American Renaissance, July 2000
Zimbabwe Over the Edge
Two more white farmers have been killed, as Zimbabwe continues its chaotic lurch towards elections. International observers are now in place to monitor the June 24-25 ballot, but there is little chance it will accurately reflect voter sentiment. As of June 10, President Robert Mugabe’s supporters had killed an estimated 30 political opponents and had beaten and raped hundreds more. Farm invasions continued unabated.
Mr. Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party, which holds 147 of 150 seats in parliament, faces its first real electoral fight since it came to power 20 years ago. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is only nine months old, but has capitalized on widespread disgust with rampant corruption and mismanagement to mount a serious challenge. Even whites — less than one percent of the population — who have so far been careful to stay out of politics, have rallied to the MDC. It is in this context that ZANU-PF supporters have invaded an estimated 1,000 white-owned farms, where they like to beat and terrorize black workers, intimidate the owners, and insist that the land be turned over to them.
Lately, ruling party militants have taken to invading schools and clinics, where they assault the workers and warn them not to vote for the MDC. Many health and education workers have run away, leaving an unknown number of communities without services. The Zimbabwe Teachers Association estimates that Mugabe-supporters have disrupted at least 200 of the 6,000 government schools.
Mr. Mugabe has stepped up the anti-white campaign, insisting that anyone who formerly held dual citizenship has now been stripped of Zimbabwean citizenship and cannot vote or run for office. Of the 70,000 remaining whites, this rule affects an estimated 20 to 30 thousand who had kept British passports. The move is widely seen as a first step towards expulsion. Mr. Mugabe has also denounced white judges, saying that Zimbabweans must not be ruled by “foreigners.” Two of five supreme court judges are white, as are five of 20 appeals court judges.
In the land-grab campaign, on June 2 the state-run Herald published a list of 804 farms — almost all owned by whites — which were to be turned over to blacks. Newly-passed laws give whites no right to appeal the seizures, which were to begin 30 days later. Some whites gave up hope and began moving out. On June 7, Mr. Mugabe said he intended to seize every one of the 4,000 white-owned farms and that if any whites were left on the land it would be due to “our own charity.” He has gone on to urge blacks in neighboring countries also to throw whites off whatever land they may still own.
Needless to say, the already-weak economy is suffering badly. Because of chaos on the farms, Zimbabwe has not been exporting tobacco, and cannot import gasoline and cooking oil. Hundreds of cars line up at the gas stations that still have supplies, and police have used tear gas to break up mobs at cooking oil outlets. Mr. Mugabe says the British are causing the shortages by intercepting Zimbabwe-bound ships and offering them double the market rate to take their cargoes elsewhere. Zimbabwe has defaulted on its debt and the World Bank was expected to halt aid disbursements.
Tourism, which accounts for six percent of the economy, is dead. The country’s main hotel chain estimates lost bookings are costing it $1 million a month. In mid-June, its prestigious Elephant Hills casino and hotel at Victoria Falls had only 14 of its 220 rooms occupied, and management expected to shut down entire wings and send away two-thirds of the staff.
No Western observers think the elections can possibly be fair. Amnesty International says “state-sponsored terrorism” has cowed the opposition, and both the European Union and British Commonwealth have sent teams to watch over what both organizations expect will be a rigged election. The UN had planned to help monitor the voting but pulled out after a disagreement over its role. The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved a bill to suspend American assistance to Zimbabwe until democracy and the rule of law are restored. In rural areas, where 65 percent of the people live, ZANU-PF activists have been telling voters they will die from witchcraft if they vote for the opposition, and many reportedly believe them.
Political violence continues to take a distinctly African form. In early June, Mugabe-supporters sang ZANU-PF songs as they beat to death Thadeus Rukuni, an MDC candidate. Another killing centered on Chenjerai “Hitler” Hunzvi, who is one of the leaders of the farm invasion campaign. He is a doctor with an office in the town of Budiriro. Residents stormed the office, claiming Mr. Hunzvi and other “war veterans” were using it as a torture chamber for political opponents. One person was killed in the fracas.
