|Vol. 12, No. 2||February 2001|
Who Wants to be a Black Millionaire?
The untold story of how USDA is handing out billions because of “racism”
Why is this man smiling?
Over the past three years, the media have been covering an ongoing class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by black farmers. According to the press, the department has admitted discriminating for years against thousands of honest black farmers, and is now paying the price. To date, no press report has fully explained the lawsuit and the way it was settled. This means no press report has told the truth about what amounts to a deliberate decision by USDA to write checks to virtually any black who steps forward with a claim of “racism.” This article, relying exclusively on knowledgeable sources within the government, is the first in-depth look at this sad affair, which is likely to cost taxpayers at least $2 billion and perhaps as much as $4 billion. The story is an involved one but is sadly instructive of the self-abasement now common in the name of race. It likewise provides blacks yet more encouragement in their belief that they are beset by bigotry at every turn.
The story began simply enough in December 1996, when a small group of black farmers demonstrated in front of the White House, complaining about alleged USDA discrimination in its vast farm lending program. Blacks are less than one percent of the farming population but account for three times that proportion of USDA lending (3.2 percent), which suggests the very opposite of deliberate exclusion, but no one pointed this out at the time. The press gave the demonstration more coverage than its small numbers and unsubstantiated claims merited, and shortly afterwards, according to sources within the government, William Clinton told Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman to keep complaining blacks “out of my back yard.” Mr. Glickman, who had been given a cabinet post by Mr. Clinton after being ousted in the 1994 Republican landslide from a House seat he had held for 18 years, was quick to comply.
|USDA essentially decided to write a check to virtually any black who stepped forward with a claim of “racism.”|
Within days, Mr. Glickman announced the sudden discovery of rampant discrimination within the department he had headed for nearly two years (and which had been run before him by a black former congressman, Mike Espy). He offered no evidence of racism, but scheduled a series of “listening sessions” around the country to look for some.
At a probable cost of a million dollars or more, the January 1997, USDA “listening” tour made stops in 11 cities from California to Washington, D.C. The entourage included Mr. Glickman’s deputy secretary, the black leader of a newly created Civil Rights Action Team (CRAT), and a hand-picked group of 11 other government officials. The CRAT had originally numbered ten, but an eleventh was hurriedly added when it was discovered Mr. Glickman had forgotten to include a Hispanic.
The “listening” tour had much to listen to (see sidebar on page 3). Plenty of people, many of whom had been complaining for decades about alleged USDA racism, were happy to repeat well-practiced accounts of mistreatment. Among the aggrieved was a small group of black farmers whose attempt to file a class-action suit had been dismissed a few years earlier. They did not claim USDA had refused them money — all had received farm loans — but that white bureaucrats had not done enough to help make them successful farmers.
After hearing a variety of accusations, Mr. Glickman’s CRAT concluded that USDA’s civil rights apparatus had not been doing its job. It blamed the Reagan Administration for this, although Democrats had been in charge for the preceding five years. The CRAT declared that the Civil Rights Division was in a “persistent state of chaos,” largely because of constant “reorganization” (which usually resulted in higher pay for the mostly-black staff). CRAT also discovered that the general impression of the Civil Rights Division was true: It was a “dumping ground” for obstreperous or unproductive employees who were transferred there to undemanding jobs, as a way of resolving conflicts with previous supervisors.
Needless to say, CRAT also found that lax supervision by the civil rights division had permitted racism to run riot through the department, and Mr. Glickman accepted all CRAT recommendations on how to correct this. As part of this process, he ordered an immediate review of 956 backlogged discrimination complaints. The department paid millions of dollars to bring field office workers to Washington to review these complaints, with the result that possible discrimination was found to have occurred in only five of 956 cases.
The department suppressed these inconvenient findings. After these employees had spent months poring over case files a Glickman assistant condemned them to their faces as liars intent on covering up the misdeeds of fellow employees. He also told them to destroy their notes.
Let’s Make a Deal
There had to be a better solution, and Mr. Glickman set out to find it. In 1995, five USDA borrowers had filed a lawsuit (Williams v. Glickman) charging discrimination against black and Hispanic farmers. District of Columbia Judge Thomas Flannery denied class-action status, citing the amorphous nature of the proposed class and noting that the claims of the named plaintiffs were not representative of the claims of potential class members.
However, with the legal climate improved by Mr. Glickman charging his own employees with bigotry, two black farmers in North Carolina filed separate but similar suits in 1997, this time on behalf of blacks only. One plaintiff was Timothy Pigford and the other was Cecil Brewington. The Pigford suit is particularly notable because USDA had investigated his claims at least three times and found no discrimination.
What’s more, a previous suit by Mr. Pigford against USDA had been dismissed with prejudice, which means he should not have been allowed to file another suit making the same charges. Both he and Mr. Brewington enlisted high-powered professional civil rights lawyers who recruited hundreds of plaintiffs. At least partly because USDA refused to challenge Mr. Pigford’s right to sue, and made only token defenses, the cases became a legal juggernaut.
|The government knew from the beginning it could not disprove any claim of discrimination that allegedly took place between 1981 and 1994.|
U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman, a Clinton appointee, got both cases. Judge Friedman often presided over sensitive Clinton-related cases, which he appears to have received outside the normal assignment process. His cases included those of Chinese bagman Charlie Trie, Democrat fundraiser Pauline Kanchanalak, and Maria Hsia of the notorious Buddhist temple fundraiser. In each case, Judge Friedman dismissed the charges against Mr. Clinton’s associates, and in each case, a higher court promptly reinstated the charges, leading to the suspicion that Judge Friedman might be answering to a higher authority than mere law. (Judge Friedman also got the slander suit filed by White House aide Sidney Blumenthal against Internet reporter Matt Drudge. Under Judge Friedman’s supervision, that case has dragged on for years, sapping Mr. Drudge’s finances and energy. No trial date is set.)
Judge Friedman combined the cases and they are today known as Pigford v. Glickman. Amazingly, the complaint cites absolutely no evidence of discrimination by USDA other than Mr. Glickman’s statement that discrimination was rampant in his department. Judge Friedman certified class-action status for the suit in October, 1998, and juggernaut was ready to launch.
There was just one obstacle: the federal statute of limitations on discrimination complaints is two years from the date of discrimination, and had already expired for almost all the complainants. The Congressional Black Caucus came to the rescue and drafted legislation waiving the statute of limitations. Heretofore, all such waivers extended the deadline before the original statute of limitations had expired. Some would argue that a waiver after expiration is an unconstitutional ex post facto law, because it recriminalizes an action after the statute of limitations has decriminalized it.
Nevertheless, the waiver was added as an amendment to the Agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 1999, and authorized consideration of discrimination claims from January 1, 1981, through December 31, 1996. Republicans happily helped pass the bill. Had USDA raised the Constitutional question, it is possible the entire suit could have been derailed, but it was clearly Mr. Glickman’s wish to cooperate with the plaintiffs rather than defend his department.
