Posted on September 1, 2010

O Tempora, O Mores! (September, 2010)

American Renaissance, September 2010

Fathers’ Day Gift

On Father’s Day, police in the Dallas suburb of Lancaster, Texas, responded to reports of a shooting in an apartment complex parking lot. When they arrived, the shooter fired on officers from a parked car, killing Officer Craig Shaw, a five-year veteran. The other policemen returned fire, killing the gunman, who was later identified as 27-year-old David Brown, Jr. — the son of Dallas Chief of Police David Brown, Sr. Police also discovered the body of 23-year-old Jeremy McMillian, whom Brown had just killed.

While police have offered no motive for Brown’s killings, they may have something to do with a domestic dispute between Brown and his white girlfriend Misti Conaway just a few hours earlier. Miss Conaway had called 911, saying Brown had hit her and was acting “nuts,” like someone “on PCP,” and had barricaded himself in the apartment with their two children. When police arrived, they say they found him calm and non-threatening, and decided not to arrest him. After Brown was killed by police, an autopsy revealed that he was high on marijuana, PCP, and alcohol. He also had a criminal record, for, among other things, dealing marijuana. [Sheriff: DPD Chief’s Son Shot Lancaster Officer, KTVT-TV (Dallas), June 21, 2010. Shaun Rabb, Gunman’s Girlfriend: Tragedy Could Have Been Prevented, KDFW-TV (Dallas), June 24, 2010. Steve Pickett, J.D. Miles & Matt Goodman, Autopsy Shows Brown Jr. Used PCP before Shooting, KTVT-TV (Dallas), June 30, 2010.]

Gangs in Uniform

The Pentagon outlawed military service by gang members in November 2009, but veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan say the problem is worse than ever. More gang graffiti keeps showing up on buildings, latrines, and armored vehicles. Soldiers who return to gang life are especially dangerous because they know military tactics; in 2005, a former Marine killed a police officer and wounded three others in a California ambush. Civilian contractors are part of the problem. In Iraq, large quantities of drugs confiscated from US contractors have been destroyed.

According to a Chicago policeman who recently completed a tour with the Army reserve, Bagram Air Base is covered with Chicago gang graffiti, from the Gangster Disciples to the Latin Kings. Back in Chicago, he says he has arrested high-level gang members who keep the Army Field Manual 7-8 — which describes basic infantry tactics — in their homes. “It’s scary,” he says. [Frank Main, ‘Scary’ Growth of Gangs in War Zones, Chicago Sun-Times, July 18, 2010.]

All About Race

Last year, when the DeKalb County, Georgia, school district (75 percent black, 10 percent white) needed a contractor to do its legal work, it got offers from law firms that were willing to handle all the district’s business. Instead, it hired one firm to do most of its legal work, but hired a second firm — at a cost of nearly $1 million extra — to do personnel work. Why did it pay extra for two firms? The second, Alexander & Associates, is owned by a black woman. As black board member Eugene Walker explained, “I am a very, very race-conscious person. I will never ever try to lead you to believe that I am race-neutral. I see color. I appreciate color. I celebrate color and I love color.” Most whites on the board (they are a minority of four out of nine) did not go along with this, and at least one black member didn’t like it either: “I will not be bullied into voting by race,” said Pamela Speaks. Still, the board voted 5-4 (four out of five blacks voted in favor; three out of four whites against) to make sure it was hiring enough “diverse” lawyers — even though there were plenty of non-whites working for the first firm. [Megan Matteucci, DeKalb Schools: Diversity Trumps Costs, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 21, 2010.]


Robert Wallace is an 82-year-old resident of Wheat Ridge, Colorado. One day in February he glanced out his window just in time to see two men trying to make off with his flatbed trailer, which they had attached to a pickup. He grabbed a gun, rushed outside and ordered them to stop, but the men sped away, nearly running him over. Mr. Roberts fired two shots at the men, then went inside and called police. A few minutes later, 32-year-old Damacio Torres dropped 28-year-old Alvaro Cardona off at local emergency room with a gunshot wound to the face. Mr. Torres didn’t stick around, but the police nabbed him later. Both are illegal aliens with long rap sheets.

