Green Card Crap Shoot
is the only qualification for these immigrants.
by Stephen Webster
year millions of foreigners from nearly every country on earth
play the lotterythe Green Card lotteryhoping to win permanent
residency in the United States. The lottery, officially known
as the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, gives a shot at becoming
legal immigrants to 50,000 foreigners who have no special skills
and no family in the US.
Las Vegas-style craps
for government service.
Family ties became the easiest
legal way into the United States, thanks to the 1965 Immigration
Act. In 2002, for example, the US admitted 1,063,732 legal immigrants,
of whom 673,817 (63.3 percent) were family-related admissions.
Both US citizens and permanent resident aliensGreen Card holderscan
bring in spouses, parents, and children. In 2002, about 300,000
Americans married foreigners, who then became permanent residents.
Another 236,000 legal immigrants were parents and children of
US citizens. About 85,000 resident aliens married foreigners (or
brought in spouses they had left overseas) or brought in their
own children. Only US citizens can sponsor brothers and sisters
as immigrants, and that accounted for about 60,000 legal immigrants.
After immigrants with family connections,
the second largest group of legal aliens admitted in 2002𤺆,968
or 16.4 percentwere professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional
abilities (44,468), as well as wealthy foreigners who have
a least $1 million to invest (149). The third largest category
were the 126,084 refugees and asylum-seekers, who accounted for
just under 12 percent of immigrants in 2002.
Anyone who is not a refugee, doesnt
have family in America, and doesnt have special skills has
essentially no hope of immigrating legallyunless he plays the
lottery. Winners accounted for just four percent of all immigrants
in 2002, but they make the immigrant stream even more exotic than
it would be otherwise. We have a lottery because immigration is
not diverse enough; we need Africans, Bangladeshis and Arabs,
in addition to millions of Mexicans, Chinese, and Filipinos. Very
few American even know there is an immigration lottery, but it
is of absorbing interest in many foreign countries.
The Irish Program
We have a lottery
because immigration is not diverse enough; we need
Africans, Bangladeshis and Arabs, in addition to millions
of Mexicans, Chinese, and Filipinos.
How did the lottery get started?
The 1965 Immigration Act abolished the national origins quota
system established in the 1920s to preserve the nations
ethnic balance (see Fade to Brown, April 2003). The
quota system favored skilled immigrants from the countries that
had contributed the bulk of the nations founding stockGreat
Britain, Germany and Irelandand kept out most others, particularly
non-whites. Great Society anti-racists opposed this common-sense
policy. They wanted to give all foreigners an equal chance to
immigrate, and thought family reunification was more important
The mid-1960s and early 1970s
were a prosperous time for Western Europeans, and not many wanted
to emigrate. Eastern Europeans wanted to come, but the Communists
would not let them. As the following figures make clear, Third
Worlders, primarily from Asia and Latin America, filled the gap.
During the 1950s, just 153,000
Asians immigrated to the US (Asians had largely been barred from
the 1880s to the early 1950s). The number rose to 428,000 during
the 1960s, and more than tripled during the 1970s to 1,588,000.
During the 1950s, 259,000 Latin Americans (including Caribbeans)
immigrated, but during the 1970s that number more than quadrupled
to 1,172,000. In the 1950s, just under 300,000 Mexicans arrived,
but in the 1970s that figure rose to 640,000, and more than doubled
during the 1980s to 1,656,000. Mexico became the largest single
immigrant country of origin during the 1960s and has remained
so ever since. In fact, by 2002, Mexico had sent more legal immigrants
to the United States than any other country except Germany,560,000
vs. 7,219,000. Most German immigration was before1900, but more
than half of all Mexicans who have ever legally immigrated
came since 1981.
Because the 1965 law for the first
time allowed recent immigrants to bring in their families, this
started a never-ending cycle of chain migration. Third-Worlders
filled all the queues and quotas, so by the 1980s, it was very
hard for Europeans to get in. The 1965 Immigration Act had, in
effect, become a European exclusion act.
The 1965 Immigration
Act had, in effect, become a European exclusion act.
The Irish were especially hard
hit. More than four million Irish came to the Untied States between
1820 and 1930, but during the 1970s, the number fell to just 11,490.
Many Irish came illegally, and worked in bars, restaurants, and
construction. In 1986, as Congress prepared to grant amnesty to
millions of mostly Mexican illegals by means of the Immigration
Reform and Control Act (IRCA), Senator Edward Kennedywho had
championed the 1965 Act that was now hurting his kinsmenadded
a provision for the first lottery. This granted 10,000 special
visas to randomly-selected immigrants from countries that
had been adversely affected by the 1965 law he had
helped pass. More than 60 percent of these special visas went
to applicants from Ireland, the United Kingdom and Canada, most
of whom were here illegally. Presumably, they played the lottery
because they did not meet the criteria for legalization in the
this day, says Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration
Studies (CIS), the lottery is often referred to by congressmen
and their staff as The Irish Program. But as the
program evolved, and as there were fewer and fewer Irish illegals,
its emphasis changed, and its now more accurately described
as the Middle Eastern, East European and African program.
In 2002, there were only 69 Irish diversity immigrants.
How it Works
Both IRCA and the Irish
Program were supposed to be one-time-only events, but Congress
liked the idea of diversity visas, and in 1990 it made the lottery
permanent. During its initial phase the program authorized 40,000
visas per year, to be awarded to immigrants from countries underrepresented
in the immigrant stream. But between 1992 and 1994, of the 108,436
immigrants who came on diversity visas, 84 percent were from Ireland,
Northern Ireland (which immigration law treats separately from
the United Kingdom, of which it is a part), Canada and Poland.
At this time, it really was something of an Irish program.
In 1995, Congress changed the
rules to exclude countries that had sent more than 50,000 immigrants
during the previous five years, and raised the ceiling to 55,000
visas. In 1997, Congress made a special allocation of 5,000 diversity
visas to Nicaraguans, Cubans, and other Central Americans who
had come to the US illegally during the civil wars of the 1980s.
This meant the US operated two visa lotteries for a few years,
with one just for Central Americans. In 2000, Congress shut down
the special Central American lottery, and set the ceiling for
all diversity visas at 50,000, where it remains today.
In its present form, the Diversity
Visa Lottery Program awards slots to the approximately 167 countries
that have sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants during the past five
years. This is every country in the world except Canada, China,
Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica,
Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, the United
Kingdom (except for Northern Ireland), and Vietnam, all of which
already send plenty of immigrants. People living in ineligible
countries can still apply, though, if they, their spouses or parents
were born in an eligible country. A Canadian whose parents were
born in Bangladesh, for example, could apply, as could one married
to a Bangladeshi. Diversity immigrants can bring in spouses and
unmarried children under the age of 21, and since family members
are not part of the limit, the program can bring in more than
50,000 people in one year. Once they are here, diversity immigrants
can sponsor chain migration just like all other legal immigrants.
still a minority.
Each years lottery and selection
process takes approximately two years. The application period
for the 2004 program, therefore, was 30 days in October 2002.
No fewer than 10.2 million foreigners applied, but the State Department
rejected 2.9 million applications because they were not properly
filled out or didnt come in on time. To cope with this huge
volume of applications the department switched to Internet applications
in 2003 for the DV-2005 program.
An applicant now goes to the State
Departments diversity visa lottery website, www.dvlottery.state.gov,
and fills in his name, date of birth, sex, city and country of
birth, mailing address, country of eligibility if different from
that of residence, and marital status, and gives information about
his spouse and children. The applicant must also submit an electronic
photograph, and one each for his spouse and children. The requirements
are surprisingly strictphotos must be 320 pixels wide by 240
pixels high, and be in either 24-bit or 8-bit color or 8-bit grayscaleand
anything else disqualifies an application. Applicants may wear
religious head coverings provided they leave the face clearly
Applications are divided into
six regionsAfrica, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe,
North America, Oceania and Latin America. The US Bureau of Citizenship
and Immigration Services (BCIS) sets regional limits based on
immigrant admissions during the previous five years and the total
population of the region. The most diversity visas any country
can get is seven percent of the 50,000 total, or 3,500.
After the deadline closes, the
State Departments Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky,
conducts the drawing. It sorts each application into the appropriate
region, and a computer randomly picks the winners. The center
notifies the winners by mail, instructing them to contact the
nearest US consulate if they are overseas, or the BCIS if they
are in the United States.
The State Department has learned
that many applicants do not qualify even if they are winners,
so it selects more than twice as many winners as there are slots.
For example, there were 110,467 winners for the DV-2004 program.
Forty-five percent were Africans, 32 percent were Europeans, and
17 percent were Asians. Central and South Americans were just
over three percent, and people living in Oceania were just over
one percent. Because Canadians and Mexicans cant play the lottery,
the only North American DV-2004 winners were 12 Bahamians.
