Posted on December 1, 1996

O Tempora, O Mores! (December, 1996)

American Renaissance, December 1996

Prop. 209 Wins in California

Once again, the citizens of California have shown better sense than politicians and mediacrats. The voter initiative to ban state-sponsored race and sex preferences won handily with some 55 percent of the vote. This was a margin of victory similar to that of the 1994 initiative to deny schooling and welfare to illegal aliens. Whites, at 60 percent, were the only racial group to support the measure. Seventy-four percent of blacks opposed it, as did 70 percent of Hispanics and 55 percent of Asians. This was a result roughly similar to that of the 1994 initiative, and is a sign of what whites can expect if they become a minority. Of all religious groups, only Jews (53 percent) and “others” — probably mostly Muslims — (63 percent) voted against the measure. (Prop. 209 Poll, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 6, 1996, p. A12.)

The campaign against Proposition 209 was an Orwellian tour de force, arguing that abolishing systematic discrimination meant the beginning of systematic discrimination. One ad highlighted David Duke’s support for the proposition, reminding viewers of his KKK past. Women were targets in one particularly desperate commercial. A woman appeared on camera only to have men tear off her lab coat, stethoscope, hard hat, and policeman’s cap, while male voices shouted, “Take it off. Take it all off.” “Want to be a doctor? Police officer? Hard Hat?” asked the commercial. “Forget it!” At the end of the ad, the woman is left with torn clothes revealing her underwear, as a male hand strokes her face appraisingly. Kathy Spillar, a spokesman for something called Stop Prop. 209, which produced the ad, cheerfully confirmed that the message was that the end of preferences might leave women no choice but prostitution: “The suggestion is that a woman can always sell her body.” (Burt Herman, “Ads Target Women,” AP, Sacramento, Nov. 1, 1996.)

Pro-209 forces wanted to run a commercial excerpting Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, in which he looked forward to the day when people were judged on character rather than color. “Civil rights” leaders went into a fury, with Jesse Jackson calling the ad “blasphemy.” King’s widow said it would misrepresent her husband’s life’s work which, apparently, was not about equal treatment for blacks but special preferences. The plagiarist’s estate threatened a copyright infringement suit. Proposition 209 supporters dropped the ad. (Burt Herman, “GOP Pulls King Clip From Ads,” AP, Sacramento, Oct. 24, 1996) It was weak of them to appeal to the words of a low character like King and weaker still to back down.

In a bow to judicial power, the initiative will require a judge’s approval to go into effect. Republicans, including California governor Pete Wilson, started backing the measure only when it became clear it had public support, but are now squarely behind it. There appears to be a good chance that equal treatment can withstand a court challenge.

In Kentucky, a ballot initiative received much less national attention but still caused consternation. The state constitution had old, unenforceable language requiring that “colored” children be educated separately from whites. Black state legislators thought this was shameful, and a symbolic initiative was set up to remove this language. The measure passed, but was opposed by one third of the voters — more than enough to scandalize the orthodox.

Meanwhile, a number of observers have noted something the country has been spared by keeping a Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. With a Democratic majority, the following blacks would have become chairmen of the following important committees: Charles Rangel — Ways and Means, Ron Dellums — National Security, John Conyers — Judiciary, William Clay — Economics. Black congressmen often establish themselves as district potentates and are impossible to unseat. They build up seniority and automatically become chairmen of committees.

Criminal Behavior

During the past year, approximately 1,300,000 people became naturalized citizens — a new record for a single year. There are allegations that the Clinton administration pushed very hard for quick naturalizations with the expectation that new citizens would vote Democratic. Indeed, an October poll of Hispanics naturalized in California showed that 84 percent supported President Clinton and only five percent favored Robert Dole — a 17 to one margin. (Patrick McConnell, New Citizens From Latin America Back Clinton, Poll Finds, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 23, 1996.)

The INS has been farming out the citizenship test to private companies in order to speed up naturalizations and some of the testing has been extremely lax. A whistle-blower who worked for Naturalization Assistance Services told Congress that many candidates spoke no English and would get irate if they could find no one in the office who spoke Spanish. Congressman Mark Souder of Indiana says “Tens of thousands of applicants who do not speak or understand a word of English, and could not possibly pass a legitimate English and civics test, are receiving ‘pass’ certificates.” (Carol Rosenberg, No English No Problem for Would-be Citizens, Miami Herald, Sept. 11, 1996, p. 1A.)

