|Vol 6, No. 10||October 1995|
White Man in a Texas Prison
Forced integration works no better in prison than it does anywhere else.
Demographers predict that some time in the next century whites will become a racial minority in the United States. This status has already arrived for many of the several hundred thousand whites who have the least control over their lives: prisoners. They are forced to live in the most intimate relations with a class of blacks and Hispanics whom most whites have carefully arranged their lives so as to avoid completely. Forced integration has produced racial animosity in society at large; the even more intensive integration in prisons creates even greater animosity.
Prison administration is also a classic example of judicial dictatorship. [Editor’s note: See review of Judicial Dictatorship in Sept. issue.] At least in Texas, prisons are operated according to the desires of liberal judges, desires that would never be ratified by voters.
‘New Wave’ Texas Prisons
I am 39 years old and have served 10 years of a 55-year sentence for aggravated robbery. For seven years I was confined in minimum- and medium-security prisons, but in 1992 I was shipped, without explanation, to the maximum-security McConnell Unit in Beeville, Texas. I believe that this was because I had been subscribing to racialist publications and was therefore wrongly classified as a “gang-related” prisoner.
Since this transfer I have been living in a “new wave” texas prison that meets the standards established in the early 1980s by federal judge William Wayne Justice. The McConnell Unit is spacious, comfortable, and was incredibly expensive to build. It houses a maximum of 2,880 inmates but cost an astonishing $65 million — more than $22,500 per prisoner. The McConnell Unit and others like it are anything but penitentiaries. They are “resorts” for non-whites who would otherwise be living in squalor. They are “recreation centers” where prisoners can practice sports and play games, and they are schools where inmates can study any number of academic and vocational subjects.
|For many blacks, this prison and others like it are anything but penitentiaries.|
Judge Justice put great emphasis on sports, and the McConnell Unit shows it. The general population — that is to say, all but the 500 or so prisoners who are in solitary confinement, now known euphemistically as “Administrative Segregation” — live in four cell block buildings and two dormitories. Each dormitory houses about 300 inmates and is for “minimum custody” prisoners. The four cell block buildings, for higher custody prisoners, each house about 430 men.
For these six buildings there are four gymnasiums, each with a basketball court and a “universal” weight machine. Each cell block building also has an outdoor recreation area with a basketball court, weight machine, and two handball courts. There are other sports facilities at McConnell, so that the 2,400 men in the general population have a total of nine full-court and two half-court basketball courts, ten handball courts, ten “universal” machines, a softball field, and two full sets of “free” weights. This is a lavish complement of equipment even by the standards of fancy health clubs.
Many inmates devote themselves to physical conditioning, especially the blacks. Many spend hours each day playing basketball and lifting weights; they are bulging with muscles and are an intimidating presence for inmates and guards alike.
In the day-rooms of the dormitories and cell-blocks, men can watch television or play chess, checkers, scrabble, or dominoes. These facilities are also lavish. For example, a day-room set aside for 60 men has two color television sets, eight four-man game tables, and seven three-man benches, and can therefore seat 53 men at once.
Anyone interested in education has an enormous variety of classes from which to choose, from remedial reading up to Master’s degrees. There is vocational training in computers, electronics, drafting and a host of other professions. Until September first of this year, when a new policy came into effect, all courses were free — crime opened the door to unlimited education. Now prisoners will be required to reimburse the state for anything other than high school-equivalency courses or low-level vocational training.
Criminals are in jail because they are rule-breakers, and a jail cannot be run without rules. Traditionally, there have been both “official” and “unofficial” ways to keep order. The official way is through formal disciplinary charges that can result in loss of status or privileges. For example, a prisoner may be denied commissary privileges, which means he cannot buy coffee, food, radios, sneakers, ice cream, etc. This is not much of a hardship. Ever since the ban on smoking in Texas prisons, the “store” no longer sells tobacco, which is what prisoners want most.
A more serious penalty is a reduction in class. There are seven status levels or classes in Texas prisons, including four categories of trusty. A reduction in class can mean that a trusty may no longer work unsupervised; a reduction to the lowest class means a man forfeits “good time,” or periods of good behavior that can lead to earlier release. For prisoners facing a long sentence, this means very little. Even “administrative segregation” or ad-seg is not much of a threat. A cell of one’s own is luxurious privacy. Also, ad-seg units are the only ones with air conditioning; Beeville gets very hot and humid in the summer, so the worst discipline cases live in the best conditions!
The formal penalty system often does not work. It involves paperwork, which is a bother. Punishment usually goes into effect long after the infraction, and there are some men on whom it simply has no effect. Therefore, Texas prisons traditionally had an informal discipline system as well as the formal one. A popular way to handle an unruly inmate used to be to have him “stand on the wall” or stand in one place for a long time with his toes and nose touching the wall. There were occasional beatings and the threat of beatings. All this is now forbidden, and guards can never punish prisoners physically and may use force against them only if guards are, themselves, in clear danger of attack.
Guards therefore have very little real control. Take the case of the dormitories. They are supposed to be less restrictive housing for better-behaved prisoners but affirmative action has been at work here, too: blacks must be assigned to them in proportion to their numbers in the prison population. If 45 percent of the prisoners are black, 45 percent of the men in the dormitories must be black, so many aggressive, hostile blacks are assigned to low-security areas. The six-foot five-inch, 260-pound black who recently became my neighbor was quite surprised to be assigned to a dormitory; he was in close custody just before his move.
A white officer is making the rounds of a 55-man dormitory unit at 11:00 p.m. to conduct a head count. All prisoners are supposed to be in their bunks after 10:30, so he doesn’t expect to find much activity, but he is wrong. Many blacks are up and carousing. Two are in the showers, some are at the latrine, others are visiting friends’ quarters.
“Get to your houses or get an out-of-place case [Go to your bunks or face a citation for being where you are not supposed to be.],” orders the officer.
The order triggers shouts of “Suck a d**k, mother f****r!” “F**k you, whore!” “Get your bitch ass outta here, whore!” The officer says nothing as he waits for the inmates to get to their bunks. They deliberately move slowly. They repeatedly call the officer “bitch” and “whore.”
One muscular black inmate blatantly ignores the officer’s order and struts to the latrine. “Looky here, can’t I take a piss?” he says.
“It’s count time,” says the officer.
An argument develops. The dorm resounds with shouts of “bitch!” “whore!” and “motherf****r!” The officer knows he faces the possibility of a riot and a serious beating at the hands of men who would love to hurt him. He backs down and lets the inmate use the latrine. His authority has been successfully challenged, he has been humiliated, his count has been disrupted, and his work has been delayed.
