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|Vol. 10, No. 8||August, 1999|
South Africa, 1999
The election results are
not in the interests
by Gedahlia Braun
South Africa's second one-man-one-vote
elections have come and gone. There was never any doubt about who would
win and who would be the next president: Nelson Mandela's personally anointed
successor, Thabo Mbeki. The African National Congress (ANC) now has a crushing
majority of 266 in the 400-seat parliament.
The New National Party (NNP – renamed from the previous National Party, which established apartheid) has been nearly wiped off the political map, going from 20 percent of the national vote to about seven percent, leaving it with 28 members in parliament. The former Nationalists still cling to power only in Western Cape Province, home to Cape Town with its majority of coloreds (mixed-race people) who are often openly anti-black. In the 1994 elections the “Nats” won easily with more than 50 percent of the vote, but this year it was marginally outpolled by the ANC, and rules in coalition with the increasingly popular Democratic Party (DP).
With 38 seats, the DP is the new official opposition, and is the only party willing to take principled positions against the ANC. It is, for example, in favor of reestablishing capital punishment, and is the only party to state that it would under no circumstances join an ANC coalition government – a declaration it has stood by in the Western Cape provincial government. This has led some blacks and liberals to call the DP “fascist,” an irony for the party of Helen Suzman, who was for years the sole member of parliament in opposition to the ruling National Party and its policy of apartheid. Prior to 1994, the DP spent all its energy trying to end white rule, thus helping to usher in the very ANC hegemony about which it now complains so bitterly. Rising dramatically from three percent of the vote to nearly ten percent, it will be a significant obstacle to ANC abuse of power.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the Zulu-based party of Mangosuthu Buthelezi (now Minister of Home Affairs in the ANC government), though faring less well than in 1994, did better than expected, losing only about one percent of its support and coming a close third behind the DP. Winning a plurality in its stronghold of Natal Province (where it formerly had a majority), it now rules in coalition with the ANC. The remaining seven provinces, including Gauteng, which contains Johannesburg, are firmly in the hands of the ANC.
The African National Congress is now just one vote shy of a two-thirds majority in the parliament, which would allow it to change parts of the constitution, such as determining who sets local education policy. Practically speaking, though, the ANC has more than a two-thirds majority since there are several small black parties ideologically allied to it, and at least one MP has already promised to vote with the ANC.
One of the things that supposedly cannot be changed even by a two-thirds majority is the so-called Bill of Rights, which protects free speech, freedom of the press, the right to private property, etc. Changing the Bill of Rights would require a three-quarters majority and approval of six of the nine provinces. These rules are not, however, likely to prevent a black government from doing as it pleases, especially since the Constitutional Court, the ultimate arbiter in such matters, was entirely appointed by Nelson Mandela and is essentially an instrument of the ANC. It has yet to rule against the government on a single issue.
Why the Crushing Victory?
Why, however, was the ANC victory so crushing? Many people would think this question unnecessary; does not the ANC represent the will of the great majority of South Africans? Common as this view is, I believe it is superficial. An article entitled “The Black Youths Who Want a White President” and written by a black journalist appeared in the left-wing Weekly Mail & Guardian shortly before the election. It detailed several ordinary black teenagers' unabashed acknowledgment of white intellectual and moral superiority, and their own preference for white leadership. I have argued at length elsewhere (see AR, Sept.-Oct. 1993) that the great majority of African blacks think as these teenagers do – that they are not in the least bothered by racial differences in ability and realize that their country would be better governed by whites than by blacks. Liberal South African journalists have often been confounded when they find these views to be commonplace amongst Africans, and more than one has admitted to me that I may be right about this. *
The massive vote for the ANC therefore requires an explanation, and the first is docility. As a good friend of mine, a black woman and administrator in a large bank, says: “You mustn't forget, most of our people are uneducated and ignorant”– meaning that they can be manipulated. The leaders say “Vote ANC,” so they do. At the same time, the almost universal belief in witchcraft means that many doubt the secrecy of the ballot. They fear that if they do not vote for the ANC, they will be found out and punished.
An incident from 1856-7 still throws light on the extent to which Africans may be willing to do as they are told. Following an incident in which a young Xhosa girl had a vision in which her people were instructed to destroy all their cattle and food as a means of vanquishing the British, they did as they were told – and then starved to death by the tens of thousands. Even now, a mob of blacks may rush out and kill an old woman because someone claims to have learned, in a dream, that she was a witch.
It is not only in Africa that black psychology surprises whites. Didn't American blacks reelect a convicted drug user as mayor of the nation's capital? Didn't they dance in the streets when double- murderer O.J. Simpson was set free? Isn't Rev. Al Sharpton – a notorious liar – among the most popular blacks in America?
Perhaps a clue to the nature of black thinking was revealed in the ANC's reaction to a Democratic Party (DP) campaign poster. The DP's white leader Tony Leon – arguably the most intelligent and honest politician in South Africa – ran under the simple slogan “Fight Back!” Against what was obvious: crime, unemployment, anti-white discrimination, undreamed of levels of corruption, the declining economy, etc. The reaction of the ANC was illuminating. It accused the DP of really meaning “Fight Black!” Not that there is anything wrong with objecting to black rule, black criminality and corruption, etc., but the poster said no such thing. Why did blacks react as they did?
I believe it is because they know in their hearts that only the white man could dream up the idea of blacks running a country like South Africa. Only the white man could ignore the fact that black rule has failed everywhere else and persist in believing it could somehow work here. Yet they are told, day in and day out, by foolish whites and their fellow-traveling black elite, that it will work and that it is wicked to say otherwise. So they are in conflict, “in denial:” they have been persuaded to believe things that deep down they know are not true. This naturally makes them extremely sensitive to anything remotely accusatory and they are always on the lookout for any hint of the truth surfacing – which must then be shouted down as “racism.” At some level they also think whites ought to be saying the very things they accuse them of saying, that whites should be fighting black rule because black rule can end only in disaster. This is why they view something quite harmless as an attack.
If this sounds fantastic, do not forget that similar incidents have made news in America. A white schoolteacher was excoriated for assigning a black-authored book to her black students, which extolled the virtues of “nappy” hair. Why the outrage? I suspect that the protesting blacks unconsciously assumed that the white teacher was telling black students their nappy hair was bad. This must be what she meant because that is what they themselves think – as evidenced by the fact that so few of them wear a natural hairdo. Blacks screamed at this hapless white woman because by merely talking about “nappy” hair she was drawing attention to something that blacks themselves think is bad. Details – like what she actually said – didn't matter.
