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O Tempora, O Mores! (November, 1997)

The Undeclared War

A white, Roman Catholic teacher in her mid-40s used to commute every day from her pleasant white suburb to one of the most violent slums of Chicago to teach writing in the public schools. On Feb. 8, a nearly six-foot-tall, 170-pound eighth-grader attacked her in her class with a claw hammer and with no more warning than the words “white bitch.” With one blow he destroyed an eye socket and with another he shattered her cheek bone. He was angry because she had threatened him with suspension for misbehavior.

The teacher now has five metal plates in her head, and her one good eye is held in place with surgical mesh beneath the skin. However, her greatest pain lies in the fact that her assailant had told many other students the night before about his plans, and had repeated his threats the morning of the attack. Some of her own students knew he had brought the hammer to school, but told her nothing. “That’s what hurts,” she says. “A lot of them knew.” After the attack, which left her gushing blood, children from her class scampered out of the room to tell the attacker’s younger brother that the deed had, indeed, been done. Reached by a reporter, the brother said: “She was tricking on him. She deserved it for threatening suspensions.” (John Kass, Violent Kid Ends Teachers Dream — But He Had Help, Chicago Tribune, July 22, 1997. John Kass, Kids, System Beat Teacher Long Before Her Work Was Done, Chicago Tribune, July 24, 1997.)

No Longer Undeclared

Khalid Abdul Muhammad of the Nation of Islam recently addressed an enthusiastic crowd of 400 at San Francisco State University, urging blacks to “use violence when necessary.” One of his more memorable lines was, “I want to see a movie that shows us killing white folks so hard the blood is flowing into the popcorn.” Then he paused and added, “After all it’s only a movie.” The crowd whooped, leapt to its feet, and punched the air. Admission to the event was $7.00 for students, $10.00 general admission, and $15.00 for “racists.” (Lori Eppstein, Antisemitic Speaker Urges Violence, Washington Jewish Week, June 5, 1997, p. 18.)

Kiwis on the March

An anti-immigration party has been established in New Zealand. Inspired by the success of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party in Australia, John Lehmann has decided to turn his Government Accountability League into a full-fledged political party and fight the 1999 elections.

Mr. Lehmann has already been accused of “racism.” An Auckland college refused to let him use one of its buildings for a meeting when he advertised it as open to “bona fide New Zealanders only.” Last October, the New Zealand Race Relations Conciliator, a man named Rajen Prasad, stopped the league’s “Dob-a-wog” (turn in a non-white) campaign, which encouraged New Zealanders to report overstaying visitors to the authorities. Mr. Prasad found public use of the word “wog” illegal under the New Zealand Human Rights Act. (David Barber and Stephanie Peatling, Hanson Inspires Like-minded NZ Party, Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald, Aug. 14, 1997.)

Meanwhile, a recent poll finds that up to half the Asian immigrants to New Zealand are thinking of leaving. They complain of bad job prospects and a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment. Even the government, which had previously courted Asians, has instituted an English-language test that has cut Taiwanese immigration from 12,325 in 1996 to 659 in the first half of 1997. Where do the dissatisfied Asians say they would like to go? Australia or the United States. (David Barber, Migrants Feel Cold Shoulder, Sydney Morning Herald, Aug. 16, 1997.)

Nothing Seems to Work

A company called Manpower Demonstration Research Corp. has just announced the almost complete failure of an attempt to improve the lot of Detroit welfare mothers. Over a period of 18 months between 1989 and 1991, it spent approximately $9,000 on each of 2,300 mothers to teach them family planning, child care, job training, etc. After a 3-1/2-year follow-up period, the women are virtually indistinguishable from controls who did not get the training. Seventy-five percent of both groups are still on welfare. The only difference is that program participants were slightly more likely than controls to get a GED.

“I think I was surprised by the number of challenges these women have in their lives and how difficult it is for them to stay in jobs in the labor market,” observes Robert Granger, director of the program. (Tim Whitmire, Associated Press, July 2, 1997.)

