|Vol 4, No. 6||June 1993|
The ‘Reparations’ Hoax, Part I
Activist groups are trying to build momentum for a new racial shakedown.
The latest attempt by blacks to extract race-based benefits from whites is the increasingly popular demand for “reparations” for the injustice of slavery. Although neither Congress nor any state legislature is likely to pass a reparations act any time soon, black activists are laying the groundwork for what they hope will be a massive transfer of wealth from whites to blacks.
The demand for reparations is based on a completely misguided understanding of the origin, nature, and consequences of slavery. Nevertheless, the climate of our times is one in which whites listen patiently to virtually any demand blacks make in the name of race. Preposterous as the idea can be shown to be, our country may yet be capable of handing over money to today’s blacks in atonement for practices that came to an end 130 years ago.
The rationale for reparations is that today’s blacks have a moral right to compensation for the unpaid labor of their ancestors. That right is not open to question; the only disagreement is over the amount of compensation and how it should be distributed. Activists’ convictions are based in part on the idea that blacks “built America,” that slavery was uniquely profitable and productive, and that today’s Americans owe their material comfort to the past labor of slaves. The billions of dollars to be handed over to blacks would be only fair compensation for their ancestors’ vital contributions.
Reparations activists were vastly encouraged by the 1988 Wartime Relocations Act, which provided for payments of $20,000 to each of the 120,000 suriving Japanese-Americans who were interned during the Second World War. Blacks also point to the billions of dollars that Germany has paid out over the years as compensation for its wartime Jewish policies. Payments have gone not just to individuals but to the state of Israel. Transfers of this kind set a precedent for punishing today’s (and tomorrow’s) taxpayers for acts their governments committed in the past.
Although many different groups around the country agitate for reparations, the largest and best-organized is the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, which has the pseudo-African acronym of N’COBRA. The group is based in Washington (DC) and has chapters and affiliates in other states. Vince Goodwin, the group’s co-chairman, describes slavery as the “the largest holocaust committed,” and sees reparations as the only way America can “heal itself.”
|Our country may yet be capable of handling money over to blacks in atonement for slavery.|
N’COBRA was delighted when Rep. John Conyers of Detroit introduced a bill in Congress to establish a presidential commission to study black reparations. Today, N’COBRA’s main mission is to encourage the introduction of similar legislation both in Congress and in state legislatures.
Massachusetts state Senator William Owens has actually held hearings on a reparations bill, and one has been introduced in Michigan. Cities with large black populations have passed resolutions calling for reparations. Detroit and Washington (DC) have both issued official demands, and the Detroit chapter of N’COBRA has taken to picketing the local federal office building.
The Urban League and the NAACP have gotten on the reparations bandwagon and Jesse Jackson has endorsed the idea. Former Harvard Law School professor, Derrick Bell, believes in reparations because “The struggle against racism requires action … Anything and everything should be tried.” Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam has long preached a form of reparations that would involve turning over several American states to blacks, along with huge cash payments.
Even one prominent white, neo-conservative Charles Krauthammer, has publicly endorsed reparations. He says that payments to blacks would be better for them than “the warm glow of condescension that permeates affirmative action.” Once the debt of slavery were paid off, America could abandon affirmative action with good conscience and finally institute color-blind policies.
For the reparations activists, that would not be enough. Dorothy Lewis of the Black Reparations Committee explains that affirmative action and reparations are remedies for different wrongs. As she explains, “Affirmative action is needed to curtail racism that exists now.”
Reparations movements are gaining ground in Brazil, Jamaica, and England. As Cindy Owens, wife of the Massachusetts state senator says, “The slaves built not just this country but Jamaica, the Bahamas, England and other places. Why shouldn’t we all be paid for that labor?”
Even the dark continent has caught reparations fever. In 1991, President Ibrahim Babangida of Nigeria made a public demand that Africa be compensated for the people it lost in the slave trade, and he is planning an international conference this summer to flesh out details. Speakers will include Nelson Mandela of the African National Congress and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
There is great fun to be had in calculating the damages award. Andrew Jenkins, a Detroit real estate agent who has been a reparations activist for 27 years, says that every black in the country is entitled to $1 million. It does not seem to bother him that this would work out to about $30 trillion, or the equivalent of the entire federal budget for the past 20 or so years. State Sen. Owens of Massachusetts is more modest. He calculates the debt at only $3 trillion, with perhaps another trillion in back interest.
Like so much of what our country says and does in the name of race, all this is pure lunacy. First, slave owners certainly did buy and sell slaves and forced them to work without wages.
|By one estimate, reparations payments should be equivalent to the entire federal budget for the past 20 years.|
However, all slaves and slave owners are dead. There is no legal basis either for punishing distant descendants for the wrong-doing of their ancestors or for rewarding the distant descendants of those who were wronged.
