Posted on November 1, 2011

O Tempora, O Mores! (November, 2011)

American Renaissance, November 2011

The Discipline Gap

The Chicago Tribune reports that black students are much more likely than any other group to be suspended or expelled from public schools. In a review of 2004-2005 Department of Education data, the Tribune found that even though blacks are 17 percent of public school students, they account for 37 percent of suspensions and 35 percent of expulsions. Whites are 58 percent of public school students, but account for only 41 percent of suspensions and 42 percent of expulsions. Hispanics are suspended and expelled at rates between those of blacks and whites. The Tribune did not include data for Asians.

Some state-level statistics were particularly stark. Blacks are suspended six times as often as whites in Minnesota, and in the typical New Jersey public school, they are 60 times more likely than whites to be expelled for serious infractions. In 21 states, blacks are suspended at rates more than double their percentage of the student body.

Russell Skiba of Indiana University says the disproportions are caused by “structural inequity” and “institutional racism.” “There simply isn’t any support for the notion that, given the same set of circumstances, African-American kids act out to a greater degree than other kids,” Dr. Skiba said, adding that “the data indicate that African-American students are punished more severely for the same offense, so clearly something else is going on.” Isela Gutierrez of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition offered an explanation: “White teachers feel more threatened by boys of color. They are viewed as disruptive. What might be their more assertive way of asking a question, for example, is viewed as popping off at the mouth.”

The “discipline gap” is just as persistent as other racial gaps. Some 6,500 schools nationwide have tried to eliminate it by using something called “Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports” that aims to reduce the frequency of punishment by training students to behave well and training teachers to use carrots rather than sticks. Experts are hired to analyze teacher-student relations and identify lapses in communication. Specialized counselors try to teach the worst students better behavior.

These schools claim to have reduced rates of suspension and expulsion, but the racial gap remains. As Dr. Skiba explains, “There’s just no silver bullet for this problem.” [Howard Witt, School Discipline Tougher on African Americans, Chicago Tribune, Sept. 25, 2011.]

In the August 2011 issue of AR, “The Galton Report” reviewed recent accounts of racial differences in student discipline and proposed the obvious explanation: there are sharp racial differences in the rates at which students misbehave. Hippocrates pointed out that diagnoses of “conduct disorder” — the kind of behavior that leads to expulsion and suspension — are several times higher for blacks than for whites, and noted that the criminal conviction rates for black adults are seven to eight times higher than that of whites. School administrators everywhere are under intense pressure to narrow the gap in discipline rates, so, if anything, there is probably greater leniency for black than white misbehavior.

Hippocrates also noted that Asians are consistently less likely than whites to be disciplined. Are Asian students being coddled in every school district in America or are they simply better behaved? Asians are a problem for those who insist that “racism” explains everything, which may be why the Tribune left them out of its story.

Pink Witches

Many studies confirm that children as young as four years old are guilty of “racism.” When children are shown pictures of whites and blacks and asked whom they would prefer as a friend and who would be likely to get into trouble, white children almost always choose other whites as friends and peg darker-faced children as troublemakers. More than half of black children also favor white faces.

Equality experts say “color conditioning” may be the problem. When children associate light colors with good and dark colors with evil, it warps their racial feelings. To help correct this, British childhood expert Anne O’Connor says parents and teachers should reverse traditional color roles.

Witches, for example, should not be dressed in black, but should wear pink. Good fairies should wear darker shades. Even white paper can cause bias, says Miss O’Connor, and should be replaced by colored paper. She admits that some people think there is nothing wrong with white paper, but claims that “in reality there could be if you don’t see yourself reflected in the things around you.”

Miss O’Connor believes teachers should be “economical with the truth” when asked their favorite color, and should answer “black” or “brown” in the interests of good race relations. Crayons and paints should come in “the full range of flesh tones.”

Miss O’Connor, who designs “equality materials” for local governments in Britain, thinks this sort of thing can combat “racism,” “sexism,” and “ageism” in children as young as two. She realizes that “people might criticise this as political correctness gone mad,” but claims that “it is because of political correctness [that] we have moved on enormously.” [Julie Henry, Dress Witches in Pink and Avoid White Paper to Prevent Racism in Nurseries, Expert Says, Telegraph (London), Sept. 25, 2011.]

Anglo Saxon Meetup

When whites want to gather, allegations of “hate” cannot be far off. is a website that lets users set up interest groups in the hope of meeting locals with similar interests. A San Francisco-area group for whites lasted only five days; it is not clear whether the user who set it up buckled under pressure or a administrator shut it down.

