Posted on June 1, 2006

O Tempora, O Mores! (June, 2006)

American Renaissance, June 2006

Outlawing Dissent

The Brussels Court of Appeal has convicted Daniel Féret, founder and leader of the National Front party and a member of parliament, of violating Belgium’s law against propagating racism and xenophobia. His crime was to have published pamphlets critical of African and Muslim immigrants. Mr. Féret was sentenced to 250 hours of public service helping immigrants, and was banned from standing for election for the next ten years. If he refuses the public service, he will get ten months jail time.

The court ruled that the pamphlets were illegal because they suggested all immigrants were criminals, caricatured Africans as savages, and suggested all Muslims were terrorists. They were therefore “grave attacks against democratic values” that “encouraged hate against foreigners.” The court conceded, however, that the pamphlets contained no incitement to violence. The prosecution demanded that the entire National Front be dissolved, but the court refused. [Dix Ans d’Inéligibilité pour le Leader du FN, L’Express (Paris), April 18, 2006.]

Mr. Féret has said he will seek political asylum in Russia, which he calls “a democratic country in which freedom of expression still has meaning.” Russia, however, does not accept political refugees from stable democracies like Belgium where people have the right to a fair trial. Mr. Féret says he will appeal the verdict, possibly to the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg. [Peu de Chances pour l’Asile de Daniel Féret en Russie, La Libre Belgique (Brussels), April 26, 2006.]

In 2004, Mr. Féret’s National Front got 5.6 percent of the vote in French-speaking Wallonia, its best result ever. The judgment against Mr. Féret has boosted the party’s support — it got 9.4 percent in a recent opinion poll. [Far-Right Boss to Help Immigrants, BBC News, April 18, 2006.]

‘We Are All Equal’

For most professional athletes, boorishness trumps sportsmanship, but it is unusual for an athlete to be charged with a crime for what he does on the field. Antonio Carlos, a Brazilian soccer player, is facing one to three years in prison for calling a black opponent a “monkey” during a game. “Racism” is a crime in Brazil, and there is no bail. Last year an Argentine player spent 40 hours in jail after Brazilian police arrested him for shouting abuse at a black player — though the case was later dismissed.

Prosecutors says Mr. Carlos can avoid trial if he pays for 10,000 handbills that say, “We are all equal” and “Say no to racism.” He would also have to help hand them out before sporting events at his team’s home stadium in Caxias do Sul, 465 miles south of Sao Paulo.

FIFA, the international soccer organization, adopted strict anti-“racism” regulations in March. Teams whose fans shout racial abuse at players could be disqualified from competitions and banished for up to two years from international matches. [Tales Azzoni, Brazilian Player Charged with Racism, AP, April 13, 2006.]

Orders in the Court

Last December, Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Korda of Broward County, Florida, dressed down a Hispanic woman for speaking Spanish rather than English in his courtroom. Last June, Judge Leonard Feiner of the same court complained about county cleaning crews: “They may live in hovels, where they live, but they don’t have to leave places where they work looking like a dump.” Both men apologized, but critics say these are examples of judicial bias against non-whites. Black and Hispanic lawyers complained to Chief Judge Dale Ross, who announced on April 26 that Broward County judges would henceforth submit to diversity and sensitivity training. [Tonya Alanez, Judges to Receive Diversity Training, South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale), April 26, 2006.]

Amnesty, 

According to a poll by Investor’s Business Daily, 73 percent of Hispanics say they are most likely to vote for a party that offers amnesty for illegal immigrants, and 64 percent for a party that supports a guest-worker program. By comparison, according to a Zogby poll, only 32 percent of Americans as a whole support amnesty. The Investor’s Business Daily poll found 70 percent of Hispanics say their vote will hinge on immigration, and support for amnesty is uniform across all subgroups. Eighty-two percent of Hispanic Democrats say they support amnesty, 78 percent of independents, and 61 percent of Republicans. Rich and poor Hispanics support amnesty by large majorities, as do recent arrivals and long-term US residents. Immigration remains a dominant concern even among Hispanics who consider themselves mostly American, rather than mostly Hispanic, and who speak English at home. [Pols Probably Won’t Fix U.S. Immigration Problems, Zogby International, April 11, 2006.]

Forty-three percent of Hispanics call themselves independent, 31 percent Democrat, and nine percent Republican. Support for Democrats is clearly tied to immigration: Four times as many Hispanics think Democrats will deal more favorably with immigration than Republicans. The longer Hispanics stay in the US, the more likely they are to identify with one of the major parties, but Democrats continue to outnumber Republicans. Of Hispanics who have been here 21 years or more, 43 percent call themselves Democrats, 33 percent independents, and 13 percent Republicans. Only among the 12 percent of Hispanics who make more than $50,000 a year do Republicans outnumber Democrats.

