Posted on April 1, 1999

O Tempora, O Mores! (April, 1999)

American Renaissance, April 1999

Joys of Diversity

The Los Angeles public school district is the second largest in the country after New York City’s. Sixty-nine percent of its 697,000 students are now Hispanic, and a re swamping schools that were majority-black or -white just a few years ago. Generally, the district has tried to match the races of students and teachers, but the sudden influx has thrown off the balance. Of the district’s 549 schools, 76 have a majority of Hispanic students but faculties that are at least half white. At 26 schools a majority of students are Hispanic but more than half the teachers are black.

There is always tension in the district, with different groups constantly jockeying for power. The superintendent, a Hispanic named Ruben Zacarias, makes almost all appointments with an eye to race, and even maintains a squad of mediators who can be sent to trouble spots at a moment’s notice. “We’re probably doing more in terms of conflict resolution — public or private — than anyone else in the city,” says Mr. Zacarias.

South Gate Middle School near Watts was 63 percent black in 1978 but is now 98 percent Hispanic. It has attracted unusual attention only because its troubles have made it to the courtroom. Three black teachers and a 13-year-old black former student are suing the district for failing to stop anti-black discrimination. The 13-year-old says “As soon as my mother and I walked through the gate someone yelled “What’s this nigger doing on our campus?’” and that the kicking and taunting never let up.

Hollywood High School is also majority-Hispanic. It recently got its first Armenian assistant principal after Armenian parents campaigned for some way to keep Hispanics away from their daughters. Three times during the past year, Armenian parents blocked the school’s main entrance, demanding that officials turn over students who they say have mistreated Armenians.

Inglewood High School, just outside the city, was overwhelmingly black in the 1980s but is now nearly 60 percent Hispanic. It has had so much racial tension it decided not to celebrate Black History Month or Cinco de Mayo this year. Last May, dozens of police had to be called in to stop race riots, and a “task force” later learned that Hispanic students were angry that blacks got a whole month to celebrate while all they got was one day in May. Principal Lowell Winston now says that the curriculum will take a multi-cultural approach all year long.

John Fernandez, who teaches at Roosevelt High School and is a spokesman for the Coalition for Chicano and Chicana Studies, says the multi-cultural approach is a fraud. “Educating for diversity is a crock,” he says; “Under the guise of diversity comes disempowerment of the Latino community.”

As usual, if anyone is losing power it is whites. As a middle school teacher explains: “Whites feel uncomfortable talking about it, but we wouldn’t encourage our kids to become teachers in this district, because they wouldn’t be given a fair shot. You’re not really welcome. You’re not wanted here.” (Amanda Covarrubias, Race Tensions Flare in L.A. Schools, LA Times, Feb. 22, 1999. Louis Sahagun, Diversity Challenges Schools to Preserve Racial Harmony, LA Times, Feb. 14, 1999, p. 1.)

Last month AR reported that at Burton Street Elementary School in Los Angeles, Hispanics beat up a white principal, saying they wanted a Hispanic. As a recent letter to the editor of a local paper shows, a few people are beginning to understand what is going on:

For years now it has been apparent that the first order of business [in the schools] is to placate the minorities . . . I have three school-age children, am a taxpayer and have lived in the San Fernando Valley all my life. I have known for a long time that the public schools are no place for my children because they are not members of an appropriate minority.

I have long felt that they would be in danger both physically and psychologically on any campus in our area.

(Vicki Van Camp, Public School Violence (Letters), Los Angeles Daily News, February 9, 1999.)

Reverse Assimilation

Hispanics are an increasingly powerful force in California politics. In the past four years four million have registered to vote, and in last November’s general election they made up 13 percent of the electorate. There are now 24 Hispanics in the state house. However, many of them have a problem: They do not speak very good Spanish. Many were reared by parents who wanted them to learn English so they could get ahead in life.

Harry Pachon, president of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute in Claremont, says many newly-prominent Hispanics speak what he calls “house Spanish.” “We spoke Spanish at home,” he explains; “But it’s the Spanish of “Pass the salad’ or “Mom, I don’t want to go to bed.’” When legislators talk public policy in Spanish they sound like children. Many have therefore plunged into Spanish-immersion classes, force themselves to read Spanish newspapers, and have hired bilingual assistants who can speak Spanish to them.