These are the well-behaved blacks. Officers face even more danger and abuse in the “medium” and “close” custody areas. These prisoners are discipline problems and have already lost most of their privileges and “good time.” They have little else to lose. They may have jobs assigned to them but work seldom, if at all. Instead, they lift weights, work out, watch “rap” music on MTV, and play dominoes.
They know the restrictions on physical punishment as well as the officers do. They do not hesitate to get into an officer’s face, shout abuse at him, and dare him to strike or touch them. Verbal attacks of the vilest kind are not sufficient cause for a guard to strike a prisoner, and any who do so are fired. Racial abuse of the guards is standard fare, though whites are now “bitches” and “whores” rather than “honkies” or “red-necks.”
|The incessant shouting of blacks is so loud that many inmates wear earplugs 24 hours a day.|
Because there is so little that can be done to punish them, prisoners in high-security areas exact special privileges from a system that has adopted a de facto policy of black appeasement. “Problem” prisoners are quietly allowed to ignore rules that forbid beards and long hair, and that require them to be fully clothed in the TV-game rooms. Known trouble-makers get more food than well-behaved prisoners because officers want to avoid trouble. For the same reason, officers rarely inspect the living areas of problem inmates — they don’t want trouble. By contrast, men assigned to dormitories may not put up so much as a pin-up because it might offend female officers.
What is it like to live in close quarters with underclass blacks? One of the greatest torments is constant noise. Blacks are always shouting at each other, banging around, making a din. The TV-game rooms, for example, are oftentimes scenes of pandemonium. Blacks congregate around domino games and yell at each other while the players slap their dominoes on the table as hard as they can. This combination of yelling and domino-slapping goes on for hours at a time: “C’mon, nigger!” BAM! “You ain’t got nuthin,’ nigger!” BAM! “Give me ten, nigger!” BAM! … The racket and incessant shouting of blacks is so loud that many whites and Hispanics (and a few blacks) wear earplugs 24 hours a day.
Because blacks, as a group, are more aggressive than whites or Hispanics, they generally get their choice of exercise facilities or television programs. In any TV-game room with more than one television set, one set is constantly tuned to sports programs, which is what blacks want. Since blacks have rioted when they were not able to watch what they wanted, they have essentially been given their own television sets.
Whenever an important sporting event is broadcast, groups of blacks set up an ear-splitting din yelling at the television set. The noise is so loud it is painful to be in the room, and the yelling carries throughout the building. During the spring of 1994, the “sports only” televisions carried basketball play-offs until 1:00 a.m., seven days a week, for about two weeks. The policy of black appeasement meant that prisoners were shouting at the television late into the night, making it impossible for others to sleep.
Before Judge Justice rewrote prison rules, inmates were not allowed to talk in the chow halls. Inmates must now be permitted to talk at a “low level” but this restriction is ignored. Groups of blacks yell to each other across the length and breadth of the chow hall just as they do in cell blocks and dormitories. Meal times are a constant racket, and in the commotion, many inmates slip back into the chow line to eat again. Most officers will not confront an inmate who goes through the line twice, especially if he is black; other blacks would immediately take his side and there could easily be a riot. Perhaps as many as half of the black prisoners eat twice or more during each meal.
Since racial integration is official prison policy, it is difficult for a white prisoner to get a white roommate for his two-man cell. Over the years I have had four black, three Hispanic, and three white cell-mates. Even if a black or Hispanic “cellie” is well behaved, there is always tension in this unnatural integration. Generally blacks are provocative and make terrible cellies. About the only way for a white to get a “whites only” designation for cellies is to have inflicted serious violence on a black for racial reasons — and the punishment for this makes it a costly strategy.
Blacks and Hispanics have much greater racial loyalty than whites. Even most white criminals are racially passive and endure racial insults without reacting. I do not permit blacks to insult me, but if I were to fight every time I heard someone called “white boy” I would never get out of lock-up. Typically, whites are greatly outnumbered, and to make a stand for racial loyalty would be suicide. Some whites do develop a racial consciousness, however, and begin to look out for each other.
For Hispanics, the racial bond has an added dimension in that they normally speak Spanish to each other. In the old days they were required to speak English, but Spanish is now a civil right. Nevertheless, whites and Hispanics tend to have a lot in common and share a similar temperament. Hispanics appear to be a bit more emotional than whites, but blacks are very emotional and aggressive. Whites and Hispanics share an antipathy towards blacks and will work together when faced with a black threat. There is only a small amount of fraternization across racial lines and most prisoners would clearly prefer the old segregated system.
Race riots are common in integrated prisons. They generally start when whites or Hispanics get fed up with being pushed around by blacks. Tension builds up between the races until it explodes in a riot.
In one “close custody” unit (a high-security building for prisoners with discipline problems) there has been an ongoing war between blacks and Hispanics that started soon after the unit opened in October, 1992. The Hispanics got very annoyed at black rudeness, yelling, domino slapping, and at blacks who would masturbate when Hispanic female guards were in the area (see below).
One Friday evening, groups of blacks and Hispanics were watching a televised boxing match between a black and a Hispanic. Words were exchanged and a fight broke out. The fight quickly spread as blacks and Hispanics began rumbling throughout the whole building. The fighting overflowed into the recreation yard and soon over a hundred inmates were hammering each other.
Dozens of officers converged on the area, wearing crash helmets and wielding shields and batons. They broke up the riot, herded the men back to their cells (and the badly injured to the hospital) and locked them down. As punishment for the riot the inmates were locked down for about three months. This means they had to stay in their cells for 24 hours a day, except for showers, and were given sack lunches, which they ate in their cells. Shortly after they were let out, there was another race riot and the prisoners were locked down again. This cycle of race riots has repeated itself endlessly in this unit. The obvious solution would be racial segregation, but this would violate prison policy.
Riots with white prisoners are unusual because most whites are passive. However, there was one serious black-white incident during the basketball play-offs mentioned earlier. A dozen whites were watching a television movie but were told by a guard that they would have to let blacks watch the play-off instead. As usual, the guard was placating the group most likely to make trouble, but this time he got it wrong. As the blacks filed in to watch the game, one of the whites, angry at not being allowed to watch the end of the movie, pulled the plug on the television. There was a free-for-all with about a dozen men on each side, but the fisticuffs were soon broken up by officers. The incident could have been much, much worse.
One of the worst kinds of racial assault is homosexual rape — usually blacks gang-raping a white. This is known to happen in the McConnell unit, but it takes place in maximum and medium security areas, about which I have little direct knowledge.
