|Vol. 12, No.5||May 2001|
Why is there no significant racial movement in Britain?
In Britain the nationalist right presents a depressing spectacle. One looks with envy at the electoral advances made by the right in France, Belgium, Austria, Denmark and elsewhere in northern Europe, and with disappointment at the sorry state of the parties that represent, or purport to represent, the nationalist right in Britain. Why has there been no parallel development here? In fact, why-in all the years that have passed since the arrival of the first black immigrants on board the now-infamous Empire Windrush in June 1948-has Britain never produced a party capable of mounting a serious electoral challenge to the multi-racial project?
|If only a handful of prominent politicians were to stand firm on race they might take a good part of the country with them.|
If we go right back to the beginning, the foremost pre-war nationalist figure was Oswald Mosley, who achieved some degree of fame in the 1930s as leader of the British Union of Fascists. His movement was strongly anti-Jewish, and its fame rested largely on holding mass meetings and staging provocative marches through Jewish districts of London. The party never mounted a serious electoral campaign, restricting itself to contesting a few seats at the local level. Interned during the war, Mosley returned to active politics in 1948 with the formation of the Union Movement. Public reaction was disappointing, however, and in 1951 he abandoned politics and moved to Ireland.
After the 1958 race riots in London, he attempted another comeback. In the 1959 general election he stood for Parliament in the London constituency that included Notting Hill-scene of major disturbances. His message was clear: non-white immigrants must be repatriated. He received 8.1 percent of votes cast, a fairly respectable result for a candidate from outside the political mainstream (candidates of the nationalist right often struggle to get one or two percent). He continued in politics for some years after 1959 but could never repeat even this modest success.
The other noteworthy figure on the nationalist right during this period was Arthur K. Chesterton. He was a nephew of the writer G. K. Chesterton, a decorated combat veteran of the First World War, a journalist and Shakespeare scholar, and a leading member of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s (though he left the BUF after Hitler occupied the Sudetenland).
In 1954 he founded the League of Empire Loyalists (LEL), which achieved some notoriety through political stunts, of which Conservative Party conferences were a favorite target. League members would hide underneath the speaker’s platform overnight and emerge once proceedings were under way to state their views. Other stunts involved getting their point across by ringing alarm bells and blowing bugles, and wearing disguises to infiltrate meetings. One member even slipped into a meeting by successfully impersonating Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus. In a rather less tasteful demonstration, an LEL member once threw a bag of sheep entrails at Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, shouting “Take that from the League of Empire Loyalists.”
The heyday of the League was the late 1950s, and by the early 1960s — by which time there was not much empire left — it was in decline. The League is also significant because many leading nationalist figures in later years were activists, including such people as John Tyndall, Martin Webster and Colin Jordan.
|Oil portrait of
During this period there was some mainstream Conservative opposition to immigration. The Tory Member of Parliament Cyril Osborne was a prominent critic of immigration policy, and another Tory opponent of multi-racialism, Peter Griffiths, created a sensation when he beat the sitting Labour MP Patrick Gordon Walker at Smethwick in Birmingham, in the 1964 general election. The famous slogan “If you want a nigger for a neighbor, vote Labour,” is associated with this campaign. This phrase was probably used by the Birmingham remnants of Mosley’s Union Movement rather than by the Griffiths campaign, but it added considerably to the notoriety of the race. This was a particularly significant victory because it came during a national swing from the Tories to Labour that ended 13 years of Conservative rule, and Walker would have become Foreign Secretary if he had not been defeated. Sadly, Griffiths said little about immigration once he took office, and is remembered today solely for his shock election victory. He lost his seat two years later.
Of course, from the mid-1960s onwards Enoch Powell came to dominate any discussion of race. He is best known for a 1968 speech-usually called the “Rivers of Blood” speech — in which he used striking imagery to describe the dangers of mass non-white immigration. Powell was the only indisputably great voice of opposition to the multi-racial experiment, and his death in 1998 was a sad moment for all those concerned about Britain and its future (see p. 5).
Another interesting development at the time was the formation of local anti-immigrant groups, one of which was established in West London in 1963. In September of that year a house for sale in Palgrave Avenue, Southall, was visited by eight different Indian families in one afternoon. That very day neighbors formed the Palgrave Residents’ Association, and managed to persuade the local council to buy the house and keep it under white ownership. This led to the formation of a Southall Residents’ Association later that month, which made immigration a prominent local issue for some years. It was similar local groups in Smethwick that helped pave the way for Peter Griffiths’ surprise victory in 1964.
The National Front
The most significant development in the history of the British nationalist right was the formation in February 1967 of the National Front, by means of a merger of a number of groups including the League of Empire Loyalists. Its platform was a mix of conservative and common man-oriented positions, but it and its successor groups were always firmly committed to the preservation of Britain as a sovereign, racially homogeneous nation.
The National Front’s chairman was a rather elderly A. K. Chesterton, and it did not include some of the more extreme characters. John Tyndall was not initially involved and Colin Jordan, whose Nazi sympathies were well known, was permanently excluded.
The National Front (NF) continued the LEL tradition of political stunts. These included daubing Karl Marx’s grave in Highgate Cemetery, invading the set of a “London Weekend” TV show, and attacking two Labour ministers, Denis Healey and Arthur Bottomley, which began with an old LEL trick — throwing flour bags — but degenerated into physical assault.
|A. K. Chesterton.|
It is worth noting here that compared to the United States, British politics outside the mainstream has often been a very rough and tumble business. Both left and right have a tradition of breaking up meetings and demonstrations organized by the other side. At the founding meeting of the NF in 1967, the 250 participants had to fight their way through a Communist mob just to get into the meeting hall. The general meeting of 1969 had to be moved after saboteurs broke into a utility room and chopped out the power lines with axes. Yet another example of this style of politics was the formation in 1977 of the Anti-Nazi League, for the express purpose of doing violence to NF supporters and encouraging others to do the same. Besides leading attacks, they did such things as circulate leaflets with the license plate numbers of cars owned by NF supporters, along with a picture of a brick smashing a windshield. Even today, open advocacy of racial nationalism can invite violence of a kind that is very rare in the United States.
The attention of groups like the Anti-Nazi League was a reflection of modest NF successes that had begun in the late 1960s. Initial NF election results were promising, and up to 1970 local candidates were averaging 10 percent of the vote. Results in the 1970 general election, however, were disappointing; the ten candidates who stood got an average of only 3.6 percent. In that year Chesterton relinquished the chairmanship, to be replaced first by John O’Brien and then, in 1972, by John Tyndall.
Under Mr. Tyndall, the National Front entered a period of rapid growth, partly because of the furor over the government’s decision to admit large numbers of Ugandan Asians fleeing Idi Amin. Membership increased sharply, and NF members organized protest marches and rallies, and picketed Downing Street and the airports where immigrants were arriving. In this period the NF gained further press coverage with its practice of invading and disrupting leftist meetings.
At the end of the year the NF polled a respectable 8.2 percent in a by-election at Uxbridge in West London. In the spring of 1973 in West Bromwich in the English Midlands, Martin Webster won 16 percent (something approaching 5,000 votes). The party also fared well in local elections, sometimes getting 25 percent or more of the vote.
|What explains the singular lack of success of nationalist parties in Britain, compared to their counterparts elsewhere in Northern Europe?|
However, results in the two general elections of 1974 were again disappointing. In February, 54 candidates got an average of 3.3 percent and in October, 90 candidates got an average of 3.1 percent. In 1976 a short-lived NF breakaway, the National Party, actually managed to win two seats in the local government assembly in Blackburn-the NF itself was never able to get a candidate elected at any level-but it soon faded form view.
1977 was a high point for the NF. The 119,000 votes it won in the elections to the local government assembly in London shook the political establishment, and provocative marches through immigrant areas were much covered by the media. Margaret Thatcher herself described the NF’s success as “extremely worrying.” However, in the 1979 general election the NF received a blow from which it never recovered. Fielding 303 candidates (out of a possible 635) — the largest number by an emergent party since Labour in 1918 — the NF gained an average of only 1.4 percent of the vote in each race.
The party began to split apart, with the departure of Mr. Tyndall to form the New National Front, later named the British National Party. The 1983 general election results were even worse: 60 candidates managed an average of only 1.1 percent, and Mr. Tyndall’s British National Party fared still worse with an average of only 0.6 percent. The National Front was finished as a serious electoral force.
A party of that name still exists today, but it put up only six candidates at the 1997 general election. The only one of the various remnants of the old NF to have any public profile today is the British National Party (now led by Nick Griffin), but the BNP’s sole notable achievement has been to win a council seat in a by-election victory in the Isle of Dogs in east London in September 1993 — a seat it promptly lost the following year.
Singular Lack of Success
|Long-time BNP leader
What explains the singular lack of success of nationalist parties in Britain, compared to their counterparts elsewhere in northern Europe? The most obvious answer is the absence of proportional representation. A system of proportional legislative representation tries to match the number of parliamentary seats to the percentage of votes cast for each party. Such a system tends to encourage the emergence of new parties. The ‘first past the post’ system (known in the US as ‘winner take all’), on the other hand, makes it difficult for new parties to gain a foothold. This problem is, if anything, even more acute in the United States, where Republicans and Democrats have a near monopoly of elected office at every level in every part of the country.
