Posted on January 1, 1992

O Tempora, O Mores! (January, 1992)

American Renaissance, January 1992

Urban Nutcracker

The Ballethnic Dance Company of Atlanta (GA) has an all-affirmative action cast, made up of blacks, Hispanics, Vietnamese, Filipinos, and American Indians. It has debuted a new version of the Christmas favorite, Tchaikovsky’s Nut Cracker Suite, that it hopes will be more appealing to non-white children. The characters are no longer named Fritz and Clara but Leroy and Sarah. The Sugar Plum Fairy is now the Brown Sugar Fairy. The Land of Sweets has been transformed into the black-owned Yates and Milton Drug Store.

White Mischief

Dubuque, Iowa is 98 percent white — too white for the city council, which recently decided to recruit several hundred black families to come live in the city. A few young whites expressed their objections to this plan by burning crosses and were immediately treated to the usual outraged lectures about tolerance and equality. Some of the lads later appeared on national television, where one pointed out that he knew of no place in America where crime, drugs, and poverty had not arrived along with blacks. He said he couldn’t understand why his home town, where people still leave their doors unlocked, should go out of its way to court trouble.

Objections of this kind were quickly brushed aside, and the good Germans and Irishmen of Dubuque rallied to the cause of recruiting black residents. Recently, the style has been to wear black and white ribbons in one’s lapel to show approval for the plan.

What is going on here? Why is Dubuque actually hunting for black people? It is a uniquely white combination of ignorance and the desire to practice virtue. The official view on race, propagated tirelessly by the media, is that blacks are just like whites in every important way, and that their unfortunate behavior can only be the result of white prejudice and oppression. With no blacks on hand to dispel this view, the citizens of Dubuque have no reason to question it.

Thus, they probably think they have a perfect opportunity to practice virtue. Today, in America, the virtue that is most loudly applauded is “tolerance,” particularly of poor, dark-skinned people. With no local blacks on which to exercise their capacity for tolerance, the people of Dubuque cannot demonstrate America’s most admired virtue. They are probably saying to themselves that although every other city in America may have failed to treat the black man as he deserves, by golly, Dubuque will get it right. We wish the city the best of luck.

More White Mischief

The University of Idaho at Moscow suffers from the same defect as the city of Dubuque — too many whites. The school recently tried to remedy that problem by establishing a chapter of an exclusively black fraternity. The hope is that this will send a message to blacks that they are welcome. More might then come to the university and bestow upon it the blessings of diversity. As W. Harold Godwin, vice president for student affairs explains, states with a large number of whites have a serious disadvantage:

We at the University of Idaho and other institutions that are isolated by geography face a Catch-22 problem, in that we wish to have a diverse student body, but the lack of diversity in our environment makes it difficult to attract those very individuals.

[Black athletes set up fraternity for minorities, NYT, 10/6/91.]

Downhill Trend

A recent study at the University of Texas has found that the longer a Mexican family lives in the United States, the lower its level of education will sink. Up until now, the first generation of Mexican immigrants has been the most highly motivated, whereas succeeding generations are increasingly likely not to bother to graduate from high school. This is the exact opposite of the case for turn-of-the-century European immigrants, who went on to higher levels of education with every generation. [Barbara Kantrowitz, Falling further behind, Newsweek, 8/19/91, p. 60.]

The study is based on historical data, and past trends will not necessarily hold in the future. In fact, it would be difficult for the children of more recent Mexican immigrants to get less education than their parents. Seventy-two percent of adult Mexicans who moved to southern California in the 1970s had 8 years of education or less. Today, nearly 43 percent of Hispanic students (including Cubans and Puerto Ricans) fail to graduate from high school. The figure for blacks is 24 percent and is 18 percent for whites.

Indian Chic

Meanwhile, at Princeton University, Introduction to American Indian Religions is the third most popular course this semester, after Soviet Politics and Macroeconomics. The course is taught by David Carrasco, a Mexican-American, who hopes, according to the New York Times, “to challenge pervasive stereotypes by introducing them [students] to the spiritual significance of such practices as human sacrifice . . .” Indeed, the prejudice against human sacrifice is a deeply rooted one in this country.

