American Renaissance, March 1997
Your President and Mine
William Clinton has been sworn in for a second term as President of the United States. The inaugural festivities in Washington over the weekend leading up to the swearing-in struck a certain theme. There were performances by Chaka Khan, “rhythm and blues vocalist;” the Six Nations Singers, “an American Indian vocal group;” the de Colores Mexican Folk Dance Company; and something called “One Family/One Planet, children’s stories about the Earth.” There was also an exhibit of the “Cambodian-American Heritage,” complete with “Khmer artforms.”
Elmo and his Sesame Street Friends seem to have been thrown in to amuse children, but at the same time adults could watch “Pueblo Dances” or see Music and the Underground Railroad, “a musical on freedom from slavery.” Another musical was called “King,” and celebrated the life of America’s patron saint. The words were written by Maya Angelou, the black poetaster who read lines at the first Clinton inauguration.
The folk-singers, Peter, Paul, and Mary were an unusual all-white event, but were followed by KanKouran West African Dancers and Drummers, who competed with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington. There was also Lilo Gonzalez y los de la Mount Pleasant, billed as “Salvadoran songwriter and music.” The program was rounded out with American Indian dancers called Blue Horizon Dance Company; Eth-Noh Tech Creations, which offered “Asian-American stories and dance;” and yet another batch of Indians called Dr. Arvol Looking Horse and the Northern Cree Drummers.”
In keeping with the prevailing mood, William Clinton chose to be sworn in on the day the country observed the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. President Clinton also stopped by the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church on the morning of his inauguration. Other Presidents have visited the black church, which is handy to the White House, but the current President is the only one to do so on inauguration day. He dropped in at the time of his first inauguration as well, and on both occasions he is said to have prayed.
Kwanzaa, the made-in-America African holiday, is gaining ground. It was cobbled together in 1966 out of various bits of African tradition by Ron Karenga, then a graduate student. Mr. Karenga, who is now a professor at the University of California at Long Beach, says he was inspired to this “political act of self-determination” by the Watts riots.
Last year, 13 million Americans are estimated to have spent $500 million celebrating Kwanzaa. Hallmark started selling Kwanzaa cards in 1992 and now offers 11 different varieties. From Dec. 26 to 31 — almost exactly the period during which Kwanzaa is celebrated — the National Museum of American History in Washington put on a display called “Traditions of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the New Year.”
Every year William Clinton issues Kwanzaa greetings to the American people. Last year, he lauded the “seven principles of Kwanzaa” and added, “Today, we have a renewed sense of hope in America, a hope based on the idea that our great diversity can unite — not divide — our society.”
One of the symbols of Kwanzaa is the flag of the black nation, composed of three horizontal bars of color: red, black and green. Melanet, a black organization that promotes Kwanzaa, explains what the flag means:
Red, Black and Green are the oldest national colors known to man. They are used as the flag of the Black Liberation Movement in America today, but actually go back to the Zinj Empires of ancient Africa, which existed thousands of years before Rome, Greece, France, England or America.
The Red, or the blood, stands as the top of all things. We lost our land through blood; and we cannot gain it except through blood . . . The Black is in the middle. The Black man in this hemisphere has yet to obtain land which is represented by the Green. The acquisition of land is the highest and noblest aspiration for the Black man on this continent, since without land there can be no freedom, justice, independence, or equality.
Melanet, which can be reached on the Internet at melanet.com, notes that Kwanzaa is a seasonal holiday but urges Americans to celebrate its spirit all year ’round.
Honors for the Honorable
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has granted its 1996 Human Rights Award to former president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. This is in recognition of his “exceptional work for human rights and democracy in Haiti.”
Mr. Arrested is an avowed Marxist and defrocked priest, who has denounced the United States as “Satan,” and complains of the “deadly economic infection called capitalism.” He has special praise for “necklacing,” the African and Haitian practice of burning political enemies to death by putting gasoline-soaked tires around their necks and setting them ablaze. He once called it “attractive, splendorous, graceful, and dazzling.” (UNESCO’s Man of the Year, The New American, Feb. 3, 1997.)
Words Come True
In the latest issue of his newsletter, columnist Samuel Francis notes the irony of Congressman Robert Dornan’s loss in the November election. Mr. Dornan has represented part of Orange County, California for 18 years, while the voting population became 50 percent Hispanic. He claimed to welcome this process. Early in 1996, he told an interviewer, “I want to see America stay a nation of immigrants. And if we lose our Northern European stock your — coloring and mine, blue eyes and fair hair — tough.”
