Posted on April 1, 2000

O Tempora, O Mores! (April, 2000)

American Renaissance, April 2000

Jörg Haider Resigns

Austria continues to be the center of a political storm because of the participation of Jörg Haider’s Freedom Party in the new government. Americans and Europeans preening themselves publicly on their self-righteousness gave no hint they would soften their stance against the party even when, in a surprise decision on Feb. 28, Mr. Haider resigned as party leader.

Jörg Haider

Jörg Haider

Earlier in the month, as representatives of the new government took their places at international conferences, Europeans tried to outdo each other in snubbing and insulting the “racists.” At a February 11 meeting in Lisbon of European Union ministers — the first to be attended by a Freedom Party representative — so many speakers got up to condemn the Austrians that Portuguese Labor Minister Eduardo Rodrigues had to tell them to stick to the agenda. The usual welcoming ceremony was scrapped to spare the anti-Austrians the discomfort of having to appear in a social setting with members of the Freedom Party. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was perhaps the most extravagant in his scorn for Mr. Haider saying, “We will not accept anyone who attacks the basic principles of European civilization.” At a Feb. 28 ministerial meeting in Sintra, Portugal, André Flahaut the Belgian delegate, skipped lunch to protest the presence of Austrian Defense Minister Herbert Scheibner. “I don’t eat with fascists,” he explained.

In Lisbon, at a European Union meeting on social affairs, the French and Belgian women ministers gushed over each other while pointedly ignoring their female Austrian counterpart. Belgian foreign minister Louis Michel went so far as to say that Europe “does not need Austria.” Other Belgian ministers complained that the rules for expulsion from the EU were too vague, and called for revision of the treaties to permit punishment of members. David Johnson, American ambassador to the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, complained about “a party whose leader has made statements that are interpreted in Austria and abroad as expressing sympathy for the Nazis and minimizing, even excusing, the tragedy of the Holocaust.”

Prince Charles and pop musician Lou Reed canceled trips to Austria. Designer Guglielmo Mariotto of the Italian fashion house Gattinoni exhibited a skirt emblazoned with a picture of Jörg Haider, a swastika, and the word “No” written in red. A Sudanese-born model reportedly got warm applause when she wore it down the catwalk.

There were a few hiccups in the orchestrated outrage, however. When the Argentine ambassador to Austria, Juan Kreckler, said there was too much whooping about Mr. Haider, whom he called “a democrat,” the Argentine government recalled him for a reprimand.

There were a few other signs of sanity. The Polish government refused to condemn the Freedom Party because, as Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek explained, “The Poles are particularly sensitive to the idea of any kind of outside intervention in a country, having been deprived of their sovereignty for decades.” The Swiss also kept their heads, saying they saw no reason to break with the tradition that every new Austrian chancellor should make his first foreign trip to Switzerland. Michael Steiner, an advisor to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, said Europeans needed to strengthen their ties with Austria and seek dialogue. “Basically, the German government can make only one appeal,” he said; “Go skiing in Austria.” He noted that several members of the German government were vacationing in Austria as he spoke.

Jewish groups remained implacable. Aba Dunner, secretary general of the Conference of European Rabbis was reported as saying, “A person like Jörg Haider is unacceptable to the European family of nations.” The Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands said the Dutch should cut off all ties, formal and informal. “The ideology of hate against foreigners and delusions of superiority of this party pose a threat to the dignity, the humanity and democratic character of Europe and the European Union,” it explained, noting with dismay that Queen Beatrix ignored calls to cancel her annual skiing holiday in Austria. Jewish Groups negotiating with Austria about compensation for Nazi-era forced labor said they would swallow their disgust and soldier on with the talks.

The big surprise, though, was Mr. Haider’s Feb. 28 announcement that he was stepping down as party leader, to be replaced by his trusted second-in-command, Vice Chancellor Susanne Riess-Passer. The Belgians, French, and British all said this would change nothing, and that the real problem was that the Freedom Party was still in government. Some days after the resignation, the city of Brussels withdrew an invitation to Austria to attend a major tourism exposition. In general, the reaction was — as it always is in situations like this — that the resignation was a sign outside pressure was working and that, if anything, it should be stepped up.

