Hollow Debate on
Supreme Court sidesteps the central question.
by Jared Taylor
The justices didnt
get the whole story.
n June, the US Supreme Court is
expected to rule on whether universities can continue to favor
blacks and Hispanics over whites and Asians in their admissions
policies. This will be the high courts first major decision
on affirmative action in the 25 years since California
v. Bakke, and partisans on both sides are bracing for a ruling
that could set the permissible bounds of race policy for many
years to come.
The courts ruling will hinge
on two central issues, one of which has been widely discussed,
and the other completely ignored. The firsttreated at length
in legal argumentsis whether diversity of a
student body is so important a national goal that racial discrimination
is permitted in order to attain it. There has been legal and media
silence, however, on the question of whether students of all racial
groups are of equal ability and are equally capable of benefiting
from university instruction. As we shall see, ignoring this question
falsifies the debate, and undercuts the validity of the Supreme
Courts decision, no matter how it rules.
Moving the Goal Posts
Since it was initiated under the
Nixon administration, affirmative action has had a
series of justifications, that evolved as the successive assumptions
on which it was based turned out to be false. Racial preferences
arose from the disappointments of the immediate post-Civil Rights
era, when many activists expected that once the barriers of discrimination
were thrown down, blacks would glide effortlessly into good jobs
and top universities. The theory was that systematic discrimination
had excluded large numbers of smart, hard-working blacks from
their rightful places, and that once discrimination ended, they
would succeed at the same level as whites.
This was one of many naïve
assumptions of the time, as universities and employers quickly
discovered. It was hard to find attractive black candidates for
Harvard and management training programs. The first goal of affirmative
action was therefore to flush these people out, actively
to identify and recruit blacks who were presumed to be as qualified
as whites but were shy about showing up. When diligent searching
failed to find qualified blacks, it was then only a small step
to selectively lowering standards. This was now justified by the
argument that if blacks did not appear to be attractive candidates
it was only because of the effects of past discrimination, which
could be undone only by preferences. A leg-up at the right time
would set them firmly on the path to success.
Many institutions established
outright quotas for blacks, and for Hispanics as well, as their
numbers increased and they, too, were unable to meet white standards.
The 1978 Bakke case drew attention to quotas at the University
of California Medical School at Davis, which held open 16 of 100
places for non-whites. Allan Bakke, a white man who was denied
admission despite having better qualifications than all the quota
non-whites, brought the suit that resulted in the famous ruling.
By a majority of only 5-4, the court rejected outright racial
quotas, but Justice Lewis Powells decision permitted the
use of race as a plus factor in admissions.
Blacks and Hispanics got 20 extra
points. Perfect SAT scores were worth only 12 points.
University officials simply instituted
racial quotas but without the name. Since race was a permissible
factor for admitting students, a university could give it just
the right amount of consideration to bring non-whites up to a
desired number. This was the clear intent of the University of
Michigan, which is the defendant in the two cases now before the
court. Gratz v. Bollinger challenges the undergraduate
admissions system, which rated applicants on a scale that ranged
from 47 to 150 points. Underrepresented minoritiesblacks,
Hispanics, and American Indians, but not Asiansautomatically
got 20 points added to their scores, an instant boost of nearly
one fifth of the total possible variation in point scores (a candidate
with a perfect 1600 on the SAT got only 12 points more than someone
who got the rock bottom score of 400). The university had a target
number of non-whites students, and set the point advantage for
them at a figure that ensured it would get that number: a quota
in everything but name.
Grutter v. Bollinger challenges
admissions to the Michigan Law School, and though preferences
were implemented differently, a district court found that race
was enormously important in admissions decisions.
The school set aside what was in effect a quota of 11 to 17 percent
of each class for favored groups.
In the past, the Supreme Court
has ruled that narrowly tailored preference programs
are permissible if they are designed to compensate for specific
acts of past discrimination. However, it is now nearly 40 years
since the Civil Rights Act of 1965 banned racial discrimination
in employment and university admissions, and there have been systematic
preference programs for at least 30 years. The University of Michigan
has been recruiting blacks since well before todays freshmen
were born, so it would be hard to argue that its point system
compensated them for past discrimination. And, indeed, that is
no longer the justification for racial preferences.
The argument Michigan is making,
and one supported by amicus briefs filed by dozens of other
universities as well as the US Army, is that racial diversity
itself is such a compelling national and educational interest
that it justifies discrimination against whites. President William
Adams of Colby College says it is a fundamental truth
that students learn more and more powerfully, in settings
that include individuals from many different backgrounds and perspectives
. . . . A former Michigan president, Lee Bollinger (the
primary named defendant in these cases), is even more categorical:
Diversity is not merely
a desirable addition to a well-run education. It is as essential
as the study of the Middle Ages, of international politics and
of Shakespeare. For our students to better understand the diverse
country and world they inhabit, they must . . . study with, argue
with and become friends with students who may be different from
them. It broadens the mind and the intellectessential goals
These academics are, of course,
justifying diversity of only a certain kind. They would no doubt
be horrified to think their reasoning could encourage the admission
of evangelical Christians, race realists, big-game hunters, smokers,
gun collectors, Stalinists or Nazis. They want uniformity of views,
expressed by just the right mix of races.
In its arguments before the Supreme
Court, the university claimed that the diversity it achieved by
admitting underqualified minorities was of great value for students,
but its own internal documents cast doubt on that claim. In March
1990, the university commissioned a study on the effects of diversity,
the findings of which were published on May 24, 1994, two years
before the Bollinger suits were filed.
More veritas, please.
The study surveyed the expectations,
perceptions, and experiences with respect to diversity,
of a sample of students in the 1990-91 freshman class and then
followed up with surveys in succeeding years. One important finding
was that students attitudes toward diversity are established
before they arrive on campus, and aggressive multi-racial programs
do not increase their appreciation of diversity. Quite simply,
access is not enough, concludes the executive summary of
the report. Increasing the numbers of students who attend
the institution from different racial/ethnic backgrounds does
not in itself lead to a more informed, educated population, prepared
to achieve in a complex and diverse world. The university
tried to look on the bright side: The results do not support
the claims by some that multicultural programs and curricular
efforts are in themselves causing division and tension on campus.
In fact, in some respects, the
report admits that students attitudes towards diversity
deteriorated with time:
When students evaluate the
universitys commitment to students of color, African American
and White student perceptions are increasingly polarized. At entrance,
46 percent of African American students perceive a university
commitment and at the end of the second year, this number decreases
to 19 percent. For White students, the number perceiving a university
commitment to students of color increases, from 57 percent at
entrance to 70 percent in the sophomore year. In other words,
whites certainly notice the universitys endless support
and sensitivity for blacks, but blacks think its
Perhaps most significantly, the
report found that blacks are not interested in the cross-cultural
give-and-take that Lee Bollinger assures us in the above quotation
is one of the essential goals of education. As the
report delicately puts it: Interaction is generally not
occurring in close social networks . . . . Blacks seem
to assess diversity efforts in terms of more institutional aspects
of the racial climate. Interpersonal contact or concern with division
are not as salient in their evaluations of diversity, as are issues
of university commitment, respect, and
representation of African American experiences in the educational
process. . . . Unfortunately, the desire to learn and understand
other groups contribution to society (Asian American or
Latino/Hispanic, for example [presumably they already know all
about white, European history and culture]) does not appear to
be an important component of their evaluation of diversity as
Put in plain English, blacks dont
give a damn about studying with, arguing with, and becoming
friends with students who may be different from them. To
them, diversity means the very opposite of what it
means to the university: It is whatever it takes to make their
four years on campus as comfortingly black as possible.
They are not interested in offering people of other races the
enrichment their presence is alleged to confer, nor do they want
enrichment from others.
The Michigan study is not the
only one to deflate grand claims for diversity. The Spring 2003
issue of The Public Interest (Stanley Rothman, Seymour
Martin Lipset, Neil Nevitte, Racial Diversity Reconsidered,
pp. 25-28.) includes results of a survey of 140 universities and
colleges, which compared the attitudes of students on racially
diverse campuses with those at less diverse schools.
The results are worth quoting
It is commonly believed
that increases in black enrollment will produce positive assessments
from students about their educational experience. But in fact
the correlation went in the opposite direction. As the proportion
of black students rose, student satisfaction with their university
experience dropped, as did their assessments of the quality of
their education and the work ethic of their peers. The article
notes that faculty and administrators had the same view: the more
diverse the campus, the worse they found the quality of education
and lower the level of student competence.
Increasing numbers of Hispanics
also had a depressing effect on student evaluation of the quality
of their education, though not to the same extent as increases
in blacks. The presence of Asian students seems to have had no
effect, positive or negative.
The article continues:
Finally, enrollment diversity
was positively related to students experience of unfair
treatment, even after the effects of all other variables were
controlled. (As the proportion of black students grew, the incidence
of these personal grievances increased among whites. . . . Thus
diversity appears to increase complaints of unfair treatment among
white students without reducing them among black students.)
To anyone not completely deceived
by liberal propaganda, such results are entirely to be expected.
Most whites leave when blacks or Hispanics move into the neighborhood,
and most white parents take their children out of schools that
become majority non-white. Blacks and Hispanics themselves show
a marked preference for living and associating with people like
themselves. Why would this near-universal distaste for diversity
blossom into love only on college campuses?
