Posted on May 1, 2010

O Tempora, O Mores! (May 2010)

American Renaissance, May 2010

All in the Family

Last October, 15-year-old Tremaine Davis lost a fight with another “youth” at the Considine Little Rock Family Center (yes, that is its name) in Detroit. His mother, 35-year-old Tarranisha Davis, who was at a gas station across the street, told him he should get even, and gave him a pistol she kept in her car. Tremaine went back into the center and fired several shots in the direction of the boy, but missed. Instead, he hit 19-year-old Dmitri Jackson in the head, killing him. Both mother and son were convicted of second degree murder.

At the sentencing in March, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Ryan gave Tremaine 10-25 years in prison, and his mother 22½ to 40, plus an additional two years for using a firearm while committing a felony. Judge Ryan said he gave her a stiffer sentence because there would have been no shooting without her. Tarranisha Davis took exception to this, started screaming, and attacked a sheriff’s deputy. As police rushed into the courtroom to subdue her, several of Miss Davis’s family members jumped over the railing to attack the police.

It took three officers to cuff Miss Davis. By the time order was restored, two officers had minor injuries and four more of Miss Davis’s relatives were under arrest. Judge Ryan says there have been outbursts in his courtroom before, “but absolutely nothing like this.” “Basically a riot erupted,” he says. [Joe Swickard, Brawl Erupts at Sentencing of Mom Who Gave Gun to Son, Detroit Free Press, March 11, 2010. Robert Brignall, Hot Headed Tarranisha Davis Starts Brawl During Sentencing for Killing of Dmitri Jackson, Detroit Examiner, March 12, 2010.]

Code Words

At a March meeting about disruptive students at the Pinellas County, Florida, school board, Chairman Janet Clark, who is white, said, “So much time is taken up with addressing hoodlums, with kids who don’t want to be in school,” adding, “We are talking about a small number of children.” Most of the students in Pinellas County schools are white, but most of the trouble-makers are black, and everyone knows it. Black school board member Mary Brown says “hoodlum” was a code word for “black,” and wants an apology. Miss Clark refuses, saying she said nothing about race.

Ray Tampa, president of the St. Petersburg branch of the NAACP, doesn’t think saying “hoodlum” is racist, but he says Miss Clark’s refusal to apologize is “disgusting.” The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement wants Miss Clark to resign. In March it demonstrated outside Johns Hopkins Middle School (where police have arrested 84 students so far this year) chanting, “Janet Clark! Must Go!” “School board! Must go!” and “First they fail black children! Then they jail black children!”

A St. Petersburg newspaper online poll found that only 72 of 2,676 respondents thought using the word hoodlum was “racist.” [Ron Matus and Jamal Thalji, Pinellas School Board Chairwoman Under Fire for Calling Disruptive Students ‘Hoodlums,’ St. Petersburg Times, March 11, 2010. Reader Poll: Was ‘Hoodlums’ Too Harsh? St. Petersburg Times, March 10, 2010.]

Year of Mexico

As more Mexicans move to the US, many formerly American communities feel compelled to celebrate their holidays. This is most obvious in the case of Cinco de Mayo, a minor Mexican holiday that now ranks with St. Patrick’s Day in many American cities. 2010 is the year Mexico celebrates the bicentennial of its independence from Spain, and also the centennial of the Mexican Revolution. These events may be important to Mexicans but they are of little consequence to Americans.

More Mexicans — nearly 600,000 — live in Chicago than in any other US city besides Los Angeles, and Chicago and Mexico City have been sister cities since 1991. The city was over 25 percent Hispanic at the time of the 2000 census, and the figure is sure to be higher now.

