|Vol. 9, No. 1||January 1998|
‘Legacy’ in the Making
William Clinton’s initiative on race and the AR response.
Early in 1997, safely back in the White House for a second term, William Clinton is said to have turned his attention to the matter of “legacy.” He wracked the Presidential brains for an undertaking so grand that it might lift his administration out of scandal and mediocrity, and enshrine his name among the truly great. Thus was born, to give it its full name, “One America in the 21st Century: The President’s Initiative on Race.” William Clinton would solve the American race problem — or at least win renown trying.
The President then appointed his much-ballyhooed Advisory Panel, and we are now mid-way through a year-long campaign of uplift and regeneration that is to culminate in one of the most useless things imaginable — a government report. Of courses, the “initiative” will not enshrine the President among the great, if only because legacies are not made by design. Men do not win renown because they picked a plan out of the air in the hope it would make them famous. Men like Washington or Lee have enduring legacies because they acted on deeply felt convictions and fought for causes for which they willingly risked their lives. It is impossible to imagine them in middle age, drumming their fingers on the window sill, trying to think of ways to fluff up their resumés. Unfortunately for William Clinton, not even highly-paid consultants can conjure up heroism in a man with no apparent convictions.
Aside from the spectacle of our President maneuvering for a place in history, as a practical matter One America in the 21st Century will accomplish nothing. The race-unconscious America Mr. Clinton claims to have in mind for us cannot be built. If his goal were once again to recognize race as an important factor in American life there would be room for much progress, but Americans will not suddenly turn their backs on history, biology, and human nature just to please William Clinton.
Another reason the Presidential Initiative will accomplish nothing is that it is so transparently dishonest. According to official White House statements, the President has called for candid dialogue, and has instructed his advisory panel to “listen to Americans from all different races and backgrounds, so that we can better understand the causes of racial tension.” But the last thing the President and his handlers want is candid dialogue. Their idea of dialogue is shoving their spavined, clapped out ideas about white wickedness down our throats. Ten minutes of dialogue with Philippe Rushton or Michael Levin or Samuel Francis would leave them tongue-tied and goggling.
|Americans will not turn their backs on human nature just to please William Clinton|
Even liberals understand the dishonesty of this “dialogue.” In November, when the President’s advisory panel announced it was not open to criticism of affirmative action, who but the American Jewish Congress should point out that the dialogue was now a soliloquy. “If the presidential panel wants to talk only to itself, fine,” said executive director Phil Baum; “But then don’t pretend that it is a “dialogue’ and don’t try to pass off its findings as a serious review of the possibilities.” The American Jewish Congress, which has strongly supported racial preferences, can usually be counted on to be wrong, but this time Mr. Baum got it exactly right.
We have six more months of “initiative” to look forward to, but the “town meetings” on race that are supposed to take the pulse of the people are being choreographed to have about as much disagreement and suspense as a session of the Soviet Politbureau. One meeting has been planned for Fairfax, Virginia, just down the road from AR’s offices. We have telephoned and e-mailed for press credentials or even just a place in the audience, but have received no definite reply. Other citizens with something to say about race are beginning to wonder whether the “town meeting” may be closed to the public. Perhaps a hand-picked audience of Civil Rights Commission bureaucrats in jackets and ties will be presented to the television cameras as a cross section of the people, but more and more Americans are recognizing the “initiative” as the meaningless PR wheeze it so obviously is.
Perhaps we were naive, but while the initiative was still only a rumor a group of friends of AR thought the invitation to dialogue might possibly permit a little carefully-worded dissent. Well in advance of June 14, 1997, when William Clinton announced his program, we prepared an open letter to the President that we had hoped to publish in a major newspaper as an immediate response to the announcement. To our disappointment, it was turned down by the New York Times, New York Post, Washington Post, Washington Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal. Chronicles magazine also refused to publish the letter.
We have decided to print the letter, not so much because its message will startle or inspire readers of AR, but because the fact that it cannot be published is a commentary on the limits of expression. We worded this letter as moderately as possible. We secured the signatures of a score of respected academics and writers. We released it at the very moment the President’s initiative was front-page news. And yet it was still unpublishable.
|This is the full text that was rejected by some of America’s most highly-regarded publications.|
Some of the signatories would prefer not to have their names published in AR, so we have left them off. Otherwise, this is the full text that was rejected by some of America’s most highly-regarded publications.
‘Real Dialogue on Race’
Dear President Clinton:
As men and women who have thought and written about American race relations, we welcome your initiative on one of the nation’s most enduring social problems. We applaud your call for frank discussion, for we believe this is the very thing the country needs.
In this spirit we urge you to challenge some of the thinking about race that has prevailed for the last 50 years. We believe certain assumptions limit debate and hinder progress, and that policy on so important a question as race relations must not be based on restricted thinking. If your initiative on race is to leave a real legacy, we believe it must be prepared to reexamine the following assumptions:
(1) All races, on average, share exactly the same set of abilities. There is simply no evidence for this view — only attempts to explain away persistent differences in achievement. To be sure, there is a great deal of racial overlap in all areas of ability, but there is no reason to expect all races to be equally represented at the same level in all fields.
Virtually every possible attempt has been made to discredit intelligence testing, but it remains the single best predictor of performance on tasks that are generally recognized as requiring high intelligence. Today, virtually no one with a professional knowledge of mental testing believes that all races have the same average intelligence. Even under the most rigorously fair and neutral testing conditions, whites score higher than blacks. Jews and certain Asian groups score higher than Gentile whites.
There is still some question as to causes, but every serious investigation suggests that heredity influences these differences. Even the famous Minnesota study carried out by Sandra Scarr and her colleagues with black children adopted by white parents — which was designed to investigate whether racial differences in intelligence scores could be altered as a result of rearing environment — produced compelling evidence that environment narrows the racial gap only slightly, if at all. Some of us have written carefully researched articles and books that explore these issues in great detail.
(2) Justice requires equality of results. This assumption follows naturally from the first. Today, whenever minorities do not achieve at the same level as whites, the difference is invariably attributed to “white racism,” past or present. Our society has not only launched a massive campaign to root out this “white racism,” but has established a system of quotas and racial preferences designed to boost minorities into the positions they are thought to deserve.
But what if we are right about racial differences in ability, Mr. President? If, as we believe, differences in achievement are partly the result of innate differences in ability, the last 40 years of social engineering are based on mistaken assumptions. Equality of results cannot be achieved without penalizing whites and, increasingly, Asians as well. The recent ballot initiative in California reflects deep popular discontent with “affirmative action.” It cannot be “mended” as you have proposed, and if you continue to support it you will only alienate the increasing number of Americans who think it is unjust and divisive.
(3) Americans want racial integration. We are not really sure this is true, Mr. President. Large-scale integration generally takes place only when required by law. It is now well established that after reaching a very modest peak in the 1980s, integration has gone into reverse. Americans of all races are now drifting back towards self-segregation.