It may be a surprise to people on the outside to learn that Texas prisons are rife with public masturbation. Masturbation is now such a problem that prison trousers no longer have flies or pockets. Men used to cut holes in the front pockets so they could masturbate with their pants up.
|Masturbation is such a problem that prison trousers no longer have flies or pockets.|
Affirmative action means that there are now many female prison guards, and prisoners — mostly black — sometimes masturbate as they follow women around the cell block. Blacks have a special term for this: “killing.” Practitioners of this lewdness are “gunslingers” or “snipers” and engage in “drive-by-shootings.” White women are the preferred targets but any woman will do. Many killers drape a coat or shirt over themselves but some blacks expose themselves any time, any place, to anyone!
Until recently, a favorite perch for snipers was a set of benches beside the entrance to the administration building, where the secretarial pool works. Killers would take up positions on these benches and open fire on the secretaries as they walked by. It finally occurred to someone to move the benches.
The women’s reactions to “killing” vary enormously. Some do not tolerate it and write offense reports for it. This can mean a loss of commissary privileges and, sometimes, a reduction of class. As explained above, if a man is destitute and is doing a long sentence, this means nothing. Most of the time, the women simply tell the offender to stop. Ordinarily this works. When the killing continues despite a warning, the offender is usually locked up in insolation for a short time. Again, this means nothing to a man who has nothing to lose. There are some women who ignore killing and do not react to it at all.
One attractive Hispanic woman who worked in the prison law library had a real problem. She was stuck at her workplace and, throughout the day, blacks would come into the library, stare at her and masturbate. She wouldn’t stand for it, but was soon swamped with paperwork, filing offense reports. The unit warden eventually told her not to bother writing up reports, that he preferred less troublesome, “verbal” solutions.
Sometimes, if a female guard finds a prisoner attractive she will quietly encourage him to kill on her. Women like this to be done discreetly, in a cell or some other place where the two will not draw attention to themselves.
The ostentatious lewdness of blacks creates a lot of racial tension in an integrated prison. White and Hispanic inmates must endure the crudest racial/sexual taunting by blacks when white or Hispanic women come through the area. Blacks will put their hands down their pants and play with themselves or take off their clothes and decide to take a shower. Some will go to their cells and call to the women to come watch them masturbate — all of this in the presence of white and Hispanic prisoners. All by itself, this would be reason enough for race riots, but in the lax atmosphere of today’s Texas prisons, there is no way to stop this disgusting behavior.
This is Prison?
The McConnell Unit is certainly a disagreeable place for a white man; life at close quarters with hostile, loud, masturbating, white-hating blacks is punishment enough. But for many blacks, a stint in a “new wave” Texas prison is about as close to country-club living as they are likely to get. They live in clean, well-maintained buildings. They get three square meals a day. They can work out, play basketball, and watch as much television as they like. They can humiliate white prisoners with impunity and even shout the most inflammatory racial insults at uniformed white officers. They cannot have sexual intercourse, but they get the thrill of exposing themselves to white women and taunting white men as they do it. Even the most drastic disciplinary measure — solitary confinement — means a transfer to air-conditioned housing. For a poor, black youngster from Houston, a stay in the McConnell Unit is a vacation. Who can be surprised to learn that more than half of the convicts released from Texas prisons are back within a year? Or that the Texas inmate population has grown 400 percent since Judge Justice’s “reforms”?
And what about the guards? In what other profession must a man submit every day to constant racial slurs and insults — insults that would instantly yield huge civil-suit awards if the victim were black and this happened on the outside? In what other profession must women put up with men who follow them around masturbating and mumbling obscenities? This, too, on the outside is grounds for enormous compensatory damages. In today’s prisons it is the inmates who punish the guards.
The kid-glove approach to prisoners means that the meanest, most refractory men — mostly blacks — get better treatment rather than worse. Since guards have so few meaningful ways to punish offenders, violations are ignored — essentially rewarded — rather than punished. Because everyone knows that blacks are likely to riot, even the guards see to it that they get their way over better-behaved whites and Hispanics. Wrong-doing and the threat of violence bring special treatment. One of the abiding lessons that an inmate learns in prison is that the authorities can be treated with the utmost contempt.
Federal control of the Texas prison system has been a complete though almost entirely unreported disaster. Unless the state manages to free itself from the tyranny of federal judges, prisoners will continue to laugh at the prospect of a jail sentence. Today, the central feature of a Texas prison is the basketball court. Some day, when Texans regain control, it may once again be what it was in the old days: the chapel.
Mr. Zatukel works in the law library of the McConnell Unit. He has been supplying information on prison conditions to state legislators who are trying to take control back from the federal government. Mr. Zatukel will be eligible for parole in the year 2004.
A Conversation With a Pioneer
Prof. Raymond Cattell reflects on his career.
Raymond Cattell has made two important but completely different contributions to the field of psychology. For one, the invention of a standard personality test known as the 16 PF, he is widely respected. For the other, the elaboration of a moral code based on genetic improvement, he is an embarrassment to many of his colleagues but a hero to his admirers. His 1978 book, Beyondism: A New Religion From Science (reviewed in the February, March, and April, 1991, issues of AR), was one of the first books by a main-stream publisher to break the post-war ban on discussions of eugenics and the biological bases for ethnic separation. Still available from Praeger Publishers, it laid much of the groundwork for recent books like Wilmot Robertson’s The Ethnostate and Richard McCullough’s The Racial Compact.
Now 90 years old, Dr. Cattell lives in retirement in Hawaii, with his wife and three Maltese Terriers. On the sun-drenched veranda of his house, overlooking an estuary, he spoke recently about his past and current projects.
“It’s more widely in use than ever,” he says of the 16 PF which, along with the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), is one of the standard pencil-and-paper tests of personality. It produces a profile of 16 personality factors (PFs), which show traits as varied as self-control and homosexual tendencies. So much is the 16 PF still in use that Dr. Cattell’s wife, a practicing psychologist in her own right, is under contract to write a book about it.
The 16 PF shows that races differ in “average personality,” just as they do in average intelligence. “Blacks tend to be more emotional and more self-assertive than whites,” explains Dr. Cattell, though subgroups of whites also have different average profiles. Germans, for example, have more demanding consciences than Americans, who show a greater tendency to hysteria than the English.
As for his eugenics work, Dr. Cattell sees the promotion of genetic awareness as one of the crucial struggles of our time. Both a theoretical and practical eugenicist — “I had five children,” he says with a smile — Dr. Cattell does not believe that eugenics requires compulsion. It would be sufficient merely to remove dysgenic incentives, like welfare, and teach the facts about heredity.