Winning is only the first part
of the process, and does not guarantee a visa. It offers only
the privilege of applying for one, and there are a few
minimal standards. Applicants must either be high school graduates
or have spent at least two of the last five years in a job that
requires at least two years of training or experience. The would-be
immigrant fills out the standard visa application and goes through
the screening process, which includes fingerprinting and a security
background check. He must also pay the standard visa fee of $335
for overseas applicants or $385 for applicants living in the US.
In an unusual twist for a lottery, this one costs nothing to enter,
but winners pay an additional lottery application fee of $100.
(The State Department makes nothing on the millions of applications
it processes every year.)
The winners have exactly one year
in which to get their visa applications approved. Winners in the
DV-2005 lottery held last fall got the word this summer. They
can apply for the visa only after October 1, 2004, and if the
visa hasnt come by September 30, 2005, they are out of luck.
If the application got held up in a bureaucratic snarl, that is
just too bad; the applicant can enter the lottery again if he
wants. There is another way a winner can become a loser through
no fault of his own. The program ends once all the diversity visas
for a given year have been issued or the deadline passes, which
ever comes first. This means someone can apply early, but if consular
offices in other countries work more quickly than in his country
and fill all the slots before the deadline, his visa is no good
even if it would have been issued on time.
The real INS seal.
Foreigners like the lottery but
it is not popular here. One of the oddest charges is that it is
somehow racist, despite the fact that it brings in more non-whites
than whites. Referring back to Edward Kennedys plan to get
more Irish into the country, the Center for Immigration Studies
Mark Krikorian calls the lottery affirmative action
for white immigrants, and a racialist throwback, harking
back to the more-people-who-look-like-me immigration
policy we had until 1965. Dan Stein of the Foundation for
Immigration Reform (FAIR) believes the program smacks of the discredited
national origins system laid to rest by the 1965 Immigration Act.
FAIR has also implied that Edward Kennedy and the other Irish-American
politicians who created the original lottery program were racists
because they apparently were not satisfied with the dramatic
demographic change the nation has undergone over the past 25 years.
Presumably, since non-lottery immigration is only 10 percent white,
anyone who supports a lottery whose winners are all of 40 percent
white must be a racist.
In 2002, the bulk of the diversity
visas went to Africans and Asians. Ethiopians were the largest
single nationality at 3,994 (this figure is larger than the per-country
limit of 3,500 because it includes Ethiopians who were not living
in Ethiopia when they applied).
In the most recent lottery, DV-2004,
Nigeria produced the largest number of winners with 7,145, followed
by Ghana at 7,040, Ethiopia at 6,353, Kenya at 5,721, and Bangladesh
at 5,126. These are the numbers who won the lottery, not
the numbers who got visas. Eighty percent or so of Nigerian winners
are usually disqualified, but the process that awards that many
slots to Africans is certainly not racist, even if
many African winners turn out to be frauds (see sidebar, next
page) or file their papers late.
Critics of the lottery make a
better case when they point to the quality of the immigrants.
A National Academy of Sciences study found that immigrants with
only a high school education cost US taxpayers $30,000 in government
services over their lifetimes (admitting an immigrant with less
than a high school education costs $90,000 over his lifetime).
The same study found that immigrants with a college education
or more contribute $100,000 to the country over their lifetimes.
If, over a decade, the lottery lets in 500,000 high school graduates
rather than 500,000 college graduates, the lifetime opportunity
cost is $65 billion. With its current low requirements, the green
card lottery is a net loss to taxpayers.
Green card winners impose the
usual cultural costs as well. The World Health Organization estimates
the prevalence of female genital mutilation to be 98 percent in
Somalia, but that didnt stop the State Department from issuing
233 diversity visas to Somalis in 2002. (Somalis are also one
of the largest refugee groups, with more than 12,000
scheduled to come over the next few years.)
The lottery also works as an amnesty
program. If he was born in an eligible country, an applicant can
apply from within the United States, and it makes no difference
if he is here legally or not. If he wins, the BCIS adjusts his
status automatically; there is no penalty for having broken immigration
laws to get here.
Even some supporters of mass immigration
believe the diversity visa lottery program should be scrapped.
They note that there are some quotas even on family-reunification
visas, and complain that lottery-winners get special treatment
because they can bring in their families right away.
The complaint that gets the most
attention today is that lottery winners can be a security threat.
The State Department generally bars residents of the seven countries
it designates as sponsors of terrorism from applying even for
temporary visas, but allows those same countries into the lottery,
which awards permanent visas. Diversity is apparently more
important than security. In 2002 Iran received 695 diversity visas,
Iraq, 54, Syria, 27, Libya, 7, North Korea, 3, Cuba, 425, and
Sudan, 629. Countries where Al-Qaida terror cells actively recruit
also participate in the program. In 2002, 1,161 Egyptians and
109 Saudis immigrated on diversity visas.
In Detroit earlier this year,
two Moroccan lottery winners were convicted on terrorism-related
charges. On July 4, 2002, Egyptian immigrant Hesham Mohammed Ali
Hedayet murdered two people and wounded several others at the
Israeli airline El Als ticket counter at the Los Angeles
airport before security men shot him. Hedayet had come to the
US in 1992 on a temporary visa, became an illegal alien when it
expired, and was scheduled for deportation in 1997 when his wife
(also an Egyptian immigrant) won the lottery. Her newly-achieved
status meant he could stay.
Even Anne W. Patterson, the State
Departments deputy inspector general, thinks the lottery
is a big risk. The bottom line is its a program that
can be taken advantage of by hostile intelligence officers or
terrorists, she told the immigration subcommittee of the
House Judiciary Committee in April 2004. Miss Patterson said at
the very least the lottery should not permit applications from
countries that sponsor terrorism. Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte (R-VA)
says the lottery is a serious security threat and
has sponsored a bill (H.R. 775) to end it.
A terrible way to choose
The program does have defenders,
however, including black Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee
of Texas. At the same April hearing, Miss Jackson-Lee accused
critics of the program of wanting to topple the Statue of
Liberty. Miss Jackson-Lee cites as one of the stars of the
lottery the mother of teenage soccer player Freddy Adu, who came
to the United States from Ghana after winning the lottery in the
late 1990s. Rep. Jackson-Lee does support overhauling American
immigration policy-to legalize many illegals already here, and
make it easier for immigrants to bring in even more relatives.
Of course, security threats aside,
the very idea that immigration hasnt made the United States
diverse enough already is astonishing. Whites are passing judgment
on diverse, immigrant-heavy California by fleeing it at a rate
of 100,000 a year. Terrorism, racial conflict, ethnic ghettoes,
bilingual education, bizarre Third-World customsthese are the
consequences of todays immigration, and none makes us stronger.
They only serve to destroy unity and cultural cohesion. We should
scrap the 1965 law along with the lottery.
But perhaps the greatest absurdity
is the idea of raffling off permanent residencythe first step
to citizenshipas if it were a door prize. It would be hard to
think of a more frivolous, demeaning, and bone-headed way to build
a nation. To think that people who have absolutely nothing in
common with each other, scraped up from every corner of the world
at random, can live together as loyal citizens and participants
in a common culture is breath-taking foolishness. The lottery
isas if we needed ityet another proof that our rulers have completely
lost any sense of nation or peoplehood.
of people around the world are desperate to immi-grateit
is their ticket out of squalorand desperation makes
them easy prey for con men. Each year, as the lottery deadline
approaches, thousands of websites pop up offering to help
would-be immigrants process their applicationsfor
The websites lure the gullible
with such official-sounding names as USA Immigration
Services or United States of America Foreign
Immigration Services. Most use the URL extension .org
(official government websites end in .gov). Website designers
try to make the sites look as official as possible, prominently
displaying American flags, the Statue of Liberty, bald eagles
and even the White House seal. One of the most brazen fake
immigration websites in 2002 was www. USNIS.org, which billed
itself as United States Naturalization and Immigration
Services, a clever reversal of the old US Immigration
and Naturalization Service. People in Rawalpindi, Pakistan
ran the site.
Phony seal from
The most blatantly dishonest
websites tell prospective immigrants that using their services
can improve their chances of winning. Since the lottery
is random, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) prosecutes
this as false advertising if the con men are subject to
US jurisdiction. Most sites just offer to help foreigners
fill out the forms, charging anywhere from $50 to $200 for
what they can do on the State Departments official
lottery website for free. Immigration lawyer Yigel Torem,
who runs a website called GreenCard Lottery.com says he
provides valuable assistance. Theres over two
or three million [applications] rejected every year,
he explains. Obviously people are not getting it.
He says he provides lots of free information on his website,
and only charges when people ask for help.
The problem is so bad the
State Department has begun posting a warning on its website,
telling applicants to stay away from sites that may
require you to pay for services such as forms and information
about immigration procedures, that are otherwise free.
