American Renaissance, March 2009
Kirsten Brydum, 25, was a leftwing political activist from San Francisco. She rejected capitalism and hoped to replace it with something she called “collective autonomy,” a utopian, barter-based economy. Miss Brydum spent the summer of 2008 traveling the country by rail and bicycle, meeting anarchists, urban hippies, and “anti-racism” activists. She toured “guerrilla gardens” in New York and Philadelphia, and discovered that life was so bleak in Detroit that even lefty community organizers gave up on the city. In August, she was in St. Paul, Minnesota to protest the Republican convention. She eventually went south, and the last entry on her blog read: “Right now I’m rolling into New Orleans. I really don’t know what to expect. An old friend of a new friend offered to pick me up from the station and get me to the house of another friend of a friend. The sun is setting on the bayou-licked lands and I am truly fortunate.”
Miss Brydum took up with a bunch of young white lefties in a “punk-rock group house” in a black neighborhood in the flood-devastated Ninth Ward. They warned her about crime in New Orleans, but she didn’t listen. She spent her second night in the city at a nightclub a few blocks from the group house, and pedaled off on her bicycle at 1:30 a.m. on September 27. The next day, a church group gutting houses discovered her body lying face down on a sidewalk. Police say she had been shot four times in the face in an apparent robbery. They have no suspects. [Steve Rubenstein, S.F. Activist Slain in New Orleans Robbery, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 3, 2008. Richard Fausset, The Last Stop For a Young Utopian, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 31, 2009.]
Black rap singer Akon says he doesn’t know how old he is. In 2006, he claimed he was 25, but now says his birth certificate puts him at 31. He says the discrepancy results from his African upbringing. “In Africa . . . age is not important over there. They don’t care. People only focus on it here (America) and in Europe.” Akon was born in the US but grew up in his parents’ country, Senegal. [Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Akon Claims He Doesn’t Know His True Age, AP, Jan. 21, 2009.]
One of the supposed sins of comic books during their heyday was their failure to portray super heroes or even bit characters as anything but white. No black character appeared in a Superman comic, for example, until 1970, 32 years after the Man of Steel debuted. Until 1971, Superman’s fictional home planet, Krypton, was depicted with only white inhabitants. That year, DC Comics published a Superman issue with a two-page map of Krypton. The only non-whites were on “Vathlo Island, Home of a Highly Advanced Black Race.” Only in the mid-’70s did mixed neighborhoods appear on the planet. DC Comics’ defenders say this wasn’t malice, just a slip-up.
Superman Comic Number 683, which went on sale in early January, sets the record straight. In this story, 100,000 Kryptonians follow Superman to Earth, and many are clearly black or Asian. [Matt Brady, Superman’s Planet is Racially Diverse — Finally, NewsaRama, Jan. 7, 2009.] It is not explained how blacks and Asians evolved on Krypton, just as they did on Earth.
Shortly after taking office as Massachusetts’ first black governor in 2007, Deval Patrick raised eyebrows when he spent $12,000 to redecorate his office, and hired a chief of staff for his wife, at a salary of $72,000. What won him a nickname among New England radio hosts, however, was turning in his official car — a pedestrian Ford Crown Victoria — for a flashy Cadillac DTS. Whenever they made fun of Coupe DeVal (after the Coupe DeVille, an earlier model Cadillac), talk radio and the Boston Herald usually described his car as “tricked out.”
Massachusetts First Lady Diane Patrick complained that “tricked out” was racist code for “black.” “It didn’t have boom boxes, speakers on the outside, but they called it tricked-out,” she said. Boston Herald editor Kevin Convey brushed off the charge. “We’re sorry that the first lady feels the way she does, but the term ‘tricked out’ as a synonym for decorated or adorned is over 100 years old and has no racial connotation whatsoever,” he explained. [Brian Maloney, Obamists Continue to Reinvent Racist Terminology, Radio Equalizer, Jan. 7, 2009.]
During the presidential election on November 4, 2008, white voters in Philadelphia reported that they were being intimidated by club-wielding black thugs claiming to be poll monitors for the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Fox News, CNN, and other broadcasters filmed party members swaggering around a polling station dressed in combat boots and fatigues and waving billy clubs. Surprisingly, the US Justice Department has been persuaded to take this seriously. In January, it announced a voter-intimidation lawsuit against the party and three of its members, Minister King Samir Shabazz, Jerry Jackson, and party chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz. The lawsuit alleges a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the department seeks an injunction preventing the Panthers from “any future deployment of, or display of weapons at the entrance to polling locations.” [Justice Department Seeks Injunction Against New Black Panther Party, Department of Justice Press Release, Jan. 7, 2009.]