The law school.
Diversity among college students
is no different from diversity anywhere else. It may very well
expose people to different experiences and points of view, but
these are points of view they may find repellent and experiences
they might rather not have. This, then, is the compelling national
goal Michigan assures the Supreme Court is so important it justifies
It is ironic that most of the
people now telling us what joys diversity brings are not speaking
from experience. The administrators who explain to us how essential
diversity is to education and to understanding our fellow man
had, by their own standards, defective educations in bleakly homogeneous
institutions. Those who studied at Oxford as Rhodes Scholars must
have learned almost nothing, lost as they were in a uniform sea
of Englishmen. But this is the way it is with race: Whites who
have had the least experience with non-whites always consider
themselves qualified to lecture us on race relations. It is entirely
possible that the whites on the Supreme Court, who likewise had
miserable, homogeneous educations, can be talked into thinking
they know what is best for the rest of us, and will agree that
diversity is a compelling national objective. The one justice
who has experienced diversity all his adult life,
black justice Clarence Thomas, will probably vote against any
form of racial preferences, but whites who know better may well
Race and Reality
The Gratz and Grutter
cases are, however, taking place in something of an intellectual
vacuum. Let us imagine, for a moment, an Olympic Games without
separate divisions for men and women, in which all events were
open to both sexes. Any country that had any hope of winning would
field a team that was all or mostly men (perhaps an equestrian
or an archer might be a woman). Let us then imagine an American
Olympic committee intensely committed to sexual diversity, and
that claimed diversity was such an important goal it justified
taking sex into consideration in the selection of athletes. In
the national debate that followed, someone would surely point
out that men are stronger and faster than women, and that if the
Olympic team turned out to be all male it would simply reflect
superior ability. A debate in which this point were not raised
would hardly be a debate.
Likewise, a national debate on
racial preferences that does not raise the question of race differences
in mental ability is hardly a debate. To continue the Olympic
analogy, it is like assuming men and women are equal in athletic
ability, and then straining every muscle to root out the terrible
sex discrimination that keeps women off the team.
It is true that the current Supreme
Court debate is couched in terms of diversity rather than discrimination,
but the underlying assumption of every national racial policy
is that all races are perfectly, mathematically, geometrically
equal in ability, and that any non-white shortfall in achievement
is due to white racism. Indeed, today, the most powerful
case to be made for racial preferences is not to sing the
dubious praises of diversity, but to argue the following syllogism:
We know the races are equally able and hardworking. We know
blacks and Hispanics perform badly because of white oppression.
Racial preferences are therefore just compensation to blacks and
appropriate punishment for whites. Within the stylized exchanges
that pass for debate on race, this is an irrefutable argument.
The fact that Asians, despite
a history of considerable discrimination, make more money than
whites and are accepted at higher rates by elite universities,
never seems to sway our official faith in the racism
explanation for black and Hispanic failure. If the races are equal,
and white malevolence explains underachievement by non-whites,
does white favoritism somehow explain Asian overachievement?
Asians are inconvenient to the racism-explains-all view, so proponents
of racial preferences ignore them.
Of course, among psychologists
and experts in mental testing, it is widely understood that blacks
and Hispanics are simply not as intelligent as whites, and that
Asians are slightly more intelligent. Ever since the First World
War, when large-scale data were first collected, blacks have been
found to have an average IQ of about 85 as opposed to a white
average of 100. There is, of course, considerable racial overlap,
but only 16 percent of blacks have IQs of 100 or above. Whites
are about six times more likely than blacks to have IQs of 135
and higher, that is to say in the gifted range at
which people make a real mark in intellectually demanding fields.
Blacks are about six times more likely to have scores in the retarded
range of 70 and below. As the graph on this page shows, because
there are many more whites than blacks in the United States, the
absolute numbers of whites in the higher ranges of IQ are vastly
greater than for blacks.
North AsiansJapanese, Koreans,
and Chinesehave an average IQ of 103 to 105. American Hispanics
are a very heterogeneous population, but their average IQ scores
range from the mid-80s to mid-90s.
Among specialists, there is no
debate over the fact of differences in IQ and that these differences
underlie different levels of achievement. The only debate now
is over how much of this difference to attribute to genes and
how much to environment.
In the mid-1980s, at a time when
public discussion of race and IQ was, if anything, even more taboo
than it is today, Mark Snyderman and Stanley Rothman sent a survey
to psychologists and mental testing experts to gather their views
anonymously. A majority of the 661 respondents wrote that
the black/white IQ gap had both genetic and environmental causes;
only 15 percent wrote that the race difference was caused entirely
Since that time, there have been
significant advances in our understanding of the IQ gap, most
notably the continuing work of Arthur Jensen, and that of Philippe
Rushton, Richard Lynn, Linda Gottfredson, Michael Levin, and others,
but our rulers and media elites continue to pretend none of this
research was ever done, or to deride and mischaracterize it when
they mention it at all. The situation Dr. Snyderman and Prof.
Rothman described in the 1980s continues to this day:
[W]e believe the expert
community has more or less accepted such distortions as inevitable.
Since their scientific findings run counter to a conventional
wisdom whose supporters are quite passionate, they have accepted
a tradeoff that permits them to publish their findings in professional
journals, but not for popular consumption. Under such circumstances
they can continue their scientific work without the fear of being
pilloried by the larger community and of being deprived of grants
for research by government agencies and private foundations. So
fully have many experts accepted this arrangement that they are
angered by colleagues with whom they agree but who popularize
their views and thus threaten their scientific work. (Snyderman
and Rothman, The IQ Controversy, Transaction Publishers,
1988, p. 50.)
Linda Gottfredson of the University
of Delaware, who has fought off torrents of abuse because of her
research on race, has lost patience with timid colleagues, whom
she accuses of collective fraud:
Collective fraud is the
systematic and knowing suppression of unwelcome truths by a set
of experts who either shade the truth or acquiesce to such shading.
. . . [I]t is tacit collusion in distorting or suppressing scientific
evidence for the purpose of sustaining a major falsehood. . .
. Perhaps the most aggressively perpetrated collective fraud in
the social sciences today is that which sustains the egalitarian
fiction. This is the frequent but false assertion that intelligence
is clustered equally across all human populations, that is, that
there are, on average, no racial-ethnic disparities in developed
mental competence. (Equal Potential: A Collective
Fraud, Society, July/August, 2000, p. 19.)
Our rulers are schizophrenic about
IQ and mental testing. It is fashionable to claim that IQ scores
are meaningless; to claim that intelligence cannot be defined;
that whatever it is, it can be boosted by early instruction; that
essentially anyone can be trained to do anything. And yet, when
the US Supreme Court was persuaded to rule that convicts with
IQs below 70 could not be considered fully responsible for their
actions and should therefore not be executed, there was no outcry
about the meaninglessness of IQ. Likewise, the US Army routinely
tests recruits and does not accept anyone with an IQ below 85.
The army therefore rejects a far greater proportion of blacks
than whites on the grounds that they are untrainable, but it would
never draw public conclusions about racial differences.
The racial gap in IQ (see issues
of Sept. 1998, Oct. 1997, and Feb. 1995 for in-depth articles
on findings in this area) is central to any number of constantly
recurring problems in American society that are otherwise baffling.
There is not a single school district in the country in which
blacks and Hispanics perform at the same level as whites and Asians.
Nor are blacks and Hispanics accepted into gifted programs at
the same rates as whites or Asians (except for some districts
that explicitly relax standards for them). Year after year, in
every state, black high school seniors do work at about the level
of white ninth graders. Why, after decades of trying, cant
even one of thousands of school districts get it right?
After well-publicized reports
during the 1980s that American high school students perform poorly
by international standards, 19 states instituted graduation examinations.
Invariably blacks and Hispanics fail the exams at disproportionate
rates, and put pressure on schools to lower standards or do away
entirely with racist exams. Recently, blacks and Hispanics
demonstrated in several major California cities to demand an end
to graduation tests that require knowledge only at the ninth or
tenth grade level.
It is unfair to
set goals for teachers and school systems that cannot
be reached. The goal should be to raise scores for
everyone, and to stop pretending to be shocked
when different racial groups do not perform identically.
In New York State, students must
pass what are called Regents examinations in order to get a high
school diploma. State authorities are now mulling whether to follow
the original plan and raise the passing score for 2004 from 55
to 65 on three of the five exams. The problem is that blacks and
Hispanics are three times more likely than whites to fail if the
state makes this change, and school administrators know they will
face terrible criticism if they do anything that could be called
racist. There is an excellent chance the state will
fail to raise the passing score only because blacks and Hispanics
will fail to meet them.
The goal of narrowing the performance
gap between blacks and whites (no one seems to worry about the
need to bring whites up the level of Asians) is a constant refrain
in education circles. A recent report commissioned by the College
Board concludes that a priority objective of local, state,
and federal education leaders and policy makers should be equal
representation of African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans,
at top levels of achievement, and urges that all education polices
at every level be evaluated in light of this goal.
This is a fools errand.
The country might as well launch a national campaign to stamp
out lust and selfishness; it would be no more likely to succeed.