Try Anything

LaTonya Green of Detroit is a black lady bank robber. Her May, 1996, conviction was upheld despite a complaint that there were not enough blacks on the jury. Now, it has come to light that the Detroit jury pool in federal cases has been juggled for years to keep it majority black. So many blacks are in jail, fail to appear, or are unqualified as jurors that the courts were discarding the names of many whites to ensure “appropriate” black representation. What did Miss Green’s lawyers decide to do when this practice became known? Ask for a retrial because whites had been improperly kept off the jury. The appeal failed. (David Josar, Whites’ Exclusion From Juries Questioned, The Detroit News, Aug. 3, 1997, p. 5B.)

Blind Deer Hunters

Michigan has become the sixth state to allow the blind to go deer hunting. They may hunt with otherwise illegal laser sights, which throw a dot of light on the target. Blind hunters will be accompanied by someone who can see, who will quietly whisper instructions like, “Up a little, a bit to the right. Now fire.” (Eric Sharp, Blind Deer Hunters to Take Aim This Fall, Detroit Free Press, May 9, 1997, p. A1.)

Christian Universalism

Pope John Paul II has denounced Western nations for cutting back on immigration, saying they have a moral duty to care for the needy — including the duty to let them in. “Who is my neighbor?” he asked. “The neighbor is every human being, without exception. It is not necessary to ask his nationality, or to which social or religious group he belongs. If he is in need, he must be helped.” (Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, Aug. 22, 1997.)

No Hard Men

The 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) has the largest number of operations and the highest rate of reenlistment of all of the five active-duty Special Forces Groups. Its informal group motto, “Hard times don’t last, but hard men do,” is emblazoned on coffee mugs, T-shirts, etc.

A lady sergeant in a support company took offense at the motto, saying it implied that women can’t be hard, and created a “hostile and intimidating work environment.” She took her complaint to the equal opportunity commissars with predictable results: the motto’s use has been officially curtailed. (“A Cow Mooed,” The Resister, Spring & Summer, 1997, p. 23.)

No-Longer-British Airways

The tail colors of the British Airways planes have traditionally been a stylized Union Jack with a coat of arms that reads, “To Fly, To Serve.” This is now thought to be too ethnocentric and narrow. New designs will include such things as Kalahari bushman paintings, American Indian wood carvings, Japanese paintings, Chinese calligraphy, and South African Ndebele murals. Like many Britons, Richard Branson of Virgin Airways is outraged. He plans to adopt the flag in some fashion for his fleet colors. (Right NOW!, July/Sept 1997, p. 24.)

Steppin’ Out

The latest fashion for style-conscious black men is “gators,” or alligator-skin shoes in blinding, sometimes two-tone pinks, blues, and greens. “Gators” cost from $300 to as much as $3,000 a pair. Says one suave black who owns 20 pairs, “A woman sees a man with gators and knows he’s got something going on.” Alligator shoes are especially popular in Detroit, where at least one preacher sports them in the pulpit. Bishop Wayne T. Jackson stomps and taps his way through a sermon, emphasizing points with his flashy two-tones. He says they help him hold the attention of younger Christians.

Detroit’s main outlet for gators is City Slicker Shoes, one of the few retail outlets that is prospering in Detroit’s mostly moribund city center. It is owned by two middle-aged white men. (Corey Takahashi, Crocodile Dandy, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 11, 1997, p. 1.)

Belated Candor

Winnie Mandela’s barbarities are slowly coming to light. After having ducked murder charges once, the Mother of the Nation is facing indictment for eight killings, including that of 13-year-old Stompie Moeketsie, and a doctor who examined his corpse. American Journalist Peter Godwin has recently confessed that Mrs. Mandela’s adoring, see-no-evil Western press coverage helped make it impossible for the South African authorities to punish her.

He writes that merely reporting the suspicious circumstances of the death of young Moeketsie was “excruciatingly difficult,” and that he was criticized by other reporters for “having provided ammunition to the forces of evil.” He now admits that although he and others covered apartheid-era South Africa as if the villains and heroes could be distinguished with “moral certainty,” “there lurked another South Africa, one complex and shaded gray, one best ignored, since it took too long to explain.” (Peter Godwin, Lessons From South Africa, Newsweek, Sept. 29, 1997, p. 44.)

