Personality appears to
influenced by heredity.
Do races differ in "average personality"?
by Samuel Taylor
It usually takes time for scientific knowledge
to become generally accepted. Even when there is no entrenched opposition
to new ideas, information spreads slowly. Sometimes, though, powerful vested
interests mount such effective attacks on scientific inquiry that they
are able to keep discoveries almost completely sealed off from the public.
This has been the case with recent research on race and IQ. Today, there
are almost no qualified geneticists or experts in mental testing who claim
that racial differences in intelligence are not due, in large part, to
genetic differences. And yet, the popular press overwhelmingly supports
the view that intelligence is almost exclusively a product of environment
rather than heredity.
It may be even less well known that many of the traits we think of as
"personality," such as gregariousness, political views, personal mannerisms,
and even choice of hobbies appear to be governed to a significant degree
by heredity. The power of genes that has been confirmed in recent studies
has surprised even the most convinced geneticists.
The new findings have racial implications. After all, the races have
a great many physiological differences that are clearly inherited (see
Dec. 1992) and the evidence for racial differences in average intelligence
is overwhelming (see AR, Nov. 1992). Are there then group psychological
differences that are inherited? Is there such a thing as an "average personality,"
like an average intelligence, that differs from
race to race? The small number of studies done in this field suggest that
The most eye-opening findings on how genes determine personality whatever
a person's race have come from studies of identical twins who were separated
at birth and reared apart. Since identical twins have identical sets of
genes, they are ideal subjects for study. Even when they have been reared
in different families in different environments they show astonishing similarities
that can be explained only by their shared genes.
Thomas J. Bouchard and his colleagues at the Minnesota Center for Twin
and Adoption Research have done the most extensive and convincing research
on identical twins separated at birth. They have found more than 100 pairs
of such twins and have been studying them for more than 12 years. Time
and again they have found similarities that cannot be explained by coincidence.
Identical twins show
astonishing similarities that can be explained only by their shared genes.
For example, of all their subjects, only two were afraid to go into
an acoustically shielded room for special testing. The same two people
agreed separately to enter the room only if the door were wired open. Whenever
they were at the beach, they went into the water backwards and only up
to their knees. They were, of course, a pair of identical twins, and since
they had been reared apart their curious behavior can only be explained
Another pair of twins discovered on their first meeting as adults that
they both used Canoe shaving lotion and Vademecum toothpaste, and smoked
Lucky Strike cigarettes. After they parted, they exchanged birthday presents
that crossed in the mail and proved to be identical.
Some similarities are even more uncanny. One pair of twins had both
divorced women named Linda and then married women named Betty. They later
discovered that before they met each other as adults, they had taken several
Florida vacations on the very same stretch of beach and had driven there
in the same model of Chevrolet. They had both named their sons James Alan
(one was "Allen") and both chain smoked Salems. Both chewed their nails
and had woodworking shops in their basements.
Another pair of twins who were reunited at age thirty found that they
had similar mustaches and hair styles, aviator glasses, big belt buckles
and big key rings. Both were volunteer firemen and had jobs installing
safety equipment. Both drank Budweiser and crushed the empty cans
Separated at birth.
One pair of twins confessed that they did not vote in elections because
they did not think they were well enough informed to make wise decisions,
another pair had each been married five times, and a third pair firmly
refused in separate interviews, of course to answer controversial questions.
One pair of twins were habitual gigglers and said that until they finally
met the other twin they had never known anyone who laughed so freely.
Dr. Bouchard and his colleagues found that similarities of this kind
were the rule rather than the exception. Moreover, identical traits are
uniquely characteristic of identical twins. Fraternal twins, who are no
more genetically alike than ordinary siblings, do not show this kind of
remarkable similarity even when they are reared together in the same family.
As for intelligence, it was discovered long ago that identical twins reared
apart have IQs that are closer to each other than those of fraternal twins
No one would argue that environment has no effect on the mind. However,
it is increasingly clear that there are deep-seated psychological and personal
traits that are established at birth and are unaffected by environment.
In an article in the Dec. 1992 issue of American Psychologist,
Dr. Bouchard and his colleagues have speculated on what their findings
mean for genetic theory. The traditional Mendelian approach has been to
look for traits that run in families. High intelligence, schizophrenia,
diabetes, baldness, and blue eyes are all likely to appear in succeeding
generations and are therefore accepted as having genetic origins.
But what about a liking for woodworking or Budweiser, or the conviction
that one is not well-enough informed to vote? These traits are either not
likely to run in families or, if they do, have usually been thought to
be caused by parental influence. However, since the Minnesota twin studies
suggest that genes are at work even at the level of individual personality
traits, genetic theory must be revised to explain this.
In addition to those physical traits that are clearly genetic, and distinct
conditions and diseases for which the genetic origins have been discovered,
it appears that we all have many traits that are genetically influenced
in complicated ways that are not yet understood. David T. Lykken, one of
Dr. Bouchard's colleagues, has coined the term "emergenesis" to describe
this phenomenon. According to his definition, an emergenic trait is a "novel
or emergent property" that results from combinations of more basic genetic
The random genetic mixing that takes place through sexual reproduction
can produce chance combinations that result in traits not seen in any
ancestor. Since these traits do not run in families, they would not ordinarily
be thought of as genetic. The
remarkable similarities found in identical twins suggests that even those
uniquely individual traits heretofore thought to be products of environment
or of chance occurrence are strongly influenced by genetics.
