O Tempora, O Mores! (July, 2010)

American Renaissance, July 2010

White-Hispanic Divide

According to a recent NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo poll, Arizona’s new law cracking down on illegal immigrants enjoys the support of 61 percent of Americans. Among whites, however, 70 percent support the law. Most Hispanics — 58 percent — oppose it, with only about one third in favor.

The Arizona law is just one issue that divides whites and Hispanics. Sixty-eight percent of Hispanics think immigration strengthens America, while only 43 percent of whites do. President Obama’s job approval rating among whites has dropped to 38 percent, while most Hispanics — 68 percent — support him. A narrow majority of whites prefer the Republican Party over the Democratic Party (37 percent vs. 34 percent), while Hispanics favor the Democrats over the GOP (54 percent vs. 22 percent). Hispanics also think Democrats are better than Republicans at protecting the interests of minorities (58 percent vs. 11 percent), boosting the economy (46 percent vs. 20 percent), dealing with immigration (37 percent vs.12 percent), and promoting strong moral values (33 percent vs. 23 percent). The only thing Hispanics think Republicans do better than Democrats is patrol the US-Mexico border (31 vs. 20 percent).

Bill McInturff, one of the pollsters who ran the survey, has noticed the obvious: “The gap between whites and Hispanic Americans is substantial.” [Mark Murray, On Immigration, Racial Divide Runs Deep, MSNBC, May 26, 2010.]

Californians vs. Arizona

Manuel Lozano, mayor of Baldwin Park, California, doesn’t like the new Arizona law. He calls it “racial profiling,” and urged his city council to get tough on Arizona. In May, the council passed an ordinance boycotting Arizona financially (although it isn’t known how much business, if any, the Los Angeles suburb does with the neighboring state), and Mr. Lozano organized a pro-immigration rally on a Saturday morning in a downtown park. The city paid for a stage and a sound system, but the mayor canceled the rally just a few minutes after it was supposed to start — because no one showed up. Mr. Lozano says he pulled the plug when he realized there were too many other activities scheduled for that day. He insists that the absence of supporters does not mean residents don’t like the Arizona boycott, and promises to reschedule. [Maria Ines Zamudio, Baldwin Park Pro-immigration Rally Canceled after No One Showed Up, Whittier Daily News, May 22, 2010.]

A recent poll by the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California found that 50 percent of Californians support the Arizona law, while 43 percent oppose it. National polls find that 60 to 70 percent of Americans support the law. What accounts for California’s tepid numbers? The large number of Hispanics. Majorities of California whites (58 percent) and residents over 45 (57 percent) support the law, while Hispanics (71 percent) and younger Californians (58 percent) strongly oppose it.

Two typical views: Gina Bonecutter, 39, of Laguna Hills, favors the Arizona law. “What I’m seeing today is immigrants coming here, wanting us to become like Mexico, instead of wanting to become American,” she says. Daisy Vidal of Banning, a 23-year-old college student and child of immigrants, thinks “there should be some type of pathway to citizenship,” adding that “this whole country was started by immigrants.” [Seema Mehta, Californians Split on Arizona’s Illegal Immigration Crackdown, Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2010.]

On June 1, Los Angeles County joined San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego and several other California cities in an economic boycott of the Grand Canyon State. The county will review the $26 million in contracts it has with Arizona companies, and cancel as many as it can. The Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 2 in favor of the measure. [LA County Boycotts Arizona over Immigration Law, AP, June 1, 2010.]

Arizonans vs. California

After the San Diego city council voted in May to boycott Arizona, Arizonans started canceling trips and vacations to the city. With an average of two million Arizonans visiting San Diego each year, tourism industry officials are worried. “We’re in a very tough environment already because of everything else going on, and we don’t need another negative impact to our industry,” says tourism official Joe Terzi. Hotel managers are urging angry Arizonans to consider the boycott a “symbolic” matter of local politics.

San Diego school board president Sheila Jackson, whose group also voted to boycott Arizona, says its tough luck for the tourism industry. “It’s sad that people would cancel their plans to come here in reaction to that, but I still think we did the right thing.” [San Diego Faces Own Medicine as Arizona Residents Cancel Travel Following Boycott of State, Fox News, May 17, 2010.]

After Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced his city would boycott Arizona, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce, who sits on the board that regulates Arizona’s electricity generating plants, sent him a letter reminding him that Arizona supplies a quarter of LA’s electricity. “If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation,” he wrote, adding that if the LA city council “lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.” [Ryan Randazzo, Arizona Electricity Regulator Pokes Los Angeles Over Boycott Call, Arizona Republic, May 20, 2010.]

Sign of the Times

In the interest of “fairness” and “self-esteem,” a children’s soccer league in Ottawa, Canada has decided that any team that wins a game by more than five points will automatically lose by default. The league used to operate under a five-point “mercy rule” that did not count more than a five-point score difference, so the most a team could lose by was five points. Bruce Cappon, whose 17-year-old son plays in the league, calls the new rule “ludicrous.” “Heaven forbid when these kids get into the real world,” he says. “They won’t be prepared to deal with the competition out there.”