The latest killings of white farmers bring the total to five. On May 12, John Weeks managed to wound one of five men who attacked his farm but was shot in the stomach and died. At a different farm, Tony Oates also returned fire and killed one of his attackers before being shot to death. Amazingly, farmers who realize they have come to the end of the road in Zimbabwe are looking into farm purchases elsewhere in Africa. Dozens have visited neighboring Zambia, where there are still huge tracts of virgin, arable land. They are optimistic about Zambia because 50 percent of the people live in cities and land is said not to be an emotional issue since so many people work in copper mines.
To the great consternation of whites in the region, South African president Thabo Mbeki continues to support the lawlessness in Zimbabwe. He is openly sympathetic to the land invasions and insists there is no reason to doubt that the elections will be fair. There are — -more than five million whites in South Africa and they have extensive investments in what is still by far the most dynamic economy in black Africa. Some are beginning to wonder if the campaign in Zimbabwe — and the muted reaction in the West — do not herald the eventual expulsion of all whites from southern Africa.
Diversity in Paradise
The Pacific island of Fiji has a population of about 800,000 of whom 51 percent are native Fijians and 44 percent are originally from India. The Indians, who dominate commerce, were originally brought in by British colonizers to work in the sugar cane fields. The two groups have never had much in common. Native Fijians converted to a boisterous form of Methodism while the Indians have remained Hindu and Muslim.
In 1970 the British gave Fiji independence and a constitution that recognized Fijian “paramountcy.” It set aside 83 percent of the land for native Fijians with others allowed only to rent this land. There were separate seats in parliament for Fijians and Indians and the Prime Minister was always to be Fijian. This arrangement came to an end in April, 1987, with the election victory of the Labor Party, which had a Fijian as titular head but was established to advance Indian interests. One month later a Fijian army colonel named Sitiveni Rabuka overthrew the new government and proclaimed himself ruler.
This did not sit well with white countries, which drove Fiji into economic and political isolation for ten years. Britain even managed to have it booted out of the Commonwealth. Some 70,000 Indians cleared out.
In 1997, Mr. Rabuka finally gave in to international pressure and accepted a new constitution that did not have safeguards for natives. In May, 1999, the revived Labor Party won an absolute majority in the polls and Fiji got its first Indian Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry. This should not have surprised anyone: The Indians are far better organized and harder-working than the Fijians. The Fijians point out that they were there first and say the country belongs to them.
Natives immediately accused the new government of pro-Indian bias and, indeed, many of Mr. Chaudhry’s ministers were Indian. The government also wanted to fiddle with the land ownership rules. Fijians took to the streets to demand Mr. Chaudhry’s resignation but he responded by banning further demonstrations, claiming that police had advised him they might not be able to control the crowds.
On May 19, a Fijian businessman by the name of George Speight led a group of masked gunmen into the parliament building and took Mr. Chaudhry and his mostly-Indian cabinet hostage. Fijians celebrated by looting and burning Indian businesses. The police and armed forces, largely composed of Fijians, have done little to rescue the hostages or put down rioters. Mr. Speight wants to abolish the constitution that, he says, gives too much power to Indians and wants guarantees that Indians can never run the government.
The crisis has dragged on as foreign governments yelp and Indians’ stores continue to go up in flames. On May 24 about 1,000 coup-supporting Fijians gathered at the parliament building for a knees-up church service, with indigenous women singing Fijian songs. Mr. Speight celebrated by dancing with some of the women. A council of tribal chiefs, who have no legislative authority but have considerable prestige, considered a plan to replace Mr. Chaudhry with a Fijian in return for release of the hostages.
On May 29, the military took over, declared martial law, formally ousted the president and Prime Minister, and granted amnesty to Mr. Speight. Whatever finally happens, Fiji is yet another example of the dangers of diversity. (Rohan Sullivan, Gunmen Claim to Have Seized Power in Fiji, AP, May 19, 2000. Tension Grows as Fiji Chiefs Meet, AP, May 24, 2000. Rodney Joyce, Fiji’s Military Takes Power and Imposes Martial Law, Washington Post, May 30, 2000, p. A21. Henry Srebrnik, The Fiji Coup: A Cautionary Tale, National Post (Canada), May 30, 2000.)
