Posted on December 1, 2009

O Tempora, O Mores! (December, 2009)

American Renaissance, December 2009

Resettling the West

Refugees, like immigrants, have generally settled in large metropolitan areas — so-called gateway cities that are “diverse” and have large social welfare networks. This is important, because once the private refugee agencies that bring them in take their cut of federal resettlement grants, states and local governments are left holding the bag. Recently, the refugee resettlement industry shifted its focus to smaller, whiter cities like Lewiston, Maine. Western cities are also increasingly popular with refugees and their enablers.

There are 10 private resettlement agencies. Most are affiliated with a religious group, and the International Rescue Committee, for example, sends its clients to such places as Boise, Tucson, Seattle, San Jose, Salt Lake City, San Diego, and Phoenix. Once they are settled, refugees are free to go wherever they like, and most go to cities that already have large numbers of their countrymen. This is how so many Somalis ended up in Lewiston. Word spread that Lewiston was a soft touch for welfare benefits.

Something similar is happening in Greeley, Colorado, 50 miles northeast of Denver. Greeley is home to a meatpacking plant that until 2006 employed mostly illegal aliens. The plant closed after a major INS raid in 2006, and was acquired by a Brazilian company, JBS. JBS didn’t want to repeat the problems of its predecessor but didn’t want to pay the wages necessary to attract American workers either. It came up with what is now an increasingly common solution: Somali refugees.

JBS soon found that while the Somalis were better workers than Mexicans, they made trouble of their own. More than 100 walked off the job last year after being forced to work during Ramadan, and the company had to settle a religious discrimination suit. This year, the company set up prayer rooms and made other accommodations for Muslims, and managed to get through Ramadan without incident.

Word spread, and soon plenty more refugees — not just Somalis — began showing up. Other East Africans joined the Somalis, as did Afghans, Burmese, and Southeast Asian Karen refugees like Mamat Kasing. Mr. Kasing hardly speaks English but makes $12.00 an hour on the second shift, enough to care for his wife and three children, a brother-in-law, several sisters, and his parents. “It’s a good life,” he says.

Other refugees may not get Mr. Kasing’s shot at the good life. They keep coming to Greeley, although the JBS plant stopped hiring last spring, and unemployment continues to rise. Local officials had no warning their town would suddenly be transformed by refugees from some of the most backward places on earth. They don’t even know how many have come. “Nobody’s counting them,” says Police Chief Jerry Garner, “but we seem like a virtual UN these days. My concern has been that we not get overwhelmed by the refugees who are coming here. So far, we’re not.”

Colorado has received so many refugees — nearly 40,000 since 1980 — that it now has a full-time refugee coordinator on the state payroll. States and municipalities have no say in refugee policy, which is set by the federal government. They cannot limit numbers, nor can they choose which groups to accept.

Not everyone in Greeley is happy about what is happening. A recent discussion in the local newspaper generated a flood of comments, such as: “Somalis, you don’t like America, go back to Somalia;” “Why do we grant so many people citizenship or even green cards? Anyone who is not blind sees the problems it causes.” Dick Bond, former president of the University of Northern Colorado, replies with the usual bromides. “Every group of newcomers has been discriminated against,” he says, as if Somalis, Afghans, Karens and irredentist Mexicans were just like the Irish and Italians. [Joslyn Green, Refugees Unsettle the West, High Country Times, Oct. 26, 2009.]

Mulatto Tragedy

On Halloween night, Seattle police officers Timothy Brenton and Britt Sweeney sat in their cruiser reviewing notes of a traffic stop. A car pulled up and the driver fired several shots, killing Officer Brenton instantly and wounding Officer Sweeney.

A week later, during a memorial service for Officer Brenton, police got an anonymous tip on where they could find the shooter’s car. Detectives staked out the vehicle and stopped the man who approached it. He ran off and pulled a gun, but it did not go off. He then ran up some stairs, with the detectives after him. When he stopped and pointed the gun at them again, they shot him in the head, critically wounding him. Upon further investigation, police concluded that Christopher Monfort, 41, was not only Officer Brenton’s killer but was probably behind an October incident in which three police cars and an RV used as a mobile precinct were firebombed. Police say a note at the scene contained a threat to kill police officers.

Mr. Monfort is not your average cop-killer. He received a BA from the University of Washington in 2008, with a major in Law, Societies and Justice. He was part of the McNair Scholars Program, sponsored by the university’s Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, to try to prepare non-whites for graduate work.

Mr. Monfort had a special interest in jury nullification. For inspiration, he drew upon the work of Prof. Paul Butler of George Washington University, who says jurors should feel free to disregard a judge’s instructions and acquit a defendant no matter how strong the evidence. Prof. Butler says it is “the moral responsibility of black jurors to emancipate some guilty black outlaws” and that his “goal is the subversion of American criminal justice, at least as it now exists.” While he was attending a community college, Mr. Monfort was elected vice president of the student government. He started a petition drive to bring US troops home for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Monfort’s mother is a white woman from Alaska. Her friend and business partner, Vicki Malone, says, “I know Chris [Monfort] very well and this just doesn’t sound like him.” She says this could be a case of mistaken identity, adding that Mr. Monfort was always careful because he was afraid he could be targeted by police because of his race. She says she knows nothing about Mr. Monfort’s black father: “That was a long time ago.” [Suspect Shot as City Mourns Slain Officer, Seattle Times, Nov. 7, 2009.]

