Posted on August 1, 2011

O Tempora, O Mores! (August 2011)

American Renaissance, August 2011

America Booed

On June 25, the US soccer team hosted the Mexican team in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for the final game of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). The stadium was filled with 93,000 fans, mostly American-born and naturalized Mexicans, who made it a home game for the Mexicans. They started roaring for Mexico hours before the game started and roared into the night for hours afterwards. They blew air horns and jeered during the national anthem. They chanted obscenities at the goalkeeper, Tim Howard. They were ecstatic when Mexico won 4 to 2, and booed one final time, during the trophy ceremony, when the American team was announced as the runner up.

The entire awards ceremony was conducted in Spanish, which annoyed Mr. Howard. “CONCACAF should be ashamed of themselves,” he said. “I think it was a [expletive] disgrace that the entire post-match ceremony was in Spanish . . . You can bet your ass that if we were in Mexico City, it wouldn’t be all in English . . . It never ceases to amaze me, all that stuff.” The head coach of the US team, Bob Bradley, said he expected a hostile crowd.

Mexican fans told reporters they were not booing America, just the American team. As Victor Sanchez explained. “I love this country. It has given me everything that I have, and I’m proud to be part of it . . . But yet, I didn’t have a choice to come here, I was born in Mexico, and that is where my heart will always be.” [US Soccer Team Booed in their own Country as Mexican Fans Turn LA into “Away” Game, Daily Mail (London), June 27, 2011. Bill Plaschke, In Gold Cup Final, It’s Red, White and Boo Again, Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2011]

Youthful High Jinks

Some young blacks have celebrated the beginning of summer with a series of “flash mob” attacks — unprovoked assaults by groups that form spontaneously after events let out or that gather in responses to cell-phone messages or social media postings. A recent example was 40 to 50 black teenagers who went on a rampage in Philadelphia that caught up Emily Guendelsberger, an editor for the satirical newspaper Onion, and a group of her friends. According to police, Miss Guendelsberger was “jumped” by “30 to 40 men who punched and kicked her numerous times,” breaking her leg badly and leaving her face cut and bruised. [Stephanie Farr, Woman’s Leg Broken, Others Hurt in Spring Garden Mob Attack, Philly News, June 27, 2011.] Her attackers were part of a band of roughly 100 young people who left the 19th annual Susquehanna Community Festival that evening, and went on to rob and beat many people.

Miss Guendelsberger admitted that the mob was all black, but rejected the idea that race played a role because in her group, a Hispanic, two Muslim women, and her East Indian boyfriend were attacked. She seems not to have noticed that no blacks were attacked. [Emily Guendelsberger, “Flash Mob” Fall-Out, A.V. Club, July 1, 2011.]

Part of the same mob arrived at Philadelphia’s Center City, where two women identified only as Maria and Cecilia were eating at a window seat in a restaurant. One black reached through the window and snatched Cecilia’s cell phone. When Maria ran out of the restaurant hoping to get help, someone punched her from behind. Maria turned around and saw her attacker, a girl, flanked by five other teenagers. “What are you going to do?” the girl asked defiantly, before calling Maria “a slut” and running away. When police arrived, they found the attackers only a few blocks away, laughing and acting as if nothing had happened. One had Cecilia’s phone and had already sent a text message: “Hangin in the da hood.” [Mike Newall, Teens in a Mob Assault and Rob Center City Patrons, The Inquirer (Philadelphia), June 29, 2011.]

Two weeks before the Susquehanna Festival, black State Representative Jewell Williams announced that it would be “a community celebration of peace, prosperity and health,” and that the event would be headlined by gospel and praise dance teams. [Jewell Williams, Williams Announces 19th Susquehanna Festival Celebration, Panhouse, June 11, 2011.]

An Accuser’s Hypocrisy

The legacy of the much-celebrated “anti-racist” evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould came under fire when a study published June 7 in the Public Library of Science Biology accused him of shoddy if not dishonest research.

In his famous 1981 book The Mismeasure of Man, Gould argued that cultural biases and prejudices inevitably influence research. One of his prime examples of bias was 19th-century anatomy professor and physician Samuel George Morton, who measured the cranial capacity of 1,000 skulls and concluded that whites, on average, have larger brains than blacks. Morton’s method was to measure how much buckshot or mustard seed could be packed into a skull, and Gould argued that Morton had — consciously or unconsciously — overstuffed the Caucasian skulls to get higher measures for them.

A team led by Stanford University’s Jason Lewis remeasured Morton’s skulls and found that, although Morton had made mistakes in measuring seven of the 1,000 skulls, his mistakes were random, and that the cranial capacity of the white skulls was greater than that of the black ones. The researchers hastened to insist that brain size is a function of climate, not intelligence, but concluded that “overall, we find that Morton’s initial reputation as the objectivist of his era was well-deserved.” As for Gould, it found most of his criticisms “poorly supported or falsified.” [Dan Vergano, Stephen Jay Gould Mismeasured Skulls in Racial Records Dispute, USA Today, June 9, 2011.]

It was therefore Gould, who — consciously or unconsciously — cooked the data. As Ralph Holloway, one of the study’s co-authors and a human evolution expert at Columbia, noted, “I just didn’t trust Gould. I had the feeling that his ideological stance was supreme.” [Nicholas Wade, Scientists Measure the Accuracy of a Racism Claim, New York Times, June 13, 2011.]

Buying Votes?

When Congress set up the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, it included something called the Office of Citizenship. Its job is to help people learn English, give money and help to groups that prepare foreigners for naturalization, and, in its own words, to “demystify the naturalization process for aspiring citizens.”