Although Dr. Cattell is encouraged by trends in the United States where, he says, “the public is beginning to follow the scientists,” he sees more rapid progress in Europe. “I think the French are more conscious of the eugenic problem and so, I think, are upper-class Germans. Certainly among upper-class English there is an awareness of eugenics.” Unfortunately, as Dr. Cattell concedes, “the Labor Party stifled the eugenic movement in the lower classes.”
Dr. Cattell is, himself, European. Although he has lived in the United States since 1937, he and his wife are both British. From his first contacts with his adopted country he was struck by how relentlessly it enforces equality. “Democracy is a political system in England,” he says, “but in America it is a religion.”
On both sides of the Atlantic, he believes that Christianity has been the source of much mischief. “It gives a moral impetus to the belief in racial equality,” he says; “In fact, it gives an impetus to a belief in all equality.” In his view, Christianity’s great mistake is to ignore the importance of competition, which is what propels evolution. Any religion that preaches against competition must be dysgenic.
Competition, on the other hand, must not be unrestrained. In Dr. Cattell’s view, an earlier generation of Britons got it right with the notion of fair play, “which admits competition but does not admit vaunting by the victor or mistreatment of the loser.” Eugenics should be like a hard-fought contest between English gentlemen: humane competition.
Dr. Cattell concedes that for a man who believes in genetic betterment and the need for ethnic separation, Hawaii, where he has lived for more than 20 years, is a strange habitat. Its mish-mash population and tourist “culture” are the antithesis of his science of Beyondism. “I fell in love with Hawaii years ago when I stopped off here on my way to New Zealand,” he explains. He thrives in year-round summer and says that the way the green Hawaiian hills meet the ocean reminds him of his native Devon.
Dr. Cattell continues to promote his views. He publishes a newsletter called The Beyondist, and recently submitted an article entitled “The Price of Illusion” to the Atlantic. “All illusions have a price,” he explains, and the price of ignoring genetics is mounting ominously.
He has also published a controversial theory about Alzheimer’s disease, which he thinks is normal degeneration rather than a disease. It is well established that intelligence declines from about age 20, along with vision, hearing, strength of hand grip, and even oxygen consumption per unit of body weight. Old age slowly takes its toll on the brain, as it does on every other organ. He theorizes that the rate of decline is about the same in all people, so those with average or below-average intelligence simply drop below minimum competency as they reach old age.
“Folklore has always recognized second childhood,” he says, but those who begin their decline from a sufficient height can be adults all their lives. “If you start out with an IQ of 130 you have nothing to worry about at age eighty,” he explains.
Dr. Cattell appears to have nothing to worry about at age ninety.
“Any realistic ethical system must regard a man who begets eight children on public welfare as someone as socially dangerous as any criminal.”
“Defective internal morality, failure to control birth rate, unwillingness to sacrifice luxuries to education, adherence to superstitions, and many other deficiencies may cause a group to fail either in the struggle with another group or in the economic tussle with nature. At that point, external ‘charitable’ support from other groups, or even their failure to expand as the defective group retracts, are immoral acts militating against evolution.”
“‘Love,’ as pity, can err like any other emotion, and even create what it needs to feed upon.”
Was lynching a scandal or a system of justice or both?
Lynching — History and Analysis, Dwight Murphey, Council for Social and Economic Studies, 1995, 74 pp., $10.00 (soft cover)
Lynching is generally thought to be one of the most shameful practices in all of American history, second only to slavery. It is now widely believed to have been an expression of white hatred for blacks that could be visited upon virtually any black for any reason. In this monograph, Professor Dwight Murphey of Wichita State University shows that this was by no means the case. He has set out to investigate the subject without, as he puts it, “animus against mainstream American society,” but the result is a portrayal of a system of justice that was not, in all respects, inferior to the one we have today.
There is uncertainty about the origin of the term “to lynch,” but Prof. Murphey suspects that it comes from a certain Col. Charles Lynch of Bedford County, Virginia, who administered local justice during the American Revolution. There were many British loyalists in the area who stole horses for the redcoats. The nearest court was 200 miles away in Williamsburg, so Col. Lynch undertook to try and execute offenders. After the Revolution, his actions were legalized by the state legislature, and his name became associated with ad hoc execution.
In recent decades, lynching has become such a powerful symbol of white racism, that it has been largely forgotten that whites were lynched, too. Statistics are not easy to gather, but Prof. Murphey offers a total figure of 3,337 lynchings during the twenty-year heyday of the practice, from 1882 to 1903. Of this number, 1169 were white, 108 were “other,” and 2060 were black. Sixty-three women were lynched during this period: 40 blacks and 23 whites.
A different authority, who examines the period from 1882 up through 1968, proposes a figure of 4742 lynchings, of which 1297 victims were white and 3445 were black. If anything, the figure for whites is likely to be an undercount, since unreported lynchings were common in the West, where most victims were white.
It is easy to lose sight of another important aspect of lynching — that it was by no means random killing but punishment for specific crimes. Many participants knew the accused and could determine his guilt. Even opponents of lynching rarely argued that the victims were innocent; only that courts rather than mobs should enforce the law and that lynch mobs could commit unspeakable cruelties.
Lynching also reflected the will of the community. Prof. Murphey writes of lynchings that were advertised in advance in the newspapers, that attracted thousands of people, and that were participated in by leading citizens. For example, in 1891 in Wyoming, Dr. John E. Osborne — a future governor of the state — helped lynch a notorious (white) bandit. Dr. Osborne himself skinned the corpse; the hide was tanned and made into a medical instrument bag, razor strops, a pair of lady’s shoes and a tobacco pouch. For many years, the lady’s shoes were displayed at the Rawlins National Bank — so far was summary justice from being thought a disgrace.
|In 1914, blacks lynched a white for raping a black woman.|
In the mid-19th century, a mayor of Los Angeles was so eager to join the action that he resigned his office — which he thought incompatible with lynching — in order to take part. He then helped spring a man from jail and hang him.
People often resorted to lynching because the competent authorities were a long ride away and justice would brook no delay. Prof. Murphey reminds us that President Andrew Jackson himself sanctioned the practice when he recommended to Iowa settlers that they lynch murderers. Likewise in Kansas, a New York Tribune correspondent reported in 1858 that “[t]here is a very general disposition to pass over the hopelessly useless forms of Territorial law and corrupt Federal courts, and try these parties (i.e. horse-thieves) by Lynch law.”
Prof. Murphey notes that contrary to current assumptions, blacks also formed lynch gangs, mostly to lynch blacks, but sometimes to lynch whites. In Clarksdale, Tennessee, blacks lynched a white in 1914 for raping a black woman. The authorities later ruled that this was justifiable homicide. In 1872 in Chicot County, Arkansas, armed blacks broke three whites out of jail and shot them to death.
