Posted on June 1, 2000

O Tempora, O Mores! (June, 2000)

American Renaissance, June 2000

Hoaxing Spree

In April, the University of Iowa was wracked with racism. Someone put a bowl of red noodles outside a black student’s door with a note saying they were the brains of a dead black man. Then someone set fire to a lab coat at the school of dentistry and sent an email to minority students threatening violence and bombings, and asked, “Are you going to take us seriously, now?” A thousand people duly rallied on campus to protest these horrors. The university set up video surveillance and caught a black student, Tarsha Campbell, who confessed to sending the e-mail and making the threats. Police have charged her with a felony for the bomb threat, but university officials cannot think of a motive. After the arrest, University Relations Vice President Ann Rhodes said she never would have guessed the culprit would be a black woman: “I figured it was going to be a white guy between 25 and 55 because they’re the root of most evil.” Miss Rhodes later apologized for her remark. (Greg Smith, Black Student Arrested in Racist Threats at Iowa Dental School, AP, April 20, 2000. Scott Hogenson, College Official Calls White Men ‘Root of Most Evil,’, April 21, 2000.)

Winfred L. Stafford is a student at Hastings College in Nebraska. In March, the 24-year-old black man claimed several whites briefly abducted him at gun point and that he was getting hate mail. The police investigated these incidents as hate crimes but learned that Mr. Stafford imagined them all. Police are now describing the case as “a domestic matter rather than a racial incident.” The college is considering how to discipline Mr. Stafford. (Todd Von Kampen, Hate-Crime Incident a Hoax, Omaha World-Herald, April 13, 2000, p. 15. Cops Say Student Lied About Threats, Las Vegas Sun, April 12, 2000.)

In 1997, Tonica Jenkins, a black woman, was in the graduate program in neurobiology at Yale University. She had a full scholarship with living expenses, thanks to good grades and glowing recommendations from Cuyahoga Community College and Central State University, both in Ohio. She failed to take the exams for her courses, claiming illness. Yale became suspicious and found she forged her transcripts and had never earned her bachelor’s degree. She pleaded guilty to larceny and forgery, but in 1998 she missed a court appearance, claiming she had been abducted, raped, and stuffed in the trunk of her car. A judge didn’t believe her and sent her to prison. In the pokey she got into more trouble when she assaulted three guards who were escorting her to the shower. She also bit the finger of a guard who was trying to fingerprint her. Now she is out of jail on three years probation and is under orders to repay Yale $16,000. She is also to undergo psychological treatment. (Yale Imposter in More Trouble, AP, Aug. 6, 1999. Yale Scam-mer Must Repay Scholarship, Washington Post, April 7, 2000.)

In Berinsfield, in Oxfordshire, England, a 17-year-old mulatto claimed he was attacked by whites who sprayed him with gasoline and tried to burn him. The community erupted in indignation and the police went into high gear, assigning a large number of officers to the case under the direction of a senior investigator. They found that the attack was a hoax, and charged Chris Barton and two adult confederates with conspiracy to commit criminal deception. (Colin Blackstock, Three Held as Police Say Race Attack Bogus, News Unlimited (UK), April 13, 2000.)

Too Bad if You’re White

The final adjudication in the above cases will doubtless be rather different from what has happened to Brian Swetnam of Bowie, Maryland. In June, 1997, he and three other whites were outraged when black students at Bowie High School attacked a white student. They decided to burn crosses and Mr. Swetnam, a juvenile at the time, built three crosses in the back of the school for the others to burn. He then drove to Ocean City, Maryland, with the intention of establishing an alibi while the others committed the crime.

Mr. Swetnam pled guilty under federal hate crime laws, which apply when an act of racial intimidation occurs in certain public places, including schools. He also fell afoul of a federal law that requires a mandatory 10-year sentence if someone uses fire in connection with a federal felony, and has been sentenced to serve without possibility of parole. Bill Lan Lee of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice is delighted with the outcome: “This kind of racial intimidation will not be tolerated,” he says. “We remain deeply committed to vigorously investigating and prosecuting individuals who engage in this kind of behavior.”

Mr. Swetnam is said to have a record of racially-motivated offenses, but in this case he was a juvenile at the time, did not actually light the fire, and his crime was an expression of an idea, not an act of violence. He could have burned the flag with impunity, but for burning a cross he will do ten full years of hard time. (Press Release of U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Lynn A. Battaglia, Feb. 23, 2000.)

