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Michael Barone

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Social scientists get a lot of guff for not being “real scientists”. But I’ve always admired the best ones immensely.

Sure, an astronomer (say) can tell you with exactitude when the next solar eclipse will occur. Still, most people don’t feel strongly about the timing of eclipses. It’s easy to be objective when you deal with things rather than with people.

In contrast, human beings get passionate about what is uncovered by social scientists. In fact, much of what social scientists have learned has been gut-wrenching for the researchers themselves, who typically fall well to the left politically.

Social scientists can’t always overcome their biases. But when they do, the results are admirable.

The newest example: the impressive multi-generational study of Mexican-American assimilation carried out by two UCLA sociologists,Vilma Ortiz [Email her]and Edward E. Telles [Email him ]of UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center.

Their 2008 book, Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race, decisively concludes a long-running debate about Mexican immigrants.

Telles and Ortiz write:

“Despite sixty years of political and legal battles to improve the education of Mexican Americans, they continue to have the lowest average education levels and the highest high school dropout rates among major ethnic and racial groups in the United States. … However, leading analysts, apparently believing in the universality of assimilation, argue that this is the result of a large first and second generation population still adjusting to American society. … These and other scholars predict that Mexican Americans will have the same levels of education and socioeconomic status as the dominant non-Hispanic white population by the fourth generation.”

East Coast pundits, such as Michael Barone and Tamar Jacoby, frequently suggest that, while Mexican Americans may appear to be lagging alarmingly, that’s mostly because they’ve all just recently arrived from Mexico.

After all, whoever saw a Mexican in New York, Washington, or Boston before the last decade or two? So their future is wide open! Pigs could have wings!

This will happen by the third generation, or maybe the fourth—but in any case, Real Soon Now.

Due to “the great, slow, mysterious absorptive alchemy of assimilation” (to quote Jacoby’s review in National Review of Barone’s 2001 book The New Americans), the descendents of Mexican immigrants will no doubt be flourishing just like the descendents of the Ellis Island immigrants.

So why enforce the borders?

This conventional wisdom, however, doesn’t make much sense.

bullet First, three or four generations is a long time to wait for the problems caused by today’s illegal immigration to abate.

As John Maynard Keynes pointed out, in the long run, we are all dead. Personally, I will be dead and gone well before the fourth generation offspring of today’s immigrants are in their prime.

bullet Second, it’s particularly ridiculous to bet the country on a multigeneration-long gamble on illegal immigration when the promised payoff by the 22nd Century is not that we’ll then be better off—the pledge is merely that by then we won’t be as worse off as we’ve been for the whole century!
bullet Third, if we don’t stop immigration, as we did in 1924, then this “long run” can’t even theoretically arrive.
bullet Fourth, and most important, the conventional wisdom is not true.

To natives of the Southwestern United States, like myself, this conventional wisdom that Mexicans are just newcomers who will turn into Italians or Jews in “only” three or four generations is simply Eastern ignorance.

Mexican Americans are new to the East, but they’ve been in the Southwestern U.S. since before there was a U.S. The 1920 Census found one million Hispanics in the U.S.—that’s an ample sample from which to draw conclusions.

Social scientists in the mid-20th Century paid intense interest to European ethnic newcomers and African Americans. But Latinos were largely overlooked. Telles and Ortiz note that Mexican Americans

were well off the radar screen of the largely Eastern and Midwestern-based social sciences. At best, they were viewed as some inexplicable frontier anomaly.”

This lack of awareness still allows Eastern writers descended from Ellis Island immigrants to spin fantasies about the benign long-run effects of Mexican immigration, based largely on ethnocentric nostalgia about their own lineages’ spunky underdog wonderfulness.

Indeed, many Eastern elites seem to regard expressions of skepticism about illegal Mexican immigrants as personal insults directed at their beloved ancestors. They’re more concerned about the issues of 1908 than of 2008.

During the Great Society, UCLA organized the first major survey, the Mexican American Study Project. In 1965, UCLA academics interviewed 1576 individuals of Mexican descent in the two largest Mexican American metropolises of the time, Los Angeles County and San Antonio.

In 1965, the city of San Antonio was 40 percent Mexican, while the much larger LA County was 10 percent Mexican. Many Mexican Americans in sleepy and segregated San Antonio were mired in poverty. Their distant kin in booming and more open Los Angeles averaged about 50 percent higher incomes.

The respondents were classified into first generation (Mexican-born immigrants), second generation (American-born children of immigrants), and third generation (grandchildren of immigrants).

This kind of cross-sectional analysis is valuable but it’s not totally definitive about assimilation. For that, you need longitudinal analyses that follow people over time. However, surveys that cover decades are extremely expensive.

(They are becoming more common, nonetheless. Upcoming: the incredibly ambitious National Children’s Stud y, which will track 100,000 children from before their conceptions, I am told. DNA samples will be taken from the parents and children and most conceivable environmental influences will be monitored over the years. So we’ll eventually have definitive answers about nature v. nurture.)

Fortunately, workers in 1992 stumbled upon the 1965 survey forms in a storage room at the UCLA library. Sociologists affiliated with UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center came up with the audacious notion of searching out the original respondents, then interviewing them again, along with some of their children. This would turn the old 1965 cross-sectional study into a much-needed longitudinal one.

This would allow progress to be tracked across four generations. And researchers could even inquire about the children’s children, extending the analysis out to a fifth generation since immigration.

Years of detective work followed as the team of professors and grad students located the respondents who had been no more than 50 years old in 1965. In 2000, 35 years after the first survey, the new UCLA team re-interviewed 758 of the original subjects (who were born from 1915-1948). That’s a 57% response rate, which is good after three and a half decades.

What’s really interesting, though, is in 2000 that they also interviewed about 700 of the 1965 respondents’ children, who were born 1946-66, roughly during the Baby Boom. The 700 Baby Boomer children were all American-born and represent second through fourth generation Mexican-Americans.

To keep things simple in my summary of the findings, I’ll ignore the original respondents and just report on these 700 Baby Boomer children of the old respondents (or, in one case, the Baby Boomer children’s Generation X children).

Telles and Ortiz write with justified pride: “As far as we know, this research design is unique and for many reasons it is the most appropriate for addressing the actual intergenerational integration of immigrants and their descendents.

Generations of Exclusion lays out their findings methodically.

Their multiple regression analyses show that the key factor, driving all the others, is education. They conclude:

Throughout this book, our statistical models have shown that the low education levels of Mexican Americans have impeded most other types of assimilation, thus reinforcing a range of ethnic boundaries between them and white Americans.