Nor is this simply a matter of “white flight.” Large numbers of blacks now reject integration as an end in itself, and resist the influx of Hispanic and Asian immigrants into their schools and neighborhoods. Whether we like it or not, it seems that most people prefer to work, live, and study with people like themselves.
(4) Racial diversity is a strength. This is yet to be demonstrated, Mr. President. Indeed, diversity of language, ethnicity, religion, and culture is at the heart of every major conflict on the planet, from Burundi to the Middle East to what was once Yugoslavia. Your initiative itself is necessary only because of diversity, because people of different races live together in America. Your initiative is not a celebration of strength, but an admission of weakness.
We are writing to you, Mr. President, because we want your initiative to succeed. We want it to bring real improvement. But for this to happen, society must not cordon off certain basic issues and treat them as taboo. We must face the facts of race relations as they are, not as we would like them to be. Unless your initiative does more than recirculate bromides about “racism,” “sensitivity,” and “reaching out,” we fear it will only create expectations it cannot fulfill. Progress requires more than good intentions, Mr. President; it requires a strong commitment to open pursuit of the truth.
An Englishman disclaims divinity.
What do foreigners think of the English? Apart from those who actually know the English, a surprising number of people think that all Englishmen are lords in stately homes. Even some Americans who are a “kind of” English, think this.
Nowhere is this belief stronger than in English-speaking Africa. In the most remote “bush village,” accessible only by a dusty footpath, African adults and children can be found puzzling over exam papers sent from England. If they can only pass them, they believe, then the secrets of English riches can be theirs. I have never been to Africa, unless you count the Canary Islands, but the travels of other family members have supplied me with an enormous number of African penfriends, all asking for presents and money.
Such requests are not made with intentional rudeness, for to the writer, an Englishman is not only a lord of boundless wealth, but a Human God who delights in granting wishes and prayers, no matter how extravagant. Stories in Boys’ Own magazines of “natives” worshipping white men as gods come to mind.
Here is an extract from a letter from Zimbabwe:
“Honoured Sir, I am not familiar with your house One Brickfield Terrace, although I have pictures of Blenheim and Chatsworth upon my walls. Please send a picture of your mansion, also a stereophonic hi-fi apparatus and a ticket to London so I can discuss my education …”
A photo of my house did nothing to dispel this poor village schoolteacher’s delusions. Unfamiliar with terraced [row] houses, he wrote back asking why my long mansion had so many doors.
Most of my letters, however, come from Ghana, particularly from the village of Suhum. I began with only one penfriend in Ghana, a boy of ten, but new ones followed at the rate of three a week. When I asked one correspondent how he had heard of me, he replied that he had bought my address from a man in the market. Here are two samples, both from schoolboys (spelling corrected).
“Dear Roy, blessed be your holy name. Please, I am a boy of twelve years — may I be your pen friend? I know you will want me because your heart goes out to me. Please, I need money so I can continue my studies, also a Scientific Calculator and some pens so I can do maths and science.”
“Dear Roy Sir or Madam, it gives me inconceivable pleasure to ask you, as my new pen friend, for a calculator, books about maths and science and many hundreds of pounds sterling so I can continue my studies. I am a boy aged 21 years in Junior School and I wish to go to Senior Secondary School, then to University. Please, my parents paid for my schooling all my life, but when I was nineteen my father ran away to Liberia and when I was twenty my mother went to Sierra Leone and has not returned. Please, only my uncle is here and he will not even buy me a new school uniform so I am in despair …”
“Education,” worst of all European introductions to Africa, makes slaves of parents who have to work all the hours God sends to keep children at school. What begins as a supposed “sound investment” becomes a millstone by the time the schoolboy is thirty and still showing no signs of passing an exam. Nagged unbearably by the ungrateful pupil, the parents take to flight, leaving no address. The above “missing parent” letter is typical. Nearly all African schools are fee-paying, and if you can afford it, you can stay at your desk failing exam after exam until you are a grandfather. The twenty-one-year-old schoolboy later wrote me a passionate letter denouncing an eight year old boy in his class who had stolen my address.
“Sir, he is bad, a thief, so be sure and burn his letter.”
However, I kept the wonkily-written letter when it came, adorned by rows of “X’s and hearts, along with yet another request for a scientific claculator, whatever that may be.
Examinations intended for English children, with built-in assumptions of the examinee’s familiarity with English life and language from birth, are almost impossible for African children to pass. However, the self-imposed African Road to Madness is not my concern here. At the moment, I am still trying to wriggle out of my responsibilities as lord and Human God.
Until they come to England and grow sadly familiar with English life, most English-speaking Africans sincerely believe that every white man personally owns all the riches of the white world and probably delights in giving them away. How can a god be poor? If, however, he refuses to grant prayers, that is his privilege.
For “white man,” you may also read “white woman.” For this reason, I must caution English readers against marriages with Africans unless they are quite sure that their non-aristocratic non-divine status is properly understood. Rage and cries of “You cheated me!” show that a god dethroned must beware the wrath of the former believer.
My experiences as a penfriend have helped me better to understand Nelson Mandela. To many white people, Nelson Mandela is a Human God.
“Look at the way he’s forgiven the white South Africans!” people say.
|Was ever a man so vindicated by his faith in white people!|
But I say: “What has he got to forgive? His hunch, in latching on to “god-like’ white people, seemed at first to be a mistake. He listened to the Communist rantings of Lithuanian Joe Slovo, and ended up in prison. When he came out, however, and found himself in a post-Communist world, he was at once acclaimed and adored by white people everywhere! He was given the keys of the country, and became the President. Now he floats around in ecstasy, his arm around white starlets, actors, actresses and fatuously grinning pop singers. Was ever a man so vindicated by his faith in white people! Why ever should he forgive them? They have made him what he is, and his happy smiles show his gratitude. For once the Human Gods have lived up to their promise and given him everything.”
Mandela’s grateful personality has helped make “Black South Africa” a more agreeable place than most people could have imagined to be possible. He seems a kindly if chuckle-headed old man.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must reply to eight or nine Ghanaian penfriends who mistake me for a god. In case you want to join their number, I must warn you that One, Brickfield Terrace is not my real address.
This article is reprinted with permission from the Autumn, 1997 issue of the British magazine Salisbury Review. Information for American subscribers is available from FSI, Box 4431, Wilmington, Delaware 19807-0431.
The Galton Report
A sampling of recent science literature.
The Fourth Inquisition
A soon-to-be-published paper maintains that we are in the throes of a fourth inquisition: “The fourth inquisition was established in the mid-twentieth century to suppress heresy. As with the first and third inquisitions, a main problem has been that the ideologues did not integrate new knowledge with their already established objectives and dogmas. Instead they viewed new discoveries as a direct threat to all that was good and important in society. As with the earlier inquisitions, the fourth attempts to suppress and censor new knowledge that is perceived to be threatening to old dogmas.”
