Posted on April 1, 2006

O Tempora, O Mores! (April, 2006)

American Renaissance, April 2006

Racist Candy

Alimentation Couche-Tard, Inc. is a Canadian company that operates nearly 5,000 convenience stores in North America, including the Circle K chain in the United States. In its Quebec stores, Couche-Tard sold a candy called Sloche strawberry-flavored gummie spiders, the label for which featured a cartoon of a black man with a giant spider on his head with legs like dreadlocks. Laurraine LeBlanc, a black woman, says she was shocked by the image when she bought candy for her three-year-old daughter. Miss LeBlanc says corporations should not “make money by using the images of black people in such a way” because it “reinforces the prejudices.” She complained to the company but got no reply, so she filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission.

Couche-Tard originally stood behind the design, calling it attention-getting, “somewhat irreverent humor” aimed at teenagers who are largely indifferent to traditional advertising. It says it test-marketed the packaging with a group of teenagers that included blacks and Arabs, and no one objected. Earlier this year the company agreed to destroy the remaining stock of the candy, valued at $12,500, and make an $18,000 donation to a black youth group in Montreal. [Couche-Tard Candy Packaging Called Racist, CTV.ca, July 15, 2005. Pierre St-Arnaud, Controversial Candy Pulled, Canadian Press, Jan. 17, 2006.]

Another Hoax

We reprint the following item, verbatim and in toto:

Ku Klux Klan fliers that were distributed in a Suffolk apartment complex last week came from a black tenant who wanted to shock young African-Americans, Suffolk police said Thursday.

Fliers that have surfaced on doors at the Heritage Acres Apartments on Nansemond Parkway in Suffolk last week were not distributed by the white supremacy group. Tenants complained to police about the fliers, which contained a headline ‘KKK congratulates gang bangers for slaughter of black people’ and racially charged comments.

In the wake of Suffolk’s recent brush with youth violence, the woman who distributed the fliers wanted to shock young black people in the area, police said.

So far the woman is not being charged with a crime and may not get charged at all because of protection of freedom of speech, said Lt. Debbie George with the Suffolk Police department.

[Black Resident Gave Out KKK Fliers, Police Say, Daily Press (Hampton Roads, Va.), Mar. 3, 2006.]

The Rage Thing

While the overall violent crime rate nationwide appears to be at historic lows, many cities are seeing more murders. After peaking in 1991 and declining after 1993, the national homicide rate remained essentially flat from 1999 until 2005, when it rose 2.9 percent during the first six months; in the Midwest, it increased 4.9 percent. In 2005, San Francisco and Boston saw more murders than in any year in the past decade, and killings in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a largely black suburb of Washington, DC, were at an all-time high. Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, Tulsa and Philadelphia also saw a sudden jump in murders in 2005.

Police cannot attribute the rise to any single cause, such as the drug or gang violence that many blamed for killings in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Many murders arise form petty disputes. Milwaukee Police Chief Nannette Hegerty calls it “the rage thing.” In her city, for example, one woman killed a friend after they argued over a silk dress, a man killed a neighbor whose 10-year-old son mistakenly used his soap dish, and two men arguing over a cell phone took shots at each and killed a 13-year-old girl. Chief Hegerty says robberies are more violent, too: “Even after the person gives up, the guy with the gun shoots him anyway. We didn’t have as much of that before.”

Murder suspects tell police they killed because someone “disrespected” or “mean mugged” (gave a dirty look to) them. “When we ask, ‘Why did you shoot this guy?’ it’s, ‘He bumped into me,’ ‘He looked at my girl the wrong way’,” says Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson. “It’s not like they’re riding around doing drive-by shootings. It’s arguments — stupid arguments over stupid things.”

The suspects and their victims tend to be young blacks with criminal records. They usually know each other, so the killing stays in the black neighborhoods. Downtown Milwaukee has not had a murder in five years, but in the black, north side of town, murders went from 57 in 2004 to 94 last year.

Police Chief Jim Corwin of Kansas City, Mo., where the murder rate in 2005 was well above the 15-year average, has a theory about “the rage thing.” He says young killers have no hope and no prospects. “If the only thing I have is my respect, that’s what I carry on the street. If someone disrespects me,” he explains, “they’ve done the ultimate to me.” [Kate Zernike, Violent Crime Rising Sharply in Some Cities, New York Times, Feb. 12, 2006.]