At a reception in March, Mayor Richard M. Daley proclaimed 2010 the “Year of Mexico” in Chicago. Among the 70 events scheduled for the year will be a parade on September 11, followed on September 15 by the El Grito de Independencia (Mexican Independence Day) Celebration in Millennium Park. Mayor Daley urges all Chicagoans to “take part in the numerous cultural, civic and academic events planned for this year.” [Mayor Daley Proclaims 2010 the Year of Mexico in Chicago, Press Release, Mayor’s Press Office, March 10, 2010.]

‘Turn Them Into KFC’

Many black Zimbabweans fleeing the wreckage of their country travel illegally to South Africa where they hope to find work. Black South Africans don’t like that. Late last year, they attacked a Zimbabwean migrant camp near the town of De Doorns, only to be scolded by the local media as “xenophobic.” That word had no effect.

“We will braai (roast) them and turn them into KFC if they come back. There’s no place for them here,” says Pastor Frans Henke. “They are a different nation with different cultures. I’m not angry with them, but they must go back to their own country.” “It’s got nothing to do with xenophobia. It’s all about work and resources,” says Moses Masimini, a labor broker who lives in the area. “There’s no space here for them. They were never part of this community, and would never stand with us.” Other locals call the Zimbabweans dirty, accuse them of practicing witchcraft, and say they undercut wages. [Esther Lewis, ‘If They Return, We’ll Braai Them,’ Argus (Cape Town), Jan. 18, 2010.]

Censorship Down Under

Like Canada and Britain, Australia has a law banning “hate speech.” Adopted in 1975, the Federal Racial Discrimination Act makes it “unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person, or of some or all of the people in the group.” The Act doesn’t have enough teeth for some critics — for example, complaints go through the Human Rights Commission rather than straight to criminal courts — who worry that “cyber racism” is on the rise. Their evidence? A “proliferation” of “racist” social networking Internet groups such as SPEAK ENGLISH OR PISS OFF!!! (SEOPO), which has nearly 50,000 members, “F*** Off We’re Full” and “Mate, Speak English, You’re in Australia Now.”

Internet “hate” accounts for 18 percent of the complaints filed before the Commission, and authorities want more power to stop it. Australian attorney general Robert McClelland wants greater commission authority to order Internet service providers to remove “racist” content, and wants to change the Racial Discrimination Act to make it easier to apply criminal sanctions. [Josh Gordon, Law to Take On Internet Racism, The Age (Melbourne), Feb. 21, 2010.]

Delightfully Displaced

When the Denistone East Methodist Church was established 57 years ago in Denistone, New South Wales, northwest of Sydney, Australia, it was all white. Thanks to immigration since the end of the “White Australia” policy, Denistone has been transformed by Koreans, and in March, the church held its last service in English. Reverend Les Pearson says the community has been “delightfully Asianized” and is pleased that Koreans are taking over. “At a time when church-going for Caucasian people seems to be diminishing, it is a healthy thing for our church to become more ethnic,” he says. “We live in a land enriched by migrants.”

Ron Hoffmann, a member for 49 years, longs for the church the way it was. “I will always remember its heyday where the Sunday school had 300 children, our youth group had 70 teenagers and at Christmas you couldn’t fit everybody into this hall.” Pastor Jim Ho Cho says now that the English-speakers are out of the way, he can hold two morning services on Sunday as well as evening services during the week. [Vikki Campion, Last Rites for English at Sydney Church, Daily Telegraph (Sydney), March 14, 2010.]

Not So Pleasant Land

A recent editorial in the London Telegraph is about what it is like to be a white, working-class man in modern Britain. The editorial takes a swipe at John Denham, a member of the British cabinet who serves as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The editorial gets some things right, some wrong:

“[Mr. Denham’s title] signifies the multiculturalist patchwork the country has become. The word ‘communities’ is often used as a euphemistic shorthand for ethnic minorities, on whose advancement the Government has concentrated in recent years. So successfully has it done so, said Mr. Denham, that ‘being black or Asian no longer means being automatically disadvantaged.’ He effectively declared the war on racism over, and claimed it was Labour that won it.