Telles and Ortiz don’t have information on quality of education, such as SAT test scores might provide, just on quantity of years at school. But that’s enough.

As is well known, American-born Mexicans average more years of education than do their Mexican-born immigrant ancestors. Unfortunately, as Telles and Ortiz report, the third and fourth generations of Mexican Americans do not continue to close the gap relative to non-Hispanic whites:

In education, which best determines life chances in the United States, assimilation is interrupted by the second generation and stagnates thereafter.”

The fourth generation (whose grandparents were born in America) was particularly unaccomplished:

Sadly and directly in contradistinction to assimilation theory, the fourth generation differs the most from whites, with a college completion rate of only 6 percent[compared to 35 percent for whites of that era].”

The fourth-generation Baby Boomers averaged 0.7 years less schooling than the second and third generation Mexican Americans born in the same era.

Telles and Ortiz found:

…the educational progress of Mexican Americans does not improve over the generations. At best, given the statistical margin of error, our data show no improvement in education over the generations-since-immigration and in some cases even suggest a decline.

In 2000, the UCLA interviewers also asked the Baby Boomer children of the original subjects about their own children (i.e., the grandchildren of the 1965 respondents). These grandchildren (who are third to fifth generation Mexican Americans, Generation X-ers born in the 1960s and 1970s) “seemed to be doing no better than their parents” at graduating from high school.

But, don’t worry, be happy. The sixth generation will assuredly get it into gear and catch up with the American mainstream. Only evil, uncouth people could possibly doubt that. Ask Michael Barone.[Email Barone]

Seriously, America is supposed to be a middle class country. Yet, what we appear to have on our hands here is a “Permanent Proletariat,” which our elites have corruptly saddled us with.

The Chicano Studies Research Center sociologists did find some good news on education. The 12 percent of the 700 Baby Boomers who started high school in Catholic or other private schools averaged 1.7 more years of schooling than the public school kids. Even after adjusting statistically for their higher average parental status, the Catholic school kids averaged an extra year of education.

Unfortunately, Hispanics don’t seem to be making much of an effort to enroll their children in Catholic schools. Although Latinos now make up 24 percent of preschoolers (up sharply from 19 percent in 2000), Catholic school enrollment is dropping. USA Today reported recently:

“As Pope Benedict XVI prepares to visit the USA next week, a report released today by a Washington education think tank finds that more than 1,300 Catholic schools, most of them in big cities, have closed since 1990. … Overall, Catholic school enrollment now stands at about 2.3 million, down from the peak of 5.2 million in the early 1960s.”[Catholic School Enrollment Dwindling by Greg Toppo]

There’s a popular Mexican saying: “Me vale madre.” It translates, PG-13 style, as “I don’t give a damn.” And that seems to sum up the trend in Mexican attitudes toward education as they spend more generations in America. Indeed, third generation and higher Mexican Americans appear to be less likely to earn a college degree than African Americans, even though Hispanics average higher IQs.

The UCLA researchers found, by doing a multiple regression analysis of the factors correlated with years of schooling, that

…rather than improvements in education in subsequent generations-since-immigration, as assimilation theory predicts, we find quite the opposite. … Greater parental education, household income, social and cultural capital, and fewer children all contribute to more schooling. However, when these factors are held constant, the highest levels of schooling are for those who immigrated as children but were educated in the United States and the lowest for the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren of immigrants.”

The people of Mexican descent who show the most enthusiasm for school relative to their resources appear to be the “1.5 generation”—those who came from Mexico as small children.

We Americans like to self-congratulate ourselves on how morally uplifting our culture is. But the objective evidence for this proposition is spotty. Which is why it’s crucial that we allow in only immigrants with more human capital than the American average—because lots of immigrant lineages decay culturally as they assimilate in Britney Spears‘s America. We need to start with people well above the norm.

Telles and Ortiz conclude their chapter on Mexican Americans’ education:

“Unlike European Americans, education gets worse as culture wears off—a potentially explosive combination.”

Education is the most important element in Generations of Exclusion, but there is much else of interest. The researchers didn’t ask directly about crime, but they did find that about 24 percent of the Baby Boomer generation admitted to having a “family member involved in gang lifestyle.” That one-in-four level was quite stable across the second, third, and fourth generations.

The great majority of American-born Mexican Americans could speak English, but according to the interviewers 24 percent of the fourth generation Baby Boomers still had a Spanish accent. This marks them out as a distinctive minority.

Self-identification as a minority was strong among the American-born Baby Boomer children (especially considering that nine percent of them had one white Anglo parent). Mexican American or some variation was the ethnic identity of choice for 44 percent. “Hispanic” (or another pan-Latin term such as “Latino) was selected by 29 percent. “Mexican” or “Mexicano” was favored by 17 percent. Only eight percent selected “American,” one percent “white,” and one percent “Anglo.”

Economically, Mexican Americans in poorer, more conservative San Antonio made more progress, reducing their income gap with Los Angeles Mexican Americans from 50 percent in 1965 to only 15 percent in 2000. Since in 2008 the cost of living in Los Angeles is 65 percent higher than in San Antonio, the average American-born Mexican American’s standard of living in San Antonio is no doubt higher than in LA.

A major reason for the relatively lousier economic progress made from 1965 to 2000 by LA’s Mexican Americans: Los Angeles’s enormous immigration. In contrast, Telles and Ortiz note that San Antonio has had “surprisingly low levels” of immigration since 1965.

The incomes of LA-born Chicanos were squeezed from below by the flood of illegal aliens from the south of the border, and from above by the energetic legal immigrants from places like South Korea and Armenia, who came to dominate small business in LA, squeezing Mexican Americans out of small business ownership.

LA is developing a sort of “neo-Hindu” or Ottoman Empire-style quasi-caste system of apparently hereditary occupations, where the Cambodians bake the donuts, the Filipinos draw the blood samples, and so forth. This has left American-born Mexican Americans fewer career paths open to them—other than to boss around all the Spanish-speaking illegal immigrants.

In contrast, in San Antonio, with less immigration from 1965-2000, Mexican American citizens faced much less competition. So they made more economic progress.

It’s all supply and demand.

The big story, though, remains education. In summary, the Telles and Ortiz assert:

America’s public schools have failed most Mexican Americans, contrary to what they did for European Americans.


I suspect, however, it might be more accurate to say:

More Mexican Americans have failed America’s public schools, contrary to what Asian Americans have done.”

Still, I won’t press the point on whose fault this mess ultimately is, since the two leftist Hispanic scholars have honestly made more than enough of what lawyers call admissions against interest.