Nor was lynching by any means a sport in which any black was fair game. In Tennessee in 1911, four white men hanged a black man and his two daughters but for no good reason. This outrage roused the ire of the community; the whites were tried and two were hanged.
It is true that blacks were lynched more often than whites, and undoubtedly some blacks were executed for crimes that might have earned a white a whipping. Moreover, blacks were more likely to be horribly tortured, burned, or mutilated. Nevertheless, as is the case today, blacks were also more likely to commit violent crimes, so even if lynching had been scrupulously race-blind, the number of executions would still have been racially unbalanced. W.E.B. DuBois himself wrote disparagingly of “a class of black criminals, loafers, and ne’er-do-wells who are a menace to their fellows, both black and white.”
If race were the primary or even a significant factor in lynchings, we would expect blacks in the Old South to have been more likely to suffer from it than those who lived elsewhere. Prof. Murphey explains that on the contrary, during the 1890s blacks living in Mississippi were no more likely to be lynched than blacks living in Kansas.
Many people today believe that the civil rights movement finally stamped out lynching, but Prof. Murphey points out that it had virtually died out well before the Second World War. The liberal magazine, New Republic, used to publish an annual editorial detailing the year’s lynchings, but ended that tradition in the mid-1930s because there was so little to write about. The NAACP got as much fund-raising mileage as possible out of every isolated case of lynching, but the practice was essentially finished by the time blacks started organizing around it. Prof. Murphey argues that lynching died a natural death as the rule of law was extended into rural areas and people gained greater confidence in it.
The Nature of Justice
How did lynching compare to our current system of criminal justice? Obviously, the potential for sadism and error were grim and abiding defects. According to today’s orthodoxy, it was pure barbarism, if only because its sole purpose was punishment — and, to some degree, deterrence by example. It did not pretend to be rehabilitation, whereas today we are supposed to seek regeneration rather than retribution.
In fact, as Prof. Murphey points out, something is lost — perhaps necessarily so — in any system in which government, rather than the immediate community, punishes criminals. In lynching there was immediacy, finality, and in many cases direct participation: The victim or his bereaved could take personal vengeance. Primitive as this was, and subject to whim and cruelty, it answered a deeply-felt human need.
Prof. Murphey clearly prefers a system of due process over vigilantism. Nevertheless, the law must reflect the community’s sense of justice, and in this respect our current system often fails. Known criminals are released on technicalities. Executions are carried out so long after the crime that they often seem unrelated to it. Brutes receive absurdly short sentences. Prof. Murphey explains that by turning “justice” over to a professional class, we have increasingly made it subject to different kinds of abuses:
“[T]here are the vagueries of courthouse politics, of ego, of ideology and the part-truths of anyone’s conventional wisdom, of fads and fashions, of biases, of prejudices, often of corruption and venality, of personality …, of budget constraints with their impact on staffing and plea bargaining and sentencing, etc. etc. These factors introduce … a cancer into the American legal system …”
Our due process system once administered what was seen to be justice but is now hamstrung with regulations and technicalities that sometimes make it impossible to punish malefactors in ways that satisfy society. It is all very well piously to claim that it is better to let 99 guilty men go free than to punish a single innocent, but such a system leaves 99 criminals unpunished and 99 victims unrequited. The trial of O.J. Simpson suggests, as Prof. Murphey puts it, that “popular justice must indeed be horrible to be worse.”
Innocent men have been lynched and this is a tragedy. However, are these deaths so much more tragic than today’s routine killings in a society that has probably been made more violent by an increasingly impotent legal system? It may not be such an awful thing for men — black or white — to know that if they commit an outrage there is a good chance they will be dead within a few hours.
Due process always takes longer than a lynching, but, as Prof. Murphey writes, it must be “suffused with energy, with dispatch, with a full regard for the civilizational claims of the law-abiding citizen.” Due process has been perverted by judges who are happy to flout the most ancient and essential notions of fairness. Vigilante justice was often barbaric, but our current system suffers from an elaborate decadence that sometimes makes it difficult to condemn the simpler practices of the past.
Lynching — History and Analysis is available from the Council for Social and Economic Studies, 1133 13th St., N.W., Suite C-2, Washington, DC 20005.
IN THE NEWS
O Tempora, O Mores!
Honoring America’s Finest
Who were the three Americans who were awarded the most honorary degrees this year? All were black. Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund walked off with seven unearned doctorates. She is a self-styled “progressive” who is a friend of Hillary Clinton and never met a social program she didn’t like. Next was Henry Louis Gates, chairman of the Harvard African-American Studies Department, who picked up six doctorates. Bill Cosby, former funny-man, collected five. The leading white person, with four honorary doctorates, was President Clinton’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala. [Doctors of Philosophy (Left), NY Post, 6/23/95.]
White Man Fights Back?
A group of New Orleans citizens, led by Sallie Ann Glassman, recently held a voodoo ceremony that was meant to drive muggers and crack dealers from their neighborhood. Citizens drummed, chanted, prayed, and asked the meanest voodoo deity of them all, Ogoun La Flambeau, to scare away the bad guys. Miss Glassman, who has been burgled and assaulted, does not want the fearsome Ogoun to hurt anyone; just keep them out of the neighborhood. Participants in the ceremony, most of whom took it quite seriously, explained that the New Orleans Police Department was not keeping crime under control and that they had turned in desperation to the gods of voodoo. Most participants, including Miss Glassman, were white: “nose and tongue piercers, middle-aged intellectuals and men with foot-long pony tails,” as the New York Times described them. [Rick Bragg, New Orleans Conjures Old Spirits Against Modern Woes, NYT, 8/18/95.]
Nothing Racial, Of Course
An organization called Transparency International rates the world’s countries according to how corrupt they are. The six most corrupt nations are Indonesia, China, Pakistan, Venezuela, Brazil, Philippines, and India. The least corrupt nation is New Zealand, followed by Denmark, Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Canada, Australia, and Switzerland. The United States is 15th. Transparency International does not even bother to rate African countries. [Barbara Crossette, A Global Gauge of Greased Palms, NYT, 8/20/95, p. 3.]
This year, for the first time, Georgia high school seniors had to pass a state-wide standardized test in order to get their diplomas. Of the 3,400 students who failed, 2,300 were black; 10 percent of blacks failed while only two percent of whites did. Educators profess themselves baffled by the disparity, especially since it does not always reflect their favorite explanation: poverty. Blacks failed at the highest rates when they were from relatively wealthy areas and attended predominantly white schools.