Moreover, it is unfair to set goals for teachers and school systems
that cannot be reached. The goal should be to raise scores for
everyone, and to stop pretending to be shocked when different
racial groups do not perform identically. All children benefit
from good instruction, and when each child gets the best possible
instruction achievement rises across the board, but the gap between
the smart and not-so-smart increases. The only way to eliminate
differences in achievement is to teach nothing, leaving all children
The quest for proportionate racial
representation at all job levels is equally foolish. Linda Gottfredson
has studied the IQ requirements for different professions, as
well as the representation of blacks in these professions. Given
the well-known patterns in which intelligence is represented in
each race, it is possible to calculate approximately how many
blacks are smart enough to be doctors, lawyers, or corporate presidents.
Prof. Gottfredson has found that blacks are already slightly overrepresented
in these professions, meaning that we do not live in a society
that holds blacks down, but in one that raises them up (see sidebar,
What Prof. Gottfredson calls collective
fraudthe systematic assertion that there are no group
differences in abilitymust be one of the most successful
and damaging propaganda campaigns in history. To put it bluntly,
its success means that we cannot even understand racial problems,
much less solve them. Misdiagnosis means our attempts to solve
problems are not just wrong; they are perverse. The entire decades-long
and embittering experience of racial preferences would never have
begun if our society had accepted and understood racial differences
from the outset.
Because we deny the real causes
of black failure, we devote ourselves to searching for and eliminating
spurious causes. If the theory is that blacks fail because they
do not have proper role models we hire unqualified
blacks and put them in positions of authority. If white society
has destroyed black self-esteem we promote grandiose fantasies
about African history. If segregated schools were bad for blacks
we send them to white schools. If black children still get bad
grades, we devalue the curriculum so everyone can get As.
If blacks do poorly on standardized tests we do away with the
tests. If not enough blacks and Hispanics can get into gifted
programs, we lower standards just for them. If racist
employers prefer not to hire blacks, we force employers to hire
them. If a racist society still manages to impoverish
non-whites, we give them welfare and food stamps. And everywhere,
always, we batter whites with the constant message that racism
is the greatest of evils, and that whites are collectively responsible
for black and Hispanic failure.
When one grand project to lift
up the black man mysteriously fails, America embarks on yet another,
but each successive failure only confirms the terrible truth:
Whites must be even more viciously racist than anyone had thought.
Therefore, each new experiment is launched with more denunciations
of white wickedness and appeals to white guilt. No opportunity
is lost to invoke the memory of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation,
and the lynch mob.
The battle against racism
is not just about steeping whites in guilt. It requires direct
racial discrimination against them of the very kind civil rights
laws were supposed to prohibit. The injustices of affirmative
action are visited on every new generation of white Americans
that applies to college or needs a job. The burden falls on young
whites who have grown up long since the abolition of legal discrimination
against blacks and who cannot possibly be held responsible for
whatever wrongs may have been done to blacks in the past. The
meekness with which young whites accept discrimination and the
diligence with which their elders mete it out are among the wonders
of our era. The Michigan cases and other anti-discrimination suits
brought by whites are a sign that the patience of whites is finally
As Michael Levin has demonstrated
in Why Race Matters, any theory of compensation for non-whites
requires proof that whites have wronged them. In America today,
every disparity in achievement is automatically attributed to
white racism, past and present. But if, as the evidence
overwhelmingly demonstrates, blacks and Hispanics are held back
by inherent reasons over which whites have no control, the argument
for compensation collapses.
Many would argue that even if
there are racial differences in average ability, this subject
is best not discussed. They are like the Victorian lady who said
of Darwins theory of evolution: I pray that it not
be true. And I pray that if it be true, it may never become widely
known. One reason offered for suppressing the truth is that
public recognition of racial differences might lead to calls for
persecution of blacks, and even genocide or slavery. This is nonsense.
Until 50 or 60 years ago, everyone took racial differences in
ability for granted, but this never lead to genocide. The people
who ended slavery were firmly convinced of Negro inferiority but
this did not temper their abolitionist zeal. In fact, millions
of white people are aware of current research, and have quietly
drawn their own conclusions from it without changing their attitudes
towards individual blacks.
Booker T. Washington
The other reason to suppress the
truth is the fear that it might devastate blacks,
and drive them to even greater depths of violence, illegitimacy,
unemployment, and drug-taking. In fact, none of these problems
was nearly so bad when Americans, white and black, believed in
significant racial differences. There is no evidence that blacks
in the 1920s, for example, were psychologically devastated
by prevailing views on race. They did as Booker T. Washington
told them, and got on with their lives. Violence, illegitimacy,
and drug-takingbrought on, we are constantly told, by hopelessnesswere
nothing like the problems they are today.
Whites are certainly not devastated
by the idea Japanese and Chinese may be smarter than they are.
On many college campuses, especially in California, whites stay
out of science courses in which many Asians are enrolled because
they know the competition will be stiff. This doesnt drive
them to crime and cocaine.
An important part of growing up
is the realization that there are people who are better at some
things than we are. If we lost the competition it was because
we were beaten fair and square, not because we were cheated. By
telling blacks they are just as able as whites, we have instilled
in them the conviction that they are constantly being cheated
even when they are beaten fairly. Insisting on equality despite
the powerful evidence to the contrary only sets up expectations
for blacks that are sure to be disappointed and lead to bitterness
and even worse.
White racism becomes
the only acceptable explanation for black failure, and incessant
tub-thumping about it stirs up hatred that is completely undeserved.
If whites in positions of authority keep telling blacks how racist
the country is, what could be more natural than for blacks to
hate whites? Anyone who doubts the widespread hatred of blacks
for whites need only listen to all-black radio. This hatred is
borne out both in the venomous rhetoric of rap lyrics (see May,
2000) and in the gruesome statistics on interracial crime (see
Race, Crime, and Violence, July, 1999). Perhaps the
most alarming index of the state of mind of blacks is that nearly
one third are willing to tell pollsters they think AIDS was invented
by the US government as a way to exterminate them. If ten million
blacks really think the same government that forbids racial discrimination
and that mandates racial preference programs is trying to kill
them, what does this say about what they think of whites in general?
It may be that the Supreme Court
finally will rule against the injustice of racial preferences,
despite the yawning racial gap in achievement. It may rule that
campus diversity is not sufficient justification for taking measures
against whites that would be called vicious discrimination if
taken against blacks or Hispanics. If it does rule to permit race-based
admission policies, however, we can be certain that looming large
in the background of that decision was the false assumption that
was neither affirmed nor disputed: that the races are all equal,
and that only white oppression explains unequal results.
However the court rules, university
administrators will find ways to admit underqualified blacks.
Several states, including Florida, Texas, and California have
reacted to local bans on racial preferences by declaring that
any high school senior graduating in the top ten percent or so
of his class (the percentage figure varies from state to state)
is automatically eligible for the best state universities. This
is a cynical policy that counts on segregated high schools to
ensure that the top students at someundoubtedly inferiorschools
are black. These programs are explicitly designed to subvert the
purpose of bans on affirmative action and to get the effects of
racial preferences without openly using race as a criterion.
If the Supreme Court prohibits
racial preferences, we can be certain these and other substitutes
for racial discrimination will proliferate. Until our country
recognizes the reality of racial differences in ability, we will
continue to pass laws and promote policies that subvert the merit
system, stir up racial hatred, and punish whites for the failures
the Back Door
preferences arise from the fact that underrepresented
minoritiesblacks, Hispanics, and American Indiansdo
not have the same abilities and qualifications as whites
and Asians. In California, for example, eligibility for
state universities is based on a combination of high school
grades and standardized test scores. Last year, students
of different races met these standards in the following
percentages: Asians30 percent; whites13 percent;
Hispanics4 percent; blacks3 percent. Asians
now dominate the top University of California campuses like
Berkeley and UCLA, and any attempt to get blacks and Hispanics
into the system in anything like representative numbers
requires stiff racial preferences. In the country as a whole,
at selective colleges, blacks have combined SAT scores about
200 points lower than whites.
In 1996, Californians passed
a state-wide initiative to ban consideration of race by
the state in hiring and college admissions. The number of
black and Hispanic studentswho were now admitted purely
on abilityplummeted. The UC system did not simply
accept this. It poured effort and money into trying to improve
primary and secondary education for blacks and Hispanics.
It also recruited even more vigorously than before, to make
sure that the tiny number of blacks who might have gone
to Harvard go to Berkeley instead. Most significantly, it
changed its evaluation of candidates to admit anyone who
graduated in the top four percent of his California high
school classno matter how bad the school. Blacks and
Hispanics are still greatly underrepresented,
and administrators would love to return to unabashed race-based
It is local, not federal
law. that has forced race preferences in California into
slightly less blatant form. A Supreme Court ruling could
force administrators across the country into the same kind
of maneuvering. Maneuvering would be greatest in graduate
schools, where the competition for admission is fiercest.
To get into the U of M law
school, a white student must score at least 165 on the Law
School Admissions Test and have a grade-point average of
at last 3.5. Last year, 4,461 law school applicants in the
whole country did this well or better. Of that number, only
29 (0.6 percent) were black and 114 (2.5 percent) were Hispanic.
In each law school class of about 350, Michigan likes to
have at least 30 blacks. With so few qualified candidates,
the school might well have no blacks or Hispanics at all
if they had to meet white standards.