There are other factors, too. One is the inability of the nationalist right to form a credible political party with a credible leader. Even if the National Front had made an electoral breakthrough in the 1970s it is doubtful whether it could have sustained it, given the party’s fundamental lack of credibility. There have been endless schisms and factions, and no single leader to draw the whole together. In particular, it would have been very difficult to imagine John Tyndall as a British Jean-Marie Le Pen.
What are the other factors? The Conservative Party has contributed to the lack of resistance to the multi-racial project by channeling racial sentiment away from the nationalist right and into the political mainstream, where it has been rendered harmless. One of the less positive achievements of the great Enoch Powell was that he helped to give the party the reputation of being tough on race. Margaret Thatcher was able to exploit this reputation in 1978 when she made her famous comment about understanding why people felt afraid of being swamped by people from other cultures. This comment, made on the popular television program “World in Action,” is widely credited with helping the Conservatives win the 1979 general election in which she came to power. Her subsequent policies, however, did little to relieve the fear of being swamped.
Another possible reason for lack of progress by the nationalist right is the success of “Black Britain:” the achievements — always well publicized — of athletes, entrepreneurs, media personalities and other prominent minorities. The appeal of nationalist politics presumably declines as immigrants are integrated. However, these highly-touted successes are often not representative, and nationalist parties have flourished in other countries with similar minority groups.
Another possible source of failure may be the influence of the United States. Americans have had many years to perfect the propaganda of white guilt and white deference that the multi-racial project requires. These poisons can be more easily repackaged for English-speakers than for, say, the French or the Belgians.
What of the future? I think it very unlikely that the BNP (even if the new leader Nick Griffin turns out to be more plausible), or any other offshoot of the old National Front, will become a major political force. The public is too firmly convinced that these are not credible parties. No matter what efforts they make, they have been slurred so loudly and long that their reputation in Britain is not much better than that of the Aryan Nations or Confederate Hammerskins in the United States. Indeed, despite the introduction of proportional representation in the 1999 European elections, the BNP won only one percent of the vote, which suggests there are other reasons for its failure besides an unfavorable voting system.
A credible challenge is more likely to come from some kind of breakaway by the right of the Conservative Party. This is today a fresh source of articulate, credible criticism of multi-racialism. I am thinking particularly of the magazine RightNow! and, to a lesser extent, The Salisbury Review, and also of MP Gerald Howarth, who has made prominent speeches in the House of Commons over the last two years attacking multi-racialism.
|BNP’s anti-EC “Save
our Sterling” logo.
What could cause a substantial departure from Tory ranks to form a new party further to the right? Introduction of a system of proportional representation at national level and/or another really disastrous electoral performance by the Conservative Party — both are possible — could bring about a serious political realignment. But even if this did happen, how radical would ex-Tories dare to be on the race issue? Not very radical, I fear. A new party would probably focus on opposition to the European Union and the promotion of family values rather than on race, and it would probably continue on the worn-out path of tax cuts and all the other Thatcherite detritus.
As the example of Enoch Powell suggests, if even only a handful of prominent politicians were to stand firm on race they might well take a good part of the country with them. The potential is certainly there even if the courage and dedication of a few good men are not. A Daily Express opinion poll in 1995 found that nine percent of the electorate would definitely vote for a party like the French National Front if it existed in Britain, and another 17 percent would seriously consider doing so. Given that people are probably reluctant to admit openly dissident views, it is reasonable to assume that the true levels of support for such a party could be much higher. How long will it remain untapped?
Mr. Heffernan is with New Democracy, an organization that opposes current British racial policies. (www.geo cities.com/newdemocracy)
‘Listening for an Echo’
A Profile of Enoch Powell
Enoch Powell was the greatest of British opponents to multi-racialism, and anyone who speaks out against it stands in his shadow. He articulated brilliantly and fearlessly the concerns of ordinary people ignored by an arrogant liberal elite, and succeeded more than any other man in calling attention to the destruction of Britain.
Powell’s career prior to becoming an MP is well known. Born in Birmingham in 1912, he was an outstanding student at King Edward VI’s High School in his home city, and then at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read classics. He became a don at that college and then, at the age of only 25, professor of Greek at the University of Sydney, Australia. Returning to Britain and enlisting as a private soldier at the outbreak of war in 1939, he rose rapidly to the rank of Brigadier General.
After the war he turned his energies to politics and was elected Conservative MP for Wolverhampton South-west in February 1950. This was less than two years after 500 Jamaicans arrived in Tilbury on board the Empire Windrush, but for some years Powell stood aloof from the immigration debate.
Labour lost power to the Conservatives in 1951, and the Conservatives remained in office until 1964. Always a man who put beliefs before career, Powell’s first major act of political rebellion was in 1958, when he resigned as financial secretary to the Treasury in protest over the Conservative government’s plans for increased spending. At a time when Keynesian interventionism was in vogue, Powell’s belief in free markets was regarded as outmoded. Just over two decades later, Margaret Thatcher swept to power on an economic program almost identical to Powell’s.
As the 1950s wore on, non-white immigration became a significant political issue, and there was pressure from some backbench Conservatives to introduce controls. Immigration critic Cyril Osborne was a fellow Tory MP, but Powell took no part in his movement. This was still the case even after the 1958 race riots in Notting Hill and elsewhere had begun to raise serious questions about the wisdom of admitting so many non-whites. Osborne himself approached Powell after the riots and asked him to support the campaign against immigration but Powell declined.
In fact, as Minister of Health in the early 1960s, Powell actually oversaw the recruitment of non-white staff from Commonwealth countries into the National Health Service. He later explained that recruitment was in the hands of individual hospital authorities, and that there were no restrictions on Commonwealth immigration; such controls came into effect only in July 1962, two years after Powell became Minister of Health.
Still, Powell was not unconcerned about the race issue. He was a member of the Kilmuir Committee, which kept a watching brief on the need for immigration controls, and whose discussions in 1961 led to the first imposition of restrictions. During these discussions Powell favored tougher measures than those eventually adopted.
Despite the imposition of controls in 1962, immigration continued to increase, and by the next election in October 1964 it was clear the multi-racial experiment was going badly wrong. This was obvious to anyone living in the working-class districts where most immigrants settled, and where a genuine sense of resentment was beginning to develop. In Wolverhampton 10 percent of the population was already non-white, and this time Powell raised the subject in his election address. He justified the imposition of controls, and attacked Labour for having obstructed and voted against them at every opportunity. It was 1964 that saw Peter Griffiths’ surprise victory in Smethwick and the notorious “nigger” slogan (see cover story), but Powell took no part in the campaign.
Why was he silent for so long? Probably it is because the early 1960s was the last point at which one could sensibly have argued for a solution to the race problem that did not involve large-scale repatriation. If a major party had gone into the 1964 election advocating a moratorium on non-white immigration, been elected, and then carried out its promise, the race problem could perhaps have been solved-though 1959 would have been an even better time for such a campaign. It was the shift in circumstances that probably explains why Powell spoke out about race when he did. Like millions of ordinary Britons he must have initially approved of what seemed a generous policy, but became exasperated when numbers began to rise beyond reason.
He began to describe the effects of immigration in language that made a powerful impression on the public. In an article in The Daily Telegraph in 1967 he wrote of how entire areas of Wolverhampton had been “transformed by the substitution of a wholly or predominantly coloured population for the previous native inhabitants as completely as other areas were transformed by the bulldozer,” and expressed his astonishment that this event, “which altered the appearance and life of a town and had a shattering effect on the lives of many families and persons, could take place with virtually no physical manifestation of antipathy [from whites]” (something even more incredible today). These people, he said, had been “driven from their homes … by an invasion which the government apparently approved and their fellow citizens-elsewhere-viewed with complacency.” He said it would seem incredible to subsequent generations that nothing was done sooner to control the influx.
A year later in Walsall he made a speech in which he identified the “sense of hopelessness and helplessness which comes over persons who are trapped or imprisoned when all their efforts to attract attention and assistance bring no response.” And he spoke again of the complacency of people outside the communities which were being destroyed by this influx: “So far as most people in the British Isles are concerned, you and I [people of his part of the West Midlands] might as well be living in central Africa for all they know about our circumstances.”
One tends to think that the more vicious and infantile forms of anti-racism are a recent development, but the reactions to his speech are exactly what one might expect today. The Sunday Times pilloried Powell with an editorial called “Powell on Prejudice.” And as it would be today, the media reaction was in stark contrast to that of ordinary people. Powell received 800 letters, only two of which were opposed to what he said. Many were from Labour supporters expressing gratitude that at last someone in public life was prepared to say openly what they were thinking.
Still, it is mainly for a single speech that Powell is now remembered, one he gave to Conservatives in his native city of Birmingham in April 1968, certain passages of which have passed into popular consciousness. Upon many minds are still imprinted such phrases as:
“As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood.’
“Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. We must be mad, literally mad as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents … It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.”
He also spoke of “areas undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history.”