In April, 1999, the government and the plaintiffs entered into a consent decree approved by Judge Friedman (the text of the decree and other related information is available on the Internet. Although the department accepted no blame, the document was hailed in the press as an admission of wrongdoing by USDA. The consent decree set up a two-stage process for securing compensation for alleged acts of racism. The first was to join the class of claimants and the second was to demonstrate USDA bias. The criteria for both were so lenient they were hardly obstacles to anyone determined to join the class and receive a payment.
In order to join, a claimant must be black and (1) have “farmed or attempted to farm between January 1, 1981, and December 31, 1996,” (2) have applied to USDA for a loan or crop payment and believe that application was denied because of race, and (3) have “filed a discrimination complaint on or before July 1, 1997, regarding USDA’s treatment of such farm credit or benefit application.” These sound like reasonable criteria but in practice none is a real obstacle. For example, no claimant need ever have set foot on a farm — a claim to have applied unsuccessfully for a loan qualifies as having “attempted to farm.” Nor is any claimant required to prove he actually applied for any USDA benefit. He need only say he did.
The third condition — that a claimant show he detected discrimination at the time of the loan application and filed a complaint — has been watered down to essentially nothing. The claimant need only “demonstrate” that he “has actively pursued judicial remedies” (this violates the federal requirement that all administrative remedies must be exhausted before taking judicial action), “was induced or tricked by USDA’s misconduct” into missing the filing deadline, or “was prevented by other extraordinary circumstances beyond his control” from filing a complaint on time. And once again, the “proof” required of a claimant that he actually “pursued judicial remedies” for discrimination is laughable. If he can’t show a copy of a complaint and there are no USDA documents that refer to a complaint — which is the case for the vast majority of claimants — the court will accept any of the following:
- A declaration from a non-family member that the claimant filed a discrimination complaint with USDA. (No corroboration from USDA is required, and it is not likely to be difficult to find someone to make such a declaration.)
- A declaration by a non-family member with “first-hand knowledge that, while attending a USDA listening session, or other meeting with a USDA official or officials, the claimant was specifically told by a USDA official that the official would investigate the specific claimants oral complaint of discrimination.” (In other words, someone need only say that he heard the claimant accuse USDA of discrimination and heard a USDA official say the department would look into it. Even USDA admits “there is no mechanism to assess credibility” of such a claim.)
- A copy of correspondence to Congress, the White House, or a local or federal official “averring that the claimant has been discriminated against.” (There need be no corroboration or acknowledgment from any of these officials. The claimant need only affirm that he mailed the letter of which he has a copy, and there are no standards for judging the authenticity of such a copy.)
As a practical matter, therefore, anyone who feels like writing a back-dated letter or can persuade someone to lie can be a member of the class. The only genuinely limiting qualification for class membership is that the claimant be black. What is more, under the consent decree, the statement of any complainant is accepted as true unless USDA can refute it with documentation, but the department’s document retention policies make it impossible to refute most claims. It keeps records of unsuccessful loan applications for only three years, so there is no paper trail for applications made any earlier than 1994 — especially for “farmers” who never applied for a loan at all! Therefore, the government knew when it consented to the decree that it could not disprove any claim concerning a loan allegedly denied between 1981 and 1994. Even the most obviously fraudulent claimant is accepted by default if he says he was turned down for a loan before 1994.
Any class of plaintiffs that is easy to join and that promises a handsome payoff is going to find a lot of takers. As soon as Judge Friedman approved the consent decree, the class attorneys started promoting it, promising that any black who joined the class had a good chance of getting $50,000. To publicize the terms of the decree, USDA had to spend nearly half a million dollars on advertisements on Black Entertainment Television and Cable News Network, in TV Guide, Jet magazine, and 27 general circulation newspapers and 115 black-owned papers. This widely-publicized offer of $50,000 set off something like the Oklahoma land rush.
When the plaintiff’s attorneys first sought to have the case certified as a class action, they estimated perhaps 2,500 people would file claims. By the decree’s official closing date of October, 1999, over 20,000 had joined the suit — more than the total number of black farmers in the United States (18,451 according to the 1997 Census of Agriculture). This number, representing a potential liability of at least $1 billion (not counting debt forgiveness, “Track B” cases explained below, and heavy expenses to be paid by the government) was not enough for Judge Friedman. He let hundreds apply after the closing date. Today, more than a year after the “deadline,” the final number of claimants cannot be determined because these “bonus” claimants are still being certified, but as of Dec. 21, 2000, 21,105 blacks had been accepted as members of the class. Judge Friedman is now considering loosening the deadline once again, in a procedure that could bring in as many as 50,000 new claimants.
A private firm, Poorman-Douglas of Portland, Oregon, was hired to mail out claim packages, receive claims, and process them. Fraud surfaced immediately. Some prospective claimants tried to have children as young as two years old certified as class members. A few whites tried to “pass,” but were rooted out. Husbands and wives, who may have applied for one loan, tried to get separate certification, hoping to be paid twice for a single act of discrimination. A number of dead people have joined the suit, since USDA agreed to let surviving relatives argue on their behalf.
For claimants who have actually done business with USDA there are immediate benefits simply to joining the class. The department must stop all efforts to foreclose on their delinquent loans. Also, if the government owns property it obtained in foreclosure on a claimant, it must not sell the land but must hold it until the claim is decided. If the claimant wins he gets the property back free and clear, even if there was not the slightest hint of discrimination in the proceedings that led to the foreclosure.
In practice, the suit has become an across-the-board ban on foreclosure of black delinquent borrowers because they are all potential parties to the suit. As might be expected, defaults have soared. USDA regularly calculates the percentage of borrowers of each race that are delinquent, and in late 2000, the rate for blacks was 36 percent as opposed to a white rate of 14 percent. In the forgiving atmosphere created by the Pigford case, the black delinquency rate has been as high as 48 percent.
Take the Money, Please
Joining the class, however, does not automatically mean money. The decree provides for two “tracks” for resolving complaints and determining whether a payment is due. USDA rather candidly describes Track A as “the easier, more streamlined track for class members who do not have as much, or any, direct proof of discrimination.” [Italics added]
For those who choose Track A, a “contract adjudicator” decides the case. Federal rules of evidence and other legal standards do not apply. To win, a claimant need only give “substantial evidence,” the lowest standard of proof required in any judicial proceeding, of the following:
- He “owned or leased, or attempted to own or lease, farm land.”
- He “applied for a specific credit transaction at a USDA county office” during the specified period.
- The loan was “denied, provided late, approved for a lesser amount than requested, encumbered by restrictive conditions, or USDA failed to provide appropriate loan service, and such treatment was less favorable than that accorded specifically identified similarly situated white farmers.”
- “USDA’s treatment of the loan application led to economic damage to the class member.”
