American Renaissance, August 2004
The ‘Democracy’ of Liberals
Belgium’s Vlaams Blok is a nationalist party that calls for secession of Flanders from Belgium, withdrawal from the EU, and tough restrictions on immigration. The Blok would deport all illegal immigrants immediately, and let legal immigrants stay only if they speak Flemish, know Flemish laws and history, and are approved by Flemish neighbors. Few of the Turks and Moroccans who live in Belgium would be able to stay.
The Blok’s views make it very unpopular with the Belgian establishment. When he took office in 1999, Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, who represents a Liberal-Socialist coalition, said, “The issue I want to be judged upon is whether I will be able to stop the Vlaams Blok.”
In 2000, a government agency called the “Center for Equal Opportunities and the Fight against Racism” sued to ban the Vlaams Blok on the grounds that it is a racist party not in line with European and international human rights treaties. The Center did not sue the party itself, because it would have had to charge it with a political crime, and all such crimes must be tried by the Cour d’Assises. This is the only court in Belgium that seats a jury, and a jury of citizens was unlikely to convict. Therefore, the government, through its agency, charged three non-profit agencies affiliated with the Vlaams Blok with putting out “racist” publications. Belgium essentially bans private funding of political campaigns, and the non-profits receive the state subsidies all major political parties require in order to function. The government accuses the non-profits of putting out “racist” publications. This, it argues, is a “press crime,” not a political crime, so the case can be tried before a judge rather than the Cour d’Assises.
In June 2001, the first trial court rejected the government’s case because it considered the accusations political and therefore outside its competence. “The judiciary was being used as a stage for a political settling of scores,” wrote the judge. In Feb. 2003, an appellate court upheld this decision, but the government took the case to the Belgian Supreme Court, which overturned the second court and sent the case for trial on its merits to the Court of Appeal in Ghent, a stronghold of Socialists and Liberals. This court found the agencies guilty and fined them the Euro equivalent of $14,880. The ruling also forbade distribution of party literature and television appearances by party members. The French-speaking television networks in Belgium complied with the ruling, but the Flemish ones did not.
The Vlaams Blok has appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court again, but it has little chance of winning. If the Supreme Court upholds the Ghent ruling, the Blok loses all government funding. Essentially it becomes a criminal organization and cannot field candidates.
The ban on campaigning was particularly harmful because it came just before the June 13 elections. The Vlaams Blok still became the largest party in Belgium, receiving 24.1 percent of the vote and 32 seats in the Flemish parliament. Its 981,587 votes surpassed those of the Socialists — the ruling party in the French-speaking parliament in the Wallonia region — by almost 100,000, but the Blok cannot form a government. Just as the French parties do with the National Front, all other parties have colluded to keep it out of power. They have agreed never even to talk to the party, let alone form a coalition with it. Belgium is therefore in the astonishing position of having its most popular party unable to form a government and even facing dissolution at the hands of judges.
If this blatantly anti-democratic effort to stifle nationalist opposition succeeds, the Blok vows that its members will promptly establish a new party. [Stephen Pollard, I’ve Seen The Future: It’s Scary And Belgian, The Times (London), Apr. 24, 2004. Belgium Strangles Opposition, The Flemish Republic, Jan-Feb.-March 2004. Winning Team, The Flemish Republic, April-May-June 2004.]
The most notable result of the June European Parliament elections was the success of “Euroskeptic” parties that want their countries out of the European Union (EU). In Britain, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), was among the largest gainers. It received 16 percent of the vote, more than double its share in the 1999 European Parliament election, and the number of UKIP Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) increased from two to 12. UKIP’s gains came at the expense of Britain’s two largest parties: Labour got 23 percent of the vote, six percent less than in 1999, and its worst result in a national election in almost a century. The Tories received 27 percent of the vote, down nine percent from 1999 and their worst result since 1832.
While the primary plank in UKIP’s platform is withdrawal from the EU on the grounds that it is corrupt and economically harmful to Britain, it has also taken a strong stand against mass immigration and “political correctness.” According to its website, UKIP stands for “Freedom from Overcrowding.” It complains that more than 200,000 legal immigrants and an unknown number of illegal immigrants are coming to Britain every year. This influx overloads roads, railways, and social services, and causes “social tensions.” Ashley Mote, one of UKIP’s newly elected MEPs, has written a book called Overcrowded Britain, which urges restrictions. UKIP would also revise anti-hate speech laws, noting that “there is no one ‘correct’ view on immigration, the European Union, devolution, multiculturalism, education, women’s rights, fox hunting, or anything else.”