Quotas by Another Name

Although non-whites in Britain are more likely than whites to go to university — they are nine percent of the working population but make up sixteen percent of undergraduates — the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) thinks top universities are excluding them, especially blacks. Nine of the 19 so-called “Russell Group” of elite universities have fewer than 30 black students. Only one percent of the students at Oxford are black; at Bristol and Durham Universities, the numbers are .8 and .7 percent. According to one study, non-whites make up less than five percent of students at 53 of the country’s 165 universities, and blacks are less than one percent at 123 universities. The numbers are evidence, says CRE chairman Trevor Phillips, who is black, that universities are putting out “invisible messages of ‘no blacks need apply‘,” and that Britain is “sleep-walking” into segregation. Mr. Phillips acknowledges that some non-whites do poorly on top university entrance exams, but apparently thinks they should be admitted anyway.

The universities deny discrimination — “Our policy of selection is based solely on academic merit and potential,” says an Oxford spokesman. While Mr. Phillips has so far ruled out admissions quotas, he wants the universities to take “positive action” to admit more non-whites. A CRE spokesman encourages universities to be “inventive in how they engage and support” non-whites. Non-whites are the majority at 11 colleges, mostly in the London area, seven of which were created after 1992. At London Metropolitan University, for example, 60 percent of the student body is non-white.

Non-white students are more likely than whites to study computer science, law and medicine, and least likely to study education and the humanities. [David Leppard, Universities Told: Balance the Racial Mix, Sunday Times (London), Feb. 5, 2006.]

Dishonor

Politicians in Chicago like to curry favor with prominent supporters by renaming a block or two of a street after them. There are now more than 1,000 honorary street designations citywide, and most sailed through with little notice or controversy. That isn’t the case with a recent plan to name one block of Monroe Street after former Illinois Black Panther state chairman Fred Hampton. Hampton, who urged his followers to “off the pig,” was killed in a 1969 shootout with Chicago police.

Alderman Madeline Haithcock sponsored the naming ordinance at the request of Hampton’s son, Fred Hampton, Jr. The younger Mr. Hampton is, himself, no stranger to violence, having been sentenced to 18 years in prison for firebombing two Korean-owned grocery stores in 1993. He got an early out, and now insists he was an innocent “political prisoner.”

The ordinance, which passed the city’s Transportation Committee without debate in late February, infuriated Mark Donohue, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. He says it is “a dark day” in Chicago “when we honor someone who would advocate killing policemen.”

“The Black Panthers were the first ones to start breakfast programs in the schools,” says Miss Haithcock. “I don’t think their purpose was to go out and destroy police officers. Their purpose was housing, education, clothing and justice. They fought racism and discrimination. That’s the part I was going on. Only the good things.”

Donna Marquez, the sister of a policeman who was gunned down in 2001, says Miss Haithcock “is saying [Hampton] did some good with the breakfast program. Well, so did John Wayne Gacy. He was a precinct captain and a clown for children’s parties before he killed all those boys. Do we give him a street name?” Bob Gordon, whose policeman son died when a drunk driver hit his squad car, says he would “lose all faith in the city” if Hampton is honored.

“If you read the history of Fred Hampton,” Miss Haithcock explains, “you won’t see anything that bad about him. All he said is he was going to defend himself against policemen. And evidently he didn’t because they murdered him.” She attributes the fuss to lingering racism, and says she will submit the ordinance to a city council vote in late March. [Fran Spielman, Street Name Sparks Outrage, Chicago Sun-Times, Feb. 28, 2006. Fran Spielman, Street Name: ‘Embarrassment‘ or Fair Tribute, Chicago Sun-Times, Mar. 1, 2006. Fran Spielman, Black Panther Street Fight Rages On, Chicago Sun-Times, Mar. 2, 2006.]

Hmandating Hmong History

In April 2005, Wisconsin Democratic state representatives Donna Seidel and Frederick Kessler introduced a bill in the state assembly to require that Wisconsin students be taught about the Hmong. Children would learn that the Hmong fought for the United States during the Vietnam War, were persecuted by the government of Laos, and were resettled in the US. Rep. Seidel says she and Mr. Kessler represent areas with large numbers of Hmong immigrants.

The bill has no chance of passing this year, but Hmong activists hope for better results next year. Cha Song Yang, executive director of the Hmong Mutual Assistance Association of Sheboygan says all students will benefit, but especially his people. “For the Hmong students themselves, they get to see the sacrifice their parents, or grandparents, or uncles made, putting their lives on the line for freedom. It would make them proud that their parents‘ generation contributed a great deal to the freedom of people in the world,” he says.

