Posted on March 1, 2008

O Tempora, O Mores! (March, 2008)

American Renaissance, March 2008

No One Wants It

Americans think immigration threatens their culture. According to a study published by the Pew Research Center, people everywhere feel the same way. After polling 45,000 people in 47 countries, Pew researchers found that in 44 of the 47, majorities wanted less immigration. Only South Koreans, Japanese, and Palestinians favored current levels of immigration — which are essentially zero. Seventy-five percent of Americans wanted fewer immigrants, as did similar proportions of Russians, Spaniards, and Britons.

The survey finds that natives think immigrants are a threat: “In today’s rapidly changing world, people from nations rich and poor worry about losing their traditional culture. In 46 out of 47 countries, majorities say their traditional way of life is getting lost.”

Some people are more worried than others. Seventy-three percent of Americans, 74 percent of Germans, 77 percent of Britons, and 75 percent of the French feared a loss of traditions, but the figure for South Korea and Bangladesh was 92 percent. Only in Sweden were fewer than half — 49 percent — worried about cultural loss. Majorities in 46 of 47 countries said government should protect the national culture. The majorities were small in Germany, France, and Britain, but were over 90 percent in India, Indonesia, and Egypt. In America, the belief that government should protect the culture was more common among Republicans (71 percent) than among Democrats (60 percent). [Immigration, Loss of Culture, Worry Nations, Jennifer Harper, Washington Times, Oct. 5, 2007.]

‘Jena 6’ Update

Supporters of the so-called “Jena 6,” the young Louisiana blacks who beat a white classmate in Dec. 2006, claimed they were good boys targeted by a racist prosecutor. The truth is somewhat different. Ringleader Mychal Bell had a long juvenile record, and was on probation at the time of the attack. Now co-defendant Bryant Purvis, 19, faces misdemeanor assault charges after he beat up a schoolmate in Carrollton, Texas. His mother sent Mr. Purvis to Texas to live with an uncle so he could stay “out of trouble and out of the limelight.” If convicted, Mr. Purvis could be fined up to $4,000 and spend a year in jail. He is still charged with aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy back in Jena, where he goes on trial on March 24.

Along with fellow Jena Sixer Carwin Jones, Mr. Purvis got a standing ovation at Black Entertainment Television’s Hip-Hop Awards last October, when the two helped present the award for best video. [‘Jena 6’ Defendant Facing New Assault Charge in Texas, AP, Feb. 7. 2008.]

Lowering the Bar

Richard Sander is a law professor at UCLA who suspects that when law schools practice race preferences they admit non-whites who are poorly qualified. He thinks this is why they are less likely than whites to graduate, and almost twice as likely to fail the bar exam. He thinks blacks would do better if they were admitted to less prestigious law schools, where their abilities better matched the demands. In order to prove what he calls his “mismatch theory,” he wants the California State Bar Association to release racial breakdowns of Law School Admission Test scores, law school and undergraduate grades, and bar exam results.

California law students and recent lawyers opposed this, claiming that the information was private. In November 2007, the bar association’s Committee on Regulations, Admissions, and Discipline voted 7-0 to keep the data under wraps, and the governing board of the association has since upheld the committee’s decision.

Non-whites are pleased, arguing that since there were so few of them in the database they could be easily identified. Alina Ball, the only black woman in UCLA’s law school class of 2008, also expressed doubts about the legitimacy of research into racial preferences.

Prof. Sander says accounts of his work have been misleading, and that worries about privacy are a “red herring.” He says he would be unable to identify individuals, and that even if he could, he would keep that information private.

Gerald Reynolds, a black who serves as chairman of the US Commission on Civil Rights, supports Prof. Sander’s study. He thinks that if the “mismatch theory” is right, minorities are being hurt, and corrective action could raise their pass rates. “We should not be in a position where we’re scared of the data,” says Mr. Reynolds. “We should have the courage to allow the researchers to take a look.” [Race Data for Bar Admissions Stays Under Wraps, California Bar Journal, December 2007.]