Much has been discovered since the radical egalitarianism characteristic of modern liberalism became a quasi-theological dogma. Just as the first inquisition arose because existing dogma denied the knowledge of Aristotle and the third inquisition rejected the discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo, so the current inquisition exists in large part to deny the discoveries of Darwin, Galton, and Mendel. (The second, or Spanish Inquisition, was a social and religious conflict.)
In open antagonism to much of twentieth century science, a powerful strain of modern liberalism worships radical egalitarianism. “In 1948 Stalin actually outlawed genetics as being a western bourgeois construction that was incompatible with the truths of Marxist-Leninism,” the paper points out. It was “like outlawing the heliocentric nature of the solar system.”
Modern liberalism is attempting to enforce this anti-genetic ignorance — then known as Lysenkoism — throughout Western civilization. The damage it did to the science and economy of the Soviet Union is well known as an example of the folly of attempting to repeal truth in the service of ideology. The spirit of Lysenkoism is alive and well in the form of modern liberalism’s enforcement of radical egalitarianism: “There and here the guiding theory is identical; it is socialist utopia based on egalitarianism …” [Whitney, G. (1997) “Raymond B. Cattell and the fourth inquisition” The Mankind Quarterly, in press.]
Down the Memory Hole
The prestigious MacEachran Lecture Series sponsored by the University of Alberta in Canada is named in honor of the late Professor John MacEachran, founder of the Departments of Philosophy and Psychology. Recently a faculty member in psychology, Douglas Wahlsten, recommended that MacEachran’s name be stripped from the lecture series and from a room named in his honor. The faculty council voted unanimously to do so.
MacEachran’s crime? According to newspaper reports he was “responsible for signing thousands of sterilization orders for residents of a home for the mentally retarded,” a practice that was provided for under the Sexual Sterilization Act of 1928. Professor MacEachran, who died in 1971, was also a member of Alberta’s Eugenics Board from 1928 to 1964. [Laghi, B. (1997) “Late professor’s eugenics role costs him honours,” The Globe and Mail, Oct. 16, p. A1.] Another victory for the Fourth Inquisition.
Raymond B. Cattell, the eminent psychologist whose achievements were recently belittled because of his “racism” (AR, Oct. 1997), has described some of the workings of the Inquisition:
“The danger is not only that politicians and private institutions with axes to grind will find tame or corruptible social scientists to support their positions. The greater danger which recent experiences both here and abroad, e.g., Lysenkoism in Russia, have revealed is that partisans primarily political in interest and intention either accidentally or deliberately infiltrate the ranks of science.” [Cattell, A New Morality From Science: Beyondism, 1972, p. 38.]
One very effective infiltrator has been the gifted writer and darling of the left, Harvard professor Stephen Jay Gould. Through a lifetime of articles and books Prof. Gould has obfuscated and misrepresented Darwinian evolution and modern behavior genetics while supporting radical egalitarianism.
Scientists have been unmasking Prof. Gould’s fictions for a long time. To mention just two examples, the late Prof. Bernard D. Davis of Harvard Medical School wrote a paper about Prof. Gould entitled “Neo-Lysenkoism, IQ, and the Press” [Davis, 1983, The Public Interest, v.73, 41-59.]. More recently Philippe Rushton published a devastating assault on Prof. Gould’s credibility (See AR, Dec. 1997).
And what of the inquisitor himself? In October 1997, Prof. Gould was candidate for President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), publisher of the influential Science magazine.
Your Tax Dollars
There is a new book available for reading on the Internet called Your Genes, Your Choices. It was written for an AAAS project called Science + Literacy for Health funded by, of all things, the U.S. Department of Energy. As the introduction explains,
“AAAS has been a leader in identifying and meeting the needs of underrepresented groups in science,” and “this book has been written to introduce you to important ideas, but also to convince you that you can understand the basic concepts of science and that it is important to do so.”Some chapter titles:
“Donita Should Cooperate with the Police (or should she?)”
“Dr. Lu’s Patients Have the Right to Be Tall (or do they?)”
Are you feeling “underrepresented” in science? The book is available at www.nextwave.org/ehr/books/
Truth Under Oath
Less than a decade ago, when new methods of DNA analysis were just beginning to be used in criminal prosecutions, egalitarians were howling in protest. It is increasingly obvious why.
Anyone who interprets DNA evidence must know the frequency of the occurrence of different genetic patterns in the population. The rates for different races are, well, different. For the science to be effective these differences cannot be ignored. Watch for the forthcoming book, Interpreting DNA Evidence: Statistical Genetics for Forensic Scientists, by Ian Evett and Bruce Weir. Unless depublished, blocked, or canceled, as has been known to happen under the Fourth Inquisition, it is to be brought out by Sinauer Associates.
New Gold Rush
The techniques of molecular genetics have reached the point where tremendous profits are a certainty for the swift and the lucky. Commercial ventures are hurrying to get ahead by exploiting the opportunities provided by genetic diversity around the world. In previous “Galton Reports” I have suggested that the application of genetics to forensics, as in DNA fingerprinting, will finally explode the egalitarian myth. The profit motive may turn the trick even sooner, since commercial success benefits from honest research.
The rush is on to concentrate on populations that differ greatly from other peoples. As just one example, Sequana Therapeutics is collaborating with geneticists in research that seeks to find cures for asthma, and two isolated populations are of special interest. A small band of Jewish traders established a community in southern India over 2,000 years ago. About one quarter of their still “tightly knit” descendants suffer from asthma. A high incidence of asthma is also found in the isolated population of the South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha. Because they differ genetically from other populations, these human isolates are potentially pure gold to modern health research. [Marshall, E. (1997), “Gene Prospecting in Remote Populations”, Science, v.278, (24 October), p. 565]
Studies of this kind are based on the profoundly important fact that genes influence group characteristics. In principle, it is only a small step from investigating the genetic causes of group differences in disease rates to similar investigations of group differences in crime rates or intelligence.
The Benefits of Disaster
Iceland also offers good prospects for gene research. Because of isolation and genetic “bottlenecks,” the people of Iceland form a more homogeneous gene pool than many populations. Ever since the island was settled by Vikings a thousand years ago, it has been relatively isolated. Also, in the 1400s an epidemic of bubonic plague cut the population from 70,000 to 25,000. Another “bottleneck” was the widespread famine that followed an eruption of the volcano Hekla in the 1700s.