Sensitivity of black leaders to the underlying belief that blacks are incapable of governing is shown by frequent claims to the contrary. Mr. Mandela and Mr. Mbeki are often quoted to the effect that “people say blacks can't rule and yet the sky hasn't fallen since we've been in power.” Statements like this only reflect their own uncertainty, and sometimes the facts simply contradict the leaders. There has been widespread government corruption with rake-off, shakedowns, and officials on the take at all levels. Mr. Mandela himself was quoted in TheStar of Johannesburg, expressing his “disappointment at the incidence of corruption among ANC members, in particular senior activists, brought in to cleanse the civil service of corruption.” When even senior ANC men brought in to clean things up have their hands in the till there is little hope of good government. Mr. Mandela might as well set the fox to guard the hen house.
At the same time there is reason to think Nelson Mandela is an unusual black politician. He does not seem bent on personal enrichment and has an endearing sense of humor. At one point he had called the minority white parties “Mickey Mouse,” hoping to persuade whites not to waste their votes on them. The DP leader Tony Leon replied that “the ANC sure has some Goofy policies.” Subsequently, while visiting a friend in a hospital, Mr. Mandela learned that Mr. Leon was also there recovering from bypass surgery. Approaching his opponent's bed from behind the curtain, and speaking in a falsetto voice, Mr. Mandela said, “Hello, Mickey, this is Goofy come to visit you.” It is hard to dislike someone who has such a playful streak.
There is less reason to think Thabo Mbeki is unusual. His constant refrain is that South Africa contains two nations, one rich and white, the other poor and black. He offers no suggestion that blacks themselves might be in any way responsible for this. “Transformation” is the new buzz word, which can only mean taking from the haves and giving to the have-nots. Whatever restraint Mr. Mandela exercised over predatory black politicians who want to confiscate white wealth is unlikely to be exercised by Mr. Mbeki.
An inkling of Mr. Mbeki's character is shown in his groveling towards Winnie Mandela, convicted of kidnapping a young black (later killed), and virtually accused by Bishop Tutu of murdering him and others. The former Mrs. Mandela is being considered for a deputy ministership, despite having outrageously abused such a position in the past. Mr. Mbeki explains that she was “unfairly crucified for things done within the political atmosphere of the time”– like kidnapping and probably killing young blacks! Apparently she simply has too much grass roots support to be opposed, murderer or not.
There is widespread concern that Mr. Mbeki will continue to centralize power, bringing South Africa ever closer to a one party state – the natural desire, it seems, of any African politician. This recent landslide victory will be an impetus in that direction, the very direction the country's junior-sized replica, Zimbabwe, has taken since black rule began.
In the glow of the comically misnamed “African Renaissance” following the collapse of the Soviet Empire, there was one universal panacea. As a black journalist typically put it, “lack of democracy on the continent lies at the root of its underdevelopment,” and the end of the Cold War was supposed to let democracy flower. Of course, the few such democratic “successes”– such as Zambia – have proven ephemeral. In any case, while democracy may help development it is by no means sufficient, as India demonstrates. Nor is it necessary: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Singapore have all prospered without it.
What probably is true is that the
characteristics required for democracy – managerial ability, cooperativeness,
mutual trust, foresight and discipline – are also the very traits that
contribute to economic development, so that a democratic country is likely
to be developed, and vice versa. In a largely black society, democracy
and prosperity are likely to be equally difficult to achieve.
Gedahlia Braun is the pen name
of an American philosophy professor who has lived in Johannesburg since
The Galton Report
A sampling of recent scientific literature.
By Glayde Whitney
Who Were the Race Mixers?
There is continuing interest in knowing how the racial admixture in black Americans came about. For example, prior to the current “civil rights” era, was mixing primarily between white men with black women? And what about the contribution of “Native Americans” to the black gene pool, or of blacks to the white gene pool?
A previous Galton Report (AR, July-August, 1997) introduced AR readers to “PSAs” – Population Specific Alleles – or forms of genes that are unique, or almost unique, to individuals of a particular race or breeding population. Because of all the activity in DNA studies, more PSAs are being discovered all the time. There is now quite a collection of PSAs that can be used in studies of the ancestry of various groups.
With these new DNA markers questions about black/white mixture can be answered by looking separately at three different sources of genes. First, nuclear DNA is inherited equally from both parents. Second, mitochondrial DNA, called mtDNA, is inherited only from the mother and can thus be used to trace female contributions to population mixing. Third, Y-chromosome genes are transmitted from the father only to sons, and can thus be used to trace the male contribution to population mixing.
Markers from all three sorts of DNA were used to analyze what the authors call “the European genetic contribution to 10 populations of African descent in the United States (Maywood, Illinois; Detroit; New York; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Baltimore; Charleston, South Carolina; New Orleans; and Houston) and in Jamaica”.
Not surprisingly, the study found “a sex-biased gene flow from Europeans, the male contribution being substantially greater than the female contribution.” “In every population there is evidence of a higher European male contribution . . . . Therefore, even if marriages between African American men and European American women are currently more common than marriages between African American women and European American men, it seems clear that during a substantial part of African American history, men of European descent have made a more significant genetic contribution to the African American gene pool than have women of European descent. This is in accordance with the historical data regarding the period of slavery in the United States.”
Although it has become popular among blacks to claim some Indian ancestry, Amerindian mothers seem to have contributed little to the black gene pool. Only four individuals from more than 1,000 blacks tested had even one mtDNA marker of Amerindian origin. This study did not include Y-chromosome markers from Indians, and thus provided no information about possible Amerindian fathers contributing to the African-American gene pool.
There were also substantial differences in genetic mixture between cities:
“European genetic ancestry ranged from 6.8% (Jamaica) to 22.5% (New Orleans).”As the authors explain:
“Previous studies have indicated that northern U.S. populations show a higher level of European ancestry than do southern U.S. populations. Nevertheless, the results of the present study seem to indicate that the situation is much more complex than previously thought. There appears to be a significant degree of variation in the admixture level of northern populations (from 13% in Philadelphia to 20% in Pittsburgh). It is also clear that, in general, the European ancestry of northern African American populations is somewhat lower than previous reports have described.
“The estimate for Houston (16.9%) is similar to other values observed in northern urban populations (Detroit [16.3%] and Baltimore [15.5%]), and New Orleans shows the highest value of the cities studied (22.5%), which deserves special attention. The history of the Louisiana territory has been quite different from the history of other southern regions in the United States. This area was under French rule for a substantial period, [and conditions] during French domination have been distinct from what happened in the southern British colonies. There have been historical accounts of more substantial intermixture in the New Orleans area . . . .”A white gene percentage of 25 would be the equivalent of having three African and one European grandparents.
