Posted on May 1, 2001

O Tempora, O Mores! (May, 2001)

American Renaissance, May 2001

Preferences on the Wane

It is beginning to look as though the U.S. Supreme Court will finally step into the debate about racial preferences in university admissions. Two recent and contradictory federal court decisions — regarding the same university — have left the legality of preferences in such a jumble, it would be dereliction of duty to look the other way.

Last December, U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan ruled that the University of Michigan’s undergraduate affirmative action program was constitutional because, although it discriminated against whites, it did so for the noble purpose of increasing diversity. This was the first time such a ruling had dispensed with the hoary old notion that preferences were needed to compensate 18-year-old non-whites for years of personal discrimination, and to state baldly that even if they had never felt the sting of prejudice, the mere presence of non-whites on campus justified keeping some whites out.

Now a different federal district judge, Bernard Friedman, has ruled that the U of M law school’s admissions policy — which also discriminates against whites in the name of diversity — is not constitutional. And discriminate it does. The typical white who gets in has an LSAT score of 43 and a grade point average of 3.58, while the typical protected minority gets in with 34 and 3.05 respectively. Put in terms of odds, a black applicant with the same qualifications as a white is 258 times more likely to get in. Two days after the decision, Jesse Jackson led hundreds of U of M students in a protest, and promised a march on Washington.

With two contradictory decisions emanating from the same campus, and losers promising to appeal, it is very unlikely the U.S. Supreme Court will stay out. The 1996 Hopwood case that brought down racial preferences at the University of Texas Law School is still in appeal, and could get to the Supreme Court before the Michigan cases.

In fact, it is surprising the justices have not revisited admissions preferences since 1978, the year of the 5-4 Bakke decision that forbade quotas but permitted use of race as a factor in university admissions. All five justices who voted with the majority in 1978 have retired, and recent decisions suggest the current court might well rule against racial preferences-perhaps by an equally narrow margin.

“Civil rights” groups are worried. In 1997 the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case brought by a white Piscataway, New Jersey, high school teacher who had been fired to save the job of an equally qualified black teacher. The Black Leadership Forum raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay off the plaintiff and settle out of court, rendering the case moot and keeping it out of the hands of the justices. Even without definitive Supreme Court action, these university cases have been useful, ending preferences at defendant universities and causing others to dismantle affirmative action for fear of similar suits. [Joseph Altman, Court Rules Against UM Law Policy, AP, March 27, 2001. Students Protest Michigan Racial Preference Ruling, Reuters, March 29, 2001. Lyle Denniston, High Court Test Looms for Affirmative Action, Boston Globe, March 30, 2001. Andrea Billups, Judge Denies Stay to Law School Using Raced as Admission Factor, Washington Times, April 4, 2001, p. A7.]

Not all non-whites are taking these changes quietly. In California, universities have outlawed the use of race as a criterion for admission since 1995, and blacks, especially, resent this. In March, high school teachers in San Francisco gave students time off on a weekday to attend a noon rally at U.C. Berkeley, where much noise was made about how equal opportunity requires unequal opportunity. Among the approximately 2,000 overwhelmingly non-white and high-school age crowd, some 150 blacks soon lost interest in politics, and decided to loot a shoe store. Much of the stock at an Athlete’s Foot walked out the door before police restored order. While they were acquiring new footwear, the blacks also beat up a white Berkeley student, sending him to the hospital. No arrests were made, and police had no comment on the motive for the beating. At the same demonstration, a white Berkeley freshman, John Dehrs, made the mistake of assuming he would be politely received when he expressed doubts about racial preferences. He reported that at least one person threatened him, and said the incident left him “a little shaken.” On the employment front, the Supreme Court decided to let stand an appeals court ruling that Fulton County, Georgia, may no longer discriminate in favor of non-whites and women in awarding city contracts. The County had been tilting bids toward “disadvantaged” companies since 1979, and wanted so desperately to keep doing it that it hoped the Supreme Court would step in and reverse the 11th Circuit Court. [AP, March 26, 2001.]