The IBD poll also found that 58 percent of Hispanics spoke only Spanish or mostly Spanish at home. Only 19 percent of Hispanics spoke mostly or only English at home. Even among Hispanics who have been in the country 21 years or more, 37 percent speak only or mostly Spanish at home. [Hispanics Say They’ll Vote Based on How Immigration is Handled, Investor’s Business Daily, April 18, 2006.]

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Last summer in Herndon, Virginia, a controversy erupted over a plan to build a day-labor center for illegal aliens. Despite the opposition of most of the town’s residents, the city council — after several contentious town hall meetings — voted five-to-two to approve construction, paid for in part with $175,000 in county money. The debate attracted several weeks of media attention, as well as the Minutemen civilian border protection group.

Tuesday, May 2, was a day of reckoning for politicians who ignored the will of the people. In the first election since the labor center vote, and in what may turn out to be a harbinger of this fall’s congressional elections, the citizens of Herndon turfed out Mayor Michael O’Reilly and two city council members who had voted for the center. In their places, they elected five new council members and a new mayor, Steve J. DeBenedittis, all of whom oppose the center. Only one council member who voted for the center survived, and he got the fewest number of votes among the winning candidates. Voters also rejected center-supporter and Salvadoran immigrant Jorge Rochac, who wanted to become the council’s first Hispanic. Outgoing Mayor O’Reilly has learned nothing: “There may be a lot more resentment and hatred out there than I anticipated,” he says.

The labor center will not close immediately, since its operating permit is good for another year. The new, anti-center council will consider various proposals, including restricting it to legal workers and moving it out of a residential area. [Bill Turque and Nikita Stewart, Labor Site Backlash Felt at Polls in Herndon, Washington Post, May 3, 2006.]

American Renaissance was connected to the controversy in Herndon — only coincidentally — because the last three AR conferences have been at the Hyatt Dulles Hotel in Herndon, and press accounts of the conference persisted in linking AR to the Minutemen (see “Among the Living Again,” AR, April 2006). Something called the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee (VMPAC), which distributed election flyers in Herndon calling on Muslims to vote for the pro-labor center slate, took note of AR, too.

It complained that the controversy over the center “brought many outsiders to Herndon who represent a very dangerous anti-immigration movement in America today.” It went on to warn: “An indication of that was the White Supremacist convention at the Herndon Hyatt in February of this year. Please have a look at their website to see the kind of danger they present to all Americans.” [Mukit Hossain, Important Election Memo, Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, Potomac Falls, Va.]

States Step Up

Inaction by the federal government on illegal immigration is prompting state action: Over the past year, lawmakers have introduced a record 463 bills dealing with immigration. Many would deny drivers licenses to illegals or require police to check the status of people they stop, and report illegals to the feds. In about half the states there have been bills introduced to punish employers of illegal aliens. Some of the bills, however, make things easier for aliens. Utah has introduced a driving certificate for illegals, and Nebraska became the tenth state to vote in-state tuition for illegals — over the governor’s veto.

On April 17, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue set a fine example by signing a law that denies illegals most state benefits. It also requires that contractors doing state business verify the status of new employees, limits the types of services private companies can offer illegals, imposes prison sentences on human smugglers, and requires police to notify immigration officials when they arrest a criminal who is illegal. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that our famous Georgia hospitality is not abused, that our taxpayers are not taken advantage of and that our citizens are protected,” says Gov. Perdue. The bill passed overwhelmingly in both houses, despite opposition from Hispanics. [Karen Jacobs, Georgia Governor Signs Sweeping Immigration Law, Reuters, April 17, 2006.]

Supporters of illegal aliens say state involvement in federal issues will create a confused systems of contradictory laws that will make things worse, but many state legislators believe it is their duty to step into the void. “We had high hopes that Congress would do something this year, but Washington is ducking its responsibility,” says Rep. Russell K. Pearce of Arizona. “Our constituents are outraged about that. So they are demanding — and I mean demanding — that we do the job instead.” Rep. Pearce is a strong supporter of a proposal requiring Arizona policemen to check immigration status. “Deportation should start with the traffic stop,” he says. [T. R. Reid, Hill Impasse Spurs States to Tackle Illegal Immigration, Washington Post, May 3, 2006.]

Multicultural Con

American food stamps have long been used to pay for drugs. When the stamps were issued in paper form, they became a kind of black-market currency among addicts and dealers. To stop this, states have begun putting food stamp benefits — which are supposed to be used only for food — on debit cards. However, food stamp recipients, in collusion with merchants, have figured out a way to get cash from the cards. A shopkeeper charges a certain amount of money to a food stamp card and swipes it through the government computer. He then refunds cash to the card owner, minus a commission — typically 30 percent. The cardholders then uses the cash to buy anything he likes, often drugs. Prosecutors have charged 22 shopkeepers in Chicago with this fraud. According to a former Chicago policeman, the fraud “is rampant in the black community.”

