Posted on December 1, 2007

O Tempora, O Mores! (December, 2007)

American Renaissance, December 2007

LA’s ‘Race War’

Like many parts of Los Angeles, the Florence-Firestone area north of Watts went from mostly black to mostly Hispanic in something over a decade. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Hispanic gangs—Florencia 13 and 38th Street—quarreled among themselves and ignored the black gang, the East Coast Crips. Some time in the mid 1990s, however, the Mexican Mafia put out the word that Hispanic gangs were to stop fighting each other and chase out the blacks. The ensuing feud has since grown into something locals call a race war.

“They just see a young man of the opposite race and they shoot,” says Olivia Rosales, a former hate-crimes specialist who has prosecuted many Florencia 13 murders over the last two years. “They don’t stop to question whether or not they are a member of the gang.” Of the 20 cases she has handled, said Miss Rosales, “most of the victims have not been members of the rival gang.” The Florence-Firestone neighborhood of some 60,000 people had 41 homicides in 2005, a higher murder rate than in some of America’s most violent big cities.

Chris Le Grande is pastor of Great Hope Fellowship in Faith, one of Florence-Firestone’s major black churches. He says gang members used to ignore bystanders who were not gang members, but no longer. He says the attitude now is, “I’m deliberately shooting you because of your color.” Timothy Slack, who is black, lives a few blocks from Great Hope Fellowship church. He says Hispanics sometimes drive through shooting at blacks. He no longer lets his children go to the store and never uses alleys. Mr. Slack grew up in Florence-Firestone, when it was mostly black. “They were timid,” he says of Hispanics, “but as their numbers started getting bigger, then they started trying to be tougher. They started thinking they could demand stuff.”

The tension affects everyone. Irv Sitkoff, a local pharmacist, says his employees must treat people of different races exactly the same because the slightest difference leads to charges of favoritism. “You’ve got to very careful,” he says. “Before, we didn’t think about it.”

One former black gang member, who still lives in the area because he owns property and has family ties, says he expects all blacks will eventually move out. “It’s going to come a time when everybody’s going to have to leave. Everybody’s going to have to go.” [Sam Quinones, “Gang Rivalry Grows into Race War: Battle over the Drug Trade has led to Escalating Violence in Florence-Firestone,” Los Angeles Times, Oct. 18, 2007.]

Getting the Message

On October 17, the Prince William County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors (six Republicans and two Democrats) voted unanimously to approve a hotly debated bill that would deny most county services to illegal aliens and authorize county police to enforce immigration laws. The vote came after hours of often emotional testimony on both sides.

Hispanic activists were dumfounded. A crowd of more than 1,000 demonstrators chanting “Si, se puede!” (Yes, we can!) failed to win over a single supervisor. Ricardo Juarez said that his group, Mexicans Without Borders, had done everything it could to prevent the vote. “If there was a failure here,” he said, “it was the authorities’ failure to listen to us.” Supervisor John D. Jenkins said he listened carefully; he just didn’t agree: “I can be persuaded to have sympathy for people. I can’t have sympathy for anyone who breaks the law.”

Supporters of the law say they wanted to make it clear illegal aliens aren’t welcome in the Washington, DC suburban county. They have succeeded. Hispanics—both legal and illegal—have been moving out of Prince William County since July, when the Board of Supervisors gave the county 90 days to decide which services should be off limits to illegals. “There is a mass panic,” says Roberto Catacora, who owns a school that teaches English to Hispanic immigrants. “Those who haven’t already moved away don’t dare step outside their houses.” “I was already thinking of going home, because I was having such a hard time finding work,” says Jose Luis Pubeac, a Salvadoran who jumped the border 18 months ago. “But this law convinced me it was time. [They] hate us so much here.” While some illegals are going back to Mexico or Central America, most are moving to nearby jurisdictions that have not passed such stiff laws.

Aracely Diaz, a grocery store clerk from El Salvador, says she told her real estate agent to sell her townhouse after the vote. “I’ll be selling at a loss. But I don’t care. I no longer have any affection for this place that treats us this way. I just want to get out.” Jose Ventura, another Salvadoran, blames the “anti-immigrant climate” for the loss of his contracting business and the foreclosure on his new house. He had planned to rent out rooms so he could pay the mortgage. “I feel like when this county was growing, when they needed us, they welcomed us Latinos with open arms,” he says. “But now that the county is all grown up and times are hard, it’s totally turned its back on us. They are so ungrateful.” [Nick Miroff and Kristen Mack, Protest Styles Presented a Clash of Cultures, and One Decisively Won, Washington Post, Nov. 4, 2007. N.C. Aizenman, New Fear Leads Both Legal, Illegal Latinos to Leave Pr. William, Washington Post, Oct. 22, 2007.]

