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Civil Rights

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“It’s hard to imagine that the practice of segregation still exists in the United States,” bleated Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, a University of Florida law student in a column in the Los Angeles Times last week, “but it does.”

What’s really hard to imagine is that any person old enough and bright enough to go to law school could write such a sentence. [May 14, 2003, Separate Proms -- and Racism -- Linger in Parts of the South,Los Angeles Times, Florida version, no registration req'd]

The reason for Mr. Shapiro’s lack of imagination was the announcement by white students at a high school in Wrightsville, Ga., that they would hold a spring prom restricted to whites only.

Their school held another, official prom that students of all races could attend, but the whites wanted their own prom.

For that reason, for the last couple of weeks, the high schoolers have had to endure the sneers, insults, denunciations and ridicule of people like Mr. Shapiro, who know exactly what the students in Georgia should do and how they should do it.

One such denouncer is pundit Bill O’Reilly, who screamed about the wickedness and backwardness of the white students for days. In a recent column, [Prom Night - All White, May 08, 2003] Mr. O’Reilly pontificates about how helpless he, you, the federal government, the courts and presumably the United Nations all are in preventing the prom or punishing the students.

“You can’t sue because the event is being held off-campus. It’s a private party, and no person of color is welcome. Yet the party is being held under the banner of Taylor High’s junior prom. Yes, there is an alternative prom where everyone is welcome, but still a number of your classmates do not want to celebrate with you.”

It’s terrific that Mr. O’Reilly recognizes that there are limits to the power of the state to interfere with private social events, and so does Mr. Shapiro, who sadly acknowledges, “Authorities are powerless to interfere” with the white prom.

Yet it apparently has never occurred to either of them that the white students, like all other Americans, have a right to freedom of association and that there is absolutely nothing anyone or anything can or should do to interfere with what is basically merely a private party.

What is wrong with whites holding a whites-only prom? As a reader of Mr. O’Reilly’s column in the Washington Times wrote in response to it,

“As a young adult not too far removed from an ‘integrated’ Prince George’s County high school, I can tell you that there were a number of clubs to which whites need not have applied. Mr. O’Reilly should know that it is considered normal, even encouraged, for blacks and other minorities to form groups in clubs just for themselves. Even at school sporting events, blacks would congregate on one side of the gym, whites on the other. At lunch, blacks would sit with other blacks, whites with other whites. Heterosexual whites constituted the only group that did not have an organization of its own.”

The point, which neither Mr. O’Reilly nor Mr. Shapiro seems capable of grasping, is that “segregation,” if that’s the right term for the voluntary association of people of the same race, is commonplace, and nowhere more so than among blacks.

There are black student unions, black dormitories, black student associations, and black professional groups, not to mention black caucuses and wealthy, powerful national organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People explicitly devoted to the advancement of the political power of blacks.

This week the Washington Post carried a front page story [Diversity Or Division, by Michael A. Fletcher, May 19, 2003] about how blacks and other racial minorities are holding racially separate graduation ceremonies and events at the University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt, Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford, and other prestigious schools, all with the approval if not the sponsorship of the colleges’ administrations.

I await with bated breath Mr. O’Reilly’s and Mr. Shapiro’s fulminations about such “segregation.”

I expect I will suffocate first.

Why can’t whites have their own private dance without being damned and denounced by self-righteous prigs like Mr. Shapiro and Mr. O’Reilly?

Quite simply because white racial identity and white racial consciousness are today verboten, virtually illegal under public law and certainly a taboo enforced by self-appointed watchdogs like our two valiant apostles of color-blindness, while non-white racial identity and consciousness are not only legitimate but encouraged and actually promoted by the government and dominant culture.

In fact, there is nothing wrong with either racial group holding its own parties, proms, ceremonies, and social events, and the commonplaceness of non-whites doing so means that there is no legitimate reason why whites cannot and should not do so as well.

The great truth of our era is that race has been rediscovered, as both a scientific and a social reality.