Once again, since USDA no longer has any records of loans denied before 1994, any claim from that period is virtually impossible to refute. If a Track A claimant wins, he gets a flat $50,000, regardless of the form the discrimination is alleged to have taken. If he is an actual USDA borrower, and is claiming he got a loan on unfavorable terms because of racial discrimination, he also gets complete loan forgiveness, plus 25 percent of this amount, which goes to the IRS for taxes. If the government owns any foreclosed property that used to belong to a successful claimant he gets it back. He also jumps to the head of the line for consideration for future USDA loans, and for the purchase of one farm property foreclosed upon by the government.
Track B is for people unwilling to settle for $50,000. All Track B claimants are demanding millions and one ambitious farmer says it will take no less than $70 million to make him whole. These cases are decided by an arbitrator, Michael K. Lewis of ADR Associates, who is black. Under his supervision, claimants must demonstrate discrimination by a “preponderance of the evidence,” a somewhat higher standard of proof than Track A. Track B cases involve rules of evidence, discovery, witnesses, sworn testimony and other legalisms that will increase the amount owed to class attorneys. Even if the government wins a Track B case, the arbitrator receives a fee that can exceed $10,000 and is paid from tax dollars. If a Track B claimant wins, he gets actual damages, discharge of debt, return of property, and the same advantages in future dealings with USDA as claimants in Track A. By Dec., 2000, only about 196 (fewer than one percent) of the first 21,000 plaintiffs had chosen this option, which actually requires some proof of discrimination.
By last December, 19,770 Track A cases had been decided, and the government had won about 40 percent of them. It has managed to win most of the cases in which the claimant was actually a borrower, because the department keeps the complete case file for the entire life of a loan (usually 30 years), and therefore has all the necessary documentation to refute charges of discrimination. It is highly significant that of the 11,932 claimants who had won so far, there were actual records of USDA loans for only 1,140 or 9.5 percent of them. This means only a tiny minority of successful claimants had some kind of documented borrowing relationship with USDA. It is impossible to know what proportion of the other 90.5 percent ever had contact with the department at all, much less suffered anything that could be described as discrimination. It is in these very dubious circumstances that the department has paid out nearly half a billion dollars in $50,000 payments (see sidebar, next page).
Of the 1,140 successful claimants who had actually borrowed money from USDA, only 131 had loan balances that could be forgiven; most of the rest had defaulted and the department had already taken losses on the loans. This means USDA not only never got its money back, it had to hand over another $50,000 because of alleged racism in the way the loans were made.
USDA has managed to win some of the cases for which it does not even have documentation. This is a tribute to a group of about 250 dedicated government workers who analyze the unsubstantiated claims and are able to discredit some solely on the basis of statements made by claimants. Some of these claims are literally photocopies of each other, alleging discrimination in the same manner, by the same USDA official in the same county office. When it can be proven that the official was not working in that office at the time, or if there are other obvious contradictions, the claim can be denied. There appear to be no plans to prosecute claimants who committed perjury by making false claims.
Track B cases take longer, so there have been fewer results. The record is distinctly mixed. As of December 2000, only 14 of 196 cases had been disposed of, with seven dismissed outright. Two had been settled, and the arbitrator had issued five rulings, three in favor of the complainant. If the settlements are counted as draws, the government has won nine, lost three, and drawn two. The bigger cases are proving more difficult to win, even against a department that has bent every rule to make things easy for the complainants.
Back in the field, where USDA loans are still being made, some nonwhite farmers have been quick to take advantage of the current “civil rights” climate, openly threatening credit officers with legal action if they don’t get loans. Not coincidentally, the latest figures show an increase in loans to nonwhites, and a corresponding drop in loans to whites (because the total allocated by Congress remains the same.) While many department employees are disgusted by this practice, they go along with it because they know USDA never punishes anyone for making loans that fail, but is desperate to find someone it can punish for discrimination. Of course, when a doomed loan does go sour, this too can tag the loan officer as a racist because he didn’t support the borrower and make him a success.
The publicity surrounding the thousands of payouts to black farmers has prompted a flurry of imitators. Not content with $50,000, American Indians have filed a similar suit, demanding $1 million each. Curiously, Judge Friedman refused a motion that this suit be “piggybacked” on the Pigford case, claiming there is not enough “similarity” in the cases. In fact, the Indian case is a virtual carbon copy of the black case.
In October, 2000, a group of three Hispanics filed suit on behalf of an alleged 20,000 of their brethren, making identical claims. Later that month, just before the final expiration of the statute-of-limitations waiver, Asian-Americans and women filed similar suits. At this point, virtually every “protected” group except homosexuals and the handicapped now alleges mistreatment by USDA.
|Popular new cash crop.|
Even more remarkable is yet another lawsuit (Green v. Glickman)filed on May 12, 2000, on behalf of “non-African-American” farmers (mostly whites), which claims USDA treated them the same way it treated blacks. Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), who is black and an ardent partisan of black causes says, “I can see little difference in the way black farmers were treated in Pigford and what has happened to the farmers in this suit,” adding, “I believe it has the potential to be larger than the black farmers’ suit once word gets out.” Congressman Thompson may not understand the significance of what he is saying: If USDA treated all of its borrowers equally (badly), regardless of race, then it didn’t discriminate against anyone. If the congressman is right, all the lawsuits are equally fraudulent.
On the other hand, for obvious reasons the Justice Department is very serious about fighting the white claimants. U.S. Magistrate Alfred Nicols has refused to accept amended claims that could add hundreds of additional plaintiffs. The class is now frozen at approximately 100 claimants, and despite Congressman Thompson’s enthusiasm for it, the case is likely to be dismissed.
The black case, though, is typical of everything that is wrong about “discrimination” lawsuits. Like most defendants, the department admitted no guilt, but agreed to huge payouts because it is so time-consuming and expensive to fight a discrimination case all the way to a “not guilty” verdict. In this case, though, the department also cooperated with the plaintiffs, making it ridiculously easy to take its money, rather than mount the many defenses available to it. The larger effect, of course, is to create and publicize yet another example of systemic “racial discrimination.” Every black crank and agitator has yet another scalp to nail to the wall, yet more proof that even the United States government is seething with racism.
Furthermore, as in almost all major “discrimination” cases, the press has reported next to nothing about the actual workings of the case or about what specific wrongs were done the plaintiffs — only that thousands of blacks are finally being compensated for years of discrimination. One reason for the silence is that, as we have seen, the case is complicated. But another is that close examination shows that virtually all the “discrimination” for which blacks are being compensated amounts to nothing more than pure assertion by claimants. USDA put itself in the absurd position of agreeing to give money to thousands of blacks simply because they say they deserve it. This is, in fact, a very juicy story for an enterprising young reporter, but the media are vastly more interested in trumpeting even dubious claims of discrimination than in showing them to be false — even when falsehoods lead to huge drains on the public purse.
Was there discrimination against black farmers? Perhaps there was. But Track A is hardly a procedure that proves it. Track B, with its more formal rules of evidence may yet uncover some kind of wrongdoing, but these proceedings are closed to the public and their records are sealed. The public will probably never know the basis for the million-dollar judgments that could ensue.