Most of the food stanp recipients are black, and most of the crocked shopkeepers are Arab. A Chicago Sun-Times story mentions nine shopkeepers who have been charged with the fraud, and all of them have Arab names. One is Amar Abu Siessi, who has made millions from the scam. Investigators were tipped off when they saw that Mr. Siessi’s corner grocery store was doing hundreds of dollars worth of sales in a minute. Between May and October 2000, the store redeemed $383,000 in food stamp card benefits. Mr. Siessi also bribed an inspector employed by the USDA to grant approval to accept food stamp cards.

Federal officials think Arab shopkeepers may be funding terrorist groups with the money they make. They often send the proceeds to overseas bank accounts. One grocer charged in the fraud is also under charges of aiding terrorists. [Frank Main and Natasha Korecki, The Welfare-Fraud Link, Chicago Sun-Times, April 9, 2006.]

No Differences Allowed

Twenty years ago, Montgomery County, Md., set up a number of “magnet programs” for gifted students in order to stop “white flight” from public schools. Students must pass a test to get into the program, but black parents say not enough blacks pass. Only six percent of the black students who applied to one program got in while 25 percent of white students did. The school board pointed out that it had worked with the NAACP to make black families aware of the magnet programs, and had offered free workshops on how to get in. However, it realized this was not enough. Now, students who fail the test may still get into the program if their teachers recommend them. [Nancy Trejos, Parents Protest Magnet Makeup, Washington Post, March 8, 2005. Lori Aratani, ‘Gifted’ Label Takes a Vacation in Diversity Quest, Washington Post, Feb. 22, 2006.]

Last year, Lincoln Middle School in Vista, California, had the last gifted program in the city after three other middle schools ended theirs. Hispanic parents were angry that the Lincoln program was disproportionately white. “All students should be treated equally,” said Hispanic parents in a letter to the school board. “We believe that school should not create differences between students who know more and students who know less.” They argued that getting rid of the program would reduce “discrimination.”

Parents of gifted students demonstrated in front of the school carrying signs reading “Don’t punish the bright ones,” but to no avail. On May 25, trustees for the school district voted 4-1 to end the program. Parents transferred 192 of the 231 gifted students to middle schools that are less heavily Hispanic. School district trustee David Hubbard, who voted to end the program at Lincoln, said he would take his son out of Lincoln, too. [Adam Klawonn, GATE-Closing Plan Stirs Parental Debate at Lincoln Middle School, San Diego Union-Tribune, May 19, 2005. Adam Klawonn, GATE Program Eliminated at Lincoln, San Diego Union-Tribune, May 25, 2005.]

Gaining Ground

Two-time AR conference speaker Nick Griffin’s British National Party (BNP) achieved significant success in local British elections on May 4, winning 31 council seats and bringing its total to 46 — more than double the 20 it had previously held. (Council elections are similar to municipal elections in the US.) The nationalist party’s biggest gains came in the east London wards of Barking and Dagenham, where it won 11 of the 13 seats it contested, but it also scored victories in eastern England and the Midlands.

The BNP earned most of its gains in areas hard-hit by immigration and ethnic tension. “A lot of British people have a very negative view of our country’s multicultural diversity experiment,” says Chairman Griffin. “People are wanting to kick the Labour Party really hard and we’re the politically incorrect way to do it. When you look at some of our results elsewhere in the country where we’ve hammered the Conservatives as well, this is a revolt against the entire liberal political elite by the hardworking people of Britain who resent being taxed to have our country transformed.”

Russell Green, who won a council seat in Sandwell, adds, “After tonight’s results we can all see that the BNP is on its way. It is plain to see that the vast majority of us are sick and tired of the dishonest and self-interested politicians that are ruining our communities and our country.”

The BNP holds only 0.2 percent of Britain’s 22,000 council seats, but the political establishment fears it. Before the election, Labour cabinet member Margaret Beckett said of its members, “They are deceitful. They are very unpleasant, nasty people who try to exploit problems and try to turn people against each other. They are very dangerous.” Conservative Party leader David Cameron accused the BNP of “thriving on hatred,” saying, “I hope nobody votes for the BNP. I would rather people voted for any other party.” [BNP Doubles Number of Councillors, BBC News, May 5, 2006. BNP: We’re On Our Way, Independent (London), May 5, 2006. British National Party Has Best Showing Ever in Local Elections, Bloomberg, May 5, 2006. George Jones, Cameron Calls on Voters to Back Anyone But the BNP, Telegraph (London), April 24, 2006.]

Another nationalist group, the England First Party, is led by Mark Cotterill, who was once active in the Council of Conservative Citizens in the United States. England First scored its first electoral success, with both its candidates winning: Mr. Cotterill, who edits the English publication Heritage and Destiny, and former soldier Michael Johnson. Mr. Cotterill handily won his seat in Blackburn, Lancashire, while Mr. Johnson achieved a narrow win in Lower Darwen, Lancashire. England First’s mottos are “It’s our England, let’s win it back” and “Fighting anti-white racism.” [England First website, www.efp.org.uk/index.html.]