Counting Illegals

Article One, Section Two of the US Constitution directs Congress to conduct a census every 10 years to determine the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives. The seats are allocated among the states according to population. Because the number of House seats is fixed at 435, states with declining or slow-growing populations will lose seats to faster-growing states. Many of those — California, Texas, Florida — contain large numbers of illegal aliens, leading some in Congress to believe they have an unfair advantage in House representation and the allocation of federal funds.

“The system is broken, and areas of the country with high illegal populations should not be rewarded with greater representation in Congress,” says Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT). Sen. Bennett and his Louisiana colleague, David Vitter, recently introduced legislation excluding non-citizens from the apportionment count. The legislation directed the Census Bureau to include a question about citizenship on the 2010 form.

Critics say asking people about citizenship will keep illegal aliens from filling out the form, because they fear they could be deported. This would lead to an undercount, which would deprive states with large numbers of illegals of representation. Arizona, for example, estimates illegals make up about nine percent of its population. Excluding all 500,000 of them from the 2010 census would mean the loss of a House seat as well as a significant portion of the $8.2 billion it gets every year in federal payments. Nevertheless, both of its US senators, John Kyl and John McCain, support including the citizenship question. “Just as we should know how many citizens are here, we should know how many people are here illegally as well,” says Sen. McCain.

Senate Democrats disagree, and on November 5, 58 of them voted to kill the measure. They were joined by two “independents,” socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. All 39 Republicans present voted to include the citizenship question. [Daniel Gonzalez, Citizenship Question Will Not Be Added to 2010 Census, Arizona Republic, Nov. 6, 2009.]

Another First

In July, Rachel Christie, the niece of disgraced, drug-taking Olympic sprinter Linford Christie, became the first black Miss England (her father, Russell Christie, was Jamaican, her mother is Irish). She said she looked forward to representing England in the Miss World pageant, and also as a heptathlete in the 2012 Olympics. Her reign was short. On November 2, Miss Christie was arrested after she punched another beauty queen — Miss Manchester, Sara Beverley Jones — in the face at a Manchester nightclub. Miss Jones is the former girlfriend of Miss Christie’s current boyfriend, UK television personality David McIntosh. After the arrest, Miss England organizers issued the following statement: “Due to the media attention following the allegations against her, Rachel Christie has now decided to withdraw from the Miss World competition and relinquish her Miss England crown.”

The new Miss England, Katrina Hodge, is another first. She is a lance corporal on active duty in the British Army. In 2005, she won an award for bravery while serving with the Royal Anglian Regiment in Iraq for disarming a prisoner in hand-to-hand combat. [Miss England Relinquishes Crown, BBC News, Nov. 6, 2009. Soldier Becomes New Miss England, Telegraph (London), Nov. 6, 2009.]

Blacks in Charge

The Ethics Committee of the House of Representatives is investigating seven members for charges ranging from tax fraud to improperly using corporate money to pay for travel. All seven are black, which means 15 percent of the black delegation is under the microscope. Two of them, Charlie Rangel of New York and Maxine Waters of California, are among the most senior Democrats in the House. Mr. Rangel is a suspected tax cheat, while Miss Waters is being probed because she used her influence with the Treasury Department on behalf of a “minority-owned” bank; her husband was a board member and owned at least $250,000 of the bank’s stock.

An eighth black House member, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, would also be under investigation by the ethics committee if the Justice Department had not asked it to stop. This does not mean Mr. Jackson is innocent; on the contrary, it is likely he is the subject of a criminal investigation for his role in the attempt by former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich to sell Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder, and the FBI doesn’t want Congress interfering.

Not one white lawmaker is now the subject of a full-scale ethics probe, although many have been in the past. Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was admonished by the committee for his dealings with corporate lobbyists, while ex-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) resigned after he was the target in 2006 of an investigation over his dealings with teenage male House pages.

Many members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) say the ethics committee, and the new Office of Congressional Ethics, established by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2008 to act as an independent watchdog, are targeting blacks. “Is there concern whether someone is trying to set up [CBC] members?” asked one. “Yeah, there is.” Another CBC member said black lawmakers are “easy targets” because they have less money than whites, both personally and in their campaign accounts, with which to defend themselves. House rules allow members to use campaign funds to pay legal bills.

The only black senator, Roland Burris of Illinois, is under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee, for his role in the Blagojevich scandal.

[John Bresnahan, Racial Disparity: All Active Ethics Probes Focus on Black Lawmakers, Politico, November, 2009.]