|Vol 2, No. 8||August 1991|
The Late Great City of Detroit
The first in our occasional series on the shifting racial composition of America’s cities.
Every year, at Halloween, the city of Detroit goes up in flames. In an annual observance known as Devil’s Night, gangs of young blacks set fire to hundreds of buildings, while fire trucks scream helplessly from one conflagration to the next. Devil’s Night has become a choice event for fire buffs, who come from as far as Europe and Japan to gape at the spectacle of a city gone mad.
The tradition of Devil’s Night arson began for unknown reasons in 1983 and caught the city by surprise. Fires blazed out of control, and smoke hung over the city for days. Now, every year, the city braces for the worst. Fire departments from neighboring suburbs converge on Detroit to help fight the flames, and thousands of civilian volunteers patrol the streets for arsonists. Nothing works. Last year, more fires were set than the year before. Much of the city now looks as if it had been carpet bombed.
Capital of Black America
In Detroit, appearance is a faithful reflection of reality. The city is one of the most wretched, dangerous, ugly, and dispirited in the country. Every year, it competes with Washington (DC) for the distinction as murder capital of the United States. Neighborhood merchants do business behind bullet-proof barriers and leave their stores with weapons drawn.
Of the approximately 20,000 children who start first grade every year, only 500 (2.5%) will ever get enough education to do college work, and only 100 of these will be boys. One third of Detroit’s residents are on public assistance, and food stamps are a virtual second currency. Drugs are everywhere, and the city has black-Africa rates of AIDS and infant mortality. Detroit, the sixth largest city in America, is more than 70 percent black. It thinks of itself as the African-American capital of the continent.
Only a little over a generation ago, the city was a proud, prosperous, mainly-white metropolis — the motor capital of the world. Incongruous as it may now seem, in the mid-1960s, it was widely hailed as an urban success story. The Washington Post wrote that Jerry Cavanaugh, then mayor, “has succeeded where other big city mayors have failed.”Time magazine wrote that he was “restoring the heart”of the city. Detroit was a show piece for Lyndon Johnson’s “great society,”and prided itself on its liberal progressiveness. When Martin Luther King visited Detroit in 1963, he was given a hero’s welcome.
The Illusion Ends
Show piece Detroit fell apart in 1967. That summer, as they had in so many other cities, black neighborhoods erupted in a frenzy of violence and rapine. Detroit’s riots were the worst the country has seen this century. They went on for five days and left 43 people dead. The 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions had to be called in to restore order.
Detroit never recovered from those five days in 1967. Whites have fled the city; in the 20 years following the riots, Detroit lost 600,000 people. The 70 percent white majority of 1960 dropped so quickly that in 1973 Detroit had both a black majority and a black mayor. Now, no other city in the United States has a character or identity that is so clearly black. Mayor Coleman Young calls himself “the black mayor of a black city.”
This is scarcely an exaggeration. The police chief and all four police commissioners are black. The school superintendent is black, as are the heads of virtually every city department. Both of the city’s congressmen and most of its judges are black.
While federal and state subsidies keep Detroit from complete collapse, Mayor Young operates his city much as an African potentate might. His picture hangs in every city office building, and his name graces the municipal letterhead. The personal business cards of every city employee bear the mayor’s name. At every opportunity, he names parks and civic centers after himself. Even the city zoo is now named for Coleman A. Young.
The very history of the city now has something of a colonial-African hue. The period of prosperity before the riots is now officially viewed as analogous to colonization. A city document describes the pre-1967 police force as “a hostile white army, entrusted by white authorities with the job of keeping nonwhites penned up in ghettos.”As the riots recede further into the past, they are increasingly seen as a glorious insurrection, in which the oppressed black man threw off his shackles and wrested control from the white man.
Detroit even has its own anthem, which is also the unofficial anthem of black America: Lift Every Voice and Sing. The people of Detroit still sing the Star Spangled Banner when the presence of whites makes it necessary, but it is invariably followed by an enthusiastic chorus of what Detroiters call “our”anthem. No city in America is more self-consciously black, no city more clearly and completely governed by blacks than Detroit.
A Series of Failures
Black rule has not been a success. As the city’s population shifted, all indices of its health went sour. The murder rate rose 1000 percent between 1950 and 1990. Welfare became the single largest employer. Industry escaped to the suburbs, and the tax base shrank.
Despite massive, Devil’s-Night destruction of housing stock, the building industry withered to nearly nothing; in 1987, the city issued only two building permits for single-family houses. As the population shrank to one half its 1950 figure and arson leveled entire blocks, large tracts of the city simply reverted to nature. Wildfowl not normally seen in cities have been found nesting in Detroit’s urban prairies. In the center of town, skyscrapers stand vacant. One can easily walk an entire downtown block, on a week day, and not see a soul.
