No More Whites, Please
New Zealand is enjoying an immigration boom, courtesy of Great Britain. More and more Britons are moving permanently to New Zealand, attracted by its natural beauty, open spaces, and a strong economy. British immigration is at its highest since the early 1970s, with 22,400 arriving just last year. This influx, along with smaller numbers of Americans and Canadians, does not sit well with Maori nationalists, who charge that the government is trying to prevent the “browning” of New Zealand.
Maori are 13 percent of the population, a figure expected to grow rapidly because their birthrate is twice that of white New Zealanders. The Maori Party, which has just four seats in parliament, wants the government to limit immigration from white countries. Party founder and co-leader Tariana Turia says, “The prediction is that we are going to see a considerable browning of New Zealand with Maori, Pacific Islanders and Asians, and maybe this is the way the government combats it. We aren’t playing the race card because we are not talking about Asian immigration.” Many Asians are kept out by a new law that sets a minimum English proficiency requirement.
New Zealand won’t ban white immigrants anytime soon. The country suffers from a shortage of skilled labor that some call “crippling,” and long-time prime minister Helen Clarke calls the Maori Party’s demands “ridiculous.” [Paul Chapman, British Immigrants Face a Hostile Reception After Maori Call for Curb, Telegraph (London), Feb. 27, 2007.]
The family of Martin Luther King has made a comfortable living by copyrighting virtually every word the great man ever wrote or said, and ruthlessly enforcing those rights. In 1993, for example, the family sued USA Today for reprinting the “I Have a Dream” speech on its 30th anniversary. The newspaper paid a reprint fee and court costs. This sort of thing is not uncommon, says John Blake, author of Children of the Movement, a book about the families of civil rights activists. Most activists got no financial benefit from their work, but their children have other ideas. Many families start with the intent of preserving a legacy, only to end up making money off the family name.
Such may be the case with the family of Rosa Parks. Back in 1998, Rosa Parks wrote a new will, leaving the rights to her name and likeness to the non-profit foundation she ran with her long-time business associate Elaine Steele. When Parks died in 2005, Miss Steele assumed control of the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development and signed a deal with an Indianapolis firm that markets dead celebrities. The deal has already brought in more than $140,000, and Parks’ 13 nieces and nephews want some of the money.
Last year they sued Miss Steele, claiming she exerted “undue influence” on Parks when she rewrote her will. They say she deliberately kept them from visiting Parks, and that she was a poor steward of the many gifts Parks received, even once temporarily misplacing the Congressional Medal of Freedom awarded to Parks by Congress in 1999. For her part, Miss Steele maintains that Parks was lucid and in control of her affairs up to the end of her life, and that she wanted to ensure the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development would continue after her death. Miss Steele has retained several high-priced lawyers to represent her, including the late Johnnie Cochran’s law partner, Jock M. Smith. Former president Bill Clinton was among one of several possible witnesses on the defense list. In order to prevent the case from turning into a spectacle that would “dishonor” Parks’s legacy, Wayne County, Michigan, probate judge Freddie Burton, Jr. issued a gag order preventing anyone connected with the case from discussing it publicly.
The case was to go to trial in February, but settled just a few days before opening arguments. Details of the agreement are secret, but Frederick Toca, lawyer for family, says, “We are very excited, very pleased.” [Ronald J. Hansen and Paul Egan, The Fight for Parks’ Legacy, Detroit News, Feb. 16, 2007. Paul Egan and Darren A. Nichols, Rosa Parks’ Estate Won’t be Fought for During a Trial, Detroit News, Feb. 18, 2007. Paul Egan, Judge Refuses to Lift Gag Order in Parks’ Case, Detroit News, March 1, 2007.]
After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the incompetence of its black mayor, Ray Nagin, made the problems worse. At one point during the disaster, Mr. Nagin reportedly hid in a hotel room far above the flooded streets. Despite it all, voters reelected Mr. Nagin to another term, no doubt in part because of his pledge to keep New Orleans a “chocolate city.”
Now Mayor Nagin is considering a $77 billion lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers, claiming that the levees broke because of the corps’s incompetence. He says it owes the city not only for lost infrastructure, but lost revenue from taxes, business and tourism, and damage to the city’s image. The city picked the $77 billion figure out of the air. “We looked at everything and just kind of piled it on,” explains Mr. Nagin. “We got some advice from some attorneys to be aggressive with the number, and we’ll see what happens.” [Mayor Nagin: We ‘Piled It On’ in Suit Against Army Corps of Engineers, AP, March 3, 2007.]
The Border Patrol is advertising for a few thousand men to reach its authorized strength of 18,000. It has run ads in the programs of sporting events like the NBA’s all-star game and the NCAA’s “Final Four” college basketball game. This year the agency wanted to advertise in the NFL’s “Super Bowl” program. This was too much for the NFL. According to spokesman Greg Aiello, the league wants to avoid being seen as taking sides in the immigration debate, calling it “very controversial.”
The NFL may be ducking the immigration issue to preserve a possible Mexican market. The professional football league wants to go global, and Mexico City is a leading contender for the first international franchise. As Commissioner Roger Goodell puts it, “We love Mexico. We have a great fan base there. It’s growing every day.” [Liza Porteus, NFL Defends Decision Not to Print Border Patrol Recruitment Ad in Super Bowl, FoxNews.com, Feb. 15, 2007.]
Jonathan Saint Preux is a Haitian immigrant who works as an immigration lawyer in New Jersey. In May 2005, he was one of 139 Haitians who attended a White House event to celebrate “Haitian-American Heritage Month.” He’s also probably a crook. In October 2006, federal prosecutors indicted Mr. Saint Preux and his wife for preparing hundreds of fraudulent immigration documents for Haitian illegal immigrants. They claimed falsely that they were living in the US before 1982, and therefore qualified for a special Haitian amnesty program. Mr. and Mrs. Saint Preux face up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
A month after the indictment, Mr. Saint Preux went to Washington, DC, to attend yet another White House function. When asked what he was doing there, a White House spokesman said “thousands of guests” are invited to White House parties. She declined to say whether guests are screened for federal indictments. [Jeff Whelan, Indicted Lawyer, White House Guest, Star-Ledger (Newark), Feb. 8, 2007.]
Fact vs. Fantasy
The New York City Police Department recently reported that the majority of people subjected to “stop-and-frisk” searches are black. Naturally, Al Sharpton threatened to sue.
Mr. Sharpton’s bluster drew a strong response from Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute, author of the book Are Cops Racist? According to victims and witnesses, she notes, blacks “committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies and assaults in New York last year” although they were just 24 percent of the city’s population. Whites, at 34.5 percent of the population, committed just 5.3 percent of those crimes. “In other words,” she continues, “violent crimes are nearly 13 times more likely to be committed by blacks then by whites.” Given this disparity, it is not only “reasonable but inevitable” that police would frisk more blacks than whites.
The figures released by the NYPD show that not enough blacks are being frisked — they were 55 percent of all targets, well below their 68.5 percent share of violent crime. Eleven percent of frisks were of whites — more than double their share of the city’s violent crime. [Heather Mac Donald, What’s Behind Stop & Frisks? High Black Crime, New York Daily News, Feb. 7, 2007.]