Posted on January 1, 1996

O Tempora, O Mores! (January, 1996)

American Renaissance, January 1996

What Whites May Think

Blacks have recently been offering a selection of views on how whites should think about race. Glenn Loury, a “conservative” professor at Boston University, says they shouldn’t think about it at all; he wants people to stop writing about “black crime” and “black illegitimacy.” “We should be colorblind as we gaze upon welfare mothers, juvenile felons and the cognitively deficient . . .” he writes; “[W]e should see human beings with problems, not races of people plagued by pathology.” [Glenn C. Loury, Racial fixations on the right, Washington Times, Nov. 3, 1995, p. A19.] Presumably we should see “human beings in conflict” in the former Yugoslavia rather than notice that there are Serbs, Croats, and Muslims.

Joseph Lowry, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference has a low opinion of colorblindness. “It’s the most stupid, unlearned position a supposedly intelligent, educated person could take,” he explained at a three-day rally to commemorate passage of the voting Rights Act of 1965. [Vickii Howell, Lowery: ‘Colorblind’ actions not answer to racial problems, The Birmingham News, Oct. 10, 1995.]

Columnist William Raspberry, is willing to let whites think about race, but only so long as they think about other races. He disapproves, in the following terms, of an officer in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who has started an Association of White Male Police Officers:

It is hard to think of whites-only groups formed for the benefit of their members that could gain our approval. Perhaps an organization of white LA police officers formed to help its members improve their attitudes towards minorities . . . It’s always illegitimate for white men to organize as white men. [William Raspberry, Dubiously Exclusive, Wash Post, Nov. 24, 1995.]

Meanwhile, on October 24th, the city of Los Angeles sponsored a Day of Dialogue to talk about race. “Specially trained mediators” were provided by the city to 100 different locations in such places as churches, schools, and fire stations to help the public struggle with its feelings about race. [Crucial Dialogue in a tense time, LA Times, Oct. 26, 1995, p. B10.] It is difficult not to recall that a black-Korean mediation group that was put together with fanfare after the Rodney King riots was disbanded because the participants kept getting into shouting matches.

New Depths of Degeneracy

Jacqueline Williams, a 28-year-old black woman from Schaumberg, Illinois, had three children but could not have any more. Miss Williams’ cousin, Laverne Ward, had fathered a child with a white woman named Deborah Evans and she was known to be pregnant, probably with his child. Miss Williams and Mr. Ward, together with Miss Williams’ boyfriend, decided to wait until the white woman was nearly ready to have the baby, kill her, remove the fetus, and claim that it was Miss Williams’ child. They carried out their plan in November.

The three blacks entered Miss Evans’ apartment and stabbed and shot her to death. They quickly removed her unborn child, which appears to have survived the operation without trauma. Besides her mulatto toddler, Miss Evans had two other children who were white, a ten-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son. The three criminals stabbed the daughter to death in her bed, but carried off the son and tortured him before stabbing him to death. The mulatto toddler — son of one of the murderers — witnessed the killing of his mother and sister but was spared. In preparation for the crime, Miss Williams had been telling neighbors she was pregnant. She returned home with the newborn, claiming it was hers.

The murdered woman was on welfare, but was by all accounts an otherwise responsible, loving mother. [Andrew Martin & Tracy Dell’Angela, 3 charged in addison slayings, Chi Trib, Nov. 20, 1995, p. 1. Gretchen Reynolds, 3 are held in slayings of mother and children, NYT, Nov. 20, 1995.] [Shortly after the killings, House Speaker Newt Gingrich evoked her case as an example of the harm that welfare is doing to American society.]

Beat the Devil

In Detroit, Halloween is now better known as Devil’s Night. The preferred form of celebration is to set house fires. In 1994, there were nearly 200 fires on Oct. 31, far higher than the daily average of 50 to 55. Last Halloween was, by contrast, a huge triumph: the number of fires was kept to 61. The price of success was a six p.m. curfew and mobilization of 30,000 volunteers who patrolled the streets with walkie talkies. Four thousand police officers, 2,000 firemen, and thousands of other city employees were also on alert over the weekend. Planning for the mobilization began in May, and the police chief, Isaiah McKinnon likened it to war. “This was our Desert Storm,” he said. [Jack Kresnak & Lekan Oguntoyinbo, ‘Next Halloween we will be ready again,’ Det. Free Press, Nov. 2, 1995, p. 1B. Detroiters Smother Flames, Det. Free Press, Nov. 2, 1995, p. 1A.]

