Posted on August 1, 1999

O Tempora, O Mores! (August, 1999)

American Renaissance, August 1999

Stories Your Newspaper May Have Missed

In Oklahoma City, a 15-year-old white named Israel Byrd was walking a few blocks from his home when he was attacked by a group of five or six black teenagers. His mother found him sitting on a bench covered in blood. Mr. Byrd said he was beaten with fists and his own skateboard before lapsing into unconsciousness. He underwent surgery to reconstruct his sinus passages and to repair his skull with steel plates. His mother says her son now suffers from neurological problems that have affected his memory, balance and mental ability. Since Mr. Byrd cannot remember most of the details of the attack police are not investigating it as a hate crime.

A recent letter to the local paper raises a few questions: “Why hasn’t CNN come to Oklahoma City to highlight the story? Why is this story buried on the inside pages of The Oklahoman? Why are concerned groups of caring citizens not gathering with candles, saying prayers for the boy? Where’s the local and national outcry about the injustice of crimes such as this?” (Judy Kuhlman, Mother Resists Labeling Attack, Daily Oklahoman, June 11, 1999, p. 10. Judy Ackerman, Where Is Outcry in Attack? Daily Oklahoman, June 10, 1999, p. 6.)

In Milwaukee, a white man named Robby Lee Davis was charged with burning a cross on the property of a black family. He was one of two whites in a cell block with 10 blacks. Mr. Davis insisted he was innocent, but the charges became publicly known. Prisoners and guards report that Mr. Davis was subject to intense harassment and threats by black inmates.

Mr. Davis told prison officials that he would kill himself if he was not moved. According to prison nurse Barbara Kelsey, “He didn’t feel that the (correctional) officers were doing anything about it [the harassment]. He felt that maybe they were enjoying it.” Brett Powell, a black inmate said he heard other prisoners trading insults with Mr. Davis. “There was a lot being said. A lot of racial stuff was going on. In a cellblock, actually, you have this any time.” After more than a month of this Mr. Davis hanged himself. An inquest jury decided the hanging was a suicide and ruled out any foul play. (David Doege, Racial Tension Festered in Cellblock Before Inmate Hung Himself, Inquest Reveals, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 26, 1999, p. 1B.)

In Salt Lake City, a 21-year-old Hispanic drifter has confessed to stabbing a black man to death in a race-bias crime that had been unsolved since 1996. Freddie Cortez-Olguin was one of a group of Hispanics who attacked three blacks outside a Salvation Army soup kitchen. All three were stabbed and one later died of his wounds. Police say the motive appears to have been racial. (Kelly Kennedy, Former S.L. Transient Confesses to Racially Charged Murder, Salt Lake Tribune, May 22, 1999.)

Voodoo Economics

Willie Foster is a 35-year-old minister at a Baptist church in Arlington, Texas. When he was applying for welfare in 1996, he heard about something called the IRS “black tax credit,” for which descendants of slaves were supposed to be eligible. He inquired about this at a now-defunct tax preparation office and met a woman he knew only as “Miss Ruby” who said she could fix him up. She told him to get IRS form 2439, which is called Notice to Shareholder of Undistributed Long-Term Capital Gains. In a box marked “Regulated Investment Company” he was to write “Black Taxes” and enter the amount of $43,209. This figure is supposed to be the current value of 40 acres and a mule, as calculated by something called the People’s Institute for Economics, in New York.

Mirabile dictu, the IRS sent him a credit — after deducting $13,000 Mr. Foster owed in child support and student loan payments. When the next tax season came around, Mr. Foster decided to help three friends cash in on the trick, but it didn’t work. In fact, the IRS now wants to put him in prison for filing the three false claims. The IRS would also like to become acquainted with “Miss Ruby.”

The idea of the “black tax credit” first appeared in an April 1993, article by L.G. Sherrod in Essence magazine. Miss Sherrod said that Indians got compensation for stolen lands and Japanese were paid for going to relocation camps, so it was time blacks got some of the boodle too. That year the IRS got a flurry of filings and the trick still resurfaces. In 1996, a Liberian citizen named Ben Badio was sentenced to three years in jail for charging nearly 200 people $750 to $1,000 to fill out tax forms claiming the credit. (Laura Vozzella, “Black Tax’ Could Cost Slaves’ Kin His Freedom, Washington Times, June 23, 1999, p. A1.)

