O Tempora, O Mores! (September, 2004)

American Renaissance, September 2004

Colorful Conservative

The most flamboyant congressional candidate this year is the black conservative Vernon Robinson, a Winston-Salem city councilman seeking the Republican nomination for North Carolina’s Fifth District. He was the top vote-getter in the first round of the Republican primary on July 20, and now is in a run-off with Virginia Foxx, who came in second. The runoff was to be held on August 17.

Campaigning under the slogan “Jesse Helms is back! And this time, he’s black!” Mr. Robinson grabbed voters’ attention through publicity stunts and free-wheeling attack ads on opponents. On January 19, as a protest against the ousting of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, Mr. Robinson put a one-ton granite block with the Ten Commandments on one side and the Bill of Rights on the other on the walkway outside the Winston-Salem city hall. He also accused his competitors of endorsing special rights for homosexuals and of consorting with homosexuals. One of his ads attacked candidate Jay Helvey, a trustee of Wake Forest University, for failing to protest a “commitment ceremony” by two lesbians on the university campus. In a campaign phone message, Mr. Robinson attributed Mr. Helvey’s disagreement with him on tax law to the influence of homosexuals, pointing out that Mr. Helvey’s pollster is Arthur Finkelstein, a New York City “out-of-the-closet homosexual who has adopted children with his live-in lover.”

On matters of race, Mr. Robinson is just as mordant. He is a fervent opponent of racial preferences and victim politicking and has said, “The only thing that I have in common with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson is a good tan!” He approvingly quoted Bill Cosby in one of his ads: “Black hoodlums need to stop stealing and start getting jobs. Black mothers need to stop having eight babies by seven different fathers. Stop talking street jive like ‘Yo Dog! Peep my bling-bling!’”

Mr. Robinson blasts illegal immigration in radio ads that compare immigrant-occupied America to an episode of the classic television series “The Twilight Zone.” The famous theme-music from the program is the background to the following message:

The aliens are here, but they didn’t come in a spaceship. They came across our unguarded Mexican border by the millions.

They’ve filled our criminal courtrooms and invaded our schools. They sponge off the American taxpayer by clogging our welfare lines and our hospital emergency rooms. They’ve even taken over the DMV. These aliens commit heinous crimes against us, like Maximiliano Esparza, who raped a nun and strangled her with her own rosary.

They commit crimes but won’t commit to learn our language. You walk into a McDonald’s restaurant to order a Big Mac and find to your horror that the employees don’t speak English. You may be in the heart of America, but you feel as though you are in the Twilight Zone.

Vernon Robinson will secure our borders, cut off the welfare payments and once and for all make English our official language. Press one for English? No. Vote Vernon Robinson for English.

Yo, Gringo! Este episodio de Twilight Zone era pagado para Robinson por congreso.

These tactics work. A Winston-Salem Journal poll shows Mr. Robinson leading Mrs. Foxx 57 percent to 31 percent.

Mr. Robinson has ruffled a few feathers. Former vice-presidential candidate Jack Kemp initially endorsed him, but then backed off because, in his view, Mr. Robinson was “running a very negative and aggressive anti-immigration campaign . . . contrary to the core values of the party of Lincoln.”

Over all, there has been surprisingly little outcry over Mr. Robinson’s campaign; being black has probably helped. However, his success ought to show American politicians that voters respond to direct, unapologetic condemnation of racial preferences and open borders. [Patrick Buchanan, No Nationalists on Jack’s ‘Shining Hill,’ WorldNetDaily.com, July 19, 2004. Theo Helm, Vernon Robinson: Conservative is Known For His Feather-ruffling Style, Winston-Salem Journal, July 16, 2004. Bill Cosby’s Tough Love Lesson — ”Don’t Blame It On Whitey,” The Twilight Zone — The Aliens Are Here, RobinsonforCongress.com.]

Bay-Area Brouhaha

A reader has sent us a flyer promoting a meeting to be held in Oakland, California, by a group calling itself the African People’s Solidarity Committee. “Is the SF Bay area . . . for whites only?” the flyer asks. The speakers, including the leader of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, the West Coast representative of the African People’s Socialist Party, and someone named only Quetzaocelocuia, who leads the Barrio Defense Committee, were to discuss “ethnic cleansing (a.k.a. ‘gentrification’).”