Newly-elected UKIP MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk, a former Labour MP, is the party’s most visible member. He was fired from his job as a television talkshow host and prosecuted for inciting “racial hatred” after he wrote in a January newspaper editorial that Arabs contributed nothing to the modern world, and referred to them generally as “suicide bombers, limb-amputators, women repressors.” To those who complain that the war on terror is destroying the Arab world, he answered there would be little lost even if it did. He was recently acquitted of “inciting hatred,” and his well-publicized remarks do not seem to have decreased his popularity with the voters.
The British National Party also made great strides in the election — up to 4.9 percent of the vote from one percent in the last election — but failed to elect any MEPs. The Guardian called UKIP’s success “a spectacular irruption into the existing electoral order,” because it was the first time a “populist party of the right” had won so much support. [Robert Kilroy-Silk, We Owe the Arabs Nothing, Sunday Express, January 4, 2004. The Price Of Ukip, The Guardian, June 14, 2004. UKIP Makes Big Gains In Euro Poll, BBC News, June 14, 2004. No Charges Over Kilroy’s Remarks, BBC News, July 1, 2004. UK Independence Party Official Website, www.ukip.org]
A group of congressmen, led by black Texas Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, have sent a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan asking the United Nations to send election observers to monitor the US presidential election in November, in order to “ensure free and fair elections in America.”
In the letter, Rep. Johnson refers to the June 2001 report of the US Commission of Civil Rights “that found that the electoral process in Florida resulted in the denial of the right to vote for countless persons,” and “that the ‘disenfranchisement of Florida’s voters fell most harshly on the shoulders of black voters’ and in poor counties.”
The congressmen — four black, four white and one Hispanic — want the UN to post observers throughout the US, not just Florida. The UN has yet to respond. [US Lawmakers Request UN Observers for November 2 Presidential Election, AFP, July 2, 2004.]
Weighing in on Racial Differences
Once again, science confirms the reality of race. Although the link between obesity and poor health is well established for whites, new research suggests extra pounds do not hurt blacks — particularly black women — as much as they do whites, and may even help them live longer. A study by the American Cancer Society found that being overweight does not affect the health of black women until they reach a body mass index (BMI) of 35, well into the obese range, and even then the increase in the risk of death is only 20 percent. Among black men, the risk of death begins to increase as they reach the overweight category, but the rate of increase is small. The study also suggests that blacks whose BMI is in the overweight but not obese range may actually live longer than blacks of normal weight.
Because blacks generally die younger than whites, some scientists believe other causes of death mask or distort the effect of obesity. Others argue that blacks may suffer less harm from excess weight because of the way they store fat. Blacks often distribute it under the skin all over their bodies, rather than deep in the abdomen like most whites. Overweight blacks therefore tend to have lower levels of harmful triglycerides than whites and higher levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol.
“People don’t know what to make of it,” says Dr. Steven Heymsfield of Columbia University. “Blacks still have a lot of strokes and heart attacks, but maybe it’s for reasons other than [body mass index].” [Daniel Q. Haney, Blacks Less Prone to Risks from Fat, AP, June 29, 2004.]
In September, whites in Annapolis, Maryland, will witness an act of racially humiliating street theater, courtesy of local blacks and a European non-profit group called The Lifeline Expedition that travels the world apologizing for slavery. They plan to create “racial empathy” by organizing a “slave” parade through the streets of Annapolis — with yoked, chained whites and black “masters.” “I think that the publicity that it will receive will be very positive for Annapolis,” says John Wilson, executive director of RESPECT, an umbrella organization of Annapolis-area black groups. “This, while symbolic, is an important step to allow people to move on.”
The Lifeline Expedition, based in London, has organized similar marches in France, Portugal, Spain, and other white countries that took part in the slave trade, and plans to hold marches this fall in Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Newport, R.I., New York and Richmond, as well as in Annapolis. The Richmond event will include a march from Jamestown to Williamsburg. The group’s aims include “promoting reconciliation in the context of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and its legacy” and apologizing “for the slave trade and in particular for Christian responsibility.”
The Alex Haley-Kunta Kinte Foundation, named after the plagiarizing author of Roots and his fictional African “ancestor,” issued the invitation to Lifeline. The Annapolis march will take place on September 29, the supposed anniversary of Kunta Kinte’s 1767 arrival in the port city. Organizers will also “pray with insight” at places associated with the slave trade, hand out flyers, and visit city hall to encourage the city fathers to apologize for slavery. Foundation member Carol Youmans says the group is hoping the event will “encourage recognition and awareness of the ramifications of slavery,” and that those who witness it will be moved to “pledge to work hard to eradicate the social damage.”