Their book is a monument to disinterested, objective social science.

[Steve Sailer (email him) is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Michael Barone 
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Here at, we’ve had some fun over the years at the expense of both the Wall Street Journal editorial page and of Michael Barone.

Still, Barone’s May 8th Wall Street Journal Op Ed The Realignment ofAmerica: The native-born are leaving ‘hip’ cities for the heartland is worthy of congratulation.

From its tagline Demographics Is Destiny to its illuminating use of statistics to its frankness about the effects of immigration—“Theeconomic divide in New York and Los Angeles is starting to look like the economic divide in Mexico City and Sao Paulo—Barone’s essay reads more like a VDARE.COM contribution than the disingenuous Open Borders cheerleading for which both the WSJ and Barone have been notorious.

May this mark a turning point!

Our criticism over the years of Barone’s immigration writings has been driven by the frustrating awareness that he could do far better. Whereas, say, Main Stream Media quotemonger Tamar Jacoby has never demonstrated much sign of being capable of grasping the immigration issue—and thus, annoying as she is, she may actually be sincere—Barone can’t plead invincible ignorance.

Many columnists never displayed much expertise on anything. But Barone is the editor of the biennial Almanac of American Politics. He has visited every one of the 435 Congressional Districts. He has earned his pundit spurs through his prodigious knowledge of local demographic and voting patterns.

Barone’s methodology in the WSJ essay is straightforward and insightful. He compares the top 50 metropolitan areas (home to 54 percent of America’s population) in 2000 and 2006, and divides them into four categories based on the causes of their population changes.

  • Eighteen Static Cities in which not much is happening in terms of population changes. They include Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Denver.
  • Eight Coastal Megalopolises. As Barone puts it: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco [and San Jose], San Diego,Chicago (on the coast of Lake Michigan), Miami, Washington [which is only marginally coastal] and Boston. Here is a pattern you don’t find in other big cities:Americans moving out and immigrants moving in, in very large numbers …” From 2000 to 2006, six percent of the American-born residents left and were replaced by an equal number of immigrants.

Barone continues:

“This is something few would have predicted 20 years ago. Americans are now moving out of, not into, coastal California and South Florida, and in very large numbers they’re moving out of our largest metro areas. They’re fleeing hip Boston and San Francisco, and after eight decades of moving to Washington they’re moving out. The domestic outflow from these metro areas is 3.9 million people, 650,000 a year. High housing costs, high taxes, a distaste in some cases for the burgeoning immigrant populations—these are driving many Americans elsewhere.”

(Few “would have predicted” it, eh? Well, Peter Brimelow actually reported this trend, based on census data, in his much-denounced book Alien Nation some twelve years ago. Barone seems to have missed this, apparently because he was so scandalized by its single sentence noting that Brimelow’s son Alexander has blue eyes and blond hair, although it merely illustrated the way the interaction between immigration and affirmative action whipsaws Americans who don’t belong to the “protected classes”.)

John Kerry easily carried the Coastal Megalopolis vote, Barone notes:

“Both secular top earners and immigrant low earners vote heavily Democratic…Democratic politicians like to decry what they describe as a widening economic gap in the nation. But the part of the nation where it is widening most visibly is their home turf, the place where they win their biggest margins (these metro areas voted 61% for John Kerry) and where, in exquisitely decorated Park Avenue apartments and Beverly Hills mansions with immigrant servants passing the hors d’oeuvres, they raise most of their money.”

  • Sixteen Interior Boomtowns, such as Las Vegas and Orlando, where housing is cheaper, so Americans are pouring in and having children. These cities voted 56 percent for George W. Bush in 2004.

My 2005 article Affordable Family Formation–The Neglected Key To GOP’s Future explained the logic underlying thepolitical patterns Barone has now noticed. Coastal cities have, by definition, a smaller supply of dry land for suburban expansion, so housing prices are higher. This discourages people from getting married and from having children, which means the GOP’s

“family values” stances strike them as irrelevant or irritating. Incontrast, in inland parts of the country where it is economical to buy a house with a yard in a neighborhood with a decent public school, you’ll generally find more Republicans.

Barone begins his article with this horrifying reflection on a once-great American city

“In 1950, when I was in kindergarten in Detroit, the cityhad a population of (rounded off) 1,850,000. Today thelatest census estimate for Detroit is 886,000, less thanhalf as many.”

Now, Detroit is actually being reclaimed by the forest—an amazing phenomenon lovingly chronicled by the fascinating Detroitblog, for example here and here.

Unfortunately, by the end of piece, Barone is back to his usual optimism about how this demographic turmoil is good for the GOP as voters abandon the old Democratic cities like Detroit and San Francisco for GOP-friendly new cities like Phoenix and Dallas etc. etc.

We’ve analyzed the voting arguments before here at VDARE.COM. Basically, they’re nonsense. The GOP is committing suicide by immigration policy and by being too timid to appeal directly to its white base—an option we have dubbed the

“Sailer Strategy”.

So, for a change, let’s look at the quality of life question. Are the Americans who are being driven from the Coastal Megalopolises to the Interior Boomtowns better off because their old cities are filling up withimmigrants who outbid them in the housing market—typically, because the foreigners don’t mind living with an entire extended family under one roof?

Many conservatives these days have tried to make a virtue out of economic necessity. They insist that, say, cheap Las Vegas with its endless expanses of new suburbs, is a better place to live than, oh, expensive Boston, with its complicated coastline, parks, campuses, and restrictions on development in the name of preserving its ancient small towns.

For some people, no doubt, Sin City is better. But when did it becomea betrayal of conservative values to appreciate a city such as Boston, with its nearly four centuries of tradition? Which city would Edmund Burke have preferred?

It’s a remarkable achievement of Americans that they are constantly building a civilization from the dirt up out on the exurban frontier as they flee the high cost, bad schools, congestion, and crime of their old homes.

Yet, by necessity, these are thin, poorly rooted civilizations, better endowed with power malls than symphony halls.

Maybe you don’t care about culture. But what about weather? Coastal Megalopolises generally have milder climates than Inland Boomtowns due to the moderating effect of water. Even in Chicago, the lakefront is notably warmer in winter and cooler in summer than the inland suburbs.

America is a huge country, but the fraction of it blessed with a Mediterranean climate is comparatively miniscule. The Mediterranean zone’s advantages for human habitation are not just the famous sunshine in winter, but also the absence of humidity, mosquitoes, and excessive heat in summer. It’s found only in Southern California(between the beach and the mountains) and in Northern California (in the first valley inland from the foggy coast).

