O Tempora, O Mores! (September, 2008)

American Renaissance, September 2008

His True Constituents

Ted Kennedy meme

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has done more harm to America than perhaps anyone else alive. He led the Senate in voting for the 1965 Immigration Act, a bill he said would not alter the demographic mix of the country. He worked hard for the 1986 amnesty bill, which he promised would legalize only 1.1 to 1.3 million illegals but has legalized more than 3 million. He promised there would never be another amnesty, but tried, along with John McCain, to pass another amnesty last year. He will push for more amnesty next year whoever becomes president. Tireless work deserves recognition from constituents, and the senator finally got it.

On July 18, the Mexican government announced it had presented the Order of the Aztec Eagle to Sen. Kennedy in recognition of his decades-long service in “defending the rights of immigrants,” denouncing “injustices suffered by immigrants,” and for promoting “initiatives to promote full political participation and increased access to health and education services for the Mexican-American community.” [Mexico Awards Highest Honor to Sen. Kennedy, Reuters, July 19, 2008]

Sen. Kennedy received the award 39 years to the day after he drove off the bridge at Chappaquiddick Island and left Mary Jo Kopechne to drown in his car.

No White Heroes

Black actor and left-wing activist Danny Glover, best known for playing Mel Gibson’s sidekick in the Lethal Weapon series, wants to make a movie about black Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture. Toussaint, scheduled for release in late 2009, will have a budget of $30 million — modest by Hollywood standards — but Mr. Glover had trouble raising the money. Needless to say, the problem was “racism.” “Producers said ‘It’s a nice project, a great project . . . where are the white heroes?’ I couldn’t get the money here, I couldn’t get the money in Britain. I went to everybody. You wouldn’t believe the number of producers based in Europe, and in the States, that I went to. The first question you get, is ‘Is it a black film?’ All of them agree, it’s not going to do good in Europe, it’s not going to do good in Japan,” he says, adding, “Somebody has to prove that to be a lie! Maybe I’ll have the chance to prove it.”

Mr. Glover’s problems were finally solved by his old pal, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who gave him $18 million to fight the “the Hollywood film dictatorship.” Filming will begin early next year in Venezuela. [Danny Glover’s Slavery Film Lacked ‘White Heroes,’ Producers Said, AFP, July 25, 2008.]

‘Switcheroonie’

The city of Denver invited black jazz singer Rene Marie to sing the National Anthem before Mayor John Hickenlooper’s annual State of the City address on July 1. The tune was “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but Miss Marie didn’t sing Francis Scott Key’s words. Instead she sang the first verse of James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which is known as the Black National Anthem. Many Denverites were furious. The mayor tried to downplay the switch, but when anger grew, especially on local talk radio, he held a press conference to accuse Miss Marie of “deceiving” the city. “Her actions show a certain lack of understanding for how strongly our community feels about patriotic symbols and traditions,” he said, “and certainly overshadowed a day of great importance to our city.”

Miss Rene doesn’t care what the mayor thinks. “I pulled a switcheroonie on them,” she says. “When I decided to sing my version, what was going on in my head was: ‘I want to express how I feel about living in the United States, as a black woman, as a black person.’ ” She also added that she “doesn’t feel like an American.” When asked if she intends to apologize, she said, “No, I do not.”

Barack Obama sided with the whites. “Well, ‘Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing’ is a beautiful song that has been sung in African-American churches and other events for a very long time,” he said. He did concede, however, that “we only have one National Anthem,” and that “if she was asked to sing the National Anthem, she should have sung that.”

Here are the lyrics. The second verse is the most openly resentful.

Lift every voice and sing,

‘Til earth and heaven ring,

Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;

Let our rejoicing rise

High as the listening skies,

Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,

Let us march on ‘til victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,

Bitter the chast’ning rod,

Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;

Yet with a steady beat,

Have not our weary feet

Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,

We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,

Out from the gloomy past,

‘Til now we stand at last

Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,

God of our silent tears,

Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;

Thou who has by Thy might

Led us into the light,

Keep us forever in the path, we pray.

Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,

Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;

Shadowed beneath Thy hand,

May we forever stand,

True to our God,

True to our native land.

