American Renaissance, July 2004
Three black politicians have been much in the news. The latest scandal of Jackie Barrett, the sheriff of Fulton County, Georgia, caps a long and colorful career. It recently came to light that Miss Barrett illegally invested $7 million of Fulton County funds, on the advice of Byron Rainner, a black insurance broker whom she met at a Martin Luther King celebration in February 2002. Mr. Rainner himself was once found in possession of a stolen car, and has been sued several times by creditors and mortgage companies. Mr. Rainner and his associates donated $4,000 to Miss Barrett’s re-election campaign, and in March 2003 she gave Mr. Rainner the $7 million to invest.
Mr. Rainner invested $5 million through MetLife — some of it in stocks, although it is illegal under state law to invest county money in stocks. Most of this investment has now been returned. The broker gave the remaining $2 million to Provident Capital Investments, Inc., and it has now been discovered that two of the company’s business associates were also generous to the sheriff’s re-election campaign; each gave $10,000. Provident Capital lent $925,000 to a Georgia pharmacy, which was later found shuttered, dark, and for rent; its chances of repaying the money are slim. What happened to the rest of the $2 million is a mystery. Miss Barrett has asked Mr. Rainner to give it back, but the $200,000 check he sent as the first installment bounced. Miss Barrett refuses to resign, but she says she will not seek re-election.
This fracas comes after a barrage of mishaps at the Fulton County Jail, of which Miss Barrett is in charge. During 2002 and 2003, four prisoners escaped; fortunately, they were recaptured. In 2003, guards mistakenly released two prisoners because their paperwork was wrong. In March 2003, a jail riot injured three guards. In the same month, at a court hearing on the escape of a prisoner, a jailer testified that the locks were broken on eight of the 12 cell doors in the high-security unit, and prisoners were roaming freely. Miss Barrett fired the jailer for her remarks.
The mismanagement may be due to Miss Barrett’s aggressive racial preference policies. In 1996, 16 white employees sued her for “reverse discrimination.” The court found in their favor and demanded that they be paid $812,000 in damages, including $180,000 in punitive damages. [Mark Davis and D. L. Bennett, Feds Look Into Fulton Sherriff’s $2 Million Mess, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 1, 2004. Mark Davis and Steve Visser, Investor: Sheriff Was Not Duped, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 2, 2004. CBS-46 Atlanta, Fulton County Jail Timeline of Events. 16 Deputies Win Reverse Discrimination Suit Against Fulton Sheriff, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 13, 1996.]
Arenda Troutman is a Chicago councilwoman. After her home was robbed twice in three months, she ordered a police car outside her house around the clock at a cost to taxpayers of $366 per day. “Deserve it?” she replied to questions. “Damn right. I should receive the protection I am receiving. I am an elected official. You’re darned right.” Gun rights groups pointed out her hypocrisy in demanding special treatment when she supports firearms laws that make it virtually impossible for average citizens to protect themselves. The police later removed the squad car.
Soon thereafter, during a raid on the Black Disciples, a drug gang in her constituency, police found an envelope from the Chicago Police Department addressed to Miss Troutman. This led to awkward questions, and the discovery that she had accepted campaign donations from the gang. The councilwoman held a press conference and claimed she believed she was dealing with businessmen. She even praised their motives: “Their concern was my concern . . . trying to help the helpless, give hope to the hopeless.” Her press conference came with impeccable timing; Miss Troutman’s brother had just been arrested on drug charges.
Suspicions that Miss Troutman was not being honest about her “business” relationship with the gang were vindicated when she admitted she had dated Donnell “Scandalous” Jehan. He was an important leader of the Black Disciples, who controlled drug sales in one Chicago neighborhood, and is currently on the run. According to an associate, Miss Troutman was completely taken with Mr. Jehan, and believed he “might be the one.” Now she feels “like she’s been tricked.” Miss Troutman shows every sign of remaining in office. [Susan Jones, Guns Protect City Official, but Not Her Constituents, Group Complains, CNSNews.com, May 11, 2004. Annie Sweeney, Gang Leaders Helped Elect Troutman, Chicago Sun-Times, May 26, 2004. Annie Sweeney, Troutman’s Brother Arrested in Drug Sting, Chicago Sun-Times, May 27, 2004. Fran Spielman, Troutman ‘Feels . . . Like She’s Been Tricked,’ Chicago Sun-Times, May 28, 2004.]