So why has our government chosen to turn much of this thin strip over to foreigners?

Barone’s article inspires the question: Where do you want your children and grandchildren to live when they grow up?

My answer is: “I want them to be able to afford to live wherever they want.”

Ideally, they’ll make lots of money (they sure aren’t going to inherit it). But, you know, that might not happen. So I’d appreciate it if our government would help out what the Preamble to the Constitution calls “our Posterity” by protecting affordability—which means passing good immigration laws and enforcing them.

Is that so much to ask?

[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Michael Barone 
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At a time when everybody knows that everything changed forever on September 11, it may seem odd to review a book that’s the epitome of politics-as-was-usual: Michael Barone’s latest Almanac of American Politics. Yet, politics has a way of flowing onward. Recall how the Senate Democrats made fools of themselves in January of 1991 by voting 45 to 7 to not go to war against Saddam Hussein “in order to give the sanctions time to work.” Well, it’s 2001 now and the Iraq sanctions are still partly in place and still haven’t worked. But that didn’t stop the Democrats from twenty months later winning the Presidency, the Senate, and the House. Like life, politics goes on.

Last June, when Barone and the rest of the “open borders” crowd ruled the airwaves and the column inches almost unopposed, Idevoted a lot of effort to explaining exactly what was wrong with Barone’s mass immigrationist fantasy The New Americans. Times have changed, but not Barone’s mistakes. So now it’s time to kick the man while he’s down.

This is not to say anything against Barone’s Almanac in general. This year’s edition is an amazing book, even from a bookbinder’s perspective: the brute is 1776 pages long.

Barone takes a dozen or so pages to profile the geography, economy,demography, and statewide politics of each of the 50 states. Then, he delivers two or three highly informative pages on each of America’s 435 Congressional districts, each of which he has personally visited.

For political junkies, this is the ultimate resource. For anybody else, though, it might bring to mind the little girl’s book report: “This book taught me more about penguins than I care to know.”

Barone is not unbiased, of course, and there’s the problem. He is bestknown for trumpeting two opinions. The first is his sunny optimism that his beloved Republican Party will ultimately triumph: “Demography is moving, slowly, toward the Bush nation,” he gloats in the new book.

The second is his unabashed cheerleading for massive levels ofimmigration. How does he attempt to logically reconcile his two passions?

Well, as far as I can tell, Barone doesn’t even bother to try.

For example, Barone enthusiastically reports that my personalCongressperson, Howard Berman of California’s San Fernando Valley, is “one of the most aggressive and creative members of the House – and one of the most clear-sighted operators in American politics.” Asevidence of Berman’s clear-sightedness, Barone recounts a half dozen battles Berman has waged for more immigration. I totally agree with Barone on Berman’s perceptiveness. My Congressman is a bright, logical guy who knows what’s in his best interest. (The one time I met Berman, I was a know-it-all 16-year-old and he was an ambitious young state legislator in California. I sprang on him an argument I’d been researching for months for high school debate. He just annihilated my line of attack.)

There’s only one logical problem with Barone’s Berman-worship: Barone is a Republican and Rep. Berman is a Democrat. So, if Berman is “clear-sighted” to favor more immigration because it will boost the Democratic Party, what does that make Barone: Mr. Magoo?

Barone’s bias in favor of mass immigration leads him into sizable factual mistakes that he wouldn’t normally make if he weren’t soemotionally invested in the issue. For example, he writes:

“Nationally, Asians voted 55%-41% for Gore. But most of this margin came in Hawaii, where Gore won 62% of the Asian majority in the state. In California, the vote was 49%-48% for Gore, and Asian voters appear to have been equally divided in the other 48 states as well.”

George Will, who at least twice this year has churned out columns that are simply rewrites of Barone’s material, repeated this canard almost word for word in his May 20th column, “Conservatism by the Numbers: Looking Up:”

“Already Bush is essentially breaking even with Asian-Americans in California, where they were 49-48 for Gore, and in 48 other states. Gore’s 55-41 advantage among Asian-Americans nationally came almost entirely from Hawaii.”

This myth is based on a Voter News Service website posting for California that’s almost certainly wrong, possibly merely a typo. (You may recall that VNS had a notoriously bad election in 2000. For example, it first called Florida for Gore, then for Bush, before finally correctly labeling it too close to call.)

Barone, who knows as many election statistics as Bill James knows baseball statistics, must have understood that his rationalization that, all by its lonesome, little Hawaii had distorted the national Asian results was prima facie nonsense. Hawaii is a tiny state. According to theCensus Bureau’s survey of 50,000 households right after the 2000 election, Hawaii contributed only 11% of all Asian voters nationwide. If you exclude Hawaii from the VNS exit poll numbers, 7th grade math shows that Gore’s Asian margin falls merely from 55%-41% to 54%-42%.

In contrast to VNS, the LA Times exit poll reported that Asiansnationally voted 62%-37% for Gore, and California Asians gave Gore an even bigger 63% to 33% margin over Bush.

I asked Don Nakanishi, director of the Asian American Studies program at UCLA, which poll to trust: VNS or the LA Times? His answer: “The LA Times exit poll is more sensitive to the difficulties inherent in surveying ethnically diverse voters.”

Two local polls validated the LA Times’ finding of a big Democratic advantage among California’s Asians. Exit surveys conducted in Southern California by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center saw Gore winning among Asians 62% to 35%. In San Francisco, the Chinese American Voter Education Committee recorded that Chinese-Americans there voted 82% to 16% for Gore.

Obviously, Barone has to work through some deep emotional issues regarding immigration before Republicans can trust him on the topic.

So what in the world is Barone talking about when he says “demography” is on the GOP’s side? He has two arguments, onelaughable, the other intriguing. The first is:

“[T]he communities of the Bush nation tend to welcome growth while the communities of the Gore nation tend to limit it: California’s culturally conservative Central Valley is growing faster than the culturally liberal San Francisco Bay area. … The fastest-growing parts of the United States are formerly rural counties on the metropolitan fringe … these counties tend to vote strongly Republican.”

Well, so what? Does Barone expect us to believe that the Central Valley’s soil give off mind-expanding Republican Rays? Is there some kind of political Valley Fever virus that automatically Republicanizes the African Americans who are driven from immigrant-inundated Oakland into the Central Valley?

I’m sorry, but that’s not how the world works. People take theirpolitics with them when they move.

