Under Black Rule
A personal account of the
by Gedahlia Braun
outh Africa is now ruled
by blacks; the only prosperous country on the continent has been
handed to them on a platter. While the country has not sunk overnight
into the morass of the rest of Africa, and while most of the dire
predictions of the white right did not come to pass, a dispassionate
view of the last four years gives one no confidence that South
Africa's future will be fundamentally different from that of other
black-ruled nations. Virtually every trait that makes one skeptical
of black rule – dishonesty, deviousness, incompetence, corruption,
unreliability, and callous indifference to human suffering – manifests
When I first visited South Africa in 1986, after a decade in black Africa,
it was at the end of the apartheid era. The contrast with the rest of Africa
was stunning: all of the amenities one associates with the modern world
– from telephones to potable water to public toilets – were plentiful in
Most of the apartheid legislation was still in place, though much of
it was becoming a dead letter. Apartheid's ostensible goal was an exclusively
white South Africa, with most blacks living in nominally independent tribal
"homelands." Those living in South African townships near whites were "temporary
sojourners" and thus were not, for example, allowed to own businesses,
as this would give them a degree of permanence.
Influx Control, limiting the migration of blacks into urban areas – white
or black – had already been scrapped. The pass laws, however, were still
enforced. These laws, which were probably the most determined attempt at
white control over blacks, required blacks to carry a kind of internal
passport: any black male in a white area after dark without the proper
endorsement in his book could be arrested and taken to special courts.
It was the extension of pass laws to women that supposedly led to demonstrations
and the "Sharpeville Massacre" of 1960.
Contrary to accepted wisdom, I believe that many blacks knew and understood
the reasons for these laws. While many blacks no doubt saw the pass laws
as onerous, it is not uncommon for someone to suffer on account of a law
but still understand the reasons for it. If I am a heavy smoker, I will
suffer on a long flight without a cigarette, but may nevertheless admit
that there are good reasons for the prohibition.
At the end of the
apartheid era the contrast with the rest of Africa was stunning.
Black men, as a group, are trouble – they are violent and prone to criminality
– and the pass laws were designed to control their movements. (A phrase
never far from white consciousness was swart gevaar – "black danger.")
If today there were a way to get young men off the streets of Soweto
after dark, I am sure the vast majority of its peace-loving residents would
approve enthusiastically. Indeed, the head of one of the most influential
think-tanks in South Africa recently told me that a group of his black
employees had said that the only way to deal with the problems of the "new
South Africa" was to "bring back the pass laws!"
The major watershed event in recent South African history came in February
1990, when the last white president, F. W. de Klerk, announced that the
black liberation organization, the African National Congress (ANC), was
to be unbanned, Nelson Mandela released from prison, and all remaining
apartheid legislation abolished. This led to four years of "negotiations"
during which the whites could do little but give in to the demands of the
ANC. The results were the one-man-one-vote elections of April 1994, in
which the ANC won just under two thirds of the vote and a corresponding
proportion of the members of Parliament (MPs).
Probably the most significant direct effect of black rule has been the
dramatic rise in crime, primarily black-on-white. With the abolition of
the Group Areas Act, which had designated specific neighborhoods for specific
racial groups, blacks began moving into white neighborhoods. This was slow
at first because, I would guess, many blacks could not believe whites would
allow it. My neighborhood near central Johannesburg, which was still substantially
white as late as 1995, is now overwhelmingly black.
What are the consequences? A few years ago, it was difficult to find
a parking space on the street at night. Now, theft and vandalism are so
bad that you simply cannot leave a car out at night. Rubbish is everywhere.
Few people – white or black – feel safe walking after dark. In short, we
have what follows any transition from white to black.
Why haven't I moved? For one thing, my income is limited and moving
is expensive. Second, I've lived in close proximity to blacks in Africa
for twelve years; as individuals, I do not dislike them. Third, I don't
Another change since black rule has been the growth of the black taxi
industry. In 1986, public transport was still segregated; blacks had separate
buses that ran between Johannesburg and the townships. Some time in the
1980s minivans began appearing, taking blacks anywhere they wanted to go.
Originally hailed as precursors to the development of large-scale black
businesses, the industry soon degenerated into competitive tribal cabals
that dealt with rivals in the way they knew best: by killing them. One
consequence, however, was that blacks had easy access to white areas hitherto
out of bounds, which paved the way for the invasion that eventually occurred.
Even though the Western media grudgingly acknowledge that post-apartheid
South Africa has seen an enormous eruption in crime, virtually no one attempts
to explain it. I believe the reasons for it are psychological, and that
probably the most important consequence of doing away with apartheid was
its effect on black psychology.
To begin with, there is ample evidence that African blacks feel inferior
to whites. The reasons for this are not hard to understand: In most of
the ways that count in today's world, blacks as a group are generally less
able than whites and are not so foolish as to fail to recognize this. Most
Africans are indifferent to the emotionally charged refusals by whites
– typically those with the least contact with blacks – to recognize racial
differences. My own basis for saying that blacks accept these differences
is my experience of talking to hundreds of Africans. However, one fairly
typical piece of "objective" evidence can be found in this statement by
two militant black American psychiatrists, William H. Grier and Price M.
Cobbs, in their book Black Rage:
"The fact of the matter is that black people are inclined to
regard the white man as superior. There are examples without number in
the patois and the everyday behavior of millions of blacks which speak
for the fact that they do indeed feel that the white man is intrinsically
better." (p. 191.)
One discovery I made living in black Africa is that virtually all
blacks unaffected by liberal egalitarian ideology not only recognize this
inequality but are not in the least bothered by it! I say this after countless
conversations with blacks all over the indigenous black world. Ask any
African why blacks can't, for example, make airplanes or computers and
he'll look at you as if you were foolish for asking, since the answer is
obvious: "The white man has the brain for it and we don't!"
Perhaps because of this, among themselves, blacks often seem consumed
by a need to feel superior and to achieve 'status'. From a black point
of view, the best way to do this is to make someone else (feel) inferior
to you, since if he is inferior you must be superior. This helps explain
much of the callous and often brutal behavior of black nurses, policemen,
school teachers and the like: When they find themselves in even the most
petty positions of authority, many blacks lord it over their underlings
in the most extravagant manner.
When blacks saw the white man dismantling the mechanisms of apartheid,
and in general deferring to black wishes, they asked themselves: "Why is
he doing this? It's certainly not because we deserve it." The obvious answer
was that the white man was foolish, weak and frightened, and this diminished
the fear, respect, and even awe that facilitated white control.
Ask any African why
blacks can't make airplanes or computers and he will look at you as if
you were foolish for asking.
Black criminal predators have a bully mentality, naturally preying on
the weak. Fear in others incites them as blood to a shark. And fear is
precisely what they detect in whites. The result is that potential black
criminals, long kept at bay by their own fear, were let off the leash –
with wholly predictable results.
Even aside from violent crime, one indication of the level of lawlessness
here is that one will see more people flagrantly running red lights in
one day than one is likely to see in a lifetime in America. Also, since
the end of white rule, the likelihood of a black man being arrested for
such 'minor' offenses as openly urinating in the street is zero.
In general, blacks tend either to follow rules slavishly, not grasping
the possibility of exceptions under any circumstances, or to simply flout
the law. One might regard this as a typical manifestation of the apparent
lack among Africans of the concept of gradation: something is either
on or off, all or nothing; therefore, once they start breaking laws they
tend to break them all.