The parallel between compensation for interned Japanese and today’s blacks is tenuous. First, only those who were actually interned have been compensated. Surviving children get nothing. Furthermore, internment was a deliberate act of the United States government, so a case can be made for government redress. Slavery was a private practice regulated by states and localities. The federal government never owned a single slave. When it abolished slavery (by means of a dubious Constitutional amendment that excluded the states of the defeated Confederacy) it ended a private practice that had begun more than a century before the federal government even existed.
Those who ignore these obvious arguments and nevertheless insist on government compensation do so because they believe two things: that slavery was a unique and unparalleled evil done by whites to blacks, and that it was so productive America would have remained poor without it. The first of these ideas has been so widely promoted it is almost an article of faith, and it is worth looking into slavery in some detail in order to refute both charges.
The Slave Trade
Slavery and the trade in human property were well established on the continent long before Europeans ever arrived. There is no record of whites ever venturing into the interior of Africa in search of slaves; they had no need to do so. The 500,000 or so blacks who were brought to the United States were first captured by Africans and delivered to the coast by professional African slave traders.
Slaves were usually captured in tribal wars, but Africans had learned that it was impractical to enslave people from neighboring tribes, since they could easily escape back to their own people. Captives were therefore sold to traders who resold them only after they had marched the slaves so far from home they could not return. This infrastructure was easily adapted to meet the needs of white slave merchants.
Nevertheless, the trans-Atlantic trade had some requirements different from those of the traditional inter-tribal trade. In African warfare, the usual practice was to enslave captured women and children but to kill all male prisoners. It was an agreeable surprise for Africans to discover a profitable export market for men. Many of the slaves who were marched in coffles to the sea would therefore have been slaughtered had there been no demand for them in the New World.
Some Africans formed raiding parties specifically to supply European slavers, but the primary source for the trans-Atlantic trade was the overflow of captives from tribal warfare. The most promising slaving sites therefore moved up and down the coast, depending on the fortunes of war. When there was peace along the Gambia river, operations shifted to the Sassandra or the Konkoure.
Whites certainly did not rob Africa of its manhood. Unlike the Africans who supplied them, whites paid for what they got. If today’s Africans have a quarrel, it is with their own warfaring ancestors rather than with whites.
As for American blacks, the idea that they should be paid because of the injustices done to their ancestors crumbles to dust when one compares their present state with that of Africans. There has never been a group of blacks anywhere in the history of the world that has enjoyed the material prosperity of American blacks. Even the poorest American black is vastly better off than the average African. Whatever one may say about the wrongs that were done to slaves, their descendants have every reason to be grateful that their ancestors were shipped to America rather than killed or left in Africa.
The high standard of living that blacks enjoy in America is due to the fact that they live among whites. For an example of the kind of society they would have built for themselves one need only visit Liberia. This West African nation, established by freed American slaves, has long been one of the most miserable nations on a miserable continent and is now in a state of barbarous anarchy.
Moreover, despite the lip service they give to Afro-centrism, very few American blacks emigrate to Africa. Those who think they would like to “go home” usually change their minds after a single visit. The power of attraction runs entirely the other way; hundreds of thousands of Africans [%-2] would come to America if they could.
Skeletons in the White House Closet
By today’s standards, many of America’s greatest men were rabid white supremacists.
American Statesmen on Slavery and the Negro, Nathaniel Weyl and William Marina, Arlington House, 1971, 448 pp.
Nations, like people, often give only partial accounts of their past, and what they leave out says a great deal. It is no accident, therefore, that few aspects of American history are so consistently ignored as the fact that so many of the men our country professes to admire were confirmed “racists.” The thinking of these men is, by today’s standards, so reprehensible that one must turn to books long out of print to find a candid summary of what they thought.
American Statesmen on Slavery and the Negro, published by the now defunct Arlington House, is in most good libraries and can occasionally be found in used book stores. It is an invaluable guide to what America’s most influential men have thought about the race question and is also an enlightening summary of the centuries-long struggle to understand the question that has dogged our nation ever since its beginning: Can a multi-racial nation be made to work?
As the authors point out, the United States inherited a race problem. Negro slavery had already been established by the southern states before the nation was even founded. In fact, the question of whether slaves were people or property was the most intractable problem at the constitutional convention in Philadelphia. Representatives of slave states insisted that slaves be counted as people for the purpose of deciding how many Congressmen a state was to have but that they be counted as property for all other purposes. The delegates reached an acrimonious and strictly utilitarian compromise according to which each slave was counted as three-fifths of a person. James Madison was not the only delegate to fear that slavery would be the greatest source of national conflict in the years to come.
