Archive index | Homepage
|Vol. 3 No.10||October , 1992|
May the Best Man Win
The connection between race and athletic ability becomes clearer every year.
This summer at the Barcelona Olympics, the men's 100-meter dash was won by Great Britain, with the United States finishing second and third. Those were, at any rate, the official results. In fact, the event was a West African sweep or, as the British would say with unintended irony, a whitewash. Not one Asian, Arab, Hispanic, East African, or white even qualified for the final. Just as at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, all eight finalists were black. More precisely, all were West Africans or, like the medalists, descendants of West African slaves.
In international athletic competition today, sprinting events are simply battles between blacks. National honor no longer has a place, unless it derives from having the fastest black man living within one's borders. Of the 50 all-time fastest men in the 100-meters, 44 are racially West African. Today's top “British”, “European”, “Canadian”, and “American” sprinters are all on that list.
Though almost no one dares say so publicly, different racial groups clearly have dramatically different athletic endowments. Even among blacks, West Africans and East Africans excel in separate domains, with virtually no overlap. Athletic champions are born before they are made, and genetics can count for more than coaching. At the Barcelona Games, blacks of West African descent dominated the shorter distances, just as they have in all recent Olympics. In 1988, at Seoul, they won every medal in the men's 100m, 200m, 400m, 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles, and the gold in the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays. At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, of the 52 medals won by Americans in track and field, 42 went to blacks—and the events they won were all sprints and jumps. Black prowess in the long jump is, if anything, even more overwhelming than in the sprints. Blacks of West African ancestry have won every long jump medal in the last three Olympics, and have won the gold 14 times in the last 17 Games.
American blacks, who are almost exclusively of West African descent, also dominate the professional sports in which a player must sprint or jump. Sixty percent of all National Football League players are black, as are 75 percent of all professional basketball players.
A natural talent for longer distances was humiliatingly obvious during a competition at a Kenyan high school, at which the Swedish champions in both the 800-meters and 10,000-meters were beaten by hundreds of 15- to 17-year-olds. These boys had no expensive coaching or fancy running shoes, yet they ran rings around the best Nordic talent.
East and West
Each group of Africans excels in its own domain. As Olympic results show, with the exception of the “middle” distance of 800-meters, where East and West Africans meet in no-man's land, and of one or two freak Kenyan medals in the 400-meters, there is no overlap in medal-winning performances: No East African has ever won an Olympic sprinting medal. No runner of West African descent has ever won a medal at a distance greater than 800-meters. Every one of the 29 Olympic distance medals won by black athletes has gone to an East African, with 27 of them going to Kenyans and Ethiopians alone.
With the distances from 100-meters to the marathon in the hands of Africans, there is not much left for the rest of the world. At the 1991 World Track and Field Championships in Tokyo, blacks—East Africans and those of West African descent—won an amazing 29 out of 33 men's running medals.
What accounts for this? Racial superiority. West Africans can sprint and jump better than anyone else because they have the right genes. East Africans sweep the distance races for the same reason.
Shroud of Silence
Obvious as this may be, to say so is taboo. To admit that races have different physical capacities opens up the prospect of different mental capacities, and the race relations business knows no greater sin. Therefore, people who know better but who do not want to lose their jobs keep their mouths shut. When Amby Burfoot, executive editor of Runner's World, wrote a cover story for the August, 1992 issue on the reasons for black running success, he had to do it without the help of America's leading sports scientists. “Go ahead and hang yourself,” said one, “but you're not going to hang me with you.” It can be professional suicide to penetrate what Mr. Burfoot calls the “shroud of silence” surrounding black running dominance.
Rather than proudly acknowledge their superiority, many blacks are angered by speculation about racial differences. Sports sociologist, Dr. Harry Edwards, is neither a geneticist nor a sports scientist, but he insists that talk of black physical superiority is nothing but racism. Dr. Edwards says there has never been “any scientific study linking any supposed physical or genetic characteristics of race to athletic competence.” He even claims that race is a “socially and culturally ascribed status,” with no roots in biogenetics.
In fact, many racial differences are quantifiable. Research on differences is now virtually impossible in the United States, but Canadians and Europeans are not afraid to investigate them. Runner's World lists the characteristics that have been found to separate blacks of West African descent from whites: “Blacks have less body fat, narrower hips, thicker thighs, longer legs and lighter calves. From a biomechanical perspective, this is an impressive package. Narrow hips allow for efficient, straight-ahead running. Strong quadriceps muscles provide horsepower, and light calves reduce resistance.” Body type can confer the decisive advantage. To take an extreme example from the dog world, a dachshund could train forever, but never outrun a greyhound.