According to Nicholas Crull, who leads a small discussion group for the course, the subject is popular because of the “spiritual bankruptcy” of modern American society. Mr. Crull should certainly know; he is a visiting lecturer from the University of Leeds, in England. Kristina Sessa, a senior at Princeton, probably got it right when she said that “a lot of people are taking the course because it’s ‘cool.’” [A new course about Indians draws a crowd, NYT, 10/20/91.]

The New Logic of Race

The University of Cincinnati has gone one better than most campuses and has made it official: Blacks cannot be racist. This wisdom of Solomon was soon put to the test when, during the Gulf War, a mixed group of whites and blacks verbally attacked a group of Arab students. The university senate promptly found the whites guilty of “racism,” but was reduced to embarrassed silence over what to do about the blacks.

Integration on All Fronts

Many school integration plans have foundered on the fact that whites and blacks often live in different parts of town. In some cases, students would have to be bused for crazy distances to make up for the fact that all-black or all-white schools simply reflect residential patterns.

The Palm Beach County (FL) school district thinks it has found a way around the problem. It has agreed to end its busing program and let children attend neighborhood schools, rather than be bused long distances, if the neighborhoods promise to integrate. Since integration doesn’t come naturally, the school district has worked out a plan with fifteen real estate developers to move blacks into white neighborhoods.

Some towns are rewriting their building codes so that cheaper houses can be built in what have, so far, been high-toned areas. Core Point, for example has authorized the construction of inexpensive apartment units in an area where the existing houses cost a million dollars or more.

But how to be sure that blacks rather than whites move in? New houses and apartments are advertised in black newspapers, and the same properties are sold or rented at different rates according to the race of the customer. Blacks pay lower mortgages and lower rent than whites. This kind of discrimination blatantly violates the Fair Housing Act, but local authorities have indicated that they will look the other way so long as the law is violated in the name of integration. [William Celis 3rd, District finds way to end segregation and restore neighborhood schools, NYT, 9/4/91.]

The Elusive Truth

Nadine Strossen, a professor of constitutional law at New York Law School, has expressed surprise at the results of a little experiment she recently conducted in class. She found that when she urged her students to write their opinions about race on anonymous notes to be read in class, their views differed sharply from what they said publicly. “[This] really bothers me,” she says. [Thought control in the classrooms, NY Post, 10/18/91, p. 26.]

It is naive to be surprised at the extent to which free speech on certain subjects has been driven underground, and in Professor Strossen’s case it may also be disingenuous. She is President of the ACLU, an organization that has probably done as much as any other to enforce liberal orthodoxy of opinion.

Double Agent Thomas

Derrick Bell is a black professor on leave from Harvard Law School and is currently working at New York University. Here are excerpts from an opinion piece he wrote for the New York Times about the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court:

After a careful analysis of the civil rights writings and statements of Clarence Thomas, I am tempted to support his nomination . . . [A] court with its lone black Justice joining the majority in its anti-civil rights decisions will send a clear message: it is useless to continue seeking relief through law for America’s still rampant racism.

Militant arguments that blacks now have no alternative except disruptive protests and boycotts will be invulnerable to more moderate responses. The Court’s action will even give legitimacy to claims by some extremist leaders that black people must respond with violence to the violence inflicted on them by an uncaring society.

I am convinced that he [Clarence Thomas] plans to use rightwing dogma to spark racial revolt, a revolt he evidently sees as a dangerous but urgently necessary response to this society’s growing hostility to African Americans. [Derrick Bell, A radical double agent, NYT, 9/9/91, p. A15.]

Here is this month’s riddle: Was Professor Bell serious? Hint: He went on voluntary leave from Harvard because he told the Law School it must hire a black woman professor and it has not yet done so.