Remember how Vermont was so famously rock-ribbed Republican that it voted for Alf Landon in 1936? (“As goes Maine, so goes Vermont,” laughed FDR’s consigliore, Jim Farley.) Not anymore. “But [Vermont] has been transformed by newcomers,” as Barone rightly notes, “who came here attracted to its antique look but have transformed itsculture in their own image.” Vermont’s Ben and Jerry’s-scarfing newcomers are, of course, affluent liberals from New York and other big cities who found that moving to the whitest state in the Union helped them avoid doubts about their multiculturalist ideology.

Similarly, the Republican voters driven out of California by immigration turned states like Idaho into GOP strongholds.

Electorally, this kind of internal migration is mostly a wash. It justmoves native Republicans and Democrats around; it doesn’t change their numbers. (It has a minor impact on the Senate and the Electoral College – because small states like Vermont and Idaho are more favored under the Constitution than big states like New York andCalifornia – but this effect is small.) In contrast, immigration, overall, creates new Democrats.

Barone’s other argument for why the demographic tide is flowing infavor of the GOP is probably wrong, but at least it’s not plain stupid. “The Americans of the Bush nation tend to have more children than the Americans of the Gore nation.”

This is a brave thing to say, but Barone’s not brave enough to statewhat he probably really means, which would be, “Republican whites have more babies than Democratic whites.” I’m glad he’s picked up on this topic that I wrote about in the first half of last year, in piece entitled “Will Liberals Become Extinct?” In fact, late last year, I calculated that the 19 states with the highest white birth rate all voted for Bush.

Yet how important is this difference in white birth rates? I can’t reallysay. With the exception of Utah, which is off the fecundity charts, the difference in white fertility between Bush states and Gore states really isn’t huge. The states where Bush won a majority in 2000 had a 16%higher birth rate than the states where Gore and Nader combined won the majority.

Of course, looking at Bush states vs. Gore states is just an approximation. The actual difference between Republican and Democrat fertility is probably somewhat larger, but how big it is I can’t say. To the best of my knowledge, it has never been studied. If anyone knows of any data on the subject, please write me at

Yet even though Barone is correct about the greater fecundity of Bush’s white voters, it’s by no means certain that the “Bush nation” actually is having more children than the “Gore nation.” That’s because birth rates among minorities, who voted heavily for Gore, are much higher than among whites. Among babies born in 2000, almost 42% were born to mothers who aren’t Anglo whites. (To see the U.S.government’s PDF file with all this data, click here.)

Roughly half of those minority babies were born to Hispanic women.Hispanics have a birthrate 80% higher than Anglo whites. The other half of minority babies is black, American Indian, or Asian/Pacific Islander. All three groups have birthrates from 20% to 22% greater than Anglo whites.

In 2000, Bush got over 90% and Gore about 70% of his vote from Anglo whites. These higher birthrate patterns, when combined with immigration, however, will tend to gradually polarize the two parties racially. In a few decades, the Republicans are likely to be undeniably The White Party and the Democrats The Nonwhite Party.

Will this be a healthy development? Sam Francis appears to be looking forward to this outcome. Perhaps Barone has a Machiavellian plan in mind to use heavy immigration to drive whites out of the Democratic Party and into his Republican Party. I don’t know. It seems unlikely, but it’s the only logical way to reconcile his two passions.

Personally, I’m leery of this kind of political polarization along racelines. It may be inevitable, but shouldn’t we try to explore ways as a nation to head this off?

Democrats would of course suggest that the onus is on Republicans torecruit more nonwhites. They say this because they want the GOP to commit suicide chasing the chimera of conservative-voting minorities. As we saw this summer with Bush’s silly illegal alien amnesty proposal, the GOP has no practical way to outbid the Democrats for minority groups. As I predicted last January, the only minorities the GOP’s diversity outreach effort had a good shot at picking up were Arabs and Muslims (by easing anti-terrorist rules). That ploy has proved amistake.

There is only one practical way to slow the growth of the racial chasmthat’s opening between the parties: by cutting immigration. Maybe Barone will manage to face this in time for his Almanac’s 2004 edition.

[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Michael Barone 
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An Old American Comments on Sailer vs. Barone

[Peter Brimelow writes: As Steve Sailer points out in this important review, neocon doyenne Michael Barone simply ignores contrary argument in his new book. This confirms that political establishment, left and right, is firmly back in Denial Mode on race and immigration, and marks an ignominious personal retreat for Barone since the mid-1990s, when he actually had some valuable things to say. But denial is hard to maintain in the age of the internet and talk radio. A correspondent reports that, confronted with my work recently on the Radio America Network's Schiffer Report , “Barone became indignant,describing you as “the guy who wants to restrict immigration because his son has blond hair and blue eyes,” or words to that effect…” This of course is a reference to the celebrated single sentence in Alien Nationillustrating the paradox that immigrants can qualify for affirmative action preferences over native-born Americans who do not belong to the “protected classes,” as Alexander manifestly does not. Barone'sresponse is unimpressive, of course. But it usefully demonstrates that it is immigration enthusiasts, not immigration reformers, who are driven by unspoken ethnic animosity.]

Prominent neoconservative Michael Barone, a regular panelist on TheMcLaughlin Group, has been getting a lot of flattery from the“conservative” establishment lately for his new book, The New Americans: How the Melting Pot Can Work Again. George Will’s June 11th Newsweek column on it was nothing more than a fawning book report.

Compared to the typical liberal book on racial diversity, Barone’s tomeis dramatically more down to earth, even worthwhile. Yet, it also is a perfect illustration of the perverse trends that are sapping the realism from conservative intellectual discourse on immigration and race. So I’m going to spend quite some time demonstrating what’s wrong with the book.

In a rave review in National Review, Tamar Jacoby summed The New Americans up like this:

For Barone, today’s pessimism about immigration is as foolishly unfounded as yesterday’s. The great, slow, mysterious absorptive alchemy that worked in the past can and will work again… Barone remains relentlessly—and on the whole persuasively-upbeat about the massive demographicchange sweeping the United States, convinced that the new immigration, like earlier ones, will ultimately be a boon for all Americans.

Barone certainly does his best to keep as “mysterious” as possible the “absorptive alchemy” that worked its magic on pre-1924 immigrants—he never mentions the crucial assimilative role played by the immigration cutoff of 1924 to 1965. And in general, the author dodgesfacing the arguments of anyone who would challenge his views. While Barone frequently quotes pro-mass immigration conservatives like Jacoby, Gregory Rodriguez, John J. Miller, Joel Kotkin and the like, hecan’t bring himself to refer by name any immigration skeptic more recent than Ben Franklin.

The New Americans is in fact a disappointingly unoriginal and tendentious rewrite of Thomas Sowell’s deservedly famous EthnicAmerica of 1981. Unlike Sowell’s encyclopedic work, which offered amagisterial account of most of America’s major racial groups, Barone has a single Big Idea that he wants to hammer home.