The back side of the flyer notes: “As across the US, the African communities of the Bay Area face ethnic cleansing through an imposed drug economy and police containment, sending black people to the prisons and the grave as the white people are able to move into their neighborhoods. Let’s take a stand from the white community to support economic development and an end to the war in the African community!” Organizers were asking for a donation of anywhere from $5.00 to $25.00.

Regrettably, no one from the AR office was able to attend the June 29 meeting, nor were we able to find any reports of its proceedings.

Curious Beliefs

A 1998 survey by the Department of Transportation on attitudes towards wearing seat belts reveals racial differences in rationality of risk assessment, conformism, and fatalism. Thirty-five percent of whites, but 49 percent of blacks and 51 percent of Hispanics answered that seat belts are as likely to harm as to help you. Both blacks and Hispanics were more than twice as likely as whites say that putting on a seat belt made them worry more about being in a crash, and to believe that a crash close to home would not be as serious as one farther away. Only 13 percent of whites would feel self-conscious about wearing a seat belt if their friends did not, but 25 percent of blacks and 44 percent of Hispanics would. Non-whites were also more likely to believe that whether you wear a seat belt or not does not matter because if it is your time to die, you will die. [US Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey: Volume 2, Seat Belt Report, March 2000.]

Blacks also have curious beliefs about the platforms of American political parties. Despite Republican efforts to appeal to black voters, pollster Kellyanne Conway has found blacks do not understand even the most basic positions of the Republican Party. Seventy-five percent of blacks thought the Democratic Party was more likely to lower taxes than the Republicans; 62 percent said Democrats were more likely to “reduce terrorism by strengthening the national defense;” and 69 percent said Democrats were more likely than the GOP to “protect the rights of the unborn.” [Jason L. Riley, Dems Score With Blacks as GOP Forfeits the GameWSJ OpinionJournal.com, July 30, 2004.]

Moreover, despite the fact that rumors of black disenfranchisement in the Florida elections have been demonstrated to be groundless, blacks still think whites are working to prevent them from voting and to prevent accurate tabulation of their votes. In a poll conducted by Black Entertainment Television and CBS, 68 percent of blacks agreed when asked if there were deliberate attempts to prevent them from voting. Only 41 percent were confident their votes would be counted; 39 percent said they had some confidence, and 17 percent said they had none at all. Forty-one percent believed their votes would be less likely to be counted than those of whites. [BET/CBS News Poll of African Americans Finds Mistrust, Disenfranchisement Heading Into Elections, PR Newswire, July 21, 2004.]

‘Uppity Negro’

When she worked as a waitress at a high-toned coffeehouse in Washington, DC, Andrea Carter, who is black, says her white customers seemed to think they were special. “I didn’t want to make them feel special,” she says, and in the spring of 2003, she decided to wear a homemade T-shirt to work that said “Uppity Negro” on it. Before she could wear it, she says, she was fired for talking back to white customers.

She then decided to print up and sell “Uppity Negro” and “Uppity Negress” T-shirts, hats and other merchandise, including coffee mugs and tote bags. She started a website, uppitynegro.com, in December 2003 to promote the stuff, and traveled to black colleges and events to sell it. Sales picked up, and before long, black celebrities like film director Spike Lee and comedian Dave Chappelle were wearing her T-shirts. Members of Al Sharpton’s campaign staff also wore them.

Miss Carter is pleased that her “Uppity Negro” line took off, but worries that it may become trendy and be co-opted by whites. She will not sell to whites unless the things they buy are intended as gifts for black friends, or if she thinks a particular white person can appreciate what she is trying to do. It’s not only a clothing line, she explains, but a movement — ”a sense of pride” — that only blacks can truly understand. She says she hates whites like a woman in Atlanta who thought her shirt was just “the cutest thing ever.”

“Uppity Negro” gear sold so well that Miss Carter could not keep up with orders, and in June she decided not to restock until she gets help running the business. “I’m not ending it,” she explains, “but I can’t go on any longer. It’s moving too fast for me.” She says she worked 18 hours a day, seven days a week filling orders, and that in February she was hospitalized with an ulcer. Investors would help, but Miss Carter is choosy. She says she turned down a “well-meaning” white businessman, telling him, “I can’t let you profit on the backs of blacks, especially considering blacks were killed for being uppity negroes.” [Mike DeBonis, Co-Opt City: A Woman Struggles to Keep Uppity Negro Away from Ironic Caucasians, Washington (DC) City Paper, June 11, 2004, p. 11.]

