O Tempora, O Mores! (February, 2003)

American Renaissance, February 2003

Will They Ever Learn?

In January 2002, the federal government passed something called the No Child Left Behind law, which sets performance standards for American schools. In 2002, it required that 40 percent of all students meet minimum standards, but it raises the percentages every year, and requires that 100 percent of children meet standards by 2014. As an added exercise in fantasy, it requires that each of five racial subgroups (white, Asian, black, Hispanic, American Indian), as well as children who are poor or who do not speak good English meet the same standards. The laws avowed purpose is to eliminate the achievement gap between different races and social classes.

Children in grades three through eight will take tests, and if, for two years in a row, any sub-par racial or social group fails to improve, the school is classified as “low performing.” This means students must be allowed to go to better schools — even if they are filled to capacity — and the schools must hire private tutors for the students. If a school continues to be “low performing” it is labeled “failing.” It must then fire and replace its principal and teachers or be reopened as a charter school.

In the past, largely-white schools could easily clear standards because white (and Asian) students pulled up the average. Now, even the best schools will have to get their blacks, Hispanics, and non-English-speaking immigrants up to snuff or risk being labeled “low performing.” Just a handful of blacks or immigrants could turn a perfectly good school into a failure. State education officials worry that if the standards aren’t changed, more than half the schools in the country will be “low performing.” In North Carolina, 60 percent of the public schools are likely to miss the mark, and in Louisiana, as many as 85 percent could be “low performing.” [Michael A. Fletcher, States Worry New Law Sets Schools Up to Fail, Washington Post, Jan. 2, 2003, p. A1.]

Nationally, the average black 12th grader can read and do math at the level of the average white 8th grader, and this has been true for decades. If the new law narrows the gap at all, it will do so by bringing down the scores of whites. The Chicago Tribune did a racial analysis of test scores for Chicago-area schools and found that even the well-regarded Hinsdale Central High School, Beye Elementary School in Oak Park and Springman Junior High School in Glenview have at least one racial subgroup that doesn’t measure up. Under the new rules that means the whole school doesn’t measure up.

The performance gaps are about the same everywhere. At Naperville Central High School, for example, 88 percent of white juniors passed state math tests, compared with 36 percent of blacks. At Barrington High School, 85 percent of white students met standards in reading, versus 27 percent of Hispanics.

How are teachers reacting? “This should serve as a distinct wake-up call to all of us,” says Robert Schiller, Illinois state superintendent of education. “We know there are going to be a lot of local school officials disturbed and angry that, despite all the hard work they have put forth, they now find themselves falling short of the federal guidelines.” Should they object to the new, fantasy standards? Apparently not. “[T]he bottom line is we all have to find a way to help close the [racial] gap because it’s the right thing to do for our children,” says Superintendent Schiller.

Many teachers act as if they never heard of racial differences in test scores. “It smacked us in the face,” said Donna Hayley, principal of Pioneer Elementary School in Romeoville, Illinois. “We had a lot of discussion in our building and asked, ‘Are we doing something wrong? Are we treating African-American students differently?’” [Stephanie Banchero and Darnell Little, Scores Reveal Surprise, Chicago Tribune, Nov. 13, 2002.]

The outright madness of this approach could turn out to be very useful. If the poor performance of even a small number of blacks or Hispanics tars an entire school, it will call even more attention to the costs of integration. Also, the fact that the standards — and the problems — will be national will make it much harder to blame the teachers of a particular school. If the blacks at the local elementary are failing because the teachers are “racist,” the teachers at every other elementary school in the country must be “racist.” Some day, a brave or naïve mother may even take a copy of The Bell Curve to school and read from it out loud at a PTA meeting.

White Purge Continues

The purge of the white tribe in Zimbabwe continues with, as usual, no condemnation from the rest of the world. Robert Mugabe’s government has ordered 3,000 white farmers off their land, and is arresting those who will not leave. A police spokesman said 193 whites had been rounded up in the latest sweep, but the figure is suspect because there is little central control of the police or of the anti-white “war veterans” who often raid white farms. The farmers, many of whom are elderly, are held in harsh conditions and usually not allowed visits from wives. Some are still going through the motions of appealing their expulsions, but many have simply walked away from their property, grateful to get out with their lives. Blacks loot many of the farms while their owners are in jail.

