The beating death of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming duly turned into an orgy of homosexual self-righteousness. Here are a few crimes that, somehow, didn’t get quite as much attention.
A few days before the attack in Wyoming, three black teenagers beat a white homosexual to death in Buffalo, New York. They attacked Gary Trzaska after he left a bar, damaging nearly every internal organ in his body. Witnesses say the blacks jumped on Mr. Trzaska’s head with both feet and pounded him with a chair.
“Whether it was racial, or because he was gay, or for whatever reason, we refuse to believe this was a routine robbery,” says George Boos, a friend of Mr. Trzaska. William P. Conwall, a Buffalo assistant detective chief says at this point it would be “alarmist” to call the murder a hate crime. (Family Asks if Death Hate Motivated, Las Vegas Sun, October 19, 1998.)
In Madison County, Alabama, a group of black jailbirds beat a retarded white inmate to death. Robby Sevigny was 19 but his adopted parents say he had the mental capacity of a twelve-year-old. He had been held in a single cell and had only recently been released into the general population. (Wendy Reeves, Beaten Inmate A Slow Learner, Remembered As a Nice Kid, Huntsville Times, September 10, 1998, p. A1.)
In Torrance, California, three weeks after a black woman bought a house in a Hispanic area, her neighbors greeted her with a molotov cocktail. “We were asleep and we heard gunshots and we happened to look out the window and the car was on fire,” said Maria Walker. She is not sticking around in the hope that Hispanics will begin to appreciate diversity. “We have to go,” she says. “I can’t stand all this stress.” (Hate Crimes are Driving a Family of Four Out of Their Home, www.ABCNews.com, October 26, 1998.)
In Burlington, North Carolina, three black teenagers have been charged with murder, kidnapping, and rape in the case of a ten-year-old white girl, Tiffany Long. One of the suspects is reported to have tried to strangle Tiffany with television cable while another pulled off her underwear. They eventually beat her to death. The badly-beaten body of the outgoing fifth-grader was found in a pool of blood after a short search. The suspects did not live far from Tiffany and had known her for about a year. One of them may have attended her church.
No one can think of a motive. Alamance County District Attorney Rob Johnson says “I’m somewhat at a loss to explain that.” However, he is sure of one thing. The fact that Tiffany was white and her killers were black “is absolutely no evidence this was a hate crime.” (Taft Wireback and Nancy McLaughlin, 3 Teens Charged in Burlington Girl’s Death, News & Record (Greensboro), October 22, 1998. Kerry Hall, Suspects Saw Tiffany Long Killed, Court Records Show, News & Record, Oct. 27, 1998.)
A Richmond, Virginia, jury has punished Nationwide Insurance Co. with a $100 million fine because of alleged discrimination against black homeowners. The case was brought by something called Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), which received federal money to help it investigate insurers. Nationwide will appeal the verdict — rendered by a jury of six blacks and one white — to the Virginia Supreme Court.
The HOME activists argued that there were several kinds of evidence that Nationwide was reluctant to write home insurance for blacks. First, it pointed out that Nationwide did more business in the white suburbs than in the black parts of Richmond, and that it directed its publicity to the suburbs. It also claimed that the company quoted higher rates in the city than in the suburbs. HOME also used entrapment: It sent mixed-race pairs of “testers” to Nationwide to see if “equally qualified” customers got equal treatment. They claimed that in seven cases out of 15, the black tester was not offered a policy.
A verdict like this is an outrage on any number of grounds. First, private businesses should have the right to choose their customers for whatever reasons they see fit. If Nationwide doesn’t want to do business with blacks no one should force it to. Second, businesses rarely pass up profits just because customers are black. If Nationwide was not writing much business in shabby black neighborhoods, it was probably because it was not profitable. If Nationwide really was turning its back on profits some other company would have been doing the business. Third, “testers” are unreliable. They cannot be perfectly matched for qualifications, and the desire of the blacks to uncover “racism” cannot help but taint their performances as applicants. Fourth, it makes no sense to give an activist group this kind of money, because they are not the “injured” party. Finally, the chance of getting a virtually all-black jury to understand any of this is close to zero.
Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo said the verdict was “good news.” HOME spokesmen said they would spend the money in neighborhoods that have suffered discrimination. (AP, Nationwide Ordered to Pay in Bias Case, Oct. 27, 1998.)
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is revising its population estimates for Africa because of AIDS. South Africa, for example, is projected to have a population of 43.3 million but would have nine million more were it not for AIDS. Zimbabwe is likely to have 13.6 million but without AIDS would have 3.2 million more. The UN notes that in the worst-hit countries, a life expectancy that would have been 64 years without AIDS is now 47.