Finally, the authors “also determined the extent of the African contribution to three European American populations from several areas in the United States: Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Louisiana (Cajuns).” All three populations show evidence of introgression of African genes, but to a very limited extent, estimated at about 1% or less (Detroit 0.5%; Pittsburgh 1.2%; and Cajuns 0.7%).
[Parra, E.J., et. al. (1998), Estimating African American admixture proportions by use of population-specific alleles. American Journal of Human Genetics (Dec.), Vol. 63, #6, pp. 1839-1851.]
Traditional Anthropology Resurgent
One of the finest of freethinkers among academic anthropologists is Prof. Henry C. Harpending of the University of Utah's Anthropology Department. In a recent article Harpending suggests that, so far, the much-hyped new genetic approaches to unraveling human ancestry have not delivered the goods. Genetic data may hide or distort as much as it reveals. For understanding the broad sweep of human history there is perhaps an important role for the stuff of traditional anthropology, such as languages and physical appearance.
Prof. Harpending is interested in
understanding the long history of humans, not just the most recent few
hundreds or thousands of years. Genetic studies like the ones mentioned
above may illuminate recent history, but they may be misleading about longer-range
historical patterns. One problem is that up until now most genetic studies
have emphasized the use of neutral gene markers. Neutral markers are genetic
differences that do not, as far as we know, contribute to natural selection
through differential survival. Having different forms of these genes does
not appear to give any kind of advantage.
It may be that biologically different populations can have many neutral markers in common – exchanged through the process of interbreeding – but show marked differences in the distribution of distinctive, adaptive, genes. If that is so, a study of these populations based only on neutral markers would produce results that mistakenly indicate relatively recent common ancestry for the two groups. For example, current estimates that non-Africans diverged from Africans some 200,000 years ago are based on comparisons of neutral genes. If neutral genes underestimate the time since common ancestry, it may mean that Africans and non-Africans separated much farther back in time.
But why would the exchange of neutral and adaptive genes take place at different rates between different populations? Let us imagine what happens if two different racial groups that are genetically different and with different adaptive traits migrate into adjacent regions. If they intermate even a little, then genes from one group will spread into the other group. However, the genes affecting adaptive traits may be selected against, which is to say that the distinctive adaptations of each group will tend to be maintained by natural selection.
The reason for this is that virtually all genes have multiple effects, some positive and some negative, and their effects can differ depending on the social and biological environment. The classic example of this is the gene for sickle cell anemia. In areas where there is a great deal of malaria, some forms of the gene give resistance to the disease, but at a cost: poor oxygen transport, which makes people more susceptible to exercise stress and may even effect oxygen supply to the brain. When people who carry this gene move into an area that does not have malaria, the gene is selected against, whereas to the extent that interbreeding does take place with other groups, neutral genes will pass freely between the populations.
Likewise, there is some speculation that blood type O is more common in Amerindians because it gives better resistance than other blood types to syphilis (which appears to have originated in the New World). However, people with type O may be slightly more susceptible to other diseases, so environment and social habits can determine which genes are adaptive and which are not.
Surprisingly, even intelligence need
not necessarily be adaptive, since it is linked to such things as slower
maturation, larger head size at birth, and near-sightedness. It is not
hard to imagine environments
What will then be the result of interbreeding between two populations over many generations? The neutral genes will become similar between the two groups, falsely suggesting a common racial origin. The genes affecting adaptive traits, and the traits themselves, may remain different, better reflecting the true history of separate racial origins.
As one illustration, consider the Basque people living today in the Pyrenees. Frequencies of neutral gene markers give the impression they are most closely related to their neighbors and less related to others further away. However, for some selectively important traits they are quite distinct from near neighbors. Their language is perhaps unique in the world, or distantly related to ancient languages of the Caucasus Mountains. They are also far more likely than their near neighbors to have Rh negative blood type.
The Basque may represent the remnant of an ancient people that has retained some evolutionarily important traits from the distant past. Distinctive language is an important tribal isolating mechanism; newcomers will adopt the local language or not remain. Similarly, at the genetic level, if the ancient tribe had a high incidence of Rh negative, then there would be intense natural selection against genes for Rh positive from the surrounding, genetically different population.
(The reason is that Rh factor can make a big difference in child survival rates. If the mother is Rh negative but the baby is Rh positive, the first child is likely to survive, but the mother will produce antibodies against the Rh positive blood factor. When she has a second or later Rh positive baby, the mother's immune system will attack the baby's red cells, producing a “blue baby” that, without modern medicine, will die. Rh positive genes are therefore unlikely to make much headway in a heavily Rh negative population.)However, even a very small amount of gene flow, over a long time, could change the neutral genes. If there were only one percent per generation of gene flow into the Basque from new neighbors, then after 5,000 years (250 generations) only about eight percent of the neutral genes would be ancient Basque. The neutral parts of the genome would have been effectively replaced, while the selectively important traits remained different. Thus the selected traits preserve “deep history” that is not apparent from a study of neutral genes.
The Kalahari Bushman are another example. Prof. Harpending suggests that physical traits may “provide a deeper look at human history” than do affinities based on neutral genes. According to neutral gene analysis, Bushman are similar to other sub-Saharan African populations. But in physical appearance they resemble east Asians: yellowish, not black skin, epicanthic eye folds, shovel-shaped incisors, and even the “Mongolian spot” on many newborns. It is not just whites who notice the similarity; the Bushman do, too. As Prof. Harpending explains:
“In the !Kung language [of the Bushmen] there are three kinds of mammals: !a is an edible animal like a warthog or a giraffe, !oma is an inedible animal like a jackal, hyena, black African, or European, and zhu is a person [like the Bushmen]. Vietnamese in Botswana were immediately identified as zhu by Bushmen. In other words, their perception of their similarity to Asians is the same as ours (i.e. Europeans).”Prof. Harpending's model predicts the retention of genes affecting selectively important traits like external appearance, but not of neutral genes. He suggests that his theory can be tested because there are many cases in which studies of physical traits and neutral genes suggest different patterns of ancestry.
