O Tempora, O Mores! (June, 1995)
Living the Dream
Like the federal government, the state of New York has a Martin Luther King Commission that spends tax-money ensuring that New Yorkers celebrate Dr. King’s birthday properly. A white woman who worked for the commission claims she was harassed and fired because she is white.
“I thought, gee, it will be nice working in a place that’s really doing some good for people, [but] it was probably the most violent place I ever worked,” says Susan Kelley. She says that supervisors regularly yelled at white workers but treated blacks cordially. During her year with the commission she says five white secretaries left or were fired and all were replaced with blacks. The New York State Division of Human Rights is investigating Miss Kelley’s charges.
The Martin Luther King Commission has been beset with scandal and mismanagement for years. The Inspector General has cited it for wasting money, and Governor Pataki is considering shutting it down. [Gregg Birnbaum, Fired King-panel worker charges bias, NY Post, 3/30/95.]
Out of the Mouths of Babes
On March 20th, Valerie Johnson, a 38-year-old white woman living in Monessen, Pennsylvania, went for a stroll with her three-year-old son. They walked by two young blacks who were addressing each other as “nigger,” and the three-year-old repeated the word. The blacks took offense, and one of them struck the woman. She went home and reported the assault to police by telephone. About 20 minutes later, Mrs. Johnson went back out and happened to meet at least one of the blacks again. She was struck a second time, and later died from the blow. [Jim McKinnon, Child mimicking racial slur may have cost mother’s life, Wash Times, April 1, 1995, p. A5.]
South African television had a great idea for a heart-warming program about racial harmony. They invited eight young people of various racial backgrounds to live together for six months, rent-free, in a swanky suburban villa. The eight were chosen from 1,500 idealists who answered a classified ad, and who did not know each other until they moved in together. A camera crew showed up every day to film the love feast.
It didn’t last long. The house very quickly divided along racial lines, and five of the eight moved out before the six months were up. “Bev,” a black lesbian activist from Soweto, quickly discovered that her housemates were “racist, sexist, homophobic pigs who smile when I come in.” “Cokie,” a white surfer says the lesbian thinks she “deserves everything . . . [and] should take what she wants.” “Meirav,” another white, concluded that blacks and whites “have totally different mentalities.”
The person who apparently go on best with everyone was “Leroux,” a small-town Afrikaaner with a professed admiration for Hitler. Once, as he sat together with the black lesbian, he mused about how he used to beat up homosexuals. “I’m seeing life from different eyes,” he said. [Drusilla Menaker, House divided: S. Africans fail test of harmony, SF Examiner, 3/28/95, p. A8.]
The state of Maryland has been found guilty of racial discrimination against white state police. Ninety-nine troopers were found to have been held back in 1989 and 1990 so that blacks could be promoted. Seventeen of the white officers will be promoted and all will receive back pay. [Mary Pemberton, White troopers gain from reverse-bias suit, Wash Times, 4/6/95, p. C9.]
The California State University system has finally reversed a ten-year policy of letting illegal immigrants pay the low, in-state tuition rate rather than the out-of-state rate. It took a seven-year law suit to do it, but the university has sent letters to approximately 2,000 students, telling them that tuition will rise from $1,584 to $8,965. [John Chandler, CSU plans to raise fees for illegal immigrants, LA Times, 4/2/95, p. A3.]
What Price Peace of Mind?
For those who frequently drive alone through dodgy neighborhoods, the American Automobile Association offers a dummy to sit in the passenger seat and look fierce. Safe-T-Man costs $119 and weighs nine pounds. He is made of latex and comes with no clothes, but can be dressed to suit his owner’s taste. The manufacturer reports more than 7,000 sales in recent months. [AP, College Park woman travels with a dummy, Wash Times, 3/30/95.]
Showing Her Colors
Attorney General Janet Reno is pressing for the appointment of a black U.S. District Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi. Joshua Bogen, who is white, had been favored for the job until he learned from former Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Espy — who is black and is also from Mississippi — that President Bill Clinton was determined to appoint a black.
“Had I been told . . . that I would not be considered solely on the basis of my race,” says Mr. Bogen, “I never would have allowed my name to be submitted in the first place.” Even the black chairman of the state Democratic Party favors Mr. Bogen, who is widely recognized to be better qualified than the black, Calvin Buchanan, whom Miss Reno and Mr. Clinton prefer. [Bartholomew Sullivan, Reno favors black for U.S. Attorney, Wash Times, 4/27/95.]
Learning From the Natives
Some Asians are acting like blacks. Students at Northwestern University in Chicago have been demonstrating and going on hunger strike to try to make the university establish an Asian-American studies program. In April, more than 150 students tramped through the campus chanting “No program, no peace.” The hunger strike started with 17 zealots but seven dropped out after the first five days. The University — so far — is holding firm.
San Luis, Arizona, has 8,100 post office boxes for its population of 4,000. Why so many boxes? San Luis is on the border with Mexico, and thousands of Mexicans use the post office as a mail drop for American benefits checks.