Of all the city’s horrors, violent crime is surely the worst. People who live in Detroit are two and three times more likely to kill each other than people who live in New York or Chicago. Detroit’s murder statistics are so grim that they push the entire state into the top of the league for black homicide. In the 15-24 age bracket, 232 black men for every 100,000 can expect to be killed every year. Washington (DC) trails far behind at 139. For whites of the same age, the murder rate in Michigan is 6.6 per 100,000, which means the state is 35 times more dangerous for young blacks than it is for young whites. Virtually all blacks are killed by other blacks.
Although it is nearly impossible for anyone not familiar with the city to imagine the texture of life in Detroit, a recent incident at a movie theater captures the atmosphere. When the Americana 8 theater had its first showing of the Eddie Murphy movie, Harlem Nights, the crowd was so large and unmanageable that ushers stopped checking for tickets. Nearly 1,500 people pushed into the theater, filling the seats and aisles. As they waited for the movie to begin, some people passed around bottles of liquor, and others danced on the stage in front of the movie screen. The theater manager was worried by the unruly crowd, and started the movie with the house lights on.
A few minutes into the movie, some men got into a fist fight. The manager stopped the show and called the police, who restored quiet. Shortly after the movie started up again, a group of women began fighting and the movie was stopped. Theater personnel were able to make peace and the movie started again. Yet another fight broke out, the movie was stopped, order was restored, and the movie started up again. Then, just as the Eddie Murphy movie character loosed a burst of gunfire, someone in the audience started firing.
Two men in the theater were wounded, and most of the audience ran out of the building in a panic. One woman was in such a rush that she was hit by a passing car and badly injured. When police and first aid personnel arrived, they were duly fired on. They returned fire, wounding their assailant. It would be wrong to call this a typical Friday night at the movies, but the city has long gone numb to savagery of this kind.
In Detroit, it is sensible to assume that virtually every man is armed — non-criminals must defend themselves against criminals. In one famous incident a few years ago, a bus load of 19 black preachers took an excursion across the border into Canada. They were stopped and searched by customs agents, who discovered 19 hand guns — one per clergyman.
Who is Responsible?
A great city does not become a wasteland without a reason. When the once-great city is populated and governed almost entirely by blacks, one might think that the official and obligatory explanation for black failure — white racism — rings hollow. One would be wrong.
Mayor Young has developed the well-timed charge of racism into a fine art. He dismisses any criticism of the city by white-owned newspapers or television stations as racism. Despite the fact that Detroit no longer has any whites in positions of power — indeed, scarcely any whites at all — Mayor Young regularly wins reelection on the theme that white malevolence is at the root of the city’s problems. Even when whites are out of sight and out of power they are believed to be casting a miasma of despair over what would otherwise be an African-American paradise. In fact, without the welfare and surrounding infrastructure of a rich white nation, Detroit might well be no different from Haiti.
For anyone willing to seek instruction in contrasts, there is much to be learned about Detroit from the city of Toronto. Only 230 miles away, on the shore of Lake Erie rather than Lake Ontario, Toronto has become the city that Detroit once was. While Detroit’s population was dropping by half, from nearly two million to one million, Toronto’s doubled from one million to two million. It weathered declines in its old manufacturing base and found a new role as a center of finance. Safe, bright, upbeat, described by admirers as “New York run by the Swiss,” Toronto could hardly be a more striking contrast to the squalor of Detroit. It is only eleven percent black.
Even though whites dare not discuss the obvious connection between a city’s racial composition and its level of culture, blacks are freer to state the obvious. In Ze’ev Chafets’ recent book on Detroit, Devil’s Night, the author quotes a young black welfare recipient, who has managed better than virtually every black “spokesman”and white PhD to cut through the fog of self-delusion and excuse-making that warps any discussion of race in America: “Blacks can’t sit around and wait for whites to do for us,”she says; “The trouble with us is us.”
But if the trouble with blacks is blacks, the trouble with whites is whites. Though they are still a 75 percent majority in the nation as a whole — about the same majority as Detroit at the height of its power — whites have established immigration (see following article) and welfare policies that are rapidly cutting into that majority. If these policies do not change, whites will become a minority within the next few decades.
Whites still have the power to change their destiny. If they do not, they need only look to Detroit to see the future.
The Late Great United States
Lawrence Auster, The Path to National Suicide — An Essay on Immigration and multiculturalism, AICF, 1990, 90 pp., $3.00
Lawrence Auster, a New York City freelance writer, has written what may well be the best book now available on America’s immigration policy. The Path to National Suicide is an articulate, undeceived, and utterly compelling appraisal of a national policy that is quietly, relentlessly changing the very character of our nation.
Mr. Auster’s vision is never clouded by dogmatic multi-culturalism and he is not afraid to pursue his analysis well into the thickets of the politically incorrect. It is clear that he has written this book for one reason alone: He cares very deeply about the future of the United States.
