|Vol. 15, No. 12||December 2004|
My Teachers’ Lies
A Mexican describes the Mexican mind.
It is very unusual to find a Latin American author who does not blame his country’s ills squarely on the United States. This is especially true of Mexicans, who are all taught in school that the United States invaded and dismembered their country in 1846-1848 and has ruthlessly exploited Mexico ever since. Most Mexicans cannot conceive of the wealth and power of the United States — and their own poverty and weakness — as anything but proof of American wickedness.
|Monument to the revolution, Mexico City.|
Luis Gonzalez de Alba is that rare Mexican who is able to see his country as it really is. In this short 1997 essay, My Teachers’ Lies, he brilliantly captures the delusions and contra-dictions of the Mexican national character.
Don Luis was born on March 6, 1944, in Charcas, a small desert village in the state of San Luis Potosi. He came to Mexico City in the 1960s to study psychology at Mexico’s leading university, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and was a leader in the student movement. The government arrested him in the wake of the Oct. 2, 1968, massacre of students and workers, and he spent two years and eight months in prison.
Don Luis has written novels and plays, but has achieved greatest success as a science writer. Needless to say, his political writing is controversial; this essay originally appeared in a now-defunct magazine called Tendencias, which was published in El Salvador. In 2002, he expanded on the ideas in this essay, and published a book of the same title, My Teachers’ Lies. Neither the essay nor the book was translated into English.
|The true history of Mexico is a long series of glorious defeats and a weighty directory of fallen heroes.|
Don Luis’s refusal to accept the distortions of the political, academic, and media elites is grounded in a thorough understanding of Mexican history, and he refers to people and events with which Americans are not familiar. It may seem distracting to go back and forth between the footnotes (page 4) and the essay, but most Americans will find the notes necessary. In any case, Americans would be well advised to learn the history of a country that is clearly determined to play an ever-larger role in our affairs.
My Teachers’ Lies
The Demolition of Myths
The Vision of the Vanquished
The true history of Mexico is a long series of glorious defeats and a weighty directory of fallen heroes. Cuauhtemoc1 is our purest hero, but not for his deeds, nor his nation-building, nor his victories, since he did not have time for such things, but only because he is the great loser. Hidalgo2 is the Pater Patriae [father of his country] by decree, not for his achievements. Morelos3 headed another uprising that was scarcely noted in our immense expanse of territory, and his defeat was absolute. Guerrero4 turned into a simple fugitive lost in the mountains of the south, where he could have stayed to die a natural death from old age, since in no way did he affect the course of the Spanish Empire. Madero5 never governed, and we continue to wait for a workable government. Zapata6 was shot down, and land reform had to wait until Cardenas7 and even longer — enough time for the growth of the population to make it impossible to give land to each peasant, and distribution created more problems than benefits.
The Perfidious Victors
The accursed victors are deep within our official hell. The greatest villain is the absolute victor, the man who made possible the Mexico of today, a country that was possible only upon the ruins of the indigenous nations, not one of them remotely Mexican. Hernan Cortes is the Father of Mexico8 because without his victory, the present population of Mexico would not exist. However, we choose to define ourselves as the conquered — the vanquished — in absolute denial of the father, the Spaniard and conqueror who triumphed because of so much evil.
The Process of Identification
Mexican social psychology has an unusual research theme in our identification with the vanquished and not the victorious, although we are sons of both. We say that “they,” the Spaniards, defeated “us.” But do we not have eyes of all colors and complexions of all shades? Do we not name ourselves Carlos, Miguel, Antonio, Maria, Carmen? Our surnames are Gonzalez, Lopez, Aguilar, Toledo, Segovia. The idyllic and silly image we have of the Aztec Empire we imagine to ourselves in Spanish, and when we insult Spain, we do it in Spanish. This is a country greatly in need of psychoanalysis, where in spite of so much nativism, the Indians cannot stage an uprising without some White Man brandishing a camera at them.
A Tale Told Backwards
If this country had been conquered by the 300 Spaniards of Cortes with ten starving horses and some ancient blunderbusses, it ought to make us ashamed just to talk about it. The “Conquest” was the result of indigenous hatred of the barbaric savagery of the Aztecs. The fall of Tenochtitlan9 was the result of a massive popular revolt. Independent for just a hundred years in 1521, the Aztecs had oppressed their subject nations with extremes of savagery never reached by the Nazis. The schoolboy version that “Mexico was conquered by a foreign power” is childish, ridiculous, and damaging in the first place to the Indian Nations. If 300 Spaniards really had conquered a city that had a population of half a million in the midst of a territory with a population of 20 million, truly they would have been Gods. However, 1) Mexico could not be conquered because it did not exist. 2) Spain was nothing more than a small country recently freed from a thousand years of Arab domination. 3) It was not only Spaniards, but also thousands of Native warriors who, oppressed by the reign of Aztec terror, took Tenochitlan and razed it with all the hatred and fury imaginable.
The Childish Sickness of the Mexican
We are a childish nation that always tries to blame outsiders: “The Spaniards conquered us,” say the children of blue, green, and chestnut eyes, whose names are Fernando and surnamed Cortes. We learn to degrade ourselves, and self-pity sickens us with sympathy for ourselves. We are full of willfulness, a quality that entitles us to everything, and if we do not get it, it is because of foreign evildoers: the Americans robbed us of the Northern Territories, the bad Mestizos get the good Indians drunk, and the Indians forget their values. We explain our poverty as the result of the imperialism of the United States, which has opened the veins of Latin America.10 But we never ask ourselves why we are not the imperialistic country and the United States a poor country with open veins. Or we claim we are poor because our politicians are swindlers and sluggards, but we do not observe that our governments spring from ourselves.
When We Grow Up
The Virgin of Guadalupe: not a
patroness of soccer champions.
To become adults we need two treatments for two failings that are, in themselves, a paradox: excessive humility and overbearing arrogance. First, we must not picture ourselves as the humbled product of a defeat. Second, we must not believe ourselves to be the favorite son of a heavenly mother who solves all. We are poor because of our mistakes, our history of violence and destruction, and because of our Catholic disdain of science, which is the basis of industry.11 Likewise, we do not win Olympic medals or soccer championships,12 first of all, because of the Virgin. If she wanted us to win we would emerge winners in everything, wouldn’t we? The second reason we are not winners is because we are a nation of potbellies for whom sport is a Sunday television program watched between beers and rich slices of barbecued pork. However, no taxi-driver would ever explain it this way. We lose because of bad luck or the bad faith of others.
Will God Speak Through the Aryan Race?
|Cuauhtemoc, the unsullied hero.|
The feminists have taught us to change the gender of a phrase to discover the masculine sexism hidden in everyday matters. Let us try the same thing with our vociferous racialism: “Will God speak through the Aryan race?”13 Let us suppose that was the motto of Heidelberg University. Would demonstrators not be applauded if they splashed paint on it? Or the mountain-climber who scaled the rectory tower to obliterate that declaration with a hammer? A monument to the German race, to the Aryan essence of Germany, would it not suffer every conceivable attempt to wipe it out? But what is dignity in the poor is abusive arrogance in the rich. Deutschland Uber Alles seems racialist to us, but “There are not two like Mexico”14 is only simple national pride. It is true, certainly, but a platitude, because the same applies to Guatemala or Nigeria, and it lends itself also to the type of joke that backfires: there are not two — fortunately.
1 Cuauthemoc (1495–1525) was the last of the Aztec emperors. He defended the Aztec capital against the conquistadors in 1521, and after his defeat and capture, he reluctantly went into Spanish service. In 1525, Cortes tried him for treason and had him executed, even though many Spaniards considered him innocent. He is said to have died defiantly, and is considered Mexico’s greatest hero.
2 Miguel Hidalgo (1753–1811) was a priest whose campaigns against Spain launched the independence movement. In 1810, he started a revolt in the hope of improving conditions for Indians, and marched on Mexico City with an army of 80,000. After winning an initial battle he was defeated by the Spanish, fled north, was captured and shot. Sept. 16, the day on which Hidalgo called for insurrection, is a national holiday, Mexican Independence Day. It is in this sense that Hidalgo is the father of his country by decree, and not by achievement.
3 Jose Maria Morelos (1765-1815), also a priest, joined Hidalgo’s insurrection and succeeded him as leader of the rebels. He was initially successful, and issued a declaration of independence from Spain in 1813. Two years later, royalists defeated and shot him. Like Hidalgo, he is a hero of the early struggle for independence.
