v. Board: the Real Story
celebrate tragedy as if it were victory.
by Jared Taylor
17 marked the 50th anniversary of the US Supreme Courts
famous ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. This decision,
which forbade racial segregation in schools, is now being celebrated
as a historic act of justice and courage. Of the hundreds if not
thousands of public officials and editorial writers who have celebrated
this anniversary, practically no one has criticized the decision.
In fact, there is much to criticize. Brown was certainly
one of the most important Supreme Court decisions of the 20th
century; it is necessary that we know what was wrongdreadfully
wrongabout how it was decided, and what it brought about.
First, the decision involved nothing
less than collusion between one of the justices and his former
clerk, who was handling the US Governments arguments. One
side of the case therefore had utterly improper inside knowledge
about what every justice thought, and could craft arguments specifically
to appeal to them.
Second, one of the key expert
witnesses for desegregationthe only one singled out for
praise in the rulingdeliberately suppressed research results
that undermined his position. He certainly knew about these inconvenient
results, because they were his own.
Third, because the Court could
find no Constitutional justification for overturning the doctrine
of separate but equal, it based its ruling on then-fashionable
sociological theories. These theories were wrong.
Fourth, Brown was the first
fateful step towards what we call judicial activism.
The Supreme Court set aside its obligation to interpret the Constitution,
and did what it thought was good for the country. It inaugurated
an era of, in effect, passing new laws, rather than interpreting
old ones. Judicial orders should never preempt law-making by elected
representatives; republican government has been badly eroded by
the process set in motion by Brown.
Finally, integration orders were
among the most intrusive and damaging ever issued by American
courts. Judges took over the most minute school-related decisions
as if they were one-man school boards. Mandatory racial balancingusually
accomplished by busingprovoked white flight that in many
cases left schools even more segregated than before. Beginning
in 1991, the Court eased its requirements for mandatory busing,
but by then it had already caused incalculable dislocation and
had turned most big-city school districts into minority ghettos.
The final reckoning of Brown
has yet to be made, but it is a ruling to be mourned, not celebrated.
How Brown Came About
Until Brown, the best known
Supreme Court ruling on racial segregation had been Plessy
v. Ferguson, handed down in 1896. This case involved separate
railroad coaches for black and white travelers, and the court
ruled famously that segregation was constitutional so long as
the races were accommodated in a separate but equal
From the Baltimore Afro-American,
July 2, 1955.
Separate was not always equal,
however. In 1930, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana spent
about one third as much on each segregated black public school
student as on each white student. South Carolina, the most extreme
case, spent only one tenth. Whites justified this difference by
pointing out that local taxes paid for schools, and that blacks
paid far less in taxes than whites.
Spending on black schools increased
rapidly in the 1940s and 1950s, often because of NAACP lawsuits
insisting that if black schools were to be separate the Constitution
required that they be equal. Many judges agreed, and throughout
the old Confederacy there was a flurry of new taxes and bond issues
to raise money for black schools. By the 1950s, the gap had been
greatly narrowed all across the South, and in Virginia, for example,
expenditures, facilities, and teacher pay were essentially equal
in the two systems. Whites did not want to send their children
to school with blacks, and were prepared to make considerable
sacrifices to avoid doing so. Some within the NAACP wondered whether
forcing the South to live up to the requirements of separate
but equal would only make segregation permanent.
Nevertheless, the Supreme Court
agreed to hear the Brown case, which was a direct attack
on separate school systems, even if they were equal. It was a
consolidation of five separate cases that had arisen in different
states, and petitioned the Court to abolish segregated schools
on the basis of the equal protection clause of the
It was impossible, however, to
argue that the original intent of the 14th Amendment was to forbid
segregated schools. The same Congress that passed the Amendment
in 1866 established segregated schools in the District of Columbia,
and after ratification two years later, 23 of the 37 states either
established segregated schools or continued to operate the ones
they already had. Chief Justice Frederick Vinson was particularly
bothered by a Constitutional appeal that required the Court to
recast the meaning of an Amendment.
During oral arguments in the case
in December 1952, Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP therefore did
not make a legal argument. His case rested on what came to be
known as the harms and benefits theory, that segregation
harms blacks and integration would benefit them. Justice Robert
Jackson, who had been chief prosecutor of Nazi war criminals at
Nuremberg, complained that Marshalls case starts and
ends with sociology. He did not support school segregation
but thought it would be an abuse of judicial power to abolish
it by decree. I suppose that realistically the reason this
case is here is that action couldnt be obtained from Congress,
In fact, the sociology with which
Marshall started and ended was weak. He leaned heavily on the
work of Kenneth Clark, a black researcher known for doll studies.
Clark reported that if he showed a pair of black and white dolls
to black children attending segregated schools and asked them
which doll they liked better, a substantial number picked the
white doll. He argued to the Court that this proves segregation
breeds feelings of inferiority. He failed to mention that he had
shown his dolls to hundreds of blacks attending integrated schools
in Massachusetts, and that even more of these children preferred
the white doll. If his research showed anything, it was that integration
lowers the self-image of blacks, but he deliberately slanted his
John W. Davis, the lawyer who
argued to retain segregated schools, pointed out that Clarks
conclusions contradicted his own published results on the Massachusetts
findings. Davis later told a colleague that the ruling would surely
go his way unless the Supreme Court wants to make the law
He is now a hero.
If the Court had decided the case
immediately after oral arguments, Brown might have been
decided the other way or at best, with a five-to-four majority
that would have given it little authority in the South. It was
at this point that Justice Felix Frankfurter, who was desperate
to end segregation, assumed a key role. Faced with a bad legal
case and justices who did not want to abuse their power, his strategy
was to delay. He argued strongly that a decision on Brown
should be put off to allow time for an investigation of the original
intent of the 14th Amendment and to let the new Eisenhower administration
take a position. In the meantime, without telling the other justices,
he told his clerk, Alexander Bickel, to ransack the history of
the Amendment in the hope of finding something that would justify
striking down segregation.
In June 1953, the Court put Brown
back on the docket and invited the new administration to file
a brief. Eisenhowers people wanted to stay out of the controversy
entirely, but unbeknownst to them an agent for Felix Frankfurter
was working at a high level in the Justice Department. Philip
Elman had clerked for Frankfurter, and was in constant communication
with his old boss about Brown. He told the Solicitor General
that a Supreme Court invitation to comment on a case was like
a command performance, and he offered to handle the case.
Elman and Frankfurter both knew
that back-channel communication was wrong. A party to a case is
never permitted to have secret discussions with a judge who will
decide his case. In a long 1987 article in the Harvard Law
Review, in which he described in detail the collusion that
went into the Brown ruling, Elman conceded that what he
did probably went beyond the pale but, he added, I
considered it a cause that transcended ordinary notions about
propriety in a litigation. He wrote that he and Frankfurter
kept an appropriate professional distance on all other cases,
but made an exception for Brown. To them, ending school
segregation was so important it justified unscrupulous maneuvering.
They talked at length over the
phone and in person, referring to the other justices by code.
William Douglas was Yak because he was from Yakima, Washington.
Stanley Reed was Chamer, because it means dolt or mule
in Hebrew, and Reed thought desegregation was a political and
not a judicial matter.
In September 1953, something happened
that completely changed the complexion of the Court: Chief Justice
Frederick Vinson, a strong opponent of judicial activism, suddenly
died. As Elman reports in the 1987 article, Frankfurter met him
soon after in high spirits. Im in mourning,
he said with a huge grin. Phil, this is the first solid
piece of evidence Ive ever had that there really is a God.
Elman writes that God takes care of drunks, little children,
and the American people and showed His concern for America
by taking Fred Vinson when He did. The new Chief Justice
was Earl Warren, an ambitious former governor of California, who
saw his job not as interpreting the Constitution but as a chance
to exercise power.
In the meantime, Frankfurters
clerk Bickel could find nothing in the history or intent of the
14th Amendment that could be used to order desegregation, so Frankfurter
changed tack. He began to urge that original intent did not matter,
and that the Amendments language should be reinterpreted
according to the needs of the time. He reported to Elman that
Warren and some of the other justices were sympathetic to this
view, so not surprisingly, when the Justice Department filed Elmans
600-page brief in December 1953, it too argued that the language
of the Amendment was broad enough to be reinterpreted.
Since there was
no legal reasoning involved in it, the ruling was
short enough to make the entire ruling fit into a
The reargument covered the same
ground as before. Marshall trotted out the bogus doll studies
again, while the Justice Department echoed Bickels view
that the original intent of the 14th Amendment could be ignored.