Blacks have also long been known to have proportionately more “fast-twitch” muscle fiber than whites—67.5 percent vs. 59 percent, according to one study. Fast-twitch muscles are thought to give explosive power, while slow-twitch muscles give the steady contractions needed in swimming or rowing.
Despite the complaints of black spokesmen, it is nonsense to insist that American blacks succeed in sports only because it is one of the few avenues of financial success open to them. A glance at the history books confirms the early beginnings of black dominance, a dominance for which the lure of material gain was insignificant. American blacks have been winning Olympic medals in the sprinting and jumping events since 1904. Why should they have bothered with something that held no hope of financial reward?
Furthermore, why would a “racist society” have permitted blacks to compete and win in the 100-meters but not in the 10,000-meters? When Jesse Owens came home from Berlin in 1936 with his four gold medals he was welcomed with ticker-tape parades. Would he have been snubbed if he had won the marathon instead?
Blacks of West African descent have been winning Olympic medals for Britain for almost as long as they have for the United States. The first time was in 1920, when a native of British Guyana won bronze medals in the 100-meters and 200-meters. Guyanese blacks, like Caribbean blacks, are descended from West African slaves, so British blacks excel in the same events as American blacks.
It is often argued that blacks do well in sports because they are “channeled” into them for cultural reasons. But what else but physical differences can account for studies done in Kansas City showing that black children are already outrunning and outjumping white children in the fourth grade? It is unlikely that black eleven-year-olds have been channeled into sports; it is equally unlikely that these black American children could beat Kenyan children at distance running.
Athletes from all-black countries such as Jamaica cannot argue that their success in sprinting and complete failure in swimming, for example, has anything to do with racism or racial channeling. The former tennis player, Arthur Ashe, claims that Africans are natural swimmers. If that were so, the beaches of the Caribbean would be nurseries for black swimming talent. Yet, with only one exception, no black man has ever won an Olympic swimming medal. Tests show that blacks have faster reflexes than whites. Biological theory says this tends to create stronger muscles, which leads to denser bones. It is probably bone density, not “racism,” that explains why no black has ever qualified for the U.S. Olympic swim team.
The evidence for race-linked success in athletics is overwhelming, but it is denied or ignored because it cannot help but raise questions about race and success in other areas. Sports are one of the few things left in America unaffected by quotas or affirmative action, and it is the best man who wins. Although the best man is often a black man, there are no cries for white quotas on the Olympic team. If superior genes bring success on the field, they must be allowed to play their part off it as well.
Note: Some of the information in this article is from Black Olympian Medalists, by James A. Page. The book chronicles every black medal-winning performance since the modern games began, and includes short biographies of all the medalists. Obviously, there could be no such book about white Olympians.
Trouble in the Front Office
Although a great many professional athletes are black, almost all their coaches and managers are white. The orthodox explanation for this is that a “racist” society gives blacks few options other than sports, and that “racism” keeps blacks out of coaching and management. It would be a strange sort of racism that prevented blacks from being plumbers and accountants and forced them into glamorous, million-dollar jobs as athletes instead, but this is the official view.
Frederick Pollard became the first black head coach of a professional football team in 1923, but today only two of 28 head coaches in football are black, and only two of 27 basketball head coaches are black. At one time there were six black head coaches, but “the Reagan and Bush years” are supposed to have thwarted progress.
Bill White, who is black, is the president of baseball's National League. He says that racism “permeates the game at every level.” One cannot help wondering how, if that is true, Mr. White reached the pinnacle of the profession.
Black sports agents also reportedly face a wall of prejudice. Although 75 percent of professional basketball players are black, fewer than five percent of their contracts are negotiated by black agents. Fred Slaughter, one of a few successful black agents, says that the problem is a particularly vicious form of racism: Black athletes themselves think whites make better agents.
As for coaches and managers, it is true that many are former players, and by this reasoning many should now be black. But just what sort of potential management material are sports teams getting? Colleges and universities are the farm teams for professional football and basketball, and black athletes are notoriously poor students. It is common for black college athletes to have worse high school records than blacks who were rejected at the same colleges. In today's affirmative-action climate, this means their high school records were dreadful.
Dr. Harry Edwards, the black “sociologist of sport,” has made a career out of accusing America of sports racism. He means to indict whites when he writes: “The black athlete's personal and cultural development have been so overshadowed by the demands and consequences of sports participation that many emerge from the athletic experience seriously impaired relative to their abilities to compete or to make their way as responsible, productive adults in the broader society.” Are these the people who are to become coaches and managers?