‘A Lot of Black Love’

In April, a crowd of 10,000 to 30,000 gathered in Biloxi, Mississippi, for Black Spring Break 2000. The revelers ignored official events such as concerts and sports and spent most of their time “cruising” along U.S. 90, which is one of only two major east-west highways on the Mississippi Coast. Cars were so backed up that even the police were sometimes immobilized. A convenience store owner ignored police suggestions that she close and saw her shop ransacked. “My bathrooms are ruined,” said Gwen Edwards. “I didn’t believe people would be mean and ugly.” Men stripped women and videotaped them. One man said blacks followed his wife into the bathroom and wanted to videotape her. At one point the crowd spotted a white woman and shouted “there’s a white girl, there’s a white girl” as they tore her clothes off, leaving her weeping. Some of the blacks complained about an oppressive police presence. According to one party-goer, “What you have here is a lot of black love.” (John DeSantis, Revelers Bring Party, Chaos to Streets of Biloxi, Sun Herald (Mississippi), April 16, 2000.)

Chaos in Daytona Beach

Last year blacks sued the Adam’s Mark hotel chain claiming it discriminated against them during the 1999 Black College Reunion in Daytona Beach. They claimed they got bad service and were made to wear wrist bands identifying them as hotel guests. As part of an $8 million settlement, the Florida Attorney General’s office is monitoring the hotel’s procedures to ensure that it sins no more.

Daytona Beach hosted the black reunion again this spring, and about 120,000 visitors came for what amounts to a weekend-long street party. Hotel personnel could take only minimal security measures because of the settlement, and before long blacks had taken the elevators to the top floors and refused to send them down. Two dozen sheriff’s deputies had to quell a near riot as more than 200 people milled angrily around the lobby waiting for elevators. Guests broke furniture and hotel workers had to collect mounds of garbage from elevators, hallways and the lobby. There was vomit and urine in the stairwells and the smell of marijuana wafted through the hotel. Adam’s Mark founder and CEO Fred Kummer was furious: “There is no way anyone is safe. There is no security, no access to do anything. Everything in this building is out of control . . . All I can do is stand around and watch it.”

NAACP spokeswoman Cynthia Slater knows why it all happened. “I think they were too afraid to do anything so they let them destroy the place just so they could say that [we] were wrong.” (Phil Long, Disputed Hotel Disturbance Caps Black Reunion, Miami Herald, April 3, 2000, p. 1B.)

Is There a Doctor in the State?

A group of about 400 foreign doctors, mostly Cubans and Nicaraguans, has badgered the Florida legislature into opening a back-door route to certification as physicians. They flunked the national examination all American doctors must pass, and then complained it was biased. Florida obligingly spent $2.4 million drafting and administering an easier test that would let them practice medicine only in Florida. Last May, about 250 took the test, and almost all failed. The Florida Department of Health then decided to water down the test further by taking out most of the science questions, translating the test into Spanish, and giving the doctors a special refresher course. Last November the doctors took the new exam — and 90 percent of them flunked again. What did the state decide to do? Water down the test yet again, and let the would-be doctors try again in May.

Ninety-five percent of foreign and American doctors pass the national exam on their first try. This group has failed that test and most have failed the twice-made-easier and translated-into-Spanish Florida test. Foreign doctors in Florida who passed the national test are afraid people will think they are no better qualified than this bunch of losers but the state seems determined to let them be doctors. (Susan Lundine, Docs Flunk, and Flunk Again, Orlando Business Journal, April 7-13, 2000.)

Regregation to the Rescue

The prison race wars continue. For three successive days, April 24 to 26, hundreds of black and Hispanic prisoners battled each other at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, California. More than 80 men — almost all black — were injured in the fighting, with one in critical condition. Several Hispanics smashed his head repeatedly against the floor, fracturing his skull. Hispanics outnumber blacks two-to-one, and some have a policy of going on the attack whenever they outnumber blacks in a dormitory by more than a 60:40 ratio.

There have been over 150 major race-related disturbances at the Pitchess facility, which houses more than 10,000 inmates in a sprawling, four-jail complex. This time the fighting was so bad guards finally decided to do something they have long resisted: segregate prisoners. As Sheriff’s Chief Taylor Moore-head explained, “it would be foolish to do anything but segregate,” but insisted it would be a temporary measure. (Jeffrey Gettleman, Racial Brawls Continue to Rock County Jails, Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2000. Jeffrey Gettleman, Jail Inmates Segregated to Stem Riots, Los Angeles Times, April 28, 2000.)