The scam works like this: A Mexican mother brings her children across the border and enrolls them in public school, giving the address of relatives living in Arizona. Investigators visit the address, and the relatives vouch for the newcomers, who promptly apply for welfare, food stamps, and other benefits. State officials are barred from inquiring into a Mexican’s legal status.
So long as the children stay enrolled in school — and many of them cross the border and attend classes — the state keeps sending checks to the San Luis post office boxes. On the first of the month, when the checks arrive, the station is crammed with Mexicans, and the post master has hired extra staff to handle the crush. In 1988, the post office added two double-wide trailers full of boxes but they were soon gone and there are 400 people on the waiting list. [Mark Shaffer, Border Welfare bounty, Arizona Republic, 4/9/95, p. 1.] Many boxes are under as many as 15 different names.
President Bill Clinton has again demonstrated how reliably unreliable he is. Eight months ago, he promised that the 21,000 Cuban rafters who had been held at the American base in Guantanamo, Cuba, would never be admitted en masse to the United States. Now the administration says they can come after all. The President appears to have considered several things. It costs about a million dollars a day to house the rafters. They have already rioted twice — injuring dozens of American guards — and the administration fears a rowdy summer. Opposition to letting in the Cubans, which was very high when they were bobbing across the Caribbean, is thought to have waned. In return for this mass entry, the President says that henceforth all rafters will be returned to Cuba. This is a promise. [Paul Richter & Mike Clary, U.S. to Admit Cubans from Guantanamo, LA Times, 5/3/95, p. 1.]
Party of the White?
In April, Congressman Nathan Deal of Georgia switched parties, from Democrat to Republican. Now, all eleven Georgia Republicans are white and all three Democrats are black. Until last November, when Republicans won control of Congress, many southern white Democrats stayed in the party because they would lose influence by moving from the majority to the minority party. Now there is very little left to keep Republicans — particularly in the South — from becoming the party of the white. [Ross Baker, A Dixie defection rattles the party, LA Times, 4/16/95.]
Too Much of a Good Thing
In 1980, the village of Matteson, Illinois was about 12 percent black. By 1990, it was 44 percent black, and residents think they now have too much of a good thing. In April, the Village Board signed a $37,000 contract with a Chicago marketing firm to try to persuade whites to buy houses in Matteson. The usual groups are yelping, but sensible blacks think the money well spent. “I don’t want to go through the process of seeing my neighborhood go 75, 85, 90 percent black,” says Bill Watts, a retired postal worker who is black. “I know what that has meant for other communities, and I don’t want that here.” [Juanita Poe, Rapidly changing Matteson sets a course to woo whites, Chi Trib, 4/17/95, p. 1.]
Asians in Australia
Multiculturalism has come to the Sidney suburb of Cabramatta. About a quarter of the population — 20,000 people — is now Vietnamese and Cabramatta has become Australia’s heroin capital. There is so much drug use around the railroad station that gardeners refuse to tend to flower beds; they are afraid of being stuck by scores of discarded hypodermic needles. Whites now call the town Vietmatta.
Young Vietnamese men like to join gangs, and many have “5T” tattooed on the backs of their rights hands or the letter T written on each knuckle. T is the first letter of the Vietnamese words for love, money, prison, crime, and kill. As it is in the United States, “home invasion” is a favorite Vietnamese crime. Gang members smash through a door with a sledge hammer and then rape, rob, and terrorize the family. Preferred targets are illegal gambling dens, where a great deal of cash is likely to be found.
Victims are not all Asian. John Newman, Cabramatta’s representative in the state Parliament was shot to death in his own driveway, perhaps because of his strong stance against Asian gangs. His murder has been called Australia’s first political assassination, although the killers have not been identified.
Until the 1960s, Australia allowed only whites to immigrate. Now, about five percent of Australia’s 17 million people are either first- or second-generation Asian immigrants. [Charles Wallace, Racial tensions rise in Australia over Vietnamese immigrant community, LA Times, 4/8/95, p. A8.]
Death on Wheels
In Kenya, the death rate on the highways is about 90 times higher than in California: one death for every 71 vehicles as opposed to one for every 6,289. Some Kenyan officials blame the slaughter on awful roads, but foreigners think that for a nation of crazy drivers, overstuffed vehicles, and bad brakes, better roads would only make the killing more efficient. Another problem is traffic lights; sometimes there is no electricity and sometimes the bulbs are stolen. Kenya is a popular destination for European tourists, but enough have been killed in traffic accidents to persuade travel companies to scale back their operations. [John Balzar, Kenya’s most dangerous game? Driving, LA Times, 2/7/95, p. H6.]
Detroit Numbers Game
The Michigan state government grants special tax favors to any city in the state with a population of more than one million. This is a gift to Detroit, which is the only city that even comes close. As Detroit keeps losing people, the one million figure gets harder to reach with every census.