Blame it on the Gringo

Cholera broke out in Peru in early 1991, and has since spread to Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Guatemala, and Mexico, killing thousands of people. Mexico is very touchy about appearing to be the third world country that it is and doesn’t like to scare away Gringo tourists, so it has been very tight-lipped about the epidemic. However, less than half of all Mexicans are served by sewers and a quarter don’t have potable water, so the disease has already spread to at least 15 of Mexico’s 31 states.

Only oil exports earn Mexico more foreign exchange than does tourism. Acapulco and several other of Mexico’s most popular resorts are in the state of Guerrero. Sixty percent of the state’s population defecates in open fields and less than half of its households have piped water. Though the government denies it, journalists recently learned that several people have died of cholera in the outlying slums of Acapulco. Cholera patients are kept in a closely guarded ward and are diagnosed as having “diarrhea syndrome.” One health official reportedly told a journalist that orders to cover up the disease came straight from Mexico City. [Katherine Ellison, Cholera nears Acapulco, doctors say, SJ Mercury News, 12/1/91, p. 1A.]

Government silence about cholera means that the relatives of those who die from it sometimes don’t know the cause of death. One man, whose sister had died of cholera, told the New York Times that American action in the Gulf War was the cause. “They dropped a lot of bombs, and that contaminated the air,” he explained; “then the wind brought it to us.” [Marlene Cimons, US expected to alert doctors, public about cholera, LA Times, 8/15/91, p. A8; Tim Golden, Mexico fights cholera but hates to say its name, NYT, 9/14/91, p. 2.]

Blame it on the White Man

Malcolm X is enjoying enough of a revival among blacks to stimulate some genuinely scholarly interest in the man. In the process, some of the favorite myths about Mr. X have been exploded. According to tradition, the young boy’s parents’ home in Lansing (MI) was burned down by a white supremacist group called the Black Legion, and his father was murdered by the KKK.

In fact, argues Bruce Perry in his recent book, Malcolm, it appears most likely that the father set fire to the building himself because he was about to be evicted, and that he died of natural causes. The mother probably built the man up into a race hero in order to hide from her children the fact that he was a wife-beating, adulterous, shiftless failure. [Gerald Early, Malcolm X: The prince of faces, LA Times book review, 9/8/91, p. 3.]

Hero and Role Model?

Black athlete, “Magic” Johnson, has announced his retirement from basketball after learning that he has contracted the AIDS virus. President George Bush called him a “hero” for having made a clean breast of his condition, and promised to appoint him to a prominent commission on AIDS. AIDS activists are pleased that another heterosexual has gotten the virus, because they think this will scare more people into supporting the search for a cure.

Mr. Johnson may be a good basketball player, but he is not a hero. Friends have reported that he has had sex with “thousands” of women. He found out he had AIDS only because of a routine blood test for an insurance policy. How long has Mr. Johnson had the AIDS virus? How many of his “thousands” of women may he have infected? To have behaved in a way that meant he had a good chance of carrying the disease, yet to have blithely slept with one woman after another, is thoroughly contemptible. Only a corrupt society could call such a man a hero.

Rainbow Coalition

Jordon Downs is a housing project in Watts, a Los Angeles suburb that was once mostly black but is now becoming increasingly Hispanic. The project, which houses 2,500 people, is 80 percent black and 20 percent Hispanic. Blacks and Hispanics do not get along. Last fall, two blacks burned an apartment where Hispanics were sleeping, and five died in the fire. Hispanics are now calling for racially segregated buildings within the project, saying that is the only way they can be safe. [Jesse Katz, Watts residents ask segregation, LA Times, 9/10/91, p. A3.]

Welcome to the Future

In the period between the censuses of 1980 and 1990, whites declined as a percentage of the population in virtually every American city and county. In a number of major cities, whites dipped below the 50 percent mark for the first time in history. In New York City, whites went from 53 percent to 43 percent.