Too White

Walworth County, Wisconsin, 45 miles southwest of Milwaukee, had a population of 94,000 people in 2000, 95 percent of whom were white. Six years later, the population had grown to 100,000 and was ten percent non-white. The newcomers are virtually all Hispanic. Most residents may not know it, but their leaders have decided Walworth County is in a terrible crisis: Every single one of the county’s 150 elected officials is white.

The fact that most Hispanics are not citizens and cannot vote is not a sufficient explanation for this agonizing excess of whiteness, so local sages have been consulted. Charles Franklin, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, says the Hispanic community is just too new. “It’s not unusual for new and growing populations to lag behind in running candidates for office . . . It’s simply the way the political and social process works.” Prof. Franklin thinks Hispanics are too busy just trying to get by to worry about politics. He thinks it will take a “mobilizing factor” to get Mexicans to run for office. “That gives them a base to capitalize on — unsatisfied constituents — and it gives them a reason to run.”

Fortunately, the federal government may be stirring up just the dissatisfaction Hispanics needs. In August 2006 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided Star Packaging in the town of Whitewater, arresting 25 illegal aliens along with the company’s owner. Hispanics paraded their outrage, and officials in the left-leaning town (home to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater) promptly started an “outreach” campaign. UW-Whitewater political science professor Susan Johnson is delighted. She wants “outreach” to “all different groups in your community.” “It’s a communitarian idea,” she explains. [Mike Heine, Why Won’t They Run?, Janesville Gazette, Jan. 25, 2008.]

Talking Back

People who don’t want refugees in their communities are complaining about it. Anne Curtis, director of Bridge Refugees Services of Chattanooga, which helps settle refugees, says, “In the 10 years since we opened our office, I had never experienced any threats until last year,” when her agency began getting phone calls, letters, and e-mail. She says she felt so threatened that she called the police twice. “I feel sad that people forget all of our families were immigrants at one point,” she says.

America Gruner, president of the Coalition of Latino Leaders in Dalton, Georgia, and Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, said they too have seen a rise in angry e-mail and phone calls. Miss Gruner says people want Hispanics to go back where they came from. “Last year,” she adds, “when we started a campaign to encourage Hispanics to vote, we received several calls telling us we were breaking the law by registering illegals.”

Prof. Douglas Bachtel of the University of Georgia says the weakening economy and last summer’s debate on immigration have raised nativist anger. “As the economy starts to tighten up they’ll see them [immigrants] as a threat taking scarce resources,” he said. “But it’s also a form of racism and total ignorance.”

Catalina Nieto, of something called the Tennessee Immigrants and Refugees Rights Coalition, says people need to get past the “myths.” “I’ve noticed that every time people interact with refugees or immigrants, they begin to understand their situation better,” she says.

Chattanooga resident Rick Pinson speaks for the opponents: “American soldiers who fought and died for this country did not do it so it could be given away to people from other countries, and that taxpayers be required to pay for their welfare.” [Perla Trevizo, Immigrant Agencies Feel Rise in Harassment, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Feb. 4, 2008.]

Propaganda Works

A recent study conducted by Sam Wineburg of Stanford University and Chauncey Monte-Sano of the University of Maryland asked 2,000 “diverse” high school juniors and seniors to pick the most famous Americans who were not presidents or first ladies. Martin Luther King topped the list, followed by Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman. Four of the top ten were black, and six were women.

Prof. Wineburg says the prominence of blacks on the list demonstrates “the profound change” in how Americans view their history. “Over the course of about 44 years, we’ve had a revolution in the people who we come to think about to represent the American story. There’s a kind of shift going on, from the narrative of the founders, which is the national mythic narrative, to the narrative of expanding rights.”

Historian Dennis Derenberg, says it’s not surprising “civil rights” leaders head the list. “Since it so redefined America post-World War II, I think educators feel it’s truly a story young people need to know about because we’re still struggling with it. The Cold War is over and gone. The civil rights movement is ongoing.”

Here are the top 10, with the percentages who chose each:

  1. Martin Luther King, Jr.: 67%
  2. Rosa Parks: 60%
  3. Harriet Tubman: 44%
  4. Susan B. Anthony: 34%
  5. Benjamin Franklin: 29%
  6. Amelia Earhart: 25%
  7. Oprah Winfrey: 22%
  8. Marilyn Monroe: 19%
  9. Thomas Edison: 18%
  10. Albert Einstein: 16%

[Greg Toppo, High Schoolers Name Women, Black Americans ‘Most Famous,’ USA Today, Feb. 5, 2008.]