On December 14, at the ZANU-PF party’s annual conference, Mr. Mugabe threatened more trouble. Before an audience of some 3,000 ZANU-PF delegates who danced, ululated, and waved clenched fists, he accused Britain, which has made a few timid noises about electoral fraud, of being “an enemy of Zimbabwe.” “The more they express their hostility against us,” he shouted, “the more negative we shall become to their kith and kin here.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Mugabe’s wife Grace has finally picked out the farm she wants. It is called Iron Mask Estate, and sits on 2,500 acres about 20 miles north-west of the capital Harare. The 400 arable acres have lain fallow for the last 18 months, under occupation by “war veterans.” The owners, John and Eva Matthews, ages 78 and 74, moved out of their home of 25 years some time ago. Recently, Mrs. Mugabe dropped by, and is reported to have “politely” told the remaining black farm hands to clear out. Mr. Matthews learned that he could appeal his eviction to an official known as the district administrator — who, as he later learned, was part of Grace Mugabe’s entourage when she came by to chase off his workers.

Mrs. Mugabe is famous for her London shopping trips and profligate ways. Several years ago, she had a great, sprawling house built for herself that soon got the nickname ‘Graceland.’ She has not yet made public her plans for Iron Mask Estate. [Stella Mapenzauswa, Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Tells the World: Leave Us Alone, Reuters, Dec. 13, 2002. Peta Thornycroft, Mugabe’s Wife Selects Her Farm and Orders the Owners to Leave, Telegraph (London), Dec. 26, 2002.]

She seems only to be learning lordly ways from her husband. As his country sinks deeper into misery, Mr. Mugabe has passed new regulations requiring respectful behavior toward his motorcade. Henceforth, no one may “make any gesture or statement within the view or hearing of the State motorcade with the intention of insulting any person travelling with an escort or any member of the escort.” Offenders can go to jail. Zimbabweans actually have it pretty easy. During the late Malawian President Kamuzu Banda’s rule, women were expected to kneel by the roadside, while their menfolk had to applaud when his motorcade passed. [Chris Mhike, Public Faces Arrest For Talking or Pointing at Mugabe’s Motorcade, Daily News (Zimbabwe), Nov. 18, 2002.]

The United States is clucking gently about election fraud and human rights violations. The administration says Mr. Mugabe stole the election from opposition candidate Morgan Tvangirai last March, and that the government is denying food to hungry people. After the election, the US announced it would not let certain Zimbabwean leaders into the country and was freezing their American assets. Just last September, however, Mr. Mugabe addressed the UN General Assembly in New York and got a hero’s welcome from black city councilmen. It is not clear to whom these toothless sanctions apply, but a decision is reportedly in the works about whether to tighten them. So far, the American government appears to have nothing to say about the treatment of white farmers. [George Gedda, U.S. Weighs Sanctions Against Zimbabwe, AP, Jan. 7, 2003.]

Sick Gringos

In the United States we live with the comfort of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which requires hospitals to provide emergency treatment to any and all comers, regardless of ability to pay. This has been a gift to illegals who, according to a recent report by the US-Mexico Border Counties Coalition, every year skip out on medical bills worth $79 million in California, $74 million in Texas, $31 million in Arizona and $6 million in New Mexico. The coalition also found illegals stick emergency rescue teams with another $13 million in unpaid bills. These figures are only for illegals. Foreign nationals here legally stiff us too.

It has recently been reported that hospitals south of the border routinely turn away uninsured Mexicans, and tell the ambulance drivers to head for the nearest American hospital. “It’s a phenomenon we noticed some time ago, one that has expanded very rapidly,” says a federal law enforcement officer. He notes that ambulances seem to get across the border quite easily. The federal law that requires hospitals to treat illegals offers no federal compensation to states or counties that must pick up the tab when the feds fail to keep out law-breakers. Perhaps this is why George Bush is unlikely to mention this problem next time he chats with his pal, President Vicente Fox of Mexico. [Jerry Seper, Mexican Medics Take Sick to U.S., Washington Times, Dec. 12, 2002.]