Meanwhile, in Baytown, Texas, close to Houston, an antique drama straight out of the worst days of racial preferences was playing itself out. In 1992, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake of Houston ordered the town’s fire department to hire whites and non-whites in equal numbers until the percentage of non-whites on the squad equals their percentage in the town: 30 percent. The trouble is, non-whites cannot pass the test. Earlier this year, only two of 27 applicants passed the Fire Fighters Selection Exam, and both were white. Since the last fireman hired was white, Baytown can’t hire them, and seven slots on the force remain unfilled. What to do?

The town switched to a different test and saw the pass rate jump from seven percent to 91 percent. Fourteen of the 43 applicants who passed were non-white, so Baytown’s hiring problems may be over. Paul Muñoz, president of the Baytown Professional Firefighters Association, says the results reflect a clear lowering of standards, but the city’s director of training, Lionel Williams denies it. He says the previous batch of test-takers just didn’t study hard enough. [Cindy Horswell, Baytown May Resolve Shortage of Firefighters With New Testing, Houston Chronicle, March 14, 2001.]

War on African Whites

On March 30, racial conflict in Zimbabwe took a new turn. One hundred black former employees stormed a meeting of the board of directors-which includes blacks and whites-of the textile firm Merspin Pvt. Ltd. The blacks slapped and kicked the whites, driving them from the room, but left black directors unhurt. The attackers were among 600 workers laid off two years ago, and claim Merspin is racist and owes them money. Eric Bloch, a leading economic commentator in Zimbabwe and a director of the company, was among the whites who were beaten up. “This is pure anarchy, just lawlessness,” he said afterwards. “Those charges of racism are just nonsense.” [Retrenched Zimbabwean Workers Attack White Directors, Reuters, March 30, 2001.]

Meanwhile, Zimbabwean authorities have finally arrested someone for the murder of a white farmer. Last month we reported blacks killed Gloria Olds, the mother of a farmer murdered last year. Neighbors found her with 20 bullet wounds, not far from her three dogs, which had also been shot. On March 27, in something of a miracle, police arrested 47-year-old Albert Ncube and said they were still looking for an accomplice. Mrs. Olds was the eighth white farmer to die in the recent violence, and police have not arrested any suspects in the other killings. [Zimbabwe Man Charged With Murder of White Farmer, Reuters, March 30, 2001.]

In fact, the bloodiest war on African whites is going on in South Africa. On March 27, blacks killed white farmer Nicholas van Rensburg and wounded his mother in a rifle attack. They left without taking anything, and most farmers think this is yet another killing meant to intimidate whites and force them off the land. Although the world press has been remarkably silent about it, blacks have killed nearly 500 white farmers since the beginning of black rule in 1995. Some they have held for hours and tortured to death. Blacks killed thirteen white farmers in the month of January alone. Whites are furious about the lack of government response and believe there is tacit approval from the top for these killings.

Eight hundred white farmers gathered for Mr. van Rensburg’s funeral and vowed to take the law into their own hands if authorities do not act. Andre Korp, Mr. van Rensburg’s next-door neighbor, told reporters farmers were going to take up arms and form self-defense networks to stop the killings. “The killers were lucky I wasn’t at home that day,” says Mr. Korp. “I would have chased them and killed them. I wouldn’t have just caught them. I would have killed them.” [Sue Thomas, S. Africa’s White Farmers Ready to Fight Back, Reuters, April 2, 2001.]

There is no telling where the war may spread. There are 4,500 white farmers in next-door Namibia, and Sam Nujoma, who has run the country since independence in 1990, indulges in periodic anti-white outbursts. On March 28, he lashed out once again, saying whites were arbitrarily firing black workers. “We have the capacity to fight you,” he said. “We will get you. I warn those whites it is the first and last time I hear you insulting us.” Mr. Nujoma is a close ally of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, whom he refuses to criticize, but he has stated publicly Namibia will not launch an anti-white land-grab. [Namibian President Lashes Out at White Farmers, Reuters, March 28, 2001.]