Other cities where whites became minorities during the decade were: Houston: 53 to 41 percent, Dallas: 53 to 48 percent, San Jose: 65 to 49 percent, San Francisco: 54 to 47 percent, Memphis: 51 to 44 percent, Long Beach (CA): 69 to 49 percent, Fresno (CA): 64 to 49 percent, Stockton (CA): 59 to 49 percent. [Bill Hoffmann, Minorities are now Big Apple’s majority, NY Post, 9/18/91, p. 2.] In no American city did whites regain a majority. Many cities — Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans — lost their white majorities years ago.

New York City Rots

The welfare population of New York City jumped 15 percent over the last two years and now stands at 937,000, or one in every eight New Yorkers. If all of them were gathered together in one place, it would be the ninth-largest city in the nation. Half of all children born in New York City will be on welfare at some point before the age of 18.

Direct city expenditures for food, clothing, and shelter run to about $700,000,000 a year, but New York Post columnist Pete Hamill suspects that services and handouts for the poor may eat up close to one half of the city’s $28.5 billion budget. This is because welfare recipients live in the worst fire traps, commit a huge proportion of the crime, and get sick with expensive diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis. They consume far more city services than other people and don’t pay a penny in taxes to support them. [Pete Hamill, City’s welfare mess unique in history, NY Post, 9/19/91.]

People who work are tired of paying taxes to subsidize people who don’t work. Anyone who wants a good education for his children must pay for private school, in addition to the taxes he pays for miserable public schools. While the number of freeloaders grows, taxpayers are moving away. Unless the city changes its ways soon, it will be back to Congress, hat in hand, asking the good people of Wyoming and Kentucky to pay its bills.

A sign of the times: Koreans, who used to immigrate to New York City have started leaving. About 50 families a month are going back to Korea, sick of the filth, crime, and the treatment they have had at the hands of blacks. New York (and America) will know that it has finally hit bottom when the Haitians, Salvadorans, and Vietnamese start going home.

If at First You do Succeed . . .

A company called ETR Associates is promoting a school lesson program called Building Skills to Prevent Pregnancy. This is how the company describes it:

Teenagers actively participate in lessons that help them gain the skills and confidence they need to choose responsible sexual behavior. Learning follows from action as students personalize information through role play, class discussion, small group work, parent/student homework and field trips . . .

The company’s pamphlet does not explain what sort of homework and field trips they recommend, but the role play is “practice in refusing sex or negotiating the use of contraceptives.” It is hard to imagine students doing that with straight faces. On the other hand, it is all too easy to understand why they can graduate from high school without learning to read if that is what they do in class.

When in Hong Kong . . .

California builders are, in spite of themselves, learning a kind of ancient Chinese mumbo jumbo called feng shui. Feng shui, delicately translated as “the art of placement,” is a set of rules about how to design a house so as to keep evil spirits at bay. In parts of California, there are enough Chinese buyers to make it difficult to sell a house that breaks the rules.

If, for example, there is a straight line from front door to back door, the family’s cosmic energy may flow in and out of the house too quickly. If there is a tree directly in line with the front door, it may hinder the entry of energy and wealth. If a staircase faces the front door, wealth may run down and out of the house. If the foot of a bed faces the door, that is an unhappy portent of the day when the occupant will be carried out feet first. If a beam runs lengthwise over a bed, the couple that sleeps in it is more likely to separate. If a beam runs crosswise over the bed, this may foretell injury or early death. Etc.

Four out of five Hong Kong Chinese reportedly take feng shui seriously, as do about half of all Taiwanese. Even a large number of Chinese-Americans worry about channeling wealth properly. When builders have to rework their plans to keep the Chinese happy, it makes houses more expensive for everyone.

The New Minority

Now that many Chinese have become property owners in California, they have also become landlords. As it happens, they like to rent to fellow Chinese (just as Koreans, Vietnamese, and Russian Jews like to rent to their own) and aren’t inhibited about telling whites that they aren’t welcome. In 1990, the Fair Housing Council of Orange County (CA) received 1,178 complaints of housing discrimination. The largest number of complaints were received from whites, followed by those from blacks and Hispanics. [Robert Slayton, Time to recognize role of bias in county housing, LA Times, 10/9/91, p. B11.]