Even a passing grade on the test is hardly a ringing endorsement of a student’s ability. Tameka Greene of Atlanta’s Crim High School completed her courses with a 3.59 grade-point average but still failed the test. [Betsy White, Diploma Denied, Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Aug. 17, 1995, p. E4.]
Helping the People
The black congresswoman from Detroit, Barbara-Rose Collins, now leads the long list of contenders for Washington’s worst legislator. This year, she has missed more sessions than all but two other congressmen. One, another black named Mel Reynolds, has been on trial for statutory rape (recently convicted), and the other had a liver transplant. Miss Collins, who is accused of splashing out thousands of dollars in campaign funds for personal expenses, has managed to get one bill passed in five years — to rename the Detroit federal courthouse building.
Miss Collins’ district is the fourth poorest in the nation, but she always flies first class. “Barbara-Rose is not in Congress to legislate,” explains one former staffer; “she’s in Congress to be a diva.” Another former staffer remembers:
“She’d go to the [House] beauty shop three times a week. And she’d have staff go and fetch her slippers while she was sitting in the chair getting her hair done. And as soon as they showed up, she’d kick off her shoes and stick out her wriggling toes. That’s really the lasting image I have: Her Highness with the big hair-dryer crown, waiting for the royal slippers.”
Miss Collins runs a turbulent office; she has lost or fired 30 aides since last year. She says they were incompetent and that she deserves credit for giving doubtful blacks a chance — racist whites would never have hired them. One black she fired sees it this way:
“If the woman were white, what she said would have caused an uproar. But because she’s black and she walks around in Afrocentric clothing, she can resort to race-baiting to cover up her complete and total managerial incompetence.” [Lori Montgomery & Marc Selinger, Detroit congresswoman sinks to bottom of Capitol Hill heap, Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/24/95, p. G1.]
Meanwhile, the former treasurer of the NAACP New Haven branch, William Jones, has been indicted for allegedly stealing $24,000 from the organization. He is said to have made 22 unauthorized withdrawals by forging the signature of the Greater New Haven branch’s president. [David McClendon, NAACP’s ex-treasurer to enter plea on theft charges this week, New Haven Register, 8/2/95, p. A5.]
The Courage of Their Convictions
How do the liberal media — even the “progressive” media — do when it comes to hiring nonwhite writers and editors? The Nation, which is one of the most crazily left-wing publications still operating, has hired two nonwhites in 13 years. The New York Review of Bookshas no nonwhites on its nine-man editorial staff. Harper’s has none out of fourteen, and the Utne Reader has none out of twelve. One of the six-man editorial staff at The Progressive is nonwhite, Mother Jones has one out of seven, In These Times has one out of nine, and at The New Republic it is two out of twenty-two. Rolling Stone has no nonwhites on its editorial staff, and of the more than 700 issues it has published since 1967, it has had exactly one cover story written by a black. [James Ledbetter, The Unbearable Whiteness of Publishing, Village Voice, July 25, 1995, p. 25ff.]
Whatever happened to midnight basketball? July has been a bad month for it. In New York City, a tournament was held to commemorate two men who were shot to death trying to kill a police officer (a curious lot to commemorate, we should think). With the score in the big game tied, the excitement got to be too much for some trigger-happy fans, who opened fire, killing two people and perforating half a dozen others.
In Atlanta the very next night, two teams from housing projects were locked in a fierce struggle. One team was down in points and short on time, and a player disputed a referee’s call by pulling out a gun and blazing away. The referee, who apparently knew what manner of sportsman he was dealing with, pulled his own gun and fired back. Both men were poor shots and only lightly injured each other. [Midnight Mayhem on the Basketball Courts, NY Post, 7/31/95, p. 18.]
The Syracuse, New York school district has barred the Midnight Madness league from using its gymnasiums after a tournament ended in a gun battle. The league was formed to keep “youths” out of trouble. [New York, USA Today, July 28, 1995, p. 8A.]
No More Japanese?
Japanese-Americans, the nonwhite group most likely to marry outside their race, now marry whites more often than they marry each other. In 1989 there were actually more births to white-Japanese couples (5,495) than to Japanese-Japanese couples (3,961). Contenders for Queen of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Northern California must have at least one fully Japanese parent, but some pageant organizers are beginning to worry that in another generation there will no longer be enough contestants. For the nation as a whole, only 3.2 percent of births are to parents of different races. [Margaret Usdansky and Patricia Edmonds, Japanese-white marriages now the norm, USA Today, Dec. 11, 1992, p. 7A.]
Rappin’ With the Democrats
Ted Field, heir to the Marshall Field department store fortune and worth an estimated $600 million, is the founder and chairman of Interscope Records. Interscope promotes some of the foulest mouths in rap music today: Tupac Shakur and Snoop Doggy Dogg. Mr. Field shares his profits with the Democrats. In 1992 he gave the party $98,250 in no-limits, soft money, making him one of the party’s biggest benefactors. Within the $1,000-a-year limit to any candidate in a single year, he has given the maximum amount to: Bill Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, Ted Kennedy, Dick Gephardt, Barbara Boxer, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Mikulski, and assorted other liberals. [Deborah Orin, ‘Gangsta rap’ may mug Dems, NY Post, July 6, 95.]
Detroit Sinks Further
About 2:30 in the morning of Aug. 19, 33-year-old Deletha Word was driving in Detroit’s Belle Isle Park, an island connected to the city by a bridge. It was Friday night, and there were many people about. Miss Word hit a man’s car but did not stop. The man and two companions gave chase and rear-ended her car on the bridge, forcing her to stop. A crowd of about 40 people watched and some cheered as Martell Welch, a 300-pound, 19-year old former football player dragged Miss Word out of her car and tore off her clothes. He slammed her onto the hood of her car, and then knocked her to the ground, while his companions broke all the windows in her car with tire irons and kicked in the body panels.
Mr. Welch then lifted Miss Word off the ground, walked into the middle of the crowd, and asked if anyone wanted “to buy some of this bitch because she has to pay for my car.” There were a few offers of ten dollars or so. Mr. Welch then threw Miss Word to the ground, beat her some more, and dragged her to the side of the road, saying “I ought to throw you over the bridge.” Mr. Welch is then reported to have picked up a car jack, and said “I’m going to kill you.” As he was about to hit her with the jack, Miss Word jumped off the bridge into the Detroit River. She soon went under and her body was found several hours later. Some witnesses say they wanted to help but were afraid of Mr. Welch and his two companions. [AP, Attacker offered to sell victim, Chi Trib, Aug. 27, 1995. David Grant, 40 watched attackers chase woman to her death, Detroit News, Aug. 21, 1995, p. 1A. AP, Teen is held in Detroit bridge death, Chi. Trib. Aug. 23, 1995, p. 3.]