Fewer Blacks Enlist

The number of blacks applying to enlist in the Army has dropped 60 percent: from more than 42,000 in 2000 to just over 17,000 in 2005. Of the 17,000 who applied, only 7,500 were accepted. Opposition to the war in Iraq and to President Bush are two reasons for the decline. According to recent polls, 83 percent of blacks say the war was a mistake, and only 9 percent think Mr. Bush is doing a good job. Since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, white applications are down 10 percent and Hispanic enlistments are down 7 percent.

Nathaniel Daly, a black New Jersey high-school graduate, says he won’t enlist because the government ignored blacks after Hurricane Katrina. “Why would we go over there and help them [Iraqis], when [the US government] can’t help us over here?” he asks. His friend Brian Jackson says, “It’s not our war. We got our own war here, just staying alive,” referring to the high murder rate in his home town, Philadelphia. Damon Wright, a high school senior in Washington, DC, will not join either. “There’s no guarantee I wouldn’t have to go over there [to Iraq],” he says. “I’m trying to play football in college. I might go over there and lose a leg.”

Some analysts are worried. “African-Americans have been such a key part of the modern military,” says Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution: “That whole culture and value system is at risk in the black community. That is a big, big change. To me, it portends the possibility of a longer-term loss of interest. It can be tough to get it back.”

Blacks are still slightly overrepresented in the military, where they were 14.5 percent of the force in 2005, compared to 12.8 percent of the general population. [Joseph Williams and Kevin Baron, Military Sees Big Decline in Black Enlistees, Boston Globe, Oct. 7, 2007.]

Saving World Cultures

Americans are deeply uneasy about immigration and think it threatens their national culture—as do people all over the world—according to a survey of 45,000 people in 47 countries published by the Pew Research Center on October 4. In 44 of the 47 countries, majorities said government should cut back on immigration. Only South Koreans, Japanese, and Palestinians favor current immigration levels (which are essentially zero). Seventy-five percent of Americans want cuts.

“In today’s rapidly changing world, people from nations rich and poor worry about losing their traditional culture,” the survey reported. Seventy-three percent of Americans fear they are losing their traditional way of life, as do 74 percent of Germans, 75 percent of French, and 77 percent of Britons. In South Korea and Bangladesh, 92 percent worry about losing their culture. Sweden was the only country where fewer than half (49 percent) were worried about losing their way of life. [ Jennifer Harper, Immigration, Loss of Culture, Worry Nations, Washington Times, Oct. 5, 2007.]

Katrina Hits Atlanta

Police say Atlanta is suffering an unprecedented crime wave, and they blame black Katrina refugees. Officers have identified eight criminals, “the worst of the worst,” who have been killing and robbing with AK-47 assault rifles, and even blaze away in public. These are not the sort of crimes to which local police are accustomed, says police chief Richard Pennington, but he knows all about this kind of criminal: He used to run the New Orleans police department. Officers managed to arrest all eight, and with less trouble than Chief Pennington expected. “I’m surprised they weren’t confrontational when we arrested them because they were totally prepared—bullet-proof vests, automatic weapons—the things we don’t normally see here in Atlanta,” he says. [Atlanta Crime Spree Blamed on Katrina, WSB-TV (Atlanta), Oct. 4, 2007.]

Watson Recants

James Watson, who won the Nobel Prize in 1962 for discovering the structure of DNA, has done the cause of race realism great harm. On October 14, the (London) Sunday Times Magazine quoted him as saying he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours—whereas all the testing says not really.” He also said employers would like to think all their employees are equal but find that blacks are not. [Hunt-Grubbe, C. The Elementary DNA of Dear Dr. Watson, Times Online, October 14, 2007.] When these off-hand remarks produced an outcry, he backed down, apologized, and canceled a tour of Britain to promote his new book, Avoid Boring People. He ran and hid rather than defend the truth.