Mr. Auster’s central message could not be clearer. If Americans of European descent fail to act in their own defense, burgeoning Third-World immigration and spreading multi-culturalism will quickly reduce them to a numerical and cultural minority. This would be nothing less than the end of the nation as we now know it.
Mr. Auster does not believe that, as he puts it, “the American people want to change their historic European-rooted civilization into a Latin-Caribbean-Asian ‘multi-culture’.”That, however, is the destiny that awaits them if policies remain unchanged. Most Americans see only dimly the future that awaits them, since it is so rarely described in Mr. Auster’s unblinking terms. If they saw more clearly, they would surely act to preserve their culture.
According to Mr. Auster, America’s character is being transformed by two different forces, both of which nourish the other. The first is the brute fact of massive non-white immigration, which is a complete departure from the pattern that prevailed from colonial times until the mid-1960s. The second is the rise of “multi-cultural”thinking, the abandonment of any conviction that America has the right to preserve its racial and cultural heritage.
The Origins of Collapse
Mr. Auster traces the beginnings of this dual phenomenon back to the 1965 Immigration Reform Act, which was itself a product of the everybody’s-equal mentality of the Civil Rights movement. According to the wisdom of the day, if it was wrong to discriminate against citizens on the basis of race, it must be equally wrong to consider race in the formulation of immigration policy.
In fact, pre-1965 immigration policy did not discriminate by race, but by professional qualifications and country of origin. Immigrants were to come from the same original homelands as current citizens, and since nearly 90 percent of mid-1960s Americans were white, the immigrant stream was also overwhelmingly white. An immigration policy that had served the nation for half a century was suddenly found to be an impermissible offense against the doctrine of non-discrimination.
The result was something Mr. Auster calls “a Civil Rights bill applied to the world at large,”and just as “civil rights”laws were written in the name of equality but used to promote racial preference, the new immigration law did precisely what its supporters promised it would not do. In the debate that led to passage of the bill, not one politician so much as hinted that a change in America’s racial composition was desirable or likely. Even Sen. Edward Kennedy insisted that “the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.” Just how anyone could think that eliminating “discrimination”by country of origin would not lead to a change of ethnic mix Mr. Auster does not say.
Under the new law, preference went to relatives of recent immigrants, and professional qualifications were virtually done away with. The result was what Mr. Auster calls “a senseless type of discrimination favoring extended families from Third-World countries.” To suggest that such a policy is a disservice to the nation is now considered an act of bigotry. Not only does the United States accept non-white immigration on such massive terms that the white majority is threatened, whites are expected to celebrate their own dispossession by “embracing diversity.”Today, no politician who likes his job would dare point out that Sen. Kennedy was wrong, and that the nation’s ethnic mix is being upset.
How Did it Happen?
Much of Mr. Auster’s book is an attempt to understand this radical departure from America’s earlier sense of nationhood. Why has America lost the will to survive as a white, Anglo-European nation? Mr. Auster believes that American attitudes toward immigration changed simply as a result of the facts of immigration. Faced with a sudden influx of non-whites — which was no more than the unintended consequence of muddled legislation — Americans casually readjusted their thinking.
That is to say, an utterly revolutionary view of how the nation was to be built grew out of nothing more intellectually rigorous than the observation that most of the new-comers were no longer white. As Mr. Auster puts it, “faced with the seemingly irreversible fact of multiracial change, we gave ourselves a new national myth of diversity to accommodate ourselves to that fact.”
This is probably true for some academics, clergymen, and journalists. However, it is certainly not true for many ordinary, middle-class Americans, who are baffled by the new national myths and angry at the penalties imposed on anyone who questions them.
The new myths were the very opposite of the old. If America was now committed to “multi-culturalism,”that must always have been its true goal. If non-whites were so clearly part of America’s future, a prominent place had to be found for them in America’s past. Schools, churches, the media, and government all began to reinterpret the present and revise the past in light of an expected future.
Schools that once promoted the assimilationist standard have thrown out the concept of standards. The very notion of Americanism — an elitist artifact of discriminatory thinking — was tossed aside in the name of “cultural pluralism.”The American character has been dismantled to the point where, in Mr. Auster’s words, “there is no remaining criterion of American identity other than the physical fact of one’s being here.”By this measure, any person of any race, religion, language or nationality, from anywhere in the world, has as great a claim to be “American”as the descendants of the men who fought the red coats.
“Multiculturalism”as a national goal thus fed upon the flow of incoming non-whites, even as it arose as a force to stifle all attempts to staunch or even criticize that flow. A confused legislative outgrowth of the Civil Rights era has thus unleashed a movement whose stated aim is the transformation of a nation.