If genes are at work
the level of personality
traits, genetic theory must be revised.
The American Psychologist article gives an example of how twin
studies have shifted our understanding of the balance between environment
and heredity. In one case of identical twins reared apart, both developed
serious psychological problems by age ten. According to a psychoanalyst
who examined both girls, their disorders were so similar that he described
them as "equivalently pathological." However, he also noted that if each
child had been studied separately, most clinicians would never have suspected
a genetic cause. Although their families were very different from each
other, it would have been tempting to explain the girls' conditions in
terms of parental personality and family dynamics. It was only because
the children were identical twins and had become "equivalently pathological"
at the same age that doctors realized that this was probably a genetic
The study of identical twins therefore suggests that heredity accounts
for much more of our personalities and characteristics than even geneticists
had thought possible. As Dr. Bouchard puts it, "the vast majority of psychological
traits are influenced to some degree by genetic factors." Personality testing
of twins has led him to conclude that although environment has a clear
effect on personality, even such things as religious fervor, political
convictions, gregariousness, and moral integrity appear to be 40 to 50
percent determined by heredity.
How do these new findings apply to the different races? Although it
is difficult to evaluate personality, and the political pressures against
racial comparisons are enormous, a certain amount of data has nevertheless
come to light.
For example, it is well known that criminals typically have lower IQs than
non-criminals. The lower average intelligence of blacks and Hispanics as
compared to whites and Asians doubtless explains much of the differences
in crime rates. However, other genetic factors may be involved.
In their wide-ranging book, Crime and Human Nature, James Wilson
and Richard Herrnstein point out that criminals are almost always more
impulsive than non-criminals. They cannot put off the satisfaction of their
desires, even if immediate satisfaction means smashing and grabbing. Other
researchers, whose work has been exhaustively summarized by J. Philippe
Rushton of the University of Western Ontario, have found that blacks are
more impulsive in this sense than whites, who are in turn more impulsive
If it is true that blacks favor immediate impulse over long-range goals
and if they are less able to sacrifice today for rewards tomorrow, it would
help explain not just high rates of criminality but the chaos and lack
of development that characterize all black societies. It takes foresight
and self-control to work at a boring job rather than rob a liquor store,
or to invest money rather than spend it, or to do homework rather than
watch television. Any group that cannot defer satisfaction will not progress
Prof. Herrnstein and Prof. Wilson also point out that blacks and whites
get different scores on standard, pencil-and-paper personality tests. The
best known such test is the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory),
which measures the extent to which someone deviates in various ways from
the norm. Black men get higher scores meaning they are less "normal"
than whites on every measure except femininity. Whether or not, as Prof.
Wilson and Prof. Herrnstein suggest, the MMPI is based on an arbitrarily
white definition of "normal," it is still significant that blacks and whites
get different scores. It makes no difference if, by black standards, it
is whites who are abnormal; what matters and is scarcely known outside
the expert community is that measurement of personality consistently
gives different average results for different races.
Victor Elion and Edwin Megargee have tried to test the validity of the
MMPI for blacks by concentrating on just one of its components, the Psychopathic
deviate (Pd) scale. They compared the scores of college students, first-time
criminals, and repeat offenders for both blacks and whites and found
that for both races, Pd scores rose with the degree of criminality. Their
conclusion is that the MMPI is an accurate predictor of deviance. Therefore,
higher average scores among blacks probably reflect a real, underlying
difference in personality.
The view that the races differ psychologically is scarcely new. In a
recent paper, Michael Levin notes that 15th-century Arab slaveholders concluded
that blacks were unintelligent, had a good rhythmic sense, and were highly
sexed. These were opinions of men who had had no previous contact with
blacks and had no other information about them.
In our own era, a number of authorities have concluded that psychological
differences between the races are as striking and profound as physical
differences. The great British anthropologist, Sir Arthur Kieth, maintained
that "the primary marks of race are psychological." Louis Leakey of more
recent fame has said, "I would be inclined to suggest that however great
may be the physical differences between such races as the European and
the Negro, the mental and psychological differences are greater."
Albert Schweitzer, who devoted his life to ease the sufferings
of Africans concluded at the end of his career: "They [Africans] have neither
the intellectual, mental or emotional abilities to equate or to share equally
with white men in any of the functions of our civilization."
The views of such men as Dr. Leakey and Dr. Schweitzer are confirmed
by the consistent failure of blacks to conform to the demands of white
society. It may well be, as Michael Levin is brave enough to suggest, that
it is foolish to expect them to do so. As he puts it: "At an aggregate
statistical level it may not be possible for blacks to satisfy white norms
. . . . If so, blaming Negroids for deviation from white norms of self-restraint
is as pointless as blaming cats for not eating hay."
Foundations of Liberalism
Clearly stated conclusions like this account for why any discussion
of inherent genetic differences terrifies the defenders of orthodoxy. Virtually
every attitude that can today be described as "liberal" depends on blind
faith in the power of environment to overcome the consequences of genetics.
(An interesting exception to this is the acceptance among many liberals
of the view that homosexuality is biologically determined. People who would
be horrified at the idea that women are biologically better suited than
men to child-rearing or that blacks are inherently less intelligent than
whites seem to turn into instant geneticists when it comes to homosexuality.)