He spoke with great prescience of the consequences of Labour’s race relations legislation that would give immigrants the means to “organise to consolidate their members, to agitate and campaign against their fellow citizens, and to overawe and dominate the rest with legal weapons which the ignorant and the ill-informed have provided.” In a biblical allusion, he remarked that “the kindest thing that can be said about those who propose and support [the legislation] is that they know not what they do.”
Powerful as his language was, some could argue it went too far, as when he spoke of an elderly woman, the last white on her street, whom her new neighbors were trying to drive out. She had excreta pushed through her letter box, Powell explained, and was met in the street by “charming, wide-grinning pickaninnies” who knew only one word of English: “racialist [the then-equivalent of “racist”].” According to Powell, the woman was convinced she would go to prison if the new race laws were passed. (Even at that time Powell noted that many people who wrote him were afraid to give their addresses.)
|“The kindest thing that can be said about those who propose and support racial legislation is that they know not what they do.”|
The reaction to what became known as the “Rivers of Blood” speech was predictable: vilification from the political elite and massive support from the people. Tory leader Edward Heath sacked him from the shadow cabinet, and an editorial in The Times was titled “An Evil Speech.” Even the Wolverhampton paper The Express and Star which had supported him, was heavily critical. It said Powell could have made his points more effectively if he had used more moderate language, and that it was possible to damage a case by overstatement. Of course, given what is happening today, and the timorousness of people who speak about race, one is tempted to conclude a cause can be damaged by understatement.
Opinion polls, on the other hand, showed overwhelming support for Powell and opposition to his sacking. The Express and Star received 5,000 letters supporting Powell and 300 that were critical, and only 372 of 35,000 readers who took part in a postcard poll thought Mr. Heath had been right to sack him. Powell received 100,000 letters within the space of a few days, only 800 of which were critical, and the Post Office had to use a van to deliver his mail. Mr. Heath also received a lot of mail, 99 percent of it in support of Powell, and many petitions from trade unionists. There were pro-Powell demonstrations by trade unionists in London and the West Midlands, which of course appalled Labour politicians. Powell had become an establishment pariah, and at the same time the country’s most popular politician.
Returning to the backbenches, he continued to make speeches on immigration, and to call for repatriation. At the 1968 Tory party conference he replied to those who said repatriation was not possible: “Whatever the true interests of our country call for is always possible.” He received a rapturous welcome from ordinary delegates but a rather less warm one from his political colleagues.
In a speech at Eastbourne shortly afterwards, Powell warned of the “deep and dangerous gulf” developing between ordinary people and a tiny liberal elite with a virtual monopoly on the channels of communication, who “seem determined not to know the facts and not to face realities and who will resort to any device or extremity to blind both themselves and others.” He called again for large-scale voluntary repatriation and the creation of a Ministry of Repatriation.
|Powell received 100,000 letters within the space of a few days, only 800 of which were critical, and the Post Office had to use a van to deliver his mail.|
His influence continued to grow, and he is widely believed to have won the 1970 election for the Tories. There were particularly strong swings to the party in and around Wolverhampton and to a lesser extent in the West Midlands generally, and right across the country Powell’s stance on race is credited with winning the Tories votes that would ordinarily have gone to Labour. His appeal was particularly strong among the working-class. A stupid attack by Tony Benn, in which he described Powell’s approach as “evil,” and said “the flag of racialism which has been hoisted in Wolverhampton is beginning to look like the one that fluttered over Dachau and Belsen,” probably also contributed to the Conservative victory.
The Tory government elected in 1970 further tightened immigration controls — something for which Powell could rightly claim credit — and introduced a provision for a very limited form of voluntary repatriation (Immigration Act 1971, section 29). Powell continued to campaign for repatriation on a much larger scale.
His popularity with the general public endured and so did his influence on elections. He declined to stand for the party at the February 1974 election in protest at its prices and incomes policy and over his disagreement with membership in the European Economic Community. He is widely credited with having lost this election for the Tories, perhaps simply because Labour voters who had been attracted to the Tories in 1970 reverted to their previous allegiance when Powell did not stand. Again, particularly strong swings to Labour in the West Midlands tend to support this view. He himself thought he had influenced the results of both the 1970 and 1974 elections. As he later said of Mr. Heath, “I put him in and I took him out.”
After having left the Tories, he returned to parliament at the October 1974 election as an Ulster Unionist MP. He held this seat until 1987, and lost reelection only because of redistricting that made his constituency more Nationalist. He never abandoned the race issue. Speaking in the Commons in July 1981 after the race riots of the early Thatcher years, he placed the blame squarely on non-white immigration, and again called for repatriation. In 1987, in an interview with Nick Ross on Channel 4, he still saw the threat of an “appalling” civil war that would be essentially racial in nature.
As for Margaret Thatcher’s famously influential remark in January 1978 on “World in Action” about understanding people felt “really rather afraid that this country might be swamped by [those] with a different culture,” he said he first thought she shared his understanding of the problem and had definite plans for dealing with it. Later he concluded she had only a tendency to allow her sympathy for ordinary people to lead her into statements on which she was not prepared to act.
Powell left an incomparable legacy of speeches and commentary on race, but he also had strongly-held views on other issues, such as Europe and Ulster. Critics argued that his support of free markets was incompatible with his racial views. They argued that international capitalism inevitably leads to mass population movements because of inequalities in living standards in different countries, and that one cannot advocate both capitalism and ethnic integrity. Put differently, it is inconsistent to believe in the free movement of capital but not in the free movement of people. Needless to say, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan successfully combine capitalism with ethnic integrity.
Others have criticized Powell for his stark language, saying that for a prominent politician to speak as he did bestowed respectability on “extremists.” Others say he shut down debate about race because more moderate politicians were reluctant thereafter to raise the issue at all (though this is really a reflection on the cowardliness and careerism of our political class rather than a criticism of Powell).
A perhaps more cogent criticism is that though he provoked enormous public demonstrations of support, it was at the price of losing his ministerial status and the means to influence immigration policy at the top level. But what could he really have achieved if he had not been sacked? Would he ever have been able to persuade his colleagues to accept mass repatriation? Could Powell really have hoped to achieve more by “playing the game”?
If he had not made those provocative speeches things might have been even worse. Massive public support for Powell certainly influenced the subsequent tightening of immigration laws, and he gave people the confidence to speak out against the multi-racial experiment-at least for a time. This kind of criticism seems nothing more than the tendency when all has gone wrong to blame the few people who tried to do something about it.
At a different level, one could attack his Tory reverence for British institutions, for it is these very institutions that have failed us so miserably over recent decades. For all their dignified, age-old grandeur they have been unable to prevent the undermining of the ethnic basis of the nation. Their continued existence fosters the illusion that nothing important has really changed. They serve to encourage a sense of complacency and a kind of deep-seated smugness about our nation’s magnificent heritage. In that sense perhaps there is some good in what the otherwise egregious Blair government has done in abolishing the hereditary peers. Perhaps there is more it should do in this respect.
Powell was also an opponent of foreign aid, which I believe could be part of a repatriation scheme by helping boost economic growth in developing nations, in conjunction with the skills and capital returning immigrants would bring. Another common criticism is that Powell seemed to talk as if the problem of immigration were solely a British one. He failed to see that it was common to virtually all western nations. It is important to be able to see a problem in its wider context and to learn from people in other countries.
Finally, there is the view that he gave the Conservatives an undeserved reputation for being tough on immigration, which Margaret Thatcher exploited with her famous “swamped” comment. This is relative, of course. The Conservatives have never been willing to take the tough decisions necessary to bring the multi-racial experiment to an end, but in comparison with Labour, their reputation is not unjustified.
What remains above all is Powell’s inspiring character: his willingness to speak the truth regardless of personal consequences, his courage in the face of vilification, his disdain for conventional wisdom about race, his imperviousness to ostracism, his refusal to compromise, and his ability to articulate the thoughts and feelings of ordinary people who were otherwise neglected. He once described himself as “listening for an echo,” by which he meant that hearing an echo of what he said confirmed that he was reflecting people’s feelings.
What of his predictions of bloodshed? It has not come on the scale he predicted, but there is always the potential for cataclysm. Powell once said of the race problem that “the fuse is burning, but the fuse is shorter than had been supposed.” In fact, the fuse is longer than had been supposed, not shorter. And it is still quietly burning.
Enoch Powell will not go away. In March, Conservative MP John Townend of Yorkshire East evoked his name in a speech warning that “Commonwealth immigration” is undermining Britain’s “homogenous Anglo-Saxon society.” He said illegal immigration was “very, very serious” and continues the unwelcome transformation set in motion by legal immigration: “Having absorbed that wave of immigration, that basically was legal-and then we stopped it by the Immigration Act-we now face another wave, and the vast majority of people in this country, including my constituency, are very worried about this. There is no doubt in this country there is a great political correctness which tries to push many of these things under the table.” He added that in Powell’s day, “If people had been aware that by the new Millennium, London, our capital, would have over 25 per cent of its population from ethnic minorities and that forecasts expect that by 2014 over half of the city will be non Anglo-Saxon, that Leicester and Birmingham would be vying as to which city would have a black majority first, Enoch Powell would have been prime minister.”