Obama No Better
As the NAACP prepared to celebrate its 100th birthday on February 12, its new chairman, 35-year-old Benjamin Todd Jealous, is complaining that “the president being black gives us no advantage.” He says the organization will put the screws to Barack Obama just as vigorously as it would any other president. This is what he expects from Mr. Obama during his first year in office: a “fair” share for blacks of government bailout money and public sector jobs, easy access to credit for blacks despite the role minority lending played in the subprime debacle; more money for anti-crime programs in black communities, and more money for black schools. Mr. Jealous hopes President Obama’s background as a “community organizer” will make him more sympathetic, but notes, “We will be the people at the end of the day who help make him do what he knows he should do.” [NAACP Chief Outlines New ‘Human Rights’ Focus, AP, Feb. 3, 2009.]
South Carolina was the first Southern state to leave the Union, seceding just four days after Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860. The Orders of Secession are engraved in marble in the statehouse lobby and the Confederate flag still flies on Capitol grounds, though no longer over the statehouse dome. Unlike Mississippi and Alabama, however, South Carolina does not recognize Confederate Memorial Day as an official holiday. That will change if state senator Robert Ford has his way. Sen. Ford, who is black, supported making Martin Luther King Day a state holiday and believes the Confederacy deserves recognition too. “Every municipality and every citizen of South Carolina, should be, well, forced to respect these two days and learn what they can about those two particular parts of our history,” he explains, adding, “I think we can bring our people together.” The bill, which won approval from a Senate subcommittee on February 2, would require that counties and municipalities give employees and students the day off or lose state funds.
Lonnie Randolph, president of the South Carolina branch of the NAACP doesn’t want a new holiday. “Here Senator Ford is talking about the importance of race relations by forcing recognition of people who did everything they could to destroy another race — particularly those that look like I do,” he says. “You can’t make dishonor honorable. It’s impossible.” The next step for the bill is a hearing by the State Senate Judiciary Committee. [Jim Davenport, Bill Would Require Paid Confederate Holiday in SC, AP, Feb. 3, 2009.]
When Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg’s campaign to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate fell through because of her obvious shortcomings, New York Governor David Patterson turned to one-term upstate congresswoman Kirsten E. Gillibrand. Mrs. Gillibrand represented a largely rural district that, by New York standards, is conservative. Although she is liberal on abortion and homosexual rights, she won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association and talked tough on immigration, sanctuary cities, and amnesty.
When news of her appointment got out, amnesty and gun control proponents screeched, and demanded she meet with them. Mrs. Gillibrand, who will need to face elections in both 2010 and 2012 if she wants to stay in the Senate, agreed. The meetings seem to have had the desired effect. On February 1, Mrs. Gillibrand said she no longer favors cutting off federal funds to sanctuary cities like New York, and, oh yes, the term “sanctuary city” shouldn’t even be used. On February 2, she said she no longer favored using local police to enforce federal immigration law. She explains her new views by saying “it’s not so much of changing my view as broadening.” The New York Times refused to believe her, complaining that “the new senator’s views are evolving at a speed sufficient to send Charles Darwin spinning back to his notebooks.” [Michael Powell, Political Lessons Taken on the Fly by Gillibrand, New York Times, Feb. 3, 2009.]
On its official website, Paris, Texas (population 26,000) bills itself as the “best small town in Texas,” but not many of the town’s 5,700 black residents agree. They say Paris is a hotbed of “racism,” and has been ever since whites lynched blacks on the Lamar County fairgrounds 100 years ago. Tensions flared last year, when two whites were charged with murdering a black man by dragging him to death behind a pickup truck.
In January, the US Department of Justice dispatched two “conciliation specialists” to Paris to organize a “dialogue” on race for townspeople. According to one account, it was blacks doing the talking with whites listening, “glaring back with arms crossed.” Brenda Cherry, who is black, explained the problem: “I’m here to talk about racism. I don’t see any sense in playing games, pretending it doesn’t exist.” She continued: “When you go in the schools and see mostly black kids sitting in detention — it’s racism. In court, we get high bonds, we get longer sentences. If that’s not racism, what is it?”