Dr. Edwards notes that every year
there are blacks in the National Football League draft pool who are stabbed,
shot, and assaulted—in their home towns by other blacks. This year there
were more such incidents than ever, and one player was actually murdered
by another black. Is this the milieu that is supposed to produce league
Must We Feed Somalia?
The United States and the UN have launched a large-scale relief effort to what is left of the East African nation of Somalia. Since there is no government there—only warring clans—3,000 UN troops will try to keep relief supplies from being stolen.
After several years of tribal warfare, drought, and famine, Somalia no longer exists. In what used to be the capital, Mogadishu, there is no industry and little commerce. The main activity is looting. Power cables have been dug up, so there is no electricity. Water pipes have been scavenged so there is no running water. There is no mail service, no police, no fire department, no government.
The only medical care is offered by foreign organizations like the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. European and American relief workers live in fortified compounds and move about in the chaos of Mogadishu only in the company of armed guards. An estimated 1,500 people die in the city every day from disease, starvation, and murder. Conditions are worse in the countryside, where perhaps two million people—almost half the population—are thought to be facing starvation.
Outside organizations have, of course, been sending aid. The Red Cross has mounted the largest relief effort in its history. A large part of the relief supplies is looted by gangs that operate on a grand scale. Late in August, thieves driving tanks plundered the UN's central supply depot and made off with hundreds of tons of food and gasoline, and a convoy of trucks. For good measure, they shot and wounded two UN guards.
It is despicable that well-fed Somalis should steal food meant for Somalis who are starving. But is it not strange that outsiders should persist in sending food? In an Aug. 15 editorial, The Economist of London urged that rich countries should flood Somalia with so much free food that it would lose all value and thieves would ignore it; then relief workers could get on with their business.
Do outsiders have a responsibility to feed the Somalis when their own leaders—such as they are—are prepared to watch them starve? Overpopulation is the looming threat to all of Africa and the third world. If we manage to keep two million Somalis alive during this famine, are we obliged to keep four million alive during the next? The squalor and lawlessness of our own cities should be a warning that charity is no cure for failure. The horrors from which Somalia suffers are mainly self-inflicted. Its people are not like Florida hurricane victims who, when set back on their feet, will rebuild their lives.
The Somalis have failed—as a nation, as a society, and as a people. Just as welfare at home rewards irresponsibility and breeds incompetence, aid to Somalia will reward looters and ensure only that Somalia will stagger on to its next and greater crisis. The impulse to feed the starving is a worthy one, but charity should never increase the need for charity. If we have an obligation to save Somalia do we not have the right to govern it, since the misfortunes of its people stem from their inability to govern themselves? Aid to Somalia will only add more helpless millions to the overburdened world we will leave to our children.
Light on the Dark Continent
An eminent scholar sums up a lifetime of study.
reviewed by Thomas Jackson
At a time when history is so often distorted to suit ethnic sensibilities, it is refreshing to find an objective account of that most troubled continent: Africa. The author, Professor Roland Oliver of the University of London, wrote The African Experience “for pure pleasure,” in retirement after 40 years of distinguished African scholarship. His graceful style and effortless mastery of the material guide the reader through several million years and across thousands of miles. To have fit a work of such scope into a single introductory volume is a remarkable achievement.
As Prof. Oliver explains, there now seems little doubt that man began in Africa. Australopithecines made their appearance perhaps as long as four million years ago, and the first of our genus, Homo erectus, appeared some 2.5 million years later. It was then, 1.5 million years ago, that Homo seems to have begun to migrate out of Africa, so it is from this point that the non-African races began to diverge.
What is perhaps most striking about prehistory is its leisurely pace. Stone-age artifacts were unchanged for periods of hundreds of thousands of years. There are caves in Africa that show continuous human habitation for as many as 70,000 years. Homo erectus probably took half a million years to spread just from East Africa to West Africa. For most of man's existence, to have moved forward—or backward—1,000 years in time would have brought scarcely any change.
It was not until about 10,000 years ago that Africans began to live in groups of more than one hundred. These were roving riverine communities that gathered wild cereals, fished, and hunted. Pottery revolutionized their diet by making it possible to boil food.
Real African history begins north of the Sahara in Egypt, where a Semitic strain of man had evolved and where, as Prof. Oliver explains, geography was particularly favorable. The annual flood of the Nile left the land ready for virtually effortless cultivation, while any point above the flood-line was so dry that food could be stored indefinitely. In other parts of the continent, village populations did not get much over a few hundred before the more adventurous struck out for virgin land. In Egypt, the surrounding desert kept men close to the river, and large settlements gave rise to specialization and the need for government. Moreover, the thickly settled banks of the Nile could easily be policed because all Egyptians lived within a mile or two of a great waterway that carried not just traders but soldiers and tax collectors.