“Anglos” also understand that Spanish goes over well with voters. Peter Frusetta, a Republican assemblyman from Hollister, serves an area where half the voters are Hispanic. He learned Spanish as a child and says “it has served me well. I probably wouldn’t be in this office today if not for that.” Many politicians envy Texas Governor George W. Bush’s fluency in Spanish, which could be an asset in a national election. Luis Arteaga, associate director of the Latino Issues Forum in San Francisco, certainly thinks so. “Al Gore is probably practicing on his Spanish right now, too,” he says. (Hallye Jordan, Latino Lawmakers Study Their Spanish, San Jose Mercury News, Feb. 17, 1999, p. 1.)

Meanwhile Spanish accents are moving into the English “mainstream.” KTTV news in Los Angeles broadcasts in English but fully a third of the people on camera are Hispanic. Some speak English with Spanish accents, now considered an advantage in the Southern California market. (Kevin Baxter, Latino Presence Boosts KTTV News, LA Times, Feb. 19, 1999.)

Racists Plot to Take Over

The public schools of majority-black Detroit are in miserable condition and doing a miserable job. Only 30 percent of the students manage to graduate from high school in four years, and of those who do, an estimated two thirds cannot read at an 8th-grade level. John Engler, the governor of Michigan, has decided that the elected school board is the problem. He has proposed legislation that would give Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer the power to fire the school board and appoint a new one. It would operate, presumably without political distractions, for five years, at which point there would be a referendum on the new arrangement.

Gov. Engler and the majority of the state legislators are white, so much of Detroit is now in an uproar over this “racist” plan to take power from the people. “How dare you take away our rights as black people to vote?” Helen Moore, a Detroit parent and school activist, asked a state Senate committee; “We can solve our own problems.” Other blacks think the governor just wants to get his hands on the school system’s 20,000 jobs and billion-dollar budget. “We all know racism is alive and well, and it is definitely alive in that state legislature,” says Marie Thornton, a parent. “This has nothing to do with the education of little black kids. This is about revenue. They’re just using our kids for excuses.”

It does not seem to matter that the mayor, who would appoint the new board, is himself black, and that voters could ditch the new system after five years. Many blacks accuse Mayor Archer of being “too white,” because he is willing to cooperate with whites. The mayor is a former school teacher and opposes the plan, but would have no choice if it is voted in by the legislature. Gov. Engler says he is tired of waiting for schools to improve and claims to be determined to ignore the opposition. “Time and again,” he says, “I was told: “Butt out, send more money.’” (Justin Hyde, Detroit School Plan Criticized, AP, Feb. 19, 1999.)

The Tie That Binds

According to the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force, U.S. immigration law is unfair to homosexuals. Heterosexual immigrants can sponsor their spouses but homosexuals cannot bring “partners” into the country. Suzanne Goldberg, a lawyer for the task force, says 10,000 American homosexual couples must either live apart or smuggle their “partners” into the country illegally. She says ten countries, including Canada, Britain, and Australia, recognize same-sex relationships for immigration purposes, so we should too. (Verena Dobnik, Gays and Lesbians Protest Government Immigration Policies, AP, Feb. 11, 1999.)

Science on the March

In Los Angeles there is something called the Black Inventions Museum. It recently took out a full-page ad in the black newspaper, Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley Journal, to publicize the achievements of black creativity. The ad listed no fewer than 120 products along with their black inventors. It is a surprising list, running from baby buggy to urinalysis machine. Here are a few of the highlights: Internal Combustion Engine — Frederick M. Jones; Helicopter — Paul E. Williams; Refrigerator — J. Standard; Shoe — W.A. Deitz; Bottle Caps — Jones & Long; Wrench — John A. Johnson; Door Stop — O. Dorsey (who also invented the Door Knob); Traffic Signal — Garrett Morgan; Air Ship (Blimp) — J.F. Pickering; Rocket Catapult — Hugh MacDonald; Ice Cream— Augustus Jackson; Horseshoe — Oscar Brown; Automatic Gear Shift — R.B. Spikes; Roller Coaster — Granville T. Woods; Guided Missile — Otis Boykin; Mop — T.W. Stewart; Kitchen Table — H.A. Jackson; Guitar — Robert Fleming, Jr.; Ironing Board — Sarah Boone. And the list goes on.

Lest there be any mistake about the matter, the first five items on the list are: Paper — Africans; Chess — Africans; Alphabet — Africans; Medicine — Africans, Civilization — Africans. The museum can be reached at (310) 859-4602. (Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley Journal, Feb. 18, 1999, back page.)

Uniquely San Francisco

San Francisco’s black mayor, Willie Brown, is happy that his fire department has quotas to ensure that it will “reflect the diversity that is uniquely San Francisco.” It is, to be sure, unique. Our sources in the department tell us that last fall an engine company arrived at a small fire in a residential neighborhood with the following crew:

The acting officer has had a sex-change.