Wretched Refuse

An increasing number of sick foreigners are coming to the United States for free medical care. Because state and federal law do not permit public hospitals to turn away patients, “medical immigrants” often take taxis straight from the airport to the emergency room. Big cities like New York and Chicago get the largest number of such immigrants, who are likely to have advanced cases of diseases like leprosy, cancer, and AIDS. California is not so badly hit, because of the passage in 1994 of Proposition 187, which would have denied medical help to illegal immigrants and required doctors to report them to the police. The measure has been mostly invalidated in court, but it has scared off the foreigners.

No one knows how many medical immigrants come to the United States, partly because they often lie about why they are here, and also because many doctors don’t want to gather data that would encourage anti-immigrant sentiment. Dr. Lewis Goldfrank is director of emergency services at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan.

‘Should I wonder whether this is the guy from Third Avenue who doesn’t have any money or the guy from the Third World who doesn’t have any?’ he asks. ‘That’s not my job. I’m a doctor.’

Last year, Dr. Goldfrank treated a West African with kidney failure who had tried to get dialysis in Guinea. The African couldn’t get help there but saw a notice on a hospital bulletin board saying that if he could manage to get to New York or Paris he could get free dialysis. In February 1998, he walked into the Bellevue emergency room with nearly fatal levels of potassium in his blood, and Medicaid has been paying for weekly dialysis ever since. He declined to be interviewed.

In 1998, the social work staff of Bellevue took a statistical snapshot of the admitted patient population for a single day, December 3rd. Of the 701 patients, 166 were not U.S. citizens, and 70 were ineligible for government entitlements, which means they were probably illegal immigrants. Bellevue had to treat them anyway.

In 1997, New York City hospitals spent $1.2 billion on patients who could not or would not pay, and some medical officials are quietly wondering for how much longer they can treat freeloaders. Hospitals in Miami are much tougher with foreigners. Jackson Memorial Hospital will stabilize a life-threatening condition in the emergency room but will not admit indigents who cannot prove legal residency. They notify the INS if the patient is an illegal, and have found it is often cheaper to pay return airfare than treat disease. A spokeswoman for the hospital, Maria Rosa Gonzalez, says “Our first responsibility is to the people of Miami-Dade County. And we’re not ashamed to admit it.” (Randy Kennedy, Ailing Foreigners Add to Burdens of Emergency Rooms Nationwide, New York Times, July 1, 1999, p. 1.)

Doesn’t Like Blacks

Mohibur Rahman is a 30-year-old Bangladeshi living in England who used to work at a London Burger King. In March 1995, he chased away two blacks whom he suspected of being drug dealers but they came back and attacked him. They splashed boiling oil on his legs, punched and kicked him, and stomped on his right eye, which later went blind. Ever since, Mr. Rahman claims to be incapacitated by terror. He is afraid to go out of his house for fear of meeting blacks, and the last time he drove a car he says he tried to run a black man down in the street.

Mr. Rahman has sued everyone in sight: his employer for insufficient security, the hospital for bad treatment, and society at large for his fear of blacks. A high court judge duly awarded Mr. Rahman more than £575,000 pounds for his various troubles but says that to award damages for “this obsessive phobia of black people would be absurd.” Instead, the judge suggests that Mr. Rahman should move out of London — perhaps to Scotland or even back to Bangladesh — where he is unlikely to find so many blacks. (A.J. Mcllroy, Attack Left Manager With Paranoid Fear of Black People, Telegraph (London), Feb. 19, 1999.)

Dennis Menaces Germany

In the March AR we noted that in both California and Texas the name most often given to boys is José. German names are also changing, but for different reasons: Native Germans are turning their backs on traditional names. It is now difficult to find young children named Karl, Otto, or Heinrich. Horst or Helga are virtually unheard of. The most popular names today are imports like Dennis, Mario, Tanya, and Jennifer. (In Brief, This Week in Germany, March 13, 1998.)

Quick Learners

Bassam Al Othman is the host of the television program “Good Morning Kuwait.” During a 1997 interview in Kuwait with American professional wrestlers, Mr. Othman asked whether the sport was rigged. One wrestler who goes by the name of “Vadar” grabbed him by the necktie in a threatening way. A frightened Mr. Othman scurried off the television set. The World Wrestling Federation has since used the clip to promote “Vadar,” but Mr. Othman claims the sequence humiliates him. It has been shown in Kuwait and has, he claims, caused him much embarrassment.