The Bjorn Borg Solution

The great Swedish tennis player Bjorn Borg is urging Europeans to have more babies. In a full-page advertisement in Sweden’s main financial paper Dagens Industri, he wrote:

We have a bit of a delicate problem here in the western world: there aren’t enough babies being born. If nothing drastic happens soon there won’t be anyone who can work and put up for our pensions. Bad karma! Luckily there is a simple solution that is both enjoyable and relaxing: The Swedish model. An intimate form of socializing that, if done properly, will keep mid-wives labouring all over Europe. So the humble advice from Bjoern Borg is quite simply: Get to it!

The advertisement concludes with the admonition, “F*** for Future” over Mr. Borg’s signature. [Tennis Legend Bjorn Borg Urges Europeans to Have More Sex, Agence France-Presse, March 9, 2001.]

Hearing Things

Richard Williams is the father of tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, and acts as both coach and manager. On March 15, Venus withdrew from a match in an Indian Wells, California, tournament that would have pitted her against her sister Serena. She claimed she had tendonitis, but many fans thought Mr. Williams rigged things to steer a win to Serena. Mr. Williams says he and his daughters were booed by racist fans who called them “nigger.”

There is no doubt about the booing, but there is considerable doubt about the “nigger.” Asked if she had heard anything nasty while she was playing, Serena said: “I don’t know. I can’t remember.” When Venus was asked what she heard when she sat down with her father, she answered loyally, “I heard whatever he heard.”

Tennis player Martina Hingis dismissed Mr. Williams’ claims. “I definitely don’t feel . . . there is any racism on the tour,” she said. “Sometimes . . . he [Mr. Williams] has said things which are not true.” The alleged victim is not backing down. He says it was “the worst act of prejudice I’ve seen since they killed Martin Luther King.” [Williams Cries Racism, Desert Sun (Palm Springs), March 27, 2001, p. C1. Williams Family is Upset by Racial Slurs, Washington Times, March 27, 2001, p. B3.]

Going, Going . . .

Milwaukee is one of those declining American cities that now have non-white majorities. The 2000 census shows that with Hispanics at 12 percent, blacks 37 percent, Asians three percent, American Indians and “others” at nine percent, whites are a clear minority. As it changed color, Milwaukee’s population declined. At 596,974 it is now five percent down on the 1990 figure and 20 percent down from the record of 741,324 set in 1960. The city’s population is now the smallest it has been in 60 years.

Milwaukee’s white mayor, John Norquist, at least pretends not to understand the connection between race and population loss. “I’m a little disappointed that it’s not over 600 [thousand] . . . It’s not something you want to break out the champagne over,” he says. At the same time, he claims that learning whites are a minority was “the most pleasant news in the whole census.” “I’d say this is something we should really point to with pride,” he said. “Of all the places in Wisconsin, it’s the one place that’s most open and welcoming . . . It shows that Milwaukee is the part of Wisconsin that is most like where America is going.”

Frank Zeidler, who was mayor from 1948 to 1960, when Milwaukee’s population hit its peak, is not so starry-eyed. He points out that a lot of whites left the city because they didn’t want to live with blacks. He says the real metropolitan center of the area is no longer Milwaukee but eastern Waukesha County. “Milwaukee has certain glamour places,” he says, “but it also has a cordon of blight around the downtown area that has existed for quite a while and to which much attention has not been paid officially.” [Alan Borsuk and Leonard Sykes, City Population Lowest Since 1940, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 8, 2001.]