Liberals believe that crime, stupidity, poverty, and deviance must not
the result of hereditary limitations and must be caused by bad surroundings.
Government must therefore intrude into every corner of our lives as part
of its sacred mission to improve those surroundings. Likewise, since it
is only accidents of environment that cause people of different races to
attain different levels of civilization, environmental tuning can raise
people of any race to the highest levels. It therefore makes no difference
if whites are displaced by waves of non-white immigrants.
Since liberalism does not even begin to make sense unless these things
are true, its defenders are ruthless opponents of any scientific inquiry
that might unearth awkward facts. That is why a conference that was to
be underwritten last year by the National Institutes of Health suddenly
lost its funding when the guardians of orthodoxy learned that it was to
study genetic causes of crime. They were afraid perhaps justifiably
that blacks would be found to be more inherently crime prone than other
For the last several decades, the forces of militant liberalism have
been remarkably successful at preventing even the expression of inconvenient
facts, much less further discovery. This is beginning to change. Facts
can be suppressed for only so long before they come tumbling out in a rush.
The dam is cracking and before long it will break.
Nations are Rich
and Others are Poor
Do inferior and superior
"cultures" account for differences in wealth?
reviewed by Thomas Jackson
How Cultural Values Shape
Economic and Political Success
Basic Books, 1992, 280 pp., $22.00.
Why are Europe and the United States rich while
Africa and Latin America are poor? How a person answers this question is
an almost fool-proof indication of his politics. Until recently, the most
common view was that white countries grew rich by exploiting poor, non-white
ones. On university campuses there are still Marxists who roar about imperialism
and neo-colonialism, but most people have begun to realize that economics
is not thievery.
Lawrence Harrison, author of Who Prospers?, confesses that in
1962, when he first went to work for USAID, he thought that Latin America
was poor because of American "neglect." He also recalls that when President
John Kennedy launched the Alliance for Progress in 1961 nearly everyone
believed that Latin America would blossom as quickly and gratifyingly as
Europe did under the Marshall Plan.
Mr. Harrison now believes that the reason poor countries stay poor is
not because rich ones squeeze them but because they are hobbled
by unhelpful mores and folkways, which he rather grandly calls "cultures."
In an era in which it is fashionable to pretend that all "cultures" are
equally valid, it is a minor milestone to point out that the folkways of
certain peoples are inferior to others.
Mr. Harrison's analysis suffers from his unwillingness to violate certain
taboos, but to speak of "culture" is an enormous improvement over blaming
imperialism. Many of the foolish ideas that have influenced our immigration
and foreign policies have grown out of the myth that overseas squalor is
somehow all our fault. Mr. Harrison tries to avoid blaming anyone for anything,
but a vital message gets through despite his scruples: We are not responsible
for the failures of others.
Growth Through Culture
Mr. Harrison backs his culture argument with accounts of nations that
he considers successful Brazil, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan and contrasts
them with Latin American countries that have stagnated. In his view, the
cultures of Spain and Portugal, especially when transplanted overseas,
have been terrible obstacles to development. Spanish culture in particular,
with its emphasis on male strutting rather than compromise, leisure rather
than work, and plunder rather than production, is said to disadvantage
Both cultures reportedly promote a narrow "radius of trust," that is
to say, people trust their own families but do not care about anyone else.
This means that cooperation is rare but littering and tax evasion are common.
Corrupt, nepotistic governments dispense favors to friends rather than
services to the public, and philanthropy is virtually unknown.
According to Mr. Harrison, another Iberian influence on Latin America
is the view that since wealth is limited and cannot be increased, the only
way to get it is to take it from someone else. Hard work, which can sustain
life but cannot lift a man from poverty, is therefore a curse and an indignity
rather than something honorable. Most people are victims of fate, success
is reserved for the few, and there is no such thing as the Latin American
Mr. Harrison offers Brazil as an exception to the Hispanic rule, pointing
out that at least until 1980 it was growing at a pace that made it the
wonder of the continent. He argues that this was because the Portuguese,
who colonized Brazil, had a less stultifying culture than the Spaniards,
who colonized the rest of Latin America.
People who are familiar with the region all seem to agree that the Brazilians
are different: They are willing to compromise and believe that hard work
will be rewarded. Mr. Harrison traces this to the fact that Portuguese
are less preoccupied with honor and confrontation than are Spaniards, and
that they are more tolerant of competition and the success of others. He
is a specialist in Latin America and in how Portuguese differ from Spaniards,
so one may well take his word for this. However, even at this point, there
are defects in his argument.
First, it was presumably the same, suffocating Iberian culture that
made Spain the richest nation in the world in the 16th and 17th centuries
and Portugal a major power. Why was it an advantage then but an obstacle
later? Likewise, if Portuguese culture is better than Spanish culture,
why is Spain now so much richer than Portugal?
As for Latin America, theories about Iberian culture disregard the Indians.
Throughout the region, they are the poorest people of all, yet they are
the least influenced by the cultures that are supposed to be holding
the continent back.
The best indication of a Latin American nation's success is simply the
percentage of white people. Mr. Harrison tells us over and over that Costa
Rica has somehow escaped the Iberian blight; he fails to mention that it
is also overwhelmingly white. Likewise, the part of Brazil that works the
best the South has a large white majority, and even Mr. Harrison admits
that much of Brazil's success can be attributed to the entrepreneurial
spirit that German and Italian immigrants brought with them.