These losses are nothing compared to the estimated $2.5 billion fraudsters have siphoned out of California’s medical handout program, Medi-Cal. Officials estimate that 10 percent of the $25 billion budget ends up in the pockets of criminals, a disproportionate number of whom are immigrants. There appears to be an infinity of ways to bilk the system, and all manner of entrepreneurial scams thrive amidst the spirit of larceny prevalent in southern California. Store fronts — or even just mail drops — claim to dispense expensive medical services and equipment, and bill the state for it. Thieves steal the identities of doctors or medical supply houses and send in claims. Others like to offer small bribes or pairs of sneakers to “patients,” who submit to medical procedures or tests for which dishonest doctors overcharge the system. There is even a name for the people who round up phony patients: “cappers.” Cappers reportedly find an endless supply of customers among the newcomers who are generously making our country more “diverse.” [Tim Reiterman and Virginia Ellis, State Hit Hard by Medical Fraud, LA Times, Dec. 26, 2002.]

OBE for the Lawrences

Every year, the British government announces the New Year’s Honours List, naming people who will be knighted and given other awards. This year, Neville and Doreen Lawrence are among the great and good. They are the parents of Stephen Lawrence, a young black who was stabbed to death in 1993, allegedly by a gang of white “racists.” The investigation into the killing is said to have been incompetent, and although police detained a number of suspects, there were no convictions. The killing and its aftermath were blown up by the press as horrifying examples of British “bigotry,” and led to publication in 1999 of a paper called “The Macpherson Report,” which proposed sweeping, Orwellian changes in British society and police practices. Throughout, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence have played the part of martyrs in the cause of social justice. Downing Street explained it made the award because “their persistence and courage in the face of tragedy and bitter disillusionment and disappointment have been outstanding.” [George Jones, Honoured for Triumph Over Tragedy, Daily Telegraph (London), Dec. 31, 2002, p. 1.]

The British press almost always refers to the honor by its initials; it can rarely bring itself to remind readers that OBE stand for Order of the British Empire. How much longer before there is a name change?

Ganging Up on the Police

As in the United States, the drug trade in Britain is largely in non-white hands. Turks, Kurds, Chinese, Jamaicans, and Albanians are the main suppliers, and have grown increasingly willing to settle their turf battles by open warfare. Last November, Turks and Kurds fought a pitched battle at a private club on a busy street in north London, using guns, knives, and baseball bats. Of the 40 combatants, one died, four went on life support, and 20 more were so badly wounded they could not even crawl away. Scotland Yard inspectors later found an AK-47 rifle, four handguns, and lots of ammunition. Police have asked witnesses to step forward, but the response from the mostly-immigrant neighborhood has been sullen silence.

Turks and Kurds control about 70 percent of the British heroin trade, but have heretofore settled their disagreements more or less privately. Immigrant gangs have also had informal agreements to let only the highest-ranking chiefs carry guns. The old rules now seem to have gone by the boards, and British police — most of whom do not carry weapons — face increasing danger. [Thomas Wagner, London Braces for Possible Gang War, AP, Nov. 30, 2002.]

Marring the Celebration

2002 was the 40th anniversary of the integration of the University of Mississippi, an event that was marked with appropriately gaudy celebrations. Imagine the chagrin when, in the midst of it all, two black students found racial insults scrawled on the doors of their dorm rooms: “F*****g Nigger” and “F*****g Hoe [sic] Nigger.” Similar messages turned up in three other locations. Black students organized a “Say No to Racism” march and demanded more protection against violence. They blasted the president for not apologizing quickly enough for the graffiti (as if it were his fault). The “Minority Affairs” director demanded “programs and procedures” to instill racial sensitivity and prevent hate crimes. Such things as the “Institute for Racial Reconciliation” and the “Committee On Sensitivity and Respect” held meetings. Activists called for criminal charges. There was national news coverage and much hand-wringing about how little the campus has changed in 40 years.