I believe a similar change in black psychology has occurred in the United
States. From 1969 to 1973 I lived in New Orleans, in a white neighborhood,
though half a block away it was black. I could walk anywhere, night or
day. By the mid-1980s, however, things had changed dramatically: Everyone
had stories about black-on-white crime, and areas that had for years been
white were being abandoned. What caused this turnaround? In the early 1980s,
New Orleans got its first black mayor. My conjecture is that the increase
in crime was disproportionately black-on-white, and was associated with
decreasing fear and respect for whites brought on by access to political
power: "What do we have to fear? We're as good as the white man! The mayor
himself is black!"
Dinesh D'Souza makes a related point in his book, The End of Racism:
"These pathologies have existed in the black community since
slavery, but they have been restricted and contained both by white-imposed
discipline and black-imposed norms enforced by churches and local community
institutions. But those institutions have been greatly weakened since the
1960s, and in the new environment of social permissiveness and government
subsidy, black pathologies have proliferated." (p. 37.)
Black criminal propensities were previously held in check by slavery,
segregation, apartheid, and strict tribal custom. Remove these constraints
and pathologies assert themselves.
Another factor contributing to the rise in crime is the extent to which
the newly africanized South African Police Service itself engages in crime.
The police will stop an innocent black driver and tell him his car is stolen
and must be confiscated on the spot. When the hapless owner goes to the
township police station he discovers that his car has vanished! Given the
level of police incompetence and corruption, there is no practical recourse.
To my knowledge, this sort of thing occurs almost exclusively in black
areas, presumably because in white areas there are still white policemen
whose presence is sufficient to deter it.
Not unlike black nurses and black school teachers, black policemen are
on the whole pretty useless. Since 1990 or so, the previously white higher
echelons, which kept the rank and file in at least a state of semi-discipline,
have also become black. In general, Africans simply cannot manage. They
are incapable of running any large establishment and lack the discipline,
organization and cooperation necessary to control crime. Although this
may sound harsh I believe they also lack the necessary morality. Police
will obviously be more effective if they are morally outraged by crime
and feel, viscerally, that it is bad. I would doubt there are many African
police, at any level, who feel this way.
In passing, I would
note that one of the more remarkable spectacles in the aftermath of the
black crime epidemic is that "liberal" politicians are so vociferous in
complaining about it! No one ever points out that these same people were
themselves instrumental in bringing about the very conditions that gave
rise to the entirely foreseeable results they now condemn. They are also
the ones whose wealth protects them from the effects of black rule, and
are the first to flee the country.
The New Constitution
To understand the recent changes in South Africa, one must realize how
firmly Western liberal egalitarian ideology has taken root at the top levels
of society. In many cases I do not think the leaders really believe in
what they espouse, but are so in thrall to Western political correctness
that they flout many of their most deeply held customs and traditions.
For example, one of the first things the newly created Constitutional
Court did was unanimously to declare capital punishment unconstitutional.
Nelson Mandela defended this by saying that the white government had unjustly
executed many blacks, implying that if capital punishment were left on
the books, the new black government would feel compelled to follow the
white example! Persistent calls for a referendum on this question have
The black elite is radically out of step with the man in the street.
There is widespread approval of the township vigilantes who administer
on-the-spot capital punishment to thieves caught in the markets – just
as is done in Nigeria or Kenya. No one doubts what the results of a referendum
Also, today's South Africa is officially a haven for homosexuals, but
one thing I learned from living in black Africa is that homosexuality is
anathema there. Many Nigerians, for example, refuse to believe that it
exists, and when it is explained to them, regard it with undisguised loathing
and contempt. President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is typical of Africans
in his view that homosexuals are despicable. In spite of this, the South
African Constitution goes beyond any other in ensuring the "rights" of
homosexuals. There are gay parades, gay marriage will almost certainly
be institutionalized, and in general it is politically unacceptable publicly
to say anything bad about homosexuality.
Feminism is another alien Western import. Africa is a male-dominated
continent. Women are there to serve men's needs, to bear and raise children,
and to take care of the home. This subservience is nicely illustrated by
the fact that Daniel Arap Moi, the president of Kenya for the last 20 years,
has never appeared in public with his wife and nothing whatever is known
about her; it's as if she didn't exist. Nothing could better illustrate
the place of women in Africa.
Yet in South Africa, the constant refrain is that the country is now
a "nonracist, nonsexist democracy." The ANC insists that a third of its
MPs be women! An MP of my acquaintance tells me that many of these women
are illiterate and hopelessly ignorant. Further idiocies are found in attempts
to integrate the armed forces sexually, as in the U.S. In addition, South
Africa now has probably the most liberal available-on-demand abortion laws
in the world, even though this goes very much against the African grain.
Given that the black elite has ridden roughshod over ordinary blacks'
sensibilities, one might ask for evidence of black resistance to these
moves. Such a query assumes that Africans are in the habit of protesting
things they don't like, and yet nothing could be further from the truth.
Blacks have a sheep-like mentality, are overawed by authority, and are
therefore easily cowed. Whatever they may think, they will keep their mouths
shut. In any case, "protest" would have to be organized by black leaders.
But no black leader is likely to object publicly to the officially sanctioned
legitimization of homosexuality, for example.
Indeed, while blacks may find homosexuality revolting, it must be noted
that their feelings tend to be both shallow and mercurial. However harsh
it may sound to say so, blacks are, in many ways, child-like, and this
is illustrated by the often superficial quality of their emotions. They
are easily provoked into violence and mayhem but, like chameleons, they
can turn completely docile the next moment.
A recent incident is perhaps revealing. I was driving in heavy traffic,
and cut in front of a black taxi. As luck would have it, we met at the
light and the driver shook his fist at me, cursing me in anger. I raised
my hand, acknowledging fault. Instantly, the anger became a broad (and,
I believe, genuine) smile of friendship. This kind of instant transformation
When I was in Johannesburg in January 1986, the mammoth Johannesburg
General Hospital was for whites only. "Jo'burg Gen" was very impressive.
The nursing staff was white, as were the medical and administrative staffs.
It was clean and well-run. The previous white hospital, near the city center,
What has happened under the "new dispensation?" Conditions have deteriorated
dramatically. Patient infection rates have skyrocketed and theft of supplies
is rampant. Discipline among the nearly all-black nursing and maintenance
staff is virtually nonexistent – they simply will not work. Patients sometimes
go without clean sheets. A rabbi friend, a chaplain at Jo'burg Gen, says
it is not uncommon now for patients to die because of nurses' incompetence
and indifference. I have seen for myself that cockroaches have untrammeled
right of access.
There was recently a call by the Minister of Health, a black woman,
for entering classes of medical students to reflect demographics – for
76 percent to be black regardless of merit. From a black standpoint, this
makes perfect sense. Western medicine is, to Africans, the white man's
witchcraft rather than a disciplined body of knowledge and practices. Blacks
think of a medical "degree" as a magic talisman with which they
can heal the sick and become wealthy and powerful. Since this piece of
paper in and of itself has the power to heal, it doesn't matter how you
get it; it certainly doesn't matter what abilities or aptitudes you may
have or what, if anything, you have learned in order to get it.