Finally, although the combination of traits Mr. Harrison describes as
Iberian certainly sound daunting, he concedes that many of them are common
to all poor countries. In fact, he describes something called "universal
peasant culture," which sounds almost exactly like Spain at its worst.
He finds, for example, that Thais and Filipinos are unable to work cooperatively
because they do not trust each other, and that peasants all over the world
have the same fatalistic acceptance of life as something over which they
have little control.
Mr. Harrison as much as admits that it is progress, not stagnation,
that is the exception and requires explanation. Besides whites, only North
Asians have built rich, industrial societies, and Mr. Harrison claims to
have plumbed the cultural secrets that helped them do it.
Of all the national success stories of the modern era, Japan's is the
most astonishing. During the last decades of the 19th century, it transformed
itself from an illiterate, pre-industrial peasant society into a world
power. It did it almost as an act of pure volition, without foreign aid
and in the face of a hostile world.
Poor as they were, mid-19th century Japanese hired foreign experts
to teach them industry, engineering, and public administration. Their ambition
and self-sufficiency stand in stark contrast to today's Africans, Latin
Americans, and South Asians, who continue to stew in poverty despite technology
transfers, international investment, concessionary trade, and billions
of dollars in foreign aid. Nations are like people: Those that can benefit
from help rarely need it; those that are always clamoring for it are no
better off after they get it.
Although they made their ways in the world later than Japan, Korea and
Taiwan have also pulled far ahead of the third-world pack. Colonization
by Japan which ended in 1945 established the industrial infrastructure
for both countries, but the most dramatic
growth came after the Second World War. Since 1952, Taiwan's real GNP has
increased almost 20 times, and Korea's real GNP grew nine-fold in the 15
years from 1962 to 1987.
Predictably, Mr. Harrison attributes all this to good culture, specifically
Confucianism. There is no question that the Confucian emphasis on learning,
hard work, loyalty, and promotion by ability is conducive to development.
However, in the 1950s, when Korea and Taiwan were as poor as Ghana, it
was fashionable to argue that Confucianism was a great hindrance to development
because it held commerce, trade, and manual labor in low esteem. Mr. Harrison's
arguments are a little like astrology: For believers, anything can be read
into either a culture or a horoscope.
The Toils of Dogma
Of course, for anyone who tries to use culture rather than race to account
for national success, Africans are the greatest challenge. Mr. Harrison's
arguments are the conventional ones: slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation
thwart black progress. The trouble, of course, is that blacks, in the aggregate,
have been unsuccessful no matter what their circumstances as natives
or immigrants, as minorities or majorities, as colonists or colonizers,
as slave or free.
To be fair, Mr. Harrison probably knows this. Although he makes much
of the "culture of slavery," he points out that today's black Americans
are vastly better off than the descendants of their brothers who stayed
in Africa. Nor is he fooled by arguments about colonialism; the African
countries that were most thoroughly colonized are the most successful.
Mr. Harrison thus bows the knee to egalitarian dogma but quietly supplies
facts that refute it.
The next step would be to realize that to speak of culture but ignore
race is to put the cart before the horse. Cultures do not drop from the
sky, with lucky people getting the good ones. People make their own cultures
and successful peoples make superior ones. Mr. Harrison seems to think
that different cultures are just accidents. He does not consider the possibility
that although mores and folkways do help make a people successful, they
are themselves the products of biologically distinct races and subraces.
For anyone who accepts the evidence for racial differences in intelligence
and perhaps in other traits as well (see cover story), cultural explanations
simply beg the question of the origins of culture.
All the same, even though it is much easier to explain the success or
failure of peoples in terms of race rather than culture, it would be wrong
to ignore a nation's circumstances. The two Germanies or the two Koreas
are striking examples of how different social systems can either smother
or stimulate a people. Race is the more powerful, deeper force but culture
can certainly ruffle the surface.
There is yet another dogma Mr. Harrison recites only to undercut with
his own examples: "Democratic capitalism does a better job of promoting
human progress and well-being than other systems." In fact, not one of
the countries Mr. Harrison uses to make his case for growth-through-culture
was a democracy during its period of rapid growth! Even worse, economic
progress in both Korea and Brazil began to bog down just when military
dictatorship began to soften, and Taiwan's recent flirtations with democracy
show no sign of stimulating commerce and industry.
Singapore and Hong Kong are two examples of rapid development that Mr.
Harrison mentions, but one has been a semi-dictatorship and the other is
a colony. Even modern Japan, whose rebirth as an industrial power after
defeat by the United States is another remarkable achievement, is only
debatably democratic; politicians of the same center-right stripe have
run the country since 1948. By contrast, the limping economies of Britain,
the United States, Italy, and India are poor advertisements for democracy
as a growth tonic.
Although it is easy to tear large holes in Mr. Harrison's theories,
this does not mean his book is not worth reading. First of all, he is honest
enough to include facts that do not support his views and his facts are
interesting. Also, theories about culture are much more respectable than
theories about race, and under Mr. Harrison's deft hand they often lead
to the same conclusions. Culture, after all, is durable stuff and Mr. Harrison
has no illusions about how easy it will be to turn Haitian boat people
into scout leaders and PTA members.