Now it comes to light that the culprits were three, or possibly four, black freshmen. Ole Miss chancellor Robert Khayat says the culprits’ race “doesn’t excuse their behavior.” Student body president Drew Snyder says he hopes the school’s judicial council will “punish the students to the fullest extent, regardless of race.” All of which means the blacks will probably get off with slaps on the wrist. Mr. Khayat has already made it clear there will be no criminal charges, even though the students caused $600 worth of damage. [Andy Kanengiser, Black Students Allegedly Behind Racist Graffiti, Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.), Dec. 12, 2002. Michelle Malkin, Another Fake Hate Crime — The Real Race Scandal In Mississippi, Creators Syndicate, Inc., Dec. 17, 2002.]

The Great ‘White’ North

Four white teenagers — a boy and three girls — riding a train in Edmonton, Canada, on New Year’s Eve were swarmed by “aboriginals” who wanted to attack whites. First an Indian woman walked up to the whites and took a swing. Then, says police spokesman Sgt. Patrick Tracy, an estimated 30 companions “just stood up and said ‘we’re going to get the white kids,’” and attacked. They fled when the train stopped at a station. The boy was hospitalized. [Edmonton Native Leader Calls for Task Force on Youth Violence, CBC Calgary web page (calgary.cbc.ca), Jan. 2, 2003.]

Abominable Snowman

Britain, which may be tearing itself apart even more quickly than the United States, has given a respectful hearing to a woman who claims snowmen are symbols of white patriarchy. After studying the cultural meaning of snowmen for five years (!), Tricia Cusack, who is an art historian at the University of Birmingham, has deposited her findings in a lefty magazine called New Formation.

She tells us “the snowman is, of course, white, invariably male and generally adult,” all, no doubt, regrettable characteristics. We learn further that “the snowman’s masculinity and its ritual position in the semi-public space of the garden or field arguably help to substantiate an ideology upholding a gendered spatial-social system marking women’s proper sphere as the domestic-private and men’s as the commercial-public.”

Miss Cusack notes that snowmen smoke fewer pipes than they used to, perhaps reflecting the declining popularity of smoking. Her scholarship has been reported by the BBC and in national newspapers. [Alan Freeman, What’s Male, White and Politically Incorrect? Globe and Mail (London), Dec. 22, 2002.]

Pity the Japanese

Japan is 99 percent Japanese, and the Japanese like it that way. Some public establishments — bath houses, video game arcades, apartment houses — don’t want to deal with non-Japanese at all, and post notices to this effect. Discrimination is forbidden by the Japanese constitution and by UN conventions Japan has signed, but there are no laws that provide penalties for discrimination. This did not keep a district judge in the northern town of Sapporo from ordering a public bath to pay three million yen ($24,000) to three white men to whom it refused entry. The Yunohana bathhouse in the northern port city of Otaru established the Japanese-only rule after drunken Russian sailors got rowdy, stole from locker rooms, and would not follow Japanese bathing etiquette. “Human rights” activists are trying to get the Japanese government to pass laws to punish discrimination. [Jonathan Watts, Japanese-Only Public Baths to Pay Damages, Guardian (London), Nov. 12, 2002.]

Fool, Britannia

The British Labour government has promised to outlaw fox-hunting with hounds, a proposal that has sharply divided the country. On September 6, at a country fair at Frampton-upon-Severn, a columnist for the Telegraph newspaper named Robin Page made a pro-fox-hunting speech in which he argued that if black Londoners can have parades that celebrate their blackness, and homosexuals can celebrate in public, country people should have the right to celebrate their traditions. More than two months later, in mid-November, Mr. Page got a call from the police, who wanted to interview him. He went to the station for a chat, and learned he was being investigated because some people thought his speech was a criminal act that incited racial hatred. When he said he would not speak without his lawyer present, police arrested him and put him in a cell. They told him he would have to spend the night in jail if he wanted his lawyer present, so he decided to talk.

Mr. Page is outraged. “All I said was that the rural minority should have the same rights as blacks, Muslims and gays,” he fumes. Police confirm they arrested Mr. Page, and that they are investigating him as a hate crime suspect. He was ordered to report back to police in January. [Neil Tweedie, Pro-Hunting Writer Held in Cell After Race Claims, Telegraph (London), Nov. 20, 2002.]