Mr. Townend’s remarks brought down particular wrath because they came just a few days after Conservative leader Tony Hague signed an all-party pledge circulated by the Commission for Racial Equality, promising not to let election candidates say anything “likely to generate hostility or division between people of different racial, national or religious groups.” Every sitting MP except Mr. Townend signed this astonishing document. Mr. Townend only added oil to the fire when he later told BBC radio that although he had spoken out against “Commonwealth immigration” the original draft of the speech used the term “colored immigration.”
The “conservative” Mr. Hague promptly insisted his party is “inclusive” and welcomes the contributions of non-whites. He said Mr. Townend’s remarks were “totally unacceptable” and “will not be tolerated by my party.” Tory peer Lord Taylor of Warwick, who is himself black, said, “Mr. Townend’s comments represent a nasty and ignorant element in our society, which needs to be condemned.” Labour officials are calling for the Conservatives to boot Mr. Townend out of the party or at least remove him as party whip. So far, not one politician has taken his side, but his constituent mail undoubtedly makes gratifying reading. Perhaps this was why two weeks after his speech he was still sticking to his guns, saying he was entirely right to say that Britain’s “homogeneous Anglo-Saxon society” had been “seriously undermined” by mass immigration.
Decline of the West
How the British destroyed Britain
The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana, Peter Hitchens, Encounter Books, 2000, 332 pp. $22.95
Peter Hitchens is a reactionary — a forthright, unabashed, British reactionary — who thinks his country has gone badly wrong, and would like nothing better than to set it back on the tracks. Homosexuality flaunted, patriotism mocked, the countryside destroyed, the church ridiculed, standards demolished, rampant libertinism, the loss of sovereignty, liberal self-righteousness these are all unalloyed horrors to him, and he attacks them with a pitiless eloquence that is a joy to quote. There is much to admire in this book and little with which to quarrel — except that it says almost nothing about immigration. It is certainly true that the British have torn down Britain with their own hands, but if ever there is rebuilding it will beby whites alone. If Britain becomes increasingly non-white, nothing that has been lost can be restored.
This book’s point of departure is a comparison of the ways in which Britain reacted to two deaths: Churchill’s in 1965 and Princess Diana’s in 1997. In 1965, London was still, as Mr. Hitchens puts it, “the world capital of restraint,” and mourning for the prime minister was heartfelt but solemn. The princess’ death 35 years later proved much had changed:
“Because it was the first royal death for more than a generation, it gave Britain an unexpected opportunity to take its own temperature, and to discover that it was suffering from a rather unpleasant fever. Those brought up in the older tradition were astonished, puzzled and even hurt to hear pop songs and applause at a funeral, and to see mourners who wept at one moment and took photographs of the cortège a few minutes later. Those brought up since the changes took hold were equally surprised, puzzled and annoyed by the restraint and self-discipline of the other half of the nation, seeing it as a failure to show correct emotion.”
Mr. Hitchens explains that this mutual incomprehension was the result of changes so profound that those on opposite sides of the cultural divide hardly recognize each other. He describes the division of forces at the time of the general election that brought Tony Blair’s Labour party to power after years of Conservative rule: “The two Britains which faced each other in April 1997 were utterly alien to one another and unfairly matched. One was old and dying, treasuring values and ideas which stretched back into a misty past. One was new and hardly born, clinging just as fiercely to its own values of classlessness, anti-racism, sexual inclusiveness and license, contempt for the nation state, dislike of deference, scorn for restraint and incomprehension for the web of traditions and prejudices which were revered by the other side.”
|Lady Diana Spencer.|
Mr. Hitchens writes that in just a few decades the British have laid waste centuries of distinctive tradition, and by preparing to give up ever-greater swathes of national sovereignty to Europe, are poised quite literally to abolish Britain. He describes this cultural revolution as largely an assault on tradition that promoted the view that “rebellion was almost always the right attitude, that the ideas of the past were invariably wrong, that putting the clock back was a sin, while progress and change were both inevitable and right.” This mentality has rampaged through every British institution, and has left the country under a tyranny of liberalism that brooks no dissent. Long ago the revolutionaries perfected an especially nasty way of suppressing dissent, which was: “to impute personal failing, even some sort of mental disorder, to those who are against further relaxation of the rules. This is one of the most unpleasant techniques of the new conformism, which finds it very hard to accept that any normal honest person could disagree with its ideas.”
In Mr. Hitchens’ view, television was probably the most effective tool in the hands of the wrecking crew:
“When colour came, even the bad programmes looked good, and by the late 1980s a new generation was growing up, to whom the bright noisy plastic box in the corner was the most seductive, the cleverest, the most articulate, the most beguiling thing they had ever seen.”
The following passages are about the decline of sexual morality, but they apply equally well to cultural and racial norms of all kinds:
“As time passed, the private beliefs of the majority would hardly ever be reflected in the broadcast media, so convincing them that they were in fact a minority and had somehow been left behind. As time went by, they lost confidence in a morality they had once been proud to support, and became ashamed of it. Enfeebled, isolated and pushed to the margins, the majority were not merely silent, but dumbstruck and powerless, afraid to defend themselves.”
“The pattern in all these events is the same: Behaviour which was once deviant is made to seem mainstream, or at least acceptable, and those who are unhappy about it are portrayed as narrowminded, old-fashioned, prejudiced and wrong. The effect of this implicit propaganda upon public opinion has been enormous, causing many people to be ashamed of views they had held since their childhood and had thought until recently were normal.”
Television everywhere is a relentlessly modernizing, iconoclastic medium that despises the past and glorifies the present, if only because it is unlike the past: “[T]he lens of television was sending society a picture of itself that was simultaneously flattering, dishonest and designed to encourage only one set of ideas about what was good-in politics, humour, architecture, foreign affairs, charity, fashion, education, and morals.”
Adding enormously to the destructive power of television-and to every socially corrosive force-was the pose all “progressives” struck as lonely and courageous visionaries:
| Coat of arms of the
Prince of Wales.
“[T]hey had invented the image of an all-powerful establishment, made up of hanging judges, public school headmasters, hereditary peers, biblical bishops, militarists, Fleet Street barons, Royal Academicians who still liked proper pictures, the Lord Chamberlain, poets who rhymed and scanned, and of course the monarchy… [I]t was just as the moment when their influence was turning to dust and ashes that they suddenly became famous. They were required, or at least their images were, to make the younger generation feel as if they were true, bold revolutionaries, marching against a wicked foe …” The sinister power of this imaginary establishment “gave the glory of revolutionary struggle to what would otherwise have been little more than the triumph of ambition.”
In many households, television replaced community with “a network of imaginary friends and neighbours who were both more interesting and less demanding than they would have been in real life.” Often the television became a third (or, increasingly often, the second) parent. As purveyor of political, cultural, and moral standards, “television robs adults of one of their most important tasks as passers-on of culture to the young, mediating, explaining, sometimes hiding things until later when they will be less dangerous.”
People who watch more television rarely read, and the new species of Briton “has had little chance to develop its own critical, personal imagination through reading, and so has been a blank page on which the revolutionaries have been able to scrawl their own slogans.” As a consequence, television has “created a national conformism among the young, in taste, humour and politics, that is quite unprecedented.” Mr. Hitchens concludes: “To leave a child unsupervised in front of a television set is no less dangerous than giving it neat gin or putting it within reach of narcotics.”
Britain has come a long way from the days when the BBC was established as a state monopoly to promote high demeanor and Christian morality. The BBC long ago fell to the barbarians, but by ending the monopoly, Britain opened the door to the worst sort of profit-driven prurience and vulgarity.
What have been some of the casualties?Mr. Hitchens quotes George Orwell: “England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality … [A]lmost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during ‘God Save the King’ than of stealing from a poor box.” With the help of television, writes Mr. Hitchens, “this once-laughable strand of thought and feeling would break out of its little bookish world and storm the culture centres of the country, making patriotism, monarchy and Englishness in general unfashionable and-worst of all-comical.”
Just as in the United States, history textbooks are now “drearily left-wing, and focused upon suffering and deprivation rather than upon achievement or heroism;” they teach “tolerance” and big government rather than patriotism. British history is now a chronicle of imperialist jingoism, inadequate care for the poor, persecution of homosexuals, and mistreatment of women. As a result, writes Mr. Hitchens, “we have been turned into a nation without heroes, without pride in our past …” “If our ancestors had been like us,” he adds, “they would have lost at Trafalger and Waterloo, and given up on the attempt to colonize North America, because of the absence of safety nets, sexual equality and proper child care.” The new order has “brought to maturity a generation to whom the past was not just a foreign country, but a place of mystery which was easier to mock than understand.”
This was well in evidence in 1998, when the Japanese Emperor made a state visit to London: “[I]n a last dying twitch of remembrance, elderly survivors of Japanese prison camps held silent protests along the processional route of Emperor Akihito …” This was denounced by the young as “deeply racist” and a sign of unhealthy obsession with the war.