It was the genius of the Egyptians—who were certainly not black—to have administered a kingdom of several million people who enjoyed a brilliant Copper Age, had a large literate class, and built some of the most impressive monuments in all of antiquity. During the nearly 3,000 years of Pharaonic rule, from 3100 B.C. to 332 B.C., the Nile valley probably accounted for half the population of the entire continent, and gave rise to unmatched splendor.
South of the Sahara
The jungles south of the Sahara had no such geographic advantages and for the last 10,000 years have been the largely passive recipients of outside innovation. Prof. Oliver notes that the jungle has almost no native food crops; the manioc, yams, and bananas that Africans now eat all came from overseas. Unlike the Nile, sub-Saharan rivers tend to run East-West rather than North-South and therefore do not cross the different climatic regions that give rise to different economies and thus stimulate trade.
Finally, the tsetse fly invariably killed the beasts of burden that northerners tried to introduce. Since Africans had failed to domesticate any of the large, native mammals that were immune to the tsetse, a huge swath of the continent depended on human porters up until the time when Europeans built roads and brought trucks. It took ten head-porters to carry the load a single camel could bear.
Nor were sub-Saharan Africans enterprising mariners. Madagascar, which lies 250 miles off the southeast coast, was never discovered by blacks. It was first settled by Indonesians, who reached it after voyages of thousands of miles.
Copper and bronze did not come to this vast, primitive southland until 2,500 years after they were widely used in Egypt. In fact, in much of the continent there was no Bronze Age at all. Ironworking, which probably came from Asia, drew most of Africa directly out of the Stone Age during its 1,000-year journey (seventh century BC to fourth century AD) from North to South. The Stone-Age hunters and gatherers were not always exterminated or absorbed by the people who could work iron; the Congo Pygmies, for example, retain their identity to this day.
As Prof. Oliver points out, the Iron Age set the cultural tone for Africa, not only up to colonization, but in some areas up to the present. Many rural villages are today little different in size, appearance, or sophistication from their Iron-Age predecessors.
Leftists write as though slavery and colonization account for all of Africa's ills, but Prof. Oliver keeps both subjects in perspective. He points out that slavery had been practiced throughout Africa long before the white man arrived. Among the Tuareg of the southern Sahara, during the 19th century 70-90 percent of the population were probably slaves. In the Sahel and the savanna, half the population might be slaves, while in the forests, the figure could be as low as 10 to 20 percent.
Prof. Oliver notes that in most of Africa slavery could not exist without professional slave traders. This was because African political units were so small. Slaves caught in skirmishes with neighboring tribes could easily escape back to their own people if released to work in the fields. Captives had to be marched so far from home they would not think of escaping. Thus, the coffle of tramping slaves, bound neck to neck, was one of the most frequent commodities of pre-colonial intra-African trade.
Prof. Oliver argues that the European and American demand for slaves may not have increased the supply. White slave traders almost never ventured into the interior and were dependent on a varying supply over which they had no control. They followed the flow of captives rather than create it, shifting their bases up and down the coast according to where tribal wars were producing the most slaves.
From the 15th to the 18th century, some 11 to 12 million slaves were taken out of sub-Saharan Africa. Although many were captured by Arabs, the vast majority were taken across the Atlantic. This did not, however, result in significant depopulation. Prof. Oliver explains that the usual African practice was to kill grown men and enslave only women and children. This could lead to slave-owning societies that were disproportionately female—by as much as 3.5 to one. When Africans learned that Europeans were mainly interested in male slaves they put their newly-valuable captives into commerce rather than slaughter them. Female slaves remained in Africa and were impregnated by polygamous masters, so the export of grown men probably did not have a serious effect on population.
Africa clung to slavery long after it was abolished elsewhere. In 1926, a high-ranking Tswana tribesman (of what is now Botswana) spoke thus about the neighboring people: “The Masarwa are slaves. They can be killed. It is no crime. . . . They are never paid. If . . . I want any to work for me, I go out and take any I want.” Between the world wars, Liberia, founded by freed American slaves, was censured by the League of Nations for practicing slavery.
In many parts of the continent even today, women are still little better than chattel. Prof. Oliver writes of the traditions of “Pastoralists in particular [who] admired the wearing by women of twenty or thirty pounds of copper on the legs and ankles, since it forced them to move with the slow dignity of cattle.”
