O Tempora, O Mores! (January, 2009)

American Renaissance, January, 2009

Hail to the Chief

It used to be bad form to name a school or public building after a living person. Not now; many politicians have government buildings and highways that bear their names. Usually, presidents have had to wait at least until their terms were over before having things named for them, but not Barack Obama. One Long Island school has already changed its name to Barack Obama Elementary — before Mr. Obama has even been sworn in. The former Ludlum Elementary School in Hempstead, New York, is nearly all black and Hispanic, with many children from Africa and the Caribbean. During the campaign, students held a mock presidential debate and election, and asked the district superintendent if they could change the school’s name if Mr. Obama won. On November 20, just two weeks after the election, the change was official, and a photo of Mr. Obama now hangs in the school office. “For me, we made history,” says Teonte Jackson, 11, a fifth-grader who played Mr. Obama in the debate. “I feel really proud to have an African-American president. I don’t think it’s a racial thing. I think he will bring everybody together.”

Ludlum is only the first school to be named for Mr. Obama. Clear Stream Avenue School in Valley Stream, New York, plans to take Mr. Obama’s name, as does a school in Portland, Oregon. The Tacoma, Washington, school board changed its naming policy to permit naming a school after a president who has not yet served. In heavily-black Opa-locka, Florida, the city council is considering naming a street after Mr. Obama, and the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda says the country will have its highest mountain, Boggy Peak, renamed Mount Obama. [Christina Hernandez, Long Island School Renamed for Barack Obama, Newsday, Nov. 21, 2008. School Changes Name to Barack Obama Elementary, McClatchey News Service, Nov. 22, 2008. Tacoma School May be Named for Obama, AP, Nov. 25, 2008.]

Silver Lining

According to the National Statistics and Geography Institute in Mexico City, the number of Mexicans heading north has dropped by 42 percent over the last two years, from 1.2 million in 2006 to 814,000. The study does not differentiate between legal and illegal immigration and claims that by the end of 2007, more Mexicans were going home than were leaving the country.

The decline is due to hard times in the United States and stepped up enforcement. “There is no longer an American dream, at least for the moment with the economic situation,” says Victor Clark, director of the Tijuana-based Binational Center for Human Rights. “In small northern towns, the news is that there is no work for Mexicans in the United States.” He also adds that “news of mass raids snowballs through towns that send a lot of migrants.” The Border Patrol also says fewer illegals are coming in, and that the number of apprehensions on the border has dropped 39 percent since 2005.

Fewer Mexicans means fewer remittances, which are Mexico’s second largest source of foreign exchange after oil. The Mexican central bank says monthly remittances fell 12 percent to $1.9 billion in August, the biggest drop since record-keeping began 12 years ago. [Mexican Immigration to US Cut Nearly in Half, AP, Nov. 20, 2008.]

Bias Against Tests

One hundred and forty-four police officers in Chesapeake, Virginia, took exams in October to qualify for promotion to lieutenant and sergeant. Thirty-two blacks and women took the tests but none scored high enough for promotion. The 30 officers who did were are all white men. The city said it would throw out the test results, but backed off after lawyers for two police organizations threatened to sue. Instead, the city hired a consultant to review the tests for fairness. Michael Imprevento, a lawyer with the Fraternal Order of Police, says that is not necessary. “This test involved knowledge of policies and procedures necessary to become a supervisor,” he says. “The same policies and procedures are available for all to review as police officers. It is my view that any invalidation of these results would be based strictly on race.”

Last year, Chesapeake settled a lawsuit brought by the US Department of Justice, which accused it of using a math test that supposedly discriminated against blacks and Hispanics. [Kristin Davis, Police Groups Say They’ll Sue if the City Tosses Out Tests, Virginian-Pilot (Hampton Roads), Oct. 23, 2008.]

Ideology vs. Reality

One of the first things Lynne Johnson did when she became police chief of tony, mostly-white Palo Alto, California, in 2003 was to start a community outreach program to reassure blacks that her officers never profile by race. She also had video cameras installed in all patrol cars after an incident in which two white officers were prosecuted for beating a black driver.

There has been a rash of street robberies by blacks in Palo Alto, and in October, Chief Johnson explained at a public forum how the department planned to solve those crimes. In remarks that were recorded, she said she had told her officers that if they were in an area where there had been a robbery, “and they see an African American, you know in a congenial way we want to find out who they are.” She also told officers to be on the lookout for blacks wearing do-rags because one of the robbers wore one.

The screeching started immediately. California state representative Anna Eshoo said Chief Johnson had “demonstrated a profound lack of judgment and leadership.” Palo Alto Mayor Larry Klein said her remarks were “unacceptable, unconstitutional and un-American.” Jeff Moore, president of the San Jose-Silicon Valley branch of the NAACP, said, “This whole thing has just exposed something we’ve been saying has been happening for years, and her comments were hurtful and frightening. Racial profiling happens to young blacks and Latinos all day long, all over Northern California . . .”

