American Renaissance, October 2009
McDonald’s, the fast food giant, recently launched a website called “365Black,” which it explains as follows:
At McDonald’s, we believe that African-American culture and achievement should be celebrated 365 days a year — not just during Black History Month. That’s the idea behind 365Black.com. It’s a place where you can learn more about education, employment, career advancement and entrepreneurship opportunities, and meet real people whose lives have been touched by McDonald’s.
The message continues: “Like the unique African Baobab tree, which nourishes its community with leaves and fruit, McDonald’s has branched out to the African-American community nourishing it with valuable programs and opportunities.” [What is McDonald’s 365Black? 365Black.com.]
So far, there is very little content at the site, which appears mainly to be designed to encourage blacks to apply for jobs at McDonald’s.
According to a 2006 report from the US Office of Personnel Management, blacks are heavily overrepresented in the workforces of all but one of the 17 federal executive departments. The departments with the highest percentages of blacks are Housing and Urban Development (37.5 percent), Education (36.9 percent), State (32.8), Veterans Affairs (24.5 percent), Treasury (24.1) and Labor (23.2). The only department in which blacks are underrepresented is the Department of the Interior, where they make up just 5.9 percent of the workforce. (Interior appears to be popular with American Indians, who, at 12.1 percent of the workforce, are overrepresented by 1,000 percent.)
Blacks are likewise overrepresented in all 23 federal independent agencies — sometimes dramatically so. For example, 81.7 percent of the people who work for the Court Services and Offender Supervision (CSOS) agency are black. The agency’s “affirmative action target” — the minimum percentage of its workforce expected to be black, based on agency-specific occupations — is just nine percent, which means blacks are overrepresented at CSOS by an astonishing 807.8 percent. The agencies with the next-highest percentage of black employees are the Government Printing Office (56 percent), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (43.1 percent), the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (41.2 percent), and the Smithsonian Institution (39.9 percent). The independent federal agency with the least black workforce is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), at 11.8 percent. Based on the number of blacks said to be qualified for NASA work, they should be only 7.9 percent of the agency, however, so they are still overrepresented by nearly 50 percent. [Blacks in the Federal Work Force, 2007 Edition: US Office of Personnel Management Report, posted at Adversity.net, July 23, 2007.]
It is not surprising to learn that more than 40 percent of the employees at EEOC are black, but who would have thought that nearly a third of the people at the State Department are black? It must because of their extensive knowledge of history, foreign policy, and exotic languages.
Joys of Diversity
New York City police are on the lookout for at least four men responsible for a series of assaults in the Bronx neighborhood of Tremont. On August 30, the gang attacked and beat two Mexican men, as they shouted anti-Mexican slurs. Early the next morning, the gang ambushed and stabbed a 53-year-old Mexican man, and a day later they jumped another lone Mexican. Police say these are hate crimes, but who’s committing them? The suspects, like the victims, are Hispanics — Dominicans, who don’t like Mexicans on their turf. [John Lauinger, Series of Bias Crimes in Bronx, New York Daily News, Sept. 2, 2009.]
History Too White
Like most state capitols, the statehouse in Raleigh, North Carolina, is full of statues, busts, and plaques honoring the people who contributed to the state’s history. There are 14 statues on the grounds, and as many in the building. Only one, the tribute to Vietnam War soldiers, includes non-whites: a black soldier and a Lumbee Indian. This doesn’t sit well with diversity boosters such as Eddie Davis, former head of the North Carolina teacher’s union. He calls the all-white statues “segregated history in the 21st century.” Mr. Davis, who is black, wants the state Historical Commission to put a “Hall of Inclusion” on the second floor of the Capitol, with plaques recognizing contributions by non-whites.
Unfortunately for Mr. Davis, North Carolina imposed a moratorium on new statues and monuments at the capitol in the 1980s, in order to preserve the aesthetics of the building and grounds. “To convert the state Capitol to a showcase for one cause, however worthy, would open it up as a showcase for other causes,” says John Sanders, a former professor at the University of North Carolina’s School of Government and an expert on the capitol. “Its significance as a local historic landmark would be compromised.” Bill Ferris, also a UNC history professor, thinks the Historical Commission should rewrite the rules. “We’re changing as a society, and down the road there will be monuments to Hispanic leaders,” he says. [Mark Johnson, A Call for Diversity at the Capitol, News & Observer (Raleigh), Aug. 31, 2009.]
She Prefers White Guys
The following published exchange took place recently between a woman in Sacramento and nationally-syndicated advice columnist Carolyn Hax:
Some friends of mine had been talking up this guy they thought would be perfect for me, so I finally went on a blind date with him. It turns out he’s black, and while I am not racist and have no problem with interracial dating in general, it’s not for me. I just prefer to date white guys.
I told my friends why I wouldn’t be seeing him again, and they were, shockingly, horrified. Did I miss something here? I know interracial dating is more prevalent now than it used to be, but I didn’t realize it was so common that you get in trouble if you don’t want to do it. . . . I’m hoping you’ll tell me I’m right, that no one should have to date anyone they don’t want to.