Nearly 18 percent of students at Sheboygan public schools are Asian, mostly Hmong. The school district already teaches about the Hmong in social studies, and assistant superintendent Diane Wilcenski wants Hmong history taught statewide. “It’s an important piece of our history,” she says. [Eric LaRose, Bill Would Require Lessons on Hmong, Sheboygan Press, Mar. 5, 2006.]

Will the Hmong lesson plan mention that the Hmong are a stone-age tribe that practices polygamy and child bride-theft, and have one of the highest rates of welfare use of any group in the country? Or that in Nov. 2004, Hmong tribesman Chai Soua Vang shot and killed six white Wisconsin hunters when he was caught poaching on private land?

Browning of America

According to a new study from the Pew Hispanic Center, the number of illegal aliens living in the United States has increased to 12 million, with 850,000 entering every year since 2000. Mexicans make up 56 percent of all illegals; Central and South Americans, 22 percent; and Asians, 13 percent. Six percent of illegal aliens are from Canada and Europe.

The study estimates that approximately 7.2 million illegals are employed, making them five percent of the US workforce. Illegals perform 25 percent of agricultural jobs, 17 percent of cleaning jobs, 14 percent of construction jobs, and 12 percent of food preparation jobs.

Study author Jeffery Passel says improved border security means only that Mexicans who make it to the US illegally stay longer. “The security has done more to keep people from going back to Mexico than it has to keep them from coming in,” he explains. [Stephen Ohlemacher, Estimate: Illegal Immigrant Population Hits 12 Million, AP, Mar. 7, 2006.]

From the 1960s to the 1990s, most immigrants who settled in the United States chose to live in the large “gateway” cities of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. During the same period, blacks were moving from the South to cities in the North and West. Between 1990 and 2004, the pattern reversed. More immigrants are moving to smaller — and whiter — inland cities, and more blacks are moving back to the South. That’s the conclusion of a new study, Diversity Spreads Out, written by demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. “There is a broader sprinkling of all minorities away from traditional melting-pot places,” Dr. Frey says. “Minorities are becoming a part of the growth in fast-growing cities.”

Non-whites accounted for the majority of the population increase in the nation’s 11 fastest-growing cities from 2000 to 2004. For example, in Riverside, California, the second-fastest growing area during that period, Hispanics accounted for 65 percent of the growth, and in McAllen, Texas, the third-fastest growing area, it was 93 percent. Hispanics accounted for 47 percent of the population growth in Orlando, Florida, the seventh-fastest growing metropolitan region.

Fifty-six percent of blacks now live in the South, and the return is accelerating. Seventy-two percent of black population growth between 2000 and 2004 took place in the South, mostly in Texas, North Carolina, Florida and Georgia. The black population of Atlanta will soon be greater than that of Chicago.

Dr. Frey believes the movement of non-whites into areas with white majorities will continue. “It doesn’t mean these smaller cities are going to turn into San Francisco or Los Angeles. They will still have a higher white share,” he says, but “it does mean more of America is going to get a taste of the minority populations.” [Leslie Fulbright, Minority Populations Leaving Large Cities, San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 7, 2006.]

Detroit’s Shadow

In the 1980s, a black Detroit drug gang called Young Boys Incorporated decided to use children as crack runners. If the police caught the mules, their age kept them from doing hard time. If the young couriers were never caught, they learned how to run a drug operation. The adults stayed in the shadows and collected the money the young dealers brought in. Young Boys Incorporated soon branched out to other cities in the Midwest and South. It recruited couriers locally, and forced out the competition.

Detroit drug gangs still use the basic blueprint of Young Boys Incorporated, but have added a twist. Instead of using locals, they send children from Detroit wherever they are needed. In New Castle, Pennsylvania, for example, police struggled for years to stop two Detroit drug gangs that had invaded their town. Because Detroit has so many dropouts and such a bad economy, the gangs always had plenty of willing foot soldiers. The youngsters, who delivered the crack to local buyers, were instructed to lie about who they were and where they were from when the police caught them. Because they had no local ties, police could not identify them. The gangs rotated in new couriers every few weeks to make sure they remained unidentifiable.

New Castle Police Chief Thomas Sansone notes a chilling aspect to this story of 14-year-old drug runners: [N]ot one of them was reported as missing or a runaway. These were kids nobody was looking for.” [Milan Simonich, How Detroit Gang Got to New Castle, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mar. 5, 2006.]