Prof. Oliver neither glorifies nor demonizes the other great bugbear of African history: colonialism. He makes it clear that the approximately 70 years of European rule brought industry, medicine, infrastructure, administration, and visions of national cohesion. Colonization, generally carried out peacefully by an astonishingly small number of Europeans, was Iron-Age Africa's first faltering steps towards modernity.
Colonization was not, as so often described, pure plunder. Europeans partitioned the continent mainly for fear that rival powers would capture exclusive African markets. It was therefore commercial zeal rather than larceny that drove colonization. In any event, infrastructure investments meant that colonies ran losses for decades at a time.
Many whites came to Africa with no hope of gain at all. Missionaries, supported by the generosity of common churchgoers in Europe and America, built schools where there had been none, and trained the men who would struggle for independence. They also kept a watchful eye on the excesses of colonial government some of which were, indeed, horrible. The Germans put down the 1905 Maji Maji uprising in East Africa by laying waste the countryside. Two hundred thousand people may have died in the ensuing famine.
Prof. Oliver explains that colonization came to an end, just as it had begun, because of European rivalry. When Germany was stripped of its colonies after the First World War, they were given in trusteeship to the newly established League of Nations. Trusteeship implied an eventual coming of age, or independence.
In 1935-36 the Italian conquest of Ethiopia cast a harsh light on all African colonies. Ethiopia was an independent, Christian nation and had been a member of the League of Nations since 1923. The unblushing theft of black lands by a white power seemed little different from colonization.
By the time of the Second World War, the metropolitan powers were talking of eventual independence, but they saw it as perhaps a century in the future. The war drastically shortened the process. In Asia, Japan granted fleeting independence to a half-dozen European colonies before it was defeated. In Africa, the newly-assertive United States pressed strongly for independence, and even arranged a United Nations trusteeship for Somalia that was to bring independence in 1958. The floodgates were open and by the early 1960s, only Spain and Portugal still held outposts in Africa.
Corruption and Tyranny
Though European rule drew the modern map of Africa and pushed what were clusters of tribes towards nationhood, independent Africa has not been a success (see “Why is Africa Poor?” AR, Jan. 1992). The courts and parliaments set up by Europeans were soon brushed aside by dictators. Prof. Oliver gently recounts the corruption, tyranny, economic folly, and choking urbanization that have sent Africa's per capita income down since independence rather than up. Famine, which Europeans had eliminated by the 1920s, reappeared in the 1970s and seems only to worsen.
The African Experience is imbued throughout with a clear-eyed, level-headed affection for Africa and its people. No one knows better than Prof. Oliver the failure of black Africans to invent a written language, discover the wheel, devise a calendar, or domesticate an animal. Yet he is never patronizing, never sentimental, never dismissive. It is this combination of erudition and composure that makes this book perhaps the most authoritative, accessible, and well-written antidote now available to the nonsense that is so often said about Africa.
O Tempora, O Mores!
The Riots Rumble On
Having burned down much of South-Central Los Angeles, blacks now claim they should get “their share” of the reconstruction jobs. Crowds of blacks have taken to swarming over construction sites, chanting “Blacks don't work, nobody works.” Several “demonstrations” have turned violent; blacks have chased whites and Hispanics off the job and have torn down half-finished buildings. In some cases blacks have come back in the evenings to smash what crews have built during the day.
Tactics like this work. Contractors are capitulating and hiring blacks whom they otherwise would have found unqualified or overpriced. So far, there are no reports of blacks being arrested for assault or destruction of property. Hispanics, outraged by these strong-arm tactics, are calling for forceful measures against them, but there is no organized resistance from whites.
Meanwhile, Rodney King is in trouble again, this time with blacks. According to Houston rap singer, Willie D, Mr. King is a turncoat for having made his “We gotta get along” plea for peace during the Los Angeles riots. Mr. D, who appears to think that “getting along” is an exclusively white responsibility, says Mr. King deserves to die for his treachery. In a recently-released “song” titled “Rodney K,” Willie D yells obscenities at Mr. King and then shoots him.
More Problems for Haiti
The Haitians, of all people, have a problem with illegal aliens. A boat-load of 151 Chinese men who were hoping to sneak into the United States was dumped on the shores of Haiti instead. A government spokesman says that the Chinese could be deported, but that Haiti “wants to give an example of humane treatment to refuge-seekers.” Haiti must not be all that bad; the Chinese want to stay.