In his one reference to immigration, Mr. Hitchens does concede, “There is no doubt that the arrival of a large number of immigrants from former imperial colonies has helped to confuse the teaching of history.” He regrets “the rush to apologize to our new multicultural citizens,” and seems to think that with a little effort, the new multi-cultis could be bred to British patriotism just like native-born whites.
Mr. Hitchens has a healthy appreciation of nationalism:
“The nation-state, as many people forget, is one of the most reliable engines of unselfishness and human solidarity. If it breaks down, the feelings which would have found their home in it seek other places where they are welcome.” People may become fanatical and even violent soccer fans, for example, but it is what the disappearance of patriotism makes people stop doing — defend national traditions and contribute to national greatness — that is infinitely worse.
The Church of England
In Mr. Hitchens’ view, the pitiful collapse of the Church of England — there are now as many active Muslim congregants as regular C of E churchgoers — is central to Britain’s decline. He write that the church not only taught morality but gave the British a common cultural and linguistic heritage.
Faith and the church have been butts of satire and contempt like all the other ancient institution, and “by the 1960s, eternal damnation, like most of the more worrying aspects of the Christian religion, had apparently fallen into disuse. Bishops … had begun to admit, rather coyly to start with, that they were not sure about the existence of God or the truth of their religion’s central beliefs.” It would not be long before “the Bishop of Durham, Dr. David Jenkins, would speak of the resurrection as ‘conjuring tricks with old bones,’ …”
|“If our ancestors had been like us they would have lost at Trafalgar and Waterloo and given up on the attempt to colonize North America, because of the absence of safety nets, sexual equality and proper child care.”|
This had dire consequences because “a world without God meant no punishment for sin, and therefore no sin …” The church tried very hard to stay “relevant” but if no one believed in God or souls or sin, “how was it to become ‘relevant’ to the new age without becoming completely irrelevant to its purpose of saving souls?” As in virtually every institution, the rot started at the top, and “the Church, like the railways or the government, was more and more being run for the benefit of its own employees rather than for the mere churchgoers or the nation itself.” As a result, congregations that were perfectly content, had all manner of noisome changes foisted on them. Rather than slow the defection of worshipers, “modernization” has hastened it, but this has not slowed the pace of destructive innovation. As Mr. Hitchens explains, the church once understood it must be conservative:
“Thomas Cranmer [author of the 1662 Book of Prayer that was until recently in common use] and the great translators consciously built their books to last, just as the architects of church buildings had done, and continued to do. They believed that some ideas lay outside normal time and could therefore be expressed in a way that defied passing fashion. This belief survived until the late 20th century,” when it was done to death with trendy new liturgy, music, doctrine, prayers, and church decorations.
Mr. Hitchens explains why the old,majestic liturgy had to go: “The glories of the language were offensive to the modernizers because they reminded them of what they owed to the past, because they reinforced the bonds of tradition, but above all because they constantly reminded them of a view of religion which was not theirs. It did not offer salvation through the Overseas Development Agency, the Anti-Apartheid Movement, Amnesty International and the Social Security budget. It offered it in an entirely non-political way, through the faith and deeds of the individual.” Mr. Hitchens points out that the old confessions vividly evoked the wretchedness of man caught in the toils of sin whereas the new versions “sound like the apologies offered by railway companies for late trains.”
Mr. Hitchens explains that “a man’s moral worth is now measured by the level of taxation he is willing to support, rather than by his faith or even his good works. Other tests — opposition to apartheid or General Pinochet — are valued more highly than personal adherence to the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount.” As the church subsides into irrelevance, “many young children entirely deprived of a tradition passed on without thinking by twenty previous generations have no idea at all of what goes on in churches …”
Mr. Hitchens notes that nowhere has there been greater change than in British attitudes towards sex, which were always much more conservative than those on the continent. Now, there are no social sanctions against fornication, which has brought with it soaring rates of divorce, illegitimacy, abortion, and disease. “Now the entire country seemed to be obsessed,” Mr. Hitchens writes, “with staring at naked female chests, swearing and making dirty jokes. Like the pagans of old, unaffected by climate, the British were now dancing round a giant phallus. Unlike the pagans theirs was a sterile phallus, disarmed by condoms and pills — the first heathen sexual cult to be based around sterility rather than fertility.”
Mr. Hitchens notes that the sex revolution has changed our vocabularies, not least by dignifying youthful copulation as “sexual experimentation:” “What, by the way, are these ‘experiments’ and the other ‘experiments’ in drugtaking seeking to prove or disprove, which is not already known? It is interesting that this word is so frequently used for wrong actions taken by the young.” Likewise, the disappearance of social sanction means we no longer talk about “unmarried mothers” or “broken homes,” but instead of “one-parent families,” as if they were just as good as the other kind.
Wittingly or not, government promoted bastardy by lathering promiscuous mothers with uplift and benefits that remove the penalties for reckless procreation. Of course, the helpless “oneparent family” is the perfect client of the state. Completely dependent on the Social Security budget, its members have dismantled the last bulwark against serfdom. As Mr. Hitchens reminds us: “The greatest fortress of human liberty, proof against all earthly powers, is the family … All serious tyrannies have sought to undermine or infiltrate it, socialist tyrannies most of all.”
Mr. Hitchens concedes that the lot of the “fallen woman” was a harsh one, but accepting illegitimacy only made it more common, and condemned millions of children to the impersonal cruelty of fatherlessness: “Shame and stigma, which once both defended respectable marriage and heaped misery on the poor bastard and his wretched mother, have disappeared. Instead, there is the slower, vaguer, more indirect misery of a society where fewer and fewer children have two parents, and where more and more women are married to the State.”
Even the left is now groping towards a realization that there is such a thing as depravity, and that a hereditary class of welfare recipients is not a blessing. However: “If you do not believe in sin, then you can hardly be expected to use up much energy fighting against it. And if you do believe in sin, then you are ‘judgmental,’ and automatically excluded from the debate.”
Interestingly, Mr. Hitchens calls all this “the Americanization of our sex lives,” claiming that “[Elvis] Presley dug beneath the fortifications of British sexual reserve, leaving them so weakened that John Lennon and Mick Jagger could knock them down completely.”
The destruction of the family was yet another cause and consequence of monolithic liberalism: “[The family’s] defeat during the last five decades has helped to produce the most conformist and least individualist generation in known history. Without a strong family, the growing child is much more easily influenced by his own age group, themselves under pressure from TV programmers, advertisers, teachers and fashion.”
A nation that now approves of sport sex of all kinds can hardly disapprove of homosexuals, whom Britons dare not criticize but must “sentimentalize … as modern heroes.” Mr. Hitchens notes an asymmetry: “Smoking and buggery can both kill you,” he observes, but smokers are foolish people who take dangerous risks while homosexuals are victims and martyrs. No one officially recommends “safer” smoking-low tar and nicotine. Complete renunciation is the only option for smokers, but “there is not even a hint of disapproval of anal sex or illegal drugs in official or semiofficial propaganda about AIDS.”
|She has reigned
over much change.
Much of what Mr. Hitchens opposes is the miasma of modernism common to all Western countries, but he has specifically British concerns. He thinks a small island is not a good place for automobiles, and that by supplanting an extensive train system cars have destroyed much of the countryside. He regrets the disappearance of regional accents. He is sorry that “specifically local or specifically British styles of architecture have given way to the international blandness of concrete and glass.” He also mourns the loss of British weights and measures and of the old currency system of shillings, florins, and crowns: “[I]t is an odd truth that this sort of measure, highly practical and tested as it is, rarely survives any sort of revolution. It requires deference and tradition to survive. Without it, the toe-counting simplicity of decimal and metric systems is all that is left.”
Now, of course, Britain is debating whether to join the European Monetary System and thereby lose not only the pound sterling but economic independence. For Mr. Hitchens, a false step means no return: “If we are what we used to be, then this is a last unrepeatable moment at which we can halt our extinction as a culture and a nation.”
What Mr. Hitchens is describing is nothing short of tragedy. Like all men of the West, the British are a denatured people, so weakened and bewildered they are unable to resist even what would be genuine abolition: displacement by aliens. What makes it tragedy is that the British have done this to themselves. Mr. Hitchens recalls that to Evelyn Waugh, having Labour in power in 1945 was “similar to living under foreign occupation.” As for the current state of decline:
“A real occupation would almost certainly have produced a resistance, the circulation of banned texts and the holding of secret religious services. But a county which ploughs under its own culture, without violence or open suppression, has no such resistance. The objects of the attack are unaware that they are under attack, and there are no martyrs, no persecution to bring resistance into being.”
The revolution has been non-violent-so far: “I cannot guarantee that it will not lead to bloodshed in the end, as revolutionary ideas so often do, but it has been restrained up till now. For this has been a very British revolution, perhaps the last thing we shall do that is British.”
IN THE NEWS
O Tempora, O Mores!
Preferences on the Wane
It is beginning to look as though the U.S. Supreme Court will finally step into the debate about racial preferences in university admissions. Two recent and contradictory federal court decisions — regarding the same university — have left the legality of preferences in such a jumble, it would be dereliction of duty to look the other way.