Miss Youmans notes that to make sure the parade itself causes no “social damage,” the “police are going to be on hand.” [Roles to be Reversed in Annapolis Slave March, WBAL Radio/AP, July 1, 2004. The Lifeline Expediton website, www.lifelineexpedition.co.uk]
Richard Brown, who is black, appeared in a Milford, Connecticut, courtroom on June 23 to plead guilty to armed robbery in exchange for a maximum sentence of 15 years. As prosecutors worked out details with the judge, Mr. Brown began talking loudly to his court-appointed lawyer, prompting Superior Court Judge Patrick Carroll to tell him to be quiet. Judge Carroll then asked Mr. Brown’s lawyer why he should accept a guilty plea from such a poorly-behaved defendant. Mr. Brown started talking back to the judge, insisting on more time with his lawyer. When the judge told Mr. Brown to call him “sir,” he shouted, “Sir? Kiss my (expletive), sir!” He then turned his back on the bench and dropped his pants, exposing his buttocks. Judge Carroll immediately found Mr. Brown in contempt, gave him a six-month sentence, and ordered him out of the court. Mr. Brown called Judge Carroll a “racist” and a “white devil” as bailiffs dragged him away. The prosecution withdrew the plea agreement, and Mr. Brown now faces a possible 40 years in prison if convicted of robbery. [Meggan Clark, Defendant ‘Moons’ Judge During Court, Register (New Haven), June 24, 2004, p. A1.]
A Cultural Misunderstanding
On June 29, a federal grand jury indicted Philadelphia’s former City Treasurer, Corey Kemp, and his friend Ronald White on dozens of corruption charges. Both men are black. Mr. Kemp faces up to 798 years in prison, and Mr. White 555 years. The FBI accuses Mr. White of giving Mr. Kemp tens of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts in return for city contracts for Mr. White and his associates. Mr. White paid $10,350 to build a deck for Mr. Kemp’s house, gave him a trip to the 2003 NFL Super Bowl in San Diego, and provided season tickets and limousine rides to Philadelphia basketball games. Mr. White, a lawyer, earned more than $600,000 in city legal fees during Mr. Kemp’s tenure — from April 2002 to December 2003. Mr. White’s girlfriend, Janice Knight, who owns a printing firm, received $300,000 in city contracts during the same period.
The men are also accused of multiple counts of extortion. When a Baltimore broker asked to do business with the city, they told him to make a contribution to Philadelphia Mayor John Street’s campaign and to give work to Miss Knight. When the broker refused, they turned him down. They also demanded a $25,000 contribution to Mayor Street’s campaign from a Philadelphia financial advisory firm in exchange for city contracts and access to the mayor.
The FBI wiretapped conversations that make it clear the men gave city business only to campaign contributors. “If they ain’t with us they ain’t gonna get nothing . . .” says Mr. Kemp in one conversation. “I mean, this is . . . election time, this is time to either get down or lay down, man, I mean, come on, to me, personally it’s not even a hard decision.” Mayor John Street’s re-election meant money in their pockets: “The key for us right now, man,” Mr. White says, “is to concentrate on getting John elected, so it gives us four more years to do our thing. If we get four more years, Corey, we should be able to set up.”
The FBI says Mr. Kemp and the Rev. Francis McCracken, also black, filed false statements to get a $115,000 advance on a bank loan to Rev. McCracken’s church and then spent $50,000 on themselves. The grand jury has not charged Mayor Street, likewise black, with any crime, but accused him of creating “a culture of corruption” in his administration. When the mayor found out about the FBI investigation in 2003, he suggested it was a Republican “dirty trick” to derail his re-election, and suggested it was “racially motivated.”
Mr. White says the grand jury suffers from cultural misunderstanding. He explains that it is part of black culture for blacks to help each other: “[Mr. Kemp] was a friend of mine and they’ve taken a friendship and turned it into or tried to portray it into something else.” [Department of Justice, White, Kemp, And 10 Others Charged In Philadelphia Corruption Case, (Press Release) June 29, 2004. White Blames Indictment On Cultural Misunderstanding, NBC10.com (Philadelphia), June 30, 2004. Three More Arraigned In Philadelphia Corruption Probe, NBC10.com (Philadelphia), July 2, 2004.]
Racial tensions remain high in Cincinnati, scene of violent anti-white rioting in April 2001. City and business leaders have set aside $2.2 million to give summer jobs to 3,000 young blacks. The state of Ohio has spent another $1 million over the past two years for even more jobs for blacks, and the US Department of Labor has earmarked yet another $2 million. Black state Rep. Tyrone Yates, a former Cincinnati councilman, wants $4 million more. In a letter to Ohio Gov. Robert Taft, Rep. Yates wrote that he was “sensing a terrible summer situation brewing in the poor and African-American community.” “It is my opinion, and unfortunate prediction,” he added, “that Cincinnati will see major disruptions without an infusion of summer employment dollars.”