In another measure that has increased the number of new citizens in this election year, the INS has sometimes skipped the standard crime check that automatically disqualifies rapists, murderers, and other felons. The FBI estimates that as many as 100,000 criminals may have become citizens. Previously, the INS was insisting that no more than 100 new Americans were criminals, but according to New Hampshire Congressman, Bill Zeliff, INS officials are now conceding that the figure may be as high as 130,000. One INS clerk claims that the agency simply threw away thousands of fingerprint files rather than turn them over to the FBI for investigation. (Ruth Larson, FBI Fears INS Let in 100,000 Criminals, Washington Times, Oct. 24, 1996.) In November, House Republicans called for an independent counsel to investigate the naturalization program. The INS promises to revoke the citizenship of ineligible felons.

Loyal Dominicans

The Dominican Republic sends 40,000 or so legal and an unknown number of illegal immigrants to the United States every year. Practically everyone in the country has a family member living in America, so the country paid close attention to welfare reforms that will deny some benefits to non-citizens.

The president of the country, Leonel Fernandez Reyna, grew up in New York City, where he was educated through high school. In September, he spoke to the nation about the new American laws:

Many Dominican families residing in the United States that have benefited from welfare and food stamps will begin to experience difficulties once this law is promulgated . . . If you, young mother, or you, elderly gentleman, or you, young student, feel the need to adopt the nationality of the United States in order to confront the vicissitudes of that society stemming from the end of the welfare era, do not feel tormented by this. Do it with a peaceful conscience, for you will continue being Dominicans, and we will welcome you as such when you set foot on the soil of our republic.

Fernando Mateo, who has already become a U.S. citizen, agrees: “Indirectly, the Republicans are doing us a favor by encouraging us to empower ourselves by becoming American citizens,” he says. He urges Dominicans to retain their old loyalties but become U.S. citizens for the welfare benefits and vote for the interests of Dominicans. (Larry Rohter, Fewer Immigrant Benefits Do Not Faze Dominicans, New York Times, Oct. 12, 1996.)

Clinton’s Character?

Robert Steinback is a black columnist for the Miami Herald. In a recent column, he wrote that the fuss about William Clinton’s character is overblown. “For most jobs — aside from, say, minister — character is optional.” He does suggest that some traits might be disqualifying. “It would be hard to overlook extreme character flaws — say, misogyny or virulent racist beliefs.” (Robert Steinback, Why Clinton Survives the Character Issue, Miami Herald, Oct. 22, 1996.)

Blacks Less Likely to be Convicted

The Center for Equal Opportunity, of which Linda Chavez is president, has released a study showing that blacks are less likely than whites to be convicted when they are arrested for crimes. In an investigation of all 56,000 felony cases filed in state courts in the nation’s 75 largest cities in May, 1992, researchers found that blacks were less likely to be convicted in 12 out of 14 federally designated felony categories. Generally, the disparities were not large, in the range of three to five percent. However, on drug trafficking charges, 24 percent of blacks escaped conviction while only 14 percent of whites did. Whites got off more often than blacks in only the least serious cases — felony traffic offenses and a miscellaneous category of crimes that are against neither property nor people.

Most felony cases are settled out of court, but when one actually goes before a jury, the black acquittal rate skyrockets. Sixty-nine percent of blacks were acquitted by juries, as opposed to 29 percent for whites. Since the study focused on crime in big cities, it included those areas where juries are most likely to be composed largely of blacks. Nationwide, the acquittal rate at trial is 17 percent, but for black defendants in the Bronx, for example, it is approximately 50 percent. (Walter Olson, Is it Really an Injustice System? N.Y. Post, Sept. 30, 1996.)

The all-cops-are-racist school will argue that the results of the study prove only that police routinely arrest blacks on insufficient evidence and the justice system wisely sets them free. The study had no way of controlling for this factor. However, police hate to see a collared man go free, and are not very likely to make “racist” arrests that will not hold up in court. Moreover, the great disparity in jury acquittal rates suggests that it is juries, not the police, who are influenced by race. Whatever the case, we can be sure that if the numbers showed that whites were being convicted less often than blacks, the press would consider this proof of racism.

Australians Waking Up

Until the 1970s, Australia allowed only whites to immigrate. Since the abolition of the “white Australia” policy, there has been little public criticism of the flood of Asians that is changing the country. Suddenly, a newly-elected lady legislator, Pauline Hanson, has given voice to the silent majority. “I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians,” she said in her first speech to Parliament on September 10. “We may have only 10 to 15 years to turn things around.” She also said that aborigines get far too many government handouts.