A few days later, half a dozen mothers of black inmates spoke out in favor of the measure. “I know that people say segregation is not fair, whatever, whatever, but segregation is safer for our boys,” explained Ethel Fuqua. “Can you imagine how it feels to go and visit your son and see 43 stitches ‘cross his face?” asked Janice Cooper. Christopher Darden, who helped prosecute O.J. Simpson for murder, said he is considering suing the county for inadequate protection of black prisoners. “If it takes segregation, then that’s exactly what the sheriff should do,” he said. (Jeffrey Gettleman, Women Seek Segregation of Blacks in Castaic Jails, Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2000.)

Other states have the same problem. On April 25, a fight started at the Smith Unit in Lamesa, Texas, when a Hispanic inmate told a black to stop fondling himself in front of a female guard. This soon escalated into a riot involving 300 prisoners, in which inmates hacked at each other with garden tools. One person was killed, several critically injured, and a kitchen went up in flames before 300 guards managed to stop the riot. Whites stayed out of the fighting. (1 Dead, 31 Injured in Rioting at Prison, Washington Times, April 27, 2000, p. A6. UPI, One Dead, 31 Injured in Texas Prison Riot, April 26, 2000.)

In Oregon’s Snake River Correctional Institution a race riot put two guards in the hospital and did not stop until a guard fired a warning shot into the ground. The fighting began when a black sat down in a Hispanic area. (Michael Wilson, Gang Turf Dispute Sparks Snake River Inmate Uprising, The Oregonian, April 9, 2000.)

Africans A-comin’

This year about 18,000 African refugees will find new homes in America. Most are Ethiopians, Somalians and Nigerians fleeing tribal and civil wars. More than 300 will come to Nashville, Tennessee, which already has anywhere from 9,000 to 20,000 African immigrants. Nashville has an African Chamber of Commerce, a “PanAfrica” association, and bars, shops and restaurants established by refugees.

In order to qualify as refugees, the head of each family must convince United Nations officials that they will be persecuted if they stay put. But once a household gets the nod, strangers often rush to join the family. In Kenya, so many phony brothers and sisters were appearing that officials had to stop posting public interview schedules because this gave people time to buy or bully their way into promising families. In Nashville, relief agencies have struggled to find outsized housing for huge families only to watch most of the “family” disappear without a trace.

Once they are here, frauds can be deported but in countries with no family records it is hard to prove who is related to whom. Mooncalves just smile at fraud. “I don’t feel betrayed or mad about it at all,” says Holly Johnson who is director of Refugee and Immigration Services for Catholic Charities. “I feel sad they want to get out.”

The US government pays for relocation to America, and private charities offer many additional services, but beneficiaries aren’t always grateful. “I found that we are really the victims of discrimination, first as a black person and second as a foreigner,” says Bekele Gebre who could not get work as a journalist or economist and must now drive a taxi. (Monica Whitaker, Nashville Becoming Haven for African Immigrants Who Lie to Gain Entry, Nashville Tennessean, March 26, 2000.)

Back to the Jungle

Samuel Brown is a Mandingo tribesman who fought in the Liberian army during the civil war nearly ten years ago. In 1996 he arrived in New Zealand on a false passport and applied for refugee status but was turned down. He appealed the decision, but in February was ordered back to Liberia. The Refugee Status Appeals Authority reported that Mr. Brown has admitted taking part in war atrocities:

‘The strategy was to surround a village and to take the civilian population alive. The objectives (apart from the eradication of non-Mandingo tribes-people) were to loot the village and to kill the captives by cutting out their hearts while they were still alive. The hearts would then be eaten and the victims blood drunk.’ Mr. Brown and his friends sometimes took captives back to camp for ritual killing. He says he ate plenty of hearts and drank plenty of blood, including those of a pregnant woman and her child.

Mr. Brown’s New Zealand wife of 6½ months, Eliza Nganwoo, is appealing the deportation order. She says hubby made up the cannibalism stories because he thought they would improve his chances of being admitted as a refugee. He “wouldn’t hurt a fly,” she explains. (Rebecca Walsh, Blood-Drinking Soldier Told He Must Leave NZ, New Zealand Herald, April 19, 2000.)