O Tempora, O Mores! (December, 1997)

American Renaissance, December 1997

Miami Vignettes

Miami police officer Gary Eugene recently got a radio call about a wife beating. When he arrived at the Little Haiti address he found a woman tied to a bed and a man swinging a piece of wood. The Haitian couldn’t understand what the problem was. “I wasn’t beating someone else’s wife,” he explained. “This is my wife.” (Yves Colon, Spousal Abuse Meets its Match Over Airwaves, Herald (Miami), Sept. 15, 1997, p. B1.)

In September, a beachcomber named “Jimmy” was briefly in the news when he spotted an alligator that swam onto a popular Miami beach. Reporters learned that Jimmy was looking for “blue bags,” which contain small animal sacrifices, usually a chicken. They also contain a money offering, typically $3.00 or $4.00. “That’s how I make my living,” explained Jimmy. (Arnold Markowitz, Injured Gator Caught on Hobie Beach, Herald (Miami), Sept. 27, 1997, p. B1.)

Miami has a city ordinance that prohibits ownership of roosters and requires that hens be kept no less than 100 feet from a neighboring residence. The main reason is noise. Hens are bad enough but beginning at about 5:00 a.m. roosters are unbearable. Miamians have learned to bear it. As Robert Ferrera from the Dominican Republic explains, “This is our culture and chickens are part of it.” Except for serious cases — say, if someone converts his entire garage into a chicken coop — the city has given up enforcing the ordinance, and the police ignore complaints about chicken noise. One problem is that many chickens are “undocumented” — running around loose with no known owner who can be cited. (Manny Garcia, Miami’s Sleepless Are Crying Fowl, Herald (Miami), Sept. 9, 1997, p. 1A.)

In October a group of men burst into a funeral home, tossed out the grieving relatives, and performed a Santeria religious ritual with the corpse. One man used ashes to draw a cross on the forehead, another put a bottle of rum in the corpse’s hand, and one lit candles. After chanting Santeria mumbo-jumbo for a while, the men got into an argument and started shooting each other. “They were involved in a pretty wild gunfight. There was blood on the carpet, shell casings, lots of shell casings on the floor,” explained police Lieutenant Bill Schwartz. Seven men were taken into custody and one was in critical condition with a gun-shot wound in the chest.

The grieving family had never seen the men before. “It was bizarre,” says Lieutenant Schwartz. (Bizarre Religious Ritual Erupts into Wild Gunfight at Miami Funeral Home, Reuters, Oct. 22, 1997.)

Disadvantaged Asians

Unlike most universities, the Small Business Administration still believes in affirmative action for Asians. Results are predictable. In the ten years to 1996, the Asian share of subsidized “8a” contracts for the “disadvantaged” has gone from 10.5 percent to 23.7 percent, while the black percentage has dropped from 50.5 to 36.7. The Hispanic percentage has held steady at around 30. In New York City, the Asian share has jumped from 3.5 percent to 64.1 percent while that of blacks has fallen from 36 percent to 18.1 percent. Asians have been taking over in Alabama, of all places. In ten years, their share of 8a contracts went from 2.5 percent to 46.3 percent while that of blacks dropped from 88 percent to 31.1 percent. Besides being smarter, Asians are much better than blacks at spreading the word about 8a to other Asians, and when their nine-year period of eligibility ends they often pass along the contracts to relatives.

Asians who start business are actually less likely to be “disadvantaged” than whites. Between 1978 and 1987 the average Asian business got off the ground with $53,600 in capital while the average white started a business with $32,000. Of the Asian entrepreneurs, 57.8 percent had college educations vs. 37.7 percent for whites. (Rochelle Sharpe, Asian-Americans Gain Sharply in Big Program of Affirmative Action, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 9, 1997. p. 1.)

Snow White Next?

Walt Disney has released a multi-ethnic Cinderella. The title character, of course, is black, as is her fairy godmother. The prince is a Filipino, the queen is black, and the evil stepmother and nasty step-sisters are, of course, white. Typical dialogue: “I’m your fairy godmother, honey . . . You got a problem with that?” (Michael Hill, Millennium “Cinderella,’ TV Week (Washington Post), Nov. 2-8, 1997, p. 3.)