The Role of Race
The question of race is, of course, central to the entire problem of immigration and national identity. Today, all one need do in order to be branded a “racist”is to wish that immigrants would speak English. Anyone who actually opposes the transformation of his Anglo-European homeland into a polyglot brew is thought hopelessly racist.
To his credit, Mr. Auster tries to cut through some of the double-speak and outright lies that characterize the notion of “racism.”As he points out, since 1965, Americans have tied themselves into knots in “the political attempt to reach that chimerical promised land where there is no ‘racism’.”To do this, they have launched “the ultimate totalitarian project: to change human nature by force.”
This is a promising beginning, but Mr. Auster’s treatment of race ends on an unsure note. He refers often to the sheer weight of numbers, always arguing that “a certain number”of non-whites can be assimilated to European patterns. This is true, but according to this logic, immigration policy need be nothing more than a numbers game. America’s task is to determine the right mix of non-whites who can be admitted without diluting the national character.
But if a few can be assimilated, why not all? And if dilution, as Mr. Auster fears, is well under way, why risk further damage? Why not restrict immigration — if there is to be immigration at all — to those who clearly bear the qualities Mr. Auster wishes to preserve? What is the purpose of admitting any non-whites other than as a sop to the very notion of “multi-racialism”that he so ably discredits?
If Mr. Auster recognizes that the preservation of cultural heritage and national coherence are vital goals, why should immigration policy not recognize that the cultural heritage Mr. Auster so clearly loves is the creation of a particular race? He refuses to answer the question his own logic must pose: What are the necessary qualities and qualifications for becoming the sort of American he wants for fellow citizens?
Mr. Auster argues passionately and eloquently that the United States has every right to preserve its national character and that a multi-racial, multi-cultural America would not be merely different but, for an heir to the European tradition, inferior. Nevertheless, in making the case for a clear national identity, he writes, “the paramount moral issue the United States faces is not racial superiority but self-preservation.”To be sure, the paramount issue is self-preservation, but the alternative is not racial superiority.
It is a pity that a writer as sensitive to distinctions as Mr. Auster writes as if there is no difference between notions of supremacy and the natural preference for one’s own kind. Indeed, he writes elsewhere that it is a commonplace to note that people seek the company of people like themselves. Is this “supremacy?”
Mr. Auster ardently wishes to keep the United States within the European tradition. Men who love the music, the literature, the civility, the demeanor of that great tradition long for a nation of men and women who share that love. Mr. Auster must recognize that the Mexicans, Vietnamese, Koreans and Philippinos now pouring into America do not share that love, and that it would be foolish to expect them to share it. What he seems reluctant to acknowledge is that, with only the rarest exceptions, those who share that love can only be the descendants of the people who first created that civilization.
Of course, in today’s America, this is perhaps the most difficult break from orthodoxy that an author can make, and that he has not made it is hardly a fatal flaw in the excellent book that Mr. Auster has given us. The Path to National Suicide is both a source of fresh insight for those who see the inevitable consequences of non-white immigration and a finely argued introduction for those who do not.
The Path to National Suicide is available from the American Immigration Control Foundation, Box 525, Monterey, VA 24465. The price for a single copy is $3.00. For multiple orders, the price is $2.00 per copy.
Lynn Richards has a PhD in International Relations from the University of Michigan. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington.
Mainstream analysis of social problems is crippled by orthodox thinking.
Many of the problems brought on by America’s changing population are so serious that even the most resolutely mainstream scholars have begun to sniff around their edges. In the latest issue (Summer, 1991) of Foreign Affairs, one of the most influential periodicals in the country, there are two articles that gingerly raise the subjects of race and population. Both describe the realities that America faces, but then turn the intellectual equivalent of double-back-flip somersaults when it comes to policy recommendations.
The first article, “The Roots of American Power, “starts from the position that economic power is at the heart of any nation’s ability to influence world affairs. The author, Robert Hormats, notes that the American economy suffers from declining investment, quick-fix thinking, collapse of infrastructure, poor education, and an abandonment of the notion of individual responsibility. He further points out that of all the industrial nations, the United States has the largest number of racial minorities, and that the weight of their failure is a serious obstacle not only to economic progress but to social harmony.
The Dangers of Diversity
Mr. Hormats warns that ethnic diversity “could become a source of political friction, social fragmentation and economic disarray …”For anyone who has actually set foot in Detroit (see cover story), Miami, or virtually any other American city, the warning comes a little late. Further on, Mr. Hormats admits as much when he asks, “Can an America whose cities are in some parts indistinguishable from Third World slums, and whose already large underclass continues to fall behind the rest of society, maintain the moral authority required for world leadership …?”He also notes that “large numbers of blacks and other minorities fall outside the productive economy and [have] become alienated from mainstream society.”Clearly, the problems that ethnic diversity “could”bring are already upon us.