Diversity Does Not Equal Integration

Commentators are dismayed to find that although the 2000 census finds the country more “diverse,” the different races are no more likely to live together than they were 10 years ago. John Logan, who is with the Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research, says a first pass through the data shows, “we’re not more integrated-that’s the bottom line.” One trend is that various minority groups are slightly more likely to live close to each other-Hispanics and blacks, or Asians and Hispanics-but whites are no more likely than in 1990 to have non-white neighbors. In cities like New York and Chicago, black-white residential patterns have not changed since the 1920s. “You might have thought the black civil-rights movement or the rise of the black middle class or changing racial attitudes surely by now would have made a difference,” says Dr. Logan, but they have not. “The color line is still very strong.” As the Christian Science Monitor puts it, “Children of the early 21st century will likely grow up isolated from people of other ethnic groups-much as the children of the early 20th century did.” [Laurent Belsie, Ethnic Diversity Grows, but Not Integration, Christian Science Monitor, March 14, 2001.]

Preliminary results for the Miami area show a similar trend, as residential segregation remained essentially unchanged over the last 10 years. Whites and Hispanics are not as segregated from each other as are blacks from both whites and Hispanics. In a few places in the Dade County/Broward County area there was more integration, but segregation increased in Miramar, Pompano Beach, and Homestead-all heavily black areas from which both whites and Hispanics appear to have fled. [Amy Driscoll and Tim Henderson, Region’s Populace Staying Apart, Miami Herald, April 4, 2001.]

Drugs for Blacks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is just a few steps away from approving its first drug exclusively for one social construct. Studies found that BiDil, a heart failure drug made by NitroMed, reduced mortality in blacks by a remarkable 66 percent but had little effect on whites. Blacks are twice as likely as whites to suffer from heart failure but do not respond well to the usual anti-hypertension drugs known as ACE inhibitors. One reason may be blacks have a deficiency in nitric oxide, a naturally-produced substance that dilates blood vessels; BiDil raises the level of nitric oxide. NitroMed must now conduct one more test, with black subjects only, in order to get final FDA approval. [Victoria Griffith, FDA Paves the Way for First ‘Ethnic’ Drug, Financial Times (London), March 8, 2001.]

Drugs for Asians

A study conducted at the Chinese University of Hong Kong concludes that Chinese have a heightened genetic predisposition to drug addiction. Dr. Alfreda Stadlin, associate professor of anatomy, says a single mutation in the A118G mu opioid receptor gene associated with “pleasure and reward pathways” is found in 30 percent of Chinese but in only 11 percent of whites, 14 percent of Hispanics, and two percent of blacks. The mutation is thought to make a person more likely to become addicted to drugs and to make addiction more difficult to break. Dr. Stadlin says this mutation may also be associated with the notorious Chinese love of gambling. [Opioid Receptor Polymorphism May Predispose Chinese to Heroin Addiction, Reuters Medical News, March 16, 2001.]

Minorities No More

The San Diego city council has become the first such body in the country officially to drop the term “minority.” Whites are no longer a majority in the state of California and are only 49 percent of the city’s population, so the council decided unanimously that the term “minority” was both inaccurate and insulting. It hasn’t officially decided what to call non-whites, but one black council member suggests “people of color.”

Not all minorities are happy about the change. Scott Rosa of the League of United Latin American Citizens says Hispanics are still a minority. “It’s a fact nationally,” he says, “and it is something that helps us get scholarships and numerous other benefits.” [Steve Miller, San Diego Panel Unanimously Hits Delete Key on ‘Minority,’ Washington Times, April 4, 2001, p. A4.]

Hispanics Not ‘Minorities’

In the previous issue we reported that Hispanic business-owners in Georgia were pushing for the same preferential treatment as blacks, Asians, and Indians as “minority suppliers.” Legislation ran into unexpectedly fierce opposition from black law-makers and was defeated. Bob Holmes, a member of the state’s Legislative Black Caucus, explained why: “There is growing competition between blacks and Hispanics, and in the South, it is going to get worse. We know that they have escaped from poverty and we want them to have a better life here, but not at the expense of African-Americans.” [Dahleen Glanton, Hispanic Influx in Deep South Causes Tensions — With Blacks, Chicago Tribune, March 19, 2001.]