Borzellieri Bounces Back

Frank Borzellieri, who analyzed his unsuccessful run for New York City Council in the previous issue, is now a weekly columnist for the Ledger, a Queens newspaper. As this excerpt from his first column shows, Mr. Borzellieri writes the way he campaigns:

Problems which appear on the surface to have nothing to do with race — crime, housing, welfare, property values — need only be examined slightly beneath the surface to see that race is the central factor. The racial composition of a city will reveal as much about its crime situation as the city’s law enforcement policies. Likewise, race governs many decisions people make in their personal lives — where they buy a home, where they work, where they send their children to school, who they marry and what clubs they belong to . . . Not even the most devout white liberals, who claim to love multiculturalism and extol integration as vitally important, would by a home and live with their children in a black neighborhood. Such liberals demonstrate a grasp of reality in complete contradiction to what they profess to believe. (Frank Borzellieri, Race: America’s Eternal Cross, Ledger (Queens), Oct. 9, 1997.

Dat Ol’ Black Magic

Two NAACP national board members have admitted stealing money entrusted to them, and two others are under investigation. The most famous case is that of Hazel Dukes, who was appointed by New York City mayor David Dinkins to run the city’s Off-Track Betting Corp. She stole $13,000 from a woman who had taken extended leave from the corporation for cancer treatment. The woman gave Miss Dukes access to her bank account, and only recently discovered it had been looted. When Miss Dukes was head of OTB she made history of sorts by managing to run the bookie operation at a loss. She fired white employees for such openly racial reasons that the city had to pay millions in damages. She continues as an NAACP board member and close personal advisor to Chairwoman Myrlie Evers-Williams.

James Ghee was recently sentenced to six months in jail for stealing more than $38,000 from an estate that was in his trust. He is still on the board. Rev. Henry Lyons, whose marital and financial antics have come under national scrutiny, is also still on the board. Yet another member, Bobby Bivens, was recently arrested when he was found to be more than $20,000 behind on child-support payments.

The NAACP adopted a new code of ethics in 1995 after several scandals came to light. Former board chairman William Gibson had run up more than $112,000 in phony expenses, and former executive director Benjamin Chavis had run up $32,000. Mr. Chavis also used several hundred thousand dollars in NAACP funds to pay hush money to a woman who accused him of pawing her. Chairwoman Evers-Williams says she does not defend the current crop of directors but notes that none has so far been accused of stealing NAACP money. “It’s a very different situation,” she explains. (Paul Shepard, NAACP to Review Ethics Policy, AP, Nov. 3, 1997.)

More Hands in the Till

A black lady lawyer from Chicago whom Ebony magazine described in 1994 as one of “30 Leaders of the Future” has been disbarred for embezzlement. In 1995 and 1996 she stole $17,589 from the scholarship fund of the Black Women Lawyers Association. When her theft was discovered, Stacey Burnham tried to repay the money but her check bounced. (Patricia Manson, Lawyer Who Took Scholarship Funds Merits Disbarment: Panel, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Sept. 22, 1997, p. 3.)

Found the Culprit

The city of Chicago has finally figured out why there are so many vacant and vandalized houses in some neighborhoods. According to a city-commissioned report, mortgage lenders have been “lining their pockets,” making loans to risky borrowers who miss payments and lose their homes. The mortgage companies get away with this because the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guarantees repayment of loans to certain substandard borrowers. A spokesman for the National Training and Information Center, which prepared the study, says federal safeguards are needed to stop the “devastation block-by-block, family-by-family.”

Of the 5,500 FHA loans that have gone sour since 1987, 4,000 were made in black neighborhoods. There has been enormous pressure on both public and private lenders to lend money to blacks to prove they are not “racist.” Now the FHA is accused of “devastation.” (Leon Pitt, FHA Loan Practices Hit, Chicago Sun-Times, Sept. 16, 1997, p. 1.)

African Research Breakthrough

We reproduce the following Reuters news item verbatim and in toto:

An academic from Ghana surprised a world population conference in Beijing on Wednesday by presenting research on family planning based partly on interviews with the dead. Using soothsayers, Philip Adongo asked village ancestors for advice on the ideal size of a family in a tribal area of the west African nation.