Was the old system
of segregated hospitals morally justified? Needless to say, the vast majority
of Americans would find the idea morally indefensible, but after twelve
years in black countries it struck me as the merest common sense. Considering
the demographics of South Africa – five million whites and over 30 million
blacks – was it possible for the minority to provide medical care for blacks
equal in quality to what they provided for themselves? Given that all the
resources, aside from manual labor, would have to come from this small
white minority, it seems obvious that it was not.
Moreover, it is not clear that whites were under any obligation – even
ideally – to do so. If they had somehow prevented blacks from developing
their own health care systems, that would be a different matter. But it
is obvious this was not the case, since where blacks have all the resources
they need (as in Nigeria, for example), medical care is a nightmare, as
it is wherever blacks are responsible for providing it.
It might be argued, however, that whites had an obligation to provide
at least some care for blacks, perhaps the best whites could afford. But
this is basically what they did, either in separate hospitals or in separate
sections of white hospitals. I have seen some of these, prior to 1990,
and they were vastly superior to anything you would find in black Africa.
The relevant analogy is of a wealthy man with a good-for-nothing brother
with indigent children. Does he have an obligation to help them? Perhaps.
Does he have an obligation to see that they are as well off as his own
children? I don't think so. The guiding principle here is beggars can't
be choosers. Given their useless father, his children simply have to accept
whatever their uncle chooses to give them and be grateful for it.
Similarly, if blacks were capable of providing decent health care they
would have long ago been doing so, as have the Indians in South Africa,
despite being subject to levels of discrimination almost equal to those
of blacks. But their utter failure to do so anywhere in the world suggests
that blacks are incapable of it. Therefore, since whites are providing
the health care, it is surely up to them if they wish to keep the facilities
The same reasoning applies to Western donor and African beggar nations:
The West may give out of self-interest or out of charity, but it is not
obliged to give any more than it sees fit, and any attempt to browbeat
it into doing more – or even, in some truly ludicrous situations, trying
to dictate the conditions of aid – is only an attempt by African leaders
to manipulate (unjustified) white guilt. This era, one hopes, is drawing
to a close.
In an extraordinary example of a remnant of that mentality, Nelson Mandela
recently told international investors that industrialized countries "owe
us that support, not as a question of charity, but because we are entitled
to it. Our region was subjected to the most brutal form of exploitation
in the colonial era which robbed us of our resources." Even a few blacks
can see the breath-taking chutzpah of such a remark. One had this to say
in a letter to the editor of the Johannesburg Star:
"President Mandela's statement that the southern African region
has been subjected to 'the most brutal form of exploitation' by the industrialized
nations must not go unchallenged.
"Every piece of technology that exists here was brought in by the developed
nations. . . .
"Westerners established and developed infrastructure, industry and administrative
controls, all of which are, ultimately, for the benefit of all Africa's
people. . . .
"The industrialized nations owe us nothing. To say that they are morally
obliged to invest in our shaky region is preposterous. Without them the
riches of Southern Africa would never have been discovered, and could never
have been turned into wealth."
Separate schooling had the same rationale as separate hospitals.
If blacks were capable of establishing an educational system they would
have done so – as have the Indians. Most blacks are capable of some learning
and some as much as any white, and the task of educating them was undertaken
by the Afrikaner government and missionaries. Just how many blacks received
such a basic education I do not know, but I do know that the black schools
under apartheid were infinitely better than the general chaos and mayhem
that passes for "black education" now.
Nevertheless, the official bogeyman has long been "segregation." No
one ever seems to point out that demographically "integration" is a nonstarter,
since there are not enough whites to go around. The underlying assumption
is that whites are so superior that a mere handful of them in each class
will transform the travesty that is black education! (Americans thought
something roughly similar back in the 1950s.) Many blacks think the reason
whites are educated and they are not is that whites have a secret formula
they use to educate themselves, which they selfishly refuse to divulge
I recently asked a young white teenager in Cape Town how many blacks
were in his school. About 40 percent. So how is it? Not so bad, he said.
But it turned out that he was just being "polite." His parents were looking
for another school. Why, I asked, if his school was okay. "It's not," he
said. "It's chaos." Theft and violence were the norm.
It is often asserted here that blacks do less well because less money
is spent on them. Evidence from the United States has consistently shown
that this is not the case. More money has had very little effect on the
performance of black students in Washington, DC, Kansas City, and any number
of other cities. The Afrikaners' assumption (including that of the architect
of apartheid, Hendrik Verwoerd) that money spent on education must match
the ability of its recipients to absorb it may have been substantially
Within a few years most government schools will be overwhelmingly black, replicating
the conditions in the townships. As in the United States, affluent
whites will go to private schools and only the poorest will
attend government schools. South Africa is thus becoming an
unattractive place for middle and lower class whites, who are
the very people with virtually no chance of leaving.
Universities face similar problems. Witswatersrand University ("Wits"),
in Johannesburg, has traditionally been the leading university in South
Africa, and deservedly so. But the push, for at least the last ten years,
has been to turn it into an African university, that is to say, one with
no standards, very little teaching, no significant research, and that issues
meaningless paper degrees. The paradox is striking. Blacks go to Wits because
it is white. Yet these same students (or at least a very vocal minority
among them) and the black government are doing their best to turn white
universities black, which they cannot fail to know means their ruin. Indeed,
one suspects that it is the very contrast between white success and black
failure that they wish to eliminate.
It is apparent that the ANC is intent on acquiring power at every level
and exercising it without restraint. One strategy is to create mega-municipalities
incorporating all surrounding cities and towns. Greater Johannesburg, for
example, has large areas that are still predominantly white. If they stayed
independent they would retain power and influence. Therefore, the ANC has
transformed the area into four huge municipalities, each having a large
One such prosperous white area is Randburg. Until recently it had excellent
emergency services, but since amalgamation with the large black township
of Alexandra, it has been unable to provide its usual level of ambulance
service both to itself and to the much more populous township. Combined
with the newly-introduced presence of black bureaucrats, the predictable
result is that neither Alexandra nor Randburg now have proper emergency
Gedahlia Braun is the pen name of an American philosophy professor
who taught for twelve years at universities in black Africa and Papua New
Guinea. Since 1988, he has lived in Johannesburg. "South Africa Under
Black Rule" will conclude in the next issue.
• • •
BACK TO TOP • •
Squaring the Circle
An ingenious attempt to explain
racial differences in achievement.
reviewed by Michael Levin
he gaps in achievement
among world cultures are an obvious problem for racial egalitarians.
If no group is more talented than any other, why did Eurasians
rather than Africans split the atom? Why didn't indigenous Americans
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates
of Human Societies
W. W. Norton
1997, 480 pp.