Those like Mr. Shapiro and Mr. O’Reilly who haven’t heard about it need to catch up with the times.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Civil Rights 
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Black History Month, previously known as “February,” hasn’t even begun yet, and already the Public Broadcasting System is treating the nation to propaganda fests about the Emmett Till case of 1954 and the anti-black “hate crime” in Jasper, Texas of 1998. Martin Luther King Day, just concluded, was merely a walk-up to what will be a month-long wallow in white guilt and anti-white hatred.

One icon of the “civil rights movement” who will be featured is Rosa Parks, the little old black lady of Montgomery, Alabama, whose quiet and heroic refusal to give up her seat and move to the back of the bus has become to civil rights mythology what George Washington and the cherry tree was to the Old America.

As it turns out, neither myth is true, but the facts in the Rosa Parks case are a good bit more sinister.

A book published in 1995, “Speak Now against the Day,” by John Egerton informs us that Mrs. Parks, so far from being a simple black woman, was in fact an officer of the local NAACP.

If that suggests that she mounted a rather more artful act of civil disobedience than the legend acknowledges, it’s because such is precisely the case.

Mr. Egerton shows that Mrs. Parks was in fact an alumna of an institution in Monteagle, Tennessee, known as the Highlander Folk School, usually and not inaccurately described as a “communist training school.” Highlander was founded and run by a gentleman named Myles Horton, who was never actually a member of the Communist Party but told a veteran Red pal that he didn’t join so he could avoid having the label pinned on him. For all practical purposes, Horton was a communist.

As Mr. Egerton writes, “Highlander had started summer workshops on school desegregation in 1954, right after the Brown decision. The Montgomery NAACP wanted to send a delegate to Highlander the next year. They chose their youth director, Rosa Parks.”

Mr. Egerton’s book contains a photograph of Mrs. Parks with Horton at the school in 1957, but her first training session took place only a few months before she sat down in the front of the bus in December, 1955.

Her action is widely and probably rightly regarded as the beginning of the civil rights movement in the South. Was it in fact an act of communist subversion?

In 1957 a photograph was taken of an audience at the school that showed Martin Luther King sitting in the front row. Right next to him was a comrade named Abner Berry, the correspondent of the Communist Party’s official newspaper, the Daily Worker. In the 1950s King’s enemies plastered it all over the South to discredit King and his movement. It did discredit them—at least in those quarters that thought hanging out with Communists was discreditable.

Today, fewer people think so, and the discovery, from opened Soviet archives, that communists really did penetrate high levels of the U.S. government and the atom bomb project, falls on ears that don’t want to hear about it. But it’s also clear that they penetrated—and used—the civil rights movement as well.

It’s well documented that King himself was surrounded by known communists like Stanley Levison and Hunter Pitts O’Dell, the latter actually a member of the party’s national committee in 1961. King’s bitterly anti-American speech on the Vietnam war, praising Ho Chi Minh and comparing American soldiers to Nazi storm troopers, in 1967 was written by Levison, whose influence on King was the main reason for FBI surveillance of him.

Today, Americans have been so brainwashed by the propaganda of the left, communist or not, that they’re likely to regard the Reds in the civil rights movement as the real heroes who led the fight against murderous bigots in Southern backwaters. Immersed in white guilt, a vast number of Americans now accept that the entire history of their nation up to the 1960s was a dark age of repression and hatred, with only a few bright spots like Abraham Lincoln and the crusade against Hitler.

Having lost their own history, Americans can no longer expect to keep the nation their history created and defined. That, of course, was the whole point—to strip away the real past as well as the legends that allow Americans to exist as a people and to put in their place new myths—and a new population—that will give birth to a new order that Myles Horton and his comrades would have liked. It’s an amazing story, about how an entire people was bamboozled out of its own heritage and its own country. Some day, when we have a good conservative administration in Washington, the Public Broadcasting System ought to make a film about it.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Blacks, Civil Rights 
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If there’s a shortage of hate crimes in your community, you can always try to dig one up from the remote past. In Duluth, Minnesota, the closest thing to a hate crime anyone seems able to find is the lynching of three blacks in 1920 by a white mob that believed them guilty of raping a white woman. It might not be a hate crime by modern definitions, but it’s still close enough for guilt-mongers and Afro-racists to exploit it for their own dubious purposes.