Lottery applicants are
not just victims of fraud; many also perpetrate it. Because
an application does not require any documentation other
than a photograph, many visa hopefuls lie on their applications
and scramble to get fake IDs and bogus school diplomas and
job training certificates after they win. Nigeria and Bangladesh
are almost always among the top ten sources for diversity
visa winners. They are also the two most corrupt nations
on earth, according to Transparency Internationals
2003 Corruption Perceptions Index. Not surprisingly, in
2002, the State Department rejected 80 percent of the green
card applications filed by lottery winners from Nigeria
and 85 percent from Bangladesh. This high rate of rejection
explains why the lottery chooses approximately 110,000 winners
for 50,000 slots.
Players in the lottery can
get ugly when something interferes with their chances. In
February 1997, there were riots in the African country of
Sierra Leone after fishermen found 5,000 completed and mailed
lottery applications in several mailbags floating in Freetown
harbor. As word of the discovery spread through the city,
thousands of would-be immigrants converged on the countrys
central post office, throwing sticks and stones at police
and smashing government vehicles. Police fired into the
crowd, killing two and injuring more than 20. A local newspaper
speculated that the government of President Ahmad Tejan
Kabbah may have ordered the mailbags dumped into the harbor
in order to conceal the number of people who want to get
out of his country. More than 35,000 Sierra Leoneans played
the lottery in 1997, but only 343 got visas.
• BACK TO TOP • •
Invasion, Alien Evasion
take the lead in tax fraud.
by Raymond McClaren
22 article in the Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minnesota,
reported that Somali tax preparers had filed thousands of
bogus income tax returns for their compatriots. This is just
another example of alien tax fiddling, and will not be the
last. All new groups of aliens seem to think they are the
first to discover how to trifle with the Internal Revenue
Code, and many take to it naturally because they come from
countries where people think tax evasion is a birthright or
a national sport or both. The authorities almost always catch
dishonest alien tax preparers because they do the obvious
things the IRS looks for. However, when they file thousands
of bad returns, as these Somalis did, they can overwhelm the
system, and many of those returns will go through.
As a tax preparer and investigator,
I have seen extraordinary levels of immigrant tax fraud, and
there is every reason to think what I have seen is typical.
As our country becomes increasingly Third World, we will suffer
from Third-World levels of tax evasion.
Tax fraud runs the gamut from
low to high income, and at the low end, foreign dependent
exemptions are a particularly troublesome area. Most Americans
do not know this, but Mexicans and Canadians who work in the
United States can claim dependents who live back home. The
temptation to commit fraud becomes irresistible when other
Latin Americans see Mexicans doing this, and decide to try
it themselves. A variant on this scheme is for Mexicans with
large families to farm out excess dependents to others. If
a man has more than enough children to lower his own tax bill
to zero, why not make the additional exemptions available
to someone else?
Underpaying taxes is nice;
actually getting money from the IRS is better. The Earned
Income Credit (EIC) is a payment a filer may receive without
having paid any income taxes. Originally conceived by Senator
Russell Long as a way to keep the working poor off welfare
and to ease the bite on low-income workers, the credit quickly
became a major fraud target for Mexicans, and then Central
Americans and Asians.
In outline, the EIC is a maximum
cash benefit of $2,600 for a family with one child, and $4,000
for a family with two or more children. A filer with an income
of $16,000 will generally receive the largest credit, with
gradual reductions in the credit as income either falls short
of that figure or rises above it.
The first assault on the credit
came to light in the 1980s when low-income Mexican businessmen
in Arizona were caught filing returns specifically designed
for the credit. Since a self-employed person does not
get W-2 wage statements, he can adjust his income to get the
maximum EIC. These businessmen were all receiving
their checks at the same PO box in Douglas, Arizona, and this
is what caught the attention of the IRS. EIC fraud continues
at an estimated rate of four to six billion dollars a year.
The leading practitioners tend to be aliens; this is logical
since they are more likely to have low incomes.
The EIC limit of two children
leads, as in the dependent exemption fraud, to much sharing
out of extra dependent children. For example, an extended
family may be composed of four nuclear families with varying
numbers of children. On their returns, taxpayers can share
out children to achieve the maximum tax benefit. The Minnesota
Somalis were maximizing benefits even further by having spouses
file separate returns, and sharing dependents even more precisely
for the best tax effect.
They all see this
Better-heeled criminals go
in for different frauds. Self-employed Eastern European, Middle-Eastern,
and Asian immigrants have long evaded tax by means of an accounting
principle, the Gross Profit Factor. This fraud is based on
the average commercial gross profit margin of 33 percent.
As IRS Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business,
explains, a typical business can expect expenses to consume
67 percent of its revenue, leaving a gross profit margin of
For example, a businessman
might have $100,000 in revenue. He then claims $67,000 in
expenses, leaving a gross profit of $33,000. Subtracting administrative
overhead might leave a net and taxable profit of only $10,000,
which is more or less what the IRS expects.
This could be realistic in
a business with inventory or raw materials, but services do
not follow this pattern. Consultants, lawyers, brokers, commission
agents, and so forth normally have far fewer expenses than
a small construction company, factory, or shop. A self-employed
person in the service sector may require only $15,000 in expenses
to produce $100,000 in income, leaving $85,000 in potentially
taxable income. The fraud involves filing a return based on
the IRS model, padded with false expenses to bring the gross
profit down to $33,000. Because this is a typical gross profit
margin, it is unlikely to trigger an audit. Also, the smart
filer stays away from expenses often scrutinized very closelymeals,
entertainment, travel, auto, home office, and depreciation.
A final trick is to ask for an extension to file, because
the IRS chooses which returns it will audit for that year
before the August extension deadline.
There is no way to tabulate
the amount of evasion due to the gross profit fraud. In this
example, the difference between the $15,000 in actual expenses
and the $67,000 in claimed expenses results in a reduction
in taxable income of $52,000. The combined federal and state
rate of 30 percent for a taxpayer at that level of income
means the tax man lost $15,600. Also, a self-employed person
pays Social Security (FICA) at a weighted average of 14 percent,
so the total loss to government is $23,000.
The Gross Profit Factor tax
return is so well known, mainly among Asians, that they openly
ask for it at specialty tax firms as if they were ordering
a hamburger with the works at a fast food restaurant. During
the 1980s I worked as a tax preparer in Rolling Hills, California.
Eighty percent of the self-employed Asian immigrants asked
for this kind of return. My job was to prepare the return,
based on the numbers provided to me, and make sure the percentages
squared up (the taxpayer, not the person who fills in the
return, is legally responsible for its contents).
Another type of high-income
fraud surfaces as part of mortgage lending. Once again, the
perpetrators are self-employed aliens, this time seeking home
loans. The applicant has to submit two years of tax returns
to prove he has the income to service the loan, and unsurprisingly,
he produces returns with plenty of income. These returns can
be altogether different from the ones actually filed with
the IRS, which may report very low income and tax liability.
Immigrants are well represented in this type of fraud because
many of them are small businessmen and sole proprietors.
A number of years ago, I did
an investigation for a mortgage broker on fraudulent applications.
Only 35 percent of self-employed borrowers got their loans
honestly. The majority of the frauds were recent immigrants:
Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Koreans, Iranians, Indians, and Pakistanis.
That mixed group of Asians accounted for 90 percent of the
65 percent, or in round numbers, for 180 of the 200 dishonestly-obtained
loans I uncovered during a six-month period.
The honest borrowers were
mainly people with European names, but there was not one recognizably
Japanese or Jewish name among the frauds. Since I investigated
only one mortgage brokerage office, multiplying those results
by the thousands of brokers and banks that do business with
Asian immigrants would yield a huge level of mortgage loan
An interesting sidelight to
my investigation was the discovery of 15 tax mills openly
doing business in Southern California and producing phony
returns to suit their clients needs. Thirteen of the
mills were Asian-operated, mostly home-grown Chinese and recently
arrived Taiwanese, with some Koreans thrown in for diversity.
Tax mill operators were perpetrating
two major felonies simultaneously: one, defrauding a lender
with intent (Title 18, U.S.C.); and two, income tax evasion
(Title 26, U.S.C.). We can assume the latter, if only because
the mortgage payments in all instances were greater
than the total income claimed on the rather different returns
the borrowers filed with the IRS, some of which showed income
low enough to qualify for the EIC. The loans were all in the
$200,000 to $400,000 range, and at that time required a monthly
payment of approximately $3,000.
From a nationwide perspective,
immigration will produce major enforcement problems. Americans
traditionally evade about ten percent of the taxes they owe,
but millions of newcomers will eventually give us Third-World
rates of evasion. Even a high-grade country like Chile has
an evasion rate of about 30 percent. El Salvador, where I
live, collects only about half the taxes due. If El Salvador
could collect at the Chilean rate70 percentit
would not have to borrow a dime on the world markets, and
would need no foreign aid.
The United States has a perfectly
adequate native-born, white-collar criminal class. We do not
need to import another.