About the last place Americans
want to see lowered admissions standards is in medical school,
but diversity is on the march there, too. According to the
Association of American Medical Colleges, if its member
schools relied on strictly academic qualifications, only
three percent of medical students would be black, Hispanic,
or American Indians as opposed to the current 11 percent.
One dodge for letting in more non-whites is to give points
for economic hardshipas if that made people
better doctorsbut this doesnt work either. In
2001, black and Hispanic medical school applicants from
families earning $80,000 or more got average Medical School
Admission Test scores of 21.9. Whites and Asians from families
with incomes of under $30,000 outscored them, with
averages of 25.7 and 25.5 respectively.
In our society there are
many well-entrenched people prepared to do whatever it takes
to achieve racial diversity. They will lower
standards, they will discriminate openly against whites,
and they will unblushingly subvert any attempt to restrain
• BACK TO TOP • •
The Power of a Delusion
in the service of politics.
by Michael Rienzi
Race: The Power
of an Illusion
Produced by California
Newsreel and the Independent Television Service,
Larry Adelman, Executive Producer.
Funding from the Ford
Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Diversity Fund. 2003. Running time: 56 minutes per
episode. Three episode set, $295, individual episodes,
n April 24, PBS aired the first of a three-part
television series called RaceThe Power of an Illusion,
produced by a lefty outfit called California Newsreel, whose
website says it specializes in educational videos on African
American life and history, race relations and diversity training,
African cinema, Media and Society, labor studies, campus life,
and much more. The first episode, called The Difference
Between Us purported to demonstrate that race is an illusion
concocted to justify repression of people of color
by nasty white-skinned people.
This is, of course, the kind of programming
liberals love. The Philadelphia Inquirer called it one
of the most provocative, and potentially most important television
shows of this or any other season. Black columnist Clarence
Page reveled in the indictment the series brings against whites.
The first installment assembled a number of
prominent race-denying experts: Richard Lewontin,
a long-time critic of the biological race concept, and Joseph
Graves, who wrote the race-denying book The Emperors
New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium.
The late Stephen Jay Gould, notorious for his economy with the
truth, was also featured. All the experts were deniers; not
a single scientist who recognizes the concept of race was interviewed,
or participated in producing the program.
What arguments do these experts make? First,
they harp on the fact that there is no single gene or (small)
set of genes unique to any racial group. They suggest that two
members of the same race may differ from each other more at
a specific gene locus than they do from someone of a different
race. In other words, at some small part of their genomes, a
person can appear more similar to some people of other races
than to some people of his own race. This is true, but meaningless.
This argument implies that if, for any particular
genes or traits, two family members are less like each other
than to a complete stranger, then family does not exist,
and family is an illusion. Let us imagine two full brothers:
Joe and Ted. Joe has brown eyes, brown hair and has blood group
O. Ted has blond hair, blue eyes, and blood group B. Hans, who
is a complete stranger to Joe and Ted, also happens to have
blond hair, blue eyes, and blood group B, just like Ted. If
we look at only these traits, Ted is more closely related
to Hans than to his brother Joe. Does this, then, invalidate
the concept of family?
It is, in fact, true that among the tens of
thousands of genes, it is possible to find some number of gene
loci at which a white person may appear more similar to an Asian
or African than to certain other whites. This does not invalidate
the concept of race any more than the example of Ted, Joe, and
Hans invalidates the concept of family kinship.
An important argument in favor of raceand,
of course, absent from the programis that when enough
genes are considered, race becomes unmistakably real. As readers
of AR are aware (see issues of Aug. 2000, March 1997), both
the work of Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, as well as that of Masatoshi
Nei and Arun Roychoudhury, show consistent genetic differences
between human populations. When these genetic differences are
represented graphically, the resulting population groups are
virtually identical to the major racial groups established by
In other words, the idea that a race must be
characterized by specific genes found only in that race and
never in another race is a straw man put up by experts, so they
can knock it down and make politically-motivated claims. These
experts seem to be well aware of popular misconceptions, and
appear deliberately to take advantage of them. The layman might
well think different races must differ greatly in genetic
structure, that there must be genes unique to each race,
that races must differ 90 percent genetically,
etc. Experts then come along and point out that this is not
so, and then try to use this surprise to convince people race
is an illusion. Real scientists understand that racial differences
are a result of many patterns of differences in gene frequencies,
as well as specific differences in forms of various genes that
code for racially-relevant physical traits.
What is probably the central event of this
television program is a DNA test given to a group of students
of different races. First, the students are introduced and made
to say that they expect to be genetically more similar to other
students of the same race. For example, a black student named
Jamil says: I think I have the most differences with Kiril
[who is white] and the most similarities with Gorgeous. Shes
African-American, Im African-American. I mean, like black.
The white student Noah says he thinks he will be most similar
to fellow whites like Kiril. The students also compare skin
color to set the stage for the results.
The programs producers are shrewdly manipulating
the students, setting them up for the surprise when
the results do not turn out as they (or naive members of the
audience) expect. The punch-line is that Jamil finds out he
is more similar to the white Kiril than to the black Gorgeous,
and the Asian Jackie is similar to someone from the Balkans.
Noah, who is white, has DNA sequences similar to a sample from
the Balkans, from Iceland, and from Africa. The narrator intones:
Genetic data can subvert racial assumptions about racial
The key to this testand what can only
be seen as mendacity on the part of its producersis that
it was done with mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA can be
useful for population studies, but is completely useless for
determining race at the individual level, or for comparing the
racial ancestry of one individual to another.
This special kind of DNA is found in small
organelles, called mitochondria, in the protoplasm of the cell,
and is inherited exclusively from the mother. Mitochondrial
DNA is involved in the organization and structure only of mitochondria,
not of the rest of the body. You inherit all your mitochondrial
DNA from your mother, but only 50 percent of your autosomal
nuclear DNA, the DNA that codes for the rest of the human body,
including racially-relevant traits. However, your mother got
all her mitochondrial DNA from her motheryour maternal
grandmotherwhile your grandmothers contribution
to your overall genome is only 25 percent.
With each preceding generation, the autosomal
genetic input from your mitochondrial DNA precursor is halved.
Your matrilineal ancestor of only five generations back contributed
all your mitochondrial DNA but only 1/32 of your total genes.
Go back ten generations, and it is 1/1024, a vanishingly small
number, which would have virtually no effect on overall racial
character. It is obvious, therefore, that mitochondrial DNA
markers tell you almost nothing about the overall racial ancestry
of any individual.
Someone who appears to be a 100 percent pure
Negro could have an Anglo-Saxon mitochondrial marker
and vice versa. The fact that Jamil is more similar to Kiril
than to Gorgeous in mitochondrial DNA tells us that perhaps
many generations back, one of his maternal ancestors was white.
An estimated nine to 15 percent of American blacks have Caucasian
mitochondrial DNA, meaning that this percentage have at least
one white maternal ancestor. That is all it would take for Jamils
mitochondrial DNA to be more similar to that of whites than
to that of blacks who have no white maternal ancestors. Maybe
the person from the Balkans who had mitochondrial DNA similar
to the Asian Jackie had a maternal ancestor who was from Central/East
Asiapossibly a Turk or Avar or Hun or Mongol or Bulgar,
All mitochondrial DNA can tell any individual
is the possible place of origin of one out of thousands
of ancestors. It is impossible to determine race this way, and
for the experts to imply that this test somehow
invalidates the concept of race is outright deception. A test
using autosomal DNA would have given very different results.
Mitochondrial DNA is certainly genetic
material, but it is not what most people are thinking
of when they think of genes or genetic identity.
In fact, the mitochondria are so genetically degenerate,
they cannot depend entirely on their own DNA but get help from
aotosomal DNA, which codes some of their proteins. A population
geneticist, for example, would laugh at the idea of trying to
identify someone from mitochondrial DNA. It is difficult not
to conclude that the experts on this program wanted
a racially ambiguous result and chose a methodology that would
This reliance on mitochondrial DNA is particularly
disturbing, given that an autosomal DNA race test
is readily available from DNA Print Genomics, Inc. (The company
calls it a test of biogeographical ancestry.) The
latest version of the test, (see http:/www.ancestry bydna.com)
uses autosomal DNA markers and determines the proportion of
ancestry that is Indo-European (Caucasian), African (sub-Saharan
African; i.e., Negro), Native American (Amerindian), or East
Asian (Mongolid/Oriental/Pacific Islander).
Individual case studies are featured on the
companys website. The companys CEO, Tony Frudakis
is mostly of European descent, but has one great-grandparent
described as an almost pure Cherokee. Dr. Frudakis
maps out as having 11 percent American Indian ancestry (very
close to the 12.5 percent expected from his great grand-parent);
he is also 85 percent Indo-European and four percent African.
His Mexican wife mapped out as 76 percent Native American, 13
percent African, and 11 percent Indo-European, an unsurprising
mix for a Mexican. Neither Frudakis nor his wife showed any
East Asian/Pacific islander ancestry.
The key to this
testand what can only be seen as mendacity
on the part of its producersis that it was
done with mitochondrial DNA.