Local prosecutors aren’t interested in punishing Mr. Cardona and Mr. Torres. Instead, they’ve charged Mr. Wallace with 12 felonies, including four counts of attempted first degree murder. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in jail for defending his property. He is now out on bond awaiting a September court hearing. [Julie Hayden, Thieves Could Go Free While Victim Faces Jail Time, KDVR-TV (Denver), July 7, 2010.]

‘Not the White Man’s Bitch’

Ieshuh Griffin is a black woman running as an independent candidate for a seat in the Wisconsin legislature representing downtown Milwaukee. State law allows independent candidates five words on the ballot to describe themselves, provided they are not “pejorative, profane, discriminatory or obscene.” Miss Griffin wants to use “Not the White Man’s Bitch,” but an employee with the state election oversight agency said no. Miss Griffith appealed the decision to the Government Accountability Board, which heard her case in July. The board is made up of six retired judges — all of them white — and it takes four votes to overturn a ruling. Miss Griffith told the five judges present at the hearing that the issue was about “freedom of expression,” saying of the description, “It’s not racial. It’s not a slur.” She said that “white man” doesn’t refer to an individual, but rather to the government as a whole. And by “bitch” she means a female dog that will roll over on command. “I’m not making a derogatory statement to a group of people or an ethnic group,” she added. “I’m saying what I am not. Everyone I spoke with, elderly and young, understand my point of view.”

Three of the five agreed with her. Board member Thomas Cane, a retired state appeals court judge, said he didn’t find the wording “particularly offensive.” Thomas Barland, who served 33 years as a circuit court judge, agreed: “It wasn’t pornographic, it wasn’t obscene and I didn’t interpret it as racial.” Board chairman Gordon Myse asked, “Isn’t she saying, ‘I’m not under the white man’s direction? I’m independent of that.’ Isn’t that what she’s saying?” before casting the third vote in favor of Miss Griffin’s appeal. During the public hearing, a white woman in attendance told the judges she found the statement offensive, noting that if a white candidate had used the phrase “not the black man’s bitch,” it would have been rejected without question. Miss Griffith says she now plans to take the matter to federal court. [Scott Bauer, Wisconsin Candidate Can’t Use Controversial Description, AP, July 21, 2010.]

Buyer Beware

Researchers at Stanford have found that people are less likely to buy an iPod nano over the Internet if they think they are buying it from a black. The researchers posted two kinds of adds: one with a photo of a white hand holding the iPod and one with a black hand holding it. The black-hand ads got 13 percent fewer responses and 17 percent fewer offers than the white-hand ads. Buyers also offered black sellers less money for their iPods. The bias against blacks was greatest in the Northeast and Midwest and less in the South. The researchers claimed there was no difference in response rates in the West. Blacks were at a particular disadvantage in high-crime areas. When buyers agreed to buy from a seller they thought was black they were 44 percent less likely to agree to have the iPod shipped rather than pick it up in person, and 56 percent more likely to say they objected to paying by PayPal. The researchers never met any of the buyers, so they never learned what race they were. [Louis Bergeron, Online Shoppers More Likely to Buy From White Sellers Than Black,, July 20, 2010.]

Boycott Bust

As we mentioned in the July issue, several cities, especially in California, announced they would boycott Arizona because of its new immigration law. Time is proving them silly, as cities carve out exemptions and scale back boycotts. In Los Angeles, for example, it turns out that the company that operates the city’s lucrative traffic enforcement cameras is based in Scottsdale. Cash-strapped LA pocketed $6 million last year because of the cameras, and doesn’t want to give up the swag. In explaining this exemption from the boycott he so fervently supported, Los Angeles Councilman Richard Alarcon said it was “never intended to impede public safety.”