Frankfurter wrote long memos to the other justices insisting that
the law must respond to changes in mens feelings for
what is right and just. This combination of arguments overcame
the scruples of most of the justices who were reluctant to go
beyond what they considered to be the limits of their authority.
Jackson and Reed were the only holdouts. The former Nuremburg
prosecutor refused to dabble in what he thought was a political
rather than a judicial matter, and Reed, the chamer, argued
that judicial activism was the beginning of kritarchy,
or rule by judges.
At the end of March 1954, Jackson
suffered a serious heart attack. Warren rushed to the hospital
and got the weakened justice to agree to the opinion he had drafted.
Then he cornered Reed, telling him he would be all alone if he
did not go along. Reed, who never agreed with the ruling, bowed
to pressure and joined the majority.
On May 17, Warren read the decision
from the bench. Since there was no legal reasoning involved in
it, he could keep it short enough to make the entire ruling fit
into a newspaper article. The most often quoted passage is the
To separate [black children]
from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of
their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status
in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way
unlikely to ever be undone. . . . We conclude that in the field
of public education the doctrine of separate but equal
has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.
Warren admitted that he was interpreting
the Constitution differently from every Supreme Court that had
[W]e cannot turn the clock
back to 1868 when the [14th] Amendment was adopted, or even to
1896 when Plessy v. Ferguson was written, he argued.
The point to be addressed was whether segregation of children
in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the
physical facilities and other tangible factors may
be equal, deprives the children of the minority group of equal
educational opportunities. His conclusion: We believe
it does. As evidence, he cited Clarks doll studies.
Earl Warren: another
hero to the liberals.
It should not require pointing
out that whether segregation makes blacks feel inferior is not
a Constitutional issue. Even if the evidence that segregation
did have that effect had been solidand it was notit
did not justify reinterpreting the Constitution.
Even liberals recognized that
the Court was practicing sociology and not law. The New York
Times, which welcomed the ruling, nevertheless gave its May
18 article the following sub-headline: A Sociological Decision:
Court Founded Its Segregation Ruling On Hearts and Minds Rather
Than Laws. The dean of the Yale Law School, Wesley Sturges,
put it more bluntly. For the justices to rule as they did, he
noted, the Court had to make the law.
Nor was Philip Elmans behind-the-scenes
role in the matter finished. The Constitution has been consistently
interpreted to mean that the rights it grants are personal and
require immediate relief. If segregation was unconstitutional
it meant black students were entitled to integration right away.
Frankfurter had explained to Elman that if this were what a desegregation
ruling required, he could not be sure of getting unanimity, perhaps
not even a majority. The prospect of the chaos such a ruling would
cause would have pushed many justices into opposition.
It was Elman, therefore, who proposed
the very unusual solution of separating enforcement from constitutionality.
After the famous May 17 ruling, the Supreme Court sent the case
back for further argument on how the decision should be implemented.
It waited nearly a year, until May 1, 1955, to let the 1954 ruling
sink in, before issuing another ruling on how to do what the Court
ordered. It is here that we find the famous linguistic fudge:
desegregation was to be accomplished with all deliberate
speed. The South was going to have to abide by the Constitution,
but it could drag its feet. It was entirely unprincipled,
Elman wrote in 1987; it was just plain wrong as a matter
of constitutional law, to suggest that someone whose personal
constitutional rights were being violated should be denied relief.
. . . I was simply counting votes in the Supreme Court,
he added. Elman proposed a solution he concedes was entirely
unprincipled because that was what it would take to get
the ruling he and Frankfurter wanted.
In his article Elman also showed
considerable contempt for Thurgood Marshall, who later became
the first black appointed to the Supreme Court. He wrote that
Marshall made bad, ineffective arguments, but that Elmans
collusion with Frankfurter had so rigged the Court in favor of
desegregation, it made no difference: Thurgood Marshall
could have stood up there and recited Mary had a little
lamb, and the result would have been exactly the same.
From Desegregation to Integration
The initial impact of the Brown
decisions was, with a few exceptions, anti-climactic. The implementation
order of 1955 applied only to schools that practiced legal segregation,
and required only that they stop assigning students to schools
by race. The targets were therefore only Southern schools, where
there was little change, since most students stayed where they
were. A few ambitious black parents enrolled their children in
white schools, but no whites switched to black schools. There
was dramatic resistance in 1957 to the arrival of even small numbers
of blacks at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, but
desegregationthe end of forcible separation of students
by racepassed easily enough. It was the shift from desegregation
to integrationthe obligatory mixing of students to
achieve racial balancethat convulsed the country.
Segregated black schools
Virginia in the early 1960s . . .
In Brown, the Supreme Court
endorsed the view that it was legally enforced, de jure
segregation that damaged the minds of blacks; the justices said
nothing about the de facto school segregation that reflects
residential segregation. However, as the 1960s wore on, and summers
were punctuated by riots in New York, Rochester, Watts, and Newark,
official thinking began to change. In 1967, the US Commission
on Civil Rights issued a report called Racial Isolation in
the Public Schools, in which it declared flatly that voluntary
segregation was just as harmful as legally enforced segregation.
By now, almost all sociologists
embraced the harms and benefits theory of desegregation, and endorsed
the commissions report rather than a much more thoroughgoing
one that had appeared the year before. This was the now-famous
Department of Health Education and Welfare study known as the
Coleman report, officially titled Equality of Educational Opportunity.
Sociologist James Coleman and his colleagues had fully expected
to find that poor black academic performance was caused by inadequate
school funding, and that integration brought black achievement
up to the level of whites. They were surprised to learn that although
there were regional differencesthe North spent more money
on schools than the Southwithin the regions school authorities
were devoting much the same effort to blacks as whites.
. . . more money would
not make much difference.
Another surprising finding was
that the amount of money spent on schools did not have much effect
on student performance, and blacks who attended predominantly
white schools did only slightly better than those who attended
all-black schools. (Coleman later concluded that this small difference
was not due to integration. The first blacks who attended white
schools voluntarily were smart, ambitious blacks who would have
done well in all-black schools.) These findings ran so contrary
to 60s-era thinking that Coleman and his co-authors buried
its conclusions, and the report became well-known only in retrospect.
In 1968, the Court adopted the
more fashionable thinking of the Civil Rights Commission. In Green
v. New Kent County, it ruled that race-neutral school policies
were not good enough. At least for schools that had practiced
de jure segregation, the vestiges of segregation
had to be eliminated by race-conscious remedies and forcible integration.
One likes to imagine the deliberations of our highest court conducted
in Olympian calm, undistracted by mundane outside events. However,
it may not be a coincidence that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated
the day after oral arguments in Green, and the Court deliberated
during the worst race riots the country had ever seen.
Still, every court order so far
had been directed to schools in the once-segregated South. The
rest of the country could look on in smug superiority as Southern
whites battled busing, set up private schools, fled to the suburbs
and, in some cases, even closed down public schools rather than
submit to racial balancing. At least in the South,
whites clearly did not like forced race-mixing, and would go to
great lengths to avoid it. To the elites of the time, this was
precisely the kind of prejudice busing was designed to cure.
It is easy to lose sight of just
how radical a change the courts required when they shifted from
desegregation to forcible integration. A movie theater, for example,
is considered desegregated if patrons of all races can attend.
Depending on location, some theaters may have patrons of mostly
one race or another, but no one would think of controlling the
flow of customers in order to achieve racial balance.
This, however, was the effect of the new Court rulings. It was
as if blacks and whites had to check with a central authority
whenever they wanted to see a movie, and were directed only to
theaters across town where they were sure to be a racial minority.
Imagine the resistance to rules of that kind applied to restaurants,
libraries, sports events, etc. It is not surprising that Southerners
Protest against busing
The respite for the North was
short-lived. In its 1971 ruling in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Board of Education the Court decided that if forcible integration
was necessary to correct the damage racial separation caused to
Southern blacks, it was equally necessary in the North, where
residential and school segregation were often almost as pronounced.
The Court made it clear that integration was to apply to every
aspect of a school, including teachers, staff, extracurricular
activities, attendance boundaries for schools and new construction.
The judges chose schools as the institutions that would henceforth
make up for the effects of voluntary residential segregation,
and breed a new generation that would ignore race. Soon parents
everywhere were faced with the prospect of putting their children
on buses for lengthy rides across town so blacks could attend
white schools and vice versa. Whites in the North set about with
a will to achieve racial balance but found that, if anything,
they disliked busing even more than Southerners did.
Wilmington, Delaware, made a particularly
ambitious effort. Courts consolidated all city and suburban school
districtsso that whites could not escape to nearby white
school districtsand ordered every school integrated. This
was to be done by racial mixing in neighborhoods if possible,
and otherwise by sending whites to the inner city and inner-city
blacks to the suburbs.