More Rights for Illegals
A federal judge in California has ruled that when illegal immigrants are arrested, they must be told their rights, namely, that they may have a legal right not to be deported, and that they have the right to call a lawyer. This information must be conveyed to the illegals in their own languages. In order to help non-citizens exercise their rights, the INS must post a list of free legal services in its holding facilities. Illegals must be asked if they think they will be harmed if they are repatriated. If they say yes, they are entitled to seek political asylum.
Today California, Tomorrow America
In just one year, the cost of the services that Los Angeles County provides to illegal aliens rose 33 percent, from $207 million in 1990 to $276 million in 1991. The federal costs for those services shot up 141 percent in the two years from 1989 to 1991: $58 million to $140 million. It is likely that the federal costs alone could be well over $500 million by the year 2000.
A large part of the cost is for welfare payments to children of illegal aliens. In 1991, of the 44,000 live births in county hospitals, 65 percent were to mothers who were illegal aliens. The medical costs alone were $28.5 million, and the children are, of course, United States citizens and entitled to welfare and Medicaid.
A Criminal Expense
In 1991 the Immigration and Naturalization Service spent $161 million to detain and deport 58,323 criminal aliens, but this is only a fraction of their cost to the nation. Consider the case of Jamaican immigrant, Steven Beckford. Since coming to the United States legally in 1985, he has been convicted of aggravated child abuse, burglary, drug possession, resisting arrest, and assault on a border patrol agent.
Law enforcement, court time and public defenders all cost tax money. So does hospital care; Mr. Beckford owes $84,000 for treatment received after three gun and knife fights. He also has two illegitimate children on welfare, and despite two stints of publicly-funded alcohol and drug rehabilitation, he says he consumes between 24 and 36 cans of beer and smokes $100 worth of marijuana every day.
After Mr. Beckford has served a jail sentence for his latest crime, assaulting the border patrol agent, he will be released before he is scheduled for a deportation hearing. He will probably not show up for the hearing for there are no penalties for failing to appear. If he actually attends the hearing and is ordered to leave the country, he can appeal. The bill to the taxpayer for Mr. Beckford's stay in America may have only begun to mount up.
A Criminal on the Loose
America has enough trouble with homegrown miscreants without having to import them. Larry Hogue is a 48-year-old black man who has been terrorizing the Upper West Side of Manhattan for the last eight years. In that time he has been arrested at least 38 times and has been to jail twice. He is currently on the loose because he hasn't done anything lately that was serious enough for the city to make space for him in its crowded jails.
Mr. Hogue's brain was reportedly damaged when he was hit on the head while in the Army. Ordinarily, he is calm and docile, but whenever he smokes crack cocaine he goes on a rampage. His $2,000-a-month disability checks from the Army pay for his crack habit, and he is now such a familiar menace in his neighborhood that women, children, and dogs run when they see him.
Mr. Hogue likes to threaten people with knives, ice picks, machetes, and screw drivers. He also likes to pull down his pants in a crowd and defecate on the sidewalk. His most recent arrests were for scraping the paint off someone's car with a knife and for throwing garbage at a woman. After an arrest, he is usually sent home in 72 hours, when the cocaine has left his body. He cannot be shut up in a mental institution unless two doctors agree that he is a menace to himself and others. Only in America would there be any disagreement about that.
People in the neighborhood fear that Mr. Hogue's career will end only if blood is shed. As a Manhattan Assistant District Attorney says, “This is not a problem the criminal justice system can solve, unless we're prepared to wait until he hurts somebody.”
Spiking the Students
Spike Lee has urged blacks to skip school or stay away from work so that they can come see his movie, Malcolm X, which opens in November. “[Blacks] have got to turn out to support this film,” says Mr. Lee, who justifies skipping school because he claims his movie presents “the American history [students are] not getting in school.” Among its many provocative scenes, the movie opens with a burning American flag, and includes the television footage of the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers.
It is well known that Winston Churchill was a eugenicist, but new evidence of the strength of his feelings has recently come to light. A former British civil servant, Clive Ponting, claims to have uncovered papers in which Churchill worried that “moral degenerates” and people of low intelligence were outbreeding the educated classes. Writing some time after 1910, when he became Home Secretary, Churchill proposed that “mental defectives” be incarcerated and that the “feeble-minded” be forcibly sterilized. Churchill reportedly told his government colleagues that:
“The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded classes, coupled with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks constitutes a race danger. I feel the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed.”Mr. Ponting, who is writing a biography of Churchill, promises more details about the PM's views when the book is published next year.