Better to Let Them Die?
The white man just can’t get it right. Police are not supposed to stop black drivers more often than white drivers because that would be “racial profiling,” but black drivers are less likely to be wearing seat belts. What to do?
There are two kinds of seat belt laws. Thirty-two states have “secondary” seat belt laws, according to which the police are not allowed to stop a driver merely for not wearing his belts but may ticket him for this if they stop him for some other offense. Seventeen states have “standard” laws that let the cops stop and ticket drivers for a seat belt offense alone (New Hampshire doesn’t have either kind of law). In states with “standard” laws there is about 80 percent compliance, but only 58 percent of blacks aged 18 to 29 wear belts. Where there are “secondary” laws, the figures are 63 percent and 46 percent. Blacks are also less likely to use infant and child safety seats, which helps explain why the motor vehicle death rate for small children is three times higher for blacks than for others.
A number of states are considering changing from secondary to standard laws, which give the police authority to stop unbelted drivers and invariably increase the rate of seat belt usage. Some state legislators oppose the change because, although it would presumably save lives, it would give officers yet another reason to stop more blacks. (Matthew L. Wald, Ticketing the Unbelted: Will Blacks be a Target? New York Times, April 28, 2000.)
Mustn’t Hurt Their Feelings
The British have gone soft on law enforcement for the same reasons. There was much hand-wringing in England last year after publication of the MacPherson Report, which accused British police of widespread “institutional racism.” As part of the breast-beating, London bobbies cut back on the number of blacks they stopped for questioning. What should result but an unprecedented 36 percent jump in London street crime? Blacks, we learn, are responsible for 50 percent of all street crime and 65 percent of the muggings, so when the police stopped questioning blacks crime was sure to rise.
What to do? Today’s psychologically hand-cuffed police force can’t possibly go back to the old way of doing things, so how will they counter charges that they have “disengaged” from street crime? London will spend loads of time and money on DNA testing of any bits of hair or skin left by street criminals. They will also use fancy facial recognition equipment — the kind used by anti-terrorist units — to go through endless reels of security camera footage in the hope of catching criminals. The police are also under orders to cultivate informants in robbery gangs who will presumably rat on their pals. No expense or effort will be spared so as to avoid the cheapest, most obvious tactic of all: paying closer attention to young blacks. (John Steele, Police Will Tackle Street Crime with Anti-Terror Tactics, London Daily Telegraph, May 15, 2000.)
More British Insanity
Robert Birchall of Cambridge, England, was looking for a copy of the International Herald Tribune in the city library and noticed that Kenya-born Mugai Mbaya had it as well as another newspaper. Mr. Birchall explained to Mr. Mbaya that it was not customary to take more than one paper at a time, and the two got into a tugging match over the Tribune. Sara Payne, also in the library, says she overheard a whispered exchange in which Mr. Birchall told Mr. Mbaya to “go back to your own country.” She says she was “appalled” and that “in the circumstances it was a racist remark. I went over and consoled and commiserated with Mr. Mbaya.” Mr. Birchall has since been fined £100 for the recently-established public-order offense of “using racially threatening or abusive words.” Mr. Mbaya, who came to Britain in 1971, says, “It is good to see these new laws being applied and that black and ethnic communities are taken seriously by the courts.” (David Sapstead, Whispered Racial Abuse in Library Brought to Book, London Telegraph, May 27, 2000.)
Yet More British Insanity
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport in Britain has told museums and galleries that unless they can show that at least 12 percent of their visitors are non-white they could lose government funding. The department says it wants to get minorities more interested in Britain’s heritage, but gave no guidelines for how Pakistanis and Jamaicans were to be persuaded to go to museums. Not everyone admires the new policy. Lord Tebbit, a leading opposition figure remarked, “My first reaction was one of joy, because those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.” (British Museums Get Racial Quotas, Washington Times, June 7, 2000, p. 2.)