Mr. Haider’s resignation is difficult to read. Opponents claim it is a tactic by which to get the world better used to the Freedom Party in anticipation of the day when Mr. Haider swoops into the chancellor’s office. Wolfgang Schuessel, the current chancellor and leader of the Freedom Party’s coalition partner, the People’s Party, said he believed Mr. Haider was making a sincere attempt to blunt international criticism. Perhaps both views are correct. We will continue to report as events unfold.

More White Corpses

There have been so many gruesome black-on-white killings lately that the country has been forced to notice — though our rulers insist on playing down the racial angle. Outside Detroit, a black six-year-old, Dedrick Owens, brought a 32-caliber pistol to school and killed a white 1st-grade classmate he argued with the day before. He was known for fighting, and once stabbed a girl with a pencil. He told classmates he was going to kill the girl and later tried to hide the gun. But because he lives in a crack house with weapons lying around, has no mother and a father in prison, and is black, he is the object of as much pity as the parents of the girl he killed. “This kid is as much a victim, in my opinion, as the little girl,” says County Prosecutor Arthur Busch. “It is very sad — we need to put our arms around him.” Kayla Rolland, the victim, was one of only eight whites in her class of 25. (School Boy Killer Lived Amid Poverty, Guns and Drugs, AP, March 2, 2000. Victoria Newton, Young Killer, Sun (London), March 3, 2000.)

At Wilkinsburg, near Philadelphia, 39-year-old Ronald Taylor killed three men and wounded two others in a rampage in which he targeted only whites. At one point, he pushed a black woman out of his way, saying “Not you, sister,” and later was reported to have said, “I’m not going to hurt any black people. I’m just out to kill all white people.” He also aimed a gun at a white woman’s head, uttered what news reports call “a racial epithet,” grabbed her wrist, and then said, “No, I think I’ll terrorize you for a while.” He did not shoot her. Police found anti-white diatribes in his apartment, which he had tried to burn down. We are not, however to leap to conclusions about Mr. Taylor’s motives. As the town’s police chief soothingly explained, “There’s a lot of anger and hostility in this individual, so I think it’s a little premature to simply define this as a racist event.” Of course. (Todd Spangler, Pa. Cops Cite Anti-White Writings, AP, March 2, 2000. Tim Molloy, Cops; Suspect’s Anger Was Simmering, AP, March 4, 2000.)

Ronald Taylor was unusual in getting a little national attention. The country ignored his co-racialist, Obie Weathers, who ran amok in San Antonio, Texas, on February 3. He attacked but did not manage to kill two elderly white men. Later he found 82-year-old Norma Petrash in her home and beat her to death. All three whites — attacked within 24 hours — lived within a six-block radius, and the killer does not appear to have known them. One detective said Mr. Weathers told him, “I hate all white people.” Authorities were considering calling the attacks hate crimes. (Black Man May Face Hate Crime Charge, UPI, Feb. 15, 2000.)

And then there was the February 22 case of the black car jacker in Independence, Missouri, who made off with a white woman’s car despite the fact that her son was caught in the seat belt. Six-year-old Jake Robel was dragged to death. White motorists saw what was happening, boxed the car in at a stop light, and held Kim Davis until police came. But of course, the dragging death was all an unfortunate mistake. (Margaret Stafford, “That’s My Baby, That’s My Son,” Mother Yells at Thief, Toronto Star, Feb. 24, 2000.)

Amy Biehl Again

Julie Laible grew up on a farm in an almost all-white part of Illinois. She majored in Spanish at the University of Illinois and was greatly influenced by a black teaching assistant, who opened her eyes to racial injustice in America. At her mentor’s suggestion, she attended graduate school at the University of Austin, where she could learn firsthand about Hispanics. For her Ph.D. dissertation, she studied heavily Hispanic high schools in the hope of finding ways to make Hispanic students more successful. She also went to Monterrey, Mexico, to give education courses to elementary school teachers. In 1995, Miss Laible joined the faculty of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, where she did research hunting for ways to improve the performance of black high school students. She got a federal grant to study ways to help Albertville, Alabama, handle its increasing Hispanic population. She was the leader of the church-related Anti-Racism Covenant Community in Tuscaloosa. A teacher who taught Miss Laible in the fourth grade and kept in touch with her says, “She found her calling to help Hispanic people. It brought a sense of meaning to her life.”