Wilmington worked very hard to
prepare for what everyone knew would be a wrenching change. For
teachers, the days of the three Rs were over: They would have
to make children feel important, and teach them how to cooperate.
White teachers had to learn empathetic listening,
values clarification, and consultation skills,
so they could handle black children. Altogether, teachers got
a very confusing message: The classroom would integrate black
children into the American mainstream, but it must not transmit
oppressive, middle-class values.
Like other school districts, Wilmington
learned that any racial balancing plan causes white flight, but
some plans cause more than others. Shipping white children out
of their neighborhoods to black schools was the worst. About half
the white parents did not even wait to see what it was going to
be like; their children disappeared to the far suburbs and into
private schools, and never set foot in a black school. Most of
the rest abandoned the experiment soon thereafter.
Blacks were less unwilling to
come to white schools, but this did not lead to racial mixing.
As one Wilmington reporter noted, despite the massive effort
to bring the races together, students and even teachers segregated
themselves at lunch, in the hallways, and in the classrooms if
they were given the opportunity. Administrators also discovered
the tipping point. A few blacks did not change the
character of a school, but as their numbers increased so did racial
tensions. It was almost as if there was something magicor
hellishwhen the black enrollment reached 40 percent,
recalled Jeanette McDonald, who was dean of girls at P.S. du Pont
High School. The black attitudes changed then, and the whites
had reason to be frightened. Blacks would begin to extort
protection money from whites, graffiti would appear, windows would
be smashed, lockers were looted, and refuse would accumulate.
An all-white school would rapidly begin to turn black. Once most
of the whites were gone, those who remained adapted to black dominance.
The statistics tell a dramatic
story: When large-scale busing began, only one fourth of Wilmington
public school students were black. By 1975, they were more than
90 percent black. Furious whites were hardly mollified when Federal
Judge Murray Schwartz, one of the architects of the busing plan,
transferred his own children to private school.
What it took to do
Busing in Boston was perhaps more
traumatic and disruptive than anywhere else. In 1967, the public
schools were 73 percent white. The average black student, however,
attended a school that was only 32 percent white, which means
schools were substantially segregated. This reflected the fact
that most blacks were clustered in Roxbury, in the southern part
of town. Court-ordered busing came in 1974, but the mere rumor
of it was enough to send whites to the suburbs. By 1973, white
enrollment had dropped to 57 percent, and the average black attended
a school that was only 21 percent white. Immediately after busing,
which met more resistance and violence from angry whites than
anywhere else in the country, the exposure to whites increased
somewhat, but quickly dropped because so many whites fled. By
2002, the district was only 15 percent white, and the average
black attended a school that was 11 percent white, a figure far
lower than the 32 percent from pre-integration days (please see
the figure on this page for a graphic representation of these
The same drama followed forced
integration in many big-city school districts. In Washington,
DCs public schools, for example, white enrollment was 48
percent in 1951. Ambitious federal judges ordered racial balancing
even before the Supreme Courts Green decision in
1968, so the city learned about integration early. Newly-arrived
blacks at Theodore Roosevelt High School made so many obscene
comments to the girl cheerleaders the school switched to boys.
Several principals decided not to have dances or other social
events. Whites abandoned the public schools, and by 1974 white
enrollment was down to 3.3 percent. Washington was the first major
urban school district from which whites essentially disappeared.
A district that used to show solid
performance sank to the bottom of the league. In 1976, one high
school valedictorian scored only 320 on the verbal and 280 on
the math SAT. These scores put the student in the 16th and 2nd
percentiles for college-bound seniors. On the 25th anniversary
of Brown, James Nabrit, a lawyer who had argued one of
the first successful desegregation cases in the District, complained
that despite huge, federally-funded budgets, the Washington schools
had drowned the courtroom victory in a sea of failure.
When it was their
turn, Whites in the North found that they disliked
busing even more than Southerners did.
This pattern was repeated across
the country, if not always so dramatically. White enrollment in
Chicago (Cook County) public schools was 65.4 percent in heavily
segregated schools in 1969. By 1990, after mandatory racial balancing,
the figure was 23.5 percent, and by 2000 it was 13.5 percent.
The decline in New York Citys white enrollment during the
same period was from 38.7 percent to 19.3 to 15.3 percent. In
1968, nearly 80 percent of the public school students in San Diego
were white. By 2000, only 26.1 percent were white. In all such
cases, especially in California, there would have been a drop
in white enrollment as a percentage of the total simply because
of the arrival of large numbers of immigrant children, but the
overwhelming bulk of the decrease is due to white flight.
At the same time, racial balance
began to consume a huge proportion of local education budgets.
Districts that undertook full-scale integration campaigns soon
found them swallowing up a fifth or more of the total budget.
Integration did succeed in increasing
the amount of racial contact between black and white students,
most obviously in the South, where legal segregation had kept
the races entirely apart. However, initial gains quickly eroded
as whites disappeared. In 1968, before court-ordered busing, the
average black in a big-city district attended schools that were,
on average, 43 percent white. Busing pushed that figure up to
54 percent in 1972, but by 1989 white flight had brought the figure
down to 47 percent, just 4 points higher than in 1968.
The disappearance of whites caused
so much dislocation in so many school districts that the Supreme
Court finally began to notice. In a series of decisions between
1991 and 1993, the Court reversed itself, and ruled that schools
should not be required to compensate for residential segregation.
By the mid-1990s there were still magnet schools with
desirable curricula deliberately put in black areas in the hope
of wooing whites into integrated classes, but forcible mixing
had largely come to an end. White enrollment leveled off in most
school districts, once children could attend neighborhood schools
that reflected local housing patterns.
Schools are therefore moving towards
increased self-segregation. One measure of this trend is the percentage
of non-white children who go to racially isolated
schools, in which fewer than ten percent of the students are white.
Between 1991 and 2001 that number increased in at least 36 of
the 50 states. Thirty-five percent of black, Hispanic, Asian,
and American Indian students are now racially isolated.
During the same period, as integration
requirements eased, nearly 6,000 public schools saw dramatic racial
shifts, with 414 going from mostly minority to mostly white, while
5,506 shifted form mostly white to mostly minority. This means
that within a 10-year period, one out of every 11 public schools
(of the more than 67,000 in the whole country) changed markedly
in racial character, generally coming in line with segregated
It should be noted that a school
may be integrated but its students are not. Blacks and Hispanics
often cluster in the remedial classes, with whites and Asians
in the honors courses. Even those students who attend the same
classes rarely fraternize across racial lines during lunch or
recess. Self-segregation begins early and becomes more rigid as
children get older. In high school, the only consistent exceptions
seem to be among athletes, who may have real interracial friendships
For the major big-city school
districts, the end of busing came too late. Most whites now think
of the public schools in places like Chicago, New York or Washington,
DC as almost foreign territory. Even the neighborhood school is
not a realistic option for their children. Whites may live in
these cities when they are single or childless, but move to the
suburbs for the schools. Previous generations of whites made big
cities their permanent homes; among most whites today this is
not an option for any but the wealthy, who can afford elite private
schools, and the poor, who have no choice.
Few people mourn the end of busing.
Whites rarely supported it, with about 65 to 70 percent of parents
prepared to tell a pollster they didnt want it. A substantial
minority of blacks also opposed it: generally about 40 percent.
In Chicago, the longer blacks were bused the less they liked it,
with opposition rising from 48 percent in 1986 to 60 percent in
1990. At first, most blacks believed in the harm and benefits
theory, but as the benefits failed to materialize they began to
object to sending their children far from home. There has also
been a resurgence of black pride and accompanying scorn for the
idea that blacks must have white schoolmates in order to learn.
Even George W. Bushs black
Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, has shifted his emphasis away
from integration. Our goal is to make the schools better
irregardless of the demographic makeup of the school, he
The Final Reckoning
Scholars have now had decades
of school integration to study, and the results flatly contradict
the sociological assumptions behind Brown. It is interesting
to speculate how the justices would have ruled in 1954 or in the
cases that imposed busing if they had known what we know now.
In 1967, Federal Judge J. Skelly Wright reflected the prevailing
view when he wrote: Racially and socially homogeneous schools
damage the minds and spirit of all children who attend themthe
Negro, the white, the poor and the affluent . . . . He was
wrong. Study after study has shown that segregation, whether de
facto or de jure, does not lower black self-esteem.
Black children consistently outscore white children on all standard
tests of self image. (Such tests consist of questions like Could
you be anything you like when you grow up? or Do people
pay attention when you talk because you have good ideas?