To speak of culture but to ignore
race is to put the cart before the horse.
Cultures do not drop from the sky,
with lucky people getting the
Mr. Harrison therefore argues that waves of Hispanic immigrants are
bringing their inferior cultures with them to the United States and are
retarding our development. Also, he maintains that it is the culture of
slavery and not white racism that thwarts black progress. These are useful
positions for a self-styled "life-long Democrat" to take, and they rest
on arguments worth understanding. Finally, even if theories about culture
are ultimately unsatisfying, they have the refreshing advantage of not
laying all the world's problems at the feet of the wicked white man.
The Drug They Thought He Was Using
When four Los Angeles police officers finally caught up with Rodney
King on March 3, 1991, he resisted arrest so maniacly that they thought
he had been taking PCP. This drug is little known to the public, but police
know all too well how wildly dangerous a user can be.
PCP (phenyl cyclohexyl piperidine) is a powerful hallucinogen that
can cause immunity to pain and confer great strength. It is such an effective
pain-killer that when it was first discovered, it was used experimentally
as an anesthetic that allowed patients to remain conscious during surgery.
Doctors stopped using it because patients would turn violent in the operating
PCP had a vogue among hippies during the 1960s, when it was sold as
a powder called "angel dust." Today it is stronger, distributed as a liquid,
and users dip marijuana cigarettes into it. One ounce costs about $7,000
and is enough to lace 700 cigarettes. It is known for its intense, prolonged
high and is called "Love Boat" or just "Boat." PCP remains in a user's
fat and can cause sudden flashbacks.
Not yet understood by clinicians but of great concern to police is PCP's
tendency to drive people to violence and to give them herculean strength.
Users have been known to kick the doors out of police cars, break through
glass doors, and fend off as many as eight officers. Wild-eyed criminals
continue to fight with police after being shot enough times to kill anyone
not on the drug.
For completely unknown reasons, PCP can cause people to shout profane,
heavily religious curses and to attack children and babies. Users commit
especially gruesome murders, often hacking their victims to pieces. Another
peculiarity of the drug is that it frequently produces a burning sensation
that prompts male users to strip off all their clothing. The police nickname
for PCP is "bare butt."
PCP has become more popular among blacks, as police begin to obstruct
the flow of crack. This year, nearly ten percent of the suspects tested
for drugs through the Washington, D.C. Superior Court had taken the drug.
Last year the figure was 4.6 percent.[ Brian Reilly, Stronger PCP strain
concerns area police, Washington Times, 6/16/93, p. A1.]
To return to Mr. King, when police first tried to wrestle with him,
he tossed them off like match sticks. He then withstood two 50,000-volt
taser gun shots, one of which is usually enough to bring down any man.
In light of their belief that he was on PCP, the police officers' use of
batons seems almost restrained.
O Tempora, O Mores!
Will They Learn?
The headline of a recent story in the Detroit Free Press (April
9, 1993) is almost a perfect summation of the problems we face and why
we face them: "Black Students Score Lower on Math Test: Educators Blame
It's a Boys' World
Blacks spend $270 billion a year on consumer goods. Though the average
black family spends about 35 percent less than the average white family,
there are some products on which black households spend considerably more
than whites-in real dollars, and not just in proportion to income.
The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 19, 1993) reports the following
without comment: black households spend three times as much as white households
on boys' pants and pajamas, twice as much on boys' underwear, socks, and
shoes, and 80 percent more on boys' suits and sports coats. In proportion
to total spending, the disparities are even greater. For example, blacks
spend five times as much as whites on boys' pants and pajamas. Curiously,
blacks do not spend more money than whites on girls' clothes.
[ Carolyn Phillips, Data Gap, WSJ, 2/19/93, p. R18.] Here lie
fertile research opportunities for many an aspiring PhD.
Dire Threats at MSU
At Michigan State University in Lansing, minority students have discovered
a new way to get the administration to bow to their demands: They have
threatened to change their official registration to "white." They know
that MSU, like all other American universities is under tremendous pressure
to recruit more non-whites.[ MSU Students Threaten to Yank Minority Status,
News, 4/18/93.] The possibility that they may refuse to let themselves
be counted for affirmative action purposes strikes fear in the hearts of
The Price of Diversity
Texas courts used to call on registered voters to serve as jurors. Now
the state is encouraging courts to send jury summonses to anyone with a
driver's license, since registered voters tend to be disproportionately
white, and not enough non-whites were getting on juries.
The change has been met with a collective groan of annoyance from the
state's judicial system. Jurors used to be law-abiding, English-speaking
citizens who respected the courts and were reasonably well informed. Now,
many potential jurors have criminal records, speak no English, are not
citizens, and have no idea how the adversarial justice system works. Also,
they are less likely to answer the call for jury duty. Harris County, for
example, found that in order to get enough jurors, it had to increase the
number of weekly summonses from 8,000 to 13,000.
[ John Makeig, "Disorder in the Court," Houston Chronicle, 4/13/93,
Recently a Chicago woman who is a frequent blood donor decided to register
as a potential bone marrow donor. She learned that she had to pay $75.00
as part of the registration process, but that if she had not been white,
the federal government would have picked up the tab.