What’s in a Name?

In 1905, a road in Jefferson County, Texas, near Beaumont was named Jap Road, after a Japanese immigrant named Yasuo Mayumi who stared a rice farm in the area. Japanese-Americans have tried to get the name changed but without success. This year, after an unrelated racial discrimination complaint threatened some of the county’s federal money, the Jefferson County Commission decided to improve its image by renaming Jap Road. On July 19, it held a public meeting that brought out more than 150 people, including representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, and the Japanese-American Citizens League. They all insisted ‘Jap’ was an embarrassment, and the ADL presented a petition with 4,300 signatures supporting a change.

Residents liked the name. Donnie Harvey, who has lived on Jap Road for 32 years, said, “Losing Jap Road would be like losing a part of who we are.” Another resident, Jimmy Norton, said, “I am very offended by the claim I am a racist and a bigot because I am trying to preserve history.”

After hearing both sides, the commission voted four to one to change the name, and appointed a committee to come up with new names and let the residents vote on them. The Japanese-American Citizens League proposed Mayumi Road. The residents didn’t like Mayumi Road or any of the other choices. The wining name was Boondocks Road — a write-in — in honor of the Boondocks Catfish House, a restaurant that used to be on the road, but closed 10 years ago.

“Everyone in this area, even newcomers that haven’t ever been to the Boondocks, have heard of the Boondocks,” says Wayne Wright, who supported the new name. He added that residents didn’t like Mayumi Road because many could not pronounce it. The Japanese-American Citizens League is miffed that residents didn’t like Mayumi, but Mr. Wright is not apologizing for Boondocks, which may well have been a slap at the Japanese. “They [Japanese Americans] pounded on us for 11 years. I hope they learned something from it,” he says. [Pam Easton, Texas County Votes to Change ‘Jap Road,’ AP, July 19, 2004. Wendy Grossman, ‘Jap Road’ to Be Renamed ‘Boondocks Road,’ Reuters, July 29, 2004.]

Heavyweight Criminals

A gang of overweight black women shoplifters has been cleaning out stores in Durban, South Africa. According to Inspector Michael Read, “The modus operandi is that some of them pick a mock fight or cause a commotion while the others fill oversized bags with clothes. They usually target clothes shops and cosmetic outlets and then sell them to streetside vendors at cheap prices.” “Size,” he adds, “is a factor in that they use it to intimidate the staff.” Inspector Read says several arrests have been made, but some of the women are still at large. [Fat Shoplifters on the Rampage, AFP, July 29, 2004.]

Friendly Advice

Tonya Jameson is a black newspaper columnist who has some advice for whites: Stand up for yourselves. Miss Jameson believes the film “White Chicks,” in which two blacks impersonate white women, perpetuates demeaning racial stereotypes: White people are timid and can’t dance, and white women are stupid and promiscuous.

“Blacks still face cultural stereotypes in entertainment, but picking on whites is annoyingly pervasive in entertainment geared toward African Americans,” she writes. “Too many young black comedians rely on the same stale white-people jokes.”

Miss Jameson thinks the negative portrayal of whites in the media keeps white children from developing positive feelings about their race. She says she used to work at a summer camp where children were separated into racial groups to “define their culture, identify what makes them proud, and create a performance that illustrates pride in their ethnicity.” Each year, the whites had trouble defining their culture and thinking of reasons to be proud.

She writes that the silence from whites “regarding television shows, movies, comedians and music that belittle white culture sends a subversive message to Caucasian kids that they shouldn’t speak up when their ethnicity is being insulted. I want white children to take as much pride in their culture as I take in mine.”

She thinks whites should create an organization similar to the NAACP, which would complain to the media about offensive images of whites — as long as it treads softly. “About the only groups speaking up for whites are white supremacists,” she writes, “and their credibility is, well, you know, zero.” [Tonya Jameson, Why Don’t White People Mind Being Stereotyped?, Charlotte Observer, July 25, 2004, p. 1H.]