The Rising Tide
If you think that Hispanics are displacing whites only in the Southwest, you are mistaken. The following letter was published in the July 21 issue of the Fairfax Times, of Springfield (VA):
What's going on at the DMV [Department of Motor Vehicles]?
I recently was at the Baileys Crossroads office, and I was treated by the Hispanic personnel as if I were an outsider.
Hispanic staffers persisted in referring to me as “Gomez” or “Gonzalez,” despite my repeated requests to be called by my proper name.
When it was time for my written test, I was given a booklet in Spanish. I asked for a booklet in English, and the Department of Motor Vehicles staffer sneered, “What's the matter? You can't read Spanish?”
While I took the test, most of the Hispanics taking the test compared papers and shared answers. DMV personnel made no attempt to stop them, but cautioned the non-Hispanics about sitting too close to others, talking, comparing papers, etc.
One Hispanic woman spoke Spanish to answer the questions of Hispanics, but only pointed when asked something in English.
Integration Knows no Bounds
The city of La Crosse, Wisconsin is trying to launch a new form of school busing that will integrate schools by social class. Class would be determined by whether a student qualifies for the federal free-lunch program, that is to say, whether he comes from a family of four with an income of less than $17,420 a year. Seventy percent of the students at one school get free lunches while at another, only four percent do, an intolerable imbalance. Members of the school board concede that the schools are virtually indistinguishable in terms of teaching staff and physical plant, but claim that children who are “segregated” by social class are denied equal educational opportunity. Children must therefore be shipped across town so that the poor can rub shoulders with the well to do. Some groups of parents are furious about the plan, and appear to have a good chance of heading it off.
In August, Congress extended the provisions of the Voting Rights Act that require ballots in foreign languages. Any jurisdiction in which non-English-speaking minorities are more than five percent of the population must offer ballots in different languages at public expense.
As usual, Congress has defied the will of the people. On every occasion that Americans have had a chance to vote on the question of bilingual ballots or whether there should be an official language, they have voted strongly for English. Even San Francisco, one of the most relentlessly liberal cities in the country, voted by a 64 percent majority in 1983 against bilingual ballots. The next year, the entire state of California voted three to one against bilingual ballots.
Voters in Colorado, Arizona, Florida, and California—the very states in which immigrant concentrations are high and in which support for foreign languages should be highest—have all voted decisively to make English the official state language. In Alabama, the people voted nine to one for English. Whom does our Congress represent?
Black TV Show Stymies Science
A scientific conference at the University of Maryland called Genetic Factors in Crime will probably be called off because the government has canceled funding for it. When the National Institutes of Health (NIH) originally approved the grant, it found that the conference's organizers had done “a superb job of assessing the underlying scientific, legal, ethical, and public policy issues and organizing them in a thoughtful fashion.”
What made NIH change its mind? A program on Black Entertainment Television. Blacks claimed that the conference is a racist plot to put criminally predisposed blacks in jail before they can commit any crimes. “It is an effort to use public money for a genocidal effort against African Americans,” says Samuel Yette, a former journalism professor at Harvard University. NIH has obediently decided to withhold the grant because of “sensitivity and validity issues.”
Perhaps the scientists who depend on public money will come to realize that government funding always comes with strings attached. Nevertheless, it is a sad day when decisions on government-supported research are overruled by a black television program.
Jobs for the Boys
The former Police Chief of Detroit, William Hart, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for embezzling $2.6 million from a fund established to pay for undercover police operations. Coleman Young, the black mayor of Detroit, insists that the charges against Mr. Hart, also black, were racist fabrications. The city's black-run pension board has decided that Mr. Hart is entitled to a $53,000-a-year pension.
Blacks to be Tested
Judge Robert Peckham, a federal judge in California, has let himself be dragged full circle by liberal thinking on race. In 1979 he banned the use of IQ tests as a method for putting black students in classes for the mentally retarded, since he refused to believe that any legitimate test could show that four times as many blacks as whites should be in such classes (see interview with Arthur Jensen, AR, Sept. 92). Seven years later, he banned the use of IQ tests for black students under any circumstances, though he allowed their use for students of other races.
Two years later, a group of black parents sued, claiming that their children were not being put into proper classes because of a discriminatory denial of IQ tests. Judge Peckham has now beat a retreat, and ruled that IQ tests may be given to black children after all.
One might wonder why a federal judge should have anything to say about IQ testing. Such are the thickets into which race and “discrimination” lead the courts.
