, April 9, 1993.]
None Dare Call it Discrimination
The Clinton administration still has a few sub-Cabinet positions to fill, and is determined to pack the vacancies with as many non-whites as possible. One staffer explained that “in sifting through resumes, you get to the point where you’re not even looking at white men.” [“Today’s White man, Washington Times, march 29, 1993, p. A6.]
None Dare Call it Obvious . . .
Dale Lick, president of Florida State University, was one of the short-listed candidates for president of Michigan State University until it was learned that he had once had an unacceptable thought. In 1989, when he was president of the University of Maine (Mr. Lick seems to enjoy changing jobs), he told a student reporter that blacks are better basketball players because they can “outjump” whites. When this was revealed in July, it raised such a ruckus in Michigan that Mr. Lick now appears to be out of the running. [Racial Remark Stalls Job Seeker, NYT, July 22, 1993, p. A18.]
. . . Unless He is Black
In the July-August issue of Emerge magazine, there is an article entitled “Why Blacks Join Cults.” It was written by Drew Smith of Indiana University, whose aunt was one of the survivors of the People’s Temple mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Prof. Smith, who is black, writes that just as “you can’t have what could be considered high level basketball without black participation you also can’t have a truly radical movement in the U.S. without black participation (given that blacks epitomize everything that is angry, alienated, and aggrieved within the society).” [James Warren, Magazines, Chicago Tribune, July 15, 1993, p. 2.]
New Federal Youth Outreach Program
In July, the media made much of an alleged plot by a group called the Fourth Reich Skinheads to bomb a black Los Angeles church and to kill Rodney King. It now appears that the most incessant advocates of violence were an FBI agent and an FBI informant, who essentially took effective control of the group.
Christopher Fisher, the 20-year-old who is charged with heading the conspiracy, was apparently the leader of a “white pride” group of about 15 teen-agers. He maintained a “white pride hot line” on which callers could leave sympathetic messages. The informant contacted the group through the hot line, dazzled its members with his weapons collection, and let the group use his weight lifting room.
A man who was introduced as the informant’s “nephew” appears to have been an FBI agent. According to members who have not been arrested, it was the informant and his “nephew” who talked constantly of race war and who urged violent action. They also insisted that the group choose a name, though it is not clear who first proposed the name Fourth Reich Skinheads.
We may never know the whole unfortunate story, but it certainly sounds as though a group of teen-agers were cruelly wronged by their own government. One of the reasons they were so easily led astray is that they knew no sympathetic adults to whom they could turn for guidance and instruction. [Deborah Hastings, Fourth Reich skinheads: just kids or violent supremacists?, Seattle Times, Aug. 2, 1993, p. A4.]
In the black neighborhoods of Chicago, children and teen-agers often die suddenly and violently. Penniless relatives sometimes cannot afford to pay for a funeral, which is an embarrassment in a community that puts great store on a proper send off. For many, burial insurance is the answer. For a modest monthly fee, mothers and grandmothers can be sure that an insurance company will pay funeral expenses should the need arise.
Mittie Durham, a school custodian, spends about $80 a month on policies for herself, four children, and three grandchildren. Another grandmother spends a like amount on policies for six children and six grandchildren. “If anything happens, I want them to be put away decent,” she explains. [Robert Blau, Children who live with death, Chicago Tribune, April 4, 1993, p. 1.]
Comic books have joined the racial propaganda war. Milestone Media, a black-owned publisher, has introduced a series of what it calls “more realistic multicultural heroes.” Curtis Metcalf, for example, hero of Hardware comics, is an inventor with seven college degrees, who is engaged in a secret campaign against his corrupt white boss.
Milestone has been so successful that four independent black publishers have banded together under the ANIA label to publish more black-oriented comics. One of their titles is Zwanna, Son of Zulu, which the company describes thus:
Zwanna is exiled from Africa to the U.S. after his father, the King, is killed by white supremacists. He mutates into a superhero when he sees racism and injustice.