Mandatory Spanish

In 2001, a third of the students at Timberline Elementary in Grapevine, Texas, were Hispanic. Now they are more than half, while white enrollment has dropped to 36 percent. The school used to post announcements and write letters to parents in both English and Spanish, but the school now requires all English-speakers to learn Spanish.

Many whites are outraged. “They should not be forced to take Spanish,” says Patrick Swartz, whose daughter Kaitlyn may fail fifth grade for refusing to take the course. Even some Hispanic parents agree that English, not Spanish, should be the focus of the curriculum. Dora Deleon, whose grandchildren attend the school, says, “This is a country, America, with English. So we supposed to learn to speak English.”

Some white parents like mandatory Spanish. “It develops our kids,” says Tia Green. [Nerissa Knight, GCISD Parents Say Students Forced To Learn Spanish, CBS-TV 11 (Dallas/Fort Worth), Feb. 1, 2008.]

‘Hate’ Must be Stopped

A student group has invited AR editor Jared Taylor to speak at Michigan State University in Lansing on March 19. Lefties have organized a group called “Michigan Against White Supremacy” to pressure the university to cancel the talk. They are urging people to e-mail a form letter to university president Lou Anna Simon explaining why Mr. Taylor must not be allowed to speak. Among their arguments:

[I]t is an issue of hate speech rather than that of free speech. Jared Taylor attempts to justify racism through empirical thought and asserts that there is a natural racial hierarchy. He utilizes the guise of intellectual discourse to proselytize hate. Taylor uses scientific ultrarationality . . . to defend his prejudice against non-white races.

There is a distinct difference between free speech and hate speech . . .

Taylor will not bring about any intellectual discussion or analysis of race issues and his lecture can only serve to further divide people of different races and cultures.

America’s Heart and Soul

Thanks to a $3 million donation from the Kellogg Foundation, construction of the Martin Luther King Memorial, should begin on the National Mall in Washington, DC, this spring. The King Memorial Foundation now has $90 million, just $10 million short of its goal of $100 million, and expects the giant statue to open to visitors on schedule in 2009. The National Capital Planning Commission must approve the memorial but that is expected to be a formality.

Kellogg Foundation chief executive Sterling Speirn explains the donation: “The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial is about much more than bricks and mortar and stone. It is about the heart and soul of the American experience.” That must be why the memorial foundation chose a Chinese sculptor who made his name in giant statues of Mao Tse Tung to design the memorial. [Gerry Shih, Kellogg Donates $3M to MLK Memorial, Cox News Service, Jan. 31, 2008.]

More ‘Hate’

On January 31, president Janet Murguia of the National Council of La Raza — which mean “the race” in Spanish — announced plans to pressure television networks and presidential candidates to clamp down on “hate speech,” meaning any criticism of immigration. “Hate groups and extremists have taken over the immigration debate in an unprecedented wave of hate,” she explains. Freedom of speech has limits, she adds, because “there is a line that sometimes can be crossed.”

So what offends The Race? Calling immigrants an “army of invaders” or an “invading force,” pointing out that immigrants bring crime and diseases, and warning about “Reconquista,” which La Raza calls a “conspiracy theory.”

Who are the biggest offenders? MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan, CNN’s Lou Dobbs, and radio talk show host Glenn Beck. Of Mr. Beck, Miss Murguia says, “He read a proposed ad for a giant refinery that produces Mexinol, a fuel made from the bodies of illegal immigrants coming here from Mexico to find work.” She also singled out Jim Gilchrist of the Minuteman, who describes La Raza as a “racial supremacy group” that “dwarfs the combination of Black Panthers, KKK, American Indian Movement and Asian gangs.”

Mr. Gilchrist replies: “My son-in-law is Mexican and two of my three grandchildren are half Mexican. The Minuteman Project is comprised of every race color and creed . . . She has a right to her opinion, but she’s wrong.”

