Posted on July 1, 1992

O Tempora, O Mores! (July, 1992)

American Renaissance, July 1992

Remembering Rodney

The Los Angeles riots may be over, but their effect lingers on. While Los Angeles was burning, a black Dallas County official was on trial in Dallas for breaking a white man’s ankle during a demonstration. Jurors as well as the Assistant District Attorney were threatened with death if the man was convicted, and there was wide-spread speculation that a guilty verdict would provoke race riots. On May 11, the jury found the black man innocent. There were no charges of jury tampering, nor was a mistrial declared. [Robert Suro, Dallas black leader is acquitted in tense trial on assault charges, May 12, 1992, p. A16.]

The New York Times did its part for the jury system by publishing a long article, in which it named each of the jurors at the trial of the officers who beat Rodney King. The article went on to name the neighborhoods in which the jurors live and to describe their houses. It did everything but give out their addresses and telephone numbers. [Putting the L.A. jurors at risk, NY Post, May 12, 1992.] Many of the jurors had already left town in fear for their lives, and the Times article hardly added to their peace of mind. The article also reminded white potential jurors of the treatment they can expect if they render unacceptable verdicts.

Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, a governor of the Federal Reserve Board warned bankers that they were partially to blame for the riots. Lawrence B. Lindsey said that if banks didn’t make enough loans to non-whites, banks could be regulated just like public utilities, with lending quotas for every ethnic group. [AP, Banks that don’t lend to minorities warned, NY Newsday, May 12, 1992.] Mr. Lindsey seems not to have noticed that black-owned banks make even fewer loans to blacks than do most white-owned banks. Since they will not be accused of “racism” for turning down shaky non-white borrowers, they are free to apply prudent credit standards across the board.

The Rising Tide

Immigration to Miami and surrounding Dade County is changing southern Florida in dramatic ways. Forty-five percent of the county’s residents are now foreign-born [Lizette Alvarez, A decade of upheaval and transformation, Miami Herald, April 3, 1992, p. A22.] and the languages the county speaks reflect these changes. In 1980, a majority of county residents still spoke English at home, but in 1990, only 43 percent did.

Today, of the county’s 1,798,000 people, just over 50 percent speak Spanish. The next most popular language after English is Haitian Creole, which is spoken by 3.8 percent. Only 24.4 percent of the population is white. One wonders how many other counties in the nation have majorities that prefer to speak a foreign language. [David Hancock, Census: Dade speaks in many tongues, Miami Herald, April 10, 1992, p. 1B.]

Although we are told over and over that immigration is an economic stimulus, incomes in Dade County did not budge over the past decade, while the average income in the state of Florida increased by 12 percent. Within Miami, which attracted most of the immigrants, the average income dropped by 12 percent over the decade. Half of Miami’s children under the age of five now live in poverty.

In Miami proper, only ten percent of the population is white, whereas it was 90 percent white 30 years ago. No doubt it is pure coincidence, but Miami has the highest crime rate in the nation.

Immigration to southern Florida is affecting the entire state. In 1980, one in 33 Floridians had a hard time understanding English; now, one in 13 do. In 1980, five percent of all homes did not have telephones; now ten percent do without. [Dexter Filkins, Dade incomes stagnant in ’80s, census says, Miami Herald, April 3, 1992, p. 23 A.] The third-world is no longer at our doorstep; it is well over the threshold.

Cosby Corrupts

Bill Cosby, whose television show has aired its final episode, funded a study to see what effect “The Cosby Show” had had on race relations. Sut Jhally of the University of Massachusetts reports that it “desensitized” whites to the problems of blacks because the middle-class success of its characters suggested that blacks are not held back by inveterate white racism. Of course, any television program that depicted black urban life realistically would be attacked because of its “negative stereotypes.” In his research, Prof. Jhally found that almost all whites think that affirmative action is unfair to whites. The professor calls this “enlightened racism,” [Jeff Donn, “Cosby” study sparks race debate, NY Newsday, April 28, 1992.] whatever that may be.