Of course, opposition to slavery was not the same as acceptance of blacks as political or social equals. Almost without exception, men who opposed slavery for moral reasons were also convinced that blacks were an inferior race that should never have been brought to America.
Benjamin Franklin was unusual for his time in thinking that blacks were not intellectually inferior. As one of the most “liberal” Americans then alive, he nevertheless believed that the nation should be purely Anglo Saxon and opposed immigration by groups of any other stock. He also thought blacks were unattractive in appearance and he would have barred them from the country for this reason alone.
Five of the first seven American presidents — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and Andrew Jackson — owned slaves. For 40 of its first 48 years of existence, therefore, the republic was governed by slaveholders. In his early years, Andrew Jackson even tried his hand at trafficking in slaves.
During this period, it was Jefferson, Madison and Monroe who best represented what leading men of their time thought about blacks and slavery. Of the three, Jefferson wrote at greatest length and with the greatest clarity. His observations of blacks had convinced him they were intellectually inferior to whites, even though he had a life-long interest in seeking out blacks of high reputation who might prove him wrong.
Jefferson’s formulation of the race dilemma, which was common among Northerners up through Lincoln’s time, can be summarized thus: Slavery was wrong. However, blacks were inferior to whites and could not be accepted as free men in white society. Blacks should therefore be freed and then deported. So long as blacks remained within the United States, the immorality of slavery was a lesser evil than the chaos of a mixed society.
“We have the wolf by the ears,” wrote Jefferson, “and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.” Separation was the only remedy.
There were then 750,000 blacks in America and Jefferson was willing to expand the powers of government if that was what was required to expel them. He considered various destinations for “colonization” and concluded that Africa or the West Indies would be best. He ruled out Central or South America because he felt that whites would eventually inhabit the Americas from north to south, and he did not want to set obstacles in the path of expansion.
|Like Franklin, Jefferson found blacks esthetically displeasing.|
Like Franklin, Jefferson found blacks esthetically displeasing. He wrote that just as it was normal for men to prefer good conformation in their horses and dogs, it was natural to distinguish plain from handsome races. As a livestock breeder, Jefferson knew that young animals inherit the characteristics of their parents. He saw no reason why eugenic principles should not be applied to humans and toyed with the idea of regulating human breeding.
Today, it is fashionable to call Jefferson a hypocrite, both because he condemned slavery but owned slaves and because he considered blacks inferior but may have had a black mistress. The authors of this book think it entirely possible that Jefferson had a liaison with his slave, Sally Hemmings. As they point out, she was, at most, only one quarter black and was widely described as beautiful. The affair would have begun after the death of Jefferson’s wife.
Aside from unanswerable questions about Sally Hemmings, Jefferson was certainly not a hypocrite by his own standards. If it had been possible to remove all blacks from the United States he would have made considerable sacrifices to bring that about. The only real attack on his integrity can be to ask if he might not have done more to achieve this goal. James Madison, who followed Jefferson as President, was also a strong partisan of colonization. He estimated that it would cost $600 million to buy, transport, and colonize the entire black population of the United States, and he would have been prepared to sell 200 to 300 million acres of public land to raise the sum. However, he felt that a Constitutional amendment was necessary to permit the federal government to transport blacks, and he faced strong opposition from the slave states. After his two terms in office, he devoted his efforts to the American Colonization Society, of which he became president.
As Mr. Weyl and Mr. Marina point out, in its time, the Society enjoyed the support of the most powerful and prestigious men in America. Its first meeting was called to order in 1816 by Henry Clay. At various times it had, not merely as members but as officers, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, Stephen Douglas, William Seward, Francis Scott Key, Gen. Winfield Scott, Matthew Carey (the prominent Philadelphia publisher), Edward Everett (governor of Massachusetts and president of Harvard) and two Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, John Marshall and Roger Taney. The purpose of the society was, in Henry Clay’s words, to “rid our country of a useless and pernicious, if not dangerous portion of the population.”
The Society never managed to persuade the government to do this, but it was through the efforts of its members that Liberia was established as a home for freed slaves. President James Monroe was a active proponent of colonization and in 1824 Liberians named their capital Monrovia as a gesture of thanks.
The authors of this book make it clear that the dividing line of respectable opinion before the Civil War was not whether the Negro should be slave or free but whether he should be a slave or be driven out of the country. Even in the North, a great many people were perfectly content for the black man to remain a slave. Abolitionists, who dared not even show their faces in the South, were seen as busybody subversives in the North as well. They were often beaten up or tarred and feathered.