Do these problems have any implications for immigration policy, or for welfare programs that encourage the incompetent to have as many children as they like? Do they say anything at all about the desirability or even the possibility of a multi-racial society? Might they suggest inherent racial differences? Certainly not. “America has not done well at incorporating blacks and Hispanics into the work force or tapping their full productive potential,” writes Mr. Hormats. He suggests that we have only to reform our education system and introduce free child care in order for non-whites to become just like the rest of us.
Non-whites fail because “America has not done well.”If white society can only reform itself, non-whites will reach their “full productive potential.”For how long will academics and intellectuals recite these mantras while society decays around them?
The second article is “Population Change and National Security,”by Nicholas Eberstadt. It focuses on the effect that rapidly growing Third World populations will have on the industrial West. Between 1950 and 1985, the underdeveloped nations grew at nearly three times the rate of the developed nations, despite steady emigration from south to north. By the year 2025 — just 35 years from now — the United States is expected to have a smaller population than Nigeria, and the aggregate population of all industrial nations (including Japan), will be smaller than the population of either India or Sub-Saharan Africa.
Mr. Eberstadt points out that these bloated, Third World countries will very likely be poor, fractious, hostile to the developed world, and increasingly demanding. He goes so far as to say that the new international environment will be “even more menacing to the security prospects of the Western alliance than was the Cold War …”
What are we to do about this? End the foreign aid that only expands the rate of Third World population growth? Strengthen the security of our borders against the inevitable push of illegal immigration? Try to increase our own birth rates? No, none of these. Mr. Eberstadt offers only one solution: try to spread Western values to nations that still find them “fundamentally alien.”
But here, too, the author reveals his own inconsistencies. In a very interesting passage on the nature of demographics, he writes:
“Demography is the study of human numbers, but it is the human characteristics of those numbers that define world events. What is called a demographic problem may better be described as a moral and intellectual [emphasis added] problem that takes demographic form. Indeed, divorced from an understanding of the people behind the data, population studies can provide little insight …”
It is unusual for a mainstream writer to acknowledge that populations are not equivalent. Perhaps Mr. Eberstadt even realizes that it is a moral and intellectual failing not to recognize that the successes of certain groups and the failures of others are not simply demographic curiosities but reflect the “people behind the data.”
When liberals and minority activists can find no explanation but “racism”for the disproportionate failure of non-whites, they are dressing up moral and intellectual problems to look like demography. When immigration activists argue that anyone from any place has full title to American citizenship they are doing the same thing.
Does Mr. Eberstadt — a man who understands that numbers mean nothing without an understanding of the “people behind the data,”really think that the West can spread its values to Third World nations that find those values “fundamentally alien”? The United States has been unable to spread Western values even to populations within its own borders. It will be a rare achievement to get Nepal and Nigeria to embrace what Harlem does not.
The Hoaxer Project Report
“Racism” in America causes such breast beating, and provokes so much sympathy for the “victim” that many non-whites have started staging phony incidents. Tawana Brawley’s invented rape in 1987 at the hands of a gang of white men is probably the most famous such hoax of recent years.
As Laird Wilcox demonstrates in an excellent, 50-page study, Miss Brawley is hardly alone. The Hoaxer Project Report documents dozens of staged incidents of graffiti, harassment and violence, in which Jews or non-whites have tried to pin the blame on whites. Since the discovery that an incident was a hoax is inevitably reported by the press in a much more muted way than the incident itself, it takes very patient research to compile a study of this kind.
The report also contains several thoughtful essays by Mr. Wilcox on the psychology of racial hoaxing and the national climate that makes it attractive. As he points out, the hysterical reactions that staged incidents can provoke is often very damaging to those who actually consider themselves racists or anti-Semites. He has uncovered the following remarkable case:
“One bonafide anti-Semite, Jozef Mlot-Mroz of Salem, MA, was arrested for attempting to paint over anti-Semitic graffiti on a local synagogue. He claimed that the graffiti was intended to create a false impression of anti-Semitic harassment …”
The Hoaxer Project Report is certainly the best study to date of a phenomenon that typifies the topsy-turvy state of race relations in America today. It is available from Editorial Research Service, P.O. Box 2047, Olathe, KS 66061. The price is $6.00 per copy. Checks should be made out to Laird Wilcox.
IN THE NEWS
O Tempora, O Mores!
Mail Order Citizenship
The Immigration Act of 1990 did not merely increase the ceiling on legal immigration to a figure that will soon be close to one million, it also made it possible to become a citizen by mail. Until now, new citizens had to attend a formal naturalization ceremony before a judge, in which they took an oath of loyalty to the flag, Constitution, and laws of the United States. That is now optional; everything can be handled by mail. The Bush administration explains that harried federal judges will now have more time for criminal cases and civil law suits.