Not all black comics are anti-white cliches. One of Milestone’s titles, Icon, is described thus:
Augustus Freeman, survivor of an exploded alien starship lands on a 1839 Deep South plantation. By 1992, he’s a lawyer and conservative Republican. He uses his strength and near-invulnerability to promote middle-class values.
Until 1990, when the ban was lifted, homosexuals were not allowed to immigrate to the United States. Now, activists are trying to persuade the government that all homosexuals who live in countries where homosexuality is illegal should be considered asylum seekers and granted automatic entry. Three homosexual immigrants are now pursuing this argument through the courts in what activists hope will pave the way to a massive influx of foreign homosexuals. [Wade Lambert, INS Urged to grant asylum over gay bias, WSJ, May 28, 1993, p. B6.]
To grant asylum to homosexuals is no more fanciful than to grant it to Chinese because of their nation’s one-child-only population control policy. After the Tienanmen Square killings in 1989, President Bush paraded his sympathy for democracy by ordering the Immigration and Naturalization Service to give “enhanced consideration” to Chinese who claimed to be escaping the one-child policy. As a result, not one of the more than 1,500 Chinese illegals who have made it to this country over the last two years has been sent back to China. President Bush’s policy is unpopular with INS agents. “It gets to be a farce,” says one; “The irony is that most [illegal Chinese immigrants] are young men and unmarried.” [U.S. allows illegal Chinese immigrants to stay, Chicago Tribune, may 27, 1993, p. 4.]
Non-white immigration is having an effect on American housing: During the 1980s, overcrowding increased after dropping for 50 years. Defined as occupancy by more than one person per room, the percentage of overcrowded American housing units rose from 4 percent in 1980 to 4.5 percent in 1990. The increase was concentrated in rented apartments, where overcrowding rose from 7 to 9 percent. The Census Bureau freely concedes that the change is due to Asian and Hispanic immigrants from “close-contact societies that prefer living in large family groups.” [Crowding in Housing Turned up in ’80s, Wall Street Journal, 7/20,93.]
Donald Huddle, a professor of economics at Rice University in Houston, has just completed a study of how much it costs America to play host to immigrants. Expenses include all the tax money that pours into the welfare, medicaid, criminal processing, education and social security that immigrants — legal and illegal — consume. Income is the taxes they pay, whether federal, state, property, sales or excise. The net result is that in 1992, the 11.8 million resident legal immigrants and estimated 4.8 million illegals absorbed $45 billion more in public money than they paid in taxes. This works out to an average cost of $2,700 per immigrant per year.
Even our elected officials are beginning to take notice. Heretofore, the two lady senators from California, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, could be relied on to say only the most conventionally idiotic things about immigration. Now Miss Feinstein has proposed a one-dollar border-crossing charge to pay for more INS agents and better equipment. She wants them to have all-terrain vehicles, night vision goggles, and helicopters, and to have authority to make deportation decisions on the spot. She also wants to build a wall along the 100-mile stretch of the Mexican border where most illegals cross. [Pat Buchanan, An issue up for grabs, Wash Times, July 12, 1993.]
Miss Boxer would like the National Guard to conduct maneuvers along the Mexican border. She says that since weekend warriors are paid to bivouac anyway, it might as well be where they can do something useful like catch illegals. [Pamela Burdman & Greg Lucas, Box Wants National Guard to Patrol Border, SF Chron, 7/30/93.]
We Have Been Warned
Paul Mooney is a black comedian with a message. In a recent performance at a San Francisco area comedy club, he had this to say:
“White people are scared, because minorities are taking over. White people are worried because they can’t out-f*** the Mexicans — minorities in numbers alone are taking over, and white folks are scared because they are afraid that we are going to do to them exactly what they’ve done to us.
“And they are absolutely right. When the s*** turns around, we are going to treat you exactly like you’ve treated us: like s***.” [Danyel Smith, Full Moon, The Bay Guardian, 3/3/93.]