Mr. McClaren lives in San
Salvador, where he is director of the Alliance for the American
• • • BACK TO TOP • •
Praise of Arthur Jensen
well-deserved tribute to a great scientist.
reviewed by Jared Taylor
Study of General Intelligence: Tribute to Arthur
2003, 642 pp., $125.00.
Arthur Jensen, professor
emeritus of educational psychology at U.C. Berkeley, is
one of the great scientists of our time. No one has played
a larger role in rescuing the study of intelligence from
radical environmentalism. No one has so patiently and carefully
studied the most unpopular and maligned subjects in psychology:
the biological bases of intelligence and the question of
racial differences. And no one else has advanced the field
as he has, nor suffered as much for doing so. If Prof. Jensen
had made equal contributions to any less controversial field,
he would long ago have been honored as one Americas
most prominent thinkers.
However, even if the wider
society continues to ignore or revile him, Prof. Jensens
professional colleagues have begun to recognize his remarkable
contributions. A special issue of the journal Intelligence,
dated November 3, 1998, collected a number of articles under
the title A King Among Men: Arthur Jensen. Fellow
scientists like Philippe Rushton, Linda Gottfredson, Sandra
Scarr, and Thomas J. Bouchard wrote sometimes moving tributes
to a man who is sure to take his place with men like Francis
Galton and Charles Spearmen as a giant in his field.
Some of the same authors
have returned for a new volume in honor of Prof. Jensen
edited by Helmuth Nyborg of the University of Aarhus in
Denmark. This is a massive work of more than 600 pages,
which amounts to both a tribute to a great man and a summary
of our current knowledge about intelligence.
Many of the 31 contributors
start by noting the qualities that make Prof. Jensen such
an outstanding scientist. They admire his ability to spot
the slightest flaw in research methods, and his overwhelming
commitment to data. Preconceptions, preferences, even his
own positions mean nothing to him if the data do not support
them. As Sandra Scarr has said, For him, impressions
and feelings are not data and have no place in psychology.
Prof. Nyborg writes that
Prof. Jensen will eagerly analyze good data with a completely
open mind even if it contradicts his own theories. Integrity
of this kind is rare in any field, and has undoubtedly been
crucial to his ability to maintain the respect of his profession
while he undermined the fundamental convictions of most
of its members.
The common scientific point
of departure for the authors in this book is g, or
the general factor for intelligence. Prof. Jensens
work on g (see review of his The g Factor,
AR, Sept. 1998) is probably the most significant of the
many areas in which he has made important contributions.
It is now widely recognized
in the field of mental testing that there is a human mental
capacity known as g that is the basis for essentially
everything we describe as intelligence. There are many specialized
mental skills but g can be thought of as the common
power source that drives them. g can not now be measured
directly, but it can be calculated statistically from results
of a battery of tests. All valid intelligence tests therefore
test some aspect of g, and some come closer to measuring
it directly than others. The extent to which a tests
results are close to those calculated from an entire battery
of tests is called a tests g loading.
People have different combinations
of mental abilities, but because all of them are powered
by g, people who are good at solving one kind of
mental problem are usually good at others. With some exceptions
and much variation, people who are good at working out word
analogies are likely to be good at math, reading comprehension,
geometry, spatial relations, and even such things as business
or car mechanics. We are only just beginning to understand
the brain functions that constitute g and to find
the genes needed for them. Prof. Jensen himself describes
molecular genetics and brain physiology as the new frontier
for intelligence research.
A vast, wide-ranging
It would not be practical
to critique or even mention all the articles in this vast
and wide-ranging volume. They are organized by subject,
such as The Biology of g or The
Demography of g, and this review will only
touch on a few highlights.
up its secrets.
The search for the underlying
biology of g has begun, but persistent public ignorance
about the nature of intelligence means there is practically
no funding for it. Richard Haier of U.C. Irvine points out
that research on schizophrenia finally established that
the disorder has a strong genetic component. Government
and drug company funding promptly shifted to a search for
the underlying physiology of schizophrenia in the hope of
finding a cure. People who had theorized that the
cold mother could cause the disease were out of a
Prof. Haier notes there
has been no such shift in intelligence research. There are
still plenty of well-funded proponents of institutional
racism as the cause of low black IQ, despite the fact
that a biological understanding of g has vastly more
potential applications than an understanding of schizophrenia.
It may some day be possible to cure mental retardation and
stop the decline of intelligence in old age, but society
will first have to get over the idea that the main influence
on IQ is household income.
At this point our knowledge
is very crude. We know, for example, that brain size has
something to do with intelligence, but a size/IQ correlation
of only 0.35 means there are other physiological functions
that also explain differences in intelligence. Matching
blacks and whites for intelligence produces matching brain
sizes, but matching blacks and whites for brain size alone
does not produce a match in IQthe whites are
still somewhat smarter. A certain level of brain size is
necessary for high intelligence but it is not sufficient.
Since the appearance of
this book, Prof. Haier has reported elsewhere that variations
in the amount of gray matteras opposed to white matterin
particular locations of the brain appear to be related to
intelligence, but that these locations vary as a person
matures. For young adults, a greater accumulation of gray
matter in the temporal areas is associated with high intelligence;
for middle-aged people, the frontal and parietal regions
are more important. Dr. Haier is now looking into sex differences
in these patterns.
In any case, size is clearly
not all that matters. By age six, a child already has a
brain that is 92 percent of its final adult size. The increase
in mental ability after age six is therefore not greatly
dependent on adding brain mass, but no one understands the
changes that are taking place in the brain that make a person
smarter as he matures.
Efficiency in the brains
use of its primary fuel, glucose, appears to be one factor.
Smart peoples brains use less glucose than dim peoples
brains. Also, people use more glucose when they first try
something mentally challenging than after they have had
a lot of practiceand the reduction in glucose requirements
after practice is greater for smart people. People with
mental retardation or Downs Syndrome seem to consume
about 30 percent more glucose than normal people.
What is called inspection
time is also a direct indicator of intelligence. People
cannot make out an image flashed on a screen for just a
millisecond or two, but as flashes get longer they begin
to see the image. Scientists learned as early as 1976 that
bright people see the images sooner than dim peoplethey
need less inspection time. The correlation with
intelligence is -0.5, and seems to reflect basic efficiency
of neural processing that is related to intelligence.
The genes for intelligence
have been very hard to find. The causes of single gene disorders
are usually easy to find; if someone has (or doesnt
have) a particular expression of a gene, he has the disease.
Intelligence seems to depend on accumulations and combination
of many genes, each of which contributes only a little.
This makes it hard to find stark genetic differences between
smart and not-so-smart people.
Some day, the genes will
be found and the biology of intelligence will be understood,
and that day will bring far more benefits than social
programs ever did. As Prof. Haier explains:
a massive work of more than 600 pages, which
amounts to both a tribute to a great man and
a summary of our current knowledge about intelligence.
[A] prevalent assumption
underlying the (artificial) nature versus nurture debate
was that something caused mostly by environment could be
changed relatively easily, whereas something caused mostly
by genes was essentially immutable. As we enter the 21st
Century, just the opposite may be true. We are becoming
quite expert at changing biology and genes; we still dont
improve environments with much precision of positive outcome.
To the extent that low intelligence is genetic/biological,
the prospects are increasing that neuroscience-based manipulations
over the next decades may promise improvement where environmental-based
manipulations have so far proved mostly unsuccessful.
Although students of intelligence
tend to be interested in high IQs, there is much to be learned
at the low end, too. For example, there is a normal distribution
of intelligence that takes the shape of the standard bell
curve. However, at the very lowest levels are people who
suffer from genetic diseases or who have had physical brain
damage. Their plight is not the result of normal distribution,
and this group forms a small hillock at the left-most end
of the declining curve. Whites with IQs in the 60 and 70
range tend to suffer from conditions of this kind because
the standard distribution of intelligence among whites does
not often result in IQs this low. They tend to be obviously
abnormal in appearance and behavior. Blacks, on the other
hand, are much more likely to have IQs in this range simply
because of standard distribution, and therefore do not appear
or act obviously defective.
Another interesting finding
is that people with low IQs tend to perform consistently
on intelligence tests, whereas intelligent people get scores
that varyup and downover time. This is probably
related to the fact that people with high levels of g
also tend to have greater variety in specialized mental
skills. Low g people do not have this varietyexcept
for the notable exception of savants, who may have striking
musical or mathematical abilities despite low general intelligence.
The Demographics of g
Liberals seem better able
to accept genetic causes for individual rather than group
differences in g. If g were distributed equally
across different groupsin particular, if blacks were
as smart as whitesgenetic explanations would triumph
easily. Because of the intense hostility to racial differences,
there is reluctance even to admit they exist, much less
discuss their origins.