4 Vicente Guerrero (1783? — 1831) was a Mexican soldier who joined the war for independence in 1810 under Morelos, and became leader of guerrilla forces. He served briefly as president of Mexico in 1829 but was overthrown in a revolt, and was shot in 1831.
5 Francisco Madero (1873-1913) was the original leader of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 to 1920. The revolution against seven-term president and dictator, Porfirio Diaz, was ostensibly for land redistribution. It led to a confused and violent period during which local power was in the hands of warlords and guerilla bands. Madero managed to make himself president from 1911 to 1913, but was overthrown and shot. He is nevertheless a great hero, and Mexico celebrates Revolution Day every Nov. 20, the day in 1910 on which Madero denounced President Diaz, declared himself president of Mexico, and called for insurrection.
6 Emiliano Zapata (1877? — 1919) was another hero of the Mexican Revolution, but was an enemy of Madero, whom he thought not radical enough. Of peasant origin, he controlled the state of Morales, where he drove the wealthy off their estates, and divided the land among peasants. Another great hero, he was assassinated in 1919.
Although Don Luis does not mention him, Pancho Villa (1878–1923) is a somewhat more ambiguous “hero” of the revolution. Born Doroteo Arangol to a peasant family, he joined a bandit gang as a teenager, and adopted the name of the gang chieftain after police killed him in a shootout. In 1910, he joined Madero’s rebellion and operated in the north. After Madero was shot, he quarreled with other revolutionaries, and fled north, where he continued as a bandit and guerilla fighter. In 1916, he and his men attacked Columbus, New Mexico, murdering townspeople and burning most of the town. General John Pershing led an expeditionary force into Mexico and pursued him for 11 months, but could not catch him. Villa knew the terrain and was popular with the Mexicans, who refused to help Pershing despite a $5,000 reward on Villa’s head. This greatly adds to his sheen in Mexico today, but his popularity could not protect him from other Mexicans. He was assassinated in 1923, and some peasants pray to him as if he were a saint.
7 Lazaro Cardenas (1895-1970) was another anti-Diaz revolutionary, who managed to avoid being shot, and served as president from 1934-1940. He initiated serious land reform and nationalized the oil industry. His was perhaps the first honest, reasonably successful attempt to uplift the whole country. He did not loot the treasury, and lived a notably austere life.
8 Hernan Cortes (1485–1547) conquered Mexico during the famous campaign of 1519–1521. He is “the father of Mexico” because of his affair with La Malinche, an Aztec noblewoman who was his interpreter and consort. Cortes could have had many women, but was faithful to La Malinche during the campaign, and had a son, who is celebrated as the first “Mexican.” Although, as Don Luis points out, Cortes is not a hero to the Mexicans, Columbus is. Mexico celebrates October 12 — the origins of the mestizo — as Dia de la Raza or “day of the race.”
9 Tenochtitlan was the name of the Aztec capital conquered by Cortes, and was the precursor of today’s Mexico City.
10 This refers to a popular 1971 book by the Uruguayan communist, Eduardo Galeano, Las Venas Abiertas de America Latina, which blames all the ills of the region on the United States.
|Library of the National Autonomous University.|
11 One Mexican won a Nobel prize for literature, and another shared a peace prize. No Mexican has won a prize in science. Neighboring Guatemala, with only one ninth the population, has won one Nobel prize for literature and one for peace, both unshared.
12 Mexico has a population of 100 million, which is more than reunited Germany (82 million), France, or England (both 60 million), but it won only one silver and three bronze medals at the 2004 Olympics. Soccer is the national pastime, but Mexico has never won the World Cup.
13 Don Luis has taken the motto of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, “Will God Speak Through My Race?” and changed it to “Will God Speak Through the Aryan Race?” He credits this type of analysis to feminists, who claim that language is riddled with “sexism.” An example would be to point out that the masculine often stands for both sexes, as in “Every student should raise his hand.”
14 “There are not two like Mexico” (Como Mexico no hay dos) is a slogan the government used to promote tourism. It did not work very well, and instead became the butt of jokes of the kind Don Luis cites.
Afterword: ‘La Raza Cosmica’ or ‘La Raza Comica?’
There is another historical figure Don Luis might have mentioned in this essay, who perhaps better than anyone exemplifies the Mexican national character. In his excellent article “The War With Mexico” in the September 1995 American Renaissance, Eric Peterson asks: “Why would they [the Mexicans] make war with the United States when they had been unable to subdue a breakaway territory [Texas]? Astonishingly enough, they fully expected to win.” Further in the same paragraph Mr. Peterson writes, “Indeed, the Mexican dictator of the moment, Mariano Paredes, boasted that he would not negotiate until the Mexican flag flew over the capitol dome in Washington.”
There is nothing astonishing about the Mexican expectation of victory or the blowhard boast of President and General Paredes. He is a character entirely at home in Don Luis’s Mexico, and almost single-handedly justifies the old South American observation that Mexicans say, do, and believe in things that are unnatural (Los Mexicanos dicen, hacen, y creen en cosas que no son naturales). Despite Paredes’s claim, it was the American flag that flew over the Citadel of Mexico City, El Castillo de Chapultepec.
It is unusual to encounter a perfect representative of a national type, but the illustrious Mariano Paredes fits the profile. Like so many figures from Mexican history, his biography reads like an opera plot. He was a general who helped put Santa Ana in power in 1841 but turned against him when Santa Ana did not reward him sufficiently. He helped overthrow Santa Ana, but the presidency went to Jose Herrera. In 1845, he led a revolt against Herrera, charging him with compromising the honor of Mexico by negotiating with the United States over Texas rather than taking up arms. He became president for part of 1846, but bungled the war he so actively sought.
Rather than fight the Americans, Paredes led a campaign into Jalisco against domestic enemies. Meanwhile, General Winfield Scott, whom the Duke of Wellington called “the greatest soldier alive” for his Mexican campaign, defeated larger forces in four battles on his way from Veracruz to take Mexico City. Paredes was kicked out of office in 1846 because of the war, briefly went into exile in 1847, came back and plotted yet another revolt, which failed. He managed to avoid being shot, and actually died of natural causes in 1849. Despite his complete failure during the war with the United States, Mexicans consider him a great military leader. Paredes is just one more loser to be added to Don Luis’s list, and he, too, is a kind of Mexican hero.
More bombast than bombs, he started an unwinnable war, but to the Mexican mind he accomplished great deeds because for Mexicans, words are deeds. Mexicans are masters of the most primitive psychological defense known: Denial. Thus, despite the fact that Paredes wanted war with the United States, and intended to conquer great chunks of it, as every Mexican knows, “the Americans stole the Northern Territories.” The Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848 brought Anglo-Saxon order to 525,000 square miles of Latin squalor and chaos, but a complex blending of corrupt American motives and Mexican predation is reestablishing the squalor and chaos.
|Ruins at Palenque.|
Because of the psychological capitulation of its neighbor to the north, Don Luis’s nation of losers has a chance to win after all. What Mexico could not conquer by force of arms or by economic or cultural dominance, it may win through sheer fecundity. What Mexicans could never achieve on their own, they may conquer because of the unwillingness of Americans to defend what they have created. Today it is the norteamericanos who believe in things that are unnatural.
Voter Fraud on the Increase
Third-World habits are taking root.
John Fund, Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, Encounter Books, 2004 173 pp. (softcover) $15.95.
Despite much self-congratulation about the quality of American democracy, our elections are surprisingly vulnerable to fraud. As Wall Street Journal writer John Fund explains in Stealing Elections, we may have some of the worst-protected balloting systems of any country that holds regular elections.
There is great variation from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but our elections are easy to jimmy because they are based on the honor system. In the past, election boards have assumed only eligible citizens would register and vote, and there has been only cursory protection against fraud. Now, as Mr. Fund boldly explains, blacks and Hispanics often take advantage of lax enforcement — sometimes in the most brazen way — and then call their critics “racists.”
Despite persistent charges that Republicans kept blacks away from the polls during the 2000 election and would do the same this year, vote fraud is largely Democratic. There are several reasons for this. First, it is easier to buy votes from poor people. Second, Democratic candidates are often life-long politicians desperate to keep their jobs, whereas Republicans who lose elections often have private sector professions to which they can return.