When San Jose discovered contracts it didn’t care to cancel, it decided to limit its boycott to a ban on official travel. Sacramento made an exemption for the Arizona-based company that supplies its police with Tasers. City officials said the higher cost of buying elsewhere made canceling “impractical.” Other cities have discovered that reviewing every contract for ties to Arizona is costly and tedious. Berkeley was one of the first cities to announce a boycott, and while it hasn’t entered into any new contracts with Arizona companies, it hasn’t canceled any existing ones. A city employee says a review is underway. “They’ll go through all of them,” she says. “It’s going to take a lot of time.” [Cities Discovering an Arizona Boycott May Do More Harm than Good, Fox News, June 28, 2010.]

Diffing the SAT

Yet another study claims to find racial bias in the SAT. Maria Santelices of the Catholic University of Chile and Mark Wilson of UC Berkeley report in the Harvard Educational Review that they have detected “differential item functioning” (DIF) in the exam. There is said to be DIF when blacks and whites, supposedly “matched by proficiency” and other factors, are not equally likely to get the right answer. Like another study from 2003, this one found that on some of the easier verbal questions, DIF favored white students, while on some of the most difficult verbal questions, DIF favored blacks. The authors claim that the disparity in the easier questions is probably “reflected in the cultural expressions that are used commonly in the dominant (white) society,” and that white students absorbed them effortlessly because they grew up around white people. They say more difficult words are learned, not just absorbed.

Robert Schaeffer, of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, a long-time critic of the SAT, calls the report “a bombshell,” and says the study “presents a profound challenge to institutions which still rely heavily on the SAT to determine undergraduate admissions or scholarship awards.”

The College Board, which owns the SAT, disputes the findings. Spokesman Kathleen Steinberg says every question is screened to weed out bias. “We believe that our test is fair,” she says. “It is rigorously researched, probably the most rigorously researched standardized test in the world.” As for the perpetual racial gap of about 100 points on the reading section of the test, Miss Steinberg takes a strictly orthodox view: “It’s a reflection of educational inequity.” [Scott Jaschik, New Evidence of Racial Bias on SAT, Inside Higher Ed, June 21, 2010.]

Birds of a Feather

It is now well established that of the social networking Internet sites, Facebook has attracted whites and Asians while MySpace is mostly black and Hispanic. The most obvious explanation for this would be that the Internet simply reflects life, and that people prefer the company of others like themselves.

Danah Boyd, who writes about this, does not deny the possibility of self-segregation, but proposes other reasons for the separation. One is that MySpace let record companies push their wares on the site, and they touted hip hop and ghetto music that helped drive out whites. Users report that MySpace is much more music-oriented than Facebook.

Something else that drove away whites and Asians was spam. Hackers broke into accounts and used them to spread links to viruses and other unwanted messages. Miss Boyd writes that many departing users left behind derelict accounts that are now “covered in spam, a form of digital graffiti.” “Spammers took over like street gangs,” she adds, contributing to the feeling that MySpace had become a “digital ghetto.” Perhaps blacks and Hispanics were less bothered by this than whites and Asians. [Christopher Mims, Did Whites Flee the ‘Digital Ghetto’ of MySpace? Technology Review, July 14, 2010.]

Probably the reality is that as soon as either site developed even a hint of ethnic identity it was only a matter of time before self-segregation ensued — probably most of it unconscious.

Out of Africa

Kalunga Kanyela, is a refugee from the Congo. He is now under arrest in the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on charges of molesting three female relatives, ages six to 15. His defense? He didn’t know it was wrong. He explained that it is “allowed in Africa.” [Tiffany Gibson, Refugee Accused of Sexually Assaulting 3 Young Relatives, Las Vegas Sun, June 25, 2010.]

Double Standards

Bleum, Inc, is a Chinese information technology company founded by an American, Eric Rongley. Bleum, which employs 1,000 people, uses IQ tests to weed out 99 percent of job applicants. “It is much harder to get into Bleum than it is to Harvard,” says Mr. Rongley, adding that high-IQ workers are more productive. “The point is not that they are typing faster, but they are finding a faster solution to the technical problem,” he says.