You’re right — no one should have to date anyone s/he doesn’t want to. And your friends are right, too — they shouldn’t have to pretend they’re not horrified by something they find morally repugnant. . . .
More people date interracially because more people realize that the only alternative to being racist is to judge each person as a person . . .
We’re having this conversation because you didn’t find his race attractive. That’s what racism is.
[Carolyn Hax, Racist? She Prefers Dating White Guys, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Aug. 30, 2009.]
Can’t Go Back
Atlanta became the first major Southern city to elect a black mayor back in 1973, when it chose Maynard Jackson over white incumbent Sam Massell, and no white has come close to the mayor’s office ever since. But thanks to recent demographic changes — more blacks moving to the suburbs for better schools and more whites and Hispanics moving to the city to avoid long commutes — that might change. Unpopular incumbent Shirley Franklin cannot run for a third term, and has no obvious heir apparent, leaving the field open. The leading contenders among blacks are city council president Lisa Borders and state senator Kasim Reed, but the leader in the polls is city councilman Mary Norwood, who is white. This annoys some blacks.
In late August, the Black Leadership Forum circulated a memo urging blacks to unite behind Miss Borders, whom it believes has the best chance of winning support from white business leaders and defeating Miss Norwood. “For the last 25 years Atlanta has represented the breakthrough for black political empowerment in the South,” the memo reads. “In order to defeat a Norwood (white) mayoral candidacy we have to get out now and work in a manner to defeat her without a runoff, and the key is a significant Black turnout.”
All the leading candidates denounced the memo. Miss Borders said race should not be a factor in the election. Mr. Reed called the memo “racially charged and vitriolic.” Miss Norwood says her candidacy is about issues, adding, “Race does not play a role.”
Aaron Turpeau, a black businessman who worked for former mayors Jackson and Andrew Young, is a member of the Black Leadership Forum and defends the memo. “You shouldn’t vote solely on having a black candidate,” he says. “You have to deal with the credentials and skill set first. After that, it’s a feeling of pride that we’ve had for 35 years in this town.” [Valerie Bauerlein, Race Enters Atlanta Mayoral Vote, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 28, 2009.]
Detroit has no major national grocery chains, and efforts to start full-service local stores have gone bust after a year or two. A 2007 study found that 92 percent of food stores in Detroit are what are called fringe providers: liquor stores, gas stations, party stores, dollar stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores. Only eight percent sell traditional groceries.
Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm wants residents to get fresh fruits and vegetables, so she spent $75,000 of taxpayer money on a pilot program called MI (pronounced “my”) Neighborhood Food Movers. The idea is to deliver produce to open-air markets and sell it from the backs of trucks. If there is enough demand, there will be urban gardens, more delivery services, and cooking classes. Public subsidies will help keep prices cheap, and the trucks will accept food stamps and honor the Michigan welfare card. [Kimberly Hayes Taylor, State Seeds Fresh Food Delivery in Detroit, Detroit News, Aug. 22, 2009.]
Left unanswered — because no one ever seems to raise it — is the question of why there are no grocery stores in Detroit to begin with.
Fighting Internet Racism
John Ismael Henry of Soso, Mississippi, invented the vibrating toilet seat, which landed him a spot on the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno. Not all people appreciate Mr. Henry’s contribution to science, and he has become the butt of jokes in Internet discussion groups. Because Mr. Henry is black, some of the jokes have been racial, and he is now suing America Online (AOL) and Google, accusing them of perpetuating Internet “racism,” by allowing posters to call him a “nigger.”
“Needless to say that my invention garnered a lot of attention,” he explains. “I was completely humiliated and horrified to discover that these two great bastions of business prowess would allow (these insulting) websites . . . to thrive on their search engines.” He says he has suffered “enormous mental harm, emotional suffering, and sleepless nights.” He claims to believe in freedom of speech but says search engines should “show some responsibility to what’s happening.” In July, both AOL and Google filed motions to dismiss, but a judge has yet to rule.
In case the lawsuit doesn’t work, Mr. Henry is writing a book that will help eliminate racism: Diversity and Racism: The Challenge of Mankind. “All Americans have been affected by racism and its horrible practices,” he says, and “many need counseling to some degree.” [Eloria Newell James, Local Inventor Files Lawsuit Against ‘Racist’ AOL, Google, Leader-Call (Laurel, Miss.), Aug. 20, 2009.]
Shut Up and Sing
Aging pop star Madonna took a break during a recent concert in Bucharest to lecture the audience about the allegedly poor treatment of gypsies in Eastern Europe. She said it made her “sad” and that no one should suffer discrimination. The audience booed her until she started singing again. Madonna has included gypsy musicians and dancers as part of her Eastern European tour. [Madonna Booed in Bucharest for Criticizing Discrimination Against Roma, or Gypsies, AP, Aug. 27, 2009.]