Third, liberal notions of “inclusion” go along with the view that making sure everyone gets a chance to vote is more important than worrying about strict eligibility. This year, for example, Kerry supporters split 62 to 19 in favor of the importance of inclusion over procedure, whereas by 59 to 18, Bush supporters thought integrity of eligibility standards was more important than making sure no one was wrongly excluded. These positions reflect partisan interests — the doubtful voters kept out by the rules are likely to vote Democrat — but conservatives like rules and procedures more than liberals do. Women tend to be liberal and worry more than men that eligibility rules could unfairly exclude someone.
Finally, although Mr. Fund does not say so specifically, it stands to reason that blacks and Hispanics are more fraud-prone than whites. They break almost all laws more often than whites, and Third-World immigrants are used to cutting corners. As a consequence, voter fraud is concentrated among black and immigrant populations.
Varieties of Fraud
When Americans think of election fraud they imagine Africans or South Americans shooting opponents or confiscating ballot boxes. That doesn’t happen here. Fraud is less blatant, and usually involves phony registrations and gimmicky ways to cast absentee ballots rather than deliberate miscounts. Since fraud is at the margins rather than at the heart of the system, it is usually not possible to steal an election unless it is close.
|As Mr. Fund boldly explains, blacks and Hispanics often take advantage of lax enforcement — sometimes in the most brazen way — and then call their critics “racists.”|
The long-standing Democratic campaign to increase turnout by making it easy to register has made it easy to break the law. The National Voter Registration Act (the “motor voter law”) was the first bill President Clinton signed. It imposed fraud-friendly rules on every state by forcing driver’s license bureaus and welfare and unemployment agencies to offer no-questions-asked mail-in voter registration to everyone. The law also made it hard to challenge new registrants or to purge “deadwood” from the voter rolls — people who have died, moved away, or gone to prison.
Lax registration means non-citizens, minors, and felons can register. It makes it easy to register in several locations and vote more than once. When it is hard to purge voter lists, enterprising citizens can cast ballots in the names of neighbors they know are dead, in jail, or out of state.
Voting in someone else’s name is one of the most common types of fraud. Nationally, 12 percent of registered voters never vote, and political activists often take their places at the polls. The “motor voter” law made this problem worse because only about five percent of the people it put on the rolls bother to vote. The more inactive voters there are, the easier it is for someone to “borrow” their franchise.
Clearly, it would be much harder to vote in someone else’s name if people had to show photo ID at the polls, but only 17 states require this. Eighty-two percent of voters favor requiring identification, but Democrats have consistently headed off reform by arguing it would “intimidate” poor and non-white voters.
|Perhaps asking for trouble.|
In 1997, Louisiana wanted to require ID at least from new voters who had registered by mail and whom no election bureaucrat had ever seen. The state was under 1965 Voting Rights Act requirements to get federal permission for any change to election rules, and the Clinton administration refused, arguing that asking for ID would remind blacks of the days when they couldn’t vote. The feds backed down only after it was widely pointed out that Mr. Clinton’s FDA had just ordered all retailers to card anyone who wanted to buy cigarettes and did not look at least 27 years old.
The pretense that an ID requirement will terrify blacks lives on. In Mississippi, anyone over age 65 is exempt from the requirement because elderly blacks might be reminded of the days of fire hoses and police dogs. (How do they prove to poll watchers they are over 65 without showing ID?)
Sloppy registration has serious consequences. The voting age population of St. Louis, Missouri, is 258,532 and the number of registered voters is 247,135, for a completely unrealistic registration rate of 97 percent. Not surprisingly, the city gets unusual results. After elections in 2002, an investigation turned up no fewer than 24,000 fraudulent voters. Of this number 4,405 had voted in the names of dead people, 2,242 were ineligible felons, and 15,963 were registered in more than one place and could have voted more than once.
For four years, a St. Louis dog named Ritzy Meckler was registered to vote. Her owners put the dog’s name in the telephone book as a privacy measure, and someone “harvested” it for a phony registration.
St. Louis does have procedures to purge the rolls of people who have not voted in four years, and who cannot be reached at the address they gave when they registered. A voter must re-register or go before an election judge to be reinstated. Mr. Fund writes that recently all the judges were Democratic and many were openly partisan. He writes that some black judges reinstated voters only on condition that they vote Democratic.
|… for the second time today.|
Anyone who proposes cleaning up this loose system faces accusations of “racism.” William Lacy Smith, the city’s black congressman, promises racial trouble if anyone investigates.
Mr. Fund argues strongly that absentee ballots are the most vulnerable to fraud. Because they do not require a trip to the polls, the authorities never really know who cast them or under what circumstances. When mail-in registration is combined with absentee voting, election officials may never see a voter at all.
Twenty states have no-excuse absentee voting, which means people can mail in their ballots for reasons of pure convenience, not because they will be out of town. In many states, the aged and incapacitated can vote absentee, and nursing home managers have been known to rent out the residents to activists who “help” them fill out ballots. In 2002, Democratic operatives were caught on video giving food and money to mentally ill people in exchange for absentee votes.
In three of the no-excuse states — California, Utah, and Washington — a voter can leave a standing order with the elections board to mail out an absentee ballot before every election. People die or move away, and the ballots keep coming. The resourceful can intercept ballots, forge signatures, and keep voting for years. Operatives sometimes go through the projects and sign everyone up for regular absentee ballots. When the ballots come, the activist makes the rounds again, distributing small gifts in exchange for the right vote. One great advantage of absentee balloting is that a bought vote stays bought whereas vote-buyers can never be sure what someone will do in the voting booth.
Oregon has a 100 percent mail-in ballot system. This means registered voters get ballots in the mail without even asking for them. It is easy to steal a ballot from a mail box, and the large number of people who don’t vote anyway never miss them. Many of these ballots are, of course, cast by someone else.
Even if it did not lend itself to fraud, Mr. Fund opposes voting by mail. Proponents say it increases voter turnout, but this is a false claim. He also thinks the pilgrimage to the polls is part of the ritual and solemnity of democracy, and should not be given up. Finally, absentee voters have to decide early, and may miss late developments. In California, some women who voted absentee for Arnold Schwarzenegger would have voted for someone else if they had waited until election day and learned of his record as a groper.
Convictions for violations of campaign and election laws are very rare, and Mr. Fund doesn’t hesitate to point to race as one of the reasons. Most of the criminals are Democratic — often non-white — and Republicans are afraid to make a fuss. They have not even been able to quash the completely unfounded charges that they kept blacks from voting in 2000, and it is now an article of faith among blacks that Republicans will do anything to bottle up the black vote.
Mr. Fund cites only one case in which Republicans could conceivably be accused of targeting blacks. In 1986, the Louisiana Republicans sent letters to all the voters in precincts in which Republicans got less than 20 percent of the vote, to see if the voters were still at those addresses. When they got 31,000 letters back, they asked the election authorities to purge those voters from the rolls. These Democratic neighborhoods were overwhelmingly black, and the Republicans never heard the end of it. Since this episode — nearly 20 years ago — Republicans have had an abiding terror of doing anything even faintly “racist.”
Republicans used to stand outside heavily Hispanic polling stations, carrying signs in Spanish that said “Non-citizens can’t vote.” This, too, has gone down in the annals as outrageous intimidation of non-whites, increasing Republican timidity.
With prosecution unlikely, many people do not bother to hide what they do. Among the Mexicans in Texas there is a profession called politiquero. Practitioners regularly persuade elderly or illiterate Chicanos to get ballots by mail, and then bribe or browbeat them to vote the right way. Herminia Becerra, who calls herself the queeen of Brownsville politiqueros, is proud of what she does, claiming that she helps choose candidates who are good for the community. Republicans control the state house, but are afraid to tighten the system for fear of being accused of “racism.”
In South Dakota, corruption is most common on Indian reservations, where Democrats register all sorts of doubtful and bogus voters. It is common for Democrats to herd Indians to the polls in vans, and sometimes to give them money for voting. The reservations also have a tradition of reporting their results last, after the count is in for the rest of the state. This makes it easy to know just how much extra help a candidate needs.
Recently, Democrats offered a $3 bounty for new voter registrations on the reservation, and Becky Red Earth Villeda collected no less than $13,000 for her efforts. She saw to it that people registered as Democrats but also forged a huge number of new registrations. When this came to light, tribal officials defended her and fought every attempt to get evidence against her, claiming that the white man did not have subpoena authority on the reservation. According to a prosecutor who worked on the case, the government gladly dropped its investigation into what was promising to stir up embarrassing charges of “racism.” Reporters who looked into irregularities faced the same charge.