In 1837, in Alton, Illinois, a mob killed an abolitionist editor named Elijah Lovejoy. He was no egalitarian by today’s standards, and argued that one of the benefits of abolition would be the end of miscegenation, which he called “that wretched, shameful, and polluted intercourse.” He was killed for proposing freedom for a race that many in the North were happy to leave as they were.
From today’s vantage point, the great irony in the antebellum slavery debates is that there was virtually no constituency for racial equality; “liberals” were for deportation and “conservatives” were for slavery. This difference could not be reconciled peaceably and in the end neither side got what it wanted. The result was the very thing whites feared most: a multi-racial society.
‘The Great Emancipator’
Abraham Lincoln was the last great champion of colonization, but in his desperation to save the Union he took measures that made colonization much more difficult. In an attempt to court world opinion and prevent European nations from recognizing the Confederacy, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which led inevitably to abolition. Once blacks were citizens rather than slaves, forced deportation became a much less plausible option.
Had Lincoln not been so hard pressed on the battlefield he would surely not have attempted to free the slaves without providing for deportation. Before and even during the war, he had repeatedly said that abolition was unthinkable without colonization.
Mr. Weyl and Mr. Marina describe the many efforts Lincoln made to promote colonization even during the darkest hours of the war. He persuaded Congress to appropriate money to buy up the slaves in the District of Columbia and send them out of the country. He invited a delegation of prominent blacks to the White House — the first time blacks had ever received such an invitation — to ask them to persuade other blacks to go to Haiti or Central America. He even considered setting aside Texas as an asylum for blacks so that the rest of the country could be free of them.
If Lincoln had not been assassinated, he might well have devoted the rest of his life to promoting colonization. With the pro-slavery faction thoroughly beaten, the nation might then have followed the wishes of the President. Instead, war and emancipation — neither of which might have happened without Lincoln’s force of will — brought into being the mixed society that he most dreaded.
Since the war, all but the most recent presidents have struggled to find middle-ground solutions to the race problem — solutions that Jefferson and Lincoln were convinced did not exist. Up through Eisenhower’s era, this meant acknowledging the inferiority of blacks but trying to treat them fairly.
Theodore Roosevelt, for example, thought blacks were “a perfectly stupid race,” and he bitterly blamed Southerners for having saddled the country with them. “There is no solution to the terrible problem offered by the presence of the Negro on this continent,” he wrote in 1901; “he is here and can neither be killed nor driven away.” He also thought that Haiti had suffered terribly from independent rule by blacks and that it would have benefited from another hundred years of slavery.
Nevertheless, blacks could not be deprived of all rights. Roosevelt recognized that some were able and deserved to hold appointed office. Although he never instituted a method for selection, he also thought that some blacks should be given the vote.
The authors of this book point out that the early socialists hardly took the liberal view of race that we now associate with the left. As they tell the story:
“In 1903, the Socialist Party was taken to task by the Second International for its indifference to the rampant mob violence against Negroes. The Socialist National Quorum replied that only the abolition of capitalism and the victory of socialism could prevent the procreation and production of ‘lynchable human degenerates.’ This extraordinary response seems to have satisfied the international socialist organization.
“At the 1910 Socialist Party Congress, the Committee on Immigration called for the ‘unconditional exclusion’ of Chinese and Japanese on the grounds that they were politically backward and because America was already afflicted with the Negro problem.”
Later, under Norman Thomas, the party campaigned for racial equality, but this was well after the socialist high-water mark of 1912. Today’s socialists are mostly intellectuals, but early in the century they were working men with the ordinary instincts of working men. During the 1920s, as the party withered, many of its members joined the resurgent Ku Klux Klan.
|The question was not whether the Negro was to be slave or free but whether he was to be a slave or be driven out of the country.|
Mr. Weyl and Mr. Marina report that Woodrow Wilson was a firm segregationist, who, as president of Princeton, used evasive means to prevent blacks from enrolling. As Chief Executive, he ordered the segregation of government offices and was surprised by the opposition of blacks and liberals. However, he was publicly supported by Charles Eliot, president of Harvard and probably the man with the most intellectual prestige in the country. The great sage observed that “civilized white men” could not be expected to work along side “barbarous black men.” Nevertheless, Wilson did appoint blacks to government office when he thought them qualified.
Warren Harding was dogged throughout his life by rumors that his great-grandmother was part black. He was never able to silence his critics for he himself was uncertain about the facts. The authors of this book conclude that there is a good chance that the rumors were true. As President, Harding took the position that blacks and whites were different and preferred to live apart. In one of his most famous speeches he said, “a black man cannot be a white man … He should seek to be, and he should be encouraged to be, the best possible black man, and not the best possible imitation of a white man.” He was one of the first Presidents to promote the view that blacks could have political and economic equality even if they were denied social equality.