Our 51st State to be?

Puerto Rico is in the midst of a crime wave that has claimed the lives of 445 people so far this year, giving it a murder rate three times the national average. Officials on the island say the cause is a drug war between different groups of South American drug traffickers that smuggle cocaine and heroine through Puerto Rico on their way to the US. After a bloody July weekend in which at least five people — including a policeman — were gunned down, Puerto Rico Gov. Sila Calderon has promised to call out the National Guard. Five hundred soldiers will patrol neighborhoods in at least four of the island’s cities, including the capital, San Juan. Their role could be expanded if crime rates keep going up.

This is not the first time Puerto Rico has called out the Guard to fight crime. In the 1990s, former governor Pedro Rossello ordered National Guardsmen to occupy crime-ridden public housing projects. The soldiers kept crime down, but some residents didn’t like their mano duro (hard-handed) approach.

Officers are making sure the Guardsmen understand the rules of engagement, and say they won’t be authorized to carry handcuffs or make arrests. “We will not be the lead agency,” says Major Millie Rosa. “Our role in this mission will be to support the police.”

Residents of housing projects — where broad-daylight shootings are commonplace — are split over the Guard. Manuel Feliciano, 78, wants the soldiers back. “There’s a lot of elderly who have been victimized,” he says. “If you’re old, you can’t go in some areas of this place.” Angel Gonzalez, 23 and unemployed, disagrees, saying, “The police won’t let you go anywhere. It’s like they want everyone to stay in the house, and when the National Guard gets here it’s going to be worse.”

The criminals do not appear to care either way. The day after the governor made the announcement, gunmen killed three people in a drive-by shooting in San Juan. (See “The Threat of Puerto Rican Statehood,” AR, March 1998.) [Matthew Hay Brown and Ray Quintanilla, Puerto Rico Calls in National Guard, Orlando Sentinel, July 20, 2004, p. A1.]

Whites Expose a Sham

American financial institutions see a potential for profit in the influx of immigrants into the United States; one profitable market immigrants offer financial institutions is money-wiring. The Inter-American Development Bank estimates Mexican and Latin American immigrants send $30 billion a year to their home countries every year. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that Mexican immigrants alone sent $13.3 billion home in 2003. Western Union, which handled 32 percent of Hispanic immigrants’ remittances in 2003, is the leader in this market, but Bank of America and Citizens Financial Group have rolled out competing services. To advertise its money-wiring service, Bank of America sponsored a Mexican music concert in Phoenix, Arizona, called “Banco Musical.” Citizens advertises its money-wiring services in churches, community organizations, and schools.

First Data Corporation, the parent company of Western Union, has done the most to appeal to immigrants. This year it set up a $10 million fund to promote more liberal immigration policies. On July 22, it sponsored an immigration reform panel at a Denver high school. All of the panelists were Hispanic, and all of them want more immigration. Many were representatives of groups like MALDEF, the Latino Coalition, and the Instituto del Progeso Latino. Two of the panelists had formerly been illegal aliens. One of these, Juan Salgado declared, “I was taught that this is God’s land and no one is illegal on God’s land.” Another speaker said that the recent Border Patrol sweeps for illegal aliens in California are “inconsistent with our values . . . I believe it is critical that comprehensive immigration reform includes a national principle of non-discrimination against people on the basis of immigration status.” First Data did not invite any of Colorado’s respected immigration reformers, like Rep. Tom Tancredo and former governor Richard Lamm. After the panel, Fred Elbel, director of the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform stated, “It was nothing but a racist, open-borders sham, conducted in the name of corporate greed.”

While the opinion of the panelists was uniform, that of the audience was not. A number of immigration restrictionists attended the event, and some heckled the speakers. Minutes into the event, one audience member demanded that the panelists recite the Pledge of Allegiance before the panel speakers began. The hecklers also accused the panelists of “bashing whites” and told them to “go home.” A fight even broke out: police arrested a Hispanic woman after she hit one of the hecklers.