Last December, U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan ruled that the University of Michigan’s undergraduate affirmative action program was constitutional because, although it discriminated against whites, it did so for the noble purpose of increasing diversity. This was the first time such a ruling had dispensed with the hoary old notion that preferences were needed to compensate 18-year-old non-whites for years of personal discrimination, and to state baldly that even if they had never felt the sting of prejudice, the mere presence of non-whites on campus justified keeping some whites out (see AR, Feb. 2001).
Now a different federal district judge, Bernard Friedman, has ruled that the U of M law school’s admissions policy — which also discriminates against whites in the name of diversity — is not constitutional. And discriminate it does. The typical white who gets in has an LSAT score of 43 and a grade point average of 3.58, while the typical protected minority gets in with 34 and 3.05 respectively. Put in terms of odds, a black applicant with the same qualifications as a white is 258 times more likely to get in. Two days after the decision, Jesse Jackson led hundreds of U of M students in a protest, and promised a march on Washington.
With two contradictory decisions emanating from the same campus, and losers promising to appeal, it is very unlikely the U.S. Supreme Court will stay out. The 1996 Hopwood case that brought down racial preferences at the University of Texas Law School is still in appeal, and could get to the Supreme Court before the Michigan cases.
In fact, it is surprising the justices have not revisited admissions preferences since 1978, the year of the 5-4 Bakke decision that forbade quotas but permitted use of race as a factor in university admissions. All five justices who voted with the majority in 1978 have retired, and recent decisions suggest the current court might well rule against racial preferences-perhaps by an equally narrow margin.
“Civil rights” groups are worried. In 1997 the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case brought by a white Piscataway, New Jersey, high school teacher who had been fired to save the job of an equally qualified black teacher. The Black Leadership Forum raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay off the plaintiff and settle out of court, rendering the case moot and keeping it out of the hands of the justices. Even without definitive Supreme Court action, these university cases have been useful, ending preferences at defendant universities and causing others to dismantle affirmative action for fear of similar suits. [Joseph Altman, Court Rules Against UM Law Policy, AP, March 27, 2001. Students Protest Michigan Racial Preference Ruling, Reuters, March 29, 2001. Lyle Denniston, High Court Test Looms for Affirmative Action, Boston Globe, March 30, 2001. Andrea Billups, Judge Denies Stay to Law School Using Raced as Admission Factor, Washington Times, April 4, 2001, p. A7.]
Not all non-whites are taking these changes quietly. In California, universities have outlawed the use of race as a criterion for admission since 1995, and blacks, especially, resent this. In March, high school teachers in San Francisco gave students time off on a weekday to attend a noon rally at U.C. Berkeley, where much noise was made about how equal opportunity requires unequal opportunity. Among the approximately 2,000 overwhelmingly non-white and high-school age crowd, some 150 blacks soon lost interest in politics, and decided to loot a shoe store. Much of the stock at an Athlete’s Foot walked out the door before police restored order. While they were acquiring new footwear, the blacks also beat up a white Berkeley student, sending him to the hospital. No arrests were made, and police had no comment on the motive for the beating. At the same demonstration, a white Berkeley freshman, John Dehrs, made the mistake of assuming he would be politely received when he expressed doubts about racial preferences. He reported that at least one person threatened him, and said the incident left him “a little shaken.” On the employment front, the Supreme Court decided to let stand an appeals court ruling that Fulton County, Georgia, may no longer discriminate in favor of non-whites and women in awarding city contracts. The County had been tilting bids toward “disadvantaged” companies since 1979, and wanted so desperately to keep doing it that it hoped the Supreme Court would step in and reverse the 11th Circuit Court. [AP, March 26, 2001.]
Meanwhile, in Baytown, Texas, close to Houston, an antique drama straight out of the worst days of racial preferences was playing itself out. In 1992, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake of Houston ordered the town’s fire department to hire whites and non-whites in equal numbers until the percentage of non-whites on the squad equals their percentage in the town: 30 percent. The trouble is, non-whites cannot pass the test. Earlier this year, only two of 27 applicants passed the Fire Fighters Selection Exam, and both were white. Since the last fireman hired was white, Baytown can’t hire them, and seven slots on the force remain unfilled. What to do?
The town switched to a different test and saw the pass rate jump from seven percent to 91 percent. Fourteen of the 43 applicants who passed were non-white, so Baytown’s hiring problems may be over. Paul Muñoz, president of the Baytown Professional Firefighters Association, says the results reflect a clear lowering of standards, but the city’s director of training, Lionel Williams denies it. He says the previous batch of test-takers just didn’t study hard enough. [Cindy Horswell, Baytown May Resolve Shortage of Firefighters With New Testing, Houston Chronicle, March 14, 2001.]
On March 30, racial conflict in Zimbabwe took a new turn. One hundred black former employees stormed a meeting of the board of directors-which includes blacks and whites-of the textile firm Merspin Pvt. Ltd. The blacks slapped and kicked the whites, driving them from the room, but left black directors unhurt. The attackers were among 600 workers laid off two years ago, and claim Merspin is racist and owes them money. Eric Bloch, a leading economic commentator in Zimbabwe and a director of the company, was among the whites who were beaten up. “This is pure anarchy, just lawlessness,” he said afterwards. “Those charges of racism are just nonsense.” [Retrenched Zimbabwean Workers Attack White Directors, Reuters, March 30, 2001.]
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean authorities have finally arrested someone for the murder of a white farmer. Last month we reported blacks killed Gloria Olds, the mother of a farmer murdered last year. Neighbors found her with 20 bullet wounds, not far from her three dogs, which had also been shot. On March 27, in something of a miracle, police arrested 47-year-old Albert Ncube and said they were still looking for an accomplice. Mrs. Olds was the eighth white farmer to die in the recent violence, and police have not arrested any suspects in the other killings. [Zimbabwe Man Charged With Murder of White Farmer, Reuters, March 30, 2001.]
In fact, the bloodiest war on African whites is going on in South Africa. On March 27, blacks killed white farmer Nicholas van Rensburg and wounded his mother in a rifle attack. They left without taking anything, and most farmers think this is yet another killing meant to intimidate whites and force them off the land. Although the world press has been remarkably silent about it, blacks have killed nearly 500 white farmers since the beginning of black rule in 1995. Some they have held for hours and tortured to death. Blacks killed thirteen white farmers in the month of January alone. Whites are furious about the lack of government response and believe there is tacit approval from the top for these killings.
Eight hundred white farmers gathered for Mr. van Rensburg’s funeral and vowed to take the law into their own hands if authorities do not act. Andre Korp, Mr. van Rensburg’s next-door neighbor, told reporters farmers were going to take up arms and form self-defense networks to stop the killings. “The killers were lucky I wasn’t at home that day,” says Mr. Korp. “I would have chased them and killed them. I wouldn’t have just caught them. I would have killed them.” [Sue Thomas, S. Africa’s White Farmers Ready to Fight Back, Reuters, April 2, 2001.]
There is no telling where the war may spread. There are 4,500 white farmers in next-door Namibia, and Sam Nujoma, who has run the country since independence in 1990, indulges in periodic anti-white outbursts. On March 28, he lashed out once again, saying whites were arbitrarily firing black workers. “We have the capacity to fight you,” he said. “We will get you. I warn those whites it is the first and last time I hear you insulting us.” Mr. Nujoma is a close ally of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, whom he refuses to criticize, but he has stated publicly Namibia will not launch an anti-white land-grab. [Namibian President Lashes Out at White Farmers, Reuters, March 28, 2001.]
The Bjorn Borg Solution
The great Swedish tennis player Bjorn Borg is urging Europeans to have more babies. In a full-page advertisement in Sweden’s main financial paper Dagens Industri, he wrote:
“We have a bit of a delicate problem here in the western world: there aren’t enough babies being born. If nothing drastic happens soon there won’t be anyone who can work and put up for our pensions. Bad karma! Luckily there is a simple solution that is both enjoyable and relaxing: The Swedish model. An intimate form of socializing that, if done properly, will keep mid-wives labouring all over Europe. So the humble advice from Bjoern Borg is quite simply: Get to it!”
The advertisement concludes with the admonition, “F*** for Future” over Mr. Borg’s signature. [Tennis Legend Bjorn Borg Urges Europeans to Have More Sex, Agence France-Presse, March 9, 2001.]
Richard Williams is the father of tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, and acts as both coach and manager. On March 15, Venus withdrew from a match in an Indian Wells, California, tournament that would have pitted her against her sister Serena. She claimed she had tendonitis, but many fans thought Mr. Williams rigged things to steer a win to Serena. Mr. Williams says he and his daughters were booed by racist fans who called them “nigger.”
There is no doubt about the booing, but there is considerable doubt about the “nigger.” Asked if she had heard anything nasty while she was playing, Serena said: “I don’t know. I can’t remember.” When Venus was asked what she heard when she sat down with her father, she answered loyally, “I heard whatever he heard.”
Tennis player Martina Hingis dismissed Mr. Williams’ claims. “I definitely don’t feel … there is any racism on the tour,” she said. “Sometimes … he [Mr. Williams] has said things which are not true.” The alleged victim is not backing down. He says it was “the worst act of prejudice I’ve seen since they killed Martin Luther King.” [Williams Cries Racism, Desert Sun (Palm Springs), March 27, 2001, p. C1. Williams Family is Upset by Racial Slurs, Washington Times, March 27, 2001, p. B3.]