Wherever there are large numbers of immigrants, there is the risk that non-citizens will vote. In 1996, Orange County discovered that in one five-month period 125 registered voters had excused themselves from jury duty on the grounds that they were not citizens. No charges were filed. In the county’s vote that year that ended Robert Dornan’s congressional career and replaced him with Loretta Sanchez, the INS estimated that as many as 4,023 non-citizens voted. The election was decided by fewer than 1,000 votes.
Mr. Fund reports that Hawaii is another swamp of dirty politics, where former Governor Benjamin Cayetano did not hesitate to use his power to punish people who tried to keep fraud under control. Non-citizen voting and absentee-ballot fraud have been so bad there have actually been a few convictions.
Other rare prosecutions have been in Miami, which, as Mr. Fund explains, “has long since supplanted Chicago as the epicenter of the country’s most colorful political life.” The 1997 race for mayor was so rife with vote buying and absentee-ballot fraud that prosecutors easily convicted City Commissioner Humberto Hernandez. All along, he had boasted to friends he could head off trouble by claiming racial persecution. He screeched as promised, but went to jail anyway.
Many jurisdictions are switching to electronic voting machines in the hope that they will eliminate ballot ambiguity and faulty counts. So far, they have not fallen victim to the mass tampering or partisan hacking that some people fear. Mr. Fund does note, however, that unlike the machines used to run state lotteries, there are no standard reliability protocols for voting machines. Ever since the Help America Vote Act of 2002 dangled a potential $3.9 billion over what had been a sleepy industry, there has been a rash of corruption and contract kickbacks.
One possible advantage of voting machines is that when they go haywire it can be so spectacular no one fails to notice. In a 2003 election in Boone County, Indiana, the machines recorded 140,000 votes in a jurisdiction in which only about 5,000 people cast ballots. Well-tested software should solve the problems of security and reliability, but even the cleanest vote counts will do nothing to stop fake registrations and absentee-ballot fraud.
Franchise control is one area in which Americans could learn from Mexicans. To get a voter card, a Mexican must have his picture taken, sign his name, and give a thumbprint. The voter card has a serial number, and a photo with a hologram over it. Every voter must produce the card and have his thumbprint scanned at the polling station to see if it matches the one on file.
This system is clearly designed to deal with Third-World corner cutting. The honor system may have worked when the United States was largely European and blacks could not vote. An increasingly Third-World population needs Third-World safeguards.
Race and the Election
Were Hispanics — or whites — the key to victory?
On November 2, President George W. Bush won reelection by a convincing, if not overwhelming, margin of 3.5 million votes (51 to 48 percent) out of more than 115 million cast. His Electoral College victory of 286 to 252 is less impressive, the closest for an incumbent president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Still, with most pre-election polls showing the race either a dead heat or with Pres. Bush narrowly ahead, the President exceeded the expectations of most of the mainstream media.
Why did Mr. Bush win? Most pundits are happily telling us it was because he increased his share of the non-white vote. In 2000, when he lost the popular vote and eked out an Electoral College victory, he polled poorly among minorities. Blacks voted for Al Gore 90 to nine percent, Hispanics, 62 to 35 percent; Asians, 55 to 41 percent; and Jews, 79 to 19 percent. White House political strategist Karl Rove started courting these voters, particularly Hispanics, and the Bush amnesty proposal announced earlier this year is a prime example of Republican “Hispandering.” Mr. Rove dismissed worries that this strategy could anger the GOP’s white base, arguing that conservative whites had nowhere else to go. Mr. Rove seems not have noticed that the easiest way for Republicans to win elections is to maximize their share of the white vote. With one percent more of the white vote, George W. Bush would have won easily in 2000.
According to media-commissioned exit polls, the Rove strategy appears to have produced mixed results. Although Mr. Bush increased his share of the Asian vote to 44 percent (up three percent), and he received a quarter of the Jewish vote (up six percent), taken together these two groups represent only five percent of the vote. And while the President did see his share of the black vote increase two percent, an 89 to 11 result is hardly a victory. The only non-white group from whom Mr. Bush received a significant number of votes was Hispanics — an alleged 42 to 44 percent, up from 35 percent in 2000. As we will see, these numbers may be fishy, but if they are accurate it would mean the Hispanic vote almost exactly mirrored the Asian vote. Accurate or not, we can be sure that they will be trotted out for ever after as proof that Hispanics are assimilating, and voting more and more like white people.
Analysts say more Hispanics were drawn to the Republicans because of the amnesty plan, increased GOP advertising in Spanish-language media, and especially the President’s opposition to marriage for homosexuals. This combination is supposed to have produced something approaching a miracle: the biggest share of the Hispanic vote since Ronald Reagan’s 46 percent in 1984, including 59 percent of the Hispanic vote in Texas, 56 percent in Florida and Georgia, and an overwhelming 74 percent in Oklahoma. Thirty-four percent of California Hispanics reportedly voted for Mr. Bush, as did 43 percent in Arizona, and 44 percent in New Mexico.
As VDARE.com columnist Steve Sailer has pointed out, some of these numbers are hard to believe. If Mr. Bush really got 59 percent of the Hispanic vote in Texas, why did he lose in counties that are overwhelmingly Hispanic? Mr. Bush lost 15 Texas counties — 13 of which have Hispanic populations of 75 to 94 percent. If a strong majority of Hispanics was voting Republican he should have won these counties with no trouble. One of the other counties he lost is home to the liberal college town of Austin, and the other is heavily black.
Even stranger, if 59 percent of Hispanics voted for Mr. Bush, it means white support for the Republicans in Texas dropped by one percent whereas in other states, it rose by an average of about three percent. Why would he suddenly lose votes in his home state? Likewise in New Mexico, for Mr. Bush to have carried 44 percent of the Hispanics, he would have had to lose a chunk of the white vote. This, too, makes no sense.
Mr. Sailer points out that pre-election polls showed Mr. Kerry winning the Hispanic vote by about 60 to 30, and pre-election polls for the vote as a whole were pretty accurate. Furthermore, according to a 14-state exit poll taken by the non-partisan William C. Velasquez Institute, the Hispanic split was 67.7 percent to 31.4 percent in favor of Mr. Kerry, which would be a decline in the Hispanic vote from 2000, and is consistent with strong Hispanic opposition to the war in Iraq.
But let us assume Mr. Bush really did get 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. This would mean he got about 1.5 million more Hispanic votes than in 2000. They were nice to have, but were just 1.3 percent of all votes cast. Subtract them, and President Bush still wins the popular vote, 50 to 49 — thanks to whites.
Hidden in all of the post-election spin about how Republican “outreach” to Hispanics won the presidency is what Samuel Francis and others have consistently pointed out (see “It’s Race, Stupid,” AR, January 2001): Mr. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 because just 54 percent of whites voted for him. In order to win, Republicans have to get about 56 percent of the white vote, and that percentage will increase as the electorate darkens. Mr. Bush exceeded this threshold on Nov. 2, winning 58 percent, which means he got 5.65 million more white votes than in 2000. This represents 4.8 percent of all votes cast in 2004, and therein lies the President’s victory. Without those whites, he would be on his way back to Crawford. If the President had made even a soft racial appeal to whites by repudiating amnesty or denouncing affirmative action, his white vote might have approached 60 percent, and given him an Electoral College landslide.
For all the talk about bringing non-whites into the party, Republicans realize that whites stand between them and political extinction on the national level. And contrary to what Karl Rove may publicly profess, he knows whites do have somewhere else to go: They can stay home, as many did in 2000. The Republican Party made a huge effort to bring out conservatives in 2004, especially the evangelical Christians, who oppose homosexual marriage and support the Iraq war. These voters — overwhelmingly white — were the President’s strongest supporters. Nearly a quarter of the electorate, they voted Republican 78 to 21 percent.
Without another contentious “moral” issue like homosexual marriage, the Republicans may not be able to repeat the 2004 victory, especially if they think that is what won Hispanic votes. Furthermore, pandering to Hispanics will run headlong into growing anger among whites over illegal immigration. With both presidential candidates equally boneheaded on immigration, the national vote told us nothing, but congressional races told us a lot.