‘If I only heard from the living, I wouldn’t get a very good balance,’ he explained. ‘This study has been the first to be conducted of respondents who are deceased.’ The study concluded that small families worked better in a modern society.

(African Population Expert Quizzes the Dead, Reuters, Oct. 15, 1997.)

Fighting Back

The University of Michigan has a typically discriminatory admissions policy. A black or Hispanic with a 3.0 grade-point average and a score 22 or 23 on the ACT examination has a 90 percent chance of being admitted while a white or Asian with the same qualifications has a 13 percent chance. The Center for Individual Rights, which took the Cheryl Hopwood case against the University of Texas Law School, has filed a suit against the University and is being enthusiastically supported by several Michigan legislators. The university expects to spend one to three million dollars defending its discriminatory admissions policy — Michigan taxpayers will pick up the tab. (Rusty Hoover, U-M Admission Fight Costly, Detroit News, Oct. 30, 1997.)

Really Fighting Back

A black 17-year-old walked into a diner in Jackonsville, Florida, wearing a mask and carrying a shotgun, and ordered everyone on the floor. When he grabbed a waitress and tried to make her open the cash register, a 69-year-old patron drew a gun and shot the robber. An 81-year-old also drew a gun and started blazing away. Dervonne Marquise Moore ran away but was arrested at a hospital when he showed up for treatment. Florida led the way in letting citizens carry concealed weapons. (Masked Robber Shot by Customers in Diner, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Sept. 26, 1997.)

Sunk Without a Bubble

A 76-page Government Accounting Office review of the United States Commission on Civil Rights found that the agency has “limited awareness of how its resources are being used.” Records are reportedly “lost, misplaced, or non-existent.” The report notes that “management of projects is haphazard or nonexistent.” This is about as close as bureaucrats ever come to saying the place is a mess. Somehow, this report seems to have gotten no publicity. (GAO Report GAO/HEHS-97, July 8, 1997.)

Life in the Big City

A white graduate student who lives in New York City was going home at midnight when she became the victim of a gang-initiation ritual. Three girls from Harlem, aged 12, 13, and 15, surrounded her at Park Avenue and 69th Street. Without a word, one pulled out a 5-inch box cutter and slashed Rahny Bang in the neck. She managed to stagger into her building and call for help. Her attackers were quickly captured. Police note that a slightly different cut would have severed Miss Bang’s carotid artery and she would have bled to death on the sidewalk. According to one officer, the three young assailants “showed absolutely no remorse when they were busted.” They were trying to qualify for membership in the Bloods gang, which originated in California and requires that candidates slash a stranger without provocation. (Murray Weiss & Bill Hoffmann, Three Girls Busted in Park Ave. “Gang’ Slash, New York Post, Oct. 2, 1997, p. 10.)

‘Take Us Back’

The Indian Ocean island of Anjouan is part of the Islamic Republic of the Comoros. In 1975, it voted for independence from France along with the other Comoro islands but Mayotte, only 25 miles away, voted to stay with France. Needless to say, life is vastly better on Mayotte, and after 22 years of poverty and 17 coups and coup attempts, the Anjouanais have lost their taste for independence. They want to be a French colony again, and have notified Grande Comore, the capital island, that they want to leave the Islamic Republic. Grande Comore says no.

In September, Grande Comore launched a tragi-comic invasion of Anjuan to keep it in the fold. By the time the 300 invaders managed to cover the 23 miles to the smaller island they had not eaten for 24 hours and many were seasick. Most of the troops didn’t even know they were supposed to put down a rebellion. At the first sign of resistance most ran away and dozens deserted. As many as 40 may have been killed.

Anjouan is in limbo. It claims it is no longer part of the Comoros and insists on flying the French flag. France, so far, refuses to take it back. (Suzanne Daley, Indian Ocean Island Yearns to Retie Colonial Bond, New York Times, Sept. 29, 1997.)

