O Tempora, O Mores! (June, 1991)
The Fading Mafia
As the racial composition of America’s cities changes, so does the face of organized crime. The Mafia, once the undisputed master, is being pushed out by new blood from such places as Colombia, Jamaica, and Vietnam. In Los Angeles, competitors talk about the Mickey Mouse Mafia, which has grown so feeble that it no longer has the muscle to extract protection money from illegal bookies. In New Jersey, once the stronghold of the mob, police refer derisively to the aged, toothless Mafia as the Geritol Gang.
Of much greater concern are Jamaican “posses,” Chinese “Triads,” and Vietnamese and Columbian gangs that are much more violent and bloodthirsty than the Mafia ever was. Even the most hardened police departments are amazed at the viciousness of the new criminals, who seem to settle even minor disputes with murder. The new gangs are also much more difficult to infiltrate because they are non-white and often speak foreign languages among themselves. The new face of organized crime has added further impetus to the nation-wide drive to hire more non-white policemen.
‘Donor Fatigue’ for Africa
Every year, African nations and international aid agencies come cap in hand to the developed world seeking charity. Public concern for Africa peaked in 1985/1986, with rock and roll musicians and movie stars raising money for starving Africans.
The trouble with charity for Africa ks that the problems do not go away. Famine victims who are kept alive with foreign food one year must be kept alive the same way the next year. Famine relief does not make Africa more serf sufficient. By keeping more people alive than the social and economic systems would naturally support, it makes Africa less self-sufficient.
Aside from white-ruled South Africa, virtually no nation south of the Sahara has managed to build anything like a modern economy. Despite foreign aid, 1990 was the twelfth consecutive year in which the average African got poorer than he was the year before. The United Nations says that 27 million Africans could starve to death this year.
Private donors are tired of being asked to support the same, never-ending crises. Philip Johnson, chairman of CARE, explains, “Donor dissatisfaction sets in over spending money to prevent famine in Ethiopia, when it seems to repetitively return.” Fund raisers for Save the Children, one of the leading African relief organizations, face the same problem. They raised $117,618 from corporate donors in 1986 but managed only $11,000 last year.
National foreign aid programs are also being revised down, because it is so difficult to fund projects that actually work. Even Sweden, which has traditionally been an easy touch for Africans, balked last year at paying for 350 new rail cars for the Tanzania-Zambia railway. Aid officials found that neglect and incompetence were so pervasive that in seven years time, the entire consignment of cars would probably be wrecked.
An abiding problem in Africa is what a recent World Bank report calls the “vampire elite,” a ruling class that diverts foreign aid for private use while the common people starve. Many African rulers are manifestly unconcerned about the plight of their people, and offer no government assistance to relief workers.
Yale and the Wages of Fear
Last February, a Yale sophomore was gunned down on the street just a block from the home of Benno Schmidt, the university president. The unsolved killing, on a normally quiet New Haven avenue that Mark Twain once called the most pleasant in the entire country, has terrified the already security-conscious university. The campus is in the heart of a crime-ridden, substantially black city.
Jan-Mitchell Sherrill, director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Campus Violence in Towson (MD) has found the silver lining to the killing. It may not be such a bad thing for students to wonder if sudden, violent death larks around the corner of every ivy-covered building. “At Yale and other schools, if they can keep the fear alive, everyone will be safer,” says the expert.
Affirmative Action Saint
Pierre Toussaint was a former black slave who lived in New York City before the Civil War. By all accounts he was a generous and devout man, who helped orphans and sick people, and used his money to buy freedom for other slaves. He is also well on his way to becoming only the fourth American to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.
The process is being encouraged by Pope John Paul II, who will have the final say in whether Toussaint becomes a saint. The Pope is troubled by the uneven distribution of saints among nations and races, and is reported to be eager to canonize a black American.
Balkanization at Berkeley
At the University of California at Berkeley, faculty diversity has taken on a new meaning.. The objective now is not merely to have as many non-white faces as possible, but to match race with subject. Thus, blacks should teach African history, Chicanos should teach Chicano literature, Asians should teach Asian studies, etc. At Berkeley, this is called “true diversity,” and seems to assume something that would ordinarily be called “racist”: that the competence of a person in a particular field is determined by race.
Some people at Berkeley are outspoken about this. White teachers and graduate students face hostility from non-whites when they teach about black slavery or Hispanic immigration. Since they have not suffered “racial oppression” they are not thought capable of teaching these subjects.
Non-white graduate students feel pressure to get degrees in their own ethnicity. The occasional black or Hispanic who wants to study French literature or Japanese history may be ostracized by his fellows. Likewise, white students are warned away from “ethnic” studies, because their chances of getting jobs in those fields are poor. Teaching slots are essentially reserved for ethnics.
This wasn’t always so. Berkeley now has two highly-regarded white professors of African American history, Leon Litwack and Lawrence Levine. “A Litwack or Levine couldn’t happen now,” says a colleague.
Diversity Like it or Not
Manhattenville College, a campus of 1,040 students located in Purchase (N-Y), tries to ensure that all freshmen get a roommate of a different race. For the last two years, freshman integration was an option, but it will henceforth be mandatory. The administration hopes that freshmen will choose other-race roommates in subsequent years, and if they don’t, the college will step in and enforce the rule. As Provost Cate Myers explains “If they don’t naturally do it on their own, our expectation is to expand the intercultural program to all residence halls.”
Late last year, Darres Park was a hero of anti-racism because of his heroic resistance to white attackers. The half-Chinese, half-Korean Mr. Park reportedly used karate and kung fu to fight off bat-swinging thugs yelling “Brain the gook.” He was the speaker of honor at a University of Washington rally against racism, and received much sympathetic media coverage. Mr. Park has since been arrested for three armed bank robberies, and witnesses to the “racial” attack are retracting parts of their stories.