Truman and Eisenhower continued to struggle with this slippery idea. However, Truman finally concluded that even though private citizens could discriminate in employment, the government could not. He integrated the armed services, even over the strenuous objections of the Navy, thereby enforcing for others the social mixing he himself avoided.
Eisenhower likewise believed that although blacks should have political and economic opportunity this did not mean that the races should be forced together “or that a Negro should court my daughter.” Nevertheless, when Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas defied a court order to integrate Little Rock’s schools in 1957, Eisenhower took the unprecedented step of sending federal troops to enforce the order. School integration meant that more blacks would be courting white people’s daughters.
|John Kennedy was the first President to disavow all racial consciousness — at least in public.|
Mr. Weyl and Mr. Marina end their narrative with John Kennedy, who was the first President wholly to disavow, at least in public, all racial consciousness. He even went so far as implicitly to support the right to riot, observing that if Congress did not pass civil rights laws, blacks had no choice but to take to the streets. Of course, blacks got civil rights laws but rioted anyway; the major civil rights acts were passed in 1964 and 1965, and the worst race riots were two years later.
The Modern Era
Kennedy ushered in the beginning of the modern era in American race relations, and the nation embarked on its naive project of trying to build a nation in which race is supposed not to matter. If Jefferson and Lincoln could return from the grave they would hardly be surprised to find that the modern era has been one of continuous friction and irresolvable problems. Certainly in the black slums, they would find the very “negro pandemonium” that many opponents of slavery saw as the only alternative to colonization.
Lincoln and Jefferson would be astonished, however, to discover that whites now attempt to solve these problems by passing laws that punish whites in order to advance blacks. They would be crestfallen to learn that the nation they had always envisioned as a white republic has established an immigration policy that will reduce whites to a minority in just a few decades. They would be bewildered to find that the slightest expression of their own deeply considered views on race now makes a man unfit for public office and suspect as a citizen.
Indeed, American race relations have changed. The last two hundred years have seen a steady dismantling of racial boundaries. The next two hundred will see either their reerection or the complete racial amalgamation that Jefferson and Lincoln found abhorrent.
‘Rudyard Kipling’ on Rodney King
What would Rudyard Kipling have made of the Rodney King affair? In somewhat similar circumstance he wrote a poem about the British infantry called Tommy. You may recall the lines:
It’s Tommy this and Tommy that,
In view of the recent convictions of officers Powell and Koons, a contemporary Kipling might write a poem called Copper:
It’s copper this and copper that,
IN THE NEWS
O Tempora, O Mores!
Business Schools Go Diverse
Because it is now dogma to describe the work force of the future as a rainbow of different races, languages, cultures, etc., “diversity training” is the latest fad at business schools. Rather than explaining to Guatemalans that meetings are supposed to start on time, for example, the “sensitive” manager runs the meeting so that the first part covers matters that José doesn’t need to know about.
The organization that accredits business schools has set up a “task force” to decide what sort of “diversity training” is best. Presumably this means that schools that do not do enough of it will not be accredited. Northwestern University’s business school has already set up an endowed chair in diversity, and virtually all business hire itinerant “diversity specialists” and hold “diversity days.”
The schools are reportedly under pressure from corporate affirmative action officers. In an astonishingly candid appeal to biased research, Anne Fritz, a division manager for AT&T in charge of diversity and “equal opportunity,” explains what she expects from business schools: “We need more research coming out of universities that proves that diversity is good for creativity and productivity.” [Claudia H. Deutsch, “Diversity Bedevils M.B.A. Programs,” NYT 4/4/93, Education Supplement, p. 22.]
There are a few companies that produce textbooks for Christian schools, many of which were set up in the South as refuges for whites fleeing integration. Some of the best known publishers are Accelerated Christian Education (ACE), Bob Jones Textbooks, and Alpha Omega Publications. Their texts have not been completely sanitized as have been those from secular publishers. Here is a passage from an ACE text on South Africa and Nelson Mandela:
“Although apartheid appears to allow the unfair treatment of blacks, the system has worked well in South Africa … Although white businessmen and developers are guilty of some unfair treatment of blacks, they turned South Africa into a modern industrialized nation, which the poor, uneducated blacks couldn’t have accomplished in several more decades. If more blacks were suddenly given control of the nation, its economy and business, as Mandela wished, they could have destroyed what they have waited and worked so hard for.”
[David Dent, “A Mixed Message in Black Schools,” NYT 4/4/93, Education Supplement, p. 28.]
