Robert Tyler, American Renaissance, November 1992
Paved With Good Intentions, Jared Taylor, Carroll & Graf, 1992, 403 pp.
Paved With Good Intentions, by Jared Taylor, is the most relentless, devastating assault on conventional thinking about American race relations available anywhere. In one meticulously researched chapter after another, it blows to bits all the orthodoxies that govern what is publicly said about black/white relations. It is a triumph of clear thinking over cant, and if it is not killed with silence by horrified editors and reviewers, it could force our country to face some of the ugly realities we seem determined to ignore.
The thesis of this book is that American race relations have been poisoned by rigid thinking that makes progress impossible. Unwritten law requires that all racial problems be analyzed in the following terms: (1) Blacks are failing. (2) White racism — and nothing else — makes them fail. (3) Therefore solutions must be the exclusive responsibility of whites.
Mr. Taylor agrees with the first of these propositions. He has assembled what may well be the most comprehensive account anywhere of just how miserably American blacks are failing. His book is a virtual encyclopedia of failure: crime rates, illegitimacy rates, incarceration rates, poverty rates, drop out rates, AIDS infection rates, syphilis infection rates — all are woven into the narrative with a cumulative effect that would be brutal were it not so rigorously factual.
As for the second proposition, Mr. Taylor marshals a persuasive body of evidence to disprove it. His main technique is to cite research on selected groups of blacks and whites that are largely indistinguishable except by race. Apparently, dozens of studies have shown that American society treats blacks and whites similarly — so long as the blacks and whites really are similar. Thus, blacks with PhDs from top universities make as much as or more money than whites with equivalent PhDs. Whites with two felony convictions are just as likely as blacks to get long jail sentences on the third conviction. I was surprised to learn that so much work of this kind has been done; obviously the press does not publicize it.
Chorus of Accusations
Mr. Taylor points out that despite this eye-opening evidence, the notion that whites are responsible for every black misfortune is so ingrained that whenever any black/white disparity comes to light, a chorus of voices rises to accuse whites of racism. For example, when it was found that blacks are less likely than whites to get kidney transplants, newspapers across the country wrung their hands over “hospital racism.” Mr. Taylor patiently points out that the overwhelming majority of people willing to give up their organs after death are white and many blacks cannot accept white organs. Usually the best donor is a close relative, but healthy relatives of blacks are only one sixth as likely to donate a kidney as are white relatives.
If anything, “racism” runs the other way. Many blacks refuse to give up their organs for fear they might be given to whites. Whites show no such hesitation. Even at Howard University hospital, 80 percent of the organs are donated by whites. This is just one of many cases in which Mr. Taylor takes what is called white racism, turns it on its head, and shows that racial hatred actually runs the other way.
“Hate crimes” are another example. Whenever a white attacks a black for racial reasons, the media don their ritual sack cloth, and describe the crime as proof that white society is seething with hatred for blacks. In fact, as Mr. Taylor reports in grim detail, blacks are many times more likely to make blatantly racial attacks on whites than the reverse, but the media avert their eyes.
Constant talk of white racism has dangerous consequences. Although the conventional view is that America “teaches blacks to hate themselves,” constant harping on white wickedness teaches them to hate whites. Liberals seem to think that blacks will love them if they keep telling blacks how awful white people are. They are then astonished at black venom, and must cast about for yet more excuses for it.
This book is packed with information and ideas that are almost never printed. Mr. Taylor explains the faulty logic and bad law that have turned civil rights into government-mandated discrimination against whites. He analyzes the anti-white slant that runs through government and major news organizations and chronicles the rising tide of white resentment. There is an analysis of Asian successes in American society that makes black complaints about “racism” ring especially hollow. Indeed, while claiming to face discrimination at every turn, blacks are vicious in their persecution of Asians.
A chapter on double standards shows how blacks glory in racial solidarity but whites are made to feel ashamed of being white. In fact, whites are taught to dismantle any consciousness of their own race and to work for the benefit of other races. As a result, many blacks, and even a dismaying number of whites, follow a simple principle: If it’s good for blacks or bad for whites, it’s good — otherwise it’s bad.
The latter part of the book is a gruesome picture of the black underclass. Readers had better have strong stomachs. They will learn about crack mothers who barter off their toddlers to perverts who use them as sex toys, about public schools where the curtains stay closed so children will not look out the windows and see addicts copulating, about libraries in which prostitutes ply their trade, about day care centers where three-year-olds are taught to hit the floor when shots ring out.
The introduction to this book promises “solutions,” but by the time I got to them, I had been dragged through so much squalor and sordidness that I half-expected a sober discussion of neutron bombs. Actually, Mr. Taylor’s solutions are much better.
Yet more unheralded studies and common sense, too — suggest that just about everything that is wrong with the underclass stems from the collapse of the ancient strictures that kept people from having children they could not support. Mr. Taylor argues relentlessly that a black illegitimacy rate of 70 percent is not only at the heart of the underclass’ collapse but that welfare makes things worse:
Sex is fun. Babies are cute. Women want to be mothers. This is perfectly natural, and when there is no middle-class morality — or wolf at the door — to stand in nature’s way, babies are the inevitable result. Welfare payments are the comfortable safety net into which the single mother lands when she walks off the edge of middle-class morality.
Mr. Taylor is not, however, another Dan Quayle, calling pathetically for “family values.” Much as he approves of traditional ethics, he has no illusions that exhortation will bring them back. After an elegant, libertarian attack on the very principles of welfare — he calls it “obligatory charity” — Mr. Taylor calls for its complete abolition.
Short of that, since he knows that America will stop short of that, he urges that all welfare recipients be given Norplant, a recently developed implantable contraceptive that prevents pregnancy for up to five years. He even recommends that some ghetto high schools start to implant these programs. He would rather end “obligatory charity” than start “obligatory contraception,” but he makes only a moral case for the former, and a practical case for the latter. There have already been a few calls for Norplant for welfare mothers, and this book could give the idea a big boost.
Every Myth But One
In my view, this book suffers from one defect that may be unavoidable. Despite its boldness in all other respects, this book is bashful about racial differences. At one point, in a discussion of why whites so readily submit to accusations of racism they know to be false, Mr. Taylor says this:
If whites are not holding blacks down, it might mean that they [blacks] have risen as far as their inherent limitations permit. The possibility of black inferiority is the unacknowledged goblin that lurks in the background of every attempt to explain black failure. Part of the shrillness with which white racism is denounced stems from the belief that any letup in the struggle against it might leave room for a theory that is too dangerous to be contemplated.
This is either too much or too little. I detect the odor of compromise, either with the publisher or with Mr. Taylor’s own amply demonstrated willingness to put all things under his microscope, even ideas “too dangerous to be contemplated.”
This said, it is nothing short of astonishing that something like Paved With Good Intentions — complete with 1,339 footnotes — has been written. It is even more astonishing that this book is being brought out by a mainstream publishing house. There will be as much fascination in following the commercial and critical fortunes of this book as in reading it.