Egalitarians usually dodge such questions, citing American "racism"
to explain black and Hispanic failures in the United States despite its
irrelevance to the "developing (i.e. undeveloped) world." To his credit,
Jared Diamond has confronted this issue head-on. He hopes to explain the
attainments of each race – he reluctantly accepts the concept of race –
wholly in terms of geography and ecology rather than differences in innate
Guns, Germs, and Steel should be taken seriously, first, because
it has just won a Pulitzer Prize. This will bring it extra attention, and
the cachet of the Pulitzer will convince many people that hereditarian
accounts of history have been safely disposed of at last. Second, despite
his political correctness ("The oldest Java 'man' fossils may actually
have belonged to a Java woman") and predictable digs at whites, Prof. Diamond
is intellectually serious. He is a vastly more interesting, less tendentious
writer than Stephen Jay Gould, whom he resembles in being an academic popularizer
of evolutionary biology (Prof. Diamond teaches medicine at UCLA). In fact,
when a few years ago I first came across Prof. Diamond's work in magazines
like Discover and Natural History, my reaction was "These
are the pieces Gould is trying to write." Third, as I will explain, everything
valid in this book fits nicely into, indeed enriches, the hereditarian
view of history.
Prof. Diamond is an environmentalist in the strictest sense. Unlike
hereditarians, who typically attribute group differences to both genetic
and environmental factors, he considers environmental factors only – chiefly
plants, wildlife, and geography. For him, genes account for none of the
variance in technology, literacy, military success or other aspects of
different cultures. (Whether he thinks genes contribute to individual differences
is unclear.) Prof. Diamond therefore sets himself a daunting task: phenomena
as complex as cultural divergence are apt to have complex causes, so the
fewer variables a theory of divergence permits, the less plausible it is
likely to be. It will be interesting to see whether Prof. Diamond's focus
on geography attracts the dread label "reductionist" so often slapped on
Prof. Diamond hopes
to explain the attainments of each race wholly in terms of geography and
ecology rather than differences in innate abilities.
Prof. Diamond limits himself as he does because he assumes virtually
without argument that all human groups are of identical average intelligence
– except perhaps for New Guineans fresh from the Stone Age, who "in mental
ability . . . are probably genetically innately superior to Westerners."
These views are defended with obiter dicta that readers of AR have heard
before. For example, "sound evidence for the existence of human differences
in intelligence that parallel human differences in technology is lacking.
. . . [T]ests of cognitive ability (like IQ tests) tend to measure cultural
learning and not pure innate intelligence, whatever that is." As for New
Guineans, not only do they strike him as sparkling conversationalists,
their Hobbesian milieu of interpersonal violence, accidents and starvation
culls the less intelligent. Westerners, because of their governments, written
laws, police forces and medical science, experience gentler selective pressures.
On top of that, Western children stupefy themselves with TV. (How a mere
half century of TV could affect our genes, Prof. Diamond does not say.)
The trouble with this environmentalist boilerplate about IQ is not just
that it is wrong, although of course it is that: evidence abounds that
the inhabitants of the earth's various regions differ markedly in mental
ability. Physical anthropologists estimate that cranial capacity in humans,
a valid estimator of brain size and thereby intelligence, increases by
nearly two cubic centimeters for every degree of latitude away from the
equator. This boilerplate is also incoherent. If there is no such thing
as innate intelligence, one cannot venture the deliciously scandalous suggestion
that headhunters possess more of it than white Americans. Most damaging
of all, for Prof. Diamond's purposes, this suggestion inadvertently recognizes
that social environments themselves exert selectional pressure. Prof. Diamond
does not notice that, even if the first settled Eurasian societies differed
from those of genetically similar Africans and Mesoamericans only because
of environmental reasons, the individual traits favored within these
societies might over time have pushed their populations onto divergent
genetic tracks. This is a very important point to which I will return.
Prof. Diamond has therefore done something no responsible scientist
should ever do: set out to explain a fact before making sure it is a fact.
Asking why the continents came to differ in technology although "human
neurobiology" is everywhere the same is like asking how canaries digest
meat, or why Napoleon ended up in exile on St. Helena despite winning the
battle of Waterloo.
Still, Prof. Diamond is knowledgeable and smart, and the theory he lays
out clearly sheds some light on the human past. In outline, he sees mankind's
developmental trajectory in any region of the Earth as determined by the
number and kind of domesticable plants and animals the region contained,
and its barriers to travel. In particular, the unique advantages in all
three respects of the famed "Fertile Crescent" after the last Ice Age 13,000
years ago was the decisive accident of history.
To take farming first, the area of Southwest Asia around the Tigris-Euphrates
valley, was reportedly rich in the right wild varieties of wheat and barley.
One trait that especially suits a grass species for domestication is the
heaviness of its seed – the part that contains the nutrients – and 32 of
the world's 56 heaviest-seeded grass plants are native to Southwest Asia.
Only four of these grasses are found in Sub-Saharan Africa and eleven in
all of the Americas. (I am no expert, and have no reason to dispute Prof.
The shift from hunting-gathering to farming, Prof. Diamond argues (surely
correctly), was not the inspiration of a lone genius, but was incremental
and largely unplanned. Hunter-gatherers first took note of especially desirable
plants, then began to return to the most vigorous stands of those plants,
then settled permanently near those stands, then began consciously to tend
them, and then consciously to sow future crops.
More efficient than hunting or gathering, farming yielded food surpluses
that allowed sharp increases in population density, which in turn supported
specialized non-farming classes of scribes, intellectuals, soldiers, and,
eventually, government bureaucrats. Farm-supported societies tended toward
greater complexity, the production of new ideas and inventions, and military
domination of their neighbors.
Prof. Diamond argues specifically that all this happened in the Fertile
Crescent long before it happened elsewhere in great part because of the
accident mentioned before – the presence of so many domesticable plants.
This, rather than any inherent superiority of its inhabitants, led to its
becoming the "cradle of civilization." Other parts of the world never had
a chance. Either they had no suitable plants at all, or had so few, and
began farming so late, that they were overwhelmed by the descendants of
those southwest Asians who had begun to urbanize by 8,500 B.C.
Farming was not the whole story, however. Just as important, according
to Prof. Diamond, was the presence of large domesticable animals providing
high-quality protein, transportation, and energy for work. Animals are
also a source of synergy: oxen plus wheels equal wagons. (Attaching wheels
to something that could be pulled never occurred to any New Worlder, Prof.
Diamond asserts, only because the toy wheels invented by early Mexicans
were separated from the llamas of South America by the Isthmus of Panama.)
Once again, Eurasia was lucky enough to have most of the large, wild herbivorous
mammals that could be domesticated: sheep, goats, cows, pigs and horses.
Africa had the buffalo and the horse-like zebra, but zebras are mean-tempered
and hard to lasso, while African buffaloes are too ornery to manage. Prof.
Diamond even conjures up "Rhino-mounted Bantu shock troops" overrunning
the Roman Empire, which did not happen because – but only because – rhinos
are insufficiently docile. Prof. Diamond is thus able to dismiss the subsequent
dominance of Africa by Europe as "an accident of biogeography."
Together, domesticated animals and plants conferred a final advantage
on Eurasians useful in world conquest: immunity to many diseases. Domesticated
animals produce microbes deadly to man, but which can linger in the large
populations made possible by farming long enough for their human carriers
to develop immunity. (At the same time disease organisms evolve so as not
to kill their human hosts too quickly, a point Prof. Diamond makes at length.)
The cowless and sheepless natives of the New World, Africa and Australasia,
never having been exposed to the communicable diseases of Europeans, succumbed
en masse during the age of European exploration. The most famous case of
this, of course, was the decimation of the Incas and Aztecs by germs accompanying
the Spanish conquistadors. Again, audacity and cleverness had nothing to
do with the conquistadors' military success.