The human body is very finicky about whose marrow it will accept, and
cross racial transplants almost always fail. Very few non-whites volunteer
as marrow donors (or as blood or organ donors) so the government encourages
them by discriminating in their favor.[ Donor Questions, Letters, Chicago
Discrimination Starts Young
Although it is fashionable to claim that people must be taught to notice
racial differences, a recent study by Lawrence Hirschfeld of the University
of Michigan confirms that most children are well aware of race by age three.
He showed children of various races a drawing of a fat black child and
a drawing of a fat white man, a normal
white man, and a normal black man. He then asked the children which of
the adults was the father of the fat child. A few three-year-olds guessed
it might be the fat white man, but 65 percent chose the black man. By age
four, 75 percent chose the black man and by age seven 100 percent did so.
Dr. Hirschfeld also found that children of all races think that children
with one black and one white parent are black.[ Elizabeth Atkins, "Kids
Influenced by race at early age, study says," Detroit News, 3-26-93,
Here They Come
Since September 1991, when Haiti's President Jean Bertrand Aristide
was deposed in a military coup, 40,000 Haitians have fled their country,
mainly to the United States. There are several countries closer to Haiti
and it has a land border with the Dominican Republic, but the U.S., with
its easy welfare and free medical care, is the favorite destination.
Most of the latest wave of boat people were returned to Haiti after
their claims of political persecution were found to be false. However,
138 were in legal limbo for as long as 20 months because they were thought
to have valid refugee claims but were infected with the AIDS virus. The
law says that anyone with a valid fear of persecution cannot be returned
to his country but the law also says that HIV carriers cannot be admitted.
The Haitians were therefore lodged at the Guantanamo naval base while America
pondered their dilemma.
It is not as though there was no solution. The government could presumably
have tried to find some other country to take them, but there is no indication
that it tried. In June, District Court Judge Sterling Johnson ruled that
the 138 sick Haitians had to be brought to the United States, and they
were duly admitted. All are paupers and are expected to go on welfare.
It costs $100,000 to care for an AIDS patient from the time he is diagnosed
until he dies. Judge Johnson is black.
To their credit, 41 U.S. Congressmen were unhappy enough about Judge
Johnson's decision to write President Clinton, asking him to order the
Justice Department to appeal the ruling. The President has done nothing.[
Jerry Seper, Clinton urged to appeal ruling on HIV Haitians, Wash Times,
6/16/93, p. A3.]
African Plea Bargain
A young boy recently died in the remote Ivory Coast village of Gahatou.
A woman who had been caring for him accused Helene Manou of killing him
with witchcraft. Miss Manou went to the police to complain of slander.
She denied killing the boy, but admitted that she ate the corpse. She,
and two other women who, between them, had reportedly eaten four people,
were sentenced to five years in jail for cannibalism.[ 3 cannibals jailed
in Ivory Coast, Memphis Commercial Appeal, 4/27/93.]
It's a Black Thing . . .
The latest fashion among young urban blacks is gang jewelry. These are
rings, necklaces, and earrings with elaborate initials like BD for Black
Disciples or GD for their Chicago rival, the Gangster Disciples. Other
popular designs are gleaming, miniature Uzis, AK-47s, and Tec-9s, which
customers ask for by model and caliber. Earrings are often shaped like
daggers, dollar signs, or marijuana leaves.
Customers walk into jewelry stores with fat wads of 20-dollar bills
and pay cash. One store owner reports that some buyers are so young they
cannot count into the hundreds; they just spread a wad of bills across
the counter and tell the owner to take the right amount.
Some stores do custom work, such as setting diamond chips into gang
logos or making one-off pieces from crude drawings brought in by customers.
"If you have some [of this jewelry] on, girls notice you," explains a high-school
age buyer; "You shine a little bit and people want to be with you."
Most of the jewelry, however, is made of 10-carat gold, which jewelers
consider second-rate. Customers do not seem to mind. "Tomorrow is not necessarily
going to come for them," explains one Chicago dealer, "so a piece that
will last tomorrow is not important."[ Robert Blau & David jackson,
Jewelry to die for, Chicago Tribune, 5/22/93, p. 1.]
Jewelry makers can look forward to younger and younger customers. Teachers
in slum schools report that boys are already members of violent proto-gangs
by the third or fourth grade, and second-graders turn in gang insignias
as art assignments. John West, principal of one South Chicago school, says
that in a fourth-grade science class, he asked students for examples of
machines. The first reply was "machine gun." In January, Mr. West joined
a first grade class that was watching President Clinton's inauguration.
Some of the children told him they were watching the funeral of what must
have been a very high-ranking gang member.[ Louise Kiernan, Gangs getting
younger, but no less deadly, Chi Tribune, 5/27/93, p. 1.]
Another Black Thing . . .
In June, the Chicago Bulls won its third straight professional basketball
championship, and blacks celebrated in what has come to be their usual
style. They looted and rioted, took shots at police officers and killed
two people. The city spent several million dollars on police overtime,
and put four times as many officers on the street as on an ordinary night.
Mike Royko reports in the June 22 Chicago Tribune that this lowered
the over-all crime rate for the evening:
"There were so many cops on duty and visible that the gangbangers,
muggers, head-busters, porch-climbers and window-crawlers were unable to
engage in their usual hot summer night activities."
He concludes, tongue in cheek, that 700 arrests during the celebration
is an encouragingly small fraction of the population of a city of seven
million. [ Mike Royko, Bulls' celebration ought to be a gas,' Chicago
Tribune, June 22, 1993, Sec. 1.]