Southern Pride?

Mississippi and Georgia use the Confederate battle flag as part of the design of their state flags. Naturally, the flags are denounced as racist, and the usual crowd is trying to have them changed. Georgia’s flag is under particular attack, on the pretext that it will be an embarrassment to the city when it hosts the Olympics in 1996.

The last time a big anti-flag campaign was mounted was before the 1988 Democratic convention, on the pretext that the flag would offend convention delegates. Olympic athletes are probably even less likely to be upset by the flag than the delegates were.

Two states, South Carolina and Alabama, still fly the battle flag above their state houses. In South Carolina, the flag is also displayed in both houses of the state legislature. [AP, Battle brewing on altering state flag, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Georgia), April 25, 1992, p. A1.]

Freedom of Speech

Nicholas Sobb, a high school student in Palm Beach County (FL) was suspended after he distributed flyers for a book called Disaster Zone-U.S.A., which argues against school integration. His suspension came during final exams, and Mr. Sobb filed a First Amendment suit against the school to have his suspension lifted. Judge Edward Garrison turned him down.

A lawyer for the school gave unwitting support to Mr. Sobb when she explained why he had to be suspended: “We’ve got enough racial problems on campus as it is, without something that could incite students.” [Judy Plunkett, Student suspended for anti-integration book, Miami Herald, May 23, 1992, p. 5B.]

Boyz ‘n the Scouts

The British Boy Scouts are trying to change their image so as to attract inner city blacks. They have hired a black rap singer, named T-Love, to record a rap song about scouting. The Economist of London wonders coyly whether Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of scouting, would have approved. [The Economist, Feb. 29, 1992, p. 63.] We can assure The Economist that he would have been livid. It is now considered rude to recall that Lord Baden-Powell was a self-conscious racialist, who did not want non-whites in his movement. For many years, the Boy Scout magazine, Boys’ Life had the subtitle, “The magazine for white boys.”

Indigenous Indignation

In May, Hispanics from all over the state of Arizona gathered in Phoenix to protest “discrimination” in the schools. Discrimination used to mean treating people differently because of race, but now it means treating them the same. The protesters don’t like what they are being taught, since they say they do not want to be assimilated into the Anglo way of life. Curiously, they want the “Anglos” to be taught a Hispanic curriculum, too. “All people need to learn more about what the indigenous peoples on this continent have to offer,” said Tupac Enrique, who drove his point home by performing a “sacred Aztec ceremony” at the State Capitol. Arizona Governor, Fife Symington, usually pays no attention to uninvited demonstrators, but this time he invited the Hispanics into his office so they could speak to him in person. [Kim Sue Lia Perkes, Hispanics allege bias in schools, Arizona Republic, May 5, 1992, p. B1.]

‘The Race of None’

Barbara Ehrenreich is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and other lefty journals. She has fully absorbed the required ethnicity lessons of the day, and thinks that her Irish-English-Scottish ancestry has no meaning or significance. In a recent article, she explained that when she was younger, ethnic nothingness seemed a terrible legacy to pass on to her children, but she thought she had found a way around it:

I had hoped that by marrying a man of Eastern-European Jewish ancestry I would acquire for my descendants the ethnic genes that my own forebears so sadly lacked.

It didn’t work. She tried to celebrate Passover with her children, but gave up when they realized she was faking it. She reports that her children grew up with no racial or ethnic consciousness, but she wasn’t sure that was an entirely good thing until recently:

A few weeks ago I cleared my throat and asked the children, now mostly grown and fearsomely smart, whether they felt any stirrings of ethnic or religious identity, which might have been, ahem, insufficiently nourished at home.

“None,” they said, adding firmly “and the world would be a better place if nobody else did, either.” My chest swelled with pride, as would my mother’s, to know that the race of ‘none’ marches on.

Surely, only a white person could have written those lines or thought those thoughts.