[David Montero, Obama: ‘We Only Have One National Anthem,’ Rocky Mountain News, July 3, 2008. The Anthem Shuffle, Rocky Mountain News, July 3, 2008. Daniel J. Chacon, Hickenlooper ‘Deceived’ by Jazz Singer’s Black Anthem Choice, Rocky Mountain News, July 2, 2008. Thanh Truong, ‘Black National Anthem’ Stirs Controversy for City, 9News.com, July 2, 2008. Denver Shocked as Singer Opts for ‘Black National Anthem’ Over ‘Star Spangled Banner, Fox News, July 2, 2008.]

The Race Beat

“Few subjects permeate every corner of American life more fully than issues of race and ethnicity. So, few assignments have more potential to expand our understanding of America than writing about race and ethnicity.” So wrote Associated Press managing editor Mike Oreskes, in announcing the appointment of AP’s new race man, Jesse Washington. Mr. Washington, a former “hip-hop” journalist and AP’s entertainment editor, beat out 448 other candidates for the job. His chief qualification? He is black—or at least half black: “Son of an interracial marriage, Jesse is, as he puts it, ‘a kid from the projects who went to Yale and married a doctor. I’m a person who fits in everywhere and nowhere.’ ” He replaces Erin Texeira. [Joe Strupp, AP Appoints New National Race and Ethnicity Writer, Editor & Publisher, July 17, 2008.]

Asians on Top

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, Virginia, is one the nation’s most prestigious public schools. It is notoriously difficult to get in; more than 2,500 students took the exam for the 485 places in next year’s freshman class. Although they are only 16 percent of the population of Fairfax County, Asians won 219 of the places (45 percent) and for the first time will outnumber whites, who won only 205. Last year, Asians took 38 percent of the places.

The freshman class at TJ, as the school is known, will have only 10 Hispanic students and nine blacks, a gain over the 2001 school year, when the combined total if blacks and Hispanics was only nine. In 1994, TJ had 50 blacks and Hispanics, but it also had an admissions policy that allowed for “racial and ethnic variations” in grades. In the late 1990s, in the wake of a number of court decisions, TJ established uniform standards and the number of blacks and Hispanics plummeted.

Asians are beginning to dominate many of the nation’s elite public high schools. In New York City, which is 10 percent Asian, they are the majority at Stuyvesant High School, Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Technical High School. In San Francisco, which is 30 percent Asian, they are 60 percent of the students at selective Lowell High School. Some Asians claim that as their numbers increase, they face unofficial quotas, like those imposed on Jews in the early 20th century. [Michael Alison Chandler, At Magnet School, an Asian Plurality, Washington Post, July 7, 2008.]

Race and Rank

Blacks are 17 percent of the military, but only nine percent of officers. The number of blacks at flag rank (general or admiral) is six percent. There is only one black among the 38 four-star generals or admirals. Since President Truman desegregated the armed forces in 1948, only 10 blacks have won four stars: five in the Army, four in the Air Force, and one in the Navy.

The number of black generals is unlikely to increase in the near term because fewer blacks are joining the military since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (13 percent of recruits vs. 22 percent), and blacks are less likely to serve in combat arms, which is the best way to rise in rank. In 1998, one quarter of active-duty black officers were in combat arms, but in 2008 the figure was only one fifth. Nearly half of all black officers are in supply, maintenance, engineering and administration—double the rate for non-black officers. [After 60 Years, Black Military Officers Rare, AP, July 23, 2006.]

Traditionally blacks have joined the military to get job training. Whites—especially Southern whites—join because they want to fight.

What did Doudou do?

In July, we reported that Senegalese lawyer Doudou Diene, the UN’s “special rapporteur for racism” was in the US sniffing out “racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance.” Mr. Diene has stopped sniffing, and though he won’t release findings until he reports to the UN next spring, Louis Farrakhan’s newspaper gives us a whiff of what he found.

The Final Call quotes Ajamu Baraka, executive director of something called the U. S. Human Rights Network. Mr. Diene’s visit was an “opportunity to expose the underbelly of White supremacy in the country,” he says. “We definitely feel that this was an important and timely tour. Our analysis revealed that the Bush administration is utterly out of touch with the reality of racial discrimination in America.”

Mr. Diene appears to have chosen his interviews carefully. The Final Call reports:

In Miami, Mr. Diene heard testimony from Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, director of the American Muslim Association of North America, who discussed issues related to immigration, racial profiling and discrimination against the dress of Muslim women.