That there are differences,
however, cannot be doubted. As Richard Lynn of the University
of Ulster explains, different nations have different average
levels of IQ that reflect their ethnic makeup. The lowest
average IQs are found among the Australian Aborigines, with
scores of about 71, and among sub-Saharan Africans, with
scores of about 69. The highest average IQsin the
103 to 106 rangeare in northern Europe and especially
Asia. Probably because of the effects of Communism, average
IQs in Russia and East Europe appear to be in the mid-90s,
though the data are bad because the Communists banned intelligence
research. In some of the most primitive countries, notably
in Africa, IQ studies of school children may be unreliable
because many children do not know their ages. Because IQ
rises during childhood, correct results require accurate
Prof. Lynn notes that the
association between race and IQ is so strong, it is possible
to make accurate predictions of average national IQ on the
basis of ethnic mix alone. He points out there is no environmental
explanation that accounts for such consistent results.
Philippe Rushton of the
University of Western Ontario goes further into the evidence
for the biological basis of race differences. Prof. Jensen,
he points out, was among the first to write about the significance
of life history differences between racesthat blacks
mature more rapidly than whites, and that they have higher
rates of non-identical twinning. It was these and other
observations about racial differences that gave rise to
Prof. Rushtons own ground-breaking work on r-K
theory (see AR, Dec. 1994).
Prof. Rushton also emphasizes
the importance of the link between inbreeding depression
and black/white differences in test scores. The children
of marriages between close relatives tend to have lower-than-normal
intelligence; this is a recognized genetic phenomenon known
as inbreeding depression. Performance is not, however, depressed
equally on all intelligence tests, and as it happens it
declines most on those tests for which the black/white gap
is greatest. This is hardly to be expected if the black/white
gap is caused by environmental effects, but entirely consistent
with the view that there is a substantial genetic contribution
to racial differences in intelligence. As Prof. Rushton
observes, inbreeding depression data from as far away as
Japan can be used to predict the tests on which whites outperform
blacks by the largest margina connection disbelievers
in genetics are unable to explain.
Regression towards the mean
provides further evidence. The general tendency in sexual
reproduction is for parents with extreme characteristics
to have children who are beyond the average in those characteristics
but not as extreme as the parents. Very tall people are
likely to have children who are tall but not as tall as
themselves. There is a tendency to regress to the mean or
The same is true with intelligence,
except that black children regress to a mean of 85 while
whites regress to a mean of 100. This explains why children
of successful, high-income blacks do not do nearly as well
as their parents. The SAT scores of black children who come
from households with incomes of $70,000 or more are lower
than the scores of white (and Asian) children from households
with incomes of $20,000 or less. The black parents may have
high IQs but their children tend to be pulled down by the
low racial mean to which they regress.
Matching black and white
children with unusually high IQs produces evidence for the
same phenomenon. In general, if researchers find a child
with a very high IQ, his brothers and sisters will turn
out to have lower IQs. Genetic combinations that produce
very high IQs are uncommon, and the IQs of other members
of the family tend to decline toward the mean. The siblings
of very high-IQ blacks, however, have lower average IQs
that those of very smart whites. When blacks and whites
are matched at IQs of 120, the black siblings have an average
score of 100 whereas the white siblings have an average
of 110. In both cases, the siblings are above average for
their race, but the blacks are pulled back towards a lower
average. There is the same tendency at quite low IQ levels.
When white and black children are matched for IQs of 75,
the whites siblings have higher IQs than the blacks
Another argument for a genetic
component to the black/white difference is the effect of
miscegenation. For people of mixed race, more white genes
correlate with larger brains and higher IQs.
In one of the most interesting
chapters in the book, Helmuth Nyborg respectfully dissents
from one of Prof. Jensens important findings in The
g Factor: that men and women have the same IQ
distributions. Prof. Jensen conceded that the question of
sex differences in IQ is technically the most difficult
to answer . . . the least investigated, the least written
about, and indeed, even the least often asked, but
concluded there are no sex differences in either average
or standard deviation.
Prof. Nyborg points out
some of the difficulties in studying the question. First,
IQ tests, in particular the popular Wechsler test, are designed
deliberately to give sex-neutral results. It is well known
that men do better at mathematical/spatial problems and
women at verbal problems, so the mix is carefully balanced
to give equal results. Also, because girls develop more
rapidly in intelligence than boys, data from child testing
gives artificially high results for girls and are not valid
for the population at large. Prof. Nyborg concludes that
there is a male advantage in average IQ of perhaps four
to six points, but that it does not appear until puberty.
He speculates that the brain may change in important ways
at that time, just as the body changes.
Prof. Nyborg also finds
that the standard distributions of intelligence differ by
sex, with women clustered nearer the average and men spread
out towards both high and low IQs (see graph to the right).
This means there are proportionately more male retardates.
However, since the male average is four to six points greater
than for womenthe entire curve for men is pushed to
the rightthe real disparity in numbers is among the
very intelligent, with men outnumbering women 120 to one
at IQs of three standard distributions above the average
(IQs of 145).
Proportions of this kind
would explain male dominance in almost all fields, especially
in mathematics, chess and physics. Likewise, female verbal
ability would explain the large number of female writers.
Prof. Nyborg is well aware of the resistance to his findings
but argues that the study of sex differences in general
ability has long been hampered by ideology run amok.
Prof. Nyborg also finds
that high levels of testosterone boost IQ in women but depress
it in men. He suggests that as far as intelligence is concerned,
it would be useful to have at least four sex categories,
not just two. He concludes that mannish, high-testosterone
women and effeminate, low-testosterone men tend have the
highest IQs, whereas macho men and effeminate women tend
to be less intelligent.
Life as an IQ test
Linda Gottfredson of the
University of Delaware is well known for her work on the
relationship between IQ and how we live our lives. As she
points out, a low IQ is associated with many things we want
to avoid: crime, welfare, illegitimacy, and poverty. She
writes that even the likelihood of dying in an automobile
accident steadily increases three-fold as IQ declines from
115 to 80. Likewise, a certain level of intelligence is
required to understand how disease affects the body or to
figure out what dose of medicine to take. As Prof. Gottfredson
explains, small mistakes add up: g exerts its
major effects on life outcomes largely by consistently tilting
the odds of success and failure in the smaller events that
eventuate in the more consequential outcomes.
g is also the best
single predictor by far of job performance. The more complicated
and demanding the job, the more important it is to be smart;
specialized knowledge or experience can be a leg up at first,
but long-term success takes brains. The most respected,
best-paid jobs are the ones that require the most intelligence,
but high g is valuable even for menial jobs. A smart
dishwasher works more consistently and responsibly than
a stupid one. Conscientiousness is another measurable trait
that predicts job performance but not nearly as well as
Specialized job testsif
they have any validity at allshow different pass rates
for different groups. Prof. Rushton cites a Dutch safety
aptitude test used to hire such people as locomotive
engineers and bus drivers. Different ethnic groups scored
in the same rank order on this test of motor coordination
and concentration as they would have on an IQ test. Many
people put great faith in specialized evaluations, but experts
know that general intelligence is easier to test and usually
gives more reliable results.
Lee Ellis of Minot State
University in Minot, North Dakota, and Anthony Walsh of
Boise State University in Idaho have contributed a very
interesting chapter on the connection between IQ and crime.
They refine the well-known association of criminality and
low IQ by pointing out that criminals have a marked disadvantage
in verbal rather than spatial/mathematical IQ, in which
they may even be above average. Verbal IQ is what it usually
takes to succeed in life by ordinary meansoutside
of specialized, math-oriented professionsso it is
not surprising that the smash-and-grab mentality arises
in its absence.
The two authors also refute
the view that jails are filled with dummies only because
the smart criminals dont get caught. First, low IQ
scores are very often found in aggressive, problem children,
and they are the ones most likely to become criminals. Criminals
are usually the least intelligent members of their families.
Also, when researchers ask people to describe their own
law-breaking, the ones with the most to tell fit the jail
bird mental profile. Finally, if a researcher gives IQ tests
to criminals about to be released, the scores are not a
good predictor of recidivism. The smarter ones are just
as likely to end up back in jail as the dim ones.
One theory about crime is
that it is a battle between brain hemispheres. If someones
left hemisphere, which handles language and moral reasoning,
is unable to control the impulses of his more gratification-oriented
right hemisphere he commits crime. An inability to control
the right hemisphere seems to be linked to testosterone,
which would help explain why men are more likely than women
to be criminals. Blacks have higher testosterone levels
than whites, and are vastly overrepresented among criminals.
It is now well established
that money does not raise IQ. Children reared with all the
social advantages show some gains in IQ compared to children
without them, but these differences fade by early adulthood,
when people choose their own environments, and the genetics
of intelligence predominates. This is a well-established
truth that liberals refuse to accept. They are happy to
agree that people who dont have basic skills
will not get ahead, but they deny that illiteracy, for example,
is a reflection of low g. For them, it must be caused
by oppression or racism.
work by Prof. Jensen.
The volume ends with testimonials
from Prof. Jensens former students, who praise his
patience and his ability to explain complicated ideas. Helmuth
Nyborg also offers a concluding chapter on what he calls
the collective fraud of an academic establishment
that will not face the evidence on intelligence. This is
not merely an academic matter for, as he points out, Policies
for a make-believe world are doomed to failure. Our
social programs are like trying to go to the moon without
understanding gravity or inertia.