There is yet another problem in genetic model-making, as currently practiced, namely, that the genetic data are often subjected to statistical techniques to make them fit a single-origin “Out of Africa” theoretical model. The details that most parsimoniously work, or that yield results most harmonious to single-origin processes are assumed to be supported by the data. It is often conveniently overlooked that the actual genetic data could just as well fit theories of Asian, Eurasian, or multiple origins. Out-of-Africa is a currently popular theory, but most of the genetic data do not necessarily favor it over plausible alternatives. It is analysis by fashion rather than by the testing of scientific hypothesis.
Clearly the final word on human and racial origins is not yet in.
[Harpending, H.C. & Eller, E., “Human Diversity and its History” a chapter in an in-press edited volume, Biodiversity, Tokyo: Springer-Verlag.]
Glayde Whitney is a professor
in psychology, psychobiology and neuroscience at Florida State University.
• • • BACK TO TOP • • •
Watching the Watchers
Making America safe for multi-culturalism.
reviewed by James Lubinskas
Professional “anti-racist” groups play an almost unchallenged role in America in deciding which organizations are “extreme” and therefore illegitimate. In The Watchdogs, Laird Wilcox makes a case that groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the Center for Democratic Renewal are themselves extreme and ultimately more dangerous than the right wing groups they warn about in their fund- raising letters. Mr. Wilcox is a longtime observer of radical groups on the left and right and his book is filled with examples of deception and dishonesty used by various “anti-racist” organizations.
The Watchdogs focuses on the history and connections of four of the better known groups: The Anti Defamation League (ADL), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Center for Democratic Renewal (CDR) and Political Research Associates (PRA). Mr. Wilcox is a liberal-turned-libertarian, who notes in the foreword that he was active in the civil rights movement and was once a member of both the NAACP and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). He has since been disillusioned by an anti-racist movement that seems mainly interested in ideology-for-profit.
“Indeed,” he writes, “there is an ‘anti-racist’ industry afoot in the United States that has attracted bullying, moralizing fanatics, whose identity and livelihood depend upon growth and expansion.”Anti-Defamation
The ADL was founded in Chicago in 1913 as an arm of B'nai B'rith, a Jewish fraternal order. The league is tax exempt and has offices in 31 American cities. It has an annual budget of $34 million and employs over 400 people, including an impressive legal staff. The mission of the ADL is to expose and combat anti-Semitism and to defend the interests of Israel. It does this through a variety of com- munity activities, public relations, and lobbying efforts. It also mon- itors anti-Semitism, but by lumping epithets and graffiti with a few acts of violence, it tends to exaggerate the problem. Alarmist warn- ings are good for business, but they scare Jews unnecessarily. Mr. Wilcox quotes from a May 17, 1993 New Republic article by J. J. Goldberg:
“In private, some Jewish agency staffers insist the alarmist tone set by a few national Jewish agencies, mainly for fund-raising purposes, is a key cause of Jewish anxiety. Fingers point most often at the ADL . . . which specialize[s] in mass mailings warning of impending doom and urging donations.”Sometimes the ADL jumps from alarmism to outright deception. In 1981 Mr. Wilcox was asked by a Minneapolis television station to help produce a documentary on right-wing groups. One was the New York chapter of the “Christian Patriot's Defense League.” Its two representatives, “Jim Anderson,” and “John Austin,” were such stereotypical “bigots” that Mr. Wilcox became suspicious. He dis- covered that “Jim Anderson” was actually James Rosenberg, who was employed by the ADL. Both Mr. Rosenberg and “John Austin,” whose real name was Kevin Reid, were arrested later that year when police found them on a rooftop in New York City with unregistered rifles. They were apparently posing for photographs to portray the threat of the far right. They were arrested for possession of an unregistered rifle and carrying a weapon in public view, but the ADL managed to get the charges dropped.
The ADL has also had a well-known spying program. In 1993 an internal investigation by the San Francisco Police Department found that intelligence officer Tom Gerard was passing confidential police files to ADL spy, Roy Bullock, who was in turn sharing information with the Israeli government. Mr. Bullock had an ADL “enemies” list of 10,000 individuals and 1,000 organizations. Groups to be spied on even included left-wing organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Conference of Black Lawyers. Investigators found similar ADL connections to police departments throughout the country.
When the ADL was criticized for spying, Mr. Wilcox reports that National Director Abraham Foxman called his critics – including many left-wing publications like the Village Voice – “anti-Semitic, undemocratic, and anti-American bastards.” The ADL was prosecuted for eavesdropping, conspiracy, and receiving confidential files from police agencies. Despite a seemingly strong case against it, all charges were dropped in exchange for a settlement of $75,000 – to be used to fight hate crimes.
Mr. Wilcox reports that deceit and illegality have not stopped the ADL from enjoying the support of government and law enforcement agencies. Long viewed with suspicion by the FBI – especially by J. Edgar Hoover – in 1985 the ADL got the cooperation it wanted when the agency issued a memo to all field offices to develop formal liaisons with the group. In practical terms this means the FBI gets its information on “hate groups” from the ADL, hardly an unbiased source. The ADL has also worked under contract with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to produce reports on right-wing organizations.
Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the Southern Poverty Law Center was started by direct mail expert Morris Dees after the presidential campaign of 1972. Mr. Dees was Democratic nominee George McGovern's finance director, and he used the 700,000- name donor list to start the center. Like the ADL, the SPLC has collected huge amounts of money by warning of the growing danger of the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads, militias, and white supremacists. According to The Watchdogs, its typical appeals are hair-raising overestimates of the strength of “hate groups.” A mid-1980s mailing from the SPLC warned that “Armed Klan paramilitary forces freely roam our wooded hills from Texas to North Carolina,” and that “massive voter registration drives planned by blacks . . . will cause Klansmen to resort to the nightriding tactics of the past.” Alarmist mailings have helped the center amass reserves of almost $100 million dollars.
After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the SPLC turned its attention to the militia movement. A June, 1995, Klanwatch Intelligence Report claimed that “over 200 militia and support groups operate nationwide.” Three months later, the SPLC reported it had found 73 “militias and support groups nationwide with a total of 30,000 to 40,000 members.” One hundred twenty-seven “militia and support groups” had disappeared in just three months. Mr. Wilcox believes that even the more modest estimates of militia organizations are inflated, since many are small groups that are simply opposed to gun control or the income tax. The SPLC shamelessly promotes “guilt-by-association” but only against the right. Tax protesters are “support groups” for militias or the KKK, but the NAACP is never a “support group” for the Nation of Islam.