Congressman Joe Baca of California and a group of other Hispanic congressmen have introduced a resolution in the House that would make the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo an American national holiday like Labor Day, Christmas, or July 4th. (Steve Di Meglio, Cinco de Mayo Pitched as National Holiday, Desert Sun (Palm Springs), May 4, 2000.)
The US Air Force is in a dither over a “racist” remark made by its very first woman chaplain to be promoted to general. The day after Gen. Lorraine Potter got her promotion, she was in a meeting to discuss personnel assignments and is supposed to have said, “African-American chaplains are good pastors and preachers but cannot do staff work.” “Staff work” means the administrative jobs an officer must do to achieve high rank.
The Air Force is now investigating not only Gen. Potter, who is white, but the entire chaplain corps for “racism.” Twenty-six years ago, Gen. Potter became the first woman to join the Air Force as a chaplain and has been a diversity mascot ever since. The force is much distressed over her alleged remarks, but the chaplain corps is not immune to charges of discrimination. In March, evangelical preachers in the Navy filed a class-action suit in federal court, claiming they are denied promotions in favor of churchmen from traditional denominations. (Rowan Scar-borough, Remark of Female Chaplain Probed, Washington Times, April 20, 2000.)
In the part of California between Los Angeles and San Diego there are several Indian reservations and many off-reservation Indians. There are also many Hispanics and the two groups do not get along. In high schools in Escondido, Fallbrook, and Valley Center there has been Hispanic/Indian violence for years. On May 11, 30 police officers broke up a fight in Valley Center High School after days of hostility broke out into a full-scale riot.
The uplift experts act as if racial and ethnic harmony are the norm, and that any time there are fisticuffs there must be sage explanation. Hispanics, they say, are jealous of all the government programs available for Indians. Or perhaps Indians think Hispanics have looked down on them ever since Mexico ran California. The stupidest explanation of all comes from Juan Granados, who has been hired by the schools to train students to love each other. “I think the fear of coming together just scares people,” he explains. “It’s just fear of the unknown, like ‘What happens if we get along?’” (Elizabeth Welberg and Chet Barfield, Racial Brawl Breaks Out at Valley Center High School, San Diego Union Tribune, May 12, 2000.)
KC Sinks Still Deeper
The school district of Kansas City, Missouri, is famous as a spectacular failure in the attempt to persuade Americans that race doesn’t matter. In 1985, federal District Judge Russell Clark decided to tempt white students out of the suburbs into mostly-black Kansas City schools by ordering such lavish spending that the schools would be irresistible. And spend he did, to the tune of billions of dollars. Of course, it didn’t work. Not even Russian fencing coaches, radio and television studios, dust-free diesel workshops, and planetariums were enough to persuade white parents to send their children to school with city blacks.
Now, it seems, they were not even enough to keep the blacks above water. The Kansas City school district has failed to pass a single one of the 11 standards — test scores, attendance rates, dropout rates, etc. — by which the state education review board evaluates schools. This gold-plated system, which has probably splashed out more money per public school student than ever before in history, has lost its accreditation. The district has two years to improve or be taken over by the state. (Dirk Johnson, ‘F’ for Kansas City Schools Adds to the District’s Woes, New York Times, May 3, 2000.)
A Bite Out of the System
In Miami, Hispanics and blacks have joined forces to defraud the Medicaid system. The fraud involves rounding up black children and taking them to Hispanic dentists who then bill Medicaid for unnecessary, often imaginary work. They choose children for patients because adults are not eligible for Medicaid for most kinds of dental work. Some of the children have gone to the dentist as many as 30 times a year, using different names to cover their tracks. In return, they get a few dollars and a meal at Chuck E. Cheese. To get customers, black drivers in vans cruise black neighborhoods offering free meals to children on the street. If there are parents around they are rent the children for $5.00 a head or persuade them this is a free, city service.