Scores on these tests generally match the observations of people
who know the test-takers.) What is more, just as Clarks
doll tests suggested 50 years ago, integration appears to lower
black self-esteem, not raise it. The most commonly-given explanation
is that it brings them face to face with a racial gap in academic
achievement that refuses to go away.
In science, the average
black is still only at the 10th percentile for whites.
Here again, the findings are consistent:
The average black 12th grader reads and does math at the level
of the average white 8th grader. This has been truewith
slight, up-and-down variationsfor 40 years. What is more,
it is true whether black students have no, few, or many white
classmates. Advocates of the harm and benefits theory
have desperately resisted these findings, and journalists have
hesitated to publicize them. However, as Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom
make clear in their recent book No Excuses, many different
approaches in many different school systems have failed to narrow
the gap. They call this persistent difference in achievement a
Nor does integration necessarily
improve race relations. Results are not consistent, but increases
in racial hostility are just as likely as decreases. A more fine-grained
analysis shows that integration causes fewest problems at the
youngest grades, but as children get older they become more conscious
of race and increasingly socialize with people like themselves.
The racial gap in academic performancealthough it starts
in pre-schoolis not as striking in the lower grades, and
is less a barrier to friendship. Likewise, when blacks start enrolling
in formerly-white schools, race relations are best if the number
of blacks is kept at 15 to 25 percent. Research has confirmed
what teachers in Wilmington discovered after court-ordered busing:
40 percent is the point at which things often go seriously wrong.
Another consistent and related
finding is that discipline problems increase as the number of
black or Hispanic students increases (an influx of Asians does
not have this effect). Theft, violence, and insubordination of
all kinds go up as the racial balance changes.
The harm and benefits
theory was wrong. Segregation does not damage black children,
and the only discernible benefit of integration appears to be
the moral satisfaction it provides its architects. The sociological
basis for Brown was therefore unsound.
It is also clear that white parents
were justified in opposing mandatory race-mixing. If the average
black 12th grader performs at the level of the average white 8th
grader, the parents of the average white 12th grader are right
to think integration will lower standards and divert resources
to remediation. They are also right to suspect it is likely to
bring violence and disorder.
White flight is invariably dismissed
as racism. However, the decline of white school enrollment
reflected agonizing decisions unelected judges forced on millions
of decent Americans. Do we keep our children in public school
despite falling standards? If we move to the suburbs will we have
to sell our house at a loss? If we stay, will we both have to
work so we can afford private school? There have probably never
been any other American court decisions with such a direct and
unpleasant impact on the lives of so many people. It is doctrinaire
to the point of callousness to disregard the sufferings of racists
who rejected a social experiment in which they wanted no part,
and did what they thought best for their children.
Today, even some
of those who cheered the loudest for Brown
have second thoughts.
Brown and its sequels are
some of the strongest proof of why judicial activism is so dangerous.
The Constitution is silent on the question of segregated schools.
Some states had them and others did not; it was a matter rightly
left up to the deliberations of the peoples elected representatives.
The Supreme Court forced a mute Constitution to speak, and in
so doing made it speak gibberish.
From ratification until 1954,
the Constitution permitted (though did not require) segregated
schools. In 1954 it suddenly forbade legal segregation without
requiring deliberate racial balancing. In 1968 it suddenly required
race-conscious balancing, and in 1991 it decided not to require
it after all. These changes were not the result of Amendments;
they reflect nothing more than judicial decision-making so powerful
and capricious that some have described it as tyranny. As Chief
Justice Charles Evans Hughes once noted, We are under a
Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is.
Brown and what followed
underline how different court rulings are from legislation. Legislation
is a tedious, time-consuming process, that requires the agreement
of many people. It involves trade-offs and compromises, drafting,
redrafting, and public scrutiny. Many court rulings are taken
on the authority of only one judge, and a Supreme Court
decision requires just five. Courts are therefore far more likely
than legislatures to veer off into treacherous, uncharted waters.
Obligatory race-balancing was a colossal, expensive mistake that
no state or national legislature would have made. Only
the courts can completely ignore the will of the people, and force
upon them policies their representatives would never enact.
As the Civil Rights Act of 1964
demonstrated, legal segregation was probably doomed. Sooner or
later, legislatures would have desegregated schools without indulging
in the fantasy that schools could remold Americans into race-unconsciousness.
The country would have escaped the trauma of busing, and urban
school districts would probably not now be wastelands.
Today, even some of those who
cheered the loudest for Brown have second thoughts. Derrick
Bell is a black lawyer and former Harvard Law School professor.
During the 1960s, he worked for the NAACP, trying to short circuit
the legislative process, arguing dozens of school cases before
dozens of judges. By 1976, he had concluded that integration was
a false goal and that blacks should have instead petitioned for
the equal in the separate but equal, established
in 1896 in Plessy v. Ferguson. Civil rights lawyers
were misguided in requiring racial balance of each schools
student population as a measure of compliance and the guarantee
of effective schooling, he wrote. In short, while
the rhetoric of integration promised much, court orders to ensure
that black youngsters received the education they needed to progress
would have achieved much more.
This year, the 50th anniversary
of Brown, Prof. Bell put the case even more bluntly. From
the standpoint of education, he says, we would have
been better served had the court in Brown rejected the
petitioners arguments to overrule Plessy v. Ferguson.
Practically no whites are prepared to say what Prof. Bell is willing
to say: The Supreme Court made a mistake in 1954. This 50th anniversary
should not be a time for celebration but for reflection on the
dangers of unbridled judicial power and the persistent reality
• BACK TO TOP • •
and the Constitution
Warren Court rewrote a century of Constitutional law.
by Joel T. LeFevre
Supreme Courts decision in Brown v. Board of Education
sent a shockwave through much of the legal community. Scholars
noted serious Constitutional problems with the ruling, and
significant departures from principles of jurisprudence. More
than 80 congressmen and senators signed the Southern
Manifesto, charging that the justices undertook
to exercise naked judicial power and substituted their personal
political and social ideas for the established law of the
land. Several states in the South passed resolutions
of interposition, denouncing, in the words of Virginia, the
deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of powers not
granted [to the federal government] . . . .
Fifty years later, all this
is forgotten. Very little is said about these legal and Constitutional
issues, or about the precedent set in 1954, but the Constitutional
history leading up to the ruling makes clear how thoroughly
aberrant the Courts behavior was in Brown.
After the War Between the
States, Congress had to determine the legal status of millions
of newly-freed slaves. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 did not
grant full racial equality, but it carefully defined rights
that could not be curtailed on the basis of race:
The inhabitants of every
race and color, . . . shall have the same right to make and
enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, and give evidence,
to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and
personal property, and to full and equal benefit of all laws
and proceedings for the security of person and property, and
shall be subject to like punishment, pains, and penalties
. . . . Furthermore, there was to be no discrimination
in civil rights or immunities . . . on account of race, color,
or previous condition of servitude.
This was before the term civil
rights was corrupted to mean special privileges for
non-whites. They were basic rights of which no man could be
deprived, but they were limited, specified rights. Senator
Edgar Cowan of Pennsylvania questioned the bills effect
on school segregation. To this and other concerns, the bills
patron, Senator Lyman Trumbull, said it would have none, noting
that the bill did not grant the right to vote, nor did it
make all citizens eligible for service on juries. This
bill is applicable exclusively to civil rights. . . .
he explained. That is all there is to it. Congressman
James F. Wilson of Iowa, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee,
Justice John M.
What do these terms
mean? Do they mean that in all things civil, social, political,
all citizens, without distinction of race or color, shall
be equal? By no means can they be so construed. . . . Nor
do they mean that . . . their children shall attend the same
schools. These are not civil rights or immunities.
Some worried about the effect
the bill would have on state anti-miscegenation laws, but
each time the issue came up, the proponents of the bill insisted
it could not interfere with such laws, so long as there were
no differences in penalties for whites or blacks guilty of
The 14th Amendment
The Civil Rights Act became
law on April 9, 1866, over President Andrew Johnsons
veto. During the debates, the Joint Committee on Reconstruction
headed by Sen. Thaddeus Stevens wrote a draft of what would
become the 14th Amendment. Its purpose was to enshrine the
provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 in the Constitution,
thereby placing them beyond the reach of a transient majority.
Sen. Stevens was worried that the first time that the
South with their copperhead allies obtain the command of Congress
it [the Civil Rights Act] will be repealed. An amendment
would also bind the states for, as Sen. Stevens noted, the
Constitution limits only the action of Congress, and is not
a limitation on the States. This amendment supplies that defect.
Congress passed the amendment on June 13 and sent it to the
states for ratification.