Crimes Unspeakable

Charlene Wise is a 35-year-old mother of eight who lives in Philadelphia. For two months she kept her five-year-old daughter, Charnee, in the basement and occasionally left her some scraps on a plate at the top of the stairs. The basement had a dirt floor, and no furnishings or ventilation. The five other Wise children (ages 10 through two) who were living at the house occasionally looked in on Charnee and told their mother the child was weakening. Mother Wise told them not to worry and to tell no one. A few weeks after Charnee starved to death, Miss Wise told her eldest daughter, 18-year-old Denisha who was living elsewhere, what she had done. The daughter told police. Miss Wise, who is reported to be a drug addict, explained to police that she just didn’t like Charnee. Police report that the little girl’s rotting remains weighed 12 pounds. (Barbara Laker, Mother Put Girl, 5, in “Dungeon,’ Let Her Starve, Herald (Miami), Sept. 19, 1997, p. 5A.)

Rushton to the Rescue

Stephen Jay Gould, prolific writer and columnist, has spent his life defending the view that genes have virtually no influence on individual and racial differences. One of his best known pieces of propaganda is a book called The Mismeasure of Man, which was originally published in 1981 and “revised and expanded” in 1996.

In a brilliant, devastating article in Personality and Individual Differences (“Race, Intelligence, and the Brain,” July, 1997, pp. 169-180), J. Philippe Rushton of University of Western Ontario reveals how Dr. Gould simply ignores or distorts inconvenient data. Even better, National Review has published an abbreviated version of the article (“The Mismeasures of Gould,” Sept. 15, pp. 30-34.) showing what a fraud this darling of New York Review of Books really is. Scientists have long complained that Dr. Gould cooks the data, and it is a major achievement to have published this thorough debunking in a popular magazine.

No More Indians

The Los Angeles Board of Education has ordered all schools to eliminate Indian names for sports teams. No more braves, chiefs, warriors or Mohicans. As John Orendorf of the board’s American Indian Education Committee explains, “This is a civil-rights issue, and if we leave civil rights to local control, blacks would still be on the back of the bus.”

One school reports that its girls’ volleyball team is particularly attached to the name “warriors,” and another estimates that it will cost $250,000 to buy new uniforms, logos, stationery, etc. One school tried to explain that no one would name a team for a group it did not admire but the board decided that “a mascot is inherently a subordinate role . . . and it is intolerable for us to continue the practice.” (K.L. Billingsly, L.A.’s Decision on Indian Mascots Stirs Much Debate, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 15, 1997, p. A9.)

Somehow, the reasoning seems to work the other way when Southern schools call their teams the Rebels. This is intolerable glorification of the Confederacy.

Sensible Black Man

In the rococo world of racial politics, blacks are sometimes the only people who talk sense. Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond had cleared all the obstacles to establishing an undergraduate major in African-American studies, until it ran into a single holdout on the State Council of Higher Education. Ordinarily, the council rubber stamps whatever a university decides, but Jeff Brown, the only black member, doesn’t see the point of African-American studies. He has pored over the syllabus, read some of the texts, and the more he learns about the major the less he likes it. He thinks a degree in black studies does not prepare students for a job and that the program exaggerates racism.

Says Mr. Brown: “If you spend four years at VCU learning that minorities are relatively powerless and subject to unequal treatment, if you don’t hate white folks when you start this major, you sure are going to by the time you graduate.” (Philip Walzer, Black-studies Plan Has Virginia in an Uproar, Colorado Daily (Boulder), Oct. 9, 1997, p. 1.)

Third World Metropolis

New York City is full of executives but it is hard to find capable low-level workers. Many companies have moved out for precisely this reason, though they would never say so publicly for fear of being called “racist” or anti-New York.

Jean Zatorski is personnel director of a Pfizer pharmaceutical plant in Brooklyn. “The majority of my workers think that they are doing a good job simply by showing up,” she says. Seventy-three percent of the workers are non-white and all think they are “being discriminated against.” When she fires workers and they threaten to hire lawyers, “I pray they do,” she says; “At least then I’ll be dealing with someone rational.” She has EEOC discrimination forms all ready for sullen ex-workers who files complaints. She has never lost a case.