The NAACP has accused automobile insurers of “racism,”since they charge more to insure a vehicle in 70 percent-black Detroit than they do to insure one in the suburbs. Insurers have explained that Detroit cars are involved in more accidents and that they are far more likely to be stolen than cars in the suburbs. A lawyer for the NAACP actually claims that the large number of crashes in Detroit is caused by suburbanites driving through the city.
The NAACP has gone to court in an attempt to force insurers to give the same rates to the entire, five-county metropolitan area, which would include the suburbs. A spokesman for the Michigan AAA, the area’s largest insurer, points out that this is no more than a demand that suburban drivers subsidize the city.
Indians to the Rescue
After the usual anti-white self flagellation, Eastern Michigan University has decided to stop calling its athletic teams the Hurons, and has done away with its Indian mascot. Yet another act of racial insensitivity had been undone. Now, a spokesman for the Hurons has complained that his tribe was never consulted. “We’re proud to have our name associated with an institution of higher learning,”he says; “Are we going to change [the name of] Lake Huron next?”
Fines for Forgers
The Immigration Act of 1986, which granted amnesty to several million illegal aliens, was supposed to discourage further clandestine immigration by forbidding employers to hire people without proper papers. A number of firms have, in fact, been fined for hiring “undocumented”aliens.
Naturally, a cottage industry soon sprang up to supply forged driver’s licenses and social security cards to illegals. These became so widely available that the “employer sanctions”aspect of the 1986 law has become nearly meaningless. Astonishingly, it was only in June of 1991, five years after the law was passed, that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) decided to start punishing people who use, make or knowingly accept forged documents. There will now be fines of $250 to $2000 for the first offense and $2000 to $5000 for a second violation.
The INS will be allowed to use the money to pay for new enforcement programs. If it goes about its work with a will, it should soon have money aplenty.
Money for Mexico
Although it is seldom reported in this country, Mexico suffers from its own problem of illegal immigration — from Central America. There are an estimated 300,000 Salvadorans and 100,000 Guatemalans living illegally in Mexico. The authorities, which are much more ruthless about booting out unwanted migrants than Americans are, would happily deport them if they had the means.
The United States has quietly started supplying the means. Grants of $350,000 a year help the Mexicans get on with the job. Aid to Mexico serves the United States because most of the Central Americans in Mexico are trying to come north. Since the US started funding the program, Mexico has been able to nearly double its deportations of Central Americans from 85,000 to 160,000 a year. As a consequence, the number of Central Americans caught entering the United States illegally from Mexico dropped from 50,000 in 1989 to 37,000 in 1990.
Occasionally foreign aid actually serves American purposes — though in this case it doesn’t stop Mexicans from criticizing even the token resistance America puts up against illegal immigration across the Rio Grande.
The US Commission on Minority Business Development, whose job is to give tax money to non-white entrepreneurs, says that its work is hampered by the word “minority,”which carries too many negative connotations. The commission has filed a formal request with Congress to allow it to change the words in its name from “Minority Business”to “Historically Underutilized Business.”It proposes the acronym HUB for anyone who thinks the new term is too much of a mouthful. So far, it has not yet started calling white-owned companies “Historically Overutilized Businesses.”
The Joys of Multi-culturalism
Sometimes the struggle to build a “multi-cultural”America is a tragedy; sometimes a farce. Sometimes it is both.
In good, pluralistic style, Crown College at the University of California, Santa Cruz, had scheduled a campus-wide Philippino dinner. Unfortunately, it happened to fall on Dec. 7, and there were complaints about serving Asian food on Pearl Harbor Day. Don Vandenberg, the Bursar of Crown College, agreed to cancel the dinner.
This roused the usual yahoos, and the college’s Japanese-surnamed budget director, Victor Kimura wrote an open letter saying that Mr. Vandenberg was “racist and bigoted.”Mr. Vandenberg then received death threats and his car was painted with racial insults. He took a leave of absence and later sued Mr. Kimura and the university for defamation and emotional distress.
Any non-white who got death threats and whose car was vandalized could count on a fat settlement from the university, but since Mr. Vandenberg is white, the court threw out his case. Nevertheless, Appellate Justice Eugene Premo did make some interesting observations about contemporary American mores:
“Accusations of racism in a college community are more apt to be expressions of anger, resentment, and possibly political differences of opinion, than to be factual accusations intended to be taken literally … We hold that this unreasonable, emotional and angry letter [from Mr. Kimura] cannot reasonably be understood as implying any facts, that it is more opinion than fact, and as such is not appropriate for jury determination.” Perhaps so. But unreasonable, emotional and angry letters can still ruin a man’s career.
Football players at the University of Miami have a disagreeable habit of taunting their opponents, especially when they win. Father Leo Armbrust, the chaplain of the team explains it this way:
“A good percentage of the team is black. They have a way of expressing their values, personalities and culture that a good part of society does not approve of.” Why should it be a surprise … that Miami could act in a way that seems taunting, aggressive, civilly offensive?