In what became a common formulation,
the 14th Amendment provided for how its provisions would be
implemented: The Congress shall have power to enforce,
by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
However, as noted on page three of this issue, the very same
Congress that voted the Amendment segregated the schools in
the District of Columbia, which was the one jurisdiction under
its direct control.
This fact should be all that
is necessary to establish the intent of the 14th Amendment
with regard to school segregation. As legal scholar Arthur
J. Schweppe noted in 1961, . . . it is utterly unthinkable
historically that the framers of the 14th Amendment intended
white and colored schools to be integrated, and that the identical
Congress and subsequent Congresses completely misinterpreted
that intent by passing unconstitutional legislation for almost
a hundred years.
As also noted on page three,
many of the states that ratified the amendment either established
segregated schools or continued operating the ones they already
had. Some states in the North had already done away with segregation,
never practiced it, or ended it on their own. In some, the
black population was so small segregation would have been
impractical. According to the 1870 census, there were fewer
than 2,200 blacks in Wisconsin, 1,700 in Maine, 1,000 in Vermont,
800 in Minnesota and Nebraska, and only 346 in Oregon. No
state that ended segregation, whether by legislation or by
court decision, appealed to the 14th Amendment as an authority
in doing so.
Segregation and the Courts
was not the egalitarian liberals now make him
out to be.
The Supreme Court acknowledged
in Brown that The doctrine [of separate but equal
schools] apparently originated in Roberts v. City of Boston
. . . . This 1849 casewhich predates Plessy
v. Ferguson by almost 50 yearswas decided in Massachusetts,
a leading abolitionist state, and upheld segregation despite
a state constitution that was much more explicit about equality
than the US Constitution.
Massachusetts was the only
state to enter the Union before 1835 with a constitution including
a human equality clause. While other states generally
embraced George Masons concept of equality of
freedom and independence, Massachusettss constitution
declared flatly that all men are born free and equal.
The state Supreme Court was therefore construing a much broader
equality provision than mere equal protection,
and abolitionist Charles Sumner represented a black plaintiff
who claimed that racially separate schools violated the equality
clause. He advanced an argument that later appeared in Brown,
that segregation tends to create a feeling of degradation
in the blacks.
The Massachusetts Supreme
Court emphasized the need to base its decision on law, not
on subjective feelings of degradation, and upheld the power
of local boards to maintain segregated schools. However, Massachusetts
desegregated its schools by legislation just six years later
in 1855. Since the Constitution did not limit the states
powers to regulate their schools, they had exclusive power
to segregate or integrate. Congress never claimed that the
14th Amendment took away that power, and the states that ratified
it never gave it up.
Several cases eventually came
before the US Supreme Court to test the meaning and extent
of the 14th Amendment. The best known was Plessy v. Ferguson
(1896), and many regard it as the case in which the Court
first embraced separate but equal. While it was
the first time that the Court as a whole addressed the question
directly, the decision was entirely consistent with the general
approach the Court had taken in the years leading up to it.
In the Slaughterhouse Cases (1872), for example, the
Court interpreted the 14th Amendment in the limited sense
in which it was intended:
Chief Justice William
Howard Taft . . .
Was it the purpose of
the 14th Amendment . . . to transfer the security and protection
of all the civil rights which we have mentioned, from the
States to the Federal government? And . . . was it intended
to bring within the power of Congress the entire domain of
civil rights heretofore belonging exclusively to the States?
. . . We are convinced that no such results were intended
by the Congress which proposed these amendments, nor by the
legislatures of the States which ratified them.
In 1875, Congress passed a
comprehensive Civil Rights Act that attempted to end segregation
in inns, public conveyances on land or water, theatres,
and other places of like amusement. The Supreme Court
struck down these provisions as beyond the scope of Congressional
power under the 14th Amendment. In what became known as
the Civil Rights Cases, the Court asserted that
the rights protected by the Amendment were exactly those definedto
own and convey property, enforce contracts, give evidence,
etc.and nothing more. The lone dissenter was Justice
John M. Harlan. School segregation was not at issue here,
but only because an attempt to prohibit it in the 1875 act
had been soundly defeated in Congress.
In 1878, the Court upheld
segregated transportation in interstate commerce in Hall
v. DeCuir. As Justice Nathan Clifford noted:
of right is the law of the State and of the United States;
but equality does not mean identity, as in the nature of things
identity in the accommodation afforded to passengers, whether
colored or white, is impossible. . . . Passengers are entitled
to proper diet and lodging; but the laws of the United States
do not require the master of a steamer to put persons in the
same apartment who would be repulsive or disagreeable to the
Justice Clifford then referred
approvingly to segregated schools, citing the Massachusetts
decision in Roberts. [E]quality of rights does
not involve the necessity of educating white and colored persons
in the same school any more than it does that of educating
children of both sexes in the same school, he wrote,
adding that any classification which preserves substantially
equal school advantages is not prohibited by the State or
Federal Constitution, nor would it contravene the provisions
of either. In Louisville, N. O. & T. Railway Co.
v. Mississippi (1890), the Supreme Court upheld a Mississippi
law requiring segregated railroad cars, with Justice Harlan
again the only dissenter.
When Homer Plessy, who was
one-eighth black, refused to leave a railroad car for whites
and sit in the car for colored people, he was arrested and
fined. When his case came before the Supreme Court, no one
familiar with the Courts history could have been surprised
when it upheld the Louisiana law that required segregation.
We are, of course, reminded over and over that Plessy
was not decided by a unanimous benchthat Justice Harlan
declared, Our constitution is color-blind, and neither
knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.
. . . would never
have overturned Plessy v. Ferguson.
Justice Harlan was not, however,
the egalitarian he is now made out to be. Just three years
after Plessy, the Court considered a case known as
Cumming v. Richmond County Board of Education. A black
high school in Georgia had been turned over to elementary
school students, which meant the high school students had
to attend school in nearby Augusta. If the local high school
had been integrated, they would not have had to go to Augusta,
and the blacks claimed they were thus deprived of equal local
facilities. The Supreme Court disagreed. In a unanimous decision
written by Justice Harlan himself, the Court argued:
[W]hile all admit that
the benefits and burdens of public taxation must be shared
by citizens without discrimination against any class on account
of their race, the education of the people in schools maintained
by state taxation is a matter belonging to the respective
states, and any interference on the part of Federal authority
with the management of such schools cannot be justified except
in the case of a clear and unmistakable disregard of rights
secured by the supreme law of the land.
In Berea College v. Commonwealth
of Kentucky (1908) the Court upheld a Kentucky statute
forbidding mixed-race private schools. Justice Harlan dissented
again, but even here he was careful to state, Of course,
what I have said has no reference to regulations prescribed
for public schools, established at the pleasure of the state
and maintained at the public expense. Regardless of
his views on separate but equal as broadly applied
to something like public transportation, he never denied the
right of the states to maintain racially separate schools.
Before 20th century theories
about racial equivalence, people took it for granted that
racial differences justified different treatment. As the Georgia
Supreme Court in Wolfe v. Georgia Railway & Electric Co.
(1907) observed, We cannot shut our eyes to the facts
of which courts are bound to take judicial notice. . . . It
is a matter of common knowledge that, viewed from a social
standpoint, the negro race is in mind and morals inferior
to the Caucasian. The record of each from the dawn of historic
time denies equality. . . . We take judicial notice of an
intrinsic difference between the two races.
The courts usually did not
speak so bluntly, but an understanding of race was the foundation
of many rulings. In the Roberts case mentioned above,
the Massachusetts Supreme Court stated that, The power
of general superintendence vests a plenary authority in the
[schools] committee to arrange, classify, and distribute pupils,
in such a manner as they think best adapted to their general
proficiency and welfare. . . . and took notice of the
fact that in the opinion of that board, the continuance
of the separate schools for colored children . . . is not
only legal and just, but is best adapted to promote the instruction
of that class of the population. . . . We can perceive no
ground to doubt that this is the honest result of their experience
In 1927 the Supreme Court
observed that segregation in transportation facilities presents
a more difficult question than segregation in
schools. In other words, wrote constitutional
authority R. Carter Pittman, the Court took judicial
notice of the fact that it is easier to justify the separation
of races in schools for twelve years than it is to justify
the separation of races on trains for twelve hours.
This case was Gong Lum
v. Rice. And if the foregoing history is insufficient
to remove any doubt about the constitutionality of school
segregation, surely this case should settle the matter. It
involved a student of Chinese descent, Martha Lum, who had
been required to attend a colored school instead of a white
school. The Court at that time included such luminaries as
Chief Justice (and former US President) William Howard Taft,
Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Louis Brandeis. In a unanimous
decision, the Court declared:
The right and power
of the state to regulate the method of providing for the education
of its youth at public expense is clear. The question here
is whether a Chinese citizen of the United States is denied
equal protection of the laws when he is classed among the
colored races and furnished facilities for education equal
to that offered to all, whether white, brown, yellow, or black.