There is, of course, no such biased reporting about the United States.

More ‘Moral Certainty’

British television has produced a documentary on the falsehoods in Alexander Haley’s famous “non-fiction” work, Roots, but American television networks will not air it for fear of offending blacks. Roots was a huge success when it appeared in 1976, earning the author millions of dollars, the admiration of President Jimmy Carter, and more than 200 literary awards. The book is now known to be fiction. Philip Nobile, a writer who has spent years cross-checking its sources, has found Haley to be a shameless hoaxer: “Virtually every fact in the closing critical pages of Roots is false,” he says.

A teacher at Tennessee University, where the records of Haley’s 10-year search for his ancestors are stored, explains why it is best not to air the documentary: “We have accepted we must honor the spirit rather than the letter of Roots, but to have it systematically demolished would only play into the hands of white supremacists.” (John Harlow, American TV Boycotts Expose of Haley’s Roots, Sunday Times (London), Sept. 6, 1997.)

Great White Hope

Paul Weyrich is a political strategist who publishes The Weyrich Insider. In a recent rundown of potential Republican Presidential candidates, he notes that Newt Gingrich, speaker of the House, is lusting for the top job. Mr. Weyrich reports that the speaker has hinted his running mate would be one of his closest house colleagues, black congressman J.C. Watts. (Weyrich Insider, Aug.25, 1997, p. 3.)

Congressman Julius Ceasar Watts

No Pets/No Foreigners

The Japanese make no secret of whom they like and whom they don’t. They are also free of government intrusion into private transactions. Thus do many foreigners find that Japanese real estate agents refuse to do business with them because they know many proprietors will have no truck with barbarians. In the real estate business, it is reportedly not uncommon to see the sign: “No Pets/No Foreigners.” (Tony Khan, No Pets/No Foreigners, Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo), Sept. 13, 1997, p. 6.)

Africa Comes to the Heartland

Minneapolis, of all places, has a thriving community of Somalis, who account for fully 400 of Roosevelt High School’s 1,500 students. The girls dress in full Islamic robes, head to toe. Boys and girls sit on opposite sides of the classroom. During lunch breaks Somalis get on their knees, press their heads to the floor, and pray to Mecca. Some students have had no formal education before, and do not even realize that the earth circles the sun. English as a Second Language is the largest department in the school, some of whose administrators concede that teaching Somali children can be a “challenge.” (Debra O’Connor, Unveiling New Opportunities, Saint Paul Pioneer Press, May 26, 1997, p. 1.)

No Visas

Ever since 1994, the United States has granted the citizens of a few countries visa-free entry for up to 90 days of tourism or business. Countries are selected by the following criteria: a very low rate of visa refusal in the past, reciprocal treatment of Americans, machine-readable passports, and a determination by the U.S. Attorney General that visa-free entry of the country’s nationals will not be a burden to American law enforcement. This set of non-racial criteria yields the following list of countries: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. (USIS Bulletin, American Embassy, Stockholm.)

Quaint Habits

Hispanics — particularly the women — apparently like to use mercury to ward off evil spirits, improve their luck, and cure stomach pains. They mix it with bath water, burn it in candles, carry it in vials in their purses, put it in cups under their beds, and sometimes swallow it. When the Chicago Health Department learned of this it did a quick survey of 79 Hispanics and found that 15 use mercury. When they checked 16 botanicas, or Hispanic mumbo jumbo stores, they found that all of them sold the poison. Mexicans particularly prize it as a cure for gas pains in babies. (Jim Ritter, Hispanics’ Use of Toxic Mercury Studied, Chicago Sun-Times, July 18, 1997, p. 12.)

Banning Common Sense

Many campaigns use phone banks to encourage voters to come to the polls on election day. Companies that offer this kind of service have found that black callers get a better response from black voters and whites do better with whites. The Parker Group, an Alabama company, did this kind of segregated calling for white and black candidates alike: Governor Jim Folsom, Congressman Earl Hilliard, and Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington. Sometimes the pitch the callers made was different depending on the race of the voter. In Governor Folsom’s campaign, blacks were told that the Republicans were acting like the Ku Klux Klan, making fun of black leaders and distributing racist cartoons. Whites did not get quite so exciting a message. U.S. District Judge William Acker has found that dividing callers by race constitutes illegal segregation of employees. (Peggy Sanford, Court Upholds Bias Claim in Race-Matched-Calling Suit, Birmingham News, June 17, 1997, p. 1A.)