Prof. Nyborg writes that
Prof. Jensens brushes with mob violence remind him
of Voltaires observation that it is dangerous
to be right in matters on which the established authorities
are wrong. Prof. Nyborg is confident that good sense
will eventually prevail but quotes Max Planck: A new
scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents
and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents
eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar
with it. Unfortunately, the generation now in school
seems no better informed about intelligence than the generation
of the 1960s.
This is an excellent and
timely tribute to Arthur Jensen. Unfortunately, its staggering
price$125.00means practically no one buys it.
Pergamon Press, like Praeger, which has published Richard
Lynn, Michael Levin, and Prof. Jensen himself, seems to
specialize in publishing important books and ensuring they
go nowhere. A lower price and better marketing would have
been as much a tribute to Prof. Jensen as the book itself.
• • •
BACK TO TOP • •
O Tempora, O Mores!
The most flamboyant congressional
candidate this year is the black conservative Vernon Robinson,
a Winston-Salem city councilman seeking the Republican nomination
for North Carolinas Fifth District. He was the top vote-getter
in the first round of the Republican primary on July 20, and now
is in a run-off with Virginia Foxx, who came in second. The runoff
was to be held on August 17.
Scene from a Vernon
Robinson television ad.
The aliens are coming.
Campaigning under the slogan Jesse
Helms is back! And this time, hes black! Mr. Robinson
grabbed voters attention through publicity stunts and free-wheeling
attack ads on opponents. On January 19, as a protest against the
ousting of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, Mr. Robinson
put a one-ton granite block with the Ten Commandments on one side
and the Bill of Rights on the other on the walkway outside the
Winston-Salem city hall. He also accused his competitors of endorsing
special rights for homosexuals and of consorting with homosexuals.
One of his ads attacked candidate Jay Helvey, a trustee of Wake
Forest University, for failing to protest a commitment ceremony
by two lesbians on the university campus. In a campaign phone
message, Mr. Robinson attributed Mr. Helveys disagreement
with him on tax law to the influence of homosexuals, pointing
out that Mr. Helveys pollster is Arthur Finkelstein, a New
York City out-of-the-closet homosexual who has adopted children
with his live-in lover.
On matters of race, Mr. Robinson
is just as mordant. He is a fervent opponent of racial preferences
and victim politicking and has said, The only thing that
I have in common with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson is a good
tan! He approvingly quoted Bill Cosby in one of his ads:
Black hoodlums need to stop stealing and start getting jobs.
Black mothers need to stop having eight babies by seven different
fathers. Stop talking street jive like Yo Dog! Peep my bling-bling!
Mr. Robinson blasts illegal immigration
in radio ads that compare immigrant-occupied America to an episode
of the classic television series The Twilight Zone.
The famous theme-music from the program is the background to the
The aliens are here, but
they didnt come in a spaceship. They came across our unguarded
Mexican border by the millions.
Theyve filled our
criminal courtrooms and invaded our schools. They sponge off the
American taxpayer by clogging our welfare lines and our hospital
emergency rooms. Theyve even taken over the DMV. These aliens
commit heinous crimes against us, like Maximiliano Esparza, who
raped a nun and strangled her with her own rosary.
They commit crimes but wont
commit to learn our language. You walk into a McDonalds
restaurant to order a Big Mac and find to your horror that the
employees dont speak English. You may be in the heart of
America, but you feel as though you are in the Twilight Zone.
Vernon Robinson will secure
our borders, cut off the welfare payments and once and for all
make English our official language. Press one for English? No.
Vote Vernon Robinson for English.
Yo, Gringo! Este episodio
de Twilight Zone era pagado para Robinson por congreso.
These tactics work. A Winston-Salem
Journal poll shows Mr. Robinson leading Mrs. Foxx 57 percent to
Mr. Robinson has ruffled a few
feathers. Former vice-presidential candidate Jack Kemp initially
endorsed him, but then backed off because, in his view, Mr. Robinson
was running a very negative and aggressive anti-immigration
campaign . . . contrary to the core values of the party of Lincoln.
Over all, there has been surprisingly
little outcry over Mr. Robinsons campaign; being black has
probably helped. However, his success ought to show American politicians
that voters respond to direct, unapologetic condemnation of racial
preferences and open borders. [Patrick Buchanan, No Nationalists
on Jacks Shining Hill, WorldNetDaily.com, July
19, 2004. Theo Helm, Vernon Robinson: Conservative is Known For
His Feather-ruffling Style, Winston-Salem Journal, July 16, 2004.
Bill Cosbys Tough Love LessonDont Blame
It On Whitey, The Twilight ZoneThe Aliens Are Here,
RobinsonforCongress.com, http://vernonrobinson.com/radio. shtml.]
A reader has sent us a flyer promoting
a meeting to be held in Oakland, California, by a group calling
itself the African Peoples Solidarity Committee. Is
the SF Bay area . . . for whites only? the flyer asks. The
speakers, including the leader of the International Peoples
Democratic Uhuru Movement, the West Coast representative of the
African Peoples Socialist Party, and someone named only
Quetzaocelocuia, who leads the Barrio Defense Committee, were
to discuss ethnic cleansing (a.k.a. gentrification).
The back side of the flyer notes:
As across the US, the African communities of the Bay Area
face ethnic cleansing through an imposed drug economy and police
containment, sending black people to the prisons and the grave
as the white people are able to move into their neighborhoods.
Lets take a stand from the white community to support economic
development and an end to the war in the African community!
Organizers were asking for a donation of anywhere from $5.00 to
Regrettably, no one from the AR
office was able to attend the June 29 meeting, nor were we able
to find any reports of its proceedings.
A 1998 survey by the Department
of Transportation on attitudes towards wearing seat belts reveals
racial differences in rationality of risk assessment, conformism,
and fatalism. Thirty-five percent of whites, but 49 percent of
blacks and 51 percent of Hispanics answered that seat belts are
as likely to harm as to help you. Both blacks and Hispanics were
more than twice as likely as whites say that putting on a seat
belt made them worry more about being in a crash, and to believe
that a crash close to home would not be as serious as one farther
away. Only 13 percent of whites would feel self-conscious about
wearing a seat belt if their friends did not, but 25 percent of
blacks and 44 percent of Hispanics would. Non-whites were also
more likely to believe that whether you wear a seat belt or not
does not matter because if it is your time to die, you will die.
[US Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety
Survey: Volume 2, Seat Belt Report, March 2000.]
Not often enough.
Blacks also have curious beliefs
about the platforms of American political parties. Despite Republican
efforts to appeal to black voters, pollster Kellyanne Conway has
found blacks do not understand even the most basic positions of
the Republican Party. Seventy-five percent of blacks thought the
Democratic Party was more likely to lower taxes than the Republicans;
62 percent said Democrats were more likely to reduce terrorism
by strengthening the national defense; and 69 percent said
Democrats were more likely than the GOP to protect the rights
of the unborn. [Jason L. Riley, Dems Score With Blacks as
GOP Forfeits the Game, WSJ OpinionJournal.com, July 30,
Moreover, despite the fact that
rumors of black disenfrancisement in the Florida elections have
been demonstrated to be groundless, blacks still think whites
are working to prevent them from voting and to prevent accurate
tabulation of their votes. In a poll conducted by Black Entertainment
Television and CBS, 68 percent of blacks agreed when asked if
there were deliberate attempts to prevent them from voting. Only
41 percent were confident their votes would be counted; 39 percent
said they had some confidence, and 17 percent said they had none
at all. Forty-one percent believed their votes would be less likely
to be counted than those of whites. [BET/CBS News Poll of African
Americans Finds Mistrust, Disenfranchisement Heading Into Elections,
PR Newswire, July 21, 2004.]
When she worked as a waitress
at a high-toned coffeehouse in Washington, DC, Andrea Carter,
who is black, says her white customers seemed to think they were
special. I didnt want to make them feel special,
she says, and in the spring of 2003, she decided to wear a homemade
T-shirt to work that said Uppity Negro on it. Before
she could wear it, she says, she was fired for talking back to
She then decided to print up and
sell Uppity Negro and Uppity Negress T-shirts,
hats and other merchandise, including coffee mugs and tote bags.
She started a website, uppitynegro.com, in December 2003 to promote
the stuff, and traveled to black colleges and events to sell it.