It's a Korean Thing . . .
Darow Han and Ha-Nan Che are two suburbia-reared Korean Americans, who
met while they were studying at Columbia University. Model minorities?
Not exactly. They have formed a rap duo called Fists of Fury. Here is a
sample of their "lyrics:"
The AsAm Nation'll go blow to blow
[ Gerard Lim, Fists of fury take to the streets with rap's invective and
vision, AsianWeek, April 30, 1993, p. 10.]
With any white racist
Maybe get a maggot like the
And now I'm in a frenzy,
If I see a pale face I don't
It's a Hmong Thing . . .
The Hmong are among the most primitive people ever to have immigrated
to this country. They are Laotian hill tribesmen who had no written language
until 30 years ago, when missionaries devised one for them. Boatloads of
Hmong came to the United States in the 1970s and 1980s, along with other
South East Asian refugees. Of the 125,000 who now live in America, 62 percent
are on welfare.
The Hmong have brought their quaint marriage practices with them to
America. There is a common saying among Hmong men that if a man marries
a woman his own age, by the time she has given him all the children he
wants she will look twice his age. To avoid
that problem, the men take brides as young as age 12 and 13. Hmong mothers
then go on to have an average of 9.5 children each.
Snatching the girl by force is a time-honored courtship practice. The
man abducts the girl, takes her to his family's home, and stops on the
doorstep. The groom's father blesses the couple with a live chicken in
a 30-second ritual and the bride becomes part of the family. The bride's
parents ordinarily do not learn of the ceremony until it is over. Then
the elders of each family sit down together over a bottle of whiskey and
work out a bride price-usually $2,000 to $5,000 in cash.
In California, where many Hmong live, sex with a girl not yet 15 is
a felony, and a girl under 18 must get court permission in order to marry.
The Hmong simply ignore the law; an estimated 70 percent of Hmong girls
marry before age 17.[ Mark Arax, California's Child Brides, SF Examiner
& Chronicle, 5/16/93, p. 4.] There have been a few attempted prosecutions
for rape and abduction, but convictions are almost impossible to get because
the victims refuse to testify against their husbands.
Fit to Print
In May, two 25-year-old white women were raped, sodomized, beaten, robbed
and terrorized for two hours in their swish New York apartment house. The
New York Post described the suspect thus: "A muscular black man, 5-10 to
6-feet tall, wearing a red sweatshirt and dark pants." This was the New
York Times' version: "The attacker is estimated to be between 25 and
30 years old, muscular and 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall. He was wearing
a red long-sleeve sweatshirt, the police say."
[ Larry Celona & Sandy Gonzalez, 2 women in rape nightmare, NY
Post, 5/27/93, p. 2. Man rapes and robs 2 women in Chelsea, NYT,
5/27/93, p. B4.]
Blacks in Little Rock, Ark. have been complaining about police racism,
pointing out that although blacks are one third of the population they
account for two thirds of the arrests. Police Chief Louie Caudell then
ordered a survey to find out if the races of the criminals who get away
are the same as those who are caught. He chose to study robbery, assault
and battery, and rape, because the victim almost always gets a good enough
look at the perpetrator to know what his race is. He found that blacks
commit 93 percent of [+]Little Rock's robberies, 81 percent of the rapes,
and 75 percent of the assaults and batteries. A survey of witnesses suggests
that blacks also commit 83 percent of the murders. Black leaders have attacked
the report as biased.
[ Olivier Uyttebrouck, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 4/14/93.]
Power of Suggestion
The Denny's restaurant chain has lately been accused of discrimination
against black customers. Since initial charges were filed, there have been
of similar claims made against the chain. All of these plaintiffs are to
be represented in a class-action law suit.
This brings to
mind another corporation that has recently been in the news. People in
at least 23 states claim to have found hypodermic needles, bullets, and
other strange things in cans of Pepsi Cola. The initial claim may have
been a genuine mistake, but all subsequent ones appear to be false accusations
prompted by the publicity given to the first one.[ Ronald Ostrow &
Eric Malnic, Feds report no evidence of nationwide tampering, LA Times,
6/18/93. Jerry Urban, Denny's again accused of bias, Houston Chronicle,
Another Churchill in the News
Winston Churchill, grandson of Britain's wartime Prime Minister, is
a Tory party member of parliament. Late in May, he drew the ire of the
orthodox by saying publicly what many Britons feel privately: that the
British way of life is threatened by a "relentless flow of immigrants."
Even the current Tory Prime Minister, John Major, joined in the criticism.
Mr. Churchill is unrepentant. He claims that despite the widespread
public condemnation, many colleagues, including government ministers, have
privately expressed their agreement.
[ William Schmidt, A Churchill Draws Fire With Remark on Race," NYT,
June 6, 1993]
Tried and Convicted
Students at the University of California at Berkeley have held a mock
trial of "the American consciousness" and have found it guilty of "apathy
towards the oppression of people." The verdict came after more than two
hours of testimony from students enrolled in a "course" called "Martin
and Malcolm: Flipsides of the Same Black Revolutionary Coin."
Whites were accused of all the usual sins, but a student who represented
the voice of Martin Luther King did take time out to mount a defense of
"the American consciousness." The audience of 400 greeted him with hisses
and boos. After the verdict was in, black senior Rochelle Brock closed
with the words, "Wait and do nothing, America, and you will burn."[ J.