Going, Going …
Milwaukee is one of those declining American cities that now have non-white majorities. The 2000 census shows that with Hispanics at 12 percent, blacks 37 percent, Asians three percent, American Indians and “others” at nine percent, whites are a clear minority. As it changed color, Milwaukee’s population declined. At 596,974 it is now five percent down on the 1990 figure and 20 percent down from the record of 741,324 set in 1960. The city’s population is now the smallest it has been in 60 years.
Milwaukee’s white mayor, John Norquist, at least pretends not to understand the connection between race and population loss. “I’m a little disappointed that it’s not over 600 [thousand] … It’s not something you want to break out the champagne over,” he says. At the same time, he claims that learning whites are a minority was “the most pleasant news in the whole census.” “I’d say this is something we should really point to with pride,” he said. “Of all the places in Wisconsin, it’s the one place that’s most open and welcoming … It shows that Milwaukee is the part of Wisconsin that is most like where America is going.”
Frank Zeidler, who was mayor from 1948 to 1960, when Milwaukee’s population hit its peak, is not so starry-eyed. He points out that a lot of whites left the city because they didn’t want to live with blacks. He says the real metropolitan center of the area is no longer Milwaukee but eastern Waukesha County. “Milwaukee has certain glamour places,” he says, “but it also has a cordon of blight around the downtown area that has existed for quite a while and to which much attention has not been paid officially.” [Alan Borsuk and Leonard Sykes, City Population Lowest Since 1940, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 8, 2001.]
Commentators are dismayed to find that although the 2000 census finds the country more “diverse,” the different races are no more likely to live together than they were 10 years ago. John Logan, who is with the Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research, says a first pass through the data shows, “we’re not more integrated-that’s the bottom line.” One trend is that various minority groups are slightly more likely to live close to each other-Hispanics and blacks, or Asians and Hispanics-but whites are no more likely than in 1990 to have non-white neighbors. In cities like New York and Chicago, black-white residential patterns have not changed since the 1920s. “You might have thought the black civil-rights movement or the rise of the black middle class or changing racial attitudes surely by now would have made a difference,” says Dr. Logan, but they have not. “The color line is still very strong.” As the Christian Science Monitor puts it, “Children of the early 21st century will likely grow up isolated from people of other ethnic groups-much as the children of the early 20th century did.” [Laurent Belsie, Ethnic Diversity Grows, but Not Integration, Christian Science Monitor, March 14, 2001.]
Preliminary results for the Miami area show a similar trend, as residential segregation remained essentially unchanged over the last 10 years. Whites and Hispanics are not as segregated from each other as are blacks from both whites and Hispanics. In a few places in the Dade County/Broward County area there was more integration, but segregation increased in Miramar, Pompano Beach, and Homestead-all heavily black areas from which both whites and Hispanics appear to have fled. [Amy Driscoll and Tim Henderson, Region’s Populace Staying Apart, Miami Herald, April 4, 2001.]
Drugs for Blacks
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is just a few steps away from approving its first drug exclusively for one social construct. Studies found that BiDil, a heart failure drug made by NitroMed, reduced mortality in blacks by a remarkable 66 percent but had little effect on whites. Blacks are twice as likely as whites to suffer from heart failure but do not respond well to the usual anti-hypertension drugs known as ACE inhibitors. One reason may be blacks have a deficiency in nitric oxide, a naturally-produced substance that dilates blood vessels; BiDil raises the level of nitric oxide. NitroMed must now conduct one more test, with black subjects only, in order to get final FDA approval. [Victoria Griffith, FDA Paves the Way for First ‘Ethnic’ Drug, Financial Times (London), March 8, 2001.]
Drugs for Asians
A study conducted at the Chinese University of Hong Kong concludes that Chinese have a heightened genetic predisposition to drug addiction. Dr. Alfreda Stadlin, associate professor of anatomy, says a single mutation in the A118G mu opioid receptor gene associated with “pleasure and reward pathways” is found in 30 percent of Chinese but in only 11 percent of whites, 14 percent of Hispanics, and two percent of blacks. The mutation is thought to make a person more likely to become addicted to drugs and to make addiction more difficult to break. Dr. Stadlin says this mutation may also be associated with the notorious Chinese love of gambling. [Opioid Receptor Polymorphism May Predispose Chinese to Heroin Addiction, Reuters Medical News, March 16, 2001.]
Minorities No More
The San Diego city council has become the first such body in the country officially to drop the term “minority.” Whites are no longer a majority in the state of California and are only 49 percent of the city’s population, so the council decided unanimously that the term “minority” was both inaccurate and insulting. It hasn’t officially decided what to call non-whites, but one black council member suggests “people of color.”
Not all minorities are happy about the change. Scott Rosa of the League of United Latin American Citizens says Hispanics are still a minority. “It’s a fact nationally,” he says, “and it is something that helps us get scholarships and numerous other benefits.” [Steve Miller, San Diego Panel Unanimously Hits Delete Key on ‘Minority,’ Washington Times, April 4, 2001, p. A4.]
Hispanics Not ‘Minorities’
In the previous issue we reported that Hispanic business-owners in Georgia were pushing for the same preferential treatment as blacks, Asians, and Indians as “minority suppliers.” Legislation ran into unexpectedly fierce opposition from black law-makers and was defeated. Bob Holmes, a member of the state’s Legislative Black Caucus, explained why: “There is growing competition between blacks and Hispanics, and in the South, it is going to get worse. We know that they have escaped from poverty and we want them to have a better life here, but not at the expense of African-Americans.” [Dahleen Glanton, Hispanic Influx in Deep South Causes Tensions — With Blacks, Chicago Tribune, March 19, 2001.]
Love Among the Liberals
Denver’s Human Services Department, which handles child abuse, welfare, child support, etc., is one of the most aggressively integrated agencies in the city. Many employees and eight of ten department heads are non-white, as is much of the department’s clientele. Recently, the city hired the Gallup organization to see how well the 1,300 employees get along, and was shocked by the results. Fifty-seven percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that employees are treated fairly without regard to race, sex, age, etc. Sixty-nine percent disagreed with the statement that they trust top management. The Gallup people, who have apparently done similar work before, assured the city that people in the uplift business are particularly sensitive to discrimination, and like to complain about it. Social worker Shanna Ritts, who is a union representative, says she hears a lot about discrimination among different groups of non-whites, with various kinds of Hispanics discriminating against each other. “We have a large group of minority people working, but they clash,” she explains. [Arthur Kane, Workers Cite Bias at City Agency, Denver Post, March 16, 2001.]
‘A Particular Gardening Implement’
A high-ranking Australian police officer has finally admitted the obvious: foreign drug gangs have brought a great deal of violence to Australia. “There is no question that the use of knives and guns has become far more frequent in recent years,” says Federal Police Commissioner Mick Palmer. “I think essentially it is related to drug trafficking. It is related to some of the ethnicity of some of the people involved in the trade and the fact that the use of knives and guns is a more familiar part of the criminal side of those cultures than has been the case in Australia.” Mr. Palmer was perhaps emboldened to say these things because he was about three days away from retirement.
A few people were brave enough to welcome his remarks. New South Wales state premier Bob Carr applauded, saying police would be more effective if they could identify suspects by race, rather than kow-towing to ethnic sensitivities. The tabloid Daily Telegraph, which has been running frequent stories about turf wars between Chinese triads, Lebanese street gangs and Vietnamese heroin dealers, declared it was time “to call a particular gardening implement a spade.”
At the same time, the usual people were saying the usual things. George Khonzame, who runs a welfare center for Lebanese, says it is “very unfair” to link crime to nationality or race. “It’s a problem of all youth in Australia,” he explained. [Michael Christie, Racial Branding Inflames Australian Crime Debate, Reuters, March 13, 2002.]
Felons and the Vote
Florida is one of 13 states that bar released felons from voting unless they are cleared through a clemency process. The state now has 72,000 prison inmates — 53 percent of whom are black — and 550,000 non-voting felons on the outside, of which 140,000 are black. The Florida legislature’s black caucus thinks withholding the vote is racism, and wants to introduce a bill to reinstate a felon’s franchise automatically one year after he leaves jail. They want Governor Jeb Bush, whom they call “Jeb Crow” for eliminating racial preferences in college admissions, to do as his brother George did in Texas, and sign such a bill. The ACLU is on the side of the yard birds: “These [restrictions on the franchise] are poll taxes and literacy tests by another name,” says Howard Simon, the ACLU’s executive director in Florida.
The change will not come easily. Disfranchisement of felons is part of the Florida constitution, which can be changed only by a three-fifths vote in both houses of the legislature, followed by a voter referendum. The earliest it could possibly get on the ballot would be November 2002. [Marc Caputo, Black Lawmakers: Let Ex-Inmates Vote Again, Palm Beach Post, March 13, 2001. Mark Silva, Panel OK’s Felons’ Voting Rights, Miami Herald, march 22, 2001.]