According to Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, every shift in Congress replaced an incumbent with someone who is at least no worse on immigration and, in some cases, considerably better. In two races — John Thune v. Tom Daschle in South Dakota and Pete Sessions v. Martin Frost in Texas, the Democrats’ illegal-coddling was a campaign issue that helped push them out. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, who is the best man on immigration in the whole Congress, easily beat back a challenger fueled by rich pro-immigration backers, and every member of his Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus who was up for reelection won another term.
One disappointment was the failure of the “Fire Dreier” campaign in Southern California against Republican David Dreier, a notorious wet on illegals. The anti-Dreier movement, led by two popular radio hosts did force him to his narrowest victory margin in 24 years (54 to 43 percent, and the lowest margin of any California incumbent), and seems to have knocked some sense into him. He has changed his tune on immigration, and is now a good bet for a vote in favor of strict control.
|Had some effect.|
The most gratifying results, however, were in Arizona, where Proposition 200, which requires proof of citizenship or legal residency to vote or to receive public benefits, passed 56 to 44 percent. According to polls, no less than 47 percent of Hispanics — and there are a lot of Hispanic voters in Arizona — supported the measure. The political establishment, big business, and the media were all behind the well-funded “Vote No” campaign, but as they always do on immigration, the electorate showed more sense than its rulers. Similar ballot initiatives are now likely in other Western states, and at least a few politicians will have paid attention.
One who did not appears to be Mr. Bush. Amnesty is a losing proposition, but he is pushing it again anyway. His own party will rebel, and the voters will be furious. If he actually manages to pass an amnesty, whites will desert the GOP, and as amnesty adds more non-white voters, prospects for the Republican Party will dim. Survival is the first law of politics — even for Mr. Bush.
IN THE NEWS
O Tempora, O Mores!
The 11th Hour
Turkey has wanted to be a member of the European Union since 1963, but has been kept out because it does not meet requirements for democratic government, human rights, and respect for minorities. In September, the European Commissioner for Enlargement, Gunther Verheugen, toured Turkey and found it is close enough to requirements to justify membership negotiations. Mr. Verheugen made no promises: Talks should be suspended if Turkey reneges on human rights reforms or fails to stay democratic. He also suggested that if the EU did admit Turkey, it should consider limiting Turkish immigration. European leaders are expected to endorse Mr. Verheugen’s recommendation this month. [Stephen Castle and Pelin Turgut, The Turkish Question, Independent (London), Oct. 7, 2004.]
|Voice of the people.|
Still, there is a good chance Europeans will block Turkish membership. Politicians who oppose Turkey have been afraid to say so publicly, but now that accession has become a real possibility, they are speaking up. In early September, outgoing European Commissioner Frits Bolkestein of the Netherlands warned that the EU could “implode” if it expands too quickly. He cited the example of Austrian imperial expansion a century ago: The incorporation of 20 million Slavs threatened Austria’s own culture, and the EU risks becoming “an Austro-Hungarian empire on a grand scale.” He worries that some of Europe’s great cities, including Rotterdam and Amsterdam in his own country, will soon have Muslim majorities, and pointed out that Turkish membership would hasten this transformation. If Europe becomes Islamicized, he added “the liberation of Vienna [from Turkish armies] in 1683 will have been in vain.”
Shortly after Mr. Bolkestein’s speech, Franz Fischler of Austria, another outgoing commissioner, expressed his own doubts about Turkey. He published a private letter he had sent fellow commissioners saying Turkey was “far more Oriental than European” and “there remain doubts as to Turkey’s long-term secular and democratic credentials.” In late September, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin asked, “Do we want the river of Islam to enter the riverbed of secularism?” [Christopher Caldwell, Islamic Europe? Weekly Standard, Oct. 4, 2004.]
Commissioner Verheugen’s recommendation prompted an impassioned debate in the European Parliament. One German member claimed, “The future of the European Union as a peaceful community is at stake.” On the other side, French member Francis Wurtz stated that the West “is no longer a Europe of white Christians,” and to exclude Turkey on the basis of religion is “irresponsible and loathsome.” [Elaine Sciolino, Turkey Advances in its Bid to Join European Union, New York Times, Oct. 6, 2004.]
The incoming European Commissioner for Enlargement, Olli Rehn, opposes Turkish membership. Moreover, France has now declared that it will hold a national referendum on Turkish membership, and Jose Barroso of Portugal, incoming head of the European Commission, says he welcomes national referenda on the issue. [EU Fine-Tunes Crunch Report on Turkey’s Membership Bid, EU Business, Oct. 4, 2004. Turkey Entry Splits EU Executive, EUPolitix.com, Oct. 7, 2004.]
Polls show Europeans would soundly reject Turkish membership. Fifty-six percent of the French oppose accession, and only 36 percent support it. Fifty-seven percent of Germans oppose membership, as do three out of four Austrians. [John Henley, French Poll Shows Depth of Hostility to Turkey, The Guardian (London), Sep. 29, 2004. Turkey Faces Long Road Ahead as EU Opens Door, AFP, Oct. 6, 2004. Austrian President Supports Start of Turkey’s EU Talks, AFP, Oct. 25. 2004.]
The United States supports Turkish accession. In June, Pres. Bush called Turkey a “great and stable democracy,” and said membership in the EU “would expose the ‘clash of civilizations’ as a passing myth of history.” He went on to praise Turkey as “Europe’s bridge to the wider world.” These remarks infuriated Europeans. Pres. Jacques Chirac, who favors Turkish membership, said Mr. Bush should mind his own business. [Susan Jones, Turkey Belongs in the European Union, Bush Says, CNSNews.com, June 29, 2004.]
Old South Sympathies
Although they are now unenforceable, many Southern states still have segregation-era laws on the books. One example is the Alabama constitution, which still requires poll taxes and separate schools for white and “colored” children. Many Alabama politicians, including the governor, think these provisions are disgraceful, and they backed an initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot to strike them down.
Many people opposed the initiative, including Roy Moore, who was ousted as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court last November for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument outside his courthouse. He said what the people behind the amendment really wanted was to raise taxes. Besides eliminating the school segregation clause, the initiative would have removed language saying Alabamans have no right to an education at public expense. Legislators added this in 1956 in an effort to get around the requirement for school integration. Mr. Moore argues that if Alabama declares education a right, courts could require that the state increase funding for public schools, which could mean higher property taxes. [Jay Reeves, Opponents To Striking Vestiges Of Segregation From Alabama Constitution Accused Of Racism, AP, Oct. 21, 2004.]
Mr. Moore seems to have prevailed with the electorate, who voted against the initiative by a small margin, though the final outcome will not be known until provisional ballots are counted. Mr. Moore accused the initiative’s backers of having a hidden agenda, but he may have one himself. He has never publicly endorsed segregation, but he is friendly with those who do. Recently, when he spoke at the Indiana Baptist Temple, he had his picture taken with a minister who advocates segregation and believes God means for whites to lead other races. The victory over the initiative means it is more likely Mr. Moore will run for governor in 2006. [Mary Orndorff, Moore Speaks to Controversial Church Group, Nov. 5, 2004.]
The motives of Alabama voters are also unclear. Although they may have voted down the initiative because it could have led to higher taxes, four years ago 40 percent voted to keep an unenforceable ban on interracial marriage in the constitution. Gabriel J. Chin, a University of Arizona law professor who is an expert on Jim Crow laws, says, “Some people still support segregation. They won’t say it in public, but they will say it in the voting place.” [Alabama to Vote on Segregation Language, AP, Oct. 13, 2004.]
Nov. 2 brought another victory for Mr. Moore: Alabamans elected Tom Parker, his former aide, as Supreme Court Justice. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) campaigned against Mr. Parker. They published a photograph of him handing out small Confederate battle flags at the funeral of the last Confederate widow. Flanking him in the photo were members of the Council of Conservative Citizens and the League of the South, which the SPLC calls “hate groups.” The SPLC also reported that Mr. Parker had attended a party commemorating the birthday of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, founder of the Ku Klux Klan.
To his credit, Mr. Parker shrugged off the finger-pointing, saying he “must be doing the right things” if the SPLC was attacking him. “If there is any more appropriate place for the display of the Confederate battle flag than the funeral for the last Confederate widow, I would like for someone to explain it to me,” he added. “Political correctness should not cause people to dishonor our history.” [Parker Defends Handing Out Confederate Flags at Funeral, AP, Oct. 19, 2004. Jay Reeves, Ala. Vote Shows Some Old South Sympathies, AP, Nov. 5, 2004.]