Prisoners For Segregation

Racial violence continues in Los Angeles lockups. Between Feb. 4 and 28, there were more than a dozen brawls between blacks and Hispanics at the Pitchess Detention Center. There have also been racial fights at the Los Angeles Men’s Central Jail and in some of the county’s juvenile lockups. Two blacks have died in the violence, and more than 100 other prisoners have been injured. Outside Los Angeles, there were two race riots in San Quentin State Prison that injured 17 prisoners. [San Quentin Prison on Lockdown after Racially Charged Riot, AP, Feb. 25, 2006. Troy Anderson, Jail Riots Spread to L.A. County’s Juvenile Facilities, Los Angeles Daily News, Mar. 2, 2006.]

Officials say Hispanic gang members started the fights in retaliation for feuds between blacks and Hispanics on the outside. Prison groups like the Mexican Mafia are growing more powerful, and the conflict will only get worse, says one prison official. Hispanic inmates far outnumber blacks, and this emboldens them to go on the attack. Hispanic prisoners say gangs forbid association with blacks and require that they fight. One Hispanic inmate at Pitchess says, “If you give food to a black guy or a black guy gives his food to a Hispanic, you get beat up by your own people.” [Charles Ornstein and Julie Cart, Another Inmate Dies in Racial Fighting, Los Angeles Times, Feb. 13, 2006.]

Black activists want segregation. “Black inmates are begging us for help,” said Najee Ali of Project Islamic Hope. “They want to stay segregated and protected.” In fact, jail officials temporarily segregated inmates in one part of Pitchess, but later reintegrated them. California law allows racial segregation only in emergencies, and the prison system’s policy of segregating inmates who first come into the system was struck down by the Supreme Court last year. [Richard Winton and Sharon Bernstein, Racial Violence Breaks Out After Clergy-Media Jail Tour, Los Angeles Times, Feb. 10, 2006.]

Prison riots are only the most brutal form of conflict between blacks and Hispanics in Los Angeles. There is also a new wave of discrimination suits brought by blacks against Hispanics. Donnie Gaut, a black man with 12 years of warehouse experience, filed a discrimination suit against Farmer John Meats after he was turned down for a stocking job. The Equal Employment Opportunity Center found the company had an all-Hispanic hiring staff, and had been hiring Hispanics almost exclusively. Mr. Gaut and six other black applicants shared a $110,000 settlement. [Sharon Woodson-Bryant, Blacks vs. Latinos Tension Reaches Far Beyond Gangs, Jails, Los Angeles Daily News, Feb. 12, 2006.]

Abolishing Britain

The golliwogg doll is a popular caricature of a black boy that comes from a character in an 1895 children’s book. The “golly” went on to became the source of British slang for dark-skinned people: “wog.” The British jam manufacturer Robertson and Sons adopted the golliwogg as its mascot in 1910, but dropped it in 2001 after decades of complaints that it was offensive.

Donald Reynolds sells the dolls in his general store in Bromyard, Herefordshire. Business is brisk; many of his customers had gollies as children and are delighted to see them again. On Feb. 12, however, police told him they had received a complaint about the dolls, and they seized the three in his store window on the grounds that they caused “alarm, harassment, or distress” under Britain’s Public Order Act. Although it is legal to sell the dolls, police warned Mr. Reynolds that displaying them could be a crime. Mr. Reynolds says, “When I realized what the police wanted with me, I thought, this is society gone mad.” After three weeks of investigation, a police spokesman announced, “No offences have been identified and the items will be returned. Suitable advice about the sensitivities of placing such items on display is being provided to the store owner.” Now that he has them back, Mr. Reynolds intends to auction the “Jailbird Gollies” for charity. [Wikipedia entry, “Golliwogg.” Simon de Bruxelles, Golly! Three in Trouble for Offense, Times (London), Mar. 4, 2006.]

Children at two day care centers in Oxfordshire are learning a new version of an old song: “Baa baa, rainbow sheep.” The manager of the centers explains, “This is fairly standard across nurseries. We are following stringent equal opportunities rules. No one should feel pointed out because of their race, gender or anything else.” Last year, a school in Aberdeen changed the lyrics to “Baa baa, happy sheep,” and in 2000, the Birmingham City Council tried to ban the rhyme, but gave up after black parents said the ban was ludicrous. [Alexandra Blair, Why Black Sheep are Barred and Humpty Can’t be Cracked, Times (London), Mar. 7, 2006.]

Last October, the Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council told all workers in its benefits office to cover up any depictions of pigs, lest they offend Muslims. The ban included a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. In September, Burger King withdrew ice-cream cones from restaurants in Britain after a Muslim complained that the design on them looked like the Arabic symbol for Allah. [Mark Steyn, Making a Pig’s Ear of Democracy, Telegraph (London), Oct. 4, 2005.]