The lynching took place on June 15, 1920, so the 81st anniversary of the event was upon us last week, and the Associated Press rehearsed all the details. The details of what happened back then are not the point, however. The point is how the incident is being used today—to induce guilt in whites and to push the racial-political agenda of blacks.

“When they first came to me, I thought, ‘Why would I want to tell the world that something so horrible happened in my city?’” Duluth Mayor Gary Doty asked. He soon got his answer. It’s precisely because the lynching was horrible that those who seek to make use of it demand it be resurrected.

An organizing committee to rake up the horrors and inflict them on the present was formed, and last week it went to work. “The committee has held poetry readings, a concert, [and] a fund-raiser to create a memorial sculpture,” just to make sure it stays raked up. There also were “celebrity readings” from a book about the Duluth lynchings. It all sounds like too much fun, but the mayor, quickly persuaded of the value of telling the world of the horrors of his city and his race, also came to “look at the memorial as a ‘stepping-off’ point for race discussions.” Here we approach the meat of the festivities.

“Race relations in this community are good,” the hapless mayor told the AP. “But then you’re talking to a white, middle-aged guy, so there must be some things we need to work on.” What would white guys know about race relations anyway? If they think race relations are good, it’s only because they’re not plugged into the real horrors their race is perpetrating to this day. That’s why we need “race discussions,” don’t you see?

The discussion was kicked off by organizing committee member Portia Johnson. “There’s other ways of lynching folks,” the learned Miss Johnson preached. “Like no jobs, like you have a number of blacks in jail disproportionate to the number in society. That’s a lynching.”

Well, no, it’s not a lynching, but it is a convenient opportunity to grouse and whine about what the Afro-bigots call the “victimization” of blacks by the “institutional racism” of whites. There may or may not be “no jobs” in Duluth, but whether there are or not probably has little to do with the racial attitudes of whites. Nor does the number of blacks in jail, who are there because of the crimes they’ve committed, not because whites are mean and cruel and like to put blacks in jail.

The memorial observances may be transparent racial-political theater to push a few points, but transparent or not, they apparently had their effects. Asked about her reaction to the memorial, the white owner of the funeral home that took in and buried the lynching victims 80 years ago told the press, “It makes you embarrassed to be a white person.”

That, of course, is the final point and purpose of the whole spectacle, to make whites ashamed of their race and their history and thereby to undermine whatever political and cultural power they have left. It’s a tactic often deployed in the wake of “hate crimes,” and it often works.

Similar “racial discussions” took place in Jasper, Texas, after the 1998 murder of a black man by whites, with the result that many whites apologized to blacks for their “feelings” of years earlier. There are no recorded instances of blacks apologizing to whites for any of their feelings of the past, let alone for any racial horrors they may have committed. There never are.

“Racial discussions” are always a one-way street down which only whites are made to travel, to force them to wallow in racial guilt and push into their minds the sentiment that gushed back from the white woman in Duluth: “It makes you embarrassed to be white.”

Once that sentiment is embedded in the white mind, the path is open to any and every anti-white racial demand. Until whites themselves see through the fraud of “racial discussions” and the guilt and fear they’re intended to instill, that will be the path down which more and more whites will inevitably be driven.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Blacks, Civil Rights 
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Is Thomas Blanton, convicted last week of first-degree murder in the infamous Birmingham church bombing of 1963, really guilty? Who knows? So politicized have trials involving racial issues become in this country—the murder trial of O.J. Simpson is the archetype—that jury verdicts mean almost nothing today. In the Blanton case, even the chief prosecutor, U.S. attorney Doug Jones, admitted that “this was not an overwhelming case.”