Showing His Colors
This spring, New York’s city government published a brochure to encourage young people to join something called the Youth Commission for Human Rights. The brochure’s favorite phrase is “There won’t be peace until . . . .” which can be seen as a gently worded invitation to riot. Peace, it appears, cannot be expected until “New Yorkers stop clutching their bags and crossing the street to get away from black and Latino youth,” or until “police see their role as protecting and serving all New Yorkers . . . including young men of color, instead of running them off their own street corners.” Peace also requires “community control of community businesses,” which is one of the milder slogans used by blacks who boycott Korean groceries.
The brochure calls the 1991 anti-Semitic riots in Crown Heights a youth-led “uprising,” says that AIDS has been “ignored,” and recommends “indicting the injustices of the system.” It contends that the message adults are sending to “young people” is: “You have to start a riot . . . to get the changes you need.” The brochure is accompanied by a letter from Mayor David Dinkins urging young readers to join the commission. [Eric Briendel, PC at New York’s City Hall, Washington Times, Feb. 8, 1993.]
NAACP to the Rescue
In July, Nelson Mandela of the African National Congress (ANC) addressed more than 12,000 people at the 1993 NAACP Convention. “We are here today not as guests but as comrades in arms,” he said; “We stand here not as a people from another land but as part of the great family of black people that is found all over the world.”
The NAACP resolved to strengthen its ties with the ANC and promised to send monitors to South Africa to make sure that whites do not steal the all-races election to be held on April 27, 1994. William F. Gibson, chairman of the NAACP’s national board says that black Americans will play a crucial role in nurturing and protecting democracy in the new South Africa. [Trevor Coleman, NAACP, ANC to join forces to fight for freedom, Detroit News, July 11, 1993, p. 14A.]
Mind Over Murder
More than 1,000 practitioners of transcendental meditation have descended on Washington, D.C. in an attempt to lower the crime rate through meditation. They sit and think peaceful thoughts for about four hours every morning and three hours in the afternoon. In the Fall, by which time they expect homicide and robbery rates to have plummeted, they will ask the city government to pay them $20 million a year to keep up the good work. [Lisa Clagett, Putting mind over murder, Washington Times, 6/23/93, p. B1.]
So far, results have been poor. In the six days ending on June 25th, 24 Washingtonians were killed and another 53 were injured in armed attacks, making it the most bloodthirsty week in recent memory. [Brian Reilly, Police open war on D.C. violence, Washington Times, 6/26/93, p. A1.]
Smelling a Rat
Earlier this year, there were news stories about 15 mysterious deaths in the Southwest, mostly on Indian reservations. The Journal of the American Medical Association (July 21, 1993) reports that the mystery is now solved: The Indians died of acute hantavirus infection, a disease that is common in rats and mice. How are people infected?
[P]otentially hazardous exposures include direct aerosolization of urine and other potentially infective rodent body fluids, secondary aerosolization of dried rodent excreta, contamination of food, and direct contact with virus-bearing rodents or their excreta or saliva.
[Update: Outbreak of Hantavirus Infection — Southewestern United States, 1993, JAMA, July 21, 1993, p. 306.]
In other words, don’t let a rat spit on you.
Fiddling While America Burns
The American Symphony Orchestra League has just published a report in which it criticizes American orchestras for not doing enough to combat their image as “exclusive, arrogant, possibly racist.” Orchestras “should reflect more closely the cultural mix, needs and interests of their communities.” How? By hiring more non-whites and by putting more jazz and popular music on their programs. They must also hire consultants to give “diversity sensitivity training.”
Boards of directors should be the typically fashionable mix of non-whites, who should be encouraged not to “assimilate.” Orchestras should come up with measures of diversity so they can give proof “to political leaders, community members and funding sources of the orchestra’s commitment to diversity.” Audiences should be encouraged to clap between movements, and concerts should be accompanied by choreographed images on video screens. In short, if non-whites don’t like classical music, classical music must change.
