American Renaissance, February 2011
Race, Rape, and Cheerleading
In September 2008, Hillaire (her last name has been withheld to protect her identity) was a cheerleader at Silsbee High School in Silsbee, Texas, a town of 7,431 people 80 miles northeast of Houston. She went to a party at a student’s house, got drunk, and went into the game room with four boys, including two black football players, Rakheem Bolton and Christian Rountree. After a few minutes, others at the party heard shouts of “Stop! Seriously, stop it. No!” They tried to open the door, but it was locked. They kicked down the door and found Hillaire under a pool table sobbing, naked from the waist down.
A window in a bathroom attached to the game room had been broken out, and Mr. Bolton and Mr. Rountree were outside. When asked what had happened, Mr. Bolton shouted, “I didn’t rape no white girl. I wouldn’t use anyone else’s d**k to f***k her. I don’t know if she has AIDS. I don’t even know that girl.” As he was about to drive away, he gestured with his hand as if he held a gun and screamed, “All you m****r f****rs better be locked and loaded. None of you better sleep tonight.” Later, half a dozen students reported to police that Mr. Bolton threatened to shoot them if they talked about the incident. The police prepared a rape kit for DNA testing, but Hillaire was told that there was such a backlog that it would take more than a year to test the samples.
Unaccountably, two grand juries heard the case and indicted no one — perhaps to avoid embarrassing a star athlete. Mr. Bolton played basketball as well as football, and during basketball season, Hillaire had to cheer for him. She cheered for the team as a whole, but when Mr. Bolton went to the free-throw line, she refused to chant the name of the boy she said had raped her. Despite orders to cheer with the others, she folded her arms in silence. The school kicked her off the cheerleading squad, and students began calling her a slut. When she complained of chanting and taunts when she walked into the cafeteria, school officials advised her to stay out of the cafeteria. The school made no investigation of its own and took no action because Mr. Bolton had been cleared of criminal charges. The local NAACP pronounced itself pleased.
Hillaire’s father was furious. “Hillaire was collateral damage,” he said. “It was easier to fight one family than the NAACP and the entire [black] community.” He tried to get the District Attorney to prepare another case for the grand jury and he also sued Silsbee High School for cutting his daughter from the squad, arguing that she had been exercising her right of free speech. He spent thousands of dollars, lost, and lost again on appeal. A three-judge panel ruled that Hillaire’s refusal to cheer “constituted a substantial interference with the work of the school,” and that since she had become a cheerleader voluntarily she had a duty to do as she was told.
In November 2009, more than a year after the incident at the party, a third grand jury reinstated the charges against Mr. Bolton and Mr. Rountree. The NAACP protested the indictments, insisting that the boys had done nothing wrong. Mr. Rountree’s case is still pending, but Mr. Bolton, who had so loudly and vulgarly proclaimed his innocence, promptly pled guilty to a charge of misdemeanor assault. He got a one-year suspended sentence, two years’ probation, a $2,500 fine, 150 hours community service, and mandatory anger-management classes. Mr. Bolton was happy with the sentence. “I do feel like it was very fair,” he said.
Hillaire is still fighting her school. After the Fifth District Appeals Court in New Orleans agreed with the lower court that her rights had not been violated and ordered her to reimburse the school’s $45,000 in legal fees, she appealed to the US Supreme Court. As for Mr. Bolton, he has been offered several football scholarships and is making up his mind which one to accept. [Sarah Netter, High School Rape Victim Spends Two Years in Court Fighting Ouster From Squad, ABC News, Oct. 27, 2010. David Whitley, Texas Town, Courts Fail Cheerleader, AOL Sports, Nov. 22, 2010. Jennifer Heathcock & Scott Lawrence, NAACP Protests Indictments in Cheerleader Case, KFDM-TV (Beaumont, Texas), Nov. 30, 2010. Nina Mandell, Texas Cheerleader Who Refused to Cheer for Her Alleged Rapist Taking Case to Supreme Court: Lawyer, New York Daily News, Dec. 23, 2010.]
Is Your Town Next?