Truth Can Hurt

On October 23 last year, an eighth-grade student asked a teacher at Crystal City Elementary School in Jefferson County, Missouri, whether she approved of inter-racial dating, marriage, and child-bearing. She said she did not. The school district immediately suspended her, and is now trying to fire her. Administrators admit that for more than a decade Jendra Loeffelman was a good teacher, but say she violated racial harassment regulations. There were several mulattos in her class, and during termination hearings in January one of them complained, “She basically said I shouldn’t have been born.” Miss Loeffelman’s lawyer is arguing that his client meant only that hybrids face ostracism. [Chris Carroll, Crystal City Teacher’s Remarks on Race Prompt Dismissal Hearing, Post-Dispatch (St. Louis), Jan. 7, 2003.]

Revisionist Comics

The Captain America comics, created during World War II, tell the story of Steve Rogers, a skinny 4F kid rejected by the Army but let into a secret military experiment to create the perfect soldier. After being treated with “Super Soldier Serum” and “vita-rays,” Rogers acquires a perfect body and becomes Captain America, Nazi fighter extraordinaire. Now Marvel Comics is introducing a six-issue series based on the Captain America story — but with a twist. In Truth: Red, White and Black, the man who first undergoes the transformation is black. In a veiled reference to the Tuskegee experiment, the military begins its secret experiment on unsuspecting black soldiers. When it appears success is possible, they abandon all the blacks but one, but also transform Steve Rogers to get two super soldiers.

Truth is written by Puerto Rican Robert Morales, who says racism will be an element of the story, but that he won’t dwell on it. “You will have characters who will explain the racial situation,” he explains, “but Truth is not the kind of thing where somebody will stand on a soap box and complain for six issues.”

Michael King, co-owner of a Philadelphia comic book store, says he’s looking forward to the new story: “It’s sad, but the thing is, there are not a lot of black superheroes, and when parents come in looking for role models, they can be hard to find.” [Howard Shapiro, Brother From Another Comic, Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 21, 2002, p. D1.]

More Immigrants . . .

Of the 50 largest American metropolitan areas, Pittsburgh trails only Cincinnati in having the fewest foreign-born residents: three percent. To Richard Florida, author and professor of regional economic development at Carnegie Mellon University, this is awful. He and other academics say that without immigrants, the area will face huge labor shortages — 125,000 within a decade, and up to 400,000 in 20 years. “This is a big issue for Pittsburgh,” Prof. Florida warns. “Pittsburgh is a patient in need of electrotherapy,” he says; it “wants to stay in the 1950s.” Prof. Florida points to Schenectady, New York, as a model. Schenectady Mayor Albert Jurczynski, a two-term Republican, openly courts Guyanese from New York City, and has already attracted about 3,000. “They’re hard-working people,” he says. “They do not believe in public assistance, unless it’s absolutely necessary. So right away I felt good about them. What mayor wouldn’t?” [Marisol Bello, Failure to Draw Immigrants May Threaten Local Economy, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dec. 22, 2002, p. A1.]

. . . Or More Babies?

In an address to the Italian parliament last November, Pope John Paul II offered a common-sense solution to the declining population: Make more babies. Italy’s birthrate is one of the lowest in the world — just 9.3 per 1,000 people — and it’s population one of the oldest. Barring a dramatic turnaround in what the Pope calls “the crisis of the birthrate,” Italy is said to need a massive influx of migrant workers to support its elderly pensioners. The situation, says the Pope, is “another grave threat that bears upon the future of this country.” The Italian government should implement policies that “make the task of having children and bringing them up less burdensome both socially and economically.” [Nicole Whitfield, Pope Goes to Parliament, AP, Nov. 15, 2002.]

A politician with a similar idea is Estonian President Arnold Ruutel. In his New Year’s address to the tiny Baltic nation, Mr. Ruutel urged his citizens to have more children. “Let us remember,” he said, “that in just a couple of decades the number of Estonians seeing the New Year will be one-fifth fewer than today.”

Estonia’s birthrate — just 8.7 per 1,000 people — is even lower than Italy’s, and nearly half what it was under Soviet rule. Ironically, the economic boom enjoyed by Estonia since independence in 1991 may be threatening its survival. “Women are postponing having children to look after their education and their careers,” explains Pirat Laur of the World Health Organization’s Estonian office. Since the 1980s, the average age of new mothers has increased from 20 to 28, dramatically reducing lifetime fertility. [In Address to Estonians, President Calls on Citizens to Make More Babies, AP, Jan. 2, 2003.]