The chief apologized and claimed she was misunderstood. City manager James Keene suggested she might keep her job if she groveled: “The next steps for her are to work at repairing the damage done by the misstatements. She needs to focus on reclaiming the confidence of the community.” Chief Johnson duly prostrated herself before the congregation of the black Jerusalem Baptist Church but it was not enough. On November 20, she announced her resignation, after five years on the job and 34 years on the force. Her critics aren’t satisfied. “The department still has a lot of work to do,” says East Palo Alto Mayor Patricia Foster. “We need to see the practice of racial profiling by police stopped, please.” [Kevin Fagan, Police Chief Denies Racial Profiling, Calls it ‘Immoral,’ San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 1, 2008. Jessie Mangaliman, Palo Alto Police Chief Retires after Firestorm on Racial Profiling Remarks, Mercury News (San Jose), Nov. 20, 2008.]

The Facts Don’t Change

CQ Press used to publish lists of the “safest” and “most dangerous” cities in America but stopped because cities didn’t like being called “dangerous.” Now it publishes a list of cities with highest and lowest crime rates. After adding up cases of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft, CQ Press figured out the most crime-ridden city: New Orleans, with 19,000 of the six crimes (including 209 murders) for a population of 250,000. It was followed by Camden, New Jersey; Detroit; St. Louis; and Oakland, California. Needless to say, CQ Press refrained from pointing out what all these places have in common.

The least dangerous cities with populations over 75,000 are Ramapo, New York (about 40 miles northwest of New York City) — with only 688 crimes and no reported killings in a population of about 113,000 — followed by Mission Viejo, California (in Orange County); O’Fallon, Missouri (outside St. Louis); Newton, Massachusetts (west of Boston); and Brick Township on the New Jersey coast. [New Orleans Ranks Highest in Crime, Survey Finds, CNN, Nov. 24, 2008.]

Standing Firm

Last summer, ten of California’s largest foundations agreed to hand over millions of dollars to so-called “minority-led” non-profits. This was the price they paid to stop state legislation that would have required them to disclose the racial composition of their boards, staffs and grant recipients. This shakedown was so successful that the group behind it, the Greenlining Institute, is looking outside the state. In October, the institute invited representatives from America’s top 50 foundations to a meeting at its offices in Berkeley to discuss “diversity in philanthropy.” It hoped to find out such things as how much of the foundations’ money was in the hands of minority-owned money managers. Not one foundation showed up.

Undeterred, Greenlining now has its sights on Pennsylvania. It lined up Pennsylvania State Rep. Jake Wheatley, a black Democrat from Pittsburgh, as its front man to send letters to eight Pennsylvania foundations, including Heinz Endowments and the William Penn Foundation. “I believe that it is important to start conversations early on what philanthropy is doing to empower minority communities,” he wrote, and went on to ask for “demographic” — i.e., racial — information on grant recipients. Not one gave in. “We left blank the column they were really looking for,” says Brent Thompson of the William Penn Foundation, “and we have no plans to keep that data going forward.” [The Latest Charity Shakedown, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 5, 2008.]

The Machine was Racist

On April 9, Connecticut state police arrested a black Norwalk resident, Tyrone Brown, for drunk driving. A breath analysis test determined that Mr. Brown had a blood alcohol level of 0.188 percent, well over the state’s limit of 0.08. In November, Mr. Brown’s lawyer, James O. Ruane, filed a motion to suppress the breathalyzer results, claiming that the device used, the Intoxilyzer 5000, discriminates against blacks. Mr. Ruane claims blacks have 3 percent less lung capacity than whites, and that research from Dr. Michael Hlastala, a lung physiologist at the University of Washington, shows that the Intoxilyzer 5000 does not accurately test the blood-alcohol levels of black men. “They are KKK in a box,” he says. “We really have some racist machines here.” [Daniel Tepper, Lawyer: Alcohol Testing Device is Racist, Connecticut Post, Nov. 20, 2008.]

Diversity Rules

On November 4, 58 percent of Nebraska voters approved a measure to end racial preferences in public employment, education, and contracting, in yet another victory for black businessman Ward Connerly’s Civil Rights Initiative.

In the run up to the vote, Linda Chavez’s Center for Equal Opportunity released a study of discrimination against whites at the University of Nebraska Law School. It found the school rejected 389 white applicants to the entering classes of 2006 and 2007 even though they had LSATs and undergraduate GPAs higher than those of the average black. Over all, blacks were an astonishing 442 times more likely than whites to be admitted with the same qualifications. “[T]he extremely heavy weight given to race by the University of Nebraska College of Law is off the charts,” says Miss Chavez.