The Other King Assassination
Everyone knows that Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot by James Earl Ray in 1968. Much less well known is that Dr. King’s mother was also murdered. Alberta King, age 70, was playing the organ during a church service in 1974 when a black man named Marcus Chenault stood up in the front pew, pulled out two pistols and started shooting. Mr. Chenault later said he was trying to kill Martin Luther King, Sr. because God had told him that black ministers were a danger to black people. In August, Mr. Chenault died in prison. [Wolfgang Saxon, M.W. Chenault, 44, gunman who killed Mother of Dr. King, NYT, 8/22/95, p. B6.]
Ronald Kowalski of Carpentersville, Ill. has been convicted of a felony for expressing his views. He is a white man who disapproved when blacks moved into the house next door. On the fence separating the properties he hung a sign that read: “Niggers go back to Africa.” He shouted racial slurs at the black family’s children and hung pictures of apes and monkeys in a window that faced their house. When the blacks were in their yard, he would turn up the volume on a song called “Welcome to the Jungle,” by the band, Guns N’ Roses, and he repeatedly called the police to complain about his neighbors.
Because a Kane County judge has ruled that he is guilty of a felony hate crime, Mr. Kowalski faces up to three years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000 when he is sentenced in October. There are, of course, laws against disturbing the peace, and if he broke them he should be given the usual punishment of a citation or a small fine. Because Mr. Kowalski was found to have a racial motive he is guilty of a felony and, along with whatever punishment he is given, will lose the right to vote. [James Kimberly, Hate-crime conviction hailed, raises questions, Daily Herald, Aug. 10, 1995.]
All is Forgiven
Bill Teal is a six-foot five-inch 22-year old black man from St. Petersburg, Florida, who plays basketball. He was recruited out of high school to play for the University of Arkansas but never got there. While he was a high school senior, Mr. Teal and a companion abducted a girl and raped her. While he was on bail awaiting trial, he was arrested for beating up and robbing a 16-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two year’s house arrest.
When the rape case came up, the victim decided not to cooperate, and Mr. Teal pleaded guilty to kidnapping with a deadly weapon in return for a six-year sentence. He is now to be released after serving nearly three years, and has been offered a full scholarship to play basketball at St. Petersburg Community College. The scholarship is worth about $4,900 a year and is funded by federal tax-money and tuition paid by non-scholarship students.
Basketball coach Bill Payne, who interviewed Mr. Teal in prison, says the young man will be good for the school:
“I’m impressed with him, the way he presents himself, carries himself. He could be a very positive role model for young kids in Pinellas County. It could be one of the best things this college has done in a long time if it goes through.” [Peter Wallsten, Fresh out of prison, he’s back on the courts, St. Petersburg Times, Aug. 16, 1995, p. 1A.]
They Are Finally Speaking Out
On August 31, Northern Virginia judges and police officers told a state senate subcommittee that young immigrants are committing a huge number of crimes and overwhelming the juvenile justice system. One judge said that a third of his cases involved criminals who could not even speak English and therefore needed interpreters. He complained that the halls of his courthouse are “chaotic.”
Another judge reported that in just one Fairfax County high school, there are children from 60 countries, who speak 27 different languages. He said that immigrant children — Vietnamese, Afghans, Cambodians, Salvadorans — are rapidly being recruited by gangs. Another court official complained that the INS does nothing about the juvenile criminals who are illegal immigrants. [Ty Clevenger, Youths ‘out of control’ in N. Virginia, Wash Times, Sept. 1, 1995, p. 1.]
None of this is exactly hot news, but it is encouraging that judges and police officers are telling legislators exactly what the problem is.
White Man Cannot Win
Ford Motor Company, like the rest of the Big Three, has an affirmative action program to try to help non-whites open auto dealerships. In 1987, Ford recruited Samuel Foster, and as a result, Mr. Foster bought a dealership in Selma, Alabama. In 1991, the dealership went bankrupt and Mr. Foster sued Ford. What were the charges? He claimed that Ford had committed intentional, malicious fraud by not telling him that blacks are more likely to fail at running dealerships than whites. The trial court sided with Mr. Foster, and the Alabama Supreme Court upheld an award of nearly $8 million, including $6 million in punitive damages. [Theodore Boutrous, Alabama’s new affirmative action tort, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 16, 1995, p. A11.]
Claudia Schiffer, Aryan Stooge
Oliveiro Toscani is the advertising chief for the Italian clothing company, Benetton. In a recent interview with the Italian periodical Il Messaggero, he had this to say about the 24-year-old German who is currently the world’s most successful fashion model:
“Claudia Schiffer has succeeded where Hitler failed. She represents in a dramatic and gruesome way the Aryan myth, which the Third Reich sought unsuccessfully to impose on the world. In the dictatorship of images, the Aryan race has now become what it wanted to be fifty years ago.” [Reported in German daily, Bild, March 2, 1995.]
Six Atlanta-area Nigerians have been awarded $3 million in a libel suit. They say they were falsely accused of being witches by members of the Sanctified Mt. Zion Church of Nigeria in the United States. The church’s prophetess, Emily Hansen Emah, and four other leaders, Akpan Esenyie, Enyanga Umanah, Affiong Ibanga, and Solomon Udo, have been ordered by the Fulton County Superior Court to pay up and to retract their slanderous accusations.
During a 1993 New Year’s Eve church service, prophetess Emah accused the plaintiffs of sailing through the air to wreak havoc, causing outbreaks of thievery and infertility. The charges were then published by African News Weekly of Charlotte, North Carolina. The plaintiffs claim that as a result they were shunned by the Nigerian community and were refused service at Nigerian shops and grocery stores.
The church leaders claim that they were engaged in worship, not slander, when they accused the six of witchcraft. They argue that this was therefore a Constitutionally protected activity and that the judgment should be set aside. [Nan Lee, Accused ‘witches’ win $3 million slander suit, Fulton County Daily Reporter, Aug. 1, 1995, p. 1. Nan Lee, Churchgoers say witch hunt was form of worship, Fulton County Daily Reporter, Aug. 23, 1995, p. 1.]
The state of Maryland is poised to rescue the Parks Sausage Co., which happens to be the biggest black-run firm in the state. Eighty percent of the company’s 220 employees are black (an equal opportunity employer, no doubt), so the state is reluctant to let Parks go under. The company’s problems began in 1990, when it decided to build a 133,000-square-foot plant in the black part of Baltimore. The chairman of the company now concedes that Parks, which lost more than $1 million in 1994 on sales of $20 million, could save $2 million to $3 million a year if it were located outside the ghetto. [Udayan Gupta, Parks Sausage, biggest black-run firm in Maryland, may get a state bailout, WSJ, July 14, 1995, p. B2.]