Sales picked up, and before long, black celebrities like film
director Spike Lee and comedian Dave Chappelle were wearing her
T-shirts. Members of Al Sharptons campaign staff also wore
Miss Carter is pleased that her
Uppity Negro line took off, but worries that it may
become trendy and be co-opted by whites. She will not sell to
whites unless the things they buy are intended as gifts for black
friends, or if she thinks a particular white person can appreciate
what she is trying to do. Its not only a clothing line,
she explains, but a movementa sense of pridethat
only blacks can truly understand. She says she hates whites like
a woman in Atlanta who thought her shirt was just the cutest
Uppity Negro gear
sold so well that Miss Carter could not keep up with orders, and
in June she decided not to restock until she gets help running
the business. Im not ending it, she explains,
but I cant go on any longer. Its moving too
fast for me. She says she worked 18 hours a day, seven days
a week filling orders, and that in February she was hospitalized
with an ulcer. Investors would help, but Miss Carter is choosy.
She says she turned down a well-meaning white businessman,
telling him, I cant let you profit on the backs of
blacks, especially considering blacks were killed for being uppity
negroes. [Mike DeBonis, Co-Opt City: A Woman Struggles to
Keep Uppity Negro Away from Ironic Caucasians, Washington (DC)
City Paper, June 11, 2004, p. 11.]
in a Name?
In 1905, a road in Jefferson County,
Texas, near Beaumont was named Jap Road, after a Japanese immigrant
named Yasuo Mayumi who stared a rice farm in the area. Japanese-Americans
have tried to get the name changed but without success. This year,
after an unrelated racial discrimination complaint threatened
some of the countys federal money, the Jefferson County
Commission decided to improve its image by renaming Jap Road.
On July 19, it held a public meeting that brought out more than
150 people, including representatives from the Anti-Defamation
League, the NAACP, and the Japanese-American Citizens League.
They all insisted Jap was an embarrassment, and the
ADL presented a petition with 4,300 signatures supporting a change.
Residents liked the name. Donnie
Harvey, who has lived on Jap Road for 32 years, said, Losing
Jap Road would be like losing a part of who we are. Another
resident, Jimmy Norton, said, I am very offended by the
claim I am a racist and a bigot because I am trying to preserve
After hearing both sides, the
commission voted four to one to change the name, and appointed
a committee to come up with new names and let the residents vote
on them. The Japanese-American Citizens League proposed Mayumi
Road. The residents didnt like Mayumi Road or any of the
other choices. The wining name was Boondocks Roada write-inin
honor of the Boondocks Catfish House, a restaurant that used to
be on the road, but closed 10 years ago.
Everyone in this area, even
newcomers that havent ever been to the Boondocks, have heard
of the Boondocks, says Wayne Wright, who supported the new
name. He added that residents didnt like Mayumi Road because
many could not pronounce it. The Japanese-American Citizens League
is miffed that residents didnt like Mayumi, but Mr. Wright
is not apologizing for Boondocks, which may well have been a slap
at the Japanese. They [Japanese Americans] pounded on us
for 11 years. I hope they learned something from it, he
says. [Pam Easton, Texas County Votes to Change Jap Road,
AP, July 19, 2004. Wendy Grossman, Jap Road to Be
Renamed Boondocks Road, Reuters, July 29, 2004.]
A gang of overweight black women
shoplifters has been cleaning out stores in Durban, South Africa.
According to Inspector Michael Read, The modus operandi
is that some of them pick a mock fight or cause a commotion while
the others fill oversized bags with clothes. They usually target
clothes shops and cosmetic outlets and then sell them to streetside
vendors at cheap prices. Size, he adds, is
a factor in that they use it to intimidate the staff. Inspector
Read says several arrests have been made, but some of the women
are still at large. [Fat Shoplifters on the Rampage, AFP, July
Tonya Jameson is a black newspaper
columnist who has some advice for whites: Stand up for yourselves.
Miss Jameson believes the film White Chicks, in which
two blacks impersonate white women, perpetuates demeaning racial
stereotypes: White people are timid and cant dance, and
white women are stupid and promiscuous.
Blacks still face cultural
stereotypes in entertainment, but picking on whites is annoyingly
pervasive in entertainment geared toward African Americans,
she writes. Too many young black comedians rely on the same
stale white-people jokes.
Miss Jameson thinks the negative
portrayal of whites in the media keeps white children from developing
positive feelings about their race. She says she used to work
at a summer camp where children were separated into racial groups
to define their culture, identify what makes them proud,
and create a performance that illustrates pride in their ethnicity.
Each year, the whites had trouble defining their culture and thinking
of reasons to be proud.
She writes that the silence from
whites regarding television shows, movies, comedians and
music that belittle white culture sends a subversive message to
Caucasian kids that they shouldnt speak up when their ethnicity
is being insulted. I want white children to take as much pride
in their culture as I take in mine.
She thinks whites should create
an organization similar to the NAACP, which would complain to
the media about offensive images of whitesas long as it
treads softly. About the only groups speaking up for whites
are white supremacists, she writes, and their credibility
is, well, you know, zero. [Tonya Jameson, Why Dont
White People Mind Being Stereotyped?, Charlotte Observer, July
25, 2004, p. 1H.]
51st State to be?
Puerto Rico is in the midst of
a crime wave that has claimed the lives of 445 people so far this
year, giving it a murder rate three times the national average.
Officials on the island say the cause is a drug war between different
groups of South American drug traffickers that smuggle cocaine
and heroine through Puerto Rico on their way to the US. After
a bloody July weekend in which at least five peopleincluding
a policemanwere gunned down, Puerto Rico Gov. Sila Calderon
has promised to call out the National Guard. Five hundred soldiers
will patrol neighborhoods in at least four of the islands
cities, including the capital, San Juan. Their role could be expanded
if crime rates keep going up.
This is not the first time Puerto
Rico has called out the Guard to fight crime. In the 1990s, former
governor Pedro Rossello ordered National Guardsmen to occupy crime-ridden
public housing projects. The soldiers kept crime down, but some
residents didnt like their mano duro (hard-handed)
Officers are making sure the Guardsmen
understand the rules of engagement, and say they wont be
authorized to carry handcuffs or make arrests. We will not
be the lead agency, says Major Millie Rosa. Our role
in this mission will be to support the police.
Residents of housing projectswhere
broad-daylight shootings are commonplaceare split over the
Guard. Manuel Feliciano, 78, wants the soldiers back. Theres
a lot of elderly who have been victimized, he says. If
youre old, you cant go in some areas of this place.
Angel Gonzalez, 23 and unemployed, disagrees, saying, The
police wont let you go anywhere. Its like they want
everyone to stay in the house, and when the National Guard gets
here its going to be worse.
The criminals do not appear to
care either way. The day after the governor made the announcement,
gunmen killed three people in a drive-by shooting in San Juan.
(See The Threat of Puerto Rican Statehood, AR, March 1998.)
[Matthew Hay Brown and Ray Quintanilla, Puerto Rico Calls in National
Guard, Orlando Sentinel, July 20, 2004, p. A1.]
Expose a Sham
American financial institutions
see a potential for profit in the influx of immigrants into the
United States; one profitable market immigrants offer financial
institutions is money-wiring. The Inter-American Development Bank
estimates Mexican and Latin American immigrants send $30 billion
a year to their home countries every year. The Pew Hispanic Center
estimates that Mexican immigrants alone sent $13.3 billion home
in 2003. Western Union, which handled 32 percent of Hispanic immigrants
remittances in 2003, is the leader in this market, but Bank of
America and Citizens Financial Group have rolled out competing
services. To advertise its money-wiring service, Bank of America
sponsored a Mexican music concert in Phoenix, Arizona, called
Banco Musical. Citizens advertises its money-wiring
services in churches, community organizations, and schools.
First Data Corporation, the parent
company of Western Union, has done the most to appeal to immigrants.
This year it set up a $10 million fund to promote more liberal
immigration policies. On July 22, it sponsored an immigration
reform panel at a Denver high school. All of the panelists were
Hispanic, and all of them want more immigration. Many were representatives
of groups like MALDEF, the Latino Coalition, and the Instituto
del Progeso Latino. Two of the panelists had formerly been illegal
aliens. One of these, Juan Salgado declared, I was taught
that this is Gods land and no one is illegal on Gods
land. Another speaker said that the recent Border Patrol
sweeps for illegal aliens in California are inconsistent
with our values. . . . I believe it is critical that comprehensive
immigration reform includes a national principle of non-discrimination
against people on the basis of immigration status. First
Data did not invite any of Colorados respected immigration
reformers, like Rep. Tom Tancredo and former governor Richard
Lamm. After the panel, Fred Elbel, director of the Colorado Alliance
for Immigration Reform stated, It was nothing but a racist,
open-borders sham, conducted in the name of corporate greed.
While the opinion of the panelists
was uniform, that of the audience was not. A number of immigration
restrictionists attended the event, and some heckled the speakers.
Minutes into the event, one audience member demanded that the
panelists recite the Pledge of Allegiance before the panel speakers
began. The hecklers also accused the panelists of bashing
whites and told them to go home. A fight even
broke out: police arrested a Hispanic woman after she hit one
of the hecklers.