The driver is a 4’11” woman who had trouble reaching the pedals.

One of the crew is a known pedophile, an Hispanic who had recently been caught openly masturbating while watching a school yard filled with children.

The final crew member has a doctor’s note excusing her from entering ‘smoky environments.’ She is one of two known asthmatics in the department who must not be exposed to smoke.

When it was time to go back to the station, this crew couldn’t remember where they had parked the fire engine.

Typically Chicago

Chicago has been tinkering with its fire department, too, and there has been some resentment against a black captain, Curtis Powell, who has had his test scores adjusted no fewer than three times so that he could be promoted. Whites don’t like working for someone they think is incompetent and who was once even accused of cowardice for standing outside a burning building while his crew worked inside. Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley now thinks he can eliminate racial problems by shortening the working shift. It is a long tradition among firemen that they work 24-hour shifts, eating and sleeping together in the fire house. Mayor Daley says that this forced intimacy causes problems, and is pushing for eight-hour shifts. (Fran Spielman, Daley: Long Fire Shift Behind Racial Tension, Chicago Sun Times, Jan. 23, 1999, p. 12.)

Meanwhile, Chicago schools are trying to persuade firemen and policemen to work as substitute teachers during their days off. So much of the work is in such terrifying parts of town that ordinary substitute teachers refuse to go. (Rosalind Rossi, Schools Scramble to Find Sub Teachers, Chicago Sun Times, Jan. 19, 1999. p. 1.)

In other developments, black Chicago alderman Virgil Jones was convicted in federal court of taking $7,000 in bribes. In February, he said he was innocent and that his only mistake was to have taken cash rather than a check. He says he has no fear of prison: “As an African American, I feel like I’ve always been in prison . . .” (Jones Denies Daley Chance to Select Successor, Chicago Sun Times, Feb. 2, 1999, p. 10.)

But the front-page racial news in Chicago has been the struggle over who will get “Baby T,” a three-year-old black boy. The boy’s mother, Tina Olison, has allegedly recovered from a 17-year cocaine habit, but has had all three of her children taken away over the years. Baby T, the youngest, was born in 1996 with Cocaine in his system and was immediately turned over to white foster parents. They want to keep him but a county judge has decided to give him back to his 37-year-old mother. Chicago child custody authorities said Baby T was better off with his white parents, and took a race-neutral position on child-rearing, arguing that race would matter less in the new millennium. Judge Judith Brawka, who is white, retorted that this was tantamount to saying “there is no such thing as African-American culture,” and said the boy should be with his black mother. Miss Olison must pass courses in child-rearing and anger management, but appears set to become a mother again. (Daniel Lehmann, Judge Returns Baby T to Mom, Chicago Sun Times, March 9, 1999, p. 1. Bonnie Miller Rubin and Robert Becker, Baby T, Mom to Reunite, Chicago Tribune, March 9, 1999. p. 1.)

Ethiopians are Coming

In some parts of Ethiopia it is easy to become an orphan. There is reportedly such a stigma against rearing someone else’s children that when a man’s wife dies and he remarries, the new wife may throw any children by the previous wife out of the house. Adoption has the same stigma. Jane Gallagher of Springfield, Vermont, has decided that the solution is for Americans to adopt Ethiopian children. She has been in contact with a 50-child orphanage in the northwestern part of the country, and has single-handedly arranged for homes for all the children. She has personally persuaded 42 couples to adopt Ethiopians, and since ten couples want more than one, she now has more homes than children. “I thought, why just one child?” says Mrs. Gallagher; “Why not adopt a lot of them?”

At a recent meeting for the prospective parents at her house, a spokesman for an international adoption agency explained that the children could be suffering from malnutrition, intestinal parasites or skin lesions. She also pointed out that they will have had little or no schooling and may never have seen a doctor. The enthusiasm to adopt was reportedly undiminished, and the actual transfer of the children is expected to take place this summer. (Ethiopian Orphans Could Find Homes in Vermont and New Hampshire, AP, Feb. 17, 1999.)

Back to Africa?

The West African nation of Ghana has offered dual citizenship to American blacks, and President William Clinton thinks this is “a clever idea.” At a state dinner at the White House for Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings, the President said the plan would “get more Americans interested in Ghana, going to Ghana and contributing to Ghana’s future.” (Kalpana Srinivasan, Clinton Toasts Ghanaian President, Chicago Sun-Times, Feb. 25, 1999, p. 24.)