La Raza’s senior vice president says CNN has agreed to meet with the group, but a CNN spokesman declined to confirm this. [Hate Speech Cited in Immigration Debate, AP, Jan. 31, 2008.]

Not Fit to Print

On Feb. 8, a woman armed with a knife burst into the cockpit of a commercial flight headed from Blenheim, New Zealand, to Christchurch, stabbed both pilots and demanded to be flown to Australia. She claimed to have a bomb and threatened to blow up the plane. The pilots suffered only minor injuries, managed to subdue the woman, and landed the plane safely in Christchurch, where police arrested her.

The woman was a Somali Muslim, but a Canadian report referred to her simply as “a woman.” CNN called her “a New Zealand woman” who “was believed to be from Blenheim.” [Fly Me to Australia: Plane ‘Hijacker,’ Daily Telegraph (Australia), Feb. 8, 2008. Pilots Attacked on NZ Flight, CNN, Feb. 7, 2008. Tim Blair, Flight Fight,, Feb. 8, 2008.]

Polygamy Good

Having multiple wives is a crime in Britain, punishable by up to seven years in prison — except for Muslims who marry in a country where polygamy is legal. In that case, Britain recognizes multiple marriages, and pays welfare benefits for all wives and children. If the husband wants, he can have the welfare checks for all his wives deposited into his account. A man with more than one wife may also be eligible for extra housing and tax benefits. No one knows how much this costs taxpayers because no one knows how many “Britons” have harems. [Britain Gives Formal Recognition to Polygamy, Times of India, Feb. 4, 2008.]

At least in Toronto, polygamous Canadians get similar benefits. Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, estimates that “several hundred” Muslims in the Toronto area are collecting on multiple wives. The preamble to the Ontario Family Law Act states: “In the definition of ‘spouse,’ a reference to marriage includes a marriage that is actually or potentially polygamous, if it was celebrated in a jurisdiction whose system of law recognizes it as valid.” “This is a law and there’s nothing wrong with it,” says Mr. Ali. “Canada is a very liberal-minded country; way ahead of Britain in this respect,” he added, though he conceded that even Britain has recently recognized Muslim polygamy. [Tom Godfrey, Harems Pay Off For Muslims, Sun (Toronto), Feb. 8, 2008.]

Patriotism Bad

The Institute of Education, a think tank affiliated with the University of London, conducted a survey asking students and teachers across Britain how the history curriculum should handle patriotism. Its conclusion? Patriotism is a very doubtful virtue because “it is hard to think of a national history free from the blights of warmongering, imperialism, tyranny, injustice, slavery and subjugation, or a national identity forged without recourse to exclusionary and xenophobic stereotypes.” Teachers must therefore be careful not to encourage patriotism, especially when they cover the rise of the empire or the British role in the Second World War.

The study’s author, Michael Hand, explains why his findings are important. “[Prime Minister] Gordon Brown and [opposition leader] David Cameron have both called for a history curriculum that fosters attachment and loyalty to Britain, but the case for promoting patriotism in schools is weak. Are countries really appropriate objects of love? Loving things can be bad for us, for example when the things we love are morally corrupt. Since all national histories are at best morally ambiguous, it’s an open question whether citizens should love their countries.”

Historian Tristram Hunt of the University of London calls this view “very immature.” “The real problem isn’t that our children are being indoctrinated with patriotism,” he says, “but that they don’t know enough British history.” [Nicola Woolcock, ‘Don’t Teach Children Patriotism,’ Times (London), Feb. 1, 2008.]

Browning of Oz

Two leading Australian academics claim that unless the country opens the floodgates to immigrants, it will not be able to sustain its economy. In their recent report, Population and Australia’s Future Labour Force, demographer Peter McDonald and economist Glenn Withers argue that demand for skilled labor in mining, transport and communications will increase as baby boomers retire and Australian fertility rates drop. A record 177,600 immigrants settled in Australia in 2007, but the authors claim that in order to keep pace, the country will need at least 227,000 immigrants every year starting in 2021. [Sarah Smile, Workforce ‘Needs More Migrants,’ The Age (Melbourne), Feb. 6, 2008.]