Were this a new question, it would call for very full argument
and consideration; but we think that it is the same question
which has been many times decided to be within the constitutional
power of the state Legislature to settle, without intervention
of the federal courts under the federal Constitution. . .
. The decision is within the discretion of the state in regulating
its public schools, and does not conflict with the 14th Amendment.
In 1938, the Court once again
upheld segregated schools in State of Missouri ex rel.
Gaines v. Canada, observing that the state court
has fully recognized the obligation of the State to provide
negroes with advantages for higher education substantially
equal to the advantages afforded to white students. The State
has sought to fulfill that obligation by furnishing equal
facilities in separate schools, a method the validity of which
has been sustained by our decisions. And as late as
1950, in Sweatt v. Painter, (one of the so-called graduate
school cases), the Court handed down a ruling based
firmly on the separate but equal doctrine.
It was against this background
that the Warren Court declared that segregated schools violate
the 14th Amendment after all. The best that the Warren Court
could glean from the history of the Amendment was that its
intended effect on segregated schools was inconclusive
and that what others in Congress and the state legislatures
had in mind cannot be determined with any degree of certainty.
It is hard to see this as anything other than an outright
lie. By this time, over 30 Supreme Court justices had upheld
segregation in an unbroken chain of precedents, and
the DC school system, under the oversight of Congress, continued
to be segregated. In reality, the Court simply ignored the
Constitution, and based its decision on pure sociology.
An appeal many
whites could not resist.
The case of Beauharnais
v. Illinois, rendered just two years before Brown,
underlines the hypocrisy of consulting social science rather
than the Constitution. In this case, the Court specifically
refused to do precisely what it insisted on doing in
Brown. Justice Felix Frankfurter himself wrote the
Only those lacking responsible
humility will have a confident solution for problems as intractable
as the frictions attributable to differences of race, color
or religion. . . . Certainly the Due Process Clause does not
require the legislature to be in the vanguard of scienceespecially
sciences as young as human ecology and cultural anthropology.
. . . It is not within our competence to confirm or deny claims
of social scientists as to the dependence of the individual
on the position of his racial or religious group in the community.
Just two years later, the entire Court bowed down to the social
science of Kenneth Clarks doll studies.
It would be hard to find so cynical a reversal.
On May 17, 1954, the Court
subverted two great Anglo-Saxon achievements. One was the
judicial system itself. The emancipated judiciary, liberated
from control of the legislative and executive branches, was
established only after centuries of struggle as a last barrier
against tyranny. Now the Court itself had become an instrument
of tyranny, usurping not merely the legislative role, but
the prerogatives of three-fourths of the states in amending
the Constitution. It also trampled underfoot the Anglo-Saxon
concept of law as made only by the elected representatives
of the people.
Author Rosalie M. Gordon observed
that the overwhelming tragedy for us all is that the
Court, in its segregation decision, stormed one of those last
remaining bastions of a free people . . . the locally controlled
and supported public-school systems of the sovereign states.
For, by that decision the Supreme Court handed to the central
government a power it had never before possessedthe
power to put its grasping and omnipotent hand into a purely
Brown v. Board of Education
marked the beginning of a new era during which the Court has
assumed the powers of an ongoing constitutional convention.
For the past half century this former republic has been subject
to the arbitrary rule of judges who are unelected and unaccountable
to the people. The people hardly know what the law will be
from one day to the next. As Carter Pittman warned, If
the Supreme Court can make that to be law today that was not
law yesterday, we have a broken Constitution and a shattered
Bill of Rights.
Mr. LeFevre is a freelance
writer in West Virginia. He is webmaster of Selected Works
of R. Carter Pittman, www.RCarterPittman.org.
is an anti-Southern representation of the caning of
Charles Sumner by Congressman Preston Brooks of South
Carolina. On May 19, 1856, Sumner gave an incendiary
anti-slavery speech that insulted the state of South
Carolina and one of its senators, Andrew Butler. If
the whole history of South Carolina [were] blotted
out of existence, he claimed, civilization would
lose surely less than it has already gained by
the example of Kansas. Of Andrew Butler, he said,
the Senator touches nothing which he does not
disfigure with error, sometimes of principle, sometimes
of fact. He cannot ope his mouth, but out there
flies a blunder. This speech went so far beyond
the bounds of Senate decency that Democratic leader
Stephen Douglas later muttered, That damn fool
will get himself killed by some other damn fool.
cousin, Preston Brooks, was a congressman from South
Carolina. He thought Sumners speech was so degrading
the senator did not even deserve a challenge to a duel.
On May 22, he found Sumner at his desk in the Senate
and thrashed him. It took Sumner three years to recover
and return to Washington. Brooks was fined $300, but
Southern colleagues blocked a move to expel him from
Congress, and Brooks became a hero in the South.
• • •
BACK TO TOP • •
O Tempora, O Mores!
Three black politicians have been
much in the news. The latest scandal of Jackie Barrett, the sheriff
of Fulton County, Georgia, caps a long and colorful career. It
recently came to light that Miss Barrett illegally invested $7
million of Fulton County funds, on the advice of Byron Rainner,
a black insurance broker whom she met at a Martin Luther King
celebration in February 2002. Mr. Rainner himself was once found
in possession of a stolen car, and has been sued several times
by creditors and mortgage companies. Mr. Rainner and his associates
donated $4,000 to Miss Barretts re-election campaign, and
in March 2003 she gave Mr. Rainner the $7 million to invest.
Mr. Rainner invested $5 million
through MetLifesome of it in stocks, although it is illegal
under state law to invest county money in stocks. Most of this
investment has now been returned. The broker gave the remaining
$2 million to Provident Capital Investments, Inc., and it has
now been discovered that two of the companys business associates
were also generous to the sheriffs re-election campaign;
each gave $10,000. Provident Capital lent $925,000 to a Georgia
pharmacy, which was later found shuttered, dark, and for rent;
its chances of repaying the money are slim. What happened to the
rest of the $2 million is a mystery. Miss Barrett has asked Mr.
Rainner to give it back, but the $200,000 check he sent as the
first installment bounced. Miss Barrett refuses to resign, but
she says she will not seek re-election.
This fracas comes after a barrage
of mishaps at the Fulton County Jail, of which Miss Barrett is
in charge. During 2002 and 2003, four prisoners escaped; fortunately,
they were recaptured. In 2003, guards mistakenly released two
prisoners because their paperwork was wrong. In March 2003, a
jail riot injured three guards. In the same month, at a court
hearing on the escape of a prisoner, a jailer testified
that the locks were broken on eight of the 12 cell doors in the
high-security unit, and prisoners were roaming freely. Miss Barrett
fired the jailer for her remarks.
The mismanagement may be due to
Miss Barretts aggressive racial preference policies. In
1996, 16 white employees sued her for reverse discrimination.
The court found in their favor and demanded that they be paid
$812,000 in damages, including $180,000 in punitive damages. [Mark
Davis and D. L. Bennett, Feds Look Into Fulton Sherriffs
$2 Million Mess, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 1, 2004.
Mark Davis and Steve Visser, Investor: Sheriff Was Not Duped,
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 2, 2004. CBS-46 Atlanta, Fulton
County Jail Timeline of Events. 16 Deputies Win Reverse Discrimination
Suit Against Fulton Sheriff, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June
Arenda Troutman is a Chicago councilwoman.
After her home was robbed twice in three months, she ordered a
police car outside her house around the clock at a cost to taxpayers
of $366 per day. Deserve it? she replied to questions.
Damn right. I should receive the protection I am receiving.
I am an elected official. Youre darned right. Gun
rights groups pointed out her hypocrisy in demanding special treatment
when she supports firearms laws that make it virtually impossible
for average citizens to protect themselves. The police later removed
the squad car.
Soon thereafter, during a raid
on the Black Disciples, a drug gang in her constituency, police
found an envelope from the Chicago Police Department addressed
to Miss Troutman. This led to awkward questions, and the discovery
that she had accepted campaign donations from the gang. The councilwoman
held a press conference and claimed she believed she was dealing
with businessmen. She even praised their motives: Their
concern was my concern . . . trying to help the helpless, give
hope to the hopeless. Her press conference came with impeccable
timing; Miss Troutmans brother had just been arrested on
Suspicions that Miss Troutman
was not being honest about her business relationship
with the gang were vindicated when she admitted she had dated
Donnell Scandalous Jehan. He was an important leader
of the Black Disciples, who controlled drug sales in one Chicago
neighborhood, and is currently on the run. According to an associate,
Miss Troutman was completely taken with Mr. Jehan, and believed
he might be the one. Now she feels like shes
been tricked. Miss Troutman shows every sign of remaining
in office. [Susan Jones, Guns Protect City Official, but Not Her
Constituents, Group Complains, CNSNews.com, May 11, 2004. Annie
Sweeney, Gang Leaders Helped Elect Troutman, Chicago Sun-Times,
May 26, 2004. Annie Sweeney, Troutmans Brother Arrested
in Drug Sting, Chicago Sun-Times, May 27, 2004. Fran Spielman,
Troutman Feels . . . Like Shes Been Tricked,
Chicago Sun-Times, May 28, 2004.]