Bleum hires both Chinese and American computer science grads for its Shanghai headquarters, but has different standards for each group. A Chinaman must have an IQ of at least 140 to be considered, while Americans can skate in with just 125. A spokesman for the company says this is because the pool of American talent is smaller. Bleum needs Americans to support the company’s growing number of North American clients.

For several years, the super-secret US National Security Agency has sponsored a software coding competition put on by TopCoder Inc., a Glastonbury, Connecticut-based software development company. More than 4,200 coders took part in last year’s competition. Of the 70 finalists, 20 were from China, 10 from Russia and just two from the US. The winner was Chinese. [Patrick Thibodeau, Chinese Outsourcer Seeks US Workers With IQ of 125 and Up, Computer World, July 7, 2010.]

US “civil rights” and employment law effectively forbids the use of IQ tests by American employers. Many try to skirt this ban by using so-called aptitude tests, but these expose them to lawsuits when rejected applicants complain about “disparate impact.”

Riot Redux

French “youths” are touchy. In the fall of 2005, France was nearly paralyzed when young blacks and Muslims burned thousands of cars, injured scores of policemen, and caused millions of dollars worth of property damage. The violence began after two Muslim teenagers fleeing from police electrocuted themselves when they hid in a power substation.

In July this year, during a shootout in the southeastern city of Grenoble, police killed 27-year-old Karim Boudouda, whom they suspected of robbing a casino at gunpoint. A memorial service for Boudouda the next day turned into a riot as young Muslims started torching cars. When police arrived, they found “A group of people . . . waiting for us with stones and baseball bats in their hands,” said Brigitte Jullien, head of public security. “Shots were fired against us.” Ominously, police say the shots were from automatic weapons, although no officers were hurt. The rioters burned about 60 cars, but police made only two arrests. [Albertina Torsoli, Rioters Shoot at Police, Set Cars on Fire in the French Town of Grenoble, Bloomberg News, July 17, 2010.]

Canuck Common Sense

Sara Landriault is a Canadian woman who wanted to go back to work after rearing her children. She used the Internet to find a job with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for which she was qualified, but was shocked to find a notation saying that only “aboriginals” and “visible minorities” (Canada-speak for non-whites) could apply. “It was insane,” she says. “I’m white, so I can’t do it?”

CIC spokeswoman Melanie Carkner has an explanation: “We are under-represented by aboriginal employees in our work force. At this point in time, the department does meet requirements for visible minorities; however, given the department’s mandate, we make a concerted effort to hire individuals in this group.” [Brian Lilley, Woman Denied Government Job Because of Race, July 24, 2010.]

This sort of thing is legal under Canadian law, and Miss Carkner will be happy to know that there are more women, “aboriginals” and “visible minorities” working for the government than ever before. As of March 2009, women were 54.7 percent of the federal workforce, “aboriginals” 4.5 per cent, and non-whites 9.8 percent.

Canada’s ruling Conservative Party wants to end blatant anti-white bias, and has ordered a review of “affirmative action.” Stockwell Day, president of the Treasury Board (which is in charge of Canada’s civil service) and former leader of the conservative Canadian Alliance party, says, “While we support diversity in the public service, we want to ensure that no Canadian is barred from opportunities in the public service based on race or ethnicity.” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney agrees: “We must ensure that all Canadians have an equal opportunity to work for their government based on merit, regardless of race or ethnicity.”

The Canadian left is outraged. Pat Martin, a member of parliament with the leftwing New Democrat party, calls the move a “full-frontal attack on affirmative action,” adding, “It is paranoia on their part, though, because we are nowhere near achieving equity in the face of the public-service workforce. I don’t think they can make a case that white, middle-class people are being denied access to public service jobs, or that there’s any preference shown.” [Steve Rennie, Ottawa Orders Affirmative-action Overhaul, Canada Press, July 22, 2010.]