Ronnie Few’s two years as Washington, DC Fire Chief came to an end in 2002. During his tenure, the District’s fire trucks and radio system fell into disrepair and response times to emergencies increased. Whites also sued him for discrimination. In 2002, when he hired battalion chiefs, he ignored a number of white candidates. Under pressure, he agreed to interview them, but the plaintiffs say the interviews were “farcical.” He asked asked only a few questions and took no notes.
In May, a DC inspector general’s audit of the department found some surprises. Mr. Few maintained several illegal cash accounts he used to pay for parking tickets, business cards, and clothing, and from which he took salary advances. The audit also found illegal purchases in 15 of the 22 credit card accounts it examined. One employee illegally spent $5,000 on food and entertainment. Audits of a random sample of 25 department contracts under Mr. Few found irregularities in all of them. In 23 of the 25, there was no record that the goods or services were even paid for or received.
This is not the first time Mr. Few has left a fire department in chaos. He was fire chief in Augusta, Georgia, before he moved to Washington. In July 2002, shortly after Mr. Few resigned from the DC department, a Georgia grand jury found undocumented spending, double billing, bogus reimbursements, illegal bank accounts, and rampant hiring of cronies. The grand jury reported that Mr. Few was nothing less than a “bandit,” and his case has gone to a special prosecutor. [David A. Fahrenthold, Old Tensions Resurface in Lawsuit Over Promotions, Washington Post, March 28, 2004. Matthew Cella, Audit Uncovers Misused Millions, Washington Times, May 17, 2004. Heidi Coryell Williams, Grand Jury Says Chief Was ‘Bandit,’ Augusta Chronicle, July 10, 2002.]
The federal government requires local hospitals to treat illegal aliens, but doesn’t adequately reimburse them. Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis (R-VA) hopes to change that. She recently introduced legislation called the “Country of Origin Healthcare Accountability Act,” which would deduct the cost of medical care to illegal aliens from the foreign aid allotment received by their native countries. She says paying for the treatment of illegals with US money is “bad policy” and that countries allowing their citizens to come here illegally should pay for them. “There’s the hope with taking back money from those countries, they would then put pressure and be stricter on their borders and not allow so many illegals to come across.” [Congresswoman Says Foreign Aid Should Pay Illegal Aliens’ Bills, AP/WFLS News, May 31, 2004.]
Former Arkansas state representative Jim Bob Duggar, 38, and his wife Michelle, 37, may be single-handedly trying to reverse the demographic decline of whites. On May 23, Mrs. Duggar gave birth to the couple’s 15th child, a boy named Jackson Levi. Jackson’s nine brothers and five sisters range in age from one to sixteen, and he may not be the last. Mr. Duggar says he and his wife “both love children” and that she told him “she would like to have some more.” [Arkansas Family Celebrates 15th Child, AP, May 25, 2004.]
Veil of Fears
In February, the French National Assembly overwhelmingly passed a law banning “symbols and clothing that ostentatiously show students’ religious membership” in public schools. Although it prohibits all religious items, including Christian crosses, the law is meant to keep Muslim girls from wearing the traditional headscarf known as the hijab.
Although the law doesn’t go into effect until September, French state schools are already enforcing the hijab ban. Last November, a twelve-year-old Turkish girl was expelled from a school in Thann for wearing the scarf. School authorities allowed her to attend another area school on the condition that she wear a much smaller bandanna rather than the head-and-shoulders hijab, but after a few days, she showed up in full regalia. Teachers went on a day-long strike to protest her disobedience, and school authorities expelled her again. She will probably continue her education at home through correspondence courses. Other schools have expelled Muslim girls for violating the ban. [Second Expulsion for Veiled Schoolgirl in France, Reuters, May 25, 2004.]