The voters of Orange County took him at his word. They voted for a 36-year-old daughter of immigrants, Loretta Sanchez, who kept reminding everyone of her Mexican background. She had tried to run for office before, under her married name of Brixey, but wisely switched back to Sanchez to challenge the blue-eyed incumbent. (For information about The Samuel Francis Letter, write Box 19627, Alexandria, Va. 22320)
More than half the population of New York City is now made up of immigrants or the children of immigrants. The five top nations of origin from 1990 to 1994, with percentages of the total number, are: Dominican Republic (19.6), former Soviet Union (11.8), China (10.6), Jamaica (5.8), Guyana (5.5). Mayor Rudolph Giuliani thinks immigration is wonderful and helps “revitalize” the city. (Susan Rabinowitz, City’s a Red-hot Melting Pot: Immigrant Study, New York Post, Jan. 9, 1997.)
Immigrants from many countries, including the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago, and Columbia, have the right to maintain their original nationality even if they become U.S. citizens. On December 10, Mexico passed a law providing for dual citizenship, and the law is likely to be ratified by Mexico’s 31 state legislatures soon. In India, the powerful Hindu-nationalist party, Bharatiya Janata, is promising to change the law to allow expatriate Indians to hold overseas citizenship. (Somini Sengupta, Immigrants in New York Pressing Drive for Dual Nationality, New York Times, Dec. 30, 1996, p. B1.)
The big push for dual nationality has been prompted by recent measures that would deny U.S. welfare and social security to non-citizens. People who have only an economic interest in America can now continue to feed at the public trough without violating their true loyalties.
Whites in the Trenches
Although blacks are 12 percent of the population, they are 30 percent of the Army. However, they go mainly into support units, and are only nine percent of the infantry. It is mostly whites who volunteer for the mud and grit of combat units. As the Wall Street Journal recently put it:
[T]hose parts of the Army with the longest hours and the most backbreaking work are increasingly peopled by young white men, while the 9-to-5 jobs in clean, well-lit offices are taken by soldiers who tend to be older, black and married.
Hispanics, who are 10.6 percent of the population are only 5.3 percent of the army. Of the women in the army, fully 50 percent are black. (Thomas Ricks, U.S. Infantry Surprise: It’s Now Mostly White; Blacks Hold Office Jobs, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 12, 1996, p. 1.)
In 1995, the Board of Regents of the University of California system voted to end affirmative action. The first students to apply for admission under the new, race-blind rules are graduate students who will start school this fall. The NAACP and the Mexican American Legal, Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) have sued, claiming that this is illegal because most graduate students work as research or teaching assistants. The plaintiffs claim that federal employment law rather than California university regulations should therefore apply, and that students should be covered by the affirmative action plan the University maintains to keep its status as a federal contractor. Graduate students are generally treated as students rather than as employees, but the Clinton administration is entirely capable of deciding otherwise. (Pamela Burdman, Complaint Hits UC’s Admission Policies, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 11, 1997, p. A1.)
Will There Always be an England?
Tottenham, an area of north London, is heavily black. In 1985, Tottenhamites went on a rampage in which they killed a police officer and thrashed several others. Bernard Grant, the black member of parliament who represents Tottenham, said at the time that the police got a “bloody good hiding.” Now Mr. Grant has put in a request for five million pounds of government money to build a museum of black culture in Tottenham. The museum would highlight the “racism” that blacks suffer in England, and would showcase the efforts of Mr. Grant, M.P., on behalf of his people.
One of his latest efforts was to complain that there were too many Scandinavian nurses at Homerton hospital, which treats many blacks. “Scandinavian people don’t know black people,” explained Mr. Grant. “They probably don’t know how to take their temperature.” (Linda Jackson, Riot Museum “a Shrine’ to Tottenham MP, Sunday Telegraph (London), Dec. 29, 1996, p. 7.)
In 1992, the most recent year for which figures are available, students at black colleges were three times more likely to default on government-backed student loans than were students at other colleges. Twenty-eight percent tried to stiff their creditors, compared to the national norm of seven percent. Also, the average annual default amount at a black college, $464,209, was nearly four times the amount at other institutions.
The default rate at black colleges is higher than that allowed by law, but Congress has so far granted special exemptions for them. Congress will have to vote another exemption by July next year or the money will stop coming in. (Loan Defaults Higher at Black Colleges, Washington Times, Jan. 22, 1997.)