League director Sean Cale defends the rule, which he says was suggested by “involved parents” to ensure “sportsmanship” and make games more “fair.” He blames the controversy on a small number of trouble-making parents. “The registration fee does not give a parent the right to insult or belittle the organization,” he huffs. “It gives you a uniform, it gives you a team.” [Terrine Friday, Win a Soccer Game by More Than Five Points and You Lose, Ottawa League Says, National Post, June 1, 2010.]

For Blacks Only

Black Georgia congressman Hank Johnson, notorious for suggesting during a congressional hearing that the island of Guam could “tip over and capsize” if too many troops were stationed there, is facing stiff competition for his seat. On June 2, he and three opponents took part in a debate sponsored by Newsmakers Live, a black media organization claiming to have a “global urbane perspective.” Several of Mr. Johnson’s opponents are white, but they are apparently not urbane enough; Newsmakers Live did not invite them. When white Republican Liz Carter called to get an invitation, the forum’s moderator, Maynard Eaton, told her it was for black candidates only. He said she was welcome to sit in the audience, but not participate. “What happened to diversity?” she asks.

Miss Carter’s chances of winning the 4th district seat are slim. The electorate is overwhelmingly black, and the seat was previously held by the conspiracy-minded Cynthia McKinney. [Alex Pappas, White Congressional Candidate Wants to Participate in Forum, But is Told She Can’t Because She’s Not Black, Daily Caller, June 2, 2010.]

Not Safe Anymore

Atlanta’s Piedmont Park used to be a safe place for whites to take their families for summer entertainment. Not anymore. On June 3, a large crowd of mostly young people gathered for “Screen on the Green,” to watch the movie “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” The screening was stopped 20 minutes early, ostensibly for “technical reasons.” The real reason was that blacks got so violent sponsors and police decided to send the crowd home.

First, a fight broke out among a group of girls, and before long, boys began fighting. “Just as things started to settle back down, a few gunshots rang out and the crowd started trampling the area trying to flee the scene,” recalls Ron Sweatland, who was at the park with his wife. “It was an absolute mob scene,” says another man who was at the park, “from the Chick-fil-A girls getting mobbed trying to hand out free sandwiches to the complete lack of respect for the people watching the movie.”

As he was leaving, Mr. Sweatland saw teenagers throwing rocks at cars, some of which broke windows. Children in the crowd were frightened and crying. “I can remember a time when Screen on the Green was great family fun and we always looked forward to going,” he says. “I think this will be our last time.”

Many blacks attacked whites. Twenty-six-year-old Josh Hice was driving by the park in an open-top Jeep. “There was a car stopped in front of me and a car stopped behind me, and there was this crowd of about 30 high school kids parading down the street,” he explains. A girl came spat in his face and a teenaged boy punched him. “It split my lip, then they start climbing all over my Jeep, and I turn around and my buddy is getting punched in the face and has blood pouring out of his nose. It was ridiculous. We were definitely victims of a hate crime.”

Atlanta city councilman Alex Wan, who represents the area, says the troubles were “not the norm,” and were “caused by a small group of young kids looking to cause trouble . . . I hope we can make a few adjustments and come back to having great events in this part of town, because it is so popular with the neighborhood and the city.” [Mike Morris, Police Reviewing Security at Screen on the Green, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 4, 2010.]

Owning the Bee

The National Spelling Bee has come a long way from its origins in 1925. The first was organized by the Louisville Courier-Journal and featured nine contestants. The 83rd took place in Washington, DC, June 2 through 4 and featured 274 contestants, ranging in age from eight to fifteen. The bee was broadcast on live national television, with the championship finals in prime time on ABC.

This year’s winner was a 14-year-old girl from North Royalton, Ohio, named Anamika Veeramani. Miss Veeramani, who won by spelling the medical term “stromuhr”(an instrument used to measure the amount and speed of blood flow through an artery), is of Asian Indian descent, as was the runner-up, 13-year-old Shantanu Srivatsa of West Fargo, North Dakota. In fact, Indians, who make up less than 1 percent of the US population, have won three straight National Spelling Bee titles, and eight of the past twelve. The first Indian winner, Nupur Lala, took the title in 1999, and was featured in an Academy Award-nominated documentary, “Spellbound.” No one knows why Indians are so good at spelling. Many, such as 2008 champion Kavya Shivashankar, say they were inspired by the first Indian to win the title.

The father of this year’s champion thinks it has more to do with discipline. “This has been her dream for a very, very long time. It’s been a family dream, too,” he says, adding that his daughter studied as many as 16 hours on some days. “I think it has to do with an emphasis on education.” Miss Veeramani, who won $40,000, hopes to go to Harvard and become a cardiovascular surgeon. [Lauren Sausser, Spelling Bee Winner Part of Indian-American Streak, AP, June 5, 2010.]