It is true there was great pressure on Dr. Watson to recant. His employer, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, forced him into retirement (even after the apology). The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) issued a contemptuous statement saying Dr. Watson had promoted “personal prejudices that are racist, vicious and unsupported by science,” adding that “he has failed us in the worst possible way.” No doubt the FAS would have preferred that Dr. Watson commit murder or treason.

And, of course, when the press sought “experts” to comment on Dr. Watson’s remarks, they chose only those they knew would savage him, and none of the respected scientists who would have said Dr. Watson was right. As always, we were treated to the tiresome spectacle of people who know nothing about the research on race and IQ saying well informed views are “bigotry.”

Dr. Watson should have followed the example of his great predecessor, William Shockley, who won the Nobel Prize for inventing the transistor. Late in his career Shockley turned to race, IQ, and heritability, but unlike Dr. Watson, he took a firm stand and stuck to it. He used his immense prestige to speak in every possible forum. He never backed down and never apologized. Shockley went to his grave believing the work he was doing in genetics and intelligence was more important than the transistor.

Shockley had integrity and backbone. Dr. Watson does not.

All the same, it was amusing to see the panic a few casual words spread through the scientific “establishment.” Dr. Watson could have taken an unorthodox position on anything else—cold fusion, vitamins, cancer treatment—without provoking such a chorus of bellowing. It is like the waning days of the Soviet Union, when every Russian knew Marxism was a fantastic hoax—and therefore had to defend it all the more stupidly and slavishly.

Dr. Watson was right to point out that the scientific noose is tightening on tattered, liberal thinking. He predicted that the genes that code for intelligence will be found in 10 or 15 years, and the controversy will be over. Those who are screaming today will be shown to be the obscurantist bigots they are. But there will be no glory for a man who fled at the first sound of guns.

The Big Greasy

According to the FBI, the number of public corruption cases in the New Orleans area has more than quintupled. Howard Schwartz of the FBI’s New Orleans office says there have been 171 indictments between 2003 and mid-September, 2007, as opposed to only 31 during the previous five years. More than 80 percent of indictments led to guilty pleas or convictions for such crimes as bribery and fraud. Most of the malefactors were elected or appointed officials, including police officers, a former school board president, and city councilmen.

The feds have stepped up anti-corruption efforts ever since billions in post-Katrina money began to flow into the city. They have even put up billboards and run radio ads encouraging citizens to blow the whistle. They work. The FBI gets five to 25 tips a week. No one is sure whether the high conviction rate reflects a real rise in crime or just better enforcement. The FBI has stepped up anti-corruption efforts everywhere; nationally, cases have jumped 49 percent since 2001. [Rick Jarvis, New Orleans Corruption Cases Multiply, October 3, 2007]

Race Row

Nigel Hastilow is a former editor of the Birmingham Post and was a Conservative Party candidate for Parliament until he praised the late British MP Enoch Powell in a newspaper column:

When you ask most people in the Black Country [an industrial area in the West Midlands] what the single biggest problem facing the country is, most say immigration. Many insist: ‘Enoch Powell was right.’ Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South-West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, warning that uncontrolled immigration would change our country irrevocably. He was right. It has changed dramatically.

The Labour Party shrieked that the column exposed the Tories’ “racist underbelly” and proved they are “the same old nasty party.”

Conservative leaders forced Mr. Hastilow to resign and apologize. “I am very sorry that any remarks of mine have undermined the progress [party leader] David Cameron has made on the issue of immigration, as on so many other issues,” he said. [Richard Holt, Tory Candidate Resigns Over Race Row, Telegraph (London), Nov. 5, 2007. Brendan Carlin, Parties Row Over Tory Candidate’s Race Remarks, Telegraph (London), Nov. 5, 2007.]

Miami, Iraq

The US Army gets realistic combat training for medics right in downtown Miami. Jackson Memorial Hospital, treats an average of 11 badly mangled people a day, as many as military hospitals in Iraq. Medics see smashed heads, multiple gunshot wounds, and stabbings, and must often work through interpreters. This is perfect training for Iraq. During one shift in October, Army medics treated four police officers shot with an AK-47. One of them died. “That’s exactly what we’re going to see over there,” says Spc. Joshua McCann.

The Army has been using Jackson Memorial for six years. The Navy has a similar program in Los Angeles while the Air Force trains medics in Baltimore, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. [Jennifer Kay, Army Medics Train at Miami Trauma Center, AP, Oct. 25, 2007.]