Love Among the Liberals

Denver’s Human Services Department, which handles child abuse, welfare, child support, etc., is one of the most aggressively integrated agencies in the city. Many employees and eight of ten department heads are non-white, as is much of the department’s clientele. Recently, the city hired the Gallup organization to see how well the 1,300 employees get along, and was shocked by the results. Fifty-seven percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that employees are treated fairly without regard to race, sex, age, etc. Sixty-nine percent disagreed with the statement that they trust top management. The Gallup people, who have apparently done similar work before, assured the city that people in the uplift business are particularly sensitive to discrimination, and like to complain about it. Social worker Shanna Ritts, who is a union representative, says she hears a lot about discrimination among different groups of non-whites, with various kinds of Hispanics discriminating against each other. “We have a large group of minority people working, but they clash,” she explains. [Arthur Kane, Workers Cite Bias at City Agency, Denver Post, March 16, 2001.]

‘A Particular Gardening Implement’

A high-ranking Australian police officer has finally admitted the obvious: foreign drug gangs have brought a great deal of violence to Australia. “There is no question that the use of knives and guns has become far more frequent in recent years,” says Federal Police Commissioner Mick Palmer. “I think essentially it is related to drug trafficking. It is related to some of the ethnicity of some of the people involved in the trade and the fact that the use of knives and guns is a more familiar part of the criminal side of those cultures than has been the case in Australia.” Mr. Palmer was perhaps emboldened to say these things because he was about three days away from retirement.

A few people were brave enough to welcome his remarks. New South Wales state premier Bob Carr applauded, saying police would be more effective if they could identify suspects by race, rather than kow-towing to ethnic sensitivities. The tabloid Daily Telegraph, which has been running frequent stories about turf wars between Chinese triads, Lebanese street gangs and Vietnamese heroin dealers, declared it was time “to call a particular gardening implement a spade.”

At the same time, the usual people were saying the usual things. George Khonzame, who runs a welfare center for Lebanese, says it is “very unfair” to link crime to nationality or race. “It’s a problem of all youth in Australia,” he explained. [Michael Christie, Racial Branding Inflames Australian Crime Debate, Reuters, March 13, 2002.]

Felons and the Vote

Florida is one of 13 states that bar released felons from voting unless they are cleared through a clemency process. The state now has 72,000 prison inmates — 53 percent of whom are black — and 550,000 non-voting felons on the outside, of which 140,000 are black. The Florida legislature’s black caucus thinks withholding the vote is racism, and wants to introduce a bill to reinstate a felon’s franchise automatically one year after he leaves jail. They want Governor Jeb Bush, whom they call “Jeb Crow” for eliminating racial preferences in college admissions, to do as his brother George did in Texas, and sign such a bill. The ACLU is on the side of the yard birds: “These [restrictions on the franchise] are poll taxes and literacy tests by another name,” says Howard Simon, the ACLU’s executive director in Florida.

The change will not come easily. Disfranchisement of felons is part of the Florida constitution, which can be changed only by a three-fifths vote in both houses of the legislature, followed by a voter referendum. The earliest it could possibly get on the ballot would be November 2002. [Marc Caputo, Black Lawmakers: Let Ex-Inmates Vote Again, Palm Beach Post, March 13, 2001. Mark Silva, Panel OK’s Felons’ Voting Rights, Miami Herald, march 22, 2001.]

Haiti Update

Last month’s cover story touched on the colorful ways Haiti’s leaders move in and out of power. Latest developments suggest no change is in sight. Last November’s elections, which put ex-priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the Presidential Palace, were so rife with corruption foreign aid agencies have put assistance on hold until the mess is sorted out. The 15-party opposition alliance called Convergence decided its leader, Gérard Gourgue, should have won the election, and named him president of an “alternative government.” Since then, politics have continued by extra-parliamentary means. On March 20, a gang of Aristide supporters besieged a school run by Convergence. Mr. Gourgue, president of the alternative government, barricaded the doors and cowered inside with 50 students, while the mob shot up the building. After an hour of this, the police arrived and tear-gassed the besiegers.