Tried 37 years after the crime, before a jury that contained not a single white male and from which the prosecutors carefully excluded as many whites as possible, Blanton was never once connected to the actual crime. Usually in murder trials the prosecutors try to show such a connection—two or more witnesses, fingerprints, DNA, a confession, something that, beyond a reasonable doubt, will convince the jurors that the defendant is guilty. In the Blanton trial there was none of the above.

No witness placed Blanton at the scene of the bombing on Sept. 15, 1963. No witness or other evidence showed that he made or placed the bomb. Instead, an old girl friend testified that Blanton had boasted to her of the blacks he planned to kill, and a barely audible FBI tape recording had Blanton saying they’d never catch him “when I bomb my next church.” Nobody doubts that Blanton, a Ku Klux Klan member, hated black people, that he bragged of hating them and bragged also about killing them and wanting to kill them. But no one claimed either that he ever admitted bombing this particular church or actually killing anybody. In short, it appears that Thomas Blanton was convicted of murder mainly because of what he thinks and says.

Blanton’s defense lawyer argued in his summation that “the case is somehow linked with the image of this city,” and no doubt the New South’s obsessive rejection of its past played a role. So did the zealotry of the Clinton administration, which planned to bring the case to trial, and, not least, so did the racial resentment that drives many blacks to grind the entire past of the white South into the dirt.

“Somehow,” intoned Shelley Stewart, a black Birmingham talk show host told The Washington Post last week, (April 29, 2001; Page A03), “African Americans here have been persuaded—in my view out of fear—that you get along with white people by forgetting. You must forget slavery, you must forget sitting at the back of the bus, you must forget segregation, you must forget the Sixteenth Street Church bombing—and when you forget all that, then we’ll get along.”

Disregarding Mr. Stewart’s paranoid invocation of “fear,” what else do he and his fellow black zealots demand of white Southerners but that they forget their own heritage by removing Confederate flags, statues, plaques and songs simply because they are “offensive” to blacks? In the South today, as in most of the rest of the nation, it is whites, not blacks, who are forced to forget, deny, distort, and denounce their own past and to celebrate the mythologized past of others. And it is whites, not blacks, who do so out of fear.

Whoever bombed the Sixteenth Street Church committed an atrocity. He or they knew the church would be filled and intended that men, women and children die. But if the bombing was an act of homicidal brutality, it was also an act of war, an act of resistance to the concerted onslaught against the white South launched by the civil rights movement, the federal government (including the White House, the Justice Department, the FBI and the federal judiciary), the organized left, the mainstream churches, universities, and the national media. You don’t have to be Thomas Blanton or a Ku Kluxer to believe that the South had as much moral and legal right to preserve its way of life as any other society and culture, and if it did have that right, then it had the right to resist the war that the powers of the earth were waging against it.

The problem with that resistance was that only people like Thomas Blanton were very serious about it. Then as now, most white business and political leaders sought a quick and easy settlement, so their profits wouldn’t be hurt or their careers disrupted. Only characters like Blanton, who seldom saw profits and had no careers, fought back, and they fought the only way and for the only reasons they could imagine.

What the Blanton trial shows is not that justice has finally triumphed in the South but that the South lost the war that some white Southerners tried to fight. The trial and its outcome are important symbols of who won and who lost the war and the power that war determines, but let no one imagine that they represent justice.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Civil Rights 
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Perhaps without fully realizing what it was doing, the U.S. Supreme Court last week struck a small blow for American nationhood. By narrowly rejecting—for rather arcane legalistic reasons—the lawsuit of an immigrant woman demanding the right to take a driver’s license test in Spanish, it actually helped protect the English language and the national bond that a common language makes possible. If this sort of thing keeps happening, we might even reach a point where the Court recognizes a common national culture.

The case before the Court involved a lady from Mexico named Martha Sandoval, who claimed that the state of Alabama to which she had immigrated refused to give her a driver’s license test in her native language. Alabama, like 19 other states, has a law making English its official language, and it conducts its official business—including driver’s license tests—in that language.