It is hard to reconcile data of this kind with
the idea that race is an illusion. With the right genetic information
race can be determined unmistakably, as well as proportions
of any individuals racial mix. The experts
put up by PBS tried to fool the audience with mitochondrial
DNA, while a publicly-available test would easily have distinguished
between Jamil and Gorgeous on the one hand, and Noah and Kiril
on the other, and would have put Jackie in a separate, Asian,
The experts on this program also
make the usual statements that there is so little genetic variation
between human populations it has no significance. Dr. Lewontin
repeats his often-touted finding that there is more genetic
variation within population groups than between groups, which
implies not only that race is an illusion, butlike the
deceptive mitochondrial DNA testsuggests a white person
might be biologically closer to a black than to other whites.
AR has dealt with this argument at length in several articles
(March 1997, Dec. 2000) but new information underscores the
futility of these race-denying arguments.
Most scientists believe humans and chimps are
98.7 percent genetically similar, though recent data suggest
the difference may be slightly larger. This close similarity
was highlighted in 1975 when Mary-Claire King and Allan Wilson
showed that the tiny amount of genetic variation between humans
and chimps was not enough to account for the physical differences
between the two species. They speculated that the way genes
are expressed must be more important than the amount of genetic
New work (Wolfgang Enard et al. Science,
296: 340-343, 2002) has demonstrated that this viewwhich
can be called the regulatory hypothesisis
correct. There is a significant difference in human-chimp gene
expression patterns, especially in the brain, and it
is these differences in expression that mainly account for human-chimp
phenotypic differences. Genes are arranged in a hierarchy, with
some genes controlling the expression of many others. Thus,
a small genetic difference in one or several genes can result
in large differences in expression of other genes, even if these
other genes are themselves structurally identical between
Indeed, another recent paper by Dr. Enard has
shown that small alterations in a single gene, FOXP2, is probably
the main reason humans are capable of speech and apes are not.
Small changes have enormous consequences. Even the scientists
who make public race-denying statements about how genetically
identical humans are, also make statements more privately
about the genetic similarity between humans, chimps, and other
mammals. The parallel to racial differences is obvious: If a
less than two percent difference in human and chimp genome can
produce such extraordinary physical and mental differences,
the small differences between racesdifferences no scientist
denies existcan likewise have important results. As Dr.
Enard points out in his Science paper, The variation
in gene expression between individuals within the [human] species
is substantial, relative to the differences between humans and
Arguments that invalidate
race would also invalidate family and even species.
As the late Glayde Whitney pointed out in an
AR cover story in March, 1997, if we calculate the total, combined
genetic variation in the population of Belfast and a troop of
macaque monkeys, much more than 50 percent of that variation
will be found in both the macaques and the people of Belfast.
That is to say, there is more genetic variation within
the groups than between them. This does not mean
there are not extremely important differences between the two
populations or that Irishman are more similar to monkeys than
they are to each otherwhich is exactly the kind of nonsense
the Lewontin argument implies about race.
If the more variation within than between
argument invalidates race, why not species, too? Thus, there
is more genetic variation within populations of humans,
chimps, and even mice than there is between humans, chimps,
and mice. Would Prof. Lewontin argue for equal rights for chimps?
Why not? Is there not less genetic variation between chimps
and humans than within each group? Can we not say that there
are only superficial differences between humans
and chimpsjust as racial differences are superficial?
Another argument the television experts make
is that we are all mongrels (but if there are no races, what
is the mix that produces mongrels?) This argument fails in two
ways. First, the various stocks that have gone into producing
many of todays ethnic groups were relatively similar to
begin with, so it hardly makes sense to call the present populations
mongrels. How different, for example, were the Anglo-Saxons
from the Celts? Second, mixtures of related stocks can stabilize
over time, and form a new, unique, and separate ethnic group,
race, or breed. Thus, even if todays races are the result
of ancient mixtures those mixtures are distinct and extremely
The experts on this program consistently claim
that race is only skin-deep, and that there is no
concordance between superficial racial traits and
other characteristics such as intelligence and athletic ability.
They claim these traits are independently inherited without
regard to race.
Just another tribe
This deliberately disregards decades of careful
research. Many consistent group differences have been found
in intelligence, behavior, brain size, resistance to disease,
twinning rates, speed of maturation, etc. Prof. Arthur Jensen
has gathered irrefutable proof of racial differences in average
intelligence. In Race, Evolution and Behavior Prof. Philippe
Rushton has not only documented the large number of other racial
differences but shown how they fit the varying reproduction
strategies followed by different racial groups. Even the most
anti-racist medical doctors recognize that transplant donors
and recipients often have to be matched not just for race but
for close ethnicity within race, because inter-racial transplants
The experts claim there hasnt
been enough time for humans to evolve significant differences
with different levels of intelligence, for example. This is
an odd argument because physical differences have evolved. The
experts somehow believe there has been enough time
for the striking differences between a Nigerian and a Swede
to evolve, but not enough for differences in intelligence.
PBS tries to use sports to invalidate race,
arguing that in the 1930s, Jewish teams dominated American basketball.
The program thus implies that black preeminence in basketball
today is somehow a historical accident with no biological implications.
Of course, in the 1930s basketball was largely a white, urban
sport, and Jewish players were not competing against the likes
of Michael Jordan or Wilt Chamberlain. How would even the best-trained
Jews fare against blacks on an NBA court in the year 2003? Does
anyone expect Israel to win a gold medal in basketball in the
Nor is it fair to ignore the dominance of people
of West African descent in sprinting, and the dominance of East
Africans in longer races. And do we expect black African nations
to win gold medals in Olympic swimming? There are plenty of
rivers and lakes in Africa in which blacks could become expert
swimmers if they had natural ability. As John Entine has shown
in his book Taboo (reviewed in Feb. 2000), there are
well-established physiological racial differences that explain
why certain populations excel in certain events.
Find the white boy.
Another argument from the experts bag
of tricks is that there is continuous variation
in human differences. Thus, they claim that if you travel from
the tropics to Norway you will see a gradual change
in skin color and you would not be able to say where the dark
and light races become differentiated. This argument is nonsense
at two levels. Logically it implies that mixtures or hybrids
invalidate the concept of more pure forms. These experts
would have to argue that because we have a mixture that produces
the color orange, red and yellow are really illusions,
and that since there are mutts this proves dog breeds
do not exist.
Second, the argument is not factually correct.
Moving from the tropics to Norway, there are a number of sharp,
albeit imperfect, divisions in both genetic structure and phenotype
that result from geographical barriers. The greatest division
is that separating the very dark Negroes south of the Sahara
from the predominantly Caucasian, lighter-skinned Berbers and
Arabs of North Africa (there is also a mulatto presence that
resulted from early mixture). The Mediterranean is another barrier,
separating North Africans to the south from the genetically
and phenotypically distinct European populations in Southern
Europe. And of course there are genetic and phenotypic gradients
within Europe itself.
The PBS experts present a consistently one-sided
point of view that fits perfectly with the underlying ideology
of the program, the flavor of which is clear from the following
To keep Americas mongrels at bay,
eugenicists proposed a series of restrictive measures unthinkable
today. Yet they were adopted within and outside of America.
Taken to their extreme, they fueled one of the centurys
The Nazi propaganda machine pointed out
that their eugenic policies were entirely consistent with and
in fact derived from ideas of American race scientists.
One person on the program says: Im
white. Would I trade my skin color? . . . um . . . I probably
wouldnt trade my skin color. Its something that
Ive taken for granted. Its also a privilege, I guess.
Swimmers, not runners.
And, finally, the central message: Race
is a human invention. We created it, we have used it in ways
that have been in many, many respects quite negative and quite
harmful. And we can think ourselves out of it. We made it, we
can unmake it.
Here we have it: Race is not a biological fact
but a wicked human invention that must be abolished. Race-denying
scientists, fueled by ideological fervor, are trying to distort
reality and unmake race, just as the Lysenkoists
of Stalins Soviet Union tried to unmake the laws of genetics.
The danger is that laymen are fooled by these arguments and
by rigged experiments designed to give misleading
results. This is not science, but hard-core propaganda, and
it is important to understand the anti-European, anti-Western
bias that fuels it.
Michael Rienzi is the pen name of a biologist
working in the Northeast.
• • • BACK TO TOP • •
loses precedent-setting defamation case.
by Stephen Webster
April 22, a three-judge panel of the US 10th Circuit Court
of Appeals upheld a $9.75 million jury award against the
Anti-Defamation League (ADL), for defaming a Colorado couple
it had accused of anti-Semitism in 1994. The case, Quigley
v. Rosenthal, arose out of series of confrontations
between William and Dorothy Quigley and their Jewish neighbors,
Mitchell and Candace Aronson.
hard at work.
The verdict and appeal have established
important precedents for punishing reckless charges of anti-Semitism.
The same reasoning should now apply to charges of racism,
homophobia, and all the other crimes invented
by political correctness. In a very welcome decision, the
court rejected what amounted to an outrageous exemption
from defamation laws for watch-dog groupswhich
are now whimpering.
The Aronsons moved into the Quigleys
affluent Denver suburb of Evergreen in August 1994. The
families were friendly at first, and the Quigleys hosted
a welcoming party for their new neighbors. Relations became
strained after Mrs. Aronson took the Quigleys two
children, ages 14 and 9, to an R-rated movie without their
parents knowledge, but real hostility broke out over
the Aronsons dog.