This report may actually get the reception it deserves. Even the New York Times’ music critic called it a “disgrace” — and for the right reasons. [Edward Rothstein, Be Smart as a Lemming, Orchestras are Told,” NYT, 7/11/93.]
Great White Dopes
The Knight-Ridder News Service has been circulating a story that purports to come to the rescue of white men by listing ten positive things about them. Of course, since it is about whites, all ten turn out to be insults. For example, some people are said to like the looks of men “with pale skin and hair that’s light and straight.” The article then goes on to say:
White Guys also tend to have wide hips, flat butts, bulging love handles, fat guts, sunken chests, weak chins, spindly arms, treble voices, red necks and, after a certain age, thinning hair or bald heads. Some may find these anatomical peculiarities appealing, believe it or not . . .
Whites are said to be multi-cultural: “There’s the gun culture and the car culture and the boat culture and the monster-truck and pro-wrestling cultures, to name just a few.”
In conclusion: “Think of the most obnoxious White Guy you know. Guess what? He’s going to croak . . . you get to watch White Guys die.” The story is written by a white man. [Art Carey, The Great White Dopes, San Jose Mercury News, June 15, 1993.]
Laws of Nature
Whenever a crowd of young American blacks gathers in one place there is likely to be trouble. It makes no difference if they are ghetto thugs or college students; the crowd will behave badly.
Late in July, about 2,000 members of a black college fraternity gathered by car for a beach party in the sleepy, California town of Half Moon Bay. They threw garbage on the highway, urinated in the road, and made lewd gestures at passing cars. Blacks poured into local stores and gas stations, insulted the owners and stole merchandise. One black jumped over the counter at McDonald’s and took $300 out of the cash register. Someone started shooting, and the police eventually closed the highway. Patrol cars were pelted with stones and bottles.
A police spokesman explained that since the officers were vastly outnumbered by rowdies they decided it would be “more prudent not to arrest anyone.” This was the third year in a row that the black fraternity had held its party in the area; police reported that there had been thefts and violence all three years. [Eric Rice, Beach Party turns violent, Half Moon Bay Review, July 28, 1993, p. 1A.]
Brave New World
The state of Missouri has taken a bold step forward in government activism. The new chairman of the state Commission on Human Rights, a black man named Bobby Daniels, says, “I think as a commission, we’re going to have to ferret out cases where apathy, more than anything else, contributed to the violations of human rights. The attitude with apathy is, ‘If it’s not bothering me, I don’t have a need to acknowledge it, although I don’t support it.’” [John Egan, New Rights Panel Leader to target apathy, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 20, 1993, p. 6D.] A new day has indeed dawned when it is possible to violate someone’s rights by doing nothing.
Vote Early and Often
Woodruff Adams, 36, is the first black candidate for mayor of Toledo, Ohio. As it happens, he himself has never cast a ballot. He explained that registering to vote would have made him liable for jury duty, which would have interfered with his consulting business. He does not expect his campaign to be hurt by this disclosure. [Mayoral candidate regrets never voting, Wash Times, July 12, 1993.]
Filing for Dollars
In 1988, a storage tank collapsed and spilled diesel fuel into the Ohio River. Ashland Oil was sued because of the accident, which was well reported in cities down stream. One of those cities was Louisville, Ky., where the accident continues to reverberate in unexpected ways.
A group of black con artists has been distributing forms to blacks, explaining that anyone who files one will get $3,000 in compensation for “water contamination” caused by the fuel spill. There is a $2.00-per-form “notary fee” for filing the forms. Hundreds of blacks heard about the deal and swarmed into makeshift offices to fill in forms. Many paid for forms for everyone in their families.
The con artists told customers that white people would not be allowed to file, and that this was part of a special effort to make sure that blacks got what they deserved. This not only appears to have made the fraud more attractive to blacks, but ensured that it could go on longer without whites — and the authorities — hearing about it.