Clay-Park Labs, a major employer in the Bronx, has to keep an extra five to ten percent in excess workers on the payroll to make up for chronic absenteeism. “On a day when everyone comes to work, they have nothing to do,” says the chief operating officer.

New York City workers are so unsocialized, bad-mannered, and ill-dressed that they must be hidden from customers and head-office executives. Service personnel get belligerent when asked to do their jobs. Secretaries with ordinary skills are so desirable and sought after they can make $50,000 a year. (Heather Mac Donald, Gotham’s Workforce Woes, City Journal, Summer, 1997, p. 41.)

Sensible Japanese

As has been widely reported, European countries like Sweden, Belgium, and Finland are beating their breasts because up until a few decades ago they sterilized defectives. Japan, it turns out, had similar eugenics laws, and sterilized 16,520 women without their consent between 1949 and 1995. Unlike the Europeans, the Japanese are shrugging off criticism. They point out that the operations were legal, documented, and on the public record. (Japan Says Forced Sterilizations Merit no Payments, no Apology, New York Times, Sept. 18, 1997.)

Truth is no Defense

A Chicago police district commander has been given a cut in pay and a transfer after his district released a report that was candid about a certain ethnic group: “Hispanic men still think that the way to control their family members and spouses is to strike the other person.” Also: “In the Pilsen neighborhood it is common for the Latino population to drink in the public way” and this “leads to urinating in public.” Police chief Matt Rodriguez promptly cut Thomas Kuroski’s pay by $24,000 a year and sent him to the traffic section. Mayor Richard Daley approves, saying “immediate action was necessary.” (Michelle Roberts, Offensive Report Leads to Shakeup, Chicago Sun-Times, Sept. 18, 1997, p. 14.)

All’s Fair in War

Daniel Mofokeng, a former South African guerrilla commander and now an officer in the South African army, says that all whites were legitimate targets during the fight against apartheid.

“It would . . . be a fallacy in the context of white South Africa to talk about innocent civilians,” he explained, adding that the deaths of whites “were nothing to apologize for.” As for bank robberies, “it was APLA’s [Azanian Peoples Liberation Army’s] responsibility to repossess what rightfully belonged to the oppressed and dispossessed.” The best-known of the APLA’s raids was the “St. James Attack” on a white church. Gunmen threw grenades into the church during a crowded evening service and then charged inside, firing automatic weapons. (Remorse, Cable News Network, Oct. 8, 1997.)

Supply and Demand

Since last June, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has fired 22 employees for issuing false driver’s licenses. Since a valid license requires proof of legal residency, buyers are mainly illegal immigrants who pay as much as $2,600 for a license. Hundreds if not thousands of illegal licenses have been issued, some for as little as $100 a piece. (Stacy Finz, Prove of DMV Corruption Extends to Mountain View, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 31, 1997, p. A17.)

Simple Swearing

The U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform thinks the current citizenship oath is to complicated for foreigners to understand and recommends something simpler.

Current oath:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; or that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by law; or that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

Recommended oath:

Solemnly, freely, and without any mental reservation, I hereby renounce under oath all former political allegiances. My sole political fidelity and allegiance from this day forward is to the United States of America. I pledge to support and respect its Constitution and laws. Where and if lawfully required, I further commit myself to defend them against all enemies, foreign and domestic, either by military or civilian service. This I do solemnly swear.

(Current, Proposed Citizenship Oaths, AP, September 30, 1997.)

Just Making Ends Meet

Antonio Ortiz used to live in Trenton, New Jersey. In June, his neighbors heard “a gunshot and a thump” in his apartment but found his door locked. When police arrived they found Mr. Ortiz, a drug dealer, still alive but with a mortal gunshot wound to the head. Since there were no weapons in the disordered apartment, police thought they had a murder on their hands. They changed the report to suicide and burglary when other witnesses explained that two black teenagers had jumped over Mr. Ortiz’s second-floor balcony immediately after he shot himself. They ransacked the apartment, stole Mr. Ortiz drugs and weapons, and escaped before the police arrived. (Chris Dolmetsch, Street Scavengers, The Trentonian, June 22, 1997, p. 5.)

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