Yentsun Tseng, Class puts America on Trial, Daily Californian, April 26,
1993, p. 4.]
Books We Missed
The May issue of the "Book of the Month Club News" is offering readers
a book called Negrophobia, described as follows:
"A racist blond teenager falls under a voodoo spell and becomes 'Alice
in Negroland' in this outrageous and controversial debut, 'by far the best
novel to emerge from New York's Lower East Side literary scene.'(Kirkus
A Lyrical Defense
Ronald Howard is a member of the Houston gang called the Five Deuce
Hoover Crips, which requires that members commit murder as part of their
initiation. He killed a state trooper, was arrested, and has been convicted
of murder. During his trial, the defense argued that Mr. Howard was brain
washed by violent anti-police rap "lyrics" and was therefore not fully
responsible for his crime. To sway the jury, the lawyer played a recording
of the sort of thing Mr. Howard listens to and turned the volume up loud
enough to make windows rattle. Reporters noted that Mr. Howard, who had
been impassive throughout the trial, nodded his head in time to the beat.[
Ross Ramsey, "Violent lyrics swayed teen, defense says," Houston Chronicle,
6/15/93, p. 15.A.]
E T T E R S F R O M R E A D E
Sir In the June issue, you have a short item on the NBC TV movie,
"Moment of Truth" which, though based on a real-life torture, rape, and
murder of a white girl by a black man, switched the killer's race to white.
This reminded me of a similar switch in another "fact-based" TV movie,
"Nightmare in Columbia County." This CBS Movie of the Week was about the
kidnap-murder of a young blonde South Carolina girl. Attempting to cash
in on the crime, a second man tried to extort ransom money from the anguished
family by pretending to be the kidnapper. In real life, the man was black;
in the TV version he is white.
I know of two other cases of cinematic whitewashing. In the 1986 film,
"River's Edge," a group of white California high-school students fail to
inform the authorities when one of them strangles his girl friend. The
real-life murderer was black. "Casualties of War," made in 1989, is the
story of the rape and murder of a Vietnamese woman by American GIs. Two
of the four perpetrators were Hispanic but in the movie one became white.
Finally, I seem to recall that the 1985 TV movie, "The Atlanta Child
Murders" generated a bit of controversy by hinting that convicted black
serial killer Wayne Williams was not the one responsible, or at least not
the only one, and that the real villain an evil white man, naturally
is still at large.
Ted Klein, New York, N. Y.
Sir Your July book review about school integration reminded me of
something that has recently been happening in schools in Oak Park, Illinois.
When the resident liberals discovered that very few blacks were qualifying
for programs for gifted students they just did away with the programs.
What does this say about American liberals? That they don't believe
black children have the same mental abilities as white children. They didn't
ask why whites were outperforming blacks. They didn't say that blacks should
be given extra help so they could catch up to the whites. They just assumed
that the best thing to do would be to eliminate the advanced classes. Since
the white children are no longer allowed to outperform the black children
they are now all equal.
This sort of thing has been going on all over the country ever since
racial integration of schools began in the 1950s. This means that liberals
are quite willing to cheat white children out of their futures for the
sake of "equality."
Michael Flanagan, Chicago, Ill.
Sir Thomas Jackson's review of The Burden of Brown recounts
in distressingly clear terms how Supreme Court decisions led from desegregation
(letting students go to school where they choose) to integration (forcibly
mixing students by race). However, Mr. Jackson does not touch on what is,
to me, the crux of the matter: How did racial mixing become the supreme
I ask this question for practical reasons. Connecticut has just passed
legislation that will lump all school districts in the state into a few
giant districts. This way, integration can be carried out across what used
to be district lines that separated miserable, urban, non-white schools
from first-rate, suburban, white schools.
Since many of the miserable urban schools actually spend more money,
per pupil, than the first-rate suburban schools, this latest plan is not
about disparate funding. Nor is anyone arguing seriously that the new plan
is going to improve the academic performance of non-whites. We are going
through this great upheaval for one reason only to achieve that great
and noble goal of race mixing!
Why, oh why, are we doing this? Can someone please tell me how "racial
balance" became our supreme objective?
Paul Harding, Bridgeport, Conn.
This is one form of The Great Question of Our Era. If we knew the
answer, we would also know why America cheerfully practices racial discrimination
against the majority race, why it tolerates an immigration policy that
will reduce whites to a minority, and why, in short, whites are always
expected to put the interests of other races before their own. However,
nature can be distorted only so far, and a race can be made to work against
its interest for only so long. Even insanity such as this will come to
an end. -Ed.
Sir I was fascinated by your account in the July issue of a criminal
defense strategy for an underclass black whose violent upbringing was supposed
to have so predisposed her to mayhem that she should not be held to ordinary
standards of conduct. Her lawyer was arguing that she has been rendered
so crime prone by her environment that she should not be held to the standards
that apply to normal people.
Just think what it means if defense strategies like this succeed. Would
it not mean that law-abiding citizens have the right to shoot first and
ask questions later if an underclass black approaches them? If ghetto blacks
arc so crazed by their environment that they are not responsible for what
they do, then we should not be held responsible for what we do when we
are menaced by them.
Allen Short, New Albany, Ind.