Prichard, Alabama, is a town of 27,000 on the outskirts of Mobile. In the 1960s, it was a boom town, with a peak population of 45,000. Whites began to move out in the 1970s, and Prichard became 84 percent black. The mayor, every city council member, and virtually all other city employees are now black. The city has declared bankruptcy, but managed to pay off its creditors in 2007. At that time, the bankruptcy court ordered the mayor, Ronald Davis, to start putting more money into the city’s grossly underfunded pension fund, which was predicted to run out of money in 2009. He refused, and in 2009, right on schedule, the money ran out. Although Alabama state law requires cities to pay pension obligations, Prichard just stopped writing checks, plunging its 150 retired workers into desperate poverty. Perhaps one of the reasons Prichard does not care about paying pensions is that many former workers were active before Prichard became overwhelmingly black. That is to say, they are white.
The workers who got the shaft have sued the city, which tried to get off the hook by declaring bankruptcy, but a judge stopped that maneuver. Prichard has now become a test case for the laws that govern municipal obligations. Some observers see the city as only the first of many local governments that are likely to welsh on their pensions. “Prichard is the future,” says Michael Aguirre, a former San Diego city attorney, who wants San Diego to declare bankruptcy and restructure its own pension payments. “We’re all on the same conveyor belt. Prichard is just a little further down the road.” [Michael Cooper and Mary Williams Walsh, Alabama Town’s Failed Pension Is a Warning, New York Times, Dec. 22, 2010.]
Mr. Aguirre did not, of course, mention the racial aspect of the default. Aging whites who expect blacks and Hispanics to keep the retirement checks coming could be in for a shock — not just in Prichard but in the entire country.
The Latest in Whiteness ‘Studies’
Ethnicities is a peer-reviewed journal that claims it “provides the very best critical, interdisciplinary dialogue on questions of ethnicity, nationalism and related issues such as identity politics and minority rights.” The September 2010 issue is heralded as the “Whiteness Special Issue” and, according to the editors, it “develops the intersections between whiteness and gender, queer studies, migration, nationalism and militarization.”
Here are some of the article titles, with excerpts from their abstracts.
“The Visa Whiteness Machine: Transnational Motility in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” by Max J. Andrucki:
Drawing on a series of in-depth interviews with white South African return migrants in Durban, largest city in the province formerly known as Natal — commonly called the ‘last outpost of the British Empire’ — I argue that, through what I call the ‘visa whiteness machine’, whiteness as a racial formation — neither a natural fact nor simply a discourse — emerges not discursively but materially as certain bodies with European ancestry and phenotype come to stick together through their motility — their immanent ability to move in particular circuits through transnational space.
“On Accountability: Towards a White Middle-Class Queer ‘Post Identity Politics Identity Politics’,” by Damien W. Riggs:
Drawing on the work of Jodi Dean, I elaborate what I term a ‘white middle-class queer post-identity politics identity politics’ that centres issues of reciprocity and accountability by considering the role of others in the constitution of the self.
“Whiteness in the Glare of War: Soldiers, Migrants and Citizenship,” by Vron Ware:
The article draws on an understanding of whiteness as a fundamental component of historical and gendered notions of citizenship that feed the ‘hypnotic ideals’ of national identity.
“Prosthetic White Hyper-Masculinities and ‘Disaster Education’,” by John Preston:
In this article I consider the ways in which whiteness may be best understood as a prosthetic that can situationally be attached/detached from white bodies. Paradoxically, this flexibility of whiteness increases white people’s powers of symbolic and material control over environments and the bodies of people of colour.
Fun With Akbar and Fatimah
Now that there are more and more Muslim children in schools, librarians worry that there are not enough books about them. There are plenty of books on Islam per se, they note, but there is almost a total lack of juvenile fiction about Muslims growing up in America.
“It is extremely important for young people to read stories reflecting their ethnicity and/or religion in order to feel like worthwhile human beings,” says Freda Shamma, of the Foundation for the Advancement and Development of Education and Learning, based in Cincinnati. “The absence of such stories leads to poor grades in school, feelings of loneliness and alienation, and low self-esteem,” she explains.