Kevin Costner, who brought us the fawningly pro-Indian and contemptuously anti-white movie, “Dances With Wolves,”is back in the saddle with more racial fantasies. In his latest movie, “Robin Hood,”the 12th century English outlaw has, as his second in command, an utterly improbable black man named Azeem.
At Cross Purposes
The city of St. Paul (MN) has outdone itself in the fight against bigotry. It has passed a law making it illegal to burn a cross, swastika, “or similar symbol”on public or private property. Citizens can burn the flag on the courthouse steps but they can’t burn a cross, or anything that even looks like one, in the privacy of their own back yards.
Marketing to Minorities — Beware
Last year, the R.J. Reynolds tobacco company got in trouble when word was leaked of its plans to market a new brand of cigarettes, “Uptown,”specifically to blacks. This was “exploitation of minorities,”according to angry protesters, and Reynolds dropped its plans.
This time it’s the Heilman Brewing Company that is in trouble. It would like to sell a new brand of malt liquor called PowerMaster, with 31 percent more alcohol than other malt liquors. Ads were to feature blacks. Once again the cry has gone up that blacks are being exploited by purveyors of vice. Blacks have organized a boycott of Heilman products in at least six major cities. Heilman may back down.
Campaigns against products like these raise interesting questions. Black leaders are presumably admitting that blacks can be easily manipulated by advertisers into doing foolish, self-destructive things. Those who would like to ban all liquor and tobacco ads are presumably saying that all people can be so manipulated. What does this say about democracy? Political campaigns are even less truthful than commercial advertising. Does a people without the wit to ignore the blandishments of beer-makers have the wit to choose its leaders?
FBI Lowers Standards
One reads a great deal about alleged discrimination against non-whites at the FBI. One reads less about real discrimination against whites. James Perez, the Bureau’s equal opportunity officer, admits that non-whites get an extra three points on the written test and an extra two points on the interview, for an advantage of five points out of a total of 100.
Sometimes the Bureau doesn’t even pay attention to the scores. Hugo Rodriguez, who served as a minority recruiter for the Bureau between 1978 and 1987 says, “It’s a quota system; somehow they would decide they want so many blacks, or so many Hispanics. Then they would go down the list until they got that number.”Mr. Rodriguez later went on to represent Hispanic agents in a discrimination suit against the Bureau.
In response to alleged discrimination against non-white agents, the Bureau is considering whether to promote non-white agents more rapidly than white agents. This has finally brought white resentment into the open. “Previously it was only hiring, and people didn’t care because it was going on below them,”says a white agent. “But under [FBI Director, William] Sessions, it’s going to involve promotions …” The victims of discrimination are finally beginning to organize in defense of their interests.
John Ruskin (1819-1900) was an English art critic and social reformer, who left part of his art collection to the city of Sheffield, England. Recently, the city decided to give his name to a square in the center of town. Plans were changed when it was discovered that Ruskin had supported the violent suppression of West Indian blacks after the Morant Bay Rebellion in 1865. As Mike Pye of the Sheffield Council explained, “the advice of our racial equality officers was that the name Ruskin would cause pain to the black community.”Sheffield blacks appear to be remarkably well informed about John Ruskin.
Former French PM Speaks Out
Jacques Chirac, former French Prime Minister and a leader in conservative politics recently caused a furor by speaking out against immigrants, of which he said France had an “overdose”:
“The French worker sees … a father, with four wives and a score of children, making 50,000 francs [$8,000] a month on welfare — without working, of course. Add to that the noise and the smell and the French worker … goes crazy.”
Mr. Chirac went on to say, “It’s high time we opened the major debate needed in our country to determine whether it is natural that foreigners benefit from a national solidarity they don’t take part in, because they don’t pay taxes.” A realistic debate on immigration to France certainly is long overdue, and France is fortunate in having major figures who are willing to say so.
The hit Japanese video game, Final Fight, will reach the US market in October — but with a few changes. In the Japanese version, a white hero makes short work of swarms of hoodlums, many of whom are black or Hispanic. Dark-skinned villains were too realistic for the American market, so their skin tones have been lightened for the US version.
SAT Goes PC
The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) has long been criticized because blacks and Hispanics don’t do as well on it as whites. In an attempt to redeem themselves, the SAT’s designers have rewritten many of its questions. In the most recent version, close to half of the questions about real people are about blacks — Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansberry, Jackie Robinson, etc. The fiction selection for the reading comprehension test was from black author Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The SAT didn’t ignore other minorities either. There were questions about Chicanos, Indians, Eskimos, and even a sympathetic mention that Zimbabwe (former white-ruled Rhodesia) celebrated its second year of independence in 1982.
The SAT may have gone politically correct, but somehow this hasn’t improved minority test scores. As usual, the average black combined score was 200 points lower than the white average.