The group’s description avoided the word “white:” “This group was created for Bay Area Professionals of Non-Color to network, unwind, and have a great time.” The description even included an anti-racism clause — “This group is NOT racist or for racists, all non-racist people are welcome” — but it wasn’t enough.

Meetup users flooded the group with criticism, calling it “inflammatory” and “racist.” One user, Joel Goldfoot, told San Francisco Weekly that “Presuming there is a cultural difference between you and me because of skin color doesn’t fly. It’s pretty offensive and pretty shortsighted, and I don’t think that’s the way the world works in San Francisco.” Mr. Goldfoot wrote a letter to Meetup asking whether an all-white group violated the site’s policies. Meetup promised to look into the matter.

One user, who says she has a non-white boyfriend, stood up for the professionals of non-color. “This group is no more racist/discriminatory than the groups who include only biracial couples, Latina/Latinos, East Indians, LGBTs, and so on,” she said. Mr. Goldfoot was not satisfied: “The argument that ‘other groups are being racially exclusive so why can’t I?’ is flawed — and frankly — juvenile.”

In an effort to deflect criticism, the group’s creator — whose identity remains unknown — officially changed its name to Bay Area Professionals of the Anglo-Saxon Culture, and wrote, “If [you] find the terminology of Non-Color offensive, feel free to exchange the term with Anglo Saxon.” He pointed out that he had lifted the group’s description word for word from an “Asian Professionals” Meetup group.

To no avail. The group was gone less than a week after its creation. [Erin Sherbert, Whites-Only Group Is Canceled, SF Weekly, Sept. 8, 2011. Bay Area Professionals of the Anglo Saxon Culture (cached version), Meetup, Oct. 1, 2011.]

Digital Divide

“The recession has hit minorities the hardest,” goes the popular refrain, but you wouldn’t know it from racial breakdowns in smart phone ownership. According to the Nielsen Company, in the fourth quarter of 2010, 45 percent of the Hispanics who had cells phones had smart phones. The figure for blacks was 33 percent, and for whites, just 27 percent. During the second half of 2010, 56 percent of Hispanics who bought cell phones bought smart ones. The figures were 44 percent for blacks and 42 percent for whites.

Smart phones, which have full access to the Internet, are more expensive than ordinary phones — sometimes much more so. They also require expensive monthly data plans, whereas ordinary phones can be used without data plans.

Nielson reports that during the first quarter of 2011, blacks used their smart phones to talk an average of 1,298 minutes per month, more than double the white figure of 606 minutes per month. On both smart phones and ordinary phones, blacks send more text messages than other groups: an average of 70.1 texts per day, compared to 48.9 for Hispanics and 31.2 for whites. [African-American Smartphone Penetration Higher, Marketing Charts, September 27, 2011. The State of the African-American Consumer, Nielsen, September 2011. Don Kellogg, Among Mobile Phone Users, Hispanics, Asians are Most-Likely Smartphone Owners in the U.S., Nielsen, Feb. 1, 2011.]

Defaming the Saint

Jacqueline Kennedy has made a stink from beyond the grave. An interview she recorded in 1963 that included unkind opinions of Martin Luther King Jr. was released just two weeks after the King memorial on the national mall was unveiled.

Mrs. Kennedy explained that President Kennedy had told her about some of the information gathered by wiretaps ordered by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover: “He told me of a tape that the FBI had of Martin Luther King when he was here for the [August 1963] freedom march . . . how he was calling up all these girls and arranging for a party of men and women, I mean, sort of an orgy in the hotel, and everything.”

Mrs. Kennedy also spoke of wiretapped comments King made about Cardinal Richard Cushing, who delivered the eulogy at President Kennedy’s Funeral: “He made fun of Cardinal Cushing and said that he was drunk at it. And things about they almost dropped the coffin and — well I mean Martin Luther King is a really tricky person.”

Mrs. Kennedy concluded: “I just can’t see a picture of Martin Luther King without thinking, you know, that man’s terrible.” Her daughter Caroline tried to backtrack: “If you asked her [Jacqueline] what she thought of Martin Luther King overall — I mean she admired him tremendously.” [Rick Klein, Jacqueline Kennedy on Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., ABC News, September 8, 2011.]

Chased Home

Mark LaVelle of Philadelphia was in front of his house when he saw six or seven cars pull over on his street. He saw what he estimated to be 50 to 75 young blacks and Hispanics emerge, some with bats and pipes. Sensing trouble, he went inside and told his wife to call the police. When the mob moved out of sight, he went out to take down the license plate numbers of the cars. Two white boys, ages 13 and 14, were walking by, and he asked them to help with the numbers. Just then, the mob turned the corner, spotted the trio, and began chasing them. “We got you, you white mother f***ers!” Mr. LaVelle recalled them shouting.