First it attacked the Quigleys dog,
and Mrs. Quigley asked Mrs. Aronson if the dog had had rabies
shots. Mrs. Aronson told her it was none of her goddamned
business, and cursed her. The Aronsons continued to
let their dog run free, and a few weeks later it got into
the Quigleys yard and scared their children. Mrs.
Quigley went next door and told Mrs. Aronson that if she
didnt keep her dog in, she would call animal control.
Mrs. Aronson slammed the door in her face. The dog continued
to roam freely, and Mrs. Quigley complained to animal control.
An animal control officer investigated, and noted that Mrs.
Aronson had said she was going to get that bitch,
and wanted a complaint issued against the Quigleys.
Mrs. Aronson began acting more aggressively toward Mrs.
Quigley, threatening her with the dog, and yelling obscenities
when their paths crossed.
On Oct. 20, 1994, Mrs. Aronson was stopped
in her car in the middle of the street as Mr. Quigley drove
toward her trying to pass. She made no effort to move over,
and glared at him as he squeezed between her car and a garbage
dumpster at the side of the road. The same morning, the
Aronsons, using a police scanner, picked up a conversation
on a cordless telephone between Mrs. Quigley and an out-of-state
The ADL wanted an outrageous
exemption from defamation laws.
The conversation turned to the troubles
with the Aronsons, and Mrs. Quigleys friend, obviously
joking, mentioned the Holocaust and said, Tape a big
oven door on the side of their house. We could
throw some bars of soap and a lamp shade around the front,
you know, added Mrs. Quigley. There were other jokes
about cross burning and Klan hoods, and Mrs. Quigley noted
that the conversion had taken an unhealthy turn. Sick,
sick, sick, she said; Oh, gosh.
The Aronsons recorded that call as well
as another the same day, in which Mr. and Mrs. Quigley talked
about the situation. Mr. Quigley went over the dog problem,
Mrs. Aronsons obscene language, and the car incident,
and concluded, youve got to stop it somehow,
and if it means, you know, clipping their wings and going
after them in other ways, then I dont have a problem
with that, and theyre wrong. The Aronsons later
claimed this was a threat of violence.
That night, Mrs. Aronson contacted the
Jefferson County Sheriffs Department about the road
incident, claiming Mr. Quigley drove at her at high speed
and swerved away at the last minute. An officer investigated
but could not substantiate Mrs. Aronsons claim. The
next day, Oct. 21, Mr. Aronson called the Denver office
of the ADL and reported the Quigleys were making anti-Semitic
ADL moves in
The ADL referred the Aronsons to a Denver
lawyer named Gary Lozow, an ADL volunteer and local board
member, who helped write Colorados ethnic intimidation
law. Mr. Lozow concluded that it was legal for the Aronsons
to record telephone conversations, but did not realize federal
wiretap laws were about to change. Mr. Lozow then suggested
the Aronsons file an ethnic intimidation complaint with
the DAs office for criminal prosecution. The Aronsons
continued making tapes, and gave them to the DAs office.
In several calls the Quigleys referred to the Aronsons
Jewishness, and made more jokes about what they might do
to them or to their house.
In November, another lawyer, Stuart Kritzerlikewise
a Denver ADL board memberjoined Mr. Lozow, and the
two agreed to file a civil suit against the Quigleys, with
compensation on a contingency basis. The suit, filed in
federal court on Dec. 6, 1994, claimed that [s]hortly
after the [Aronsons] moved into their home . . . they became
the objects of religious, class-based invidiously discriminatory
animus and conduct by the [Quigleys], who conspired with
each other and others. The complaint included selected
passages from the recorded telephone calls.
On Dec. 7, Saul Rosenthal, director of
the Denver ADL, called a press conference in which he accused
the Quigleys of engaging in a vicious anti-Semitic
campaign intended to drive the Aronsons from their
home. This has been one of the most astonishing cases
of anti-Semitic harassment our office has ever confronted,
he said. The filing of the lawsuit makes clear that
this kind of activity will not go unchallenged or unpunished.
Later that day, Mr. Rosenthal went on the radio and expanded
on the accusations. He said it was the worst [case
of anti-Semitism] that Ive seen in so many years,
since the Berg murder [Alan Berg, a Jewish radio talk show
host, was killed by anti-Semites in 1984], because its
. . . so massive in the number of acts that . . . the Quigleys
engaged in against the Aronsons.
Neither Mr. Lozow nor Mr. Kritzer nor the
ADL ever looked into the dispute between the Quigleys and
the Aronsons. All they cared about was sniffing out anti-Semitism.
The appeals court took note of this in upholding the lower
Two days after the press conference, the
DAs office filed criminal ethnic intimidation charges
against the Quigleys. The DA also charged Mr. Quigley with
felony menacing, in connection with the road
incident of Oct. 20. The results for the Quigleys were unpleasant.
They received threats and hate mail (including a package
of dog feces), were denounced from the pulpit by their own
priest, and groups threatened to boycott Mr. Quigleys
employer, United Artists, unless he was fired immediately.
Later that month, the lawyers for the Aronsons
learned that the federal wiretap law had made it illegal
to record telephone conversations after Oct. 25, 1994, and
they deleted from the complaint any reference to calls recorded
after that date. Still, the ADL did its best to play up
the incident as a shocking example of bigotry. On Jan. 6,
Mr. Rosenthal told his deputy to make sure the ADL was maximizing
all opportunities that arose from the Aronson case.
He ordered her to alert the press and keep the ADLs
New York and Los Angeles offices informed. Make hay
while the sun shines, he told her.
In January 1995, the Quigleys countersued
the Aronsons, and filed a separate suit against Mr. Rosenthal
and the ADL for libel, adding that lawyers Lozow and Kritzer
violated federal wiretap law by intercepting telephone conversations
after Oct. 25, 1994.
Steven Jensen, the Assistant DA assigned
to the case, soon discovered it was very shaky. He found
the sheriffs reports pretty sparse, and
began his own investigation. He listened to all the taped
conversationsnot just the snippets offered by the
Aronsons lawyersand decided that the most inflammatory
remarks were nothing more than venting and sick
humor. He also determined that Mr. Quigley had made
no racist or biased remarks, and dismissed the ethnic intimidation
charges within the month. The DA dropped the felony menacing
charge soon after.
The Quigleys then sued the Jefferson County
District Attorneys Office for malicious prosecution,
and received a $75,000 settlement and two letters of public
apology. The Aronsons, in turn, sued their lawyers, Mr.
Lozow and Mr. Kritzer, accusing them of working for the
ADL rather than for them. In Feb. 1998, more than three
years after charges were initially filed, the lawyers agreed
to pay $350,000 to the Quigleys, and an undisclosed amount
to the Aronsons, in exchange for release from all state
and federal liability. The ADL paid the full cost of the
deductible on the lawyers malpractice insurance.
This did not, however, end the Quigleys
case against Saul Rosenthal and the ADL, which went to trial
in 2000. A jury found them guilty of defamation, invasion
of privacy, and violation of the federal wiretap law, and
ordered combined compensatory and punitive damages of $9.75
millionnearly 25 percent of the national ADLs
The ADL appealed, but in a 2-1 decision
on April 22, the appeals court upheld the defamation and
federal wiretap judgments, while reversing the invasion
of privacy verdict on technical grounds. The court left
the damages figure untouched, so unless the ADL wins on
further appeal, it will have to pay.
Of greatest significance in the ruling,
however, was the ADLs failure to carve out for itself
a special exemption in defamation law, a failure that is
a setback for all people and organizations that make it
their business to accuse others of thought crimes. Defamation
and libel suits generally divide plaintiffs into two categories:
public and private persons. A public persona politician,
actor, author, broadcasteris deemed to have made a
decision to go before the public and run the risk that people
will talk about him. Some of the things they say will be
unpleasant and some will be false, but there must be a showing
of actual malice or willful disregard for the truth for
a damaging statement about a public person to be considered
legally punishable. This makes it very hard for public persons
to sue for libel.
Private personsthe vast majority
of citizenshave greater protection. There is some
variation from state to state, but a false and damaging
statement about private people can be pursued in civil court
if the person making the statement can be shown to have
been merely negligent with the truth. Under some circumstances,
private people may lose this higher level of protection
if they are engaged in what is considered a matter
of public concern. Courts make this determination
case by case and have found, for example, that racial discrimination
in hiring even if practiced by a private person is a matter
of public concern when it comes to libel law.
The ADL argued that bigotry
is by its very nature a matter of public concern, and therefore
anyone who engages in it is a public figure and forfeits
his rights as a private person. Thus, an accused bigot
can be defamed only through actual malice rather than mere
negligence of the truth. The ADL said the lower court erred
in concluding that the Quigleys alleged anti-Semitism
did not rise to level of public concern. Please note that
what is under consideration here are charges that have been
shown to be false, and that the only dispute is over
whether the bringer of false charges was reckless or merely
negligent. The ADLs argument was that suspected
anti-Semitism is so fantastically important, even accusations
that turn out to be false should not be punished in the
same way as other kinds of false accusations.
Writing for the appeals court majority,
Judge Mary Beck Briscoe disagreed. She pointed out that
until the ADL press conference in Dec. 1994, the dispute
between the Aronsons and the Quigleys was still essentially
private. The Quigleys were not public figures
at that point, she wrote, and Rosenthals
statements about them are, accordingly, not subject to the
higher [actual malice] standard [of fault]. She concluded
that [Aronson lawyer] Kritzers action, and by
extension the ADLs action, was taken with utter disregard
to the serious consequences that would follow allegations
of anti-Semitism lodged against plaintiffs.