On the same day, Aristide partisans attacked a Convergence office, setting it on fire. Four people were wounded in the ensuing gun battle between attackers and Convergence security guards. “We’re going to keep on doing this until the government arrests Gérard Gourgue,” said Eugene Bedeshein, 25, an Aristide admirer manning a barricade of flaming tires at a downtown Port-au-Prince intersection. Two of Mr. Artistide’s cabinet ministers have demanded an arrest, saying Mr. Gourgue assumed the title of president illegally. As for Mr. Gourgue, he says the violence is orchestrated by Mr. Aristide, who hopes to use constant disorder as an excuse to dispense with democracy and reestablish open dictatorship. [Michael Norton, Aristide Militants Firebomb Opposition Office, Shoot at School, AP, March 21, 2001.]

As the country falls ever deeper into chaos, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), which ladles out foreign aid, has just released a 25-page report criticizing the Haitian police for insufficient “gender equity”! Three CIDA analysts (sex unspecified) who visited the country last year say the police must hire more lady officers, introduce a sexual harassment policy, learn how to deal with domestic abuse, introduce complaint forms for women mistreated by police, and set up special units to deal with female victims of violence. The report concedes that some of this may not happen overnight but urges a perspective that is “10 years down the road.” A Haitian who helps train the police reacted with astonishment, pointing out that the police can’t even keep the peace. He said “gender equity” and the idea of a harassment-free workplace are “far from the minds” of police officers. [Marina Jiménez, As Nation Burns, CIDA Tells Haiti to Hire More Policewomen, National Post, March 22, 2001.]

More Foreign Drunks

The Immigration and Naturalization Service ordinarily deports aliens who get a violent felony conviction. Until now, it has considered felony drunk driving — usually the third drunk-driving conviction — a deportable felony, because drunk drivers are likely to kill people. In March, a three-judge panel of the federal 5th Circuit Court in San Antonio, Texas, ruled that drunk drivers cannot be deported no matter how often they break they law because they probably do not intend violence. The INS has the option of asking the full, 15-judge panel to review the ruling, but it cannot override an appeals court decision. Immigration activists welcomed the opinion, noting that thousands of immigrants kicked out of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi can now return, and that the INS is likely to abide by the 5th circuit’s decision in all parts of the country. [Maro Robbins, DWI Order May Help Immigrants, San Antonio Express-News, March 5, 2001.]

Bailing Out Rev. Al

The Tawana Brawley fake-rape case lingers on. In 1988, the black Miss Brawley, desperate for an excuse for why she had been out all night, invented a story of having been raped by white men. Rev. Al Sharpton became her champion and, in a flurry of wild accusations, claimed then-New York State prosecutor Steven Pagones was one of the rapists. Mr. Pagones sued Mr. Sharpton for slander, and in 1998 a jury awarded him $65,000 in damages. Mr. Sharpton refused to pay, and interest swelled the debt to $87,000 — though Mr. Pagones did manage to get $15,000 by garnishing wages. Mr. Pagones was convinced Mr. Sharpton was hiding assets, and sued to make the Sharpton organizations — National Action Network and Rev. Al’s Productions — cough up the cash.

Mr. Sharpton’s delinquency was beginning to be an embarrassment for his supporters, who decided to pass the hat and pay his debts. “I thought it was time for it to be taken care of,” explains Percy Sutton, who is head of Inner City Broadcasting, and a power-broker among New York City’s blacks. He has always said he believed Miss Brawley was raped, but will not comment on the merits of the Pagones suit. He worked out an agreement to come up with a quick $40,000 now, with the balance due by mid-June. Some of the contributors were Black Enterprise magazine chairman Earl Graves, Essence publisher Ed Lewis, lawyer Johnnie Cochran, and Amsterdam News publisher Bill Tatum. [Niles Lathem and Tracy Connor, Passing the Hat for Rev. Al, March 22, 2001.]

It is not easy to imagine major white business figures paying off a criminal’s debts out of pure racial solidarity.