There is, however, a faint stirring of interest in the case in certain quarters. In December, 2000, the General Accounting Office notified USDA that at the request of Rep. Larry Combest (R-TX), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, it would be studying the Pigford case, as well as the individual settlements agreed to by the department outside the case. Something it is reportedly keen to understand is why so few of the people who got $50,000 payments under the lawsuit appear to have had any connection with American agriculture — a very good question.
There is other disturbing question about this case. When racists are discovered they usually face quick and severe punishment, and there have already been 11,932 official Track A findings of racial discrimination. There must have been an awful lot of racists in the department practicing a great deal of racism — aren’t they going to be brought to book? The black claimants and their lawyers keep pushing this, insisting that heads must roll. Mr. Glickman obliged by repeatedly threatening to fire or otherwise discipline the “racists,” but this is mostly bluff. Any civil service or court action resulting from such a dismissal could very well establish that there had been no discrimination at all. On the other hand, most department employees cannot afford the huge legal fees it would take to clear their names, so the threat of retribution has created an atmosphere of quiet terror in USDA.
In fact, the department refuses to say whether or how many USDA employees have been disciplined in connection with Pigford. It will certainly not divulge names, though it might be quite interesting to hear what someone punished in this connection might have to say. So for the time being a strange and troubling contradiction hangs over this case: The department has compensated nearly 12,000 black farmers for what could only have been entrenched racism, but will not confirm it has fired a single racist.
Department of Agriculture employees who cannot be thanked openly for their help, contributed immensely to this report.
How You Can Actually Lose
The dubious nature of many Pigford claims can be seen from one Track A adjudicator’s decision American Renaissance was able to obtain. The claimant stated that he applied for a short-term loan in January 1981, and that it was not funded until “late May or early June,” which resulted in a late crop and low yields. According to the adjudicator, “USDA records showed a $20,000 operating loan to claimant on April 14, 1981,” which proved the claim false. The claimant lost. USDA was able to refute this claim only because the borrower failed to repay the 1981 loan. Document retention times are longer when the government loses money, so USDA still had proof it made its loan on time. If the borrower had repaid the 1981 loan, USDA would no longer have the files, it would have no way to refute the claim, and would have had to pay $50,000.
At least one of the complainants at the “listening” sessions had already won an official USDA determination that he had, indeed, suffered discrimination. The word around USDA is that this finding was reached at the specific instruction of former Secretary Mike Espy, who was later forced to resign amid charges of corruption but was found not guilty by a District of Columbia jury in 1998. The finding of discrimination ignored numerous previous investigations of the same charges that had found no wrongdoing. According to USDA sources, the text of the final determination (which is unavailable to the public) is so tortured it can only have been written under secretarial duress.
This farmer was found not to have succeeded because USDA “provided him with inadequate loan funds and technical assistance” to become a successful farmer. With no apparent sense of irony, the decision then went on to fault the government for approving loans when the borrower did not meet minimum cash flow and repayment requirements — which is not discrimination, but a violation of federal law that prohibits lending money to uncreditworthy borrowers and the very opposite of denying assistance. The department found that this same black borrower failed as a farmer because the government did not provide sufficient “close technical guidance and management supervision.” The official finding neglected to mention that this farmer had been a teacher of vocational agriculture for nearly 20 years.
This and other individual cases were settled prior to the current black farmer class-action lawsuit, resulting in payouts of millions of dollars and the forgiveness of more millions in USDA loans that should have been paid back to the government. Some farmers even got additional loans from USDA and some of them have refused to repay them. The current “civil rights” climate makes it hard to try to collect on them.
The Mind of the Chinese
Our rival in the new century
Hegemon: China’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World, by Steven Mosher, Encounter Books, 2000, $24.95, 193 pp.
China, says Steven Mosher, is by far the most dangerous foreign power we face. It is a militarist, expansionist dictatorship that resents America, and makes no secret of its desire to be the dominant power in Asia if not the world. It aspires, in short, to be a hegemon, to exercise the far-flung authority it took for granted for several thousand years. Mr. Mosher, who is president of something called the Population Institute, makes a good case for this view and may even be right about how the US should deal with China, but the book’s tone of outrage borders on the hypocritical and naive. China is simply a great power not yet shorn of the vigorous racial nationalism that characterized Western nations until only a few generations ago.
Mr. Mosher worries, for example, that “racial pride, an innate sense of cultural superiority, and a long history all tell the Chinese that the role of Hegemon properly belongs to China and its rulers.” He also frets about “the ongoing certainty of the Chinese that they are culturally superior to other people,” and fears that China thinks of itself “not as a nation-state … but an all-encompassing civilization.” But is any of this different from the way the British felt up until the First World War or the way all Europeans used to view the rest of the world? Mr. Mosher’s analysis of the Chinese mentality is doubtless correct, but it is only to Westerners who no longer understand what it means to have a sense of national destiny that China is incomprehensible or seems abnormal.
Tradition of Despotism
There are, of course, important differences between Chinese and Europeans, and in these multi-culti times it takes backbone to point them out. Mr. Mosher notes that Chinese history is a chronicle of almost pure tyranny, and that Chinese have submitted to nearly 4,000 years of it with hardly a murmur. “China’s ‘oriental despotism’,” he writes, “gave an emperor far more authority than any Western monarch, however absolute. There is nothing resembling a Magna Charta to be found anywhere in the long stretch of Chinese history …” Nor, he points out, can there be found anywhere in Chinese thinking the idea that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed.
Mr. Mosher regales us with vivid accounts of the mass murders, mutilations, book burnings, and enslavements that were for the emperors mere tools of good government. Confucianism, with its emphasis on submission to authority, was the perfect imperial creed, and helped embed despotism in “China’s cultural DNA.” Mao Tse Tung was just another emperor under a different flag, and the Chinese easily transferred habits of absolute submission to the emperor to absolute submission to the Great Helmsman. In fact, Mao boasted about how many more people he had put to death than did the bloodthirsty emperors of old.
But weren’t the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations a turning point in Chinese history? Were they not a sign the Chinese would no longer submit? Mr. Mosher confesses that he, like many other China-watchers, thought they were, but Hegemon makes a strong case that this was a mistake.
The Chinese authorities crushed the 1989 demonstrations with a vigor no European government could have mustered, and Mr. Mosher claims that “the Chinese Communist Party now has a firmer grip on power than ever.” There is no question that Deng Xiaoping introduced limited free enterprise and greatly improved the economy, but Mr. Mosher points out it is wrong to confuse an end to central-planning with an end to one-party rule. Even the leaders of Falung Gong, a Buddhist exercise group, ended up in jail when they began to get a substantial following. “[G]reater economic openness,” writes Mr. Mosher, “was never an end in itself — though it is viewed as such by many foreigners and some Chinese — but merely the means to an end: a wealthy and powerful Chinese state.”