At the end of the event, 30 audience members lined up to ask questions. After three of them challenged the panelists’ views, the moderator allowed no more questions and ended the event. [Sasha Talcott, Banks Seek to Cash in on Money Wiring, Boston Globe, June 28, 2004. First Data/Western Union and Latino Advocacy Organizations Call For Action on Immigration Reform, First Data Corp. press release, March 3, 2004. $30 Billion in Remittances Sent Home by Immigrants Only a Small Piece of the Cost of Mass Immigration, Federation for American Immigration Reform, fairus.org, May 17, 2004. Michael Riley, Heckling, Fistfight Mar Forum On Immigration, Denver Post, July 23, 2004. First Data Immigration Reform Panel in Denver, Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform, July 22, 2004.]

Silence not Golden

In April, Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, hosted the Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government, an event that drew 1,000 participants but failed to get a write up in the university paper, the Collegian. The Black Student Union was outraged at what they took to be a racist slight, and demanded the head of the newspaper’s faculty adviser, Prof. Ron Johnson. On May 10, the director of the journalism school duly removed Prof. Johnson from the position he had held since 1989.

Collegian editor Katie Lane says the staff is “shell-shocked” by the decision, which she describes as “unwarranted” since it is the students who run the paper, and who decided not to cover the black conference. Miss Lane has been suitably intimidated, however. She says diversity training will begin immediately for the staff, and the paper will be sure to cover diversity in the future. [K-State Reassigns Adviser of Student-run Newspaper, Wichita Eagle, May 11, 2004.]

Theater of the Absurd

Black playwright Cassandra Medley has written a new play she hopes will convince San Francisco theatergoers that any belief in the scientific reality of race is evil and racist. The lead character in “Relativity” is a young, Harvard-educated black scientist named Kalima Davis, who is doing post-doctorate genetic research at Johns Hopkins University. Her father founded a research institute called the Melanin Project, which promotes the idea that blacks and other races with high levels of melanin in their skin are superior to whites. She is in a dither because she wants to honor her father and believes in paying whites back for centuries of “white scientific racism,” but — oddly enough — she is romancing a white scientist and knows that the latest scientific evidence “proves race is scientifically meaningless.” She must choose between her mother, also a black scientist who promotes melanin theory, and her mentor, the black woman who runs the genetic research project at Hopkins and who rejects race. One reviewer calls the play “compelling” and “riveting,” but notes that those “conversant with the latest research may quibble with some of the science . . .”

“The idea of reverse-racist-superiority concepts evolving within socially oppressed, historically enslaved societies and cultures — black Americans in the case of ‘Relativity’ — is fascinating to me,” explains Miss Medley. She says she wrote the play to explore “the question of how a melanin theorist might respond to the most recent genetic research on DNA and the mapping of the human genome, while sincerely maintaining his or her ideological position.” [Robert Hurwitt, Mother and Daughter Face Off in a Scientific Debate About the Significance of Race in Magic Premiere, Chronicle (San Francisco), May 10, 2004, p. E1. Molly Rhodes, Magic Theatre website.]

Pot and Kettle

Skin-color bias claims are an increasingly active field of anti-discrimination law. Color discrimination is different from racial discrimination in that both parties of a color discrimination complaint are of the same race. An example is the case of Dwight Burch, a dark-skinned waiter at an Applebee’s restaurant in Atlanta, who sued his light-skinned black employer for making offensive and embarrassing comments about his color. In 2003, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found in Mr. Burch’s favor and awarded him a $40,000 settlement. As part of the settlement, Applebee’s must now offer anti-discrimination training to its employees. In a case in New York, a black employee brought a lawsuit against her black employer for calling her a “white wannabe.”

No fewer than 1,382 skin-color bias lawsuits were filed with the EEOC in 2002 and 1,555 in 2003. This is up from 413 in 1994. Although blacks file most of these claims, American Indians and Arabs have also sued each other for skin-tone discrimination. Usually, it is the dark-skinned who claim discrimination by the light-skinned.

Color bias is still a minor field in corporate anti-discrimination law, making up only two percent of the discrimination claims filed with the EEOC in 2002. One reason is that it is hard to sue a company, as opposed to an individual. Employers do not (yet) have to keep records of the skin tones of their employees, so it is hard to claim discrimination in hiring and promotions. [Jackson Lewis Law Firm Press Release, Skin Color Bias Is Growing as a Basis for Discrimination Claims, April 7, 2004. EEOC Press Release, EEOC Settles Color Harassment Lawsuit With Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill, August 7, 2003.]

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