Mr. Othman has responded in remarkably American fashion, with a suit in Federal court, claiming that the wrestling federation is “slurring all Arabic people” when it broadcasts the tape. According to Mr. Othman’s American lawyer Douglas Hollmann, the federation promotes its shows “with the apparent belief that a video of a large white American wrestler shaking an Arab person by his tie had commercial value in the market their product is sold.” Assuming this to be true, it is not clear just what law the federation is supposed to have broken, but even foreigners quickly learn how to play the ethnic victim. (AP, June 15, 1999.)

Not Right to be White

One in about every 17,000 people is born with albinism, a genetic condition that keeps the body from producing skin pigment. The result is white, almost transparent skin, and flaxen hair. Probably the worst place in the world to be an albino is sub-Saharan Africa. Unpigmented albinos are very sensitive to the tropical sun and are shunned and tormented by other Africans. As Benedict Kinyua, a Kenyan albino explains, “We are used to being insulted as we come out of the house. They shout “mzungu!’ (white man) which to us is an insult.” In the bush, where albino children are generally considered to be a curse, the father may think that the mother had sex with a “mzungu,” and turn out wife and child.

African parents often do not understand the danger of the sun to albino children and many die of untreated skin cancer. Albinos need broad hats, long-sleeved clothes, sun block lotion, and as little time in the sun as possible. Even when they do not abandon albino children, many African parents resent the costs of protecting them from the sun. Albinos often lead completely isolated lives. They may never meet another albino or even someone who can explain their condition to them. Although albinism should not affect life expectancy, it is rare to meet a middle-aged African albino. (Rosalind Russel, Albinos Burnt by Discrimination and the Sun, Reuters, June 20, 1999.)

Who Shot Rudy?

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New York City believes in locking up criminals and keeping loiterers and beggars off the streets. This has not improved his popularity among people who make and listen to rap “music.” Several rap “songs” have insulted him by name, and last year one complained that because of his measures, there is not nearly as much “dice throwin’” and “weed blowin’” as there used to be. Now a soon-to-be-released number called “Who Shot Rudy?” by a group called Screwball describes the mayor being gunned down at City Hall, to the delight of blacks: “Nobody cried — it was real like some Jews celebrating when the Pharaoh got killed.” (Timothy Williams, Recent Rap Songs Target New York Mayor, AP, June 18, 1999.)

Illegitimate in PR

Forty-six percent of the 64,214 babies born on the Island of Puerto Rico in 1997 were illegitimate. There has been steady growth in the bastardy rate over the last 20 years, as follows:

1975 — 18 percent,
1980 — 21 percent
1985 — 28 percent
1990 — 37 percent
1995 — 43 percent

(AP, Latin American Briefs, June 20, 1999.)

The overall illegitimacy rate in the United States is approximately 25 percent, with the black rate the highest at close to 70 percent. The Hispanic rate is close to the national average and the white rate is approximately 15 percent.

Unto Dust

Unto Dust is an early South African anti-racist novel written by Herman Charles Bosman, who died in 1951. Chris Roos, a white school teacher in Pretoria lost his job when he assigned it to his sixth-grade students because it uses the word “kaffir,” which is the South African equivalent of “nigger.” Black parents whooped, and Roos got the sack. A black spokesman for the provincial Education Department, Aubrey Matshiqi, explained that “the story has a very powerful anti-racist message; I am convinced the teacher’s intentions were noble.” However, he also thought Mr. Roos should be fired, because “our schools are still trying to grapple with race issues.” (Andrew Selsky, Story Prompts Teacher’s Dismissal, AP, June 23, 1999.)

Black Superiority

Australian researches doing work on muscular dystrophy have discovered a gene that prevents the body from producing fast-twitch muscle fibers, which give people explosive bursts of speed. Alpha-actinin-3 is the medical term for this specialized protein, which is abundant in animals, including man’s closest relative, the chimpanzee. Because of the defective gene, twenty percent of whites and Asians but only three percent of Zulu people have no alpha-actinin-3. Aside from limiting athletic potential or the capacity for great strength, the absence of alpha-actinin-3 does not appear to have any harmful effects. (Deborah Smith, We Can’t Run So Fast With Our Genes Falling Down, Sidney Morning Herald (Australia), June 24, 1999.)