Afraid to Play

Last October, a Hispanic student at Long Island’s Roosevelt High School murdered a black student. Nearby Cold Spring Harbor High School then decided to forfeit a football game with Roosevelt, citing safety concerns for players and fans. Because Roosevelt is 98.8 percent black or Hispanic and Cold Spring Harbor is 97.7 percent white, some people said the decision to cancel was “racist.”

Jim Amen, Jr., Cold Spring Harbor’s athletic director, says, “This was not a black-white issue, it was a safety issue,” adding that “parents were calling me left and right” after news reports discussed the violence and gang culture at Roosevelt. He proposed playing the game on Cold Spring Harbor’s field, but Roosevelt declined. Mr. Amen says he turned down Roosevelt’s counter offer of playing at a neutral site, because there would be no way to know who would attend. He also pointed out that immediately following the violence Roosevelt did play two scheduled home games on the visiting teams’ fields.

Roosevelt Superintendent Horace Williams was disappointed by Cold Spring Harbor’s decision to forfeit, but said he didn’t think it was motivated by any racial or class considerations. [Bruce Lambert, High School Forfeits Game at Roosevelt, Citing Fears, New York Times, Nov. 9, 2002, p. B1.]

Robert M. Johnson, the Nassau-Suffolk region’s delegate to the State Board of Regents, disagrees. On Nov. 8, the day before the game was supposed to be played, he demanded that state athletic officials punish Cold Spring Harbor for forfeiting by banning the school from the playoffs next year. Mr. Johnson, who is white, insists race was the problem. “It’s absolutely unconscionable,” he declared. “Unfortunately, that district is so damn lily-white that they don’t have the sensitivity to deal with something like this.” [John Hildebrand, Seeking to Punish Cold Spring Harbor, Newsday.com, Nov. 9, 2002.]

Glamour Gal

Glamour, the women’s fashion magazine, named 19-year-old Melody Twilley of the University of Alabama as its October “Hero of the Month.” Miss Twilley, who is black, tried unsuccessfully for two years to join one of Alabama’s all-white sororities. She didn’t receive a single offer. “My idea,” she says, “was that if I got in, others would to, and that would diversify the system.”

Miss Twilley, a pre-law major and daughter of Alabama’s largest black landowner, thinks white sororities will eventually change, but for now she plans to organize a sorority that will accept women of all races. “We want huge numbers. I hope it’s the bomb.” [Emily Benedek, Melody Twilley: Taking on Alabama’s All-White Sororities, Glamour, October 2002, p. 68.]

Costly and Futile

In 1967, a nomadic tribe of Canadian aborigines called the Mushuau Innu moved to the remote island of Davis Inlet off the coast of northern Labrador. They claim the provincial government pressured them into moving, a charge the government denies. Davis Inlet quickly became a slum, with no running water or sewers. The people have appallingly high rates of alcoholism, suicide, and sexual abuse. Teenagers sniff gasoline to get high. The local school hasn’t had a graduate in two years. Most Innu live on welfare, and the only jobs on the island are in government offices or small stores. They tell any whites who visit to go away.

In 1993, the Innu decided to leave Davis Inlet and resettle on the mainland, and the Canadian government agreed to cover the costs. It then spent $100 million to build a new town for the 700 Davis Inlet Innu ($142,857 per person) who were scheduled to make the move last December. The town has 133 houses, a clinic, police, and fire stations, and the most expensive school in Canada. The government says there will be jobs for the Innu as maintenance workers, janitors, water-treatment plant operators, teachers’ aides, clinic workers, and sales clerks. Cajetan Rich, who heads the Mushuau Innu Relocation Corporation, says the new residents have been trained to live in modern homes. The government has taught them how to use a thermostat, to first turn the cold water on in the bathtub to avoid being scalded, and what not to flush down a toilet — no diapers, toys, or rocks.

Mr. Rich thinks the Innu are embarking on a new life. Some know better. “The changes will be the running water,” says an Innu schoolgirl. “But the people, they won’t change.” [DeNeen L. Brown, Starting Over, Seattle Times, Dec. 4, 2002.]

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