The most successful entrepreneurs are the “princelings,” the children of old-line Communists, who have used family and party connections to build personal fortunes, with the result that “China is today governed by an elite that controls the state sector directly and the private sector, or at least its most profitable areas, indirectly.” Since the new millionaires are also the party elite, “the beneficiaries of the new wealth reinforce the existing regime.” Mr. Mosher writes that there is also a nascent middle class, but that it is vastly more interested in money than politics. No one in the ruling class, he writes, has the slightest interest in European-style democracy. In fact the party believes, with some reason, that it was the chaos of democracy that destroyed the economies of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and the leaders have no intention of making the same mistake.
At the same time, no one in China any longer pretends to believe the old Communist moonshine about a classless society or the withering away of the state, so what justifies one-party despotism? In fact, Chinese don’t need much justification for despotism, “because Communism was always just an updated version of Chinese autocracy, [and] its death will leave these autocratic traditions intact.” At the same time, Mr. Mosher offers the interesting theory that China’s rulers have made a conscious decision to “replace the decaying myth of communism with a robust, race-based chauvinism, [and to this end] the vanguard of the proletariat is reinventing itself as the protector of the Great Han Race, its culture, and its traditions.” Mr. Mosher says the plan is working. Of the generation of Chinese born in the 1970s and 1980s he writes:
“ [T]heir political education has veered away from ideology in favor of nationalism: they have been made familiar with the glories of China’s imperial past, and with the history of her humiliation at the hands of the Western powers. They have been taught, and have come to believe, that America is denying China her rightful place in the world.”
Mr. Mosher writes that “a kindergarten-through-college curriculum has been custom designed to breed young patriots.” It deliberately promotes what has become a modern continuation of the view that “for over two thousand years the Middle Kingdom was the center of the universe, a huge, self-satisfied continent of people whose elite, wealthy and cultured, had only disdain for the barbarians living on its periphery.” Non-Chinese, he writes, have no idea how deeply Chinese still resent the humiliations of the Opium Wars and the near-colonization of China by Europeans and Japanese in what has otherwise been a long and glorious history of unrivaled dominance. The current emphasis on empire and Han chauvinism means that “the generation of Chinese now coming of age is in fact more patriotic, more resentful of the US and more favorably disposed towards the current Chinese leadership than the generation of Tiananmen.” This is exactly the reverse of what the “experts” predicted.
It is easy to imagine the foreign policy that follows from nationalism, though as Mr. Mosher puts it, “strictly speaking, the Hegemon has no foreign policy other than one of continuous aggression against and absorption of neighboring states.” He argues that American bases in Asia are a particularly galling insult: “From Beijing’s perspective, the continued US military presence in Asia is an unhappy accident and anachronism, the tail end of a century and a half of Western domination over a region that properly belongs within its own sphere of influence.”
The Chinese used to think that if the Americans pulled out of Japan, Korea, and the Philippines, a rearmed Japan would become a threat. Now, with Japan in what seems to be a permanent slump and showing no signs of militarism, the Chinese want American troops out. According to Mr. Mosher, their three immediate foreign policy goals are: “Taiwan should be recovered, Japan neutralized, and the US driven from Asia.” It is the Americans who protect Taiwan and reinforce Japan, so “from China’s point of view, all of its major security concerns arise from the present American dominance on the world stage.” [Italics in the original]
The Chinese see Americans as irreconcilably different from themselves, and have no illusion about the possibility of happy accommodation. Nor are they likely to respect the status quo in Asia: “China still seems to classify her ‘neighbors’ into one of two categories: tributary states that acknowledge her hegemony, or potential enemies.” Mr. Mosher argues that Chinese think any piece of land that was ever under their rule is rightfully theirs and that even territory they never occupied will benefit from the imposition of a superior civilization. The result has been constant border tension: “In the few short decades of its existence, the PRC has intervened in Korea, assaulted and absorbed Tibet, supported guerrilla movements throughout Southeast Asia, attacked India, fomented an insurrection in Indonesia, provoked border clashes with the Soviet Union, and instigated repeated crises vis-à-vis Taiwan.” He notes elsewhere that China has also invaded Vietnam.
The Chinese clearly hope to absorb the Soviet Far East. Illegal Chinese immigrants have been pouring into Siberia, and the Russians do not have the will to keep them out. Mr. Mosher suspects that should there be a crisis of central authority in Russia, China could appropriate a substantial piece of territory. The Chinese have their eyes on Mongolia, too, and are determined to keep India from becoming a regional power. Mr. Mosher concludes: “In the old — and enduring — Chinese view of the world, chaos and disorder can only be avoided by organizing vassal and tributary states around a single, dominant axis of power. And if there is to be a Hegemon, Chinese history and culture combine to say, then it should be China.”
One of the necessary conditions for hegemony is armed power, and China is probably second only to the United States in military spending. According to Mr. Mosher, it is the only major power actively expanding its forces. He also writes that it was primarily in order to build up enough wealth to support an ever-bigger arms industry that the Communists unhobbled the economy in the first place. China has since bought one aircraft carrier from the Russians and is likely to get another. It is working on ballistic missile submarines and is ready to deploy neutron bombs. Chinese are buying all the Soviet technology they can get their hands on, and want nothing short of full equality with the United States.
Mr. Mosher thinks China will soon have the capability to hit the US with nuclear weapons and would have few scruples about using them. He quotes the well-known exchange between Mao and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev back in the 1950s, when the Soviets were thinking of giving China the bomb. Mao talked about nuking America right away, but Khrushchev reminded him Americans had nuclear weapons, too. “So what if we lose 300 million people,” replied Mao. “Our women will make it up in a generation.” Khrushchev did not hand over the weapons.
Mr. Mosher’s policy prescriptions are not surprising: Keep military technology out of China’s hands, keep our soldiers in Asia, and stop importing billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods. He also wants a nuclear missile defense system that could be extended to cover Japan and Taiwan. He thinks there is some chance we could force China into a crisis as we did the Soviet Union, by spending huge amounts on more weapons.
In any case, he predicts that the great diplomatic and perhaps military struggle of the new century will be between China and the US, and that China will not reform spontaneously. “China will change only if we don’t try to change it,” is how he describes the misguided policies of the appeasers, among whom he counts William Clinton. The Democrats, he writes, have a pathetic record of “preemptive concessions on a wide range of trade and security issues in return for nothing more tangible than the hope that China will be nice.”
His own hope is that China will be subverted into democracy because democracies don’t make war. He thinks Taiwan, just across the straits, is the best possible advertisement for democratic reform, and for this reason we must defend Taiwan to the death.
There are, of course, other things we could do. Mr. Mosher points out that one of China’s great strategic advantages is millions of expatriates who practically run the economies of Southeast Asia and who serve as agents of Chinese interest. He also mentions — just once and briefly — military technology stolen from the US. It therefore follows that we should not let Chinese immigrate or take high-tech jobs, but Mr. Mosher manages not to think of that.
