Posted on March 4, 2008

American Renaissance Conference

Fred Reed, Fred on Everything, March 3, 2008

This week, disordered thoughts. I’m not sure what other kind might be applicable in today’s world.

I just got back from Washington, where I addressed the American Renaissance conference. I hate airplanes. They have the charm of Greyhound buses without the comfort.

AmRen, as we say, had invited me to talk about Mexico as it appears from the inside. The organization was alleged to be a vicious racist organization. The more easily frightened of my associates in the crime of journalism tried to warn me off. They told me that my mere presence at the conference would destroy my reputation. (Which reputation is that, I wondered?) I was given to believe that, at lunch, the conferees would form hunting packs and set forth to lynch children of color.

What the hey, I thought. I knew their web site, and knew that what it said, while highly incorrect politically, was usually exactly right factually. Their breakout of racial statistics on crime is horrifying, for example, but impeccable, coming from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports and the National Crime Victimization Survey. AmRen’s writings consequently are often denounced but seldom disputed. It doesn’t pay to dispute what you know to be true. Anyway, I didn’t see how I could add to the sum total of evil in the world by describing Mexico.

I landed at Dulles and made my way to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, site of this witches’ sabbath. Police were everywhere. It seemed that protesters had threatened to shut down the meeting. I hoped so. Protesters are fun. They are frequently idiots and do curious and diverting things. Having checked in, I went to the cocktail reception and was gravely disappointed.

On average the attendees were middle-aged, well-mannered men worried about unchecked immigration from Mexico. This is a hideous racist position? Try a national referendum on the matter and you will find that most of the United States agrees. Blacks in particular want the illegals to go home.

Listening to the speakers, I concluded that AmRen suffered chiefly from an intense political incorrectness. Everything they said was either true or well within the bounds of reason. Most of it I had seen in mainstream publications. The sin of the speakers was that they spoke without abashment and equivocation. The barely restricted tidal wave from the south, they said, is profoundly changing American society without the consent of the governed. It is. The consequences have not been thought out, they said. They haven’t.

Probably AmRen’s fundamental idea is that multiculturalism is not a good idea, that countries are much better off when they have a homogeneous culture, or at least a dominant one. Mix cultures in one country, and you get trouble. Observation confirms the proposition. In Canada, you find hostility between English and French; in Sri Lanka, Tamils and Sinhalese; in the US, black, white, and brown; in Mexico, Mexicans and indigenes; in Malaya, Chinese and Malays; in Iraq, Sunnis and Shiites; in France, French and Africans; in Vietnam, Vietnamese and Montagnards; in India, Moslems and Hindus; in Cambodia, Cambodians and Vietnamese; in South Africa, blacks and whites; in Burundi, Hutus and Tutsis, and so on. And on. And on.

So what do we think we are doing?

One of the speakers was Phil Rushton, of the University of Western Ontario, whose specialty is the study of racial differences in intelligence. Only among the ideologically befogged is the subject beyond the pale. The evidence for these differences would be voluminous if there weren’t so much of it. Further, measurements of intelligence are reproducible and highly correlated with success of both individuals and groups. The people who do these studies, as for example Rushton, are highly intelligent themselves and cautious in their conclusions.

It amuses me that such as Rushton are often regarded as right-wing racists, drone. They point out that Jews are intellectually superior to other whites, which is hardly a traditional right-wing view; and that East Asians are smarter than whites, also not normally regarded as a white racist idea. Look at the IQ hierarchy they find: Jews at the top, followed by, East Asians, whites, South American mestizos, American blacks, African blacks. Now compare the intellectual achievements of the groups. Kinda sorta fits, don’t it? But we can’t talk about this because (a) we wouldn’t like the results, and (b) because it takes an eighth-grade understanding of mathematics to grasp a standard deviation, which eliminates most of the population.

Anyway, my turn came. I stood manfully on the podium and proceeded to tell the assembled that Mexico wasn’t what they most likely thought, which it isn’t. I don’t know to what extent they quite believed me. Americans tend to have little experience of other countries, most often no experience, and it is hard to separate a distaste for massive immigration from a dim view of the country from which the immigrants come. This is not unique to AmRen.

The audience was anything but homogeneous. Someone who had been to various such conventions said the crowd consisted of twenty percent Neo-Nazis and twenty percent Jews. Jews, yes; Neo-Nazis, perhaps. If the latter means people who want to exterminate this or that group, I encountered none. The closest anyone came was an overwrought dingaling who, in question and answer, denounced me as a race traitor for having married Violeta, my Mexican wife. I considered an appropriate but anatomically unorthodox repositioning of my microphone. However, the audience told him to sit down and shut up. Later a dozen people apologized for his behavior, and I met a fair number of men who had Chinese, Mexican, and Colombian wives. Race traitors all, I suppose.

In a country less repressive of dissent than the US, a discussion of immigration might seem advisable. It is perfectly true that in many countries the white population is in decline—Italy, Spain, Germany, Russia, and so on. It is also true that floods of arguably inassimilable immigrants from comparatively backward countries—those of Africa, South America, the Arab world—are a rapidly growing fraction of the population in these dying nations. In their own countries they have shown no ability to function at the intellectual level of Europeans. They will change utterly—are changing—their new countries. Apart from restaurants and manual labor, they seem to contribute little. If this isn’t so, tell me why it isn’t.

Can Mexicans assimilate? In small numbers, sure. My waitress in the bar was a pretty young Mexicana who spoke perfect English. She wasn’t going to assimilate. She already had. But millions and millions? With their kids already doing very poorly in school? I hope but doubt. The price of being wrong will be high.

This, it seems to me, merits thought. It isn’t getting it.