Last year, the 32-year-old Miss Laible spent spring break visiting her parents near Naples, Florida. As she drove down Interstate 75 in Manatee County, a 22-pound rock crashed through her windshield, killing her instantly. Juan Cardenas, 19-year-old child of Mexican immigrants, has been charged with second-degree murder for throwing the rock off an overpass. He and a group of other Hispanic teenagers had been throwing rocks at traffic for some time, starting with smaller ones, and working up to rocks so big they had to lift them with two hands. Mr. Cardenas and one of his friends, 17-year-old Jesus Dominguez, will go on trial in April.

The University of Alabama is trying to raise $100,000 to start the Julie Laible Memorial Lecture Series on Anti-Racist Scholarship, Education and Social Activism. Those wishing to contribute can call (205) 348-6881. (Twila Decker, What Would Julie Say? St. Petersburg Times, Jan. 30, 2000, p. 1F.)

Villain to Victim in Hours

Avery Haines used to be an anchor-woman on the Canadian network CTV NewsNet. On Jan. 16, she stumbled over her words as she was taping an introduction to a news story, and stopped the taping so she could do it over. During a chat with others on the set during the break, she poked fun at herself, saying:

I kind of like the stuttering thing. It’s like equal opportunity, right? We’ve got a stuttering newscaster. We’ve got the black, we’ve got the Asian, we’ve got the woman. I could be a lesbian, folk-dancing, black, woman stutterer.

She then smoothly repeated the introduction. However, due to circumstances still being investigated, the program went out over the air with the original stuttering introduction and Miss Haines’ joke. Two days later, CTV senior vice president of news Henry Kowalski fired her, explaining that “the public must know that CTV takes this kind of behavior as absolutely unacceptable.” Moy Tam, executive director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation thinks CTV did as it should have — but only because the comments were broadcast. She wants that kind of talk punished, even if it’s only in private, and wonders, “If the remarks were made off the air, would she have stayed on?” (Alan Findlay, Loose Lips Sink NewsNet Anchor, Toronto Sun, Jan. 18, 2000.)

Miss Haines’ remarks and her firing were huge news in Canada, and not a few voices have risen in her defense. As she wrote later, “I have gone from being portrayed as a racist, sexist homophobe one day to a victim of political correctness the next. From villain to victim in a matter of hours.” When asked whether the PC climate in Canada is different from that of the US, she replies, “Marv Albert has a job. I don’t.” Mr. Albert is an American sportscaster who was convicted of creative forms of sexual assault in 1997, and now works on-air for NBC. (Avery Haines, Marv Albert Has a Job. I Don’t. National Post, Jan. 19, 2000.)

Our Next Icon?

Hispanics in California are pushing a bill that would make March 31, the birthday of labor organizer Cesar Chavez, a state holiday. At a news conference to promote “Cesar Chavez Day,” Hispanic leaders, politicians and religious figures sang the praises of the Mexican-American co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union. “We should really recognize those leaders who really promote diversity and economic justice, and for me Cesar was one of them,” said San Jose City Councilman Manny Diaz. Mr. Chavez is best known for leading strikes, boycotts, and fasts in the 1960s and 70s to improve wages and conditions for migrant farmworkers. California could be the first step in making “Cesar Chavez Day” a national holiday. (Edwin Garcia, Groups Push for Chavez Holiday, San Jose Mercury News, January 26, 2000.)

Biter Bit

Jayme Dias earned $68,000 a year as the affirmative action officer for the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts. One of his jobs was to prevent sexual harassment. In January, the town fired him after three women filed sexual harassment charges. One claims Mr. Dias pestered her for years, following her home, making suggestive comments, calling her when he knew her husband wasn’t home, and once forcibly kissing her on the lips at work. After she filed charges last summer, two other women came forward with complaints. Mr. Diaz denies the charges. (John Ellement, Falmouth Official Dismissed, Boston Globe, January 28, 2000, p. B8.)