Also, he has learned nothing from China’s successful nationalism. He wants us to be ready to fight the Chinese — but with a mish-mash army of women, homosexuals, and every nationality under the sun including Chinese? Except for technology, the People’s Liberation Army has every advantage: homogeneity, racial consciousness, patriotism, pride in the past, and a sense of conquest and destiny. Unless Americans can conduct a casualty-free war from 30,000 feet up, they are not likely to have the stomach for a fight, certainly not with an enemy willing to take — and inflict — millions of casualties.
Mr. Mosher doesn’t seem to realize that China is behaving like a healthy, 19th-century world power, while the West thinks patriotism is undignified, and Europeans are preparing to abandon even the nation-state. When there were still real nations in the West, they could assess military threats sensibly, and had the mental stamina to fight if they had to. No longer. No country in which the burning political issues are free drugs for old people and whether to sue HMOs is capable of fighting a sustained ground war. Mr. Mosher’s real hope is that China will become “democratic” and go soft like us, but his book is full of reasons to think it will not. It is all very well for Mr. Mosher to tell us to keep our guard up against China but he would do well to think about just what it is we are supposed to be fighting for and whether we have what it takes to fight at all.
IN THE NEWS
O Tempora, O Mores!
They Knew Not What They Did
Reginald and Jonathan Carr are two black brothers from Dodge City, Kansas. At about 11:00 p.m. on December 15, they broke into the East Wichita home of three white men who were with two white women, the fiancée of one and the girlfriend of another. The blacks ransacked the place, loading everything from appliances, bedclothes, and dishes into a vehicle owned by one of the three men. They then forced the whites at gun point to drive to several bank ATM machines and withdraw money. Afterwards they took the five whites to a soccer field where they stripped off the women’s clothes and raped them. They ordered the women to perform sex acts on each other and the men to do the same with the women. Afterwards, they made them all kneel on the ground and systematically shot them. [Hurst Laviana, Two Men Charged with Friday’s Quadruple Homicide, Eagle (Wichita), Dec. 18, 2000.]
The three men and one of the women died but one woman survived a bullet wound in the back. After the killers left, she got up, checked whether her companions were alive — one was her fiancé — and went for help. It was 2:30 in the morning on a freezing night. She tramped through the snow for nearly a mile — naked, barefoot and bleeding — across a construction site, around a pond, and through the brush to the first house she could find. She finally roused the sleeping couple inside, who wrapped her in blankets and called the police. She was able to identify the vehicle the Carr brothers had stolen and police picked them up within a day. [Hurst Laviana, Brutal Ordeal a Tale of Survivor’s Courage, Eagle, Dec. 20, 2000.]
The Wichita authorities have been at pains to downplay race. “This was a random act,” explains Nola Foulston of the district attorney’s office. “The fact that the defendants and victims happen to be of different races has no bearing,” she explains. “Let’s just look at the underlying crimes.” Captain Robert Lee of the Wichita police agrees, saying, “It’s too early to speculate on motive.” The Wichita Eagle, which couldn’t very well ignore the story, has scarcely mentioned the race of the killers, much less speculated about their motives.
On Dec. 21, 1,000 people attended the funeral mass for Jason Befort, fiancé of the woman who survived to walk barefoot through the snow. Rev. James Dieker told the congregation their attitudes towards the killers should be the same as that of Jesus on the cross who said, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” At the funeral for Heather Muller — the woman whom the Carrs did manage to kill — Rev. Matthew McGinness struck the same note, saying “We must be like Christ, who forgave his enemies.” Even the woman’s mother, he said, felt this way, and he told his parishioners she had explained to him “Heather would want us to pray for her murderers, and Heather was probably praying for them at the moment of her death.” [Nicole Hughes, Ministers Grapple in Their Sermons With the Tragic Events of the Past Few Days, Eagle, Dec. 18, 2000.]
There is some reason to wonder if these rapes and murders really were “random,” as the DA insists. It appears that the Carr brothers had only just hit their stride with their Dec. 15 quadruple murder. On Dec. 7, they waylaid a 23-year-old white man at a Wichita convenience store and forced him at gunpoint to withdraw money from several ATMs. They pistol-whipped him for a while and then let him go.
On December 11, the Carrs then robbed Ann Walenta just outside her home. Police will not say whether she resisted arrest, but the brothers shot her repeatedly all the same. Mrs. Walenta, who played the cello for many years with the Wichita Symphony, was, of course, white. She lingered on, paralyzed from the waist down, until her death on January 2. [Hurst Laviana, Cellist Dies, Brothers Tied to Crime, Eagle Jan. 3, 2001.]
On January 4, 2001, now safely behind bars, the brothers appeared in court by two-way video, to hear some of the charges made against them. Relatives of the Carrs were in court and waved to them on the video screen. Reginald Carr smiled, waved, and said “I love you.” Someone in the courtroom answered “I love you, baby. Don’t worry about it.” [Tim Potter, Brothers Charged in Attacks on Seven, Eagle, Jan. 5, 2001.] Of course not. Who would worry about a bit of murder and a touch of rape? Certainly not the national media, which have found this record of mayhem entirely beneath their notice.
Meanwhile, in Shreveport, Louisiana, blacks committed a similar crime on Dec. 23. Derrick Bouya, 21, and Aaron Wilson, 17, staked out a parking lot looking for a carjacking victim and just happened to choose a white woman, 48-year-old Vickie McGraw. They took her and her 1996 Chevy Blazer on a ride to an ATM machine where they made her withdraw cash, and then raped her. Later they drove her out on a country road, made her get out of the car, and then shot her in the back of the head. Police had nothing to go on until transactions on Mrs. McGraw’s credit cards started coming in from department and jewelry stores. Immediately after the killing, the blacks had picked up several friends and gone shopping. In addition to the two killers, police have arrested four other blacks for unauthorized use of credit cards and failure to report a capital crime. [Larry Burton, Police Arrest 6 After Carjacking Slaying Saturday, Times (Shreveport), Dec. 29, 2000.]
Off Come the Gloves
A few writers in the blinkered media have begun to wake up to what is happening to them and their civilization. In his Dec. 5, 2000, column Paul Craig Roberts gets to the point with refreshing vigor:
“If you are a white heterosexual able-bodied male (WHAM), you need to understand that affirmative action is not about leveling a playing field. It is about leveling you.
“You need to comprehend, also, that you are already pretty much leveled. Even the most recent immigrant from the Third World arrives in the U.S. with more legal rights than you or your sons have. As a “person of color” the immigrant is admitted to universities and job-training programs on the basis of lower standards than are applied to you. He has the right to be hired and promoted ahead of you despite lesser qualifications for the job. He can sue you for discrimination for a variety of reasons — for example, you don’t want to hire him, make him a bank loan, or rent him your house. But you cannot sue him for the same reasons. He can call you names, but you can’t call him names. His special legal status is growing as politicians pandering to him create new crimes that only he can suffer and only you can commit. His special rights are based on skin color. His official designation is “preferred minority.” He is a member of a new aristocracy with status-based rights. He is learning to see his preferred legal position as a race-based entitlement.