The result is that today’s 270,000 Icelanders are all descended from an unusually small number of ancestors. The simplicity and relative uniformity of their gene pool should make it easier to identify specific disease genes. An Icelandic company called deCode Genetics is preparing to mine the DNA of Icelanders for the benefit of Icelanders. Any drugs or diagnostic tests developed from studies of Icelandic DNA will be distributed, free of charge in Iceland but will be sold commercially in other countries. [Marshall, E. (1997) “Tapping Iceland’s DNA,” Science, v.278 (24 October), p. 566]
A new edition is available of what has long been the best college textbook on behavior genetics. The new version is embarrassingly dumbed down from a specialist point of view, but this makes it accessible to the general reader. It is very clearly written, and the quantitative theory and mathematical statistics that formed the core of earlier editions are now relegated to appendices at the end of the book. Technical jargon is reduced to a minimum and the book has a good glossary and bibliography.
Still, the new edition has a few PC quirks. For example, the term “race” been removed from the subject index. Also, the book tends to low-ball heritability estimates for most traits. Heritability of intelligence is said to be about .5, leaving fully half of the variance to environment. In contrast, Richard Lynn (in his book Dysgenics) estimates the heritability of intelligence at about .82. Interestingly, even in their own work with adult subjects, the textbook authors find a heritability of over .7.
The book suggests that an understanding of the importance of genetics is one of the most dramatic changes of the last few decades. However, it complains that in 1969 “Arthur Jensen almost brought the field to a halt, because (he) suggested that ethnic differences in IQ might involve genetic differences. Twenty-five years later, this issue was resurrected in a book called The Bell Curve” (p. 137). We learn that the outrage directed at Jensen’s monograph “was appropriate in its emphasis on his misleading inferences about both the possible benefits of intervention and the causes of group differences in IQ” (p. 137).
Just as most astronomers did not rally to Galileo’s support, most behavioral geneticists would rather Prof. Jensen had not stirred up trouble by revealing unacceptable truths. The strong inference is that we must not rile our liberal masters because funding for the entire field of behavior genetics hangs in the balance. The book is not without politically correct shortcomings, but overall it is a recommended read. [Plomin, R., J. C. DeFries, G. E. McClearn, & M. Rutter (1997), Behavioral Genetics, 3rd. Edition, New York: W.H. Freeman & Co.]
Genes for Good Soldiers
A news release from the kind folks at the “GenEthics Center” of Hagerstown, Maryland, expresses alarm that the British Army is doing genetic research: “a thinly disguised attempt to identify genetically superior individuals for military purposes.”
Apparently thousands of army recruits will be used in experiments to discover genes responsible for physical excellence. It is often difficult to identify the effects of genes because people with different genes also have different environments. For example, outstanding boxers may be genetically different from other people, but they also train extensively. It is impossible to disentangle the effects of genes from the benefits of training.
Army recruits provide an advantage for study “because they live a uniquely homogeneous lifestyle, eating, sleeping, and exercising at exactly the same times in the same way. Like the normal population, however, they show a wide range of physical types and standards of fitness.”
“High levels of motivation, training and environment play only a part,” a spokesman says.
“The performance of athletic people is 90% to do with their genetic make-up. It’s these genetic markers of trainability that we’re looking for.” The GenEthics folks are, of course, calling for an international ban on all use of genetic technology for military purposes. [“British Army Seeks “SAS GENE’ — The First Step Toward Military Eugenics,” Press Release, October 26, 1997, The GenEthics Center, Hagerstown, MD.]
Contributing Editor Glayde Whitney is professor in psychology, psychobiology and neuroscience at Florida State University.
Waging total war with limited means.
War Before Civilization, Lawrence Keeley, Oxford University Press, 1996, 245 pp., $25.00
Part of the anti-white mentality now prevailing in academic circles is the view that war and its attendant horrors are recent, largely European inventions. Before contact with the West, we are told, primitive man lived in harmony with nature and at peace with his neighbors. Even prehistoric Europeans were happy and peace-loving until their own civilization corrupted them.
Lawrence Keeley, who teaches anthropology at the University of Illinois, makes it overwhelmingly clear that this is nonsense. Most primitive and prehistoric societies probably made war so often that their people were far more likely to die in combat than the citizens of even the most warlike 19th or 20th century European nations. They also made war of the most cruel and brutal kind. Although words like “primitive” and “savage” have gone out of academic fashion, War Before Civilization could rehabilitate them single-handedly.
Where did the idea of peace-loving tribalists come from? Prof. Keeley gives due credit to Rousseau and his imagined ancestor, the noble savage, but argues that the worst damage has been done since the Second World War. Earlier European wars had been fought either by professional soldiers or, like the First World War, in narrow bands of territory. The horrors of the 1940s were so widespread and so harrowing that they left Europeans with a deep suspicion of their own civilization. This suspicion was part of the loss of will that brought down the European empires, and the rush to decolonize only encouraged sentimental foolishness about wise, long-suffering natives. The myth of the noble primitive is now a central part of the multicultural assault on the West.
Prof. Keeley points out that Americans started their romance with the savage earlier than Europeans but the process has been the same: “[I]n the United States during the nineteenth century, the nobility of “savages’ was directly proportional to one’s geographic distance from them.” As Easterners began to mourn the passing of the stalwart red man, “most Westerners still in direct contact with “wild’ Indians … regarded them as dangerous vermin, turbulent brigands, or useless beggars to be expelled or exterminated at any opportunity.”
Now that tribalism has been pushed so far into the jungle that whites almost never encounter it, they can all get sentimental over a bogus, idyllic past. As Prof. Keeley notes, “the privileged few who … are most cushioned from physical discomfort and inconvenience by industrial technology are the most nostalgic about the primitive world.”
This has lead to silliness and even falsification. For example, there are remains of Early Neolithic (c. 4,000 BC) ditch and palisade enclosures that can only have been fortifications. Some have clearly been battle grounds and are littered with human bones, but Prof. Keeley quotes from a standard explanation for such finds: “[P]erhaps these camps were places where the dead were exposed for months before their bones were deposited in nearby communal burials.”
Likewise, it is typical to explain that early men were buried with spears, swords, shields and battle axes because these were status symbols or were used as money. In Prof. Keeley’s words, those who insist on pacifying the past “ignore the bellicosely obvious for the peaceably arcane.”
Lefties also discount bona fide field observations of primitives on the war path. No matter how untouched a society may have been before whites discovered it, any mayhem explorers observed is said to be “the product of disequilibrium induced by Western contact.” Thus, it is impossible to study pristine savage nature because the very presence of white men is a contaminant that sets the peaceful primitives to murdering each other. Many anthropologists and archaeologists appear to believe that war is “a peculiar psychosis of western civilization.”
Interestingly, Prof. Keeley reports that some of the initial anthropological justification for this view came from the work of an earlier generation of scholars who had little respect for savage peoples. Anthropologists Harry Turney-High (1899-1982) and Quincy Wright (1890-1970) were both very influential in promoting the view that although stone-age people did make war of sorts, it was mostly stylized ritual and not very dangerous. These men thought that primitive war was defective and trivial because primitive society was defective and trivial. Savages could not mobilize large numbers of men and keep them in the field, had no idea of tactics, and were not trained to “stand and die.” Their warfare was childish.