Adjust Your Sets

The NAACP and other minority drum-beaters have been bullying the networks into promises to establish minority-recruitment programs, hire more minority writers, and buy more from non-white suppliers. However, as a recent article in The New Republic points out, there is now so much minority-targeted programing and advertising — especially on smaller networks like WB, UPN, BET, and Univision — that the networks have to stay mainly-white just to get white viewers. The article claims advertisers are the real villains pushing segregated television. Ads are now “peddling blatant stereotypes now deemed unacceptable in almost every other realm of American life.” For example:

Many spots created for black and Hispanic media involve singing and dancing and, in the case of black ads, more explicit sexual content. Hispanics, the industry’s conventional wisdom goes, are more emotional than other consumers, African Americans more given to conspicuous consumption. Hispanic women are said to be . . . more preoccupied with romance, and less interested in pursuing careers.

Having crafted spots for specific audiences, advertisers want segregated viewers, so programming has to have an explicit, racial appeal. Since the smaller networks have the blacks and Hispanics sewed up with blatantly segregated programming, the big three have to put lots of whites on the screen or white audiences might read books. The New Republic argues that salt-and-pepper shows won’t attract non-whites to the networks and may irritate whites. (Tamar Jacoby, Meet the Power Behind Segregated Television, The New Republic, Jan. 24, 1999.)

Wrong Cultural Context

An American University study finds that some racial and income groups exercise more than others. Eighty-two percent of whites do some kind of physical activity in their time off, as opposed to 65 percent of blacks 60 and percent of Mexicans. There are similar differences by education and income bracket. Seventy-four percent of college graduates get some kind of exercise but only 63 percent of high school dropouts do. Racial differences in activity level remain even when education and income are held constant. Carlos Crespo who headed the study suspects that “exercise simply has not been put into a cultural context that appeals to them [minorities].” (Ira Dreyfuss, Study Made of Who Exercises, AP, Jan. 23, 2000.)

Better Stop This

The Danes have found a world-trade sector to dominate: frozen human sperm. Every country in the world has plenty of local sperm, but Denmark has a big lead in this rapidly-growing $100 million market. The major exporting company, Cyros, is known for careful screening and a high-quality product — at least from a biological point of view. It markets three grades of sperm, including “Extra,” which has twice as many sperm as the standard grade and the highest levels of motility. The more frantic the sperm, the more likely they are to nail an egg. It turns out Danes have yet another advantage: lots of blond, blue-eyed donors, which is the kind in highest demand. “There’s a very big shortage of blue-eyed donors,” explains the boss of a British fertility clinic as he puts in an order for more Danish sperm. (Pascal Zachary, A Most Unlikely Industry Finds It Can’t Resist Globalization’s Call, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 6, 2000, p. B1.)

Sensible People

In 1995, nine European Union countries agreed to do away with all border controls between their countries. This year, Belgium and Luxembourg have brought them back. Too many illegal immigrants have been slipping into the other EU countries, and the Belgians and the Luxembourgers are tired of having to kick out Gypsies, Nigerians, and other riffraff. Travelers were unhappy with the return to delays at the borders, but Belgian Interior Minister Antoine Duquesne said he would strictly enforce immigration controls at every port of entry. (Belgium Restores Border Controls to Keep Out Illegal Immigrants, AP, Jan. 11, 2000.)

Violence at Sea

Chinese immigrant smugglers, known as “snakeheads,” are doing a booming business in human cargo. Many Chinese are prepared to pay as much as $30,000 to come to Canada or the United States, and unscrupulous operators bring them over by the boatload. The U.S. Coast Guard has turned back dozens of ships, generally without incident, but Chinese are increasingly willing to get violent when the authorities intervene.

In December, 1999, a Coast Guard cutter on drug interdiction patrol discovered a suspicious-looking freight-er on the high seas and sent over a boat to have a look. The crew claimed they were hauling rice and plywood, and refused to allow an inspection. The next day the cutter sent over a helicopter and found hundreds of people on deck. The Americans returned a few hours later with a boarding party of 25 and discovered the smugglers had opened the freighter’s sea valves and were readying a small boat for a getaway. They were prepared to send the ship to the bottom with 250 people on board.