Since January 1999, Medicaid has terminated contracts with more than 50 Florida dentists and a number have been arrested. Officials estimate that about ten percent of the $7 billion Medicaid spends annually in Florida is siphoned off through fraud. (Andrea Elliott, Dental Fraud Scam Lures Kids, Bilks State, Miami Herald, May 14, 2000, p. 1A.)
Miami also seems to be the nation’s capital for fake doctors. In the eight months through March there were 38 arrests for practicing medicine without a license. Rosario Diaz, for example, used carpenter’s tools to fix teeth in his roach-infested apartment. Authorities bundled him off to his native Guatemala. These quacks — and their patients — are invariably Third-Worlders. (Marika Lynch, Arrests of Phony Doctors on the Rise, Miami Herald, March 31, 2000.)
40 Acres and a Lexus
The Finance and Human Relations Committee of the Chicago City Council has voted to urge Congress to grant reparations to blacks because of slavery. The vote came after a day-long hearing that the Chicago Sun-Times called “equal parts history lesson, revival meeting and group therapy session.” Attended by an overwhelmingly black audience, the hearing took place in a large auditorium in the City Council chambers decorated with posters about slavery, Jim Crow, and the Ku Klux Klan. Only three white aldermen took part.
Black Alderwoman Carrie Austin said, “There’s not enough money in this world that would be satisfactory, but there should be something.” What should that “something” be? “I want 40 acres and a Lexus,” she explained. “You can keep the mule.” (Fran Spielman, U.S. Urged to Pay for Slavery, Chicago Sun-Times, April 27, 2000. Flynn McRoberts & Monica Day, Aldermen Back Bid for Slavery Reparations, April 27, 2000.)
El Partido de lo Nuestro
Last month we reported that the Elian Gonzalez flap has hardened feelings among Miami blacks and whites against the Cubans, whom they see as wanting to take the law into their own hands. On May 17, the mayor of heavily-Hispanic Hialeah, Raul Martinez, retorted that Cubans would not let themselves be “stepped on” and that they should forget the Democrats and Republicans and start their own party, El Partido de lo Nuestro (The Party of Us). He also complained that there are Miami-Dade County Commissioners who have Hispanic names but “don’t think like Hispanics.” He also said it made him furious to see people throwing bananas at Miami City Hall — to make the point that it is run like a banana republic — and insisted that banana-tossers be arrested for littering. (Sandra Marquez Garcia, Hialeah Mayor Rips ‘Attacks’ on Cubans, Miami Herald, May 18, 2000.)
More Unsung Casualties
The May issue mentioned two black brothers, Anthony and Nathaniel Cook, who have confessed to a string of rapes and murders that terrorized Toledo, Ohio, from 1973 to 1981. We now have photographs of victims and a little more information about the crimes. They killed at least nine people — all white — and in some cases tortured their victims before killing them. The brothers, now aged 51 and 42, specialized in creeping up on couples sitting in cars at night. They would rape the woman, then kill her and the man. Usually they shot people, but in the case of their youngest victim, a 12-year-old girl they tortured and raped, they smashed her skull with a concrete block. After raping one woman they stabbed her repeatedly with an ice pick until she feigned death. She was later able to give evidence that eventually led police to the killers.
Police note that the brothers show little remorse for their crimes. Anthony Cook, in particular, appears to be proud of his ability to sneak up on people out of the dark and seems to think his victims got what they deserved. Police investigators think the brothers deliberately chose white victims, but the cases were never treated as hate crimes. The Cook brothers have also never gotten any attention outside the Toledo area, even though they are unusual and significant examples of black serial killers. (Dale Emch, Cooks Admit to 8 Slayings, The Blade (Toledo), April 7, 2000, p. 1. Dale Emch, What Compelled Cooks to Kill? The Blade, April 8, 2000, p. 13.)
Two Filipinas, neither of whom speaks English, have been charged with abusing 96-year-old Mary Mason who was in their care at a nursing home. Inez Areco and Antonia Monta videotaped themselves pushing Miss Mason to the floor and then dragging her across the room naked as they laughed and shouted. In the video, which was turned over to police by a television station that received an anonymous copy, Miss Mason lies motionless and does not resist. Through an interpreter Miss Areco and Miss Monta explained that they made the videotape to document the aggressive behavior of their aged patient. (Women Arrested After Dragging, Yelling and Laughing at 96-Year-Old, AP, May 4, 2000.)