Just as disturbing are the SPLC's powerful connections in the media. It is often the only source academics, journalists or politicians use when they study “hate groups.” On February 20, 1992, USA Today ran an article called “Hate Groups Increase – As Do Their Crimes,” in which it reported the SPLC figure of 346 white supremacy groups. Mr. Wilcox publishes an annual directory of the American Right and says the real number that year was about 50. Why the disparity? The SPLC padded its list with groups that were, according to Mr. Wilcox, nothing but a post-office box, and some that it listed as nothing more than “unknown group,” with the name of a town. Many in the media obediently report the law center's claims but not everyone is fooled. Betty Dobratz and Stephanie Shanks-Meile, authors of the 1997 book White Power, White Pride!, are not sympathetic to their subject but they also learned to be suspicious of watchdogs:
“We relied on the SPLC . . . reports for general information, but we have noted differences between the way events were sometimes portrayed in Klanwatch Intelligence Reports as more militant and dangerous with higher turnouts than we observed. Also, ‘watchdog’ groups promote ‘claims’ that are compatible with their political agenda and neglect other ones as they attempt to wield political influence among policy-makers.”The SPLC has also mounted successful legal offensives against neo-Nazis and Klan organizations. In 1987 it won a $7 million dollar judgment against the United Klans of America for the March 1981 slaying of a black man. The suit bankrupted and effectively killed the organization. In 1990 the SPLC was in court again, winning a $10 million award against the White Aryan Resistance (WAR). These high-profile cases against much-criticized groups have helped the SPLC gain credibility and raise funds, but the legal tactics it uses are questionable. As Mr. Wilcox writes, “Had this legal doctrine that organizations are responsible for the acts of their members been established in the 1960's, it would have decimated the early civil rights movement, a few of whose members were occasionally violent. . . . Suppose a black activist organization was hit with a $7 million dollar judgment because one of its members killed someone in the Watts Riots?”
The Far Left in Disguise
The two other groups profiled in The Watchdogs are not as rich or powerful as the ADL or the SPLC but are reported to be more radical. The Center for Democratic Renewal is run by Leonard Zeskind, whom Mr. Wilcox calls one of the biggest names in American Marxist circles. Mr. Zeskind, who was an organizer for a reportedly Marxist group called the Sojourner Truth Organization during the 1970s and 1980s, has been such an open Communist that Mr. Wilcox writes, “If a counterpart organization on the far right had roots as far into the political extremes as the CDR does, it would have been instantly exposed.” Originally called the National Anti-Klan Network, which itself was an offshoot of the Communist Workers Party, the group's name was changed to Center for Democratic Renewal in 1986. The CDR now has an annual budget of $300,000 and is based in Kansas City. Mr. Wilcox writes that CDR staffers often attend gatherings like the Marxist Scholars Conference, and are published in such far-left journals as Urgent Tasks, Shmate: A Journal of Progressive Jewish Thought and the British “anti-fascist” magazine Searchlight.
More recently, the CDR was behind the 1996 church-burning scare, which has been widely exposed as completely artificial. Writing in Commentary, former attorney for the U.S. Civil Rights Commission Michael Fumento called the alleged wave of church burnings “a deliberate hoax” and noted:
“I established that the CDR had systematically failed to count fires set by blacks in black churches, had labeled as arson a number of fires which responsible authorities insisted were attributable to other causes, and had altogether ignored fires in white churches.”Although it was exposed as a fraud, the church-burning scam was good business for the CDR. It brought in over $9 million dollars from donors in just the first month of the campaign – 27 times the CDR's annual operating budget – and at one point contributions were rolling in at the rate of $100,000 a day. Mr. Wilcox does not say how much of the money the CDR passed along to churches and how much it kept.
The least influential group described in The Watchdogs is also the farthest to the left. Political Research Associates does not seem to do much more than harass people for attending right-wing meetings and publish tracts attacking anti-Communists and the U.S. government. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is led by Chip Berlet who is also affiliated with the far-left National Lawyers Guild. Mr. Berlet, whom Mr. Wilcox calls a “veteran Marxist,” has made a career of “exposing racists.” Most of the “racists” tend to be harmless, such as a 70-year-old parish priest who was “outed” for attending a right- wing meeting.
In 1997, PRA accused the Lincoln Institute, which is a black conservative think tank, of having “links” to neo-Nazis. Since Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was on the board of the group he also was “linked” to neo-Nazis. PRA snoops inevitably determine that any anti-Communist movement is really a front for fascism yet they complain bitterly about surveillance of far-left groups. According to The Watchdogs, Mr. Berlet is a popular speaker at the United Front Against Fascism, the Socialist Scholars Conference, and the openly Marxist Brecht Forum. Interestingly, the PRA subscribed to AR for several years under its own name, but has since either lost interest or subscribes through a front.
Why are “anti-racist” groups rich and influential? How do they get away with deceitful and sometimes illegal actions? Why has the media rarely exposed their flawed data? Mr. Wilcox believes the answer lies in the “moral superiority” of the watchdogs. Because fighting “racism” and “bigotry” are thought to be noble goals, watchdogs – and the media – think the ends justify the means. They know they are inflating the numbers of “hate groups,” but this helps to raise concern. Spying on organizations they disagree with may be underhanded but it helps prevent crime and violence.
Mr. Wilcox believes the best way to curtail the watchdogs is for other institutions – particularly journalists and the police – to monitor their activities. Moreover, if the ties and links of allegedly racist groups can be exposed, so can the far-left ties of the “anti-racists.” If they violate the law they should be punished like any other group. Civil libertarians should denounce their deceitfulness, and all Americans should realize that the watchdogs are not unbiased or objective; they have agendas and represent the interests of their constituencies.
The Watchdogs is thoroughly documented and footnoted, and the author takes up issues few will touch. Perhaps for that reason it is essentially self-published; it has a spiral binding and suffers from typos. Also, Mr. Wilcox might have included other examples of how these groups influence the debate about race. The ADL and SPLC have extensive publications programs, and have gotten their material into many school curricula. Both have produced filters that block access to Internet sites they don't like. The ADL, especially, has been successfully pushing hate crime laws – its model legislation has been adopted by a number of states. These are surprising omissions in a carefully researched book that is otherwise an invaluable study of far-left efforts to stifle realistic discussion of race in America and make it impossible to debate the nation's demographic future.
The Watchdogs can be ordered from Editorial Research Service, PO Box 2047, Olathe, KS 66051. The price of $19.95 includes postage.
O Tempora, O Mores!