Along with the reduction of whites to 45 percent of the population, a few other things have changed in New York City in the last 50 years. Since 1942, the city’s population has dropped 150,000 — from 7,472,000 to 7,322,000. During the same period, the number of welfare recipients has risen from 73,000 to 1,200,000. In 1942, only 44 New Yorkers were killed with guns; in 1992, 1,499 were shot to death. In 1942, three percent of the births were illegitimate; in 1992, 45 percent were illegitimate. [“The Eye,” Washington Enquirer, 4/30/93, p. 2.]
All is Forgiven
The takeover of Cornell University’s Willard Straight Hall by armed blacks in 1969 was only a slightly more aggressive disruption than the usual student activism of the times. Tom Jones, a senior who led the takeover, mouthed the obligatory lines:
“In the past it has been the black people who have done all the dying. Now the time has come when the pigs are going to die, too. We are moving tonight. Cornell has until 9 o’clock to live. It is now three minutes after eight.”
Fortunately, neither pigs nor black people died in the takeover, and Mr. Jones was never punished for what he did. Now he is about to reap his reward; on May 29 he is expected to be elected to Cornell’s 42-member board of trustees. It appears that at some point Mr. Jones learned that threatening to kill policemen was not the best way to get ahead. He is now president of TIAA-CREF, the world’s largest private pension fund, with assets of $115 billion.
In these strange times, it is hardly surprising to learn who welcomes Mr. Jones to Cornell and who does not. Former president, James Perkins, who was forced to resign one month after the takeover, and Dale Corson, the man who replaced him, say Mr. Jones has won the university’s trust. Black activists, on the other hand, are angry that he appears to have given up the “struggle for minority rights” and that he has even expressed regret over his role in the takeover.
On a more prosaic level, there is some doubt as to Mr. Jones’ interest in Cornell. In reply to those who point out that he has visited the campus only once since 1970 and that he has not been an active alumnus, he says, “I’ve been focusing on my career.” [Evolution of a Protester: from gun to governing,” NYT, April 7, 1993.]
Race and Justice in Miami
Every year, the criminal justice system seems to get more bogged down in race. The trial of a Hispanic policeman who shot a black man has been moved again — for the third time in a year.
In 1989, Colombian-born William Lozano shot a fleeing black suspect on a motorcycle, who he claimed was trying to run him down. Both the rider and his passenger died. When they heard about the incident, Miami blacks rioted and looted for three days. In the trial that followed, a mixed-race Miami jury convicted Mr. Lozano of manslaughter. However, the district court of appeal overturned the conviction after it found that the jury had been swayed by fears of further riots. A new trial was set for last April, but a judge moved it to Orlando, where it was thought Mr. Lozano could get a more unbiased jury.
Unluckily for Mr. Lozano, the riots after the verdict in the first Rodney King beating trial intervened, and someone noticed that only 10 percent of the jury pool in Orlando is black. The judge, fearful of an innocent verdict and more rioting, moved the trial to Tallahassee, where the jury pool is 21 percent black. Then someone noticed that the pool is only 2.4 percent Hispanic, and Mr. Lozano’s lawyer argued that if it made sense to move the trial because of the race of the dead suspects, it made sense to consider the race of the defendant also.
After more wrangling, the prosecutors agreed, and the trial has been moved back to Orlando, which has a population that is 10 percent Hispanic. Now the trial is scheduled for May in Orlando [Miami Officer’s retrial moved yet again, NYT, 3/11/93, p. A18.] … or at least that is the latest word.
The Proud Lady
Black-owned manufacturers of skin lighteners and hair straighteners are furious that white cosmetics companies are winning customers in a market they consider exclusively theirs. The manufacturers have joined in a campaign to put a symbol called the “proud lady” on all their products so that customers will know to patronize blacks rather than whites. [Charles Boisseau, 800 phone line steers customers to black businesses, Houston Chronicle, 4/23/93, p. 1B.]
Of the People, by the People …
Kay Patterson is a state senator in the South Carolina legislature who has no illusions about his role in government: represent the interests of black people. Currently, the population of his district is 65 percent blacks; “I’d like for it to get up around 100 percent,” he explains, so that he need not worry about the other 35 percent.
Mr. Patterson sprinkles his speech with profanity and black dialect and refers to white legislators as “white boys.” He recently sent a letter to black elected officials inviting them to a segregated strategy meeting. “Now please don’t bring any of your ‘White-Friends,’” the letter read, “this is a ‘Colored’ meeting.” [Patterson offers no apology for actions, Post and Courier (Columbia) 4/5/93, p. 3B.]
Will Zaire Disappear?