Fellow state representative Thomas Brinkman calls Rep. Yates’ letter “outrageous extortion.” “I think it is wrong on so many levels, it’s unbelievable,” he says. “It’s threatening — ‘you’ll have blood on your hands if you don’t act.’ It’s foolish, because everyone knows the budget. We don’t have $4 million lying around to throw at a problem.” Rep Yates says the threat is real. “My writing was out of grave concern for the city,” he says. [Kevin Aldridge and Justin Fenton, Letter Predicts Summer of Unrest, Cincinnati Enquirer, June 18, 2004.]
A St. Petersburg, Florida, judge has taken the first step toward requiring a school district to produce equal racial outcomes as a matter of law. On July 2, Judge James Case of the Pinellas-Pasco Circuit granted class-action status to all current and future black students in Pinellas County in a suit that claims racial differences in academic achievement violate the equal protection clause of the Florida constitution. The suit would require that the county do whatever it takes to eliminate the achievement gap.
In his decision, Judge Case wrote that the plaintiffs “have cited an overabundance of statistical evidence indicating that black students are achieving far below white students in every category.” School authorities argued that differences in performance reflect an accumulation of individual differences and do not mean all blacks should be treated as collective plaintiffs. Judge Case disagreed, writing, “Although individual cases reinforce the statistical data, it is the system as a whole that is being challenged, not how that system has dealt with a particular student on an individual basis.” [AP, Suit Expanded to Include More Black Students, Herald (Miami), July 3, 2004.]
For a judge to recognize a class of plaintiffs is tantamount to finding in the class’s favor, and most defendants give up at this stage and settle. If Pinellas County agrees that the Florida constitution really does require equal academic outcomes for all racial groups, it will bind itself to whatever “programs” this requires — black principals? Afro-centric curriculum? private tutors for blacks? fewer hours of instruction for whites? — forever.
A Black Record
In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Alabama Senator Hugo Black, his favorite “New Dealer,” to the Supreme Court. Black’s former membership in the KKK did not sit well with many members of the media, and Time magazine wrote at the time that he wouldn’t “have to buy a robe; he could dye his white one black.”
A careful examination of Black’s career would have reassured them. Black was a life-long champion of equal rights for blacks. He built a successful legal practice by winning large settlements for injured blacks and immigrants against white-owned steel mills and coal mines in Birmingham. His Klan membership — only two years, from 1923 to 1925 — appears to have been purely political. He used it to impress jurors and win votes for his 1926 Senate campaign. He was opposed to separate-but-equal education, and later became one of the nine Supreme Court justices who declared school segregation unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Black strongly opposed the Court’s delaying tactic of integration with “all deliberate speed,” believing it should be immediate. Stephen Black, the only one of his 13 grandchildren to return to Alabama explains: “He said late in his life the only decision in his career that he regretted was agreeing to the language ‘all deliberate speed.’ He said he felt it caused undue delay in the process of desegregation.”
Black’s vote on Brown made him and his family personae non grata in Alabama. His two sons, one a Birmingham lawyer planning a run for the Senate, were forced to move out of the state. The University of Alabama Law School refused to let him attend his 50th reunion in 1956, and in 1959, the state Senate passed a resolution recommending that he not be buried in Alabama. He isn’t. After his death in 1971, Black was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. [April Wortham, The Reclaiming of Hugo Black, Tuscaloosa News, May 16, 2004, p. 1A.]
Last September, Abington Memorial Hospital in Pennsylvania made national headlines when staff honored the wish of a white man who asked that no blacks be present when his wife gave birth to their child. Hospital administrators have spent the last eight months apologizing for something they now consider “morally reprehensible.”
They disciplined the supervisors who made the decision to keep blacks out, met with local black leaders, and set up a diversity committee. They hired consultants from the Multicultural Research and Training Institute to survey the staff and give advice on how the hospital should exercise its new-found appreciation of diversity. The report, which administrators say they will probably keep secret, will set the terms of a mandatory “cultural competency” training program for the hospital’s 4,600 employees.
Hospital vice president Meg McGoldrick says the goal of the training is to “ensure that diversity exists in our hospital, and that we’re handling these issues appropriately. And, most importantly, to make sure that nothing like what happened in September ever happens again.” [Oliver Prichard, Study on Race is Due at Abington Memorial, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 2, 2004, p. B4.]