Designing the School of the Future
Schools to be built in urban areas now have a new design criterion: crime prevention. Violence and lawlessness are so widespread in non-white urban schools that architects regularly consult with security experts on how to draw up plans.
Many districts now build schools so that as many areas as possible are visible from a few central locations. Halls are long and straight so that security guards can sweep them quickly with their eyes. Bathrooms, which used to be located at the periphery are now at the center, since isolated wash-rooms are ideal for assault, drug-taking, and rape.
Another consideration is access to the school. Deerlake Middle School in Tallahassee (FL) was built so that every driveway onto the grounds could be watched from the administration office. In Boston, school designers work closely with security experts on all aspects of layout. Planners are beginning to find that some of the best design ideas for keeping schools secure are already well understood by prison architects.
Metal Detectors for Movie House
People who travel by air have become accustomed to going through metal detectors before they get on the plane. Soon, movie-goers in some areas may go through a similar security check.
The mayor of Valley Stream (NY) has asked the owners of the Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas either to close the place down or install metal detectors. In the past five years there have been at least ten violent incidents at the Sunrise, which has heavily black patronage. Most recently, one person was killed and three others injured during a wild gun battle that broke out during a screening of “Godfather Part III.”
‘Quotas’ to be Taboo Subject
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has urged Congress and President Bush not to inject “racism” into political campaigns for 1992. Racism? By this, the commission means any suggestion that current “civil rights” demands could lead to racial quotas. It has formally asked all federal office seekers to avoid the subject of quotas in their campaigns.
Yes, difficult as this may be to believe, a branch of the government is asking for a voluntary gag rule that would shield its own activities from criticism. It is easy to imagine the riotous indignation that would follow a formal request from the Pentagon that the cost of weapons systems not be raised as a campaign issue. The Civil Rights Commission’s request has been met with embarrassed silence.
$1 Million for Diversity
We reproduce the following item, in full, from the San Jose Mercury News of Feb. 14, 1991: Santa Clara University has received a $1 million grant from the James Irvine Foundation of San Francisco and Newport Beach to be applied toward improvement of ethnic and racial diversity on the campus. University President Paul Locatelli said the money will aid in implementing the school’s “Excellence Through Diversity” plan, an ongoing effort at making the 140-year old Jesuit institution “a more effective multicultural academic community.”
Black Study Finds Whites are Racist
The African-American Institute of the State University of New York has released a study that splashes much of the state with charges of racism. The report, which has no sources or documentation, explains that former mayor of New York, Ed Koch, is a racist, as are journalists at the New York Times, the New York Daily News, and the New York Post. The Republican Party “has become the connoisseurs of subtle racism,” and Jews did not vote in sufficient numbers for black mayor David Dinkins because of his “pigmentation.”
The “study” was publicly funded. The Democrat-controlled New York state legislature gives the African-American Institute $500,000 every year. When the institute’s director, Dr. Albert Williams-Myers was asked about the report, he said, “That’s what education is all about.” He explained that the study was part of the institute’s support for “political empowerment.”
King Institute Evicted
Two years ago, Governor Mario Cuomo of New York set up a Martin Luther King Jr. Institute for NonViolence. He gave it $1.5 million in taxpayer money every year so it could “advance Dr. King’s teachings.” Whatever they did for Dr. King’s teachings, institute employees appear to have had a gay old time. They are now under investigation for excessive salaries, credit card abuse, bid-rigging, nepotism, and sexual harassment. The institute has, indeed, shown signs of not being able to keep track of its annual $1.5 million. Recently, city marshals evicted the institute from its offices in downtown Brooklyn for failing to pay rent — a most unusual embarrassment for a government-funded body.
Illegal Mother, Legal Baby
It is increasingly common for Mexican women, well into pregnancy, to slip across the border and have their babies in the United States. Not only do they get free, first-world medical care, but even more important, their children qualify for US citizenship. After the children turn 18, they can sponsor their parents and other family members for citizenship.
Between 1986 and 1989, the amount of money the County of Los Angeles spent delivering babies for illegal aliens doubled from $14.8 million to $29.3 million. Until recently, the cost was met locally, but new legislation provides for the state and federal governments to pick up the tab. You, too, are now helping to subsidize both the citizenship giveaway and free medical care for Mexicans.
Votes for Resident Mexicans
The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is one of the most active Hispanic groups in the country, and gets most of its money from the Ford Foundation. Joaquin Avila, a lawyer with MALDEF, is working on a plan to change the constitution of the state of California so that voting would be open to all residents, not just citizens.
“In the 1990s,” says Mr. Avila, “[there will be] more Latinos in political power with their own political networks. At some point, in California we’ll have the power to sponsor legislation to amend the constitution.”
We can’t say that we weren’t warned. We wonder what else might happen when there are enough Hispanics in California to change the state constitution.
Standards for New York Students
The City University of New York (CUNY) is obligated by law to accept all applicants who are graduates of the New York City school system. These are often a very sorry lot, and the university is moving towards establishing minimum competence levels that students must meet before they get a degree. These, according to Chancellor Ann Reynolds, will be the standards of a good high school.
The city’s high schools, themselves, are also thinking about standards for their students, 80 percent of whom are non-white. Schools Chancellor Joseph Fernandez has proposed attaching a warranty to all New York City diplomas. It would allow anyone who hired a graduate to turn him back in for free remedial training if it turned out the graduate couldn’t read or write.
Both of these proposals — that CUNY should not grant degrees to people unless they can perform at the high school level, and that the high schools should not grant diplomas to people who can’t read or write — would be hilarious if they were not tragic. Thirty to forty percent of New York’s public school students fail even to graduate from high school.