The Americans repaired the ship and tried to locate the smugglers, who were blending in with the cargo. Guard officers picked out a dozen or so men who were better-dressed and -fed than the rest and kept an eye on them. However, when the cutter brought over a load of food, the smugglers started a riot and set two fires below decks. The Americans eventually caught and subdued the smugglers but had to use pepper spray and whack them with batons. In one struggle, a smuggler grabbed a coast guardsman’s pistol and sent a round into a bulkhead before he was sufficiently whacked. Some of the Chinese threw human feces at the Americans.

With the smuggler-crew in cuffs, the cutter had to take the freighter in tow and bring its cargo in for processing. In the course of the voyage, some of the Chinese tore down tarpaulins put up to keep off the blistering sun, and put on all the clothes they had. They had seen the Americans take off an injured man and thought heat stroke would be a ticket off the freighter. Several of the men fainted. An American medic put an intravenous line into one of them in full view of the others. “They didn’t seem too anxious to get stuck with a big needle and went back to behaving themselves,” recalls an officer. Eventually, U.S. authorities sent 249 Chinese back to China, and kept four smugglers to face criminal charges.

As incidents like these pile up, Coast Guard officials now say it is more dangerous to stop people smugglers than drug smugglers. (Roberto Suro, Smuggling Patrols Face Violence at Sea, Washington Post, Jan. 27, 2000, p. A1.)

Cooking the Books

Ever since the 1989 Supreme Court ruling in City of Richmond v. Croson, state and local government set-aside programs have been required to show they are correcting past discrimination against minority contractors. States and cities had to prove discrimination against non-whites in the past if they wanted to continue discriminating against whites in the present. Naturally, plenty of local governments hired expensive consultants to rake through the records and hunt for what looked like discrimination so they could continue to load the dice against whites. A study commissioned by the city of Atlanta went all the way back to the Civil War!

In 1995, the Supreme Court decided the federal government had to meet the same test. The Justice and Commerce Departments duly started beating the bushes for federal wickedness so as to justify current discrimination, and issued a “report” in the summer of 1998 to “prove” that even in the middle of the Clinton administration the feds were discriminating viciously against non-white contractors. The document, which amounts to a 12-page press release, doesn’t quite bring itself to say that, but does insist that even then, for some reason whites were getting too much of the business, so set-asides have to continue.

In a recent article in Public Interest, George La Noue of the University of Maryland points out that when the “study” was released, scholars and contractors asked to see the underlying data about bidding and contract awards. The feds refused! The Justice Department won’t even release it to white contractors who are suing to overturn set-asides. In effect, the feds are saying, “We won’t tell you how we know, but trust us, there was discrimination that must be made up for by set-asides.” Even from the information that is available, Prof. La Noue concludes that the “report” is a fraud and that its methodology is nothing but book-cooking. In the meantime, the government plans to expand the number of non-white companies eligible for sweetheart deals. (George R. La Noue, To the “Disadvantaged” Go the Spoils? Public Interest, Winter 2000, p. 91.)

Rainbow Coalition

The town of Trenton, North Carolina, is going through a messy annexation. Blacks in the area have been pushing for the mostly-black communities of Haiti, Monktown and Spicey-Quinn to be incorporated into Trenton. Whites, at least initially, opposed annexation. The NAACP is promoting union and even filed an unsuccessful lawsuit to force the town to absorb the black areas. Joffree Leggett, the white former mayor of Trenton, opposed annexation and said blacks are incapable of governing. He resigned under fire, and a black woman, Sylvia Willis, won the next election for mayor.

Her husband, activist Daniel Willis, recently came up with a plan for whom to annex and why. He thinks five white residents who live on the edge of Haiti should be left out, because in local elections, “they’re going to vote for whites.” Blacks would “have that many more votes to overcome. The less whites [we] have in town, the better [our] chances are to be put on the town board.” “We don’t have to include the corner [of Haiti],” he points out. “If they were in the center we’d have to include them.” Mayor Willis defended her husband against charges of racism. “He was trying to make his point. It’s not any more than he’s already said,” she explained. “Some people have different thoughts about racism.” (Activist: Annexation Should Exclude Whites, Charlotte Observer, December 1, 1999, p. 3C.)