Public expression of such sentiments is as much a surprise to Australians as it is to Americans, and the now-famous Miss Hanson has set the country on its ear. The people are, of course, behind her. A recent poll found that 48 percent agree with her on immigrants and aborigines, 38 oppose her, and 12 percent are undecided. It is probably safe to say that even more agree with her than dare say so. In the face of roars of disapproval from politicians and editorial writers, Miss Hanson has stuck to her guns. After Parliament passed a pious resolution decrying “racism,” she said: “If the members of this house are so confident that they are echoing the views of mainstream Australia, they should let mainstream Australia have its say. I call on the government to have a referendum on immigration and multiculturalism.” The government has refrained. Miss Hanson has become the toast of Australia. (Alan Thornhill, “Bigotry Reappears in Australia, Associated Press, Canberra, Australia, Oct. 9, 1996. “Australian Referendum on Immigration? Reuters, Canberra, Nov. 1, 1996.)

This is Research?

It has been well known for years that blacks have higher blood pressure than whites. Thirty-seven percent of black men have hypertension as opposed to 25 percent of white men. The figures for women are blacks: 31 percent, whites: 18 percent.

It is fashionable to claim that “racism” causes this difference, and in October, the American Journal of Public Health reported a study that tried to prove it. Researchers asked blacks how much “racism” they experienced and what they did about it — whether they just submitted to it, talked about it, or reacted to it. The researchers doubtless hoped that blacks who suffered lots of “racism” had the highest blood pressure but that it was lower if they “reacted.”

The data were not cooperative. Working class black men who said they suffered no racial discrimination had higher blood pressure than those who reported discrimination. Nothing daunted, the researchers decided that any blacks who reported no discrimination had “internalized oppression” and were, in fact, suffering from racism worse than anyone. The study also concluded that complaining about racism lowered blood pressure for working class women but raised it for working class men. White collar men showed a different pattern from working-class men.

As one of the researchers, Nancy Krieger, explained in a burst of candor, “One approach to our results is that to say that they don’t intuitively make sense, and to ignore them.” (David Brown, Study: Discrimination May Cause Hypertension in Blacks, Washington Post, Oct.24, 1996, p. A4.)

What, No Blacks?

A reader has sent us a full-page public service ad from the New York Times, with the headline, “Not All Great Minds Think Alike.” He said the ad caught his eye because the three photographs of attractive children — an Asian, and two whites — did not include the usually obligatory black or Hispanic. When he read the ad he understood why: It was to promote greater sympathy for children with learning disabilities. (Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities New York Times, Oct. 11, 1996, p. A24.)

Atlanta Race Wars

The Atlanta public library has become embroiled in a low-level but typical racial controversy. Suburban whites borrow far more books than urban blacks, but get much less funding. For example, last year at the downtown Bankhead branch, patrons checked out only 8,264 items. In suburban Roswell, patrons checked out more than 50 times as many items but got only twice as much funding. Blacks who control city government resist giving the white branches more money. Mitch Skandalakis, chairman of the Fulton County Commission wishes that race were not an issue in the discussion but says, “Virtually every issue in Fulton County somehow gets wound up in race.” (Carlos Campos, Race Plays Role in Debate Over Library Funding, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Oct. 17, 1996, p. F4.)

Meanwhile, police have arrested the killer of an Indiana National Guardsman who was shot while providing security during the Atlanta Olympic Games. John Echols, age 19, killed the man and wounded another as part of a gang loyalty test. He was acting on orders from his “Crips” gang boss, Micah Durden. It has not yet been reported whether the order was specifically to kill whites. (Robin McDonald, Police: Killing Was ‘Loyalty Test,’ Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Oct. 15, 1996, p. E1.)

African Medicine

The Pelanomi hospital in Bloemfontein, South Africa, was suffering from a string of unexplained deaths in its intensive care ward. Almost every Friday, for a period of months, the patient lying in a certain bed would be found dead, of no apparent cause. At first doctors thought it coincidence, then began to worry about some unknown disease. Finally a nurse discovered the cause. Every week when the black cleaning lady came to do her chores, she unplugged the life-support equipment by one of the beds and plugged in her electric floor polisher. After she finished cleaning she plugged the patient back in, leaving no trace of what had killed him. (Polishing Off the Patients, Sunday Times (London), June 23, 1996.)