Stories Your Newspaper May Have Missed
In Oklahoma City, a 15-year-old white named Israel Byrd was walking a few blocks from his home when he was attacked by a group of five or six black teenagers. His mother found him sitting on a bench covered in blood. Mr. Byrd said he was beaten with fists and his own skateboard before lapsing into unconsciousness. He underwent surgery to reconstruct his sinus passages and to repair his skull with steel plates. His mother says her son now suffers from neurological problems that have affected his memory, balance and mental ability. Since Mr. Byrd cannot remember most of the details of the attack police are not investigating it as a hate crime.
A recent letter to the local paper raises a few questions: “Why hasn't CNN come to Oklahoma City to highlight the story? Why is this story buried on the inside pages of The Oklahoman? Why are concerned groups of caring citizens not gathering with candles, saying prayers for the boy? Where's the local and national outcry about the injustice of crimes such as this?” (Judy Kuhlman, Mother Resists Labeling Attack, Daily Oklahoman, June 11, 1999, p. 10. Judy Ackerman, Where Is Outcry in Attack? Daily Oklahoman, June 10, 1999, p. 6.)
In Milwaukee, a white man named Robby Lee Davis was charged with burning a cross on the property of a black family. He was one of two whites in a cell block with 10 blacks. Mr. Davis insisted he was innocent, but the charges became publicly known. Prisoners and guards report that Mr. Davis was subject to intense harassment and threats by black inmates.
Mr. Davis told prison officials that he would kill himself if he was not moved. According to prison nurse Barbara Kelsey, “He didn't feel that the (correctional) officers were doing anything about it [the harassment]. He felt that maybe they were enjoying it.” Brett Powell, a black inmate said he heard other prisoners trading insults with Mr. Davis. “There was a lot being said. A lot of racial stuff was going on. In a cellblock, actually, you have this any time.” After more than a month of this Mr. Davis hanged himself. An inquest jury decided the hanging was a suicide and ruled out any foul play. (David Doege, Racial Tension Festered in Cellblock Before Inmate Hung Himself, Inquest Reveals, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 26, 1999, p. 1B.)
In Salt Lake City, a 21-year-old Hispanic drifter has confessed to stabbing a black man to death in a race-bias crime that had been unsolved since 1996. Freddie Cortez-Olguin was one of a group of Hispanics who attacked three blacks outside a Salvation Army soup kitchen. All three were stabbed and one later died of his wounds. Police say the motive appears to have been racial.
(Kelly Kennedy, Former S.L. Transient Confesses to Racially Charged Murder, Salt Lake Tribune, May 22, 1999.)
Willie Foster is a 35-year-old minister at a Baptist church in Arlington, Texas. When he was applying for welfare in 1996, he heard about something called the IRS “black tax credit,” for which descendants of slaves were supposed to be eligible. He inquired about this at a now-defunct tax preparation office and met a woman he knew only as “Miss Ruby” who said she could fix him up. She told him to get IRS form 2439, which is called Notice to Shareholder of Undistributed Long-Term Capital Gains. In a box marked “Regulated Investment Company” he was to write “Black Taxes” and enter the amount of $43,209. This figure is supposed to be the current value of 40 acres and a mule, as calculated by something called the People's Institute for Economics, in New York.
Mirabile dictu, the IRS sent him a credit – after deducting $13,000 Mr. Foster owed in child support and student loan payments. When the next tax season came around, Mr. Foster decided to help three friends cash in on the trick, but it didn't work. In fact, the IRS now wants to put him in prison for filing the three false claims. The IRS would also like to become acquainted with “Miss Ruby.”
The idea of the “black tax credit” first appeared in an April, 1993, article by L.G. Sherrod in Essence magazine. Miss Sherrod said that Indians got compensation for stolen lands and Japanese were paid for going to relocation camps, so it was time blacks got some of the boodle too. That year the IRS got a flurry of filings and the trick still resurfaces. In 1996, a Liberian citizen named Ben Badio was sentenced to three years in jail for charging nearly 200 people $750 to $1,000 to fill out tax forms claiming the credit.
(Laura Vozzella, ‘Black Tax’ Could Cost Slaves’ Kin His Freedom, Washington Times, June 23, 1999, p. A1.)
An increasing number of sick foreigners are coming to the United States for free medical care. Because state and federal law do not permit public hospitals to turn away patients, “medical immigrants” often take taxis straight from the airport to the emergency room. Big cities like New York and Chicago get the largest number of such immigrants, who are likely to have advanced cases of diseases like leprosy, cancer, and AIDS. California is not so badly hit, because of the passage in 1994 of Proposition 187, which would have denied medical help to illegal immigrants and required doctors to report them to the police. The measure has been mostly invalidated in court, but it has scared off the foreigners.
No one knows how many medical immigrants come to the United States, partly because they often lie about why they are here, and also because many doctors don't want to gather data that would encourage anti-immigrant sentiment. Dr. Lewis Goldfrank is director of emergency services at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan.
“Should I wonder whether this is the guy from Third Avenue who doesn't have any money or the guy from the Third World who doesn't have any?” he asks. “That's not my job. I'm a doctor.”Last year, Dr. Goldfrank treated a West African with kidney failure who had tried to get dialysis in Guinea. The African couldn't get help there but saw a notice on a hospital bulletin board saying that if he could manage to get to New York or Paris he could get free dialysis. In February, 1998, he walked into the Bellevue emergency room with nearly fatal levels of potassium in his blood, and Medicaid has been paying for weekly dialysis ever since. He declined to be interviewed.
In 1998, the social work staff of Bellevue took a statistical snapshot of the admitted patient population for a single day, December 3rd. Of the 701 patients, 166 were not U.S. citizens, and 70 were ineligible for government entitlements, which means they were probably illegal immigrants. Bellevue had to treat them anyway.
In 1997, New York City hospitals spent $1.2 billion on patients who could not or would not pay, and some medical officials are quietly wondering for how much longer they can treat freeloaders. Hospitals in Miami are much tougher with foreigners. Jackson Memorial Hospital will stabilize a life-threatening condition in the emergency room but will not admit indigents who cannot prove legal residency. They notify the INS if the patient is an illegal, and have found it is often cheaper to pay return airfare than treat disease. A spokes- woman for the hospital, Maria Rosa Gonzalez, says “Our first responsibility is to the people of Miami-Dade County. And we're not ashamed to admit it.” (Randy Kennedy, Ailing Foreigners Add to Burdens of Emergency Rooms Nationwide, New York Times, July 1, 1999, p. 1.)