Meanwhile, the Alabama Department of Transportation has been ordered by a federal judge to stop segregating its work crews. The department started forming all-white and all-black crews in response to worker requests. Judge Myron Thompson has said that it makes no difference if the workers want it, segregation is unlawful and must be stopped. (AP, Alabama DOT Told To End Segregation, Oct. 1, 1997.)

King of Beasts

Illegal immigrants are streaming into South Africa, and some of them are crossing the border near Kruger National Park. This is good news for lions, who have discovered that humans are not as quick on their feet as zebras or wildebeest but taste just as good. Lions who make a habit of eating people are usually destroyed by the game wardens.

Douw Grobler, Kruger’s manager of game capture, explains how to tell if lions have been eating people: “Normally if you want to chase lions from a carcass, you just get out of the vehicle and they leave. I tested these lions three times — twice they stalked me, and the third time they came at me . . . This group had started specializing in humans.” (Chris Erasmus, Lions Make an Easy Meal of Desperate Refugees, Herald Sun (Australia), Aug. 17, 1997, p. 37.)

Race Comes First

A new cable channel called BET Movies/STARZ!3 shows black movies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nina Henderson, the vice president of BET Movies explains that blacks watch 75 hours of television a week — 50 percent more than whites — and that they like to watch other blacks. “We tend to watch where our images are, no matter how good or bad the programming,” she explains. (Kevin Williams, New Channel Shows Black Films Nonstop, Chicago Sun-Times, July 3, 1997, p. 39.)

For a Few Dollars More

As has by now been well reported, slave trading still goes on in parts of Africa. In Benin and Nigeria the market is mainly for children, but how is the merchandise acquired? Easily and without violence. Abdul Mohammed, who runs the Child Welfare League of Nigeria, explains that nattily dressed traders troll the bush, offering parents $20 to $40 for their children, promising that they will see to it that the children grow up rich and successful.

“These people who go to the villages are seen as affluent people, so they easily convince the villagers that the child will be better off if they go with them,” he explains. (Slave Trade in Africa Highlighted by Arrests, New York Times, Aug. 10, 1997.)

Loony Tunes

American Record Guide is an independent, opinionated guide to the classical music world and to recent recordings. Sometimes it strays beyond the merely musical. The July/August issue published this, under the heading “Black Musicians and Marketing:”

Is it an attempt to ‘win new audiences’ or what? I am looking at the newsletter of a major American orchestra. It announces and summarizes the current season. I’m looking at the pictures with the article. Five of the 11 musicians pictured are black; one is oriental. You would think classical music were a field dominated by blacks! There are a number of fine black artists, but some orchestras go out of their way to hire them. One wonders if Marketing is calling the shots. Very few blacks are interested in this kind of music, and that is why there are so few in our orchestras. Fortunately, whites aren’t prejudiced and will probably continue to go to concerts even if orchestra managements insist on having all five black artists every season. Blacks, meantime, will probably not show up in great numbers no matter how many blacks are pictured on the billboards and newsletters. And they will almost certainly stay away in droves from concerts with no black guest artist.

This mild statement of the obvious naturally ruffled feathers. One of American Record Guide’s advertisers, Reference Records, sent messages to all other advertisers encouraging a boycott, but ARG is not backing down. In a long article in the September/October issue, editor Donald Vroon wrote: “What pitiful conformists all those people [who cry “racist”] are, learning their little lessons like young communists reciting poems about Lenin . . . [I]t shocks me how few people seem to think for themselves . . .”

ARG is published bimonthly at a price of $32.00 a year. Its address is 4412 Braddock Street, Cincinnati, OH 45204. Telephone: (513) 941-1116.