Lori Saroya, president of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), says that it is possible to find fiction for elementary school children — about the Ramadan fast, for example — but that there is nothing for middle-school and up. She complains that when she was growing up, all the books were about “the blue-eyed, blond-haired girl who was into cheerleading,” adding, “There really wasn’t much I could relate to in terms of my Muslim identity.” [Norman Draper, Missing Character in Kids’ Literature: Muslims, Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul), Dec. 28, 2010.]
Kinston is a North Carolina city with a population of 23,000. In November 2008, it voted nearly 2-1 in a citizen’s initiative to make city elections non-partisan. As a result, ballot papers were not to indicate the party affiliations of candidates but were simply to list names. Voters supported the move because most know their mayor and councilmen personally, and because the elections are hardly partisan anyway. Only old-timers can remember when a Republican last won an election. In voting the change, Kinston joined the vast majority of North Carolina’s 551 cities and towns; only nine have partisan elections.
Kinston, however, is not allowed to make changes of this kind unless the US Justice Department lets it. Kinston is one of more than 12,000 voting districts, mostly in the South, that are singled out for direct supervision by the federal government in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The thinking 45 years ago was that the South was so viciously racist that every elections-related move it made, right down to where polling places were located, was probably a ruse to disfranchise blacks, and the feds have had veto power ever since.
After Kinston’s 2008 vote, Loretta King, the same black woman who called off the Justice Department voter intimidation case against the New Black Panthers, wrote to the city government saying she was invalidating the election. She claimed its sole effect was to make it harder for blacks to win elections.
How could that be? Miss King argued that elections in Kinston were really about race, not about party affiliation, with whites voting for whites and blacks voting for blacks. She claimed that the only exception to this was a small number of white Democrats who sometimes set race aside and vote for black candidates so long as they know the candidates are Democrats. By removing party affiliation from the ballot, Kinston would be concealing this essential fact from white Democrats, therefore making it harder for black candidates to win.
None of this appears to have crossed anyone’s mind in Kinston. A majority of blacks, just like whites, voted to take party affiliation off the ballot. What makes the Justice Department action even more incomprehensible is that fact that 63 percent of the voters in Kinston are black. Blacks therefore already have a built-in advantage if, as the feds say, voting runs along racial lines.
At first, Kinston was going to submit without a fight, but even blacks were annoyed at being pushed around by the feds. The city took the matter to district court, but a federal judge upheld the Justice Department’s intervention. Kinston now has the bit between its teeth, and has appealed, and there is a chance the case could go before the US Supreme Court.
Justice Clarence Thomas has already written that he thinks the provisions of the Voting Rights Act that single out only certain jurisdictions for federal oversight are unconstitutional, and several other justices have hinted they think so, too. It would be a great victory if Kinston were able to help the South throw off its shackles.
In the meantime, the case — like the one against the New Black Panthers that was withdrawn — shows how biased the Obama/Holder Justice Department is in favor of blacks. [Ben Conery, Justice Concludes Black Voters Need Democratic Party, Washington Times, Oct. 20, 2009. Anthony Tsontakis, Change in Election Becomes Black-And-White Controversy, WorldNetDaily.com, Jan. 2, 2011.]
‘They’re Taking Over’
Costa Rica is poorer than Mexico, Venezuela, or Turkey, but with a per capita income of $10,900 a year it is a lot better off than neighboring Nicaragua, where annual per capita income is only $2,800. Costa Rica therefore has an illegal immigrant problem, just as we do. It now has about 350,000 immigrants out of a population of 4.5 million, the highest percentage in any Latin American country. “People start to think they’re everywhere, that the country is being overrun,” says Salvador Gutiérrez, an expert at the International Organization for Migration based in Geneva.
Part of the problem is that many Nicaraguans who used to go all the way up through Mexico and enter the United States are now staying in Costa Rica. They have heard that jobs are hard to get in el Norte, that US border control is tight, and that Mexican drug gangs prey on transient illegals.