Prof. Keeley’s careful research shows this was far from the case. It is in fact true that when primitives engage in pitched battles, they usually stop fighting after a relatively small number of casualties. This lends credence to the view that primitive war is more for show than for killing, but pitched battles are only a small part of warfare. After sifting through mountains of field studies, Prof. Keeley reports not only that such battles are frequent but that casualties are greatly multiplied by raids, ambushes, and massacres.
For example, ethnographers found that the Dugum Dani tribe of New Guinea once engaged in seven full battles and nine raids in just 5 1/2 months. Likewise, one Yanomamo village in South America was raided 25 times in 15 months. Surprise attack is the favorite tactic of primitives, and Prof. Keeley estimates that a typical raid might kill 5 to 15 percent of the inhabitants of a village. Sometimes far larger numbers might be trapped and killed, and “massacres once a generation were not an unusual experience in many nonstate groups.”
Archaeological evidence confirms that this is an old practice. In Cow Creek, South Dakota, a mass grave that dates from the 14th century AD contains the skeletons of 500 men, women and children who were slaughtered, scalped and mutilated. All the houses in the village were burned, and from their number archaeologists estimate that the total population was about 800. This village was wiped out and never reoccupied — 150 years before Columbus arrived.
There are burial sites in Gebel Sahaba in Egyptian Nubia that also show unmistakable signs of frequent violent death. A large number of the skeletons buried 12,000 to 14,000 years ago show smashed heads, mutilation, and the hacked left forearms common in battle casualties.
Early anthropologists like Turney-High and Wright assumed that because primitive societies did not have the power to draft soldiers they could not mobilize many men. Prof. Keeley says they were wrong. Although the Germans mobilized just over 30 percent of all men during the Second World War, Tahitians, Zulus, and some New Guinean tribes commonly mobilized 40 percent or more of their men. Moreover, in primitive war, there are essentially no support troops. Unlike the American army in Vietnam, which had a “tooth to tail” ratio of only 1:14, virtually every savage carries a weapon.
High mobilization rates and frequent battles mean very high cumulative casualty rates. Prof. Keeley calculates that every year during the 20th century, Germany and Russia lost an average 0.15 percent of their populations to combat. No other modern countries come close. For primitive societies, however — the Chippewa Indians, Fiji islanders, the Dinka of West Africa, and certain New Guinean tribes — annual battle deaths could exceed one percent, or seven times the most lethal “civilized” rate. Prof. Keeley notes that as a result it was not uncommon for tribes and sub-tribes to be driven to extinction by warfare.
One important difference between savage and civilized war is that tribes do not have the economic base to sustain prolonged combat. They run out of supplies and have to stop. In New Guinea, battles have lasted for several days or even weeks, but only because the combatants live so close to the front they can come home to sleep at night. During the most sustained New Guinean warfare, truces might be called for soldiers to tend crops. Otherwise both sides might starve.
Fighting close to home is a great advantage for the wounded. A New Guinean warrior who caught an arrow might be home and in the bosom of his family within an hour or two. Until the 20th century, “civilized” soldiers often lay wounded for many hours and were then treated in unsanitary, impersonal field hospitals that may have done more harm than good.
Otherwise, though, Prof. Keeley leaves no doubt that warfare among the savages was cruel business. Surrender was never an option, since captives were always killed on the spot or tortured. The Iroquois, for example, liked to let women and children torture captives to death over a period of several days. Then they would eat parts of the body — often the heart.
|Mutilation and trophy-taking were common, and some tribes left a distinctive “signature” on enemy corpses.|
Mutilation and trophy-taking were common, and some tribes left a distinctive “signature” on enemy corpses. Some New Guineans, for example, sliced off enemy genitals and stuffed them into the body’s mouth. After the battle of Little Bighorn, Indian women used marrow-cracking mallets to smash the faces of dead cavalrymen into mush.
“In Tahiti,” notes Prof. Keeley, “a victorious warrior, given the opportunity, would pound his vanquished foe’s corpse flat with his heavy war club, cut a slit through the well-crushed victim, and don him as a trophy poncho.”
Revisionists have sometimes made the improbable claim that European colonists taught the Indians to scalp enemies, but Prof. Keeley says that both ethnographic and archaeological evidence for indigenous scalping is overwhelming. Scalping had a double purpose: Primitives often thought that mutilating an enemy would inconvenience him in the after-life, and battle trophies were proof of work well done.
Captive women were sometimes taken home as wives. In some societies women also had an economic value because they provided most of the farm labor. The Maoris of New Zealand, however, were not so chivalrous. During battle they disabled women so they could later rape, kill, and eat them at leisure.
Prof. Keeley notes that although it is fashionable to claim that cannibalism is the stuff of hysterical missionary tales, it was unquestionably practiced by Maoris, some American Indians, Australian Aborigines, Aztecs, and some Africans. There is also clear archaeological evidence for prehistoric cannibalism.
Primitive warfare was extremely destructive to property as well as lives. Victors commonly burned or sacked anything they could not carry away, instinctively adopting the tactics of Sherman’s march to the sea and the civilian bombings of the Second World War. As Prof. Keeley puts it, “primitive warfare is simply total war conducted with very limited means.”
Savages had unsurprising reasons for making war: fights over land, quarries, fishing streams, and hunting grounds. Homicide or adultery could start a war, and many conflicts were “disaster-driven:” During a hard winter one hungry village might ambush another, kill its occupants, and live on their stores.
Prof. Keeley also writes that trade and intermarriage have not usually bound peoples together. Business deals gone bad, mistreated brides, and welched dowries are all frequent causes for war. One problem for tribal peoples is their lack of central political authority. A few hotheads can go on an unauthorized raid that plunges the entire group into war to the knife.
Nevertheless, Prof. Keeley has unearthed a few human groups that appear not to have made war. Invariably these are small bands of nomads who live in very difficult country, far from others. They have very few possessions, and move away rather than fight. Prof. Keeley reports that in North America the Great Basin Shoshone and the Paiute “never attacked others and were themselves attacked only very rarely; most just fled rather than trying to defend themselves.”
But even these “peaceable” societies were by no means idyllic. “Armed conflict between social units does not necessarily disappear at the lowest levels of social integration,” writes Prof. Keeley; “often it is just terminologically disguised as feuding or homicide.” When people do not have strangers to kill, they have to make do with killing each other.
As War Before Civilization makes clear, Rousseau was a dreamer. His 20th century descendants who think modern whites invented war are just as deluded.
IN THE NEWS
O Tempora, O Mores!