Snow White or Coal Black?
Traditional fairy tales have only white characters. The cable network, HBO has corrected this defect by recasting 13 of the most popular ones into multi-racial cartoons. In “Jack and the Beanstalk,” Jack is black and the giant can rap. Rumplestiltskin is a dread-locked Jamaican. Hansel and Gretel are Hispanic. Etc.
Now, when the giant works up an appetite for Jack, he says, “Fee Fi Of Fum, I smell the blood of an African — a young one.”
“You probably smell the bones of the Englishman you ate last night,” his wife replies.
“Oh yeah, he was good,” says the giant, “but a little bland.” [Jennifer Mangan, Ethnic magic transforms classic fairy tales, Chicago Tribune TV Week, March 26-April 1, 1995, p. 5.]
We Knew It All Along
Blacks are 10 percent of the civilian workforce but are more than 18 percent of both state and federal workforces. Blacks are therefore almost twice as likely to work for government than they are to work for private employers. Since 43 percent of all black managers and professionals work for government (as compared to 14 percent for whites), if public employers hired as selectively as private ones, the black managerial class would shrink by perhaps 20 percent.
For anyone whose eyes are not firmly shut, the reason for this concentration in government is obvious: The public sector does not face competition and can hire a lot of deadwood without going broke. [Jonathan Tilove, Minorities have thrived in public sector jobs, Grand Rapids Press, July 30, 1995, p. A8.] Besides helping to explain why government works so poorly, the over-representation of blacks means something else — “diversity” preferences should no longer apply to black public-sector job seekers. No whites are likely to point this out, but some day it will dawn on Hispanic or even Asian activists, who will then start yelling about it.
AR on the Internet
American Renaissance has opened a home page on the World Wide Web. It is being operated by George McDaniel, who joins us as Web Page Editor. The page is mainly publicity about AR for potential subscribers, but we welcome all comments and suggestions from current readers. Please visit our site at:
More on Samuel Francis
A gratifying number of subscribers have written to the Washington Times about the treatment given to columnist Samuel Francis. Unfortunately, our notice in the previous issue may have given some readers the mistaken impression that Mr. Francis was no longer at the Washington Times. He was, indeed, fired as staff columnist and given a cut in pay, but he continues to write unsigned editorials.
His boss, Wesley Pruden, has been replying to letters as if nothing at all had been done to Mr. Francis, and suggesting that someone must be spreading malicious rumors. We would like to alert readers to the possibility of a disingenuous reply of this kind, and to encourge an appropriate response.
LETTERS FROM READERS
Sir — In your Sept. issue, in reference to the University of California Board of Regents’ vote to abolish affirmative action, you wrote that “the current assault on racial preferences is the first time in decades that whites have acted in their own racial interests.”
I am very familiar with the regents’ action and can tell you that whites, as a racial group, had nothing to do with it. Indeed, it was the white regents who argued most vociferously against the resolutions to end race and ethnic preferences. The man behind the move was Ward Connerly, a black businessman who had the integrity, which few whites have shown, to stand up for what is right. Mr. Connerly is one of the most courageous and principled men I have ever met, far more so than the whites who tell me in whispers that they oppose racial preferences but who refuse to stand up and be counted. The corrupt preference system we are trying to dismantle has been put in place and is stubbornly defended by whites.
Those who hate this country and its culture and would destroy them exploit the social fault line of race. Please do not play into their hands by exploiting the same weaknesses yourself.
California Civil Rights Initiative
Walnut Creek, Cal.
Sir — Erik Peterson has performed a vital service in challenging conventional wisdom on the War with Mexico. Recent scholarship has shown Mexican political intrigue to be at least as plausible a cause of the war as any notion of American Manifest Destiny. As David Plecher has shown in The Diplomacy of Annexation, the hawkish General Paredes was part of a monarchist plot to install a Spanish king in Mexico City. War with America was to be the first step.
Others had their own reasons for wanting war. The historian Archibald Hanna writes: “For ten years a succession of Mexican leaders had used the Texan revolt and the bogeyman of North American invasion to justify revolt, dictatorship, and financial exactions. To speak of peace meant political suicide.”
The one element Mr. Peterson’s article does not stress is the ferocity of the conflict. We must not forget the shocking treatment of Texan prisoners by the Mexicans. The massacre of 350 men at Goliad remains one of the worst atrocities ever committed on American (then Texan) soil. A similar crime committed by, say, the British during the American Revolution would never be forgotten, yet most Americans have never heard of Goliad. The image of the Mexican as victim is all they know.
In one sense this image is justified. The average Mexican is a victim, but of his own rulers rather than of the United States. What Sgt. Thomas Barclay of the Second Pennsylvania wrote during the campaign is still true today: “These … unfortunate beings, the descendants of the lordly Montezumas, are made beasts of burden, … and undergo a slavery far more abject than the negroes of the north.”
The United States would not save only itself by cutting off Mexican immigration. By shutting off the “safety valve” it might save Mexico from its own rulers. It is debatable whether we should follow Edward Abbey’s advice and arm Mexicans before we send them back, but even such a radical plan would be better than our current policy.
Steven Schwamenfeld, Dundee, N.Y.
Sir — Michael Masters’ essay in the July and August issues makes for frightening reading. I believe that much of the blame for the plight of the Caucasiod component of the American population lies with conditions in American universities. Having taught at the university level l for 32 years, I think there are quite specific reasons for these conditions.
Many academics, even those who are not doctrinaire Marxists, are simply trying to advance their careers. Much of the business of departments of psychology, sociology and education consists in preparing students to work for government. The attitudes of government are therefore forced (at least indirectly) on academe. Still another factor is the competition for government grants. Big, redistributive government is hostile to anyone who objects to the egalitarian basis of taxation, welfare, education, and immigration policies.
Attitudes of students also play a role in what timid professors teach, since promotions are now often based largely on students’ ratings of professors. A large number of the students in sociology and education departments are black. What professor in these fields would dare discuss with any degree of candor the considerably lower intelligence test scores obtained by blacks?
Charles Weber, Tulsa, Okl.
Sir — I have never seen the case against judicial review put as cogently as in the review of Judicial Dictatorship by William Quirk and Randall Bridwell. Why is there virtually no public debate about the fact that the United States is governed by unelected judges? I suppose it must be because the media are perfectly happy with the liberal decisions of our blackrobed tyrants. We are certainly not the same men as our revolutionary ancestors.
Alfred Corning, Binghamton, N.Y.