In April, anti-immigration Italian parties won resounding victories in regional elections, so badly trouncing their lefty opponents that Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema — a former Communist — offered to resign. The conservative opposition is a coalition of the anti-immigrant Northern League, the neo-fascist National Alliance, and the Freedom Alliance led by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. The balloting was for 15 of Italy’s 20 regional councils, and conservatives won control of eight. Of particular significance was the victory of neo-fascist Francesco Storace, who became regional president of the Latium region whose capital is Rome. The anti-immigrant right wants to enforce strict immigration quotas, send back illegals, and authorize coastal patrols to open fire on boatloads of illegals. The movement’s success suggests there could be important changes when general elections take place in April, 2001. (Bruce Johnston, Right on Rise Again in Anti-immigrant Italian Poll Victory, Daily Telegraph (London), April 18, 2000.)
Truth Behind Bars
The April issue of Culture Wars has a long article by an inmate about racial tension in Texas prisons. Some excerpts:
I have two Master’s degrees, in theology and humanities, which are mind-opening subjects. Many of my friends were blacks, including my criminal defense attorney, who was a college buddy of mine. But today, because of my prison experiences, I cannot stand being in the presence of blacks. I can’t even listen to my old, favorite Motown music anymore. The barbarous and/or retarded blacks in prison have ruined it for me. The black prison guards who comprise half the staff and who flaunt the dominance of African-American culture in prison and give favored treatment to their ‘brothers’ have ruined it for me. They have ruined my tolerance. They have ruined my open-mindedness. They won’t let me be that way, and moreover, they don’t want me to be that way. I have physical, mental and spiritual scars from defending myself against them, and while I’m lucky in that I haven’t been raped or otherwise lost my manhood it is my opinion that I and my country have been ‘O.J.’-ed.”“[I]n the aftermath of the Byrd murder [the dragging death in Jasper, Texas] I read one commentator’s opinion in which he expressed disappointment that ex-cons could come out of prison with unresolved racial problems ‘despite the racial integration of the prisons.’ Despite? Buddy, do I have news for you! How about because of racial integration? (“John Doe,” Doing Time in Texas: The Truth Behind the Race Murder of James Byrd, Culture Wars, April, 2000, p. 32.)
Who Needs Soldiers?
In 1999 San Francisco dished out money to 213 arts and cultural groups supporting many different public celebrations. Some of the big winners were: Cinco de Mayo Carnival and Parade — $162,500; Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual Pride Celebration — $75,000; Chinese New Year’s Parade — $77,000, and the Gay Men’s Chorus — $49,000. The city gave money to just about every ethnic group: $5,000 for Vietnamese Lunar New Year, $7,000 for the Aloha Festival, $7,500 for the Min Sok Korean festival, $12,000 for Samoan Flag Day (!), $21,000 for Martin Luther King Day, $13,000 for Juneteenth, $10,000 for the Mexican holiday El Grito, $27,000 for the American Indian Festival, $40,000 for the Japanese Cherry Blossom Parade, etc. Veterans are incensed that they get only $1,000 from the city to celebrate Memorial Day, especially since no other group gets less than $5,000. (Jonathan Curiel, Veterans Say S.F. is Unfairly Stingy on Memorial Day Events, San Francisco Chronicle, May 27, 2000, p. 1 and other Internet sources.)
Proud of His Bloodline
George W. Bush, has a brother, Jeb, who is the governor of Florida and married to a Mexican-born woman named Columba. Jeb and Columba have a mixed-race son named George P. Bush, who appears in a television campaign ad for his uncle, in which he says:
I’m a young Latino in the United States and very proud of my bloodline. I have an uncle that is running for president because he believes in the same thing: opportunity for everyone, for every Latino. His name, same as mine: George Bush. (Bill Whitaker, Bush Familia Values, CBSNews.com, undated, seen June 12, 2000.)