“The thesis of this book is that minority groups of 2000 resemble in important ways immigrant groups of 1900. In many ways, blacks resemble Irish, Latinos resemble Italians, Asians resemble Jews. … I began to notice the resemblances between each of the three pairs in the 1990s.”

Considering that Sowell’s book covered these comparisons back in 1981, you have to wonder why it took Barone, the co-author of TheAlmanac of American Politics, so long to notice them. I mean, I could have given you a summary of Barone’s argument in 1982, when I read Ethnic America. The fascinating (but hardly complete) series of similarities between Irish Americans and African Americans was the most celebrated single aspect of Ethnic America. Sowell wrote, “[B]lacks are about where the Irish were one hundred years earlier” on the first page of his chapters on blacks. Similarly, the first page ofSowell’s section on the Chinese mentions, “The Chinese have often been called ‘the Jews of Asia.’” Finally, Sowell lists about five similarities between Italians and Puerto Ricans or Mexicans, although the great man seems to have found the Italian-Latino comparison far less interesting or impressive than Barone does.

Nor were these comparisons original with Sowell. Irving Kristol had made the same argument in The New York Times Magazine way back in 1966. Kristol also wrote, “Puerto Ricans today resemble nothing so much as the Sicilian immigrants of sixty years ago.” (Barone, though,seems to have largely given up on Puerto Ricans turning into Italians, and is now mostly pinning his hopes on the Mexicans.)

These comparisons have become commonplaces over the years among “cultural realist” writers. While definitely interesting, I must point out that you shouldn’t get too carried away by them.

For example, 19th Century Irish and 20th Century blacks did share a lot. Both were big, strong, manly, good at sports, entertainment, and politics, lousy at business, enthusiastic for corrupt Democratic mayors, and had high rates of substance abuse and crime. We don’t like to talk about it today, but in the 19th Century, as Barone makes clear, when Irish immigrants showed up in your town, it was Bad News. They brought crime, alcoholism, rioting, and sometimes even cholera.

On the other hand, the Irish and the blacks differ strikingly in sexualrestraint. The Irish have been the least lusty Europeans for a long time. The Kennedy men made Americans forget this central facet of the Irish Catholic character, but the evidence is definitive. A couple of decades ago, the average age of first marriages in the Republic of Ireland was 26 for women and 31 for men. This is remarkable because, although contraceptives were illegal and difficult to obtain there until 1979, illegitimacy was rare.

Second, Irish religion was intensely institutional. Irishmen didn’t start churches to compete with the Roman Catholic faith; they found slots in Rome’s vast hierarchy. In contrast, African American Christianity has been highly entrepreneurial. Anybody could get “the call” and start preaching and passing the hat at any time.

This is an important difference because, in Sowell’s view, primarilywhat eventually raised Irish-American behavior to acceptable levels was the Catholic Church’s pounding guilt into them. In the black entrepreneurial religious economy, though, there’s not much of a market for guilt, especially over sex.

The contrast between African American carnality and Irish guilt wasamusingly underlined at this year’s Grammies. The nubile young ladies of Destiny’s Child repeatedly thanked God for their success, while wearing what looked like extra-small sandwich bags. But when the Best Song award went to the great Irish band U2, lead singer Bono made clear he thought it a little presumptuous to thank the Almighty for, of all things, a Grammy: “I just have this feeling, or picture in my head, of God looking down on people like us at occasions like this and going, ‘Oh, don’t thank me for that song, there’s no hook and the chorus is weak.’”

The resemblance between “Asians” (by which Barone primarily means Chinese) and Jews basically comes down to both groups tending to be above average in work ethic and IQ (although Barone can’t bring himself to mention those two scarlet letters “I” and “Q”). But the differences are manifold. Jews, for instance, do much better on the verbal parts of IQ tests, while Northeast Asians do better on the visual subtests. (See the “Of Jews and Japanese” chapter in Dan Seligman’s fine A Question of Intelligence.) That’s why East Asians do not play a major role in those many verbal-intensive fields such as entertainment or journalism where Jews thrive. And while both groups are immensely old, there are 1,000 times more Chinese than Jews. This would suggest there must be some profound differences between them.

Indeed, Barone’s Jewish-Chinese comparison has become so hackneyed that it’s more fun to look for better comparisons. Baroneasserts, “[T]he South Asian or Middle Eastern immigrants of today seem to have no parallels from a century ago.” In fact several of those groups tend to be more similar to the Jews than the Chinese, and notjust in physical appearance. If you are looking for groups that might have both the mathematical and verbal smarts to rival Jews, keep an eye on the higher caste Indian Hindus and the remarkable Zoroastrian Parsis of Bombay. Another even better all-around analog to Jews exists among modern immigrants: who for centuries have been a religiously distinct caste of merchants selling to surrounding peasants, and who currently deftly use their impressive influence on Congress to aid their homeland in its struggles with its Muslim neighbors: theArmenians.

That Barone never noticed any of these better comparisons suggests—along with much else in his book—that he really didn’t give much thought to his Big Idea.

Finally, by comparing Latinos to Italians, Barone allows himself to glide over the racial issues that are so distinctive a feature of Latin America. While a few all-white Latin American nations like Argentina do resemble Italy, the distinguishing feature of the Hispanic nations that send many immigrants to the U.S. is a system of white dominance over darker races that, while more subtle than America’s, is at least as pervasive.

A key difference between Sowell’s classic and Barone’s effort is thatBarone has a specific political agenda. He wants to reassure conservatives that, “We’ve been here before.” Barone tells us,

America in the future will be multiracial and multiethnic, but it will not—or should not—be multicultural in the sense of containing ethnic communities marked off from and adversarial to the larger society, any more than today’s America consists of unassimilated and adversarial communities of Irish, Italians, or Jews. [Emphasis mine.]



Obviously, though, there is a huge difference between “will not” and “should not.” One’s a prediction, the other a prescription. The entire book is infected with this slippery vagueness over what’s actually true and what Barone merely wishes were true. For instance, Barone writes:

Mexican commentator Sergio Sarmiento argues that if Mexico can achieve the South Korea-style economic growth that seems possible over the next twenty years, it will vastly reduce its economic disparity with the United States and substantiallyreduce incentives to immigration…. It is possible also to imagine that in time Latinos will become interwoven into the American fabric.

Yes, the imagination certainly is a wonderful thing! But any reasonableperson would need a lot more evidence and logic than Barone bothers to amass to accept this flight of fancy.