But didn't the ocean-spanning ships of the Spanish, and the firearms
they deployed against New World spears, bespeak intellectual superiority?
Prof. Diamond explains western man's stubborn edge in technology by means
of the contours of the Earth's continents. Eurasia is long, stretching
ten thousand miles through the same latitudes, and free of major natural
obstacles. No impassable mountain ranges or deserts blocked the diffusion
of farming techniques and new ideas. The relative constancy of climate
allowed farm crops and domesticated animals to flourish once they spread,
increasing population density all over Eurasia, which led to further innovations
that radiated forth in their turn.
The frequency of inventors in all populations is the same, Prof. Diamond
assures us, so, all else being equal, the more people there are the more
inventions there will be. Inventions build on each other, leading in the
end to European guns and ships. The Americas, on the other hand, are tall
and thin, with their different regions occupying different latitudes. Domesticable
plants native to California would not have grown in Tierra del Fuego even
had they gotten there, which in any case they could not because of the
Panamanian bottleneck. Sub-Saharan Africa for its part was isolated by
the Sahara, so until recent centuries knew nothing of developments in the
rest of the world.
Prof. Diamond tries hard to encompass everything, but sometimes the
going gets ad hoc. As China is very large and unusually tractable geographically,
for instance, why didn't it conquer the world? Because, says Prof. Diamond,
the very ease of crisscrossing China kept competing centers of power and
innovation from forming. It was so unified that when the emperor decreed
something, such as, in the 15th century, the end of exploration, every
Chinese went obligingly along.
Prof. Diamond sweeps other facts that resist geographic pigeonholing under
the QWERTY principle. The first typewriters featured the awkward QWERTY
keyboard, meant to slow typists down so as not to jam the then-primitive
typing mechanism. But so many typists learned QWERTY, and passed it on
to future typists, that it remains entrenched even though electronic word
processing permits more ergonomic keyboard arrays. Just so, suggests Prof.
Diamond, many of the "idiosyncrasies" that may bias some cultures against
innovation may be due to accidents that arose for "trivial, temporary local
reasons," and became fixed as "influential, long-lasting cultural features."
Pure chance is thus assigned a place in the fate of cultures, but not the
talents of the individuals who make them up.
Too mean to ride.
There are several objections to his theory that Prof. Diamond anticipates.
One is the absence of controlled experiments. If Prof. Diamond is right,
had Bantus literally switched places with the inhabitants of Europe 10,000
years ago today's Bantus would occupy the world role Europeans do now.
What direct corroborative evidence is there for this? Prof. Diamond cites
the failure of Europeans to domesticate African wildlife and the keenness
with which Plains Indians adopted horses to show that personnel is irrelevant,
but anecdotes are no substitute for systematic comparative studies.
This weakness is not fatal. As Prof. Diamond observes, other hard-to-test
theories about remote origins, like evolution and continental drift, get
by on indirect evidence because of their great explanatory power: if they
are correct, they explain a great deal. But Prof. Diamond's account is
much weaker, and does not actually explain what it claims to, because it
does not adequately distinguish the conditions necessary for civilization
from those sufficient to produce it. The distinction, one Prof. Diamond
fully acknowledges, bears stressing. You can't start a fire in the absence
of oxygen – oxygen is necessary for combustion – but it does not follow
that once you have oxygen you automatically have combustion. The presence
of oxygen does not explain the Chicago fire.
Likewise, Prof. Diamond is no doubt right that a large industrial society
cannot form without plentiful food, compliant animals and contact with
outside ideas. The descendants of a band of Europeans stranded on a Pacific
atoll 5,000 years ago would not be building moon rockets today; a potential
Newton would be too busy gathering coconuts to wonder why they fall. But
it does not follow from this near-truism that just any human group with
crops, animals and outside contacts will rise as high as European man –
that, given these factors, civilization is automatic. It certainly does
not follow that any two human groups will exploit these resources to precisely
the same extent.
In fact, different groups as they now exist plainly do not respond
identically to identical inputs. Japanese played no part in the creation
of modern science, but once exposed to it they embraced it, and now lead
the world in making cars, computers and other high-tech gadgets. Africans
have been aware of European technology for just as long, but microchip
firms have not sprung up in Kenya.
Prof. Diamond replies that unlike Kenya, Japan can build on "a long
history of literacy, metal machinery, and centralized government," ultimately
traceable to flora, fauna and stimulating ideas imported earlier. However,
the "history" of any individual begins at birth, so Prof. Diamond's theory
predicts that Kenyans reared in the west should be just as adept at technology
as the average westerner. But we do not find this. Descendants of Africans
have lived in the US for ten generations, and have been immersed in its
culture (and unconnected with Africa) for at least five. Yet black contributions
to technology remain negligible. As is well known, American blacks reared
from infancy in middle-class white households show adult levels of IQ and
scholastic achievement barely above the American black mean. Similarly,
though less dramatically, Koreans reared in European families display IQs
characteristic of Koreans, not the slightly lower ones of their adoptive
parents. Current members of different groups do not exploit resources,
including knowledge, with equal efficiency, and there is no reason to think
they did so in the past. Given everything we know, if we returned in a
time machine to Africa circa 10,000 BC and transplanted the Bantus to a
land of milk, honey, horses and heavy-seed grasses, they would not take
to city-building as readily as their Eurasian contemporaries.
All of which suggests that the comparatively easy domestication of foodstuffs
and animals in Eurasia at most only accelerated group divergences already
under way. This in any case is what evolutionary logic demands. The different
environments they had occupied for tens of thousands of years previously
would have forced Africans, Europeans, Asians and Amerindians apart by
8,000 B.C. Prof. Diamond devotes only two dismissive sentences to this
"Many northern Europeans assume that technology thrives in
a rigorous climate where survival is impossible without technology, and
withers in a benign climate where clothing is unnecessary and bananas supposedly
fall off the trees. An opposite view is that benign environments leave
people free from the constant struggle for existence, free to devote themselves
What Prof. Diamond should have done at this point was to ask which
scenario is more plausible, and, if possible, integrate these ideas into
his own hypothesis. Instead he resorts to a debater's trick: meet an unwelcome
idea with its polar opposite, and hope the two cancel each other out.
This blindness to human evolution is the great weakness of Guns.
I mentioned earlier the selective pressures applied to Eurasians by the
transition to farming. Surprisingly – amazingly – Prof. Diamond traces
the genetic effects of domestication on plants and animals (today's dogs
and cats have smaller brains than their feral counterparts), on animal-borne
diseases, and on the human immune system, but it never occurs to him that
domestication, agriculture and urbanization might also have altered the
domesticators in far-reaching ways. That this did in fact happen is a central
theme of contemporary sociobiology.
Take the ability to soothe a nervous horse. The neurological basis
for this ability must have shown up from time to time as a mutation, but
in the absence of horses it conferred no survival value, and did not take
hold. But once horses were tamed, the ability to handle them became valuable,
hence fitness-conferring, hence fixed in the population. Or take foresight,
always somewhat useful, but possibly more useful, hence more apt to be
selected for, when grain must be stored, seeds husbanded, and other tasks
requiring visualization of the future must be done.