Last month’s cover story touched on the colorful ways Haiti’s leaders move in and out of power. Latest developments suggest no change is in sight. Last November’s elections, which put ex-priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the Presidential Palace, were so rife with corruption foreign aid agencies have put assistance on hold until the mess is sorted out. The 15-party opposition alliance called Convergence decided its leader, Gérard Gourgue, should have won the election, and named him president of an “alternative government.” Since then, politics have continued by extra-parliamentary means. On March 20, a gang of Aristide supporters besieged a school run by Convergence. Mr. Gourgue, president of the alternative government, barricaded the doors and cowered inside with 50 students, while the mob shot up the building. After an hour of this, the police arrived and tear-gassed the besiegers.
On the same day, Aristide partisans attacked a Convergence office, setting it on fire. Four people were wounded in the ensuing gun battle between attackers and Convergence security guards. “We’re going to keep on doing this until the government arrests Gérard Gourgue,” said Eugene Bedeshein, 25, an Aristide admirer manning a barricade of flaming tires at a downtown Port-au-Prince intersection. Two of Mr. Artistide’s cabinet ministers have demanded an arrest, saying Mr. Gourgue assumed the title of president illegally. As for Mr. Gourgue, he says the violence is orchestrated by Mr. Aristide, who hopes to use constant disorder as an excuse to dispense with democracy and reestablish open dictatorship. [Michael Norton, Aristide Militants Firebomb Opposition Office, Shoot at School, AP, March 21, 2001.]
As the country falls ever deeper into chaos, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), which ladles out foreign aid, has just released a 25-page report criticizing the Haitian police for insufficient “gender equity”! Three CIDA analysts (sex unspecified) who visited the country last year say the police must hire more lady officers, introduce a sexual harassment policy, learn how to deal with domestic abuse, introduce complaint forms for women mistreated by police, and set up special units to deal with female victims of violence. The report concedes that some of this may not happen overnight but urges a perspective that is “10 years down the road.” A Haitian who helps train the police reacted with astonishment, pointing out that the police can’t even keep the peace. He said “gender equity” and the idea of a harassment-free workplace are “far from the minds” of police officers. [Marina Jiménez, As Nation Burns, CIDA Tells Haiti to Hire More Policewomen, National Post, March 22, 2001.]
More Foreign Drunks
The Immigration and Naturalization Service ordinarily deports aliens who get a violent felony conviction. Until now, it has considered felony drunk driving — usually the third drunk-driving conviction — a deportable felony, because drunk drivers are likely to kill people. In March, a three-judge panel of the federal 5th Circuit Court in San Antonio, Texas, ruled that drunk drivers cannot be deported no matter how often they break they law because they probably do not intend violence. The INS has the option of asking the full, 15-judge panel to review the ruling, but it cannot override an appeals court decision. Immigration activists welcomed the opinion, noting that thousands of immigrants kicked out of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi can now return, and that the INS is likely to abide by the 5th circuit’s decision in all parts of the country. [Maro Robbins, DWI Order May Help Immigrants, San Antonio Express-News, March 5, 2001.]
The Tawana Brawley fake-rape case lingers on. In 1988, the black Miss Brawley, desperate for an excuse for why she had been out all night, invented a story of having been raped by white men. Rev. Al Sharpton became her champion and, in a flurry of wild accusations, claimed then-New York State prosecutor Steven Pagones was one of the rapists. Mr. Pagones sued Mr. Sharpton for slander, and in 1998 a jury awarded him $65,000 in damages. Mr. Sharpton refused to pay, and interest swelled the debt to $87,000 — though Mr. Pagones did manage to get $15,000 by garnishing wages. Mr. Pagones was convinced Mr. Sharpton was hiding assets, and sued to make the Sharpton organizations — National Action Network and Rev. Al’s Productions — cough up the cash.
Mr. Sharpton’s delinquency was beginning to be an embarrassment for his supporters, who decided to pass the hat and pay his debts. “I thought it was time for it to be taken care of,” explains Percy Sutton, who is head of Inner City Broadcasting, and a power-broker among New York City’s blacks. He has always said he believed Miss Brawley was raped, but will not comment on the merits of the Pagones suit. He worked out an agreement to come up with a quick $40,000 now, with the balance due by mid-June. Some of the contributors were Black Enterprise magazine chairman Earl Graves, Essence publisher Ed Lewis, lawyer Johnnie Cochran, and Amsterdam News publisher Bill Tatum. [Niles Lathem and Tracy Connor, Passing the Hat for Rev. Al, March 22, 2001.]
It is not easy to imagine major white business figures paying off a criminal’s debts out of pure racial solidarity.
LETTERS FROM READERS
Sir — Congratulations on the fine article in your March issue on the threat of censorship. I would like to make a correction regarding “human rights laws” in Canada. Cases heard under those laws are not criminal prosecutions. They are civil actions heard by tribunals that can impose unlimited fines to assuage the “hurt feelings” of complainants. In the Province of British Columbia the government itself may bring a case even if there is no complaint from the public. The tribunals are not governed by regular court rules. Truth is no defense and in my case, as you reported, my newspaper was ordered to print the tribunal’s verdict, which was a gross infraction of freedom of the press.
In addition to these “human rights” laws, we do have federal “hate laws,” but these require prosecution in real courts. As a member of the government explained in 1993, during the debate on the B.C. Human Rights Act, “In order to convict someone [in the courts], a charge of promoting hatred and contempt must be proven according to a criminal standard; that is, beyond a reasonable doubt. And those who are familiar with our court system know how difficult that can be.” The “human rights,” kangaroo-court system was established to make it easier to get convictions.
The “adjudicators” in these tribunals are selected by the government to do what it wants them to do. These are, indeed, the Dark Ages, which is why I am challenging our misnamed human rights laws in the courts.
Doug Collins, West Vancouver, Canada
Sir — I read “Return to the Dark Ages” with much interest. Your description of my case is basically correct, but a few points deserve clarification. The U.S. Marshals arrested me on August 26, 2000 at the request of the German government. After we raised legal questions about the validity of the extradition request (the USA-Germany extradition treaty prohibits extradition for “political offenses”), the Marshals “released” me into the custody of the INS, which has detained me ever since as an illegal alien in asylum proceedings. I have spent the last six months in solitary confinement, without sunlight, fresh air, exercise, or recreation.
On March 5, Immigration Judge John B. Reid declined my request for asylum. He treated a youth penalty I received eight years ago as an adult offense, and concluded I am an “aggravate felon,” which makes me ineligible for asylum. With regard to my claim of political persecution, in his opinion the Federal Republic of Germany provides its citizens with a judicial system adequate to address my grievances. Germany is an “acknowledged” democracy, so I should not be afraid of resolving my problems with its government. I have appealed Judge Reid’s decision to the Board of Immigration.
You can read more about my case at www.HendrikMoebus.com.
Hendrik Möbus, Buffalo Federal Detention Facility, Batavia, N.Y.
Sir — In the previous issue of AR was a letter by Ronald Satz. At the end of this letter, he says we must note that the Jews are “just as Caucasian” as the British, Irish, French, Italians, and Germans. Indeed, Jews are Caucasian, but then so are Arabs, Iranians, Punjabis, and other groups AR would not consider “white” in the European sense. Recent genetic studies, mentioned in AR by Glayde Whitney, show not only that various Jewish groups cluster together, but that some are genetically similar to non-Jewish Middle Eastern populations, while distinct from gentile Europeans, who form a separate genetic cluster. If Ariel Sharon is Caucasian in the European sense, how about Donna Shalala and Yasser Arafat?
Ed Delahanty, Chicago, Illinois
Sir — I enjoyed Glayde Whitney’s report in the April issue but disagree that scientists who adhere to the Recent Out-of-Africa model of racial differentiation do so because it is more “politically correct” than the Multi-Regional Evolution model. In fact, there are “race-realists” and “anti-racists” on either side. Like most other scientists, I believe the Recent Out-of-Africa model best fits the evidence, including DNA sequencing, anthropometrics, the archaeological record, the fossil record, even linguistics and behavior. Much of this evidence is reviewed in the 3rd unabridged edition of Race, Evolution, and Behavior [Prof. Rushton’s book is available for purchase on the AR web page].
Regardless of whether the Out-of-Africa or Multi-Regional model or some combination turns out to be correct, the five cubic inch difference in brain size between people of African and Eurasian descent will not disappear. This difference translates into hundreds of millions of neurons and synapses, which in turn translates into the 15 to 30 IQ point mean racial difference. That difference is unchanged, whether it took 100,000 years (Recent Out-of-Africa) or 2 million years (Multi-Regional) to appear. In this context it is worth noting that Christopher Stringer, the main spokesman for the Recent Out-of-Africa model, is at least willing to acknowledge the modern data on race differences in brain size and IQ scores, if only to demonize those who investigate them (see his 1996 book African Exodus), whereas Milford Wolpoff, the leading exponent of the Multi-Regional Evolution model, prefers to sidestep any modern data on brain-size/IQ differences (see his 1997 book Race and Human Evolution).
J. Philippe Rushton, University of Western Ontario, Canada