Prop 187 Overturned
A federal judge has ruled that the 1994 California ballot initiative barring government handouts for illegal aliens is unconstitutional. “California is powerless to enact its own legislative scheme to regulate immigration,” wrote Judge Mariana Pfaelzer, and therefore “it is likewise powerless to enact its own legislative scheme to regulate alien access to public benefits.” Illegal immigrants can therefore attend public schools and collect welfare. Gov. Pete Wilson, who campaigned for the initiative and thinks Judge Pfaelzer’s legal reasoning is all wrong, will immediately take the case to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
As soon as Proposition 187 was passed, Judge Pfaelzer ordered its implementation suspended while she scrutinized it for three years. She is a well-known liberal and was expected to rule against the proposition, but dawdled over it for so long that Governor Wilson took the unusual step of filing papers with the U.S. Court of Appeals demanding that she make a decision. (Patrick McDonnell, Prop. 187 Found Unconstitutional by Federal Judge, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 15, 1997.)
It is worth reviewing the racial breakdown of support for Prop. 187 when it was passed in 1994:
Whites were the only racial group that supported withholding government benefits from illegals. Among whites, Jews were the only group that voted against Prop. 187. Only a small percentage of Hispanics living in California are U.S. citizens and they are the most “Americanized.” Of this number, 77 percent were in favor of handouts to illegals. (A Look at the Electorate, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 11, 1994.) It is a safe bet that as Hispanics become the dominant group in southern California they will continue to vote in ways that flout the desires of whites, just as they have done in Houston (see below).
Houston Votes Preferences
An anti-affirmative action voter initiative similar to Proposition 209 in California has failed to pass in Houston, Texas. In a city that is only 38 percent white (and 33 percent Hispanic, 26 percent black, and six percent Asian) 55 percent voted to keep the city’s racial preference programs.
Outgoing white mayor Robert Lanier influenced the decision by pressuring the City Council to reword the initiative. What probably would have won as a measure against “discrimination” was turned into a vote on “affirmative action for women and minorities.” Mr. Lanier also appeared in television ads saying that it was wrong for “guys who look like me” to get all the city’s business.
Liberals are delighted that the nation’s second major referendum on race preferences failed to abolish them. Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg says, “I think this shows that Houston has transcended its redneck Southern past and is recognizing its destiny as a multiethnic, international city in a global economy.” In other words, once whites become a minority, they cannot expect to end official discrimination. (Jesse Katz, Houston Thinks Globally in OK of Affirmative Action, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 6, 1997, p. A14.)
What the voters of Houston could not do, a federal judge has partially accomplished. A week after the vote, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes struck down the Houston transit authority’s affirmative action program, which required that 21 percent of county construction contracts be given to women and non-whites. “The Constitution disallows collective guilt,” he noted in his ruling. (AP, Affirmative action halted for Houston transit authority, November 14, 1997.)
Preferences Dodge a Bullet
In a spectacular admission of the weakness of their position, black “civil rights groups” have raised money to pay off a white affirmative action victim rather than see her case go before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1989, the school board of Piscataway, New Jersey, had to lay off one of two teachers. In the name of diversity, the board fired Sharon Taxman, who is white, and kept Debra Williams, who is black. The case is of particular interest because it is as benign a case of racial preference as one is likely to find. Unlike most affirmative action, which favors clearly less-qualified non-whites at the expense of whites, the school system had determined, according to its own bureaucratic formulae, that the two teachers were equally qualified and of equal seniority. If the two had been of the same race, someone would have flipped a coin. This was the fairest (and rarest) kind of affirmative action.
By raising 70 percent of the $433,000 Sharon Taxman and her lawyers received, the Black Leadership Forum “satisfied” the plaintiff and ended the case, thus keeping it off the Supreme Court docket. Why did they do it? Because losing the case would have immediately destroyed the basis for virtually every racial preference program in the country. Though they do not like to, “civil rights” leaders can afford to lose a few egregious cases in which obviously incompetent blacks get the nod over whites. This, though, was the “perfect” affirmative action case; if Debra Williams cannot get racial preferences only a very small number of blacks who can show actual past discrimination can ever hope to get preferential treatment.
Before Mrs. Taxman’s payoff, even the Clinton Administration urged the Supreme Court not to take the case for fear of the precedent it might set. The court ignored the President. Jesse Jackson, who helped raise the payoff money, said the case had to be disposed of because it was “riddled with problems,” and “would have been distortion of the issue.” (Amy Westfeldt, Black Group Pays to Settle Case, AP, Nov. 21, 1997.)
There are an estimated 450 schools in the United States named after George Washington. In November there were one fewer after a New Orleans school board stripped the first President’s name from an elementary school and renamed it after Charles Richard Drew, a black surgeon known for his work in blood transfusion. This was only the latest name change for New Orleans which, in 1992, decided it would no longer permit schools to bear the names of slave-owners or Confederate officers. Thus have schools named for P.G.T. Beauregard and Robert E. Lee been given the names of black supreme court justice Thurgood Marshall and black astronaut Ronald McNair.
Ninety-one percent of the students in the district are black, and the school board is controlled by a five-to-two black majority. At what used to be George Washington Elementary, 98 percent of the 702 students are black, and the proposed name change met virtually no opposition from faculty, parents, or the community. After all, as Carl Galmon, a long-time New Orleans “civil rights leader” put it, “Why should African-Americans want their kids to pay respect or pay homage to someone who enslaved their ancestors?” He went on to note that “to African-Americans, George Washington has about as much meaning as David Duke.” (Kevin Sack, Blacks Strip Slaveholders’ Names Off Schools, New York Times, Nov. 12, 1997, p. B1.)
Quis Custodiet … ?
It is the job of the New York City Commission on Human Rights to ensure that the protected classes stay protected. Alas, it has been charged by the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with committing a simultaneous act of racism and sexism. In 1995, when one of the commission’s five supervisory jobs became available, four people applied: a black woman, a white woman, a woman of undisclosed race, and a white man. The white man got the job, but two of the women are now complaining to the EEOC that he had less seniority and litigation experience than they. And, indeed, New York City official Robert Hammel, who was in a position to influence the commission’s hiring, is reported to have noted that the four other supervisors were all women and that it was important to maintain “diversity” on the staff.
The feds think not. They find “probable cause” that the city commission that is supposed to snuff out rights violations has violated the women’s rights. “Diversity” should never increase the number of white men; only decrease them. (Robert D. McFadden, Rights Panel is Accused in Bias Case, New York Times, Sept. 21, 1997, p. B3.)
The fruits of diversity are starting to appear in U.S. foreign policy. According to Tufts University professor Tony Smith, ethnic group influence of foreign policy is at “a historic high-water mark.” There are now 15 congressional caucuses devoted to ethnic politicking (there were 6 in 1987) including, besides the usual racial cliques, the “Caucus on Armenian Issues,” and a “Portuguese-American Caucus.”