During the 1980s, the Hispanic population of the United States increased by 53 percent, and now accounts for nine percent of the total. Hispanics, who were once concentrated in only a few parts of the country are now gaining in numbers everywhere. Seventy congressional districts now have Hispanic populations of more than 100,000. Each district covers about half a million people, so a block of 100,000 or more can easily sway an election.
Of these 70 districts, 30 are in California, 16 in Texas, and 8 in New York. Other states that have had heavily Hispanic districts for some time are Arizona and Florida (four each), and New Mexico (three). Now Illinois and New Jersey (two each) and Colorado (one) have joined them.
There are currently ten Hispanic congressmen: four from Texas, three from California, and one each from Florida, New York, and New Mexico. After every census, congressional districts are redrawn. Since the Voting Rights Act has been interpreted by judges to require the creation of districts in which minorities have a majority, the next elections should show a sharp increase in the number of Hispanic representatives.
LETTERS FROM READERS
Sir — Imagine my surprise and delight when I turned on the radio last week, and found myself in the middle of a live, call-in program with the editor of American Renaissance. What a boost it was to hear such good sense going out over the airwaves! Thanks and congratulations.
Name withheld, Harrisburg, Pa.
Sir — As one of the few remaining white residents of Miami, I can vouch for the accuracy of Mr. Boggs’ article, “The Late Great American City,” (AR, June 1991).
Six months ago, the building of the Edward J. Gertits construction company in nearby Wynwood was burned to the ground by rioting Puerto Ricans. Last month, the Miami Herald (June 4, 1991) reported on the ribbon cutting ceremony for the openhag of the rebuilt building. It is now a “fortress,” built to bomb shelter standards.
The building sits on a 3½ foot base of solid concrete to prevent a driver from smashing through the wall in an automobile. The ceiling is also made of concrete so that it will neither collapse nor melt. Bullet-proof glass, six inches thick, also reassures the company president, who says, “You couldn’t get through it with a bazooka.”
Will this become the new trend in American urban architecture? I suspect that people are certainly not desitmlng buildings like this in Stockholm, Edinburgh, or Geneva.
Official blindness in the face of what is happening to American cities was typified by one civic leader at the reception held to celebrate the opening of the new building. City Commissioner J.L. Plummet, between mouthfuls of Brie, declared, “I would hope it would demonstrate the rebirth of what this community once was and could be again.”
Frank Philips, Miami, Fla.
Sir — Congratulations to Thomas Jackson on his splendid essay, “What is Racism?” Whatever the word may have meant in the past, today it seems to serve most often as a one-word explanation for all examples of black failure. This is no more than the dogma of racial equality taken to its inevitable conclusion. In Mr. Jackson’s words, “Every time a nonwhite is poor, commits a crime, goes on welfare or takes drugs, white society stands accused of yet another act of racism.”
However, “racism” is much more than the cause of black failure. It is a sin of terrifying proportions. Those guilty of it are treated like Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter-they wear the mark of social opprobrium for ever. It is the fear of being branded as “racists” that explains why the American people put up with such inanities as affirmative action. For those seeking the highest levels of political righteousness, “racism” has become the obligatory moral purgative with which to free the flow of national rectitude.
Marilyn Dumortier, Augusta, Me.
Sir — I am an appreciative reader of your magazine, but it suffers from one serious defect: It is too gloomy. Your writers have a knack for unearthing the most disturbing indications that ruin awaits us, but they never suggest how we might avoid it. I realize that for anyone with a European sensibility, there is little on the horizon from which to draw encouragement. All the same, the unrelieved darkness that fills your pages is more likely to depress than to inspire. Please consider writing about what thoughtful Americans may reasonably hope for, as well as what we should scorn and avoid.
Steven Holcombe, Leesburg, Va.
Mr. Holcombe raises a very important issue. We have received several letters from people who say, in effect that it is always clear what AR is against, but much harder to know what it is for.
There are several reasons for this. First, we believe that effective solutions to problems require correct diagnosis. Today, America’s problems are misdiagnosed. The question of race, which lies at the heart of the current American crisis, has been banished from public discussion. AR is attempting to reintroduce a racial perspective as one that is not only legitimate but necessary. In order to lay bare the underlying racial character of a problem, we must discuss the problem; this makes for gloomy reading.
Second, AR is a source of news about racial matters in America. Unfortunately, we live in an era in which news of this sort is more often bad than good. We are always happy to report encouraging developments, but there are few to report.
This said, we certainly do not think that AR is complete in its current form. We are considering adding a new section that would emphasize what it is that we love and wish to preserve. We are not yet sure what form this section would take, but we are aware of the extent to which the tone of our current articles may discourage readers. Many, like Mr. Holcombe, would like to find inspiration in the pages of AR, and we do not intend always to disappoint them.