Aesop Ameen, director of the association’s prison committee, talked about the difficulties Muslims experience in prison when trying to adhere to their faith, including challenges when trying to pray.

Muslim civil rights advocate Ahmed Bedier explained to Mr. Diene how ‘Islamaphobia’ and ‘anti-Muslim rhetoric’ from officials and pundits are contributing to hate crimes against Muslims across Florida.

In New Orleans, blacks “were particularly elated with the opportunity to tell their stories” about the “broader implications” of Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Diene also heard about conditions at the Louisiana State Prison at Angola, “a former 18,000-acre slave plantation.” [Saeed Shabazz, UN Investigator on Racism Completes US Tour, The Final Call, June 25, 2008.]

Free At Last

Ron and Carrie Oliver say life has gotten much better in their Manassas, Virginia, neighborhood in the year since Prince William County began cracking down on illegal immigrants. The Hispanic family that planted corn in front of their house is gone. So are the neighbors who hung hammocks in their front yard. The loud music, the beer bottles, and the dirty diapers are all gone, too. Mrs. Oliver says she and her husband can walk through the neighborhood without carrying a gun. “So much has changed,” she says happily.

Hispanics have left behind vacant homes, many in foreclosure, that bring down real estate prices, but the whites who have stayed don’t seem to mind. “We have far less residential overcrowding, and that was driving people crazy,” says Greg Letiecq of Help Save Manassas, which lead the fight against illegal immigration. “We’d much rather live next door to a vacant house. With an empty house, there’s hope that the house is going to have somebody move into it that’s going to be a good neighbor, rather than an overcrowded house that is a neighbor from hell.”

Manassas is better in other ways. Police in Prince William County have turned 757 illegal aliens over to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement in the past year, and crime has dropped nearly 20 percent. The number of limited-English speaking children in the schools is down nearly five percent. Free addiction treatment and in-home care for old people now require proof of citizenship. Most significantly, Prince William is now a model for other communities hoping to rid themselves of illegals. “We’ve started a wildfire in terms of other localities and states adopting similar tactics” says County Chairman Corey Stewart. [Nick Miroff, A Hispanic Population in Decline, Washington Post, July 10, 2008.]

Talking is Dangerous

Jo Calvert-Mindell considers herself tolerant, inclusive, and open-minded — just what you would expect from a community volunteer in Canterbury, England, and a Liberal Democratic Party council member. “The last thing I am is a racist,” she insists, but the local police thought otherwise.

Last fall, Miss Calvert-Mindell was woken three times by drunken, rowdy students from the nearby University of Kent, who were knocking over trash cans on her street. She dressed, went outside, and told them: “Why can’t you go back to where you come from and make some noise there? I bet your families and neighbors wouldn’t put up with it . . . What gives you the right to frighten my elderly neighbors, cause damage and keep us awake at night?” She then called police, who chased the students away.

Unfortunately for Miss Calvert-Mindell, two of the students were Asians (in Britain this means Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi), and they have accused her of “racism.” Four months after the incident, police arrested her and charged her with “using racially aggravated threatening words or behavior.” She went to court and explained that when she said “Go home,” she meant, “Go back to your houses.” In July, the Crown Prosecution Service dropped charges.

Miss Calvert-Mindell isn’t satisfied; she wants an apology from the police (why not from the Asian students?). “The authorities today are so sensitive to being criticized for being racist,” she says, “that any claim of racism just raises their antennae, instead of using common sense.” So far, the police will not apologize. Superintendent Chris Hogben says, “An allegation was made that was fully investigated. A case was presented to the CPS and the decision was made to prosecute.” [Grandmother Arrested on Race Charges after Telling Rowdy Asian Students to ‘Go Home,’ Daily Mail (London), July 25, 2008.]

Helping the White Poor?

When the African National Congress (ANC) took over South Africa in 1994, it started preference programs for blacks in hiring and school admissions that have made it hard for whites to get jobs. There are now whites as well as blacks who are poor. Blue-collar Afrikaners have been hit hardest, and they account for most of the 10 percent of the white population classified as poor (50 percent of blacks are poor). ANC president Jacob Zuma, who wants to replace Thabo Mbeki next year as president, is promising poor whites that if he is elected, he will make sure they get handouts. On a July 24 visit to a predominantly white area outside Pretoria, Mr. Zuma said, “As long as I live and as long as we are together, I am going to be asking them [government officials] what is happening [to you]. There is no door in government that cannot open when I knock.”