At the end of the event, 30 audience
members lined up to ask questions. After three of them challenged
the panelists views, the moderator allowed no more questions
and ended the event. [Sasha Talcott, Banks Seek to Cash in on
Money Wiring, Boston Globe, June 28, 2004. First Data/Western
Union and Latino Advocacy Organizations Call For Action on Immigration
Reform, First Data Corp. press release, March 3, 2004. $30 Billion
in Remittances Sent Home by Immigrants Only a Small Piece of the
Cost of Mass Immigration, Federation for American Immigration
Reform, fairus.org, May 17, 2004. Michael Riley, Heckling, Fistfight
Mar Forum On Immigration, Denver Post, July 23, 2004. First Data
Immigration Reform Panel in Denver, Colorado Alliance for Immigration
Reform, July 22, 2004.]
In April, Kansas State University
in Manhattan, Kansas, hosted the Big 12 Conference on Black Student
Government, an event that drew 1,000 participants but failed to
get a write up in the university paper, the Collegian.
The Black Student Union was outraged at what they took to be a
racist slight, and demanded the head of the newspapers faculty
adviser, Prof. Ron Johnson. On May 10, the director of the journalism
school duly removed Prof. Johnson from the position he had held
Collegian editor Katie
Lane says the staff is shell-shocked by the decision,
which she describes as unwarranted since it is the
students who run the paper, and who decided not to cover the black
conference. Miss Lane has been suitably intimidated, however.
She says diversity training will begin immediately for the staff,
and the paper will be sure to cover diversity in the future. [K-State
Reassigns Adviser of Student-run Newspaper, Wichita Eagle, May
of the Absurd
Black playwright Cassandra Medley
has written a new play she hopes will convince San Francisco theatergoers
that any belief in the scientific reality of race is evil and
racist. The lead character in Relativity is a young,
Harvard-educated black scientist named Kalima Davis, who is doing
post-doctorate genetic research at Johns Hopkins University. Her
father founded a research institute called the Melanin Project,
which promotes the idea that blacks and other races with high
levels of melanin in their skin are superior to whites. She is
in a dither because she wants to honor her father and believes
in paying whites back for centuries of white scientific
racism, butoddly enoughshe is romancing a white
scientist and knows that the latest scientific evidence proves
race is scientifically meaningless. She must choose between
her mother, also a black scientist who promotes melanin theory,
and her mentor, the black woman who runs the genetic research
project at Hopkins and who rejects race. One reviewer calls the
play compelling and riveting, but notes
that those conversant with the latest research may quibble
with some of the science . . . .
The idea of reverse-racist-superiority
concepts evolving within socially oppressed, historically enslaved
societies and culturesblack Americans in the case of Relativityis
fascinating to me, explains Miss Medley. She says she wrote
the play to explore the question of how a melanin theorist
might respond to the most recent genetic research on DNA and the
mapping of the human genome, while sincerely maintaining his or
her ideological position. [Robert Hurwitt, Mother and Daughter
Face Off in a Scientific Debate About the Significance of Race
in Magic Premiere, Chronicle (San Francisco), May 10, 2004, p.
E1. Molly Rhodes, Magic Theatre website, www.magictheatre.org/shows/relativ_turg.shtml.]
Skin-color bias claims are an
increasingly active field of anti-discrimination law. Color discrimination
is different from racial discrimination in that both parties of
a color discrimination complaint are of the same race. An example
is the case of Dwight Burch (see AR, Nov. 2002), a dark-skinned
waiter at an Applebees restaurant in Atlanta, who sued his
light-skinned black employer for making offensive and embarrassing
comments about his color. In 2003, the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) found in Mr. Burchs favor and awarded
him a $40,000 settlement. As part of the settlement, Applebees
must now offer anti-discrimination training to its employees.
In a case in New York, a black employee brought a lawsuit against
her black employer for calling her a white wannabe.
No fewer than 1,382 skin-color
bias lawsuits were filed with the EEOC in 2002 and 1,555 in 2003.
This is up from 413 in 1994. Although blacks file most of these
claims, American Indians and Arabs have also sued each other for
skin-tone discrimination. Usually, it is the dark-skinned who
claim discrimination by the light-skinned.
Color bias is still a minor field
in corporate anti-discrimination law, making up only two percent
of the discrimination claims filed with the EEOC in 2002. One
reason is that it is hard to sue a company, as opposed to an individual.
Employers do not (yet) have to keep records of the skin tones
of their employees, so it is hard to claim discrimination in hiring
and promotions. [Jackson Lewis Law Firm Press Release, Skin Color
Bias Is Growing as a Basis for Discrimination Claims, April 7,
2004. EEOC Press Release, EEOC Settles Color Harassment Lawsuit
With Applebees Neighborhood Bar and Grill, August 7, 2003.]
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| L E T T E R S
F R O M R E A D E R S
SirOnce again, I read with
great interest the accounts by AR readers of how they became aware
of race. What strikes me, however, is how often people kept their
liberal illusions until there was some kind of violent encounter
with blacks. This must mean that prevailing myths are too firmly
battered into our minds for mere argument to break them down.
Many people need a dramatic, non-logical experience before they
see the light.
It is understandable that this
should open someones eyes. However, if this is what it takes,
it will be a long time before there are very many of us. This
is not yet South Africa, and most of us have not yet been mugged
I am more encouraged by the accounts
of people who have not suffered violence, whose ordinary experiences
were enough to disabuse them. It may be that at this point in
history, school integration is a good thing for our people, because
it brings them into contact with blacks at an impressionable and
even rebellious age. Unlike what the liberals keep telling us,
contact with blacks does not reduce prejudice.
It teaches us there are real differences that cannot be ignored.
Steven Cornish, Roanoke, Va.
SirCongratulations on yet
another fascinating series on how people saw the light.
I found it interesting that in almost every account, it was blacks
who tipped the balance. This makes me wonder what it would be
like if there were no blacks in Americaonly whites, Hispanics
and Asians. Would there be even less white racial consciousness
than there is today?
In past generations, whites had
a sense of being white, no matter what race they faced.
In the western United States, for example, they were as adamant
about keeping out Japanese and Chinese as they were about keeping
out blacks. Now, because sensible attitudes about race are not
part of what we learn naturally as we grow up, each of us has
to construct his own racial consciousness. This is why we teach
ourselves the simplest lessons first, beginning with blacks. The
differences in behavior between blacks and whites are so striking,
they penetrate even the most clouded minds. Only after blacks
have taught us the basic lessons about race do we apply them to
Hispanics and Asians.
I dont doubt this is why
we hear relatively little about racial trouble in Hawaii, despite
the fact that it was the first state in which whites became a
minority. There are few blacks in Hawaii, and most of the non-whites
are Asians. The lessons of race are therefore less salientthough
just as important to us in the long run.
Tom Holden, Sacramento, Calif.
SirI read with interest
the O Tempora, O Mores! item in the July issue dealing with Patel
hotels. Back in 1983, I stayed at a motel in Wichita, Kansas,
owned by a Patel. In the lounge I had a chance to talk to the
owner, who told me that Patel meant innkeeper in his
native language. He said that before he immigrated to the US he
had worked in the South African diamond mines, where he stole
diamonds by swallowing them. When he had a good number, he would
hide them inside a candle, which he mailed to his family already
here. After several mailings his family had enough money to buy
a motel for cash, and he was able to come over. He told me motels
are largely cash businesses so he could get by with paying next
to no income tax. He said his family was also buying up coffee
and donut shops.
At the time, I didnt know
if he was telling the truth or spinning a yarn, but the next year
when I was in Chicago, I noticed that just about every Dunkin
Donuts shop was operated by Indians.
Perhaps many of his relatives
also spent time in the diamond mines of South Africa.
Erick Jones, Bowling Green, Mo.
SirI find it hard to believe
Jack Judsons assertion in his letter in the August issue
that during the 1980 presidential debate Ronald Reagan advocated
a lower minimum wage for blacks than for whites. Surely the grip
of political correctness was then already so strong that any such
statement would have resulted in the TV screens going blank, followed
by universal uproar, and groveling but ineffectual apologies that
would have been replayed for ever.
Anthony Young, London, England
SirI was pleased to see
your August O Tempora item about the Chicago authorities who appear
to be waking up to the fact that racial preferencesat least
in fire departmentscan kill. I hope this public effort to
link affirmative action to lethal incompetence will not be washed
away in howls of racism. Maybe it will even embolden
other people to point out the obvious.
Whenever I read about something
gone wronga badly-constructed highway overpass falls down,
air traffic controllers goof and planes have a near miss, the
police department forgets to change the oil in its patrol carsI
wonder if we are not seeing affirmative action in action.
Most of the time, it is impossible
to know. Investigators are not looking for a racial explanation,
and even if they stumble onto one, they probably hide it. However,
it is a statistical inevitability that when race is a more important
hiring criterion than ability, some quota-hire will make a mistake
with terrible consequences. It may even happen frequently, but
we just dont know.
Andrew Collins, Royal Oak, Mich.
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