In a dissent, Judge Harris Hartz reflected
the widespread obsession with curbing even private expressions
of bigotry. He wrote that matters of social
concern can easily become matters of public concern,
adding I would have thought that the social concern
of our day is bigotry. Surely, faith-based intolerance,
particularly when combined with threats of violence, is
a matter of concern to the community at large. Our recognition
of Martin Luther Kings birthday as a national holiday
is intended to underscore this countrys commitment
to end bigotry, private as well as official.
This position is inconsistent on its face.
If bigotry is a matter of such urgent concern
that engaging in it automatically strips a private person
of the usual protections against libel, it is for that reason
such a serious matter that the accusation can be extremely
damaging. False accusations should therefore be punished
with particular vigor. The ADL wants it both ways: to make
bigotry out as uniquely damaging, and yet expect
private persons to cheerfully laugh it off if they are falsely
accused. They want a special exemption from libel laws for
the kinds of accusation they make it their business to bring.
Other leftist watch-dogs want
the same thing. The LAMBDA Legal Defense and Education Fund,
the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, the American Jewish
Committee, and other mud-slingers filed friend-of-the-court
briefs promoting the same exemption. They, too, must want
to be able to make damaging and false accusations without
fearing the consequences.
This case, and the substantial judgment
a Colorado jury handed down, could not have come at a better
time. It will be a warning to those who impugn others
motives, and will encourage the victims of witch hunts to
take their accusers to court. It is a clear victory for
free speech and common sense.
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O Tempora, O Mores!
Success for BNP
After achieving its first electoral successes
in nearly a decade last year, the British National Party ran
a record number of candidates221in this years
local government elections. When the count was over, the BNP
more than tripled the number of council seats it held, going
from five to sixteen. Its greatest success was in the
northwest English city of Burnley, where it added five more
seats to the three it won last year, making the BNP the second
largest party in the city. BNP spokesman Simon Bennett says
of the Burnley results, Im delighted. . . . I just
hope other parties will accept that we are a part of the political
landscape in Burnley and work with us.
Not a supporter.
Such cooperation is unlikely. Labour MP Peter
Pike, who represents Burnley in Parliament, calls the BNP racist
and divisive. Shahid Malik, a former member of the
Commission for Racial Equality, notes that the BNP holds only
a small fraction of council seats nationwide. Still, he says,
One BNP councillor in this country is one too many.
Its not a question of them being
racist or us being racist. Its just saying things as they
are, says one local supporter. Winnie Hales, a former
Labour voter, feels no qualms about voting BNP for the third
straight election. Why should I? she asks. All
I want is fairness. . . . Its only the BNP who are sticking
up for us.
In addition to the seats in Burnley, the BNP
picked up two seats in nearby Sandwell, and one each in Calderdale,
Dudley, Stoke-on-Trent, as well as one in Broxbourne, a district
in Hertfordshire near London, well outside the region where
the party has enjoyed most of its recent success.
The BNP did suffer some disappointments. It
ran candidates for all 25 council seats in the city of Sunderland,
in the hope of gaining a foothold in the northeast of England.
It came in second in five wards, but won no seats. BNP leader
Nick Griffin also lost his bid for a seat in Oldham, scene of
the 2001 race riots, coming in second behind the Labour candidate.
[British PM Survives Local, Regional Polls Despite Some Labour
Losses, AFP, May 2, 2003. Philip Johnston and Paul Stokes, BNP
Gains Give Party First Taste of Power, Telegraph (London), May
2, 2003. Simon Parker, BNP Trebles Seats, Guardian (London),
May 2, 2003. Nigel Bunyan, BNP Built Success on White Voters
Resentment, Telegraph (London), May 3, 2003.]
of the Road
On April 13, a police officer in the LA suburb
of Rialto spotted a 2003 Ford Expedition SUV travelling at nearly
100 mph and weaving in and out of traffic. Before the officer
could begin pursuit, the driver lost control. He hit a tree
and a utility pole, went through a fence, and crashed into a
house with such force police assumed the crash was fatal. They
got two surprises: the driver was alive, and turned out to be
habitual black criminal Rodney King. At last report, he was
in the hospital in fair condition with a broken pelvis. No one
else was hurt in the crash.
Mr. King has had numerous brushes with the
law since he received a $3.8 million settlement from the city
of Los Angeles in 1994 for his well-publicized beating in 1991.
In 1999, he served 90 days in jail for a conviction of spousal
abuse. In 2001, he was arrested twice for suspected PCP use,
and sentenced to a year in a drug treatment facility. [Rodney
King Injured After Smashing Car Into House, Reuters, April 15,
2003. King Recovering After Slamming His Vehicle Into House,
AP, April 15, 2003.]
Dangers of Candor
On March 13, a 17-year-old white girl and her
mother complained to Cedar Grove, Florida, Police Chief John
Ferrick that the girls black former boyfriend had beaten
her. The girls mother, Cherry Sherman, says Chief Ferrick
told her daughter, Let me give you some adviceyou
need to stay away from black boys. You are lucky that you didnt
get your throat cut, because thats what they do to white
The girl took offense, and filed a written
complaint. On April 9, the citys Civil Service Board ordered
Chief Ferrick to write letters of apology to the girl, her mother
and a friend who also heard him. Chief Ferrick, 67, admits he
advised the girl to stay away from blacks, but denies he said
anything about getting her throat cut. [Police Chief Must Apologize,
Orlando Sentinel, April 12, 2003.]
Elsewhere in Florida, Republican state Rep.
Fred Brummer was forced to apologize for joking that an upcoming
basketball game between Democrats and Republicans in the state
legislature would be unfair because all the blacks are
Democrats. It was not my intention to be insensitive,
he now says. [City Link Magazine (Ft. Lauderdale), Newswatch:
Quotes, Apr. 16, 2003, p. 10.]
Nigerian gas line.
Nigeria exports two million barrels of oil
a day, and is the fifth-largest supplier to the US, but imports
some of its gasoline. When the international supply dropped
just before the Iraq war, Nigeria ran short. Many motorists
had to wait up to three days in gas lines that stretched for
miles, and often got into fights over line-cutting. In the southern
city of Asaba, a police officer shot and killed two people who
told him he had to wait in line like everybody else; the angry
crowd then attacked the policeman and beat him to death. Nigerians
often take justice into their own hands.
Black market sales made the shortage worse.
The official government price for gasoline is about 80 cents
a gallon, but fuel-hungry Nigerians were prepared to pay up
to ten times that muchin a country where 70 percent of
the population earns less than $1 per day. Some gas station
owners diverted fuel to the black market, and made huge profits
by shorting their customers.
Many sellers on the black market were soldiers,
policemen and government officials. Men driving cars with government
license plates were seen trading barrels of gasoline in the
parking lot of the Public Enlightenment Department, which is
part of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related
Offenses Commission. [Davan Maharaj, Oil-Rich Nigeria Plagued
by Gasoline Shortage, Los Angeles Times, May 1, 2003.]
The federal government likes to send refugees
to Clarkston, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta with a population
of 7,200. Its foreign-born population increased 350 percent
in the 1990s, and is sure to rise, since Clarkston will get
many of Georgias initial 620-650 allotment of the 12,000
Somalis the feds are bringing in (see May issue). With one in
three residents already foreign-born, townspeople worry their
city is turning into a resettlement camp.
On March 31, Mayor Lee Swaney hosted a public
town meeting with representatives from refugee and resettlement
agencies. The public was not allowed to question the representatives
directly; Mayor Swaney asked prepared questions, based on inquiries
from constituents. They wanted to know who chose Clarkston for
resettlement, why the town wasnt reimbursed for costs,
and whether refugees would get job and language training.
The bureaucrats werent happy. Jasmine
Majid, Georgia state refugee coordinator, says the questions
reflect a very sad and negative aspect of Clarkston.
Many residents didnt like the answers. Greg Perry, who
lives just outside Clarkston, thinks the refugee agents dodged
questions and gave canned answers, evading queries
about costs by saying refugees are an asset because they pay
taxes and run businesses. He thinks residents should have asked
questions themselves. Everything was skewed the way they
wanted to present it, he says. They werent
really interested in the concerns of the community. [Mark
Bixler, Agencies Try to Reassure Clarkston, Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
April 1, 2003, p. B5.]
Just over 600 Somalis live in Charlotte, North
Carolina. Some were originally resettled there but most came
from other cities for jobs. In 2000, Somali leaders formed a
non-profit group called the Somali Community of North Carolina,
to help new arrivals and lobby city hall. Later, Charlottes
economy slowed, and many Somalis lost their jobs. In 2002, Somali
Community was evicted from its office for failing to pay rent,
and now meets in a grocery store. It is asking for $100,400
from the city to rent a new office, hire a director, and buy
computers, hinting Somalis might take their lovely diversity
elsewhere. City officials say theyve never heard of an
immigrant group making demands like these, and point out that
Charlotte faces an $11 million deficit and doesnt have
the money. [Christina C. Breen, Somalis Striving to Retain Identity,
Charlotte Observer, Apr. 20, 2003.]