Diana Cortez and Sandra Lopez, the former mayor and bookkeeper of the small border town La Grulla, Texas, recently pled guilty to misusing federal grant money. Between 2001 and 2003, the town, which has a median income of only $16,400, received $410,000 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for subsidized housing and community development. Instead of spending the money on housing, the mayor put it into the town’s general fund, which the two women tapped for payments to psychic Cesar Macias. They wrote checks totaling $53,700, which were payable either to Mr. Macias or to fictional businesses with titles like “Macias Machinery & Equipment Supply Company Contractor” and “Macias Equipment Company.” [Former Mayor Pleads Guilty to Using Money for Psychic Readings, KGBT 4 (Harlingen, Tex.), Nov. 4, 2004.]
Richard Sanchez, a 23-year-old Mexican who was adopted by a Kansas couple when he was a child, visited his country of birth in September to meet his birth family. Unfortunately, while at the family’s ranch in Chihuahua City, he fell 40 feet from a cliff and badly injured his head. He had just changed jobs, and had no health insurance. His family took him to the hospital but doctors would not treat him because they had no assurance of payment. A second hospital kept him on life support for three days before he died. He might have lived if he had received immediate treatment.
According to a Mexican consul, it is not unusual for Mexican hospitals to refuse uninsured patients. “In general, Mexican hospitals will not start treating patients without some prepayment of the estimated charges or some sort of evidence of how the person plans to make payments, even in life-threatening cases.” The State Department warns that Mexican doctors are likely to charge foreigners more than locals and to charge for services not rendered. [Chris Strunk, Newton Man Finds Tragedy in Mexico, Newton Kansan, October 1, 2004.]
The laws are, of course, different in the United States, where hospitals must provide emergency medical care to all-comers, including Mexican illegal aliens, who are usually uninsured. The cost is cripplingly expensive. Los Angeles County hospitals alone spend $350 million a year on illegal immigrants. In the last 15 months six county hospitals have closed their emergency rooms because of these costs. [Federation for American Immigration Reform, Immigration Impact — California, www. fairus.org. Jason Felch, Valley’s Oldest Hospital to Close, Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2004.]
For most Floridians, hurricanes are an inconvenience, and for some, a major disaster. To Mayan priest Miguel Angel Chinquin Yat of Lake Worth, they are an opportunity to commune with God — or at least the god of the hurricane. Mr. Yat is the director of the Organization of Maya People in Exile, and last September, while most residents of Florida were battening down the hatches or preparing to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Jeanne, Mr. Yat was organizing a “welcoming” ceremony for the storm.
Mr. Yat believes hurricanes are the forces that helped create the universe, and that spirits reside in them. When Hurricane Frances came ashore he spent three hours a day speaking to its spirit and to his departed ancestors. He says the arrival of Hurricane Jeanne so closely on the heels of Frances means that “Mother Earth has suffered greatly.” [Tanya Wragg, Local Maya Priest Welcomes Hurricanes, Palm Beach Post, Sept. 25, 2004, p. 10A.]
None of the Above
The Census Bureau has a hard time classifying Hispanics. In 1930, the census introduced a “Mexican” category but dropped it in 1940. In 1960, the Bureau announced that it considered Hispanics white unless they were “definitively of Negro, Indian or other non-white race,” and the Bureau continues to use this classification today (see “Who is White?” AR, Jan. 2001).
In 1950, the bureau first introduced an “other race” option, intended for some Asians and people of mixed race, but now, it is most commonly used by Hispanics. The 2000 census race question asked people if they were white, black, American Indian/Alaska native, or one of many varieties of Asian or Pacific Islander, including Chinese, Asian Indian, Filipino, and Samoan. Forty eight percent of Hispanics said they were white; two percent, black; 1.2 percent, American Indian; 0.3 percent, Asian; and 6.3 percent, two or more races. The remaining 42.2 percent chose “Some other race.” In the blank, most wrote “Hispanic,” “Latino,” or geographic descriptions like “Mexican” or “Puerto Rican.”
|Dominicans say she’s white.|
The trouble is that the Latin American system of racial classification is different from the Census Bureau’s. There are many mixtures in the region, and people use dozens of categories, such as jabao, indio, trigueno, moreno, or mestizo, to describe different ancestries and skin colors. Hispanics have other quirks. Many Dominicans, for example, whom Americans would say are black, consider themselves white because they think of Haitians as black.
The Census Bureau has to come up with a race for all respondents because government, business, and researchers need this information for electoral districting, “civil rights enforcement,” and the like. Vague Hispanic answers are a nuisance. Census demographers try to guess the race of “other race” Hispanics by checking relatives’ answers, and looking up the racial makeup of the neighborhood.
To end the confusion, the Census Bureau has proposed to eliminate the “some other race” option for the 2010 census, and force everyone to choose a category. Hispanic groups like the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund have yelled. Carlos Chardon, the chairman of the Census Bureau’s Hispanic advisory committee resents being forced to choose. “We don’t fit into the categories Anglos want us to fit in. The census is trying to create a reality that doesn’t exist.” If the “other race” option is eliminated some Hispanics may refuse to answer the race question.
There has been heated debate within the Census Bureau between those who want clarity and those who defend Hispanics’ rights to racial ambiguity. Indeed, during a meeting on the question, two officials on opposite sides argued so fiercely that the bureau asked the partisan of the “other race” question to resign — which he did. [Rachel L. Swarns, Hispanics Debate Racial Grouping by Census, New York Times, Oct. 24, 2004.]
As part of an image overhaul to boost flagging sales, Sears has decided to turn 97 of its 870 outlets into “multicultural stores,” in which clothing, signs, décor, and displays are geared to Hispanics, blacks, and Asians. The remodeled stores are in areas where at least 60 percent of customers are non-white.
As part of the makeover, Sears is hiring more bilingual staff, using more non-whites in advertising, and introducing clothing designed to appeal to non-whites. After two years of research, Sears discovered that non-white women have different tastes from whites, and that what fits the average white woman is too small for many blacks and too big for many Asians and Hispanics. They found that Hispanics want “stylish,” form-fitting clothing in bright, loud colors like orange and crimson, and high heels — the higher the better. Blacks need more “plus” sizes. In the multicultural stores, Sears displays the loud clothing prominently on racks near the entrances. Clothing white women buy, like the more conservative Land’s End line, is relegated to obscure corners.
Although Sears has been marketing to Hispanics for years (it started publishing a Spanish language magazine Nuestra Gente in the 1990s and has long featured signs in Spanish), the multicultural stores are a more open pitch to non-whites. [Christina Hoag, Right Look, Right Size: Sears Woos Minorities, Herald (Miami), Oct. 7, 2004, p. 1A.]
IRS v. NAACP
Federal law prohibits tax-exempt charitable organizations “from intervening in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.” The IRS is investigating whether NAACP chairman Julian Bond violated the law in a speech last July in which he criticized Pres. George W. Bush.
|Not an endorsement, of course.|
In remarks representing the official NAACP position, Mr. Bond said, “The election this fall is a contest between two widely disparate views of who we are and what we believe. One view wants to march us backward through history — surrendering control of government to special interests, weakening democracy, giving religion veto power over science, curtailing civil liberties, despoiling the environment. The other view promises expanded democracy and giving the people, not plutocrats, control over their government.” If the IRS determines that the speech was electioneering, the NACCP could lose its tax exempt status.
That, says Mr. Bond, would be “catastrophic. It would mean that people who give $100 and who write it off their income taxes couldn’t do it anymore.” He admits his speech was highly critical of the President, but denies it was done in support of Sen. John Kerry (Sen. Kerry spoke before the NAACP convention while Pres. Bush declined). “It is Orwellian to believe that criticism and partisanship are the same thing. It’s just unbelievable that criticizing the President would bring the weight of the IRS down on you.” Mr. Bond believes the IRS investigation is intended to stop the NAACP from registering black voters. The IRS denies this. [Tony Pugh, NAACP Speech Prompts Tax Probe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 29, 2004, p. A1.]
The Mount Airy Church of God in Christ, a black church in Mt. Airy, Pennsylvania, is also in hot water with the IRS and may lose its tax-exempt status. On Oct. 24, following Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy’s pro-Kerry stump speech from the pulpit, Bishop Ernest Morris told the congregation, “I can’t tell you who to vote for, but I can tell you what my mama told me last week: Stay out the bushes.”