Cooperation and Morality
But the deepest changes in the human psyche induced by urbanization
concern co-operation and intelligence. Everyone in a small band of hunter-gatherers
is related, so general altruism enhances inclusive genetic fitness. By
aiding any other band member, even at some cost to myself, I automatically
aid a carrier of some of my own genes. Greater concern for closer relatives
aside, no advantage accrues to discrimination about whom to help. But when
(thanks to farming) hundreds of people live together, pure helpfulness
may subordinate my own genetic interests to those of an unrelated stranger.
Being able to tell relatives from non-relatives suddenly becomes adaptive,
and the enhanced cognitive abilities needed to do so are likely to develop.
But it is also in my interest to help strangers willing to help me back.
So there is also pressure to develop the yet more sophisticated ability
to keep track of those I have helped, those in my debt, proven welshers
(who won't get my help again), to calculate the odds that I can get away
with accepting help today without having to reciprocate tomorrow, and so
on. And the more adept urban dwellers became at these calculations, the
subtler their interactions became, which selected for even better abilities
to handle these interactions. Many evolutionary psychologists trace much
of modern man's intellectual attainments to the cognitive demands of multiperson
interactions (Eurasian man's, of course, but this they don't say).
Therefore, even if, improbably, early Eurasian urbanization was an accident,
hundreds of generations of city life itself would have molded Eurasians
to differ from Africans, Australasians and Amerindians in significant genetic
ways: to be more intelligent, more gregarious, and to adopt norms closer
to the golden rule. In fact, Richard Lynn, Edward Miller and J. P. Rushton,
who have conjectured about the evolutionary effects of climate during hominid
evolution, could easily add the genetic changes triggered by urbanization
to their models of prehistory.
But how could Prof. Diamond, a self-proclaimed evolutionary biologist,
have missed these arguments about the effects of urbanization? They are
not the preserve of a tiny coterie. There is now a highly developed mathematical
theory of the evolution of cooperation, expounded in several books well
known to academics, and articles about it appear regularly in top journals,
like Science, Nature and Journal of Theoretical Biology.
Prof. Diamond must know of these developments. Why does he ignore them?
In part, because of Occam's razor. Since (Prof. Diamond thinks) race
differences are not needed to explain history, looking for them is pointless.
To a certain extent this conviction is justified: if we didn't already
know from other evidence that the races differ, his case would be quite
persuasive. Guns is easily the best environmentalist anthropology
ever written. But Prof. Diamond's scientific edifice stands on the usual
moralistic foundation. He makes very plain his opposition to "racism."
Unlike Stephen Jay Gould, Prof. Diamond is too honest to cheat for ideological
reasons, but he so dislikes "racists" that he can't separate his desire
to refute them from the happy feeling of actually having done so. I honestly
wonder how Prof. Diamond would react if forced to deal with the detailed
evidence of race differences that has been accumulating for the past half
Michael Levin is in the Department of Philosophy of the Graduate
Center of the City University of New York.
• • •
TO TOP • • •
O Tempora, O Mores!
Chinese Flee Indonesia
In the heady aftermath of President Suharto's resignation in Indonesia,
the country has begun to discuss a subject that has long been taboo: the
role of the Chinese. Although they are only three percent of the population,
Chinese control approximately one half of the economy – this, despite anti-Chinese
laws that forbid the publication of Chinese-language periodicals and even
the celebration of Chinese New Year. In most Indonesian towns, it is easy
to tell who lives where: Native Indonesians live in dumps and the Chinese
live in mansions.
With the change in government, Indonesians finally feel free to say
what they think. "Actually, we hate the Chinese," says a 38-year-old businessman,
"but we couldn't do anything about them before, because they were protected
by Suharto. But I don't think they will be protected any more." There has
been a tight lid on public discussion of the Chinese minority, but hatred
has been boiling beneath the surface for years. In the recent rioting that
rocked the islands, mobs singled out Chinese businesses and homes to loot
and put to the torch. Now there is increasing talk among ordinary people
about whether all Chinese should simply be expelled – though the
ruling elites are unlikely to take such harsh measures. In the meantime
many Chinese have decided not to wait and see. Thousands have already fled
to Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. (Nicholas Kristof, In Indonesia,
Democracy's Dark Side, Int. Hrld. Tribune, May 6, 1998, p. 1.)
The death of former Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver in May received
much press attention. Many commentators noted that the former radical had
turned Republican and supposedly embraced Christianity. Somehow, no one
mentioned the following passage from his influential book, Soul on Ice:
"I became a rapist. To refine my technique and modus operandi,
I started out by practicing on black girls in the ghetto . . . and when
I considered myself smooth enough, I crossed the tracks and sought out
white prey. . . .
"Rape was an insurrectionary act. It delighted me that I was defying
and trampling on the white man's law, upon his system of values, and that
I was defiling his woman – and this point, I believe, was the most satisfying
to me . . . ."
Many black men must feel the same way. In 1994, according to the
Department of Justice, there were over 20,000 rapes of white women by black
men – and fewer than 100 rapes of black women by white men.
Temptation Too Strong
James Hood, who in 1963 was the first black man admitted to the University
of Alabama, has long fascinated audiences with a story about seeing his
uncle hanged and burned by Ku Kluxers in the 1950s. The latest public airing
was at an April 26th racial unity rally in Madison, Wisconsin, where he
said: "I crawled over to the window and pulled aside the drapes, and I
saw a man hanging, burning. And the next morning, I learned that the man
was my uncle." His listeners reportedly "groaned and murmured in shock."
A local newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal began looking
into the story and contacted the Times of Huntsville, Alabama. Mr.
Hood was informed that there was no record of such a lynching. At first
he stuck to his guns: "These things happened every day, particularly in
that area. I can verify it as a human being. Yes, it happened. I saw it.
And I know there won't be any written record of it. If I had to stand on
a stack of Bibles, I would do it. But ask me to show documentation, I can't
Later he admitted he made up the story.
Mr. Hood is now chairman of police, firefighting, and paramedic training
education at Madison Area Technical College. He appears to be in no danger
of losing his job. (Activist Admits Lynching is a Lie, Washington Times,
May 8, 1998.)
April brought its usual quota of only locally-reported black-on-white
violence. Carl Best, an 18-year-old student at Knox College in Illinois,
has been charged with the bludgeoning death of fellow student Andrea Racibozynski.
The two met by chance after two groups of students joined up after leaving
separate parties. An "altercation" ensued just a few minutes after they
met, and Mr. Best beat his victim to death with a brick. This is believed
to be the first murder in the 162-year history of Knox College. (Dan Rozek,
Judge Doubles Bond in Knox Slaying, Chicago Sun-Times, April 11, 1998,
In Queens, New York, two white teenagers were attacked by a gang of
blacks. Bryan Lazerus and Albert Sindoni, both 17, were waiting for a bus
when four or five blacks approached them. At 270 pounds, Mr. Lazerus was
able to fight off some of his attackers but they were quickly joined by
up to 40 others who were just getting out of school. "They came out of
nowhere," said Mr. Lazerus. "They were yelling guinea, cracker, white bread!
This is our neighborhood now. Why don't you get out?" He said there were
some 70 pedestrians who stood by and did nothing. Blacks hit Mr. Lazerus
with a garbage pail, and it took 70 stitches to close his wounds. (Rocco
Parascandola, Black Gang Slashes White Teen in Qns.: Cops, New York Post,
April 26, 1998.)