The government is cracking down: It has criminalized immigrant smuggling, raised the financial requirements for legal residency, and made it harder to get residency by marrying a local.
Costa Ricans are beginning to sound like Americans. “We catch them and deport them, and a few days later, you see the same people again,” says federal police officer Dagoberto Briceño. In one high-traffic area, the authorities have even built a mile-long, eight-foot-high wall to keep out Nicaraguans. [Chris Hawley, Costa Rica Copes With Its Own Immigration Ills, USA Today, Dec. 30, 2010.]
Islam is going from strength to strength in Spain. First, thanks to massive immigration, the Muslim population has soared from just 100,000 in 1990 to an estimated 1.5 million in 2010. The result has been a huge mosque-building boom and increasingly truculent demands.
Spain now has 13 “mega-mosques,” beginning with the 130,000-square-foot Islamic Cultural Center in Madrid, which was paid for by the Saudis and opened in 1992. There are more than 1,000 smaller mosques and prayer centers elsewhere in the country. Now Barcelona is to get a huge mosque that will accommodate thousands of worshippers, and city tax-payers will help pay to build it. A spokesman for the mayor explains that “although religion pertains to the private realm, this does not mean it does not have a public role,” and that the mosque will promote the “common values between Islam and Europe.”
Barcelona has officially adopted the view of a Moroccan imam named Noureddine Ziani, now based in Barcelona, who says “mega-mosques” are the best way to fight Islamic extremism: “It is easier to disseminate fundamentalist ideas in small mosques set up in garages where only the members of the congregation attend, than in large mosques that are open to everyone.” He also says that if European governments pay to train imams that will be “a useful formula to avoid radical positions.”
Imam Ziani, sounds suspiciously radical himself. He insists on the compatibility of Islam with European values, and says that Europeans should describe their heritage as Islamo-Christian rather than Judeo-Christian. He appears to share the Salafist view that any territory that was ever under Muslim rule must still be considered Muslim. In 2008 there was only one Salafist conferences in Spain; in 2010 there were ten. Salafist and irredentist thinking is behind demands that Muslims be allowed to worship in the main cathedral of Cordoba, which was a mosque before Christians expelled the Muslims. Their hope is to reestablish Cordoba as the Mecca of the West.
In Lleida, in northeastern Spain, Muslims are a fifth of the population. They have received financing from Morocco to build a mosque, but are furious that the city gave them free land for construction only on the outskirts of town rather than in the center. For three years, they have refused to build, insisting on a more “dignified location for the Muslim community to worship.”
The Islamic Community of Bilbao is going straight to townspeople, distributing flyers asking for contributions to build a mosque. The group’s website reminds readers that the Moriscos (Muslims who converted to Christianity under threat of exile) were finally expelled from Spain only in 1609, “really not that long ago,” adding, “We are back to stay, Insha’Allah.” Islamic leaders say that Spain could atone for the sin of expelling the Moriscos by offering their descendents Spanish citizenship.
The rise of Islam comes just as many municipalities run by the anti-clerical Socialist Party have been using new zoning laws to shut down little-used churches. [Soeren Kern, Spain Goes on Mosque-Building Spree, Hudson Institute, Dec. 30, 2010.]
What’s in a Name?
Although Muslims are just 3 percent of the population of Britain, Mohammed is now the most popular name for newborn boys in England and Wales. Including alternate spellings, 7,549 Mohammeds were born in England and Wales last year. Second place went to Oliver, at 7,364. Jack, a perennial favorite which had been the most popular boys name for 14 straight years, fell to third place in 2009, followed by Harry.
Mohammed means “praise” in Arabic. There are 14 different spellings, though scholars aren’t sure why. Some think it is because of different phonetic transliterations while others say parents just have different preferences. [Mohammed is Now the Most Popular Name for Baby Boys Ahead of Jack and Harry, Daily Mail (London), Oct. 27, 2010.]
Meanwhile, the British Red Cross banned all signs of Christmas at its 430 fund-raising shops so as not to offend Muslims. [Steve Doughty, The Red Cross Bans Christmas, Daily Mail (London), Jan. 6, 2011.]