The remarks prompted a complaint to the IRS from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the fifth made this year against pro-Kerry activity in black churches. Director Barry Lynn says Bishop Morris’s statement “shows blatant disregard for federal tax law.”
The law allows churches to hold bipartisan candidate forums and distribute voter guides, and they can invite candidates to speak as long as opponents get equal time, and there are “no demonstrations of approval or disapproval of any candidate.” Pastors may even endorse candidates, provided they make it clear they are doing so as individuals and not on behalf of the church, and not during worship services.
Melissa Rogers, professor of religion and public policy at Wake Forest Divinity School in North Carolina says Bishop Morris may have crossed the line. “The IRS has said it’s not just a flat-out ‘vote for Kerry’ but the use of code words that will get you into trouble,” she explains. “He made a biased statement.” Still, she says the bishop may not need to worry, noting that the IRS “is pretty cautious” about going after churches because the agency “doesn’t want to be seen as a brigade of spies in the pews.” [Jim Remsen, IRS Asked to Probe Political Activity at Mt. Airy Church, Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 29, 2004, p. B10.]
Churchill on Race
Like most men of his era, Winston Churchill had realistic views on race — so realistic, a modern biographer has decided to censor them. As Gretchen Rubin writes in Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill:
To shield his reputation, this account has downplayed Churchill’s deplorable attitudes toward race. Churchill used opprobrious terms like blackamoor, chink, wop, and baboo and distinguished between the white race and others. [emphasis in the original] For example, he wrote that at a September 1944 conference, he was “glad to record” that “the British Empire … was still keeping its position, with a total population, including the Dominions and Colonies, of only seventy million white people.” He never outgrew his views. His doctor recalled that in 1955, Churchill asked whether “blacks got measles … When he was told that there was a very high mortality among negroes from measles, he growled, ‘Well, there are plenty left. They’ve a high rate of production.’” [Gretchen Rubin, Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill, Ballantine Books (New York), 2003, p. 222.]
Dereliction of Duty
Last October, local authorities arrested 25 illegal aliens working at Rapp Bros. Pallet Services, Inc. in Williams Township, Pennsylvania. They charged the men — all from Mexico or Central America — not with immigration violations, but with identity theft and/or tampering with public records because they used fake or stolen Social Security numbers to get jobs.
On Nov. 3, the men appeared before Judge Leonard N. Zito to plead guilty and be sentenced. Prosecutor Jay W. Jenkins asked for terms in the county jail, pointing out that identity theft and tampering with public records are serious crimes. Judge Zito agreed, but said the men apparently didn’t mean any harm. He then found the men guilty, but ordered them released without punishment. “Their crime was simply to go to work,” he says. “In some ways, it’s a sad day for this country.” The men face deportation as criminal aliens, but since they have been released, it is unlikely ICE will ever find them. [Tyra Braden, More Than 2 Dozen Admit Working Illegally, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.), Nov. 2, 2004.]
American Indian descendants of chief Crazy Horse, who helped Sitting Bull defeat George Armstrong Custer and his men at the Little Big Horn in 1876, are demanding that a Paris strip club change its name out of respect for their ancestor. The swanky Crazy Horse Paris club opened near the Champs-Elysées in 1951 and is widely known for its risqué entertainment.
|Crazy Horse monument under construction in the Black Hills.|
On Oct. 16, Alfred Red Cloud, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, delivered a letter from the tribe to the club’s owners, saying, “The name is sacred to our people. Nobody uses that name back home — even our own people. I’m not trying to close the establishment down, I just want the name changed.” The letter, written by Harvey White Woman, a descendant of Crazy Horse and the executor of his estate, adds, “I want the young people of my tribe to remember him as a strong leader and warrior and not some nightclub in Paris.” [Crazy Horse Kin Want Club Renamed, AP, Oct. 17, 2004.]
Browning the Congress
When the 109th Congress convenes next January it will include more non-whites than the previous Congress. The Congressional Black Caucus will grow by three, to 40 members. Says Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, “I think the caucus will play a major role and will be listened to very carefully.” The number of Hispanics in Congress will increase by one, to 23. There will be three East Asians in the House, one South Asian, and one Indian, Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma.
The Senate will have two Hispanics, Democrat Ken Salazar of Colorado, who won the seat vacated by Republican (and Indian) Ben Nighthorse Campbell, and Mel Martinez, Republican of Florida. There hasn’t been a Hispanic senator since Joseph Manuel Montoya of New Mexico was defeated in 1976. The incoming senator gaining the most national press attention is Barack Obama of Illinois, the son of an African immigrant and a white mother. Mr. Obama, the darling of the 2004 Democratic convention, will become the first black male senator since Edward Brooke of Massachusetts left in 1979. Elijah Cummings says Mr. Obama’s election is a “tremendous victory” for black candidates, adding “It shows that an African-American who has the right kind of message and is bright and has a lot on the ball can win in a situation where it is predominantly white.” The media are already raising the possibility that Mr. Obama will appear on a national Democratic ticket, perhaps as early as 2008. The next Senate will also include two returning Asians, Hawaii senators Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye. [Jim Abrams, New Congress to Look More Like Real America, AP, Nov. 5, 2004.]
The sole South Asian elected to the House of Representatives is Piyush “Bobby” Jindal, whose parents immigrated from the Punjab in 1970. Mr. Jindal ran unsuccessfully for governor of Louisiana, but won a Louisiana congressional seat in suburban New Orleans with a crushing 78 percent of the vote. Mr. Jindal graduated from Brown University and was a Rhodes Scholar. Just 33 years old, he has had a meteoric career, no doubt helped by the fact that he is a non-white Republican. In Louisiana, he has been secretary of the state’s health system, president of the state university system, and director of a national commission to reform medical care for old people. In 2001, he was an assistant secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services, which made him the highest-ranking Asian Indian in the US government. Like Barack Obama, Mr. Jindal is already being touted as a rising star in national politics.
Mr. Jindal’s election was cause for much celebration in his parents’ hometown of Sangrur. Residents are said to have thronged the pharmacies operated by his first cousins, Subhash Jindal and Harvinder Kumar. [Bobby Jindal Wins Louisiana, Sify.com, Nov. 3, 2004. Town Erupts into Joy as Bobby Romps Home, Sify.com, Nov. 4, 2004.]
Another Sad Story
Josaia Gucake, a Fijian, served as a senator of his country’s Multicultural Party at a time when non-native Indians dominated the government of the South Pacific island nation. When native islanders staged a coup in 2000 and overthrew the government, Mr. Gucake feared he and his family would be killed as race-traitors for having collaborated with the Indians, so he fled to the United States with his extended family, and became an illegal resident of suburban Seattle. Mr. Gucake applied for political asylum in 2002, but was denied. His appeal was denied in December 2003, and last month, federal agents arrested him, his wife, and several of their siblings.
|The Gucakes’ destination.|
Media coverage of the story has been typically maudlin. Mr. Gucake reportedly became a senior pastor at Christ Tabernacle Church in Lynnwood, Washington, studied to become a paralegal, and helped other Fijians with their immigration paperwork. His wife Grace cared for old people. His nephew, Joe Nawaciano, worked for a local charity. “We do good things for the community,” he says. The children are heart-broken at being separated from their parents while in custody, and at the prospect of leaving school friends. The locals are, of course, fond of their illegal neighbors — ”They are kind, gentle and beautiful people,” says Chris Kratz, a secretary at the high school attended by the Gucake’s eldest daughter Adi — and raised money to help with legal and moving expenses.
Immigration authorities held firm, and deported the Gucakes on Nov. 2, or at least the ones they could get their hands on. They sent back eight adults and five children, including Mr. Gucake, his brother, and various cousins and/or in-laws. Two adults, including the kindly Mrs. Gucake who cared for old people, are on the lam.
As for Mr. Gucake’s fears for his safety back in Fiji, Nirmal Singh, a spokesman for the US Embassy says he has nothing to worry about. “There has not been any politically motivated killing,” he says, since the military transferred power to a democratically-elected government. “Everything is back to normal.” [Bill Sheets, Fijian Families Face Deportation, The Herald (Everett, Wash.), Oct. 21, 2004. Bill Sheets, Fijians Lose Fight to Stay in US, The Herald, Nov. 4, 2004.]