In Chicago, a 35-year-old white waitress was waiting for a bus at 11:00
in the morning when a car carrying a black man and woman pulled up beside
her. The woman got out, called the victim a "white ****" and shouted, "Get
out of my neighborhood, and if you come back, I have a bat." She then beat
the woman with her fists, got back in the car, and drove away. (Gary Wisby,
Attack on Woman Called a Hate Crime, Chicago Sun-Times, April 22, 1998,
In May, white passengers on a Dallas commuter train were subjected to
20 minutes of verbal and physical abuse from a pack of eight or nine black
teenagers. One woman described the scene. "The language was horrible. .
. . They were yelling racially charged challenges and insults – '[expletive]
all white people. White people are going to pay.' "
A 48-year-old white explained: "Everybody on the train was terrified. They
spit a big wad of phlegm in my face." He added that one of the attackers
pulled a girl's hair and screamed "white bitch" in an apparent attempt
to start a fight with her male companion. "There was a lot of taunting
and challenging, like 'If you don't like it, step up here.' They'd get
in someone's face and say, 'I'm not going to take any crap from you.' "
The attackers even pressed the emergency intercom and taunted the driver
of the train. This should have prompted a call to the police from the driver
but the calls were either ignored or not heard. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit
(DART), the agency that runs the trains, says it was not aware of the incident
until a reporter called about it three weeks later. (Curtis Howell, DART
Vows to Boost Safety After Incident, Dallas Morning News, May 21, 1998,
Who Lives in Your County?
If you would like to know the exact racial makeup of the population
of the county in which you live, the U.S. Census Bureau makes that information
available on its web page. The page is not very easy to use, but the county
information by state is at:
On the same page as your state's demographics by county you will
also find the racial breakdown for the state's major cities. Unlike many
census documents, the page makes a clear distinction between whites and
Hispanics. Although most Hispanics claim to be white, the information here
establishes non-Hispanic whites as a separate category.
The web page includes the latest, 1997 estimates as well as annual historical
data back to 1990. If you are willing to wrestle with the Census Bureau's
obscure ways of presenting data, you can even find racial breakdowns by
city and county for every age group.
No English Spoken Here
For the first time, a television station that does not broadcast in
English has become the top station in a major city. According to Nielson
ratings, Miami's Spanish-language WLTV, which is owned by the Los Angeles-based
Univision network, has more viewers than any other station in the city.
In Los Angeles, Univision affiliate KMEX has top ratings among viewers
aged 18 to 49 during key prime-time and local news slots, but only in Miami
is a Spanish-language station number one from sign-on to sign-off. Univision
used to import most of its material but has moved strongly into local production.
It has created its own "American" stars, like talk-show host Cristina Saralegui,
and according to the Washington Post, its variety show extravaganza,
Sabado Gigante (Giant Saturday) "must be seen to be believed."
Former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros is now president of Univision.
Nationwide, it is still well behind the three major networks. An estimated
1.4 million households watch it during prime time, while ratings leader
NBC is on the screen in an estimated nine million homes. (Zita Arocha,
Spanish TV Nets a Win, Washington Post, April 24, 1998, p. A1.)
You can still register for
the AR conference at the early- bird rate of just $75.00. To our list of
distinguished speakers – please see the enclosed flyer – we have added Paul
Gottfried, profes- sor of humanities at Eliza- bethtown college, who will speak
on "Race Relations and the Decline of WASPdom."
An AR conference is a unique
opportunity to strike back at the anti-white forces that are destroying
our country. For more information, please call
(703) 716-0900. We hope
to see you in August!
Since 1984, the state of Israel has paid to bring in over 25,000 black
Jews from Ethiopia. They are not assimilating, and the sense of separateness
appears to be mutual. Younger Ethiopians, who have little recollection
of life in Africa, say they feel much closer to black Americans, Jamaicans
and Africans than to Israelis. Others complain that Israelis will not sit
next to them on buses. For their part, immigration authorities house black
immigrants in trailer parks rather than apartments, explaining that keeping
Ethiopians together helps ease the transition. Ethiopian discontent erupted
last year in riots when it was reported that Israeli blood banks were throwing
away blood donated by Ethiopians for fear it might be contaminated with
the AIDS virus.
Some Israelis think bringing in Africans may have been a mistake. "No
other Western-type country invited a black immigration, and this country
did," says Zvi Sobel, head of the social sciences department at Haifa University.
"We did it on an ideological basis. The question is whether we were realistic.
We are not Superman." He argues that Israel has problems enough without
racial friction. "Do we have too much on our plate to add the color dimension?"
he asks. "No society has dealt with color well. To think we could do it
was chutzpah." (John Donnelly, Miami Herald, Religious Bond, Cultural Divide,
March 22, 1998, p. 1A.)
A Family Man
Preston Donell Allen is a 33-year old man who has fathered 16 children
by 11 different women. In May, he was sentenced to a three-year prison
term for failing to pay child support. Mr. Allen blames the women. "When
somebody tells you that they're using something and they're not and here
comes a child."
"Ever hear of a condom?" asked Judge David Hansher.
"A condom makes me break out, sir," replied Mr. Allen.
Judge Hansher said that a jail term will prevent more pregnancies, but
only for a while. He said he wished the law allowed for mandatory vasectomies,
and offered to reduce Mr. Allen's parole time if he agrees to be sterilized
after he gets out of prison. Mr. Allen said he would think about it. (David
Doege, Jailed Deadbeat Dad Might Call it Quits at 16 Kids, Washington Times,
May 7, 1998, p. A6.)
Better to be Black
In 1985 Pepsi Cola left South Africa to protest apartheid. In 1994 the
company returned with great fanfare. The investors in the Pepsi's new South
African bottling company, New Age Beverages, included black celebrities
like Johnnie Cochran, Whitney Houston, and Danny Glover.
In 1997, suffering heavy losses in a market dominated by Coca
Cola, New Age folded. When this happens investors normally take losses
– but not if you are famous and black. At a meeting with PespiCo president
Roger Enrico, the blacks threatened a lawsuit or a "public airing of their
complaints" unless they were made whole. In April, Pepsi announced it would
give the 26 black investors company stock worth $9 million. White investors
will get nothing. "This cements our relationship [with the black celebrities]
with an eye to the future," said Pepsi spokesman Brad Shaw. The company
claims the blacks will provide the company with unspecified "personal services"
in exchange for the stock. (Nikhil Deogun, Pepsi To Pay Stock To Black
Americans Who Invested In South African Bottler, Wall Street Journal, April
27, 1998, p. B17.)
The Miami-Dade County school board is about to adopt a Hispanic history
curriculum for public schools. Later this year the Florida legislature
is expected to establish a similar requirement for the whole state. This
follows 1994 legislation that required lessons in black history and Holocaust
"I want it [Hispanic studies] to take the same space that African-American
history and the Holocaust take – no more, no less," said Miami board member
Demetrio Perez. The curriculum, called Legado or legacy, will include
biographies of famous Hispanics, maps of Latin America and lessons about
everything from something called "Three Kings Day" to the raw fish dish
ceviche. One lesson plan challenges students to "develop an action
plan to assist new immigrants."
Many of the "famous Hispanics" are white Europeans like the painter
Francisco de Goya, Queen Isabella, and explorer Tristan del Luna Arellano.