Ronnie Fews two years as
Washington, DC Fire Chief came to an end in 2002. During his tenure,
the Districts fire trucks and radio system fell into disrepair
and response times to emergencies increased. Whites also sued
him for discrimination. In 2002, when he hired battalion chiefs,
he ignored a number of white candidates. Under pressure, he agreed
to interview them, but the plaintiffs say the interviews were
farcical. He asked asked only a few questions and
took no notes.
In May, a DC inspector generals
audit of the department found some surprises. Mr. Few maintained
several illegal cash accounts he used to pay for parking tickets,
business cards, and clothing, and from which he took salary advances.
The audit also found illegal purchases in 15 of the 22 credit
card accounts it examined. One employee illegally spent $5,000
on food and entertainment. Audits of a random sample of 25 department
contracts under Mr. Few found irregularities in all of them. In
23 of the 25, there was no record that the goods or services were
even paid for or received.
This is not the first time Mr.
Few has left a fire department in chaos. He was fire chief in
Augusta, Georgia, before he moved to Washington. In July 2002,
shortly after Mr. Few resigned from the DC department, a Georgia
grand jury found undocumented spending, double billing, bogus
reimbursements, illegal bank accounts, and rampant hiring of cronies.
The grand jury reported that Mr. Few was nothing less than a bandit,
and his case has gone to a special prosecutor. [David A. Fahrenthold,
Old Tensions Resurface in Lawsuit Over Promotions, Washington
Post, March 28, 2004. Matthew Cella, Audit Uncovers Misused Millions,
Washington Times, May 17, 2004. Heidi Coryell Williams, Grand
Jury Says Chief Was Bandit, Augusta Chronicle, July
The federal government requires
local hospitals to treat illegal aliens, but doesnt adequately
reimburse them. Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis (R-VA) hopes to change
that. She recently introduced legislation called the Country
of Origin Healthcare Accountability Act, which would deduct
the cost of medical care to illegal aliens from the foreign aid
allotment received by their native countries. She says paying
for the treatment of illegals with US money is bad policy
and that countries allowing their citizens to come here illegally
should pay for them. Theres the hope with taking back
money from those countries, they would then put pressure and be
stricter on their borders and not allow so many illegals to come
across. [Congresswoman Says Foreign Aid Should Pay Illegal
Aliens Bills, AP/WFLS News, May 31, 2004.]
Former Arkansas state representative
Jim Bob Duggar, 38, and his wife Michelle, 37, may be single-handedly
trying to reverse the demographic decline of whites. On May 23,
Mrs. Duggar gave birth to the couples 15th child, a boy
named Jackson Levi. Jacksons nine brothers and five sisters
range in age from one to sixteen, and he may not be the last.
Mr. Duggar says he and his wife both love children
and that she told him she would like to have some more.
[Arkansas Family Celebrates 15th Child, AP, May 25, 2004.]
The fate of the West?
In February, the French National
Assembly overwhelmingly passed a law banning symbols and
clothing that ostentatiously show students religious membership
in public schools. Although it prohibits all religious items,
including Christian crosses, the law is meant to keep Muslim girls
from wearing the traditional headscarf known as the hijab.
Although the law doesnt
go into effect until September, French state schools are already
enforcing the hijab ban. Last November, a twelve-year-old
Turkish girl was expelled from a school in Thann for wearing the
scarf. School authorities allowed her to attend another area school
on the condition that she wear a much smaller bandanna rather
than the head-and-shoulders hijab, but after a few days,
she showed up in full regalia. Teachers went on a day-long strike
to protest her disobedience, and school authorities expelled her
again. She will probably continue her education at home through
correspondence courses. Other schools have expelled Muslim girls
for violating the ban. [Second Expulsion for Veiled Schoolgirl
in France, Reuters, May 25, 2004.]
UN bureaucrats say the French
law violates the International Convention on the Rights of the
Child, which guarantees religious freedom for children, and the
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recently scolded
the French Minister for the Family, Marie-Josee Roig. Committee
member Mushira Kattab of Egypt said the ban was spreading fear
among French Muslims, and that the law could fuel anti-Muslim
extremism. Jacob Egbert Doek of the Netherlands demanded to know
how a headscarf disturbs a classroom.
Minister Roig says the ban is
consistent with French policies on the total secularization of
public schools, and encourages assimilation. Its the
fruit of a long history and common values that are the foundations
of national unity, she explains. We want to continue
to preserve total neutrality in our schools. [UN Experts
Slam French School Ban on Headscarf, AFP, June 2, 2004.]
Alberta Martin, the last Civil
War widow, died on Memorial Day in Enterprise, Alabama, at the
age of 97. In 1927, she married an 81-year-old Confederate veteran,
William Jasper Martin, when she was just 21. Although it was primarily
a marriage of convenienceMrs. Martin was a poor young widow
with a young childthe couple did produce a child of their
own, William, in 1929. Mr. Martin died in 1931.
Although Mrs. Martin lived most
of her life in obscurity, for the past several years she was the
honored guest at meetings and rallies held by the Sons of Confederate
Veterans, at which she proudly waved a small Confederate battle
flag. I dont see nothing wrong with the flag flying,
she often said. Mrs. Martin enjoyed her role as the final link
to the Old South and loved the attention she received from history
buffs, saying, Its like being matriarch of a large
She outlived the last surviving
Union widow by more than a year. Gertrude Janeway, who married
81-year-old Union army veteran John Janeway when she was 18, died
in Tennessee in January 2003 at the age of 93. [Phillip Rawls,
Alberta Martin, Last Civil War Widow, Dies at 97, AP, June 1,
The McPherson Report, which examined
the police investigation of the murder of black British teenager
Stephen Lawrence in 1993, said British society is institutionally
racist (see Whites as Kulaks, AR, Jan. 2002).
A newly released study by a British anti-racist think
tank has discovered something just as badinstitutional Islamophobia.
The Commission on British Muslims
and Islamophobia says the government and private anti-racism organizations
are not doing enough to fight prejudice. Dr. Richard Stone, the
commission chairman and an adviser to the body that issued the
McPherson Report, says life for British Muslims got harder after
Sept. 11, 2001: There is now renewed talk of a clash of
civilizations and mounting concern that the already fragile foothold
gained by Muslim communities in Britain is threatened by ignorance
The commission singles out the
police as the worst offenders. It claims the number of south Asians
questioned in stop and search operations has increased
by 41 percent since the September 11 attacks. Even one of
the countrys Muslim peers, Lord Ahmed, has been stopped
twice by police, says commission adviser Dr. Abduljalil
Sajid. The report warns that unless the government adopts its
recommendations and integrates Muslims into all aspects of British
life, the country will see more rioting and further radicalization
of British Muslims. [Dominic Casciani, Islamophobia Pervades UKReport,
BBC News Online, June 2, 2004.]
Indians from India own 60 percent
of all small and mid-sized motels and hotels in America. Of these,
Indians named Patel own a third. The trend started in the
early 1940s, though the real growth took place in the 1960s and
1970s, explains Rajiv Bhata, president of a hotel franchise
chain. Indians came not only from India but a sizable chunk
arrived from East Africa during the late 60s and early 70s, where
political unrest drove out the Indian business class, which started
looking for new lands and new business opportunities.
The Indians took advantage of
a downturn in the hotel market, buying below-market properties
and fixing them up. They hired family members to keep labor costs
down, and when they wanted to expand, they used the family-reunification
provisions of post-1965 immigration laws to import workers.
A Patel and his motel.
Mike Patel, founder of the Asian
American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), says Indian owners
were not generally welcomed by the locals, particularly in rural
areas, and that American guests complained about Indian hotel
operators. He says it was not uncommon for them to cook curry
behind the front desk and let their children run loose in the
lobby. He founded the AAHOA in part to teach Indians the basics
of hotel management and customer relations. [Chhavi Dublish, Americas
Patel Motels, BBC News Online, Oct. 10, 2003.]