Majority-black Camden, New Jersey has developed its own version of Devil’s Night. In 1991, its worst year, this city of 87,000 had more than six times as many fires as on a usual night. For the latest Halloween, it doubled the usual number of firemen on duty and quadrupled the number of police. Thousands of volunteers fanned out to try to keep blacks from burning the city down, and two helicopters patrolled over head. As in Detroit, the effort paid off; there was only an average number of fires. [Melanie Burney, Volunteers aid Halloween eve initiative, Record (Bergen County), Oct. 31, 95.]

Jews for Farrakhan?

The November 7, 1995, issue of the Village Voice ran a full-page ad by an organization called Jews for Farrakhan. Part of the text read as follows:

With skill, dedication and commitment, Minister Farrakhan has brought the Nation of Islam out of many years of isolation. He has catalyzed and encouraged dialogue among the broadest possible range of Black leaders . . . To the ordinary Jews of America, we say, join with us. There is no need to repudiate Minister Farrakhan. There is a need to repudiate our own leadership.

Jews for Farrakhan is located at 200 W. 72nd St., Ste. 37, New York, NY 10023. The telephone number is (212) 642-5207.

The Welfare Wage

The libertarian Cato Institute recently calculated how much a single mother of two would have to make, before taxes, in order to have the same standard of living that welfare (including food stamps and other ordinary benefits) provides. There is much variation from state to state, but assuming a 40-hour work week, a mother would have to make $17.50 an hour in Hawaii and $5.53 an hour in Mississippi. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia offer general welfare benefits that equal the after-tax earnings of a job that pays more than $10.00 an hour.

In eight states and the district, welfare pays more than the national average salary for a first-year teacher ($21,600). In 12 states and the district, welfare is the equivalent of more than 90 percent of the average wage in the area. There are actually four states — Hawaii, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Alaska — in which welfare provides a better living than the average wage. [Michael Tanner & Stephen Moore, Why Welfare Pays, WSJ, 9/28/95.]

Green Sheen

The Agency for International Development (AID) has been practicing blatant racial favoritism in its assistance to South Africa, Early in 1993, the director of the South African mission, Leslie Dean, launched an across-the-board program to ensure that as much of the $100 million-a-year AID budget as possible was funneled through black-owned companies, both American and South African.

A beneficiary of this policy was Soft Sheen Products, a company that makes hair care products for blacks. It got $300,000 to train South Africans to be beauticians. Oddly, the grant came just as Soft Sheen was introducing its own products in South Africa. Soft Sheen was supposed to put 2,000 new people to work in beauty parlors, but only managed to place five. The most visible way the company spent money was to hold a gala screening in Johannesburg of Spike Lee’s anti-white movie, “Malcolm X.” This was supposed to raise money but lost $16,000.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation collected $100,000 to help South Africans “develop a system of viable non-racial local government institutions.” This was spent on a one-day seminar in Pretoria about housing and on bringing a handful of black South African legislators to the Black Caucus’ annual convention in Washington. Given that members of the black caucus vote on AID’s budget, it was highly irregular to have made a grant of any kind.

The Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta has swallowed $555,000 to help South Africans learn about racial harmony. A full $40,000 of this went to rewrite the application for the grant; the center’s first application was not up to AID standards.

Racial preferences have been so obvious and have resulted in so much money going to organizations that know nothing about foreign aid, that AID employees have rebelled and the South African government has complained. The employees were transferred and the government was ignored, but the Office of Management and Budget has started an investigation. [Sara Fritz, AID in S. Africa Draws Fire for Race Criteria, LA Times, Nov. 18, 1995, p. A32.]

Grim Harvest of AIDS

The United Nations estimates that 70 percent of the world’s AIDS cases are in Africa, and that Uganda probably has the highest infection rate in the world. So many young adults are cut down by the disease that one in sixteen Ugandan children have been orphaned by it. School enrollment is dropping because children must now work and because so many teachers are dying. Farms lie uncultivated because their owners are dead. A bank in Kampala is reported to have trained two people for an important job because it could not afford to be left in the lurch if it hired only one and he died.

The urban, educated classes are hardest hit because they are more promiscuous. Their children are often taken into the families of relatives. “I have two children,” says a Ugandan UNICEF worker. “I lost three brothers. Now I have 13 children more to feed . . .” In Uganda the disease is reportedly called “the new slavery.” [John Balzar, In Uganda, a scourge on families, LA Times, Nov. 18, 1995, p. A1.]

In the United States, three percent of black men between the ages of 27 and 39 have the HIV virus. For whites, the figure is 0.7 percent, and for Hispanics it is 1.7 percent. [AP, Lauran Neegaard, Study says 1 in 92 young men has HIV, Nov. 24, 1995.]