Fined in France

Brice Hortefeux is the interior minister of France, a senior member of President Nicholas Sarkozy’s governing UMP party, and a personal friend and confidant of the president. Last September, Mr. Hortefeux was joking with a small group of party activists, including one of Arab descent. The banter was recorded, and an activist can be heard saying of the Arab, “Amin is a Catholic. He eats pork and drinks alcohol,” to which Mr. Hortefeux replies, “Ah, well that won’t do at all. He doesn’t match the prototype.” A woman then says, “He is one of us . . . he is our little Arab.” Then Mr. Hortefeux says, “We always need one. It’s when there are lots of them that there are problems.”

When the tape became public, the media called Mr. Hortefeux a “racist.” The opposition Social Democrats said his remarks were “shameful and unspeakable,” and demanded his resignation. Although the Arab defended him, prosecutors still charged Mr. Hortefeux with “racism.” In early June, a French court declared his remarks “incontestably offensive, if not contemptuous,” and found him guilty on a civil charge of “racial insult.” The court spared him a criminal conviction because it found that he had not intended his comments to be heard in public. Nevertheless, it ordered Mr. Hortefeux to pay a 750 euro fine ($900) and to pay 2,000 euros to an anti-racism group. A lawyer for Mr. Hortefeux says he will appeal. [French Minister Hortefeux Fined for Racism, BBC News, June 4, 2010.]

Miscegenation on the Rise

Interracial Couple Weds

Credit Image: Robin Rayne Nelson/ZUMAPRESS.com

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, in 2008, one of every seven marriages — 15 percent — crossed racial lines. That is six times the intermarriage rate of 1960. Of all 3.8 million adults who married in 2008, 31 percent of Asians, 26 percent of Hispanics, 16 percent of blacks and 9 percent of whites married a person of a different race. Demographer Jeffrey M. Passel, the lead author of the report, attributes the change to a weakening of “long-standing cultural taboos,” along with increased immigration from Asia and Latin America.

The report found that white-Hispanic marriages were the most common mixed-race pairing, accounting for 41 percent of the 280,000 mixed-race marriages in 2008. Black-white pairings remain the least common — about 1.6 percent of all marriages, but up sharply from the 0.1 percent in 1960, when such marriages were illegal in many states. Among all married blacks in 2008, 13 percent of men and 6 percent of women had a non-black spouse. Among US-born Asians, on the other hand, half married non-Asians.

Mr. Passel says that one surprising finding is that 22 percent of black men marry women who are not black. This figure is up from 15.7 percent in 2000 and 7.9 percent in 1980. Only about 9 percent of black women marry non-blacks, so the black male outmarriage rate is cutting into marriage prospects for black women. “When you add in the prison population,” says Prof. Steven Ruggles, director of the Minnesota Population Center, “it pretty well explains the extraordinarily low marriage rates of black women.”

Mr. Passel believes increased intermarriage — and its reproductive by-products — are redefining the way Americans see race. “The lines dividing these groups are getting blurrier and blurrier,” he says. Just before the 2010 census, estimates put the total US mixed race population at 5.2 million, a 32 percent increase over 2000.

Not everyone sees a happily-blended, post-racial future. Because relatively few blacks and whites intermarry, some say the black-white divide will persist. “Children of white-Asian and white-Hispanic parents will have no problems calling themselves white, if that’s their choice,” says Andrew Hacker, a professor of political science at Queens College in New York and author of the 1992 book, Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal. “But offspring of black and another ethnic parent won’t have that option. They’ll be black because that’s the way they’re seen.” [Mary Brophy Marcus, Report: Marriages Mix Races or Ethnicities More Than Ever, USA Today, June 4, 2010. Sam Roberts, Black Women See Fewer Black Men at the Altar, New York Times, June 4, 2010.]

Betting on Asians

Asians, particularly Chinese, love to gamble. Tim Fong, a psychiatry professor and co-director of the gambling studies program at the University of California-Los Angeles, says gambling appeals to Asian beliefs in predestination and fate. Whatever the cause, casino operators have been cashing in for years. After the MGM Grand casino opened in Las Vegas in 1993, officials redesigned the lion’s-mouth entrance after learning that some Asian gamblers thought it was bad luck to walk through the mouth of an animal. Many casino elevators don’t have buttons for the fourth floor because four is an unlucky number for some Asians.

There are more than half a million Asian gamblers in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, and gambling joints are trying hard to lure them. They have hired directors of “Asian-American player development” to beat the bushes for more gamblers, expanded restaurants and menus, and are running Asian-language ads in newspapers and on billboards. Asians don’t like slot machines, so operators in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia are adding baccarat and pai gow, a version of poker based on an ancient Chinese tile game.

Some Asians say casinos are taking advantage of a cultural weakness. “These businesses are predatory,” says Ellen Somekawa, executive director of Asian Americans United, a Philadelphia pressure group that has been fighting plans to build a casino near the city’s Chinatown. “We’re concerned that it will have a harmful effect on the Asian-American community and all the communities in Philadelphia.” [Charles Town, Other Casinos Target Asian-American Market, AP, June 1, 2010.]

As the New Century Foundation report The Color of Crime notes, gambling offenses are the only category of crime for which Asians are more likely than whites to be arrested.

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