‘Racially False’

B.D. Wong is an Asian-American actor who nine years ago lead protests against casting whites in non-white roles. Specifically, he said whites could not play the role of a Eurasian pimp in the Broadway production of Miss Saigon, saying it was “racially false.” Since his protest, that part has always been played by an Asian.

Mr. Wong was recently cast for the role of Linus in the revival of “Charlie Brown” on Broadway. Asked if this is “racially false,” Mr. Wong replied, “I don’t think so. With “Miss Saigon’ we wanted to make the point that Asians were underrepresented on Broadway. But I don’t think I’m taking a job away from a white actor. Besides, I think I’m more like Linus than most white people. I really fit the part.” (Michael Riedel, Charlie Brown & the Great Nonwhite Way, New York Post, Feb. 4, 1999.)

Truth May be a Defense

Carl Williams, the superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, was recently fired for explaining to the Newark Star-Ledger that most drugs are sold by non-whites. Speaking of marijuana, he said “it is most likely a minority group that’s involved with that.” He also pointed out that “the President of the United States went to Mexico to talk to the President of Mexico about drugs. He didn’t go to Ireland. He didn’t go to England.” New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman immediately fired the 37-year veteran saying, “His comments today are inconsistent with our efforts to enhance public confidence in the State Police.”

Nothing unusual so far. What is unusual is the number of Mr. Williams’ defenders. Boston Globe columnist Brian McGrory writes that Mr. Williams was fired for telling the truth. “Minorities are overrepresented within the enemy camp in the never-ending war on drugs,” he wrote. Syndicated columnist Paul Craig Roberts also defended the police chief: “If Mr. Williams had told the newspaper that the drug trade was operated by the CIA in order to keep blacks down, he would have become a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize instead of an unemployed cop.” Samuel Francis pointed out in his syndicated column how self-destructive it is for whites to sit idly by while other whites are fired for speaking the truth. Scott McConnell, in his new column for the New York Press, pointed out that a joint drug-fighting committee of representatives from the CIA, FBI, INS, Coast Guard had pointed out precisely the same ethnic distribution of crime as Mr. Wiliams — and that Gov. Whitman had better call for the resignations of the heads of these agencies because they promote “racial stereotypes.”

(Joe Donahue, Boss Warns Troopers: Don’t Target Minorities, The Star-Ledger, February 28, 1999. Brian McGrory, Face it: In U.S., Drugs Ensnare Minorities, Boston Globe, March 7, 1999. Paul Craig Roberts, Patterns of Racism in Reverse, Washington Times, March 9, 1999. Scott McConnell, — — The Ethnic Crimewave, Taki’s Top Drawer (New York Press), March 10-16, 1999.)

INS Surrenders

Finding and deporting the over five million illegal aliens in the United States will no longer be a priority for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). A new strategy this year calls for the agency to concentrate on finding and deporting aliens who commit crimes. Rep. Lamar Smith who chairs the House subcommittee on immigration criticized the new strategy saying, “The INS, by their actions, is telling would-be illegal aliens that if you don’t get caught entering the U.S., we’ll look the other way, so you can stay.” Jack Shaw, a recently retired INS investigator says, “It is amnesty in another name.” A current INS agent adds: “This says if you can get in, get a job and stay out of trouble, your chances of being deported are zero. You have to wonder about the message it is sending to people thinking about coming here as illegal immigrants.” (Michael Hedges, Illegal Aliens Get Softer INS Approach, Washington Times, March 6, 1999, p. A1.)

Quaint Caribbean Customs

In Puerto Rico, a jury has convicted the mayor of the town of Toa Alta of demanding kickbacks in connection with the work to clean up Hurricane Georges. Mayor Angel Rodriguez and a local contractor, Jose Orlando, will be sentenced in June for demanding $2.5 million from the Mississippi-based JESCO company in exchange for a contract to collect debris after the September 21 hurricane. The two also padded damage reports to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in order to get more American tax-payer money for Toa Alta. (Jury Convicts Puerto Rico Mayor, AP, Feb. 25, 1999.)

The island is also in an uproar over the trial of officials of the San Juan AIDS Institute who appear to have managed to steal $2.2 million that was supposed to be spent treating AIDS patients. Several officials have already confessed, including Angel Corcino, the comptroller. Mr. Corcino dropped a bomb when he testified that much of the AIDS money went for political payoffs. He said Pedro Rosello, the governor of Puerto Rico, had demanded $250,000 for his 1992 campaign, and that two former mayors of the capital, San Juan, demanded similar payments. One of the former mayors, Baltasar Corrada del Rio, is now on the Puerto Rico Supreme Court. All the politicians have denied receiving any money. (Puerto Rico AIDS Fraud Trial Opens, AP, March 12, 1999.)