UN bureaucrats say the French law violates the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, which guarantees religious freedom for children, and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recently scolded the French Minister for the Family, Marie-Josee Roig. Committee member Mushira Kattab of Egypt said the ban was spreading fear among French Muslims, and that the law could fuel anti-Muslim extremism. Jacob Egbert Doek of the Netherlands demanded to know how a headscarf “disturbs a classroom.”
Minister Roig says the ban is consistent with French policies on the total secularization of public schools, and encourages assimilation. “It’s the fruit of a long history and common values that are the foundations of national unity,” she explains. “We want to continue to preserve total neutrality in our schools.” [UN Experts Slam French School Ban on Headscarf, AFP, June 2, 2004.]
An Era Passes
Alberta Martin, the last Civil War widow, died on Memorial Day in Enterprise, Alabama, at the age of 97. In 1927, she married an 81-year-old Confederate veteran, William Jasper Martin, when she was just 21. Although it was primarily a marriage of convenience — Mrs. Martin was a poor young widow with a young child — the couple did produce a child of their own, William, in 1929. Mr. Martin died in 1931.
Although Mrs. Martin lived most of her life in obscurity, for the past several years she was the honored guest at meetings and rallies held by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, at which she proudly waved a small Confederate battle flag. “I don’t see nothing wrong with the flag flying,” she often said. Mrs. Martin enjoyed her role as the final link to the Old South and loved the attention she received from history buffs, saying, “It’s like being matriarch of a large family.”
She outlived the last surviving Union widow by more than a year. Gertrude Janeway, who married 81-year-old Union army veteran John Janeway when she was 18, died in Tennessee in January 2003 at the age of 93. [Phillip Rawls, Alberta Martin, Last Civil War Widow, Dies at 97, AP, June 1, 2004.]
Those Bad Brits
The MacPherson Report, which examined the police investigation of the murder of black British teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993, said British society is “institutionally racist.” A newly released study by a British “anti-racist” think tank has discovered something just as bad — institutional Islamophobia.
The Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia says the government and private anti-racism organizations are not doing enough to fight prejudice. Dr. Richard Stone, the commission chairman and an adviser to the body that issued the McPherson Report, says life for British Muslims got harder after Sept. 11, 2001: “There is now renewed talk of a clash of civilizations and mounting concern that the already fragile foothold gained by Muslim communities in Britain is threatened by ignorance and intolerance.”
The commission singles out the police as the worst offenders. It claims the number of south Asians questioned in “stop and search” operations has increased by 41 percent since the September 11 attacks. “Even one of the country’s Muslim peers, Lord Ahmed, has been stopped twice by police,” says commission adviser Dr. Abduljalil Sajid. The report warns that unless the government adopts its recommendations and integrates Muslims into all aspects of British life, the country will see more rioting and further radicalization of British Muslims. [Dominic Casciani, Islamophobia Pervades UK — Report, BBC News Online, June 2, 2004.]
Indians from India own 60 percent of all small and mid-sized motels and hotels in America. Of these, Indians named Patel own a third. “The trend started in the early 1940s, though the real growth took place in the 1960s and 1970s,” explains Rajiv Bhata, president of a hotel franchise chain. “Indians came not only from India but a sizable chunk arrived from East Africa during the late 60s and early 70s, where political unrest drove out the Indian business class, which started looking for new lands and new business opportunities.”
The Indians took advantage of a downturn in the hotel market, buying below-market properties and fixing them up. They hired family members to keep labor costs down, and when they wanted to expand, they used the family-reunification provisions of post-1965 immigration laws to import workers.
Mike Patel, founder of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), says Indian owners were not generally welcomed by the locals, particularly in rural areas, and that American guests complained about Indian hotel operators. He says it was not uncommon for them to cook curry behind the front desk and let their children run loose in the lobby. He founded the AAHOA in part to teach Indians the basics of hotel management and customer relations. [Chhavi Dublish, America’s Patel Motels, BBC News Online, Oct. 10, 2003.]