Hundreds of Louisville blacks signed up for a similar fraud in late 1989. At that time the supposed payoff was to be $7,000. [Andrew Melnykovych and Mark McCormick, Apparent scam plays of lawsuit, targets blacks, Louisville Courier-Journal, 4/24/93, p. A7.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — William Robertson Boggs’ excellent article, “The Reparations Hoax,” is a masterful debunking of some of the myths currently being propagated regarding the relative contribution of blacks to the building of America. However, it is not only blacks who overstate their contribution. In his letter in the July issue, John Mauro states:
Industrial America was built primarily by so-called ethnic whites, that is whites of Italian, Irish, Slavic, and Alpine descent. The vast majority of them arrived after the War Between the States.
Actually, most Irish immigration and most non-Italian and non-Slavic “Alpine” (Austrian or Bavarian?) immigration occurred before the Civil War. Most Italian and Slavic immigration occurred after 1890. It should be pointed out that by the end of the Civil War America was already the world’s second largest industrial economy, and became the largest — surpassing Britain — shortly after 1890. This was the work of the pre-1890 Americans — the “Old Americans” — who founded and built the country, including the great industrial sector that the post-1890 immigrants found waiting to employ them. While a large proportion of the industrial workers after 1890 were new immigrants the largest proportion continued to be Old Americans, who left farming by the millions and sought employment in urban factories.
America became the world’s largest industrial nation without the post-1890 immigrants, and would have continued its industrial growth without them, although perhaps at a slower pace, so it is incorrect to give them primary credit for the building of American industry. That honor, like most others pertaining to the greatness of America, belongs to the Old Americans.
Richard McCulloch, Coral Springs, Fla.
Sir — I would like to reiterate a point touched on in your July article on the reparations hoax. Nothing could be further form the truth than the idea that slavery built the United States. During the slavery period the most developed, modernized section with the highest standard of living was the North, where slavery was prohibited.
During this period the South did not prosper as a whole — slavery actually retarded its progress. The South lagged far behind the North even into this century and many Southern whites were as poor as slaves. The benefits of slavery were restricted to a few wealthy plantation owners.
Eric Himmel, Bell Gardens, Cal.
Sir — In the July issue you published a review of a book about school desegregation called The Burden of Brown. It mentions that some of the people who used the courts to force busing on New Castle County, Del. had hidden motives: They thought that if whites could no longer flee school integration by moving to the suburbs they would stay in town and help prop up property prices.
This reminds me of something I learned in 1976 or so as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia. The professor noted that in some of the famous busing cases, General Motors provided support for the busing proponents. I guess it is not hard to figure out the motive for that.
Edwin Clements, Christianburg, Va.
Sir — In the August issue you note that there are so few non-white donors of bone marrow that the government subsidizes them, whereas there are so many white donors that they are asked to pay their own way. Perhaps whites are the only race that loves life enough actually to share it.
Harry Dace, Friendswood, Tex.
Sir — I believe Mr. Taylor is right to argue in his July cover story that all of the ideas associated with liberalism (which one might do better to call socialism) are grounded in the refusal to believe that the laws of genetics apply to human beings. Anyone who has handled dogs knows that all the training in the world will not make a retriever out of a grey hound, and yet socialists would have us believe that with the proper instruction any slum lout can be made into a brain surgeon.
In fact, under the Soviets, socialists were at least consistent about their genetics. If genetics did not apply to men it could hardly apply to plants or animals. Thus was born Lysenkoism, or the belief that environmentally acquired characteristics could be passed on to succeeding generations.
In the Soviet Union, Lysenkoism led to crop failures. In the United States, it has led to successive human crop failures and the degradation that laps ever closer to us. Much as we might like to think of the Soviets as prisoners of ideology, they were at least able to purge their Lysenkoists; ours still rule.
Andrew Canty, Winchester, Va.
Sir — I thought two of your O Tempora items for August were particularly good in combination. Most three-year-olds distinguish people by race, but writers for the New York limes do not — when they write descriptions of crime suspects.
Ellen Short, Albuquerque, N. M.