Zaire, which has enough raw materials to make it one of the richest nations in the world, is withering away. It does not even have a civil war; it has just stumbled to a halt. Businesses, stores, and factories have been stripped clean by unpaid soldiers. International airlines stopped flying in long ago, and the once-numerous expatriate businessmen have fled. The “nation’s” currency, the zaire, is worth 2.5 million to the dollar, which is to say that Zairian bank notes cost more to print than they are worth. Half of the Kinshasa zoo’s animals have starved to death, and the lions have begun to eat each other.
Only one thing keeps the country going. Zaire is the second largest producer of diamonds in the world, and the smugglers who run the diamond trade ride fine cars and wear expensive jewelry. There is no longer any difference between corruption and government. Rich Zairians hire soldiers to guard their homes from the hungry masses, and unpaid school teachers hold private classes for the children of diamond merchants. “You could feed all of the data on Zaire into a computer and the answer would be that this country doesn’t exist,” says a European diplomat. [Liz Sly, “Collapse of Government,” Birmingham News, 4/6/93.]
Conditions like this are at last coming to the attention of even the most hardened liberals. The New York Times Magazine of April 18, 1993 has actually published an article arguing that since great chunks of Africa have fallen into hopeless chaos, they should be recolonized. [Paul Johnson, Colonialism’s back — and not a moment too soon, NYT magazine, 4/18/93, p. 22.] Of course, Americans could start a little closer to home, perhaps in Detroit, or East Saint Louis, or Camden, or …
The University of Pennsylvania has tied itself into knots over whether it is a racial slur to call a black woman a water buffalo. A freshman is said to have shouted this fearful insult out the window at a group of black sorority students who were making noise, adding that there was a zoo nearby if they wanted to party.
Since disciplinary action against the freshman hinges on whether “water buffalo” is a racial slur, a panel of specialists on ethnic insult has been combing the literature to see if the words have ever been used this way. One faculty member has argued that since water buffalo are “large, dark, primitive animals that live in Africa,” the term is ipso facto a racial slur. Others have pointed out that water buffalo live in Asia, not in Africa.
Thus does the administration spends its time. The president of Penn, Sheldon Hackney, is President Clinton’s nominee to chair the National Endowment for the Humanities. [Speech Code Silliness, Wash Post, 5/2/93]
The New Dominion
In the May/June issue of American Heritage, the state of Virginia has paid for a double-page tourism advertisement for itself. It features six large photographs of black people, and has the following text:
“Did you know that the North Pole was co-discovered by an African American named Matthew A. Henson? That the first woman bank president Maggie Leana Walker was black? That the District of Columbia was surveyed by Benjamin Banneker, a Virginia publisher, astronomer and African American?
“If you want to immerse yourself in African American history, don’t just go to your library. Come to Virginia. Nowhere are the contributions of African Americans more evident. Or more profound.”
Of the six photographs of blacks, one is of the current governor of the state, Douglas Wilder. [pp. 28,29 of AH, May/June, 1993.]
George Bojarksi of Richmond (TX) recently died and his son Larry arranged for the body to be embalmed. Later, there was a dispute with the owner of the mortuary, Newell Evans, about cremation fees. Early one morning, in retaliation, Mr. Evans dumped George Bojarksi’s nearly-naked body on the front steps of Larry Bojarski’s apartment. When Mr. Bojarski had Mr. Evans charged with abuse of a corpse, the defendant expressed astonishment and accused the county prosecutor of bad faith. Mr. Evans, who is black, claims that the charge is racist and was filed only because the corpse was white. [Patti Muck, Body-dumping case turns to racial issue, Houston Chronicle, 4/23/93, p. 29A.]
Seeing the Light
The rise in anti-white crime has been so great that even the professional white-bashers have begun to notice. An organization in Alabama called Klanwatch points out that in 1992, nine whites were officially designated as having been killed for racial reasons, as were six blacks, four Hispanics, and two Asians. “The problem of black-on-white bias crime is of deep concern because it is on the increase,” says a spokesman. He notes that in the city of Chicago more bias crimes were committed against whites than against any other race.
Fahim Minkah, of a group called the National Black United Front, says these numbers are a meaningless distraction. “I think focusing on that [hate crimes against whites] is a waste of resources. We’ve got thousands of people in America, in the world, that have been denied jobs, housing, because of hateful [white] bigots.” [Terry Box, Hate crimes against whites increase, Dallas Morning News, 4/28/93, p. 1A.]
Thanks to Anonymous Reader
The Bob Grant Show is a popular conservative talk radio program in New York City. Recently an AR reader called in, described AR, and gave our address. A few listeners immediately sent subscription checks and many more have requested information. Many thanks to our anonymous reader.