Indians have found other problems in their new country. On June 1, Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist charged Raj Patel, owner of the Southern Inn in Perry, Florida, with discrimination against blacks. The authorities began investigating when a black couple complained that “coloreds” weren’t allowed to use the swimming pool. Several blacks said Mr. Patel would pour chemicals into the pool immediately after blacks got out of it, and that once he did so while black children were still swimming. They said his wife charged black guests $5 each to use the pool, and then Mr. Patel “raged” at them to get out. Other blacks say Mr. Patel assigned them to unattractive, badly-maintained rooms.
Mr. Patel’s lawyer, Earl Johnson, Jr., says the accusations are false, and that he can produce blacks who will vouch for his client. “He’s a person of color and truly treats everyone with equal respect and hospitality,” he says. [Brendan Farrington, Fla. AG: Motel Discriminated Vs. Blacks, AP, June 2, 2004.]
An alert employee in the Milam County, Texas, clerk’s office noticed that a number of people seemed to be getting married over and over in a single year. Investigators discovered a phony immigrant marriage racket operated by two Houston women, Aminata Smith and Emma Guyton. US Attorney Michael Shelby says the pair were brokers for African and Middle Eastern immigrants who wanted to marry US citizens. The immigrants paid between $1,500 and $5,000 and came into the country legally, usually on student visas. The brokers paid Americans $150 to $500 to go through with the phony marriages, and the immigrants were then eligible for green cards.
Mr. Shelby says Miss Smith and Miss Guyton arranged 210 fake marriages between April 2000 and July 2003, and has charged each with inducing illegal immigration, marriage fraud, and conspiracy. They could face up to 70 years in prison and more than $2 million in fines. The 36 US citizens who married the foreigners each face one count of marriage fraud. Prosecutors say the immigrants, who came from Algeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda, will be deported. [Juan A. Lozano, 2 Women Indicted in Texas Marriage Fraud, AP, May 26, 2004.]
Two sociologists from the National Council of Scientific Research in France recently conducted a survey of minors who were convicted between 1985 and 2000 by the courts of Grenoble, a city in the southwestern French district of Isère. They found that although immigrant families make up only 6.1 percent of Isère’s population, an astonishing 66.5 percent of the convicts had a foreign-born father, and 60 percent had a foreign-born mother. The fathers of 49.8 percent of the offenders were from northern Africa. This is a nationwide problem. The Institut National des Statistiques et des Études Économiques has found that 40 percent of French prisoners had a foreign-born father; 25 percent had a father born in northern Africa. One researcher writes, “The overrepresentation of youths of foreign origin among juvenile delinquents is well known, but this fact is little reported and never debated in the public sphere.” [Selon une Étude Menée en Isère, Deux Tiers des Mineurs Délinquants sont d’Origine Étrangère, Le Monde (Paris), April 15, 2004.]
From Bad to Worse
Poverty is on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the World Economic Forum, most black African countries are worse off today than when they were colonies. Per capita income has decreased by 11 percent since 1974, while the rest of the world averaged an increase of two percent a year. In 1970, Africans made up 10 percent of the world’s poor; in 2000, they made up 50 percent. The World Bank reports that the number of sub-Saharan Africans living in extreme poverty, defined as an income of less than one dollar a day, increased from 164 million in 1981 to 314 million in 2001. The region’s percentage of extremely poor people rose from 41.6 percent to 46.5 percent, while it decreased from 40 percent to 21 percent in the rest of the developing world.
The gross domestic product of sub-Saharan Africa decreased by 15 percent between 1981 and 2001 while it rose by 500 percent in China. A South African university study found that incomes among the blacks of that country declined since the end of white rule. Between 1995 and 2000, the average black household income declined by 19 percent, while that of the average white household increased by 15 percent. In black townships surrounding Cape Town, 76 percent of households were below the poverty line. Over half of these households had no earned income at all. Educational attainment has little effect on black South Africans’ job prospects. [Report: Dismal African Economy ‘Disaster,’ Associated Press, June 2, 2004. Extreme Poverty Doubled in Southern Africa in 20 Years, Business Day, April 27, 2004. SA Blacks ‘Getting Poorer,’ BBC News, May 13, 2004.]