I’ve long wanted Sowell to update his 1981 book, which relied heavily on 1970 Census data. Barone’s effort is not a satisfactory substitute.

First, he should have waited for the 2000 Census data to come out.For example, Barone wrote,

But the 30 million “Hispanics” counted in the 2000 Census are not members of a single homogenous community.

Sorry, but the 2000 Census actually counted 35.3 million. Over the last couple of months, we’ve learned that both the Hispanic population and the illegal alien population have been growing much faster than the government had been telling us back when Barone was writing his book. These new facts obviously have significant implications for the long-term impact of the immigration policies that Barone lauds.

Second, Barone’s book simply lacks the moral seriousness ofSowell’s landmark tome. In Ethnic America, there’s a profound sense of an author honestly confronting the facts and pushing himself todiscover from them new, and often unwelcome, general truths. Barone, in contrast, steadfastly refuses to draw conclusions displeasing to the “conservative” establishment of 2001.

However, the book does contain a lot of important details scatteredabout. I’ve wondered why George W. Bush so overestimated the GOP’s appeal to Mexican-Americans in California. Unintentionally, Barone sheds some light on why Bush doesn’t understand California’s Latinos:

California’s Mexicans may be more inclined to vote Democratic because of where they come from in Mexico …(such as)Michoacan…. the only state that Cuahtemoc Cardenas of the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) carried in the 2000 presidential election. Cardenas ran a close second in Guerrero, another state from which many of California’s Mexicans come. In contrast, most Texas Mexicans appear to have come from the northern states of Mexico, historically theheartland of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) and carried by PAN candidate Vicente Fox in 2000.

In other words, Bush is deluded in thinking he can get Mexican-Americans in California to vote Republican as much as they do in Texas (43% in 2000). But, those are my words, not Barone’s, who doesn’t seem to want to say anything that would discomfit the Bush Administration.

Too often in The New Americans, though, one is simply led around by the nose on a tour of all the news that fits. And if it doesn’t fit, well,Barone will knead it until it looks like it fits.

Take how Barone spins the Latino crime and imprisonment rates. First, he explains why the numbers ought to be low:

But the Latin heritage of mistrust of institutions suggests that Latinos would not have a proclivity toward crime. The sensible thing is to keep your head down and work, avoiding any activity that might bring you to the attention of the often corrupt police.

Of course, an entrepreneurial young fellow might look at this situationfrom an entirely different angle: as an opportunity for organized crime. If nobody in your neighborhood ever calls the cops, then why not start a gang to run protection rackets and deal controlled substances? That’s exactly what happened in Italian neighborhoods then and Latino neighborhoods now.

Undaunted, Barone wades on:

In point of fact, Latino immigrants and their descendents have not been much more likely than native-born Americans to commit crimes or be imprisoned.

Here are the facts on Latino imprisonment, as reported in a valuablenew study called “Masking the Divide: How Officially Reported Prison Statistics Distort the Racial and Ethnic Realities of Prison Growth” by the liberal National Center on Institutions and Alternatives. According to the statistics in their appendices, the per capita imprisonment rate forHispanics in 1997 was 3.7 times that of non-Hispanic whites.

Now, a 3.7 times worse imprisonment rate might suggest to theobjective observer a bit of a relative “proclivity toward crime.” So I had to reread Barone’s paragraph a couple of times before I noticed his deft phrasing. He’s comparing Hispanics not to Anglo whites but to “native-born Americans.” This is clever because plenty of Hispanics are “native-born Americans,” so they get double-counted, which inflates the “native-born” imprisonment figures. His big ploy, though, is that he’s comparing Hispanics primarily to African Americans, who outnumber Anglo whites in prison by 30% in absolute numbers and bya stunning 9.1 to 1 ratio per capita.

Sadly, this is not an isolated example. The New Americans is full of statements ranging from the sly to the dubious to the absurd.

To take one amusing example, Barone holds quite a grudge against the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who died in 1558. Three separate times he blames Charles V for Italians and Latinos having too little faith in government. But Charles V also ruled much of Germany and Austria, where the locals eventually developed a tad too much faith in government.. There’s only so much one Emperor can do. Some Latin American countries like Guatemala are so dysfunctional in so many ways that to screw them up that royally would have taken all the Holy Roman Emperors working together, plus Darth Vader and Lord Farquaad.

From an American perspective that considers a government functional only if it provides order, justice, and liberty, practically all countries in allhistory were “politically dysfunctional.” The important question is not why Italy and Spain were dysfunctional, but why England and its offshoots slowly became functional in the modern sense.

The third major problem with The New Americans is that the school of thought that Barone’s sources Kristol and Sowell helped pioneer decades ago—”cultural realism”— is finally running into diminishing returns. One leading cultural realist at Harvard told me that every time he writes an article blaming the poverty of Haiti on its culture (e.g.,Haitians’ obsession with casting voodoo curses on each other), he gets many letters from other academics calling him a “racist” for doubting that Haiti would be as rich as America if only America hadn’tgotten rich by plundering the oppressed proletariat of Haiti. Not surprisingly, having his enemies slur him with the potentially career-killing “R” word has led him to make a dogma of the “anti-racism” of his cultural realism: No, Haitians would be as rich as Minnesotans if only they had the same culture as Minnesotans!

This phobia against saying anything interesting about race—as prudent as it no doubt is in today’s academic climate—means that the cultural realists end up with one hand tied behind their backs.

Something fascinating has been happening in America. Integration has brought the different racial groups into closer contact, allowing them to observe each other more carefully. Private discussions about racial differences have become more detailed and discerning—but almostnone of what is being said is appearing in the academic press. Sowell remained carefully agnostic on biological racial differences, but many of his conservative followers are beginning to sound more Catholic than the Pope on how understanding culture allowed you to ignore biology.

The key event in cementing this “biophobic” orthodoxy in place was the furious backlash against Charles Murray’s and Richard Herrnstein’s The Bell Curve in 1994.

Initially, Barone bravely backed Murray and Herrnstein. Here’s whatBarone wrote in an essay entitled “Common Knowledge” in a National Review symposium on The Bell Curve just after its publication:

PERHAPS because I’m congenitally optimistic, I think The Bell Curve’s message is already widely understood, by the American people if not by the elite. Ordinary citizens know that some people are in significant ways more intelligent than others, that only a relative few are extremely bright or extremely dull, and that intelligence bunches up at the center.They know that intelligence is not randomly distributed among members of different identifiable racial and ethnic groups. These are lessons that are taught in everyday life, and you have to undergo a pretty sophisticated indoctrination and enlist in atightly disciplined ideological army to believe otherwise. … More specifically, by showing strong relationships between intelligence as measured by IQ tests and behaviors ranging from job performance to a propensity to commit crimes or bear children outside marriage, The Bell Curve makes a powerful case that the disproportionately low number of blacks in top positions and the disproportionately high number of blacks in prison (just under half our prisoners are black) do not result from racial discrimination.