“You may say, “Baloney! We WHAMs outnumber the minorities. We have all the power, money and best jobs. These Third World types work in McDonalds and clean our homes while we pull in the big bucks.” This is, for the most part, true. For now. But the fact remains that he has superior legal status to you. It is just a matter of time before he learns to use his superior legal standing to displace you…
“Your persecution has already begun. And much worse is to come. You are demonized in the universities, just as Jews in Germany were demonized by intellectuals and professors for 60 years prior to Adolf Hitler. And you are demonized in the same vicious terms. You are part of the “hegemonic order.” Your success and contributions are based on holding down others. The rule of law is your self-serving construction and nothing but a race and gender law designed to oppress blacks and women. You have done nothing but evil throughout history. The communists blamed the capitalists. Nazis blamed the Jews. Feminists and affirmative action blame you.
“You have no leaders, no organization, and no spokesmen. Anyone who attempts to rouse you immediately becomes an outcast. They are slandered and called names. They lose their job and their voice. You have nowhere to go and no way of protecting yourself from the vicious propaganda that is targeted against you. You are too politically weak to cap the immigration that is making you into a minority in your homeland…
“It is just a matter of time.” [Paul Craig Roberts, What WHAMs Need to Know About Affirmative Action, Dec. 5, 2000.]
Not long after, the Greek columnist who writes for the British magazine Spectator under the name of Taki wrote an equally vigorous essay, from which we also provide generous excerpts:
“If Tony Blair has anything to do with it, there won’t always be an England. The country is already fading, not from foreign conquest but from its own immigration policy. Demographic calculations have it that by the end of this new century the English people will be a minority in their homeland.
“Just think about it. Fifty years ago, there were only a few tens of thousands of non-whites in all of Great Britain, but in the next one hundred years, the whites will probably be a minority. And it’s very easy to explain. The English are not having enough children, whereas non-whites have a high fertility rate. As the Observer said, ‘This is the first time in history that a major indigenous population has voluntarily become a minority, rather than through war, famine or disease.’
“Mind you, the English may be finished as a people, but at least they have twice as long to go than American whites do. By 2050 the whites will be a minority of the US population, as they already are in California. What amazes me is that two of the most powerful countries of the 19th and 20th centuries have legislated their way to their own extinction. Talk about the suicide of the West. In my own country, Greece, the birth rate is decreasing at an alarming rate. In Italy, a once upon a time fecund Catholic population has now such a low birth rate its population is declining. In fact, European birth rates are below replacement rates, which means we are faced with the extinction of the white race sooner rather than later. In the meantime, European governments are busy opening borders to Third World immigration…
“I am Greek with some German blood and wish my children to live in a European culture. The culture that gave us Homer, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Dante, Shakespeare, Goethe, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Why is it racist to want to keep England for the English or Greece for the Greeks? Why do we have to listen to race hustlers like Jesse Jackson — or the Blair gang — endlessly prattle on about diversity? As far as I’m concerned, there are far more black and brown countries than white ones, so diversity needs to be reversed, not encouraged. Most scientific and technological discoveries were invented by whites, yet our leaders, eager to please politically correct intellectuals, are doing their utmost to destroy our European past…
“Once upon a time, nationalism was a virtue. One remembered the past with pride, and those who didn’t were like drunks who had blackouts. Now the past is a no-no. The endless agitprop about racism, sexism and other alleged evils of our forebears are the key weapons in destroying the past…” [Taki, Gloom and Doom, Spectator, Dec. 16, 2000.]
Keep Hope Alive?
In 1994, when South African whites voted to turn their country over to black rule, there were many Afrikaners who recognized the folly of this decision. Many left South Africa, but many more stayed, determined to make a home as best they could amidst the wreckage. One group decided on the Northern Cape Province town of Orania as a place they could keep white and where they could preserve their language and culture. Orania had been abandoned by its former inhabitants and was a ghost town, but hardy Afrikaners brought it back from the dead. They set up a private corporation to run it, with the power to grant residency only to certain approved Afrikaners. Unlike everywhere else in South Africa, where blacks do the menial work, in Orania whites sweep the streets, wait tables, and change the sheets at the town guest house. The 600 residents dream of their town becoming the nucleus of an Afrikaner volkstaat that might some day be fully independent.
Orania has hit a snag. In a recent reorganization of South Africa’s municipalities, Orania was slated for a merger with the neighboring towns of Stryndenburg and Hopetown, both overwhelmingly black and colored. Under the new arrangement whites would be outnumbered ten to one, and Orania would be absorbed into the surrounding crime and chaos. The Afrikaners are furious and plan to mount a legal challenge, but prospects for a white enclave, much less a volkstaat, now seem exceedingly dim. [John Murray, An Afrikaner Eden Under Threat, Baltimore Sun, Dec. 5, 2000.]
Preferences For Ever!
It used to be that racial preferences in college admissions were thought necessary to make up for all the “racism” non-whites suffered from kindergarten through high school. The theory was that they were every bit as smart and hard-working as whites but had been held back by “institutional racism,” and other such bogeys. Just let them into college and they would do just as well as whites. Needless to say, they haven’t. At the same time, with non-white, city schools often getting more money per student than schools in the suburbs, it has become harder to claim blacks and Hispanics have had to claw their way through a miasma of bigotry to get to college.
Boosters of racial preferences now have a different angle on justifying discriminating against whites: diversity is wonderful. So decreed U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan in a Dec. 12 finding that University of Michigan’s most recent “affirmative action” admissions policies are constitutional. The university grades applicants on a 150-point scale, and they get 20 points right off the bat if they are black, Hispanic, or American Indian. Being Asian is no help, since Asians are not “underrepresented.” Judge Duggan concedes that “if race were not taken into account, the probability of acceptance would be cut dramatically,” but discrimination is necessary because a “racially and ethnically diverse student body gives rise to educational benefits for both minority and non-minority students.” How does he know that? The university conducted a study that says so and he swallowed it without a gurgle. He did conclude, though, that the discriminatory admissions programs back in 1995-1998 were illegal quotas. The university was blithely and knowingly breaking “civil rights” laws — which forbid quotas — and it took a Freedom of Information investigation to root out just what it was doing. It hastily converted to the point system so as to better defend itself after it was sued.
The case was brought by the Washington-based Center for Individual Rights (CIR), which successfully demolished racial preferences at the University of Texas Law School in 1996. The Texas ruling, which struck down any consideration of race in admissions, was upheld by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and is now prevailing law in that district. CIR will undoubtedly appeal the Michigan ruling, and if it is upheld in that district there will be two starkly contradictory rulings in two parts of the country — a situation tailor-made for Supreme Court attention.
Meanwhile, the University of Texas Law School has petitioned its appeals court to review the decision. It argues that racial preferences are needed to promote diversity, but it is also making the old argument that they undo the “vestiges” of discrimination. The yahoos never rest. [Jim Suhr, Judge Affirms Affirmative Action in Michigan Admissions Policy, AP, Dec. 13, 2000. Thomas Bray, Soft Bigotry Wins Two in Court, OpinionJournal.com, Dec. 19, 2000.]