Doesn't Like Blacks
Mohibur Rahman is a 30-year-old Bangla Deshi living in England who used to work at a London Burger King. In March, 1995, he chased away two blacks whom he suspected of being drug dealers but they came back and attacked him. They splashed boiling oil on his legs, punched and kicked him, and stomped on his right eye, which later went blind. Ever since, Mr. Rahman claims to be incapacitated by terror. He is afraid to go out of his house for fear of meeting blacks, and the last time he drove a car he says he tried to run a black man down in the street.
Mr. Rahman has sued everyone in sight: his employer for insufficient security, the hospital for bad treatment, and society at large for his fear of blacks. A high court judge duly awarded Mr. Rahman more than £575,000 pounds for his various troubles but says that to award damages for “this obsessive phobia of black people would be absurd.” Instead, the judge suggests that Mr. Rahman should move out of London – perhaps to Scotland or even back to Bangla Desh – where he is unlikely to find so many blacks.
(A.J. Mcllroy, Attack Left Manager With Paranoid Fear of Black People, Telegraph (London), Feb. 19, 1999.)
Dennis Menaces Germany
In the March AR we noted that in both California and Texas the name most often given to boys is José. German names are also changing, but for different reasons: Native Germans are turning their backs on traditional names. It is now difficult to find young children named Karl, Otto, or Heinrich. Horst or Helga are virtually unheard of. The most popular names today are imports like Dennis, Mario, Tanya, and Jennifer.
(In Brief, This Week in Germany, March 13, 1998.)
Bassam Al Othman is the host of the television program “Good Morning Kuwait.” During a 1997 interview in Kuwait with American professional wrestlers, Mr. Othman asked whether the sport was rigged. One wrestler who goes by the name of “Vadar” grabbed him by the necktie in a threatening way. A frightened Mr. Othman scurried off the television set. The World Wrestling Federation has since used the clip to promote “Vadar,” but Mr. Othman claims the sequence humiliates him. It has been shown in Kuwait and has, he claims, caused him much embarrassment.
Mr. Othman has responded in remarkably American fashion, with a suit in Federal court, claiming that the wrestling federation is “slurring all Arabic people” when it broadcasts the tape. According to Mr. Othman's American lawyer Douglas Hollmann, the federation promotes its shows “with the apparent belief that a video of a large white American wrestler shaking an Arab person by his tie had commercial value in the market their product is sold.’’ Assuming this to be true, it is not clear just what law the federation is supposed to have broken, but even foreigners quickly learn how to play the ethnic victim. (AP, June 15, 1999.)
Not Right to be White
One in about every 17,000 people is born with albinism, a genetic condition that keeps the body from producing skin pigment. The result is white, almost transparent skin, and flaxen hair. Probably the worst place in the world to be an albino is sub-Saharan Africa. Unpigmented albinos are very sensitive to the tropical sun and are shunned and tormented by other Africans. As Benedict Kinyua, a Kenyan albino explains, “We are used to being insulted as we come out of the house. They shout ‘mzungu!’ (white man) which to us is an insult.” In the bush, where albino children are generally considered to be a curse, the father may think that the mother had sex with a “mzungu,” and turn out wife and child.
African parents often do not understand the danger of the sun to albino children and many die of untreated skin cancer. Albinos need broad hats, long-sleeved clothes, sun block lotion, and as little time in the sun as possible. Even when they do not abandon albino children, many African parents resent the costs of protecting them from the sun. Albinos often lead completely isolated lives. They may never meet another albino or even someone who can explain their condition to them. Although albinism should not affect life expectancy, it is rare to meet a middle-aged African albino. (Rosalind Russel, Albinos Burnt by Discrimination and the Sun, Reuters, June 20, 1999.)
Who Shot Rudy?
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New York City believes in locking up criminals and keeping loiterers and beggars off the streets. This has not improved his popularity among people who make and listen to rap “music.” Several rap “songs” have insulted him by name, and last year one complained that because of his measures, there is not nearly as much “dice throwin’ ” and “weed blowin’ ” as there used to be. Now a soon-to-be-released number called “Who Shot Rudy?” by a group called Screwball describes the mayor being gunned down at City Hall, to the delight of blacks: “Nobody cried – it was real like some Jews celebrating when the Pharaoh got killed.” (Timothy Williams, Recent Rap Songs Target New York Mayor, AP, June 18, 1999.)
Illegitimate in PR
Forty-six percent of the 64,214 babies born on the Island of Puerto Rico in 1997 were illegitimate. There has been steady growth in the bastardy rate over the last 20 years, as follows:
1975 - 18 percent,(AP, Latin American Briefs, June 20, 1999.)
The overall illegitimacy rate in the United States is approximately 25 percent, with the black rate the highest at close to 70 percent. The Hispanic rate is close to the national average and the white rate is approximately 15 percent.
Unto Dust is an early South African anti-racist novel written by Herman Charles Bosman, who died in 1951. Chris Roos, a white school teacher in Pretoria lost his job when he assigned it to his sixth-grade students because it uses the word “kaffir,” which is the South African equivalent of “nigger.” Black parents whooped, and Roos got the sack. A black spokesman for the provincial Education Department, Aubrey Matshiqi, explained that “the story has a very powerful anti-racist message; I am convinced the teacher's intentions were noble.” However, he also thought Mr. Roos should be fired, because “our schools are still trying to grapple with race issues.” (Andrew Selsky, Story Prompts Teacher’s Dismissal, AP, June 23, 1999.)
Australian researches doing work on muscular dystrophy have discovered a gene that prevents the body from producing fast-twitch muscle fibers, which give people explosive bursts of speed. Alpha-actinin-3 is the medical term for this specialized protein, which is abundant in animals, including man's closest relative, the chimpanzee. Because of the defective gene, twenty percent of whites and Asians but only three percent of Zulu people have no alpha-actinin-3. Aside from limiting athletic potential or the capacity for great strength, the absence of alpha-actinin-3 does not appear to have any harmful effects.
(Deborah Smith, We Can't Run So Fast With Our Genes Falling Down, Sidney Morning Herald (Australia), June 24, 1999.)