The (Republican) Party Line
An AR reader recently wrote President George Bush, to complain about plans to grant stealth amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. He received a polite reply that included the following:
“The President is committed to keeping America and our borders safe. He opposes amnesty for undocumented workers and believes that migration to the United States should be legal, safe and orderly while addressing our economic, security and humanitarian needs …”
“Without jeopardizing the livelihoods of American citizens or control over our borders, we can make our immigration laws more rational and more humane. For this reason, the President recently asked Congress to develop legislation that would match willing foreign workers with willing employers when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs …”
“The President’s proposal would help deter illegal immigration by increasing enforcement against employers who hire undocumented workers …”
“President Bush respects and values the role that immigrants continue to play in building our Nation, and he believes this temporary worker program reflects our country’s heritage as a welcoming society. If enacted by the Congress, his proposal will strengthen our economy and make our homeland more secure.”
[Heidi Marquez, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Correspondence, Letter of June 28, 2004.]
On Oct. 22, 30 members of the League of the South demonstrated outside the Montgomery, Alabama, headquarters of Morris Dees’s Southern Poverty Law Center, denouncing it as an anti-Southern hate group. They waved Confederate flags and held up signs that called Mr. Dees a scalawag. They also set up a toilet with a sign reading, “Flush the SPLC.” Passersby honked and cheered.
A young Confederate demonstrates
against the SPLC.
“They hate everything that has to do with the South and with Southern Culture. They hate Christianity,” says Robert B. Hays, director of the League’s South Carolina chapter. League member Jim Walters of Texas says of the SPLC, “I think they’re a group of race hustlers. They are anti-Christian, anti-Southern, and anti-American.” [Crystal Bonvillian, SPLC Called ‘Hate Institution,’ Montgomery Advertiser, Oct. 23, 2004, p. 1B.]
Vicente Fox’s biggest disappointment during his term as president of Mexico was to see his plans for a “comprehensive” immigration accord (read amnesty) derailed by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Mr. Fox hopes Pres. Bush’s reelection will get the amnesty ball rolling again. After the election, Mr. Fox told the President that “given that neither of our countries will be in elections” next year, “we have a year to get this accomplished,” adding, “we have to be optimistic that we will take advantage of this one-year window of opportunity we have.”
Mr. Fox and his government were to make the pitch for amnesty in mid-November when Secretary of State Colin Powell, Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge, and several other cabinet officers were in Mexico City. Mexican Interior Secretary Santiago Creel recently hinted at what the Americans could expect to hear, saying, “It’s absurd that (the United States) is spending as much as it’s spending to stop immigration flows that can’t be stopped …”
The Americans will also hear about Mexican unhappiness over Proposition 200 in Arizona (see article on page 9), which the Mexican Foreign Relations Department charges will “foment racial discrimination and limit migrants’ access to basic services like health and education.” [Mexico Seeks US Immigration Changes, AP, Nov. 6, 2004.]
The church of Our Lady Queen of Angels, commonly called “La Placita,” in downtown Los Angeles has historically been the heart of the city’s Hispanic population. In 1910, the Pope encouraged Mexicans to go there for marriage and baptism because the church was run by Spanish missionaries who were friendlier to them than American priests. Father Luis Olivares, son of Mexican immigrants, took over the church in the 1980s, and in 1985, he declared it a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. At one time he was sheltering as many as 200 people a night. The influx of illegals led to fights, drug-taking, and begging. The church is in the old part of Los Angeles, and local shopkeepers depend on tourists. Crime kept the tourists out, and business dropped 40 percent. Families fled the area.
In 1990 the church got new leaders who stopped housing illegal immigrants in an effort to bring back families. Tourism rebounded and merchants were happy. In 2001, however, the parish went back to its old ways. In 2002, it hired two activist priests, believers in “liberation theology” who declared the church once more a sanctuary. Two hundred homeless people now come to the church for food every night, and the priests denounce government immigration raids, and sponsor petitions and marches in favor of driver’s licenses for illegals. Every Sunday, 10,000 worshippers attend 11 masses. Between masses, there is mariachi music for the faithful, and the priests exhort the congregation to activism.
All this has sent the neighborhood downhill again. In one 30-day period earlier this year, thugs beat up two local employees, a handgun turned up in the plaza outside the church, and a vagrant died nearby from a drug overdose. The neighborhood is once again full of bums and their trash, and the tourist trade has taken a dive. The new management is unrepentant: “While others are saying no to immigrants, let’s have compassion,” says a spokesman. [Teresa Watanabe, Bringing Back the Fire, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 3, 2004.]
LETTERS FROM READERS
Sir — While John Hunt Morgan’s plea in the previous issue for a “feminine approach” to the problems we face raising families in contemporary America is appealing, his examples reveal the difficulties of establishing the communities he envisions. Orthodox Jews and Amish are animated by deeply-felt religious faiths, as were the Mormons and, for that matter, the Puritans. Members of sects believe that nothing less than personal salvation is at stake in belonging to a community and adhering to its rules. Do AR readers have the same level of commitment?
May I suggest a few more modest strategies than Mr. Morgan’s? Establishing small private schools free from political correctness seems to me a more realistic goal than selling our homes and businesses, quitting our jobs, and uprooting our families. But even this is beyond the means and capacities of most of us. There are two alternatives: Lobby your school board to require — or at least offer — classes in European history. Given the biases of texts and teachers, it’s pretty hopeless to try to improve the teaching of US History in middle schools. There are, however, a number of excellent college-level European history texts that could be used in high school.
Students would learn, of course, about the great issues that divided Europeans in previous centuries, and about the atrocities that accompanied European expansion, such as slavery and the epidemics that killed millions of South Americans. But they would also learn about the genius and energy that enabled Europeans to dominate the world and to create societies of greater wealth and freedom than any that had gone before. At the same time, we don’t have to depend on schools. We can teach our children European history and culture on our own, on weekends or during the summer.
It is refreshing to turn from theory to practice, as Mr. Morgan asks us to do (though anyone exposed to feminist theory might have reservations about labeling approaches “feminine” or “masculine”). However, if the practices aren’t, in fact, practical, we are doomed only to more frustration and a new round of daydreams.
Sir — John Hunt Morgan has the right idea in his article “Building White Communities,” but needs to think even smaller. Perhaps he alludes to this when he talks about “a small zone.” We can do something easier than trying to colonize a small town. A handful of families could buy houses in the same neighborhood. They would need to be within sight of each other, or at the very least, within easy walking distance. Ideally, this would mean houses on the same cul-de-sac in a suburb, or a dead-end street in an older neighborhood.
This arrangement would meet the most important goals of a white community. The members could establish a consensus on limiting television and other activities. They could nurture white identity by conscious selection of books, music, games and other recreations. They could set up a home-schooling network, whose burdens could be shared among five or six families. Home schooling would mean greater choice of housing markets, because high house prices are associated with better schools, and that consideration would be removed.
By staying in the same metropolitan area, families could preserve local ties, stay in the same job market, and maintain contact with relatives. Local ties can be very important for the self-employed.
Some might consider such a housing cluster overly intimate and collectivist. However, I do not advocate any mingling of finances or work — just schooling and social environment.
Certainly, a small town of like-minded whites would be better than a cluster of houses, but the latter has more realistic start-up costs, and lower costs mean a better chance of getting off the ground. Once a group were established, it could have a snowball effect. Members could eventually exercise political power in the same way minority groups do in big cities, and a growing base population would make it easier eventually to colonize an entire town.
JS, San Diego, Calif.
Sir — I greatly admire Samuel Francis and the insights in his most recent monograph (see review of Ethnopolitics, AR, Oct. 2004), but I’m puzzled by his obsession with the Republican Party. He writes as though it could actually be salvaged for useful purposes, but its record suggests otherwise. Can you name one socialist income transfer program the Republicans have terminated? Didn’t they just enact the largest increase in “entitlement” spending (Medicare prescription drug coverage) since 1965? Doesn’t the party’s current leader want amnesty for illegal immigrants? Isn’t the Republican leadership just as enthusiastic about affirmative action as the Democrats?
If we are to save our country we must, at a minimum, do three things: abolish socialism, control our borders, and limit the franchise to taxpayers. We could then rely on natural selection to maintain a European majority. Perhaps none of these things can be achieved by democratic means, but surely no one thinks the Republicans are any more likely to attempt them than the Democrats.
Isn’t it time Republicans went the way of the Whigs?
Michael Johnson, Houston, Tex.