Black pastor Jason Rogers said the town is racist because it has a Confederate memorial. “When I take my 5-year-old son up to the courthouse, and he says, ‘Daddy, what’s that?’ the history I’m going to tell him is that those people fought to keep me a slave. It bothers my family that there’s a large Confederate soldier outside the courthouse. I don’t see the difference between a Confederate soldier and a Nazi soldier.”
One of the whites, Lamar County Judge Chuck Superville, had a different view. “I think the black community in this town is suffering a great deal from poverty, broken homes, drugs,” he said. “Because a larger percentage of the black population is caught up in that, in their anguish they are perceiving they are the victims of discrimination. But white people are not the enemy. Poverty, illiteracy, drugs, absentee fathers — that’s the enemy. That’s not racism. That’s the breakdown of a community.”
The Paris meeting ended on a sour note, with people screaming at each other because three police cars showed up outside the meeting hall. Blacks demanded to know who called the police and why. Carmelita Pope Freeman, one of the DOJ’s “conciliation specialists,” tried in vain to restore order, shouting, “We are not going to end on a note like that! I’m getting tired of it!”
The Paris meeting was sponsored by the Justice Department’s little-known Community Relations Service. Modeled on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee, it offers mediation to cities and towns with “troubled racial histories.” It reportedly held a series of meetings in Jena, Louisiana after the phony “Jena 6” incident. [Howard Witt, Paris Texas Race Relations Dialogue Turns into Dispute, Chicago Tribune, Feb. 1, 2009.]
Warm Family Ties
Ali Majlat is a 35-year-old Romanian Gypsy and career criminal. Because Romania is a member of the European Union, Mr. Majlat was free to travel to Britain after he served time in Romania for theft and attempted robbery. Old habits die hard, and he was arrested for burglary and sentenced to six weeks in jail last September. Britain could not deport him because EU regulations permit removal only if a criminal is “highly likely” to commit other crimes, and poses a “sufficiently serious threat.” Mr. Majlat was not considered a high enough risk to justify the paperwork.
Ali Majlat happened to have a brother who had also fallen foul of British justice, and was serving time in Wakefield prison for rape and attempted murder. On October 12, shortly after Ali had finished his six weeks, he tried to visit his brother in Wakefield but was turned away became his papers were not filled out right. He then went to a railroad station where he punched, kicked, robbed, and raped a 21-year-old Englishwoman. When police tracked her cell phone and caught him five days later, he cheerfully confessed, explaining that “when I was at the railway station I thought I should rape this lady in order to get a place to eat and sleep and learn the English language.”
“All he seems concerned about is being in the same jail as his brother,” said an astonished officer. “When he was told that he would be deported after his sentence [this time], he seemed horrified.” [Arthur Martin and Chris Brooke, Romanian Immigrant Raped Girl So He Could Get English Lessons in Same Prison as His Brother, Daily Mail (London), Jan. 21, 2009.]
In early January, the US embassy in Brussels invited all members of the Belgian Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee to watch Barack Obama’s inauguration at the embassy. Among those invited were Senators Karim Van Overmeire and Freddy Van Gaever, both members of the Flemish nationalist party, the Vlaams Belang (VB). On the morning of the 20th, a secretary from the embassy phoned both men, saying that their invitations were “a mistake,” and politely asked them not to come. Sen. Van Gaever, whose daughter lives in the US and whose grandchildren are American citizens, showed up anyway. “Everything went fine,” he says, “but it was not nice of the Embassy to ask us not to come.”
Why did the embassy yank the invitations of the VB members, while allowing senators from the fervently anti-American Green Party to attend? Some believe the Belgian government asked that the invitations be withdrawn because the VB supports independence for Flanders and the dissolution of the Belgian state. Others, such as retired American diplomat Vincent Chiarello, think the decision was made in Washington. “Never in my tours of service have I ever heard of any political party’s representative . . . being ‘disinvited’ after a formal embassy invitation had been proffered; it flies in the face of diplomatic protocol and good judgment,” he writes. “The decision to ban the members of Vlaams Belang from the inaugural viewing had to have come from Washington. No ambassador — at least no perceptive one — wishes to burn his bridges to the legislative body of the nation to which he is accredited.” [Alexandra Colen, Not Welcome at the US Embassy, Brussels Journal, Jan. 26, 2009.]