Former U.S. Census Director Barbara Bryant now charges in a new book, Moving Power and Money, that the city went to unusual lengths to pad its population. When a preliminary estimate showed the city to have only 970,000 people, Mayor Coleman Young called for an army of volunteers to find more. They did. They listed the residents of 701 parking lots, 1,115 nonexistent addresses, and 236 houses that had been torn down. They also listed 722 people confirmed dead or departed, and 2,512 citizens who were unknown to the people who actually lived at the addresses. It took a one million dollar Census Bureau audit to find all this out, but Juliette Okotie-Eboh, who ran the 1990 Detroit census, says the charges are false. [Richard Ryan, Book bashes Detroit over its census count in ‘90, Det News, 4/19/95, p. 1A.]
Enlightenment at the Atlantic
The May, 1995 issue of Atlantic Monthly has published a remarkably level-headed article about diversity. In “The Diversity Myth: America’s Leading Export,” Benjamin Schwarz reports that it is pure ignorance about human nature and the history of their own country that makes Americans think they can solve overseas ethnic conflicts through “reconciliation” and “power-sharing.” He notes that until the 1960s, the United States forced all immigrants into an Anglo-American mold and that this held the country together: “the current fragmentation and directionlessness of American society is the result, above all, of a disintegrating elite’s increasing inability or unwillingness to impose its hegemony on society as a whole.”
- [F]rom the ‘American’ point of view, a reasonable accommodation [with the Indians] would have required that, in Theodore Roosevelt’s blunt phrase, the vast continent be set aside ‘as a game preserve.’ America’s great ethnic struggle should have taught Americans that many conflicts are simply irreconcilable. The struggle to make one nation of America’s original two [races] — black and white — is an enterprise that might never succeed, and that America’s founders did not believe was possible.
- [I]t is, as John Stuart Mill observed, ‘next to impossible’ to build a true democracy — as opposed to a system of majority tyranny — in a multi-ethnic society . . . Democracy, which permits — in fact encourages — competition for power and benefits among contesting groups, actually exacerbates internal tensions and conflicts.
- Stability within divided societies is normally based on some form of domination, and once internal differences become violent, usually only the logic of force can lay them to rest. Lamentably, the most stable and lasting solution to ethnic and nationalist conflicts has been ethnic cleansing and partition.
- Without the dominance that once dictated, however ethnocentrically, what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together. Unfortunately, the evidence from Los Angeles to New York, from Miami to Milwaukee, shows that such principles are not so powerful as we had believed and hoped. Afraid to face our own problems directly, we look elsewhere, and encourage other countries to prove to us that more pluralism and more tolerance are all that are needed to reunite divided societies. [Atlantic Monthly, pp. 57ff.]
The rest of the article which, with a little editing could have appeared in AR, is well worth reading.
Youth Festival in Atlanta
Freaknik is an annual spring frolic for black college students, which has been held in Atlanta since 1982. It is well known to be accompanied by looting and violence, but a black-run city is unable to bring itself to forbid the students to come. Thousands of whites simply leave town for the weekend.
This year’s Freaknik, held April 21 through 23, drew only about half as many party-goers as last year’s 200,000, and the revelry was somewhat more subdued. Even so, for about 12 hours on Friday, crowds overwhelmed police and looted a dozen stores. On Saturday, students drove to suburban malls for desultory looting. Blacks smashed a department store window and made off with clothes — as crowds cheered — until a man appeared with a shotgun and fired several shells into the air. Three people were shot and ten women were raped in Freaknik-related violence, and the 1,793 Freaknik arrests swamped the Atlanta Municipal Court. Police overtime and clean-up costs were about one million dollars.
Thousands of specially-trained riot police, positioned just minutes from the looting, were never called out. The police chief and mayor, both black, have since traded accusations over who should have ordered them into action. Former Atlanta mayor, Sam Massell, probably got it right: “It took a great deal of courage to take any action that appeared to be forceful in opposition to an event that is predominantly African-American in nature and profile” — that is to say, more courage than either had.
Freaknik gets its name from the word freak which, in black slang, means someone who will do anything to get sex. There were many lewd displays by both sexes, and women were stripped and groped. Many men carried video cameras, turning them aggressively on all comers, willing or not.
The current mayor, Bill Campbell, had initially opposed the freaknikers but relented after being likened to George Wallace, Lester Maddox, “Bull” Connor, and Uncle Tom. He may now have enough allies to close “the South’s black Mecca” to next year’s frolic. [Rodger Brown, Broken Promise, Creative Loafing (Atlanta), May 6, 1995. Atlanta Constitution of April 21-24, 1995.]
Peter Brimelow of Forbes has written a critique of American immigration policy called Alien Nation. AR will be reviewing it soon, but the concluding sentences alone of a notice in the Village Voice Literary Supplement would have fully convinced us that this is a worthwhile book:
We might dismiss the rantings of Peter Brimelow as delusional paranoia. But truth is, it’s more of a desperate gasp. As multinational development schemes like NAFTA and GATT continue to degrade the quality of Third World life, more and more people are being displaced. We take our acts across oceans in order to survive. Our survival depends on the destruction of the privilege Brimelow is so desperate to defend. His fear is justified. We will bury him.
The author is someone named Lawrence Chua.