Is What Matters
On March 10, 2003, two policemen died in a
shootout at the Stapleton Houses in New York City. Almost everyone
who lives there is black. Grace Watkins, an 18-year-old resident,
explained that when most people learned about the killings they
said they thought the policemen got what they deserved. I
think a lot of people out here werent worried about [the
shootings] because they thought they were white cops, but when
they heard the cops were black, their attitude changed totally,
she said. And they started expressing concern for the
police officers families. [Douglas Montero, Surprising
Sympathy Dawns in Projects, New York Post, March 12, 2003.]
During the first six months of 2002, 56 Florida
hospitals spent $40.2 million on unreimbursed medical care for
non-citizens, many of them illegal aliens. These institutions
represent only one fourth of the acute-care hospitals in the
state. There were 705 indigent, foreign patients found in a
study of those hospitals. The average bill for each was $63,155
and the average stay was 22 days. Eleven patients were hospitalized
for six months or longer, and the most expensive patient was
a Jamaican who had run up a $3.3 million bill and spent more
than a year in bed. Hospitals are desperate to get these people
out, but are required by federal law not to turn them away,
and once they are in they can be very hard to discharge. Government
programs pick up only a small part of the tab, so the job of
paying for patients who stiff hospitals falls mainly on people
under age 65, who face higher insurance premiums for themselves.
[Liz Freeman, Hospitals Wrestle With How to Handle Millions
in Unpaid Bills of Noncitizens, Naples News (Florida), Jan.
Quotas in Brazil
More blacks live in Brazil than in any other
country outside of Africa. Forty-five percent of its 175 million
people are said to be black to some degree. Brazilians often
claim their country is free of racism, though blacks
are at the bottom of a society in which wealth and power are
almost exclusively white. The new leftist government of Luiz
Inácio Lula da Silva plans to change this, and is pushing
a law that would set strict racial quotas in university admissions,
hiring, and even in television programming. Quotas have already
been established at two public universities, which recently
set aside 40 percent of their freshman classes for blacks. In
the highly competitive Brazilian system, which admits students
on the basis of test scores, only three percent of college students
are black. White students are fighting quotas, claiming they
are being denied equal access to education. The Supreme Court
is likely to rule on the question, but since the Chief Justice
recently ordered hiring quotas for the court, black activists
are confident of a favorable ruling.
There is considerable public opposition to
the campaign. Do they want racial war in Brazil?
asked a recent article in the daily O Estado de São
Paulo, which has complained in an editorial that the government
was officializing racial discrimination. Some black
activists realize that an immediate push for 40-percent quotas
might fail, and are asking for 20 percent to start with. Also,
there is some question as to who is actually black. In Brazil
there are more than 300 terms to describe different mixtures
of black, and light-skinned blacks often do not consider themselves
black as they do in the United States.
In university admissions, preferences go to
people who claim African ancestry, so many people are suddenly
claiming to be black. Some people have proposed a scientific
criterion for determining blackness, but Justice Minister Márcio
Thomaz Bastos disagrees. A black person is someone who
feels black and lives as a black, he insists. I
dont believe there is any objective, scientific criteria.
As in the United States, activists are essentially unopposed
when they point to racial differences in education, earnings,
and arrest rates as proof of racial discrimination for which
quotas are the only remedy. [Larry Rohter, Racial Quotas in
Brazil Touch Off Fierce Debate, New York Times, April 5, 2003.]
People who cohabit without marriage are twice
as likely as married couples to cross racial lines. According
to the 2000 census, 15 percent of the nations 4.9 million
unmarried heterosexual couples are racially mixed, compared
to about seven percent of the 54.5 million married couples.
Slightly fewer than 15 percent of the 600,000 same-sex couples
are racially mixed. Just over five percent of Americas
105.5 million homes have an unmarried couple living in them,
and just over 50 percent are headed by married couples; single
people head the remaining 44 percent. Race-mixing is most common
in Hawaii, where more than one third of married couples and
more than half of cohabiting couples are interracial. For the
nation as a whole, about ten percent of couples who live together
are unmarried. The figure is lowest in Utah, where only five
percent of cohabiting couples are unmarried. Rates are highest
in Alaska, Nevada, and Vermont, where more than 12.5 percent
of couples are unmarried. [Census: Interracial Couples Married
and Unmarried, AP, March 13, 2003.]
There are now 1.7 million blacks living in
the United States who are of Caribbean origin. Seventy percent
are first-generation immigrants. They stay in school longer
than American blacks, and earn more money (see table). The 500,000
Africans now living here, of whom 85 percent are foreign-born,
do even better. A large number of them come to go to college,
and they average more years of education than even whites and
Asians. It is generally agreed that black immigrants from Africa
and the Caribbean are of considerably higher ability than the
countrymen they leave behind.
This table is in descending order of median
household income, with Asians well in the lead. There is a correlation
between years of schooling and income, but it is hardly perfect.
Africans have the most education but not the highest incomes.
Hispanics have the least education but do not have lowest incomes.
[Darryl Fears, Disparity Marks Black Ethnic Groups, Report Says,
Washington Post, March 9, 2003.]
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| L E T T E R S
F R O M R E A D E R S
Sir In his letter in the May issue of
AR, Kevin MacDonald blames the Immigration Act of 1965 on the
Jews. But the Immigration Act of 1965 was not the cause of massive
Third World immigration. As Stephen Webster points out in AR of
April (Fade to Brown), none of its supporters thought
it would lead to large-scale immigration. Moreover, as Hugh Graham
points out in the book that Prof. MacDonald cites (Collision
Course: The Strange Convergence of Affirmative Action and Immigration
Policy in America, pp. 93-4) its supporters assumed that its
main beneficiaries would be immigrants from southern and eastern
Europe. The reason for massive Third World immigration, as Mr.
Webster also points out, is that the US government did not react
to the unintended results of the Immigration Act. On the contrary,
it has constantly increased the ceiling on the number of legal
immigrants and has done almost nothing to stem the flow of illegal
Countries in which the number of Jews is negligible,
like the Netherlands and Belgium, and countries in which Jews
hardly exist, like the Scandinavian countries, have also let themselves
be inundated with Third World immigrants; and they began doing
that well before 1965. MacDonald trivializes a suicidal mental
attitude that pervades the West and afflicts Jews as well as gentiles.
I would also like to make two comments about
Samuel Franciss perceptive review of Steven Pinkers
important The Blank Slate (March 2003). First, at one point
Dr. Francis lets rhetorical exaggeration get the best of him.
He writes, Politically, much of what the Progressive Era,
the New Deal, and the Great Society did or tried to do was justified
in terms of the blank slate doctrine. I cannot see how any
of the programs of the Progressives (e.g. direct election of US
senators; referendum and recall at the state and municipal level)
or New Deal (e.g. social security, the National Labor Relations
Act) were motivated or justified by the blank slate doctrine.
Second, Dr. Francis points out the blatant contradiction
between the evidence that Prof. Pinker adduces for genetic determination
of intelligence and other traits, and his contention that the
genetic basis of the black-white IQ difference has not been proven.
Many scholars who try to be honest about American race relations
make an exception for this, the ultimate issue (e.g. Stephan and
Abigail Thernstrom in America in Black and White). I have
long thought that the reservations they express about the genetic
bases of racial differences is a tactic they use to enable them
to get their other data and observations to a wide audience. In
the case of Prof. Pinker, the contradiction is so obvious that
I can see no other explanation. In fact, I think there is a strong
possibility that he intended for his readers to understand that
that is what he is doing.
Prof. Steven Farron, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sir As for what some Jews think about
a polyglot society (re: Fade to Brown by Stephen Webster
in the April issue), I suggest you seek out the positions of Rabbi
Daniel Lapin and Dennis Praeger. Both are prolific authors, essayists,
lecturers and highly regarded talk-show hostsRabbi Lapin
in Seattle and Mr. Praeger in Los Angeles. Both have stated many
times and on many occasions that only in a white, Christian America
is the Jewish community safe.
If the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society (HIAS)
is looking to import Negroes from Kenya, it is clear that they
have become a Negro organization like the Anti-Defamation League
(ADL). These organizations and the ACLU are Negro organizations
in everything but name. The ADL supported the blacks as they rioted
and killed Yankel Rosenberg in Crown Heights, New York, ten years
ago. It didnt seem to matter that the black war cries were
Kill the Jews! and Hitler didnt do the
job! Many such organizations have become something totally
different from what they were originally.
If you want some Jewish thinking other than the
usual conventional stuff, you might also look to Jews for the
Preservation of Firearms (jpfo.org).
Edmund Levine, Philadelphia, Pa.
Sir Regarding Mr. Taylors response
to Ethnic Genetic Interests (Feb. 2003), it is true
that most people become racially aware only after having to endure
the company of large numbers of non-whites. Subjective reasons
for white unity are all that I (and most others) need for fighting
for our racial family. We dont need to justify
our cause objectivelywe love our own because they are our
own. Even the Bible says to prefer the company of your own kind
(Rom. 12:10), to look after your own family (Gal. 6:10), and to
preserve your heritage (Deut. 7:1-6). And yet we dont need
religion to justify our cause either. People with healthy instincts
have a natural, innate affection and preference for their own.
Rich Moran, Pleasant Valley State Prison, Coalinga,
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