Recent successes of ethnic lobbying include the U.S. invasion of Haiti (blacks), NAFTA (Mexican-Americans and the Mexican government), and the Helms-Burton Act, which banned business with Cuba (Cuban-Americans). Our new multicultural foreign policy has led to some tragi-comedies, such as Pakistani-Americans deciding a Senate race in South Dakota. Pakis were big donors to Democrat Tim Johnson in 1996 because his opponent and now ex-senator Larry Pressler supported India.
What do diplomats think about this? Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger says, “It used to irritate the hell out of us … but it did remind us that this is a democracy and that you must be able to explain your policy to the American people.” Assuming you can figure out who they are. (Paul Glastris, Multicultural Foreign Policy in Washington, U.S. News and World Report, July 21, 1997, p. 32)
Hypocrisy in High Places
The Washington, DC, public schools consume $7,300 per student every year — thousands of dollars above the national average — but are generally recognized as the worst in the country. Congress has dreamed up a plan to give some district students vouchers of $3,200 each so they can attend private schools in the area, and perhaps get a better education.
Some of Congress’ most notorious liberals are leading the fight against the plan, which would bring riffraff into the private schools favored by these same notorious liberals. Twenty members of Congress who have school-aged children live in the district, and not one patronizes public schools. Almost all of them oppose the voucher plan. Even the district’s non-voting, black representative Eleanor Norton sends her children to private school. Opposition to vouchers is led by Edward Kennedy and black Senator Carol Mosley Braun, neither of whom has ever sent a child to public school. William Clinton, whose daughter attended a tony Quaker private school, also opposes the plan. (Niles Lathem, D.C. School War is no Class Act, New York Post, Oct. 5, 1997, p. 25.)
Kill the Messenger
In 1992 the federal government launched a $500 million program called Healthy Start, the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to reduce the infant mortality rates of black children. The program was designed to lather poor blacks with pre-natal and other medical care in the expectation that this would reduce the death rate. The government has now collected data on the effect of the program during 1994 and hired a Princeton, New Jersey, company called Mathematica Policy Research to evaluate its success.
In November, the government abruptly canceled announcement of the results, claiming that that data were incomplete. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the real reason is that Mathematica discovered that the $500 million program had virtually no effect on infant mortality or low birth weight. (Reuters, Report Said Withheld on U.S. Infant Mortality Rates, Nov. 12, 1997.)
This is yet more evidence that race differences in health may have little to do with medical care. The cover story in the May, 1996 AR points out that Mexican-Americans get far worse pre-natal and other treatment than blacks, yet their infant mortality rates are lower than those of whites. Race rather than government intervention appears to account for the differences.
A black judge has upheld a $640,000 award to a mixed-race couple who claimed they were denied a sub-rental at a fashionable New York cooperative because of race. The co-op board of Beekman Hill House Apartments said that it had turned the couple down — a black lawyer and his white wife, also a lawyer — because they seemed “confrontational and litigious.” A jury rejected this reasoning, solely because one co-op board member had written the words “black man” on his notes to the application.
Judge Carter, who was an NAACP lawyer for 20 years before taking the federal bench, upheld a jury award of $230,000 in compensatory damages and $410,000 in punitive damages. He noted that the mixed-race couple was able to find other housing easily, but that they suffered “recurrent pain” whenever they were in the Beekman Hill area. This is thought to be the largest discrimination award ever made against a New York City cooperative board. (Bill Alden, $640,000 Housing Bias Award Upheld, The New York Law Journal, Nov. 7, 1997.)
Out of the Mouths of Babes
A poll by Music Television (MTV) has learned that an increasing number of young people believe in racial separation. Sixty-eight percent agree with the statement that it is “OK if the races are basically separate from one another in our country, as long as everyone has equal opportunities.” In 1991 only 41 percent agreed with this view. A different poll conducted by Time-CNN has discovered that nine out of ten black teenagers report that “racism” is “a small problem” or “not a problem at all” in their lives. (Business Wire, MTV Poll Reveals, Dec. 3, 1997. AP, Poll: Racism Doesn’t Affect Teens, Nov. 16, 1997.)
A brand-new, anti-immigrant political party in Denmark picked up an encouraging 6.8 percent of the vote in local elections in November. “People are tired and a little bit angry about what is happening in Denmark,” says Pia Kjaersgaard, the 50-year-old leader of the Danish People’s Party. “We have a refugee problem and we have to listen to what the people want.” She has also observed that “too many Muslims in a Christian country can be a problem for many things, like religion, traditions and culture.”
The People’s Party is already campaigning for next year’s general elections, but is not the only party to make immigration an issue. Tom Behnke, leader of the Progress Party recommends that Somali asylum-seekers be repatriated “by parachute.”
Danish interest in immigrants has been increased by reports in Extra Bladet, a leading tabloid that exposes foreign criminals and those who scrounge off the country’s generous welfare system. Fortunately, Denmark is taking the problem in hand at an early stage. Only 4.5 percent of the 5.2 million population are foreign nationals, and only 3.3 percent are non-white. (Peter Conradi, Housewife Stirs Danish Melting Pot, Sunday Times (London), Nov. 23, 1997, p. 1.)
According to the current bizarre interpretation of the 14th Amendment, children born to illegal aliens automatically become U.S. citizens. Many such children promptly go on welfare, and it is a delicate matter to expel the parents of an indigent infant citizen.
A recent Government Accounting Office (GAO) report finds that in 1995 we gave well over $1 billion in federal handouts to citizen-children of illegals. About $700 million of this went as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), or about three percent of the AFDC budget for the year. That is up from two percent in 1992. Citizen-children of illegals also take about two percent of the total food stamp budget, or $430 million worth. In California, ten percent of both AFDC and food stamps are given to children of illegals. Households headed by illegals also get rent subsidies through the department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for children who are defective. As of December 1996, at least 3,450 citizen children of illegals were getting SSI at an annual cost of about $17.6 million. Almost all AFDC recipients also get Medicaid, which costs about $1,000 per child. (AP, Kids of Illegal Immigrants get $1 Billion in Welfare Aid, Nov. 22, 1997.)
AIDS in Africa
In 1996, 1.9 million Africans are reported to have contracted the AIDS virus, more than all the new infections in the rest of the world combined. Since the disease appeared in the 1980s, nearly 800,000 Africans are thought to have died from it. Because educated, urbanized Africans have more sex partners than peasants, it is often the best-prepared and most competent Africans who die of AIDS.
By the year 2010, life expectancy in Mozambique will probably be cut nearly in half by AIDS — to 30 years with AIDS from 57 years without it. In more than a dozen other African countries AIDS will probably knock at least 10 years off average life expectancy. In Botswana, 25 to 30 percent of the adult population are thought to have the virus, and in many parts of Africa it is predicted that by the year 2000 one third of all children will have lost one or both parents to AIDS.