Obama Baby Bust
Giddy leftist commentators, surveying the raucous crowds gathered in Chicago’s Grant Park to welcome Barack Obama’s electoral victory last November, predicted they would go home and celebrate in a way that would produce a surge in births nine months later — what they called the Obama baby boom. Forty weeks later, a survey of Chicago-area maternity wards reveals no uptick. “Research evidence gives scant support for a one-day or one-month fertility ‘spike’ due to the election,” says Donald Bogue, a University of Chicago demographer and sociologist. “Births are now predominantly planned and not very responsive to good news.”
Although there was no baby boom, Mr. Obama will be leaving a permanent mark on some members of the next generation. The Social Security Administration says the name “Barack” has jumped more than 10,000 spots on the list of most popular baby names — a record — from No. 12,535 in 2007 to No. 2,409 in 2008. It predicts the name will do even better this year, breaking into the top 1,000. [Obama Baby Boom: Predicted Surge in Births Goes Bust, Chicago Tribune, Aug. 11, 2009.]
Rape in Norway
During the past three years, Oslo police have investigated 41 cases of aggravated sexual assault. All were committed by non-white immigrants to Norway, mostly Kurds and Africans. They say the rapes all have one thing in common — the use of “gross violence” — and are urging that more effort be put into promoting “preventative measures” among immigrant men. [Immigrants behind Most Cases of Aggravated Sexual Assault, Norway Post, Aug. 28, 2009.] Not letting them in would be effective.
Earlier this summer the British National Party (BNP) launched a campaign to keep a mosque out of Loughton, a town just north of London. The usual crowd accused the party of stirring up racial hatred, a charge given credence when a 36-year-old Muslim activist, Noor Ramjanally, claimed Muslim-haters kidnapped him.
Mr. Ramjanally told police two men abducted him, stuffed him into the trunk of a car, and drove him more than 20 miles to a wooded area of Essex. He said that when they said, “Let’s do it here,” he thought they were going to kill him. Instead, they warned him to keep his Islamic group out of their neighborhood, and dumped him in the woods. While he didn’t accuse the men of being BNP members, he pointed the finger at the party, saying, “It is only the BNP who want my Islamic group out of Loughton.” Mr. Ramjanally also claimed someone had firebombed his home several weeks earlier.
His story became a cause célèbre among Muslims, and was whooped up with much sympathy in the national press, but police were skeptical. On September 3, they arrested him and charged him with “perverting the course of justice” for making the whole thing up. [Muslim Community Leader Arrested for ‘Making Up BNP Story,’ Daily Mail (London), Sept. 3, 2009.]
Will There Be More?
Brandon Huntley, a 31-year-old white South African says blacks have attacked him on seven occasions, once stabbing him while calling him a “settler” and “white dog.” Mr. Huntley went to Canada, and in April 2008, he filed for asylum, claiming he faced persecution from blacks. In late August, immigration judge William Davis ruled that Mr. Huntley would indeed face persecution from “African South Africans,” and granted asylum. Astonishingly, the judge also found that South Africa’s racial preferences policies and so-called black economic empowerment were legitimate grounds for claiming discrimination. “These legislated policies, even though there is an explanation for them, are discriminatory,” he wrote.
Ronnie Mamoepa, a spokesman for South Africa’s Home Affairs department, says the government was “disgusted” by the ruling and called Mr. Huntley’s claims “preposterous and laughable.” The African National Congress pronounced the ruling “racist” and “alarmist.” Ordinary South Africans were split. A commenter on one newspaper website wrote, “I will never set my foot in Canada. It’s officially the most racist country in the world,” and another said, “What a load of BS. Are the Canadians truly this gullible?” Others predicted the ruling would “open the flood gates” for whites. Said one, “The racism has increased tremendously and whites are not wanted or tolerated here.”
The Canadian government has not commented officially on the ruling, noting that the Immigration Review Board is an independent agency. However, the federal government may appeal the decision to the Federal Court of Canada. [Lauren Cohen, White Flees ‘SA Oppression,’ Times (Johannesburg), Sept. 1, 2009. Geoffrey York, South African’s Refugee Case Causes Backlash Against ‘Racist’ Canada, Globe and Mail (Toronto), Sept. 2, 2009.]
For nearly 700 years, Indian families hoping for good health for their children have been gathering at the Baba Umer Durga Muslim shrine in western India, about 280 miles south of Bombay. They take toddlers onto the rooftop of the mosque, shake them, and then drop them over the side into bed sheets held by parents and other believers. The 50-foot fall is supposed to cleanse children of ill health. In rural India, where there are high rates of infant mortality, such rituals are common.
This year’s ceremony was covered by television stations that broadcast images of screaming infants being shaken and dropped. Local officials say there were no reports of injuries, but Indian city-dwellers are outraged. They say the practice is “a reflection of the lack of access to health services, that forces people to behave in this irrational manner.” [Indian Activists Blast Ritual of Dropping Babies Off Mosque Roof, AP, July 31, 2009.]