You’d think that was logical enough and that anyone moving here from another country would want to learn English well enough to be able to pass driver’s license tests in it—not to mention to be able to read road signs while actually driving a car. But no, Mrs. Sandoval insisted that the narrow-minded nativists of Alabama were unfairly discriminating against her when they made her take the test in English (of course, no one made her take the test at all, for that matter).

Alabama, like most states, receives money from the federal government, and under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, recipients of federal money are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Mrs. Sandoval claimed in her suit—backed by multimillion-dollar leftist lobbies like the ACLU, the NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center—that the Alabama law discriminated against her because of her national origin.

The Court’s majority in its wisdom did not actually speak to that point. It held—by 5-4—that Mrs. Sandoval cannot sue the state for discrimination at all because Congress in passing the act did not explicitly enact what Justice Antonin Scalia, speaking for the majority,called “a freestanding right of action to enforce (such) regulations.” That throws Mrs. Sandoval’s claim in file 13, but it still doesn’t answer the more important question that this case raises: Can we, the American people, have our own language or not?

We do know what the four dissenters think. The four are the usual suspects who constitute the left wing of the current bench——Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer and Souter—and they, rather sourly, opined that earlier cases did in fact recognize the right to forbid “the provision of governmental services in a manner that discriminated against non-English speakers.” In other words, four justices of the Nameless Nine—just one short of a majority–think the American people should not have the right to establish their own language in their nation. That’s what the dissenting gobbledy-gook really means.

The dissenting opinion argues that non-English-speaking immigrants can continue to challenge official English laws throughout the country, with the financial and legal help of their left-wing allies, and enjoy a serious chance of preventing the vast majority of Americans, through the operation of such laws, from enforcing the prevalence of their own native language in their own country.

The Court’s decision could therefore have been worse; it didn’t close off the possibility of such massive linguistic and cultural subversion, but at least it didn’t immediately open the gates to it. But don’t imagine that the stalwarts of the left will stop trying.

If and when they do, it won’t be merely Mrs. Sandoval’s Spanish in which driver’s license tests must be administered but every other language that has now been imported into the multiracial, multicultural,multilingual Tower of Babel we are becoming. Nor will driver’s license tests be the only official documents that will have to transcend the parochial tongues of those who write them. Road signs, instruction manuals, administrative procedures and law books themselves would have to be published in whatever languages are required to avoid “the provision of governmental services in a manner that discriminates against non-English speakers.” The result, of course, will be not only linguistic and cultural, but even political, anarchy—dare one say “Balkanization.”

Most Americans, of course, have no idea how close the Court last week actually came to pulling the plug on whatever remains of their nation’s unity, nor do they have any notion of what still lies before them once the professional left exploits the loopholes in the Court’s ruling. They really ought to have an idea, because the anarchy in their future will be the logical consequence of the combination of mass immigration and a left-wing ruling class that controls both the press and the courts.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Civil Rights 
Sam Francis
About Sam Francis

Dr. Samuel T. Francis (1947-2005) was a leading paleoconservative columnist and intellectual theorist, serving as an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Patrick Buchanan and as an editorial writer, columnist, and editor at The Washington Times. He received the Distinguished Writing Award for Editorial Writing of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) in both 1989 and 1990, while being a finalist for the National Journalism Award (Walker Stone Prize) for Editorial Writing of the Scripps Howard Foundation those same years. His undergraduate education was at Johns Hopkins and he later earned his Ph.D. in modern history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

His books include The Soviet Strategy of Terror(1981, rev.1985), Power and History: The Political Thought of James Burnham (1984); Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism (1993); Revolution from the Middle: Essays and Articles from Chronicles, 1989–1996 (1997); and Thinkers of Our Time: James Burnham (1999). His published articles or reviews appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, National Review, The Spectator (London), The New American, The Occidental Quarterly, and Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, of which he was political editor and for which he wrote a monthly column, “Principalities and Powers.”