Nebraska Law School Dean Steven Willborn says there is nothing wrong with admitting non-white students if they have lower test scores than whites, because they help add “diverse opinions to classroom discussions.” [Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative Passes Overwhelmingly, Center for Equal Opportunity, Nov. 10, 2008. Nebraska Law School Dean Says OK to Admit Minorities with Lower Test Scores, Fox News, Oct. 9, 2008.]

Euro-Cowardice

European lefties continue to fight nationalists in their usual craven way by charging them with “racism” when they cannot defeat them at the ballot box. The current number-one target is Frank Vanhecke, former president of the Vlaams Belang (VB) and member of the European Parliament. In 2005, the local VB publication in the Flemish town of Sint-Niklaas published a 130-word article claiming that Muslims were vandalizing town graves and that Islam was “a culture that has no respect for the dead or for the symbols of a different faith.” The vandals were later identified as Belgians, and the VB publication immediately issued a correction, but the authorities still pronounced the article “racist.” Mr. Vanhecke did not write the article, nor did he see it before it was published, but the Socialist mayor of Sint-Niklass brought charges of “racism” against him because he was then head of the party.

Belgian authorities could not prosecute Mr. Vanhecke immediately because of his immunity as a member of the European Parliament. The Belgian justice minister therefore lobbied the Euro-parliament to strip him of immunity, which it did in an overwhelming vote on November 18. Mr. Vanhecke can now be tried, and faces up to two years in prison if found guilty of “racism.” He could also be stripped of civil rights for five years, during which time he would be barred from elective office. This would be a great victory for the Belgian establishment; Mr. Vanhecke was to be the lead candidate on the VB list for Euro-parliament elections in June, in which nationalist parties across the continent are expected to make solid gains.

Mr. Vanhecke can fight the charges on several grounds. Bruno Valkeniers, current head of the party, points out that according to the law, if the author of an offending text is known he must be prosecuted before charges can be filed against a supervisor. There is no secret about who wrote the article, and Mr. Valkeniers also notes that Belgian prosecutors have admitted that if the attempt to lift Mr. Vanhecke’s immunity had failed they would not have charged the author. Their motives are openly political. [Baron Bodissey, Open Season on Frank Vanhecke, Gates of Vienna blog, Nov. 19, 2008. Racisme: Immunité Parlementaire Levée Pour Frank Vanhecke, Nov. 18, actu24.be]

Austria is putting a dissident politician through the same tyrannical procedure. Suzanne Winter represents the Austrian Freedom Party — one of Europe’s most dynamic nationalist parties — in parliament (see “What Happened in Austria” in the previous issue). During municipal elections in Graz last January, she said that Islam was “a totalitarian system of domination that should be cast back to its birthplace on the other side of the Mediterranean,” that Mohammed had written the Koran during a series of “epileptic fits,” and that by today’s standards he was a child molester because he married a six-year-old. The president of the Islamic Communities of Austria, Anas Schakfeh, warned that Miss Winter had stirred up a “wrathful mood” among Muslims and that he could not rule out violence. Indeed, Miss Winter had to hire bodyguards when a threatening video appeared on YouTube.

Miss Winter, who won her city council election, only grew in popularity, and she won a seat in the Austrian parliament in September. However, on November 26, under pressure from prosecutors, her fellow members voted to lift immunity so she could be charged with incitement, degradation of religious symbols, and religious agitation. Miss Winter met the vote with her head held high. She welcomed a trial, she said, because “only through the considerations of an independent court can clarification be obtained on this issue.” She denounced the charges against her as “political hatred by confused, self-proclaimed thought-guards,” and said that such a prosecution could take place only under a “dictatorship of conscience.” She faces up to two year in prison if convicted. [Baron Bodissey, Susanne Winter Loses Her Parliamentary Immunity, Gates of Vienna blog, November 27, 2008. Austrian Politician Faces Jail for Remarks About Islam, MilitantIslamMonitor.org, January 15, 2008.]

Wale of Tears

The Valley Race Equality Council (Valrec) in Wales wants to protect the public from words it may find offensive. Forbidden terms include “half-caste,” “Negro” and “British.” Why British? “The idea of ‘British’ implies a false sense of unity — many Scots, Welsh, and Irish resist being called British and the land denoted by the term contains a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions,” say Valrec’s guidelines. The city council in Caerphilly, South Wales, has accepted the guidelines and no longer uses “British.” Tory MP David Davies accuses Valrec of propagating “narrow, nationalistic ideas,” adding, “There is absolutely nothing offensive about describing people as British. This is political correctness gone mad.” [Neil Sears, Council Ranks Term ‘British’ with ‘Negroes’ and Bans It in Case It Upsets Scots, Welsh and Minorities, Daily Mail (London), Nov. 11, 2008.]

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