The process is not mystifying. Anyone who has had a green card (permanent residency) for five years, who has no criminal record, and who passes a simple English and civics test, can become as American as George Washington. Last year, 700,000 people applied for citizenship, up 25 percent from the year before, but the Office of Citizenship wants more. It says there are nearly 8 million foreigners who qualify for citizenship but — horrors — they haven’t taken the plunge.

How to tempt them? Federal deficits be damned, the office is going to spend $3.5 million on an ad campaign. It will run print, radio, and Internet ads with heart-warming stories about immigrants from China, Mexico, Vietnam, and other places who became happy, loyal citizens. The ads will be in Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese — a few will even be in English — and will run mostly in New York, Florida, California, and Texas. This will be the first time that the US government has spent tax dollars on an ad campaign to try to persuade foreigners to become Americans. [$3.5 Million Ad Campaign Launched by the Government to Promote Citizenship to Immigrants, Daily Mail (London), May 25, 2011.]

Scheduled for the Ax

The New York City Department of Education has tried twice in the past year to close MS 344, which is the worst performing middle school in New York City. The authorities think students would be better off if they were all assigned elsewhere. The city spends $15,742 per student each year at the Harlem school, but only two of 88 eighth-graders passed math or reading exams last year.

“It was literally war,” says one teacher of working at the school of fewer than 200 students, which is 75 percent black, 24 percent Hispanic, and 1 percent Asian. “I was pushed, shoved, scratched, thrown against the wall, spit on, and pick pocketed.” She once found a used condom in her purse. Another teacher was transferred after a student threatened to rape his wife.

A reporter who visited the school said it was bedlam: Students “hoot and yammer so loudly that their ruckus drowns out the teacher.” Sunflower-seed shells litter the floor, and there are mouse droppings everywhere, even on the computers. One undersized schoolmate was robbed every day for a month.

Principal Rashaunda Shaw is part of the problem, and staff have begged that she be removed. She hired a friend, Odufuyi Jackson, as assistant principal, even though he was arrested in 2009 for conspiring to steal over $100,000 in Social Security benefits. When he recently pled guilty to trying to fabricate business records, school authorities demoted him to mere teacher, but Miss Shaw has him doubling as a dean.

The NAACP and the United Federation of Teachers are suing to block the closure of MS 344 and 21 other failing schools. They say the city’s Department of Education had not done enough to improve them. [Susan Edelman, The School from Hell, New York Post, June 26, 2011.]

Common Sense at Last

A University of Pennsylvania law professor is sure to come under fire for a paper that will appear in the Winter 2011 issue of the William and Mary Law Review titled “Disparate Impact Realism.” A draft of the paper is available online.

Professor Amy L. Wax attacks the doctrine of disparate impact, according to which employers can be found guilty of racial discrimination if they use employee selection standards that weed out more blacks and Hispanics than whites — that is, have a “disparate impact.” Virtually all realistic job standards have a “disparate impact,” so employers must use race preferences to avoid an underrepresentation of protected minorities. Prof. Wax argues that disparate impact thinking must be junked or radically rethought in light of “well-documented racial differences in cognitive ability and the consistent link between ability and job performance.” In other words, if an employer uses a race-neutral selection criterion and gets an overrepresentation of whites and Asians, it is not because of prejudice but because blacks and Hispanics are not as smart. [Amy L. Wax, Disparate Impact Realism, NELLCO Legal Scholarship Repository, April 26, 2011.]

Professor Wax has been edging towards race realism for some time. She is the author of the 2008 book Race, Wrongs, and Remedies, in which she argued that society has done all it reasonably can to make up for slavery and Jim Crow, and that blacks must now take responsibility for their own circumstances. Last year, Prof. Wax suggested to the Black Law Students Association of the University of Pennsylvania that it invite National Review columnist John Derbyshire to attend a panel discussion they were organizing to critique her book. Mr. Derbyshire reports that he proceeded to give “five minutes of unfiltered race realism, right between the eyes,” followed by “a plea to turn to good old American individualism and stop obsessing about group outcomes.” [John Derbyshire, U. Penn. Panel Report, National Review Online, April 8, 2010.]

Diversity and its Discontents

Mass immigration is changing the face of British schools. The Department of Education reports in its annual schools census that more than one quarter of primary-school children are now from an ethnic minority, and that nearly one million students aged 5 to 16 speak English as a second language.

When Labour took power in 1997, there were 380,954 ethnic minority children in primary schools. Today, that number has more than doubled to 862,735. At the secondary level, there are 723,605 — 22.5 percent of all students — up from 17.7 percent just five years ago.

The largest ethnic minority is Asians (in Britain this usually means Indians, Pakistanis, or Bangladeshis), who make up 10 percent of primary-school students and 8.3 percent of secondary-school students. However, some “ethnic minorities” are white. Immigration, mostly from Eastern Europe, has nearly doubled the number of students from “other white backgrounds” from 74,500 in 2004 to 136,880.

In Manchester, Bradford, Leicester, and Nottinghamshire, fewer than half of primary-school students are white Britons. In some London boroughs, such as Newham, only 8 percent are British.

Parents do not seem to like this wave of foreigners. They can file appeals if they cannot get a spot for their children at the school of their choice, and appeals have soared: from 21,995 in 2005/2006 to 42,070 in 2009/2010. [Kate Loveys, One in Four Primary School Pupils are From an Ethnic Minority and Almost a Million Schoolchildren do not Speak English as Their First Language, Daily Mail (London), June 22, 2011.]