A Real Hoot

Hooters is an Atlanta-based hamburger chain that hires only young women to wait tables and dresses them in tight shorts and tank tops. “A lot of places serve good burgers,” explains Vice President Mike McNeil, “but the Hooters girls, with their charm and all-American sex appeal, are what our customers come for.”

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has noticed this. It says the company must pay $22 million to men who were not hired, and that company executives must be given sensitivity sessions. Hooters has declined. [James Bernstein, Male waiters at Hooters? Forget it, company says, Birmingham News, Nov. 16, 1996.]

African Affinity

Many banks offer what are called “affinity” credit cards, through which the bank pays a small percentage of its revenue from the card to a designated organization. There are cards for universities, popular among alumni, and even one for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The Boston Bank of Commerce recently introduced the Unity Visa card, an affinity card for blacks. The bank plans to donate one percent of every dollar charged, to seven black charities, including the United Negro College Fund and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The card’s promoters point out that five million blacks hold cards from Visa or MasterCard and hope to persuade 20 percent of them to switch. “African-Americans’ greatest affinity is being African-American,” says Senior Vice President Teri Williams. [James Hirsch, New credit cards base appeals on sexual orientation and race, WSJ, 11/6/95, p. B5.]

Racism Rides the Rails

Last fall, the New York Metropolitan Transit authority raised the price of a subway ride from $1.25 to $1.50, or 20 percent. At the same time it raised the average commuter-train fair by only nine percent. The Urban League sued the transit authority, claiming that the increases were illegal and “racist” because 60 percent of subway riders are non-white but only 20 percent of commuter-train riders are. Astonishingly, in November a white judge, Robert B. Patterson, ruled that the increases violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and ordered them rolled back. An appeals court promptly reversed Judge Patterson and let the higher fares take effect. However, it warned the transit authority that it would probably let Judge Patterson try the case, and if the fare increases turned out to be illegal, the authority would have to come up with a way to make refunds to riders. The authority argues that it gets money from state, city, and federal governments that is specifically earmarked for different parts of the transit system and therefore cannot switch funds from one to another. [Richard Perez-Pena, Court hears arguments over possible bias in fare increases, NYT, 11/15/95, p. B1. Melanie Kirkpatrick, How much is a subway ride? Ask the judge, WSJ, 11/15/95, p. A21.]

In Jeopardy

Maya Angelou, the black poetess who recited one of her creations at Bill Clinton’s inauguration, is annoyed that there are so few blacks on the television quiz program “Jeopardy:” “I mean, I have not seen a black person for two years on ‘Jeopardy’ . . . so I’m boycotting it, although I love it.” A perplexed spokesman for the program explained there is no discrimination in how it selects guests. All that is required is that they pass a general knowledge test . . . [Maya Angelou disappointed ‘Jeopardy’ has so few black contestants; boycotts show, Jet, Nov. 13, 1995.]

Prop 187 Gutted

Federal judge Mariana Pfaelzer has struck down most of the provisions of a California voter initiative that would have cut off most public benefits to illegal aliens. In a 72-page ruling she wrote that the state may not set eligibility rules for programs that receive federal subsidies, which most do. She also wrote that the provision to deny public education to illegals runs counter to a 1982 Supreme Court case, Plyler v. Doe, in which the state of Texas was forced to educate children of illegal aliens. Judge Pfaelzer also ruled that measures to keep tabs on suspected illegal aliens were state usurpation of the federal government’s exclusive power to regulate immigration. She let stand a provision that establishes criminal penalties for the sale and use of fake citizenship documents. The state will appeal the ruling. [Paul Feldman, Major portions of Prop. 187 thrown out by federal judge, LA Times, Nov. 21, 1995, p. A1.]

White Man’s Burden

Gary, Indiana is a once-thriving city that has been turned into a pest-hole by shifting demographics. Now 90 percent black, it usually comes to national attention only because of its high ranking in national crime statistics. Its downtown is a ruin, and in 1992 it issued only four residential building permits for all of its 50 square miles. Forty-three percent of its children live below the poverty line.

In 1967, Gary made news as one of the first significant cities in America to elect a black mayor, and it has been run by blacks ever since. That is, until November, 1995, when it elected its first white mayor in 28 years.

When Thomas Barnes, the incumbent, decided not to run, a 44-year-old white lawyer, Scott King, entered the Democratic primary — the only one that matters in Gary — and won. This shocked Marion Williams, a black who decided to run as an independent rather than leave the field to a white man. Mr. Williams found that race worked against him: “When I went door to door, people said ‘We don’t want any more of you people for mayor.’ Those were African-Americans.”