“Mr. Denham traces the improvements to the Race Relations Amendment Act introduced in 2000, after Sir William Macpherson’s inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. But the truth is that things have been getting better for 30 years or more, as a tolerant country has come to terms with being more racially diverse than it once was. As Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has observed: ‘Britain is by far the best place to live in Europe if you are not white.’

“The problem is that if you are white — and working-class and male — Britain is not necessarily such a pleasant land. Whereas ethnic minorities, especially those who have arrived relatively recently, tend to have high aspirations, stable homes and make great sacrifices to ensure the best education for their children, the same culture does not pervade white working-class families. Their children, particularly the boys, have for many years been out-performed at school by virtually every other social group, and the decline in heavy industrial jobs that once offered a livelihood to young men with no qualifications has compounded their disadvantages.”

The Telegraph, however, isn’t as concerned about the welfare of the white working class as it is fearful it may support the British National Party (BNP). The rise of the BNP on Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s watch is a great “stain” against him, and “is the true legacy of Labour’s years in power.” [Britain Is No Place for the White, Working-class Male, Telegraph (London), Jan. 14, 2010.]

Sensitive Policemen

British police used to ask suspects for their Christian names and surnames. This is now thought to be offensive to Muslims, Sikhs, and other bringers of diversity, so officers now ask for “personal” or “family” names. A new 62-page “Faith and Culture Resource” booklet for bobbies also says it is unprofessional to put an arm around a crime victim or grieving family member, or to call women “my dear” or “love.” The guidelines also suggest officers refer to mixed-race suspects as being of “mixed parentage” or “mixed cultural heritage,” and warn them to call foreign blacks Nigerians or Ugandans, for example, rather than Africans. They also encourage officers to offer to remove shoes when they go into someone’s house.

All this offends some policemen: “Most of us are fully aware of how to treat people from different cultural backgrounds,” says one, “but being told we can’t even ask what their Christian name is is just plain ridiculous. That is what we are brought up with — Christian name and surname — and to be honest if you had an officer ask for your personal name and family name it’s just going to confuse people. It’s just the latest in a long line of annoying PC-related nonsense that we keep getting shoved down our throats.”

Top bureaucrats say the new rules “recognize and value important human rights” and will ensure that officers “treat everyone with fairness, respect and dignity.” [Rebecca Camber, Police Banned From Asking for Someone’s ‘Christian’ Name Because It Might Offend Those of Other Faiths, Daily Mail (London), March 19, 2010.]

Birth Tourism

Korean women have come here as “birth tourists” for years, and now Turks are doing it. An industry has sprung up to cater to the more than 12,000 Turkish birth tourists since 2003. “We found a company on the Internet and decided to go to Austin,” says Selin Burcuoglu, who had a daughter last year. “It was incredibly professional. They organized everything for me.” As for her daughter, “American citizenship has so many advantages.”

Levent Baş, general manager of Gurib Tourism, says his company has been offering birth tourism since 2002. “We are preparing a package that covers everything from the flight and city tours to accommodation for several months and hospital expenses,” he says. Costs vary according to location — $25,000 is for bargain cities, but if parents want to have a baby in New York, it costs upwards of $40,000. Mr. Baş believes American authorities welcome birth tourism because “otherwise they would prevent it. I think it is part of an integration policy. They want people to become American citizens.”

The Turkish-owned Marmara Hotel group recently announced a birth-tourism package that includes accommodation at their Manhattan hotel. “We hosted 15 families last year,” says general manager Nur Ercan Magden, adding that the charge was $45,000 each. In some cases, Turkish immigrants living in the US open their homes to countrywomen. [Işýl Egrikavuk, Birth Tourism in US on the Rise for Turkish Parents, Hurriyet Daily News (Istanbul), March 12, 2010.]

The United States is one of the few countries in the world that still grant citizenship to anyone born on its soil. Britain and Australia stopped the practice in the 1980s, and India did so in 2004.