Earnest A. Hooton (1887 - 1954) was a prominent anthropologist who taught for many years at Harvard. His 1939 book Crime and the Man contains the following passage:
“The theory of democratic government is noble and the practice of it offers the greatest opportunities for human happiness, if only the mass of the human individuals within the democracy is sound in body and in mind, and consequently social and to some extent unselfish in behavior. Progressive biological deterioration of the people leads inevitably to anarchy and dictatorships. More than ever, in the light of recent events, we have come to pin all of our faith for the future of civilization and of man on democracy. Like Noah we have builded an ark, the rains have come, and the deluge is upon us. Do we hope to take refuge in that ark of democracy, with our sons and our sons’ wives, and survive the flood? We can succeed in this hope only if we leave out some of the noxious animals who are boring from within and making that ark dangerously leaky. So it behooves us to learn our human parasitology and human entomology, to practice an artificial and scientific selection with intelligence, if we wish to save our skins.”(Edward A. Hooton, Crime and the Man, Harvard University Press, 1939, pp. 397-398.)
Those Clever Chinese
The Chinese have set up a sperm bank that will accept donations only from academics who hold the rank of associate professor or higher. The Notables' Sperm Bank has reportedly been flooded with calls from professors who want to donate. (In China, a Sperm Bank Confines its Donors to the Scholarly Set, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 28, 1999.)
According to a series of polls reported by the Economist, four out of ten Frenchmen admit to being “racist” or “fairly racist” – nearly twice as many as in Germany, England, or Italy. Nearly six out of ten Frenchmen say there are too many Arabs in France, and a quarter say there are too many blacks. Fifteen percent say France has too many Jews. Half the French say they no longer feel “at home” in their own country, and would like “large numbers” of immigrants to go away. An equal number do not believe that the races are equal.
(How Racist is France? Economist, July 18, 1998, p. 43.)
In 1989, as part of a settlement of a desegregation lawsuit, the state of Arkansas loaned the Little Rock school district $20 million. The debt comes due on Dec. 31, 2000, but because of an unusual loan condition the district thought it would never have to pay. The debt and interest are forgiven if Little Rock can bring the standardized scores of black students up to 90 percent of those of white students. The district has begun to worry as the deadline approaches, and is quibbling over how test scores should be evaluated.
(Cynthia Howell, LR Schools, State Disagree on Loan, Test Scores, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, June 5, 1999, p. 2B.)
This is only the most striking example of the kind of pressure brought to bear on teachers to close the gap in test scores – something no school district is known ever to have done. This pressure is probably one of the reasons for the well-known deterioration in school curricula. The performance of all children improves when they receive enriched, expert instruction, but the gap between the best and worst students widens. The only way to reduce the gap to zero would be to teach nothing at all, so that all students were equally ignorant. Some schools may have stumbled onto this method.
There are very few blacks in university philosophy departments but their numbers are growing, and they are making unusual contributions to the field. On April 29th, Harvey Cormier of the State University of New York at Stony Brook spoke to the City College of New York philosophy department. His talk was entitled “White Privilege & Animal Rights or Should Black Persons Be Classified as Dietary Supplements?” He argued that it is hypocritical for whites to defend animal rights when they show so little interest in minority rights.
A Changing Church
This year, 25 percent of U.S. Catholic seminarians are non-white, and one fifth are immigrants. This is a considerable change for a church that until recently was almost entirely European. A 1970 study found that only one percent of priests were non-white. Today, of the 418 seminarians preparing for ordination in 1999, ten percent are Hispanic, nine percent are Asian, two percent black Americans, two percent American Indian, one percent African, and one percent “mixed.”
(Jerry Filteau, ‘Encouraging Sign,’ Catholic New York, May 20, 1999, p. 6.)
The Quiet Life
June 12th marked the fifth anniversary of the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted of murder by a mostly black jury, draws $25,000 a month from a pension plan, rents a Pacific Palisades home for $6,000 a month, and keeps a housekeeper and a secretary. He also has custody of his two children.
“I play golf. I raise two kids. I don't go out. I live the simplest, most regulated life, not the life I imagined for myself. But I find it rewarding,” says Mr. Simpson. He recently went to a movie premier and was well received. “I signed about 100 autographs. People were hugging me. They were very nice except for one guy who yelled something.”
Mr. Simpson still claims he did not
kill anyone, and that he gets reports from private detectives investigating
“If one day there's a new
DA, my goal is to take this stuff to him and tell him to look into it.”
(Linda Deutsch, Simpson's Life After
the Trial of the Century, Chicago Sun Times, June 7, 1999, p. 22.)
Sir – In the July issue Jared Taylor writes approvingly of rising American incarceration rates – up nearly 500 percent in 30 years. I don't disagree that locking up the blackguards keeps crime down, but every guest of the state costs us about $30,000 a year in accommodation, guards, job training, etc. As the number of convicts climbs well past one million, we are talking about spending a huge amount of money on them. At the same time, these more than one million people are, for the most part, of prime working age, but instead of adding to our economy they are a dead weight. The army of jailers is also sucked out of the productive economy to do things a healthy society should not have to do. I don't see a good alternative to jail, but I wonder for how much longer we can sit back and watch the losses accumulate. Immigration of non-whites will only make matters worse.
For some time, David Lykken of the University of Minnesota has been
promoting the idea of parental licensing. He argues that people should
meet certain qualifications before they have children.
Sir – Although Mr. Taylor refers to hate crimes as “much ado about not
much,” I think he is wrong. Why shouldn't we yell when whites are the victims
of racially motivated violence? All other groups certainly do, and are
often rewarded with much media and public sympathy. Sympathy of that kind
counts for a great deal and we should be working for it, too.
Sir – Your article on the Duluth group that collected but then refused
to release racial data on perpetrators of gun violence leads me to two
conclusions. One is that whites are cowards. I think we can be sure that
the data reflected badly on non-whites and the sponsors of the
Sir – I have mused for some time on something you reported in a July
review of that silly race-relations book, By the Color of Our Skin:
After the O.J. Simpson murder trial, 62 percent of whites had an unfavorable
opinion of Mr. Simpson, but 88 percent had an unfav- orable opinion of
Mark Fuhrman, the white detective. Were whites really saying that a man
who lies about using the word “nigger” is worse than a murderer? My suspicion
is that the answer lies in
Sir – You note the absurdity of the FBI classifying Hispanics as whites
when they commit hate crimes and scoff at the 214 alleged hate crimes committed
by “whites” against whites in 1997. You conclude that the offenders had
to be Hispanics, and perhaps they were, but it is not hard to imagine hate
crimes in which both the offender and perpetrator actually are of
the same race. How is
What happens when a light-skinned black commits a “hate crime” against a dark-skinned black because of differences in skin color? Is that an anti-white or an anti-black crime? Or is it even a hate crime at all?
The states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas didn't report a single
“hate crime” in 1997. I don't know about the other two, but in Alabama,
we just don't think it's useful to inquire into bias motivation.