But within a few months, it became apparent that continuing to publiclyback Murray could have career-threatening consequences. The problem was not that The Bell Curve had been disproved. Indeed, the problem was the opposite. The Bell Curve provided so much evidence that it had to be silenced.

Not surprisingly, in Barone’s new book there is no mention of IQ.

Since The Bell Curve was shouted down, race has become America’s intellectual anti-matter, a subject that repels thought. Many who aspire to be Conservatives have lost the most basic grasp of what race even is. They have become more and more dependent on leftist theories of the Race Is Only Skin Deep or Race Does Not Exist schools.

But consideration of race questions is unavoidable in the field of immigration policy. An intellectually coherent definition is essential. Here it is:

A “racial group” is an extremely extended family that inbreeds to some degree.

Lacking this fundamental definition of race, Barone flounders. He sometimes sounds like he’s relying on UNESCO Christmas cards for his insights into human nature:

Babies do not distinguish between people of African and European descent; they recognize only other human beings. They have to be taught to differentiate between blacks and whites.

This claim that young children have to be taught to distinguish races is simply not true. Often times, before they’ve learned American names for racial categories, they’ll invent their own, such as “brown,” “tan,” and “pink.” This subject has been studied extensively in controlled experiments. In Race in the Making, the liberal U. of Michigananthropology professor Lawrence A. Hirschfeld sums up the findings:

As comforting as this view may be, children, I will show in this book, are more than aware of diversity; they are driven by endogenous curiosity to uncover it. Children, I will also show, do not believe race to be a superficial quality of the world.Multicultural curricula aside, few people believe that race is only skin deep. Certainly few 3-year-olds do. They believe that race is an intrinsic, immutable, and essential aspect of a person’s identity. Moreover, they seem to come to this conclusion on their own. They do not need to be taught that race is a deepproperty, they know it themselves already.

For example, if you show preschoolers drawings of people and ask them to match the children with their mommies, on average they will correctly tell you that the skinny white child belongs to the fat white mommy, while the fat black child belongs to the skinny black mommy (or vice-versa). They consider race a better predictor of familyrelationship than body shape.

Because he is unaware of the accurate definition, Barone swallowswhole a lot of the glib sophistry of the pernicious “whiteness studies” ideologues:

But we must recall that the Irish immigrants of the nineteenth century were widely considered to be of another race, a fact reflected in the wry title of a recent book, How the Irish Became White.

You will of course recall that dramatic scene in Gone with the Windwhen Scarlett O’Hara’s Irish surname is discovered, causing her to be immediately sold into slavery.

In 1900, Americans referred to the Irish as a “race” for the simple reason that—under the fundamental definition—they are a race. Over time in America, the term “race” has come to be used mostly for continental-scale racial groups such as sub-Saharan Africans and East Asians. But there is nothing written in stone that says those are the only racial groups worth considering.

This kind of conceptual confusion about race makes Barone prey forracial snake-oil salesmen. Thus, for example, he unloads this gem on us at the end of his book:

There is no greater biological difference between the minoritygroups and other Americans of today than there was between the immigrant groups and other Americans of a hundred years ago.

I assume that what Barone is trying to say is that the genetic distance between the immigrant Irish, Jews, and Italians and the Anglo-German native majority in 1900 was no greater than between the blacks, Latinos, and Asians and the white majority in 2000. This statement isbalderdash. The relationship between racial groups has been quantified in Stanford population geneticist L.L. Cavalli-Sforza’s monumental “History and Geography of Human Genes.” Cavalli-Sforza’s team compiled extraordinary tables depicting the “genetic distances” separating 2,000 different racial groups. For example, assume the genetic distance between the English and the Danes is equal to 1.0. Then, Cavalli-Sforza has found, the separation between the English and the Irish would be 1.4 times as large as the English-Danish difference. On this scale, the English and Italians are about 2.5 more distant than the Danes are from the English. The Iranians would be 9 times moredistant genetically, and the Japanese 59 times greater. Finally, the gap between the English and the Bantus (the main group of sub-Saharan blacks) is 109 times as large as the distance between the English and the Danish. In other words—for what it’s worth—the “biologicaldifference” between America’s post-1965 immigrants and the host community could hardly be greater. (For my further comments on Cavelli-Sforza, click here.)

Let’s conclude with an example of how race can add greatly to our understanding of culture. The imprisonment data shows that race, not culture, drives crime rates among Hispanics.

In the state of Florida, where most Latinos have been white Cubans,Hispanics are imprisoned at a rate only 1.2 times higher than Anglo whites.

In the American West, where most of the Latinos are mestizoMexicans, the rates vary from only 1.5 in Nevada to 4.3 in Utah. These state-by-state differences are largely driven by disparities in the behavior of the white population. Nevada whites, not surprisingly, include a fair number of bad guys. The Hispanic to white ratios in Texas and California, where whites are also fairly badly behaved, are 2.2 and 2.4 respectively. In Utah, Colorado, and Washington, where the whites are more law-abiding, the ratios are over 4 to 1.

Finally, in Northeastern states, where Hispanics are generally mulatto Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, the imprisonment rates can range from 8 up to 12 to 1. (Keep in mind though that Northeastern whites stay out of prison better than Western whites.)

In other words, we see the same black-white differences in crime rates among non-Hispanic Americans show up among Hispanics.

In summary, perhaps the justification for books like The New Americans is that if the public were told the truth about race, it would immediately launch a bloody race war. I find this preposterous. Interestingly enough, so did Barone seven years ago. What he said then about the enemies of The Bell Curve provides a fitting summary of my views now:

Of course, most of our university and media elite have signed up for those forces [of indoctrination on empirical questions about race]. They have done so, I think, because they believe that ordinary people would take the admission that there are differences in average intelligence among the races as a license for racial discrimination. They evidently believe that many or most Americans long to return to the system of legally enforced racial segregation that prevailed in the American South until the mid 1960s. But that is nonsense.

Sadly the brave Michael Barone of 1995 has become in 2001 at best apitiable bus-boy clearing tables for the new orthodoxy on immigration. An orthodoxy which has the temerity to claim to be “conservative.”

[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic for

The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Michael Barone 
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About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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