Mr. LaVelle rushed the two boys inside his house and told his wife to keep his young children away from the door. He went out to talk to the gang, but the thugs were in no mood to talk. “Something’s going to happen now!” one of the men shouted. Mr. Lavelle went back inside and locked the door. One man kicked open the door and several thugs stormed in. A Hispanic hit Mr. Lavelle in the shoulder with a pipe, and another punched him in the face. “All I’m hearing is my wife and kids screaming,” Mr. LaVelle recalled. He thought the next time his family saw him, he would be in a casket.

One of the blacks pulled out a gun. Just as Mr. LaVelle grabbed his arm to stop him from raising it, police sirens sounded and someone shouted, “The cops are coming!” The mob fled. Police caught two assailants at the scene, and a third just minutes later. All three — 17-, 21-, and 32-years-old — had attacked Mr. LaVelle.

Mr. LaVelle does not know what prompted the attack, but police have told others in the area that it may have been related to an incident at a nearby playground, in which a black boy was either knocked off his bike or fell off and white teenagers laughed at him. The mob may have wanted revenge against whites.

The next day, the mother of the arrested 17-year-old, along with 20 to 30 men, pulled up at Mr. LaVelle’s house and started shouting and banging on his door. Mr. LaVelle was not there but came immediately when his son phoned to say what was happening. The mother shouted, “You white mother f***er, you got my kid locked up! You got my son locked up because he’s black, you’re white.” She claimed her boy was a witness, but not an attacker. Mr. LaVelle said if that were so, it would come out in court. “If you make it to court!” said the mother. “I know where you live!”

Mr. LaVelle’s family is afraid the mob will return. “Every time I hear a car, I’m looking out the door,” he says. “It’s not a good way to live.” [Julie Shaw, Chased Home: Mob Attacks Man in His House, Philly News, Sept. 27, 2011. Tara Murtha, Mob Attacks Terrorize Port Richmond; Retaliation Threatened, Philadelphia Weekly, Sept. 13, 2011.]

Alabama Takes the Lead

Just one week after a federal judge upheld key parts of Alabama’s controversial immigration law, there were signs it is having an effect.

US District Judge Sharon Blackburn ruled that states can require schools to determine the immigration status of students’ parents, but that children of illegals can still attend school. She also ruled that during arrests or routine traffic stops, police can check the immigration status of anyone they think is in the country illegally. The state may impose penalties on immigrants who do not have appropriate papers. Judge Blackburn also upheld the provision that makes most contracts with illegals unenforceable, and upheld a ban on transactions between illegals and any division of the state. This has already had an effect: an illegal in Montgomery was turned down when he applied for water and sewage service.

Judge Blackburn did strike down several provisions. One banned illegals from applying for jobs. Another punished employers who hire illegals or who claim tax deductions on their wages. Another made it a criminal act to harbor or transport illegal immigrants. Yet another banned illegals from attending public colleges and universities. [Campbell Robertson, Alabama Wins in Ruling on its Immigration Law, New York Times, Sept. 28, 2011.]

The Obama administration immediately appealed the ruling and asked for a stay on enforcement during the appeal. Judge Blackburn said no; the state can enforce the law during the appeal. [John Schwartz, Alabama: Immigration Law to Stay in Place During Appeal, New York Times, Oct. 5, 2011.]

Just two days after the initial ruling, there were reports that Hispanic students were disappearing from Alabama public schools. There were no statewide figures, but 200 Hispanics were reportedly missing from classes in Montgomery County just one day after the ruling. In Huntsville, 207 of the city’s 1,435 Hispanic students were missing. On an ordinary day, 20 to 40 are absent.

Many of the no-shows are expected to trickle back. The law affects only those students who enrolled after September 1, and schools are supposed to look into students enrolling for the first time. Officials are reassuring illegals that the law requires information on immigrant status only for statistical purposes, and that children of illegals can still attend. [Ben Forer, Alabama Immigration Law Causes Hispanics to Leave School, ABC News, Oct. 4, 2011.]

There has been much wailing that Hispanics will be treated unfairly. However, the first arrest under the law was a 24-year-old Yemeni, Mohamid Ali Muflahi, who was picked up during a drug raid. [Lisa Rogers, Etowah County Makes First Charge in State for Immigration Law Violation, Gadsden Times, September 30, 2011.]