Cultural Enrichment

Chagas’ disease is the most serious parasitic killer in Latin America, taking some 45,000 lives every year. It is transmitted by the triatomine insect, about the size of a tick, which sucks human blood. The disease can be without symptoms for years, but the carrier can still infect others through blood transfusions. Hispanic immigrants are bringing the disease to the United States; an estimated 370,000 are infected.

So far, there have been only a few deaths from Chagas’ disease contracted in this country, all from transfusions. There is no approved way to screen blood for the disease. The insect carrier has not yet been sighted here, but there is no reason it could not thrive in the southern states. Like AIDS, the disease is thought to attack the immune system, and common symptoms are an enlarged heart, colon, or esophagus. (Katherine Ellison, Expert Eye Sneaky Bug-borne Killer, Miami Herald, Oct. 20, 1996, p. 1A.)

Rubber Checks

Last year, the Nation of Islam promised to give ten percent of the take from the Million Man March to the Washington, D.C. city government. One of the ways it raised money was to charge vendors — there were 720 of them — between $700 and $1,000 to operate during the march. The D.C. government, anticipating a windfall, cooperated closely with the march, and closed off 14 blocks of Constitution Avenue for two days so that the vendors could set up booths.

D.C. will finally get its money — $24,568. Ben Chavis, one of the organizers of the march, explained why it took so long to hand over: “The truth of the matter is, is that we had more than $60,000 in bad checks. That was the crux of the problem.” (Barrington Salmon, Chavis Says City Will Get Million Man March Money, Washington Times, Oct. 16, 1996, p. C5.)

Fighting Racism

Levi Strauss & Co. has announced donations of $300,000 to “address the climate of bigotry and hatred that fosters hate crimes.” Recipients include the Center for Democratic Renewal and the National Council of Churches, which promoted the church-burning hoax, as well as the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Leadership Conference Education Fund, and the National Conference Against Racism. (Levi Strauss Expands Effort to Combat Racism, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 4, 1996, p. B1.)

More Hoaxing

In February of 1996, an Oregon black man named Markus St. James gained much press attention when he reported that the house he shared with a white girl friend had been ransacked and that racial slurs had been scrawled on walls and mirrors. The FBI has now arrested Mr. St. James, whom they say did the ransacking and scrawling himself. (Man Arrested in Attack on House, The Oregonian (Portland), Oct. 25, 1996, p. B15.)

‘Mind Frame of Entitlement’

In 1994, Chicago’s most famous woman, black talk show host Oprah Winfrey, announced that she would finance a program to get 100 poor families off public aid. Two years and $1.3 million later, only five families have gone through the self-help training — with indifferent success — and the program is on hold.

Even the most ardent uplift experts are scratching their heads over the results. The program was called Families for a Better Life, and was administered by Chicago’s most famous benevolence agency, the Jane Addams Hull House Association, which heavily loaded the dice in favor of success. After Miss Winfrey’s much ballyhooed announcement, 30,000 people called, asking to take part. Hull House ended up sending out 4,000 applications to people who met the criteria for participation: poor people who lived in public housing. Out of the 1,600 applications they got back, they picked six women with children and one married couple with children. These people were thought to have the best possible chances of getting out of poverty, and were not typical welfare bums. No one had a drug or alcohol problem, and four of the seven families had a member who had completed some college. One woman was actually in college when the program started and another was in nursing school.

The eight-week training program involved intensive doses of such mumbo-jumbo as “setting directions,” “preparing for change,” and “taking risks.” All participants got spending money and, if necessary, driving lessons, help with house-cleaning, and cooking lessons. Two families dropped out.

The progress of the remaining has not been stunning. Four of the five families were on AFDC when the program started. One is still on it, and another is getting food stamps. Four of the families had an adult who had at least a part-time job when the program began. Two now work full-time, two still work part-time, and the one who started out with no job still doesn’t have one. The women who were attending college and nursing school are still in school.

Isabel Blanco, who ran the program for Hull House says that no matter how carefully the candidates were screened they still had “the mind frame of entitlement.” “We had to keep emphasizing that this is not about what you get. This is about what you do.” Even the Chicago Tribune, in a lengthy account of the program, concluded that poor people lead such disorganized lives and have been so bred to a hand-out mentality that these “defy even programs designed to overcome these obstacles.” (Louise Kiernan, Oprah’s Poverty Program Stalls, Chicago Tribune, Aug. 27, 1996, p. 1.)