Pendulum Swinging Back

The Illinois State Police have been found to have discriminated against white men from 1975 to 1990, by passing them over in favor of blacks with lower test scores. As many as 5,000 white applicants may have suffered discrimination during that period. Likewise, a Florida jury has awarded a white air traffic controller $500,000 because he was fired only to make room for a black. (Michael Gillis, Reverse Bias Hits State Police, Chicago Sun-Times, Oct. 2, 1997. Rush Larson, White Air Traffic Chief Wins Bias Suit, Washington Times, July 25, 1997, p. A13.)

Misery Loves Company

In South Africa’s KwaZulu Province, teenagers with AIDS are deliberately spreading the disease so they will not be the only ones to suffer and die. Some have started raping women so as to spread the disease more quickly. Women describe being raped by laughing teenagers who tell them to relax and not to cry because “everyone has AIDS now.” As one rapist explained to researchers, “You know you’ll be rejected, you know you’re going to die. All you can do is go off and spread [AIDS]. It’s your only hope, knowing you won’t die alone.”

One doctor working in rural areas told researchers she no longer tells patients if they are HIV positive unless they ask — and they never do. “They just go out and spread it anyway,” she explains. “Even if they say they’re not, they’re lying. It’s how they cope. I don’t tell them anymore.” Many medical personnel do not even test for HIV for fear that positive results will be taken as a death sentence and a license to rape.

Suzanne Leclerc-Madlala, a lecturer at University of Durban-Westville who has been studying AIDS in the province, called the behavior “quite opposite to what AIDS educators would hope for.” (Sapa-AFP, Doomed South African Teenagers on Mission to Spread AIDS: Report, Aug. 24, 1997.)

Just Making Ends Meet

Antonio Ortiz used to live in Trenton, New Jersey. In June, his neighbors heard “a gunshot and a thump” in his apartment but found his door locked. When police arrived they found Mr. Ortiz, a drug dealer, still alive but with a mortal gunshot wound to the head. Since there were no weapons in the disordered apartment, police thought they had a murder on their hands. They changed the report to suicide and burglary when other witnesses explained that two black teenagers had jumped over Mr. Ortiz’s second-floor balcony immediately after he shot himself. They ransacked the apartment, stole Mr. Ortiz drugs and weapons, and escaped before the police arrived. (Chris Dolmetsch, Street Scavengers, The Trentoninan, June 22, 1997, p. 5.)

Multi-Cultural Bliss

For years, California resident Judy Ann Petty has had her initials, JAP, on such things as her purse and check book. Since her husband’s name is Robin Arnett Petty, she has vanity license plates that say RAPNJAP. Now the California Department of Motor Vehicles says her plates have to go because of the letters JAP, which offend Japanese. Harvey Horikawa, the Japanese-American lawyer who prodded the department, says “I would think it would be sufficient to go with “JP and RP.’” Mr. and Mrs. Petty have vowed to fight the ruling. (Minerva Canto, “JAP’ Initials on License Plate Called a Racial Affront, Associated Press, Aug. 27, 1997.)

Disadvantaged Asians

Unlike most universities, the Small Business Administration still believes in affirmative action for Asians. Results are utterly predictable. In the ten years to 1996, the Asian share of subsidized “8a” contracts for the “disadvantaged” has gone from 10.5 percent to 23.7 percent, while the black percentage has dropped from 50.5 to 36.7. The Hispanic percentage has held steady at around 30. In New York City, the Asian share has jumped from 3.5 percent to 64.1 percent while blacks have fallen from 36 percent to 18.1 percent. Asians have been taking over in Alabama, of all places. In ten years, their share of 8a contracts gone from 2.5 percent to 46.3 percent while that of blacks dropped from 88 percent to 31.1 percent. Besides being smarter, Asians are much better than blacks at spreading the word about 8a to other Asians, and when their nine-year period of eligibility ends they often pass along the sweet-heart contracts to relatives.

Asians who start business are actually less likely to be “disadvantaged” than whites. Between 1978 and 1987 the average Asian business got off the ground with $53,600 in capital while the average white started a business with $32,000. Of the Asian entrepreneurs, 57.8 percent had college educations vs. 37.7 percent for whites. (Rochelle Sharpe, “Asian-Americans Gain Sharply in Big Program of Affirmative Action, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 9, 1997. p. 1.)