Long May She Wave
Vincent Paramore is a black, living in Florida, who thinks his people should have their own symbols just as other people living in Florida have theirs. “The Haitians have a flag,” he says; “the Cubans have a flag. . . . Everyone else has a flag.” Mr. Paramore has therefore designed a flag for blacks, which combines elements of the Ethiopian, American, and black nationalist flags. Sales of the banner have been so successful that Mr. Paramore has quit his job and become a full-time salesman. Orders are being taken at (305) 927-3751.
If the Cubans, the Haitians, the blacks, and the Mexicans all have their own flags, does that mean whites should have their own flag—or can they simply reclaim Old Glory?
The May 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reports a study on whether people who take cocaine are more likely than others to take stupid risks. The stupid risk the study investigated was Russian roulette. Sure enough, the Journal found that during a recent four-year period, 78 percent of the New Yorkers who killed themselves playing Russian roulette had been drinking or taking drugs, and 64 percent had been using cocaine. The study found that Russian roulette is played exclusively by men, almost always in groups, so as to “enhance their self-esteem in the presence of other males.” Eighty percent of the people who died playing Russian roulette were black or Hispanic.
Sir - Since I bend the Mason-Dixon line north to include Copperheads
like myself, I feel qualified to welcome you to the south. The Southern
people have compatriots all over the world whose hearts are in Dixie.
I would be pleased to correspond with any of your readers who defend our
Sir - Thomas Jackson's September review of The Tragedy of American Compassion contains such as plethora of misapprehensions about the value of voluntary, pre-modern welfare that it is difficult to take seriously his conclusion that America should return to a voluntary welfare system. Old-style welfare - the kind once run by the town's Presbyterian minister and administered by his spinster social worker sister - may have been "cheap" (it doled out a minimum of dollars to a minimum of clients), but it was hardly equitable or even efficient. Promoted by the nation's social establishment, voluntary welfare offered its mite according to the prevaling prejudices of class, religion, ethnicity, and race, and left in its parsimonious wake a legacy of ruined lives and families rent asunder.
Simply speaking, amateur welfare never understood that sickness, injury, and loss of employment strike arbitrarily at everyone. The spiritual rationale that validated the parsimony of voluntary welfare was the religious doctrine of Calvinism, which, in its most rigorous form, held that those in distress were being punished by God, and that the more fortunate enjoyed God's approval. It took the depression of the 1930's to shake such spiritual smugness. With the public's approval FDR began reforming welfare along more professional lines, lines still visible in today's system - though that system is distorted by mismanagement and exploitation.
The simple fact is that no modern society can exist without a comprehensive,
publicly-funded, professionally administered welfare system. Our generation's
job is to eliminate the waste and convince the minorities that their future
is otherwise (if not elsewhere).
Sir - Congratulations on your excellent interview with Prof. Jensen. For his views to have appeared in the pages of AR is a credit to you both.
I learned my things from the interview but was surprised by only one: that Prof. Jensen no longer finds any opposition to his views on racial differences and the heritability of intelligence. Today's students reportedly accept these views as entirely reasonable and cannot understand why they caused such a commotion 20 years ago.
I hardly know what to make of this. On the one hand, it is gratifying to know that today's college students have clearer vision than those of my generation. On the other hand, are today's students at ease with the knowledge that their nation has built an enormous superstructure of social programs on false assumptions?
If they know that what they read in the newspapers about race and genetics
is wrong, if they know that affirmative action and welfare programs are
doomed to fail, why are they silent? Whatever one may think of the
student radicals who disrupted Prof. Jensen's classes 20 years ago, at
least they acted on their beliefs.
Sir - The sentiments in "Uncle Sam Plays Daddy" (AR, Sept. 1992) received a favorable echo in the Economist of 22 Aug. Apparently even the lefties are starting to blame blacks and not "society" for illegitimacy and fatherlessness. Christopher Jencks or Northwestern University has taken a step in the right direction. He would stop letting anyone on public assistance refuse a job.
William Julius Wilson, the black sociologist, is blunter still. He says that even if black men were willing help rear their children, most of them are such sorry specimens that mothers and children would be better off without them. Many of the fathers are either jobless, dealing drugs, in gangs, in jail, or dead. To them, girlfriends on welfare are just "meal tickets."
Obviously, the way to end this vicious cycle of pregnancy, illegitimacy,
drugs, crime, and more pregnancy, is to stop issuing "meal tickets." Welfare
is the medium in which all these vices breed.
Sir - In the September
issue is a letter from a reader that describes the encounter between Leonid
Brezhnev and Margaret Thatcher, in which Brezhnev tried to talk about the
struggle between the white race and non-white races. Let me offer
your readers the source of that story: Freeman Dyson's Weapons of Hope,
Harper and Row, 1984, p. 183.