Guard That Tree
It is a Vatican tradition to accept a Christmas tree as a gift from some Catholic land and set it up formally in St. Peter’s Square. Last year the tree came from the Czech Republic but this year an 80-foot high monster came from the Austrian province of Carinthia. Carinthia, unfortunately, is governed by Jörg Haider of the Austrian Freedom Party, whom all civilized Europeans love to hate. A high official from the place that donated the tree traditionally comes to the Vatican for an audience with the Pope at the time the tree is officially lit, and the announcement that Mr. Haider was to play that role met with ferocious bellowing. The Pope explained the tree deal had been worked out in 1997, before Mr. Haider became governor, and that the visit was “pastoral” rather than “political,” but the lefties were not appeased. The tree, installed but unlit, was assigned a round-the-clock police guard for fear someone might do it mischief.
The Papal audience was scheduled for Dec. 16, but protests began earlier. On Dec. 13 more than 3,000 people, including 50 Italian politicians, tramped the streets of Rome, protesting the arrival of the horrible Mr. Haider. If it were up to the Italian authorities, he would not have been let in, but they have an agreement with the Vatican to give passage to anyone the Pope agrees to receive.
On the day Mr. Haider and 250 fellow Carinthians actually met the Pope, 3,000 Romans again took to the streets. Several hundred of the hard core, wearing crash helmets or with their faces wrapped in scarves, tried to force their way down the Via della Conciliazione and get to St. Peter’s Square and head off Mr. Haider before he could attend the tree-lighting. They were throwing cobblestones, bottles, and smoke bombs but were met by 200 heavily-armed riot police who responded with teargas. The police beat some of the rioters to the ground, and there were blood and injuries on both sides, in the worst violence anyone can remember in connection with a visit to the Pope. Afterwards, one end of the ironically-named Via della Conciliazione was covered with rubble: overturned barricades, public toilets, trash cans, broken glass, rubble and (of all things) shoes. Clouds of teargas lingered over the square as the rioters retreated to a sullen standoff. In a mark of their own distaste at Haider’s visit, Jewish shopkeepers switched off lights in their shops. “Jewish shopkeepers can do what they want,” said Mr. Haider, “if they want to save electricity, they can do that too.” [Luke Baker, Italy-Austria Row Looms as Pope Prepares for Haider, Reuters, Dec. 15, 2000. Philip Pullella and Luke Baker, Violence Erupts as Haider Visits Vatican, Reuters, Dec. 16, 2000.]
This is the first time we can remember a Christmas tree getting a night-and-day police guard.
LETTERS FROM READERS
Sir — Sam Francis is provocative, as usual, in his January article about the election, but I’m not convinced Republicans can get more white votes if they make overtly racial appeals. There are only three places those votes can come from: people who vote Democrat, people who vote third party, and people who don’t vote at all. Obviously, people who vote Democrat are not going to respond to racial appeals. Neither are the lefties who voted for Ralph Nader. That leaves Buchanan supporters — a pitifully small number that doesn’t count — and the non-voters, who are therefore the only people we are talking about.
Would whites who now stay home vote for Republicans if only they would oppose affirmative action and immigration? Where’s the evidence for that? Are there millions of potentially racialist voters looking for race-related differences between the candidates but can’t find enough between Democrats and Republicans? I’m not convinced. Did George Wallace get a lot of support from whites who didn’t usually vote? Did Strom Thurmond when he ran as a Dixiecrat? Did David Duke? It would be useful to know, but I don’t know and I don’t think Mr. Francis knows.
At the same time, we mustn’t forget that an explicitly racial appeal will drive away a certain number of current Republican voters. At the Republican convention, nobody got bigger cheers than Colin Powell — when he said there had to be more affirmative action. There is obviously a large number of thoroughly deracialized middle-class Republicans who want low taxes and less government and who think being nice to minorities is the sine qua non of human decency. Women, especially, will bolt if Republicans start sounding like Sam Francis.
I wish Mr. Francis’ theory were correct, and it would be lovely to have an attractive, pro-white Republican presidential candidate on which to test it — but I’m not convinced he would get any more white votes than George W. got.
Sam Harrell, Royal Oak, MI
Sir — In the December, 2000, issue, letter-writer Susan Endicott says the white race is to blame for its low birth rate, concluding, “Whatever the causes, when a society cannot even be bothered to reproduce itself it is a symptom of profound sickness.”
For the most part, whites are having the number of children we desire and feel we can provide for in a way that reproduces our civilization. Whites do not like crowded societies, and Americans would not have to live in crowds if our government kept out Third-World invaders. Without them, we would have a low-crime nation with a stable population, more soul-restoring wilderness, and workable programs to transform pollutants into products and sources of energy. Would Miss Endicott instead have us adopt the low-parental-investment, large-family strategy of our demographic competitors? Could we do so without losing our souls?
At the same time, the demonization of whites and the hostile behavior of our uninvited immigrant “guests” has a depressing effect on everything we do, not just child-bearing. It takes an extremely tough personality, fortified with forbidden knowledge, to withstand the campaign Western man’s enemies — both within and without — have waged against us. Count yourself lucky to be among the sturdy few, and please have many sons and daughters — as many, that is, as you can raise according to the standards of our people.
Marian Kester Coombs, Crofton, Md.
Sir — In your December issue you mocked South African president Thabo Mbeki’s remarks about AIDS and AIDS treatment. In fact, his “eccentric view” that the harmless retrovirus, HIV, does not cause AIDS may be one of the few things he has got right. I suggest you review the literature.
In Africa, the main cause of AIDS is economic. AIDS generates far more money from Western countries than any other infectious disease. As an example, in Uganda in 1992 WHO allotted $6,000,000 to fight AIDS but only $57,000 to fight all other infectious diseases. This is why many African doctors diagnose almost everything as AIDS, including TB, malaria, hepatitis, malnutrition, herpes, diabetes, even car accidents. These diagnoses bring wealth to themselves and their countries.
Alfred Ratz, Bend, Or.
Sir — Eric Owens’ November article on the new nationalist music was well done, but I found his most fascinating point to be the effect this music is supposed to be having on young whites: “[O]ne can already distinguish the rise of an intellectual and successful youth elite in the racial movement in America.” I don’t see much sign of this elite. Perhaps another cover story could tell us what it is doing and where to look for it.
Sir — Thomas Jackson, who usually keeps his cool no matter how stupid the book he is reviewing, sure lost his temper at the author of Racist America. We learn that Joe Feagin is driven by “blind fanaticism,” and “naked lust for power” to write “breath-takingly stupid,” “Marxist gibberish” “foolishness.” Whew! I felt as though I had met the anti-Christ. This is the wild sort of stuff the other side writes. Please tell Mr. Jackson to ease off on the outrage and just let the reds and the goofs speak for themselves. Your readers are smart enough to detect gibberish on their own.
Susan Endicott, Waynesboro, Va.