On the night of Halloween, 1998, fire tore through a discotheque in Göteborg, Sweden, patronized almost exclusively by immigrants, of whom about 60 died. The cry taken up by the Swedish and international press was “This is a racist crime!” And so it was that the various immigrant communities, as richly endowed as they are here and with free access to the media, demanded the right to oversee the investigation. That lengthy process has finally come to an end and who are the accused? Four Iranians who were angry at being turned away at the door. In fact, the club was already in violation with 400 customers on the premises instead of the 150 permitted by Swedish law. But it turns out to have been a “racist” crime after all: the Iranians were turned away by Turks. “Right-wing extremists” therefore had nothing to do with this crime but that did not prevent an intense campaign of mudslinging, thousands of interrogations, and an updating of the files on skinheads, survivalists, and even perfectly legal political parties like Bevara Sveriji Svenkt (Keep Sweden Swedish), all of which groups were considerably shaken up. (Translated from: The Racist Killers Were Iranians, Rivarol, May 26, 2000, p. 10. Address: 1, rue d’Haute-ville, 75010 Paris, France.)
Gypsies Not Wanted
Parents in the Spanish town of Barakaldo, near Bilbao, tried to shut down the Colegio San Juan after they learned three Gypsy children had been enrolled. They have kept as many as 600 children out of classes, and on May 11 got into scuffles with the police as they tried to keep teachers from entering the school. The authorities and Gypsy leaders accuse the parents of racism. (Spain School Gypsy Boycott Sparks Racism Charge, Reuters, May 12, 2000.)
The Greeks have gone the Spaniards one better. The town of Nea Kios, 60 miles southwest of Athens, has passed an ordinance to keep Gypsies out completely. “We state that we do not desire the presence, passage and residence of Gypsies in our municipality,” says the recently-posted public notice. It goes on to urge shopkeepers to refuse service to Gypsies and offers to buy back any land on the town’s outskirts now owned by Gypsies. For years, residents have accused Gypsies of theft, violence and reckless driving, but tensions came to a head when an argument over a parking space led to blows.
Until a decade ago Greece was almost entirely homogeneous but ten percent of the population are now foreigners, mostly from Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Many Greeks are unhappy with the influx, and the Greek Orthodox Church says the country’s cultural and religious identities are under threat. Last year a town in northern Greece imposed a dusk-to-dawn ban on all foreigners. (Elena Becatoros, Greek Town Rules: Gypsies Not Wanted, AP, May 31, 2000.)
“Commit Your Crimes in America”
Agua Prieta is a Mexican border town that is a popular jumping-off point for illegal entry into the United States. Last year, an estimated two million Mexicans crossed into Arizona from Agua Prieta, and many of them came right back when the US Border Patrol caught them. The town of 130,000 doesn’t like the hundreds of thousands of criminal drifters La Migra dumps on its doorstep, and has decided to teach them how to stay in the United States. It offers free advice on how to apply for a court hearing if they are caught, and has started advertising this service in newspapers and on radio. A court hearing automatically means a lengthy stay in the United States, and if even a fraction of the Agua Prieta illegals demanded hearings the US system would be swamped and break down. INS spokesman Rob Daniels said “communication” will solve the problem. (Mexican Town Declares War on U.S., FoxNews.com, May 30, 2000.)
Israel has recently suffered a dramatic loss of wildlife. Six years ago, there were 6,000 gazelle in the southern Golan but now there are only 500. Wolves and birds have been disappearing, too. Conservationists have finally found the cause: Thai farm workers who trap and eat anything that moves. Israeli farmers used to hire Palestinian labor but in the mid-1990s there was so much unrest the government closed off the Occupied Territories and imported 20,000 Thais to pick avocados and pack oranges. Yair Sharon, a national parks wildlife inspector says, “If you want nature conservation, you cannot have Thai workers.” (Alan Philps, Israel Bans Hunting as Guest Workers’ Tastes Run Wild, Telegraph (London), April 26, 2000.)