Reducing population estimates by millions does not mean that Africa is actually shrinking. No matter how high the death rates from AIDS, fertility in Africa is higher. (IPS, AIDS is “Devastating” Africa’s Population, Oct. 29, 1998.)
White liberals in the “new” South Africa find they are not appreciated by their black former comrades. Professor John Dugard was one of South Africa’s most prominent intellectuals. He is a world authority on international law and was an architect of the “progressive” post-apartheid constitution. He recently left South Africa after he was passed over for a judicial post, apparently because he is white. He now imparts liberalism to students at Leiden University in Holland.
Mandi Smallhorne was a member of “Black Sash,” a group of white women who crusaded against apartheid. She recently wrote in a Johannesburg newspaper that “in the old South Africa a significant number of people of darker hues accepted and welcomed me because of my anti-apartheid views. In the new South Africa I am treated with contempt and hatred, for no other reason than that I have white skin.” Referring to Bishop Desmond Tutu’s description of South Africa as a “rainbow nation” she says, “What kind of rainbow is it where every colour is acceptable as long as it is black?”
The stress of living under black rule is taking its toll on South Africa’s whites. A poll last month shows 74 percent of those with skilled jobs are thinking of leaving. (David Beresford, No Room in the Rainbow for Liberals, The Guardian News Service, September 17, 1998.)
Rays of Light I
Insight magazine has begun to wonder what the future holds for America if Miami is any guide. It finds that the city is “a microcosm of cultural diversity . . . plagued by corruption, racism, poverty and drugs.” The article finds that Miami is rated “the most unfriendly city in America,” by Travel and Leisure.Fodor’s International calls it the nation’s, “most unsafe” destination, and George says it is “the most corrupt city in America.”
Insight actually understands the implications of this: “Unless you’re living or traveling there, none of this might seem to matter except that Miami also may be the nation’s capital of multiculturalism, a showcase for the demographic bouillabaisse the country seems destined to become — and a harbinger of the consequences of dramatic change.”
If multiculturalism is the future, what can we anticipate? In Miami corruption is widespread, thanks mainly to the Cubans who control government and business. Politicians, including former mayor Xavier Suarez, have been convicted of voter fraud as well as bank and mail fraud. A grand jury cited the Miami-Dade building department for taking kickbacks for permits and failing to enforce building codes. The Miami Herald reports that “phantom road projects” that were never built have swallowed up one million dollars, and contractors overcharge and double bill. The city has the second-lowest credit rating in the country, just above Washington, DC’s.
And there is crime: “By now it’s violent-crime rate is legendary, highlighted by brutal attacks upon tourists, and so wanton that Miami’s ‘perps’ have helped add new crimes — including carjacking, drive-by shootings, home invasion — to the national police argot.”
Miami’s population is 55 percent Hispanic, 24 percent white and 21 percent black. Insight calls the mix “a largely segregated melting pot that often seems on the verge of boiling over.” Retired people who came to the city thirty years ago have noticed the change. Mary Cohen, who is in her seventies, says, “My God! I no longer live in America.”
Insight goes on to draw the only sensible conclusion: “The implications are ominous not just for Miamians, but for all Americans who may see in this city’s turmoil the dark mosaic of a troubled future.” (Ellen Sugarman, A Miami Vision of Our Future?, Insight, September 28 — October 5, 1998, p.16.)
Rays of Light II
In its September issue, the libertarian magazine Liberty published an article about South Africa that could have come right out of AR. Some excerpts:
One world atlas reports: ‘South Africa is the world’s most dangerous country (besides war zones), with 40,000 murders a year.’ It wasn’t this way four years ago, before the ANC took power. But the government says the murders are a ‘legacy of apartheid.’ That’s part of the problem. Everything that goes wrong is ‘a legacy of apartheid.’ The violence in the rest of Africa is a ‘legacy of colonialism.’ It’s a legacy that has gone on for almost 40 years. Every time something goes wrong (and that happens constantly), the same litany of excuses are recited. ‘We inherited this problem from the corrupt apartheid regime.’
In the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, citizens are fighting back [against crime]. In some areas they have put security guards at the entrance to a subdivision. Entrances are closed off with gates to control who comes in and who goes out. Criminals can no longer simply load their cars with stolen goods and speed out when security guards stop them at the gate. These areas have seen dramatic reductions in crime. But the ANC has ordered the gates removed. It claims these efforts force crime away from white areas and are therefore racist.