Ethnic Weapons

The British Medical Association (BMA) is so worried about ethnicity-specific biological weapons that it has commissioned a group to look into whether it is possible to make them. The weapons would be the reverse of gene therapy, which targets treatment to specific genes in the human body. People with cystic fibrosis, for example, or certain kinds of breast cancer have easily identified genes that can be targeted for treatment. In the same way, a biological weapon could conceivably act only on people with genes common to certain groups of people but absent in others. Vivienne Nathanson of the BMA explains the attraction: “If you were a dictator somewhere in the world and you wanted to get rid of a group of people in your population who were opposing you — whether you are talking about Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda, Bosnian Serbs or 1930s Germany — you could use this.” The weapons would be made of specially engineered DNA and could be delivered as a gas or spray, or put into the water supply. They might kill, make people infertile, or cause the birth of deformed children. (Fight Genetic Weapons, British Doctors Urge, Reuters, Feb. 20, 1999.)

Changing Times

A reader has sent us a few pages from a 1926 book called Federal Textbook on Citizenship Training. It was published by the U.S. Department of Labor and written by Lillian P. Clark, who is described as a consulting specialist in adult immigration education. The subtitle of the book is Lessons on the History and Government of Our Nation for use in the Public Schools by Candidates for Citizenship. Just as noteworthy as the book’s assumptions about race is the depth of knowledge expected of “candidates for citizenship.” This is the conclusion of the chapter on Reconstruction:

For some time they, too, had formed secret societies to keep the dishonest negroes from stealing, to scare them away from the polls on election day, and to drive the carpetbaggers out of their States . . . The secret societies of the Southern people were successful in bringing order and peace to the States, when houses and barns were being burned and property was being stolen. Gradually the people who had made the trouble between the white and black people of the South left and people everywhere began to settle down to a more peaceful life. From time to time Congress repealed some of its reconstruction laws and the white people of the South were again able to rule the South. They made it impossible for the negroes ever to control their community or State governments in the future, by passing laws which kept them from voting unless they had property, or could read, or had never been guilty of a crime.

A few other States besides those of the South now require voters to prove that they can read before they are permitted to vote.” (page 194.)

Sweet Wedding Bells

Police have recently uncovered a north Georgia fake-marriage business that netted green cards for more than 50 illegal immigrants from Mexico. Once Teresia Dale, a 41-year-old woman from Dalton, Georgia, learned how easy and profitable it is to fake a marriage she persuaded her sisters, friends, and even her mother to try it. One of her friends married four different illegals before she was caught. The Mexicans usually paid $2,000 to $4,000 for a bogus marriage, and Miss Dale got $600 to $1,200 as a commission.

In many cases, when an immigrant marries a citizen the Immigration and Naturalization Service interviews the couple later to try to see if the marriage is real. Miss Dale prepped her couples so they could answer questions about the kind of underwear the spouse wears, what side of the bed he sleeps on, the color of his toothbrush, etc. Not one of her protégés ever failed the test.

Most of the marriages took place in Ringgold, Georgia, which bills itself as the “Las Vegas of the South.” A couple can get a blood test, a license, and tie the knot in under an hour. Even so, some of Miss Dale’s projects were a little dicey. As one 29-year-old woman explains, “I was sure we were going to get caught. Here’s a man I don’t know, who’s married, has a kid, and barely speaks English. It was also very apparent I’m a lesbian . . . And I’m supposed to convince a judge I’m in love.” She sailed right through like the rest.

Sam Dills, probate judge of Catoosa County, is theoretically responsible for checking into the bona fides of people who get married in Ringgold. He bridles at the idea that he should have stopped the marriages. “There’s no law that says a spouse has to be a U.S. citizen,” he points out. “If I denied a couple because the husband only spoke Spanish or was Mexican, I’d have a federal lawsuit against me.”

The sham marriages might have gone on forever except that one of Miss Dale’s sons got into a fight with his real wife, who told authorities about his marriage to a Mexican. The dominoes then began to fall, and nearly a dozen people now face charges of bigamy or of committing fraud against the Immigration and Naturalization Service. (Jim Dyer, Marriage Scam: Immigrant Need Weds American Greed, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Feb. 22, 1999, p. 1.)