More Racial Murder
Last year, six black marines at Camp LeJeune (SC) got drunk in a barracks, worked themselves into a frenzy over “racism,” and decided to do something about it. “We are going to get us a white boy tonight,” Kenneth Parker reportedly said. They went out with a shotgun and found a white marine, Rodney Page, and explained what they intended to do. As Mr. Page begged for his life, they shot him to death in the presence of his pregnant wife. One of the defendants has pleaded guilty and has agreed to testify against the others in exchange for having a life sentence reduced to 28 years. [AP. Marines angry about racism, defendant testifies, Raleigh News & Observer, Feb. 3, 1993.]
The Old Switcheroo
On April 28th, NBC showed a made-for-television movie called “Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter.” It recounted the true story of a mother’s search for justice after her daughter was raped, tortured, and killed. The program was filmed in very convincing documentary style, but the producers made one small change. The real rapist/killer was black; for NBC he was white.
LETTERS FROM READERS
Sir — In the April 1993 issue a letter writer raises a serious question that should be addressed: What does it mean to “stand and fight” [against the waves of non-whites who are transforming our neighborhoods]?
My own view is that the problems AR discusses could largely be solved by market mechanisms if the European majority in the U.S. could bring itself to repeal all civil rights legislation. Quite apart from their bad consequences, these laws are intrinsically wrong because they limit the rights of free association and free contract.
If people were simply free (once again) to hire and associate with whomever they liked, whites would no longer have to flee when blacks moved in. They could simply agree among themselves not to sell or rent to people of certain races. Racial disparities in income would pretty much ensure that blacks could not afford housing in most neighborhoods whites find desirable, and with whites free to agree among themselves not to sell to blacks, neighborhood schools would stabilize.
Similarly, whites would be much less likely to find themselves associating with blacks they did not wish to be with if employers were allowed to hire on any basis they pleased. And — if one may be permitted to dream — if welfare were ever done away with on free-market grounds, we would no longer see cities destroyed by vandals who would not have been born if their ‘parents had had any inkling that they would be solely responsible for childrearing.
In short, without violence and without state-imposed segregation, free market principles would go far toward rescuing productive whites. The changes I am proposing involve only the repeal of laws, most of them less than forty years old. I must note, though, that the U.S. is a democracy; if these laws are not repealed it must be because, lamentably, the majority of whites are in favor of them.
Michael Levin, New York, N.Y.
Sir — Just a note of encouragement in these difficult times and a few comments as they come to me.
1) I think there should be a little space in AR given to addresses of friendly organizations and perhaps even to addresses, telephone numbers, and information about major opposition organizations.
2) Personally I find it depressing to read letters from people who withhold their names. If they are too fearful to have their names published, should their views be published? I know the old excuse about “working behind the scenes,” and it is sometimes valid, but in most cases it is really just plain old cowardice pretending to be something else.
3) Your review of Richard Epstein’s book [opposing anti-discrimination laws (AR of March 1993)] points to something I believe is necessary: tactical support for libertarians and libertarianism. Whatever one thinks of libertarianism ultimately, for the present it is a strong argument and weapon against states that are no longer worthy of any support.
Incidentally, in Germany “white flight” is taking the form of a massive increase in the demand for private schools. Of course, no one mentions the real reasons. When one considers the cowardice and selfishness of whites today one asks oneself why one bothers. The answer, of course, is not for the many of today but for the few of today and the many of tomorrow — another and better kind of white for a better world in the future.
Michael Walker, The Skorpion, Lutzowstrasse 39, 5000 Koln am Rhein 1, GERMANY
Sir — In the May issue, you mention that Gov. Wilson of California has promised to sign a bill that would forbid public education for illegal aliens. I attended hearings on such a bill, held by the Education Committee of the California State Assembly on March 31st.
Many committee members made the ridiculous argument that the cost of checking citizenship would be more than the cost of educating illegal aliens. The “no” side also brought up the usual charges of heartlessness and racism. They asked people to imagine five-year-olds huddled on street corners because they had been thrown out of kindergarten classes. When supporters of the bill said that they wanted illegal children deported to their home countries along with their parents, this was denounced as even more heartless.
The “no” side continually confused legal and illegal immigration and called the bill “anti-immigrant.” One assembly member (Diane Martinez) actually said she didn’t see much difference between legal and illegal immigrants. Nor did she see herself as necessarily representing citizens.
The bill was defeated in committee by a vote of 16 to three.
Evelyn Hill, Santa Clara, Cal.
Sir — I noticed that you illustrated your May review of Wilmot Robertson’s The Ethnostate with a picture of the Confederate national flag. Since most people do not know that flag — they are familiar only with the battle flag — your allusion to the “ethnostate” my ancestors tried to create was probably lost on them.
Greg Hansen, Nashville, Tenn.