You turn on the television . . . and hope you get the right sound with the right picture. Sometimes you get the sound of one show with the picture of another. Sometimes it’s just the one or the other. Or a radio station instead of the soundtrack . . . [A] large number of the ‘old’ employees have walked out of the broadcasting studios. They couldn’t take it any more. And since television is an arm of the government, their replacements are appointed politically, not because of their experience or ability.
The hospitals in South Africa have become nightmares. Two years ago Mandela announced free medical care for children. The hospitals are now filled with unemployed women and their children. They sit there for hours to have a cough or a runny nose checked.
In America, you don’t see what’s happening. I know; I watch CNN. It doesn’t even come close to telling the truth about the decline and death of South Africa. The American media can’t tell the truth now — they have invested too much in telling everyone what a saint Mandela is. (Jim Peron, Die the Beloved Country, Liberty, Sept. 1998, p. 30.)
The World Bank, which lends money and gives aid to “developing countries,” is forbidden to lend to industrialized countries. However, it has decided to help Washington, DC. It will give the city $1 million in grants and services and let the city use its professional staff. A bank employee explains that “the District has high rates of unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, an unfriendly business environment — in other words, issues we face in our regular business.”
Some Washington officials do not like being compared to the Third World, but George Grier, a demographer who has studied the district for 38 years, notes, “Some of our child welfare indicators are right up there with what you would expect in a Third World country.” Infant mortality in the District was 16.2 per 1,000 births in 1995, worse than the 16 per 1,000 in Sri Lanka.
“This has always struck me as being much more a Third World city than many other cities I’ve been to,” says Deepali Tewari, a former bank official who has worked in Vietnam and Pakistan. She now heads a community agency called DC Agenda. “Everybody here is pretty horrified at the way this place works. It’s not that things are run poorly for lack of money — they’re just run poorly.” (Michael Phillips, The World Bank, Third World Savior, Aids Washington, The Wall Street Journal, August 27, 1998, p. 1.)
Hit and Run
Michael T. Brophy is an 80-year-old white man from up-state New York who stopped in Washington, DC, for a night on his way home from a trip to Florida. He was driving through a black neighborhood when he hit a teen-aged girl. When the frail Mr. Brophy got out of his car to help, a man emerged from the crowd, knocked him down, and disappeared. Mr. Brophy suffered a broken jaw and a concussion. He and the girl were taken to the hospital, where he was in “critical” condition; she was listed as “fair.” One of the witnesses complained that the incident “perpetuates the negative stereotypes that some people have about Southeast [a largely black part of Washington].” (Cheryl Thompson and Avis Thomas-Lester, Attack on Driver Who Hit Woman Stuns Witnesses, Washington Post, Oct. 31, 1998.) It is common in Africa to beat or kill a driver who is foolish enough to stop after an accident.
The following is excerpted from a letter that appeared last summer in the New York Times:
Not only was there an American Eugenics Society, but the National Socialist party in Germany drew upon the work of American scientists like Dr. William B. Shockley and Dr. Arthur Jensen, who argued for the genetic inferiority of minorities. (Stephanie Olson, Eugenics in the U.S., Letters, New York Times, Aug. 23, 1998.)
Notes From the Third World
An Air Myanmar (Burma) plane recently crashed in Burma’s Shan state, and all 39 people on board were initially reported dead. In fact, at least five adults and a baby survived. They were found by Shan tribesmen, who hate the Burmese junta that runs the country. The tribesmen left the baby to starve, tortured the men, and raped the air hostess for several days. They also looted the luggage and cargo, and cut off fingers and ears for rings and earrings. Authorities did not find the wreckage until four days after the crash, and speculate that the tribesmen may have been especially provoked by the sight of passengers wearing Burmese military uniforms. The government says reports of rape and torture have been “exaggerated.” (Lewis Dolinsky, Notes from Here and There, San Francisco Chronicle, September 25, 1998, p. A12.)
School Board Baffled
Officials in Orange County, North Carolina cannot understand why whites keep outperforming blacks on annual “end of grade” tests. For 1997-1998, 77.1 percent of white third graders were “proficient” in math compared to 48.4 percent of blacks. In reading, the figures were 73.4 percent and 51.2 percent.