Indians have found other problems
in their new country. On June 1, Florida Attorney General Charlie
Crist charged Raj Patel, owner of the Southern Inn in Perry, Florida,
with discrimination against blacks. The authorities began investigating
when a black couple complained that coloreds werent
allowed to use the swimming pool. Several blacks said Mr. Patel
would pour chemicals into the pool immediately after blacks got
out of it, and that once he did so while black children were still
swimming. They said his wife charged black guests $5 each to use
the pool, and then Mr. Patel raged at them to get
out. Other blacks say Mr. Patel assigned them to unattractive,
Mr. Patels lawyer, Earl
Johnson, Jr., says the accusations are false, and that he can
produce blacks who will vouch for his client. Hes
a person of color and truly treats everyone with equal respect
and hospitality, he says. [Brendan Farrington, Fla. AG:
Motel Discriminated Vs. Blacks, AP, June 2, 2004.]
An alert employee in the Milam
County, Texas, clerks office noticed that a number of people
seemed to be getting married over and over in a single year. Investigators
discovered a phony immigrant marriage racket operated by two Houston
women, Aminata Smith and Emma Guyton. US Attorney Michael Shelby
says the pair were brokers for African and Middle Eastern immigrants
who wanted to marry US citizens. The immigrants paid between $1,500
and $5,000 and came into the country legally, usually on student
visas. The brokers paid Americans $150 to $500 to go through with
the phony marriages, and the immigrants were then eligible for
Mr. Shelby says Miss Smith and
Miss Guyton arranged 210 fake marriages between April 2000 and
July 2003, and has charged each with inducing illegal immigration,
marriage fraud, and conspiracy. They could face up to 70 years
in prison and more than $2 million in fines. The 36 US citizens
who married the foreigners each face one count of marriage fraud.
Prosecutors say the immigrants, who came from Algeria, Cameroon,
Gabon, Guinea, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan,
Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda, will be deported.
[Juan A. Lozano, 2 Women Indicted in Texas Marriage Fraud, AP,
May 26, 2004.]
A slum in South Africa.
Two sociologists from the National
Council of Scientific Research in France recently conducted a
survey of minors who were convicted between 1985 and 2000 by the
courts of Grenoble, a city in the southwestern French district
of Isère. They found that although immigrant families make
up only 6.1 percent of Isères population, an astonishing
66.5 percent of the convicts had a foreign-born father, and 60
percent had a foreign-born mother. The fathers of 49.8 percent
of the offenders were from northern Africa. This is a nationwide
problem. The Institut National des Statistiques et des Études
Économiques has found that 40 percent of French prisoners
had a foreign-born father; 25 percent had a father born in northern
Africa. One researcher writes, The overrepresentation of
youths of foreign origin among juvenile delinquents is well known,
but this fact is little reported and never debated in the public
sphere. [Selon une Étude Menée en Isère,
Deux Tiers des Mineurs Délinquants sont dOrigine
Étrangère, Le Monde (Paris), April 15, 2004.]
Bad to Worse
Poverty is on the rise in sub-Saharan
Africa. According to the World Economic Forum, most black African
countries are worse off today than when they were colonies. Per
capita income has decreased by 11 percent since 1974, while the
rest of the world averaged an increase of two percent a year.
In 1970, Africans made up 10 percent of the worlds poor;
in 2000, they made up 50 percent. The World Bank reports that
the number of sub-Saharan Africans living in extreme poverty,
defined as an income of less than one dollar a day, increased
from 164 million in 1981 to 314 million in 2001. The regions
percentage of extremely poor people rose from 41.6 percent to
46.5 percent, while it decreased from 40 percent to 21 percent
in the rest of the developing world.
The gross domestic product of
sub-Saharan Africa decreased by 15 percent between 1981 and 2001
while it rose by 500 percent in China. A South African university
study found that incomes among the blacks of that country declined
since the end of white rule. Between 1995 and 2000, the average
black household income declined by 19 percent, while that of the
average white household increased by 15 percent. In black townships
surrounding Cape Town, 76 percent of households were below the
poverty line. Over half of these households had no earned income
at all. Educational attainment has little effect on black South
Africans job prospects. [Report: Dismal African Economy
Disaster, Associated Press, June 2, 2004. Extreme
Poverty Doubled in Southern Africa in 20 Years, Business Day,
April 27, 2004. SA Blacks Getting Poorer, BBC News,
May 13, 2004.]
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| L E T T E R S
F R O M R E A D E R S
SirThe interview with Mr.
Ruiz in the June issue (Displaced: A White American Talks
About Home) was heartbreaking. The same forces that destroyed
his hometown continue to be just as destructive elsewhere. The
few remaining working- and lower-middle-class neighborhoods in
Philadelphia are being bombed with Section 8 tenantssingle
mothers with lots of kids and lots of boyfriends are typical.
The newest HUD program gives (and gives is the important word
here) mortgages to Section 8 buyers. In one case a
house selling for $155,000 had a monthly payment of $110. This
house is in the Northeast section of Philadelphia, a white neighborhood
soon to become something else. It is strange that the government
interferes in everything, but cannot do the one thing it is supposed
to do: protect the borders.
B. Cook, Philadelphia, Pa.
SirDan Roodts article
on the plight of the Afrikaners under black rule (May and June
issues) provides a good historical overview, but in my opinion,
makes the typical (white) South African error. It ignores the
use of non-white labor by the Afrikaners themselves as the critical
factor in the fall of South Africa.
Dr. Roodt blames the West
for pressuring SA into handing over. This is nonsense. If the
Afrikaners had not been addicted to black labor, their country
would never have been occupied out from under their feet by the
blacks. If the Afrikaners had never used non-white labor, and
had ensured that whites did all the manual work, the black population
would never have increased to the point where it overwhelmed white
An example: the first census in
the old Transvaal was conducted in 1907, and reported in the 1913
edition of the Encyclopeadia Britannica. The white population
at the time was just under 300,000, and the black population was
just about 700,000, for a 1907 black/white balance of about 2.3
to one. Today, there are upwards of 17 or 19 million blacks in
that same area, and fewer than 1.4 million whites; the racial
balance is between 12 to 13 to one. The reason for the growth
in the black population was not pressure from the West
but the fact that whites used blacks as labor, fed them, gave
them medicine, etc., and their numbers increased exponentially.
The black population explosion was brought on by whites and is
clearly their fault.
Arthur Kemp, South Africa
SirDan Roodts article,
Afrikaner Survival Under Black Rule, is a sad preview
of what is going to happen in the US. Your earlier article on
the decline of South African Airways (AR, March 2003), which described
the fall of a once-proud airline as a result of racial nepotism,
is a stark warning of what happens when racial liberalism runs
amok. I suspect well be seeing things like that as our own
country becomes more and more non-white. Id also be curious
to know how the gold and diamond industries are faring under black
rule. Whenever I see Nelson Mandela or the phony Anglican bishop
Desmond Tutu being lionized by American liberals and the media,
I am amazed at the stupidity of our race.
George Bolton, Carlsbad, Calif.
SirI was moved by Dan Roodts
article about the Afrikaner nation. I confess that I had only
a vague notion of Afrikaners as distinct from the English in South
Africa, and have tended to think of South African whites as united
by race more than divided by history, language, and culture. I
now have some grasp of the extent to which the Afrikaners are
distinct people, descended from brave pioneer stock, who have
built a society like none other on earth.
This makes the tragedy of South
Africa all the more compelling. We are not only seeing the displacement
of whites; we are witnessing the destruction of a precious culture
that has as much right to survive as any. Let us hope men like
Dr. Roodt can help rekindle the pride and love of people without
which this beleaguered nation cannot survive.
Tony Surrey, Burkittsville, Md.
SirIn response to the subscription
renewal notice I recently received, one of the following applies:
A) My same-sex, interracial partner
and I moved to Massachusetts to get hitched.
B) The Thought Police are watching
me to accuse me of hate crimes.
C) With expenses going up and
income going down, I cant afford it any longer, despite
finding it as entertaining and valid as ever.
D) I dont have enough time
to read it and do your publication justice by sharing your insights
with those seeking truth.
The correct answer is D.
Im not renewing this time, but I have the renewal information
should circumstances change and were all not 9/11ed, making
it all moot.
Keep up the good work.
F. Morris, Philadelphia, Pa.
SirThanks for publishing
Sam Franciss review of Human Accomplishment by Charles
Murray, in the May issue. Dr. Francis was brilliant in his critique,
as he usually is, and insightful in his thinking. Those who are
interested in the subject might wish to look at William Durhams
book, Journey Through Genius, which examines mathematical
geniuses from the Greeks to modern times. All were Europeans.
Martin Treu, Bordentown, N. J.
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