On the Warpath
The Havasupai Indians of Arizona believe that humans — them — were born on the floor of the Grand Canyon after the waters receded following a world-wide flood. They were shocked when Daniel Garrigan, an Arizona Sate University (ASU) doctoral candidate, claimed that analysis of their blood proved they originated in Asia. Tribe member Carletta Tilousi was present when Mr. Garrigan defended his dissertation, and asked if he had received tribal permission to study their blood. He admitted he had not.
“I knew we wouldn’t have given this guy or anyone permission to do that study,” she says. “I started to think, ‘How dare this guy challenge our identity with our own blood, DNA.’ Then I remembered when many of us gave blood years ago for a diabetes project. I wondered if this was the same blood.”
The Havasupai suffer from high rates of diabetes, and in the early 1990s asked ASU for help. Seventy-five tribe members gave more than 4,000 blood samples to a team of ASU researchers led by Prof. Therese Markow. The tribe hired a lawyer to find out what happened to its blood. It learned that Prof. Markow’s team used the blood to study schizophrenia, inbreeding, and migration patterns as well as diabetes. Researchers also sent samples to other labs and universities across the country. At least 23 articles and dissertations have been based on Havasupai blood research, and only 15 are on diabetes. The tribe decided to sue, claiming “severe mental and emotional harm, suffering, fright, anguish, shock, nervousness and anxiety.”
Supporters of the Havasupai say that the non diabetes-related research is unethical, and liken it to taking blood from Christians in Nazareth for one purpose and then claiming it proves Jesus never existed. “Think how devastating it would be to learn that you unknowingly gave your blood for studies that went against your entire belief system of origin,” says Argosy University psychology professor Louise Baca.
The tribe is suing for $25 million on behalf of 52 individual Havasupai and for $50 million on behalf of the tribe. Both suits name ASU, the Arizona Board of Regents, Prof. Markow and two other researchers as defendants. The two other researchers say Prof. Markow misled them as well as the Havasupai about the nature and extent of her research. [Paul Rubin, Indian Givers, New Times (Phoenix), May 27-June 2, 2004, p. 19. Larry Hendricks, Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff), March 16, 2004.]
Six people died last October 17 in a fire at a 35-story building in downtown Chicago. There was strong evidence of fire department incompetence, and Cook County appointed a commission of retired judges to investigate. The Mikva Commission, which takes its name from its chairman, Judge Abner Mikva, held months of hearings and took days of candid testimony from firemen. The result is a report that finally states the obvious: Firemen and officers should be appointed on the basis of tested competence, not race or sex.
The department now has 52 high-level jobs that are filled through political appointment rather than competitive examination. Forty-nine percent of the people who hold these jobs are white, 35 percent are black, 11.5 percent are Hispanic, and 3.8 percent are women. The Mikva Commission found that three of these appointed officers — one black and two Hispanic — were directly responsible for elementary and probably fatal mistakes on October 17. Firemen shut the wrong doors, causing a stairway to fill with smoke rather than funnel smoke out of the building, and several people probably died as a result. No one set up a search-and-rescue team, and firemen concentrated on putting out the fire rather than saving people. No one got the information from calls people trapped in the building made to 911. Someone told the black officer about a housekeeper missing on the 21st floor but he did nothing until he got a second report. She died.
One veteran white fireman says it was only a matter of time before racial preferences started killing people. “Anybody who’s been around for a while could see it coming,” he says. “It finally bit us in the ass. It absolutely did.”
The Mikva Commission also called on the county to maintain fitness standards for firemen. They particularly criticized a fat black lieutenant who gave up on a search of the fatal, smoky staircase, and had to be treated by medics. “Morbidly obese people shouldn’t be fighting fires,” says commission member Sheila Murphy.
Candor of this kind from a government commission is astonishing, but in this case the incompetence appears to have been so obvious that even the inevitable black howling is relatively muted. “I don’t think this has anything to do with affirmative action,” says Alderman Freddrenna Lyle. “That’s just an excuse to be used by people opposed to it.”
The Mikva Commission report comes at an awkward time. On April 1, Mayor Richard Daley nudged out a white fire commissioner and appointed the city’s first black, Cortez Trotter. Blacks and Hispanics have besieged Mr. Trotter with demands for non-competitive appointments. This is exactly what the Mikva Commission says must stop. It remains to be seen what the city thinks is more important: saving lives or appeasing non-whites. [Fran Spielman and Frank Main, Loop Fire Report Says Fire Department, Not Fire, Responsible for Six Lives Being Lost, Chicago Sun-Times, June 28, 2004. Fran Spielman and Annie Sweeney, Mikva Calls for Promotions Overhual, Chicago Sun-Times, July 2, 2004.]