Lower Standards

In France, top students hoping to join the French elite sweat out highly-competitive admissions exams to get into the nation’s top universities — the 222 grandes écoles. Many are very small, and they account for only about 5 percent of all French students. Graduating from one of these schools virtually guarantees lifetime employment in the upper echelons. “In France, families celebrate acceptance at a grande école more than graduation itself,” says Richard Descoings, head of the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, known as Sciences Po. “Once you pass the exam at 18 or 19, for the rest of your life, you belong.”

Critics claim the exclusivity of the grandes écoles is bad for France, because it allows the rich, white elite to perpetuate itself, while marginalizing blacks and Muslims. The French government is therefore setting up a pilot program to help non-whites pass the entrance exams, or concours. Unlike the United States, France does not keep statistics on race or ethnicity, and remains opposed to quotas. Instead it uses income as a proxy for race, believing that most poor people in France are non-white. The goal is to increase the percentage of “scholarship students” to 30 percent, up from about 10 percent today. Sciences Po, for example, admitted 126 scholarship students in last year’s class of 1,300, and two thirds of them had at least one non-French parent.

Some people think taking income into consideration is not enough. Minister of Education Valérie Pécresse, for example, believes the concours rely too much on French history and culture. “We’re thinking about the socially discriminatory character, or not, of these tests,” she says. “I want the same concours for everyone, but I don’t exclude that the tests of the concours evolve, with the objective of a great social opening and a better measure of young people’s intelligence.”

Defenders of the current system say the new approach will lower standards and undermine the French ideal of a pure meritocracy. Xavier Michel is head of the famous École Polytechnique, one of the top engineering schools in the world. Polytechnique, which admits 500 students a year, considers for admission only those who have passed its grueling entrance exam — and then rejects 90 percent of them. “The fundamental principle for us is that students have the capability to do the work here, which is very difficult,” he explains. “We don’t want to bring students into school who risk failing.”

Awa Dramé, daughter of African immigrants, is happy to participate in the pilot program for non-whites. “I don’t mind being a guinea pig, so long as the experiment works,” she says. “Reaching this level was unthinkable before, and I can see myself going higher. I’m full of dreams.” [Steven Erlanger, Top French Schools, Asked to Diversify, Fear for Standards, New York Times, June 30, 2010.]

Russia’s Obama

Jean Gregoire Sagbo, a native of the African country of Benin, moved to the Soviet Union in 1982 to study communist economics. He stayed, married a Russian woman and had children, and moved to the small town of Novozavidovo, 65 miles north of Moscow, to be closer to his in-laws. Novozavidovo is a dying, former industrial city of 10,000, with pollution, unemployment, and drug and drunkenness problems. To Mr. Sagbo, it’s home, and he wants to make it better. Over the years, he has spent his own money to clean up the entrance to his apartment building, plant flowers, and fix the street. A decade ago he began organizing volunteers to pick up garbage. This summer he ran for a seat on the 10-member city council, on a platform of cleaning up a polluted lake and delivering heat and hot water to homes — and won. This makes him the first black elected official in Russia. His fellow residents say they don’t see him as African. “His skin is black but he is Russian inside,” says Mayor Vyacheslav Arakelov. “The way he cares about this place, only a Russian can care.” “We consider him one of us,” says Irina Danilenko, 31. They also say he is the first candidate to win election without buying votes.

Mr. Sagbo isn’t the first black to run for office in Russia; Joaquin Crima, of Guinea-Bissau, was a candidate to be head of a southern Russian district last year but lost badly. At the time, the Russian media dubbed Mr. Crima “Russia’s Obama” and now they’ve hung the label on Mr. Sagbo. He rejects it. “My name is not Obama.” he says. “It’s sensationalism. He is black and I am black, but it’s a totally different situation.”

No one knows how many blacks live in Russia, but estimates put the number at 40,000. [Kristina Narizhnaya, A Russian Milestone: 1st Black Elected to Office, AP, July 26, 2010.]