The Disease Worsens

The city council of Birmingham, England, ordered schools to stop teaching the nursery rhyme “Baa Baa, Black Sheep, Have You Any Wool?” It was acting on the advice of a schools advisory panel that warned, “the history of the rhyme is very negative and also very offensive to black people due to the fact it originates from slavery.” The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes says the song is believed to have been written in protest at a wool tax imposed in 1275. The city council eventually rescinded its foolish ban, but the Working Group on Racism in Children’s Resources is sticking to its guns: “Whenever the word black is attached to another word it creates a negative meaning which can make children feel embarrassed and confused about their identity.” Presumably we should no longer say that a profitable company is “in the black.” (Nursery Rhyme Bar Leaves UK School Feeling Sheepish, Reuters, Jan. 13, 2000.)

Quaint Local Customs

International business is nothing if not adaptive. India has no tradition of consumer debt, and now that finance companies are springing up offering credit at as much as 36 percent a year, they face the question of what to do about defaulters. Even British and American banks have hired collection agencies that use unorthodox techniques. One agency under contract with Citibank tried to get a borrower to remove and sell a kidney to cover a $750 credit card bill. The same agency threatened to kidnap and hold another borrower until he paid his debts.

However, the most colorful Indian collection technique is to use transvestite eunuchs called hijiras to frighten and humiliate debtors. Most hijiras are transsexuals who have had their genitals removed voluntarily. The operation is usually performed outdoors, where an amateur surgeon slices everything off with a single stroke. The mortality rate is surprisingly low, but what’s left behind is not pretty. The hijira collection technique is to show up at a debtor’s home or workplace and threaten to display what’s under the sari. Most deadbeats pay up promptly. (Julian West, Pay Up — Or We’ll Send the Eunuchs to See You, London Telegraph, Aug. 22, 1999.)

Truth in Surprising Places

It was the standard shakedown story: blacks — doctors this time — claiming they get the shaft and wanting handouts. In January, the National Medical Association, which represents black doctors, held a press conference to denounce managed health care plans for discriminating against them. No fewer than 13 black doctors took turns beefing, but conceded they had only anecdotal evidence. As it turns out, a study published in the March 4, 1998, Journal of the American Medical Association found that non-white doctors are no more likely than white doctors to be denied jobs or have contracts terminated. In fact, JAMA reported, non-white doctors are more likely than white doctors to work for HMOs.

What made this ho-hum story interesting was one of the arguments made by the blacks and accepted by the HMO industry. Past president of the black association Gary Dennis, who led the beefing chorus, said: “This practice [of refusing to hire black doctors] is not only racist but ultimately compromises patient care. Patients feel more involved in their health-care decisions when they receive care from doctors of a similar race.” Later, Charles M. Cutler, chief medical officer of the American Association of Health Plans, pointed out that this is one reason discrimination is unthinkable: “We need a diverse network of providers because people want doctors who can relate well to them.” Quite so — even though we are not supposed to say so. Which will be the first HMO to guarantee “treatment by doctors and nurses of you own race”? (Paul Shepard, HMOs Dispute Black Doctors’ Charges, AP, Jan. 25, 2000.)

Our 51st State?

A trial under way in Puerto Rico confirms that the San Juan AIDS Institute, funded with millions in federal tax money, was largely a slush fund for its managers. Last year, the institute’s director Yamil Kouri and two other officials were convicted of stealing $2.2 million in institute money, which they used to shower gifts on the island’s most prominent politicians. According to testimony in the current trial, one plan was to pay San Juan’s former mayor and its health director $5,000 each every month for political favors. One director paid his house maid through the institute payroll. The trial has elicited a chorus of denials from top politicians, right up to Puerto Rico’s governor, Pedro Rossello. The whole island has been rocked by the scandal, which has received almost no attention in the United States. (Vilma Perez, Trial Opens in Puerto Rico, AP, Jan. 12, 2000.)