The outgoing mayor supported Mr. Williams, and wrote a letter to constituents urging them to keep a black man in charge, but to no avail. The white Mr. King — conveniently married to a black — outpolled Mr. Williams better than four-to-one. [Peter Kendall, Gary’s black citizens appear ready for a change, Chi Trib, Nov. 9, 1995, p. 3.]

As Others See Them

U.S. News & World Report says more blacks would rather be called “black” than anything else. This is the preference of 44.2 percent, followed by 28.1 percent who want to be “African-Americans.” The rest are split between Afro-American (12.1 percent), Negro (3.3 percent), colored (1.1 percent), “some other term” (2.2 percent), and “no preference” (9.1 percent).

Half of American Indians would like to be called “American Indians,” while 37.4 percent want to be “Native Americans.” Only 11.7 percent of Hispanics prefer the trendy term “Latino,” while 57.9 percent are happy to be “Hispanic.” A surprisingly large number (12.3 percent) say they want to be called “of Spanish origin.” [American Pie, US News & World Report, Nov. 20, 1995.]

Wretched Refuse

Prof. Donald Huddle of Rice University in Houston, Texas, calculates that immigrants cost the American economy about $51 billion in federal, state, and local assistance programs last year. This is over and above all taxes they paid. [Study cites the costs of aiding immigrants, Orange County Register, Oct. 26, 2995.] Separate in Death

The funeral parlor business is one of the most segregated in the country. In most parts of the country, undertakers handle clienteles that are either exclusively white or exclusively black. Until 1985, funeral homes were labeled “white” or “black” in state directories, and there are still separate, black and white national undertakers’ organizations. The business is actually getting more segregated. Until recently, small towns supported only one funeral director who buried everyone. Now, families are more likely to drive to a nearby town to get service from someone of the same race.

Undertakers who still do handle both races say that traditions differ. Whites like to put the body in the ground in two to four days, while blacks often wait eight to ten days for family members to gather. White services are reserved, while black funerals are boisterous and full of song. Whites tend to show their sympathy for the bereaved during a visitation period, while blacks like to attend the funeral itself. Nationally, in 1993, 21 percent of American corpses were cremated, but fewer than one percent of black corpses were cremated. “Why burn twice?” is a common objection. [Suzi Parker, Equal but separate, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 9/6/95, p. F1.]

Ethnic groups also differ in whether they want to be told they have fatal diseases. Only 35 percent of Korean Americans think patients should know the truth. The figure for Mexican-Americans is 48 percent; blacks, 63 percent; whites, 69 percent. [Lindsey Tanner, Truth not always best, doctors told, Houston Chronicle, 9/13/95, p. 11A.]

African Americans

What may be the best-preserved West African tribal community has been found in the jungles of — South America. In the 17th century, African slaves were brought to work the plantations of Surinam. Many escaped and fled into the wild interior to establish villages. Today, there are six tribes of Maroons, so called from the Spanish word cimarron, which means a runaway horse that has gone wild. Maroon villages are still unlinked by roads and can be reached only by canoe.

Maroon society is matrilineal, as it is in Africa, and in the evening parents tell their children spider fables from Ghana. The Maroons worship snakes, and build thatched spirit houses for them along the forest paths. Recently, the Maroons have decided to promote tourism. “We want to show white people we are clever and smart, that we have a culture equal to theirs,” explains a tribal leader. [Laurie Goering, ‘Pure’ African culture thrives in S. America, Chi Trib, 9/11/95, p. 11.]

You Tax Dollars At Work

New York State has discovered that at least 700 prisoners collected welfare during 1994-95 while they were in jail. It is illegal to do so, but people simply sell or give away their welfare-benefits and social services cards. The state estimates that at least $200,000 was spent in the name of people who were actually behind bars; many got kickbacks from the new beneficiaries. The state makes no attempt to recover the money or to prosecute cheaters, so this is a no-risk crime. [Beating the System, Reader’s Digest, Nov. 1995.]

The Vanishing Negro?

The state of Michigan recently passed laws to add the category “multiracial” to official documents. This was done at the urging of Project Race, a national advocacy group for mixed-race children, which thinks that making children claim the race of only one parent damages their self-esteem. A black state representative, Ed Vaughn led the campaign against the new measure, which he calls a “tragedy.” [Michigan Passes Law for Multiracial Category, Jet, Oct. 23, 1995.]