European explorers apparently can be slipped into the curriculum as something
other than rapacious white villains only if they are part of a celebration
of "Hispanic heritage." (Jodi Mailander Farrell, Expanding Horizons, The
Miami Herald, April 11, 1998, p. 1B.)
Love Thy Enemy
The African National Congress has appointed a 30-year-old historian
to rewrite the recent history of South Africa. Nhlanhla Ndebele will receive
a three year, $50,000 scholarship to research the ANC's massive archives.
"This will change the way history is taught in our schools," says Mr. Ndebele.
British Aerospace is paying for the scholarship. (South African Scholar
Will Rewrite the Past, Washington Times, May 7, 1998, p. A17.)
The following is from the television section of the British magazine
Hello!, announcing a program called "A Respectable Trade."
"Set in Bristol in the 1780s, this new series explores part of
Britain's hidden history – the wealth and cruelty of the slave trade.
"The story offers tough but compelling viewing for the next four
weeks, with Warren Clarke playing an ill-bred ship owner, Anna Massey his
spinster sister, Emma Fielding his posh but penniless wife and Ariyone
Bakare one of the black cargo for whom she falls – he being learned, powerful
and dignified (in fact, everything her husband is not).
"Adapted by Philippa Gregory from her novel, it offers a British parallel
to Roots and Amistad, which depicted America's role in the
slave trade. But, says script executive James Saynor: 'We're not trying
to be too preachy. We didn't do it because we wanted to say something about
race relations. It was a good story and that's what drama's about.' " (Pick
Of The Week, Hello!, April 18, 1998, p.78.)
Not Going Quietly
The INS is deporting records numbers of illegal aliens. Last year it
expelled 113,325 and this year it is likely to top that figure. Three-quarters
of illegals go home by bus to Mexico, but 20 to 30 thousand fly on commercial
airlines, their one-way tickets paid for by the INS. The flyers have found
a loophole in the deportation process. If the captain of a commercial airliner
decides that a passenger might be unruly or a danger to other passengers
he has the right to leave him on the ground. It is now a common last-ditch
tactic for the Nigeria- or Congo-bound to scream and kick and assault guards
on the way to the boarding gate. They go back to detention and some of
them face battery charges, but at least they manage to stay in the country
a little longer. In the worst cases, the INS must pay for a guard or two
to fly with the bolshie alien. (Laurie Cohen, Many Deportees Make Fracas
at Airport Their Last Appeal, Wall Street Journal, May 6, 1998, p. 1.)
Best Minds are Baffled
Researchers at Vanderbilt University report that even when black and
white households have the same incomes, whites are twice as likely to have
computers in the home and to use the Internet. When comparable families
of blacks and whites do not own computers, whites are five times as likely
to find computers some place else – in libraries, for example – and connect
to the Internet. The researchers pronounce themselves baffled by these
findings and are worried about blacks being "excluded" from the information
on the world wide web. (Color-blind Web Not Supported by Research, Sacramento
Bee, April 28, 1998.)
Cleaning Up the Airwaves
Until this April, broadcasters had to hire non-whites in proportion
to their numbers in the surrounding population. They also had to make a
special effort to hunt for non-white employees and to give them special
training. Those that did not could have their broadcasting licenses revoked
by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has claimed since
1968 that racially mixed broadcasting staff were "in the public interest."
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has asked the FCC
to explain how racial preferences serve the public interest. The FCC failed
to satisfy the court, which has now ruled its regulations unconstitutional.
The case was brought by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which holds
licenses for two noncommercial religious radio stations in Clayton, Mo.
The church was appealing an FCC ruling that it was insufficiently zealous
in recruiting non-whites. The stations broadcast religious programs and
classical music, and had been unable to hire many black Lutheran classical-music-lovers.
(Jeannine Aversa, AP, Court KOs FCC Hiring Requirements, April, 14, 1998.)
• • •
BACK TO TOP • •
E T T E R S F R O M R E A D E
Sir – Thank you for your recent series of articles on the achievements
of the Front National in France. The articles have been informative, thought
provoking, and inspiring. But what amazes me the most are the similarities
between liberals. On both sides of the Atlantic, they cling to a system
that does not work.
However, what Mr. Le Pen and the FN has shown is that all politics are
local. It matters less who is elected President, than who is on the city
council or the school board. That is where we can have the greatest impact.
The FN is a grass roots movement. If we hope to emulate its success, we
need to find and support local people who share our views. Only when European-Americans
reclaim their leadership role will we truly reclaim our country.
Jack Thames, Greensboro, N.C.
Sir – I don't quite see the point of your review of Lee Silver's Remaking
Eden. If, before long, parents really will be able to pick whatever abilities
or characteristics they want for their children, where will that leave
the questions of race you raise so urgently? We can be pretty sure that
"designer babies" are going to look white – or very close to it – no matter
what the race of their parents. But will they be white? Will it make a
difference any more? The prospect of distant generations of designer babies
becoming so "genetically enhanced" that they cease to be homo sapiens as
we now know him likewise suggests that in the long term race will cease
to be an issue. Is your reviewer suggesting that rather than fighting to
close the borders and to regain the right of free association we should
be supporting genetic research in the hope that eventually everyone will
be white – or maybe even something better?
Heather Anderson, Sioux City, Iowa
Sir – I was interested to see your review of Reconquistal: The Takeover
of America. It does not surprise me that many Mexican-"Americans" are openly
chauvinistic about their prospects for taking over the American Southwest.
What surprises me – even after reading AR for several years – is who is
talking this way. You quote state legislators, college professors, Los
Angeles city councilmen, and even the chairman of the state Democratic
Party as exulting at the prospect of reducing whites to a minority and
perhaps even eliminating them. We have come to a very sorry state of affairs
when people in public positions speak this way and go unrebuked.
What must they think of us? How can they not despise us when they talk
boldly about taking our country and hear not a peep of protest? Not only
do they hear no protest, politicians and academics fawn over them, courting
their favor. We are sick the way some dogs are sick: The harder you kick
them the more they wag their tails. It makes me wonder what it would take
from Mexicans to get a rise out of Bill Clinton or Diane Feinstein or the
Los Angeles Times. Maybe they would blink if the California legislature
voted to start sending state revenues to Mexico City rather than to Sacramento
– or if the city of Los Angeles started officially flying the Mexican flag
rather than the U.S. flag. Or maybe they would just say to the Republicans,
"You see, you have to try harder to please these people."
Carl Owen, West Point, N. Y.
Sir – I have heard of a recently released collection of essays edited
by Jared Taylor called The Real American Dilemma: Race, Immigration, and
the Future of America. Perhaps you could provide some information about
this title for those of us who would like to order it.
Matthew Harrington, St. Cloud, Minn.
The book is a collection of essays based on talks given at the 1996
AR conference. Some have been expanded considerably and many now have footnotes.
The collection is edited by Jared Taylor and includes chapters by Philippe
Rushton, Michael Levin, Samuel Francis, Michael Hart, Wayne Lutton, James
Thornton, Glayde Whitney, and Jared Taylor. Prof. Whitney's chapter is
the only one that is not based on a conference lecture. Taken together,
the collection is an excellent introduction to current racialist thinking.
This is the first book to be published by New Century Foundation,
which publishes AR. Its cost is $9.95 plus $2.00 shipping. We expect to
publish a review of the book in a forthcoming issue.
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