Lost Wisdom

Earnest A. Hooton (1887–1954) was a prominent anthropologist who taught for many years at Harvard. His 1939 book Crime and the Man contains the following passage:

The theory of democratic government is noble and the practice of it offers the greatest opportunities for human happiness, if only the mass of the human individuals within the democracy is sound in body and in mind, and consequently social and to some extent unselfish in behavior. Progressive biological deterioration of the people leads inevitably to anarchy and dictatorships. More than ever, in the light of recent events, we have come to pin all of our faith for the future of civilization and of man on democracy. Like Noah we have builded an ark, the rains have come, and the deluge is upon us. Do we hope to take refuge in that ark of democracy, with our sons and our sons’ wives, and survive the flood? We can succeed in this hope only if we leave out some of the noxious animals who are boring from within and making that ark dangerously leaky. So it behooves us to learn our human parasitology and human entomology, to practice an artificial and scientific selection with intelligence, if we wish to save our skins.

(Edward A. Hooton, Crime and the Man, Harvard University Press, 1939, pp. 397-398.)

Those Clever Chinese

The Chinese have set up a sperm bank that will accept donations only from academics who hold the rank of associate professor or higher. The Notables’ Sperm Bank has reportedly been flooded with calls from professors who want to donate. (In China, a Sperm Bank Confines its Donors to the Scholarly Set, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 28, 1999.)

Outspoken French

According to a series of polls reported by the Economist, four out of ten Frenchmen admit to being “racist” or “fairly racist” — nearly twice as many as in Germany, England, or Italy. Nearly six out of ten Frenchmen say there are too many Arabs in France, and a quarter say there are too many blacks. Fifteen percent say France has too many Jews. Half the French say they no longer feel “at home” in their own country, and would like “large numbers” of immigrants to go away. An equal number do not believe that the races are equal. (How Racist is France? Economist, July 18, 1998, p. 43.)

Unbridgeable Gaps

In 1989, as part of a settlement of a desegregation lawsuit, the state of Arkansas loaned the Little Rock school district $20 million. The debt comes due on Dec. 31, 2000, but because of an unusual loan condition the district thought it would never have to pay. The debt and interest are forgiven if Little Rock can bring the standardized scores of black students up to 90 percent of those of white students. The district has begun to worry as the deadline approaches, and is quibbling over how test scores should be evaluated. (Cynthia Howell, LR Schools, State Disagree on Loan, Test Scores, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, June 5, 1999, p. 2B.)

This is only the most striking example of the kind of pressure brought to bear on teachers to close the gap in test scores — something no school district is known ever to have done. This pressure is probably one of the reasons for the well-known deterioration in school curricula. The performance of all children improves when they receive enriched, expert instruction, but the gap between the best and worst students widens. The only way to reduce the gap to zero would be to teach nothing at all, so that all students were equally ignorant. Some schools may have stumbled onto this method.

Black Philosophy

There are very few blacks in university philosophy departments but their numbers are growing, and they are making unusual contributions to the field. On April 29th, Harvey Cormier of the State University of New York at Stony Brook spoke to the City College of New York philosophy department. His talk was entitled “White Privilege & Animal Rights or Should Black Persons Be Classified as Dietary Supplements?” He argued that it is hypocritical for whites to defend animal rights when they show so little interest in minority rights.

A Changing Church

This year, 25 percent of U.S. Catholic seminarians are non-white, and one fifth are immigrants. This is a considerable change for a church that until recently was almost entirely European. A 1970 study found that only one percent of priests were non-white. Today, of the 418 seminarians preparing for ordination in 1999, ten percent are Hispanic, nine percent are Asian, two percent black Americans, two percent American Indian, one percent African, and one percent “mixed.” (Jerry Filteau, “Encouraging Sign,’ Catholic New York, May 20, 1999, p. 6.)

The Quiet Life

June 12th marked the fifth anniversary of the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted of murder by a mostly black jury, draws $25,000 a month from a pension plan, rents a Pacific Palisades home for $6,000 a month, and keeps a housekeeper and a secretary. He also has custody of his two children.

“I play golf. I raise two kids. I don’t go out. I live the simplest, most regulated life, not the life I imagined for myself. But I find it rewarding,” says Mr. Simpson. He recently went to a movie premier and was well received. “I signed about 100 autographs. People were hugging me. They were very nice except for one guy who yelled something.”

Mr. Simpson still claims he did not kill anyone, and that he gets reports from private detectives investigating the case. “If one day there’s a new DA, my goal is to take this stuff to him and tell him to look into it.” (Linda Deutsch, Simpson’s Life After the Trial of the Century, Chicago Sun Times, June 7, 1999, p. 22.)