Gareth Jones, a UN AIDS official who works in Geneva, says that Africans are doing very little to stop the disease: “Some leaders deny the problem. Many men refuse to use condoms, or can’t get them. At this point, everyone is hoping for a vaccine.” Needless to say, no one is expecting the vaccine to be developed by Africans. (Mort Rosenblum, AIDS Epidemic a Threat to African Development, AP, Nov. 29, 1997. Constance Holden, World AIDS — The Worst is Still to Come, Science, Dec. 5, 1997, p. 1715.)
The Voodoo Defense
A judge has ruled that a Philadelphia man who shot his common-law wife is not guilty of murder because he was convinced she had hexed him. There is no question that Theodore Stevens shot and killed Eno Bailey, but Judge Lisa Richette ruled the shooting an accident rather than murder, after hearing testimony from a priest of the Africa-based religion, Santeria.
The 69-year-old Mr. Stevens reportedly believed that his wife had given him heart problems, diabetes, dementia, and tingling in the legs by putting a Santeria hex on him, and was convinced she would eventually voodoo him to death. Ricardo Fresses, a “Santero,” or Santeria priest, testified that Mr. Stevens had good reason to fear for his life: “Just thinking that someone is doing work on you can cause you to have a heart attack,” he explained. “It can affect the mind … Voodoo is very strong.” Judge Richette, race unspecified, summoned the Santero herself as a witness. Prosecutors and the victim’s family are reported to be outraged by her decision. (Agence France-Press, No Murder Charge for Man Who Killed to Stop Voodoo Curse, Nov. 26, 1997.)
The Azores are Portuguese islands in the mid-Atlantic with a population of about 250,000. Over the years, so many Azoreans have emigrated to Canada and the United States that they and their descendants now number more than one million. They have been reluctant to become citizens, and now that Canada and the U.S. have starting deporting alien felons after they serve time, some 250 are involuntarily back home in the Azores.
Many left when they were children and some do not even speak Portuguese. They are shocked by the low standard of living, where some families get by on 50,000 escudos ($276) a month. “My mother and father talked about digging dirt, working with cows … but when I came here and saw guys working on farms it was like, wow, where in the heck am I?” says one Azorean who learned his English in the United States.
Ex-North American gun slingers and drug dealers are a wild, alien element in this peasant society. “They learned their trade over there and that’s where they should stay,” says a local. Many continue to ply their trade. Of the 140 inmates in the only prison on the main island of Sao Miguel island, 23 are deportees. There would be more, say Azoreans, were the police not intimidated by the hardened newcomers. Island authorities fear their society could be seriously disrupted if Canada and the United States continue to send felons back to the islands. (Reuters, The Azores Don’t Want Criminal Aliens Deported From the U.S., Nov. 17, 1997.)
No one seems to be concerned about the disruption to Canada or the United States, but immigration sometimes seems to poison those who come as much as it does those who receive.
LETTERS FROM READERS
Sir — I greatly enjoyed Mr. MacDaniel’s account of the life and influence of Madison Grant. I would be curious to know, though, how many racialists still think the sub-racial distinctions between Nordic, Alpine, and Mediterranean are important. It is commonly said that Spaniards and, especially, the Portuguese permitted an unfortunate amount of miscegenation with African slaves, but most of Europe is surely of a racial and cultural piece. The people who gave us Michaelangelo, Dostoyevsky, and Copernicus are as much our people as those who gave us Newton and Goethe. We need unity in our struggle, not division.
Conrad Greene, Florence, Ala.
Sir — Your December cover story notes that after Hitler invaded Poland “eugenics would be equated with concentration camps, Nazi doctors, Holocaust, and war crimes.” Should it be?
From 1941 to 1945 we Americans fought a bitter war against Germany. Now we must come to grips with the fact that just because our adversaries said something does not necessarily make it false.
National Socialism was not, moreover, an isolated phenomenon, but reflected many ideas that were widely accepted during the 1920s and 1930s. Besides American influence on German eugenicists, we even influenced attitudes toward Jews, most notably through the four volumes of The International Jew, which were published with the help of Henry Ford. They were quickly translated into German and may have inspired parts of the large corpus of work that was published in Germany on the Jewish question.
It makes no sense to link war and science. If Hitler’s invasion of Poland helped bring about the decline of eugenics did the Soviet invasion of Poland (and of Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Romania) discredit Lysenkoism? Only National Socialism is ever brought into what should be a “scientific” argument.
Readers who are curious to learn about genetic thought in National Socialist Germany should consult Leitfaden der Rassenhygiene, published by Otmar von Verschuer in 1944.
Charles Weber, Tulsa, Okla.
Sir — I watched the multiracial Cinderella mishmash that you mentioned in the December “O Tempora” section. Blacks slip freely into the roles of any white person and we are not to notice. We are all from the same family tree and there are no differences. The next morning’s radio news reported that Cinderella had the most viewers in its time slot — 60 million Americans watched it. This is the sewage that multiculturalism pours into the heads of white youngsters.
Name Withheld, St. Louis, Mo.
Sir — I have noticed that minority “leaders” have taken to artful dancing when they describe the people of their race.
When welfare is being handed out, they portray themselves as inferior. “Pit us poor blacks and Hispanics; if we don’t get help, what will we do? We can’t survive without government help and it would be oppression to suggest that we could.”
When it comes to jobs, non-whites become equal to whites. “Our people are as good as anyone, and should have their proportionate share of executive jobs, government power, and cultural influence. It’s the American way.”
Where policy making is concerned, non-whites are superior to whites. “We will help make laws for the country and our minority status gives us the special insight that lets us lead the way in shaping society. Also, we alone can make policies that affect us because whites cannot understand us.”
It’s quite a trick to be inferior, equal, and superior all at the same time.
Victor Gerhard, Conklin, N.Y.
Sir — I enjoyed your review of The Demographic Struggle for Power and was particularly struck by Prof. Bookman’s blunt statement that “when race is the distinguishing feature assimilation efforts become irrelevant.” In other words she knows very well that the Chinese would never pretend that whites could be made into Chinamen, nor will Robert Mugabe ever think of white Zimbabweans as anything but aliens. And yet in America we are presumably supposed to believe that people of every race and stage of development can be handily remade into political heirs of Thomas Jefferson, and that our country will “reinvent” itself as what Ben Wattenburg is pleased to call a “universal nation.”
I am reminded of your excellent review of Walker Connor’s Ethnonationalism [AR, March 1997] which, like The Demographic Struggle for Power, is wise to the ways of the world yet silent about the United States.
Do these people really believe in “American exceptionalism” or do they simply refrain from drawing logical conclusions that might make their professional lives difficult. I suspect for people as observant as Prof. Bookman and Prof. Connor it can only be the latter. People seek respectability more avidly than truth.
Elizabeth Archibald, Newport News, Va.