“I don’t understand this,” says Delores Simpson who chairs the Orange County school board. “These [African-American] students have the same teacher, are in the same classroom, and are learning the same subjects [as white students]. But they still don’t do as well.” The gap is even greater in the district’s model school, New Hope Elementary, which has computers and uses the Internet. Only 25 percent of black fourth graders were “proficient” in reading compared to 91 percent of whites. “This is a great cause of concern for me,” says New Hope principal Barbara Chapman. “I don’t know what happened.”
New programs for “low-achieving students,” don’t seem to work. “We keep coming back to the same problems,” said Miss Simpson. “It seems we haven’t corrected anything.” (Deborah Robiglio, Blacks Gain On Tests, Still Trail Whites, Raleigh News & Observer, October 7, 1998, p. 1B.)
An Ill Wind
Hurricane Georges killed three people in Puerto Rico and caused an estimated $2 billion in damage, and you and I will pay the bill. Because the Spanish-speaking island is a U.S. territory, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will give homeless people up to $25,000 plus a maximum of $13,500 for new appliances and furniture. This could swallow a quick $1 billion.
Governor Pedro Rosello has a plan to use Housing and Urban Development (HUD) money to build new houses that were better than the shacks many people lost. He wants to offer houses worth $65,000 for $15,000, with mortgage payments of $100 a month. “We’re talking megabucks,” says Michael Colon, the Caribbean coordinator for HUD.
Many of the people who are now crowded into temporary shelters were squatters, bums, and welfare recipients. (Steven Gutkin, AP, U.S. Pays to Rebuild Puerto Rico, Oct. 4, 1998.) A few years from now many are likely to think that Georges was the best thing to blow into their lives in years.
The 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are redistributed every ten years according to census data. Congressional districts are based on number of inhabitants — not number of citizens — so large influxes of aliens, legal or not, mean more congressmen for some states. About three out of four of the approximately 800,000 legal and 400,000 illegal immigrants who enter every year settle in just six states: California, New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, and Illinois. The reallocation of seats on the basis of the 2000 census will probably give California nine new congressmen it would not have gotten without the arrival of non-citizens. New York will probably get two and Texas and Florida one each.
Which states are the losers? After the 1990 census, because of the flow of immigrants to other states, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, and Ohio lost seats, and Georgia and Kentucky failed to get new seats. The effect of immigration, therefore, is to take congressional representation away from states with few immigrants and turn it over to states with lots of them.
Because non-citizens can’t vote but are counted for the establishment of congressional districts, it takes fewer votes to win in immigrant-heavy districts. In 1996, 200,000 votes were cast in typical congressional races in Michigan, where virtually everyone is a citizen, but in districts in California and Texas an election may draw only 50 or 60 thousand votes. When immigrants become citizens they will also ensure more safe seats for Democrats. (AP, Study: Immigrants Affecting House Seats, Oct. 9, 1998.)
Cardell Cooper is a black man who was mayor of East Orange, New Jersey, from 1990 to 1997. He appointed as police chief a black who placed sixth on the examination. Richard Wright, the white who placed first, sued for discrimination and has just won the position of chief and about $180,000 in back pay and legal fees. East Orange decided to pay up, just as Captain Wright’s case went to a jury for deliberation. The current black chief will go on immediate leave.
During the trial, Mr. Cooper said he chose a black because he was the best qualified, but admitted he never considered anyone else. Two East Orange police officers testified they heard Mr. Cooper say the city would never have another white police chief, and the chief who was replaced by the black testified that Mr. Cooper told him he would be the city’s last white chief.
President Clinton recently nominated Mr. Cooper as Assistant Secretary at the Environmental Protection Agency. (AP, City Settles Police Bias Case by Naming White Chief, Oct. 7, 1998.)
Another Nation of Immigrants
Germany’s new leftist government has announced it will change the country’s citizenship laws to permit foreigners born in Germany to become citizens. According to the current law, was passed 85 years ago, German citizenship is based on blood rather than on place of birth.
Seven million foreigners — who account for nearly 10 percent of the population — now live in Germany. Of this number, two million are Turks. Many of them came to Germany during the economic boom of the 1960s. There are now many second-generation Turks but they are not automatically German citizens. Under current law they may apply for naturalization after they have lived in Germany for 15 years, and must renounce Turkish citizenship. Under the new law, anyone born in Germany would have automatic citizenship if one of the parents was a resident of Germany for at least 14 years. The law would also permit dual citizenship, which Turks want.
A representative of the Green party, which is the junior partner of Gerhard Schroeder’s Social Democrats, says the agreement “is a clear signal for integration. This government will recognize that Germany is a country of immigrants.” (Tony Czuczka, German Group Seeks Integration, AP, Oct. 14, 1998.)