South Africa President Jacob Zuma

President Jacob Zuma (Credit Image: © Doc/Kopano Tlape/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

Whites are skeptical. “Seeing is believing,” says Max Mostert, “We will see if he delivers. Then we might support him.” [Paul Simao, South Africa’s Zuma Pledges Help for Poor Whites, Reuters, July 24, 2008.]

Breaking the Taboo

The Belgian city of Antwerp has 80 churches, many of which were built by Roman Catholics in the mid-19th century in the hope of triggering a religious revival. Christianity is now on the decline in Antwerp, as it is in Europe as a whole. Many of Antwerp’s churches are empty, and others serve only a handful of worshippers.

Islam, on the other hand, is growing. There are 36 mosques in Antwerp, but many are small and overflowing. Antwerp deputy mayor Philip Heylen wants to “break the taboo” and solve the problem by turning churches into mosques. “Churches were built as places of worship and they should not be used as shopping malls,” he says. “We’ve had a positive response from members of the Muslim community, which is open to the idea of converting them.”

Some Muslims have more sense than that. “This is dangerous and will only lead to resentment,” says one. “It is better to keep places of worship strictly separate.” [Bruno Waterfield, Belgium’s Dwindling Churches to be Converted into Mosques, Telegraph (London), June 9, 2008.]

‘Hideously White’

In 2001, BBC Director General Greg Dyke attacked the service for being “hideously white,” and promised to make it more diverse. Trevor Phillips, Britain’s top race man and chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, says British television is still “hideously white where it matters,” and that non-whites feel left out. He says television has “a responsibility to reflect Britain’s diversity,” adding that television makes do with “tokenistic and stereotyped representations” of non-whites, presents “extreme and exaggerated characters,” and fails to “reflect the realities of contemporary ethnic minority culture.”

More specifically, Muslims say plot lines about them focus too much on arranged marriages. Indians complain that they are usually cast as shopkeepers rather than as professionals. Blacks complain that they show up on TV as criminals rather than as doctors and architects. [Nicole Martin, Britain’s Most Popular Television Programmes ‘Too White,’ Says Trevor Phillips, Telegraph (London), July 19, 2008.]

We can look forward to future programs about black architects, Pakistani philanthropists, and white muggers.

Still Blaming Whitey

“Hate crimes” are reportedly on the rise in Los Angeles County, with blacks and Hispanics leading the way as both victims and perpetrators. The Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission notes that in 2007 “bias crimes” were up 28 percent over the previous year to 763, even as crime in general declined. Hispanic-on-black was the largest “hate” category, followed by black-on-Hispanic. Hispanics were also the most frequent perpetrators of “bias crimes” against homosexuals. On a per capita basis, Hispanics were about 20 percent more likely to commit a racial hate crime than whites, and blacks were more than twice as likely.

Many “hate crimes” undoubtedly go unreported. During the first half of 2007, Pasadena police investigated 69 cases in which blacks robbed and beat low-wage immigrants. Police Chief Christopher Vincino thinks race was at least a partial motive in those cases but says it was “impossible to meet the legal criteria required” for official classification.

Authorities agree that “bias crime” reporting is unreliable, and fluctuating numbers do not necessarily mean a real increase or decrease, but experts think there has been a genuine rise in racial violence. Incidents against Muslims, however, are reported to have dropped to seven from 25 in 2006.

Although whites play a diminishing role in “hate crimes,” some people still manage to blame them for the increase. Amanda Susskind, Pacific Southwest regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, traces the violence to “hate” rhetoric on the Internet, driven in part by an estimated 110 white supremacist organizations nationwide. One county official says that some Hispanic gang members who target blacks have been found with neo-Nazi materials. Brian Levin, who directs the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State, San Bernardino, concedes that greater ethnic diversity might have something to do with the rise in “hate crimes,” but also blames what he calls “increasingly inflammatory rhetoric” about illegal immigration.

For unexplained reasons, the report treats “white supremacist” crimes separately, claiming that 17 percent of the 2007 total involved certain “signs,” such as swastikas. The report does not describe “hate” criminals of any other race as “supremacists.” [Teresa Watanabe, Latino-vs.-Black Violence Drives Hate Crimes in L.A. County to 5-Year High, Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2008. Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, 2007 Hate Crime Report, 2008.]

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